GLAMOROUS GALAPAGOS WITH MARIANA DOWNING
Produced by Hillary Latos
Photography Gabriel Pazmino gabopazmino.com
Model Mariana Downing
Hair & Makeup Michelle Salvador
Retouching Sergio Munez Sergior.com
Styling Assistants Tanya Tauthong Kass & Tash Bazika
A special thank you to Jetblue Airways and Go Galapagos Ecuador www.gogalapagos.com
Though the Galapagos Islands has been carefully preserved and protected where little has changed since the beginning of time, is a destination that will forever change you after a visit. It's truly a magical place where time has stood still and we can observe the wonders and consummate power of nature first hand. The pristine terrestrial and marine ecosystems lie within captivating landscapes that provide a sanctuary for prehistoric land and sea creatures that comprise a living affirmation of evolution. It's a place where animals and humans can live as one without any fear and stars from the Northern and Southern hemisphere are visible due to its location on the equator and these experiences will be forever imprinted in your memory.
The archipelago is comprised of numerous islands that each possess their own unique landscapes and vistas determined by the power of nature. Whether it's a white, black or red sand beach, marked by dramatic coves or stunning geological formations, or an arid cliff, each island is different with unique and endemic inhabitants. The best way to explore the Galapagos Islands is on a cruise with Go Galapagos. The largest boutique expedition ship is the M/V Legend that can accommodate up to 100 guests. With three different decks they offer different areas for socializing or admiring the majestic vistas whether it's soaking up rays by the pool or Jacuzzi or enjoying the comfortable lounge areas indoors. There are 52 outside cabins and 3 interior cabins with a variety of configurations to accommodate families or couples. The spacious balcony suites range from 237-290 square feet with a sitting area, panoramic bay windows and a private balcony to soak in the balmy sea air. While the majority of the rooms are Junior suites which can convert to a triple and range from 161 square feet to 215 square feet offering panoramic windows to enjoy the magnificent views and can be interconnected for larger families.
There are four different three to four day itineraries to choose from that be combined up to 14 days to get a comprehensive overview of the islands. The trips are divided into regions- North, West, South and East, and each day guests are treated to two different island adventures led by expert naturalist guides. In between land visits, guests can explore the fascinating marine life with two snorkeling tours per day as well.
After a full day of exploring the region take the time to enjoy the delicious international and Ecuadorian cuisine prepared daily. One of the highlights of the trip is the alfresco BBQ under the stars that is truly magical.
For this shoot we explored the dramatic western region where each island provided a visually stunning backdrop. Black lava provides the smooth and unbroken surfaces with sculptural formations that form the basaltic landscape against the deep blue ocean on Santiago Island. While Puerto Egas forms deep pools and caves with emerald green waters populated with playful sea lions. Rabida is known as the red island with a rust colored sand beach bordered by rugged cliffs and small craters which were created by the oxidation from its initial formation. Home to colonies of sea lions and pelicans as well as flamingos who come to bask in the shallow salt lagoon. Isabela Island is the not only the largest island in the archipelago but one of the most beautiful. Its stunning landscape was formed by 6 active volcanoes and offers stunning cliffside views of the volcanic crater and valley below. The youngest island, Fernandina is perceived as a land without time where land iguanas were thought to have evolved into marine iguanas and flightless cormorants lost their ability to fly because it wasn't need in this environment, thus giving a first hand glimpse to the power of evolution.
The best way to get to the Galapagos Islands from the U.S. is via JetBlue Airways which offers daily direct flights from Fort Lauderdale Hollywood Airport to Quito Airport. JetBlue will serve the FLL-UIO route with a 150-seat Airbus A320. JetBlue Flight 2851 will leave Fort Lauderdale daily at 7 p.m. and arrive in Quito at 10:34 p.m., all times local. Flight 2850 from Quito to Fort Lauderdale will leave at 11:59 p.m. and arrive at FLL at 5:17 a.m. "The fact that JetBlue has decided to fly here after they're already flying into Colombia and Lima, Peru, is a huge win for us and a major vote of confidence," said Andrew O'Brian, CEO of Corporación Quiport, the airport's operating consortium. "Not just for the country of Ecuador and the city of Quito, but for the airport itself. Because when JetBlue steps in and starts to fly, everybody takes notice."
From Quito you can catch a regional carrier to either Baltra or San Cristobal to reach the Go Galapagos cruise ship.