2024 Fall Creek Ecuador Conservation Expedition
June 5, 2024 -
June 14, 2024
Dates are tentative until flights are secured
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. If we are within 90 days of travel, only the pay in full option is possible.
Program Tuition: $2,390
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.
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
Practice your Spanish language skills with locals
Hike through the tropical rainforest and learn about local ecosystems
Hike to secluded waterfall deep in the jungle
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.
|June 5||USA – Quito, Ecuador||Today we travel! An evening arrival to Quito is likely, afterwhich we'll transfer to the hotel, grab dinner and hold a short orientation to better prepare for the adventure ahead.||Hotel San Francisco de Quito|
|June 6||Quito – Pululahua||We'll begin the day with a walking tour of historic downtown Quito, one of the most well preserved colonial districts in all of South America. After lunch we'll ascend the spires of the Basilica del Voto Nacional and then visit the Intiñan Museum located on the equator where you'll feel the disorienting coriolis effect. We'll spend the night on the edge of Pululahua Volcano, one of the only inhabited volcanic craters in the world!||El Crater Hotel|
|June 7||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 Andean music, dress, and cuisine. Next, we'll either see a presentation from local expert musicians or visit a local weaver's cooperative. 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|
|June 8||Otavalo – Santa Lucia||We're back in the bus this morning, 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. We'll settle into our jungalows and fall asleep to the sounds of the cloud forest all around us.||Santa Lucia Nature Reserve|
|June 9||Santa Lucia||In the morning we'll take a biodiversity hike through the reserve with a naturalist guide. We'll then receive an orientation regarding the volunteer work with which we'll be assisting over the coming days. Depending on the time of year, our work will vary from working on reforestation projects, to setting remote cameras to track the movements of elusive animals like spectacled bears and ocelots, to documenting the biodiversity of the surrounding cloud forest. By night, we'll have group activities and lectures from resident and visiting researchers.||Santa Lucia Nature Reserve|
|June 10||Santa Lucia||We will continue our volunteer research work in the 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.||Santa Lucia Nature Reserve|
|June 11||Santa Lucia||We will finish 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|
|June 12||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. Afterwards, 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|
|June 13||Papallacta – Quito||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|
|June 14||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.
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.
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 travelers can admire the beauty of this setting and watch the quickly-changing climate of the area from the comfort of their rooms.
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 ranch nestled in the highlands is designed in traditional Andean styles. A collection of garden cottages each with their own fireplace, Las Palmeras Inn provides supreme tranquility in a gorgeous mountain setting.
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.
Safety and Support
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
I have been on two trips with Walking Tree and both trips have been two of the most amazing experiences of my life.
Alumni traveler to Belize and 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!
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.