Wildlife Photography on the Galapagos Islands

Nellie Huang November 14, 2012 3

A Galapagos land lizard hides under a cactus for shade on North Seymour Island.

As a wildlife buff, my travels are often fuelled by my interest in animals and their natural habitats. I’ve traveled from Madagascar in search of lemurs to Africa for the Big Five and Australia to hang out with koalas and kangaroos — but  the Galapagos Islands remains my favorite spot for wildlife experiences.

Marooned 500 miles away from continental Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, this group of volcanic islands is a huge marine reserve,  home to a vast number of rare and endemic animals. Due to its remote location, these animals are well-protected, and most of all, they do not see human beings as a threat. I swam with mischievous sea lions, hugged a giant Galapagos tortoise, and sat beside a blue-footed boobie – most of them were as curious of us as we were of them.

Whether you are an animal lover or not, wildlife in the Galapagos will be sure to move you. Here’s a look at the photos we captured on the Galapagos Islands – I hope they’ll give you an idea of how close and intimate the wildlife encounters can be on the islands.

A baby sea lion peeks at me from under a rock, yawns, and goes back to snooze on the beach.

Look how big this Galapagos tortoise is! There are plenty of them on Floreana island.

On North Seymour, we found hundreds of fregate birds resting on the tree branches.

This blue-footed booby didn’t move one bit when I circled it and actually sat down next to it for a few minutes.

We were swimming at Tortuga Bay when we found this marine iguana, tanning itself on a rock. This creature can move as fast on land as under water.

This other marine iguana looked happy to be posing for the camera.

Watching a turtle underwater.


  1. Olivia Mair December 17, 2012 at 6:24 am - Reply

    I visited the Galapagos in 2001 before I became interested in photography. I’ve been desperately wanting to go back ever since, especially with my DSLR!! Looking at these shots has made my itchy feet even itchier!

  2. Jodi February 1, 2013 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    Love your photos! I’m going to Galapagos with G on Tuesday and am sooo excited. What lenses do you recommend? I’m thinking my 70-200?

    • Attit Patel February 4, 2013 at 3:32 pm - Reply

      A 70-200 is a great lens to have for wildlife, but I would also suggest taking a wide angle lens to capture the beautiful landscapes.

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