With MPR Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard

It's time to take your trip of a lifetime

SOLD OUT! The Galapagos Islands & Amazon Rain Forest

SOLD OUT! WAITLIST STARTED! Join MPR Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard on an unforgettable journey to the legendary Galápagos Islands and Amazon Rain Forest of Ecuador. While based on the island of Santa Cruz you'll spend your days exploring the nearby islands of North Seymour, Santa Fe and Plaza. Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and encounter remarkable species unknown anywhere else on earth. Certified naturalists will enlighten and expand your understanding of the amazing creatures and unparalleled diversity of the Amazon Rain Forest, where you'll board a canoe to take you to your Amazon lodge. As a seasoned Galapagos explorer, guests will engage Sven's expertise in nature, conservation and climate at every destination. Tourism is strictly controlled to protect the wildlife on the Galapagos Islands, making this trip truly an adventure of a lifetime. Come snorkel with the sea lions, commune with the iguanas and take the opportunity to step away from everyday life and experience some of the world's most breathtaking scenery in the world on this amazing adventure with MPR!

Meet Your Host

Sven Sundgaard

The longtime Twin Cities meteorologist provides forecasts and
commentary weekdays on Minnesota Public Radio's "Morning Edition." He also is one of the contributors for MPR's weather blog
Updraft. A dedicated world-traveler, this will be his third trip to the Galapagos Islands.


DAY 1, January 29: Depart for Quito, Ecuador

Your exciting expedition to Ecuador begins today as you board your flight. After a late evening arrival in Quito, meet your local tour director at the airport and transfer to your deluxe hotel in central Quito. Overnight in Quito at the Hotel Hilton Colon

DAY 2: Discover Quito and the Botanic Gardens

On a guided morning tour of Quito you'll learn about its colonial past, history and culture. Visit the old town and see the Church of San Francisco, the first religious building constructed in South America by the Spaniards. See the facade of La Compania, the city’s most ornate church. Admire the spectacular views of the Valley of Tumbaco. And on a clear day, you can see the impressive volcanoes surrounding the city. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards continue your visit to the local botanical gardens to observe a diversity of plants from different altitudes and ecosystems. Overnight in Quito at the Hotel Hilton Colon (B, L)

DAY 3: East to the Amazon

After breakfast, transfer by bus to La Punta Ahuano on the Napo River where you will board a canoe that will take you to your Amazon lodge. Enjoy the tranquility of the lodge and prepare to be amazed by both the wildlife and the Amazon culture. In the afternoon, visit Ahuano village for the opportunity to meet a local Quechua family and learn about their way of life before returning to the hotel. In the evening, dine together at the lodge. Overnight in the Amazon Rain Forest at Casa del Suizo (B, L, D)

DAY 4: A Full Day in a Private Nature Reserve

This morning, after a canoe ride you can hike in the Misicocha Private Nature Reserve for approximately two hours while viewing the beautiful flora and fauna up-close. The Amazon Rain Forest is the world's largest ecosystem, so be sure to keep an eye out for the innumerable species of tropical plants and insects. Enjoy the views as you cross suspended bridges and fly through the rain forest on a short zip line basket ride. At the end of the hike, take a rafting trip on a traditional balsa log raft. The balance of the day is at leisure. You may choose one of the optional tours, including such as the Rescue Center or Canopy Adventure Park. Tonight, savor dinner with the group at the lodge. Overnight in the Amazon Rain Forest at Casa del Suizo (B, L, D)

DAY 5: The Andes Cloud Forest and Natural Hot Springs

This morning, board a canoe for the return trip to La Punta Ahuano and enjoy a scenic drive through small villages, stopping for lunch in Tena. After lunch, continue to the hot springs at Papallacta, tucked away in the Andes Mountains. After relaxing at Papallacta hot springs, we continue on to the Wyndham Quito airport hotel for an overnight and dinner. Overnight near Quito airport at the Wyndham (B, L, D)

DAY 6: Fly West to the Galapagos Islands

After an early breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight to the Galápagos Islands where you will spend the next five days island hopping with your naturalist. Upon arrival in Baltra you'll board the ferry for a short transfer to Santa Cruz Island and then continue by motor coach to Puerto Ayora. Passing through the highlands of Santa Cruz, you'll see the enormous change in vegetation from dry areas full of cacti to rainforest and fern zones. This afternoon visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about island conservation and the huge efforts to preserve this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy an independent lunch at a local restaurant. This evening we'll have a "welcome to the islands" dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Puerto Ayora at Hotel SolyMar (B, D)

DAYS 7, 8 & 9: - Explore the Galapagos Islands

Over the course of the next four days you’ll enjoy full-day boat excursions to many of the nearby islands. Each of these islands has its own unique beauty to offer. North Seymour is a flat island and home to magnificent frigate birds like the Blue-Footed-Boobies. South Plaza Island is home to a large colony of sea lions and offers excellent examples of the typical flora like towering cacti “trees” which form the principal diet for land iguanas and cactus finch. Bartholomew Island is a tiny island which boasts one of the most spectacular views of the archipelago from Pinnacle Rock. Climb to the 375 foot peak to enjoy this stunning view. Santa Fe is one of the oldest islands of the Galápagos and in its tranquil bay, one can find green sea turtles and spotted eagle rays while sea lions bask in sun on the beach. Overnight in Puerto Ayora at Hotel SolyMar (B, L, D)

DAY 10: Relax on Santa Cruz Island

Today explore Tortuga Bay and a local beach near the town of Santa Cruz. Here you can just enjoy the beach and have a relaxing time. There is also the option to rent a kayak here. Later this morning, transfer by a local boat to the pier where a bus will be waiting to take us to the highlands of the Santa Cruz. Along the way there is lunch at a local ranch, a visit to a lava tunnel, and visit to see the famous giant tortoises in their natural environment. Return to the hotel in time for dinner. Overnight in Puerto Ayora at Hotel SolyMar (B, L, D)

DAY 11: Free morning and return to Quito this afternoon

This morning is at your leisure. Later, transfer to the airport for your flight to Quito. Upon arrival in Quito, you’ll be met and transferred to a nearby hotel where you will be able to use a room to change and get ready for a farewell dinner. Transfer to the Quito airport and fly back home. (B, D) * Delta group flight departs at 12:30AM, January 29th.

DAY 12: Return home with a lifetime of memories!

Most flights for the US depart Quito very late in the evening or early in the morning. You'll arrive back in the States today!


  • Hosted by MPR Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard
  • Dedicated bilingual tour guide and naturalist
  • Airport and hotel transfers in Ecuador with professional guides and drivers
  • Three days in the Amazon Rain Forest
  • Six days of island hopping and exploration of the Galapagos Islands
  • Accommodations in charming 3- and 4-star hotels and lodges
  • Breakfast daily plus 12 additional multi-course meals
  • Entrance and excursions listed in the itinerary
  • Galapagos National Park Maps
  • Gratuities for your tour guide and drivers
  • Pre-tour suggested reading list
  • Alumni appreciation discounts applied toward future expeditions
  • Carbonfund contribution
  • Travel with like-minded public media fans

Pricing and Terms

$7,395 per person double occupancy, $1,950 single supplement

SAVE UP TO $300 Reserve by August 15, 2023 and save $100 Pay your final balance by check and save $100 MPR and Earthbound travel alumni save $100

Round trip air from the USA to Ecuador
Travel Insurance
Anything not listed on the itinerary
$120 Galápagos Islands National Park entrance fee
Sales Tax
Optional group air from Minneapolis to Ecuador via Atlanta on Delta Airlines. Includes all
taxes, fees and airport transfers in Ecuador and day use of the airport hotel on the final day of
your trip! Travelers may choose to book their travel with Earthbound or choose to book their own travel to Ecuador.

Early reservations are essential to guarantee a place on this departure. A $750 per person
deposit is due at time of sign up. An additional $200 deposit is requested if opting for the
group flight. Deposits are refundable for 30 days from your deposit date, minus a cancellation
penalty of $75 per person. Final payment is 90 days before departure. Deposits and payments
can be made by check or credit card.

To read our complete terms and conditions please go to: http://earthboundexpeditions.com/the-boring-stuff

Need more information?

Call us: (1) 800-723-8454 Earthbound Expeditions is open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Contact us! Complete our contact form and one of our travel consultants will contact you to answer your questions and help you complete your reservation.