Galapagos adventure holiday with volunteering

Countries:
Ecuador, Galapagos Islands
Price:
From US $2190 - US $2390 (21 days) excluding flights
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We are an Ecuador & Galapagos based travel specialist. We accept payments via wire and paypal/credit cards. The True Galapagos Experience also has a 2 week and 10 days itinerary available. Get in Touch for more details.
Vouchers: accepted
Dates:
The program goes from Sunday to Sunday, it is available to start every week and only closes for Christmas and New Year
Availability:
Check availability on all dates
Reviews:
5 reviews4 star rating
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Galapagos adventure holiday with volunteering

Responsible travel: Galapagos adventure holiday with volunteering

Environment

The conservation work you will be doing during your trip is a response to a major problem in Galapagos, which is the growth of invasive flora species, such as blackberries, which in most cases are endangering the survival of endemic species. It might not seem like you will change the situation in one visit, but every plant you take out and every endemic one you plant are ecological footprints that you will be leaving on the Islands, which added to other volunteers efforts are certainly making a difference and saving the Flora in the Islands. At the same time you will be travelling in small groups at a time (6-8 people max) and you will receive a scientific orientation in our offices in order to guide you better for the work you will be doing and make you aware of the conservation situation going on in the Islands so you will act responsible during your stay.

When travelers are in ecologically sensitive areas like the Galapagos it is essential that they minimize waste and recycle. Guides will make the travelers aware of their impact by telling them the adverse effect that littering can leave on the local environment. Guides will tell participants of their impact. But at the same time it is up to the responsibility of each individual traveler to be culpable for their own actions.

There are Animal Rescue centres that we work with in the Andes highlands and in the Amazon rainforest, these centers work on the rehabilitation of injured animals and illegal pets, aiming to release some of them into their natural habitat. Through our programs our volunteers are encouraged to participate and in their efforts. They actively participate in the activities of these foundations and a portion of their program fees goes directly towards operating finances of these projects.

In our office we try to maintain environmental consciousness by recycling, limiting our water usage and using energy efficient light bulbs. We also try to limit unnecessary waste by using electronic documentation when possible, rather than paper documents.

Community

This program enables you to become a responsible tourist mainly because the revenue you will leave during your trip will go to the local Community in the Islands, since you will be staying there and having meals there, as well as using local guides and facilities. Quite different from travelling in a cruise, where most of the revenue goes to companies based on the mainland or internationally. With this you help the community to develop, and you get a chance to meet them, learn how they live, and understand all the problems they are facing in the Islands. We work with family run hostels, specially in Isabella where you will get a chance to meet Adolfo and their grand kids, his wife Petita will sit and talk to you during meal times, sharing you their stories.

We employ local staff, they are all from Quito or Ecuador. Most have attended local Universities. New staff are trained accordingly. We have partnerships with local hostels and hotels. The name of the main provider we work with is called housite. In the Galapagos and in most of our other trips we do our best to eat locally. We work in contact with local producers to try to limit our carbon footprint.

Many of our programs directly involve community members. Whether it may be from teaching football to local youths, to teaching English to indigenous children or helping to build homes for needy families we are always community oriented. We do encourage our participants to take public transportation or walk. Most find it refreshing and easy to use. There are three main public transportation systems in Quito: the Ecovia, the trolley and the bus system. We tell all our participants about using these services.

When we do not provide food services to our participants we encourage them to eat at local restaurants. There is a great number of local restaurants that offer incredible varieties of food at affordable prices. Travelers get to experience new cuisine. Plus this money goes directly to the local community. We have informative information sessions before the travelers begin their program. There is also supplemental material that we provide through our website and pamphlets that give the traveler useful information about their impact on the environment and what they can do to conserve it.

The story of the provider of Galapagos adventure holiday with volunteering

The story began over 10 years ago. At that time, founder Enrique, had just graduated from Dension University in Granville, OH with a degree in Economics. He decided that before venturing off to Wall Street to pursue what he thought was his ‘dream job’ he would head back home to Ecuador for a few months. During those few months he experienced Ecuador, Peru, and many other Latin American countries like he never before had. During his travels he realized that there was a major void where intimate and locally owned tourism was concerned. Big corporate businesses ruled the tourism industries throughout Ecuador and Peru, and they left much to be desired. Instead of coming back to pursue a possibly lucrative career on Wall Street, Enrique stayed in Ecuador with dreams of opening up an intimate, local, and customized tourism service. 11 years later the company is still growing strong with every passing year. With passion for Ecuador, the Galapagos, and Peru, the tour company provides a whole new take on tourism in Latin America. Unlike big corporate tourism agencies, it connects you to the people and land in an intimate way you never thought possible, enabling you to have the experience of a lifetime. Enrique and his staff believe that a sightseeing business cannot provide a genuine experience without knowing the country or area firsthand. They stand out for their understanding of both the country and the local traditions, something no other business can offer. Instead of shipping you around on a bus stopping at a few select locations, they set you up for incredible experiences that you will never forget

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Galapagos adventure holiday with volunteering

You can trust responsibletravel.com reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays. In addition, we don't run these holidays ourselves - our only interest is giving you the best independent advice.


5 stars
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
4 stars
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
3 stars
Very enjoyable
2 stars
It was OK
1 star
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed 30 Jul 2013 by Dot Lemon4 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The amazing wildlife and environs of the Galapagos Islands

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Embrace all the elements and experiences of this programme - a wonderful opportunity

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Definitely ticked all of these boxes

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A fantastic mix of meaningful volunteering work, organised activities and free time to do your own thing

Reviewed 09 Apr 2012 by Lisa Teo4 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The volunteering at foundation reserve is the most memorable as we get to contribute back to the Galapagos National Park as well as making new friends and understanding the objectives/ problems of conserving the Islands.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


To have an open mind to try new activities such as planting, counting slugs for research program etc and be flexible about schedule at times.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, the operator uses local guides and local hotels so the guided tours benefited local people but it's the volunteering project that support conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Simply unforgettable. I had the best time doing new things while making new friends.

Reviewed 30 Dec 2011 by Kate Martin5 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Discovering the beautiful Galapagos islands with their varied plants, birds and
animals, differing from one island to another. You really can understand how
Darwin realised his evolution theory!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Book extra time at the end of the trip! Certain islands can only be visited on
3-4 day boat tours.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes - both directly from the volunteer work, and indirectly with the rest of the
holiday elements.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


FANTASTIC! It was a trip of a lifetime! Great way to celebrate my 40th!

Reviewed 27 Nov 2011 by Angela Loten5 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The scenery and the birdwatching were excellent. The guide was marvellous.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


If at all unsure phone and speak to them.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Benefited local people definitely. Environmentally not really with all those flights!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent.

Reviewed 03 Nov 2011 by Amanda Roden3 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The project on San Cristobal during the second week of the trip as that was what I thought the whole trip would be like, a good group of people from different countries (around 15 volunteers plus staff). We did machete and hoe work, amongst other things, which was hard but in the evenings we would, for example, bake bread over an open fire with just the moonlight overhead.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Ask questions before you go, even if you feel you would rather not, if there are things you would like to know about the trip, definitely better to ask beforehand. Take a head net and sunhat for the project on San Cristobal, also high factor sun cream and insect repellent are a must, plus a torch as it’s quite dark at night on the projects.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, I felt that staying on the projects and on the islands, the work we did was beneficial and we had a minimal impact on the environment I think.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was an amazing trip that I will not forget, but anyone thinking of going on this trip or a trip like this should do research first and make sure it is for them. If you go at off peak times of the year, do not expect a large group of people every week of the trip, in fact you may just be on your own.
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Date
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05 Nov 2014
US $2190
excluding flights
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27 Nov 2014
US $2190
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14 Dec 2014
US $2390
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28 Dec 2014
US $2390
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05 Jan 2015
US $2190
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18 Jan 2015
US $2390
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15 Feb 2015
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22 Mar 2015
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05 Apr 2015
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10 May 2015
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28 Jun 2015
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12 Jul 2015
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Volunteer travel - what's it all about

Are you looking for an adventurous trip with a purpose, or on a gap year or career break? If you want to make a difference in some of the world’s most important conservation areas - and in community projects - then volunteer trips are for you! Volunteers tend to have a sense of adventure, and come from a range of different backgrounds and from all over the world.
Edward Abbey said 'sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul'.
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