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The Galapagos Experience

Ecuador Flag
Quito, Ecuador
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Galapagos Experience
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Trip Code: ECTGE1
Duration: 21 Days
From £2495 for 21 Days
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Galapagos ReptilesGalapagos SealsGalapagos Giant Tortoise

Follow in the footsteps of the great explorer Charles Darwin, as you uncover the secrets of the Galapagos Islands. Embark on this remarkable journey, hopping from island to island, getting up close and personal with the enchanting natural world on land and sea.

Tour of Galapagos Islands 
Discover the fascinating and natural beauty that is the Galapagos Islands over three action packed weeks on the world famous islands. This is a unique opportunity for an adventure lover and wildlife enthusiast to experience this amazing part of the world, getting up close and personal with the unique inhabitants. Truly get back to nature on this ethical and proactive tour as you explore the islands, volunteer with conservation projects and meet some of the World’s most amazing creatures!

Week One
You will start your adventure exploring the lively, diverse capital of Ecuador, Quito. This is the highest city in the world and you will experience views of the Andean valley and its surrounding volcanic peaks as well as the rich South American culture apparent in the city. After taking a scenic flight across to the Galapagos Islands you will head straight to Primicias ranch where you will be able to get up close to the fascinating Giant Galapagos Tortoise and have the rare opportunity to watch them in their natural state. Get a better understanding of how these unusual islands inspired Darwins theory of Evolution as you visit the Charles Darwin centre. Visit Academy Bay with it’s huge array of underwater species and maybe even spot a shark or manta ray. Visit the pristine white sand beaches of Tortuga Bay and take in the history of the island as you explore fresh water wells and caves used by pirates that used to prey on the Pacific waters!

Week Two
This week starts with an exhilarating ride on a speed boat to the beautiful San Cristobel Island where you will help to give back to the islands as you volunteer at the Biology Station. Here you will assist with the amazing work that they do in order to conserve the natural habitat of the islands, preserving endangered species by reconstructing natural habitat in the highlands. This is a unique opportunity for somebody with a keen interest in wildlife and conservation as you proactively help with the amazing work that they do whilst really getting under the skin of these legendary islands. The rapid increase in tourism means that conservation is a hugely important aspect of work in the Galapagos Islands; this is your chance to be an ethical and responsible traveller as you become educated on the measures and technology used to provide a sustainable future for the wildlife here.

Week Three
Discover a beautiful array of fauna and flora as you explore the youngest but largest island in the Galapagos, Isabela. The exotic and rare landscape of Isabela is a true reminder of how varied these islands are and a great example of how the different climate changes the wildlife. See the work that the community puts in to the life of the tortoise and how important these beautiful creatures are to the island as you visit the tortoise breeding centre, where approximately 330 tortoises are bred and reared before being released into the wild. Visit the captivating, crystal clear waters of Los Tunneles and experience an exotic array of wildlife in close proximity such as sea lions, penguins, tropical fish and white tip reef sharks. Board a speedboat to the small but beautiful island of Las Tintoreas where you will have the opportunity to take part in more snorkelling whilst taking in the amazing surroundings and even more wonderful creatures. Become an explorer as you take part in a four hour trek around the infamous volcanoes, which is a fantastic opportunity to gain an insight into how these famed islands were originally formed.

Highlights
1. Visit Giant Galapagos Tortoises in their natural state at Primicias Ranch.
2. Gain an insight into the theory of evolution at the Charles Darwin Centre.
3. Encounter rare underwater species at Academy Bay.
4. Visit fresh water wells and caves used by pirates!
5. Relax on the pristine white beaches and sparkling water of Tortuga Bay.
6. Snorkel amongst hundreds of exotic fish and Sea Lions in Asilo de Paz.
7. Do your bit for the islands as you become a conservation volunteer at the biology station.
8. Visit a tortoise breeding centre that houses around 330 tortoises.
9. See penguins, sea lions and tropical fish all in close proximity at the beautiful Los Tuneles.
10. Go volcano trekking in Sierra Negra.

Gap Year and Career Break Tours of the Galapagos Islands 
This action packed tour invites you to explore and experience the Galapagos Islands without feeling like a regular tourist. Spend 3 weeks getting to the heart of these fascinating and awes inspiring islands and gaining an insight into one of the most absorbing ecological wonders of the world. Made famous as the inspiration and setting for Darwin's evolutionary theories, follow in his footsteps as you discover a world of wildlife like no other!

Download the Ecuador Country Info Brochure - Click Here!

Quick Facts

Trip Name
The Galapagos Experience
Trip Code
ECTGE1
Continent
South America
Country
Ecuador
Airport
Mariscal Sucre International Airport (airport code UIO)
Minimum Duration
21 Days
Minimum Age
18
Trip Type
Group Tours
Activity
Wildlife & Conservation, Adventure
Cost
From £2495 for 21 Days
Deposit
£ 195.00
Preferred Duration
This is a 3 week (21 day) tour only.
Pre-requisites
Reasonable standard of health and fitness as some hiking is involved.
Ideal for
Gap Year and Career Break Adventure Tours in The Galapagos Islands; Conservation in the Galapagos Islands; Cultural and Nature Tours in South America.
• • •

Arrival Dates

Contact us for start dates and they are flexible

Visa
British nationals will not require a visa for the first 90 days of their stay in Ecuador. For more information about your visa requirements you can click here.

• • •

Included

Accommodation
You will be staying in various guest houses and backpacker accommodation throughout the tour. All accommodation is basic but comfortable.
Food
Some meals are provided as per the itinerary, however you will be required to provide some of your own meals at points during the tour.
Airport Pick-up
You will be greeted at the airport by our airport pick-up service and taken to your accommodation in Quito, where you will start your tour.
24 Hour Support
You have the security of knowing that the in-country team are available 24 hours a day to provide you with support and advice whenever you need it.
Activities and Excursions
All activities and excursions included in the itinerary.
Galapagos Flights
Return flights from Quito to the Galapagos islands
Equipment and Medical Discounts
Changing Worlds customers will receive 10% off Travel Equipment, Medical Supplies and Vaccinations from Nomad Travel Store.
• • •

Not Included

Flights; Travel Insurance; Vaccinations; Tourist Visa; National Park Entrance Fee to Galapagos - $115; Some Meals as per Itinerary; Some Bus and Boat transfers on the Islands; Any Activities not on Itinerary.
• • •

Itinerary:

Day 1 Arrival Day
You will start your tour in the bustling capital city of Ecuador, Quito. Here you will have the chance to explore your surroundings, soaking up the diverse and exciting culture that this city has to offer. This is the highest capital city in the world and as a result boasts beautiful views across the city as it sits in the heart of the Andean Valley and is surrounded by volcanic peaks. The older parts of the city are oozing traditional Ecuadorian character and it is certainly worth venturing this way to get a true taste of South American life as you take in the sights, smells and sounds of the local markets. Make your way into the 'New Town' though and you will find a stark contrast as hotels, restaurant’s and cafes make this a cosmopolitan hub and a comfortable place to ease yourself into your new surroundings. Stay in hostel. No meals included.

Day 2 Orientation
You will be picked up this morning by our friendly in-country team and given a comprehensive orientation on Ecuador and the enthralling journey you about to embark on. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet other people on the trip, ask any questions you might have and gain a better understanding of the fascinating history of the Galapagos Islands. The rest of the day is free for you to continue exploring Quito and getting to know your fellow adventurers. Breakfast is included.
 
Day 3 Galapagos Islands
Today is where the real adventure begins! You will pack your bags before flying from Quito to Baltra Airport which is at the north of the Santa Cruz Islands of the Galapagos. Here you will receive a warm welcome from our friendly and experienced guides who will be eager to introduce you to these amazing islands. There is no hanging around as you head straight off to Primicias ranch at Los Gemelos where you will have the unique opportunity to watch Giant Galapagos Tortoises in their natural state! This will be a real treat for wildlife fans and you are sure to fall in love with this rare and endangered species. In the afternoon there will be the opportunity to visit the Charles Darwin centre to get a greater understanding of how these fascinating islands inspired his theory of evolution and help to shape the way we view the natural world today.  You will then head back to the hotel at Puerto Ayora and spend the evening relaxing at the hotel after an exciting day. Lunch and Dinner are included.
 
Day 4 Academy Bay and Tortuga Bay
Today you will be given a tour of the beautiful Academy Bay in which you will experience first hand the incredible diversity of the underwater world here. If you are lucky you may even get the chance to encounter some of the larger, rarer inhabitants of the ocean such as marine turtles, white tip reef sharks or manta rays. In the afternoon there will be the option to take a scenic forty-minute walk to Tortuga Bay, one of the most pristine white sand beaches in the Galapagos. This is well worth the walk as you reach a tranquil haven with its sparkling, clear blue water surrounded by lush vegetation. Make sure you take plenty of water and sunscreen as you might want to be here a while! All meals are included.
 
Day 5 Floreana Island
You will depart from your hotel bright and early at 8.00am ready to kick start an exciting day ahead of you. From here you will take a fast boat from Puerto Ayora to Floreana, this is one of the smallest islands but also one of the oldest, and it hosts an abundance of exotic and rare wildlife. You will set off on a scenic route through the island by truck to the highlands where you will explore the Scalesia Forest which is home to the Yellow Warblers, Galapagos fly catchers and Darwin’s Medium tree Finch. This lush green forest takes you right back to nature as you feel a million miles away from civilization - this is a real treat for wildlife enthusiasts! Next will be a trip to Asilo de Paz with its beautiful fresh water wells and caves used by the early settlers, an area which is rich in history. Some of these caves were used by pirates when they settled on the island and you are sure to learn all about the local pirate myths and stories! In the afternoon you will have the chance to get up close and personal to this amazing wildlife as you snorkel amongst hundreds of exotic fish and sea lions. This is one of the most amazing places in the world to enjoy snorkelling as much of the wildlife are not shy and will come right up to you. All meals are included.
 
Day 6 Conservation Introduction
Today you will receive an induction and orientation into your conservation volunteer work, this is a great opportunity to finalise any of the details about the project and also find out more about how the amazing work you will be doing helps the island. The afternoon is then free for you to explore on your own, you will be provided with mountain bikes so that you can take in as much of this captivating island as possible. All meals are included.
 
Day 7 Free Time
Today is free for you to do whatever takes your fancy! You might want continue on the adventurous route and take a bike ride around the island, head off wildlife spotting or chill out on the beach and reflect on the previous week. Breakfast included.
 
Day 8 Travel to San Cristobel Island
Your guide will pick you up from the airport in the afternoon and take you to the speed boat on which you will take an exhilarating ride to San Cristobal Island. From here you will take a taxi to the hotel where you will be spending the night. This evening is free to explore the area, relax and go for dinner in one of the many local restaurants. No meals are included.
 
Day 9-13 Volunteer work at biology station
For the next five days you will be based at the biology station on San Cristobel Island where you will be assisting with the amazing conservation work that they do. At the biology station the focus is on developing the technology to reconstruct native habitat in the highlands of San Cristobel and eventually the rest of the populated islands of the Galapagos. Conservation is hugely important in the Galapagos Islands and especially with increased numbers of tourists to the area it is essential that more time and effort is invested into developing re forestation and habitat reconstruction. This is therefore your chance to be a mindful and responsible traveller and a rewarding opportunity to do your bit for the island whilst becoming educated in the work involved in the conservation project and how it is helping the Galapagos Islands in the long run. All meals are provided throughout you stay here.
 
Day 14 – 15 Free time / Relaxation
These two days are free for you to relax after your weeks volunteering or head off exploring around san Cristobel. Accommodation is in a hotel in the town. No meals are included.
 
Day 16 Travel to Isabela Island
You will be departing bright and early to catch the boat back to Santa Cruz. Here you will have the chance to explore until you catch an early afternoon ferry to Isabela, the youngest and largest island of the Galapagos. Renowned for its array of rare fauna and flora Isabela is a prime example of how the wildlife varies so rapidly from one island to another. You will be greeted at the port by somebody from the hotel and shown to your accommodation. Dinner is included.
 
Day 17 Tortoise Breeding Centre
Today you will have the chance to visit the tortoise-breeding centre, which houses around 330 tortoises that are bred and reared before being released into the wild. Quieter than the other centre this is a great chance to see up close the work that the community have invested into the future of the these amazing animals. Next you will have the opportunity to visit the beautiful Los Tuneles, a labyrinth of arches in crystal clear water where you will spot blue- footed boobies, sea lions, penguins, tropical fish, white-tip reef sharks rest and turtles all around the sea. It is a real treat to see such an array of wildlife in one area and certainly a photo opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts. Breakfast and dinner included.
 
Day 18 Wildlife Spotting on Las Tintoreas Island
From the port you will board a speedboat and travel around the bay to the small island of Las Tintoreas where there will be even more opportunities to spot unusual wildlife in close proximity. You may get to see penguins, sharks, blue- footed boobies, pelicans, iguanas and sea lions. There will be some time to snorkel (you are provided with the gear) here you will be able to get a fantastic view of the vast varieties of fish on the island. Breakfast and dinner included.
 
Day 19 Volcano Trekking
Today is all about volcanoes as you take a four hour trek to the fascinating volcano craters of Sierra Negra and Volcan Chico. Here you will see the different formations produced by the most recent eruptions from this area and get a real feel for the history of these islands and how they were originally formed. This certainly a trip to get you pulses racing, but do not fear if you are not in top physical condition, this hike is not hugely intense, and can be completed by individuals of all fitness levels. All meals are included.
 
Days 20 – 22 Your Galapagos Experience comes to an End
Early in the morning you will take a ferry back to Santa Cruz where you will receive a ticket for the ferry from the front desk. The afternoon is now free for you to relax and reflect upon your experience or head off shopping for those all-important souvenirs for friends and family. Dinner included.
On Day 21 you will end your Galapagos adventure as you take a bus to the airport and catch your flight back to Quito. Accommodation and breakfast is included in Quito.
Day 22 is the last day of your trip and time to reflect upon the last few weeks, look through your photos and say goodbye to your new friends as you plan the next leg of your travels, or say good by to Ecuador and head back home. No meals included.

Ecuador Map

Ecuador is a very compact South American country brimming with biodiversity and incredible natural beauty. Less than half a day from the capital city, Quito, you will find the Andean mountains, the Amazon Rainforest and the beaches of the Pacific coast – perfect for expeditions, adventure sports and chilling out. Ancient ruins and countless volcanoes can be found all over the country including the isolated Galapagos Islands (made famous by Darwin’s theory of evolution) which are separated from the mainland by the Pacific Ocean.
 
Ecuadorians are renowned for their warmth and welcoming nature, which you will experience firsthand throughout Ecuador. And if you do ask a local for directions, be prepared to be taken to your destination in person! 


Quick Facts
Name
The Republic of Ecuador
Location
South America
Bordering Countries
Colombia and Peru
Capital City
Quito
Government
Democratic Republic
Population
15 million
Language
Spanish
Currency
US Dollar (USD)
Name
The Republic of Ecuador
Poverty
65% of the population live below the poverty line
Main Exports
Petroleum, Bananas, Shrimp, Coffee, Cocoa, Fish
Climate
Tropical along the coast and in the Amazon region; cooler in the highland areas
Time Zone
GMT -5
Flag
Ecuador Flag

Fun Facts
• Ecuador is the Spanish word for Equator
• Ecuador is the world’s number one producer of bananas
• You can balance an egg on a nail at the Equator

Travel Highlights
• Visit the equator at Mitad del Mundo and straddle both hemispheres
• Explore the crater of the Sierra Negra volcano on horseback
• Visit the land where 'Lonesome George' used to roam – George was the last of the Pinta Island Tortoise Species
• Surf at Montanita – one of Ecuador’s best surf beaches
• Hike up the Cotopaxi volcano and enjoy the breathtaking glacial views
• Discover the biodiversity and wildlife of the Galápagos Islands

Ecuador Ecuador

Where is Ecuador?
The Republic of Ecuador is located on the north western coast of South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator and bordering Colombia and Peru to the east.
 
History of Ecuador
For centuries, Ecuador was inhabited by indigenous civilisations. That was until the Incas arrived from Peru, attempting to expand their empire into neighbouring countries. Despite strong resistance from the native Ecuadorians, the Incas were successful in establishing their civilisation across Ecuador during the 1400s. The following century, in 1526, the Spanish explorers landed in Ecuador. This was the same year that the Inca Empire became divided for the first time, thanks to Huavna Capac, the Inca ruler, leaving his empire to two sons, rather than to one son as tradition dictated. Years of fighting ensued but Atahualpa finally defeated his brother to become ruler of the Inca Empire. In the 1530s, the Spaniards increased their presence and the Inca Empire was all but eradicated. The Spanish forced the local Indians and Mestizos (people of mixed European and indigenous race) into hard labour which led to various uprisings and, eventually, liberator Simón Bolívar leading his country to independence in 1830.
 
Following a turbulent and violent past, the 19th century was predictably filled with chaotic politics and rulers who could not bring stability to the region. The 1920s and 1930s put further strain on Ecuadorian society and the economy, especially with the collapse of the coco market and then the Great Depression. More positively, however, Ecuador saw a significant rise in its banana exports from the late 1940s up to the 1960s bringing increased wealth and stability for many. That, unfortunately, was until Ecuador was hit by recession in the 1960s. Social unrest and insecurity fuelled the rise of an anti-communist military government that took power in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until 1979 that a democratic government was properly installed. This gave a new voice to many indigenous groups and, for the first time, gave them a role in Ecuador’s politics. The landscape for Ecuador’s future is now much more positive, but Ecuador still has a long way to go to achieve economic stability and combat its high levels of unemployment.

Climate in Ecuador
Ecuador’s rich biodiversity and varied terrain means the climate various from region to region. As a guide, Ecuador’s winters tend to be dry, lasting from June to September, and the summers are wetter, lasting from December to April. The jungle area, known as the Oriente, remains high in humidity all year round. The sierra region is much cooler, and the coast tends to be warm throughout the year. The Galápagos Islands have a cool climate for most of the year, although December to April sees a much warmer period, perfect for snorkelling, surfing and boat trips.

Language in Ecuador
The official language of Ecuador is Spanish but Quichua, an Inca language, is spoken by the Indian population. Ten other native languages are spoken in Ecuador, and English is the most spoken foreign language.
 
Food in Ecuador
Ecuadorian food is famous for exotic fruits, fantastic seafood, and a spectacular assortment of Andean potatoes. You’ll enjoy sampling Ecuador’s national and regional dishes, including shrimp marinated in lemon, pastries stuffed with spiced meats and toasted corn. And if you're feeling really brave, why not try roasted cuy (guinea pig) or tronquito (soup made from bull penis)!
 
Travelling in Ecuador
For getting around the local area, public buses are a good bet, although you should expect crowding due to the cheap fares. Local taxis are also a popular option for short journeys or day trips around the area, especially if you are sharing the fare with other passengers. This can often be cheaper than renting a car. You should try and agree the price before you leave as taximeters rarely work.
 
For longer journeys, Ecuador has a pretty reliable bus network. However, be prepared for poor road conditions that can create an uncomfortable ride at times. Buses tend to leave from a number of central terminals in the main towns and cities, and it’s a good tip to buy your ticket a day in advance to guarantee your seat.
 
For short travel times and spectacular views, there’s no better option than flying. It is also an affordable option in Ecuador. Most travel hot spots are no more than 30mins away and there are regular flights from most of the main towns and cities. Flights to the Galápagos Islands can, however, be on the expensive side due to a 3 hour flight time. Tourists usually have to pay more than locals. Furthermore, you cannot reserve your seat. You should therefore confirm your reservation 24 hours before departure to ensure your place has not been issued to someone else!
 
Sport in Ecuador
South America has a wealth of sporting talent. You only need mention the national football teams of Brazil, Argentina and Mexico to realise the skill, flair and passion for sport on the South America continent. Ecuador shares this passion, from the north to south. Football is Ecuador’s first sport, with many young athletes dreaming of playing football for their country. That is why you, as a volunteer sports coach, can give children the chance to play football in a structured environment. Football, however, is not the only sport in Ecuador. Tennis, golf, rugby and other sports are played with enthusiasm and there are grassroots initiatives in other sports including basketball, hockey and netball. You can also play lots of sport in Ecuador with a number of local sports teams. On the sports pitch, you will learn new skills and attitudes to sport. Off the pitch, the cross-cultural friendships you build are priceless.

Gap Years and Career Breaks in Ecuador
Explore the outstanding travel opportunities in this unassuming country that is rammed full of fun to be had. From the depths of the Amazon rainforests to the shores of the world famous Galapagos Islands, the diversity of people, land and wildlife will keep you in awe of this dramatic nation throughout your gap year or career break.

Some of you may be wondering where the money you pay towards your placement is actually going. As with any trip overseas, there are many things to consider that incur a cost, all of which are added benefits making the experience as memorable and fulfilling as possible!
 
Project Assessment
Before you see a tour on our website, a lot of background work has gone on. Many of our tours include volunteering activities so we see it as a crucial element to make sure that the volunteering activities are as beneficial to the local community as they are to you. We have met with local organisations, vetted in-country staff, conducted rigorous safety assessments and thoroughly evaluated the tour. Only then do you get to see the tour on our website and book your place, safe in the knowledge that it is well-structured and guaranteed to be an amazing experience.
 
Help Choosing Which Tour
If you are not sure which tour or country to choose, our hugely informative Travel Advisors are here to help. They are a friendly bunch, have all travelled extensively and can offer lots of advice on choosing the right tour or destination for you. This makes the task of deciding to travel in a foreign country much less intimidating, and far more exciting.
 
Pre-departure Advice
Once you have booked your placement, you will be assigned a dedicated Travel Advisor to offer essential pre-departure advice on vaccinations, visas, kit lists and more. They will also be on call to answer those important last minute questions like “how many pairs of socks do I need?” and “can I take my mobile phone with me?”
 
Help with Flights and Insurance
We do not include flights and travel insurance in our placement fee. This avoids us having to pass on unnecessary admin charges to you. It also gives you flexibility to plan any further travel before or after your tour. We do, however, offer lots of help on this through our leading flights and insurance partners, providing you with an easy booking facility and the best prices around.
 
Airport Pick-Up
Landing in a foreign country for the first time can be daunting. This is why we ensure our in-country staff are there to meet you on arrival. There’s nothing like seeing a friendly face when you walk out of a new airport. And once we have given you a warm welcome, the in-country staff will take you back to your accommodation where you can meet the rest of the people on your tour.
 
Arrival Induction
We will take you through a local orientation and tour induction on arrival. This will introduce you to any useful amenities and local customs, talk your through your tour itinerary, and it will also show you how to stay safe while travelling abroad.
 
Accommodation and Food
Accommodation is provided on all of our tours, you may have to pay extra for additional nights in some areas, however in most cases accommodation is included. In some destinations, you may be able to upgrade to alternative accommodation, this is something that will be offered to you at different stages of your tour. We endeavour to supply food where we can on our tours, however in some cases this is not always possible. In many cases you will receive at least 1 meal a day, please see the trip itinerary on the Extra Info tab for further details.  
 
In-Country Staff
Your safety and enjoyment is extremely important to us. That’s why we have dedicated in-country teams to look after you and guide you throughout your tour. Our staff can be reached 24-hours a day and will travel with you throughout your tour to ensure everything is running smoothly, and that you are happy.
 
24-Hour Emergency Support
In addition to our in-country staff, you will benefit from our international support network. You will be given emergency contact details before you leave which you can call in the event of a crisis. We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Giving Others Similar Travel Opportunities
In order to provide a reliable flow of participants on our tours overseas, we have to spend a chunk of money on recruiting people like you to take part in these amazing experiences. It costs to maintain a website, an office, phone lines and a team of dedicated Travel Advisors to answer all your questions!
Cotopaxi Airport Flights

There are quite a few things to consider and to organise before you travel to your chosen destination to take part in your placement, trip or tour.

Flights and insurance are not included on your placement which means you will have to arrange them before you leave. But don't panic this can be simpler than you may think! To make life much easier for you, we offer a free, personal booking service through our chosen flights and insurance partner – STA Travel. They will guide you every step of the way. If you would like to talk with one of our STA Travel advisors to get a quote then either call them on +44 (0)333 321 3102 or email changingworlds@statravel.co.uk

In many cases your chosen destination country will have requirements with with regards to visas, which will depend on the purpose of your visit, and there will be recommended and required vaccinations to make sure you are protected against any possible health issues that you may face in specific areas. Changing Worlds is here to help and we are on hand to provide you with advice on visas and vaccinations.

Flights
Booking your flights is an essential part of your trip. That's why we have teamed-up with STA Travel. This means that once you have reserved your place on your chosen placement, trip or tour, you will have a dedicated booking agent on hand to talk through your plans.

Travelling after your project? Need a round-the-world ticket? Not a problem. Your booking agent will work with you to find the most suitable and flexible flights possible. And remember, the sooner you book your tickets, the better the price will be.
 
STA Travel is also one of the world’s largest flight providers specialising in adventure travel and can therefore offer some of the cheapest prices around. They have over 700 branches worldwide, which makes them easy to contact wherever you are in the world. They also hold an ATOL licence through the Civil Aviation Authority, meaning you can book in confidence, secure in the knowledge that your flights are fully protected.
 
Note: If you choose to book your tickets through another flight provider, you must ensure that they hold a full ATOL licence.
 
Why are flights not included?
By not including flights in our placements, trips and tours, it avoids us having to pass on unnecessary admin charges to you. This keeps the cost of your trip lower and also means you have the freedom to search around for the lowest fares and most flexible tickets that fit your travel plans. It also means you can benefit from the expertise of our preferred partner – STA Travel.
 
Insurance
We take the safety of our travellers very seriously. You must therefore book adequate travel insurance before you come away with us – you simply won’t be able to participate in your placement, trip or tour if you don’t. Although policies vary, your insurance must include emergency medical expenses, personal accident cover, and repatriation. We also recommend that you book baggage, personal liability and cancellation cover.
 
To help you navigate through this confusing world of insurance, we have partnered with STA Travel to offer you a specialist insurance service. Your personal advisor will find out exactly what you’re planning to do, from scuba diving to jumping out of planes, and tailor a policy specific to your requirements. In addition to this personal service, some of the other benefits of booking with STA Travel are as follows:
 
• Access to a network of over 700 branches in over 40 countries worldwide
• Advice and assistance over the phone from a travel help facility, available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year
• Access to a 24-hour multilingual emergency telephone number for medical help, hospital treatment and/or repatriation
• A choice of 3 levels of cover to suit your needs – budget, standard and premier
• A range of durations, from 4 days up to a maximum of 24 months
• A simple extension service that gives you the flexibility to extend your 4-week volunteer project while in-country (up to 24 months!)
• Cover for over 100 adventure sports and adrenalin activities, including black water rafting, bungee jumping, elephant trekking, heli-skiing, kite surfing, scuba diving, shark cage diving and sky diving
• Peace of mind – STA Travel is an Appointed Representative of Towergate Underwriting Group Limited and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
 
Note: You must provide us with details of your travel insurance before you leave as you will not be permitted to participate on your placement, trip or tour if you do not have adequate cover. It is also advisable to book your cover as early as possible to make sure you are insured for cancellation of your trip due to illness, serious accident or any other insurable reason.
 
Why is insurance not included?
Each of our volunteer’s plans are different, and while STA Travel can provide adequate cover for the vast majority of our travellers, there may be some activities or destinations that cannot be covered by STA Travel. It is therefore important to give you the freedom to choose the insurance that covers your plans and that you feel comfortable with. It also saves us from having to pass on extra admin costs to you.

Visas
Different destination countries have different visa requirements depending on things such as your length of stay and your reasons for entering the country, and whether you will be gaining paid work during your time in the country. Changing Worlds will supply you with any advice you need with regards to the visas you require for your chosen destination, and we will make information available to you to assist with your application.

It is important that you check your visa requirements well in advance of your travel date, as with many tourist and working holiday visas you will need to submit an application to the relevant consulate, embassy or high commission before your travel date. In some cases entry to your destination country will be granted at immigration on arrival without having to apply for a visa before the departure date for your travels.

With all visa applications it is important that you have sufficient space available in your passport for the relevant visas required for your travels, and that your passport is valid for at least six months after your planned date of return.

Vaccinations
At least 6 – 8 weeks before your chosen travel date you should visit your local GP or Nomad Travel Clinic to discuss your vaccination and medication requirements. Your medical professional will be able to advise you of any recommended and required vaccinations for your chosen destination(s).You should inform your doctor of all of your destination countries, and what activities you plan on doing, and in which regions you plan to stay while you are there, as different regions and activities have different health risks in some countries.

Some destination countries will require you to produce a certificate of vaccination in order to enter the country, so be sure that you understand any vaccination requirements for your chosen destination, so that you do not have any issues when passing through customs.

Above all you should make sure you are well prepared for your travels, so that you have the best experience possible whilst overseas!
Speak To Us
If you have any questions or would like some more information, simply contact one of our friendly Travel Advisors. They will answer any queries you have and tell you what it’s really like to travel overseas. You can give us a call, request a call back or drop us an email.
 
Book Your Place
Once you have decided to travel with us, you can secure your place by paying a small deposit. You will then be able to pay the rest of your project fee in easy-to-manage instalments.
 
Welcome Pack
Once we have received your deposit, we will send you a welcome email confirming your booking. This will contain your personal login details for your Travel Centre – an online account full of useful information about your destination, you chosen trip and all the things you need to do before you depart.
 
Personal Information
We will ask you to provide some key information to help us create the best experience for you, such as medical and dietary requirements, any previous relevant experience you have, and what you’re hoping to get out of your time abroad. We may also ask you to complete a police background check depending on the nature of your trip.
 
Flights and Insurance
You will need to book your flights and travel insurance before you leave, and then provide us with these details. We do not include flights and insurance in the project fee (to avoid passing on extra admin costs to you) but our partners will help you find the best options around.
 
Visas and Vaccinations
Next you will need to get your vaccinations and visas for your trip. Your travel nurse or local doctor will tell you exactly what you need. We will also provide you with lots of information to make obtaining your visa very straightforward.
 
Final Payment
We will ask you for your final payment 90 days before your scheduled departure date. Once paid, you will be ready to pack your bags, grab your passport and get on the plane.
 
Orientation
Our in-country team will give you a warm welcome at the overseas airport before taking you to your accommodation. You will then receive a comprehensive orientation to help you settle in to the country and prepare you for your time overseas.

"I really enjoyed my time on the Galapagos Islands. This tour is such a great way to see the islands. Everyone I met were so welcoming, and they helped to make this an unforgettable experience. Seeing giant tortoises up close was awesome!"

Jocelyn Whitehead
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Nomad Travel has been kitting out travellers for a wide range of trips since 1990. 

Specialising in kit that can take you off the beaten track, Nomad ensure that you leave fully prepared for your trip. With large ranges in-store and online including clothing, rucksacks, footwear and a lot more as well as a team of travel experts to help you select your gear, Nomad are the one stop shop for all your travel needs. 

In addition Nomad have been providing travel health advice to thousands of people to ensure they leave prepared health-wise for their trip. As well as general advice about your destination, vaccinations and information about anti-malaria options, you will also be able to discuss any health issues you might be worried about when travelling abroad.

Changing Worlds have teamed up with Nomad Travel Stores to offer great deals on a whole range of equipment and clothing.

By quoting 'CW1000' you will be entitled to a 10% discount on travel gear and vaccinations, both online and in-store.

Visit their website to take advantage of this great offer and service here: www.nomadtravel.co.uk 


 

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Testimonials
  • "The experience of becoming a ski instructor was out of this world. The group bonded and we all met friends for life! The local people were the friendliest and most welcoming people I have ever come across."
    Samantha Platt , Sports, Canada
     
  • "I am extremely passionate about this project and being a professional photographer, meant I could teach a wide range of skills to the kids".
    Remy Whiting , Art & Craft, South Africa
     
  • "Having the in-country contacts to work on my own photography stories was perfect. Thanks to all involved".
    James Burton , Art & Craft, South Africa
     
  • "This law internship gave me a unique perspective on law in Africa and has certainly widened my options within the law field".
    Andy Smith , Business & Law, Ghana
     
  • "Thanks to all the Ghana team for making this law internship happen for me. Such an amazing experience and Ghanaians are sooo friendly."
    Jemma Mansfield , Business & Law, Ghana
     
  • "It was so interesting working into the law sector in Ghana and getting this experience. Such a great way to spend my summer doing something totally different."
    Mark Fulton , Business & Law, Ghana
     
  • "Costa Rica is such a wonderful country and being able to help out on the care work project with the children was such a privilege."
    Lara Gillard , Care Work, Costa Rica
     
  • "The whole team in Costa Rica were awesome and really helped me make the most our of my time there both on the care work project and showing me the adventures of the country."
    Tom Smith , Care Work, Costa Rica
     
  • "This placement gave me the mix of helping young children and also experiencing a totally different culture. My Spanish has really improved too."
    Kiki Jones , Care Work, Costa Rica
     
  • "I am studying in animal welfare and this placement was perfect in getting real life experience relevant to my career".
    Gordon Bennell , Wildlife & Conservation, Costa Rica
     
  • "The whole experience was fantastic from the staff at the rescue centre, to Andy and his family. Thank you for looking after me so well."
    Ruth Eales , Wildlife & Conservation, Costa Rica
     
  • Fab way to start my week, our guide was awesome and gave us so many tips. Met an amazing group of people and the team in the office really help you sort your time out after you've finished the first week. Would really recommend to solo travellers.
    Emma Lowton , Adventure, New Zealand
     
  • On arrival, I felt as unprepared as can be, knowing no one, having no plans nor ideas of how to get along in New Zealand really. The in-country team did it all for me. Organise my trip. Booking it. Coming from experienced backpackers you know what's going on and getting to know awesome people from all around the world and maybe even some mates to travel with.
    Sean Neitzel , Adventure, New Zealand
     
  • Had the best time travelling around New Zealand. The team made it possible and can sort everything out for you with no problem. I would highly recommend them and will definitely be using them for my next adventure.
    Annie Frances Pritchard , Adventure, New Zealand
     
  • The opportunity to coach and nurture the next generation of sportsmen and women in Costa Rica was an opportunity that I couldn't give up, and I am so glad that I didn't! I had a great time and made some lifelong friends!
    Jack Johnston , Teaching, Costa Rica
     
  • I had a such an inspiring and life changing experience coaching in Costa Rica. The kids had such an appetite for coaching and their enthusiasm was infectious. My fellow coaches and I worked well as a team and I developed some truly great friends as a result.
    Charlie Blaken , Teaching, Costa Rica
     
  • What a Blast! I can honestly say that I could not have had a better time in Costa Rica as I did. Everyone was so friendly, helpful and up for a laugh, all making it a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Would definitely recommend this trip to anyone, and might even come back at some point in the near future!
    Danny McVey , Teaching, Costa Rica
     
  • I had a really great time in Costa Rica, honing my Spanish linguistic skills, and I really improved over the 2 weeks that I spent out there. I would like to thank all of the in-country staff for all the effort they put in, it was an intense and thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience.
    Lewis Worthington , Languages, Costa Rica
     
  • This has been by far the most rewarding holiday I have been on. I'll be the first to admit that the idea of an educational holiday didn't at first appeal to me, but the improvements I made in the four weeks I spent out there means that my confidence in my Spanish has improved immensely.
    Charlie Jones , Languages, Costa Rica
     
  • Costa Rica is not only a truly stunning country with welcoming, hospitable people, but it is also where I conquered my 'phobia' of speaking Spanish, and for this I am incredibly grateful. Such a rewarding and exhilarating experience in a wonderful country.
    Max Foster , Languages, Costa Rica
     

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