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The Real Galapagos

4.9(25 reviews)
Experience
Volunteer
Destination
Ecuador
Duration
2 to 8 weeks
Ages
18 to 85

23 others looking at this too. Next opening is Apr 2024, with limited spots.

Book now, pay later. Cancel anytime.

Trip overview

If there’s one place in the world that’s truly unique, it’s the Galapagos Islands. Teeming with animals found nowhere else on Earth – like giant tortoises, Galapagos penguins, and marine iguanas. And on this trip, you’ll contribute to important causes including education, personal development, and conservation. 

Break out of your day-to-day routine and embark on an adventure that will make the world a better place and help you grow as a person. 

On this all-inclusive volunteer trip, not only do you get to live and volunteer with a trusted partner organisation in the Galapagos Islands. When you go with Global, you get:

  • Volunteer project placement – Guarantee your spot at our screened and vetted project partner in the Galapagos Islands. Start your volunteer journey without spending months searching for a reputable organisation on the other side of the world. 
  • Comfortable accommodation – Your accommodation depends on your project. It will either be comfortable shared hostel accommodation in a small port village. Or join the other volunteers with a host family on the second floor of their double story home. 
  • Meals. Enjoy 3 meals a day, 6 days a week prepared for you by the staff. Get a taste of Ecuadorian cuisine with an island twist. 
  • + way more!

Can you picture it? You’ve spent the morning planting trees in a community reforestation project while other volunteers teach some English. You’re looking forward to the afternoon, where you’ll join some teenagers on a soccer pitch to coach them some footwork skills. 

All while living in and exploring one of the most breathtaking places in the world. 

For most people, getting to visit a place as significant as the Galapagos Islands is a bucket list experience. 

Although most people don’t get the chance to experience something like this. Being immersed in the local community while having plenty of time to explore the delights of the Galapagos – both above and below the water – is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

And when you go with Global, you get the full experience for a fraction of the hassle. Your volunteer placement and accommodation is sorted before you leave, so you know exactly what you’re getting into.

Inclusions

Tap to expand

Volunteer project placement
Dedicated Trip Coordinator
Pre-Departure Guide
Trip visa guidance
Personal Travel Concierge
Airport pickup or transfer
Comfortable accommodation
Project supplies
Meals
24/7 Global Emergency Line
Certificate of completion
Ongoing local team support
gWorld access
SocialNEW
Global AcademyNEW
Marketplace dealsNEW
$250 off your next trip

Qualification

To qualify for this trip you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be between 18-85 years of age
  • Be a citizen of an eligible country
  • Have no criminal convictions in the past 5 years

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Trip details

Our Real Galapagos Volunteer trip in Ecuador is designed to get you volunteering overseas in a safe and fun environment and with a genuine and rewarding purpose.

Our expert team and local partners take care of everything you need to start making a positive impact, from volunteer placement, accommodation, meals and ongoing support throughout your entire journey.

Whether you’re doing gap year volunteering or taking a volunteering holiday from work, you’ll arrive in Ecuador with the confidence that absolutely everything has been pre-arranged for you.

You’ll be able to jump straight into your volunteer duties and start making new friends with all the logistical details sorted, from return airport transfers to project site accommodation.

Channel all your energy into immersing yourself in your volunteer placement, as well as taking time to get to know the local area on your days off. Explore the epic Ecuadorian rainforests, swim in the stunning beaches, hike the daring volcanoes and taste the delicious local cuisines instead of sweating the logistical stuff - that’s exactly why we’re here.

Feel confident and proud you are contributing much-needed help to a meaningful cause and save yourself the time, money and even the risk of being stranded in a foreign country by having us on your side.

Make your time count on this life-changing opportunity to volunteer in Ecuador and arrive home knowing you've made a lasting and positive impact on the wellbeing of people living in local communities.

Requirements 

To qualify for the teaching or coaching placement, you must have a basic knowledge of the Spanish language.

What extra costs will I have? 

Flights, travel insurance, visa, vaccinations, criminal background check, souvenirs & spending money.

Purpose & impact

Protecting what’s left of the wild, open spaces on the planet is critical if we want future generations to be happy and healthy. 

An important part of this conservation is involving the local community. That way, locals see the benefits of the natural spaces around them and become passionate about protecting it in the long term. 

You can choose between 3 different types of volunteer activities, including: 

Community and Conservation: You’ll find yourself painting schools, planting trees, repairing gardens and playgrounds, supporting local farmers and more. 

Teaching: You could be responsible for helping out in the classrooms, teaching subjects like maths, English, computer skills, and sport subjects. 

Coaching: Dust off your soccer boots and get out onto the field as you coach children and teenagers football.

Accommodation & meals

Once you touch down at Quito International Airport in Ecuador, a driver will be waiting to take you straight to your initial accommodation at a homestay with a local family. 

After a night in Quito, you’ll head back to the airport so you can fly to the Galapagos Islands. Your accommodation in the Galapagos Islands is either shared hostel accommodation in a port village. Or it could be with the other volunteers on the second story of a double story family home. 

With your accommodation in Galapagos sorted and your volunteer placement organised, what will you do about food? 

You’ll be given 3 meals a day, 6 days a week prepared for you by the staff.

Trip itinerary

Before you leave

Your volunteer placement – including accommodation and 3 meals, 6 days a week – is confirmed and organised before you leave home.

Arrival

When you arrive at Quito Airport, a driver will be waiting for you. You’ll be taken straight to your initial accommodation at a homestay in Quito.  Take some time to relax, settle in, and meet your host family.

Day 2

Today’s the day to head to the Galapagos Islands. Say goodbye to your host and head to the airport to hop on your connecting flight.

Day 3+

From day 3 onwards you’ll be busy with your chosen volunteer duties. What activities you’ll be doing depends on what’s needed and what you choose, but they generally fall into 3 categories:  Community and Conservation: You’ll find yourself painting schools, planting trees, repairing gardens and playgrounds, supporting local farmers and more.  Teaching: You could be responsible for helping out in the classrooms, teaching subjects like maths, English, computer skills, and sport subjects.  Coaching: Dust off your soccer boots and get out onto the field as you coach children and teenagers football.  All weekends are off, meaning you’ll have plenty of time to explore the area. Hang out with 100-year old tortoises, take a peek under the surface while you snorkel or scuba dive, and get an understanding of why the stunning flora and fauna of the islands contributed so much to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.  Once your placement is over, you can choose to stay on in the Galapagos Islands to explore what else it and the surrounding areas have to offer.  Head off to explore the islands on your own terms, get your SCUBA licence if you don’t have it already, or hop on a quick flight to South America to explore the continent.  Hop onto gWorld – our social app for Global Travellers – and link up with other travellers to explore the region together. You could even join a bucket-list Global Getaway with other Global Travellers. Head off to explore the islands on your own terms, get your SCUBA licence if you don’t have it already, or hop on a quick flight to South America to explore the continent.  Whatever you choose to do, we can help make it easy.  We’ll be in touch with you throughout your stay. If you ever need advice or support our team is available to answer your questions. And our 24/7 emergency support line will help with urgent matters.  Don’t go alone. Go with Global.

Why choose us

When you travel with the best we take care of pretty much everything so you don’t have to. You’ll arrive in Peru totally prepared with a plan of action and trusted people helping you along the way. 

Our volunteer trips are designed to help you make a real change in critical causes around the world. All while experiencing off-the-beaten-path locations with passionate locals. Our goal is to save you time, money, and stress while eliminating the risk of returning home early. Here’s how we do it: 

We’re on your side from the moment you get started. 

You’ll be assigned a dedicated Trip Coordinator. They’ll guide you through the next steps and answer all your questions. They’ll also help you with the pesky visa. No guesswork – only the right paperwork, approved the first time, in your hands before you leave. 

Your Personal Travel Concierge will help with flights, insurance, and any add-ons you’d like for your trip. These are real humans too – no robots here. 

We maintain relationships with a huge network of screened and vetted partner organisations all over the world. We know they’re trustworthy and that you’re in good hands because of all the successful trips Global Travellers keep having with our partners. 

Our team is well travelled so you can rely on our experience. We’re with you every step of the way. 

Join 75,000+ travellers – giving us 10,000+ 4 & 5 star reviews – by choosing Global to make your travel dreams come true.

Reviews

Zara F
Fantastic service! Can�t wait for this adventure to begin! Oil and the team have made this process seamless
Annabelle H
really good, Lia was really helpful and she made me feel much more confident about my trip and I’m very excited to be off to Galapagos!

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Frequently asked questions

Why go with Global Work & Travel?

As the world’s leading gap-year and "work & travel" company, we provide a premium service for Global Travellers. Choose from a variety of awesome experiences worldwide. We assist with visas, pre-departure, flights, insurance, and tours. Our cool tech features support you throughout the journey. As a Global Traveller, access gWorld, our personalized app. Keep important documents and trip details handy. Enjoy exclusive Marketplace deals, a social network, language learning, side trips, meet-ups, and more. It's like all your favorite apps merged into one, but better! Our support doesn't stop there. With a 24/7 emergency team, 90+ staff, and ongoing assistance, we ensure you feel like a local. Join the 80,000+ Global Travellers who have turned their travel dreams into reality with us. We proudly boast the most & best reviews in the biz!

Are flights & insurance included?

While we would love to include flights and insurance in our trip packages, it is not feasible to have a fixed price due to the diverse destinations, trip durations, and individual coverage needs of our travellers from around the globe. However, once you register for the trip, we will assign you a dedicated Travel Concierge. They will work closely with you to arrange the ideal flights and insurance tailored to your specific adventure. Rest assured, our team is here to ensure you have a smooth and hassle-free travel experience from start to finish!

Why do I have to pay to volunteer?

The trip fee covers all the essential trip inclusions that ensure you have a meaningful and safe volunteering experience. It includes comprehensive pre-departure support to assist you throughout your journey. Once you arrive at your destination, the fee covers transportation, accommodation, and in most cases meals and some amazing excursions you'll do alongside other international volunteers. This comprehensive support is essential to provide you with a positive and secure volunteering experience, which is of utmost importance to us. Your trip fee allows us to ensure your well-being while making a meaningful impact, and it contributes to the sustainability and effectiveness of the volunteer projects we support.

Will I receive guidance and support before starting the volunteering trip?

Absolutely! Before starting your volunteer placement, you will receive comprehensive pre-departure support, which includes project-specific information, cultural orientation, and advice on preparing for your journey. Additionally, most trips include on-site training and an orientation to ensure you are well-prepared and confident in your volunteer role.

How do I choose the right volunteer trip for me?

With so many incredible options, we understand that selecting the perfect volunteer trip can be tricky. That's why we recommend booking your favourite one, and your dedicated Trip Coordinator will guide you through the project details. They will consider your interests, skills, desired location, and the impact you want to make. If we find another trip that better suits your preferences, we can easily swap you over to ensure you have the ideal volunteer experience. Rest assured, we're here to help you find the right fit!

How long should I volunteer for?

We offer flexibility in our volunteer trips, allowing you to choose the duration that best suits your schedule and desired experience. While most volunteers join us for 3 or 4 weeks, our trips accommodate durations as short as two weeks or as long as 12 weeks, and even extended stays. The choice is yours!

What ages are most volunteers?

The ages of our volunteers can vary depending on the project, but we have a wide age range. Our volunteers typically range from 18 years old to 85 years old! Our Trip Coordinators ensure that all volunteers are vetted before embarking on their journey. While age may differ, what unites our volunteers is their shared passion for travel and their dedication to making a positive impact in the community or wildlife conservation efforts they are involved in. Regardless of age, anyone with a passion to contribute and explore is welcome to join our volunteer trips.

Is it safe to volunteer overseas?

Safety is our utmost priority, and it drives our thorough trip planning process and comprehensive inclusions. With a successful track record of safely sending tens of thousands of travellers overseas since 2008, we prioritise your well-being throughout the journey. Before you depart, we provide full support, ensuring a smooth and secure experience. Upon arrival, we take care of every detail, including secure airport transfers, comfortable accommodations, usually meals, and dedicated project supervision. Additionally, our 24/7 emergency line ensures immediate assistance whenever needed, providing peace of mind throughout your entire volunteer experience.

Why should I book now?

Covid-19 threw us a curve ball and pretty much halted all travel. This means that we have a backlog of travellers, just like you, who are desperate to get out and explore the world! Global Work & Travel works on a first-in-best-dressed basis. Booking earlier ensures that you don’t miss out on the best intake, season, placements and more! We recommend our travellers take 6-12 months to plan their trip for a reason - to make sure you’ve got everything organised perfectly, stress-free. As a Global Traveller you’ll get exclusive access to gWorld, our personalised app where you can keep all of your important documents and trip details in one spot and gain insider access to everything Global. This is where you will find exclusive Marketplace Deals, a unique social network to connect you with other like-minded Global Travellers, access to our Academy with an ever-growing range of skills & languages, and so much more. Think all of your favourite apps merged into one, but like, better? Why not give yourself something to look forward to by booking that trip!

Can I travel with a friend?

Yes you can! Simply tell your Trip Coordinator after booking that your friend is also going and they can link your profiles. For most of our trips we should be able to have you and your friends placed together or nearby. Meaning that you can live, work, play & travel together! But wait there's more! Not only can you travel the world with your besties at your side, you can also earn some extra cash towards your own trip just by referring your friends to Global Work & Travel. You can learn more about the great referral rewards program inside your gWorld account once you join. And for those who decide to go-it-solo, we’ve made it easier to meet other Global Travellers in the same region as you. Just like any other social platform, you’ll be able to interact, share, chat and meet with some really cool people who are doing trips just like you!

Can I bring my pet along?

At Global Work & Travel, we share a deep love for animals and fully understand the special bond you have with your pet. We recognise the challenges of embarking on a trip without them. Due to travel restrictions, requirements, and limited pet-friendly accommodations among our host organisations, we regretfully cannot facilitate their inclusion in the journey. However, many of our customers choose to entrust their pets to a family member or friend, embark on their adventure, and return home to wagging tails and furry cuddles.

What happens if I want to cancel my trip?

We know that life can get in the way of travel, so all our trips come with a great deal of flexibility. In most cases, if you cannot travel on your selected date, you can place your trip on hold to deal with whatever is holding you back, and continue in the future without incurring any penalty. You may also have the option of transferring to an entirely different trip and destination as well, or even transferring your trip to a friend or family member. In the event that you need to outright cancel your trip, if you give us 84* days notice you can do so with only a 50% cancellation fee. Your refund of the balance will come in the form of a Store Credit which you can put toward any other trip that we offer, including tours through third-party providers, as well as holidays through DealsAway.com, and is valid for 2 years from date of issue. As international travel can be complex, your options are based on the progress of your trip organisation and our support team can assist you in finding the best solution for your needs.

How it works

1. Choose a trip style

Find your dream experience & destination, then secure your spot with a flexible & low deposit. Activate your gWorld to unlock some cool perks. Well done! The hardest part’s over!

2. We become friends

Book a time to meet your dedicated Trip Coordinator who knows all the ins & outs of your trip. They’ll be by your side and working behind-the-scenes to pull everything together.

3. Time to go!

We’ll get your tickets, accommodation & transfers ready. Our in-country team or partner will have everything prepared & waiting for your arrival. Get on the plane with no worries!

4. 24/7 support

Never stress, knowing we’re there with you when you need us with ongoing & unlimited local team support and check-ins. And just in case, we’ve got an emergency team on stand-by, 24/7.

Still have questions?

Why go Global

Flexible trips

The unexpected can happen sometimes. Can't travel right now? Swap your trip, gift it or save it for later with our Lifetime Deposit Guarantee.

Worldwide support

Know that someone is always ready to assist throughout the journey & they’re only a call, tweet, comment, text or double tap away, 24/7.

We're the experts

With over 10 years in the industry and a team of over 90 passionate pros, you can bet we know our stuff better than anyone else.

Partner network

We have over 1,200 partners around the globe, so we have access to plenty of exclusive opportunities to make your trip the best it can be.

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