2021 GSSM Galapagos Conservation Expedition

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2021 GSSM Galapagos Conservation Expedition!  To learn the basics of this once in a lifetime opportunity, you'll begin by using the Pre-Enrollment page, the purpose of which is to share exciting highlights and important info that participants will want to know before signing up. If you enroll, you'll begin using the Post-Enrollment webpage, which offers a much greater level of detail.  Please be sure to review the information thoroughly and get excited for the Galapagos!! 
Travel Dates: January 7, 2021 - January 14, 2021
Dates tentative until flights are secured
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $3,790 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Estimated Airfare: $850
Deadline(s): Enrollment deadline forthcoming

Tuition Calculator

There are two options for payment, including an easy installment plan.  Follow the option which works best for your family.

Program Tuition: $3,790

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All prices in United States Dollars.

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

Conservation Expeditions

Conservation Expeditions invite students to participate in scientific research projects, learn about diverse ecosystems, and lend a hand in community-based biodiversity conservation efforts.

Program Highlights


Check out some of the featured experiences of your program!

Volunteer with local scientists to assist in critical conservation efforts

Snorkel with marine life in Isabela

Practice your Spanish language skills with locals

Get up close and personal with sea lions in Floreana

Hike an active volcano

Enjoy full-day snorkeling expeditions

The Itinerary


We work hard to create safe, engaging, and immersive itineraries for our travelers, but given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but if inclement weather pushes us off course or an unexpected opportunity arises which travelers are excited about, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group. 

DayLocationDescriptionLodging
January 7USA - Quito, EcuadorTravel from South Carolina 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
January 8Quito - 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 Santa Cruz Island where giant tortoises roam in the mist. We will walk inside lava tunnels and learn how this amazing archipielago was formed. Hotel Palmeras
January 9Santa CruzToday, we visit to the famous Darwin Research Station. At mid day we will have our first of many delicious meals on the island. Mid-afternoon we enjoy our first amazing snorkel in search of sea lions, blue footed boobies, marine iguanas, and more under the sea!Hotel Palmeras
January 10Santa Cruz - Isabela IslandWe'll take a speedboat over to Isabela Island. We'll enjoy one of the best sea kayak and snorkels of the world at islote Tintoreras. Surrounded by amazing lava formation enjoying the playfull sea lions and pinguins.Hotel Tintorera
January 11Isabela 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. Hotel Tintorera
January 12IsabelaEarly morning we will go for the best snorkel at Los Tuneles de Lava. It is 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. Mid- afternoon we will visit the Galapagos Tortoise breeding center to learn more about conservation efforts of the Galpapagos National Park. Hotel Tintorera
January 13Isabela - Santa Cruz - QuitoAfter an early breakfast we will return to Santa Cruz Island on a speedboat to take our flight back to Quito. This afternoon we'll visit the Museo Fray Pedro Gocial and later we'll ride a cable car up Pichincha Volcano for a final panoramic view of Quito. We'll end the day with a final celebratory dinner!Hosteria Airport Garden
January 14Quito - USAFly home. Your own bed, eventually!

Accommodations


In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for travelers, we follow strict guidelines when choosing our accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels which are centrally located, clean, safe and wifi-enabled. 

For rooming, travelers are grouped by gender, and will never share rooms with people who are not associated with their group.  Non-binary travelers are accommodated. Group Organizers and Program Leaders, along with any other traveling adult, are roomed separately from students.
Below are the hotels we anticipate using on your trip, subject to availability. 
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 free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, hot water and group sitting areas around the property. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

Safety and Support


 EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
EXPERT LEADERSHIP
EXPERT LEADERSHIP
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICING
ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICING

Great experience for our son. He would jump at the chance to do it again.

Daniel
Parent of Raymond, traveler on Peru Service Adventure

Your Adventure Includes

Estimated Airfare

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. 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, 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!

START FUNDRAISING  

WTT coffee
Resource center

Resource Center

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.

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