Galápagos Experience: Volunteer & Travel 3 weeks

Galápagos Experience: Volunteer & Travel 3 weeks

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22 Days
From

$2470

$2347

Galápagos Experience: Volunteer & Travel 3 weeks

22 Days Starting and ending in Quito, Ecuador

Visiting: Quito, Puerto Ayora, Santa Fé Island, San Cristóbal Island, Isabela Island

Tour operator:

LEAD ADVENTURES

Specialist Group:

18-30 Somethings

Guide Type:

Partially Guided

Group size:

1 - 20

Physical rating:

Medium

Age range:

16-90

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Vegans, Meat

Tour operated in:
English , Spanish
Trip Styles:

Adventure Tours

Activities:

Snorkeling, Swimming

From:
$2470
$2347 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$124

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

For people who are looking for more than just the average cruise trip or for whom the idea of being “stuck” on a boat is not appealing-this program is for you! The True Galapagos Experience Program offers an alternative experience to the traditional cruise tour. We offer a range of opportunities for you to help preserve the unique wildlife, experience the culture, and interact with the community. Our program offers you the chance to island hop across various islands and enjoy what the islands have to offer in exciting tours we have organized for you. Our unique Itinerary combines travel excursions to four different islands with volunteering activities; allows you to stay on various islands and experience Galapagos off the beaten path, from land to underwater, and beyond the coastline to the highlands & volcanos.

Highlights

  • Unique Itinerary: Combines travel excursions to four different islands with volunteering activities

  • Real Galapagos” Experience: Allows you to stay on various islands and experience Galapagos off the beaten path, from land to underwater, and beyond the coastline to the highlands & volcanos.

  • Flexible Schedule: Enables you to take part in a variety of activities and excursions with options, like diving with sharks, snorkeling with sea lions, day trips to see more islands, etc.

  • Socially Responsible: Contributes revenue back into the Galapagos by creating jobs within the local community & giving back to the islands through volunteer projects that benefit the people, plants, & animals of the Galapagos.

  • Environmentally Responsible: Environmentallyconscious experience through conservation volunteering

  • Scientific Briefing: Learn important information about the native plants, animals, & people, as well as the issues affecting the Galapagos Islands.

Places You'll See

Volunteering At Our Conservation Center In San Cristobal

Snorkelling Tour In Isabella

San Cristobal Island

Santa Cruz Island

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1 : Arrival To Quito
Location: Quito
Accommodation: Hostel, Hotel
Meals Included: No Meals

Our Driver will be waiting for you to take you to your accommodation place.

Day 2 : Trip Orientation & Free Time To Know The City
Location: Quito
Accommodation: Hostel, Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

A member of the staff will visit you at your accommodation place where you will receive a comprehensive orientation about Ecuador and the program itself. You will be free for the remainder of the day to explore Ecuador´s capital city.

Day 3 : Flight From Quito To The Galapagos Islands
Location: Galápagos Ecologic Airport
Accommodation: Hostel, Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

Depart from Quito to the Galapagos. Early in the morning, you will have to arrange a transfer to the airport (domestic departures). Once there, you will have to follow the instructions we gave you, the last day. Upon your arrival to Santa Cruz, you will be greeted by our friendly guides, followed by a visit to Los Gemelos and Primicias Ranch where you can watch the Giant Galapagos Tortoises in their natural state! In the afternoon you may choose to visit the Charles Darwin Station.

Day 4 : Academy Bay Tour In Santa Cruz
Location: Puerto Ayora
Accommodation: Hostel, Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

You will be given a tour through the Bay Tour. During the trip you can observe the diversity of the underwater world and with a little bit of luck see some of the bigger inhabitants of the ocean, like marine turtles, white tip reef sharks, and manta rays. In the afternoon you can opt to visit Tortuga Bay Beach independently. The beach is located 40 minutes walking distance from the hotel, and is one of the most pristine white sandy beaches in Galapagos.

Day 5 : Full Day Tour In Santa Fe Island
Location: Santa Fé Island
Accommodation: Hostel, Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

During this tour you will visit 2 snorkel sites around the coast of Santa Fe. It is generally a great place to snorkel with the playful Galapagos sea lions. You can also see many reef fish, and sometimes turtles, reef sharks and rays. A hot lunch will be served on the boat, after which you will move to Playa Escondida. The afternoon is taken up with a visit to Playa Escondida on the coast of Santa Cruz, only accessible by boat. Here you can relax on the beach, swim or snorkel, and possibly catch site of some more friendly sea turtles.

Day 6 - 7 : Free Day In Santa Cruz Island
Location: Puerto Ayora
Accommodation: Hostel, Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Box lunch at the tour

Free time to explore the island on your own. This day you have the option to book other day tours and activities through local island operators for an additional cost. Some options to consider are:
- Scuba Diving in the underwater world of the Galapagos can be as exciting and diverse as exploring the land on the Galapagos Islands.
- Small Boat Tours are a great way to explore more remote areas of the islands and can include some hiking, snorkeling, and stops on pristine beaches only accessible by boat.

Day 8 : Speedboat Trip To San Cristobal Island
Location: San Cristóbal Island
Accommodation: Hostel, Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

This day you will have the speedboat trip to San Cristobal island. Our assitance will take you to the pier from where the trip will begin. As soon as you arrive in San Cristobal, a member of our staff will take you to your accommodation. Rest of time will be free to know the area.

Day 9 - 13 : Volunteer Work At Our Conservation Center
Location: San Cristóbal Island
Accommodation: Lodge, Homestay
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

For the next 5 days, you will contribute to the local environment of the Galapagos islands. The work will be a total challange and will finally get a possitive impact on the islands conservation. This project is focussed inrecovering gradually the native and endemic species of the Insular territory, becoming one of the main problems that the islands possess in addition to the lack of control in the management of income within the islands.

Day 14 : Free Day To Rest At The Conservation Center
Location: San Cristóbal Island
Accommodation: Lodge, Homestay
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Day to rest of the conservation work. Most of the times, all the volunteers arrange some visits to local communities, hang around at the beaches or visit the city to have fun.

Day 15 : Return To The City Of San Cristobal
Location: San Cristóbal Island
Accommodation: Hostel, Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

This day you will have to return to your accommodation in the city and be prepare for your next trip to Isabela Island, scheduled for the next day.

Day 16 : Departure To Isabela
Location: Isabela Island
Accommodation: Hostel, Hotel
Meals Included: No Meals

"Like your first trip on boat, our staff will assist you to take the boats to reach Santa Cruz first, and Isabela finally.
This day you will be departing from the hotel early in the morning to catch the fist boat to Santa Cruz. Over there, you will have free time to explore until you have to catch the afternoon speedboat to Isabela. You will be arriving around 16:30pm. A member of the hotel will greet you at the port.

Day 17 : Giant Tortoise Breeding Center And Snorkel In “Los Tuneles”
Location: Isabela Island
Accommodation: Hostel, Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

The Tortoise Breeding center houses around 330 tortoises where they are bred and reared before being released into the wild.
You also will visit Los Túneles a labyrinth of arches in crystal clear water where blue-footed boobies breed, sea lions frolic, penguins sun, tropical fish feed, white-tip reef sharks rest, and turtles navigate from the mangrove to the sea.

Day 18 : Tintoreras Islet Tour
Location: Isabela Island
Accommodation: Hostel, Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

From the port you will board a speedboat around the bay and to the small island of Las Tintoreras (white-tip sharks). From here you will be able to see penguins, sharks, blue-footed boobies, pelicans, iguanas, and sea lions. There will be some time to snorkel (snorkel gear included) and you will be able to get a great view of the different varieties of fish in the area.

Day 19 : Sierra Negra Volcano Tour
Location: Isabela Island
Accommodation: Hostel, Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Box lunch at the tour

On this tour you will see the beautiful landscape and the different lava formations produced by the most recent eruptions on the 4 hours trek to the Volcano craters of Sierra Negra & Volcán Chico.

Day 20 : Boat Back To Santa Cruz And Free Time
Location: Puerto Ayora
Accommodation: Hostel, Hotel
Meals Included: No Meals

Early morning you will take a ferry back to Santa Cruz. The rest of time will be free to enjoy of your last day in the island.

Day 21 : Flight Back To Quito
Location: Quito
Accommodation: Hostel, Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

According to the flight departure time, we will arrange a tranfer to the Baltra aiport. Once in Quito, you will have to take a taxi to your accommodation, for the last night in Ecuador.

Day 22 : International Departure From Quito
Location: Quito
Meals Included: Breakfast

This day you will have the international departure from Quito. Depending on your scheduled flight time, you have to coordinate the will pick you up from the accommodation to take you to the international airport.

What's Included

  • Accommodation

    Standard accommodation on weeks 1 and 3. Rustic shared cabins at the volunteering project on week 2

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

    Transfer-in included on your international arrival in Quito

  • Transport

    All transportation (land and aquatic) included on the described tours and itineraries.

  • Meals

    Breakfast included all days except on days 16 and 20. Full day oversea tours includes box lunch served on board.

  • Assistance

    Assistance and support 24/7 from our local office

What's Not Included

  • Fully Guided

    During the tours featured in the program, you will be accompanied by professional bilingual guides.

    For any inquiries you may have during the remaining time, our local staff will be readily available to assist you.

  • International Travel

    You have the option to buy your own international flight ticket, and we can provide assistance by helping you find favorable deals, suitable schedules, and convenient entry and exit times for your travel.

  • Domestic flight ticket

    You have the option to buy your own domestic flight ticket to the Galapagos islands.

    We will be glad to help you finding perfect times to match the itinerary.

    Alternatively, you have the option to acquire it through our company for an additional fee.

  • Local fee payments

    The Galapagos National Park requires an entrance fee for island access.

    You should budget approximately $130 USD per person to cover the necessary fees for traveling to the Galapagos.

  • Insurance

    We strongly recommend you to purchase a travel insurance.

Optional Extras

  • Domestic Flight Ticket

    You have the option to ask us to buy the domestic flight ticket to the Galapagos islands. We will be glad to help you finding perfect times to match the itinerary. Alternatively, if you purchase this extra, we will arrange all your pick-ups from/to the airport for free.

Mode of Transport

While this tour, you will get some transportation:
We will arrange private car transfers for you at all the locations. The types and models of the cars will depend on the number of clients in your group.
For overseas tours and transfers between the islands, we will utilize shared speedboats and ferries as the mode of transportation.

Accommodation

You will stay in a regular category hotel (3 stars hotel) for all the nights included in the program. This kind of accommodation will be available in Quito, Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Isabella islands.
All the places have available single, double, or triple rooms, according to your requeriments.
Facilities included:
- Rooms with private bathroom.
- Hot water.
- Air conditioner.
- TV with cable.
- Purified water to recharge in bottle (Reception).
- Dryer.
- Safe Box (Reception).
- Hand towels and bath.
- Beach towel (Reception).
- Eco Soap, shampoo and conditioner.
- Telephone in the room.
- Keep the bags.
- Breakfast.
- WIFI.
- Social Areas
- Tourist information.

While your participation at the volunteer project, the accommodation changes into a bunk-beds in share rooms. where you will stay with other volunteers.
NOTE: a private room upgrade might be possible prior request with the conservation center.

All hotels are located near to the ports, tour operators, Internet cafes, and restaurants.

Videos

Check out our Q&As

  • What currencies are required for this tour?

    Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands exclusively use United States dollars as their currency. You can make payments with cash (preferably in small bills) or credit cards at most restaurants throughout the islands. However, it's important to note that on Isabela Island, there are limited establishments that accept credit cards. Therefore, we highly recommend carrying cash for your transactions while visiting Isabela.

  • Will passengers from another country be participating in the tour?

    Yes, most of the activities included in the itinerary, as well as the conservation volunteer work at our center, are shared with other people from other countries.

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Yes, children are allowed to be part, only if they are accompanied by an adult or supervisor.

  • Do you require a visa for this holiday?

    A VISA is necessary to enter Ecuador only for specific countries worldwide. Most European countries, the Americas, Canada, Australia, etc., are permitted to travel to Ecuador and the Galapagos with just a valid passport, allowing a stay of up to 90 days without any issues.

  • What is the best time of year to travel to Galapagos?

    From December to April, the climate in the Galapagos tends to be warmer with a possibility of rain, but the sea remains calm during this period. In contrast, from June to November, the temperatures are cooler, and a gentle mist known as "garua" prevails. This season transforms the highland landscapes into lush, verdant greenery. However, it's important to emphasize that there is no one "perfect time" to explore the islands, as the rich diversity of flora and fauna can be enjoyed year-round.

  • Is the program's itinerary firm or is there room to make adjustments?

    This program is customizable! Please contact us to see how we can help make this experience suitable for you!

  • Will I know the names and details of all the accommodation before I depart?

    Yes, during our briefing in Quito, we will thoroughly go over all the services included in the program. We will review the activities day by day, provide contact names, and specify the service providers to ensure you have a wonderful and well-informed tour experience.

  • What is the tipping policy?

    In Ecuador and the Galapagos, tipping is not obligatory at the majority of restaurants and public services. We suggest giving a tip only if the service is excellent in all respects.

  • Does the project receive participants all year round?

    The Volunteer Project operates throughout the entire year, with the exception of December Holidays when activities are momentarily paused.

  • Is there a limit to luggage that can be brought on the tour?

    You are not restricted in the number of pieces of luggage you can bring; however, since you'll need to navigate between islands, engage in short walks to reach ports and attractions, we recommend using backpacker-style luggage that is easy to carry and maneuver during the tour.

  • Do I need to speak Spanish to volunteer at Galapagos?

    Even without proficiency in Spanish, you're still welcome to participate in volunteering activities in the Galapagos. Your commitment to making a difference transcends language barriers, and your contributions are valued and appreciated.

  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?

    Yes, the itinerary includes some free days to explore the locations by your own. While our briefing, we will recommend the best activities to do in your free time.

  • How do I help support conservation in the Galapagos?

    Within our program, we are committed to minimizing our footprint through conscientious land travel, placing utmost emphasis on the conservation and protection of the extraordinary wildlife. Moreover, we aim to leave a lasting positive influence by nurturing and cultivating native flora that defines this exceptional ecosystem.

  • Do I need travel insurance?

    We highly recommend travel insurance to avoid any issue while the tour.

  • Are there any fees upon arrival to the Galapagos?

    Before embarking on your journey to the islands. Here, you'll need to obtain a transit card from the Consejo del Gobierno counter, priced at $20 USD per person. This fee is payable in cash. Additionally, the entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park stands at $100 USD per person. It's worth noting that when heading to Isabela, there is an additional tax of $10 USD.

  • Are there age requirements for this program?

    You must beat least 18 years old or accompanied by an adult. This program is suitable for people over the age of 50.

  • What is the fitness level required to do this tour?

    The tours are designed for anyone, regardless of their physical condition. However, it is advisable to have a reasonable level of fitness to participate in the tours, hikes, snorkeling activities, volunteer work, etc., without encountering significant issues.

  • What is the maximum group size?

    We can accept groups until 20 people, without a problem.

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    The tour only includes a pick-up on your arrival to Ecuador, the first day of the itinerary. The other transfers, you can book them by your own, or purchased for an extra cost directly with us. If you book the domestic flight ticket through our company, all transfers will be included in Quito.

  • Are there any requirements to attend this program?

    An interest in conservation, education, the environment, and community work.

  • Are vaccinations required for this tour?

    No, we do not mandate vaccinations as a prerequisite for participating in the tour.

  • Who is responsible for the volunteer within the project?

    The volunteers are given specific instructions by the program coordinator and Lead Staff about the safety procedures of each program. Volunteers are responsible to follow all safety instructions given. The project coordinator will look after the volunteer’s safety, as long as the volunteer follows all instructions. Lead Adventures is not responsable or liable for the volunteers while they are working at the project.

  • When will my program be over?

    Most programs end on Friday or Saturday. For some programs the ending day is different. Once you have booked your program a Lead Staff member will give you this information in detail specific to your program.

  • Is there a maximum amount of time to stay at the project?

    Most programs have a maximum stay of up to 12 weeks. Please refer to the program “Dates” section for more details.

  • Is there a minimum amount of stay to sign up for a project?

    Most programs require a minimum stay of two weeks. Galapagos Experience Program the minimum stay is 10 days Please refer to the program “Dates” section for more details.

  • When should I travel to Ecuador?

    Most programs require the volunteer to arrive on Sunday. The orientation session takes place on Monday morning and the volunteer begins work on Tuesday. For some programs the arrival day is different. Once you have booked your program a Lead Staff member will give you your arrival and starting day information in detail specific to your program.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

Sarah Davies  

Galapagos program

07-Jul-2017

Hello guys! The Galapagos conservation project was great! Thank you for all your hard work, I had a brilliant time in Ecuador and would not have achieved all the experiences without you guys at Lead Adventures. Hope to return one day!

From United Kingdom
Louisa Talhi  

Amazing experience in the Galapagos

22-Dec-2017

I arrived in Quito from Peru and it was great to arrive to a secure, clean hostel. The next day I was met and given a very useful orientation as well as maps and info on both Quito and the Galapagos Islands. I felt safe and confident during all of my travels. I had constant support while away and found my whole experience with Lead Adventures excellent. Thank you so much for helping me organize such a life changing trip.

UK
Julie Attenborough
  

My Galapagos experience!

28-Feb-2015

I began my adventure with spanish lessons in Quito. It was an excellent way to start my Ecuadorian experience. Even speaking a little bit of the language can help tremendously! My Galapagos experience will stay with me forever- a truly magical place of outstanding beauty and wildlife. Thanks you for ensuring that everything ran smoothly and for your assistance/friendliness too!

UK
 February 2015

Dates & Availability

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Apr 28, 2024 - May 19, 2024
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Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    LEAD ADVENTURES allows you to make 1 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 60 days before the start of the tour.

  • Low Deposit

    LEAD ADVENTURES requires a minimum deposit of 200 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 30 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of lead adventures charges.

    Up to 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 15 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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