Trip SummarySee full itinerary
The Galapagos are a set of the most stunning islands in the world, period. We love them here at Real Gap, and somewhere so exotic is begging to be explored from top to bottom!
If you want to get stuck in to some awesome volunteering work whilst seeing places off the beaten track, the Galapagos Experience is for you. There are a handful of different projects which help to preserve the Galapagos most threatened species, and the beautiful flora and fauna the island is known for. In this three week adventure you'll get a chance to see this gorgeous place- whilst hopefully bumping into a great Galapagos turtle along the way!
|Dates of Departures||Duration||Price (Land Only)||Trip Status|
|1 November 2015||3 weeks||$3,989||Available||Book now|
|6 December 2015||3 weeks||$3,989||Available||Book now|
|10 January 2016||3 weeks||$4,069||Available||Book now|
|24 January 2016||3 weeks||$4,069||Available||Book now|
|7 February 2016||3 weeks||$4,069||Available||Book now|
|21 February 2016||3 weeks||$4,069||Available||Book now|
|6 March 2016||3 weeks||$4,069||Available||Book now|
|20 March 2016||3 weeks||$4,069||Available||Book now|
|3 April 2016||3 weeks||$4,069||Available||Book now|
|17 April 2016||3 weeks||$4,069||Available||Book now|
|8 May 2016||3 weeks||$4,069||Available||Book now|
|22 May 2016||3 weeks||$4,069||Available||Book now|
|5 June 2016||3 weeks||$4,069||Available||Book now|
|19 June 2016||3 weeks||$4,069||Available||Book now|
A typical itinerary (3 weeks)
Week 1: Conservation (3 weeks)
Week 2: Environmental, community and social projects (3 weeks)
Week 3: Tours (3 weeks)
The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands nearly a thousand kilometres west of mainland Ecuador. They are known for their awesome wildlife... (and the important role it had on Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, but this ain't no history lesson!).
On this adventure and a half you'll see the Galapagos in all its glory, and have the chance to get stuck in on our volunteering projects.
Hiiii Real Gappers, welcome to the Galapagos! We'll spend the first couple of nights of this epic adventure in the city of Quito in mainland Ecuador; when you arrive at Quito International airport you'll be transferred to your accommodation to get a good nights sleep. On day 2 we'll have an introduction- which is the perfect chance to get to know everybody and meet our in country Real Gappers!
After our little intro sesh, we'll transfer over to Santa Cruz, which hosts the largest human population of any of the islands. Some of the highlights of your stay in Santa Cruz include:
Tours recommended for during your free time:
During the second week of our Real Gap Galapagos adventure we'll transfer via speedboat to the island of San Cristobel - which is an unguided part of the trip. The type of volunteer work you do will depend on the time of year, you are there but you will always be given plenty of time to explore these epic islands.
The final part of your Galapagos adventure unfolds on the picturesque island of Isabela. Your activities here may include:
If you do have anymore questions regarding our once in a lifetime trip, give our travel advisors a ring! They're always on hand to help out.
Week 1- Santa Cruz
Upon arrival into the awesome Santa Cruz you'll receive a warm reception at the canal prior to a visit to los gemelos and primicias ranch where you may get to watch Galapagos Giant Tortoise in the wild (please note this trip is not available during Christmas and New Year). The afternoon is free time and we would recommend a visit to the Charles Darwin Station and Breeding Centre. Breakfast and hostel accommodation included.
Next day you will visit Tortuga Bay Beach in the morning, one of the most pristine white sand beaches in the Galapagos. In the afternoon or morning tour Academy Bay. 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 tipped reef sharks or manta rays. Breakfast and hostel accommodation included.
The following day will take you to Santa Fé Island (approx.1.30 hours by speedboat). This pacific island is located half way between the islands of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal. The island is shaped like a bean and has a gorgeous lagoon in the middle. The lagoons of Santa Fé Island provide an excellent place for snorkelling alongside colourful fishes, sea lions, giant tuna and even small sharks that are often sited in there. Breakfast, box lunch and hostel accommodation included.
The next day, you’ll be involved in the volunteer project. A guide will pick you from the hotel, to take you to the highland of Santa Cruz to start your working on reforestation, eradication of evasive plants, planting of new seeds, etc. Breakfast, box lunch, accommodation included.
On this adventure and a half you'll see the Galapagos in all its glory, and have the chance to get stuck in on our volunteering projects.
Week 2- San Cristobal
Early afternoon, take the speed boat from Santa Cruz to San Cristobal. You'll make your own way across to the island, and upon arrival into San Cristobal you can take a taxi or walk to your accommodation at the hostel in the town. No meals are included.
For the next two days, you will be based in the Biological station helping out with Project work - this is an unguided part of the trip, however coordinators will be on hand to help when needed. Volunteer house accommodation included with three meals a day.
You will leave the Biological station after lunch (transfer back to town not included), and will have the next two days free to explore the island or book more tours. (meals not included over the weekend).
You depart from San Cristobal early morning 6:30am, going via Santa Cruz, to spend your next week on Isabella -one of the most pristine Islands of the Galapagos. Hostel accommodation included – no meals included.
Week 3- Isabela Island
Start off with the Volcan Sierra Negra tour. Admire the beautiful landscapes and different lava formations produced by the most recent eruptions. Breakfast, dinner and hostel accommodation included.
The next day, you're off to Tintoreras Islet Tour. From the Wharf you will board a speedboat that will take you for a ride around the bay until you reach the small island of Las Tintoreras ( famous for white-tip sharks). Witness penguins, sharks, blue-footed boobies, pelicans, iguanas, sea lions and much more. There will be some time to snorkel (snorkel gear included) where you will be able to get a great view of the many different varieties of fish. Breakfast, dinner and hostel accommodation included.
On your last day in Isabella you will visit the Tortoise Breeding Centre, which houses around 330 tortoises; it is a place for a tortoise to be bred and reared before it is released into the wild. Following your visit to the centre, you will visit Los Túneles, a labyrinth of arches lined in crystal clear water, breeding ground of blue-footed boobies and playground for frolicking sea lions. Here penguins sun themselves, tropical fish feed, white-tip reef sharks rest, and turtles majestically navigate from the mangrove to the sea. Breakfast, and hostel accommodation included.
Finally, the next day, you will have an early departure to Santa Cruz where you will spend the last day before you head back to Quito. No meals included. Hostel accommodation included.
Early in the morning you will have to reach the Baltra airport to catch your flight back to Quito. Transfer not included but can be easily arranged by onsite staff. Transfer from the airport to the hostel in Quito included. Hostel accommodation included.
To get a detailed PDF of information for this trip including full itinerary, country guides and travel advice on visas, money, insurance and the local weather, download our trip notes. By doing so you’ll also be kept updated on all the latest news, offers and stories on this particular trip. Happy reading!
Minimum 17 years with written parental consent, maximum depends on potential participants’ health.
Your first two nights on Sunday and Monday you will be staying at a hostel in Quito. In Santa Cruz Island you will spend Tuesday and Saturday staying at a hostel in a shared room.
During your stay on San Cristobal Island you will stay in our comfortable hotel (shared accommodation) as soon as you reach the islands, and on the free weekend after your volunteering days. At the biological station, the volunteer house has shared dorm rooms. The house is very rustic and basic made from a mixture of materials of native bamboo and cement. Separated from the houses there are a dining room and a kitchen. The reserve has electricity, purify water, but there is no Internet or telephone access. During your time in Isabela Island you will be staying at our hostel (shared accommodation).
Most meals are not included in the trip. Breakfast is included during most of your trip with it only not included during your time at the hotel on San Cristoba. During your time at the biological station you will have three meals a day included. Some of the day tours include lunch boxes however this can vary so please budget to cover these.
You will have a comprehensive orientation in Quito, reviewing your activities, services and tours included during the project, and health and safety considerations. This will also be a chance for you to ask any questions that you have about the project.
Throughout your stay in Ecuador you will have the full support of the project staff. You will be provided with competent assistance and help with any questions, or advice, you may need during your stay.
The program doesn’t include a full time guide in each location. We have coordinators who will assist you with any question you might have on the itinerary. They also will confirm the tour schedules for everyday.
Please note: There is not a bank at the airport on the Galapagos. You will need US$130 cash on arrival. We recommend you withdraw this in Quito
Throughout your programmes you will have the support and guidance of the programme co-ordinator and team. You will be provided with competent assistance and help with any questions or advice you may need during your stay.
You will be assigned a personal travel advisor who will co-ordinate your programme with you. Feel free to contact them at any time before you go, or when you are on your travels.
In addition, you will have access to a 24 hour emergency contact number so you can contact one of our staff at any time should you need to.
We are happy to help with flights and can pass you onto our flights specialist after you book.
Group sizes vary from month to month, as you travel to each conservation station you will meet volunteers at different points. It is a popular destination and you are sure to make lots of friends.
For general spending money it is suggested that you budget to have approximately £50-£75 per week that you are on the experience. If there are specific excursions or extra activities that you plan to do in your spare time then consider travelling with more money.
The Galapagos Experience is a great way to explore the islands, during your time at the placement you will spend time on Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Isabela.
We get a vast array of different ages taking part, each month can vary. We can give you advice on the ages of those booked on when you speak to one of the team.
This trip requires a Police Check to be carried out - please contact us for further information on how to do this.
I've done this tripWrite review
Its hard work but all worth it, making a difference!
So many highlights, even just the fact I was on the Islands themselves. Seeing all the unique and endemic wildlife. Trekking up volcano Sierra Negra and seeing the harsh volcanic landscape contrasting with the beautiful scenic beaches. Snorkelling in Los Tunnels on Isabella and getting up close to turtles and sharks!
1. SCUBA diving if you can - seeing the hammerhead sharks at Gordon Rocks was amazing 2. Take plenty of insect repellent 3. Be open minded
Beautiful, Amazing, you don't need luxuries galapagos is a luxury!
I loved all the galapagos islands but the last week in Isabela was a fantastic way to finish off the trip. My best day was my free day but the trips were all good as well. Isabela is just a beautiful island.
1. Prepare to get dirty and very dusty! bring clothes and shoes that you are happy to get ruined, some of the dust was ingrained in my clothes even after washing. 2. Do as many extra trips as you can afford, there is just so much to see and the snorkelling is fantastic. 3. You are going to a place most people can only dream about, so ENJOY IT!
FANTASTIC, would do it again in a heart beat
Swimming with Sea Lions Seeing my first Giant land Tortoise, and all the Marine Iguanas
Wonderful experience of the real Galapagos - islands, animals and people.
Snorkling with turtles and sea lions on Isabela. Climbing Sierra Negra on Isabela. Seeing maring iguanas everywhere! The fiendliness of the Ecuadorian people.
Take warm clothes as well as sun clothes. Take an little umbrella - great for quick showers or as a parasol / small wind break.
AMAZING TIME, made life long friends.
San Cristobol volunteering Surfing lessons Scuba Diving Swimming with sea lions and sharks
Take lots of suncream and mosquito repelant. Take long sleeved tops for volunteering
Having recovered from the horror of Jatun Sacha I loved the trip. The sun, sea, beaches, boats and wildlife were amazing. i think that myh original plan for 4 weeks with the tortoises may have been three weeks too may, the three different Islands was just perfect.
The sun, sea, beaches, boats and wildlife were amazing.
More information on conditions, ie wet/ dry seasons and what clothing is really needed.
Trip of a lifetime even the bad bits made me strong!
Being somewhere as special as the Galapagos Islands, the lovely ladies I met on the same trip as me, the animals...EVERYTHING!!
1 -Learn the local language - not just a bit but enough to communicate if you are ever alone...and so you understand what is being said around you! 2 - Travel as basic as you can, you can always buy what you don't need and it's better to have stuff with you you will not miss if lost or ruined! 3 - Write home to family & friends as much as you can & share the joy with them- they'll love you for it!