The Traveling Classroom - Ecuador North to South (19 Days)

Discover the fascinating and diverse country of Ecuador whilst taking part in a series of fun and engaging Spanish lessons with the Traveling Classroom’s Experience Ecuador 19 day tour! Travel from lush jungle to arid mountain and ordered farmland to untamed wildernesses to get a taste of all that Ecuador has to offer!

Explore Ecuador 19 Days/ 18 Nights

 

Pricing

From € 2799,00

Learn Spanish Whilst Seeing the Sights of Ecuador!

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Included Services

  • 18 nights accommodation in trusted hotels, in double rooms.
  • 60 hours of Spanish classes, 45 hours in formal lessons and 15 hours practice as you travel with your teacher.
  • All course materials.
  • Tour transportation.
  • Pickup service from airport.
  • Pre-arrival pack and information materials.
  • 24 hour support.

DETAILS

Route

Otavalo and its surroundings – Cotacachi – Machachi – Cotopaxi/El Boliche – Latacunga and Chugchilán – Lake Quilotoa – Riobamba – Alausi – Baños and surroundings – Misahualli – Rio Napo – Tena – Papallacta

Toughness Level

Because you will be taking part in several short hikes, at altitude and in the jungle, as well as various opportunities to swim, this tour is categorized as having a medium level of toughness.

Day by Day

DAY 1
Travel and learn Spanish! Our Traveling Classroom tour begins with a morning of Spanish lessons in Quito and lunch, after which we hop on the local bus to the Andean town of Otavalo. Get ready to explore the biggest and best indigenous market in the country when we arrive during the afternoon of your first day. Weave your way through the teeming market square and surrounding streets, alight with a sea of colours and rich with the sounds of competing street sellers, as you find your way to that perfect memento of your time in Ecuador.

DAY 2
After a good breakfast, the second of your Spanish lessons and lunch, we head to the Peguche waterfalls, or ‘Las Cascadas de Peguche’. It is here that members of the indigenous community come to bathe during the annual Inti Raymi festival, the Inca festival of the sun. We follow this stunning example of natural beauty with even more – a spectacular walk through a eucalyptus plantation which ends in the crystal clear waters of San Pablo Lake. We return to Otavalo in the evening for a scrumptious dinner.

DAY 3
Once fed and watered, we take you to the absolutely stunning Lake Cuicocha, which fills a collapsed caldera. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery of deep blues and greens as we hike around the lake, then it’s time to refuel with a strengthening lunch accompanied by a fascinating talk about the history of the caldera and its surroundings. We return to Cotacachi, renowned for its leather goods, for a brief explore, after which we take you back to Otavalo for your next class.

DAY 4
After another morning round of Spanish classes and lunch, we head to Machachi, a picturesque village located high in the central highlands and surrounded by lush farmland and the jagged peaks of the snowy Ilinizas. Make the most of every photo opportunity available with a late afternoon stroll around the glorious countryside, before meeting once again for dinner and a relaxed evening.

DAY 5
Fuel up with breakfast in preparation for either a hike in El Boliche Recreational Area, or our mountain biking tour of Cotopaxi National Park (dependent on weather, volcanic activity and the preference of the group). Whilst the mountain biking tour is a seat-of-your-pants adventure (the road consists almost entirely of twists, turns, and a range of gradients), the trip to El Boliche is a great opportunity to learn about the flora and fauna of the Sierra region of Ecuador and explore the Andean forest. After lunch it’s straight into class, followed by dinner and a chilled-out evening.

DAY 6
Get your thinking caps on early for a short Spanish session after breakfast, and then it’s time to hit the road for the first stop of our Day 6 adventure, the idyllic Andean village of Latacunga. After a small snack under the brooding gaze of Cotopaxi volcano, we head to the mountainside village of Chugchilán, from where we are treated to stunning views of the Rio Toachi canyon. After an afternoon of classes, you deserve a quiet evening!

DAY 7
Today, allow yourself to be carried to your next destination. Enjoy a relaxed ride to the breathtaking Lake Quilotoa, its shimmering aquamarine waters lying serenely in the crater of an extinct volcano. You can even take a dip – but be warned, it’s cold! On a clear day it is possible to once again see the snow-clad peaks of Cotopaxi and Ilinizas. After a hearty lunch it is back to the books for your next class, followed by dinner back in Chugchilán.

DAY 8
After a good breakfast we travel to the sacred mountain of Chimborazo, the closest peak in the world to the sun. We then travel to Riobamba, and once the group has arrived and settled in, we will have lunch and tuck into an afternoon of Spanish.

DAY 9
After a morning of classes, we challenge you to do what you came here to do – throw yourself into the throng and get chatting to the locals! We will take you into town for a city tour after lunch, but after that you’re on your own – we wish you luck! Today you will also have plenty of time to explore the beautiful town of Riobamba.

DAY 10
Today, we challenge you – do you dare the exhilarating train descent of La Nariz del Diablo, from Alausi to Sibambe? The train ride ends with lunch in Alausi, followed by an afternoon of lessons.

DAY 11
We arrive in the spa town of Baños during the morning, allowing you plenty of time to explore before lunch and an afternoon of Spanish classes. Take the chance to unwind later in the day in the town known as the gateway to the Amazon, and drink in the views of the stunning Tungurahua volcano.

DAY 12
Prepare yourself for a day of adventure, as, after a short Spanish class, we take a cable car across the river to Pailón del Diablo, a gorgeous waterfall located in lush tropical jungle. A swim in the pool is a must – but we dare you to try bungee jumping as well! After a filling lunch, we have a whole afternoon of Spanish lined up for you.

DAY 13
Today we shake it up slightly, with a morning of Spanish and lunch before we jump into more of what Ecuador has to offer. The trail to the mirador starts in Baños centre, at the end of which you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the surrounding area. We reckon that you deserve a good dinner upon your return!

DAY 14
After two weeks packed full of activities, we know you will be in need of a rest – and so today you will be at your leisure. Explore Baños, take a relaxing dip in the volcano-fed thermal pools for which the town is famous, and give your grey matter a day off!

DAY 15
After a delicious breakfast and a Spanish class we set out, us intrepid explorers, into the Ecuadorian Amazon. Our first point of call is the small but bustling port of Misahualli, located on the Rio Napo river. We’ll arrive mid-morning, giving you the chance to meet the local mischievous monkeys and explore the town at your leisure.

DAY 16
It’s time to get into the adventure spirit! Today, we have a full day of exploration and learning for you. We start by taking a motorized canoe along Rio Napo, before joining a guided tour through the jungle. Take notes – you will be thoroughly versed in a number of survival tricks! We jump back into the river afterwards, though this time for a spot of tubing, before eating a well-deserved lunch. In the afternoon the group visits a local conservation zoo, before (finally!) getting the chance to relax and soak up the Amazonian atmosphere.

DAY 17
We only have one more morning in the jungle, so make the most of it! We begin with another jungle hike, ending in a refreshing dip in some spectacular waterfalls. After your bags are packed, we head to Tena for a tasty lunch and an afternoon of special classes.

DAY 18
We explore the underground world of Ecuador today, by visiting the famous historical caves of Jumandy, named after the local man who fought off the Spanish conquistadors. We travel back to Tena for lunch and our final session of Spanish classes; but never fear, you will have time later in the afternoon to distract yourself from sadness by exploring more of the pretty town of Tena.

DAY 19
Our adventure is almost done – but there is still time for one last trip! We make the most of our last day by visiting the thermal baths of Papallacta and sampling delicious freshwater trout. Later in the day, it is time to wave goodbye to a trip of lifetime as we depart for Quito.

The day by day schedule (including some places) of this tour can change and is subject to the tour guide’s decisions and local dependencies. 

Traveling Season

The best time to take part in this tour is: all year round! However, be aware that June to September is considered ‘dry season’, whilst December to May is ‘wet season’.

Included Services
  • 18 nights accommodation in trusted hotels, in double rooms.
  • 60 hours of Spanish classes, 45 hours in formal lessons and 15 hours practice as you travel with your teacher.
  • Professionally trained course teachers, all holding university degrees in Linguistics and Latin American Literature.
  • All course materials.
  • Transportation during the tour the authentic way.
  • All excursions listed on the itinerary.
  • Pickup service from airport.
  • Pre-arrival pack and information materials.
  • 24 hour support.
Excluded Services

 

  • Meals and drinks are excluded, so we suggest you bring between $8 and $30 per day to cover food.
  • International flight.
  • Enrollment fee (40 US).
  • Personal spending.
  • Any additional items not listed in the ‘Included Services’ list.
Optional Services

If you want to book this tour as a private tour please let us know in advance!  

Things to Bring

Clothing

  • Cap or hat.
  • T-shirts and sweater shirt.
  • Shorts and long trousers.
  • Rain jacket or plastic ponchos.
  • Sneakers or hiking boots.
  • Sandals or flip flops.
  • Socks.
  • Swim suit or swimming trunks.

Accessories

  • Sunblock.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Insect repellent, at least 20% DEET. If you know of a better option than chemicals please let us know.
  • Towel(s).
  • Altitude sickness aids.
  • Toiletries.
  • Daypack (for hikes).
  • Binoculars (optional).
  • Camera with zoom (if you want to catch some moments).
  • Notebook and pen.
  • Spending money.
Additional Information

Minimum age:
18 years

Start dates:
Every third Monday of the month.

Length of stay:
19 days.

Immunizations:
Since you will be travelling in a developing country, it is absolutely necessary that you have current immunizations. This includes, among others: yellow fever (certified), tetanus, typhoid, diphtheria, hepatitis A and B, and rabies. You’ll receive exact information pertaining to immunizations needed in Ecuador, as well as your personal preliminary documentation, following your successful application with us.

You can inquire in advance concerning immunization requirements by consulting medical authorities in your country of origin, e.g. in the US, for example, check with the Centers for Disease Control and Protection
http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/ecuador.

Special conditions:
Wifi is available in all towns in which we stay, but please be aware that it is not often of the fastest speed!

Transport:
Rally that adventure spirit and hold onto your hats – during this program we travel in true native style. Get ready for local public transport, chaperoned by your course teachers, locals and the occasional chicken!

Please note: Group sizes range from a minimum of 2 to a maximum of 6 people, but if the minimum group size is not reached, then the private tour price applies. As the group sizes differ, be prepared for variety in your experience and the people you will meet.

Ecuador