Ecuador & The Galapagos Islands.
Travel & Adventure Program
Come and have a life changing experience on one of our exclusive summer camps
Ecuador & Galapagos Islands Summer Programs:
Length: 21 days
Ages: 14- 18 years
Service Hours: 50-60 hours
Arrive: Quito, Ecuador UIO
Depart: Quito, Ecuador UIO
Fees: Contact us
What's included?: See here
Travel abroad with us as we work on important community service projects with a small Andean community, practice and improve our Spanish, explore Quito and the Otavalo Market, and hike to hidden waterfalls in the Amazon rainforest.
Our program wraps up with an unforgettable five days spent exploring, hiking, and snorkeling the unmatched beauty of the Galápagos Islands.
#1 Otavalo Market
Navigate through a seemingly endless maze of vibrant textiles, alpaca sweaters, and colorful handicrafts at South America’s largest outdoor market. Take in the vivid sights, smells, and sounds of Otavalo as travelers and locals alike move through this expansive, lively market.
#2 Galapagos Islands: Swim & Snorkle
See one of the most unique collection of islands and biodiversity in the world. The combination of three intersecting ocean currents and continued seismic activity has contributed to the development of unusual plant and animal life, many found nowhere else in the world.
#3 Exploring the Andes Mountains
The longest mountain range in the world, the Andes stretch along the west coast of South America from Panama to Cape Horn, some 4,500 miles – plenty of trail to make new friends!
#4 Colonial Quito
Quito, Ecuador’s capital, was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city. A mixture of church spires, tiled roofs, and skyscrapers against the backdrop of Volcán Pichincha, it is a spectacular blend of modern urban and indigenous cultures.
#5 Culture: The Cochas Community
Ecuador’s rich history, people, and diverse geography stretch from the Pacific coastlands, high upon the cool Andean mountainscape and down through the lushly vegetated ecosystems of the Amazon rainforest.
#6 Le Mitad del Mundo
Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to visit La Mitad del Mundo (the Middle of the World) and have their picture taken straddling the equator!
#7 Charles Darwin Research Station
The center of research and conservation efforts of scientists and volunteers includes the most well-known captive breeding program for giant tortoises. These fearless giants inspired Darwin and today thrive in one of the world’s most treasured wildlife destinations. They can even live to be over 100 years old!
Whitewater Raft: Napo River
Explore: Colonial Quito, La Mitad del Mundo, Otavalo Market, Darwin Research Station, Wall of Tears, Lake Cuicocha, Quichua Village, Galapagos Islands National Park, Mindo Cloud Forest
Snorkel: Isolate Las Tintoreras
Hike and Swim: Andes Mountains
View: Pichincha Volcano
While in Quito, we stay in a hotel. In Otavalo, we stay in tents, and in the Galapagos, we are in hotels. During our service portion in Las Cochas, we will be sleeping in tents. Showers are available in Quito and the Galapagos; however, we shower every three to four days to conserve resources and support sustainability. Bathrooms are a mix of flush toilets and latrines.
Arrival (Day 1):
Arrive in Quito. Transfer to accommodations and get settled.
La Mitad del Mundo (Days 2-3):
Tour colonial Quito. Visit the oldest building in South America and La Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World), located at 00°00’00” latitude. Enjoy a picnic lunch atop El Panecillo, a mountain with 360-degree views of Quito. Visit the Ecuadorian heritage museum. Head into the Pinchincha Mountains and grab a cable car to enjoy spectacular views of the city of Quito. Once at the top, in very clear days, you will be able to see most of the high snowcapped volcanoes such as Cayambe, Antisana, Cotopaxi, Ilinizas, and even Chimborazo and Altar. Explore the Mindo Cloud Forest that boasts greatest concentrations of bird species in the world with between 350-400 species as well as 40 species of butterfly and 170 species of orchids.
Otavalo Service Project (Days 4-14):
Depart Quito for the high-mountain community near Otavalo and embark on ten days of service and cultural immersion. In Cochas, we'll build a new milk storage and collection building, and help teach English to the local students. Live, work, and learn with the families and support their culture, animals, and crops.
Galapagos Islands (Days 15-19):
Visit the Otavalo market, Cuiocha Lake then return to Quito. The next morning take a group flight to Baltra Island. Visit the Charles Darwin Research Center, home to giant tortoises, marine iguanas, and blue-footed boobies. Ferry to the island of Isabela, home base for the next several days. Hike Volcán Chico, the world’s second-largest crater. Snorkel with sea lions in the Tintoreras Preserve. Celebrate on the final night with a banquet on the beach.
Return home (Days 20-21):
Fly back to Quito. The next morning board our morning flight back home and say our final goodbyes before heading home.