Galapagos, amongst divers, evoke dreams of endless schools of hammerheads and scores of whale sharks. The enchanted islands are without a doubt one of the top diving destinations in the world, if not the best one. Photographically, however, the classic diving itineraries to the islands Darwin and Wolf rarely deliver good opportunities for stunning and pleasing imagery.
“Take part in an island cruise to take the best underwater pictures!”
This sounds counter-intuitive, but I can only confirm this statement. The itineraries of island cruises on boats typically consist of morning and late afternoon landings with the time before lunch and after lunch spent snorkelling.
It is worth checking the plan of the landings because rockpools alongside the visitor paths on the islands offer many excellent opportunities for split photography. In the shallows, the animals are curious and often fearless. A young pelican attempted to devour my GoPro camera. Courting cormorants did not care about my presence, and if allowed them they would court on top of my head. A marine iguana used my camera and my mask as stepping stones to the surface. Penguins disappear as quickly as they appear just in front of the snorkelers.
All this on top of the spectacular land-based photographic opportunities featuring iconic Galapagos animals such as waved albatrosses, land iguanas and giant tortoises.
The Galapagos islands are a must-visit destination. If you are an underwater photographer, think twice about the opportunities deep under water or just on the surface.
Josef Litt, the author of GALÁPAGOS, one of the best guides to the islands, leads diving trips and island cruises to the famous archipelago.