8 Days Exploring the Beauty and History of the Galápagos Islands
May 12–21, 2022
Join us on this photographic adventure of a lifetime, to one of the world’s premier wildlife and landscape destinations, The Galápagos Islands! These islands have been preserved well and offer a unique window into our evolutionary past. It is an ecosystem in which the animals are not afraid of humans—you will find yourself able to get closer portraits of extraordinary wildlife than you ever thought possible! Naturalists will explain the animal behaviors while our two photography pros will instruct you on the best techniques for capturing memorable and meaningful imagery.
Our boat can go where the larger ships can’t, and we will set our own schedule. This means we can go ashore based on lighting conditions and wildlife sightings, making sure that mealtimes are scheduled around our shoots, not during! We’ll walk in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, and we’ll channel his experiences as he formulated his theory of natural selection during his time here in the 1830s.
Just some of the wildlife to be photographed are the blue-footed booby birds, red-footed booby birds, masked booby birds, penguins, land iguanas, marine iguanas, lava lizards, sea lions, red-chested frigate birds, flamingos, finches, tropicbirds, lava gulls, and giant tortoises. If you like snorkeling, then there is even more marine wildlife to photograph, such as sharks, rays, Galápagos penguins, and countless fish. Snorkel gear will always be available on our yacht!
We’ll maximize our shooting time with the best photo ops—getting up early for sweet light and chasing it to sunset. You’ll have the option each night for critiques and instruction from the pros, and interpretive talks by our naturalists. Or, sit back and enjoy a book from the library, watch the dolphins swim, relax in the jacuzzi, or gaze at the equatorial sky from the deck.
Non-photographer spouses, partners, and friends are welcome! This is a perfect workshop to bring them—as long as they love nature and the outdoors, they’ll have a blast!
Everything is all-inclusive, including gratuities, so you only have to worry about making great photographs! With a small group, a brand-new luxury yacht, and two experienced pro photographers leading, this trip is sure to fill up fast. Click the “Sign Me Up!” button and we’ll see you in The Galápagos!
About the wildlife: This workshop offers significant opportunities for photographing wildlife, and while we do our best to maximize our wildlife encounters—based on past experiences, local knowledge, and the current conditions—we need to impress upon you that the wildlife really is wild and that we don’t control it.
About the itinerary: This is the planned itinerary, but be advised that the Galápagos National Park can change this itinerary anytime they wish. It’s unusual for them to make such changes.
May 12, 2022: Arrive anytime this day in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Take the hotel shuttle or a taxi to our hotel in town. Relax and unwind.
May 13, 2022: This morning we’ll have a class on wildlife photography techniques. After, we will have a typical Ecuadoran feast at our favorite restaurant in town. Tonight, you’re on your own to relax.
May 14, 2022: After breakfast we will head to the airport for our flight to The Galápagos, landing at San Cristobal Island airport. San Cristobal is thought to be the place where Darwin first stepped foot on the islands! After boarding our private yacht and attending a brief orientation, we will visit Lobos Island and Kicker Rock. Lobos Island is aptly named after the many sea lions that reside here resting and playing along the rocky shores. It is also home to many different birds like pelicans, frigate birds, yellow warblers, and more. Within the small channel the waters are very clear, making it easy to find sea turtles, sea lions, stingrays and perhaps even white-tipped sharks. Kicker rock is one of the most extraordinary sites in the Galapagos Islands, made of two eroded volcanic cones that tower over the sea at about 104 meters in the middle of the open water.
May 15, 2022: This morning we will explore San Cristobal Island, landing at Pitt Point. Pitt Point feels like an extraterrestrial planet—you can see the many different developments over time of how volcanic activity formed this island. A hike up to the top beholds amazing views of the surrounding waters. Watch out for blue-footed boobie nests on the ground and keep an eye out for the red-footed boobies nesting in the trees once you reach the top of the island. In the afternoon, we’ll do a panga ride past amazing rock formations formed by the passing of time and erosion of the sea. We’ll finally arrive to a beautiful white sandy beach to spend the time swimming or basking in the sun. Frolic with sea lions who may swim by playfully or take a walk down the entire beach and back.
May 16, 2022: This morning we’ll visit Española Island, landing at Suarez Point. Española Island is one of the most outstanding areas for wildlife anywhere in the archipelago and the only location where we are likely to see the magnificent Waved Albatross. In the afternoon, we’ll make our way to Gardner Bay, on the southernmost island of Espanola. Gardner Bay has two beautiful white sand beaches separated by a rocky outcrop. While there is no trail here, the beach offers plenty to explore. Sea lions, crabs, a variety of birds, and some interesting vegetation are highlights. In addition, small islets near the beach will provide us a good opportunity for snorkeling.
May 17, 2022: This morning we’ll visit Santa Cruz Island, landing at Bachas Beach. Bachas beach has beautiful green and blue waters that contrast along the surf of the black lava shores. In the air various shore birds fly searching for food. On the shore you can explore the sand dunes and find a salt water lagoon with greater pink flamingos. In the afternoon we’ll hike up Bartolome Island to the classic lookout view over Sullivan Bay to Pinnacle Rock.
May 18, 2022: This morning we’ll land at Rabida Island, with its distinct fine red gravel. Snorkeling here reveals spectacular tropical fish, and we may also walk the beach or visit the black lagoon with pink flamingos. In the afternoon, we’ll visit Santiago Island’s Egas Port. Egas Port was the site of a small salt mining industry in the 1960’s, but today is home to quick-footed Galápagos lava lizards, Galápagos hawks, and a variety of wading birds such as the American oystercatcher. Egas Point is also among the best places in the islands to watch and photograph Galapagos fur seals.
May 19, 2022: This morning we’ll make landing on Genovesa Island, at Darwin Bay. Darwin Bay features a white coral sand beach, and a trail that leads from the beach winds through mangroves filled with birds. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls can all be spotted here. Tidal pools at one end of the beach also host sea lions. In the afternoon, we’ll head for El Barranco, or Prince Phillip’s Steps. El Barranco’s steep, rocky paths leads up to a high cliff face with a marvelous view. This site is home to Palo Santo vegetation, as well as red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galápagos swallows, and Galápagos doves.
May 20, 2022: In the morning, we’ll do a panga ride at Mosquera Islet, located between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour. This small island is the result of volcanic uprising, and is only 160 meters across at its narrowest point. It has one of the largest populations of sea lions and is home to many shorebirds. On occasion, orcas can be seen hunting off the shoreline. In the afternoon, we’ll visit Los Gemelos, or the Twin Craters, volcanic depressions located opposite one another at the highest part of Santa Cruz. The view is lovely here, and bird life (including finches) and interesting plant life abounds.
May 21, 2022: In the morning, we’ll visit North Seymour, characterized by the arid vegetation. Explore the rocky coast of North Seymour, passing colonies of blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigatebirds. Afterwards, we will leave our yacht and transfer to the Baltra Island airport for our flight back to Guayaquil. We should be back in Guayaquil by approximately 2:30 pm Flights home can be anytime after 5:00 pm, or anytime on May 22, 2022. We will arrange for a hotel room for you in Guayaquil if you are staying over on this night.
Easy: You are able to walk two hours on smooth or rough trails and can get in and out of zodiacs onto beach, stepping into water.
Arrive José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport (GYE), Guayaquil, Ecuador anytime on May 12, 2022. Flights out can be made after 5:00 PM on May 21, 2022.
What to Bring
Please see our page How To Prepare For Your Workshop. We will send you a detailed information document 90 days before your workshop. This document will include specifics of where and when to meet, gear and clothing recommendations, and more.
- Double occupancy lodging. Single available for $300 supplement. Only for Guayaquil Hotel.
- All meals, soft drinks, and snacks during the workshop
- All permits and park fees
- Internal flights during the workshop
- All transportation during the workshop
- Tips for crew, drivers, and local guides
- Meals and lodging onboard the ship
- Multiple image reviews and post-processing sessions
- Naturalist lectures and presentations on board
- English speaking local guide throughout the workshop
- Photographic guiding and instruction from 2 pros
- Image reviews and post-processing instruction
- Adventure, fun, inspiration, and a great time!
- Travel to and from Guayaquil, Ecuador.
- Passport and visa fees (if applicable).
- Any meals or accommodations before or after the workshop dates.
- Items of a personal nature.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Medical Evacuation Insurance (required).
- Travel Medical (required).
- Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended).
- Anything else specifically not listed as included.
- Single rooming available for $300 supplement.
- Your non-refundable deposit of $4,995 will hold your space in this workshop.
- Further non-refundable payment of $4,000 is due by October 1, 2021.
- The non-refundable balance is due not later than February 1, 2022.
- In addition to our standard Terms and Conditions, for this workshop all payments are non-refundable, and this is why we recommend comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancelation.
- Need special payment arrangements? No problem, just ask us.
“I just got back from the Galápagos workshop. It exceeded my expectations in so many ways. Lisa was beyond amazing and the instruction and leadership was amazing. But this email is to thank all of you at MW for all the pre-trip help and assistance, and your attention to every little detail. Trip bonus: Lisa made sure I got to see a penguin. Tears of joy!!!!! ”