Trip Region: South America
Country(ies): Ecuador, Galapagos
Partners Trek? No
Trip Cost: $2360
Airfare Estimate: $1000
Nightlife: 8 • Activity: 9
Get ready to check a trip of a lifetime off your bucket list. Adventure in the Galapagos Islands and explore Ecuador with a trip filled with everything from partying with the blue footed boobies to chilling in some hot springs. Don’t forget your hiking shoes and swimsuits!
Travel Day — Friday, Aug 17
Ready, set, go! You are free to depart from Ann Arbor after orientation activities are over at 5pm.
Day 1 — Saturday, Aug 18
Quit-o your day job and join us in Quito! We’ll meet up for a short meeting with our tour guide and head out to a local restaurant for dinner and drinks. It’s only one night, but don’t worry, we’ll be back!
Day 2 — Sunday, Aug 19
Galapagos here we come! The Islands are high on people’s bucket lists, so why not kick off your Ross experience by checking it off? After a short flight, let’s cruise to Santa Cruz and head to the farm – a sugarcane farm, that is! Most of us just care about the buzz, but we’ll take the time to see how alcohol is made before trying some. Charles Darwin and Galapagos are pretty much synonymous, so we’ll get educated on the ecosystem before we really dive into the trip.
Day 3 — Monday, Aug 20
Rise and shine! Sorry, we’re waking you up super early in the morning (with coffee), but that 5 a.m. wake-up call will be worth it, we promise. You came here for a reason, right? Today, we’ll hike the Sierra Negra Volcano, one of the most active volcanos in the Galapagos and the second largest crater in the world. After an easy-paced 6 hour hike, we’ll take it easy for a bit. We’ll probably end up walking about as slow as tortoises after that hike, so what a perfect time to visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center! And because one kind of animal isn’t enough on the islands, we’ll stop and see some flamingos on our way back to the hotel. Whoever falls asleep first tonight buys everyone drinks…kidding!
Day 4 — Tuesday, Aug 21
Because we went all out yesterday, today is all yours! Explore the beautiful Isabel Island, pick your favorite leader and hang out choosing from optional activities like snorkeling, kayaking, or make like a Galapagos seal and nap the whole day. We won’t judge. We’ll come together again for a nicer dinner tonight, so get your appetite ready.
Day 5 — Wednesday, Aug 22
After two days on Isabella Island, we’re heading back to Santa Cruz to visit Puerto Ayora, the largest town on the Galapagos Islands. It’s another early day, so please don’t kill us. But the Islands are fairly quiet, so don’t expect to be partying all night anyway. We’re hiking again today, but only for an hour to Tortuga Bay. No, it’s not the same Tortuga as in Pirates of the Caribbean, but it’s pretty awesome all the same. We’ll take a kayak excursion to see rays, sea turtles, and maybe even blue footed boobies. The afternoon is yours to explore, so hit up the beach or make like Captain Jack Sparrow and find a local bar for rum.
Day 6 — Thursday, Aug 23
Say Goodbye to the Galapagos, we’re headed onto our next adventure. We’ve got a bit of a hike (3hrs by car this time) to Banos, so the rest of the day is free. Baños is a mixed bag known for hot springs, adventures, spirituality, and “miracles.” We’ll head to the hot springs for a relaxing afternoon to ease any leftover soreness from hiking and kayaking. Rest up though, we know you’re dying for another night out, so it’s SALSA TIME. Experience not necessary.
Day 7 — Friday, Aug 24
Today we’re taking a step back and getting our spirituality and miracle on by heading to the Church of the Virgin of the Holy Water, a breathtaking basilica. After, we’ll stroll through the local artisan markets. Feel free to buy your leaders a gift! (Still kidding.) We can’t leave Baños without making a stop at the famous Devil’s Cauldron, so get your phone cameras out, you’ll want to take some pics of this. Google it, you won’t be disappointed.
Day 8 — Saturday, Aug 25
Today is a free day in Baños.
Day 9 — Sunday, Aug 26
Today we head to Cotopaxi! Here we’ll hike the Cotopaxi Volcano, an active stratovolcano in the Andes Mountain. It’s also the second highest summit in Ecuador. We’ll have time to explore the National Park to see foxes, bears, and condors!? Oh my.
Day 10 — Monday, Aug 27
Take the morning to explore Cotopaxi for a few hours, because we’re moving on. We’ve got one last stop before we head home, and we certainly couldn’t leave Ecuador without visiting Quito! We’ll take a tour of the city and head out for one last hurrah. Take another stab at those salsa moves or impress the locals with your knowledge of how alcohol is made. Either way, we’re positive you will have Ecu-adored this MTrek.
Departure Day — Tuesday, Aug 28
Time to quit-o Quito! Hop on back to Ann Arbor and brag to your section how awesome your MTrek was. Pics or it didn’t happen. Trip ends after breakfast.
Holly "Muscles" Meyers
You’ll usually find Holly picking heavy things up and putting them back down, so don’t make fun of her for being the caboose on the hiking trails. A cardio-hater, donut-lover, ex-contortionist and kind-of-still a fashion designer, she’ll be ready to Galapago-go-go after spending a summer trying to make it as her own boss. #bosslady Note: Please don’t leave her behind. She has little legs and a tendency to get lost.
"Captain" Jon Smith
Jon was accepted to the Ross School of Business despite having not worked an honest job for nearly three years prior. After spending some time in the Army (including a “combat” tour to Kenya), Jon
built an illicit transatlantic Kinder Surprise smuggling syndicate managed his investment portfolio while living in and travelling to exotic locales. When he’s not on a soapbox zealously evangelizing against the efficient market hypothesis to unenlighted finance professors, you’ll find him ruthlessly training his privately-funded militia of shark cavalry (pictured above) for the supposed impending global war against “the machines”. Despite his given name and former military rank, Captain Jon Smith had successfully avoided seeing the movie Pocahontas for his entire life…that is, until his prior Mtrek group recently “Clockwork Orange’d” him into watching it. His goal at Ross is to figure out how to monetize pets, because he believes, “these furry freeloaders need to start earning their keep,” and, “you can’t pay for kibble with cuteness.” Jon’s favorite color is the darkest shade of ethereal void. He hasn’t had a carb since 2004.
Ayush "Yoshi" Awadhiya
Before Ross, Ayush worked in the oil rigs of Europe, Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa over four years before moving to solar industry in his transition away from the dark side. Having worked in four continents, Americas both North and South had long been on his bucket list. But the real reason Ayush came to America was to impersonate Bruno Mars and star in “Dancing with the Stars” to show off his dancing skills. But this American dream got crushed when he got trapped in the circles of death in the peak of recruiting. Therefore, this M-Trek is his chance to travel to South America for the first time and dazzle you with his Shuffle dance. There is one more thing – Ayush loves Llamas and has long thought of riding on the back of one of these goofy buggers. When not dreaming about riding Llamas, Ayush loves exploring American beers.
Ada the “KGB”
USSR born and Russia raised, Ada’s fun fact collection is as dry and cold as Stoli on the rocks. From
sunny severe Siberia to tropical islands of Galapagos, she is truly excited to finally swim in water warmer than 60 degrees and to have summer last for more than one day. She mysteriously got into Ross after applying to only one school… in the third round… but we promise, she passed the background check. More mysteriously, she got elected Corporate Finance VP at Ross – rumor has it, the votes were “miscalculated”. She describes herself as a “risk taking accountant”. And while we don’t know exactly what that means, we are just relieved she is not recruiting for Enron ventures investment banking. She spent her summer hacking learning software systems at a Seattle based tech giant and developing that “growth mindset” (aka genuine smiling abilities). Don’t judge her by the russian-like resting face, she is due to remove braces any day now. And don’t forget to make friends with her on the hiking trails, she may have some performance enhancing drugs snacks on her to share.
Ian “Grizzly” Charles
Once upon a time, Ian was a medical device engineer in a far-off land known as “Northern California,” where he spent his days making tiny things for doctors to stick into old people’s hearts. But then one fateful day, he grew tired of saving lives and decided to instead “get money” and get an MBA. Here at Ross, he’s planning on career-switching to Tech Marketing, despite the fact that he can’t watch the show Silicon Valley because it’s “too real.” Likes: board games, whiskey, useless trivia, and the many tasty animals of the Galapagos Islands. Dislikes: kale, having to pay attention, and the cost of a PBR in the SF Bay Area.