Giant Tortoise & Sea Lion Conservation

Projects Abroad
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Coordinator | Bethany
Coordinator | Bethany
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Exclusive access to the Galapagos National Park.
Care for Giant Tortoises and plant tree saplings.
Live and work alongside a global network of volunteers - making friends for life.
Embark on exciting weekend trips and explore the Galapagos Islands.
Live with a traditional host family on San Cristóbal.
Live on the Galapagos Islands as a conservation volunteer. Care for Giant Tortoises and plant tree saplings. Exclusive access to the Galapagos National Park. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 16+

Your activities will be divided into four main categories:

Conduct surveys to monitor wildlife species

Throughout your stay, you will work at the giant tortoise breeding centre. This species is one of the most fascinating and famous animals found on the Galapagos Islands. You’ll help:

·         Feed the tortoises

·         Clean their enclosures and pools

·         Take biometric data, like measurements

·         Conduct population surveys

You’ll also assist with sea lion monitoring and bird surveys throughout your time with us. This is important work, as it helps us keep tabs on their numbers. You may also get the opportunity to participate in a marine iguana census. You’ll count individuals, note the composition of the population, and identify breeding sites.

Help control invasive animal species

Alien species are a problem in the Galapagos, as the ecosystem has no natural predators. These foreign species are preying on the island’s animals, which is a big issue. You will assist with controlling invasive species and protecting indigenous animals from these introduced predators throughout your stay.

The Galapagos petrel, a marine bird, is one of the native bird species that we have been monitoring and assisting. Unfortunately, the petrel population is under threat because of a rising number of alien rats on the islands. Rats attack nesting birds and eat their eggs.

In response to this, Projects Abroad and the Galapagos National Park Agency got a special poison designed to attack the rats’ immune systems. This poison does not affect other animals and helps control the rat population, which makes this an important environmental sustainability project.

Our volunteers monitored the petrel breeding population and we are thrilled to see that their numbers increased by 10% in 2017! We can link this directly to the fact that rat numbers have dropped by 40%.

Assist with the eradication of introduced plant species

Alien plants are one of the greatest threats to the endemic species and ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands. Eradicating these species is crucial to help indigenous plants thrive. You’ll remove plants such as guava, avocado, and raspberry plants, and replace them with indigenous species. We grow the indigenous plants in a nursery in the park.

Help with community clean ups and education programmes

You’ll assist with beach clean ups throughout your stay. By removing the litter from local beaches we protect local animals from unnecessary dangers and keep the natural environment as clean as possible.

You may also need to help with the weighing of this collected litter. We weigh the rubbish to try and identify the areas of the island that collect the most rubbish. This also allows us to see whether the amount of litter on the island is increasing or decreasing.

During your stay you may also get the chance to participate in a wildlife conservation education programme. This will involve running workshops at local schools to raise awareness about the natural environment and the importance of conservation.

Typical day

No one day will be exactly the same as you’ll be working on multiple different animal conservation initiatives throughout your time in the Galapagos. You can expect to participate in most animal conservation projects listed above in any given week.

An average week day will begin with breakfast at your shared accommodation lodge. You will then head to the Projects Abroad office, where you’ll be transported to your work site. Your activities will begin at around 8am, unless you’re going bird watching. This activity requires an early start of 5am.

Once you finish up with your work around 1:30pm, you’ll have the rest of the day to relax. Stroll along the beach, enjoy dinner with your fellow volunteers, or find a spot to watch the sun go down. You’ll also have the weekends free to explore and experience this tropical paradise. Learn how to scuba dive, visit nearby islands, or enjoy well deserved siestas in the sun!

Free-time activities

While you’re volunteering here, it’s worth checking out the beautiful beaches where seabirds circle above and sea lions laze about on the sand. You can also go snorkelling or scuba diving along the coast.

Hiking around the base of one of the many volcanoes that make up the Galapagos is spectacular and thrilling! You can also follow the Darwin trail or trek through the Punta Pitt.

There are plenty of museums and art galleries for you to learn more about the culture and history. You can also chat to locals and buy souvenirs at bustling markets.

What’s great about joining our projects is the chance to connect with other volunteers. So you can choose to explore the Galapagos independently or you can travel with the new friends you make along the way.



In order to join the program you need to be at least 16 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
Required Documents
Reference letter
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 17:00

What's Included

Services by Projects Abroad
  • Accommodation

  • Food (three meals a day)

  • Travel and medical insurance

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off

  • Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival

  • Transport to and from your work placement

  • In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff

  • Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team

  • Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources

  • A supervisor/mentor at your work placement

  • Training and workshops from our experienced local staff

  • Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns

  • Access to our local office with internet connection

  • Certification of project completion

  • A cultural awareness course

Airport Pickup at San Cristobal Airport
You’ll arrive at San Cristobal Island Airport (SCY), and a friendly Projects Abroad staff member will be there to pick you up. The airport is very close to the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, where our projects are based. It’s only about a five minute drive from the airport to our local office. The cost of the airport transfer is covered by us, as part of your placement fee.

You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad volunteers and interns 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. You can also request to stay with a host family in San Cristóbal.

The accommodation is safe, clean, and comfortable.

Guest Family Guesthouse
Food & Beverages
Your programme fees include three meals a day.
Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is San Cristobal Airport (SCY) in San Cristobal. We assist you to find cheap flights to Ecuador.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Ecuador provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Ecuador you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Ecuador.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

Our Galapagos Island Conservation Program runs year round, and you can join at any time from a minimum of one week. We do advise you to stay as long as you can, as it’s very likely you won’t want to go home after only two weeks! 

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1 - 50 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
2 weeks
3 weeks
4 weeks
8 weeks
16 weeks
50 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$1,903 /week

The organization charges its fees in GBP. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. Projects Abroad will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Projects Abroad during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
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Change your reservation at no extra costs
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We refund your fees if Projects Abroad cancels your trip
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All program fees are charged directly by Projects Abroad.

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Giant Tortoise & Sea Lion Conservation

Live on the Galapagos Islands as a conservation volunteer. Care for Giant Tortoises and plant tree saplings. Exclusive access to the Galapagos National Park.


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