2024 Key School Ecuador Service Adventure
|March 28, 2024 - April 6, 2024
Airfare not included in program tuition
This program is currently at full capacity.
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Ecuador Service Adventure
Don’t let Ecuador’s small 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.
Service Adventures can combine rural homestays, adventure travel, and meaningful service projects which are guided by our community partners. Living in these small communities provides the opportunity to engage the language and culture from a uniquely advantageous position.
Check out some of the featured experiences of your program!
Wander the amazing markets in Otavalo
Work on a service project in a small, rural community
Spend the night in an inhabited volcanic crater
Practice your Spanish language skills with locals
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.
|USA – Quito
|Evening arrival to Quito and transfer to hotel.
|Hotel San Francisco de Quito
|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. We'll visit Museo de Arte Precolombino or Museo Fray Pedro Grocial. After lunch we'll ascend the spires of the Basilica del Voto Nacional. In the afternoon, we'll visit the Intiñan Museum located at the equator. We'll have dinner on the edge of Pululahua Volcano, one of the only inhabited volcanic craters in the world.
|El Crater Hotel
|Pululahua – Otavalo
|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 overlooking the square, and have the chance to sample some delicious Ecuadorian street food.
|Las Palmeras Inn
|Otavalo - Nanegal
|We'll descend from the mountains, stopping through small towns along the way, and arrive at our host community of Nanegal. Here we'll orient ourselves in the town, and learn about our community service project. In the afternoon, we'll take a hike to a lookout to see the entire valley in which Nanegal is situated. Throughout the program, we'll have the opportunity to interact with local community members in Spanish, participate in cross-cultural exchanges, and learn more about the rich culture of Ecuador.
|Maqui Pucuna Eco Hotel
|During our stay in Nanegal, we'll wake up early to work on our community service project and spend time with locals in the afternoons and evenings. Evening activities will vary, ranging from hikes to waterfalls, swimming in the river, dancing, playing music, farm visits, and generally getting to know the beautiful and unique culture and history of Nanegal.
|Maqui Pucuna Eco Hotel
|Today, we will work on community service project and spend time with host community. Evening activities will vary (see above).
|Maqui Pucuna Eco Hotel
|Today, we will work on community service project and spend time with host community. Evening activities will vary (see above). We'll finish up work on service project and have a final thank you meal with community leaders and locals before departing Nanegal.
|Maqui Pucuna Eco Hotel
|Nanegal – 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 have a structured reflection to discuss our experience, and some other group activities.
|Termas de Papallacta
|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. We'll ride a cable car up Pichincha Volcano or to head over to Parque Itchimbia to see a final panoramic of Quito, then have a final celebratory dinner ahead of our flight home tomorrow.
|San Francisco de Quito
|Quito - USA
|After breakfast we fly 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.
Maqui Pucuna Eco Hotel
Maqui Pucuna Eco Hotel is located next to the Umachaca River in an ecological reserve just a short distance from Nanegal. Owned and operated by a local couple, the accommodations are surrounded by nature and boast a variety of quaint, cozy homes, cabins and research station. It will be the perfect place for our group to be situated during the time in Nanegal.
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
Walking Tree gave us everything we needed to make our vision of the perfect educational trip to China a reality.
Repeat Group Organizer on programs to China
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.