If Charles Darwin had a Camera – Galapagos Islands Photo Essay

In 1831, at the young age of 20, Charles Darwin first set foot on the Galapagos Islands where he spent an informative 5 weeks of his life.

I never dreamed that islands, about fifty or sixty miles apart, and most of them in sight of each other, formed of precisely the same rocks, placed under a quite similar climate, rising to a nearly equal height, would have been differently tenanted; but we shall soon see that this is the case.” Voyage of the Beagle

One might even say that his time on the islands was pivotal for everything that came after…especially his most famous works On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859) and The Descent of Man (1871). Darwin made extensive drawings of the tortoises, birds, and marine iguanas while in the Galapagos – but what if Darwin had a camera? A fancy DSLR with multiple lenses? Imagine the photos he would have taken!

The first sighting of a Blue-Footed Booby!

They DO exist!! The elusive Blue Footed Booby from the #galapagos!

A photo posted by What Boundaries (@whatboundaries) on


“My mind has been since leaving England a perfect hurricane of delight and astonishment.

A sleeping baby sea lion?

Happiness is a warm rock and a nap! #galapagos #ecoventura_ec

A photo posted by What Boundaries (@whatboundaries) on


The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.

A tiny finch that would share his name for ever.


It is very remarkable that a nearly perfect gradation of structure in this one group can be traced in the form of the beak.

Colorful crabs painted with Mother Nature’s most vivid paint brush!

  Crab attack!! If the first bruiser doesn’t get you, his backup will! Sally Lightfoot Crabs #galapagos   A photo posted by What Boundaries (@whatboundaries) on


  “It is the fate of most voyagers, no sooner to discover what is most interesting in any locality, than they are hurried from it; but I ought, perhaps, to be thankful that I obtained sufficient materials to establish this most remarkable fact in the distribution of organic beings.

A giant tortoise who holds the wisdom of the ages within his wizened head

Oh misery, misery…we have left perhaps one of the most interesting places in the world, just at the moment when we were near enough for every object to create, without satisfying, our utmost curiosity.

Charles Darwin’s legacy lives on even 200 years later. His discoveries on the Galapagos Islands continue to intrigue us. We know some of what he saw based on hist sketches and drawings. If only Charles Darwin had a camera, what wonders we might have seen?

Now, we have to go to see it for ourselves and take our own pictures. Our adventure cruise on the Galapagos Islands was provided courtesy of Ecoventura Yachts. We spent 7 days aboard the Flamingo I with an incredible staff, as well as our knowledgeable (and fun!) naturalist Gabby. Every day brought a new discovery and was truly an epic experience. Darwin was right, the Galapagos Islands are indeed “one of the most interesting places in the world”!


About the author

Lisa is a traveler, photographer and pharmacist. She and her partner Cheryl MacDonald enjoy sharing inspiration and good health with fellow travelers!


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