Galapagos Underwater Photo Expedition

Travel to the Galapagos with professional photographer Ben Hicks visiting four different islands in the Galapagos archipelago on this unique 7-day water photography expedition. For you the adventure traveler and photographer, we have created a Galapagos Adventure that immerses you in this magical destination with the freedom that allows you to venture off in search of the money shot on our land-based expedition. You will escape the cruise ship and enjoy the Galapagos Culture and everything it has to offer. Ben will offer daily instruction and advice on creating professional quality images, and each night he will conclude with a session where he will help you edit images! Without question, you will go home with memories of a lifetime and compelling images that will forever remind you of this bucket list adventure.

 

Expedition Highlights

  • Escape the confines of a typical cruise through the Galapagos Islands with a land-based expedition led by professional photographer Ben Hicks.
  • Explore the Galapagos visiting San Cristobal, Isla Lobos, Espanola, Kicker Rock and more!
  • Snorkel or swim with, sea turtles, sea lions, iguanas and more.
  • Photograph the remarkable bird life including the Blue and Red Footed Boobies, Frigate Birds and the magnificent Albatross of Espanola Island.
  • Visit the highlands and photograph the Galapagos Tortoise
  • Daily photography workshops included with Ben Hicks
Itinerary Map

Pricing

Galapagos Underwater Photo Expedition Standard Lodging Package- $3700

Photo Safari pricing is per person based on double occupancy.

There is an additional fee for single occupancy.

May 25-31, 2019 – Limited to 12 travelers
May 16-22, 2020 – Limited to 12 travelers

Deposit

$1,500.00 (nonrefundable) with balance of deposit paid 90 days out from Expedition Date.

Itinerary

Day 1:
Arrival / Highlands Tour of San Cristobal

Upon arrival to the modern, new San Cristobal airport, we will meet and coordinate your hotel check-in. After check-in, you will take a bus ride to explore the highlands of San Cristobal to photograph the Galapagos Tortoise. On this adventure you will visit the National Park’s Galapaguera (tortoise breeding center) where park naturalists breed endemic tortoises to release back into the wild at Punta Pitt, helping to expand the San Cristobal tortoise population.

Lunch will be served at one of the islands’ newest and most scenic restaurants, Otoy, set on the grounds of a sprawling organic farm. Here, every imaginable fruit and vegetable is grown, giving true meaning to a “farm to fork” experience. Enjoy dining al-fresco overlooking the farmland and Pacific Ocean beyond. Otoy has a hiking trail that meanders through its farm and bamboo jungle, with its colorful fruits, vegetables and flowers—and many giant tortoises waiting to greet you. Your leader professional photographer, Ben Hicks will provide you an overview of the photo expedition while enjoying lunch before returning to the hotel.

Wildlife: Tortoises, blue-footed booby, frigate bird, sea lions

Activity Level: Easy

Day 2:
Isla Lobos / Water Taxi

Grab your underwater camera, it is time to explore the underwater world of the Galapagos starting at one of our favorite stops, Lobos Island (Isla Lobos). Isla Lobos is an Island that is inhabited by a large colony of sea lions just off San Cristobal Island. Here you will hike and snorkel around the island, spotting sea lions, blue footed boobies, marine iguanas and frigate birds. Underwater shots include marine iguanas eating, as well as rays and sea turtles on the sandy bottom. After we return to San Cristobal, we have a water taxi tour of the island where you can see blue footed boobies, sea lions, and more.

Wildlife: Blue Footed Booby, Frigate Birds, Iguanas, Rays, Sea Lions, and Sea Turtles

Activity Level: Easy

Day 3:
La Loberia / Tijeratas

Get your hiking shoes on to explore San Cristobal! The first stop will be to La Loberia beach where it is shallow waters perfect for photographing fish, sea turtles and sea lions. Afterwards we will head back to the hotel for an afternoon workshop before adventuring to Tijeratas, the islands best spot for sunset shots. Here you will see several sea lions with the backdrop of the sun setting on the Galapagos Islands. This is also known as a great place to observe and photograph the frigate birds from above with the backdrop views of Charles Darwin Bay.

Wildlife: Sea Lions, Sea Turtles, Fish, Birdlife and Panoramic images of San Cristobal.

Activity Level: Easy to Moderate

Day 4:
Espanola Island

Española is on the southernmost and is one of the oldest Islands in the archipelago. Because of its geography, Española has a very dry climate, and despite this, the island is the only known nesting site for the majestic Waved Albatross (Galapagos Albatross) from April to December. From the cliff top of Espanola, at the so called “Albatross Airport”, the Albatross line up single file, march to the edge, spread their wings and take flight. It’s a truly remarkable scene. Blue-Footed and Nazca Boobies mingle with the Albatross, sharing the island with numerous other bird species. You will also find many marine iguanas around Española. Lunch will be provided on the boat.

Wildlife: The only place in Galapagos you will see the Albatross Bird. In addition, you will see Marine Iguanas, Masked and Blue Footed Booby, and Sea Lions.

Wildlife: Sea Turtles, Albatross Birds, Blue Footed Booby

Activity Level: Easy

Day 5:
360 Island Tour

It is time for an entire day on the water. We will leave San Cristobal dock and adventure on a 360 tour of the Island where we will be able to explore areas not reachable by hiking or driving. We will have multiple stops on the excursion for photographing wildlife including Sea Lions, Red Footed and Blue Footed Booby, and Sea Lions. Lunch will be provided on the boat.

Wildlife: Sea Lions, Red Footed and Blue Footed Booby,

Activity Level: Easy

Day 6:
Kicker Rock

We start off early with a tour of Kicker Rock and Leon Dormido, a truly spectacular Galapagos landmark; two volcanic rock uplifts towering some 450 feet above the sea. When viewed from the south, the formation looks like a sleeping lion, hence the Spanish name, Leon Dormido. You will have the option to snorkel Kicker Rock as well. The 19-meter-deep channel that separate the two towers makes for one of the best snorkel sites of the Galapagos. You have a good chance of spotting the native Galapagos Shark, hammerhead sharks, white tip sharks, eagle rays, sea turtles and many species of fish. Snorkel gear will be provided. Lunch will be provided on the boat.

Wildlife: Blue footed Booby and underwater images of possibly sharks, rays, sea turtles and more.

Activity Level: Easy to Moderate

Day 7:
Depart Galapagos

Enjoy breakfast, gather the gear and break camp. It’s time to depart the Galapagos and return to either Guayaquil or Quito. For the adventurers who would like to take the extra day and explore Quito we can help arrange hotel overnight along with a tour of Quito’s World-Famous Animal Market and a trip to the Equator to get your passport stamp.

About Photo Leader – Ben Hicks

Ben Hicks is based in South Florida and has journeyed across the Americas and ventured to exotic locales spanning the globe to compose profoundly diverse collection of fine art photography that truly captures the majestic beauty of the natural world. This self-proclaimed “adventure-boy” not only strives to portray the familiar in extraordinarily original ways, but also takes big risk to capture the most complex often dangerous situations including big waves and precarious animal encounters all to share his admiration for Mother Nature’s creations. Whether shooting tropical beachscapes in the South Pacific, vast sandstone buttes in the American Southwest, or the first few open water strides of a leatherback sea turtle hatching, Ben distinctive vision and inimitable approach to photography renders intricately detailed images that captivate viewers and serves as a testament to his enjoyment and reverence of nature.

What Is Included?

Inclusions

  • Daily photography workshops with Ben Hicks
  • Accommodations in Galapagos
  • Meals as listed on itinerary
  • Transfers in Galapagos
  • Activities as listed in itinerary
  • Guide Services
  • Snorkel and mask on snorkeling excursions
  • Guy Harvey Outpost Expedition Shirt

Exclusions

  • Galapagos Transfer Card of $20 when leaving either Quito or Guayaquil to Galapagos.
  • Galapagos National Park entry of $100 per person (cash only and paid at Galapagos Airport)
  • Meals not listed on the itinerary
  • Add on options including fishing option, scuba diving, and Quito Tour
  • Airfare
  • Personal Items
  • Tips

Getting There & the Return

All flights depart to the Galapagos in the morning from either of the following Ecuador cities, Guayaquil or Quito. Travelers will need to book a flight into either Guayaquil or Quito the day before the expedition date along with a hotel at or near the airport. If you need a recommended hotel, please contact our travel desk and we can help arrange the lodging. The next day you will fly to Galapagos through either Latam, Tame, or Avianca Airlines. Please remember when booking airfare into the Galapagos you will want to book to San Cristobal Airport and not Baltra Airport. Our Expedition Team will pick you up at the airport after you clear customs and pay the $100 park entrance fee and take you to the hotel for check-in

On the return we will take you leave San Cristobal and arrive to either Guayaquil or Quito in the afternoon. You will be able to connect to your flight back to the United States. Those flights usually leave late in the evening, so you arrive back to the United States early in the morning the following day. Most travelers like to take an extra day in either Guayaquil or Quito, so it is not a long day of travel. If you have any questions, please contact our travel desk to help coordinate your travel plans.

Lodging

Galapagos Planet Hotel is centrally located in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristóbal Island. It is a short cab ride from the airport and harbor making it convenient for daily excursions. It is a 31-room boutique hotel with a top floor restaurant that overlooks San Cristobal Harbor with complimentary breakfast daily. Perfect for your daily basecamp to edit photos and relax from those memorable excursions in the Galapagos.