WT adventurers, Dana and Mark Warnquist, embarked on one of our special departures to the Galápagos with renowned wildlife photographer Frans Lanting. The group was able to explore these enchanting islands with daily hikes and snorkeling opportunities during a 10-day photo workshop. Below are some of the wonderful photos Dana captured during their time there.

Sea lion pup on beach in the galapagos
A sea lion pup strikes a pose for the camera

The Galápagos are one of those special places we have all read about, and my guess is that it is on most people’s list of must-visit places. And for good reason. For a nature photographer like myself, a visit to the Galápagos Isles was a dream come true. For a history buff like my husband, it provided a greater understanding of Darwinism. It is truly a special place. Now envision taking the week-long excursion with world-renowned nature photographer, Frans Lanting. Imagine my surprise when my husband told me this was how we would celebrate my 50th birthday.

Galapagos penguins walking out of the water
Galápagos penguins waddling their way out of the warm waters

When you arrive in Guayaquil, the adventure you are about to embark on hasn’t quite set in. However, once you set foot on the small vessel you’ll call home for the next week, it does. Experiencing the Galápagos on a small boat not only allowed us to explore and enjoy the islands without the crowds and at our leisure, but the intimate accommodations also fostered great evening conversations and ultimately great friendships.

blue-footed booby standing on rock in the galapagos
This blue-footed booby was as curious about us as we were with it

Each day of the trip is a new adventure. Rise early to capture the morning light—for the photographers on board, this is the perfect time to capture the soft lighting of the sky—and explore a different island or area, accompanied by Frans Lanting and the experienced Trip Leaders.

sunrise landscape in the galapagos
Staying on a boat allowed us to wake up to views like this

Photographers have 10+ hours a day access to Frans, his perspectives, his techniques, and guidance. Naturalist Jonathan Green offered incredible insights into the unique ecosystem of the Galápagos that thoroughly enriched the experience.

Sea lions sunbathing in the galapagos
Sea lions sunbathing on one of the many white-sand beaches

And then there was snorkeling with diving penguins and playful sea lion pups, which brought huge smiles to our faces and long-lasting memories.

bartolome peak in the galapagos
The view from the top of Bartolome Peak is stunning

The fragile ecosystems of each island is different. So much so that, as we learned from Darwin, finches have evolved differently from one isle to the next.

Nazca booby with her chick in the galapagos
Nazca booby with her chick

One must tread lightly here as those who make this their home know no fear of guests to the islands. That said, this makes for great photo opportunities, even for non-photographers.

Sally Lightfoot crabs in the galapagos
Sally Lightfoot crabs scampering along the rocks

The Galápagos wildlife is unlike anywhere else: blue-footed boobies, Sally Lightfoot crabs, ancient giant tortoises, sea lions, penguins, marine iguanas, and don’t forget the finches, just to name a few.

iguanas in the galapagos
Prehistoric-looking iguanas giving us a farewell to these enchanting islands

Our trip was amazing. I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to be in this place and in the company of these friends, all made possible by the WT team.

—Photos and text by WT Adventurer Dana Warnquist, Galápagos Photo Workshop with Frans Lanting. Learn more about our Galápagos program here.

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