ECUADOR & GALAPAGOS EXPEDITION
This spectacular expedition takes the best bits of Ecuador and adds a trip to the most unique wildlife paradise on earth, the Galapagos Islands. Stare out the sea lions, gaze at the giant tortoises and bob with the blue footed boobies amongst this archipelago of dramatic volcanic islands.
Ecuador is an extremely diverse destination with something to satisfy the tastes and interests of everyone. Although one of the smallest South American countries, it is packed with contrasts of landscape and culture. The volcanic Galápagos Islands is an archipelago of 13 islands and islets located 1000 kilometres off the coast. The islands have been described as a “living laboratory of evolution” and are home to dozens of species not found anywhere else on earth.
Ecuador is a good destination for teams looking for a diverse expedition and can be as challenging as a team wishes it to be. Teams can complete their R&R phase in the Galapagos islands, where they can work and play alongside the famous blue footed boobies and Galápagos sea lions.
ECUADOR & GALAPAGOS ISLANDS EXPEDITION HIGHLIGHTS
Here are just some of the incredible experiences you can choose from for your Ecuador & Galapagos Islands expedition:
There are plenty of beautiful walks through rural Andean villages, visits to waterfalls, hidden lakes and even mountain summits to choose from, to help you acclimatise.
During this time, you get to self-cater and start learning the importance of team work as you see what it’s like to trek at altitude. Watch out for the alpacas!
Community & Conservation Projects
Making a Difference
The beautiful diversity of Ecuador allows World Challenge teams to work in many different environments; whether you fancy helping out with painting and reconstruction, or improving community facilities in Andean villages. Tasks can vary at each site, but could involve renovating schools, repairing community centres, building playgrounds and teaching English to the locals.
Ecuador Project Case Study –
Five years ago, World Challenge became involved with a sustainable tourism initiative at the village of San Clemente. Situated on the slopes of the Imbabura Volcano above the nearby town of Ibarra, San Clemente is a thriving community sharing traditional values and a simple way of life. World Challenge teams have completed a variety of work here, including building kitchens, flooring local houses and clearing hiking trails. Each year, around four teams get the opportunity to stay here and help out.
Last year, World Challenge sent 28 teams to 13 different communities throughout Ecuador to complete projects. These sites were in the Andean highlands, the rainforest and also on the Pacific Coast; there's no end to the number of communities that can benefit from the help offered by our teams.
There are a range of amazing treks in Ecuador catering for a range of physical abilities. One option is a walk through remote villages in the central highlands of Ecuador until you reach the breathtaking emerald-green Quilotoa Lagoon with spectacular views.
For those looking for something a bit tougher, why not really challenge yourself by summiting one of the many volcano peaks in Ecuador. Home to some of the world’s highest and most stunning volcanoes, teams can choose to summit one of these after a 4 day main trek in the cloudforest or the Andean mountains. Fit teams may choose to tackle the Around Cotopaxi trek, which includes trekking up to the glaciers of snow-capped Cotopaxi and then summiting Ruminahui volcano.
Rest & Relaxation
Take an amazing tour around four of the Galápagos Islands and participate in a variety of activities along the way. You’ll get to see famous giant tortoises, snorkel through warm turquoise waters, learn about the discovery of the archipelago, hike to two volcanoes, get to know sharks, turtles and blue-footed boobies, and relax on the beach.
For those looking for an adrenalin rush enjoy a full day of white water rafting down the Jatunyacu River and stop for lunch in a beautiful rainforest setting.
- Ecuador & Galapagos Islands, South America.
- Languages spoken: Spanish, Quichua and other native languages.
- Time zone: GMT -5, Galápagos GMT -6.
- Terrain: Rainforest, mountain, jungle and coast.
- When can I travel there?: All year round. However very limited trekking from Jan-May.
- Climate: Generally, Ecuador has only two seasons, a dry season (Jun-Sep) and a rainy season (Oct-May). The year-round average temperature is 15°-22°C. In the Galápagos, temperatures range from 21°-30°C. There are 2 seasons, the warm season (Jan-Jun) when the climate is more tropical, and the dry season (Jul-Dec) when conditions are cooler.
- Expedition Physical Rating: High.
- Expedition Duration: 21 to 28 days.
- Culture Shock: Medium.
- Typical accommodation: Hostels and tents.
- Ideal for: Teams looking for a diverse expedition.
- Be careful where you tread when walking around the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno at night, sea lions often sleep on pathways and it is all too easy to trip over one!
- There are more sea lions living in the Galápagos than people.
- The language spoken is Spanish.
- The Galápagos Islands are one of the few places on earth where you can engage in a staring contest with a wild animal and lose!
- Spanish has many beautiful words, but there is one that you will hear time and time again wherever you are in Ecuador. ‘Chevere’ is very commonly spoken by all young trendy Ecuadorians and directly translated means ‘cool, nice or cute’. If you want to try and impress with your Spanish, make sure that this is one of the words you ensure is in your vocabulary.
- Chimborazo Volcano is widely believed to be the point on the Earth’s surface furthest away from its core, even further than the summit of Everest!
Following extensive travel to Europe, South Africa and Russia (among others) during his life, Gary and his family decided to settle down in Ecuador 20 years ago and he became the World Challenge In-Country Agent in 2008. Gary now lives close to Tena where he owns a white water rafting business called River People.
NEW TO WORLD CHALLENGE?
Every World Challenge starts long before your students step on a plane. With our support, develop life skills and take ownership of:
- Destination and itinerary planning
- Fundraising ideas and events
- Budgeting and money management
- Preparation, fitness and nutrition
Get in touch with one of our consultants to start planning your overseas school expedition today!