2022 Bothel High School Ecuador Conservation Expedition
|Travel Dates:||April 9, 2022 - April 17, 2022|
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: $2,290
Pay in Full
All prices in United States Dollars.
Ecuador Conservation Expedition
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.
Conservation Expeditions bring travelers to the heart of the modern-day conservation movement. Whether building nurseries for sea turtle hatchlings in Costa Rica, snorkeling alongside sea lions in the Galapagos or teaching local school children in Thailand about the importance of wild elephants to their ecosystem, these trips make the wonders of our world, and our responsibility to protect them, abundantly apparent.
Check out some of the featured experiences of your program!
Have the adventure of a lifetime with your friends
Contribute to sustainability efforts on a conservation project
Stay in an inhabited volcanic crater
Practice your Spanish language skills with locals
Explore a cloud forest, guided by a local naturalist
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.||Hotel San Francisco de Quito|
|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 on 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 spend the night here.||El Crater Hotel|
|3||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). 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 near the square and have the chance to sample some delicious Ecuadorian street food.||Las Palmeras Inn|
|4||Otavalo – Santa Lucia||We'll weave through the Andes mountains once again, this time descending to Santa Lucia, a community-run cloud forest reserve and conservation project where we'll be spending the next few nights. 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. After settling into our jungalows, we'll receive an orientation regarding the volunteer work with which we'll be assisting over the coming days before falling asleep to the sounds of the cloud forest all around us.||Santa Lucia Nature Reserve|
|5||Santa Lucia||In the morning we'll take a biodiversity hike through the reserve with a naturalist guide. We'll then get started on our conservation work! Depending on the time of year, our work will vary from working on reforestation projects, to setting remote cameras to catch a glimpse of rarely seen animals, such as spectacled bears and ocelots, to documenting the biodiversity of the surrounding cloud forest. During our off time we will relax in hammocks, or assist with camp maintenance. Potential side projects could include helping build and stock a butterfly and orchid garden, or constructing a bird observation tower. By night, we'll have group activities and lectures from resident and visiting researchers.||Santa Lucia Nature Reserve|
|6||Santa Lucia||We will continue with, and fiinish, our volunteer research work in the cloud forest. At the end of the day, we'll have a recap of our work, and a presentation about local and national conservation efforts in the region. We'll enjoy a final thank you meal with project coordinators to celebrate our time together in the reserve.||Santa Lucia Nature Reserve|
|7||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 travel to Papallacta Hot Springs high in the Andes and spend our last night soaking in the springs under the stars. We'll make time for a structured reflection to digest our experience in Ecuador thus far.||Termas de Papallacta|
|8||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 to Pichincha Volcano and take in the panoramic view of Quito, then have a final goodbye dinner before our international flight tonight.||Airplane|
|9||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.
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.
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.
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.
Hacienda La Alegria
Hacienda La Alegria is a horseback-riding ranch in the heart of Ecuador’s “Avenue of the Volcanoes.” This family-run establishment combines traditional hospitality with a touch of luxury in a beautiful mountainous setting. 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.
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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.