9-day Ecuador Highland Exploration

Culture & Service

Our Ecuador Culture & Service itinerary is the perfect balance of exploration, authentic cultural exchange and community service work.  It’s an amazing educational opportunity for students, teachers and families.

On this Ecuador tour,  you’ll start your adventure with a tour of historic Quito, a UNESCO heritage site, and visit Mitad del Mundo.  Spend two days in Mindo where you’ll visit Mitad del Mundo, go river tubing and learn how to make chocolate.  Next, travel to San Clemente where you’ll spend three days immersed in the daily life of your Ecuadorian host community.  Experience their sustainable life as you stay with a local family and participate in various community activities.  Say good-bye to your host families and travel to Otavalo to shop in South America’s largest handicraft market and take a boat ride on Lake Cuicocha.

Read the full Ecuador Highland Exploration itinerary.



The Highlights:

  • Your journey begins at 9,350 feet in Quito, the highest capitol city in the world.
  • Tour Quito’s historic downtown, a UNESCO heritage site, with guides performing theatrical history for you along the way.
  • Take the Teleferico, Quito’s gondola, up the Pichincha mountain.
  • Learn to salsa dance with evening salsa lessons.
  • Next, head south to Mindo on the western slopes of the Andes.  Visit “Mitad del Mundo” equator monument and an interactive museum enroute to Mindo.
  • In Mindo, visit a butterfly farm, take a chocolate-making tour, go river tubing and enjoy an orchid and hummingbird gallery.
  • Travel to San Clemente where you will spend three nights immersed in the daily life of your Ecuadorian host community.  Here, stay with a local family and experience daily life in the highlands.  You’ll also participate in cultural activities with local women, experience the noche cultural fiesta, hike along the medicinal plants trail and hike to Cubilche Lake.
  • Next, head north to Otavalo where you will walk to Peguche waterfall and make a visit to the recovery of ancestral medicine project.
  • In Otavalo, you’ll also have a chance to explore South America’s largest handicraft market and take a boat ride to Lake Cuicocha.

Trip Details

  • Where:
  • Trip Length:
    9 day / 8 night
  • Available Trip Dates:
    Year round
  • 2023 Program Fee:
  • Program Fee Includes:
    Bi-lingual local guides, private in-country transportation, accommodations (based on double/triple occupancy), meals, activities and entrance fees and tips.
  • Free Travel for Trip Leaders:
    Trip leader travels for free with 7 participants.