Campus News

Visit the Galapagos Islands and Ecuadorian cloud forest through UT Martin travel-study trip


Contact 1: Erin Chesnut

MARTIN, Tenn. – Community members interested in visiting the Galapagos Islands and the Cloud Forest of Ecuador can reserve spaces in an upcoming University of Tennessee at Martin travel study. The trip is planned for May 16-27, 2016, and will cost approximately $3,500-3,750, which includes a round-trip flight, hotel stay, tour guides, excursion fees and some meals. A $500 deposit is required by Jan. 15, 2016.

The trip will focus on experiencing the culture of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands and will put emphasis on natural conservation and agriculture.

While in Ecuador, participants will take a tour of the city of Quito and ride Quito’s Skyrail, which will allow exploration of a high elevation natural area. The group will also tour a rose plantation, cocoa plantation and chocolate factory, as well as visit the indigenous markets in Otavalo and the leather goods village of Cotacachi to observe native culture and customs. A trip to Mitad del Mundo (middle of the world) will allow participants to stand on the equator.

Travelers will spend two days at the Milpe Bird Sanctuary in the Ecuadorian Cloud Forest. The sanctuary is owned by the Mindo Cloud Forest Foundation, which promotes avian ecotourism as a means of funding reforestation projects and programs to help educate the indigenous people. This visit will culminate in a service-learning project related to each person’s area of interest.

The trip will also include four days in the Galapagos Islands. Participants will stay in Puerto Ayora on Isla Santa Cruz and visit the Charles Darwin Research Center, explore a lava tube and visit Tortuga Bay, where marine iguanas, mangroves, sea lions and Darwin’s finches can be observed. Day trips will be taken to Isla Bartolome and Isla Santiago, where the group will have an opportunity to snorkel with unique marine life, including Galapagos penguins, and observe primary succession on a volcanic island.

Participation in the academic courses is not required for non-students, however community members wishing to learn more about the areas featured may enroll in biology 462, agriculture 230, natural resources management 230 or family and consumer sciences 471.

For more information, contact Dr. Dawn Wilkins, Department of Biological Sciences, at; Dr. Sue Byrd, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, at; or Dr. Craig Darroch, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, at


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