Ecuador Galapagos Trip

Ecuador Galapagos

Global Trekker Adventure - Grades 7-12+

Earn 50 hours of community service adventuring into the wilds of Ecuador while assisting local communities. See the Galapagos as Darwin first saw them and swim alongside sea turtles and penguins. Volunteer helping local wildlife. Raft the legendary Napo River, and soak in the Papallacta Hot Springs.

21 Days

$6,395

  • June 23rd - July 13th
  • Quito, Ecuador

Day 1-2

Upon your safe arrival, you will clear customs and meet your leaders, then travel the short distance to our hotel in the historic city center, crawling into bed that night in anticipation of the next morning’s adventure. Waking up early the next morning, we’ll embark on an introductory exploration of Spanish language and Ecuadorian culture. This fun morning of language learning will empower us to develop stronger cultural connections and closer bonds with everyone we meet along our journey. Following our language introduction, we’ll enjoy an afternoon tour of historic Quito — a splendid city sitting 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 3-4

The next few days will lead up to our exhilarating rafting trip on the Napo River. On the way to Tena, we will visit the Otavalo Market, one of the biggest markets in South America. We will then visit the Real Equator Monument, and even take a relaxing dip in the Papallacta Hot Springs!

Day 5-6

We will then spend an afternoon transferring to Tena, Ecuador’s capital of whitewater adventure sports. This afternoon will be a fantastic introduction to the rivers of Ecuador. The exhilarating, Class III whitewater of the Upper Napo River is one of the main tributaries feeding the Amazon River from the Andes mountains. Before we get into the boats, our guides will give us a comprehensive safety briefing and train each crew in the paddling techniques needed to navigate our way down the river. Once on the river we can expect both the action of thrilling whitewater and the tranquility of drifting silently through tropical rainforests.

Day 7-10

Over the course of the next few days we 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. Our initiative works hand in hand with local Kichwa communities to restore the natural habitat and reverse Yellow Spotted Turtle populations.

Day 11

Embarking on an exciting ecological exploration, we’ll enjoy a fun-filled canopy tour of the Mindo Cloud Forest. This is sure to be a highlight of the trip for all of us as we traverse through this marvelous ecosystem. Our adventure in the trees will conclude with a thrilling zipline ride, sure to be an aerial highlight for everyone on the adventure before we begin our preparations for our trip to the Galapagos.

Day 12-18

A trip to the Galapagos Islands is the perfect way to end our Ecuadorian summer. It would be a real shame to travel all the way down to this South American country and miss out on one of the world’s great natural jewels. 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. Our early morning flight from Quito to the Galapagos Islands will take us to the port town of Baltra. After deplaning, we will immediately transfer to San Cristóbal Island, the easternmost island in the Galapagos and ranked among the older group of islands. This island is also where Charles Darwin first went ashore in September 1835. Upon arrival, we will join our Galapagos Naturalist Guide and transfer to a local beach-front restaurant for lunch. After a kayak briefing, set out in our 16-foot, sit-on-top sea kayaks. Teeming with wildlife, we will explore the rocky coastline. Be prepared to get a little wet, as playful sea lions are sure to give us a splash! Observe Frigate birds and Brown Pelicans soar overhead or Blue- footed Boobies dive like torpedoes into the ocean at 60 miles per hour. On the shore, Sally lightfoot crabs scavenge on the wave- washed lava. Maneuver your two-person kayak along the rocky coast exploring small caves and bays that motorized vessels cannot. We will continue northwest until we reach the turquoise-blue waters of Las Tijeretas Bay. After a paddle around Las Tijeretas, we will make our way back to the beach and relax. The slow pace of the kayaks gliding over the water and the freedom to navigate on our own makes this afternoon in Galapagos a special experience, and a great way to begin our visit to the Islands. During our stay in the Galapagos, we will be working at a local elementary school, teaching the students English, playing fun games and making improvements to the school.  We will work here for three fulfilling and meaningful days.  We will be sure to get a good night’s rest as we will meet our local surf experts for a day of surf instruction and riding waves. After our morning hike we can spent the afternoon relaxing on the beach, surfing, or snorkeling with sea lions. Before we depart, we will transfer to Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island where we will see wild Galapagos Tortoises. These gigantic creatures weigh up to 500 pounds and are scattered all over the highlands.

Day 19-21

We will say farewell to the stunning Galapagos Islands and fly back to Quito. Our final evening will conclude with a final farewell banquet at a local restaurant near our hotel. It is a great opportunity to share some stories, award our infamous paper plate awards and bring closure to a wonderful summer.

Day 1-2

Upon your safe arrival, you will clear customs and meet your leaders, then travel the short distance to our hotel in the historic city center, crawling into bed that night in anticipation of the next morning’s adventure. Waking up early the next morning, we’ll embark on an introductory exploration of Spanish language and Ecuadorian culture. This fun morning of language learning will empower us to develop stronger cultural connections and closer bonds with everyone we meet along our journey. Following our language introduction, we’ll enjoy an afternoon tour of historic Quito — a splendid city sitting 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 3-4

The next few days will lead up to our exhilarating rafting trip on the Napo River. On the way to Tena, we will visit the Otavalo Market, one of the biggest markets in South America. We will then visit the Real Equator Monument, and even take a relaxing dip in the Papallacta Hot Springs!

Day 5-6

We will then spend an afternoon transferring to Tena, Ecuador’s capital of whitewater adventure sports. This afternoon will be a fantastic introduction to the rivers of Ecuador. The exhilarating, Class III whitewater of the Upper Napo River is one of the main tributaries feeding the Amazon River from the Andes mountains. Before we get into the boats, our guides will give us a comprehensive safety briefing and train each crew in the paddling techniques needed to navigate our way down the river. Once on the river we can expect both the action of thrilling whitewater and the tranquility of drifting silently through tropical rainforests.

Day 7-10

Over the course of the next few days we 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. Our initiative works hand in hand with local Kichwa communities to restore the natural habitat and reverse Yellow Spotted Turtle populations.

Day 11

Embarking on an exciting ecological exploration, we’ll enjoy a fun-filled canopy tour of the Mindo Cloud Forest. This is sure to be a highlight of the trip for all of us as we traverse through this marvelous ecosystem. Our adventure in the trees will conclude with a thrilling zipline ride, sure to be an aerial highlight for everyone on the adventure before we begin our preparations for our trip to the Galapagos.

Day 12-18

A trip to the Galapagos Islands is the perfect way to end our Ecuadorian summer. It would be a real shame to travel all the way down to this South American country and miss out on one of the world’s great natural jewels. 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. Our early morning flight from Quito to the Galapagos Islands will take us to the port town of Baltra. After deplaning, we will immediately transfer to San Cristóbal Island, the easternmost island in the Galapagos and ranked among the older group of islands. This island is also where Charles Darwin first went ashore in September 1835. Upon arrival, we will join our Galapagos Naturalist Guide and transfer to a local beach-front restaurant for lunch. After a kayak briefing, set out in our 16-foot, sit-on-top sea kayaks. Teeming with wildlife, we will explore the rocky coastline. Be prepared to get a little wet, as playful sea lions are sure to give us a splash! Observe Frigate birds and Brown Pelicans soar overhead or Blue- footed Boobies dive like torpedoes into the ocean at 60 miles per hour. On the shore, Sally lightfoot crabs scavenge on the wave- washed lava. Maneuver your two-person kayak along the rocky coast exploring small caves and bays that motorized vessels cannot. We will continue northwest until we reach the turquoise-blue waters of Las Tijeretas Bay. After a paddle around Las Tijeretas, we will make our way back to the beach and relax. The slow pace of the kayaks gliding over the water and the freedom to navigate on our own makes this afternoon in Galapagos a special experience, and a great way to begin our visit to the Islands. During our stay in the Galapagos, we will be working at a local elementary school, teaching the students English, playing fun games and making improvements to the school.  We will work here for three fulfilling and meaningful days.  We will be sure to get a good night’s rest as we will meet our local surf experts for a day of surf instruction and riding waves. After our morning hike we can spent the afternoon relaxing on the beach, surfing, or snorkeling with sea lions. Before we depart, we will transfer to Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island where we will see wild Galapagos Tortoises. These gigantic creatures weigh up to 500 pounds and are scattered all over the highlands.

Day 19-21

We will say farewell to the stunning Galapagos Islands and fly back to Quito. Our final evening will conclude with a final farewell banquet at a local restaurant near our hotel. It is a great opportunity to share some stories, award our infamous paper plate awards and bring closure to a wonderful summer.

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