2025 Key School Ecuador Cultural Journey
March 26, 2025 -
April 5, 2025
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: $2,490
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.
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.
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!
Wander the amazing markets in Otavalo
Have the adventure of a lifetime with your friends
Work on a service project in a small, rural community
Spend the night in an inhabited volcanic crater
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. 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
|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 either see a presentation from local expert musicians or visit a local weaver's workshop. Then we will lunch enjoying a "Pachamanca" meal, a culinary technique that involves cooking ingredients with firewood and hot stones in a hole in the ground. 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
|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 be met by community members, 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.
|Today we'll continue work on our project, enjoy community activities and explore the surrounding area.
|Today, we will finish work on our community service project. This evening we will enjoy a fiesta de despedida with community members for a final thank you meal to celebrate our time shared in Nanegal together.
|Nanegal - Baños
|Today we head the National Park Cotopaxi. With good weather, we will be able to enjoy the view of the Cotopaxi Volcano. On the way to Baños we will visit the Quilotoa lake! We will have lunch on our way, arriving in the afternoon. After getting settled we're explore town and enjoy a delicious dinner.
|We will go to El Pailon del Diablo waterfall, we will take an interesting tour, we will enjoy a nice afternoon with some local activity in the nature and cultural environment.
|Baños – Papallacta
|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 travels thus far and reflect on all we've experienced.
|Termas de Papallacta
|Papallacta – Quito – USA
|After breakfast we'll enjoy a 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.
|Hotel San Francisco de Quito
|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.
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.
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.
Safety and Support
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
Lovett’s trip to Morocco was a once in a lifetime trip for a lot of our students. It was great to hear how the students raved about the trip to their parents upon return. Overall a wonderful trip that the students and staff loved!
Group Organizer on Morocco Service Adventure
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.