Flatey & Latrabjarg cliff

Aug 13, 2019 - National Geographic Explorer


Early on our first morning of exploration, we arrived to Flatey (which means “flat island”).

The winds were strong, providing fantastically dramatic photography. White caps and interesting looking skies contrasted with the barren volcanic landscape.

Flatey is a little island that is popular among the Icelandic people for a weekend visit. During the winter months, it is inhabited by only four people. A little Lutheran church marks the center of the island, and behind it sits a little, old house that is the smallest and one of the oldest libraries in Iceland. It was built in 1864.

In the afternoon, we visited the tall cliffs of Latrabjarg, where we could see large colonies of nesting puffins, guillemots, fulmars, and kittiwakes. Sailing past the steep walls of these cliffs, we could clearly see the many and successive lava flows that accumulated on top of each other over a long time.

As a surprise for our guests, at the end of the day we added an after-dinner outing to visit the magnificent Dynjandi, an impressive succession of high waterfalls formed by the water of melting glaciers.

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About the Author

José Calvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Nicknamed “Indio” (Indian) because of his powers of observation and quiet nature, José has almost two decades of experience working as a naturalist and photography guide; as well as being recognized as an expert birder and nature photographer in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is rich in biodiversity — over 893 bird species have been recorded in the country. Since very young José spent all of his free time in the outdoors in the forest, where he soon fell in love with the birds. He particularly enjoys listening to their calls, and watching their behavior. Oddly enough, another one of Jose’s passions is science and technology, and because of this, he was among the first in Costa Rica to experiment with digital photography. As the technology quickly improved so did his love for it.  He truly believes that nature photography is the perfect combination of both of his passions.

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