The Babies of the Galapagos Islands: A Photo Essay

The Galapagos Islands will spoil your camera, there is no doubt about it. In fact, it is said that when people first arrive on the island they take pictures of each and every animal, but by the third day they refuse to give up memory card space for anything short of, say, a baby sea lion riding a turtle across the ocean like a cowboy.  It is just too easy getting great photos of the Galapagos Islands.   I have never been somewhere in the world that there was just such a wild abundance of approachable wildlife, you do not even get this close in zoos.

Personally, I shot about 4,000 photos over the period of 8 days on the islands. Of those 4,000 I kept just under 900. Of those 900 photos I’m willing to bet about 300 are of baby animals. A street photographer once told me that if you aim your camera at the elderly and the young you will never go wrong. I’ve taken that theory to heart while shooting wildlife as well. Below are some of my favourite photos of young wildlife in the Galapagos. Enjoy.

Sea lions

The Sea Lions cubs were perhaps the biggest hit among visitors. Partly because they were so approachable, partly because they were always really active and playful, but mostly because, well, they’re really cute. There were simply so many sea lions on the islands I almost got to the point where I only shot babies (that sounded bad… you know I meant photographed). I had a hard time choosing which photos to show off since there were so many, but here are a few:

This is maybe my favourite image of the trip... so cute rolling in the sand

Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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27 Comments

  1. Ok, those sea lions are SERIOUSLY cute! I probably would have tried to steal one, so maybe it’s a good thing I haven’t been to the Galapagos.

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  2. Awww.. The Sea Lion babies are too cute.

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    • lol… they get the attention alright! lol

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  3. The animals and birds are all beyond cute, of course, but your photography is superb! Especially that first one – not surprised it’s your favorite. You captured just the right moment. Must have taken a lot of skill and patience. Congratulations!

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    • @linda – skill: maybe. Patience: a little bit. Luck: LOTS OF IT.

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  4. The baby sealion eating the rock is adorable! You were lucky to find so many newborns – what a great collection! 🙂

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    • @Fiona – Thanks! Yes, we were very lucky, the quality of wildlife was very high.

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  5. That first sea lion pup is pure love! I have got to get to the Galapagos! Peru can call Paracas “the poor man’s Galapagos” if they want, but it’s really not on the same level. Great shots!

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    • @Katrina – That pup should be signing autographs haha

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  6. Wow, great photos! Not only are the animals cute (especially the little sea lions), but you’ve composed the photos really well, too! Looking forward to following more of your adventures!

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    • Thanks Bryan, Appreciate the positive feedback.

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    • @Steph – Now I feel bad for all the other baby animals!

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    • I think I like the marine iguana best since he looks like a baby dinosaur.

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  7. Great work, Brendan! We went to the Galapagos in October and had a similar experience– so many great baby photos. There was one baby sea lion in particular of whom I must have taken at least 50 shots, and in every one he/she had a different pose. Amazing stuff…

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    • @Bret – Those baby sea lions are serious entertainers, and the fact that they are always moving around makes for some great shots.

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    • I think a lot of people have fallen in love with that little guy/gal haha

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    • thank you Maria!

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  8. As fotos são simplesmente lindas, tu és uma ótima fotografa, parabéns,

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    • Obrigado Marilena!

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  9. Ahhh! So cute! I’m a sucker for the sea lions, for sure.

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  10. Some truly adorable captures! Thanks for sharing the magic of the Galapagos Islands.

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