Galapagos Islands Located
Days One-Two (Arrival)
We land in Guayaquil. Following a thorough health and safety briefing, we set out to explore the city.
During the afternoon, we set out individual learning goals for developing language skills, learning about the Galapagos environment, understanding the scientific and human history of the islands, interacting with native Galapaguenos, and sharing our adventure with those back home.
Working with Envoys staff, students will identify how they will separate themselves from the “educated tourists” and take personal responsibility for making this trip a life-changing experience.
Day Three (Puerto Ayora)
We rise early for our morning flight to the Galapagos Islands! We land on the island of Baltra, an old U.S. military base during the Second World War and now one of the main gateways to this amazing archipelago.
After a very short ferry crossing, we head by bus to our lodge, located in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. The afternoon is spent exploring the town of Puerto Ayora, meeting with local hotel owners and fishermen. During the evening we begin our review of the islands’ unique “human history, ” beginning with their discovery by the Bishop of Panama in 1535.
Day Four (Puerto Ayora)
We leave by private bus for a short hike and nature exploration around Santa Cruz’s caverns. Students learn about native, endemic, and invasive species of both fauna and flora.
During lunch, we discuss the similarities between the introduced species of wildlife and the influx of inhabitants to the islands.
The afternoon is spent visiting a local organic farm and learning about efforts to introduce sustainable and non-invasive agriculture to the islands. Visiting the farm also gives us a chance for a short hike into the forest, along the migratory path of the famed Galapagos giant tortoise!
After returning to Puerto Ayora, we discuss the scientific history of the islands, ranging from the well-known visit by Charles Darwin to the “collector’s frenzy” of the early twentieth century.
Day Five (Puerto Ayora)
Today is our “Tortoise Day!” An interactive lesson on the breeding, feeding habits, species, and lifespans of these icons of the Galapagos sets the stage for our day.
We then head to the Tortoise Breeding Center, started in the early 1970s by the Galapagos National Park in an effort to restore the population of giant tortoises in the archipelago. At the center, students learn about conservation efforts and spend time bonding with these magnificent creatures. Students conduct interviews with current park rangers and conservationists, getting another viewpoint on the islands.
During the afternoon we hike to Tortuga Bay, considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos. The sunsets here are breathtaking!
Day Six (Puerto Ayora)
We rise early for a private boat trip to the Plazas Islands, located approximately 30 minutes from the northern shores of Santa Cruz. While traversing the island and exploring the rocky coast, we encounter colonies of blue-footed boobies, magnificent frigate birds, sea lions, and the amazing land iguanas!
We return in the early afternoon and relax in the town. During the evening, students compose the first of their “stories for home, ” focusing on explaining their experiences in the Galapagos to a specific member of their family.