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Travel Vision Photo Journeys

Ten Reasons to Put The Galapagos at the Top of Your Bucket List

Posted by Lauren Hefferon on Sep 3, 2016 7:44:40 AM

 

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Join Travel Vision Journeys on the

Enchanted Islands in 2017

Few places in the world combine reach such perfection as the Galapagos and to discover the treasures of these islands aboard the Beluga was pure nirvana. This past August, I fulfilled a travel fantasy of cruising the Galapagos and my expectations were exceeded in every way and I savor the memories daily

Here are 10 reasons why I consider the Galapagos a “Perfect Ten” travel destination and an absolute must for any nature or aquatic lover and why I am so excited to return to and co-lead our Travel Vision Journeys photo tour there in 2017

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1. The iconic islands are a magical, mystical and must-see destination

The Galapagos is iconic and is on many travelers bucket list and now I know why. The stories and photos of getting up close to rare species who are unaffected by our presence are true and the result is transformational. Each magical island has stories to tell and it’s own unique environment to discover. The Origin of Species legacy and Darwin’s incredible contribution to the world’s scientific knowledge of species is fascinating. His amazing discoveries, after only 5 weeks on the islands, are part of the enticing and inspiring fabric of the priceless Galapagos experience.

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2. A rare opportunity to get up close with endemic birds, wildlife & sea creatures like you never have before

From the giant tortoise, fur sea lions, and marine iguanas to the Blue-Footed Boobies and Galapagos penguins, the endemic wildlife is abundant and fascinating. At every turn, creatures wander before our eyes and  proof of our planet’s amazing and complex diversity. You'll be awestruck learning how each species arrived on these desolate volcanic islands or why they are so at home with humans in their midst. The Galapagos are a remarkable and inspiring reminder that people can live in harmony in the animal world. You walk a trail where a sea lion is nursing her pup, where a rare mockingbirds curiously walks across your backpack or where pelicans seem to prune and pose for the camera

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3. Tune in your senses and be seduced by exotic and serene landscapes

The landscapes are a striking display of colors and shapes--white sandy beaches and turquoise waters against a black lava shore, red ochre formations against a purple sky and a full moon, sultry lagoons framed by strange trees and exotic cactus towering over a turbulent sea. It is an intoxicating place that provokes the imagination and curiosity. Enjoying these exotic views at sunrise, sunset or by the light of the silvery moon is pure magic. 

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4. The Galapagos are one of the most protected places on Earth

Most of the islands in Galapagos are remote, with no human life. The number of visitors allowed into the Galapagos National Park per year is restricted, and you must travel to protected areas with a licensed guide. In 1978, UNESCO designated the Galapagos Islands as the first World Heritage site so the islands have a long history of respecting and conserving and sustaining the fragile environment. The Galapagos are an impressive model of conservation—from the highly controlled number of visitors to the carefully timed trail usage Our selection of the small boat operator La Beluga, guarantees the highest conservation standards will be upheld. The Beluga is outfitted exclusively for the Galapagos Islands and has been awarded the Smart Voyager certification for adhering to conservation standards. 

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5. The enchanting and seductive serenity of the small luxury boat experience

There are many ways to experience the Galapagos. The Travel Vision Journey experience of staying on a small boat operated by one of the island’s pioneers is unsurpassed. Our small group size ensures you have access to the best sites, most of which are closed to the bigger cruise ships. At night you are rocked to sleep in your cozy cabin and long before you awake your experience is perfectly managed by the Beluga’s professional and expert crew. Before each excursion, equipment is prepared, the crew is attentive and coffee and healthy snacks are available just when you crave and need them. The Beluga crew has mastered the art of itinerary flow so the days are full but incredibly relaxing. A sea rhythm is established and this offers peace of mind and allows us to relax and appreciate the magical island life. Timing is the most important aspect of a truly successful travel experience and the crew ensures that each excursion happens at the perfect time—a sunrise snorkel when the turtles are most active, a sunset walk when the light is just right and sea birds are feeding or a walk on a white coral beach long before the other tourists arrive.

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6. An open-air classroom and sanctuary of Darwinism in action

The Galapagos Islands are a natural laboratory where you can closely observe land and marine life in their native habitats. You may know about El Niño or have read the book The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, but you'll treasure going behind the scenes and watch those theories unfold before your eyes. An expert naturalist with decades of experience accompanies our Travel Vision Galapagos Magic tour at all times. Each day he orientates us to what we will see and at every step of the way we learn about the fascinating animals, plants, geology and history of the Galapagos. In the evening we review our learnings and check off our list of creatures and plants seen. 

 7. Three delicious meals daily, abundant snacks and freshly squeezed juices

Eating well is an essential component of any adventure and aboard the Beluga every meal is a healthy and delightfully varied blend of fresh and natural ingredients including abundant fresh salads and seasonal vegetables. After each excursion there are healthy snacks and fruit juices. The food is beyond outstanding—healthy, varied and incredibly fresh giving us just the right amount of energy. Specific dietary requirements? No problem. The master chef creates meals to suit every taste and need. Saludos!

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8. Savor life at sea as you snorkel with seals, Galapagos Penguins or sharks (nice ones!)

One of the most exciting moments of my life was to swim underwater and be face to face with a playful sea lion that seemed to love showing off his nimble body. You are hundreds of miles away from the nearest continent with nothing but vast open waters and a handful of boats so the ocean serenity and solitude is profound. Aquatic lovers will savor the rich marine life by snorkel, swim or kayak. The Galapagos is second only to the Great Barrier Reef National Park of Australia in terms of the size of protected marine area. Over 444 fish species have been documented in this area, of which 10% are endemic. Expect to be amazed as you glide past sea cucumbers, sea urchins, crabs, shrimps, sponges, rays, mantas, black corals, sea slugs, chitons, scallops and sea stars among hundreds of other colorful marine life. There is hardly any area that doesn’t make for a good spot for snorkeling, a daily activity encouraged by the naturalists while visiting the warm and spectacular Galapagos waters.

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 9. A unique opportunity to capture the most amazing photos of your life with master teacher Ossian Lindholm

Ossian Lindholm, who has been capturing stunning landscape and wildlife all of his life, considers the Galapagos the premier photographic destination in South America. Each day on our Galapagos Magic photo tour he will guide you towards the perfect angle to capture the fascinating wildlife and the stunning landscapes in the perfect light. The best way to learn to take better photographs is to immediately put theory into practice. Ossian masterfully blends instructional sessions with island exploration and hands-on practice. What are the best settings to pan the flight of an albatross freeze a dolphin leaping alongside our boat or perfectly capture the glow of the pink moon over a lava field? You will learn these secrets from Ossian and more. During “down” time on the boat, Ossian will offer power point instruction as well review your photos to ensure that you are successfully capturing the essence of your Galapagos experience. We guarantee that Our Galapagos Magic photo tour with Ossian Lindholm will deliver the best possible travel and photographic experience. He will inspire and spark your passion for photography and you'll look at nature like you've never done before. With ideal scenery, close proximity to animals, and frequent wildlife sightings, even if you are only a beginner, you will leave the island with some of the most amazing photos of your life.

Enjoy his recent photos of the Galapagos

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10. Enjoy this Travel Vision Galapagos trip of a lifetime with like-minded travelers

Travel with others who share your curiosity and craving to slow down, tune in to their senses and see more. Together with many wondering eyes you'll share some amazing experiences---you'll photograph and experience a rare owl pursue its prey, the skies bustling with noisy birds, a school of dolphins, lava lizards covering the shore or an albatross mating dance.  Photo walks with like-minded travelers is an inspiring experience in which you learn about what you photograph: seabirds and the story of island migration, the interaction of exotic cactus and lava lizards and the colorful albatross mating dance. The benefit of a photography tour is that the whole group is excited to be immersed in a sensory experience and going at the same mindful pace! No deadlines, no distractions, no hurry! 

Ready to join me in 2017? Our tour here will sell out soon so please call soon. I am happy to answer all of your questions. lauren@ciclismoclassico.com   1-617-640-4837

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