Explore Ecuador & The Galapagos: Summer Teen Experience- 12-Day
Activities and Service Learning:
- 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
- On the Galapagos Island: Harvest Legumes, eradicate invasive species and build a greenhouse to grow native species.
Adventure & Exploration:
- Hike to the base of Chimborazo Volcano
- Participate in a Quito walking tour
- Visit some bustling markets and see Ecuador’s parliament and government buildings
- Enjoy a day on a boat, lunch and snorkeling included
- See colonies of sea lions, marine turtles, blue-footed boobies, and frigate birds up close in the wild
- Enjoy Snorkeling, and see sharks, eagle and golden rays, as well as dozens of species of tropical fish, clams, starfish, and marine invertebrates
- Visit the natural habitat of the Galápagos tortoise
- Come across pintail ducks, egrets, flycatchers, finches, and frigate birds
- Visit a tortoise reserve—learn about the history and preservation efforts surrounding this amazing species
- Lava Tubes Activity
Help sheer alpaca with a Quichua community living in the shadows of 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 you in all that is Ecuador. Immerse yourself into community service projects working alongside the local community. Discover the beautiful Galapagos Islands and learn more about the marine turtles, eagle rays, and sea lions in their natural environment. To top it all off, experience snorkeling, hiking and the lava tubes in this amazing South American country.
Open to students in Grade 9, 10, 11 and 12.
All activities, meals, bus transportation and accommodations are included in the the cost!
Flights are not included in the tour cost.
Total tour cost is priced in USD.
Day 1 - Travel to Ecuador
Arrive in Quito, Ecuador. Your Evolve leaders will meet you at Quito airport, excited to spend the upcoming days together.
Transfer to your Quito hotel via private bus. Get some rest after a long travel day.
Day 2 - WELCOME TO SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND
In the morning the group will head to the airport and board a flight for the Galapagos Islands. Once the group arrives on San Cristobal, 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.
Days 3 - 5 - WORKING IN HACIENDA PROJECTS
During the next few 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 6 - BOAT RIDE & SNORKELING
We will spend our day today 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. There is a good chance of seeing Galápagos sharks, eagle and golden rays, as well as dozens of species of tropical fish, clams, starfish, and marine invertebrates. We will enjoy lunch on the boat as well as time at a secluded beach. Return to San Cristobal, and enjoy a special final dinner at the hacienda.
Day 7 - TRANSFER TO SANTA CRUZ ISLAND
Board a fast boat 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.
Day 8 - Return to Quito
In the morning, the group will transfer to the Santa Cruz airport and board a flight back to mainland Ecuador. Overnight in Quito.
Day 9 - QUITO
After breakfast enjoy a walking tour of the Old City in Quito. 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 Ecuadorian dinner. Accommodations will be in Quito.
Day 10 - 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. We will enjoy lunch in the town of Riobamba—begin learning about the indigenous communities centered in this city and the city’s crucial role with the arrival of Spanish colonists. Following lunch, the group will travel to Casa Condor. Casa Condor is the main lodging facility in the center of the Pulinqui community, located at the base of the Chimborazo volcano. The community is located at the highest altitude of any community in the country, 3 830 meters above sea level. The Casa Condor 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.
Days 11 - 12 - VOLUNTEER, BIOLOGY, & COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES
The next 2 days 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. In the afternoons we will have a chance to hike up to ‘Black Rock’, with stunning panoramic views of Chimborazo and Riobamba, as well as visit natural hotsprings on the other side of the volcano. Enjoy a feast and musical gathering at Casa Condor
Head back to Quito in the late afternoon on Day 12.
Say goodbye to your Evolve Tours Director and depart after an incredible trip together in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.
AirfareInternational airfare is NOT included**
Return coach airfare from Quito, Ecuador to Galapagos Islands is included
BusPrivate bus transportation as needed for duration of trip
FerryHigh speed ferry transportation between islands
Eco LodgeEvolve works with eco-lodges which promote sustainable living practices
HotelsCentrally located, student friendly, 3 * minimum, acclaimed hotels
Three meals a day included in tour. Meals at locally owned and run restaurants and accommodations serving authentic cuisine sufficient for all appetites.
Since the Earth bulges at the Equator, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point from the center of the Earth and the closest point to the sun.
Places You’ll Visit
The highest point from earth's center, and near or Quichua community interaction.
Biggest city near where we will be based in the highlands.
Have a day to explore the capital city of the country.
Quick layover city on our way out to the Galapagos!.
Home to our eco hacienda home in the Galapagos.
Bike & explore lava tubes on our second Galapagos island.