Program Details

Spend two weeks soaking up the sun on the pristine shores of the Galapagos Islands while you learn to SCUBA and help track marine fishes populations while learning about the important work of marine conservation and ecology.
San Cristobal, Ecuador
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:

Program Overview

Program Description:

The two-week Galapagos Marine Research and Exploration program is based on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos Islands, which are part of Ecuador. Far into the Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos Islands are 97% uninhabited conservation land, with a few small pockets where lucky visitors can appreciate, research, and explore the nature around them (while funding the protection of the species here). San Cristobal and its surrounding waters are home to sea lions, sea turtles, rays, hundreds of species of fish, hammerhead sharks, blue-footed boobies, and the famous Galapagos tortoise.

This program combines an open-water SCUBA certification course, training and participation in marine fishes research, and exploration of some of the most beautiful areas of the island by foot and by boat. Prepare to spend lots of time at the beach, in the water, and hiking around the island.

The program course, “Galapagos Marine History, Ecology, and Research”, is a 3-credit course that includes learning about key aspects of Galapagos ecosystems and methods for marine research. Participants will earn 40 research hours, which can also be counted as community service hours.


  • Learn to SCUBA dive and get your dive certification!
  • See wild sea lions and Galapagos Tortoises up close
  • Visit pristine beaches with hundreds of fish species to see
  • Help to research marine fishes populations of the Galapagos
  • Snorkel the famous Kicker Rock with sea turtles and sea lions
  • Explore San Cristobal from sunrise hikes to sunset beach yoga
  • Discover scenic Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

College credit is available. Participants will earn 40 research hours. You will receive a certificate for 40 service hours upon program completion.

Setting Description:
Program housing will include hostels or guesthouses in Quito and San Cristobal. Rooms with be shared with other Loop students by gender and each student will have their own bed. Loop Abroad staff will be at the same housing so that they are available to assist in an emergency. You may or may not have air conditioning. There is intermittent wifi and cellular service available, but the wifi signal may not be strong enough for streaming or video conversations.
All-inclusive, less airfare and the Galapagos entry permit.

Additional Program Information

The program is open to anyone age 18-25.
Scholarships Description:
Need-based scholarships and aid are available. Details can be found on our website or by contacting us for more information.