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by James W. Milligan on Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:33 pm
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My wife and I are planning a trip for 2019 with Nat Geo.and would like suggestions as to the best time of year for the trip-we are thinking of Aug-Oct.
 

by Phil Shaw on Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:29 pm
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If I were thinking of going to the Galapagos for photography, I would first look at the workshop and tours tab here on NatureScapes and see if there was a Naturescapes tour. The difference between a NatureScapes tour and most others, is that the Naturescape tours are focused on photography and draw on a client base that is interested in making quality images. Many other "photography" tours are really wildlife viewing with cameras - a big difference. Most big photography tour companies that offer multiple departure dates are going to give you a wildlife viewing experience where you can take photographs, rather than a specific, well researched wildlife photography tour. This has been my experience over the years.
 

by pablo on Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:56 pm
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I second the recommendation to look for a tour specifically for photography, and add the idea to look for small size tours. On several occasions in Alaska and in Galapagos I have been ashore when the larger boats were present. First, they swamp the area. But also, they seem to be in a hurry which is surprising to me. Just back from Alaska where our small party of seven was ashore before a National Geographic tour. Several groups of 12 to 16 people rushed past us never pausing to see anything much less photograph, The last group was returning before we were two thirds of the way to the lake. They acted like it was a race. We were there another 1-1/2 hours and had plenty of time to photograph. Saw same in Galapagos. You deserve better.
 

by Anthony Medici on Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:20 pm
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In terms of the best time periods to visit the Galapagos, the best times of year I'd recommend are either the April/May timeframe or the November/December time frame. There is a dry and wet season and a hotter and not as hot season. There are also times of year that the water is slightly warmer or colder than other times of year. The two time frames listed have to do with what is mating on the islands and where you are likely to see different animals.

If the Nat Geo trip you were considering is one of their boats that hold 50 or more people, those boats are restricted from going to many of the better landing sites. And as noted, either their groups are very quick with younger people or cater to much older people which tend to do much shorter hikes.

In the last 5 years, I've been on 3 Thom Hogan trips (he currently doesn't have one scheduled) and the Naturescapes trip with Greg. Greg uses the Beagle while Thom uses Wilderness Travel to arrange his trips. Wilderness Travel uses the Mary Anne but has also used of the Ecoventura boats. The Letty (Ecoventura) and the Beagle are 1/2 the length of the Mary Anne so things are much tighter onboard for a full tour size of 12-16. The Beagle and Mary Anne are sail boats though they usually only run under sail for a few hours a week at most. Each boat has different types of equipment for snokeling with some providing full wet suits and some providing shorties. Since you could be in the water snorkeling once or twice a day, the type of gear provided might make a difference to you. You might also consider bringing your own equipment for snorkeling.

Personally, I think the 14+ day tours are better than the 7-10 day tours since you get to travel and visit all the stops the boat uses on the eastern side and the western side of the Galapagos. If you choose the shorter tour, you pick an itinerary for either the eastern islands or the western ones.
Tony
 

by James W. Milligan on Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:26 am
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Thanks for all of the suggestions. This trip is a family trip with my wife.Therefore,I need a trip that works best for the two of us. We will travel on the Nat Geo Islander, which is less than 50 people and I have found they do cater to the photographers.

I always pick a photo tour when photography is the goal and the venue is not something my wife isn't interested in. Thanks again for the input.
 

by Anthony Medici on Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:21 am
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The Nat Geo Islander takes 48 people at most. For all land excursions, they would break up the people into four 16 people groups.

The site doesn't really show each ship's itinerary. It only shows which islands might be in the trip. And to me, it only shows 3 tours in 2019 with a photography leader. Those are all on the Endeavor rather than the Islander. I think each photography leader picked a time of the year that they liked. All of them are with in time periods I'd consider.
Tony
 

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