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The Galapagos Islands 2025 - II

The unmatched beauty of the Enchanted Archipelago

11 Feb - 18 Feb 2025

US$ 10695

General Information

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The Galapagos Islands are a living testament to the wonders of evolution and a paradise for nature photographers seeking to capture the essence of untouched natural beauty.


For centuries, these isolated islands have amazed scientists and nature enthusiasts, each seeking to unravel the secrets of this unique place. The Galapagos archipelago, situated in the Pacific Ocean just outside Ecuador’s coastline, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a living laboratory of evolution, with flora and fauna that cannot be found anywhere else on Earth.


This expedition promises an immersive experience and a unique opportunity to photograph truly amazing wild animals and landscapes. Under the guidance of Steve Perry and Jonas Paurell, you'll have the opportunity to practice your nature photography craft and deliver on your dream Galapagos portfolio. Your guides will lead you to the most photogenic spots and share invaluable insights on camera techniques, composition, and the art of capturing the essence of the islands in your photographs.


For this adventure, we’ll have a private 5-star yacht at our disposal, making sure that each day we have a new island, beach, and even ecosystem to discover.


This is a nature photography journey that delivers on Steve Perry’s and Terra’s shared goal of providing the ultimate photography experience.

Guides

Jonas Paurell

Creative Guide & Expedition Leader

Jonas is the founder of Terra Photography Expeditions. He has been a photographer for well over 20 years. He is a certified International Mountain Leader (UIMLA) that has spent a lifetime exploring the world's wild areas. 


Jonas loves working with developing photographers to strengthen their technical foundation and support them to unleach their inner creativity. Jonas achieves this through engaging lectures, educative assignments and hands-on teaching in the field. Jonas will also be sharing his knowledge and expertise from photographing the Galapagos Islands.


More info here.

Steve Perry

Creative Guide

Steve Perry is an award winning professional photographer, writer, and educator specializing in wildlife photography. In addition to leading workshops all over the world, he has also published multiple books, articles, and how-to videos designed to help his fellow nature photographers bring their skills up to the next level. His work has been featured in various calendars and magazines, including but not limited to Outdoor Photographer, National Wildlife Federation, Lake Superior Magazine, Popular Photography, Shutterbug, as well as dozens of other conservation and calendar publications.


More info here.

Itinerary

Day 1 | Arrival Day in Quito | Feb 11, 2025

All-day arrivals and pick-up from Aeropuerto Internacional Mariscal Sucre (UIO) in Quito, Ecuador. On arrival, you will be transferred to our hotel close to the airport for easy transfer for our early morning flight to the Galapagos Islands the following morning. In the evening, we will meet for a refreshing welcome drink, tour briefing, and welcome dinner. We recommend that those that are keen to explore Quito, arrive a few days early to explore the best preserved colonial city centre in South America.


Day 2 | Quito – Galapagos | Embarkation Day

In the early morning, we catch a flight towards the Pacific Ocean and our yacht. As we arrive in Galapagos, we will encounter a unique array of wildlife found nowhere else on the planet. It's no surprise that Charles Darwin drew inspiration from this archipelago, leading to the development of the theory of evolution. It’s also why UNESCO has recognized the significance of the Islands, declaring them a World Heritage Site.


Upon arriving in the Galapagos, we will board our ship, settle into our cabins, and enjoy a lunch onboard. As the day transitions into the afternoon, we'll soak in the warmth of the Galapagos Islands, get our cameras ready for a first shoot, and perhaps a first swim in the warm Pacific Ocean.


Day 3 - 7 | Expedition Cruise

The Galapagos Islands have it all for photographers and every day will offer new encounters with endemic wildlife and volcanic landscapes. For our journey, we will explore truly iconic locations that will show you the vast life that is contained here.


On land, dramatic lava formations and volcanic craters rise from the earth, giving us an insight into its fiery past. We will encounter marine and land iguanas basking on the shores, their prehistoric appearance is a stark contrast to the playful penguins next door. Witness sea lions on sandy beaches, capture the mesmerizing dance of colorful birds like the nazca boobies with their bright red feet and the famous blue-footed boobies, engaging in their distinctive courtship displays, snorkel alongside playful sea lions and colorful fish in the warmth waters of the Pacific Ocean, and hike through unique cactus forests, volcanic rocks and paths where lava use to flow once.


This is an otherworldly place, where you will be able to compose otherworldly images with an incredible array of elements. On top of that, it is one of the few places on earth where wildlife is used to human presence, so this experience allows us to truly immerse and become part of the ecosystem. Wild animals will often be just 6 feet from your camera lens!


Throughout the expedition we will mainly do three type of excursions: Landing, Zodiac Cruise and Snorkelling. A Landing is a a walk on shore exploring wildlife and landscapes. Typically the walks are 2-3 hrs in lenght. A Zodiac Cruise is a cruise with the Zodiac (an inflatable rubber boat) to explore wildlife on the sea cliffs. Typically 1.5 - 2 hrs in lenght. Snorkelling doesn't need much introduction but is an essential part of any Galapagos adventure. The marine life is so rich that the experience cannot be missed - don't forget to bring your GoPro or other underwater camera if you wish to document the marine world.


Day 8 | Galapagos – Quito | Feb 18, 2025

After our last excursion, we’ll say goodbye to the Enchanted Islands. Our journey will come to an end upon our arrival at Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) in Quito, scheduled for around 5 to 6 PM. It's from there that we will head back home, carrying with us unforgettable memories—and plenty of photographs!

Curriculum

All Terra Photography Expeditions follow a proven curriculum that aims to teach the theory behind photography in a dynamic way that directly translates into easily actionable processes in the field. As we move through nature we also go through an introduction to the skills and knowledge required to be safe in the great outdoors.

Photography Techniques Covered on the tour:

  • Storytelling - Telling stories and evoking emotions within the context of landscape and wildlife photography

  • Composition - A comprehensive introduction to the theory of composition, including the elements of art and principles of design

  • Wildlife Portraits and Environmental Portraits - How to make your wildlife photography stand out

  • Process - Learning and implementing a process to achieve consistent quality in landscape and wildlife photography

  • Focusing - A science-based method for focusing to make your images sharp

  • Panorama photography - exposing and merging multiple images

  • Finding locations - Using maps, weather services and other tools to identify potential photography locations and times

  • Multiple exposures, graduate filters and long exposures - If opportunity for landscape photography presents itself and the group is keen, we will also cover how to achieve correctly exposed images in challenging conditions using graduated filters and multiple exposures (exposure bracketing), long exposure and the use of Neutral Density (ND) filters, especially related to moving water and clouds

Processing Techniques:

  • Workflow - Full post production workflow in Lightroom

  • Colour Balance - Using Lightroom to get the colour right

  • Contrast - Using Lightroom to apply contrast

  • Shaping Light - Using local adjustments to shape and sculpt the light

  • Luminosity Masks - Using luminosity masks in Lightroom

  • HDR Images - Different techniques for blending multiple exposures of the same image

  • Panoramas - Stitching multiple panoramas together

  • Sharpening - Sharpening techniques

  • Black & White - Editing for powerful BW images

  • Photoshop and Layers - Using Photoshop layers to build up image adjustments

Accommodation

For our stay in Quito, we will be lodged in a comfortable hotel not far from the the airport. In Galapagos, we will be staying in a well-equipped and comfortable private 5-Star yacht that has been chartered for our group. With ammenities like a jacuzzi on deck, you'll be able to relax with beautiful views. 


Our yacht  is outfitted with 8 elegant and ample cabins, each with their own private balcony. The amenities include a modern lounge, bar, al fresco dining area, and an extensive solarium with jacuzzi, designed to catch the best sights that the islands can offer, surrounded by endless charm.

Additional Information

The Weather

Galapagos: February offers a great opportunity to explore the Islands. It is characterized by warm days with calm seas. Tropical rains can be expected but we will dry out quickly when the sun inevitably comes out again. The temperature ranges between highs of 30°C (86°F), and lows of 21°C (70°F). Febrary is in the best time of the year to visit Galapagos!

Quito: Due to its location near the equator and its high elevation, Quito generally has a relatively mild climate year-round. In February, temperatures typically range from around 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 21 degrees Celsius). However, it's advisable to bring rain gear since the weather can change quickly. 


Food

All main meals are included starting at dinner on day 1 and finishing with breakfast on day 9. Kindly be in touch with any dietary restrictions.


Partners are Welcome

The focus of this expedition is on photography - as all expeditions by Terra. But that doesn’t mean that this isn’t perfect for your partner as well! As this is a true once in a lifetime opportunity, accompanying partners, adult children, or friends, whether they are photographers or not, are also welcome. There is plenty for non-photographers to experience on this adventure. For non-photographers we do recommend brining binoculars and a smartphone camera.


Leave No Trace Policy

Terra Photography Expeditions has a strict leave-no-trace policy. This policy is also applied to how we share information about fragile ecosystems that we gently and respectfully visit. This means that we have withheld exact locations from the itinerary. This is because we do not want to contribute to large-scale tourism. You are welcome to get in touch if you'd like to discuss the itinerary before applying to join. Thank you for your understanding.

How Challenging?

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This expedition has a Lowland Workshop effort level.

Our Lowland Workshops are designed to be accessible and enjoyable for a wide range of participants. All excursions from the ship will be done using a Zodiac (an inflated rubber boat) and landings will be on beaches and rocky shorelines. It is crucial that you can get in and out of a zodiac with ease and have a good sense of balance and a good general state of fitness. The longest walk that we will do on land will be approx. 3 hrs in a slow pace that allows for photography.

Price & Details

Included:

  • Wildlife and landscape photography in unforgettable locations

  • Professional photographers & guides who know the areas

  • Guided walks by qualified guides

  • Transportation to and from the locations

  • All park entrance fees (except the Galapagos Tourist Tax that must be paid in person - currently $200)

  • Post-processing workshops in Lightroom and Photoshop, with screen recordings which the participants can keep

  • All accommodation in Quito and on the private yacht

  • All breakfast, lunches and dinners (starting at dinner on day 1, and finishing with breakfast on day 9)

  • Airport transfer to/from Aeropuerto Mariscal Sucre, Quito


Excluded:

  • Photo equipment

  • Outdoor clothing and equipment

  • Snacks to bring on the excursions  

  • Alcoholic drinks

  • Flights to and from Ecuador

  • Galapagos Tourist Tax (at the moment 200 USD and can only be paid in CASH on arrival in Galapagos - cards are not accepted by the authorities)

  • Insurance. All participants are required to have their own insurance appropriate for this tour such as health, accident, repatriation, cancellation, personal liability, etc.

Price: 10695 USD

30% deposit is due to secure your reservation, remaining 70% is due 180 days before the start of the tour. The price includes shared twin room (or double room if travelleing as a couple). Single occupancy is only possible by purchasing 2 spots for single use.


Cancellation Terms:

Once the expedition status is "confirmed" the deposit is non-refundable. The balance payment is refundable up to 180 days before the start of the expedition, after that the full payment is non-refundable and cancellations are not accepted. This is due to the special rulas and arrangements for this unique expedition in the Galapagos and the chartering of an entire private yacht. We strongly recommend all partipants to have traveller's insurance that refund your non-refundable payment if you need to cancel a trip for unforeseen reasons.


Expedition Status: Confirmed!


Participants: Minimum 10 - Maximum 12

Start: Quito - Ecuador, 11 February 2025

End: Quito - Ecuador, 18 February 2025


We reserve the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather conditions, and unforeseeable circumstances.


This tour is governed by the Terms and Conditions

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