• Ecuador
    • Galapagos
1 - 2 weeks
Need-based funding
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Direct Enrollment
Age Min.
Age Max


Starting Price
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Domestic Airfare Airport Transfers Meals Transportation
What's Included (Extra)

Tuition includes a domestic round trip group flight from Quito to the Islands

What's Not Included
Oct 24, 2023
Nov 21, 2023
16 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

When it comes to incredible natural environments, Ecuador's Galapagos Islands just can't be beat. Known for their biological diversity, the islands were made famous by Charles Darwin and continue to be an important research and preservation site today. Spend two weeks this summer working alongside local organizations to help maintain these unique island ecosystems and get up close and personal with the unique creatures that call them home. Explore Ecuador's historical capital city before setting off for the islands, where you will learn more about the challenges that both wildlife and human communities face.

Program Theme: Animal & Wildlife Conservation
Service Hours: 26

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Visit several of the Galapagos' diverse islands, as well mainland Ecuador
  • Swim and snorkel in waters full of undersea life
  • Spot blue footed boobies, giant tortoises, sea lions and marine iguanas
  • Volunteer on projects supporting wildlife and the local community
  • Visit the Equator line in the colonial city of Quito

Program Reviews

4.84 Rating
based on 25 reviews
  • 5 rating 88%
  • 4 rating 8%
  • 3 rating 4%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 4.8
  • Support 4.9
  • Fun 4.8
  • Housing 4.75
  • Safety 4.95
  • Program Selection 5
  • Pre-departure Help 4.35
  • In-program Support 5
  • Impact on Student 4.35
  • Value 5
Showing 1 - 8 of 25 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Galapagos- best trip decision ever!

I was debating about going on this trip because it was such a big commitment. But, it was the best trip decision I've ever made. Along the trip I made the closest friend's I've ever had in just the span of two weeks, something I was never expecting. Aside from the social scene making it always fun, the empierces I had and new things I learned were so impactful. I saw tortoises, blue footed boobies, and snorkeled with the sea turtles and seals. The food and culture was also amazing to be immersed in.

  • Making new friends
  • New foods
  • Snorkeling/ unique activities
  • Sickness because of new germs
  • dislike of different food
23 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Exceeded expectations

I was EXTREMELY apprehensive about sending my 14 year old daughter off on a trip without me. I panicked when I hadn’t heard from her on day one (even though the GLA staff had told us that we may not). I contacted the hotline and within moments my daughter called me and as if she were just having too much fun to talk she said, “mom, I’m alive”. She gave the trip, the counselors and the itinerary rave reviews. She has made a couple
Of lasting friendships and definitely came home with more confidence. She is very eager to go on another GLA trip!

  • Team building
  • Sight seeing
  • Lasting friendships
23 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic experience, awesome program

Both of my sons have participated in this program, traveling to the Galápagos with GLA for two weeks. One went alone, and the other with a friend. They both had an amazing time and highly recommend it. From the student's perspective, the trip is a great chance to push themselves outside their comfort zone and experience some real independence, traveling internationally without their family. Successfully negotiating flights, connections, and immigration solo is a real confidence builder. In country, the group becomes their family. GLA does an incredible job of building camaraderie (my eldest still communicates with his group years later), ensuring the students are safe, and keeping parents informed of their childrens' activities. From the pre-departure planning through the trip, I always felt that my children were in capable, organized hands. My kids learned a lot and experienced much, and got service hours to list on their college applications as a bonus--plus teens are really excited to be involved in preserving such a unique and important place. An incredible opportunity, grateful to GLA for all they do to open up the world to teens.

  • Organized and well managed
  • Great activities and educational components
  • Service to the community
  • My younger son was disappointed that they spent half their time on Santa Cruz Island rather than one of the less inhabited Galápagos Islands, as my elder son had.
  • None otherwise!
23 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Global Leadership Adventures

Review part 2
My daughter, traveled to Ecuador, and Galapagos the summer of 2017.
She had an amazing trip and now is taking her second GLA trip this spring break 2018. GLA staff was great. I recommend GLA for teens who are independent, spirited and looking for a way to give back to the world. It was a truly amazing experience that has changed her for the better.
Pam Prast, mother of 15 year old traveler.

What would you improve about this program?
Its awesome!
65 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Global Leadership Adventures

My daughter traveled to Ecuador and Galapagos the summer of 2017.
She had an amazing trip and now is taking her second GLA trip this spring break 2018. GLA staff was great. I recommend GLA for teens who are independent, spirited and looking for a way to give back to the world. Although I am just a parent and didn't get to go myself it was amazing to see the oppuertunity spark her interest.
Pam Prast mother of 15 year old traveler.

75 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

GLA Galapagos

This summer I spent two weeks with amazing staff, students, and guides on the beautiful islands that are the Galapagos. This experience was my first time traveling alone, and i have to say it couldn't have been better. Everyday we would do community service work, with purpose and pride, just like the staff had taught us. We also got to experience the culture and beautify of these islands though many fun activities like hiking, snorkeling, beach walks, spending time in the town, and more. The staff had extensive knowledge and were more than willing to answer questions, goof around, and participate with students. Future participants be aware, you will come back changed. Seeing one of the last places on earth that is virtually untouched will change you, it changed me. To see how elegant nature is without human interaction has made me want to fight even more to protect it. I cam home wondering what more I could do, and swear of the impact my everyday actions have. This trip will change you, and 100% of that is for the better.

What would you improve about this program?
It's far too short. I would love to spend even more time with these amazing people in such an amazing place.
70 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Global Leadership Adventures: Galapagos

I travelled to Ecuador and the Galapagos in 2016 with Global Leadership Adventures, and truly had the most memorable time. I was incredibly nervous to embark on the journey to South America without my family, but ultimately it was the best decision. My group of 20 students immediately clicked, and we became like family within days. The mentors were so knowledgeable, and always willing to help us out in any way we needed. Our in-country experts (tour guides, naturalists etc.) were such genuine people, always eager to answer our many questions and teach us more about their beloved country. Some of my favorite memories from my trip include: summiting the Sierra Negra volcano on a 14 mile hike (8 long, hours), snorkeling right next to baby (and adult) sea lions, cooking authentic Ecuadorian foods and spending long nights sharing stories and playing games in the hammocks at our homebase. I also really enjoyed the fact that I was able to practice my Spanish skills, everyday! I absolutely adore Spanish class in school now, because it always reminds me of the amazing experiences I had while traveling with GLA! I loved my trip so much that I travelled with GLA again to Bali this past summer, on their Land of Discovery program! Don't have enough great things to say about their organization.

What would you improve about this program?
Make it longer! While 2 weeks was perfect for my first trip, I only wished I could have stayed there for more time!
70 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

From Fear and Trepidation to Relief and Satisfaction

It was with great anxiety that we sent our daughter last summer (2016) on her Global Leadership Adventures trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands for the Preserving Nature's Wonders program. But it was soon apparent that it was the very best decision we could have made for her! Communication was immediate and sufficient throughout the trip. We were able to speak with our daughter on several occasions, most importantly when they first arrived safely in Ecuador. The excitement and pure joy we could hear in her voice was music to our ears and the enjoyment the group was having was evident in the daily updated blogs the program provided. But we still were not prepared for the incredible transformation we witnesses when we picked her up from the airport. The shy, quiet 16 year old we had dropped off just two weeks prior, was now confident and full of self-esteem! And oh how happy she was! The only sadness felt was that she had to say good-bye to the friends she had made and have come to mean so much to her. It has now been nearly a year since she had this incredible experience and she is still in daily contact with many of these new friends. I am so proud of the service work she completed on this trip and how it has changed her into a thoughtful, thinking young person who truly has compassion for the world around her.

What would you improve about this program?
As a parent, the only thing I can think of to improve upon this program would be more frequent communication through the blogs. However I do understand how busy the days and nights are on a trip such as this and realize that the updates can sometimes be difficult. It was exiting to get the new blog updates, but also reasurring that all was well with our daughter!
70 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers