Ecuador & the Galápagos School Trip Overview
Embark on an unforgettable journey with our educational tour to Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands. This unique country boasts a rich biodiversity and a fusion of indigenous and colonial Spanish cultures, making it a one-of-a-kind destination for students of all disciplines. From the historical colonial architecture of Quito to the stunning wildlife found in the Galápagos Islands, this tour offers a diverse range of experiences that will fascinate and engage students.
During the tour, students will also have the opportunity to earn up to 18 hours of service credit as they volunteer in local communities on the island of San Cristobal. With our expert guides, students will gain a deep understanding of the local culture and ecology of Ecuador, making this a truly educational and unforgettable school trip to the Galapagos Islands.
Did You Know? Teachers travel for free! Learn more about the Benefits for Teachers.
Map and Route
- Day 1-2: Quito
- Days 3-4: Galapagos Islands – Santa Cruz
- Days 5-8: Galapagos Islands – San Cristobal
- Day 9: Quito
- Day 10: Depart for home or choose to extend your trip!
Interested in learning more about this tour?
Detailed Trip Itinerary
Learn more about what each day is like on tour! Click on the day to discover the different sites and activities you will experience
DAY 1: ¡Bienvenidos a Ecuador!
The adventure begins as you fly from your preferred airport to Quito. Your Travel For Teens guides will meet you at the Quito Airport and accompany you for the duration of your journey. Upon arrival, board our private coach and head to our hotel in downtown. We’ll take a short walk to get acquainted with our surroundings before enjoying our first dinner of Ecuadorian cuisine.
DAY 2: Quito
Get to know Quito like a local this morning as we take a guided tour of the city. Our first stop is la Mitad del Mundo, otherwise known as the Equator. We’ll stand in both the Southern and Northern Hemispheres at the same time, and participate in some unique experiments that can only be done at Latitude 0°. We’ll also explore the city’s well-preserved colonial district, traditional marketplaces, and lively plazas where locals hang out every day.
- Mitad del Mundo
- Chocolate tour
DAY 3: Galapagos Islands - Santa Cruz
Fly from Quito to the Galápagos Islands! These remote islands in the Pacific Ocean are famous as the place where Charles Darwin came up with the theory of evolution, based on the wildlife he observed here. We’ll begin on the island of Santa Cruz, where we’ll explore the beautiful green landscapes of the highlands and visit a giant tortoise ranch.
- Introduction to Galapagos Islands
- Tortoise ranch
DAY 4: Galapagos Islands - Santa Cruz
Visit the beautiful beaches at Tortuga Bay, which are ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and photography. You’ll also find marine iguanas and sea lions resting along the shore. After lunch, we’ll learn about the local ecosystems and conservation efforts at the Charles Darwin Station. Visit the Tortoise Breeding Center, where it’s possible to see many different species of tortoise and even get up close to them.
- Tortuga Bay
- Charles Darwin Station
- Tortoise Education
DAY 5: Galapagos Islands - San Cristobal
It’s time for our next island, Isla San Cristobal. We’ll take a speedboat from one island to the next. Explore the Junco Lagoon located within a volcanic crater and try to spot the frigate birds diving for their lunch. In the afternoon, we’ll have time for hiking and swimming at Puerto Chino beach, before relaxing on La Lobería beach – where we will see incredible wildlife, including sea lions, canaries, frigate birds, different types of finches, and enormous unique Galapagos marine iguanas resting on the rocks.
- Isla San Cristobal
- Junco Lagoon
- Puerto Chino
- La Loberia
DAY 6-7: Galapagos Islands - San Cristobal (Community Service)
We will have the option of completing two community service projects on the island. First, work with elementary or high school students and play games with them, help them practice their English, and learn about what life on the islands is like. We’ll also help out with any light maintenance projects the school may need. Then, we’ll visit a sustainable farm dedicated to preserving the environment and providing food for the local community. We’ll help out with several projects on the farm, including recycling and preparing food in a traditional mud oven.
- Community service project with local students
Day 8: Galapagos Islands - San Cristobal
This morning, take a break from volunteering to visit the Centro de Interpretación to learn about the geology of the Islands. After a short hike to Cerro Tijeretas for breathtaking views, we’ll relax on the beach. In the afternoon, students will have free time to explore the village of San Cristobal, do some souvenir shopping and get a coffee from a local café.
- Centro de Interpretación
- Cerro Tijeretas
Day 9: Quito
Fly from San Cristóbal to Quito. Head into Quito for last-minute souvenir shopping – check out the local mercados and enjoy the city one last time.
Day 10: ¡Adiós, Ecuador!
Your TFT guides will accompany you to the airport and assist you with check-in for your flight. Wave goodbye as you head through security and sit back and relax on your flight home.
LOOKING FOR A SHORTER ADVENTURE? THIS TRIP CAN BE ADAPTED!
For teachers who are short on time, we can make this a 7, 8, or 9-day adventure! One of our expert trip designers will help adapt this itinerary to suit your specific needs. Contact us for more details.
The TFT Difference
We Never Combine Groups (unless you want to!)
Your tour is special and just for you and your students! We will never combine two or more groups on the same bus or tour unless you request traveling with another teacher. We will lead a trip with as few as six people and a teacher. Your Trip Director travels with you for the duration of your educational tour. If you have another group you would like to travel with, let us know and we can arrange for that as well!
Stress-Free Planning and 24/7 Support
We are there for you every step of the way, and our support begins the moment you decide to do a TFT educational tour! We will provide you with a team member who will help bring your tour to life, along with everything you need to help get students to sign up for the adventure! On the tour you will have 24/7 dedicated staff with you to ensure everything runs smoothly and because we know travel is full of surprises, solve anything that may pop up along the way.
Photos and Email Updates
We make sure your travel memories are captured forever! Expect frequent personal email updates and hundreds of photos from your TFT staff shared with you and your students’ families so everyone can follow along on the journey. We are the only educational tour company to offer this in-depth trip communication and it truly makes all the difference!
Central Accommodation and Local Meals
Authenticity is engrained in everything we do. We stay at locally owned accommodation in the city center so you don’t waste your valuable time commuting. We dine at charming authentic restaurants to get a real flavor (literally!) for the local culture. The best way to travel is like a local. So ditch the tour bus and have a real traveler’s experience with us!
Travel with us and discover why we are consistently winning awards for Top Youth Travel Organization.