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    Pacific Discovery: Ecuador & Galapagos Islands Gap Summer Program | 4 weeks

    Pacific Discovery: Ecuador & Galapagos Islands Gap Summer Program | 4 weeks

    Details

    • Listing Type: Summer Programs
    • Program Delivery: Residential
    • Destination: Ecuador, Galapagos Islands
    • Provided By: Independent Provider
    • Session Start: June, July
    • Session Length: Four Weeks
    • Entering Grade: 12th, PG, College
    • Gender: Coed
    • Category: Travel/Cultural Immersion
    • Sub-Categories: Hiking, Wildlife Conservation
    • Selective: No
    • Ages: 17, 18, 19+, 19
    • Minimum Cost: > $7,000+
    • Accreditation: Gap Year Association - Program
    • Credit Awarded: No
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    Overview

    This program combines equal-parts authentic community immersion, adrenaline activities in the rainforest, and exploration of a UNESCO listed ancient volcanic island chain!

    Ecuador is a South American treasure. The people are welcoming, the food is delicious and the views are out of this world. After exploring the colonial capital of Quito, we will spend the rest of the week in the northern township of Agato, connecting with a local community on a rewarding service learning project. We will be in homestays, immersing in the culture and supporting a needs-based grassroots initiative. The tasks change according to what the community needs when we visit; all we need to bring is enthusiasm and curiosity! 

    We will walk the rim of the Quilotoa Crater; a pristine lake with a chocolate shop on the ridgeline (yep, chocolate is a big deal in Ecuador). We will spend the rest of the week getting high on adrenaline-filled outdoor activities like zip lining, canyoning and from the adventure capital Baños. Our bodies will appreciate soaking in hot springs before the next leg of the trip. 

    The focus of our time in the Amazon Basin is to learn about the rainforest and the lives of the indigenous communities who live in this unique environment. Beginning in Tena, we take a safe, though adventurous rafting expedition down the Jatunyacu River. The river takes us to Misuahilli, a small town on the edge of the jungle. We get to stay at an inspiring indigenous women’s ecotourism initiative. Sustainability is at the heart of this inspiring center; while our patronage helps sustain the communities’ livelihood, we learn more sustainable means of production and consumption

    For our final leg of the program we take a flight 600 miles off the Ecuadorian coast to arrive at the Galapagos Islands! Based on San Cristobal and Santa Cruz Islands, we will snorkel with sea lions and turtles at Kicker Rock and Loberia Beach, walk amongst gigantic slow moving land tortoises and climb a volcano to see red bellied frigate birds. Every day we will be getting out hiking, stretching out on beaches, learning from experts about this world-class UNESCO heritage site and boating to diverse locations. Our time spent on the Galapagos is simply phenomenal.

    Join this summer program to experience the best of Ecuador with a close group of peers. 

    Highlights:

    • A 5 day community development project with an indigenous community in the Andes
    • Participate in the efforts to restore local beaches with marine debris clean-ups
    • Snorkel Kicker Rock, one of the best locations for spotting the incredible marine life
    • Swim in the warm waters of spectacularly beautiful beaches like Tortuga Bay 
    • Have close encounters with marine iguanas, sea turtles and giant tortoises – just to name a few!
    • Learn about Galapagos conservation in action at the Charles Darwin Research Station
    • The opportunity to explore the local area, swim and snorkel amongst the clear waters