Enroll today and get a 100% refund if you don’t travel. See here for details.

2021 Seattle Academy Ecuador Cultural Journey

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2021 Seattle Academy Ecuador Cultural Journey! We have created two webpages dedicated to this exciting program so that travelers are as informed as possible throughout the process. The first page, Pre-Enrollment, is meant to share exciting details, highlights and pertinent info that participants will want to know before enrolling. Once enrolled, the Post-Enrollment page, is meant to prepare travelers for participation on the adventure ahead. Please be sure to review the information on the appropriate page thoroughly and we can't wait to start our enriching adventure!
Travel Dates: March 10, 2021 - March 21, 2021
Group Organizer(s):
Program Tuition: $2,590 USD - or - $2,490 USD with discount if paid in full
Airfare not included in program tuition
Estimated Airfare: $850

Tuition Calculator

There are two options for payment, including an easy installment plan.  Follow the option which 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:

$2,490.00

due today

Payment Plan

Pay a $500 deposit at the time of enrollment and establish a monthly payment plan. If you enroll today, your estimated* monthly payments would be:

$418.00

per month

* This is an approximate price. Your exact total will be confirmed by the Admissions Team upon enrollment.

All prices in United States Dollars.

Ecuador Service Adventure

Dense Amazonian rainforest, snow-capped Andean peaks, and volcanic islands that gave birth to our understanding of evolution – Ecuador is a place of many wonders. From Quito’s historic colonial district to the bustling markets of Otavalo to quite communities tucked into rolling mountains, our Ecuador Service Adventure will introduce you to parts of the country well off the beaten path and fill you with the excitement which have drawn adventurous travelers to the country for years.

Service Adventures

Service Adventures

Service Adventures combine local homestays, adventure travel, and meaningful service projects. Students will be truly immersed in our host communities allowing them the time to reflect on their complex and important role as global citizens.

Program Highlights


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 community service project in Nanegal

Stay in an inhabited volcanic crater

Experience ziplining and hot springs in the Andes

Explore historic downtown Quito

The Itinerary


We work hard to create safe, engaging, and immersive itineraries 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. 

DayLocationDescriptionLodging
1USA – QuitoEvening arrival to Quito and transfer to hotel.Quito Hotel
2Quito – PululahuaStart 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
3Pululahua – OtavaloWe'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
4Otavalo – Santa LuciaWe'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
5Santa Lucia – NanegalIn 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
6NanegalDuring 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
7NanegalToday, we will work on community service project and spend time with host families. Evening activities will vary (see above).Nanegal Homestays
8NanegalToday, we will work on community service project and spend time with host families. Evening activities will vary (see above).Nanegal Homestays
9NanegalToday, 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
10Nanegal – PapallactaAs 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
11Papallacta – Quito – USAWe'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
12USAFly home!Your own bed, eventually!

Accommodations


In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for travelers, we follow strict guidelines when choosing our accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels which are centrally located, clean, safe and wifi-enabled. 

For rooming, travelers are grouped by gender, and will never share rooms with people who are not associated with their group.  Non-binary travelers are accommodated. Group Organizers and Program Leaders, along with any other traveling adult, are roomed separately from students.
Below are the hotels we anticipate using on your trip, subject to 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.

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.

Homestay

Staying with a host family allows our travelers to truly immerse themselves in the culture of their destination, and to build lasting friendships with local people in the host community.

Safety and Support


 EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
EXPERT LEADERSHIP
EXPERT LEADERSHIP
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICING
ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICING

Walking Tree gave us everything we needed to make our vision of the perfect educational trip to China a reality.

Andy
Repeat Group Organizer on programs to China

Your Adventure Includes

Estimated Airfare

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. You will be invoiced for the flight once we are able to secure the group’s airline contract.

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!

START FUNDRAISING  

WTT coffee
Resource center

Resource Center

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.

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