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Teacher and Group Leader Tours

Trip Details

i

Trip Dates

Jun. 15th, 2019 to Aug. 25th, 2019
(12 days)

2

Included Meals

All Meals

6

Attractions

Group Tour / Culture / Local Food / Discover / High School / Outdoor Adventure / Rainforest /

Trip Pricing

Our Teacher/Group Leader Tour can be designed as a multi-disciplinary experience that incorporates experiential learning, site visits, lectures, and personal reflections, to enhance student development and global awareness. This is accomplished by engaging students in guided activities and discussions with experienced guides and interactions with locals. We welcome teachers and group leaders with expertise from many fields, and can help you craft an itinerary that caters to the interests of your group. We can design several types of trips, helping you to create a unique experience for every student.  

Highlights

We offer customized Teacher/Group Leader Tours. Our programs can be crafted by selecting a pre-designed itinerary or we will work closely with group leaders to design a tour that meets their academic and tour expectations. We have a great network of collaborators in Ecuador and our team is ready to plan and support every aspect of journey. As part of our study abroad and educational tours, these tours can be designed as a multi-disciplinary experience that incorporate experiential learning, lectures, and personal reflections, to enhance student development and global awareness.


Potential Program Themes:

►Learn about Quito, the first city in the world named "Cultural Patrimony of Mankind" by UNESCO

►Learn about the best preserved colonial center in the world

►Study in 1 of 17 mega-diverse countries in the world

►Learn about Ecuador's culture and its people

►Explore and learn about the rainforest

►Discover new flavors and local food

►Explore rich ecosystems and learn about protecting this treasure

►Learn about history, politics, and culture, geography, or relevant current issues

►Study Spanish and improve your language proficiency

Services

What services are included in fee for the tour?

♦ Private Guided Daily Tours with Expert Leader (English)

♦ Fully Furnished Apartment / Hotel Accommodations with Free Internet

♦ Meals as Indicated in the Itinerary (B,L,D)

♦ One transfer from and to airport in Quito

♦ Private Transportation

♦ Entrance Fee for Local Attractions Included in Itinerary

♦ Pre-departure information and Staff Assistance

♦ Bottled Water for Full Trip

♦ Farewell Reception


What services are NOT included in the tour fee?

ø International Airfare

ø Additional Transportation Services not Included in Itinerary

ø Souvenirs and Miscellaneous

ø Tipping and Gratuities

ø Additional Beverages and Alcoholic Drinks

ø Travel and Medical Emergency Insurance

Cost

We are happy to help you design an itinerary for your group that incorporates activities that best fit your needs and expectations. When designing a tour, you can choose a tour based on the location, a particular subject, a historical theme, or group interest (i.e., history, globalization, culture and society, education, development). To give you an idea of a sample itinerary, we have included details for our classic 9 Days / 8 Nights itinerary.


Cost Details for Participants


ESTIMATED BUDGET

Participants

Tour Fee

$2,000

Roundtrip Airfare

(Calculated from

ATLANTA or MIAMI)


$700

Extra Spending Cash

$150

Medical and Travel Insurance

  $50

TOTAL COST

$ 2,900














*Accommodations:

a) Each double room has a private bathroom. Two people max. per bathroom.

b) Double rooms are perfect if you are traveling with a friend 

c) Past participants report spending between $100 - 150 (i.e., souvenirs, additional food and beverages, tips, miscellaneous).


What are additional costs to consider?

Roundtrip Airfare: $700 (Calculated from Miami/Atlanta to Quito)

Extra Cash: $100 - 150 (i.e., souvenirs, additional food and beverages, tips, miscellaneous)

Medical and Travel Insurance: $45-75


When can students pay for the tour?

The payment schedule below allows participants to pay in several installments. Each tour runs with a minimum of 8 participants. Installments will be recalculated for participants that book the tour past the first payment due date. You may also pay the full amount at once. Students sign up for the tour by submitting the $400 (applied towards the final payment) with the program application to you. (If the participant is not accepted to the program, the deposit will be returned to the participant).  You can recruit participants at any time, as long as all deposits and payments are received prior the last payment.


Installment

Amount

Installment Dates

Payments

(December Program)

Payments

(June Program)

Payments

(August Program)


$400

(due w/ application)



October  1



March 1



May 1


$800


November 1


April 1


June 1


$800


December 1


May 1


July 1


TOTAL PAYMENT


$ 2,000


$ 2,000


$ 2,000










                                                                                                                                    

Sample Payment Schedule


Cost Details for Group Leaders

As a group leader, you play a key role recruiting students and later on providing support during the tour. For this service, as a group leader, you  can receive incredible benefits such as: discounts, a free trip, airfare, or additional benefits such as bringing a guest / co-chaperone at a discounted cost. This is our THANK YOU for promoting global education and helping to recruit students. Please contact us directly to discuss details and benefits.


FAQ

  • Q.What is a Teacher/Group Leader Tour?

    -

    Our Teacher/Group Leader Tour can be designed as a multi-disciplinary experience that incorporates experiential learning, site visits, lectures, and personal reflections, to enhance student development and global awareness. This is accomplished by engaging students in guided activities and discussions with experienced guides and interactions with locals. We welcome teachers and group leaders with expertise from many fields, and can help you craft an itinerary that caters to the interests of your group. We can design several types of trips, helping you to create a unique experience for every student.   

  • Q.Who can take part in this tour? Group Size?

    -

    Our Teacher/Group Leader Tour is an ideal avenue to engage students, teachers, group leaders, communities,  and organizations in meaningful cultural exchange activities. As a teacher or group leader you can select to travel with a pre-designed itinerary crafted by our team, you can work with us to create a unique tour fulfilling your group needs and expectations, or you can share with us your itinerary and let us work the logistics of the program.

    We are ready to support you and design an itinerary that fits your group needs. If you have an idea for a tour, please contact us to brainstorm and recruit some students. We welcome participants from all over the U.S. and also international students. Each group will travel with a group leader/s and will work with our staff to supervise and enjoy one of our adventures.


  • Q.Where is the tour taking place?

    -

    On the imaginary line that divides the globe into North and South, Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America and is nested in the Andes mountains over 9,000 feet above sea level. Ecuador is one of only 17 countries on earth considered mega-diverse. Ecuador is “home to about 3,300 species of orchids, more than 1,500 species of birds, 350 species of reptiles, 450 species of amphibians, and more than 20,000 vascular plants” This diversity is also reflected on its people, with an ethnically mixed population representing Spanish and indigenous roots. 

    Quito, our host city, is the capital of Ecuador and the first city in the world named by UNESCO a “world heritage” city in 1978. Other distinctions include the honor of being named "cultural capital" of Latin America, and being described as “the most beautiful big city in South America.” With a population of 2.4 million, Quito offers one of the best preserved colonial centers in the world, combining a rich history with a contemporary metropolitan image. Quito was founded in 1534 and today, it offers and ideal place to offer educational tours  with a rich cultural history, several natural attractions, over 50 institutions of higher education, dozens of museums, theater, concerts, organizations, great food, good transportation, state-of-the-art shopping centers, numerous parks, and a selection of food to please every visitor.

    Few cities can offer what Quito offers to participants, and with a weather year-round described as the best weather on the planet, Quito is a destination that National Geographic has named as one of the top 10 places to visit in the world.


  • Q.What themes can be explored while in Ecuador?

    -

    Our  educational tours can be designed as a multi-disciplinary experience that incorporate experiential learning, site visits, lectures, and personal reflections, to enhance student development and global awareness. Our tours are designed for group leaders seeking to engage participants on hands-on educational experiences in the field with an academic focus. We will be happy to help you identify your travel objectives and determine which tour and activities best fit your needs. We make a continuous effort to make sure you learn about Ecuador and focus on your academic goals.


    Potential Program Themes:

    - Learn about Quito, the first city in the world named "Cultural Patrimony of Mankind" by UNESCO

    Learn about the best preserved colonial center in the world 

    - Learn about cultural geography and local ethnic groups\

    Explore local architecture and design

    - Study Spanish and improve your language proficiency

    - Learn about diversity in 1 of only 17 mega-diverse countries in the world

    Learn about Ecuador's culture and its people

    - Explore and learn about the rainforest and bio-diversity

    - Discover new flavors and local food

    - Explore rich ecosystems and learn about protecting this treasure

    - Learn about history, politics, and culture, geography, or relevant current issues

    - Observe and learn about local healthcare practices and the local health system

    - Design a photography course

    - Learn about gender and social justice

    - Learn about Latin American politics

    - Learn about Ecuador educational policies


  • Q.What kind of activities can be organized for the tour?

    -

    When designing a program, you can do so based on the location, a particular subject, an academic theme, or design an itinerary based on a course you already teach (i.e., history, geography, globalization, international relations, culture and society, education, development). Depending on the theme of the program, our staff will work with you to craft educational, recreational, or cultural site visits, incorporating lectures and/or exploration. Below, we have highlighted for you some potential destinations and/or activities:


    ●NATURE:

    Volcano Observation; Hot Springs; Hiking the Andes, Waterfalls, Quito Zoo, Hiking in the Jungle.                                                       

    ●GOVERNMENT:

    Visit Government Institutions, Learn About Current Policies


    LOCAL COMMUNITY:

    Culinary Tour; Hear from Local Speakers; Visit local NGOs; Visit Local Universities, Explore the Local Fruit Market ; Meet Local People; Tour Local Business                 


    ART & CULTURE:

    Visit Colonial Cathedrals; Museums; Study Colonial Art; Music, Handcraft Market.          


    ●TRAVEL and TOURISM

    Visit local sites; learn about community tourism, learn about conservation and preservation



  • Q.What can we expect from the tour and activities?

    -

    The tour will be designed to truly introduce you to life in Ecuador. The tour has many aspects that are educational, recreational, cultural, and also offer activities to simply relax and have fun. Our guides and tour leaders have a broad understanding of local politics, religion, history, globalization, economics, biology, and many other fun subjects. We make a continuous effort to make sure you learn about Ecuador and also have a great adventure enjoying this country's natural beauty!

  • Q.Who can take part in this tour?

    -

    Who can be a group leader?

    Group Leaders are high school teachers, college professors, staff from zoos, high school coaches, Boy and Girl Scout Troop Leaders, and any other person with an organization who would like to travel with a group of participants.  As a group leader, you promote the trip and select trip dates. Group leaders are rewarded with discount travel, free trips, or cash incentives for their commitment to global education and recruiting efforts.

    We take care of all details and logistics (airport transfers, transportation, housing, meals, tours, and site visits) to make sure you focus on your academic goals. To support you, we provide experienced staff members who will assist you with every step of the planning process.



  • Q.How do I sign up as a group leader?

    -

    Each group leader must complete the group Leader application. Please contact us directly at info@myecuadortrip.com 

    We will arrange a time to speak with you to discuss your proposal, brainstorm potential study abroad ideas, set potential dates, and offer you an overview of our services. A member of our team with experience developing educational tours will help you during every step providing recruiting advice, explaining all trip logistics, and answering all your questions.


    1. Decide a theme for your tour

    2. Think about how and when you would like to offer the tour

    3. Talk to your school or organization supervisors

    4. Contact My Ecuador Trip info@myecuadortrip.com

    5. Each group leader must complete the group Leader application.



  • Q.What are the responsibilities of group leaders?

    -

    Group leaders play an important role promoting, recruiting, and communicating with participants and in specific cases their guardians. In Ecuador, you will take the role of a chaperone and will help to maintain order. You will need to make sure participants are on time, follow trip rules and are not engaged in unsafe activities. Our staff will facilitate this process, but you play a critical role because of your connection to the students. Participants that cannot follow the rules or that pose a threat to the safety of the group will be sent home at their expense

  • Q.What is my commitment as a group leader?

    -

    You commitment after completing a Group Leader application form is to recruit participants and serve as the main point of contact to participants. Once you have secured 8 participants you will collect the $400 initial deposit (Check: Made to My Ecuador Trip) to reserve a spot for each student. You are not committed to doing the trip until you send this initial deposit.

  • Q.What type of support do you offer to tour leaders and participants?

    -

    One of the biggest advantages of partnering with My Ecuador Trip is that we take away all the stress related to planning a an educational tour by taking care of the logistic on the host country. Once on-site, each group leader will closely collaborate with our Resident Director. Our Resident Directors are part of our team, they are locals, and have extensive experience with our host city and country.  Our Resident Directors coordinate facilities, academic visits, they can help facilitate program orientation, daily excursions, group meals, cultural activities, and much more. In essence, our resident directors will assist students and faculty with all aspects of their experience abroad.

     

    - Pre-Departure Orientation Information

    - On-Site orientation and City Tour

    - Airport Transfers in Quito

    - Book Accommodations

    - Guided Tours with Program Leader

    - Support from Local Resident Director

    - Entrance Fee for Local Tourist Attractions

    - Group Meals (Delicious Ecuadorian Food)

    - Reserve Classroom Space

    - Free Wireless Internet

    - 24/7 Local Support for Faculty and Students

    - Cultural Experiences

    - Academic Visits (Visits to local business, companies, historical sites, organizations)

    - Arrange guest lecturers

    - Student and Faculty Program Evaluation 

     

  • Q.What are the tour dates?

    -

    As a group leader you will select the program dates with help from My Ecuador Trip. You can organize a program anytime during the year. Please contact us to discuss the best available times. After this initial meeting, we will closely collaborate to understand and meet the policies and guidelines of your organization and design a successful program. Once we have agreed upon the program content (itinerary and focus), dates and trip cost, we can assist you with materials to recruit and reach students at your institution.

    The best times to design a short-term study abroad program include:

    Winter Break Term (January-Term)

    May Term (Late April-May)

    Spring Break

    Summer Term (June, July, August)


  • Q.What is the typical timeline to create a study tour?

    -

    While this can vary from institution to institution, from past experience, it can take anywhere from 8 months to 1 year prior the established departure date. This is where you as a group leader will play a key role collaborating and communicating with us. We encourage group leaders to be proactive, to connect with key people in your organization, and to understand that we are here to support you during this process. Below, we have included a typical timeline for customized and faculty-led programs.


    BEFORE PROGRAM

    ●Between 15-18 Months Prior Program Departure:

    - Talk to your organization and supervisors

    - Decide if you would like to incorporate an academic focus

    - Contact My Ecuador Trip to craft a program proposal and budget based on your academic goals


    ●Between 12-15 Months Prior Program Departure:

    - Develop course and syllabus

    - My Ecuador Trip determines a program fee

    - Minimum number of students determined (based on program / minimum 8 students)

    - Student applications deadline are set

    - Group Leader Agreement is signed with My Ecuador Trip



    ●Between 5-12 Months Prior Program Departure:

    - Discuss and Develop marketing materials

    - Work on recruiting strategies: Connect with students through classroom announcements, study abroad fairs, presentations, flyers, list-serves.

    - Students apply to the program


    ●Between 2-4 Months Prior Program Departure:

    - Program enrollment is monitored to assure student enrollment goals are met. If enrollment is met, My Ecuador    

     Trip will confirm logistics including housing and transportation.

    - Site visits, itinerary, and other logistics are finalized

    - Students and group leader arrange airfare. My Ecuador Trip will provide guidelines for arrival and departure


  • Q.What do I pay as a group leader?

    -

    As a group leader, you play a key role recruiting students and later on serving as a group leader during the tour. For this service, as a group leaders, you  can receive major discounts, a free trip, or additional benefits such as bringing a guest / co-chaperone at a discounted cost. This is our THANK YOU for promoting global education and helping to recruit student. Please contact us directly for septic details and rates.

  • Q.As a group leader, can I bring a co-chaperone/guest?

    -

    We offer great incentives to recruit students. One of them is that you might bring one "guest" for a discounted tour fee or free* This guest does not count towards the minimum of 5 recruited students needed for each trip. You must contact us to check for space availability and to obtain permission to bring a guest. Your guest must not be below the age group of participants. Guests are not required to be teachers or professors. If you decide to partner with a colleague to recruit students, please let us know in advance.

    *Details about payment and discounts will be discussed with each group leader

  • Q.Can I partner with a colleague from another school or organization to recruit students?

    -

    We encourage that you partner with a colleague at your school, organization, or in the community to recruit students. Both of you can work together, and enjoy the benefits of serving as a group leader.

  • Q.How and When should I book my airfare?

    -

    Airfare is not included on the price of this tour. Because our participants come from many different places, you will book your ticket on your own from the location is most convenient to you! Most participants will flight directly to Quito from MIAMI after their first connection (Quito is only a 3.5 hour flight from Miami). Participants will receive detailed flight information and arrival/departure time for guidance when booking this ticket. All participants must arrive and depart at indicated times.

  • Q.What can we expect from our accommodations?

    -

    My Ecuador Trip provides each group with two options for accomodations. One option offers access to a property reserved exclusively for program participants. The property can welcome small groups (10 -12 participants) plus faculty-leader. This is our standard accommodations. The property consists of  modern apartments (guest houses) that have been carefully decorated and offer fully furnished amenities such as a living room, dining room, and kitchen, to help you relax and enjoy your visit. We believe it is essential to provide not only comfort and safety, but also a special insight to the local culture. We offer intimate properties for our participants to truly make this visit a unique experience for each visitor. Each property has a staff from My Ecuador Trip ready to assist all visitors. Double-room accommodations are standard for student participants. Single room accommodations can be provided for faculty members or for special requests.

    We also provide hotel accommodations for larger groups. This accomodations can range between 3-5 stars depending on group requests and budget allocated. we have worked with a number of properties in the past and look forward to select a property that will suit your travel needs.



  • Q.How about our transportation?

    -

    Safety and reliability are our priority when traveling across Ecuador. Each trip enjoys a professional driver and a vehicle (e.g., van or small motor coach) that will only serve the group for the duration of their stay. This vehicle stays with us at all times, which provides maximum flexibility in our schedule, and allows us to make changes and adapt to local conditions if necessary. This is the kind of support and service we are committed to. In some occasions, the tour incorporates the use of public transportation or other methods of transportation. In this case, participants will receive this information during orientation and it will be described in the itinerary.

  • Q.How about our meals?

    -

    Coming to Ecuador is the perfect opportunity to experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available in this country. All meals included are clearly labeled in the trip description. With our expertise, we have selected a number of places that will offer you an authentic food experience, sampling local flavors, enjoying places where you will come face to face with locals, sharing traditions, and above all, eating like a local. To build rapport amongst participants, groups eat together.

  • Q.What is the degree of difficulty for the activities organized?

    -

    Excursions and Tours. Our tours involve moderate hikes in the city, rainforests, plains, and national parks. Our tour involves getting out of vehicles, walking on uneven terrain, and in some cases hiking in places with high elevation and some humidity. Our tours are suited for anyone who can walk up to 2-5 km (1.5 - 3 miles) per day. Some days there will be no walking and other days walking time may exceed 1-2 hours (broken up into shorter blocks). In the past, we have welcomed participants with different medical conditions. Please send us an email if you would like to find out more information about the level of activity and accommodation for each tour.


  • Q.Do you need medical / travel insurance to participate in this tour?

    -

    All participants must secure medical travel insurance coverage PRIOR the trip. This insurance should cover you for the entire duration of the trip. While many participants may already be covered by a medical insurance policy, your policy for this tour must include travel, medical, emergency repatriation, overseas coverage, and travel/trip cancellation (For additional details and a description of risks, please refer to our liability contract).

    All participants must present proof of insurance in writing to My Ecuador Trip prior departure (i.e., copy of online receipt/policy with your name). My Ecuador Trip does not endorse the following travel insurance providers but includes their contact information for your reference

    iNext card:  http://www.inext.com/plans/supplemental/basic.aspx

    CMI Insurance Worldwide: https://www.cmi-insurance.com/default.aspx

    STA Travel Insurance: http://www.statravel.com/international-travel-insurance.htm

    Insurance Purchased Through Orbitz when you book your ticket

  • Q.Health Considerations

    -

    Health Considerations

    Each participant should consult a doctor for up-to-date medical travel information before departure. We highly recommend that you carry with you all personal medications needed (e.g., headache tablets, antibiotics, etc). When booking this tour, please carefully read about the physical demands of the itinerary. Please note that Quito is a city in the Andes mountains with high altitude (medically defined as anything over 8,000 feet). We have not have any issues in the past, but because everyone reacts to altitude differently, and only you know your health and fitness level, please consult with your physician prior the trip.

    Do you need vaccinations prior traveling to Ecuador?

    All our programs take place in locations where no vaccinations are needed. These areas have no risk of malaria or yellow fever.

  • Q.Do you need a visa to visit Ecuador?

    -

    At the present time, U.S. citizens do not need a visa to travel to Ecuador for a period shorter than 90 days. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must check with your own government agency and/or the consulates of all countries visited for entry and visa requirements for your nationality.

     

  • Q.Should you bring cash to Ecuador?

    -

    Yes. Each trip details an estimated amount of cash participants will need to bring to cover additional expenses (i.e., souvenirs, alcoholic drinks, tips, miscellaneous). However, because every participant is different spending money requirements will vary. Please consider your own spending habits. In addition, it is always a good idea to have extra cash/emergency fund in case you find the souvenir of your dreams or need to make an unexpected purchase.

    Ecuador’s official currency since 2001 is the U.S. dollar. If you bring cash, please bring smaller bills (locals do not accept $50 or $100 dollar bills). We highly discourage bringing traveler checks.

    Credit Cards: ATMs are available. However, you need to check with your bank before leaving to ensure that your card works internationally. Also, we recommend that withdrawing cash from an ATM will be for emergency purposes only, considering that our itinerary might take us to places where ATMs are not available.

  • Q.What should I pack?

    -

    Every participant will receive detailed packing information prior departure. We will be happy to answer any additional question.

  • Q.What is your cancellation policy?

    -

    Participant Cancellation:

    Cancellation Policy: Refunds will be given for cancellations received in writing 60 days before the trip date less a $300 processing fee. If you decide to cancel your participation in the tour 60 to 30 days before for any reason, we will refund 50% of your total payments (not including $300 processing fee). Cancellations under 30 days before the trip dates will not be entitled to any refunds. No partial refunds are given for unused meals, hotel rooms, airport transfers, or other program activities, for any reason whatsoever. All requests for cancellation and refunds must be in writing to myecuadortrip2010@gmail.com.

    Only cancellations under 30 days are eligible for credit for a future tour (travel or study tour) minus the $300 application fee and any other expenses inquired by My Ecuador Trip. If credit is used, this tour must be booked within one year after the original tour date. No refunds will be given if the tour is not booked within that time frame. My Ecuador Trip will have no further liability with the participant.

    Tour Cancellation:

    The tour may be cancelled or postponed due to unforeseen circumstances by My Ecuador Trip. In this case My Ecuador Trip will refund all tour fees and has no further liability to the participant. My Ecuador Trip will not be responsible for additional costs, charges, or expenses, including cancellation/change charges assessed by airlines, travel insurance, and/or travel agencies. Please note that under no circumstances My Ecuador Trip is responsible for any flight cancellation or flight change charges incurred. My Ecuador Trip is not responsible for weather or travel-related problems and will not reimburse registration fees for these issues. We would like to mention that we have never cancelled a trip.

    Travel Warning Cancellation

    In case of an act of war, terrorism, or the threat of an act of terrorism. Participants will receive a full refund (less the $300 processing fee that will be applied for a future trip) should all of the following conditions be met: (a) a terrorist act, or threats of terrorist acts occur(s), which is directed against U.S. interests on U.S. soil or in U.S. airspace or directed against U.S. interests in any other country or in international airspace; and (b) as a result of these events, a formal Travel Warning is issued by the U.S. Department of State, stating that Americans should not travel to Ecuador ad any other country or countries that are included in the participant’s tour itinerary; and (c) the formal Travel Warning by the U.S. Department of State is issued within 30 days of the participant’s departure.


  • Q. Study Tour Itinerary Disclaimer

    -

    Each participant will receive a detailed itinerary closer to the trip's dates. Each participant will also receive a detailed list of how to prepare, packing, and other pertaining information. While it is our intention to adhere to itinerary described for each tour, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into each itinerary and My Ecuador Trip deserves the right to make alterations when necessary and at the discretion of My Ecuador Trip staff. Travel can be unpredictable, and the itinerary is a general guide to the tour and region.  In addition any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered and travel times will be changed according to local circumstances.

Itinerary

  • Q.Day 1: Arrive to Quito (S)

    -

    Arrive to Quito - Welcome to Ecuador

    Planned Arrival Time: Evening. Welcome to Quito. Your exciting adventure in Ecuador begins with a fantastically orchestrated itinerary. Quito is home to beautiful colonial cathedrals, elegant old mansions, captivating museums, and probably the best weather on the entire planet (average temperature 65 -70 degrees year-round). Quito is located in the beautiful Andes Mountains and is recognized for having the best-preserved colonial center in the world. Private transportation and a staff member will welcome you at the local airport and bring you to your accommodations. Rest, relax, and prepare for a great journey. Group welcome meeting and orientation the following morning.

  • Q.Day 2: Middle of the World and Pululahua Crater (B/D)

    -

    Program Orientation

    Welcome to Ecuador! We are excited to have you here! This morning you will meet other participants and our staff. The program orientation will provide an overview of our host city, highlight logistic information, describe day-to-day plans, and answer any questions you may have. A great breakfast of fresh and delicious Ecuadorian food will be served to start your journey.

    Pululahua Crater

    We will begin our journey heading to the northeast. We will take advantage of the morning sun and visit Pululahua crater.  The Pululahua (dormant volcano) has a 3 km-wide crater and last erupted approximately 2,400 years ago. This is a breathtaking place where colorful plants, mountains, and farms come together to create a truly magic setting.

    Middle of the World

    Visiting the "Mitad del Mundo" (Middle of the Wordl) is one of the most iconic tours you can take part in Ecuador. Only 35 minutes from Quito, you will come across the Equatorial line, latitude 0º, a place where scientific expeditions led by Charles Marie de la Condamine established the exact point for the middle of the world and confirmed predictions regarding the earth’s measurement and shape.  This location is where Ecuador derives its name from. In the middle of the world, you can place one foot on each hemisphere.  Here you will find “Ciudad Mitad del Mundo,” a replica of a colonial town. This city offers tourists a wide range of attractions such as the ethnographic museum, an art gallery, handicraft stores, and the impressive Middle of the World monument. Our visit includes a trip to the local museum where you will test your scientific knowledge of gravity and natural forces.

  • Q.Day 3: Colonial Center (B/D)

    -

    Colonial Center

    Quito was declared by the United Nations as a Cultural Patrimony of Mankind. This city offers visitors all they can imagine in an incomparable valley setting surrounded by the Andes! You will certainly enjoy exploring the vibrant heritage of this city. Many consider Quito to have the best-preserved colonial center in the world, which is depicted by striking colonial architecture, narrow cobblestone streets, government buildings, monuments, and an impressive history. Some highlights include a visit to La Basilica, the Presidential Palace, the church of  "La Compania" all historic landmarks that make Quito today one of the most beautiful cities in Latin America.

  • Q.Day 4: Mindo Cloud Forest (B/D)

    -

    Mindo Cloud Forest

    Mindo cloud forest is one of the greatest ecosystems in Ecuador. Mindo is located only 2 hours from Quito, and known worldwide for its incredible biodiversity. You will come across low subtropical forest, cloud mountain forest, and the high paramo.

    Mindo is home to almost 50,000 acres of Ecuadorian cloud forest, a world-class bird watcher’s paradise with over 400 species recorded including the toucan-barbet and the golden-headed quetzal. In addition, Mindo is the ideal place for activities such as hiking, canopying, waterfall exploration, and bathing in pristine rivers. In your visit, we guarantee you will come face-to-face with beautiful hummingbirds! In addition, Ecuador is home to the greatest number of orchids in the world (more than 3,700 species). Mindo is your destination to enjoy their beautiful and elegant shape.

    Overnight in Mindo

  • Q.Day 5: Mindo Cloud Forest (B/D)

    -

    Mindo Cloud Forest

    Mindo cloud forest is one of the greatest ecosystems in Ecuador. Mindo is located only 2 hours from Quito, and known worldwide for its incredible biodiversity. You will come across low subtropical forest, cloud mountain forest, and the high paramo.

    Mindo is home to almost 50,000 acres of Ecuadorian cloud forest, a world-class bird watcher’s paradise with over 400 species recorded including the toucan-barbet and the golden-headed quetzal. In addition, Mindo is the ideal place for activities such as hiking, canopying, waterfall exploration, and bathing in pristine rivers. In your visit, we guarantee you will come face-to-face with beautiful hummingbirds! In addition, Ecuador is home to the greatest number of orchids in the world (more than 3,700 species). Mindo is your destination to enjoy their beautiful and elegant shape.


  • Q.Day 6: Cotopaxi Volcano (B/D)

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    Cotopaxi Volcano

    Traveling along the Occidental highway, you can appreciate several elevations and major geographic reference points. The Cotopaxi National Park tour is an exciting day with spectacular views of what German scientist Alexander von Humboldt called the “Avenue of the Volcanoes” in 1802. The Cotopaxi Volcano (the highest active volcano in the world), at 17,000 feet above sea level sits majestically above the horizon providing the city of Latacunga with a unique character. Surrounding Cotopaxi Volcano is the Cotopaxi National Park, a nature sanctuary of 36,000 hectares (nearly 90,000 acres). There, you can enjoy the variety of plants and animals protected in this reserve. Among the fauna endemic of this park, you might find red brocket deer, an Andean fox named Colpeo, pumas, white-tailed deer, llamas, and some species currently under threat of extinction such as the Andean speckled bear, and with some luck, the Andean condor. This journey finishes at the beautiful lagoon at the base of Cotopaxi.

  • Q.Day 7: Papallacta Hot Springs / Quito at Night (B/D)

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    Papallacta Hot Springs

    Papallacta is a small mountain village famous for its natural thermal baths and hot springs with water temperature fluctuating between 36 and 42 degrees Celsius (96 – 107 degrees Fahrenheit).  This village is located just 67 kilometers (40 miles) east of Quito. On your way there, you can enjoy an Andean landscape with remarkable volcanic rock formations. This is one of the few places in Ecuador where, from time to time, one will find snow. To reach Papallacta, you actually take the path that was taken by the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Orellana in 1542. He used this route to cross the Andes Mountains to later discover the Amazon River. The natural hot springs  provide a relaxing and spiritual setting, where sun, clouds, and nature make this site truly feel like heaven on earth. It is believed that these thermal waters have many healing powers and offer a complete restorative experience.

    Quito at Night: La Ronda

    Many visitors that have the opportunity to spend time in Quito find that this is a city with a vibrant character when the sun goes to bed. To enjoy a taste of Quito's nightlife, its food and music, what better place to visit than La Ronda, a beautiful cobblestone street in the Historic Center of the city? La Ronda is said to be one of the oldest streets in Quito and has been beautifully restored accommodating  several restaurants and venues for entertainment that capture the essence of local traditions and flavor. Here, on any given night, you will finds locals and visitors walking in a delightful “Noche Quitena” (A night encompassing the flavor of Quito), enjoying music, food, dancing, and an atmosphere that brings visitors to a not quite forgotten era of this colonial city. On this particular occasion, we will make our way to Colonial Quito, where colorful lights adorn buildings, cathedrals, and plazas.  To start the evening we head to La Ronda, a beautiful street in the Historic Center of the city. It is said to be one of the oldest streets in Quito (if not the first) and has been nicely restored with welcoming restaurants and venues for entertainment that captures the essence of local traditions and flavor.

    Folkloric Ballet

    The highlight of our night is the opportunity to attend a folkloric Ballet. During this 2-hour show, you can sit, relax, and open your eyes to vivid costumes and carefully choreographed dances that showcase the cultural character of Ecuador. During this performance, you will learn about Ecuador’s fascinating celebrations, witness several traditional dances, and will be captivated by colorful traditional clothing – colorful hats, ponchos, and skirts – representative of the different regions across the country. Make sure you bring your camera to capture this moment you won’t want to forget.

  • Q.Day 8: Andes Sky Lift and Local Museums (B/D)

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    Andes Sky Lift

    Quito is the highest capital city in the world at an elevation of 9,350 feet (2,800 meters above sea level). While in Quito, it is fitting that you reach for the sky and visit Quito's famous Sky Lift. You start this adventure at 9,350 ft at the city level and arrive at the top of the ride located on the hills of the active Pichincha volcano at 15,000 ft. From the top, you will have a spectacular view of Quito and incomparable Andean landscapes that provides a one-of-a-kind setting for photography aficionados. Be ready to walk among clouds and feel on the top of the world.

    El Panecillo

    A visit to El Panecillo or 'the Little Bread Loaf,' brings you face to face with a major iconic landmark of Quito. From this site, you will not only find marvelous panoramic views of the entire city and surrounding volcanoes, but also learn about the importance of faith and religion in this country. On the top of “El Panecillo” visitors will find a 45 meter aluminum statue that was inspired by the famous Virgin of Quito (Quito's Madonna),also known as "the dancer," sculpted by Bernardo de Legarda in 1731.

    Chapel of Mankind - Guayasamin

    A visit to the Chapel of Mankind is a must when you travel to Quito. Famous artist Oswaldo Guayasamin (1919 -1999) dedicated his life to painting, sculpting, and collecting art. The museum displays his private collection of more than 7,000 artifacts including 4,500 pre-Colombian ceramic, bone and metal pieces found throug hout Ecuador. His work on human and social inequalities achieved international recognition and you will have the opportunity to come face-to-face with one of the most prolific artists on the continent.

  • Q.Day 9: Artisanal Handcraft Market and Departure (B/D)

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    Artisanal Handcraft Market

    If you like shopping, obtaining great souvenirs in Ecuador is not a problem. In Quito’s Artisanal Handcraft Market, you will find half of a city block filled with crafts stalls.  As you walk into this market, you will find hundred of vendors offering a huge array of crafts, most of which are traditional Ecuadorian handicrafts. A visit to this place could make you the proud owner of alpaca wool, scarves, jewelry, a llama rug, or a number of other souvenirs. This is the kind of place where you can get willingly lost, but will certainly find the perfect souvenir!

    Departure

    Evening Airport Transfer: When booking the tour, participants will be advised to book their airfare for their return on this evening. (specific time details will be provided). The new Mariscal Sucre International Airport of Quito is located approximately 23km (direct distance) to the east of Quito. The new airport opened its doors in February of 2013.

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