Location + Itinerary
Ecuador, as the name suggests, is situated around the equator in Western South America. To the west its limits are with the Pacific ocean and to the east with the Amazon. The northern neighbour is Colombia as to the south it borders Peru. Right through the center of the country running north to south is the Andean mountain range with the country’s highest peak Chimborazo reaching 6310m. The capital is Quito located at 2800m in the Andes and the largest city is Guayaquil near the Pacific. With 2.5 million inhabitants, Ecuador is a wonderful and lively country with plenty to offer visitors.
Nowhere else on earth will you find so much natural diversity – and all the fun that accompanies it. Ecuador is the second- smallest country in South America, but its range of offerings is no less than astounding. In one day’s drive you can journey from the Amazon Basin across glaciated Andean volcanoes, down through tropical cloud forest and into the sunset for a dinner of ceviche on the balmy Pacific coast.
For nature lovers Ecuador is a dream, with exotic orchids and birds, bizarre jungle plants, strange insects, windswept páramo (Andean grasslands), dripping tropical forests and the fearless animals that hop, wobble and swim around the unique, unforgettable Galápagos Islands.
For the adrenaline junky, the choices are outrageous. Mountaineering and trekking are world class (try the Quilatoa Loop); toss in some horseback riding and surfing and you’ll go home with a happily aching body.
For the culture vulture, Ecuador’s indigenous heritage of traditional costumes and highland markets will enchant you. As for colonial architecture, few cities top the beauty of Cuenca and Quito, both of which are Unesco World Heritage Sites. And you won’t want to miss Baños, with its enticing mix of natural beauty and jumping nightlife.
- Days 1-2 - Depart from the UK and arrive in Ecuador.
- Days 3-4 - Quito, the capital city, is the perfect place to begin your cultural exploration of Ecuador. Visit the historic sites of Quito’s Old Town (World Heritage Site) and then travel south to Latacunga to prepare for your trek.
- Days 5-7 - Spend your next three days trekking to Laguna Quilotoa, the crater lake of a dormant volcano, camping along the way. Arrive at Quilotoa and sleep on the crater rim.
- Days 8-9 - You will then return to Quito and prepare for your project phase as well as travelling to the Amazon region of Tena.
- Days 10-14 - Get to work on a project with one of the small communities along the Rio Napo in the Amazon Basin. Throughout you will learn about the way of life for this traditional Amazonian community and also have opportunities in your spare time trek into the jungle and learn more about the environment.
- Days 15-16 - Over these two days you will enjoy an exhilarating day of white water rafting on the Rio Napo before returning to Quito the following day.
- Days 17-19 - Spend a few days exploring the area around Quito, camping next to the beautiful ‘Guinea-Pig’ Lake. Check out the famous Otavalo Market before visiting the Equator.
- Days 20-21 - Enjoy a meal out to celebrate the completion of the expedition and then depart back for the UK the following morning.
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