From the Pacific coast to the Amazon rainforest, passing through the Andes, discover a country that stretches from its fertile native lands to the tops of its towering volcanoes. Meet an authentic and welcoming people, along with your students, on an unforgettable trip to Ecuador. Whether you want to experience enriching exchanges or make exciting discoveries, we give you a meeting in the middle of the world, where the Earth rises towards the sun.
Flight to Quito. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your tour guide and will proceed to your Quito hotel.
Today, visit the city of Quito, its historic center and its 16th century colonial center, classified as a Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco, in addition to being considered the most important in Latin America. Then transfer to Mitad del Mundo, village and monument on the line of the earth’s equator. The monument is a few meters from the true latitude 0 ° 0 ‘0 “, then students can confirm that they have found themself in the” middle of the world “, between the northern and southern hemispheres. Have lunch in a typical restaurant and meet up at the ethno-scientific museum Museo de Sitio Intiñan, which combines physics, folklore and Ecuadorian culture, a visit rich in discoveries. Continue on to the cloud forest region of Mindo. Stop at a hummingbird observatory, with magnificent view on the forest, before going to Mindo to settle in your accommodation. Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Mindo region is a paradise for birds, butterflies, tropical trees, chocolate, coffee, waterfalls and outdoor sports. This morning, take a nature walk to a waterfall where you can swim in the heart of the forest. Then, take a birdwatching tour with a specialist guide, or take a bike ride for other discoveries, whichever you prefer. After a tilapia lunch, visit your choice of a chocolate factory or a butterfly farm. Like many of its neighboring countries, Ecuador grows cocoa, processes it and sells chocolate products. You will then have the chance to discover all the stages in its factories. If you prefer the butterfly farm, you will be able to observe more than 1000 different butterflies. Then, give yourself some free time to enjoy the quiet charm of the city. Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
After breakfast, depart by coach via the Pan-American Highway to the Andean region of Otavalo. It is appreciated, among other things, for its traditions, its native crafts, its volcanoes and its lakes. Along the way, make a stop to visit the museum and the ruins of the ceremonial center of the pre-Columbian culture of the Yumbos people: The Tulip site. Then, you will arrive in an indigenous community in the Cotacachi volcano area, where you will stay for two nights. Upon arrival, have lunch in the communal dining room, let community members welcome you and introduce you to the community organization. Settle in with your families designated thereafter and take a walking tour of the community, meeting its inhabitants, farmers and artisans. You will have the opportunity to help the families who welcome you with their agricultural or household chores. Prepare dinner with them and take advantage of the evening to discuss. Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Have breakfast with the families before you volunteer again to help them with their work. You may have to do reforestation work (endemic plants or shrubs), repaint the small school, plow old-fashioned fields, or do any other tasks the community will appreciate your help with. Take part in a communal lunch buffet featuring foods brought back by families, and taste “cuy”, a small guinea pig served in typical Ecuadorian cuisine. Then join the women of the community and participate in making local crafts, such as vegetable ivory necklaces, agave sandals, hammock weaving or leather bracelets. You could also choose to join another group in the community to make “pachamanca”, a typical traditional indigenous dish, or to make jam from local fruits. At the end of the afternoon, students will play soccer with the youth of the community. After a dinner with the family or at the communal hall, take part in a cultural evening with a narration of indigenous legends and a presentation of the musicians and dancers of the community, whom students can join. Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Enjoy a final breakfast with the families before departing by coach to the Otavalo Indigenous Handicraft Market, South America’s largest and most renowned. Browse the shelves and take the opportunity to buy some souvenirs. Continue on to the splendid Quilotoa crater lake, following the Alley of the Volcanoes towards the Cotopaxi volcano region. You can observe breathtaking scenery along the way. Stop for a typical lunch at Latacunga before heading to Quilotoa Village, located by the crater lake otherwise known as Laguna de Quilotoa. Take a hike around the crater or down to the lakeside and take wonderful photos of the beautiful scenery. Then, take a tour of the village and meet the native painters and sculptors who will show you the local art. In the evening, settle into a community hostel. Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Today, set off on the Volcanoes Route to Ecuador’s highest volcano, Chimborazo, which you will visit the next day. En route, visit the local indigenous market of Pujili to find some treasures. Continue to the small community of the Puruhaes where you will settle into a hostel run by the locals. After a typical lunch, do some agricultural work in the company of the local community. Take a stroll around the area to observe domestic llamas or wild vineyards. At dinner, offer to help prepare the dishes you will enjoy afterwards. Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Put on your hiking shoes and board your coach to travel to Chimborazo Volcano National Park. The Chimborazo, at an altitude of 6,263 meters, is an impressive volcano covered in snow at its summit. It can be considered the highest peak in the world if we consider the distance from its top to the center of the Earth. It is also the point on Earth that is closest to the sun over the course of a year. You will have a lunchbox to enjoy during your hike. Return to your hostel at the end of the day. Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
For this last day of your student trip in Ecuador, go to Alausi train station to take a short trip aboard the Little Andean Train, nicknamed “Devil’s Nose”, to the Sibambe terminal. You will travel through the Andes Cordillera aboard a work of engineering that winds its way through valleys and mountains. Enjoy the scenery! At destination, participate in a cultural presentation of the local Puruahe community before returning to Alausi. After lunch, take the road to Quito and treat yourself to a delicious, typical farewell dinner in a restaurant with panoramic views. Settle back into the historic center for the evening. Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Coach transfer to Quito airport for your return flight. Meals included: breakfast (to be confirmed according to your flight schedule).
- Round trip flight as well as airport transfers and taxes
- Coach transportation as indicated in your itinerary
- Local tour guide services
- Activities, visits and meals mentioned on your program
- Accommodation in hotels, inns or hacienda depending on the city
- 24/7 emergency phone service
What’s not included
- Meals that are not mentioned on your program
- Personal expenses
- Optional activities
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