Accommodation in Quito
The first night's (arrival day Saturday) accommodation in Quito is in a shared twin or triple room or in a private room at the volunteer house, which is located in the lively neighbourhood La Mariscal surrounded by restaurants and bars. The house has a spacious living room with a TV, DVD and a comfy sofa, a big table to eat with all your housemates and a great kitchen that is fully equipped for you to cook your meals. You will also be staying at the volunteer house if you choose to participate in the Intro Week in Quito.
Accommodation in San Cristobal
In the Galapagos you stay in a nice shared house in San Cristobal which is close to the beach, shops and cafes. There are two bedrooms, one with three single beds and one with two bunk beds with space for 7 volunteers in total. There is a shared bathroom and a fully-equipped kitchen where you will be able to cook your own meals and a common area where you can eat or chill or do homework. There is also a small yard outside. Bed linen and towels are included, as are cleaning services several times a week. Free WiFi is available throughout the volunteer house. There is no air-conditioning but we have fans. As this is a shared house, we depend on your collaboration to make your stay as comfortable as possible. In your welcome package you will find a contract with the rules of the volunteer house which we will ask you to sign.
If you would like a single or double private room you will stay in a nice hostel which is 5 minutes walking distance from the volunteer house. Here you will be in a private twin room with en-suite bathrooms and air-conditioning. There is hot water most of the time. There is a shared fully-equipped kitchen where you will be able to cook your own meals and a common area where you can eat or chill or do homework. There is also a terrace where you can relax and watch the sun set. Bed linen and towels are included, as is the cleaning services several times a week. As this is a shared house, we depend on your collaboration to make your stay as comfortable as possible. In your welcome package you will find a contract with the rules of the volunteer house which we will ask you to sign. Internet is not available at the hostel, but there are internet cafes in town.
Arrival with Intro Week
Arrival transfer from Quito airport to your accommodation is included with Intro Week, if you choose that option.
Getting to the Project
Our Galapagos project costs include the return flight from Quito to Galapagos.
When you arrive at Quito airport you will have to pay your $20 INGALA card.
Once you arrive in San Cristobal, you will first have to pay your National Park Entrance Fee. Please go to the line of foreign visitors and pay USD $100.00 (not included). Please take into account that this amount can only be paid cash.
On arrival in the Galapagos, a driver will be holding a sign with your name on it and drive you to your accommodation, the volunteer house. There one of the coordinators will meet you for an introduction meeting.
Flight Back to Quito
The return flight to Quito from the Galapagos is on Saturday. Do not book any onward international flights until Sunday.
Meals are not included during the volunteer project but there's a well equiped kitchen where you can prepare your meals, alternatively there are a lot of local cafes and restaurants for snacks, lunch and dinner. On the Galapagos almost all items are more expensive than the mainland, and as you will be cooking for yourself, it would be wise to do some advance shopping in Quito for products such as:
Any sweets or savoury products you might like
Packaged and vacuum sealed cheese and meat products
While shopping, please take into account that you are not allowed to take fruits, vegetables, meat, seeds, etc. You can purchase fruit and vegetables at the local market or shops. Remember to check your baggage allowance before you start shopping for the essentials. There are also a lot of local cafes, restaurants for snacks, lunch and dinner.
What to Bring
Comfortable shoes, sandals, T-shirts, short sleeve shirts, long sleeve shirts, shorts, swimwear, bath and beach towel
Reusable water bottle
When you arrive in Ecuador you will get a T-3 visa stamp, which will allow you to be 90 days within the country. Do you plan on staying longer than 90 days? Check with your local Ecuadorian embassy which is the best visa for you and what are the current requirements. Take this into account when buying your ticket, as the airline may refuse you to board the plane if your flight leaves after 90 days and you do not have a visa.
Remember to check the required and recommended vaccinations. Do not forget to bring your original yellow fever certificate and vaccinations booklet as it may be checked on border crossings.
In Ecuador we use US dollars and the easiest way to get them is an ATM. If you want to bring dollars in cash, make sure to get small notes with the highest denomination being $20. Not many stores accept $50 or $100 notes.
What to do on the Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands is a dream for many travellers, and you will be able not only to volunteer at the island, but you can also enjoy its wonderful flora and fauna! So spend your afternoons at the beaches, snorkel with the sea lions, learn how to dive, visit the different islands or take a cruise around the archipelago.