2021 DSA Ecuador Program
February 6, 2021 -
February 13, 2021
Dates are tentative until flights are secured
- or -
$2,090 USD with discount if paid in full
Airfare not included in program tuition
There are two options for payment, including an interest-free installment plan. Follow whichever works best for your family.
Program Tuition: $2,190
Pay in Full
Pay in full at the time of enrollment and receive a $100 discount off your program tuition! Payment with the discount would be:
Pay a $500 deposit at the time of enrollment and establish an interest-free monthly payment plan. If you enroll today, your estimated* monthly payments would be:
All prices in United States Dollars.
Ecuador Service Adventure
Don’t let Ecuador’s size fool you. Tucked between Colombia and Peru, it might be the smallest Andean nation but the country is packed with jarring contrasts of scenery and ways of life. Often called a microcosm of Latin America, the diversity in people and places is truly astounding and makes Ecuador a delight to visit. Whether trekking through dense Amazonian rainforest, marveling at the majesty of massive snow-capped peaks, exploring colorful highland markets or navigating Quito’s historic colonial district, our programs will show you the many sides of this captivating country.
Cultural Journeys allow travelers to gain insights into the heritage, history and modern realities of their destination by offering a broad diversity of experience. We rely on the expertise of our local staff to plan itineraries which not only explore the prominent sites but also make time for the lesser-known local gems and are intentional about regular interaction with local people.
Check out some of the featured experiences of your program!
Stay in an inhabited volcanic crater
Practice your Spanish language skills with locals
Hike to hidden waterfalls in the rainforest
Experience ziplining and hot springs in the Andes
Explore historic downtown Quito
We do everything possible to run safe, engaging, and immersive programs for our travelers, but given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but if inclement weather pushes us off course or an unexpected opportunity arises which travelers are excited about, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group.
|February 6||USA – Quito||Evening arrival to Quito and transfer to hotel in historic center. As we make our way into the capital, we will receive a brief orientation meeting from our program leader to cover some important tips for the upcoming adventure.||Hotel Sol de Quito|
|February 7||Quito – Pululahua||Start the day with a walking tour of historic downtown Quito, one of the most well preserved historic districts in all of South America. After lunch we'll ascend the spires of the Basilica del Voto Nacional. In the afternoon, we'll visit the Intiñan Museum located at the equator and enjoy the disorienting coriolis effect. We'll then have dinner on the edge of Pululahua Volcano, one of the only inhabited volcanic craters in the world, and finish part two of our orientation meeting.||El Crater Hotel|
|February 8||Pululahua – Otavalo||Today we'll drive between breathtaking mountains and valleys to Otavalo, where we will spend the day visiting artisan workshops and learning firsthand about Ecuadorian/Andean culture (music, dress, and cuisine). We will make sure to stop in the Pedro Vicente Maldonado region along the way, the epicenter of Ecuador's hand-cut flower industry. Next we'll see a presentation from local expert musicians and lunch in their home, we'll even have an opportunity to build our own pan flutes! We'll finish the day with some shopping at the Plaza de los Ponchos, one of Latin America's most famous artisan market, to negotiate fair prices on world class crafts. We'll dine near the square and have the chance to sample some delicious Ecuadorian street food.||Las Palmeras Inn|
|February 9||Otavalo||Today we'll hike to a secluded waterfall and pay a visit to one of the best-known master weavers in the region. Later, we will make time for a structured group reflection and activities. We can also finish up any shopping in town that we didn't get to yesterday or take advantage of the game cabin on the grounds of our hotel.||Las Palmeras Inn|
|February 10||Otavalo – Santa Lucia||We'll descend from the mountains, stopping through small towns along the way, and arrive at Santa Lucia, a community-run cloud forest reserve and conservation project. We'll hike into the Santa Lucia Nature Reserve, passing a multitude of unique flora and fauna along the way, and receive an introduction to the cloud forest ecosystem in one of the most biodiverse places on earth. We'll settle into our jungalows and fall asleep to the sounds of the cloud forest.||Santa Lucia Nature Reserve|
|February 11||Santa Lucia – Papallacta||As we ascend into the mountains again, we'll either stop and go on a zip-line tour of Nanegalito's cloud forest canopy or go white water rafting in Mindo. We'll then travel to Papallacta Hot Springs high in the Andes and spend our last night soaking in the springs under the stars. We'll have a structured reflection to discuss our experience and some other group activities.||Termas de Papallacta|
|February 12||Papallacta – Quito – USA||We'll have an optional short hike in the morning to see the ecosystems that characterize the Antisana Reserve, then travel from Papallacta to Quito. Later, we'll ride a cable car up Pichincha Volcano or head over to Parque Itchimbia to see a final panoramic view of Quito, then have a final goodbye dinner before our international flight tonight.||Airplane|
|February 13||USA||Arrive home!||Your own bed, eventually!|
In order to provide a safe and memorable experience, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean and safe.
Hotel Sol de Quito
This hotel in Quito’s commercial and financial districts offers comfortable accommodations and modern amenities in a charming colonial style. The hotel is family owned and operated and boasts a large collection of historical artifacts that give it a unique character. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
Santa Lucia Eco Lodge
Located high in the Ecuadorian cloud forest, this eco-lodge is only accessible by foot, but the 45 minute hike up to the lodge rewards guests with unbeatable views of the surround nature reserve. Selected for its dedication to conservation, it is also a convenient base from which to assist local researchers with their wildlife conservation projects in the area. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
El Crater Hotel
Situated on the precipice of the Volcano Pululahua, the hotel’s supreme location is unlike any other accommodation on the planet. Each room contains large windows from which students can admire the beauty of this setting and watch the ever-changing climate of the area from the comfort of their rooms. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
Las Palmeras Inn Otavalo
This 150 year old highlands ranch is designed in traditional Andean styles. A collection of garden cottages each with their own fireplace, Las Palmeras Inn provides unmatched tranquility in a gorgeous mountain setting. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
Las Termas de Papallacta
Las Termas de Papallacta is an ideal escape to nature with its collection of hot springs, comfortable accommodations, and beautiful mountain scenery. Whether soaking in the springs, star gazing, or taking advantage of any of the nearby hikes, Las Termas feels more like an experience than a hotel. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
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. Once confirmed, you will be invoiced for the flight roughly 75 days prior to travel.
Program Tuition Excludes: Premiere 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 funding opportunities that are easy to implement and fun to take part in. Our flagship fundraiser involves selling fair trade, organic, carbon-neutral coffee from a women’s collective in Peru. There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so get started now by clicking the link below!
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.