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Registration still open for Western’s summer trips to Peru and the Galápagos Islands

February 09, 2016

The Galápagos tortoi
The Galápagos tortoise is the largest living species of tortoise on Earth.

Those looking for an exciting summer adventure can accompany Western Wyoming Community College faculty and students on two colorful excursion to the Southern Hemisphere, one to Peru, the other to Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands, this May. Both travel packages have been arranged through EF College Tours.   

The Biology Department and Associate Professor of Biology Will Clark, Ph.D., in collaboration with EF College Tours, are leading a trip to the Galápagos Islands from May 16 – 24. The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands made famous by naturalist Charles Darwin, who traveled there in the 1830s and discovered the distinctive varieties of finches that would give rise to his foundational theory of evolution. The islands are also known as the home of the Galápagos tortoise, the largest living species of tortoise in the world, and the island chain features many fascinating geologic formations and marine environments.

“Galápagos is like nowhere else in the world. It still has 95 percent of its original species, making this a one-of-a-kind opportunity to see a region of the world nearly untouched by humans,” Clark said. “This archipelago acts as a national park, whale sanctuary, biosphere reserve, and World Heritage Site. It is a truly remarkable place.”

The tour itinerary includes a May 16 flight to Quito, Ecuador, where travelers will tour Santo Domingo Monastery, visit the Intiñan Museum, and trek to the equator the next day. Islands to be visited include: Isabela Island, where travelers will snorkel amongst the marine life, take a volcano walk, and visit a flamingo sanctuary; Santa Cruz Island, where they will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and explore the Santa Cruz Highlands; and San Cristobal Island, where they will go snorkeling and hike along the coast and into the hills. The final day of the trip before departure includes a trip to Cotopaxi National Park in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador.     

The Galápagos trip includes an optional two-credit spring class: BIOL 2490: Topics in Biology – The Galápagos Tour. This class is optional and requires tuition and fees separate from the cost of the trip

Cost of the Galápagos tour is $3,840 for students and any travelers under age 30; for participants ages 30 and older, the cost is $4,080 and includes a room upgrade. The cost includes: round-trip airfare, all accommodations, tour transportation; most meals; guide and tour-director fees; and entrance fees to parks and attractions.

The deadline to register for the Galápagos Islands tour is Monday, Feb. 29; however, the registration deadline for those wishing to make a payment plan is Saturday, Feb. 13. To book your reservation, go to For more information about the class or the trip, contact Dr. Clark at

The cultural excursion to Peru is sponsored by the Spanish Department at Western Wyoming Community College and includes visits to the capital city of Lima, the historic Incan city of Machu Picchu, and the Sacred Valley, among other destinations. Travelers depart May 16 and return May 25.  

In Lima, travelers will visit the Government Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace, City Hall, and the San Francisco Monastery, among other sights. From Lima, travelers will fly to the Incan capital of Cuzco and will travel from there to the Sacred Valley. After taking guided visits to points of interest there, the group will travel by train to Machu Picchu for a day before moving on to Ollantaytambo and other locales. Daily free time is built into the itinerary, and participants may choose to add such cultural experiences as cooking classes, horseback riding excursions, and side trips to local communities. The trip’s final day consists of a free day in Lima.   

"Whether you are interested in Incan culture and history, Spanish colonial architecture, or Peruvian delicacies such as ceviche and pisco, or whether you want to practice your Spanish or just check another continent off your bucket list, this trip is for you!" said Associate Professor of Spanish Jim Gustafson, Ph.D., who is the trip’s organizer.

Cost of the trip is $3,345 for anyone under 30 and $3,585 for participants 30 and older; the higher price includes a room upgrade.

The trip’s cost includes flights, hotels, most meals, and most tour fees. Local, English-speaking guides will accompany the Western group throughout the trip. Registrants must pay $95 at signup, and payment plans are available.

For more information on the Peru trip, contact Dr. Gustafson at To book a reservation, visit the EF College Tours trip page at


For more information, contact Audrey Harton at (307) 382-1661 or
(307) 382-1600 or toll free (800) 226-1181