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|
|2 August 2015||3 weeks||$3,989||Available||Book now|
|6 September 2015||3 weeks||$3,989||Available||Book now|
|4 October 2015||3 weeks||$3,989||Available||Book now|
|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:
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:
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 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.
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. 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- 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
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 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.
Food is not included in your programme.
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.
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 add them to your itinerary when placing your deposit.
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
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.
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
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!