Ultimate Galápagos

View Full SlideshowView Full Slideshow

Ask A Question
Get Our eNewsletter

Straddling the equator 600 miles west of mainland Ecuador are Las Islas Encantadas—the Enchanted Islands. Better known as the Galápagos Archipelago, it is one of the premier nature photography locations in the world, and a must-see for anyone who enjoys experiencing wildlife at close range, warm tropical weather, snorkeling with colorful fishes, and al fresco dining under the stars.
"If you love nature, close encounters with birds, seals, tortoises and flamingos (to name a few) and would enjoy staying on a luxurious yacht with all the amenities in one of the most unique and beautiful places on earth, this trip is for you! Photo ops were phenomenal, good times and memories outstanding!"
- B. & R. Vernick

Participants see virtually all of the famous Galápagos wildlife specialties, and photograph many of the incredible and unique life forms that captivated Charles Darwin. One of the great joys of a visit to these islands is the remarkably unwary seabirds, which include such photogenic favorites as the red-footed, blue-footed and Nazca boobies, as well as the flamboyant magnificent frigatebirds with their scarlet throat pouches and aerial acrobatics. These birds of the open ocean allow human approach within a few yards during courtship and breeding. In addition there are elegant swallow-tailed gulls, handsome waved albatrosses, red-billed tropicbirds and flocks of resplendent American flamingos in their feathered finery.

Our extended tour includes the less-visited western side of the archipelago where we photograph, and possibly snorkel with, endearing Galápagos penguins and comical flightless cormorants—both of which are rare endemics of the archipelago. The islands are also home to those marvels of evolution, "Darwin's finches," as well as lumbering giant tortoises, marine and land iguanas, colorful Sally Lightfoot crabs and abundant sea lions with their doe-eyed pups. Each island is its own microcosm, different from but integrally linked to, the others of the group.

Our comprehensive schedule is arranged for early morning and late afternoon photography—the best times for observing and photographing animals and shooting landscapes. Whenever possible between morning and afternoon shooting sessions, we take time to snorkel in the coastal waters of the islands, searching for green sea turtles and enjoying the myriad coral reef fishes that bejewel the clear water.

Photographing in GalapagosWe have timed the trip to coincide with one of Nature's busiest seasons in the islands. Early summer is a time when warm weather, calm seas, blue skies and occasional showers combine to stimulate elaborate courtship displays in the birds and cloak the desert landscape in greenery,  Chick rearing has begun and we will see chick feedings as well as frigatebirds chasing food-laden gulls, terns, pelicans and boobies. 

We cruise aboard the aptly named M/V TipTop II—a safe, comfortable, and upscale catamaran that combines a casual barefoot cruising style with spacious cabins and common areas.  Like a floating safari lodge, TipTop II offers an excellent “platform” from which to base this exciting photo cruise.  Our roomy vessel provides plenty of outside deck space yet is small enough to reach secluded anchorages that only a smaller ship can provide.

This voyage has been designed as our Galápagos dream trip. Most trips to the islands are a week in length and confine themselves to the eastern half of the archipelago. These days, popular landing sites have restricted access to make the nature experience a wilder one. Therefore, on weeklong trips, many of the best photo locations may be excluded from an eastern-oriented itinerary to cut down on visitor traffic. Our route and landing permissions take us to all the best visitor sites in the east, but also include Fernandina Island and the western shore of Isabela. In addition to the penguins and cormorants we see there, the area offers great opportunities to shoot American flamingos and rugged volcanic landscapes. We go where the majority of tourists never go and see the islands as they really should be seen—with a small group, at a relaxed pace, and on a new and comfortable boat.

Join us for this exceptional opportunity to photograph all of the extraordinary wildlife of the Galápagos, without sacrificing time to relax, snorkel and get a true "sense of place."


Check out Wayne Lynch's trip report from our Galápagos photo cruise
For trip questions or to enroll give us a call at (206) 463-5383

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 (May 29, 2024)

Depart home for Quito, Ecuador. Arrive in late evening and transfer to our hotel.

Day 2

Following breakfast, meet in the hotel lobby at 9 AM.  A comprehensive city tour of Quito provides opportunities to photograph regal metropolitan landscapes and pleasing architectural details in this beautiful colonial city nestled in the slopes of the Andes at 9,200 feet. (NOTE: The tour begins with a walk in the Old City.)

Those who would like to rest in lieu of the city tour can meet the group in the lobby at 7:30 PM for dinner at our hotel. (B, L on city tour, D)

Day 3

Fly to San Cristóbal Island in the Galápagos, complete national park formalities and embark our comfortable vessel.  Following lunch, we make our first photography landing in the archipelago. (B at hotel, then all meals aboard ship)

Red-footed boobyDays 4–16

We have 13 days to photograph at the following productive sites:

Kicker Rock
The remains of an eroded lava cone, two towering basalt monoliths rise 500 feet out of the sea—an excellent location for sunset photography.

Santa Fe Island
From a picturesque anchorage the land rises quickly to a high, rolling interior of eroded lava.  A variety of birds nests here, but of particular interest are Galápagos hawks, Galápagos mockingbirds and Galápagos doves.  Here a colony of sea lions provides constant entertainment.  A walk inland rewards us with attractive scenery and a cactus forest—and a photo opportunity with the large endemic Santa Fe land iguanas.  We snorkel the island’s rocky shallows for their many fish and close underwater views of sea lions and, possibly, sea turtles. 

Santa Cruz Island
From the dock at Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, we have two options—drive into the highlands or visit the town and Charles Darwin Research Station. 
In the highlands we explore the lush scalesia forests, investigate volcanic craters and lava tubes, and visit a tortoise reserve to photograph these charismatic animals in the wild. 
In the small city of Puerto Ayora, we spend time at the Charles Darwin Research Station, which plays a major role in the environmental monitoring of the archipelago.  Here we see rearing pens for giant tortoises from the different islands and have another chance to photograph the large reptiles at close range.  We usually end the day on Santa Cruz in town with time to shop before returning to our vessel for dinner.

South Plaza and North Seymour Islands
The Plaza Islands are flat, gently-tilted, lava fault blocks uplifted from beneath the sea.  Our visit is particularly interesting because of several hundred land iguanas that live there among the island’s giant cacti.  Our landing beach is a whelping area for sea lions, and the steep wind-blown cliffs along the southern coast are one of the best locations in the islands to photograph flying red-billed tropicbirds with their elegant streaming tail feathers.
North Seymour is another uplifted island that is quite flat.  The island is home to a large population of magnificent frigatebirds.  We should see the frenzied displays of courting males, and the nest-building antics and thievery of their neighbors.  In the open areas, blue-footed boobies perform their slow-motion courtship dance, and on the cliff edges elegant swallow-tailed gulls roost and loaf.  Despite tremendous crashing surf on the outer shore, sea lions haul out onto the beach here and are joined by marine iguanas.

FrigatebirdGenovesa Island
Genovesa Island is the summit of a partially submerged volcano and circular caldera which has been breached by the sea.  Gentle slopes covered with sprawling Opuntia cacti and silvery palo santo trees rise 200 feet above the rugged shoreline.  We go ashore at dawn to explore a coral-covered beach and tidal lagoons.  This is the best spot in the islands to photograph great frigatebirds, yellow-crowned night herons and swallow-tailed gulls, as well as lava gulls.  With a total population of just 400 pairs, the sooty-plumaged lava gull is the rarest gull in the world.  In the afternoon we climb the spectacular cliffs of the caldera and hike through a palo santo forest, photographing Nazca and red-footed boobies, Galápagos doves and mockingbirds.  There are at least four kinds of Darwin’s finches and the possiblility of finding the endemic race of the elusive short-eared owl.

Bartolomé Island, Sullivan Bay
Bartolomé is a small island with beautiful white sand beaches skirting rugged volcanic slopes.  Activities here include swimming, snorkeling, and a climb to the summit of the island for one of the most breathtaking views in all the Galápagos.  If the day is sunny, there are backlit views of extraordinary volcanic cones on nearby Santiago Island in the distance.  Green sea turtles nest on the sandy beaches of the island and, if we are very lucky, we may see a female turtle dragging herself back into the sea after a night of egg-laying. 
Close by is the the stark volcanic terrain of Sullivan Bay.  Two hundred years ago an eruption covered the area with molten rock leaving behind dramatic examples of ropy lava and spatter cones, all of which are a graphic photographer’s dream.  We also expect to find Galápagos penguins. 

Rábida and Santiago Islands
Rábida Island lies at the center of the Galápagos Archipelago.  The reddish sand beach always has clusters of sea lions lounging and loafing in the surf and brown pelicans commonly nest at shoulder height in saltbushes close by.  The island is a good location to search for Galápagos hawks, some of which may perch right over our heads.

Marine iguanaA stroll along the intertidal rocks of Puerto Egas on Santiago Island reveals black sand beaches which were the site of a small salt mining industry in the 1960s.  A hike in the area should provide an excellent opportunity to see finches, doves and hawks.  Along the coast, basking marine iguanas, gaudy orange Sally Lightfoot crabs, and feeding American oystercatchers keep us busy until we reach a colony of Galápagos fur seals resting on the black lava rock at the end of our walk.  Snorkeling is good in the waters near our landing beach.

Isabela Island
We cruise the northern coast of Isabela Island searching for whales.  Tagus Cove, a former refuge of pirates and whalers on the volcanic western shoreline of the island is a favorite destination.  We can hike inland to a scenic viewpoint overlooking Darwin Lake.  We may also take a panga ride along the cliffs of the cove to search for penguins, brown noddies and marine iguanas soaking up the sun.

At Urbina Bay, we search for land iguanas and possibly more giant tortoises.  In the afternoon we explore the beautiful mangrove channels of Elizabeth Bay where we again encounter flightless cormorants.  The sheltered waters are an important mating area for green sea turtles, and snorkeling among the mangroves can be an exciting and novel experience.  At sunset we board pangas to explore three small islets known as Las Marielas, home to one of the largest concentrations of Galápagos penguins in the islands.

Punta Moreno is perfect for an afternoon outing.  The stark barren beauty of the lava landscape is dotted with brackish ponds where we search for “shocking pink” American flamingos, as well as ducks and a variety of shorebirds.

Fernandina Island
Fernandina, the youngest of the volcanic islands, lies on the westernmost edge of the archipelago and is bathed by the cool waters of the Cromwell Current.  Our landing site at Punta Espinosa is our best chance to photograph nesting flightless cormorants, as well as great numbers of marine iguanas piled atop each other in animated heaps.  The nearby waters offer a unique opportunity to snorkel with foraging marine iguanas as they scrape algae from the gin-clear waters along the shoreline. 

Giant tortoise GalapagosFloreana Island
Floreana rises to a height of 2,100 feet and is studded with volcanic cinder cones. “Post Office Bay” is one of the key historic sites on the islands.  In the early 1800s, whalers in the area were the first to use an old barrel as a post box to send their mail home to family and friends.  The tradition continues today.  Search the barrel for mail directed to an address near your home, then deliver it when you return. You can also drop off a postcard to see how long it takes to be delivered to you!  Of course, as everywhere in the Galápagos, there is plentiful wildlife here as well.  Darwin’s finches abound and, in a small lagoon behind the beach, herons and shorebirds frequently rest in the vegetation. 

An old, eroded volcanic cone offshore is called the Devil’s Crown, and is a roosting site for boobies, pelicans and frigatebirds.  The center of the “crown” provides some of the best snorkeling in the Galápagos.  

At Punta Cormorant there are forests of palo santo and scalesia that harbor the endemic medium tree finch.  The pale green sand beaches and shallow lagoons are home to flamingos, as well as ducks.  

Española Island
Española Island is one of our favorite landing sites.  The island is virtually the world's sole nesting grounds of 12,000 endemic waved albatrosses. When we arrive the birds are in the peak of their courtship period.  As if that were not enough, the island is also home to blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropicbirds, Hood mockingbirds, sea lions, lava lizards and unusual (red) marine iguanas.  Punta Suarez is an outstanding site for wildlife, but also has a spectacular oceanside blowhole.  When heavy swells are running, the spray shoots 30 yards into the air. 

Waves crashing on Galapagos coastIt is hard to resist the antics of the lounging sea lion pups as they frolic in the shoreline surf, wrestle and play with each other, and pester their mothers at Gardner Bay.  All of this is set against a backdrop of turquoise water and azure sky.  

Day 17

We return to San Cristóbal Island and visit Puerto Baquerizo Moreno’s Interpretation Center.  Our 10:05 AM flight takes us to Quito by 2:50 PM.  Meet in the hotel lobby at a time TBD to go to dinner in the hotel restaurant.  (B, L on the plane, D)

Day 18 (Jun 15)

Depart for home. (B)

Please Note: Participants should allow for flexibility due to changes in weather, natural history events or other logistical arrangements deemed necessary by our leaders. Final determinations are subject to permits issued by the Galápagos National Park Service.

Our Ship—Tip Top II

The luxurious 104-foot Tip Top II offers the elegance and amenities to make your cruise a comfortable and unforgettable experience. Six cabins have twin or king beds, large windows with expansive ocean views, private baths and air conditioning. There are two single cabins with large windows with expansive ocean views, private baths and air conditioning. The yacht's spacious cabins are much more akin to cabins on a cruise ship rather than the small cabins with upper and lower berths featured on most vessels operating in the Galápagos.

There is a spacious air-conditioned dining room with an excellent dining experience, a well-appointed lounge area and bar, plus many decks—outstanding platforms for photography—with comfortable lounge chairs from which you can enjoy the relaxing sparkle of equatorial waters, discuss photography and natural history with our leaders and fellow travelers, as well as search for seabirds and whales.

Click to Enlarge Photos:

Tip Top IIDeckDining RoomPrivate Balcony Upper Deck CabinsCabins 1 & 2, Main DeckCabins 3–6, Main DeckCabins 9 & 10, Upper DeckDeck Plan Tip Top II
Print this Page

Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris Enrollment Information

Ultimate Galápagos

May 29, 2024 - Jun 15, 2024

A deposit and completed and signed Registration Form are required to reserve a place on a Joseph Van Os Photo Safari.


All prices are quoted in US dollars and all payments must be paid in US dollars. For deposits only we accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Final payment of the trip fee is due 120 days prior to departure and may be paid by check or bank transfer. If you wish to make your final payment with a credit card a 3% convenience fee will be charged.
We must receive written notice of your cancellation. Based on the cancellation date the following applies:

Trip deposits are non-refundable.
150-91 days before the trip start date: We will refund any payments made exceeding 50% of the total trip cost.
90-61 days before the trip start date: We will refund any payments made exceeding 75% of the total trip cost.
Within 60 days of the start of the trip: No refund.

If, on the trip start date, your space has been resold and the tour is full—as designated by “Limit” number of travelers on the tour website page—we will refund your payment, minus the non-refundable trip deposit and any discounts given to resell your space.

No partial refunds are made for unused portions or services of a trip for any reason. Trips are sold as a package only. This policy also applies to tour extensions and independent travel arrangements. Cancellation fees are not transferable.

Emergency evacuation insurance is REQUIRED for this tour. Upon request, we can provide travel insurance options that includes the required medical evacuation insurance. Participants purchasing trip insurance on their own should confirm that emergency evacuation is included in their policy.

We strongly encourage you to protect your travel investment and purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy that includes emergency evacuation coverage. We can provide travel insurance options, or it can be purchased online. A CANCEL FOR ANY REASON policy is available. Trip participants without travel protection insurance are considered “self-insured.” Without insurance you assume all risks and losses for any conditions requiring your cancellation.

Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris are within the capabilities of average people in good health. Some of these trips require the capability of walking for several miles over uneven trails, stepping from a small boat to a wave-washed rocky beach, flying in small planes and helicopters, and occasionally hiking at high elevations—all while carrying an assortment of camera equipment. If you have concerns about your own capabilities and/or fitness as it relates to a trip, please inquire with our office before reserving a space. By forwarding a signed Registration Form and trip deposit, you certify that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions of disability that would create a risk for you, or other trip participants and you agree to inform our office in writing if changes in your health, including viral illnesses, occur any time prior to the tour. We reserve the right to request a doctor's statement of good health. The company's or trip leader's judgment shall provide the ultimate determination of an individual's ability to embark upon or to continue a trip. Once a trip has been confirmed, medical circumstances will not be considered as exceptions to our cancellation policy. We assume no responsibility for medical care or for special dietary requirements. Tour members are asked to refrain from smoking with or near the group.

Participants will receive three emails before the trip departs: 1. Initial Tour Information sheet confirms the deposit and provides pre-departure information. 2. Invoice/Practical Information provides clothing and photo gear recommendations, climate data, and applicable health advisories. Visa information will also be included (if applicable). 3. Final Tour Information includes arrival instructions, itinerary revisions (if any), hotel addresses, trip telephone contact information and participant list. We provide the trip leader's telephone number(s) and/or email address with final documents so you can inquire about special photographic questions you may have regarding your trip. We welcome your calls or email messages to info@photosafaris.com.

Information supplied upon enrollment describes the specific details that are included in your trip fee. Generally, these include lodging in double room occupancy, all meals (specified in the itinerary as BLD denoting breakfast, lunch, or dinner), ground transportation during the trip in vans or small busses, internal tour air transportation as specified, meal and baggage tipping, and guide services provided by the trip leaders. Not included are airfare or other transportation from your home to the trip staging location, airport departure taxes, insurance, alcoholic beverages, and bar expenses (plus bottled water and soft drink expenses on international tours outside of North America), tips and gratuities to local guides, phone calls, passport or visa expenses, laundry, or items of a personal nature. Gratuities to Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris trip leaders are optional and always appreciated. Rates are based on group tariffs; if the trip does not have sufficient registration, a small party supplement may be charged.

Most of our trips are priced in double occupancy (shared) accommodations. Single accommodation is available for a supplemental cost in many locations; see the pre-departure trip information or call our office for details. You will be charged the single supplement fee if you desire single accommodation or if you wish to have a roommate, but one is not available. In some remote locations, clients with single rooms are infrequently compelled to share a room due to circumstances beyond our control. In such cases, appropriate per diem refunds will be made reflecting the direct cost of the single room at the facility where clients are required to share. There is no additional single supplement fee on ship-based cruises if you request a roommate and one is not available.

Cost increases may occur unexpectedly due to rising costs of airfares, ground transport, fuel surcharges, accommodations, and currency fluctuations, among others. Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. may be compelled to amend prices, and we reserve the right to do so without prior notice. An increase in trip prices shall not be sufficient grounds for any refund of funds paid for the trip other than as determined by the terms of our cancellation policy.

Whenever possible, our trip participants are lodged in comfortable, modern hotels. We select among the best available accommodations but refrain from extravagance. Some interesting photographic destinations are far removed from modern amenities, however, and where necessary we will be accommodated in rustic country inns, cabins, or tented camps.

Meals are always a special part of our trips for the camaraderie they engender and the opportunity they provide to try new foods from different areas. Depending on the trip and specific locale, participants order restaurant meals from the full menu or, less frequently, table d'hôte. Some trips include picnic lunches in the field. Fruit juice for breakfast and coffee or tea is included with the meals. Soft drinks are included with meals on tours within North America. Participants are responsible for their own bar tab (including bottled water, soft drinks, as well as alcoholic beverages on tours outside of North America) at restaurant lunches and dinners.

Our itineraries are intended as examples only. Participants should allow for flexibility due to changes in weather, natural history or cultural events, or other logistical arrangements deemed necessary by Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., or our leaders.

The second tour leader (and any subsequent additional leaders) listed for each trip on the website will be added as the group size warrants. If only one space remains on a trip, and logistics permit, we accept two people traveling together, even if it exceeds the trip maximum.

Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. and/or their Agents act only as agents for the passenger (trip participant) in regard to travel including, but not limited to, sightseeing, meals, lodging, transportation, and all other services whether by railroad, motor coach, automobile, van, boat, ship or aircraft or any other conveyance, and they assume no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity which may be occasioned for any reason whatsoever, or through the acts, bankruptcy or default of any company or person engaged in conveying the passenger or in carrying out the arrangements of the trip.

They can accept no responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay, cancellations or changes in flights or other tour services, and by force majeure including sickness, weather, strike, war, volcanic eruption, terrorist acts, political unrest, quarantine, epidemics, pandemics and outbreaks, or other causes. All such losses or expenses will have to be borne by the passenger, as trip fees provide for arrangements only for the times and locations stated. Baggage is at the owner's risk entirely.

The right is reserved to 1) substitute hotels of similar category for those indicated and to make any changes in the itinerary or transport where deemed necessary, or caused by changes in flight schedules or equipment substitution; 2) cancel any trip prior to departure due to low enrollment, in which case full refund of the paid trip funds will be given, but Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. is not responsible for any other trip preparation expenses such as penalized or non -refundable air tickets, visa fees, travel insurance premiums and medical related expenses; 3) At the company’s sole discretion, suspend or postpone any trip due to force majeure or disease outbreak in which case the trip may be rescheduled, or a refund issued less any non-refundable deposits paid to tour component providers on behalf of the passenger, or a travel credit given, but Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. is not responsible for any other trip preparation expenses such as penalized or non-refundable air tickets, visa fees and medical related expenses; 4) substitute trip leader(s) for the leader(s) originally specified, in which case the substitution is not a basis for participant cancellation or refund other than provided by our normal cancellation policy; or 5) accept or retain any person as a member of any trip.

Trip prices are based on tariffs and exchange rates in effect at the time of publication and are subject to adjustment in the event of any change therein.

A signed Registration Form with the Enrollment Conditions and Release and Assumption of Risk sections must be returned by each participant prior to the commencement of the trip. Participation by any trip member will be declined in the absence of the signed Registration Form including the Release and Assumption of Risk section, with no trip fee refund. No modification to the Registration Form including the Release and Assumption of Risk section will be accepted.

Should Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., or anyone acting on their behalf be required to incur attorney's fees and costs to enforce this agreement, the enrolling trip participant(s) agree(s) to indemnify and hold them harmless for all such fees and costs. In the event a lawsuit is filed, the enrolling participant(s) agree(s) to do so solely in the County of Lewis in the State of Washington.

I have read, understand, and agree to the terms, conditions, and provisions of the enrollment information, as stated on the Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris website and the Enrollment Conditions section of this form, especially noting the policy on cancellations, refunds, and limitations on responsibility.

I am aware that during any trip or tour that I am voluntarily participating in under the arrangements of Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., a Washington corporation, and its employees, agents and associates, certain risks and dangers exist while traveling in the United States, foreign countries, and wilderness areas in any country or territory that include the possibility of property damage, bodily injury, and death. There is a possibility of accident or illness occurring without access to immediate or timely medical treatment or facilities. There is a risk of tropical or communicable diseases that may require quarantine and removal from the tour at my expense, food-related illnesses, the risk of personal injury and property damage or delay or inconvenience by forces of nature, wildlife or wildlife models, quarantine, political instability, acts of terrorism, strikes, government restrictions or regulations change, thefts, and the risk of accidents during travel while on foot or by aircraft, train, automobile, van, bus, boat, ship, or other conveyance. I understand that such risks cannot be eliminated without jeopardizing the essential qualities of this trip or tour. In consideration of, and as part payment for the right to participate in such trips, tours and/or other activities and services arranged for me by Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., its employees, agents and associates, I have and do hereby assume all risks, and hereby release Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., its employees, shareholders, agents and associates, and will hold them harmless from any and all liability, actions, causes of actions, debts, claims, and demands of every kind and nature, howsoever caused, which I now have or which may arise of or in connection with any of my trips or tours and participation in any activities arranged for me by Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., its employees, agents and associates.

Should Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., or anyone acting on their behalf, be required to incur attorney's fees and costs to enforce this Agreement, I agree to indemnify them and hold them harmless for all such fees and costs. In the event a lawsuit is filed, I agree to do so solely in the County of Lewis in the State of Washington and further agree that the substantive law of that state shall apply in that action without regard to the conflict-of-law rules of that state. The terms hereof shall serve as a release and assumption of all risk for myself, my heirs, executors, and administrators, and for all members of my family.

If any part, article, paragraph, sentence, or clause of this Agreement is not enforceable, the affected provision shall be curtailed and limited only to the extent necessary to bring it within the requirements of the law, and the remainder of the Agreement shall continue in full force and effect.

I acknowledge that if anyone is hurt or property is damaged during my participation in this activity, I may be found by a court of law to have waived my right to maintain a lawsuit against Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., its employees, shareholders, agents, and associates, based on any and all claims from which I have released them.

Ultimate Galápagos: Moderate Activity Level

Luxury yacht, bus, and commercial aircraft transportation. Hiking on sandy beaches, rough lava, and rocky trails. Generally short slow walks infrequently for up to two miles round-trip during a few landings. Transfer from boat to shore in "Zodiac-style" pangas. Occasional wildlife and landscape photography from the pangas. Our pace is relaxed and very conducive for photography, but Gálpagos regulations require the entire group must stay within sight of our local Galápagos guide, and not leaving designated trails. Snorkeling from the boat and beaches in chilly water usually requiring thin wet suits.

Trip Details
May 29 - Jun 15, 2024
Fee: $16,995-$18,995 from Quito, Ecuador*
Deposit: $5,000
Limit: 14 participants
Activity Level: ModerateModerate
CABIN FEES per person

Upper Deck Twin, Private Outside Balcony: $17,995

Main Deck Twin, Window: $16,995

Main Deck Single, Window: $18,995 

* Fee includes round-trip airfare Quito-Galápagos-Quito.
  • Fourteen luxurious cruising days, with plenty of onshore time to explore virtually all of the most photogenic wildlife locations in the Galápagos, as well as the amazing "forgotten" islands of this famous archipelago
  • Cruise in a comfortable and spacious vessel with just 14 photographers and two outstanding leaders.
  • Catamaran provides plenty of outside deck space for photography
  • Colorful boobies, albatrosses, gulls and frigatebirds in courtship display within a few feet of your camera
  • Snorkel with Galápagos penguins, sea lions and spectacular colorful fish
  • Trip includes all meals and shipboard lodging, three nights hotel accommodations in Quito, round-trip flights to from Quito to the Galápagos, Quito city tour, Galápagos National Park fees, Zodiac transportation, photo guides and instruction
Play Video
Tour Leaders
Wayne Lynch

Wayne Lynch

and local Galápagos naturalist guide

Rarely does one take a trip in which the details are so totally handled that there is an environment provided for really creative photography.
—E. J. Wu

The Galápagos Islands are a must-see for any nature photographer. The trip with Van Os was outstanding in every way and provided incredible photo opportunities.
—P. Bick