Galapagos Islands- Family Volunteer Vacation

Swim with friendly sea lions, snorkel with sea turtles, watch iguanas bask in the sun and meet wild giant tortoises up close while helping out at a tortoise reserve. $4,595 Adult* / $4,195 Child*

The Experience

Arguably the greatest destination on the planet for nature travelers is the Galapagos archipelago. Home to myriad species found nowhere else on earth, it was here that Charles Darwin first observed how a species adapts differently to the unique environments on each island. Come, witness first hand the kaleidoscope of plants & wildlife that inspired Darwin – and let it inspire your family’s love of nature!

On this behind-the-scenes wildlife adventure, visit the most famous sites in the archipelago such as Los Tuneles, a series of underwater tubes formed from hardened lava with pristine water that is home to a variety of tropical fish, sea turtles and rays.  Kayak off Isabela Island to see the famed blue-footed boobie and if you’re lucky, the Galapagos penguin. We’ll take day trips out to the tiny, uninhabited islands of North Seymour and Pinzon, great places to see majestic frigate birds and land iguanas. Come face-to-face with the famous giant tortoise during a conservation project that we will be part of.

A Trip Designed for Families that Love Wildlife

Experience Discover Corps’ Galapagos side-by-side with some of the best, most renowned naturalist guides on the islands. Journey to off-the-beaten track locales to witness the true splendor that these islands have to offer.

Our Impact

The story of the most famous Galapagos tortoise (and probably the most famous individual to come from the archipelago) is a sad one: when Lonesome George died in 2012, his species died with him. Happily, though,
several other species of Galapagos tortoise survive across the islands. These gentle giants can reach up to 6 feet in length and 800 lbs in weight, and you’ll have the chance to meet some and help protect them from harmful invasive plant species.

Despite strict environmental protections, many invasive plant species have been introduced to the Galapagos particularly in the areas that these giant tortoises inhabit. These species grow quickly and can crowd out native species that the islands’ animals depend on. Spend two mornings lending a hand at a sanctuary for giant tortoises, helping out by removing invasive plant species and planting endemic bushes and trees that tortoises eat.

Where You’ll Stay

We’ve chosen a portfolio of hotels that are in prime locations for exploring the islands and relaxing in comfort amongst true Ecuadorian hospitality. The first two nights of the journey will be spent in the cosmopolitan Ecuadorian capital of Quito. Unwind in a centrally-located boutique hotel that puts us within a short drive to many of the city’s main sites. After taking our flight out to the Galapagos Islands, spend the next three nights at a quaint 3-star hotel on the Island of Isabela. Continue on to the Island of Santa Cruz for the last four nights at a 3-star hotel in the charming town of Puerto Ayora. Each hotel reflects the colorful natural surroundings of the islands. Relax by the pool and gardens along the way and take in the slow pace of life.

Itinerary Overview

We’ll spend the first two days exploring the colonial city of Quito, and also visit the actual Equator line, before flying to the islands. We’ll use the islands of Isabela and Santa Cruz as our two bases from which we’ll explore some the most fascinating and breathtaking sites on Baltra, Isabela, Santa Cruz, North Seymour, and Pinzon. Spend two mornings volunteering at a nature reserve for giant tortoises, where they live in the wild.  

We’ll help out by removing invasive plant species and planting native bushes and grasses that tortoises eat. Whether you’re hiking through hardened lava tubes, kayaking out to see blue-footed boobies, snorkeling with friendly sea lions, or simply relaxing and soaking it in – there is a lot of variety that helps create lifelong memories.

Your Expert Local Guide

Discover Corps’ expert family of guides around the world are by your side throughout the journey. Please note that the actual guide may vary from date-to-date – Steven & Duncan lead groups separately not together.

Duncan & Steven Divine

This father/son duo are the heart & soul of Discover Corps in the Galapagos Islands. Part of of one of the first families to settle the Galapagos, Steven’s parents sailed down from the United States and arrived in the Galapagos in 1949. Both Steven & Duncan are certified Galapagos National Park Naturalist guides and bring their wealth of knowledge and personal family history to the experience. They are known throughout the islands as two of the top guides so you can rest assured that you are in good hands!

Optional Post-Trip Extension

Discover Corps’ post-trip extensions allow you to extend your experience beyond the core itinerary and explore unique corners of the destination.

Traveler’s Journal

Traveling to the Galapagos as a family was truly a bucket list item. From the vast array of wildlife to our guide’s depth of knowledge to the time spent volunteering with the massive tortoises, this is a trip our family will never forget. Just watching my daughter’s eyes light up as they watched the penguins waddle into the water made the experience worth it.
Galapagos family vacation

Sharon C.

Sonoma, CA

Dates and Prices

Our trips are inclusive of all activities, lodging, transport and most meals to make your experience hassle-free. Please note that the Galapagos does require permits and domestic flights which are included in a mandatory supplement. See details below.

$4,595* Adult

$4,195* Child

  • Double Occupancy Price. Children’s pricing applies to travelers 16 years old and younger sharing a room with an adult
  • Single Room Supplement = $400
  • *Price above does not reflect the roundtrip flight from Quito to Galapagos, or Galapagos tax and entrance fee. This cost varies based on local regulations and will be added to your invoice. Currently, the total cost for this is $600. Discover Corps will arrange this domestic flight.

What’s Included:

  • 8 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 8 dinners (1 free evening)
  • 9 nights accommodations in 3 1/2-star hotels
  • Transportation in private vehicles throughout the trip
  • All scheduled activities and excursions including boat trips
  • Tips for all day tours, hotels & meals
  • Kayak and snorkel rental
  • Bilingual expert naturalist guide in the Galapagos
  • Bilingual Discover Corps guide in Quito
  • 24-hour Discover Corps emergency hotline

What’s Not Included:

  • 1 dinner on Santa Cruz
  • 1 breakfast when flying to Galapagos (snack served on plane)
  • 1 lunch when flying from Galapagos to Quito (snack served on plane)
  • Tip for Naturalist Guide in Galapagos
  • Alcoholic beverages during meals

Dates

Our intimate, small-group departures consist of like-minded travelers. Don’t see a date that works? Let us know and we’ll make it happen.

2021 Dates

December 4-13, 2021

December 26, 2021-January 4, 2022

2022 Dates

February 12-21, 2022

April 16-25, 2022

May 14-23, 2022

June 11-20, 2022

June 25-July 4, 2022

July 9-18, 2022

July 23-August 1, 2022

August 6-15, 2022

September 17-26, 2022

October 15-24, 2022

December 26, 2022-January 4, 2023

2023 Dates

January 14-23, 2023

February 11-20, 2023

April 15-24, 2023

May 13-22, 2023

Want to learn more?

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Alumni & Family Discounts, Monthly Payment Plans, and More

Repeat travelers and groups are eligible for discounts. Looking for a payment plan to help manage your trip? Learn more here.

Customized Private Trips

Let us create a custom trip for your group. Learn more about custom group travel.