Catalina Island Wonders

Day 1 | Catalina Island
Today we arrive to the ferry terminal to board our boat across the ocean to the Island of Santa Catalina!  After checking in, we board our one hour ferry.  We will be met by our local project manager and taken to the grocery store and then to check into our campsite and stock the kitchen.  In the afternoon, we will take a hike and get an intro to the day before dinner at the campsite.  Rest up, our hard work begins tomorrow! (L, snacks, D)

Day 2 – 4 | Catalina Island (Student Service Project)
Our volunteer project begins on Tuesday, bright and early after we eat and clean up our campsite.  Volunteer projects are chosen for groups based on several factors: the time of the year, (as these can vary according to seasonal conditions), and a group’s abilities, age and skill level. Below is a list of one or more of the projects your group may participate in.

Detailed instruction and safety training are provided for each project. While those with varying skills and abilities are encouraged to participate, volunteers need to be in good physical condition and be able to hike over uneven and hilly terrain. Current tetanus shots are recommended.

  • Trail Maintenance and Construction: Maintaining trails involves keeping them clear and safe as well as marking them so that people can find their way. Maintaining trails also means preserving them for future use by preventing erosion and the spread of non-native plants, protecting the surrounding environment, and preserving a quality backcountry experience for all trail users.
  • Build Fence Exclosures : With the presence of non-native animals on the island, it is necessary to protect rare and endangered habitats from being browsed and trampled. Volunteers build temporary fence exclosures so sensitive habitats can be monitored .  These areas are closely monitored for seedling success and overall health of these plant communities.
  • Island Maintenance: The Volunteer Camp and Conservancy operated facilities need seasonal maintenance with some painting, light construction and brush clearance. It is rewarding to know that you are an integral part of helping to maintain the Island’s Interior.
  • Non-native Plant Removal: One of the island’s greatest threats is the introduction of non-native, invasive plan t species. Non-native vegetation has a competitive edge over island endemic plants, out-competing them for light, nutrients, space and water. Non-native plants threaten the biodiversity of Catalina’s unique plant communities.
  • Nurture the Natives: The James H. Ackerman Native Plant Nursery, hub of our conservation efforts, collects its seeds from the island’s native vegetation. Plants grown from these seeds are used for restoration projects on the Island including projects within the City of Avalon. While working at the Nursery, projects might include collecting and processing native seeds, transplanting plants, light construction, assembling equipment and nursery grounds maintenance.
  • Fence Removal (Island style): There are approximately 25 miles of old, decaying fence lines still visible on the island from the ranching days on Catalina. This project offers scenic vistas and visible results as the landscape opens up with each section of downed fence line. Meet back for dinner at the camp and share stories about your adventures! (B, L snack, D)

Day 5 | Catalina Island
Today we will do a final wrap up of our project in the morning and then head into town for an afternoon of kayaking and water fun.  If you’ve never paddled before, your guide will teach you – it’s easy.  Plants, animals, birds, fish, sea mammals- things you were never expecting to see, but always surprised by,
fly or swim by while we are on the water. Your local guide will give you a history of the island: past inhabitants & their culture; and modern activity including restoration and education projects.  We head back to camp for our last night and clean up. (B, L, snack, D)

Day 6 | Catalina Island
See the island from your personal sea kayak and get a new This morning we pack up and head into Avalon.  Leaving our bags in the Conservancy offices in town, we have the day to explore this seaside paradise and have lunch in a local restaurant before taking our ferry back to the mainland. (B)

Please note: Student Journeys can organize the group transfer from bus terminal / airport if needed.

Check out this Catalina Island Video!


Starting price
10 – 19 students + 2 chaperones: $ 590 / student
20 – 25 students + 2 chaperones: $ 550/ student
(Price depends on the time travelling)

Price includes:
Ferry to the island, fixed tent accommodations with camp kitchen for four nights, five camp breakfasts, five picnic lunches, five camp dinners, on-island transportation, team leaders, project training, work supplies, and naturalist activity, kayak tour and two teachers free of charge.

Price does not include:
Flights, lunch in town, personal camping items, souvenirs, phone calls, travel insurance, all other services stated as optional or not explicitly stated as included.


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