Andes + Rainforest + Galapagos
from £1686 GBP
to £2386 GBP
Andes + Rainforest + Galapagos
Duration: from 6.00 Weeks to 10.00 Weeks
Countries: EcuadorGo on...have it all...Travel from the Andes, down to the Rainforest, onto the Pacific coast and then the Galapagos.... getting stuck into conservation and community projects in each spot – perfect!
Call: 0845 344 7514
No need to choose..have it all, why not!...
Travel from the Andes right down to the rainforest, onto the Pacific coast and onto the Galapagos.... whilst getting stuck into contrasting conservation and community projects in each spot – pretty perfect!
So, how does it work?
The team adventure starts in the Andes, brushing up your spanish skills with the help of our expert teachers and getting plenty of practice whilst volunteering in a local village. Experience living in Otovalo, a famous indigeous market town surrounded by volcanoes and beautiful scenery 3 hours drive from the capital Quito. Your mornings will be spent in nearby Chilcabamba, a wonderful community of traditional Kayambi people where volunteer projects include development of the community school, expansion of an artisan market built by previous Leap groups, creation of a playground, and assisting families with their livestock. Experience true high-altitude living at nearly 14,000 feet, surrounded by spectacular rolling hills and snow capped volcanoes, such as Cayambe, which you will have the chance to climb at the weekends. The area is well known for its traditional crafts and markets and locals famous for their colourful ponchos and distinctive panama hats adorned with peacock feathers.
Next you'll travel to the Rainforest to spend 3 weeks living amongst one of the last indigenous Tsachila communities in the country, in a fascinating and stunning environment with ancient trees and meandering rivers. Live among an indigenous shaman community learning about their traditions and customs and helping the local community improve their standard of living. You'll work on various construction projects in the community buildings and local school, assisting chocolate farmers and living like a true local!
After this you’ll get to enjoy a few days R&R on the beach's of the Pacific Coast surfing paradise - Montanita. Learn to surf Ecuador’s best breaks, experience a legendary full moon party and soak up the famously laid back ‘hammock-culture’ of the beach.
In week 7 you’ll choose between two different options - either volunteering in the Galapagos, or the remote Andean community of Chilcapamba.
Those choosing this option will stay at the Hacienda Tranquila on San Cristobal, the easternmost island in the famous archipelago. An island characterised by it’s charming local culture, beautiful white sandy bays and turquoise seas (not to mention the obligatory curious sea lions, marine iguanas, pelicans and crabs!). This is a fantastic base to experience the unique environment of the Galapagos. Help us to restore the land back to it's natural state so that the endangered Galapagos tortoises can be reintroduced. You will also work with local children and disabled adults leading hikes, horseback rides and playing games whilst teaching about environmental issues.
OR Pacific Coast
If you choose this option you'll spend 3 weeks living in Estero de Plátano, a small village located right on the Pacific Coast beach, surrounded by cliffs that meet the ocean. Estero is a wonderful community of Afroecuadorians and mestizos that are working to improve the education of their children. The community is so remote that students above primary school level have to travel in order to obtain a secondary education. There are currently eleven students who are supported by a scholarship program initiated by the Yanapuma Foundation. Your volunteering in the community will involve construction and repairs that will improve the buildings of the primary school and its library, as well as the playground. At the end of the day, spend time on the beach, learn how to make artisan crafts, and explore the only place in Ecuador where the rainforest extends all the way to the ocean. On weekends visit the beach town of Atacames, where open sided bamboo discoteques line the beach and compete to play the loudest music.
Finally, in the last week of the placement we’ll round things off with a week of adventure and expedition, taking the famous “Ruta de los Volcanes” (Volcanic Route). You will travel from Quito to the Quilotoa crater lake to soak up spectacular scenery and explore the waters by kayak. From here it’s off to Baños, where you’ll bike to waterfalls and white-water raft some of Ecuador’s best rapids. Next it’s off to the mighty Chimborazo volcano to see equatorial life above the snowline (how many people can say they’ve done that?!) and mountain bike back down the volcano. The final week finishes in the town of Riobamba where you can relax, shop and enjoy the sights and sounds of a traditional mountain town.
10 or 6 week options
Summer Gap - Join one of our summer leaps in July /August and we’ll have you back in time for your results.
60 % spent in country plus donation to go on project of your choice
This placement would suit:
Those who want to experience variety in travel and challenges.
Explore the Andes + Rainforest + Galapagos whilst getting stuck into contrasting community + conservation + eco tourism projects in each place.
Do you accept non UK citizens?
Do you accept applicants with disabilities?
accommodation, food, airport pickup