The Galápagos Archipelago, Darwin's living laboratory, is home to an abundance of wildlife. Isolated from the mainland for millions of years, it is one of the rare wildernesses where animals have no instinctive fear of humans, making for incredible photographic opportunities. Join a National Geographic photographer aboard the National Geographic Endeavour and learn tips and techniques as you capture images of flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, giant tortoises, and the remarkable scenery of the islands.
Depart for Guayaquil and upon arrival, transfer to our hotel.
This morning, fly to the Galápagos Islands and board our comfortable expedition ship. During lunch,we begin our exploration of the islands.
In keeping with the nature of an expedition, our itinerary is flexible, allowing you to take advantage of this extraordinary wildlife sanctuary. You will have the opportunity to go on nature walks with local naturalists; swim; snorkel; or explore the waters by kayak, glass-bottom boat (Endeavour only), or Zodiac.
(B, L, D daily)
Listed below are some of the islands we may visit during our expeditions:*
Walk to the top of Bartolomé's volcanic cone for a stunning view of Pinnacle Rock and the surrounding white sand beaches. You may also have the opportunity to swim with Galápagos penguins.
Follow a path along a series of tide pools and underwater caverns in search of Galápagos fur seals, marine iguanas, sea lions, and Sally Lightfoot crabs.
Isla Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is home to the Charles Darwin Research Station, a breeding station for endangered native species. Learn about the Darwin Foundation and their giant Galápagos tortoise breeding program. Later, travel into the highlands where wild tortoises forage.
Spend the early morning on the lookout for dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and the unusual ocean sunfish, the Mola mola. Explore caves and hidden lagoons by Zodiac, and snorkel among sea turtles.
At Champion Islet, snorkel among sea lions, or peer into an underwater world in a glass-bottom boat (Endeavour only) while keeping an eye out for the endangered Floreana Mockingbird. Those interested can visit Post Office Bay—if you see a letter addressed to someone who lives near you, the tradition is to deliver it by hand.
Discover the marine iguana haven of Punta Espinoza as we hike over lava flows. Galapagos hawks and sea lion nurseries are also found as we explore this island.
See Darwin's finches, boobies, and waved albatross on this birder's paradise. Walk among vivid green and red marine iguanas, and observe sea lions up close on a pristine white-sand beach.
After breakfast, disembark the ship and fly to Guayaquil. The evening is at your leisure.
Depart Guayaquil this morning, arriving home the same day.
Accompanying each expedition is a diverse team of experts — from naturalists to regional specialists — who will share their knowledge and insights on the wildlife, landscapes, and local culture. See one of the members of our extraordinary team below.
National Geographic photographer and naturalist Jeff Mauritzen has been on assignment photographing wildlife in Kenya, Tanzania, and the Galapagos for the Society's most recently published Animal Encyclopedia. Jeff is also a seasoned and popular photography expert, guiding and lecturing on natural history-focused trips throughout the world for National Geographic Expeditions. His travels and assignments have immersed him in vivid landscapes both above and below the water in five continents and more than 50 countries around the world. Whether capturing 360-degree panoramas of wildlife along an African savanna or photographing sharks in the Pacific depths, Jeff’s work expresses an unwavering passion, respect, curiosity, and awe for the natural world. An avid traveler and explorer, Jeff has lived in Venezuela and Ireland, as well as at sea aboard seven different ships. His photography is represented by National Geographic Creative, and his travel and wildlife photography assignments have appeared in numerous publications.
Jeff will join the following departures:
Feb 19 - 28, 2016
Feb 26 - Mar 06, 2016
This trip is offered in association with Lindblad Expeditions.
* Please note: Itineraries will vary slightly from week to week subject to the Galápagos National Park regulations. Each itinerary will include Isla Santa Cruz and a selection of the other stops listed in the itinerary.
Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single room in 2015, add $1,570 in Category 1 and $1,740 in Category 2. For a single room in 2016, add $1,650 in Category 1 and $1,870 in Category 2.
Airfare is not included in the expedition cost. Round-trip economy airfare between Miami and Guayaquil is from $660, and between Guayaquil and Galápagos is $450 (subject to change).