The Best Galapagos Photo Tour for Intimate, Unhurried Encounters with Wildlife
Six hundred miles off the coast of Ecuador, surrounded by open ocean, a volcanic archipelago straddles the equator. The Galapagos Islands, forged of black lava and named for the giant tortoises that are among its most noted inhabitants, are like no place else in the world. Home to a profuse array of wildlife, the islands offer an immersion in nature that feels primeval, where lizards and penguins and blue footed boobies share the beaches with us, unconcerned by our presence. Herman Melville called the Galapagos “Las Encantadas,” or the Enchanted Isles, an apt moniker for a realm that remains otherworldly, even today. Our ship-based adventure aboard the private yacht Ocean Spray offers unparalleled opportunities for some of the most amazing wildlife photography on the planet!
- A Wide-Ranging ItineraryPhotograph the prolific wildlife of the Galapagos as you cruise among the islands on an intimate, well-appointed yacht, and spend a night at our Tortoise Camp
- Diverse Wildlife EncountersSwim and snorkel with sea lions, turtles and penguins, sunbathe with iguanas, and watch for whales and dolphins off our ship's bow
- Giant Tortoise Close-UpsLearn about scientists’ conservation work at Charles Darwin Research Station and photograph giant tortoises at the tortoise breeding center
The Natural Habitat Experience
Choose the BEST Galapagos Photography Trip!
For nature photographers, capturing close-up images of wildlife is the ultimate travel photography experience. And there’s no better place to get amazing full-frame shots of unique and friendly animals than in the Galapagos Islands. As a company focused solely on nature travel, we're confident in our claim that we run the best photography tours in the islands. While many tour companies host large groups, making personal time with the animals nearly impossible, or pawn travelers off onto local travel agents who in turn pass them on to local ship owners, our photo tours are intimate, highly personalized and carefully managed adventures designed to create a superlative nature photography experience. Just what makes our Galapagos photo tours better?
- Small Groups for the Best Wildlife Encounters
With nature travel, small groups are a must, and that mandate is even more important for a photography-specific adventure. Our privately chartered ship accommodates a maximum of 16 guests who are accompanied by three guides—two fully licensed NHA Galapagos Expedition Leaders and a Nat Hab photo professional. When we go ashore, you'll be exploring and taking photos with a small group—at 1:8, it's the best guide-to-guest ratio in the islands!
- With Private Ships, Operations are Within Our Control
It's the little things that make a good trip great—the only way we can ensure that those little things are taken care of effectively and professionally is for us to look after them ourselves. That’s why we retain control over our Galapagos operations, looking after our guests' adventures from beginning to end. We personally arrange every component of our Galapagos trips, from hiring the best guides and chartering first-class ships to meeting you on arrival in Ecuador and accompanying you to the airport in Quito for your homeward flight.
- Enjoy an Exclusive Stay at Our Private Tortoise Camp on Santa Cruz
Our itinerary alone includes an optional overnight at our exclusive Tortoise Camp in the lush Santa Cruz highlands. Search for the perfect photo opportunities where wild tortoises roam freely over this remote parcel of private land overlooking the Pacific. Unique accommodations are in raised canvas tents and treehouses, surrounded by nature, with a communal dining room and lounge space warmed by a log fireplace.
- The Most Diverse Galapagos Itinerary for Photography
Ours is an exclusive itinerary, providing photo opportunities unavailable to others! As WWF’s travel partner, we are privileged to work in tandem with their team of expert scientists to develop the best wildlife-focused itinerary possible. Unlike most vessels that travel only to the south or central islands, we visit the western islands, including Fernandina, the Galapagos' most active volcano and prime nesting site for flightless cormorants, and Española in the southeast, home to the waved albatross. We sail to these more distant islands at night, maximizing your time ashore for photography during the day. We also include an exclusive optional overnight at our safari-style camp in the Santa Cruz highlands, where wild giant tortoises roam freely in close proximity!
- NHA Naturalist Expedition Leaders, Including a Dedicated Photographer Guide!
Natural Habitat is known worldwide for employing the finest naturalists on the planet. In the Galapagos, our Expedition Leaders have collectively undergone more training than any other company's guides, with an average of more than 15 years' guiding experience among them. They receive additional resources from WWF’s renowned scientists to further enhance their interpretation—an advantage exclusive to our guests. Our photography adventures are accompanied by two Galapagos Expedition Leaders plus one Photo Expedition Leader, for a total of three naturalist guides. See Photo Expedition Leader bios and traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
- Snorkeling Experiences
Snorkeling is a big component of any Galapagos trip, whether you are a photographer or not. With colonies of inquisitive sea lions, numerous green sea turtles and an array of colorful tropical fish, the Galapagos is an underwater kaleidoscope of exciting nature encounters. That's why we insist on keeping our snorkeling groups small, so that your once-in-a-lifetime experience of Galapagos marine life is not tainted by too many other snorkelers. We’re here for the close encounters with the animals, not with other travelers.
- Photograph More of Ecuador with Our Visit to Quito
Ecuador, though small in size, is one of the world's most geographically and culturally diverse countries. As a complement to your Galapagos immersion, we start our adventure in Quito—a richer experience than just flying in and out of Guayaquil. You'll stay at a boutique hotel that transformed a historic building in Quito's Old Town and sample a taste of Ecudorian culture that's distinctly different from what you'll encounter in the Galapagos. Your camera lens will soak up Quito's lush volcanic landscape and architecturally rich colonial history, reflected in extravagant churches and European, Moorish and indigenous influences that transformed the 16th-century downtown into a modern World Heritage Site.
- Our Quality-Value Guarantee Ensures Your Outstanding Galapagos Experience
When you travel with Natural Habitat Adventures, you receive our exclusive guarantee, promising that we will meet the lofty expectations established in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise.
- Feel Good About the Way You Travel
We know you care about the planet, and so do we. On this adventure you can travel knowing that the emissions from your trip are 100-percent carbon-offset—Natural Habitat Adventures is the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company.
- Natural Habitat Adventures is WWF's Travel Partner
Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our nature adventures, World Wildlife Fund – the world's leading environmental conservation organization – has named Natural Habitat as its worldwide travel partner, a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!