The Galapagos Islands is a bucket list location for many photographers. Wildlife is abundant, and the lack of natural predators has left the animals fearless of humans.


From the playful sea lion pups to the famous Darwin finches, this trip will allow close up opportunities rarely found elsewhere in the world.

Elegant and comfortable, the Natural Paradise ship offers nine cabins, four with private balconies; for a total of 16 guests. John Greengo Photography Tours has secured the exclusive use of the ship and world-class crew. Her social areas include a beautiful teak sundeck with Jacuzzi and a cozy al fresco dining.


Galapagos Islands

October 21-29 2024

from $9,900/person Double | from $11,200/person Single

Tour leaders: John Greengo and Michelle Greengo

This trip is open to all, no matter where you hail from and no matter what your level of experience in photography. The trip will concentrate on above-water photography but there will be some opportunities for snorkeling and underwater photography for those interested. We expect most photographers will be using interchangeable-lens cameras with lenses reaching out to 300mm or further.

Whether this is your first international trip or you're a seasoned traveler, John and Michelle are here to make your trip memories ones that last a lifetime.

image taken in Galapagos Islands

Your Guides

headshot of John Greengo

John Greengo

Tour Leader & Photographer
headshot of Michelle Greengo

Michelle Greengo

Tour Guide & Photographer

Tour Itinerary

9 days of Travel Photography

Day 1 Monday, October 21

Upon your arrival at Quito airport, transfer to our nearby hotel. After checking into your room, wind down from your flight, relax by the indoor pool, or workout in the fitness center. At your leisure, you can then make your way to the hotel restaurant for a buffet dinner. We will all gather in the hotel lobby at 8pm for a meet ‘n greet and welcome drinks.

Retire early tonight; we have an early start tomorrow.

D | Accommodation: Wyndham Quito Airport (or similar)

Day 2 Tuesday, October 22

Baltra Island, Eden Islet

This morning, the group will gather in the hotel lobby at 5:20am for our transfer to Quito airport. We will go through a few special check-in procedures for the Galapagos Islands and board our flight.

Once arriving in Galapagos, we will make our way through immigration and then transfer to our luxury yacht, where we will settle in before lunch, and a welcome and safety briefing.

Our first activity takes place after lunch, with a panga ride (dinghy) at Eden Islet, off the western coast of Santa Cruz Island. This is our first opportunity to photograph the popular Blue-footed Booby and Nazca Booby.

After a busy day, get rocked to sleep while we sail overnight across the equator.

BLD | Accommodation: Natural Paradise

Day 3 Wednesday, October 23

Isabela Island, Fernandina Island

The largest island in the Galapagos archipelago, Isabela Island, was formed when extensive lava flows of six volcanoes joined to make an island - in the shape of a seahorse. This morning we will visit our first Isabela Island site, Vicente Roca Point, located at the chin of that seahorse.

On our morning panga ride at Vicente Roca Point, sea lions play around (and under) the panga, marine iguanas soak up the morning sun, and a variety of birds sit on, and soar above, the rocky shoreline - Brown Pelican, Blue-footed Booby, Great Frigatebird, terns, as well as Galapagos Penguin; the only penguin to be found in the Northern hemisphere.

Back on board, we’ll have a scrumptious morning tea. All those that are interested in snorkeling will take part in gear distribution and the safety briefing prior to us going back out on the pangas. There will be a snorkeling opportunity here in the area’s calm water where you can swim with the Sea Turtles.

In the afternoon we embark on our first landing, on Fernandina Island, the archipelago’s youngest and most volcanically active island. The westernmost island, it is one of the few that have escaped invasion by introduced species, and as a result the island’s pristine ecosystem has been preserved. Espinoza Point is the island’s only landing site and is arguably one of the best in the archipelago. The mass of Marine Iguanas, Sea Lions, and Sally Lightfoot Crabs means we must carefully negotiate our path through on the hardened lava flows. This location is also one of the biggest nesting sites of the Flightless Cormorant.

We finish the day with a briefing from our naturalist guide and an image review with John, ending with a photography Q&A.

Saying farewell to Fernandina Island, we sail, overnight, through the Bolivar Channel; one of the best places to see whales in the Galapagos.

BLD | Accommodation: Natural Paradise

Day 4 Thursday, October 24

Isabela Island

Our morning activity is at Urbina Bay on Isabela Island - one of the many visitor sites in the archipelago that is exclusively available to Galapagos cruise guests (no land based tour operators allowed). This location is our first chance at photographing, up-close, the famous Galapagos Giant Tortoise and the Land Iguana. From the moment we land on the beach and through the nature trail there is ample opportunity to capture images of the shoreline birds - from Flightless Cormorants to Galapagos Hawks.

Moreno Point, also on Isabela Island, will be our afternoon stop. Here we have a slightly longer walk on ancient lava flows. Lava rocks can be difficult to negotiate; the terrain is uneven, so care should be taken. You will be rewarded with a mangrove that is frequented by flamingoes, White-cheeked Pintails, and cranes.

BLD | Accommodation: Natural Paradise

Day 5 Friday, October 25

Isabela Island

Today is our final day on the magnificent Isabela Island, spending most of our time in and around the island’s main town, Port Villamil. We start with a 30 minute bus ride to the start of our hike to Sierra Negra Volcano’s caldera; an impressive 6.2 miles (10 km) wide. The site offers impressive views and the opportunity to photograph up to seven species of finches. It is pleasantly cooler in the highlands, and our hike to the caldera is frequently muddy and misty.

In the afternoon we can witness life in the town; visit the historical site called “Wall of Tears” - constructed by penal colony prisoners; walk through the nearby wetlands. To end the day we’ll visit the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center - created to protect animals in their first years of life from the threats of foreign species such as pigs and donkeys. Giant tortoise eggs are collected and brought to the center where they are hatched and kept for five years before being released to their natural environment; an effort to restore the ecological balance that is inspiring.

Today is capped off with an image review.

BLD | Accommodation: Natural Paradise

Day 6 Saturday, October 26

Chinese Hat Islet, Mosquera Islet

To start the day, we visit Chinese Hat, a small islet located near the southeast coast of Santiago Island. The islet’s name comes from the distinct shape of the its summit. It is a great location to view many geological formations such as lava tubes and lava flows, some of which were formed underwater and subsequently raised above sea level. The presence of coral heads on the lava flow makes this a great site for snorkeling with an abundance of marine species, marine iguanas and sea lions. A hike on the islet provides impressive views and opportunities to see Galapagos Hawks.

Mosquera Islet, located between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour, is our afternoon location. The white-sand beaches of this tiny island are yours to explore. Expect to see a large variety of wildlife - including sea lions, crabs, and many shorebird species. There have been occasional reports of Orcas at this site.

BLD | Accommodation: Natural Paradise

Day 7 Sunday, October 27

Floreana Island, Champion Islet

Today is dedicated solely to Floreana Island; the smallest of the four human-inhabited islands in the archipelago. It was the first of the Galapagos islands to support a permanent human population, and has a mysterious history.

We’ll make landings at a few different locations on and around the island; Post Office Bay being the most well-known. In the 18th century whalers passing through the islands placed a wooden barrel on Floreana Island for use as an unofficial mail box. The tradition continues today as visitors leave addressed postcards in the barrel and sort through left mail to deliver upon their return home.

In the afternoon, we visit Cormorant Point, a site that hosts a large flamingo lagoon where other birds such as common stilts and white-cheeked pintails can also be seen. A short walk will take us from one side of the peninsula to the other, stopping at lagoon viewpoints on our way. The beaches on this island are distinct: one named for its green color, with the “Four Sand Beach” composed of white coral.

Champion Islet is our final site for the day. It’s a small island and is considered one of the most beautiful places in the Galapagos for snorkeling and offers an excellent opportunity for dolphin watching.

BLD | Accommodation: Natural Paradise

Day 8 Monday, October 28

Espanola Island

Overnight, we sail to the remote island of Espanola. At the western tip of the island, Suarez Point is a great area for spotting the Blue-footed Booby and Nazca Booby. A dry landing leads us to a trail towards cliffs. This ideal site for photographic opportunities is the breeding site of nearly all of the worlds 12,000 pairs of Waved Albatrosses; the albatrosses use the cliffs as a launching pad. This site is teeming with birdlife; hawks, oystercatchers and finches, to name a few.

Unique to Espanola is a marine iguana subspecies, nicknamed “Christmas Iguana”, that are splotched with bright red and green colors around the end of the year.

In the afternoon we’ll explore the white sand beach of Gardner Bay, where you can often see the Espanola Mockingbird. Endemic to Espanola, it is the only carnivorous mockingbird species. Sea Lions, Marine Iguanas and Sally Lightfoot Crabs congregate at the eastern end of the beach.

On our final night of the cruise we will have a final image review and celebratory dinner.

BLD | Accommodation: Natural Paradise

Day 9 Tuesday, October 29

Lobos Island, San Cristobal Island

Waking up on our final day of the tour we head to, the aptly named, Lobos Island - “Sea Lion Island”. The noisy sea lions frolic in the shallow water and pull ashore to snuggle with their pups. A tricky walking path through marine iguanas basking in the sun leads you to the nesting grounds of Blue-footed Boobies and frigatebirds.

Later in the morning, we disembark from our home on the Natural Paradise, and arrive at the Galapagos Islands’ capital, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, on San Cristobal Island. This island was Charles Darwin’s first stop on his voyage of the archipelago in 1835.

To end the trip, enjoy the free time exploring the town and the shoreline walks or visit the Interpretation Center. Later in the morning we head to the airport for our flight back to Quito on the mainland.

B | -


Wild Galapagos 2024: PDF version of Itinerary

Wild Galapagos 2024: Terms & Conditions




What animals might I see on this trip?



Galapagos Penguin, Waved Albatross, petrels, Brown Pelican, Blue-footed Booby, Nazca Booby, Flightless Cormorant, frigatebirds, gulls, Great Blue Heron, egrets, herons, American Flamingo, Pied-billed Grebe, White-cheeked Pintail, American Oystercatcher, Black-necked Stilt, Black-bellied Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Wandering Tattler, sandpipers, Sanderling, Whimbrel, Galapagos Hawk, Osprey, owls, Belted Kingfisher, mockingbirds, Vermillion Flycatcher, Galapagos Flycatcher, Yellow Warbler, Smooth-billed Ani, 8 of the 14 species of "Darwin's" finches


Galapagos Giant Tortoise, Marine Iguana, Land Iguana, Lava Lizard, Gecko, Yellow-bellied Sea Snake, Galapagos Land Snake


Galapagos Sea Lion, Galapagos Fur Seal, Killer Whale (Orca), Short-finned Pilot Whale, Finback Whale, Humpback Whale, Bryde's Whale, Bottlenose Dolphin, Striped Dolphin, Common Dolphin, Hoary Bat


Sally Lightfoot Crab, Painted Locus, Gulf Star

Underwater Wildlife:

Green Sea Turtle, Leatherback, Olive Ridley Sea Turtle, White-tipped Reef Shark, Scalloped Hammerhead, Galapagos Shark, Spotted Eagle Ray, Golden Ray, Stingray, Butterflyfish, King Angelfish, Yellow-tailed Surgeonfish, Parrotfish, Sergeant Major, coral


Ship Details


Elegant and comfortable, Natural Paradise offers nine cabins, four of them with private balconies. Her social areas include a beautiful teak sundeck with Jacuzzi and a cozy al fresco dining. On the main deck you will find a spacious lounge and dining room. Snorkelling equipment, wetsuits and sea kayaks are available on board.

  • Year of construction: 2016

  • Length: 111 feet (34 meters)

  • Beam: 26 feet (8 meters)

  • Draft: 4 feet (1.4 meters)

  • Speed: 14 knots

  • Safety & Navigation: FURUNO Radar, GPS, Depth sounders, ACR radio, VHF - DSS radio, ABC Fire Extinguishers, all required navigation equipment

What others have experienced

John was great at keeping track of people, offering photo tips or equipment when needed, and making sure everyone was getting what they wanted out of the trip. He often offered extra shoots for anyone interested, before our planned day began or after it ended, so that was like getting "bonus tracks." (And I especially appreciated that he didn't discount my commitment or skills, just because I brought a very simple camera with me!) He made a point of being very inclusive, and was also a lot of fun!!

It's indisputable that John is like a traveling encyclopedia of boundless photographic knowledge on CreativeLive. We were so happy to meet in person the guy who pretty much taught us (and continues to teach us) almost everything we know about the key fundamentals of photography. It was great to see how his creative vision worked. Also, the fact that he's structured and disciplined, yet easygoing and a bunch of fun to hang around with, makes future considerations for a Greengo branded tour a no-brainer.

I'd tell someone thinking about traveling with John and Kenna to jump at the chance. That they'd get great opportunities, the trip will be well planned (yet flexible) and they'd get tons of good opportunities for photos.