Service Learning in the Galápagos

Ecuador | 8 days / 7 nights
Virgen del Panecillo Quito. Ecuador

DAY 1: USA | QUITO

  • ¡Bienvenidos a Ecuador! A Forum Tour Representative will greet you at the airport and help you transfer to your hotel for night accommodation (dinner on your own).​

DAY 2: QUITO │ MITAD DEL MUNDO​

  • ​Breakfast at your hotel. ​
  • Explore Quito’s historic center; the best preserved and least altered historic center in America. ​
  • Learn about Quito’s rich history and artistic legacy, while admiring the wonderful architecture of its colonial buildings and the uniqueness of art pieces from the famous Quito School of art.​
  • Lunch with your group. ​
  • Later, visit the Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World), commemorating the 1735 geodesic mission in which a group of French scientists journeyed to the equator to better determine the Earth’s shape. Their discoveries led to the understanding that the Earth is not a perfect sphere, but rather bulges slightly at the equator and flattens at the poles. Snap a photo while standing with one foot in each hemisphere! ​
  • Before dinner, hit the dance floor and learn to salsa with your group. ​
  • Enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel. ​
Iguana

DAY 3: QUITO │ GALÁPAGOS​

  • ​After breakfast at your hotel, transfer to the airport to board your flight to the Galápagos! Arrive at Baltra’s airport and meet your local guide, who will assist you with transfer to Santa Cruz Island. ​
  • Explore the highlands of Santa Cruz, characterized by their beautiful Scalesia forest and luxuriant vegetation. ​
  • Visit Los Gemelos (The Twins)–two huge volcanic depressions.​
  • Continue to the Giant Tortoise Reserve, where you will have the opportunity to observe these amazing animals in the wild. ​
  • After lunch at a local restaurant, head to Puerto Ayora to check in at your hotel.​
  • Enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. ​

DAY 4: ISLAND EXCURSION​

  • After breakfast, journey by boat from Puerto Ayora to one of the nearby islands. Your excursion will be led by a naturalist guide who will introduce you to the amazing Galápagos ecosystem. Learn about the island’s formation and discover its unique flora and fauna. ​
Galapagos Islands
  • You may visit: Bartholomew, Floreana, North Seymour, Bachas, Plazas Island, Isabela or Santa Fe Island (specific island will be confirmed before departure by the Galápagos National Park and is subject to change without previous notice. Due to the National Park regulations, groups will be divided into groups of 16 people; each group will be accompanied by a local guide).​
  • Lunch with your group. ​
  • In the afternoon, return to Puerto Ayora for dinner and night accommodation.

DAY 5: COMMUNITY SERVICE │ TORTUGA BAY

  • Today, participate in a community service and environmental activity.
  • Visit a private reserve in the agricultural zone to work on a project in one of the following areas: sustainable development, organic agriculture, habitat restoration (trail maintenance, beach cleaning), reforestation, or ecological education.
Ecuador - Galapagos
  • Upon arrival to the site, you will enjoy breakfast and an orientation to the service activities scheduled for the day. Lunch will be served on site as well. You will also take part in group discussions and a final reflection.
  • The remainder of the afternoon is yours to enjoy as you wish. Head to Tortuga Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches on Santa Cruz Island, or enjoy some shopping in Puerto Ayora.
  • Dinner and night accommodation in Puerto Ayora.

DAY 6: SANTA CRUZ │ CHARLES DARWIN STATION​

  • ​After breakfast at your hotel, visit the Fabricio Valverde Environmental Park, managed by the Municipality of Santa Cruz. Constructed in order to collect inorganic material from the island for recycling, the station recycles approximately 40% of the waste material generated in Santa Cruz.​
  • Lunch with your group.​
  • In the afternoon, visit the Charles Darwin Station and learn about the conservancy challenges faced by the Galápagos Islands from the station’s experts. ​
  • Dinner and night accommodation in Puerto Ayora.​
Blue Footed Booby

DAY 7: GALÁPAGOS │ QUITO

  • After breakfast, transfer to Baltra’s airport for your flight back to Quito. You will be served a snack lunch on board.
  • Upon arrival in Quito, transfer to your hotel.
  • Enjoy some free time for your final afternoon, followed by a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY 8: DEPART

Transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

¡Hasta pronto y buen viaje!