Ecuador Cultural Adventure
This program provides an unique cultural immersion program integrated into an outdoor leadership platform. Students from around the world join local Ecuadorian students to explore the rich biodiversity of Ecuador. From the highland trails of the Andes to the rivers of the cloud forests, our specialized team of instructors guide students through outdoor challenges, helping students build a repertoire of new skills and expanding their sense of independence.
Day 1 Arrive in Quito. Greeted at airport by instructors and escorted to accommodations.
Day 2 El Centro. Visit Old Town Quito's narrow cobblestone streets, Spanish colonial influences and spectacular cathedrals. El Centro is a designated World Heritage site for its unique Quito Baroque architecture. In the afternoon, drive south towards the Avenue of the Volcanoes. Camp overnight at the base of Volcan Illiniza Sur.
Day 3 Illiniza Sur (5248 m/17,219 ft). Under the watchful eye of the twin peaks of Illiniza Norte and Sur, explore the Andean grasslands known as paramo. At base camp, students establish camp rules and duties.
Day 4/5 Pastocalle to El Chaupi to El Corazon. Mountain bike through the highlands on the remains of the century old former Pan-American highway. After a taking a break at an old train depot, we continue on towards the foothills of Volcan El Corazon.
Day 6/7 El Corazon. Students learn to orienteer using map and compass in the vast open landscape of the paramo. Students refine their outdoor skills through teambuilding games as they prepare for the adventure race in the days ahead.
Day 8 Summit El Corazon (4788m/15,708 ft). El Corazon's non-technical route offers an excellent introduction to mountaineering. On a clear day, El Corazon provides the most spectacular view of the 3 highest glaciated volcanoes of Ecuador (Chimborazo, 6310m/20,700 ft, Cotopaxi 5882m/ 19,300 ft and Cayambe 5789m/18,993 ft).
Day 9 Mini Adventure Race. Divided into teams, students must complete the race by working together and using their new orienteering skills through the foothills of El Corazon.
Day 10/11 Cloud Forests. Descend from the highlands into the lush cloud forests of the western Andean slopes. The biodiversity of Ecuador's cloud forests rivals the well-known Amazon Basin. Surrounded by orchids, bromeliads and waterfalls, students learn knots, ropes and basic rappelling techniques.
Day 12 Rio Toachi Class III. Experience one of the longest raft routes in Ecuador. On day 1 of our river adventure we will paddle 20 km/ 12.5 mi and end at our campsite by the river.
Day 13 Rio Toachi. Raft another 14 km passing through the Toachi Canyon into a class IV rapid, "The Frog" until we reach Rio Blanco. Celebrate the end of the river odyssey with a beach side Ecuadorian barbecue.
Day 14 Relax and explore the cloud forest. Return to Quito.
Day 15 Otavalo Market. Visit the largest outdoor Indigenous market in South America. Handicraft and artisan shops spill onto the Poncho Plaza and the streets are transformed into an open-air bazaar of hand-woven sweaters, colorful handicrafts, original paintings, silver, and fresh tropical fruits and vegetables.
Day 16 Fly home
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