Every tour operator can provide potential clients with a great reference or two.  The trick is consistently receiving rave reviews and comments.  

We are often asked by our returning passengers how they can help "spread the word" about how great their expedition was. Trip Advisor comes to mind to many but unfortunately we just don't fit any of the Trip Advisor categories or rules; they don't allow reviews of multi-day tours.  They have an affiliate site - Cruise Critic - but again we just don't fit the mold there.  Nonetheless, a few clever past passengers find ways to get reviews out there into the world for us - thank you!

 

Hood Mockingbirds (endemic), Española Island, by Henry Balingcongam

Hood Mockingbirds (endemic), Española Island, by Henry Balingcongam

Here's what people are saying...  on-line reviews and links to original posts: 

 
 

From TRIP ADVISOR there are several threads with mention of our programs, often disguised as reviews of the yacht, or a location: 

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g297519-d4363537-Reviews-Tip_Top_IV- Baltra_Galapagos_Islands.html

 

Fantastic Voyage!!!!

We traveled with Galapagos Travels and Tip Top IV on an 11 day cruise through the Galapagos Islands. Our guides (Joed Aguirre and Daniel Fitter) were as knowledgeable as any guides we have ever witnessed. Both of them grew up in the islands and were able to give us first hand accounts of many of the places that we visited. The crew was superb and we could not have seen as much as we did without the expert handling of the pangas by Edgar and Santiago. Enrique met our every need in the dining room and the captain(s) gave us smooth passage all the way. Our rooms were always clean and comfortable and the chocolate each night was very special. 

-Sandy & Mark, 2017

 

Fantastic trip!

I booked through Galapagos Travel for a 15-day photography trip on the Tip Top IV, and it was amazing. This was my second trip - my first was October 2015, so I saw the islands in a different season with the animals doing different things. As before, the crew was very solicitous and friendly, particularly the panga drivers (and most particularly Fernando, who watched for events in which we might be interested and steered us right to them, staying as long as we liked). Our naturalist, Andres, and our professional photographer guide, Tui, were knowledgeable and willing to answer questions. The only downside to the trip was the food. Almost every bit of chicken, fish, and beef was overcooked, sometimes to the point of being barely edible. I have to say, though, that they had very fresh fruit every morning, snacks mid-morning and mid- afternoon, and the vegetables were cooked to perfection. I booked this ship and this photographer because I had such a good time before, and I'm not at all sorry that I went! 

-Diane 2017

 

Excellent Trip for a Stunning Location!

We traveled with Tip Top IV and Galapagos Travel and could not wish to have anything better. It was fabulous! The guide and naturalist were superb and provided an opportunity to do everything we could ever hope to do. I would do it again in an instant. 

-Susan 2016

 

“A Once In A Lifetime Trip!”

A once in a lifetime trip. We took the 11-day photo workshop through Galapagos Travel, as passengers on the Tip Top IV yacht. Our Naturalist Guide was Elizabeth Coral and her husband, Etienne DeBacker, was our Tour Leader.


Accommodations aboard the Tip Top IV were as described and more. Our cabin was small as promised, but comfortable and very livable. Adding to our comfort—lots of hot water and great water pressure!! Our quarters were cleaned and tidied several times a day—including turn down at bedtime, complete with chocolate! Our cook, Kelly, served three very good meals per day and fed us snacks morning and evening. His soups and desserts were especially good. Each meal included a buffet of vegetables, fruit, main and side dishes. Enriquez, our maître d’ and purser, was a master of organization. He was the “go-to” guy for anything we needed or any questions we had about the boat. From the beginning, he knew all of our names. The crew was universally friendly and helpful. 


Our guides, Elizabeth, “Ely”, and Etienne, “E.T.”, have lived in the Galapagos since the 1980’s. Each is an expert on the wildlife and environment of the Galapagos and, very importantly, has the historical memory needed to flesh out discussions of these subjects and add to our understanding. Each day began early, rising at 5:30 or 6:00 am, breakfast and off on the first trip ashore by 6:30 or 7:00 am. That first trip usually lasted 2-2.5 hours, returning to the yacht to get ready for snorkeling or a panga ride, depending on preference. Lunch followed, and then about 1:30 or 2:00 pm we took a second trip ashore. 


On our return, there was time for rest or journaling, followed by dinner and a lecture. E.T. usually led the lectures about local flora and fauna. We appreciated the time and effort he put into making them amusing, interesting and informative. After a discussion of the next day’s activities, we broke off, some of us to stargaze for a short time, some to our quarters. By 9:00-9:30 pm we were all ready to retire. We all enjoyed the two beach afternoons and the day we spent in Punta Ayora on Santa Cruz island. 


By starting our day early, we saw many animals and birds that might not have been visible later in the day. Each island was different in topography and biology. The walks were on various surfaces, some walks were more difficult than others, but there was always an option to sit out an expedition and stay on the boat. The trip format, 11 days, gave us an opportunity to see all we wanted to see. Traveling on the small 16-passenger yacht from island to island was the best way for us to go—it was a total experience. 


We cannot say enough about how well Galapagos Travel handled our trip. The accommodations on land in Quito were superb. Our half day tour of Quito was very enjoyable and the guide was very knowledgeable and helpful. Our Galapagos Travel representative in Ecuador did a super job keeping us all organized, delivering us to our planes to the Galapagos, our various side trips and tours and, finally, our planes home. 


We would definitely recommend Galapagos Travel and the Rolf Wittmer Tip Top IV to anyone who wants to take this great trip to a special, special place. 

-LLMMurray, November 2015

 

"Tip Top IV - simply outstanding"

My husband and I recently returned from an eleven-day trip around the Galapagos Islands on Tip Top IV, and had the most fabulous time. It really was the most wonderful experience and I could go on forever about the islands and the incredible wildlife.

However this is a review of the Tip Top IV and the trip as a whole. The boat itself is just lovely and very comfortable. The cabins are small but there's plenty of room once you get yourself organised, and the ensuite bathrooms give you everything you need, with piping hot showers at all times of the day - and a handrail for when the boat's rocking about a bit! The beds were very comfortable - and we slept like logs! The communal lounge area is comfortable with leather seating and this is where we had our interesting talks each evening from the tour leader, along with a review of the day's events and the plans for the next from our guide. The dining room is nicely furnished with two long tables which were carefully and tastefully set for each meal, with great attention to detail. As for the food - well, I cannot praise it highly enough. Varied, tasty, beautifully cooked and very plentiful! The lunchtime soup starters were just fabulous, as were the desserts. Nice touches were the glass of juice waiting for us when we arrived back from our morning activity, and tasty, home-made snacks brought to the lounge when we returned from our afternoon outings. Tea and coffee were available at all times, and these and all soft drinks were included in the price. The crew were lovely - friendly and very efficient and kept the boat shipshape. Getting in and out of the pangas (zodiacs) could be tricky at times, but there were always plenty of helping hands to prevent us tumbling overboard! Our tour leader was Daniel and his cousin Joed was our guide - both extremely knowledgeable and friendly, and they both went out of their way to ensure we got the absolute most from our trip. Ours was a photography group and this was borne in mind at all times, and I have to commend the panga drivers for their patience and tolerance in trying to get us into the best positions possible. As for the activities themselves, I think we wrung every drop out of every island visit and this, together with the snorkelling (at least once a day) and the panga rides, meant that every single day was brim-full with adventures. I would have no hesitation in recommending TipTop IV (and Galapagos Travel who organised everything) to anyone who wants to get the absolute most out of a trip to the Galapagos.

-Birdislander, February 2015

 

"Beyond my wildest dreams"

November 2014. I did not know what to expect when I decided to go to the Galalpagos Islands. We, (my sister, her husband and I) arrived in Santa Cruz I was amazed. From the airport and on to the Tip Top IV it just got better and better. The site seeing was wonderful. The snorkeling was the best. Swimming with the Sharks, peguines, sting rays, sea loins was beyond any dream I could ever have. The food was delicious and the the crew took very good care of all of us. The bedrooms were big enough for two people. The beds were comfortable, Tui De Roy and Martin were exceptional. They both gave us excellent information. I would love to go back.

-bobbie127, reviewed February 2015


https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g297519-d4363537-r211944237-Tip_Top_IV-Baltra_Galapagos_Islands.html#CHECK_RATES_CONT

“Another 5 stars”

We sailed on the Tip Top IV around the Galapagos Islands for 11 days and we couldn't have wished for a better experience. Our Tour Leader, Tui de Roy, and Guide, Martin Loyola, were exceptional. We walked early in the morning, snorkeled and rested in the heat of the day, walked again in the evening and sailed at night. The boat's staff were helpful, friendly and unobtrusive, and the food was plentiful and delicious. Everything was done that should have been and, when the occasion arose, the staff went above and beyond to ensure our comfort.

(This tour was arranged through Galapagos Travel.)

-aiakar, June 2014

 

“Fantastic trip to Galapagos”

I visited the Galapagos in April 2014 on board the Tip Top IV for 11-day (10 nights) cruise. It was truly the trip of a lifetime that clearly exceeded my expectations. I was part of a great group of 16 people - all well-traveled and eager to see more of this world. The trip was organized by Galapagos Travel, an excellent travel agency with very personal service located in California. 

Our schedule on a regular day looked as follows: 5:30am wake-up call, 6:00am breakfast, 6:45am first excursion, usually back on board by 10am, then snorkeling for 1-1.5 hours, 12pm lunch, then time to rest, 3:30pm second excursion and/or panga ride, 6pm back on boat, 6:30pm evening lecture with naturalist guide, 7:15pm dinner followed by quick debrief for the next day. After that people usually went to the upper deck to see the stars. Latest by 9pm everything was quiet and most of us were sound asleep.

The itinerary of Galapagos Travel is excellent and allowed us to see the variety of this beautiful group of islands. We watched many birds and iguanas, snorkeled with sea lions, turtles, sharks, rays and all kind of colorful fish, and enjoyed beautiful sunsets and sundays. Both the fauna and flora of the islands are very diverse and every island presents itself in a different way. I definitely recommend people to spend at least 10 days in the Galapagos to ensure that a number of different islands can be visited, in particular a combination of older and younger islands. Fernandina for example is completely different to other places we visited, such as Espanola, Floreana or Genovesa, both from its landscape but also the wildlife which can be seen. 

I definitely recommend visiting the islands in April. We had great weather with almost no rain (max 5 minutes all together), air temperatures were okay except at mid-day when it was very hot, and water temperatures were very pleasant. Even though it was just the beginning of the breeding season, we already saw many waved albatrosses on Espanola Island. It was wonderful to see these gorgeous birds - probably my favorites in the Galapagos.

Last but not least a few words on the boat - it's great. The boat was very clean, the cabins comfortable and more spacious than I had expected, and the crew was very motivated and friendly. I also really liked the food. It's not haute cuisine or anything fancy, but just tasty and simple. Lunch was always started with a soup which was often a highlight. Then mostly either meat or fish with rice and vegetables, plus fresh salad with a tasty dressing. Dinner was similar except no soup. Both lunch and dinner ended with delicious desserts - the strawberry and chocolate mousse being my favorites. Breakfast was typical american, mostly with eggs, sometimes bacon, pancakes, always fresh juice.

-d7ni, April 2014


https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g297519-d4363537-r164184070-Tip_Top_IV-Baltra_Galapagos_Islands.html#CHECK_RATES_CONT

“Just a fabulous holiday of a lifetime”

This is the 15 day Galapagos Islands Cruise aboard Tip Top IV, through Galapagos Travel.

I joined this vessel in Baltra, Galapagos, in May 2013. 16 passengers and 8 crew. Our guide/expert was Martin Martinez and excellent support was provided by author, photographer and field guide Daniel Fitter. A fifteen day trip during which they made sure we saw everything.

Alarm at 5.30, breakfast at 6.00 ashore by 6.45. Two - three hour exploration, back on board around 10.00. Snorkelling for Bambis and Rambos for an hour. Lunch at 12.00 then a whole two hours to yourself. Back on the small boats or snorkelling again by 2.30. Another two - three hour exploration then back on board for dinner, debriefing and lecture.

Everyone was sound asleep by 8.30pm.

Alarm at 5.30 ..... do it all again at a different location, and again, and again, and again.

I swam with marine iguanas, turtles, seals, sea lions, penguins, morays, white tipped sharks, rays, massive rays, penguins, pelicans, all sorts of animals and birds came right up to me. Many played with me and even bit into my camera.

All the time Daniel and Martin were there, making sure we got to see the best of everything, safely.

Same ashore. Rigid adherence to the rules, but just by standing in the right spot and not interfereing birds, iguanas, seals all the wildlife came right to us, so much so that we had to be very careful how we moved away.

I have been very fortunate in my life to have travelled to many, many exotic locations, including Antarctica, The North Pole, much of South America, China, Australia, New Zealand. I could go on, but I'm sure you get the point. This Galapagos trip, courtesy of these two guys was probably the travel highlight of my life.

Booked through Galapagos Travel, this 15 day vacation with Martin and Daniel as guides is an absolute must.

(Food is not the greatest, cabins are not luxurious, but the memories ..... fabulous.)

-Avery-Little, May 2013


http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g297533-d2511723-r156648951-Galapagos_Beach_at_Tortuga_Bay-Puerto_Ayora_Santa_Cruz_Galapagos_Islands.html

“Kudos for Galapagos Travel”

My husband and I just returned from our “once-in-a-lifetime” trip to the Galapagos Islands, and I couldn’t agree more with the praise for Galapagos Travel (Aptos, CA). We spent 11 days and 10 nights in the islands with 13 other passengers and a wonderful crew that was always very accommodating. The super-early wake up calls were worth it, as we seldom saw other tourists during our activities. Hiking, snorkeling with sea lions, blue-footed Bobbies, tortoises, etc. etc. What a great adventure!

-JPJE3150, visited March 2013

 

"Galapagos Islands with Galapagos Travel”

Have gone to the Galapagos Island twice, in 1998 and 2011, with Galapagos Travel out of Aptos, CA. They spend 12 days in the islands and you are on a 16 passenger boat. Both trips were incredible. We arrived on the islands early, before the large ships could dump their passengers on the beach. Our group had a naturalist and tour guide, both excellent (both trips) and kept us all to the rules of the conservation areas. Other groups did not always follow the rules and wandered away from the group, off designated paths. The ships were spotless, the food incredible, the ship's crew wonderful. The animals and birds and marine life were unbelievable. If you want to do the Galapagos Islands right, you can't go wrong with Galapagos Travel. In 2013 I head to Madagascar with them! They are the best! Visited November 2011

-Lyndale S


"Five-week trip report - car, Los Cedros, Galápagos, Oriente"

I don’t see a specific place in TripAdvisor to review car rentals, etc., so I’ll use the forum to comment on a couple of items relating to a 5-week stay my wife and I made in January-February, 2011, including 14 days in the Galápagos... 

Galápagos: After on-line research, I chose to arrange our 11-day boat trip with Galápagos Travel because of their (fulfilled) objectives to get out to the islands before other groups, spend more time out, visiting more out-lying islands, and their educational focus, including lectures and discussion in the evenings. The naturalist guides were outstanding in all respects; the boat (TipTop IV) and crew were excellent too. A bonus was the terrific staff they have in the office in Los Aptos, Calif., and especially their excellent Tania Espinosa, who runs their office in Quito. Even though we were not doing anything related to Galápagos Travel for a few weeks, she insisted on meeting us at the airport in Quito (after midnight on late arrival) and having her driver Byron get us to our hotel as well at the Ofelia bus station early next morning to catch the bus up to Chontal. As we mentioned in previous email our need for a sim card for our cell phone, she even got both the Porta (most useful) and Movistar cards for us. And she even called later before we left Ecuador just to make sure everything was OK – again, well after the Galápagos Travel part of our trip was over. Talking later on the mainland with those who had tried to cut costs by going for 4 or 5-day trips on other boats convinced me that I had made the right choice. I can sympathize, as I could not have afforded it when I was younger; it was worth the wait to see it properly.

Because I wanted to go diving (and not just snorkeling which we did often with the boat trip), we went a few days early and stayed in the excellent Semilla Verde Guest House (review posted already). Diving with Scuba Iguana was not cheap, but it was first-rate. Well, nothing in Galápagos is really very cheap...

-travelin_tommy, March 2011


International Travel News, or ITN, is a print magazine largely written by its subscribers (since 1976), sharing details from their travels.  

Over the past few years the magazine has featured several stories and reviews of our workshops and tours.   Excerpts follow, with links to the full pieces.

 

On land and sea – discovering the natural and cultural treasures of Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, by Marcia Brandes (August 2016 issue).

Cuba with Galapagos Travel, Nili Olay (July 2013 issue).

Galápagos and Tip Top IV, by Dennis Eddings (August 2011 issue).

Galápagos and Ecuador with Galapagos Travel, by Nili Olay (June 2004 issue)


PHOTO.NET

I have been to the Galapagos three times. I first went 20 years ago back in November 1995 and wrote the following article for photo.net. It was all film photography back then: http://www.photo.net/nature/galapagos.html


The second time was back in May/June 2011, and that was a two-week cruise with a group of photographers. We went again two months ago in October/November 2015. While the Galapagos is a year-around destination, May/June/July seems to be the better season to visit with more sunny days in general.
I posted my camera/lens usage statistics from the 2011 trip to the following thread on the Travel Forum here on photo.net: http://www.photo.net/travel-photography-forum/00aGpD


It is obvious that I used the Nikon 200-400mm/f4 zoom a lot, mostly on a Nikon D7000 body, which is also APS-C. For the most recent trip, I mostly used the 80-400mm/f4.5-5.6 zoom, followed by the new 200-500mm/f5.6 zoom, this time on a full-35mm-frame Nikon D750 body.


In essence, Matthew above is right. Something like the 18-55 + 55-300mm zooms will get most of the job done. If I were you, I would buy or rent either a 70-300mm type lens or 100-400mm. For example, a Tamron 70-300 is very affordable and will be good in the longer run if you upgrade to full frame: http://www.photo.net/equipment/tamron/70-300di-vc/


Of course, I am sure Canon has various similar lenses that maybe better built.


You can find selected images from my 2011 trip here: http://shuncheung.com/Travel/Galapagos/Wildlife/
If possible, I would highly recommend bringing a second, compatible Canon DSLR body so that you have some backup. I routinely bring three camera bodies to these trips. During the most recent trip two months ago, a photographer had two Canon bodies in her backpack when she boarded an inflatable landing boat (Zodiac) from the beach. Suddenly the tide came in and the boat moved. She briefly dipped into the water and her new Canon 5D Mark III got wet as sea water gushed into her camera bag. That camera immediately malfunctioned.


Fortunately, that was next to the last day of the trip, and she had a backup camera. I found out that after she had gotten home, after drying up, that camera started working again. However, a 16-35mm lens that also got wet cost $500 to fix. She was fortunate as a lot of camera gear can become unfixable after getting wet with sea water.


Have a great trip. A week is not enough to explore the Galapagos Islands. Hopefully you can go back and have more time to explore.


P.S. For those who still would like more info, I found this article by Peter Norvig on the web. The author works for Google. For his second trip, he had the same trip leader Tui De Roy as I did for my 2011 and 2015 trips: http://norvig.com/galapagos-photography.html

-Shun Cheung, site moderator (January 4, 2016)


WWW.OPENPHOTOGRAPHYFORUMS.COM

I returned Sunday from my trip, and had an awesome time.

Galapagos Travel handled the logistics of the trip superbly - whether going to and coming from the airport, preparing us for various excursions, etc., they were always there, had us well informed and prepared for each step of the process. The people were superb and attentive.

The boat we were on was also excellent. It was a 120-foot yacht, called Tip Top IV, newly built and only a few months in service. Sleeping quarters were adequate - a bit on the small side, but about what I was expecting for this size boat. There was a lot of space above for laying around, sunning, etc. with lounge chairs, covered areas, etc. The food was good - basic, healthy. Not fancy, gourmet, beef a bit tough when we had it. Lots of fresh fruit, juices, etc.

The trip itself, in terms of locations visited, was simply wonderful. The wildlife was just like on TV - abundant, approachable, just waiting to have their pictures taken. Our group was small (15 participants on our particular trip), and everybody got along quite well. Many in the group (other than my wife and myself, and one other participant) were more casual photographers, with point and shoots, but this didn't stop us from shooting to our hearts content. I probably took several thousand frames over the course of the 10-night/11-day Galapagos portion of the trip, downloading/deleting on my Laptop each afternoon and/or evening, to keep up.

There were nightly education 'lectures' - geology, currents, wildlife, history, etc. To be honest, I expected more of the conversation/orientation to be photography oriented, which it wasn't, but again this didn't prevent me from taking full advantage of the photographic opportunities. I think that if Barry Boyce, the owner of the company, was one of the group leaders, who is a photographer, this aspect of the trip would have been somewhat different, but this really wasn't a problem, just a little different than expected.

I'm still sorting through images, trying to pare down to more manageable numbers, and will be adding to my website over the next couple of weeks. Will post some here as well when I get them selected and prepared.

Hope this helps! Feel free to follow-up with specific questions, etc.

-Don Cohen, October 7, 2006


Central Connecticut State University: Connecticut Association of Biology Teachers (fall 2007 issue)

Following in Darwin’s Footsteps-The Galapagos Islands

By Dr. Kim Blake, Associate Professor, Mitchell College & Dr. Eileen Roark, Nathan Hale-Ray HS

In July several CT-ABT members had the chance to see what Darwin saw when he was aboard the H.M.S. Beagle – The Galapagos Islands! Actually we saw more than he did in only ten days. The group was led by CT-ABT president Eileen Roark and was organized through Galapagos Travel, Inc. Other CT-ABT members on the trip were Kim Blake and Lenore White. Kim’s mother, Betsy Jones, also joined us as did Kim’s and Eileen’s friend, Blanka Rogina. Also on the trip were 10 other passengers from Galapagos Travel.

The group traveled to ten islands aboard the ship TipTop IV. Our cabins were cozy, the food was nutri-tious and ample and the crew members were attentive, serious about their responsibilities and eager for us to enjoy ourselves. Each day was spent hiking and snorkeling, as well as attending a lecture and watch-ing a video. The weather was sunny and a comfortable 75oF most days while the waters were a bit chilly (<68oF), so wetsuits were essential for snorkeling. Although no hammerheads were sighted on this trip, the highlights for snorkeling were swimming with a Mola Mola, sea turtles, and those playful sea lions, as well as viewing the chocolate chip sea stars and watching marine iguanas feeding!

There were usually two hikes a day, each about 2.5-3 hours in length. The group was never disappointed on their hikes, always seeing what they were told to expect, whether it was a baby waved albatross, a vermillion flycatcher or the famous Galapagos tortoise. It was almost as if the animals showed up according to a schedule, but actually the regular sightings were the results of having an extremely knowledgeable and obser-vant naturalist, Martin Loyola, from the Galapagos National Park. In addition to seeing the tortoises in the wild, the trip also included a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz. There we saw Lonesome George, the last tortoise from Pinta Island, as well as many smaller tortoises that are hatched and reared at the station for 4 years before being returned to their original island, where their species was threatened. Most islands have their own subspecies of tortoise, except Isabella, the largest island, which actually has five sub-species, one for each of its volcanoes.

If one doesn’t watch where one is going, it’s possible to step on a Galapagos sea lion or a marine iguana. As is true of almost all the creatures on these islands, the animals not only blend well with their surround-ings, but they are so tame they don’t run away. In fact, just the opposite, as several of us were chased by curious baby sea lions. And the mockingbirds on Espanola Island are quite assertive when it comes to your water bottle (see photo). Most passengers brought home hundreds of photographs of their trip and all agreed that, despite the early morning risings and the extremely busy days, the adventure was truly a ―once in a lifetime experience.


BLOGGER

http://monocot.blogspot.com

It was really hard to choose which pictures to post. There are more that I´d like to show you, but some need a little editing and the computer I´m on now doesn´t have the software. So obviously I just got back from an AMAZING trip to the Galapagos Islands. I was on a boat for 11 days with 15 passengers (including my dad), a naturalist guide, a tour leader, and the ship´s crew. I have to admit that I was a little nervous about this trip. I´ve never been on "cruise," so I didn´t know how that would work out. Also, the way it works in the Galapagos National Park is that you can´t set foot on the islands without a certified naturalist guide. Not all the islands are open to visitors and the ones that are have marked trails that you have to follow. Those of you that know me know that comfortable yaughts and guided tours are not my normal mode of travel. Well I have to tell you that I was pleasently suprised and very impressed. Our naturalist guide (Martin Loyola) was wonderful and I can´t imagine the trip without him. He was incredibly knowledgable about the animals (terrestrial and marine), plants, and geology of the Galapagos. The islands by far exceeded my expectations. It´s hard to describe just how close we could get to the wildlife. Because of the lack of predators and the constant presence of visitors, the animals aren´t afraid of people at all. It was a wildlife photographer´s dream. Here´s a list of some of the highlights from the trip:

·       baby birds everywhere

·       swimming with hammerhead sharks

·       seeing giant tortoises in the wild

·       not getting sick when everyone else on the boat did

·       swimming with a pod of false killer whales

·       floating in the middle of a pelican/boobie/penguin feeding frenzie

·       Martin´s stories

·       swimming with a flock of penguins

·       always getting to the islands before all the other tourists, just after sunrise

·       breaching manta rays

·       stargazing at the ecuator from the top deck

·       pretending to be a sea lion in the water

-Monica Papp, March 20, 2008


Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island

Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island

The Galápagos Islands are a photographers' dream, whether amateur or professional!  Following are links to a few of our past traveler's images they have posted on line...

Sandra Critelli has joined us for 6 expeditions; 4 times to Galapagos, starting in the mid-90's, plus Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands, and Midway Atoll.  www.sandracritelli.com

Peter Norvig and his wife have twice been to Galapagos with us, once on a Natural History Workshop and once on a Photo Tour. His site features an incredible wealth of photo advice to help others get the most out of Galapagos. www.Norvig.com

Dan Leffel joined on of our Galapagos Natural History workshops in 2012.  see his site

Jose Vigano joined us in 2009.  He has multiple Galapagos galleries, plus Quito and the Saquisili Market.  www.josevigano.com

Bob Higaki is another frequent traveler with us: Galapagos (twice), Antarctica, Easter Island (3 times), and Cuba (twice). www.rxphotos.net

Francoise Coune created a photo diary of her voyage to Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands in 2007. www.orni.to/antarctica 

Charlie Robertson & Paula LeVay have several albums dedicated to their Galápagos workshop with us, including the spectacular volcanic eruption of Fernandina Island!  phase.com/chasrob

Don Cohen's photography site includes several Galápagos galleries.  www.dlcphoto.com

Yannis Arvanitis and his family completed a 1-year, around-the-world, adventure with a visit to the Galapagos Islands.  His site includes photo tips and hints. www.arvamont.com

Chapman University student Jonathan Amato created a beautiful video presentation following a Galápagos field course.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1cjcZXKknM  On the same field course MacKenzie Webber also created a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tBzQ0-OpzU

Alan Waltner joined us in Galápagos in early 2014. awaltner.smugmug.com/Travel/Galapagos

Ric Haas joined us for a photo tour in Galapagos in early 2017. https://richard-haas.smugmug.com

 

 

 

 

short-eared owl, Santa Fe Island

short-eared owl, Santa Fe Island

Sandra Nelson has traveled with us twice, to Cuba and Madagascar.  Following are links to her beautiful coffee-table photo books:
Cuba: http://online.flipbuilder.com/gfti/wool/

Madagascar: http://online.flipbuilder.com/gfti/lxpz/

Lima's dining scene: http://online.flipbuilder.com/gfti/xeho/

 

Ric Haas created a beautiful large format 100 page photo book following their participating in our April 2017 photography tour led by Tui de Roy.  http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/7935148-our-galapagos-adventure-april-2017

If you'd still like to talk to a couple of our past travelers in person let us know and we'll give you some names and numbers of people who will say great things about us!

lava cactus (endemic), Fernandina Island

lava cactus (endemic), Fernandina Island