2019 Middle School Galapagos Islands Conservation Expedition
|Travel Dates:||March 17, 2019 - March 23, 2019|
Galapagos Conservation Expedition
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!
Conservation Expeditions invite students to participate in scientific research projects, learn about diverse ecosystems, and lend a hand in community-based biodiversity conservation efforts.
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.
Volunteer with local scientists to assist in critical conservation efforts
Hike an active volcano
Enjoy full-day snorkeling expeditions
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.
|March 17||Florida - Quito, Ecuador||Travel from Florida to Quito, Ecuador. Upon arrival, we will head to our hotel in Quito this evening and have a brief orientation meeting before our morning departure to the islands.||Hosteria Airport Garden|
|March 18||Quito - Galapagos (Santa Cruz Island)||Today we fly 600 miles over the Pacific Ocean to reach the Galapagos Islands. After landing in Baltra, we will take a ferry across the Itabaca Channel and experience a variety of ecosystems as we drive to the highlands of Santar Cruz Island where giant tortoises roam in the mist. Upon arrival, we'll dive into our volunteer work with local authorities. We'll receive an expert lecture, then get into the field to lend a hand on a research project or conservation effort. Projects can range from tracking wild giant tortoises, to biodiversity surveys, to working on a restorative ecology project for endemic plant species. More details on your project will be laid out in the weeks prior to your departure. At night, we'll retreat to our tents and fall asleep under the stars.||Cerro Mesa Camp|
|March 19||Santa Cruz||Today, we drive down to Puerto Ayora and visit to the famous Darwin Research Station. At mid day we will have our first of many delicious meals on the islands before we go sea kayaking in nearby grottoes in search of sea lions, blue footed boobies, marine iguanas, and more!||Hotel Palmeras|
|March 20||Santa Cruz - Isabela Island||We'll take a speedboat over to Isabela Island. Today is our most challenging adventure yet. We'll hike up to the rim of Sierra Negra, the second largest caldera in the world and an active volcano. We'll see firsthand the geological processes that shaped these islands, and spot wildlife on the way. We'll retreat to a locally-run camp in the highlands where we'll meet a man who raises and cares for giant tortoises.||Campo Duro|
|March 21||Isabela||After an early breakfast we go on a 45 minute boat ride to a world famous snorkel through lava tunnels, snorkeling amongst a stunning array of marine life. Our local guide will explain the significance of the Galapagos as an oasis for marine species, and we'll see the evidence firsthand. It's not uncommon to see blue-footed boobies, green sea turtles, and sharks as we glide over beds of anemones and corals.||Hotel Tintorera|
|March 22||Isabela - Santa Cruz - Quito||Today we'll make our return journey from the islands to the mountainous region of Ecuador. In the afternoon. Dinner and Overnight at Airport Garden Hotel.||Hosteria Airport Garden|
|March 23||Quito - Flordida||In the morning, we'll visit some of the most impressive sites in Quito before having a final early lunch and take a overlooking of the old city. Depart Quito fly home! Hasta luego! 3pm||Your own bed!|
In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for our travelers, teachers, staff, Program Leaders and Country Directors, we follow strict guidelines when deciding on lodging, making reservations, and assigning program participants to rooms.
Hosteria Airport Garden
Hosteria Airport Garden is 3-star hotel located outside of Quito. This hotel has modern amenities and can hold 2-4 students to a room. This hotel has a swimming pool and BBQ area open to guests.
Hotel Las Palmeras
Hotel Las Palmeras offer clean, comfortable and spacious rooms for guests. Each room can house 2-3 students per room. Some of the amenities include but are not limited to wifi, air conditioning, hot water and public sitting areas around the property.
Pajaro Brujo Field Station
Pajaro Brujo Field Station is located in the misty, verdant highlands of Santa Cruz, where giant tortoises roam freely. Students will get the opportunity to camp on tented platforms and light a bonfire at night. There’s a common room with a library in it, where students may receive lectures from local researchers about their work.
Campo Duro is a camping area near the Sierra Negra Volcano. This camp site offers a unique take on adventure and accommodations. Tents and bathrooms are separated by gender. Campo Duro practices ecological tourism with solar panels to heat their water.
Safety and Support
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
My son had a wonderful experience in Costa Rica, helped to build a preschool classroom, and has created memories that will last a lifetime!
Parent of traveler on Costa Rica Service Adventure
Your Adventure Includes
Program Tuition Excludes: 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 fundraising opportunities that are easy to implement and fun to take part in. Our flagship fundraiser involves selling bird-friendly, fair trade coffee from our host countries. There is no limit to the amount you can raise, so get started now by selling coffee or referring your friends to earn credit toward your program!
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.