Trip Overview

Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands

July 11 - 19, 2023

with Students of Service (SOS)

  • with Students of Service (SOS)
  • Ashli Andersen
  • 274608
  • SAT
  • 154 days

Announcements & Reminders

  • Welcome to your next travel adventure! Please let us know if you have any questions about this tour. Read More

Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands

July 11 - 19, 2023

Itinerary

The itinerary is the starting point to your tour, but it’s not set in stone. Your group leader may make changes leading up to departure.

Day 1, Tuesday July 11: Quito

Depart from the USA. Arrive in Quito, Ecuador's capital city located 9,350 feet above sea level, and meet your ACIS Tour Manager. Transfer to your hotel for an arrival briefing. (D)

Day 2, Wednesday July 12: Quito

Begin your day with a guided sightseeing tour of Quito, viewing Independence Square with its monument to the independence heroes of August 10, 1809, and visiting one of the colonial-era churches, which boast impressive exhibitions of architectural and religious art. Then travel just north of Quito to view the world from the equator. See the Mitad del Mundo monument as you drive to the Intiñan Museum for a visit. This interactive museum—which locals claim to be on the “real” equator (as determined by GPS)—is loaded with unique activities you can only do at the equator, like balancing an egg on a nail or watching how water spirals differently down a drain in each hemisphere. Then return to Quito. (B,D)

Day 3, Thursday July 13: Quito

Today, a scenic drive north takes us to the province of Imbabura, a magically beautiful land of lakes and mountains. Our journey includes a stop in the town of Otavalo, world-renown for its colorful market featuring authentic handicrafts, weavings, textiles, jewelry and fruits, vegetables and meats destined for locals' dinner tables. Practice your bargaining skills and perhaps take home a souvenir. Return to Quito in the evening. (B,L,D)

Day 4, Friday July 14: Galapagos

This morning fly to Baltra, an island within the Galápagos, then continue on by bus and by barge to the north side of Santa Cruz Island. Visit Rancho Primicias, a private reserve for giant tortoises, and learn about regional conservation and contribute to its mission by participating in a service project. Your service project will likely focus on reforestation efforts, but the specific activity will depend on the needs of the reserve at the time of your visit. Continue on to Puerto Ayora for the night. (B,L,D)

Day 5, Saturday July 15: Galapagos

After breakfast, board a boat for Isabela Island and visit Flamingo Lagoon to learn more about the impact of human tourists on the islands, and what we can do to protect the natural resources. Then tour a giant tortoise breeding center and learn about the over 300 tortoises that live here. In the afternoon we'll go underwater to see the other half of what makes the Galápagos so special on our snorkeling tour at Las Tintoreras. Just beneath the surface is a whole other world filled with tropical fish, sea lions, and sea turtles. It also happens to be the only place in the northern hemisphere that you can see penguins in the wild. (B,L,D)

Day 6, Sunday July 16: Galapagos

This morning visit the Sierra Negra Volcano for a hike around one of the most active volcanoes in the Galápagos with the second largest volcanic crater in the world, measuring 6 miles in diameter and 300 feet deep. Then continue on to nearby Volcan Chico where you can feel the warmth of the ground as proof of the volcano's activity. Return to Puerto Villamil to enjoy relaxation and reflection time at the beach, or perhaps playing soccer with some locals. (B,L,D)

Day 7, Monday July 17: Galapagos

This morning we'll travel to Puerto Ayora, the largest town in both population and size within the Galápagos. There will be time to explore the village and relax by the waterfront. Then we'll continue to Tortuga Bay for swimming and relaxing on one of the Galápagos' most beautiful beaches—don't be surprised to see sea turtles, sea lions and flamingos enjoying the sun with you! In the afternoon, visit Charles Darwin Research Station. The Darwin Station is a center for research and environmental education where you will learn about issues concerning the islands and have the opportunity to see giant Galápagos tortoises and their smaller offspring as part of the Station's breeding program. (B,L,D)

Day 8, Tuesday July 18: Quito

It's time to say goodbye to the Galápagos and fly back to Quito. The rest of the day is yours to soak in your last bit of Ecuadorian culture. (B,D)

Day 9, Wednesday July 19: Departure

Depart for the USA. (B)

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