Visiting San Cristobal, Santa Cruz and Isabella Islands, we spend 11 days on the Galapagos Islands exploring the turquoise waters and abundant wildlife. Snorkeling, hiking, surfing, biking and community service give us the opportunity to see the islands from a variety of angles. With plenty of time in the water and on land we see lots of sea turtles, tortoises, manta rays, blue footed boobies and much more! Taking a brief break from adventure, we spend two days working at a Special Education Center, helping local school children with special needs. In addition, we partner with the Charles Darwin Center to assist in the conservation of Galapagos Tortoises. The most all encompassing Galapagos Teen Trip.
ORGANIC FARM: VOLUNTEER AT A LOCAL FARM
In the tropics of Ecuador’s Pacific Coast, we spend 5 days volunteering at Río Muchacho, a self-sustaining, zero-waste organic farm. Community service and environmental awareness is our focus as we learn about compost and crop rotation while tending to the farm’s horses, chickens and guinea pigs. Even though the seeds we plant will not mature for months, all the food eaten on the farm is grown locally. Campers leave inspired by the farm’s ecologically friendly practices and are ready to start gardens of their own! A carefully selected stop on Bold Earth's Ecuador Teen Trip!
QUITO: COMMUNITY SERVICE SIGHTS
Quito's bustling markets and colonial architecture are the backdrop for our final three days in Ecuador. We explore the palaces and plazas of this historic city and visit the Equator Line Monument and Museum. Our trip concludes as we partner with a local school charity, Ninos de la Calle, to participate in a service project dedicated to helping the under-privileged children of Quito. An authentic way to end Bold Earth's Ecuador Teen Trip.
- Explore the Galapagos Islands!
- Surf, Snorkel, Sail & Hike
- Quito Community Service
- Learn to Farm on Organic Eco-Farm
- Amazing Cultural Experiences
Buying Guide: The packing list above is mandatory for your trip; however, the linked items are just shopping recommendations. Backpacks, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads may also be purchased from an outdoor store that has tested gear for varied environments. More generic gear such as mess kits, duffel bags, etc. can be bought relatively inexpensive at Target, Walmart, etc. Feel free to find the gear that suits you and your budget best. The Bold Earth office welcomes and expects questions about packing and equipment!
Travel and Packing Tips: Don't worry about how your backpack is arranged right now. Once you arrive, your Trip Leaders will show you the most efficient way to pack your bag for a multi-day trip. If you have the space for it, a great idea for your airport and travel days is to pack your empty backpacking backpack into your duffel bag. This will reduce your checked bags from two to one.
Spending Money: Bring approximately $75 per week. For most campers this is more than enough. This is for personal expenses and gifts. Unless there is an emergency, Bold Earth will not advance money.
Identification: ID is required when checking in for flights. Bring along a picture ID, library card, school ID or state ID card. Your trip leader will be happy to hold any ID or important documents.
Helmets: Helmets are provided and required for rafting and ice climbing.
Laundry: We visit laundromats weekly. You will wash your own clothes, we provide the suds, coins and know-how. Many participants have identical jeans, socks, hiking boots, etc. A good practice is to put your name on items which are not unique to you.
Trip Journal: Bring along a notebook to record the challenges and successes of your adventure. Forest Service (“USFS”) and National Park Service (“NPS”): Bold Earth is required to notify all participants that, to the extent a court determines USFS and NPS restrictions on waivers of liability apply to Bold Earth as a matter of law, Bold Earth’s liability for negligence may not be waived while you are traveling on those affected lands.
Reading List: The people, places and activities you will encounter on your trip are diverse and incredible. These are a few books offering background information. We suggest you consider reading these books before, during or after your adventure. Also, you might like to read Outside Magazine, Backpacker Magazine, Climbing Magazine, Rock & Ice or Trilogy Magazine, available everywhere. For additional adventurous reading, check out Extreme Classics: The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time
Top 3 reasons to spend your summer with Bold Earth in Ecuador:
1. GALAPAGOS: 11 days living on THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS is the huge WOW!
2. SERVICE: 40+ Hours of AWESOME Community Service
3. CULTURE: The culture and diversity of Quito and the soaring Andes Mountains!
Campers describe Bold Earth’s Ecuador Galapagos trip as INCREDIBLE. Designed specifically for campers interested in wildlife, biology, community service, adventure and culture, Ecuador Galapagos is a DREAM trip! See ALL of Ecuador: Mountains, Beaches, Rain Forests and the GALAPAGOS!
Ecuador is a safe, democratic and beautiful country that is known for its ecological diversity and sheer beauty. Each and every adventure activity is supervised by local, professional guides including: surfing, sailing, snorkeling, kayaking and biking. Our small groups ensure you will make lifelong friendships and develop a passion for travel!
Community Service is a Bold Earth core value. Bold Earth carefully chooses hands on community service projects that are active, engaging and . . . LIFE CHANGING! All Bold Earth participants will receive a certificate to document their service hours.
Service Credit: 40 Hours
Some AWESOME details:
1. Río Muchacho Organic Farm: Located on Ecuador’s Pacific Coast, Rio Muchacho is surrounded by lush tropical rain forest. The village and its farms maintain a sustainable, zero-waste organic system which has become a model for sustainable agriculture in the area. Using practices such as reforestation, permaculture and pesticide-free farming the farm not only supplies food for the village but serves as a model for the local area. The farming community also coordinates a local primary school where sustainable agricultural education is at the forefront of the curriculum. We work alongside villagers to plant trees, harvest crops, maintain vegetable gardens, refurbish buildings, cook meals and teach in the primary school. Volunteering at the farm, the school and in community development projects give campers the opportunity to learn, share and contribute to the unique culture of rural Ecuador.
2. Niños de la Calle: In Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, we volunteer with an organization called, “Ninos de la Calle” (Children of the Street). We spend the day teaching English, playing soccer, cooking food and picking up trash with local children. While providing a day’s work in the community, campers also learn about a wide range of social problems facing these under-privileged youth in Quito. (3-5 hours).
3. San Clemente Village: High up in the Andes Mountains, north of Otavalo, campers spend two days living in a remote and traditional village. Renowned for its unique culture, pristine environment and spectacular mountains, Ecuador’s Andes are home to a culture of its own – very different from what campers will experience in other parts of Ecuador. Bold Earth is immensely proud of its relationship with San Clemente Village and campers love it! Working in small groups, campers work in the fields harvesting quinoa and other crops. In the evening, campers help our hosts cook dinner around a fire. We fall asleep with the sounds of traditional Andean music still playing in our ears.
Ecuador is a small democracy located in the Andean region of South America. Ecuador is bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Ecuador also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 620 miles west of the mainland.
Ecuador is about the same size as the state of Colorado. The capital of Ecuador is Quito, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the 1970s for having the best preserved and least altered historic center in Latin America.
Ecuador today is now defined by its Mestizo majority (mix of Spanish and Indigenous ethnicity). Ecuador’s indigenous communities are integrated into the mainstream culture to varying degrees, but some may also practice their own indigenous cultures, particularly the more remote indigenous communities of the Amazon basin and the Andean Highlands. Spanish is spoken as the first language by more than 90% of the population and as a first or second language by more than 98%.
OMG – the Galápagos are INCREDIBLE! See a bit more info below…
Situated 630 miles west of mainland Ecuador lies an archipelago unlike anything else in the world. Renowned for its unique ecosystems – the Galapagos Islands are on all travelers “MUST SEE” list. Geologically, the Galapagos Islands (like many in the Pacific Ocean) were born from volcanoes erupting violently out of the sea. In fact, almost every major island consists of a single large volcano. The Galapagos Islands are in fact quite young, probably no more than five million years old.
What makes the Galapagos so different from any other island chain in the world is that by the time the islands began poking their tops above the ocean, plant and animal species traversed hundreds of miles of ocean to colonize the islands, leaving species isolated and evolving independently from the other species around the globe. Charles Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle in 1831 helped establish theories of evolution and put the Galapagos Islands on the travelers map.
Darwin’s documentation of endemic species (plants and animals that originate from the specific geographical area exist nowhere else) is world famous. The Galapagos Islands help Ecuador rank as the 8th most bio-diverse country on the planet – containing 20,000 species of plants, 1,500 species of birds, 341 species of mammals and more than 840 species of reptiles and amphibians. WOW!
Recent history has made the Galapagos more developed. There are more people living here than most would assume. Over 30,000 of us hominids have claimed these isolated specks of land our home. Much of the local economy is geared toward sustaining a thriving tourism industry. From the moment you walk off the plane or boat you are almost instantly greeted by giant tortoises, lava lizards and the most interesting birds flying overhead. Not a single person has walked away from a trip to the Galapagos Islands and not felt the impact of this very unique and treasured place. The Galapagos is unlike anything else that anyone will ever see in their life.
Watch TV all day…. Just kidding!
Non-stop adventure, sightseeing, snorkeling, hiking, sailing, surfing, jumping off waterfalls, community service, dodging seals, iguana’s by the thousands, etc… Just a normal 11 days in nature’s greatest science laboratory.
Bold Earth campers experience 4 different islands, San Cristobal, Isabela, Santa Cruz and Baltra. Each island is famous for a different thing. Campers do not get bored of the Islands as the trip is designed to be very busy, educational and active. After a day of hiking and wildlife viewing, Bold Earth will spend the next day surfing, sea kayaking and hanging out on the beach, or doing community service.
Yes, we visit the Charles Darwin Research Center for a day-long guided tour of its renowned conservation of Galapagos species. Unfortunately, our old friend, Lonesome George, is no longer with us (SAD!) but there are lots of other very old tortoises.
DUH! Yes, Bold Earth is accompanied by a highly trained and experienced naturalist during all 11 days on the Galapagos Islands. This is essential.
Visiting the Galapagos Islands with a naturalist is like seeing an NFL Football game with Tom Brady, visiting the Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo or reading Shakespeare with him at your side. Campers enjoy the brilliance of the Galapagos Island through the incredible insight of our naturalist guide.
CLICK: Ecuador Galapagos Packing List for a carefully detailed description of exactly what to bring.
Give Bold Earth a call at 303-526-0806 if you have any questions. A Bold Earth trip advisor is are always available to help if needed!
Bold Earth campers LOVE to eat! Good thing the food in Ecuador is delicious! Like most Bold Earth international trips we eat traditional foods in casual restaurants or prepare our own breakfast and lunches. Bold Earth caters to all special diets including vegetarian, kosher, allergy diets, etc., and make sure you are eating well and eating what you want. We always provide plenty of delicious and nutritious food and you will get plenty of opportunity to do some hands on cooking!
Ecuadorian cuisine is known for being fresh and diverse. From the sea shores to the mountains, Ecuador’s food availability varies with altitude, and associated agricultural conditions. Ecuadorian cuisine traditionally consists of two dishes, a soup and a rice platter. For the most part, Ecuador is also known for its bananas, and all the dishes made from them, as well as for its starches such as potato, bread, rice and yuca. Traditionally any of these ingredients can be found in either the soup or the rice platter that is usually served. Most regions in Ecuador follow the traditional three course meal of sopa (soup) and segundo (second dish), which includes rice and protein such as beef, poultry, pork or fish. Then dessert and coffee are customary. Dinner is usually lighter with a salad or soup as the main dish.
Food at Río Muchacho is incredible. All ingredients (except oil and sugar) and from the farm. This is the freshest food you could possibly find. All sources of protein (beans, eggs, meat and fish) are from no more than a mile from our dinner table. WOW!
Beautiful! Ecuador is right on the equator, technically, we will travel from winter to summer, back to winter and end in summer… But don’t worry the weather is always warm – never colder than 75°F (22°C) during the day, 55° (12°C) at night.
Galapagos Islands: We will be traveling to the islands in what is known as the garúa season, or dry season. Typically, only the higher parts of the islands receive rain, and as a result, the palo santo forests of the lowlands are relatively leafless. The air and the ocean are both a little cooler this time of year than in the winter, bringing our average temperatures in-between 70° and 75°F (20°-23°C). During the garúa season, it is common for a fine mist to be present in the higher areas.
YES! Bold Earth is an authentic experience. This is NOT a teen tour. Bold Earth is MORE fun, MORE interesting, MORE service, MORE adventure, MORE leadership, MORE friendship and MUCH MORE authentic than a teen tour.
Campers who choose Bold Earth want to eat local food, wake up early, and get their hands dirty! With 20 years of experience in Ecuador, Bold Earth has scouted the coolest locations, hired the best local leaders and found the sweetest host families. Bold Earth is the REAL DEAL!
It is important that if you are interested in combining trips that you contact our Colorado office for more information: 303-526-0806 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Small group size = SUCCESS!
Especially on a community service/adventure style trip. Bold Earth campers are leaders who seek independence, responsibility and fun. We know teenagers and we understand that a small group size is ESSENTIAL to camper success. Who wants to travel with 40 other teens on a big bus??? LAME! The communities we visit WOULD NOT permit Bold Earth to visit with such a big group. Bonding and friendship are essential to the success of any summer program.
Bold Earth leaders are carefully trained in group dynamics and leadership. Also, Bold Earth leaders are the MOST FUN PEOPLE EVER! Your 2 Trip Leaders will take a hands on approach for the success of every individual. Bold Earth campers make friendships that last a lifetime.
Ecuador Galapagos will include a maximum of 13 Campers and 2 Adult Trip Leaders. One of your leaders will be an experienced local Ecuadorian guide who has usually worked with Bold Earth for many years. Your second leader will be an American fluent in Spanish. Having local guides provides a safer, more authentic and rich experience. All leadership teams absolutely include 1 female and 1 male leader, certified in Wilderness First Responder, Lifeguarding and CPR.
YES! Bold Earth campers are diverse, energetic, leaders and FUN! Approximately, 80% of campers join Bold Earth on their own. Bold Earth fully supports students joining on their own or with friends.
Bold Earth will not allow more than 3 people who know each-other in one group. We recommend you contact alumni references from this trip to ask them for feedback about the students in their group. BOLD EARTH CAMPERS ARE AMAZING!
• Hotels – 13 nights
• Bamboo Cabins – 5 nights
• Village Stays – 2 nights
Quito: Bold Earth campers will stay in a beautiful hotel in the center of the city’s bustling historic district. Campers will also be staying in hotels while exploring and adventuring around the Galapagos Islands.
San Clemente: (a small village un in the Andes), we will spend two nights living in a small village where campers will stay with local indigenous families (multiple campers per family). The village stay is often the highlight of everyone’s trip. It allows campers the opportunity to connect at a deeper level with the locals. Host families are always monitored and reviewed and they of course will be reimbursed for their hospitality.
Lastly, while we work in gardens in the tropical paradise of Rio Muchacho we will be staying in bamboo cabins designed for volunteers. Wherever we stay is an authentic experience, specifically designed to create a more interesting, fun and unique trip.
Passport: ALL campers require a valid passport to enter Ecuador. Passport must be valid for at least 6 months after end of trip.
Americans, EU and Canadians: No visa required
Other Countries: Most campers WILL NOT require a visa to visit Ecuador. For more information, we recommend you contact the Ecuadorian embassy in your home country.
Bold Earth carefully researches possible health risks as part of our trip planning for the exact destinations we visit on Ecuador Galapagos. Bold Earth visits well established tourist locations. For most campers standard vaccinations are sufficient for travel in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.
For more information, please consult your family physician or local travel clinic. The day to day Ecuador Galapagos itinerary on the website can be printed show to your travel clinic or family physician.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a Ecuador specific website which we find to be very broad covering all areas, ages, seasons and types of travel.
Over 15,000 students from all 50 US states and 55 countries have joined Bold Earth! We make it very easy for you to contact our alumni directly to find out about the quality of our leaders, depth of programing and what a summer with Bold Earth is really like.
We want careful and selective families to join Bold Earth. Our offerings are only as good as the families who choose Bold Earth. Our target student is responsible, informed and enthusiastic. To receive a list of references call our office in Colorado at 303-526-0806 or e-mail us at email@example.com. Please mention the trip you are interested and where you live. We are eager to share our references and extensive alumni network of over 15,000 participants from 55 countries and all 50 states.
PARENTS, Alyssa & Robert: There was nothing about Nicole's Ecuador trip that did not exceed our expectations. Her second experience with Bold Earth (Grand Canyon & Ecuador), we can say that each time she travels the world with you, her horizons are expanded and her personal growth and confidence gains are impressive. Thank you for helping us provide our child with open doors to the world around her in a safe, enriching and supportive environment.
My Trip Leaders made the summer AMAZING. There was nothing unsuccessful about Ecuador Galapagos because everything we did was so much fun.
PARENTS, Karen & David: Carolyn was able to try many new things on her trip. She made many new friends and shared a wonderful experience with great friends. Carolyn had nothing but positive things to say about her experience and of her trip leaders.
Ecuador Galapagos was super successful!
PARENTS, Anaseini & Christopher: Maria’s favorite part of the experience was her interaction with the other campers and the relationships she developed during her adventures in the Galapagos. A big shout out also to her group leader for a job well done! Maria would follow Tyson o... MORE >>
GREAT COMMUNITY SERVICE!
I loved the adventure of Ecuador Galapagos! I was also very happy to do community service and explore another culture.
PARENTS, Charlotte & Chris: Erik had a great time on Ecuador Galapagos. He loved the adventure of the trip and liked the community service very much. He was happy to explore a part of the world he had not seen yet. The group leaders were fantastic and it could not have been better!
I had a fantastic trip on Ecuador Galapagos! I liked that it was a small group and we all worked together. My favorite part was living on the farm but I also really enjoyed our time swimming with sharks!
PARENTS, Kristen & John: Max had a trip that I think has positively altered his life significantly. Although he has traveled before, Ecuador Galapagos was different in that he was able to see life from another perspective. What we and Max appreciated most about the experience was the direct contact - both working and living - in a community where material things were unimportant and how the simple life can bring as much or more contentment and happiness!
ENJOYED THE ORGANIC FARM!
Everything was successful on Ecuador Galapagos. I enjoyed working on the organic farm, surfing, and swimming with the sharks. Both friends and group leaders made the trip 10 times better. Everyone had a great attitude and I wouldn't change a thing!
PARENTS, Jamie had a great time! She loved all the new experiences and new friends.
EXTREMELY ORGANIZED AND WELL RUN!
I became so close with everyone on my Ecuador Galapagos trip, and made many new friends. The activities were so much fun; My Trip Leaders made the trip so great!
PARENTS, Fern & Brian: Max had a wonderful and enriching experience. He loved the countryside of Ecuador, the natural beauty and sea animals of the Galapagos and loved meeting new friends. The instructors couldn't have been better, they were supportive, knowledgeable and fun. Thanks you for helping to make Max’s summer so special. Bold Earth is an extremely organized and well run organization, always on top of of every detail. Very impressive!!!
Ecuador Galapagos was amazing because I got to travel to a part of the world that I had never been to. I got to experience new things, be with new people, and it was overall amazing!
PARENTS, Leslie: Natalie came back from Ecuador with an appreciation for the people she lived with on the farm, for the children she instructed in photography and mainly for the simple life the Ecuadorian people live. She enjoyed making friends with some of the kids in her group, as well as the group leaders. She loved the Galapagos. As she puts it... this trip was a life changing experience and one she will never forget!
I had such an incredible experience with Bold Earth that I will never forget! I came over so many fears that I had. In the beginning of the trip I was somewhat nervous but excited. The kids were so nice and everyone had a positive attitude throughout the trip. I also believe a lot of that was also because of my Trip Leader and the way that he dealt with us. I saw and experienced so many amazing things that some people don't even get to do in a lifetime. My trip was overall amazing. The food was very good as well. I will have a lot of great memories from this trip!
PARENTS, Mary & Jake: Zach's experience with Bold Earth to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands was nothing short of amazing! He gained an incredible amount of confidence, his counselors were superior and made great friends. He will remember the adventure the rest of his life! Thank you Bold Earth for nothing short of excellence once again!
Travel Made Easy!
- Fly Together: Our goal is to fly together as a group. All students are met upon arrival and families are called immediately from the airport.
- We recommend participants book flights three months before departure. Booking around April 1st allows the Bold Earth team to guarantee low fares and maximum coordinated group flights.
- Combine 2 Trips: Many Bold Earth participants combine Bold Earth trips. Call or e-mail our office for more information.