May 20 – 29, 2023

While exploring the world’s largest rainforest and observing some of the highest mountains in the world, this program delves into an age-old debate: innovation vs. conservation. Swirl in hot springs, make chocolate, and wander into the heart of the Amazon while learning from locals about the age old debate on innovation vs conservation, on this adventure to Ecuador.

Trip Details

Trip Themes

The world's largest tropical rainforest awaits in Ecuador!

What's Included

What's Not Included

5 Reasons You Need to Join Us in Ecuador!

Itinerary - 10 days

Travel from Los Angeles to Quito!

Take a guided tour through UNESCO world heritage sites in Quito’s historic center. Stop by Impaqto Quito and participate in a workshop on social enterprises and gender empowerment. 

Today you’ll be at Mitad del Mundo, or the middle of the earth. Visit an indigenous open air museum located along the equator.

Visit the Yunguillas community where you can explore a jam and cheese factory, participate in forest planting led by community leaders, and tour the village to chat about the impacts of habitat destruction and micro-generating income projects.

Visit the world’s largest indigenous craft market in Otavalo. Participate in a dialogue challenge at the market.
Afterwards, head to the weaver’s house, learning about the detail and the skill required to develop handicrafts. Participate in a dialogue about the nuances of cultural appreciation and appropriation.


Visit Lake Cuicocha National Park. Take a walk by the lake learning about conservation and land management. Embark on a boat trip. Learn about the Cotacachi Volcano system important in the cosmology of the indigenous community in the region.
After Lake Cuicocha, visit the historic community of Cotacachi for lunch. Participate in a guided tour. Check out some of the famous leather tanners and producers.


Stop at Papallacta Hot Springs, 13,000 feet above sea level, and enjoy a dip in the thermal pools en route to the Amazon. 
Upon arrival in the rainforest,  participate in a plant-based handicraft workshop led by the local community.

Welcome to the Amazon! Take a guided nature walk in the rainforest and experience the local balance of conservation and sustainable development.
Board a boat down the Amazon River tributary, Napo River, and experience animal conservation in the wild at the Amazonico Wildlife Sanctuary.

In the morning, visit the community of Shell and participate in a guided dialogue on deforestation, resource extraction and community impact.

In the afternoon, learn to make traditional chocolate  starting with the cacao fruit with the Sinchi Warmi community.

Back in Quito, visit Universidad de las Americas (University of the Americas) and participate in a workshop on development vs conservation. Then enjoy panoramic views from atop the hill during our last group dinner.

Begin our final day with a journey to the top of the clouds aboard the TelefériQo.
Then head to the Quito Artisan Market and Pacari Chocolates for some souvenirs before a final debrief at the Parque Metropolitano.

Transfer to the airport and begin your journey home.



Ecuador requires that all travelers carry proof of full vaccination against Covid-19.

In the event the program is delayed or cancelled due to COVID-19, all program fees will be fully refunded.

Insight has robust policies in place in the event participant(s) contract COVID during the program, in line with practices established by the Government of Ecuador and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). COVID-19 specific medical and interruption insurance is included in the program fee.

Health & Safety

Insight has delivered international trips for a wide variety of audiences, including both adults and youths, since 2013. Our top priority from start to finish is the health and well-being of our participants. In the event conditions change while on trip, Insight may need to adjust the itinerary to ensure participant health and safety.

As with all trips, risks do exist and participants will need to complete Acknowledgement of Risk documentation prior to departure. Insight will take every precaution to ensure this experience is truly unforgettable, all for the right reasons. To learn more about our health and safety practices, please contact us.


If the program is cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all participants will be refunded in full.

Insight develops immersive travel programs that incorporate fun and adventure with purpose driven learning. By incorporating authentic experiences into the itinerary, we’re able to show you amazing things about Ecuador while also broadening your perspectives. No need to worry as there won’t be any test at the end!

We’ve run programs for high school, university, and adults around the world. Ecuador is one of the most welcoming and safe countries to visit. Our experienced team will be with you the entire time and will give you a thorough briefing upon arrival on best practices while exploring the country. We have run programming in Ecuador since 2015, all without significant incidents or issues.

The program fee includes flights, accommodations, transportation, meals, and activities as listed in the itinerary. It also includes travel and medical insurance. Personal expenses, such as shopping for souvenirs, are not included.

Ecuador is a great program for students interested in the conservation, sustainable development, and social innovation. Anyone who loves rainforests and mountains will enjoy the landscapes. Anyone who enjoys learning about and engaging with local initiatives will have plenty of opportunities to do so. Students who sign up should be comfortable with potential bugs.

Please refer to instructions sent by your school.

Questions? Let's talk