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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 II and learn tips and techniques as you capture images of flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, giant tortoises, and the remarkable scenery of the islands.
Hone your skills while capturing images of wildlife in a variety of landscapes, from black lava fields to white-sand beaches, and from rocky cliffs to lush highland forests.
Photograph colonies of iguanas, frigate, sea lions, and birds unfazed by your presence.
See rare giant tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Explore the waters of the Galápagos by kayak, glass-bottom boat, snorkel, or Zodiac.
Itinerary - 10 Days
Day 1 — U.S./Guayaquil, Ecuador
Depart for Guayaquil and upon arrival, transfer to our hotel.
Day 2 — Guayaquil/Galápagos
This morning, fly to the Galápagos Islands and board our comfortable expedition ship. During lunch,we begin our exploration of the islands. (B,L,D)
Days 3 through 8 — Exploring Galápagos
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 II 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
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 II 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.
Day 9 — Galápagos/Guayaquil
After breakfast, disembark the ship and fly to Guayaquil. The evening is at your leisure.
Day 10 — Guayaquil/U.S.
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.
Born and raised in Italy, photojournalist Massimo Bassano has published his work in National Geographic Traveler and on the National Geographic website, as well as in numerous European publications. He regularly teaches National Geographic photography workshops in Tuscany and Venice. His acclaimed photography book The Color of Silence detailed the 12 weeks he spent in a little-known Italian monastery. Massimo has also traveled and photographed extensively in Europe and Africa. Massimo frequently joins photography and other expeditions for National Geographic, and is a favorite with the Society's travelers.
* 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 cabin in 2016, add $1,650 in Category 1 and $1,870 in Category 2. For a single cabin in 2017, add $1,990 in Category 2 and $2,190 in Category 3.
Airfare is not included in the expedition cost. Round-trip economy airfare between Miami and Guayaquil is from $600, and between Guayaquil and Galápagos is $520 (subject to change).