We will depart and fly to Quito, Ecuador, where we will be welcomed by our Sustainable Horizon Group Leader and driver. From the airport we will head to our hostel where we will spend our first night in this magnificent country. If we arrive with daylight to spare, we will walk around the neighborhood for our first glimpse of this beautiful city. We will have an orientation dinner together to talk about what to expect in the upcoming days.
After breakfast we will head to the old town of Quito to enjoy the beautiful architecture and learn more about the history of Quito Colonial (old city). We will also take a trip up the hill located at the edge of the city where the iconic Panecillo, a statue standing on the hill over the old town, stands guarding its inhabitants. From here we will have an amazing 360-degree panoramic view of Quito.
After lunch, we will head to the famous equator line, or Mitad del Mundo (middle of the world)! Here we will have the opportunity to stand in two hemispheres at the same time! Tonight we will rest for the exciting days to come.
After breakfast we will set out on our half day journey, by bus, through the Andean mountains to the town of Baños located at the entrance to the Amazon. Upon arrival, we will head to our lodging. After lunch we will meet Dr. Leonardo Arias, one of the best wildlife veterinarians in Ecuador who will be leading our work at the center. We will take a walk through the center together acquainting ourselves to our workplace and the animals. Before dinner Dr. Arias will give us our first seminar.
Recent deforestation of the rainforest and heartless human behavior has caused animals to contend not only for resources, but also their lives. Unfortunately, many trafficked animals remain in the hands of their owners, who often abuse them by keeping them as pets.
In the morning we will take the bus to the airport as our journey to the Galapagos Islands begins. When we arrive at Baltra Island, our Galapagos Group Leader will greet us and take us on a several hour-long boat ride to Santa Cruz Island. Upon arrival, we will take the bus across the island to meet our hosts at a special lodge run by a local family. After our morning of travel, we enjoy a delicious local lunch and take a walk to the National Park and Charles Darwin Center to learn about their work for the animals and the islands. After our visit here we will explore the small town in which we will be staying.
Today we will travel to Bartolome Island. We will depart early on a boat from Santa Cruz to Bartolome and enjoy breakfast on the three-hour boat ride. We will proceed to the best-known photo spot in all
of Galapagos Islands, on the top of one of the volcanoes overlooking the beaches. After taking the picturesque walk up and down the volcano, we will head to the beach to go snorkeling, hopefully in the company of sea lions and penguins.
Today we will visit Isabela Island, the biggest island in the Galapagos about two hours from Santa Cruz. When we arrive, we will take another boat to explore a small island, in particular the area outside the village of Puerto Villamil, called Las Tintoreras. On our walk here we hope to see iguanas, birds and sea lions. Next, we head back to our boat to go snorkeling in the waters outside Isabela Island where we may see sea turtles, sting rays, sea lions and of course a variety of fish.
We leave early in the morning for the harbor. Today we will take a boat to visit Floreana Island. Upon arrival we will take a Chiva, a local bus, up to the highlands of Floreana Island. Here we will hike through the National Park area where the giant tortoises coming from different Islands are placed. From here we continue down to the place where the first island inhabitants used to live and we will learn about their history.
In the afternoon we take the boat back to Santa Cruz. If possible we stop for snorkeling along the way. Upon arrival in Santa Cruz we will take a walk down to the fisherman’s harbor to see the day’s catch.
This morning we may have the opportunity to visit Dr. Leo’s veterinary clinic in Quito.
This afternoon we will be taking a cable car ride up Cruz Loma (Cruz Hill) 11,000+ feet. If we catch a cloud free day we will have an aerial view of both old and new town Quito, the valleys, the snow-capped mountains, the 14+ Andean mountain peaks known as Volcano Avenue, and the top of Pinchincha Volcano. After we descend we will head back to our hostel preparing for dinner and our journey home.
Today our Ecuador adventure comes to a close as we depart early for our flight out of Quito.
Program costs**: $4700
Tuition + Fees (Vet Med***): $2500****
*Please Note: All costs are estimated and could change based on airfare, currency conversion rates and increases in tuition and fees.
**Program Costs include all lodging, meals, airfare, entrance fees, and incidentals.
***Undergrads will pay undergraduate tuition and will not receive the scholarship upon completion of the trip.
****Please note that upon successful completion of the course tuition-paying students will receive a $1000 scholarship from the College to be applied to their fall U-bill. Non-resident students who choose to take more than one study abroad trip in one summer will pay non-resident tuition and will only receive the $1000 scholarship once per year. The scholarship can be awarded in consecutive years but no more than once per year.
For more information on this program or any of the Group or Individual Study Abroad opportunities offered by the College of Veterinary Medicine, contact Katie Davidson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (515) 294-1501.