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.