2021 Winter Wonderland Program
|Travel Dates:||July 5, 2021 - July 16, 2021|
Airfare not included in program tuition
|Deadline(s):||Enrollment deadline forthcoming|
There are two options for payment, including an interest-free installment plan. Follow whichever works best for your family.
Program Tuition: $50
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 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.
Check out some of the featured experiences of your program!
Volunteer with local scientists to assist in critical conservation efforts
Relax and unwind on picturesque white sand beaches
Hike an active volcano
Explore the extensive wildlife in Floreana
Enjoy full-day snorkeling expeditions
Contribute towards an environmental service project
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.
|June 20||USA - Quito||Fly from the USA to Quito and transfer to hotel in Tababela, a suburb of the Ecuador's capitol with a beautiful night view of this glittering metropolis. We'll rest up after our long journey -- you'll need your energy for the upcoming adventure through the islands!||Hosteria Airport Garden|
|June 21||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 Puerto Ayora. Here, we will have our first of many delicious meals on the islands before driving up into the misty highlands to our research station. Upon arrival, we'll have an orientation before eating dinner and retreating to our tents.||Pajaro Brujo Reserve|
|June 22||Santa Cruz||Today, we dive into our volunteer work with local scientists. We'll receive an expert lecture in the morning, 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. In the afternoon, we'll go to the beautiful Garrapatero beach, then return to our research station for a campfire and dinner.||Pajaro Brujo Reserve|
|June 23||Santa Cruz||By morning, we will continue our volunteer work with local researchers. We then descend from the highlands to the sea to learn more about the life of a Galapagos local in the islands' most populated town. We will have some time to explore on our own here, practice our Spanish, or simply watch the sharks and sea lions swim off the dock and the fishermen clean their catch at the local fish market. Dinner in Puerto Ayora.||Palmeras Hotel|
|June 24||Santa Cruz||In the morning we will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, where we will learn directly from researchers about the islands unique wildlife and the threats it faces. We'll see land iguanas, lava lizards, and several species of giant tortoise. If we're lucky, we may get to see behind the scenes of this word famous research institute and visit special biological collections. In the afternoon, we will go sea kayaking through mangroves, grottoes, and waves, looking for sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and sea turtles.||Palmeras Hotel|
|June 25||Santa Cruz - Isabela Island||We'll take a speedboat over to Isabela Island, settle into our hotel, and have lunch in the seaside port town of Villamil. We'll hike to see marine iguanas basking in the sun, and sea lions frolicking in the waves. In the afternoon, we'll have some time to journal, reflect, and explore the town.||Concha Perla Hotel|
|June 26||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. We'll retreat to a locally-run camp in the highlands where we'll see giant tortoises being cared for.||Campo Duro|
|June 27||Isabela||Descend to sea level again, settle into our hotel, and go snorkeling in one of the best spots in the world. In the afternoon, we'll rent mountain bikes and explore nearby lagoons, as well as visit a giant tortoise breeding center run by the National Park.||Concha Perla Hotel|
|June 28||Isabela||Today we will spend a full day snorkeling through lava tunnels 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 anemonies and corals.||Concha Perla Hotel|
|June 29||Isabela - Santa Cruz - Quito||We'll make our return journey from the islands to the mountainous region of Ecuador. In the afternoon, we'll visit some of the most impressive sites in Quito before having a final dinner overlooking the city.||Hosteria Airport Garden|
|June 30||Quito - USA||This morning we will head to the airport to catch our international flight home.||Your own bed!|
In order to provide a safe and memorable experience, 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 and safe.
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. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
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.
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
I have been on two trips with Walking Tree and both trips have been two of the most amazing experiences of my life.
Alumni traveler to Belize and Thailand
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. Once confirmed, you will be invoiced for the flight roughly 75 days prior to travel.
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.