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
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 Quito|
|April 14||Quito - Otovalo||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.||Hotel Quito|
|April 15||Quito - Papallacta||Today we will travel to Papallacta. Upon arrival, we will stop for short hike to see the ecosystems that characterize the Antisana Reserve. Next, we will enjoy the Termas de Papallacta, natural hot springs surrounded by volcanoes and Andean valleys. In the afternoon, we will return to Quito to prepare for our travel to Las Islas Galapagos! ||Hotel 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.||Eco Hostal Isla Azul Galapagos|
|April 17||Quito - 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.||Hotel SaEco Hostal Isla Azul Galapagosnta Cruz|
|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.||Hotel 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.||Eco Hostal Isla Azul Galapagos|
|April 20||Santa Cruz - Quito||We'll make our return journey from the islands to the mountainous region of Ecuador. In the evening we will have time to relax at the hotel after our long journey from the islands and will finish the day with a dinner in the city.||Hotel Quito|
|April 21||Quito||Today we will take a guided walking tour of the centro historico de Quito. We will learn more about the capital city the various powers who have occupied the nation's capital. In the evening, we will have our final reflection meeting a going away dinner to celebrate this amazing adventure. We will head to the airport after dinner for our flight home.||Airplane|
|April 22||Quito - USA||Out flight will depart short after midnight and we will spend the day flight 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.
Safety and Support
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
My experience with your organization was exceptional. The communication was prompt, courteous, and thorough. The trip was very well planned and the educational focus made me feel this such trip had a great value. My daughter has grown and matured in a wonderful way because of this trip.
Parent of Teagan, 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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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.