2024 Fall Creek Ecuador Conservation Expedition

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2024 Fall Creek Ecuador Conservation Expedition!  The Pre-Enrollment webpage is meant to share exciting highlights and important info that participants will want to know before signing up. Once enrolled, you'll begin using the Post-Enrollment page which offers a greater level of detail.  Please be sure to review the information thoroughly and get excited for a once in a lifetime experience in Ecuador! 
Travel Dates: June 5, 2024 - June 14, 2024
Dates are tentative until flights are secured
Group Organizer(s):
Program Tuition: $2,390 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Estimated Airfare: $850

Tuition Calculator

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

$2,390.00

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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

Conservation Expeditions

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.

Program Highlights


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

The Itinerary


We do everything possible to run safe, engaging, and immersive programs for our travelers and given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group. 

DayLocationDescriptionLodging
June 5USA – Quito, EcuadorToday 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 6Quito – PululahuaWe'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 7Pululahua - OtavaloToday 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 8Otavalo – Santa LuciaWe'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 9Santa LuciaIn 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 10Santa LuciaWe 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 11Santa LuciaWe 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 12Santa Lucia – 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. 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 13Papallacta – 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 14USAArrive home!Your own bed, eventually!

Accommodations


In order to provide a safe and memorable experience, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean and safe.  We vet and inspect the accommodations to ensure they uphold the ethos of our programs, are great values for our travelers and nice places to rest after enriching days of travel.  

Below are the accommodations we anticipate using on your trip, subject to availability. 
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
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

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.

Andrea
Parent of Olivia, traveler on California Cultural Journey

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. 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.

 

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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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