2021 Seattle Academy Ecuador Cultural Journey
|Travel Dates:||March 10, 2021 - March 21, 2021|
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$2,490 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: $2,590
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.
Service Adventures combine rural homestays, adventure travel, and meaningful service projects which are guided by our community partners. Living in these small communities provides the opportunity to engage the language and culture from a uniquely advantageous position.
Check out some of the featured experiences of your program!
Immerse yourself in the local language and culture by staying with a host family
Work on a service project in a small, rural community
Stay in an inhabited volcanic crater
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.
|1||USA – Quito||Evening arrival to Quito and transfer to hotel.||Quito Hotel|
|2||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. We'll have dinner on the edge of Pululahua Volcano, one of the only inhabited volcanic craters in the world.||El Crater Hotel|
|3||Pululahua – Otavalo||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). Next we'll either see a presentation from local expert musicians and lunch in their home or visit a local weaver's workshop and lunch there. We'll finish the day with some shopping at the Plaza de los Ponchos, one of Latin America's most famous artisan markets. We'll dine overlooking the square, and have the chance to sample some delicious Ecuadorian street food.||Las Palmeras Inn|
|4||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|
|5||Santa Lucia – Nanegal||In the morning we'll take a biodiversity hike through the reserve with a naturalist guide. We'll then depart Santa Lucia and drive to our host village of Nanegal, where we meet our homestay families, orient ourselves in the town, and learn about our community service project. Throughout the program, we'll have the opportunity to interact with local community members in Spanish, participate in cross-cultural exchanges, and learn more about the rich culture of Ecuador.||Nanegal Homestays|
|6||Nanegal||During our stay in Nanegal, we'll wake up early to work on our community service project and spend time with host families in the afternoons and evenings. Evening activities will vary, ranging from hikes to waterfalls, swimming in the river, dancing, playing music, farm visits, and generally getting to know the beautiful and unique culture and history of Nanegal.||Nanegal Homestays|
|7||Nanegal||Today, we will work on community service project and spend time with host families. Evening activities will vary (see above).||Nanegal Homestays|
|8||Nanegal||Today, we will work on community service project and spend time with host families. Evening activities will vary (see above).||Nanegal Homestays|
|9||Nanegal||Today, we will work on community service project and spend time with host families. Evening activities will vary (see above).We'll finish up work on service project and have a final thank you meal with community leaders and host families before departing Nanegal.||Nanegal Homestays|
|10||Nanegal – 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 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|
|11||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. We'll ride a cable car up Pichincha Volcano or to head over to Parque Itchimbia to see a final panoramic of Quito, then have a final goodbye dinner before our international flight late that tonight.||Airplane, or Quito Hotel if early morning flight|
|12||USA||Fly 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.
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.
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.
This will be the best part of your trip! Staying with a host family immerses you in the language and culture of the destination, and can lead to deep and lasting relationships with your hosts. Initially intimidating but ultimately unforgettable, there’s no better way to begin to truly understand the place you’re visiting.
Safety and Support
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
Our daughter is planning a high school junior year as an exchange student abroad, and your program was partly a ‘test the waters” of her being abroad. It was a tremendous success, thank you!
Parent of Della, traveler on 2017 program to Thailand
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.
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Learn more here.
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.