Internships Abroad in Galapagos Islands

Back to Programs

Interning Abroad in the Galapagos Islands

Not many places on earth have influenced the course of human history as strongly as the Galapagos Islands, which is quite bizarre considering these islands were completely uninhabited by humans until just two centuries ago. Yet, this geographical isolation and unique biodiversity are what gave life to Darwin’s theory of evolution, and today the islands remain a fascinating place to visit, and even more so, an incredible place for internships abroad. You don’t need to be a naturalist to find the perfect internship in the Galapagos Islands, all you need is ambition, curiosity, and courage to take the leap.

Internships in the Galapagos Islands

The primary and most obvious types of internships in the Galapagos are placements in wildlife science and environmental studies. All of the Galapagos Islands are both a national park and biological marine reserve, providing a flourishing environment for students or recent graduates who are interested in conservation, sustainability, and animal science. The huge number of endemic species makes the Galapagos Islands a haven for natural scientists of all kinds.

The Galapagos Islands are also host to a population of nearly 30,000 people, making them a great destination for interns who are interested in community development. Ecuador is a developing country, and many locals living in small towns lack access to basic resources and social services, which are otherwise widely available on the mainland. Internships in the Galapagos islands in education, social work, and medicine are all examples of additional placements in the realm of community development that are widely available.

Internships in the Galapagos Islands can last anywhere from two to six months, depending on the time of year and each intern’s availability. Although Spanish is the national language of Ecuador, and therefore the most common language spoken throughout the islands, it is also possible to intern in the Galapagos Islands in English-friendly placements. Not to mention, if you aren’t adept in the Spanish language just yet, the Galapagos Islands can be an exceedingly pleasant destination to learn Spanish.

Life in the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands were first stumbled upon in the 16th century, and in 1832 became an official province of Ecuador. Beginning in the early 20th century, the islands have gradually become inhabited by humans more and more. Today, the Galapagos Islands are an extremely popular tourist destination, attracting some of the highest numbers of tourists annually in all of South America. 

Of the 18 main islands, only five are currently populated by humans: Baltra, Floreana, Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, and Isabela. The two largest towns within these jurisdictions are Puerto Aroya, with a population of roughly 15,000, and Puerto Baquerino Moreno, with a population of roughly 8,000. 

Despite a lack of human inhabitants, great care is still taken to retain the local biodiversity; for example, nearly 98 percent of the land is protected as a biosphere reserve. Still, local endemic species remain under constant threat from non-native species and human exploitation. Hence, many interns will find themselves in the field doing research and working to curb the effects of these harmful influences.

The Galapagos region has quite a unique climate, which may shape the experience of internships on the islands. From June to November is the garua, which is marked by a steady cold wind, frequent drizzling, and a dense layer of fog which enshrouds the islands. During the warm season, from December to May, there are no winds and the sun is usually shining, yet there are erratic intense bouts of rain as well.

Salary & Costs

Since the Galapagos islands are a very popular tourist destination and most goods have to be imported, life in the Galapagos is markedly more expensive than in mainland Ecuador. Still, it is likely that many internships in Galapagos Islands will include a good portion of the costs of housing and food as payment for your placement work. It is possible to find paid internships in the Galapagos Islands, although not common.

Accommodation & Visas

Living conditions will vary depending on whether you are stationed in a populated area of the islands or not. In the smaller towns, homestays are most popular form of accommodation provided to interns, and these arrangements can be an incredible way to immerse yourself in the unique local culture. Since the islands are largely isolated from the rest of South America, you may have to deal without certain luxuries, such as hot water and electrical power (in some places). However, do not fear; you’ll still have it easier than Darwin did!

The type of visa you will need to obtain to intern in the Galapagos Islands depends on many factors, such as your home country, duration of stay, and whether or not you will be paid. In many cases, you will be able to obtain the proper visa documentation upon arrival in Ecuador, but it is still important to plan ahead by consulting with your internship program provider. You can check out GoAbroad’s Ecuadorian Embassy Directory to locate a consulate or embassy in your home country so you can begin gathering information as soon as possible.

GoAbroad Inside Tips

Unique Environment. Not many people ever have the privilege to visit the Galapagos Islands in their lifetime, let alone live there for an extended period of time. Internships in the Galapagos Island are your key to immersion and adventure in one of the most distinctive ecosystems on the planet.

Global Work Experience. Whatever your internship in the Galapagos Islands, your international work experience will stand out as a gold star on your resume and provide you with the practical experience to succeed in future jobs. The Galapagos Islands are a challenging environment that will teach you lessons, strategies, and skills that have the ability to promote a very promising global career path.

Great Escape. Life on the Galapagos Islands can feel very far away from the fast paced buzz of life on the mainland. Instead of reacting negatively to this, use it as an opportunity to get to know your surroundings. If you learn to enjoy the escape from modern life, you will return with an invaluable perspective on life.

Read our comprehensive guide on intern abroad in Ecuador

Read More

A Guide To

Interning Abroad in the Galapagos Islands


 Find Internships in Galapagos Islands, Ecuador Now


This listing has been saved 14 times

ELI Abroad has numerous opportunities for conservation work in Ecuador. First choice for many is the beautiful Machalilla National Park which rivals the Galapagos with its unique species and diverse ecosystems. Experience the incredible beauty of Ecuador with ELI while assisting local organizations and gaining a deep understanding of the people and culture in a volunteer and internship program...


This listing has been saved 436 times

A child’s adolescent years are invaluable. It is the time of their life when they form their personalities and values. Unfortunately, many children find themselves in environments that are not conducive to growth. Domestic violence, peer pressure, lower income families, in addition to several other factors, impede a children's self-enhancement, self-confidence, learning, and health. Many child...


As one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world, Ecuador is an ideal learning site for those in the field of Biology. The placement will allow interns to work alongside farmers, local citizens, and educators in Quito, the Galapagos Islands, or Bahia. The land in these locations is some of the most well preserved and least altered in the world, making it perfect for internships in...


This listing has been saved 15 times

The Galapagos Giant Tortoise is an iconic animal, native to the region. It often grows to over 6 feet long and can weigh up to 800 pounds, and therefore stands as one of the biggest tortoises and reptiles on the planet. This project has been instrumental in the conservation of these ancient animals that were very close to extinction. At one time a quarter million of these giants roamed the...


This listing has been saved 96 times

CrossContinental offers affordable medical internship and volunteer programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Gain hands-on experience, improve your resume, enhance cultural understanding, and build global network. Work alongside doctors and nurses. Stay with a host family for culture and language immersion. Affordable program fees start from only USD180 (accommodation & meals included)....


This listing has been saved 8 times

This summer program offers you an enriching and inspiring month in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands combining one week of volunteer service learning, and three weeks of amazing educational adventure travel. Gain insight into the lives of indigenous Andean and Amazon communities. Immerse yourself in Spanish and improve your conversational ability. Participate in a worthwhile community-initiated...


If you are interested in eco-tourism and environmental management, gain experience with Communications Department of the Galapagos National Park (GNP) in Isabela. As a eco-tourism intern you would go to the visitor sites of the GNP and run satisfaction questionnaires to visitors from different nationalities and register tourism related information in-situ, as well as generate statistical databa...


This listing has been saved 1 time

Volunteer work in Ecuador is really needed and appreciated around the country. Why? Because poverty plagues almost half of the population shortage of jobs, combined with inadequate education is the reason that many parents and single mothers' parents! Can't feed and provide for their children. Often there parents are out of the country in jail or divorced. Sometimes these parents fall into alco...


Want to add your résumé with impressive credentials? Gain work experience abroad. Landing a job in another country can be difficult if you don’t have previous experience. With the assistance of Get Ecuador, you can start building up a successful career. Get Ecuador partners with local and international organizations, companies, and firms in Ecuador. These partnerships allow us to provide you...