Galapagos tortoises eating leaves provided by volunteers from Projects Abroad

Conservation in Ecuador - Darwin 200

Follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin with a conservation programme in the Galapagos!

At a glance

  • Visit the Charles Darwin Research Centre
  • Care for the iconic Galápagos giant tortoise
  • Survey other species, like sea lions and petrels
  • Work alongside park rangers to maintain Galápagos National Park
  • Facilitate the restoration of natural habitats
  • Take a two-day tour of Santa Cruz Island

Start Dates: 

Throughout the year

See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

One Week


18 or over

The Galapagos is home to a unique population of bird and animal life. It’s also considered a research hotspot for scientists from around the world. During your time here, you’ll work with conservationists on various research projects in the Galapagos National Park.

Due to a lack of funds, the park struggles with a lack of staff. Consequently, conservationists are unable to keep up with research, instead needing to focus on maintenance and animal care tasks. As an extra pair of helping hands, you’ll help them with collecting data during surveys. This is important work, as the results are used to advise the Ministry of Environment for policy-making.

You’ll also get involved in the removal of alien plants. These plants are a threat to local species that are only found in the Galapagos.

Not only will you be removing invasive plants, but you will also help plant mangroves to restore the habitats of marine life around the island.

Where will I work?

San Cristobal

The Galapagos Islands are hugely popular for anyone with an interest in biology, science, and wildlife. These volcanic islands are home to a vast number of species that occur nowhere else in the world. A few examples include the Giant tortoise, marine iguanas, Galapagos fur seals, and Galapagos penguins.

Airport pickup, flights and visas

When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our Ecuador Arrival Procedures page.

What are the aims and impact of this project?


Darwin200 is an initiative taking 200 conservationists around the world, following the journey Charles Darwin made on the HMS Beagle back in 1831.

After landing in the Galapagos, Darwin collected a wide range of data from flora, fauna, and wildlife. With many species here being native to the Galapagos, Darwin was able to draw comparisons between wildlife on the mainland and the islands. Darwin made many observations throughout his research, which consequently led him to his theory of evolution by natural selection. 

Through this programme, you can walk in Darwin's footsteps and explore the amazing wildlife that calls the islands home. Better your understanding of Charles Darwin's long-lasting, positive impact on the world of conservation, while you make your own!


Due to insufficient funding from the government, the Galapagos National Park is understaffed. This makes it difficult for staff and conservationists to do everything that’s needed. It also means that research projects get delayed.

Through conducting wildlife surveys, collecting valuable scientific data, and doing reforestation work in the park, you'll provide park staff with additional support with daily tasks and assist them with their research projects.

Measuring our impact

Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.

Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.

Food & accommodation

You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad volunteers during your stay in San Cristóbal. This is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers and interns, share experiences, and explore your surroundings in your free time together.

While on Santa Cruz Island, you’ll stay in a hotel!

All accommodation is safe, clean, and comfortable. Your programme fees include three meals a day.

Find out more about our accommodation.

Safety and staff support

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.

Find out more about safety and backup.

This placement is fully researched, safety audited, and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector

When you apply you only pay £195, which comes off the total price. Flexible payment options, fundraising advice, and scholarships available.

Looking to do more than one project? Get discounted prices when you combine projects or destinations!

Please choose a Duration and Start Date to continue.

Want to know more?

If you're interested in this Darwin200 programme or would like to know more about it, get in touch with one of our Programme Experts and they will be happy to help!

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