Galapagos Experience
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From $3,879 (was $4,309), 3 weeks, across Ecuador, & Galapagos Trip code: EGGE

  • Adventure 5 out of 5
  • Relaxation 4 out of 5
  • Culture 4 out of 5
Galapagos ExperienceGalapagos ExperienceGalapagos Experience

Trip Highlights

  • Explore the Galapagos islands and help preserve its awesome wildlife
  • Visit the Galapagos giant tortoise in its homeland!
  • Get to know the 'Real' Galapagos by spending time at three unique islands
  • Learn from local scientists about the island's current social and environmental issues 
  • Return flights from Quito to Galapagos Islands included (yes!)

Trip Summary

See 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! 

 

 

 


When do I want to go?

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Dates of Departures Duration Price (Land Only) Trip Status
3 August 20143 weeksNow $3,879 Was $4,309 Save 10%AvailableBook now
12 August 20143 weeksNow $3,879 Was $4,309 Save 10%Limited AvailabilityCall Us 1-800-985-4852
7 September 20143 weeksNow $3,879 Was $4,309 Save 10%AvailableBook now
5 October 20143 weeks$4,309AvailableBook now
2 November 20143 weeks$4,309AvailableBook now
7 December 20143 weeks$4,309AvailableBook now
4 January 20153 weeks$4,315AvailableBook now
1 February 20153 weeks$4,315AvailableBook now
1 March 20153 weeks$4,315AvailableBook now
5 April 20153 weeks$4,315AvailableBook now
3 May 20153 weeks$4,315AvailableBook now
7 June 20153 weeks$4,315AvailableBook now
5 July 20153 weeks$4,315AvailableBook now
2 August 20153 weeks$4,315AvailableBook now
6 September 20153 weeks$4,315AvailableBook now
4 October 20153 weeks$4,315AvailableBook now
1 November 20153 weeks$4,315AvailableBook now
6 December 20153 weeks$4,315AvailableBook now

What will I be doing?

  • A typical itinerary (3 weeks)

  • Week 1: Conservation (3 weeks)

  • Week 2: Environmental, community and social projects (3 weeks)

  • Week 3: Tours (3 weeks)

A typical itinerary: 3 weeks

Next Leg

Destination info

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.

 

 

  • Location: Galapagos

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:

 

  • Visits to Los Gemelos and Primicias Ranch to observe Galapagos giant tortoises
  • Tours around the Charles Darwin Station and Breeding Centre
  • A trip to Tortuga Bay beach, one of the most pristine beaches in the Galapagos.
  • The diverse marine life of Academy Bay
  • Getting involved in conservation projects  

During the second week of our Real Gap Galapagos adventure we'll transfer via speedboat to the island of San Cristobel. 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:

 

  • Guided tours of the Isabela Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre and Wall of Tears
  • A trip to the small island of Las Tinoreras, where you will get the chance to see penguins, sharks, pelicans and iguanas.
  • Exploring the otherworldly landscape and lava formations of Volcan Sierra Negra and Volcan Chico.

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: Conservation: 3 weeks

Next Leg

Destination info

 

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 into our volunteering projects.
  • Location: Santa Cruz

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 will include a visit to the Charles Darwin Station and Breeding Centre. Breakfast and hostel accommodation included.

 

Next day you will visit Tortuga Bay Beach, 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 starts with orientation in Pto Ayora and will get involved with conservation activities at the project at highland of the Island. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and volunteer house accommodation included.


Spend the day enjoying project work where you may have the opportunity to see large groups of wild tortoises. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and volunteer house accommodation included. The following day you Leave the project after lunch, and spend the night at the town. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and volunteer hostel accommodation included. And you have a further free day to explore the island or book extra tours.

Week 2: Environmental, community and social projects: 3 weeks

Next Leg

Destination info

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.

  • Location: San Cristobal

Week 2- San Cristobal

 

Early afternoon, take the speed boat from Santa Cruz to San Cristobal. Upon arrival into San Cristobal you will take a taxi to your accommodation at the hostel in the town, no meals included.

 

For the next two days, you will be based in the Biological station helping out with Project work. This will vary according to the time you are there and will be discussed on arrival to the Island. Volunteer house accommodation included with three meals a day.
 

You will leave the Biological station in the morning after the group activity and then have the day free to explore the island. You will spent the night at a hostel and will need to prepare your own meals.
 

The next two days are yours, to explore or book more tours.

 

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: Tours: 3 weeks

Destination info

 

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.
 
  • Location: Isabela

Week 3- Isabela Island

 

Start off with a guided visit to the Isabela Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre and Wall of Tears - this wall was erected by convicts in the first half of this century when the area served as a penal colony. Many prisioners died during the work due to the arduous labour and harsh conditions and the construction earned its infamous name Wall of Tears or Muro de las Lagrimas. 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 or the small island of Las Tintoreras (white-fin sharks). Witness penguins, sharks, blue-legged piqueros, pelicans, iguanas and sea lions. 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.


Enjoy a tour of Volcan Sierra Negra and Volcan Chico on the third day. Admire the beautiful landscapes and different lava formations produced by the most recent eruptions. Breakfast, dinner and hostel accommodation included.


You then have a free day to explore the beautiful Island. Snorkel with sea lions at Concha Perla, lay on the beach, watch flamingos, or book extra tours. Breakfast, dinner and hostel accommodation included.

 

Your last day has an early departure to Santa Cruz to catch your flight back to Quito. Transfer not included but can be easily arranged by onsite staff. Night back included at the hostel in Quito
 

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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!

What's included?

  • Two nights in Quito on arrival
  • Return flights from Quito to Galapagos Islands
  • Orientation in Quito
  • All accommmodation
  • Some boat transfers between islands
  • Some meals
  • Arrival airport transfer

What's not included?

  • International flights
  • National Park entrance fee and tourist card to enter the Galapagos (US$110)
  • Return airport transfer - $35 USD payable locally
  • Lunch and dinner in Quito
  • Some meals on the islands
  • Return boat transfer from Isabela to Santa Cruz
  • Return bus transfer to Baltra airport on Santa Cruz
  • Travel insurance

Additional Information & FAQs

Minimum age

Minimum 17 years with written parental consent, maximum depends on potential participants’ health.

 

Accommodation

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 Wednesday staying at a hostel in a shared room. For the latter part of your time in Santa Cruz you will stay at a volunteer house in the reserve in shared dorm rooms. The house has a dining room, single sex bathrooms, cold showers, a fully equipped kitchen, computer area, reading area, laundry room and medium sized sports field.  

 

During your stay on San Cristobal Island you will stay in one of two houses in the biological station in shared dorm rooms. The houses are very rustic and basic made from a mixture of materials of native bamboo and cement. Separated from the houses there is a dining room and a kitchen. The reserve has electricity but there is no Internet or telephone access. You will spend your last two nights in a hostel in shared accommodation. During your volunteer work on Isabela Island you will be staying at a family hostel with double and triple rooms. The hostel has hot water for showers, a dining room, electricity and common areas to share with the family and other volunteers.

 

Meals

While in Quito, breakfasts are included, however you will need to buy your own lunch and dinner. At the hostel on Santa Cruz only breakfast is included while at the volunteer house you will receive three meals a day. Three meals are included during your stay at the station house on San Cristobal. At the hostel you will need to buy and prepare your own food. Whilst on Isabela, you will receive breakfast and dinner each day.

 

Orientation

You will have a comprehensive orientation in Quito (around 2 hours), explaining what you will be doing during the project, your tasks, ideas about what to do in your free time, 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 and guidance of the project staff. You will be provided with competent assistance and help with any questions, or advice, you may need during your stay.

 

Please note: There is not a bank at the airport on the Galapagos. You will need US$110 cash on arrival. We recommend you withdraw this in Quito.
 

Advice & Safety

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.

 

FAQ

1. Can you help me with flights to the Galapagos?

We are happy to help with flights and can add them to your itinerary when placing your deposit.

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2. How many people will I be with?

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.

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3. How much money will I need?

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.

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4. Which Islands do I visit?

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.

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5. What is the average age of those taking part?

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.

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DBS

This trip requires a Police Check to be carried out - please contact us for further information on how to do this. 

What will I see in Galapagos?

17 photos

What other travelers thought

I've done this trip

Write review
Overall rating: (10/10) (6 reviews)
Galapagos Experience

Carrie-anne Nash - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Beautiful, Amazing, you don't need luxuries galapagos is a luxury!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(7/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(7/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(6/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(6/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

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.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

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!

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Galapagos Experience2011-07-04

Fiona Paterson - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

FANTASTIC, would do it again in a heart beat

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(7/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(8/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(8/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Swimming with Sea Lions Seeing my first Giant land Tortoise, and all the Marine Iguanas

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Galapagos Experience2011-07-04

Pamela Robertson - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(9/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Wonderful experience of the real Galapagos - islands, animals and people.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(9/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(8/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(8/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Snorkling with turtles and sea lions on Isabela. Climbing Sierra Negra on Isabela. Seeing maring iguanas everywhere! The fiendliness of the Ecuadorian people.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Take warm clothes as well as sun clothes. Take an little umbrella - great for quick showers or as a parasol / small wind break.

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Galapagos Experience2011-07-04

Emma Jameson - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(9/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

AMAZING TIME, made life long friends.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(8/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(9/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(9/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(5/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

San Cristobol volunteering Surfing lessons Scuba Diving Swimming with sea lions and sharks

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Take lots of suncream and mosquito repelant. Take long sleeved tops for volunteering

Galapagos Experience2011-07-04

Susan Andrews - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

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.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(5/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(5/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(5/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(1/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The sun, sea, beaches, boats and wildlife were amazing.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

More information on conditions, ie wet/ dry seasons and what clothing is really needed.

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Galapagos Experience2011-07-04

Eva-louise Antona - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Trip of a lifetime even the bad bits made me strong!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(9/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(6/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Being somewhere as special as the Galapagos Islands, the lovely ladies I met on the same trip as me, the animals...EVERYTHING!!

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

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!

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Galapagos Experience2011-07-04

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