Evolve ToursEvolve Tours » Ecuador 


Become a modern day Darwin: explore the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador and observe an interconnected ecosystem

Help sheer alpaca with a Quichua community living in the shadow of a 6,000 meter mountain, explore unparalleled biodiversity living in the Amazon Rainforest, help eradicate invasive species, and go deep sea snorkeling in the Galapagos!  Working with National Geographic-rated eco-lodges, sustainable and organic farms, and indigenous Chichewa communities, Evolve Ecuador will seamlessly immerse your group in all that is Ecuador.

Evolvetours Trip Ecuador 1

  • Evolvetours Destinations Ecuador 3

    Program Highlights

    Community Service Programming
    • Participate in a community service project with the Pulinqui community, located at the base of the Chimborazo volcano.
    • Stay at a local hacienda (organic farm) on the Galapagos Islands.
    • Community service projects may include: reforestation and eradicating invasive species such as wild berries, aiding organic farming processes, or assisting in hacienda tasks such as milking cows and producing coffee.
    • Working with local farms, schools, children, and other organizations on San Cristobal Island.
  • Evolvetours Destinations Ecuador 14

    Program Highlights

    Culture, Adventure, and Biology Programming
    • Participate in a Quito walking tour: visit the historic district, bustling markets and Ecuador’s parliament and government buildings 
    • Visit the Equator line at Mitad del Mundo 
    • Enjoy hikes around the base of Chimborazo volcano 
    • Partake in a cultural evening of dance and music
    • Participate in a guided tour of Guayaquil
  • Evolvetours Destinations Ecuador 6

    Program Highlights

    Culture, Adventure, and Biology Programming
    • Creating a suitable living environment for the reintroduction of the Galapagos Giant Tortoise.  Visit their natural habitat and learn about the history and preservation efforts surrounding this amazing species.
    • Explore the Charles Darwin Research Station; see colonies of sea lions, marine turtles, blue-footed boobies, and frigate birds up close in the wild.
    • Enjoy snorkeling: see sharks, eagle/golden rays, and dozens of species of tropical fish, clams, starfish, and marine invertebrates.
Evolvetours Destinations Ecuador 19

Sample Itineraries

Ecuador & the Galapagos Experience

Day 1: Travel to Ecuador

Travel to Quito, Ecuador! Your Evolve leader will meet you at Quito airport, excited to spend the upcoming days together. Transfer to our Quito hotel via private bus.

Day 2: Quito

After breakfast drive back to Quito enjoy a walking tour of the Old City. Here students will visit some bustling markets, view some of the most impressive churches in Latin America and see Ecuador’s parliament and government buildings. After lunch the group will visit the Equator line at Mitad del Mundo, where they learn with experiments a lot about the Equator and they will also learn about the different indigenous groups of Ecuador. In the evening your group will be treated to a traditional dinner. Accommodations will be in Quito.

Day 3: Riobamba, Casa Condor

After an early breakfast we will board our bus and drive through the Andes. We will make stops for snacks and bathrooms en route to our final destination with our hosts of the Pulinqui community. The community is located at the highest altitude of any community in the country, 3 830 meters above sea level, at the base of the Chimborazo Volcano, the highest in the country! The lodge is a multi-purpose structure that has dormitories, bathrooms, and hot showers. It is here where the group will participate in different events, like local fiestas or daily activities that facilitate sharing cultures and knowledge.

Day 4: Casa Condor / Chimborazo

Days 4 will be based at a community service project where the goal is to provide a centre for the preservation and promotion of local Pulinqui culture, which includes plant use, customs, history, daily practices and mythology. Activities may include: planting indigenous trees and plants to improve soil quality and prevent erosion; help sheer sheep and alpaca and aid the local clothes production process; participate in cultural and language exchanges with the local community members; and much more.

Day 5: 

This morning we will have a chance to hike up to ‘Black Rock’, with stunning panoramic views of Chimborazo and Riobamba. The afternoon we will be spent working with the community on a local project. Our final night with the community will be spent with a final briefing and music and dancing!

Day 6: Return to Quito / Overnight

Enjoy one final morning activity with the community before driving back to Quito. Enjoy an afternoon at the local handicraft market, and dinner in one of Quito’s fine restuarants.

Day 7: Transfer to Santa Cruz Island

Fly to the Galapagos Islands. Welcome to Santa Cruz Island, the natural habitat of the Galápagos tortoise. As we explore this area, we’ll also come across pintail ducks, egrets, flycatchers, finches, and frigate birds bathing in freshwater lakes. The group will explore lava caves featuring incredible volcanic tunnel formations. Enjoy dinner this evening and stay in a hotel.

Day 8: Transfer to San Cristobal Island

After breakfast, the group will take a fast boat from Santa Cruz to San Cristobal. Once the group arrives, you will transfer to the southern part of the Island to reach an organic farm. The farm or “hacienda” also has a soccer field, social areas, bathrooms and showers on the property. After lunch we will settle into our dorms and spend the afternoon learning from our hosts about the problems that face the Galapagos Islands. In the evening there will be workshop with a local biologist or scientist, and an explanation of what effect our efforts will have.

Day 9 - 11: Hacienda

During the next 3 days the group will begin our work in the hacienda projects which could include; Reforestation and eradicating invasive species such as wild berries; Creating a suitable living environment for the reintroduction of the Galapagos Giant Tortoise; Aiding organic farming processes; and working with the local community, children, and other organizations on the island (depending on group preference and interest). The volunteers on the Hacienda maintain their own organic garden, milk their own cows, and grow, dry and roast their own coffee—we will help out with these and other tasks on the Hacienda as well. During many afternoons we will have the opportunities to explore the town at the base of the island, spend time on the pristine beaches alongside of sealions and iguanas.

Day 12: Transfer back to Mainland and Homeward Bound

Fly back to the mainland. In the afternoon we will take a guided tour of Guayaquil. Enjoy a final meal as a group and board an overnight flight out of Ecuador towards home.

Day 13: Arrive Home

Arrive back in your home city after an incredible trip to Ecuador!

Scientific Research & Experience

Day 1: Travel to Ecuador

Transfer to Guayaquil hotel, get a quick night’s sleep before we finish travel journey next morning.

Day 2: Arrive in San Cristobal, Galapagos

Next stop, Galapagos National Park. Welcome to our renowned and sustainable eco-lodge. Learn about the organic farming and sustainable practices taking place on our hacienda, the work that is being done to make the grounds suitable for the reintroduction of the Galapagos Tortoise and how the hacienda works hand-in-hand with the local community to improve the lives of all.

Day 3: Interpretive Center, Charles Darwin Walk, Introduction to Research Project

Visit the San Cristobal Centro de Interpretación (Interpretive Center). Walk the coastline, bird watch, spot wildlife and explore Darwin’s history on the island. We end our walk at a secluded beach with large iguanas and sea-lions living there. We will have an introduction to the research project that we will be partaking in over the next two days.

Day 4 - 8: Scientific Research on Island, Additional Activities

Team up with our partners and scientists of Parque Nacional Galapagos and other local experts to participate in meaningful scientific research. Additional activities available in between scientific research include: Working with Organic Farmers Visiting a Tortoise Sanctuary Tour Laguno El Junco Surf Lessons Snorkeling Trips … and much more!

Day 9: Boat Ride & Snorkeling

Our day is spent on a private boat travelling around the island’s perimeter, swimming and snorkeling at various times. The route that the group takes is home to colonies of sea lions, marine turtles, blue-footed boobies, and frigate birds. Enjoy lunch on the boat and spend time at a secluded beach.

Day 10: Return to Mainland Ecuador

Flight back to mainland Ecuador. Visit the craft market in Guayaquil, where we will get some final Ecuadorian shopping in before the end of the trip. Debrief discussion to wrap up the trip. Board overnight flight homeward bound.

Day 11: Arrive Home

Arrive home, excited to see our friends and families after an amazing trip to the Galapagos together.
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Learning Objectives

Observe and Interact

What better place to observe the interconnectedness of plants, animals and the environment than the Galapagos archipelago? Students will harness their knowledge to design solutions to pressing problems at home and in the world.

Creatively Use and Respond to Change

Change is inevitable. How we handle change is up to us. By pausing and observing first, students will work hand-in-hand with communities on the ground to learn how and when to intervene.

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Let's Travel Together

We're happy to help answer any questions you might have about a trip to Ecuador: Accommodations, Meals, Flights, Activites, Itinerary and more!

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