A Galapagos photography tour ranks high on the bucket list of any wildlife photography enthusiast. For nature photographers, capturing close-up images of wildlife is the ultimate travel photography experience. It is safe to say there is no better place on earth to get amazing full-frame shots of unique and fearless wildlife than in the Galapagos.
The first trips Think Galapagos organised were specialist Galapagos photography tours back in 1997! So you can safely say that we are Galapagos photography tour specialists with more than twenty years of doing this under our belts! We understand that photographers need to travel in a different way to most other Galapagos guests and use our understanding and unrivalled network of local contacts to ensure that as a photographer you have the very best Galapagos vacation experience possible.
“We understand travelling is more complicated now than before COVID. That’s why you need to use a company you can trust every step of the way.”
Travel in a time of uncertainty…
Now travel has resumed, planning your Galapagos vacation should be a source of excitement, but making sense of all the travel regulations can be a headache. We follow developments in Ecuador, Peru and Galapagos incredibly closely so we have all the latest information on hand.
Having all the latest information and expert teams on the ground helps us take the uncertainty out of your planning and give you the confidence to book, secure in the knowledge we have you covered! If you want to find out the latest advice on travel to Ecuador, Galapagos and Peru please contact us
All our Galapagos wildlife vacations have a naturalist-led cruise at their heart. Because the islands are spread over more than 200 km, by visiting on board a live-aboard Galapagos wildlife cruise, this enables you to reach the most remote and pristine parts of the archipelago
Navigating mostly at night means you to spend the best parts of the day for wildlife watching with early morning and late afternoon land visits. Then in the middle of the day you can experience some of the amazing Galapagos wildlife below the water, with some of the best snorkelling in the world.
There is no right answer to this. Galapagos truly is a year round destination thanks to its location on the equator and each month has its own special highlights. Depending on what your particular wildlife interest is, some times of the year may be better for you than others and we would be able to help guide you on this.
Want to chat through your plans face to face? Fill in our form and request a video chat and we’ll be in touch with the details.
As well as unique and fearless wildlife, Galapagos is also a stunningly beautiful group of islands with some truly superb landscapes. From volcanic craters to stark lava fields, to mangrove lagoons and crystalline turquoise waters with some fascinating and unique plant life and a rich host of underwater life offering an exceptional wildlife photography experience for every type of natural history enthusiast.
The best way to start planning your Galapagos photography vacation is to give us a call or contact us via email. We are genuinely delighted always to answer any questions and help get you started planning your trip. But in case it is helpful, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about photography vacations in Galapagos and the best way to combine it with some time in mainland Ecuador.
Although Galapagos is up there as one of the top wildlife vacation destinations in the world, Ecuador itself has some extraordinary opportunities and makes for a great addition to your Galapagos trip. Each Galapagos vacation must start and end in mainland Ecuador anyway, so it definitely makes sense to add in at least a few days here if you can.
The cloud forest area of Mindo just 2 hours drive West from Quito has some amazing hummingbird photography opportunities as well as a host of other amazing plant and birdlife photography options.
Another favourite photography spot close to Quito is Guango Lodge on the Eastern slopes of Ecuador’s Andes, which offers an amazing array of hummingbird species and is just over a one hour drive from Quito. Two hours to the north of Quito and you have Hacienda Zuleta, with virtually guaranteed chances of seeing wild Andean Condors every day, with some spectacular scenery into the bargain too!
Just a short flight from Quito, is another wildlife photographers dream destination, the Amazon Rainforest. Although photography here is more challenging due to the light conditions and often the distances to the species, it still makes for some stunning wildlife photography experiences.
For some inspiration, why not check out the Flickr page from Think Galapagos co-founder Santiago Bejarano and see some of the shots he has taken on our trips with guests over the years.
Because you can get surprisingly close to the wildlife, you can pack reasonably light for the Galapagos Islands allowing for more adaptability and flexibility with your photography. Although photographic styles and conditions on the ground vary, here are some tips from us as a general guide to help choosing your camera gear for Galapagos
This downloadable pre-trip information document will help you plan for your Galapagos wildlife vacation as well as answering some key questions you may have. Despite being quite long it is by no means exhaustive, so please do get in touch with any questions you may have and we would be delighted to help.
wildlife Check List
These downloadable wildlife check lists gives you all the plants, animals and birds to look out for on your trip.
Ecuador Bird Check List
Whilst keeping the gear covered provides the best protection, it also interferes greatly with picture taking! Our recommendation is that after exposure to any degree of spray, wipe camera and lens with a freshwater-dampened cloth (not forgetting the retractable parts of zoom lenses). Then dry carefully with an absorbent, lint-free cloth. Try to avoid opening cameras or lens-changing at the water’s edge or wherever spray may be in the air!
This all really goes without saying, but just in case! Always be conscious of other photographers, allowing others to get a clear shot before walking into their view. Also, be conscious of those using video cameras to record both the sights and sounds of Galapagos. Never surround a single animal or animal group. The best way is to form a semi-circle, which is better for the wildlife and leaves an unspoiled background. No wildlife should ever be harassed for the sake of photography. Approach slowly, leaving a distance of 10-15 feet (3-4 Meters) from nesting birds and crawling seals.
Unless you are planning to shoot a lot of video, or extending your trip to photograph some of the wildlife of mainland Ecuador, there is no need to bring a tripod thanks to the high light levels in Galapagos.
The Galapagos National Park have a ‘no flash’ rule. With the light generally being very good and being able to push the ISO setting, it is easy to manage without flash. For cameras with an automatic flash built in, the flash should be switched off.
Read more about Galapagos trips in our expert blog posts.