2024 LFSF Ecuador Cultural Journey
|Travel Dates:||March 26, 2023 - April 3, 2024|
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.
Check out some of the featured experiences of your program!
Have the adventure of a lifetime with your friends
Practice your Spanish language skills with locals
Hike through the tropical rainforest and learn about local ecosystems
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.
|March 26||USA – Quito||Evening arrival to Quito and transfer to hotel.||Sol De Quito Hotel or Hotel San Francisco de Quito|
|March 27||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. 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 and enjoy the disorienting coriolis effect. We'll then have dinner on the edge of Pululahua Volcano, one of the only inhabited volcanic craters in the world.||El Crater Hotel|
|March 28||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 Ecuadorian/Andean culture (music, dress, and cuisine). Next we'll see a presentation from local expert musicians and traditions keepers. We will have lunch in their home - eat Pachamanca style and listen and learn about Andean culture and tradition. 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|
|March 29||Otavalo - Nanegal||We'll descend from the mountains, stopping through small towns along the way, and have a beautiful drive to the cloud forest region outside of Nanegal. Here we'll explore this rural community and learn about the region. We will stay ate Maqui Pucuna Ecolodge, where we will have the chance to explore nature.||Maqui Pucuna - Nanegal|
|March 30||Nanegal||During our stay in Maqui Pucuna, we'll wake up early to do one birdwatching trail with our guide. We will also head down to the towns waterfall called la Piragua and swim on the natural pools surrounding it. Evening activities will vary, ranging from hikes to waterfalls, swimming in the river, dancing, playing music, night trail, and generally getting to know the beautiful and unique nature of the Chocó Andino region.||Maqui Pucuna -Nanegal|
|March 31||Nanegal||Today we will head to Mindo Town. On our way, we will stop and go on a zip-line tour of Nanegalito's cloud forest canopy or a whitewater rafting activity. Once arrived in Mindo, we will settle and get to explore the espectacular hummingbirds diversity. We will enjoy the beautiful vegetation and go to a Cacao farm to discover and taste one of the best "if not the best" chocolate sources info the world.||Mindo Hotel|
|April 1||Nanegal – Papallacta||As we ascend into the mountains again, 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|
|April 2||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. Later, we'll ride a cable car up Pichincha Volcano or head over to Parque Itchimbia to see a final panoramic view of Quito, then have a final goodbye dinner before our international flight tonight.||Airplane|
|April 3||Quito - 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.
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.
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.
Hotel Sol de Quito
This hotel in Quito’s commercial and financial districts offers comfortable accommodations and modern amenities in a charming colonial style. The hotel is family owned and operated and boasts a large collection of historical artifacts that give it a unique character. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
Safety and Support
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
Thank you for giving my son a memorable lifetime experience. [There was] constant contact with the parents with updates and photos to ensure us about the students’ safety and that they were doing well. [The Program Leader] and the teachers were outstanding. Couldn’t have had anyone else better to do the job than they have done.
Parent of Benjamin, traveler on Costa Rica Service Adventure
Your Adventure Includes
Program Tuition Excludes: Travel insurance, baggage fees, passport/visa fees, laundry, souvenirs, and activities not listed on the itinerary.
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