2021 GSSM Galapagos Conservation Expedition
January 7, 2021 -
January 14, 2021
Dates tentative until flights are secured
Airfare not included in program tuition
|Deadline(s):||Enrollment deadline forthcoming|
There are two options for payment, including an interest-free installment plan. Follow the option which works best for your family.
Program Tuition: $3,790
Pay in Full
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 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 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
We do everything possible to run safe, engaging, and immersive programs 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.
|January 7||USA - Quito, Ecuador||Travel 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 8||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 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 9||Santa Cruz||Today, 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 10||Santa Cruz - Isabela Island||We'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 11||Isabela||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 12||Isabela||Early 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 13||Isabela - Santa Cruz - Quito||After 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 14||Quito - USA||Fly home.||Your own bed, eventually!|
In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for travelers, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean, safe and wifi-enabled.
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
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
This was our daughter’s 2nd trip with Walking Tree. In 2016, she took her school’s first trip with Walking Tree to Ecuador, and absolutely loved it. Once again, the Walking Tree representative was excellent. My daughter said Ben really made the trip, and worked hard to keep the group happy. Other positives: communication before the trip, website outline, daily blogs and trip photos. Very professional organization. We feel very secure sending our student out into the world with Walking Tree.
Parent of Olivia, traveler on California Cultural Journey
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. 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!
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.