Q: I understand that there are two ways to experience the GALÁPAGOS, via cruise or "island hopping." What are differences?
A: The Galápagos consist of 7 primary islands, 23 smaller islands, and any number of islets. If you choose to do a land-based tour, you would base yourself on one or two of the four populated islands (Santa Cruz, Isla Isabella, Isla Floreana and San Cristobal) and explore those islands or take day-tours to visit others. "Island Hopping" allows for more flexibility and is typically less expensive. Cruises visit many of the same islands but also allow you to reach some of the more remote locations because the boats can travel at night. Perhaps more importantly for photographers, cruises allow passengers to come ashore on those islands both earlier and later in the day when the light is best.
Q: most Other photography workshops in the galapagos are entirely from a boat. Why do you offer a mix of a cruise and "island hopping."
A: We love wildlife and landscape photography. In order to get the most diverse selection of animals and landscapes (in those all-important golden and blue hours), it is important to spend some time aboard a yacht. Because travel within the Galápagos is highly regulated by the national park service, with itineraries set a year in advance, it is important that we reserve our spots via cruise for some of the most sought-after locations. At the same time, our goal for this workshop is to help you become better photographers, not simply better wildlife or landscape photographers. The populated islands are full of opportunities to explore Galápageno culture and expand your photographic toolbox. We will visit a coffee co-op, for example, where the villagers spend weekends harvesting and roasting beans. Here we will work on skills from visual storytelling to taking meaningful portraits with off-camera flash.
Q: most trips to the galapagos of this length, photography-based or not, cost significantly more, ranging from ten to fifteen thousand dollars. Why are you guys less expensive?
A: There are two primary reasons. The first is that while David and Leonardo have decades of photography and teaching experience, Dirty Boots is new enterprise. Our goal is to provide a first-class product for a reasonable price and establish our brand. As long as we don't spend too much of the kids' college fund, we are confident that our short-term sacrifices will allow us to locate a client base made up of people who will become repeat customers. Secondly, we believe that those clients come from a population that is currently underserved. Most photo workshops in the Galápagos are based entirely on a boat. This gets very expensive and, just as importantly, misses opportunities to experience the human culture of the islands. Our trips blend the luxury of yacht travel with the adventure of "island hopping" to create not only a unique workshop, but a less expensive one as well.
Q: I see that the cabins are all double occupancy. What if I am traveling by myself?
A: Like virtually all small yachts in the Galápagos, the Millennium's cabins are double occupancy to keep the size of the boat manageable. This makes it a great opportunity to bring along a partner or friend who wants to experience "the enchanted islands" ($250 discount for the second person, whether photographer or not). If you are traveling alone, we will match you up with another solo traveler (preferably of the same gender) for the duration of the cruise. Similarly, if you do not purchase a single-room hotel package ($500 additional fee), we will place you in a double-occupancy room in San Cristobal and Santa Cruz. For those that want additional room on the boat, two suites are available that have a larger living space and bed ($700 additional fee).
Q: how physically strenuous is the trip?
A: The trip is not physically strenuous. However, there is a lot of getting in and out of small zodiac boats so this trip might not be a good fit for people with mobility issues. Is it important to remember that we will be on the equator so drinking lots of water and covering up is a must!
Q: What if I have a medical emergency?
A: Our primary concern is your safety and comfort. To ensure this, we require that clients purchase travel medical and evacuation insurance. This guarantees that not only will you be taken care of should something happen, but if someone does need medical attention, the rest of the participants can continue the workshop without too much drisruption.
Q: Do I need any special vaccinations to go to the Galapagos?
A: While many people travel to the Galapagos without any additional vaccines, it is always a good idea to ask your doctor or check with the CDC to see what they recommend for international travel.
Q: What should I bring?
A: See our FAQs page about camera and other photographic equipment. As we get closer to the date, we will send out emails with more detailed instructions, including a suggested packing list.
Q: It sounds incredible! How can I reserve my spot?
A: Just click here or go to the contact page and drop us an email telling us you want to go! We will get back to you within 24 hrs confirming your spot and asking that you send us a check for 25% of the total cost (for a 3% processing fee, you may also pay with PayPal or Stripe). A second payment of 50% of the total cost is due 140 days before the start of the trip. Please wait until this this payment is requested to book your airfare to Guayaquil. The final 25% is due sixty days before the start of the trip. Because this trip requires the advance charter of the Millennium, payments made for this workshop are non-refundable, our other Terms and Conditions apply.