2019 Arcola Galapagos Conservation Expedition
|Travel Dates:||July 27, 2019 - August 4, 2019|
|Deadline(s):||Complete an Enroll Now form and submit a deposit, to secure your spot on the adventure!|
Dense Amazonian rainforest, snow-capped Andean peaks, and volcanic islands – Ecuador is a place of many wonders. From Quito’s historic colonial district to the Galapagos Islands’ completely unique wildlife and ecosystems, our programs will fill you with wonder and excitement. You might find yourself swimming with sea lions or tropical penguins during your free time! The Galapagos Islands are the birthplace of our modern understanding of evolution.
From Ecuador you can fly to the islands to spend several days volunteering on a conservation and reforestation project, getting up close and personal with island wildlife like the famous giant tortoises. From here, you can travel to different islands in the archipelago and explore various sites and wildlife including sea turtles, marine iguanas, blue footed boobies, giant tortoises, albatrosses, frigate birds and much more. Participants will have the opportunity for plenty of snorkeling and hiking while learning about what makes each island rare – from various colors of sand (black, white, red and even green) to volcanic rocks that are millions of years old!
Check out some of the possible featured experiences of your coming adventure! Each customized itinerary is unique, but these are just a few of the activities which may be available during your program.
Immerse yourself in the local language and culture by staying with a host family
Work on a community service project in Nanegal
Snorkel with marine life in Isabela
Stay in an inhabited volcanic crater
Study unique wildlife alongside researchers
Get up close and personal with sea lions in Floreana
Hike an active volcano
Experience ziplining and hot springs in the Andes
Explore historic downtown Quito
We work hard to create engaging, educational, and truly immersive itineraries for our travelers. However, we also know that travel can be unpredictable, so we always design our experiences to be flexible enough to allow for adjustments based on group interests, unexpected opportunities, and any weather or safety concerns that may arise during your program. Should changes to the itinerary occur, we will notify travelers and families as quickly as possible.
|1||USA - San Jose||Today the group will travel from the USA to Costa Rica. After arrival, the group will settle into their hotel for the evening and have an orientation meeting to discuss the upcoming trip in detail.||Hotel Pacande|
|2||San Jose & Pura Suerte||After breakfast we will depart for Pura Suerte, an ecological farm in the heart of the rain forest, about four hours' drive south of the capital city. We will tour Pura Suerte's organic farm for an introduction to the bountiful flora and fauna in the area, visit a nearby coffee plantation, and enjoy a delicious dinner made from ingredients sourced directly from the forest and nearby farms. Throughout the program, we'll have the opportunity to interact with community members in Spanish, participate in cultural exchanges, and explore Costa Rican culture.||Pura Suerte Jungalows|
|3||Pura Suerte - Osa||After breakfast we'll hike down to the Nauyaca waterfall, one of the largest and most beautiful in the entire country. Spend the morning swimming and relaxing by the riverside. We will have lunch at the waterfall and then hike back to Pura Suerte, where we will pack up and drive south down the coast to the Turtle Reserve Field Station. Here we will settle in and meet the researchers with whom we'll be spending the next few days.||Reserva Playa Tortuga Field Station|
|4||Osa||After breakfast we'll take a hike through the surrounding tropical rainforest in the morning to get our bearings on the local ecosystems in the Osa. We'll then receive an orientation for the research we'll be conducting -- surveys of mammals such as monkeys, river otters, and kinkajous, and sloths. We'll take a break for lunch and continue to conduct these surveys in the afternoon, in addition to receiving a lecture on local and national wildlife conservation efforts. The next few days will consist of us working with researchers on a variety of research projects. See below sections for more information on the kinds of research projects we'll be working on over the next few days.||Reserva Playa Tortuga Field Station|
|5||Osa||Continue field research. Evening activities will vary.||Reserva Playa Tortuga Field Station|
|6||Osa||We'll walk along the beach in the morning and conduct a clean-up of marine debris to ensure a clean nesting habitat for sea turtles. In the afternoon, we'll have some free time, as well as a structured reflection by a waterfall in the jungle to discuss our experiences. By evening, we'll work with the Reserva's crocodile monitoring project to contribute to this long-running research initiative.||Reserva Playa Tortuga Field Station|
|7||Osa||Today, we'll pay a visit to the local community, where Reserva La Tortuga conducts yearlong environmental education campaigns with local schools. We may organize a nature walk with local students, build structures from reclaimed plastic, or have an afternoon on the beach with local students. In the evening we'll have some free time in the local town of Ojachal, and learn some useful Spanish phrases.||Reserva Playa Tortuga Field Station|
|8||Osa||We'll continue our environmental education work with local schools today and conduct a joint activity such as a beach cleanup. More exact details on the nature of the project will be posted in the months leading up to departure. In the afternoon, we'll have free time in the town or go on another wildlife hike through the jungle.||Reserva Playa Tortuga Field Station|
|9||Osa - Manuel Antonio||After breakfast we'll say goodbye to our friends at Reserva Playa Tortuga, then head northwest to Manuel Antonio on the central Pacific coast. We will spend the afternoon having private surf lessons from some of Costa Rica's best surfers. Never surfed before? No problem! The waves at Manuel Antonio are perfect for beginners. In the evening, the group will have time for souvenir shopping and pool time at the hotel.||Hotel California|
|10||Manuel Antonio||Today we will explore Manuel Antonio National Park which bursts with wildlife. Inside we will find idyllic beaches and winding trails that lead through dense jungle. Students can relax, swim and explore local artisan markets. After lunch we will make the drive back to San Jose for a farewell dinner before our international departure the following morning||Hotel California|
|11||Manuel Antonio - San Jose||Today we'll end the trip with a splash as we whitewater raft down the Savegre River! After lunch we'll make the drive back to San Jose for a farewell dinner ahead of our international departure the following morning.||Hotel Pacande|
|12||San Jose - USA||Fly home!||Your own bed|
Safety and Support
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
I was comfortable that the trip my daughter was on was safe, educational, interesting and fun. She made life long friends with her host sister. An exceptional life learning experience.
Parent of Alicia, Traveler on 2018 Program to Chile
Your Adventure Includes
In order to give our travelers the best possible price, we break out airfare from the Program Tuition. We will still handle all booking and ticketing via our flight partner who has access to special fares not available to the general public. We will provide full transparency in cost so that families pay what the flight costs and nothing more. You will be invoiced for the flight once we are able to secure the group’s airline contract.
Program Tuition Excludes: Premiere Travel insurance, baggage fees, airline minor fees, passport/visa fees, laundry, souvenirs, and activities not listed on itinerary.
Need to Raise Money? We have you covered.
Our travelers are provided with funding opportunities that are easy to implement and fun to take part in. Our flagship fundraiser involves selling fair trade, organic, shade-grown, carbon-neutral coffee from a women’s collective in Peru. There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so get started now by clicking the link below!
Why should high school students travel abroad? What happens if a participant gets sick? How quickly do we need to enroll? We’re sure you have plenty of questions and we’ve got you covered! Visit our Resource Center to discover the answers to your most pressing questions and contact us anytime with additional questions.