Aura Banda Cruz

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Aura’s connection with the islands dates generations as her grandparents had moved to the Galápagos in the 1930s. Her mother was born on Floreana Island and Aura fondly remembers childhood memories of family visits during summer vacations. Who knew those little black birds she observed so naively as a child were the world famous Darwin finches? Or that the lava lizards she was so scared of were unique in the world?

She lived and studied in Quito, Ecuador.  Later she had the great opportunity to live in Belgium where she learned French. When she came back to Quito she studied Italian and photography. She moved to Santa Cruz Island in 2005 and subsequently became a licensed naturalist guide.  Since then she has seen three volcanic eruptions, discovered the amazing underwater world while snorkeling and diving, and she has taken countless pictures of sea lions and smiling marine iguanas.

In order to better understand the dynamics of the Galápagos Islands, she is currently studying environmental management.  Her hobbies include studying languages, photography, and art design. 

She received her Photo Instructor certification in a multi-day training workshop.  Developed and taught by National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions photographers, the workshop helped her develop additional insight and skills necessary to help you better understand your camera and the basics of composition — to better capture the moments at the heart of your expedition.

Get our newsletter

Join us for updates, insider reports & special offers.

Privacy Policy