Original 9122db67ed3df0addf7d2a948a5760ec.jpg?1449010342?ixlib=rails 0.3

An Instagram Tour of the Galápagos

Go behind the scenes with photographer João Canziani

In "My Own Private Galápagos," the photo essay from our November/December issue, photographer João Canziani (@joaocanziani) explores the wild terrain of the Galápagos with his family. Last week on @afarmedia, Canziani shared outtakes from their family trip of a lifetime. Get a behind-the-scenes look at their adventures below, from daily hikes, lots of snorkeling and getting up-close and personal with sea lions, and be sure to check out @afarmedia for more outtakes and behind-the-scenes features with #afarouttakes.

"What a peculiar and other-worldly landscape the Galápagos was. It reminded me of Hawaii, but in its own unique way, as if we had been transported to another era when the earth was much younger. This incredible view is from the top of the Bartolomé Island volcano and you can see Santiago Island is in the background."

"The sea lions behaved just like good-natured dogs. They stretched their bodies under the sunshine and growled in pleasure knowing they were in exactly the right place: paradise. They didn’t care, or often notice, when we stood just a few feet away."

"This trip was all about family. I got really close with my younger cousins on this trip and thoroughly enjoyed their antics. This is my cousin Daniel. He’s a daredevil, and obviously is not afraid of heights. He was always jumping and flipping off the top deck of our yacht."

"No feeling compares to that of freshening up after a full day of snorkeling and hiking and arriving at Buccaneer Cove on Santiago Island at dusk."

"As we navigated the choppy water on two zodiacs headed for Punta Vicente Roca, I'll admit I was afraid for my camera, but the early morning light made it all worth it. Nearby we found a shallow cave that we snorkled where sea turtles swam all around us. The murky water was intimidating and my wife panicked and got out; I hadn't even told her that I had seen a little shark swimming a couple meters below us."

"On July 28th, we snorkeled among black marine iguanas. They are the weirdest of creatures: they look so prehistoric, like tiny dinosaurs, and are able to walk on land and then swim underwater for hours. Later that afternoon, we celebrated Peruvian Independence Day (my family is Peruvian) with shots of pisco, of course!"

"Almost everything here is natural. This is some sort of cactus in Punta Espinoza, on Fernandina Island."

While hiking on Fernandina Island, Canziani and his family came across these whale bones. "Apparently these whale bones had been found scattered around the area and were later arranged in this manner." 

Canziani's shadow on the black sand at Urbina Bay in Isabela Island.

Check out the full photo essay in AFAR's November/December 2015 issue, on newsstands now! 

>>Next: What It's Actually Like to Live in the Galápagos Islands