From Colonial Quito to the Avenue of the Volcanoes, Ecuador offers students a view of the world from its core.  Students will explore the culture of Ecuador’s indigenous people, its range of scenic waterfalls, and the highest point on earth – when measured from sea level — Chimborazo!  The Ecuadorean adventure includes a thrilling train ride down the rocky slope of the Andes, snorkeling in the waters of Isla de la Plata, and hiking the coastal rain forest.  The student’s Central American experience is rounded out with a visit to ancient Incan ruins and contemporary culture.

 

DAY 1 

  • Depart from the USA.
  • Arrive in Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, and meet your tour guide

 

DAY 2 

  • Guided tour:
    • Itchimbia’s scenic views
    • Independence Square
    • Church of La Compañia
  • Lunch
  • Travel to the Mitad del Mundo, just north of Quito, to view the world from the equator
  • Dinner
  • Hotel check-in

 

DAY 3 

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Browse the local markets for local crafts and regional foods
  • Visit Mercado de los Ponchos, a famous market where indigenous Otavaleños sell woven textiles like blankets and tablecloths
  • Lunch
  • Visit the Laguna Cuicocha
  • Travel southwards along the “Avenue of the Volcanoes” to Cotopaxi
  • Dinner
  • Hotel check-in

 

DAY 4

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Experience Baños
  • Guided walking tour
    • City’s cathedral
    • Shops
    • Cafés
    • “Highway of Waterfalls”
  • Lunch
  • Travel to Riobamba, a town located near Ecuador’s highest mountain, Chimborazo
  • Dinner
  • Hotel check-in

 

DAY 5

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Board the Devil’s Nose scenic train ride
  • Drive to the city of Cuenca, stopping en route at the Incan ruins of Ingapirca
  • Lunch
  • Take an guided tour of Cuenca:
    • Old and New Cathedral
    • Flower Market
  • Participate in a salsa dance lesson (time permitting)
  • Dinner
  • Arrive hotel

DAY 6

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Visit Cajas National Park
  • Visit a cocoa plantation
  • Lunch
  • Travel to the center of Guayaquil on the shores of the Pacific Ocean (free time)
  • Dinner
  • Hotel check-in

DAY 7

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Travel home
  • OR continue …
  • Travel via the Ruta del Spondylus to Los Frailes Beach and Puerto Lopez
  • Free time
  • Dinner
  • Hotel check-in

DAY 8

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Boat ride to Machalilla National Park
  • Guided tour of Isla de la Plata
  • Lunch
  • Snorkel off Isla de la Plata
  • Free time
  • Dinner
  • Hotel check-in

DAY 9

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Take an expertly guided tour of Dos Mangas
  • Hike in the coastal rainforest
  • Lunch
  • See a handcraft-making workshop
  • Free time
  • Dinner
  • Arrive hotel

DAY 10

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Depart for the US