the best program


shenandoah 2022


Welcome to Southern Expeditions, a gateway to immersive learning experiences. We’re excited to introduce our ‘Environmental Sustainability, Social Business & Cultural Immersion’ program, an unparalleled journey designed to explore the promises and challenges of environmental sustainability in the captivating Galapagos Islands of Ecuador. Our commitment is to create a dynamic learning environment that mirrors the academic rigor and global perspectives typically found in university programs.

This program unfolds against the backdrop of the Galapagos Islands, where we navigate the delicate balance between conservation and development, restoration, and economic progress—essential considerations in the global discourse on sustainability. As we delve into the islands’ unique developmental crossroads, sustainability emerges as a paramount global concern, providing a rich context for understanding the complex interplay between ecological preservation and societal advancement.

Throughout the program, we foster a collaborative learning atmosphere akin to a seminar, employing a systems-thinking approach to delve into various sustainability themes. From principles for sustainability and «inclusive human well-being» to exploring the dynamics of social-environmental systems, addressing poverty alleviation through tourism, and grappling with the challenges of translating knowledge into action, our curriculum provides a comprehensive understanding of sustainable practices. Governance for sustainable development becomes a focal point, offering insights into the intricate challenges and opportunities associated with sustainability.

The Galapagos Islands transform into a vibrant «living classroom» during our field study, unraveling the interconnectedness of individual, community, and environmental well-being within the context of global economies and local ecologies. Interactions with the islands’ NGOs offer real-world insights, bridging theoretical discussions with tangible experiences. From exploring sustainability in national parks to snorkeling over breathtaking sites, engaging with members of local NGOs, and interacting with scientists at the Charles Darwin Foundation, students gain a holistic understanding of sustainability’s real-world applications.

Our unique Global Field Study (GFS) integrates experiential learning with reflective writing, offering students the opportunity to explore podcasting or photoethnography based on their field study experiences. Join us on this transformative journey with Southern Expeditions as your platform for exploring environmental sustainability and cultural immersion.




our itinerary


PM Welcome dinner and briefing. Introduction to the tour.

AM Flight to Galapagos + GNP Interpretation Center. Introduction to the archipelagos environmental, social and economic dynamics.

PM Tijeretas tourist site + Biosecurity lecture.

Full day tour Española Island

Lecture: Endangered Española giant tortoise rescue.

AM Transfer to Santa Cruz island.

PM Introduction to CDF+GNP lecture on conservation projects.

Full day tour North Seymour island.

Late lecture: Invasive species management.

AM Tortuga Bay – Microplastics hands-on activity.

Lecture: Microplastics in Galapagos

AM Transfer to Isabela + Concha Perla Bay – Mangrove finches conservation project.

PM Las Tintoreras tour + Flamingo pond Site

Lectures: Impacts on tourist spot & impact assessment.

Full day tour Los Tuneles – The uniqueness of Galapagos + Lecture Endemism & Evolution Theories

Full day tour Isabela – Sierra Negra Volcano + Lava fields.

Late lecture: Water treatment, waste management and other infrastructure challenges.

AM Transfer to Santa Cruz island.

PM Highlands giant tortoises ranch

AM Midday return flight to Quito.

PM Return flight to US.

What They Say About southern expeditions


Over the last thirty years, I have led educational tours with hundreds of students, in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. All have been amazing experiences, but one, in particular, stands out: our Galapagos educational tour in May 2022. Its success is due in large part due to the level of professionalism and service of Southern Expeditions, our travel partner. Pablo and JuanSe went "above and beyond" to put together the most fantastic program, leveraging the deep connections they have built in the conservation, tourism and NGO communities. I'm familiar with the standard itineraries of the larger operators but I can say with confidence that the program put together by Southern Expeditions was in a different league--and flawlessly executed. We look forward to working with them for years to come.

Giles Jackson, Ph.D.
    Giles Jackson, Ph.D.

    Baxa Professor of Stakeholder Capitalism - Director, Institute for Business, Sustainability & Society

    My experience learning and exploring the region was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! I am thankful to have been able to connect what I’ve been learning in my college degree to the real world, seeing such a special ecosystem, firsthand!

    Patrick Manival
      Patrick Manival

      Shenandoah University Student

      In collaboration with Southern Expeditions, we engage the students in experiential learning about some of our key conservation programs in Galapagos such as the “Giant Tortoise Movement Ecology Programme” and our “Plastic Pollution Free Galapagos” program. An eye-opener and a great way for them to grasp the value of scientific research and citizen science as complementary approaches in addressing current environmental issues.

      Anne Guézou
        Anne Guézou

        Education and Outreach Coordinator - Galapagos Conservation Trust