2023 Weston Ecuador Cultural Journey
|Travel Dates:||April 13, 2023 - April 22, 2023|
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: $2,990
Pay in Full
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.
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!
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!
Have the adventure of a lifetime with your friends
Snorkel with marine life in Isabela
Practice your Spanish language skills with locals
Relax and unwind on picturesque white sand beaches
Get your adrenaline fix on a zipline tour before relaxing in natural hot springs
Explore el centro historico de 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.
|April 13||USA - Quito||Today we will depart Boston in the early afternoon and arrive to Quito late at night. We will head straight to our Quito hotel for a late dinner (for those who are hungry) and a good night's rest.||Hotel San Francisco de Quito|
|April 14||Quito - Papallacta||Today we will pack up and drive for an hour and a half to the Museo Intiñan, where we will get a guided tour to learn about native tribes of Ecuador and visit the "Mitad del Mundo," right on the equator. After having lunch, we will drive for another hour an a half to our hotel in Papallacta, where we will have the chance to relax in natural hot springs surrounded by volcanoes and Andean valleys. After dinner we will have our Big Orientation meeting to prepare for the adventure ahead.||Hotel Las Termas de Papallacta|
|April 15||Papallacta - Quito||After breakfast, we will have a chance to enjoy the hot springs one last time or go on a hike before heading back to Quito. We will drive a couple of hours driving to the historic center of the city where we will have lunch. After settling into our hotel, we will take a guided walking tour of the centro historico of Quito. We will learn more about the capital city the various powers who have occupied the nation's capital. In the evening, we will return to our hotel to prepare for our travel to Las Islas Galapagos!||Hotel San Francisco de Quito|
|April 16||Quito - Santa Cruz||Today we fly 600 miles over the Pacific Ocean to reach the Galapagos Islands. After landing in Baltra, we will take a ferry across the Itabaca Channel and experience a variety of ecosystems. We'll stop to enjoy the breathtaking views of Los Gemelos, or the "Twin Craters," as well as explore the island's underbelly in the lava tunnels, as we drive to Puerto Ayora. We'll stop for lunch at El Chato Ranch, where we will have our first of many delicious meals on the islands and see our first of glimpse of Giant Toroises in their natural habitat. Upon arrival to the port, we'll check into our hotel and have an orientation meeting to discuss the upcoming trip in detail. Dinner in town tonight.||North Seymour Hostel|
|April 17||Santa Cruz||In the morning we will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, where we will learn directly from researchers about the islands' unique wildlife and the threats it face. We'll see land iguanas, lava lizards, and several species of giant tortoise. If we're lucky, we may get to see behind the scenes of this word famous research institute and admire special biological collections. In the afternoon we will have some time to cool off in the swimming holes at Las Grietas or on the beach at Playa Aleman, both a short water taxi ride from the port. Dinner this evening will be in Puerto Ayora.||North Seymour Hostel|
|April 18||Santa Cruz - Isabella||This morning we'll take a speedboat over to Isabela Island, settle into our hotel, and have lunch in the seaside port town of Villamil. After lunch, we'll rent mountain bikes and explore The Wall of Tears, a relic of the island's prison history, then playa de amor- where marine iguanas breed- and a mirador for an amazing panoramic view of the island.||Hostal La Loja Isabella|
|April 19||Isabella - Santa Cruz||This morning we'll grab our gear and go snorkeling at Concha de Perla, a stunning lagoon where we'll have a chance to see marine iguanas in their preferred habitat, schools of fish, sting rays and much more! After lunch we will head back to Santa Cruz where we will have time to do some last minute souvenir shopping and have our final dinner in the islands.||North Seymour Hostel|
|April 20||Santa Cruz - Otovalo||We'll make our return journey from the islands to the mountainous region of Ecuador. After arriving in Quito, we will drive for about two hours to Otovalo. In the evening will have our final reflection meeting and will have time to relax at the hotel after our long journey from the islands.||La Posada de Quinde|
|April 21||Otovalo||After having breakfast in the breathtaking mountains and valleys of Otavalo, we will hike to the Peguche waterfall. We will spend the rest of day learning firsthand about Ecuadorian/Andean culture (music, dress, and cuisine). First, we'll see a presentation from local expert musicians while we enjoy a Pachamanca meal, a culinary technique that involves cooking ingredients with firewood and hot stones in a hole in the ground. We'll finish the day with some shopping at the Plaza de los Ponchos, one of Latin America's most famous artisan markets. After our final dinner in Ecuador, we will drive for two hours to the airport to catch our flight that departs shortly after midnight.||Airplane|
|April 22||Otovalo - USA||The group will spend the day traveling back to the US.||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 San Francisco de Quito
Step back in time and enjoy the beautiful accommodations of the Hotel San Francisco de Quito. Located in the heart of the historic center of Quito, one of the most well preserved colonial districts in all of Latin America, this unique hotel combines comfort with centuries of colonial history to provide its guests with an unforgettable stay.
Las Termas de Papallacta
Las Termas de Papallacta is a lovely 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 is an idyllic experience.
North Seymour Hostel
Hostal North Seymour offers accommodations in Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz Island. Each room at this hostel is air conditioned and features a flat-screen TV with cable channels. A terrace or patio are featured in certain rooms. Rooms have a private bathroom fitted with a bath or shower. The hotel also offers a shared lounge, a hot tub and a sun terrace. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender.
Hotel Loja Isabela
Hotel Loja Isabela offers a charming natural environment with hammocks and is only 300 m from Puerto Villamil Beach. Hotel Loja offers comfortable rooms with private bathrooms with showers and free Wi-Fi and garden views can be enjoyed on Galápagos Islands. All rooms feature air conditioning with hot and cold water and private balconies. Loja is only 1 block from Puerto Villamil’s main street and 200 m from Galápagos National Park. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender.
La Posada de Quinde
Located in Otovalo, La Posada de Quinde offers rooms with a private bathroom with a shower, while some rooms have a balcony and others also feature city views. At La Posada del Quinde every room comes with bed linen and towels. The hotel also has a garden, free private parking, a shared lounge, a terrace and a restaurant. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender.
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: Travel insurance, baggage fees, passport/visa fees, laundry, souvenirs, and activities not listed on itinerary.
Need to Raise Money? We Have You Covered.
Walking Tree Travel is proud to team up with Equal Exchange, a worker-owned cooperative that distributes organic coffee, tea, sugar, bananas, avocados, cocoa, chocolate bars, and more. There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so the sooner you can start, the better!
Use the promo code FAIRFALL through the end of 2021 and save 10% off wholesale cases prices.
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.