Are you ready for an adventure that will leave you breathless and in awe? Look no further than the hidden gem of South America – Ecuador! Nestled between the majestic Andes Mountains and the pristine Pacific coastline, Ecuador is a land of unparalleled beauty and diversity. Infuse has long-standing partnerships and connections through Ecuador that allow for enriching service-learning and student led expedition experiences. Students who join us have the opportunity to head off the beaten path to live with and work alongside rural Ecuadorian communities, making positive impacts through sustainability and infrastructure-related projects. Students can explore historical cities, tackle the depths of the Amazon Rainforest and connect with their inner naturalist on an adventure to the Galapagos Islands. Ecuador is filled with experiences unequalled anywhere else on the planet that you’ll be sure to remember fondly forever.
We custom design our journeys to meet your school’s requirements, so please contact us to discuss the type of experience you are looking for. As a general guide, here are some of the potential elements of your journey through Ecuador.
Ecuador At a Glance
Spanish, Quechua and many indigenous languages
How to say hello
Infuse has developed various long-term partnerships with communities and local organisations in Ecuador. Some of our service projects that you could support include:
Yunguilla: About an hour north of Quito, the community aims to live in harmony with the surrounding environment by focusing on sustainability and conservation. Immerse yourself in the community by helping with reforestation efforts, organic gardening, jam and cheese making, and community tourism.
Environmental Conservation: Help rangers and environmental groups with ongoing conservation efforts in nature reserves.
Community Development: Support a community-based eco-tourism association with the development of village infrastructure. Work alongside local tradesmen to improve community facilities and roads.
Village Life: Help your host family in their remote village with a number of everyday chores. This could include farming in the fields, gardening, taking care of the village animals, or gathering fresh foods.
Practise Spanish with locals, or pick up some words of the local indigenous dialects that are spoken throughout the country. Marvel at the sight of the breathtaking architecture of the historic centre of Quito and work with local communities on service projects. You may also like to incorporate some of the following experiences into your journey.
Quito: Step back in time as you explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Quito's Old Town. Wander through cobblestone streets, visit centuries-old cathedrals, and unravel the stories etched in colonial architecture. This living museum provides a backdrop for history lessons that come to life.
Historic Markets: Visit the vibrant markets of Otavalo or the historic market of Quito's Old Town. Engage with the warm and welcoming locals, whose traditions have been passed down through generations
Interpretive Amazon Forest walks: Head into the forest in search of local fauna and learn about medical and other uses of the plants and insects of the forest. The local guides bring a wealth of knowledge and it is simply amazing how many uses they have for almost every plant and animal in the forest.
Music and Dance: Feel the rhythm and embrace the beat of Ecuadorian music and dance. From the infectious sounds of Andean melodies to the lively steps of traditional dances, students can participate in workshops that bring Ecuador's vibrant artistic expressions to life.
Cooking Classes: Indulge your taste buds with Ecuador's diverse culinary scene. Engage in cooking classes to learn the art of preparing traditional dishes, savour the flavours of local markets, and understand the cultural significance of Ecuadorian cuisine.
Indigenous Immersion: Live with and work alongside local indigenous communities. Experience age-old rituals, traditional dances, and artisan crafts passed down through generations. Learn about how they live their daily lives and the challenges they face.
Adventure and Challenge
Adventure and challenge is inherent to every journey, however, if you are looking to physically challenge your students through a specific activity, you may opt to include:
Volcanoes: Conquer the towering peaks of Cotopaxi, one of the world's highest active volcanoes in the region. Climb to over 4000m, then mountain bike down the side of this iconic Ecuadorian landscape
White-water rafting: Adventure abounds in Banos, Ecuador’s playground. Embark on a white-knuckle journey down the roaring rivers that carve through the lush landscapes of Banos.
Kayaking: Kayak on the Anzu river, just outside of Tena. Challenge yourself and develop your teamwork as you navigate this slow-moving river
Mountain Biking: Embark on an exhilarating ride through Ecuador's cloud forests, where lush greenery and misty landscapes create the perfect setting for a unique biking adventure. This hands-on experience will teach students about biodiversity, ecosystems, and the importance of preserving natural habitats.
Andes Trekking: Challenge yourself to reach new heights amidst the breathtaking Andean scenery. Our professional guides will lead the group on a trekking expedition, providing not just an adrenaline rush but also lessons in teamwork, problem-solving, and resilience.
Aquatic Adventures: take a cruise around the world-famous Galapagos Islands or join a snorkelling tour to swim with sea lions and turtles. Whatever you choose, Ecuador is a water-lovers dream!
There are various accommodation options that we can offer in Ecuador; it depends on how “Infused” you would like your journey to be.
Guesthouses: A number of different guest houses from ancient buildings to quaint village inns.
Hotels: A variety of 3, 4 & 5 star hotels in larger cities and smaller towns
Homestays: Students can homestay with local families in the villages we stay in.
Amazon Jungle Lodge: The Amazon lodge accommodations are basic but very comfortable and their excellent staff makes sure we are well fed with amazing buffet meals.
Operations Director – Ecuador
A graduate of Brandeis University, Alex has worked leading service trips to Ecuador, Peru and Costa Rica since 2005. He has travelled extensively throughout South and Central America including time building houses with Habitat for Humanity in Costa Rica and studying the Landless Workers Movement in northeastern Brazil. Alex has an intimate knowledge of the The Galapagos Islands and has worked with local communities and the regional government in efforts to improve rural sanitation, build infrastructure for sustainable economic development and install electricity in rural communities.
From the colonial streets of Quito to the incredible biodiversity of the Galápagos Islands, this program is the perfect combination of Ecuadorian culture, tradition, and nature.
Day 1 - Welcome to Ecuador!
Arrive in Quito, meet your Infuse Travel Program Leaders, and take a private bus to the hotel for the evening. Join the group for an orientation discussion about the week ahead, expectations for your adventure, and an introduction to the local culture, before a well earned rest.
Days 2 to 4 - Service in Yunguilla
Depart from Quito and head to the Yunguilla community to experience a different part of Ecuador. About an hour north of Quito, the community aims to live in harmony with the surrounding environment by focusing on sustainability and conservation. Immerse yourself in the community by helping with reforestation efforts, organic gardening, jam and cheese making, and community tourism. Explore the cloud forest to experience the lush flora and fauna, and hopefully spot some unique bird species that can usually be found in the area.
Day 5 - Quito Exploration
Head back to Quito for a city tour, making a stop at the Middle of the World monument to commemorate your arrival at the Equator before heading to the famous Panecillo Hill with incredible views of the city. After a day of exploring Quito’s colonial streets and museums, head back to the hotel to discuss all that you have experienced and learnt so far and prepare for the next phase of your adventure: the Galápagos!
Day 6 - Quito to Galapagos Islands
Head to the airport for the 4 hour flight to the Galápagos! Upon arrival, head straight to Las Primicias tortoise refuge for a unique experience to see Giant Tortoises in their natural environment. After a delicious lunch at Las Primicias whilst observing the tortoises from afar as you eat, visit the Charles Darwin Research Center to learn all about the natural history and global importance of the Galapagos Islands.
Day 7 - Isabela Island and the Volcanic Highlands
An early morning ferry will bring you to Isabella island, the youngest and most active of the archipelago. The geographical diversity is just one of the many things that make the islands so special. The first night on Isabela will be spent at a glamping site in the highlands where you will experience the unique biodiversity of a pacific volcano.
Day 8 - Adventure Activities
Start the day with a thrilling bike ride down the volcanic slope to Puarto Villamil right to the door of the hotel for the next few nights. After a tasty lunch, head to the picturesque Concha Perla bay, for a kayaking tour around the rocky shore in search of treasured sightings of Galapagos penguins, sea lions, blue footed boobies and marine iguanas. In the evening, relax in the beautiful surroundings of the hotel and prepare for tomorrow's adventure.
Day 9 - Snorkelling and Coastal Adventures
This will be a full day boat adventure, exploring the island from the sea. Keep an eye out for tropical fish, sea turtles and black- tipped reef sharks! After snorkelling, relax on the white sand beaches of Isabela.
Day 10 - Tortoise breeding centre, surf lessons and transfer to Santa Cruz
Visit a tortoise breeding centre in the morning to see the tortoises preparing for release into the wild to replenish depleted populations. In the afternoon, learn to hang 10 on a gorgeous Galapagos beach. This is the perfect opportunity to get that unforgettable and compelling experience of riding a wave in the company of pelicans and sea lions that love to play in the waves! Later in the day, take a ferry to Santa Cruz island. On arrival in Santa Cruz, the group will get settled in and have a late afternoon stroll around Puerto Ayora town in search of the perfect sunset.
Day 11 - Las Grietas and Tortuga Bay
Today, visit a real gem of the islands, Las Grietas. Las Grietas are large geological formations immersed in pristine waters for perfect bathing and aquatic animal observation. After a typically scrumptious Galapaguenan lunch, the group will head out for an afternoon of relaxation and games on the white sands of Tortuga Bay. In the evening, enjoy a final walk around Puerto Ayora and a final dinner to celebrate all that your group has achieved during your time in Ecuador
Day 12 - Farewell Ecuador
After a final morning, say goodbye to the Galápagos islands and fly back to Quito. Squeeze in some last minute souvenir shopping and reminisce about all the incredible experiences you had on your adventure before heading to the airport, and boarding your plane back home.
Please chat to us if you have any special requests that you would like included in your journey.
There is nothing too big, small, or out-of-the-box that we can’t handle.
Please contact us to start designing your journey!
We would be delighted to partner with your school to support the global education of your students.