Ecuador Galapagos

Ecuador Galapagos

Global Trekker Adventure - Grades 9-12

Earn 40 hours of community service adventuring along the west coast of South America in the wild landscape of Ecuador. Travel deep into Ecuador’s Amazon jungle and Andean highlands, assist local communities and work with endangered species, raft the legendary Napo River, and soak in the Papallacta Hot Springs. Experience the Galápagos Islands where the words ‘colorful’ and ‘exotic’ take on whole new meaning with giant tortoises, pristine white sand beaches, and world-class snorkeling opportunities. This three-week South American adventure has it all. 

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21 Days

$6,595

  • July 15th - August 4th
  • Miami, FL (additional fee for international flight)

Day 1-2

You and your group will travel together from Miami, FL to the capital of Ecuador, Quito. Upon your evening landing, you will clear customs and travel the short distance to your hotel in the historic city center. The first day will be a travel day, so you’ll be ready to crawl into bed that night with anticipation of the morning’s next adventure!

The next morning, you’ll wake up early and embark on a day of exploration and Ecuadorian cultural immersion. You and your trip mates will take the morning to brush up on your Spanish skills with a language learning introduction. Then, you’ll enjoy an Ecuadorian cooking class before heading out for an afternoon tour of historic Quito. Quito is an extraordinary city at the foot of the Pichincha volcano. Surrounded by forested mountains and volcanoes at 9,350 feet above sea level, this is the second highest capital city in Latin America. Despite the fact that it’s only 15 miles south of the equator, Quito’s elevation gives it a wonderful spring-like climate year-round.

Day 3

You’ll take a day trip out of the city to experience the incredible biodiversity of the Mindo Cloud Forest. You will enjoy a fun-filled canopy tour of the area. This is sure to be a highlight of the trip as you traverse through this marvelous ecosystem. The tree-top adventure will conclude with a thrilling zipline ride. The Mindo Cloud Forest is one of the finest birding areas in South America, so you’ll be sure to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife as you soar through the sky.

Day 4-6

Over the next few days, you will leave the colonial city of Quito and head to the northern highlands of Imbabura. You’ll take a day to explore South America’s largest outdoor market in Otavalo and in the afternoon, hike to the Sacred Peguche 50-foot waterfall. The next day, you’ll travel towards Tena, your access point to the Amazon. On route, you will visit the Laguna Cuicocha Crater Lake by boat to see the endemic birds who nest in the area, and the sulfur bubbles coming up from the depths of the lake. You’ll arrive at the Amazon Basin and soak in the Papallacta Hot Springs.

Day 7-9

Over the course of the next few days, you will be assisting the Yellow Spotted Turtle repopulation project. Once a thriving species along the banks of the Arajuno River in the Amazon Basin, the Yellow Spotted Turtle is now classified as endangered. Your initiative works hand in hand with local Kichwa communities to restore the natural habitat of Yellow Spotted Turtle populations to help reverse its decline in numbers.

Day 10-11

Following your first service project, it will be time to hit the water. Whitewater rafting the class III rapids of the Upper Napo river will let you and your group enjoy the Amazonian rainforest without having to venture too far into remote jungle zones. The Upper Napo is one of the main tributaries feeding the Amazon River from the Andes mountains. Before you get into the boats, your guides will give you a comprehensive safety briefing and train each crew in the paddling techniques needed to navigate your way down the river.  You will stay that night in Tena and spend a leisurely morning there before heading back to Quito. From there, you and your group will fly to Galapagos Islands for the next leg of our adventure.

Day 12-14

A trip to the Galapagos Islands is a must-do experience for anyone traveling in this part of the world.  Located in the Pacific Ocean, 600 miles (1000 kilometers) off the West Coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are a cluster of over sixty islands and islets. In 1959, the Ecuadorian Government declared the Galapagos Islands a protected area at the same time the Charles Darwin Foundation was founded. On September 8th, 1978, UNESCO declared the islands a Natural Heritage Site. Your early morning flight from Quito to the Galapagos Islands will take us to the port town of Baltra. You will immediately transfer to Isabela Island by boat.

Isabela Islands is the largest island of the Galapagos and here you will learn to surf, snorkel among the Tintoteras in search of sea lions, rays, and multicolored fish, and explore the wetlands area of coastal lagoons and endemic mangrove swamps by mountain bike.

Day 15-19

The next two days will be spent on your next service project on Isabela Island. You will work in half days. The morning activity will be conservation work helping with a reforestation project, or helping with a beach clean. The afternoons will be spent on the Giant Tortoise project – helping to clean their habitat, and aid in whatever way the project needs help.

After this final service component of the trip, you and your group will kayak in the bay. While kayaking, you’ll keep your eyes peeled for Brown Pelicans soaring overhead and Blue-footed Boobies diving like torpedoes into the ocean at 60 miles per hour. You’ll maneuver your two-person kayak along the rocky coast, exploring small caves and bays that motorized vessels cannot access. You will continue northwest until you reach the turquoise-blue waters of Las Tijeretas Bay. After a paddle around Las Tijeretas, you will make your way back to the beach and relax.

You will then transfer to Santa Cruz island, where you will end your time in the Galapagos. Here you will visit the blue water of the famous Tortuga Bay and visit the Charles Darwin Research Center to learn about Darwin’s research and the importance of the islands today.

Day 20-21

You will say farewell to the stunning Galapagos Islands and fly back to Quito. Your final evening will conclude with the traditional end-of-summer WA banquet at a local restaurant near your hotel. This final meal together will be a great opportunity to share favorite stories, award the infamous paper plate awards and bring closure to a wonderful summer.

Day 1-2

You and your group will travel together from Miami, FL to the capital of Ecuador, Quito. Upon your evening landing, you will clear customs and travel the short distance to your hotel in the historic city center. The first day will be a travel day, so you’ll be ready to crawl into bed that night with anticipation of the morning’s next adventure!

The next morning, you’ll wake up early and embark on a day of exploration and Ecuadorian cultural immersion. You and your trip mates will take the morning to brush up on your Spanish skills with a language learning introduction. Then, you’ll enjoy an Ecuadorian cooking class before heading out for an afternoon tour of historic Quito. Quito is an extraordinary city at the foot of the Pichincha volcano. Surrounded by forested mountains and volcanoes at 9,350 feet above sea level, this is the second highest capital city in Latin America. Despite the fact that it’s only 15 miles south of the equator, Quito’s elevation gives it a wonderful spring-like climate year-round.

Day 3

You’ll take a day trip out of the city to experience the incredible biodiversity of the Mindo Cloud Forest. You will enjoy a fun-filled canopy tour of the area. This is sure to be a highlight of the trip as you traverse through this marvelous ecosystem. The tree-top adventure will conclude with a thrilling zipline ride. The Mindo Cloud Forest is one of the finest birding areas in South America, so you’ll be sure to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife as you soar through the sky.

Day 4-6

Over the next few days, you will leave the colonial city of Quito and head to the northern highlands of Imbabura. You’ll take a day to explore South America’s largest outdoor market in Otavalo and in the afternoon, hike to the Sacred Peguche 50-foot waterfall. The next day, you’ll travel towards Tena, your access point to the Amazon. On route, you will visit the Laguna Cuicocha Crater Lake by boat to see the endemic birds who nest in the area, and the sulfur bubbles coming up from the depths of the lake. You’ll arrive at the Amazon Basin and soak in the Papallacta Hot Springs.

Day 7-9

Over the course of the next few days, you will be assisting the Yellow Spotted Turtle repopulation project. Once a thriving species along the banks of the Arajuno River in the Amazon Basin, the Yellow Spotted Turtle is now classified as endangered. Your initiative works hand in hand with local Kichwa communities to restore the natural habitat of Yellow Spotted Turtle populations to help reverse its decline in numbers.

Day 10-11

Following your first service project, it will be time to hit the water. Whitewater rafting the class III rapids of the Upper Napo river will let you and your group enjoy the Amazonian rainforest without having to venture too far into remote jungle zones. The Upper Napo is one of the main tributaries feeding the Amazon River from the Andes mountains. Before you get into the boats, your guides will give you a comprehensive safety briefing and train each crew in the paddling techniques needed to navigate your way down the river.  You will stay that night in Tena and spend a leisurely morning there before heading back to Quito. From there, you and your group will fly to Galapagos Islands for the next leg of our adventure.

Day 12-14

A trip to the Galapagos Islands is a must-do experience for anyone traveling in this part of the world.  Located in the Pacific Ocean, 600 miles (1000 kilometers) off the West Coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are a cluster of over sixty islands and islets. In 1959, the Ecuadorian Government declared the Galapagos Islands a protected area at the same time the Charles Darwin Foundation was founded. On September 8th, 1978, UNESCO declared the islands a Natural Heritage Site. Your early morning flight from Quito to the Galapagos Islands will take us to the port town of Baltra. You will immediately transfer to Isabela Island by boat.

Isabela Islands is the largest island of the Galapagos and here you will learn to surf, snorkel among the Tintoteras in search of sea lions, rays, and multicolored fish, and explore the wetlands area of coastal lagoons and endemic mangrove swamps by mountain bike.

Day 15-19

The next two days will be spent on your next service project on Isabela Island. You will work in half days. The morning activity will be conservation work helping with a reforestation project, or helping with a beach clean. The afternoons will be spent on the Giant Tortoise project – helping to clean their habitat, and aid in whatever way the project needs help.

After this final service component of the trip, you and your group will kayak in the bay. While kayaking, you’ll keep your eyes peeled for Brown Pelicans soaring overhead and Blue-footed Boobies diving like torpedoes into the ocean at 60 miles per hour. You’ll maneuver your two-person kayak along the rocky coast, exploring small caves and bays that motorized vessels cannot access. You will continue northwest until you reach the turquoise-blue waters of Las Tijeretas Bay. After a paddle around Las Tijeretas, you will make your way back to the beach and relax.

You will then transfer to Santa Cruz island, where you will end your time in the Galapagos. Here you will visit the blue water of the famous Tortuga Bay and visit the Charles Darwin Research Center to learn about Darwin’s research and the importance of the islands today.

Day 20-21

You will say farewell to the stunning Galapagos Islands and fly back to Quito. Your final evening will conclude with the traditional end-of-summer WA banquet at a local restaurant near your hotel. This final meal together will be a great opportunity to share favorite stories, award the infamous paper plate awards and bring closure to a wonderful summer.

Meet your Trip Leaders.

Learn more about the staff that make a summer with WA such a life changing experience.

This was my fourth trip with Wilderness Adventures and they keep getting better! This trip was the perfect mix of service, adventure, and language. The diversity of the location, from Ecuador to the Galapagos to the diversity just in continental Ecuador, allowed for a variety of different activities and constantly changing surroundings. The animal and plant diversity was incredible, and overall Ecuador and the Galapagos proved to be an incredibly unique place to visit. Wilderness Adventures' leaders never fail to be amazing people who you can learn so much from and perfect facilitators of the group dynamic. The small size allows for close bonds and lifelong friendships. All four of my trips have been some of the best experiences of my life and absolutely worth it. I would highly recommend this or any other Wilderness Adventures trip!

Paige Angne, Ecuador Galapagos 2016