2019 Evergreen Country Day Ecuador Program
|Travel Dates:||February 16, 2019 - February 24, 2019|
|Deadline(s):||Complete an Enroll Now form to secure a spot on the adventure!|
Dense Amazonian rainforest, snow-capped Andean peaks, and volcanic islands – Ecuador is a place of many wonders. From Quito’s historic colonial district to the Galapagos Islands’ completely unique wildlife and ecosystems, our programs will fill you with wonder and excitement. You might find yourself swimming with sea lions or tropical penguins during your free time! The Galapagos Islands are the birthplace of our modern understanding of evolution.
From Ecuador you can fly to the islands to spend several days volunteering on a conservation and reforestation project, getting up close and personal with island wildlife like the famous giant tortoises. From here, you can travel to different islands in the archipelago and explore various sites and wildlife including sea turtles, marine iguanas, blue footed boobies, giant tortoises, albatrosses, frigate birds and much more. Participants will have the opportunity for plenty of snorkeling and hiking while learning about what makes each island rare – from various colors of sand (black, white, red and even green) to volcanic rocks that are millions of years old!
Check out some of the possible featured experiences of your coming adventure! Each customized itinerary is unique, but these are just a few of the activities which may be available during your program.
Immerse yourself in the local language and culture by staying with a host family
Work on a community service project in Nanegal
Snorkel with marine life in Isabela
Stay in an inhabited volcanic crater
Study unique wildlife alongside researchers
Get up close and personal with sea lions in Floreana
Hike an active volcano
Experience ziplining and hot springs in the Andes
Explore historic downtown Quito
We work hard to create engaging, educational, and truly immersive itineraries for our travelers. However, we also know that travel can be unpredictable, so we always design our experiences to be flexible enough to allow for adjustments based on group interests, unexpected opportunities, and any weather or safety concerns that may arise during your program. Should changes to the itinerary occur, we will notify travelers and families as quickly as possible.
|1||Pennsylvania - San Jose, Costa Rica||Today the group will travel from Pittsburgh, PA, to San Jose, Costa Rica, with flights usually arriving in the evening. After arrival, the group will settle into their hotel for the evening and have an orientation meeting to discuss the upcoming adventure in detail.||Casa Cielo Grande|
|2||Alajuela - Pura Suerte||After breakfast we will depart for Pura Suerte, an ecological farm in the heart of the rain forest, about four hours' drive south of the capital city. Upon arrival we will tour Pura Suerte's organic farm for an introduction to the bountiful flora and fauna in the area, visit a nearby coffee plantation and enjoy a delicious dinner made from ingredients sourced directly from the forest and nearby farms. Throughout the program, we'll have the opportunity to interact with community members in Spanish, participate in cultural exchanges, and explore Costa Rican culture and wildlife.||Pura Suerte Jungalows|
|3||Pura Suerte - Osa||After breakfast we'll hike down to Nauyaca waterfall, one of the largest and most beautiful in the entire country. Spend the morning swimming and relaxing by the riverside. We will take lunch at the waterfall and then hike back to Pura Suerte, where we will pack up and drive south down the coast to the Turtle Reserve Field Station. Here we will settle in and meet the researchers with whom we'll be spending the next few days.||Reserva Playa Tortuga Field Station|
|4||Osa||After breakfast in our new surroundingds we'll take a hike through the surrounding tropical rainforest in the morning to get our bearings on the local ecosystems in the Osa Peninsula. We'll then receive an orientation for the research we'll be conducting over the following days -- surveys of mammals such as monkeys, river otters, and kinkajous, and sloths. We'll take a break for lunch and continue to conduct these surveys in the afternoon, in addition to receiving a lecture on local and national wildlife conservation efforts. The next few days will consist of us working with researches on a variety of research projects. See below sections for more information on the kinds of research projects we'll be working on over the next few days.||Reserva Playa Tortuga Field Station|
|5||Osa||Today we will continue our field research and explore our surroundinds. Our evening activities will vary depending on the ongoing camaigns and planned activities.||Reserva Playa Tortuga Field Station|
|6||Osa||Today, we'll pay a visit to the local community, where Reserva La Tortuga conducts yearlong environmental education campaigns with local schools. We may organize a nature walk with local students, build structures from reclaimed plastic, or have an afternoon on the beach with local students. In the evening we'll have some free time in the local town of Ojachal, and learn some useful Spanish phrases.||Reserva Playa Tortuga Field Station|
|7||Osa||We'll continue our environmental education work with local schools today, and conduct a joint activity such as a beach cleanup. More exact details on the nature of the project will be posted in the months leading up to departure. In the afternoon, we'll have free time in the town or go on another wildlife hike through the jungle.||Reserva Playa Tortuga Field Station|
|8||Osa - Uvita||After breakfast we'll say goodbye to our friends at Reserva Playa Tortuga, then head northwest to Manuel Antonio on the central Pacific coast. We will spend the afternoon having private surf lessons from some of Costa Rica's best surfers. Never surfed before? No problem! The waves at Manuel Antonio are perfect for beginners and almost everyone is able to stand up. In the evening, the group will have time for souvenier shopping and pool time at the hotel.||Hotel EL Tecal|
|9||Uvita - Alajuela||Today we'll end the trip with a splash as we whitewater raft down the Savegre River! After lunch we'll make the drive back to San Jose for a farewell dinner ahead of our international departure the following morning.||Casa Cielo Grande|
|10||Alajuela - Home||Fly home! Hasta luego!||Your own bed, eventually!|
Safety and Support
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
This was our daughter’s 2nd trip with Walking Tree. In 2016, she took her school’s first trip with Walking Tree to Ecuador, and absolutely loved it. Once again, the Walking Tree representative was excellent. My daughter said Ben really made the trip, and worked hard to keep the group happy. Other positives: communication before the trip, website outline, daily blogs and trip photos. Very professional organization. We feel very secure sending our student out into the world with Walking Tree.
Parent of Olivia, traveler on California Cultural Journey
Your Adventure Includes
In order to give our travelers the best possible price, we break out airfare from the Program Tuition. We will still handle all booking and ticketing via our flight partner who has access to special fares not available to the general public. We will provide full transparency in cost so that families pay what the flight costs and nothing more. You will be invoiced for the flight once we are able to secure the group’s airline contract.
Program Tuition Excludes: Travel insurance, baggage fees, airline minor fees, passport/visa fees, laundry, souvenirs, and activities not listed on itinerary.
Need to Raise Money? We have you covered.
Our travelers are provided with fundraising opportunities that are easy to implement and fun to take part in. Our flagship fundraiser involves selling bird-friendly, fair trade coffee from our host countries. There is no limit to the amount you can raise, so get started now by selling coffee or referring your friends to earn credit toward your program!
Why should high school students travel abroad? What happens if a participant gets sick? How quickly do we need to enroll? We’re sure you have plenty of questions and we’ve got you covered! Visit our Resource Center to discover the answers to your most pressing questions and contact us anytime with additional questions.