Ecuador & The Galapagos Experience
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
- Creating a suitable living environment for the reintroduction of the Galapagos Giant Tortoise
- Aiding organic farming processes
- Working with local farms, schools, children, and other organizations on San Cristobal Island
- Assisting in hacienda tasks such as milking cows, and producing coffee
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
- Visit the natural habitat of the Galápagos tortoise: 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, and see sharks, eagle and golden rays, as well as dozens of species of tropical fish, clams, starfish, and marine invertebrates
- Participate in a guided tour of Guayaquil
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 your group in all that is Ecuador.
Student trip itineraries are completely customizable for your groups desires and needs.
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. 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 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 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.
Days 4 - 5 - Community Service Project
Days 4 and 5 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. Enjoy a feast and musical gathering.
On Day 5 – we will head back to Quito in the late afternoon.
Day 6 - Transfer to Santa Cruz Island
In the morning the group will head to the airport and board a flight for 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. Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Day 7 - 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.
Days 8 - 10 - 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!
AirfareRoundtrip group airfare to Quito, Ecuador, and to the Galapagos Islands
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.