Location: Galapagos Islands / Ecuador
Duration: 9 nights / 10 days
Group Size: Max 14
Level of fitness required: Easy
Our planet is home to some extraordinary places, but none can quite compare to the Galapagos Islands. Located in the eastern Pacific Ocean, just off the west coast of South America, The Galapagos Islands are made-up of 18 volcanic islands and over 100 islets. The scenery is beautiful, characterized by volcanic peaks, lava fields, white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. However, as stunning as it is, it’s not the Island’s scenery that is its main draw – instead, it is its extraordinary wildlife.
Due to their isolation, the wildlife on each of the remote islands evolved independently, adapting individually to their environment. The wildlife here is like nothing else on earth and inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution during the voyage of the Beagle. During this Tatra Photography workshop, we too will be able to visit and explore the different Islands, witnessing and photographing the unique wildlife – for example, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, tiny penguins, graceful tropicbirds and the giant tortoise. The wildlife residing here have little fear of humans, meaning often you can get within touching distance – resulting in unique opportunities for photography. It really isn’t hard to understand why the Galapagos is on so many peoples ‘bucket list’ – visiting the Islands is quite literally the experience of a lifetime.
In the company of a local guide, we will explore the Galapagos’ archipelago Islands and take photos of its amazing natural history at every opportunity. We will tour the Galapagos on our own luxury cruise ship and when not on the Islands, there will be time to relax, swim and snorkel. During the workshop, you will be in the capable hands of two of the UK’s best professional natural history photographers – Ben Hall and Andrew Parkinson. Between them, they offer participants a wide, varying range of skills and expertise – perfectly suited to the range of subjects we will be seeing and photographing during the tour. With two tutors on one course, each guest is guaranteed lots of one-to-one tuition in the field and advice on how to produce wow-factor wildlife shots. It’s an opportunity too good to miss.
Your tutors for this workshop are Ben Hall & Andrew Parkinson Ben is one of Britain’s foremost wildlife photographers. His personal approach to nature photography lies in the creative art of ‘seeing’. His aim is to use his pictures to communicate his personal vision, to generate an emotional response and to excite the viewer’s aesthetic sensitivity. He is described by “Living Edge” magazine as ‘a passionate and experienced wildlife photographer, with a perfectionist’s eye for detail’. Ben’s work is represented by Getty images, RSPB Images and Naturepl and is sold worldwide.
Ben specialises in bird and mammal photography and has won numerous international awards including category wins in the British Wildlife Photography Awards and the Windland Smith Rice International Awards. In 2009 he was named ‘Geographical’ Photographer of the Year. He is a regular contributor to clients as diverse as BBC Wildlife, PhotoPlus magazine, Digital SLR User, Photography Monthly and many more. He has appeared on numerous radio and television programmes including BBC’s Walk on The Wild Side and is a member of the 2020VISION photo team. Ben has just finished writing his first book, Wildlife Photography Workshop, which he co-authored with Ross Hoddinott.
Andy is a feature contributor to National Geographic magazine and a multi-award winning wildlife photographer. His images have been awarded three times in Wildlife Photographer of the Year, three times in the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year and in 2016, as well as winning two categories he was also named as the overall winner in Bird Photographer of the Year. He is also the most successful photographer in the history of the British Wildlife Photography Awards with over 30 awarded images and three category wins. In 2012 he was named the Nature Photojournalist of the Year with a portfolio of 12 images captured whilst working on assignment for National Geographic.
Andy works exclusively with wild animals and birds and has also appeared on various TV and radio shows, most notably on Countryfile when he attempted to show comedian Jo Brand how to capture images of wildlife. He is also becoming known as much for his writing as he is for his images and among others he writes regularly on wildlife/environmental/ethical issues for his regular Opinion piece in Outdoor Photography magazine.
His images are marketed all over the world by a network of the world’s leading international agencies including Getty images, Nature Picture Library, RSPB Images, FLPA and NHPA/Photoshot and his images have been sold in more than 50 countries worldwide. He also produces regular photo features for some of the world’s most prestigious magazines including National Geographic, Audubon, Geo and Terre Sauvage. He is also the UK’s most prolific feature contributor to BBC Wildlife magazine having completed 9 photo stories for them, often on subjects which he finds close to his Derbyshire home. His images have also appeared in magazines such as New Scientist, National Geographic Traveller, Geographical and Natural History, newspapers such as the New York Times, Daily Telegraph, Times, the Guardian, Independent as well as online media such as HuffPostUS, on the home page of search engine Bing and on the Discovery Channel.
Day 1 – Friday- ARRIVAL IN GALAPAGOS
am: Baltra Island: Arrival in Baltra airport and transfer to the boat. Briefing onboard about the boat and the island.
pm: Santa Cruz Island: Reached by bus from Puerto Ayora, the highlands of Santa Cruz are a deep green, contrasting beautifully with much of the dry, lower islands. The dominant vegetation in the highlands is the Scalesia trees, creating the lush green color. The lava tubes, over half a mile long, are underground and walking through them is a unique, surreal experience.
Day 2 – SATURDAY
am: Isabela Island: The Sierra Negra Volcano boasts the largest basaltic caldera in Galapagos at 9 x 10km. The site offers impressive views and the opportunity to observe up to 7 species of finch and a rich display of vegetation. The north side of the caldera provides evidence of its most recent volcanic activity in 2005.
pm: Isabela Island: The Tintoreras Islets, located a short distance from Puerto Villamil, is home to a great variety of wildlife. Its turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos penguins, marine turtles and sea lions. One of its beaches, surrounded by mangroves is one of the few sites where marine iguanas can reproduce successfully. “ Tintoreras “ are small islands in front of Puerto Villamil coast. There is Lava Heron nesting area on the lookout on mangrove Branch, and Galapagos Penguin and sea lion often pop out on shore. White – tipped reef sharks are common in the Archipelago.
Day 3 – SUNDAY
am: Isabela Island: Moreno Point is located near Elizabeth Bay on the west coast of Isabela Island. The plethora of birds seen during a dinghy ride along the striking rocky shores or a hike along path through lava rock leading to tide pools and mangroves create a birdwatchers delight. In the tide pools green sea turtles or white-tip sharks can be spotted.
pm: Isabela Island: Elizabeth Bay is located on the east coast of Isabela Island. The bay contains many islets, which can be visited by dinghy. Penguins and blue-footed boobies congregate on the rocky islets. With an abundance of marine life and clear water, the area is perfect for snorkeling and viewing schools of colorful fish, sea lions, and even sharks.
Day 4 – MONDAY
am: Isabela Island: Tagus Cove is located across from Fernandina Island, near the Bolivar Channel dividing the two islands. This spot has been frequented by ships since the 1800s, using the area as an anchorage site. Trails winding by Lake Darwin up to a ridge display wonderful views. Punta Tortuga, just north of Tagus Cove, is another beach surrounded by mangroves.
pm: Isabela Island: Urbina Bay is located at the base of Alcedo Volcano on the west coast, between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. This area experienced a major uplift in 1954, causing the land to rise over 16 feet. The coast expanded half a mile out, leaving marine life stranded on the new shore. This area is also a great place for snorkeling.
Day 5 – TUESDAY
am: Fernandina Island: No foreign species have ever invaded Fernandina Island, and therefore it is one of the world’s most pristine island ecosystems. The volcano “La Cumbre” dominates the landspace with lava fields reaching the ocean. The island’s highlight features the flightless cormorant nesting site. This area provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk.
pm: Isabela Island – Vicente Roca Point: Located on the northwestern coast of the island and comprised of two separate coves, this site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating mola-mola (sunfish) are congregating here. This bay is great for diving and snorkeling.
Day 6 – WEDNESDAY
am: Santiago Island: Also known as James Bay, Egas Port is home to the curious Galapagos hawks and quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards. The trail leads to a coastline with gorgeous tide pools and grottos full of fauna. Here the Galapagos fur sea lions bathe in the sun. This is also a great snorkeling site.
pm: Rabida Island: Jervis is one of the most colorful and volcanically varied islands in the archipelago. Its famous maroon sandy beach and stunning lookouts provide wonderful landscapes. The island is a birdwatcher’s delight. The rarest species are in abundance, such as nine varieties of finches, large-billed flycatchers, Galapagos hawks and brown pelicans.
Day 7 – THURSDAY
am: Sombrero Chino: This small islet is located near the southeast coast of Santiago Island. Its name comes from the distinct shape of the islet’s summit. This small islet is a great location to view many geological formations such as lava tubes and lava flows.
pm: Bartholomew Island: Home of the famous Pinnacle Rock, Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. A trail of stairs leads to the summit of the volcano, boasting one of the best views of the islands. The beach is perfect for snorkeling and sightings of the Galapagos penguin.
Day 8 – FRIDAY – NORTH SEYMOUR & DEPARTURE
am: North Seymour Island: Galapagos Sea Lions, Blue-footed Boobies and Magnificent Frigatebirds are abundant on North Seymour Island. The island was formed by a series of submarine lavas containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone.
pm: Transfer to Baltra airport.
BEST NORTHERN LIGHTS HOLIDAYS
BEST LEARNING HOLIDAYS
TOP 10 PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS