Go to the center of the earth. Then walk in the footsteps of Darwin, and see centenarian giant tortoises around a volcanic archipelago. Just when you get your head around the theory of evolution, take a mind-blowing hike in the cradle of Incan civilization…
Our new tour to the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu is full of amazing outdoor, hands-on educational activities. Read on to learn more about our three favorites, or check out the entire itinerary now.
Primicias Ranch Visit
The Galapagos giant tortoise is the largest living tortoises in the world, can weigh up to 660 pounds and can live as long as 150 years in the wild. The wild population of these amazing creatures has dropped sharply since the seventeenth century due both to excessive hunting and the introduction of predators and humans. For a rare chance to see these amazing endangered tortoises roam free in the natural habitat, head to Primicias Ranch.
Quito Guided Sightseeing Tour
Explore the Ecuador’s beautiful capital on this guided tour of Quito’s downtown. Visit sites dating back to Spanish colonization, and continue to Panecillo where you will find an impressive panoramic view of the city and the surrounding valleys. Jump from the southern to northern hemisphere in an instant at Mitad del Mundo – the Equator Monument that marks the equinoctial line.
Cape Rose Excursion
Prepare yourself for one of the best days of your trip! After navigation aboard a typical fisherman boat for an hour and a half from Puerto Villamil, you will reach Cape Rosa or Finado Bay on the western side of the island. This is one of the most beautiful places nature has bestowed upon humankind. Here you can walk over the connected lava tunnels situated in the blue sea waters.
This article was originally featured in Explorica’s 2012 educational travel magazine featuring high school tours to France that are teacher-led. We’ll be sharing 20 life-changing travel experiences throughout the season. Transform your students’ lives (and maybe your own) with any of these exceptional, teacher-led educational travel experiences.
High School Tour France: Come Face to Foot with Napoleon
Maybe your students have seen it miniaturized within an art or history textbook. Perhaps you’ve even displayed it with a projector to generate classroom discussion. But neither you nor your students have ever truly experienced the epic grandeur of Jacque-Louis David’s painting, The Coronation of Napoleon, until you’ve seen it in person. Displayed in the Louvre, Paris’s temple to art, this painting is a must-see. Of course, standing more than twenty feet tall and over thirty feet wide, you could hardly miss this masterwork. As the title describes, the subject is the crowning of Napoleon Bonaparte as the Emperor of the new France. The painting, which took over three years to complete, was for the time a nearly photo-realist depiction of one of France’s most important historic events—albeit with a few embellishments (ever the maman’s boy, Napoleon had David add his mother to the adoring audience).
When you view the painting in person, your eyes are drawn to the vivid detail etched onto every face and façade. Because of the painting’s immense size, mistakes would be magnified, so David created an entire miniature replica of the characters and settings. As you scan the canvas, note the sumptuous textures of the fabrics and clothing, knowing that the shades and colors depicted only became fully realized through the use of costumed dolls.
After giving yourself time to take in the whole scene, take a moment to reflect on where this important art work is displayed. Were it not for the event depicted in the painting, you might not get to see it at
all. Built in the 12th century as a palace fortress, the Louvre was later turned into a museum open solely to European royalty. Although the sweeping changes of the French Revolution opened the Louvre to the public, some feared Napoleon’s consolidation of power might lead to a return to royalty-only admission. On the contrary, the new emperor kept admission available to all art-loving citizens, while also adding new museum wings.
In 1807, after first viewing The Coronation of Napoleon, a pleased Emperor Bonaparte remarked to David: “This is not a painting; you walk in this work.” In other words, this painting is an experience unto itself. Through a truly amazing confluence of subject matter, style, and even display venue, viewing this painting in person is a life-changing event for any student— and for students of all ages.