8 days | 21 Oct 2025 - 28 Oct 2025

Photography and nature trip to the Galapagos Islands: Ferdnandina and Isabela

Sir David Attenborough had us sitting at the edge of our seats with his fabulous BBC documentaries on the Galapagos Islands: waved albatrosses, marine iguanas and flightless cormorants against a spectacular backdrop of volcanos, dramatic coast lines and various islands. Does this sound like music to your ears? Add a good dash of STARLING, knowledgeable guides and high-quality photography at the best locations of the archipelago, and this will – without a doubt – result in an unforgettable experience! Join us during this photography and nature tour to the Galapagos.




Special history, unique climate

Geologically speaking, the Galapagos Islands are very young. They ‘only’ came into existence a few million years ago and were discovered by accident in 1535. A few hundreds of years later, Ecuador annexed the group of islands to their country. The Galapagos Islands became well known after Charles Darwin set foot on them in 1835 and stayed for many weeks researching the local wildlife and vegetation. Later on, he based his theory of evolution on the findings he had made whilst on the archipelago. It was due to the various Darwin finches that he was able to make the link between isolated island groups and the evolution which species go through.

The Galapagos Islands have a very hot and dry climate. It is a region of extremes: the Humboldt Current supplies cold and nutritious water which feeds an enormous eco system. This changes completely every 3 to 7 years. The ‘El Niño’ phenomenon brings in warm water and the sea currents change temporarily. Consequently, there will be a high mortality among fish and sea lions and sea birds will disappear. These extreme climate changes were the best setting for new species to come into existence. Pure theory of evolution!

Although they usually spend lots of time out at sea, a little nap is mandatory. © Yves Adams

A dream for landscape and nature photographers

The Galapagos Islands have a lot to offer for photographers and never disappoint. Impressive landscapes and spectacular plants and wildlife unite on this archipelago of which 95% has been designated as National Park and which has been protected by Ecuador since 1968. A measure which has been of paramount importance for the conservation of many unique species.

All this beauty will be served to us in all its glory thanks to the special amendments made to the ship we sail in. The deck was made more spacious in order to allow a maximum experience of nature at sea. The number of guests is kept low for the same reason. You need some freedom to move about at sea.

Crazy animal species

There are many wildlife species that live on the Galapagos Islands which you won’t find anywhere else in the world. For instance, the famous Galapagos iguana. His black skin colour heats up his body after a session of eating algae in the cold waters of the ocean. And then there is the iconic blue-footed booby, a pacific species of gannet, one of the symbols of this island group.

You will encounter one or more species of the famous Darwin finches on most of the islands. They are the ones that are best-known, but certainly not the only ones who differ so much. No less than 4 types of mockingbirds are part of the possibilities. And don’t forget the black lava gull. In short, a trip also birdwatchers will enjoy immensely and for which they should not hesitate to register.

In addition, other animals will provide us with lots of entertainment. There is the Galapagos giant tortoise, the largest species of tortoise in the world, which lives here. And we haven’t even mentioned the rich marine life around the island archipelago or the fact that we will certainly not get bored by the interesting vegetation either!

Few people realize this species is actually an arboreal nester. © Yves Adams

Our guides: top class photographers

As well as the STARLING guides, we can also call on the expertise of the very experienced local crew. The expedition leader is Juan Manuel Salcedo, who has been studying life on the archipelago for years and who obtained his Ecology diploma with Biology and Geology as specialities at Quito. He is perfectly familiar with the rules of this unique National Park. The area is very fragile and conservation must be monitored carefully. This way we are absolutely sure that we will be guided around the best-preserved island complex of the tropics in a correct way.

Waving at the fantastic local crew. © Yves Adams

Prefer an extra long exploration?

On this photography and nature trip to the Galapagos, we will explore mainly the west side of the archipelago with Fernandina and Isabela. Would you also like to explore the other islands? You can! STARLING is organizing two consecutive trips to the Galapagos. Those who register for both trips and thus want to see and experience the entire Galapagos will receive a 5% discount on the total amount. An ultimate adventure!



What makes this photography and nature trip to the Galapagos so special?

  • You will meet numerous wacky species that live nowhere else.
  • You'll travel in a small group on a custom-equipped expedition ship, which we have all to ourselves.
  • A local nature guide who knows the archipelago like the back of his hand also travels with us.
  • A professional photo guide for the best results.
Expedition cruises
Group tours
Bird tours
Experience tours
Marine mammals
Mammal tours
Travel photography
Wildlife tours

Get to know your tour guides

Yves Adams has already accompanied photo and nature trips to numerous exotic destinations. He strives for perfection in a way that every participant can follow. Also on the Galapagos he will again make the most of it! Yves has a good knowledge of nature, is an extremely skilled and talented photographer and will solve every problem with a smile. Our local guide for this trip is Juan Salcedo. This extremely talented local guide is one of the best nature guides in the world. He knows virtually everything about the Galapagos Islands and lifts this tour to the best of the best. Both guides together are a real dream team for this special trip.
More about Yves
The opinion of our travellers!
Paul, participant of our trip in 2018

This travel destination has mythical proportions, the trip itself was unique: a once-in-a-lifetime experience! In Africa you have to be careful that the wild animals do not trample you, in the Galapagos Islands you have to be careful not to step on the animals.

One of many reasons to explore the Galapagos
according to Jeffrey Van Daele

The Galapagos is a dream destination for many. I really enjoyed discovering this unique destination and photographing unique animal species. The animals are not frightened by people, so you can get very close to photograph them in their unique habitat.

Peter, participant of the Galapagos 2018

The trip was stunning. Certainly exceeded my expectations!

Is this photography trip to the Galapagos something for you?

  • You always wanted to take part of a small expedition to this incredible destination.
  • You are fascinated by the beautiful wildlife and want to learn how to creatively portray it.
  • You have some patience and don’t mind waiting for the best moments.
  • You are looking for a trip where you can combine relaxing with photography (so partners are welcome!).
Photography Level
Nature Level
Book now

Planning is key

Itinerary & Locations

The tour schedule is flexible and dependent on the weather, local conditions and observations.
arrival Quito (not included)

We recommend leaving well in advance with a short stopover in Quito (20/10 – 21/10). This is to get some rest and to build in margin. Flights and extra nights are not included in the price.

Quito - Baltra (Santa Cruz) (flight not included)

At the Baltra airport, we are met by our local guide, Juan Manuel. He takes care of all the formalities with us and drives us to the port, where we board our ship, the Samba.

In the afternoon we sail to Mosquera, where the numerous Galapagos sea lions, sally lightfoot crabs and various shorebirds make it clear to us that we have reached our destination.


Darwin Bay is home to a gigantic colony of tropical seabirds, many of which breed on the island. Frigatebirds, red-footed boobies, nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, tropicbirds and many other pelagic species dazzle our senses.

After lunch, we climb Prince Philip’s Steps to about 30 meters above sea level, where we are greeted by the elegant red-billed tropicbird and the acrobatic Galapagos shearwater. Emerging from the Palo Santo forest, we discover thousands of petrels and may also see a short-eared owl, which hunts these birds during the day.


While other boats head south, the Samba is the only one sailing west-northwest for snorkeling, kayaking and dinghy sailing along the magical coasts of Marchena. The only sound is the waves and the distant call of sea lions.

In the afternoon the boat goes to Playa Negra. We snorkel around the lava caves where marine iguanas look for algae. Then we set a course west for 5 to 6 hours, towards deep waters and the Cromwell current, where whales and dolphins are regularly spotted.


Punta Albermarle is the world’s only nesting site for the endemic Galapagos cormorant and is also home to the islands’ largest marine iguanas.

In the afternoon we discover the geological diversity of Punta Vicente Roca while walking along the many tuff cones and thick layers of lava. We see the Galapagos penguin, noddies, blue-footed boobies and other fascinating sea creatures and explore the marine life with the snorkel.


Punta Espinoza bruist van het leven, met talloze zeeleguanen en zeeleeuwen, Galapagosaalscholvers, dwergpinguïns, Sally lightfoot krabben en nog zoveel meer. De Galapagosbuizerd jaagt bedrijvig, terwijl wij snorkelen tussen de zeeschildpadden om ons te verfrissen na onze vulkaanwandeling.

In de namiddag bewonderen we de grote leguanen van Urbina Bay.


Elizabeth Bay is the only place in the world where you can find tropical mangrove forest and penguins in combination. We also look for spotted eagle rays, sea turtles and many tropical fish species.

In the afternoon we enjoy the many cacti that adorn the volcano landscape on Punta Moreno and discover stunningly beautiful oases. The brackish waters attract beautiful birds such as flamingos, gallinulas, black-winged stilts and Galapagos purple swallows.


We visit the hills of Floreana and climb Cerro Alieri to enjoy a breathtaking panorama.

In the afternoon we sail to one of the most beautiful snorkeling spots in the Galapagos: Devils Crown. In the evening we have dinner at Academy Bay.

Santa Cruz

The highlands of Santa Cruz, at about 550 meters, give us the chance to admire the jungle of the Galapagos. Around the crater you will find many Darwin’s finches, mocking birds, red tyrants and a rich diversity of native plants.

Then we return to Baltra airport. Goodbye, Galapagos!

Santa Cruz - Quito - Brussels/Amsterdam

We return home on 28/10 and arrive on 29/10. Additional overnight stays and flights are not included.

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for more info

Accommodation and transport

Our means of transportation between the Galapagos Islands is a motorsail vessel called Samba. The vessel is specially designed to make a safe crossing. It is equipped with a stabilizing sail and a high bow to minimize the impact of waves. The spacious deck offers plenty of space to peer over the sea and take pictures. Moreover, this elegant ship is environmentally friendly and consumes less fuel than average.

The price of this trip does not include international and domestic flights, due to widely varying exchange rates. It is possible to book these flights through STARLING. You can also choose to book your flights yourself. For all flights and extra nights together, count on 2000 euros, depending on how many extra nights you wish to book.

Target audience and guides

This is a nature and photography trip aimed at people who want to enjoy nature but who also want to take photographs. This trip is also suited for non-photographing partners of photographers. This trip is also very interesting for passionate birdwatchers. We have included every possible endemic species of birds in our programme. Jeffrey’s professionalism means you are assured of the best guidance, he will assist on the boat, but also when we set foot on the various islands.

On the islands themselves, we will be guided by a local guide who is perfectly familiar with the rules of this unique National Park. The area is very fragile and conservation must be closely monitored. This way we are absolutely sure that we will be guided around the best-preserved island complex of the tropics in a correct way.

Climate and clothing

The cool season on the Galapagos Islands is from May to September. During the day temperatures are pleasant and fluctuate around 20°C. From December to April it is really hot and dry. Temperatures of 32°C are the average. At night, during the cool as well as the hot season, it can get quite cold. You will need a sweater or jumper. Rain is always possible, so bring a thin raincoat just in case.

The walks we will be doing on the islands are accessible to everyone with a normal condition. We will walk a few kilometres maximum. Make sure you bring sturdy hiking boots which protect the ankles. The terrain can be quite rough because of the lava rocks.

Photography and expectations

The Galapagos Islands have everything nature enthusiasts and photographers could desire. Every island is unique because of the volcanic landscapes. Thanks to our specially adapted ship we will sail close to the shore along each island in order to guarantee carefree photo sessions each and every time. In brief: this is the ultimate photography trip for anyone wanting to capture the Galapagos Islands with the help of some excellent professional guidance.

We will sail in between the islands and stand a chance of meeting numerous sea creatures: shearwaters, cormorants, red and blue-footed booby, … There will be plenty of things to photograph on land too. Think about the Darwin finches and mockingbirds, species unique to this archipelago. Keep your camera handy!


The Samba accommodates a maximum of 14 guests, a perfect number to experience the magic of the Galapagos Islands. This small number of participants allows for plenty of privacy and ample movement. Especially with photography in mind, this is an absolute must. The professional crew of this boat is friendly and experienced and the nature guides go that little bit further than the others. A trip of a lifetime!

For this trip, we choose to charter the Samba. This means that we can obtain more freedom because Starling is in control.

On request we are happy to organize extra nights and excursions in Ecuador – Quito. An overview of the possible options/extensions will follow after registration.

Nature study and photography

This nature and photography trip is aimed at people who want to enjoy nature, but also want to photograph. Also non-photographers partners of photographers and passionate bird watchers this trip is very attractive will find their heart’s content here.

Every possible endemic bird species is on our program. We sail between the islands and have the chance to meet many sea creatures: shearwaters, cormorants, red-footed and blue-footed boobies … There is also a lot of life to photograph on land. Think of the Darwin’s finches and mockingbird species unique to the archipelago. Keep your camera at the ready!

Each island is unique due to its volcanic landscapes. Thanks to our specially adapted ship, we sail close to each island to ensure a worry-free photo session every time. In short: this is the ultimate photography trip for anyone who wants to capture the Galapagos on film under professional guidance.

8 days | 21 Oct 2025 - 28 Oct 2025

Photography and nature trip to the Galapagos Islands: Ferdnandina and Isabela

21 Oct 2025 - 28 Oct 2025
  • insurance guarantee fund
  • specialized local guides
  • enthousiast guiding by professional STARLING photographer
  • enthousiast guiding by STARLING tour guide(s)
  • all transport at site
  • all nights
  • all meals
  • all excursions and entrance tickets for parks
  • all drinking water
  • all boat tours
  • personal expenses
  • visa fees (if applicable)
  • national flights and airport taxes
  • international flights and airport taxes
  • tips for local collaborators (horeca, hotel,...)
  • extra nights
  • alcoholic beverages and soda
Tour Language
Dutch, English
Room types
Twin cabin
Cabin sharing with one other participant.
5950 euro
Double deluxe
Only for couples.
6560 euro
Single cabin
Cabin only for yourself.
11900 euro
Starting from
5950 euro
Price per person
Book now

Something not clear?

Just ask!