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 interest-free installment plan.  Follow whichever works best for your family. If we are within 90 days of travel, only the pay in full option is possible.

Program Tuition: $3,790

Pay in Full


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Payment Plan

Pay a $500 deposit at the time of enrollment and establish an interest-free monthly payment plan. If you enroll today, your estimated* monthly payments would be:


per month

* This is an approximate price. Your exact total will be confirmed when your enrollment is processed.

All prices in United States Dollars.

Galapagos Conservation Expedition

Dense Amazonian rainforest, snow-capped Andean peaks, volcanic islands and raging rivers. Ecuador is a place of terrifically varied wonders, but for many the most magical are the Galapagos Islands.

From Quito, you’ll fly to the islands and begin to explore this remarkable archipelago full of different landscapes and wildlife including sea turtles, marine iguanas, blue footed boobies, giant tortoises, albatrosses, frigate birds and more. Participants will have the opportunity to practice Spanish, learn from local conservation organizations, snorkel with abundant marine life, and hike active volcanoes, all the while learning about what makes these islands so special.

Conservation Expeditions

Conservation Expeditions

Conservation Expeditions bring travelers to the heart of the modern-day conservation movement. Whether building nurseries for sea turtle hatchlings in Costa Rica, snorkeling alongside sea lions in the Galapagos or teaching local school children in Thailand about the importance of wild elephants to their ecosystem, these trips make the wonders of our world, and our responsibility to protect them, abundantly apparent.

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 do everything possible to run safe, engaging, and immersive programs for our travelers and given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group. 

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!


In order to provide a safe and memorable experience, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean and safe.  We vet and inspect the accommodations to ensure they uphold the ethos of our programs, are great values for our travelers and nice places to rest after enriching days of travel.  

Below are the accommodations we anticipate using on your trip, subject to availability. 
Hotel Palm Garden Galapagos

The Hotel Palm Garden Galapagos offers clean, comfortable and spacious rooms for guests. Each room can house 2-3 students per room. Some of the amenities include a pool on site, 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


My daughter’s experience in Morocco was extraordinary!! I really enjoyed seeing the pictures and hearing the stories about her adventures, but what brought me the most joy was the relationships she formed with the chaperones from her school and with Stafford and Said (Walking Tree’s Moroccan Country Directors and Program Leaders). She spoke of their characters and spirits which let me know these wonderful people went over and beyond the basics of the program. I am forever grateful for the love and care all four of you gave to her.

Parent of Jadah, traveler on Morocco Cultural Journey

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. Once confirmed, you will be invoiced for the flight roughly 75 days prior to travel. 

Program Tuition Excludes: Travel insurance, baggage fees, passport/visa fees, laundry, souvenirs, and activities not listed on itinerary.


Need to Raise Money? We Have You Covered.

Walking Tree Travel is proud to team up with Equal Exchange, a worker-owned cooperative that distributes organic coffee, tea, sugar, bananas, avocados, cocoa, chocolate bars, and more.  There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so the sooner you can start, the better!

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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.

Learn More