1st Week: Quito
Lying in a valley between towering Andean peaks, Quito is a city of striking beauty, a place where you can travel to the past while still enjoying the comforts of a modern-day city. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Quito is home to 500-year old buildings, grand churches, and magnificently preserved colonial structures. Drawing visitors from around the world, Quito is also a modern, cosmopolitan city with international restaurants, theatres, shopping complexes, and state-of-the-art hospitals. Located on the equator and within two hours of colorful indigenous markets, cloud forests, and beautiful volcanoes, Quito is truly a special place to begin our Ecuadorian experience.
During the Quito portion of our program, the centrally located JW Marriott is our home away from home. All hotel rooms are doubles and consist of private bathrooms, cable television, refrigerators, and safes. Our participants will also enjoy resort amenities such as daily housekeeping, swimming pools, full fitness center, gift shops, and full-service restaurant. Located on the edge of the vibrant Mariscal district, the JW Marriott is close to everything to make our stay in Quito complete: restaurants, shopping, local attractions, and top-notch medical facilities.
Volunteer with Children
Weekdays are spent volunteering each morning with underprivileged children at local day care centers in Quito.
Each afternoon and evening in Quito, we will explore this vibrant city, having fun while immersing ourselves in the local culture.
- Visit the Equator
- Does water drain in reverse in the Southern Hemisphere? Is it possible to balance yourself while standing on the equator? Find out when we participate in fun and informative experiments at Mitad del Mundo, the middle of the world!
- La Basilica
- Taking over 100 years to build, La Basilica is one of the most impressive buildings in South America. We will climb to the top of the awesome clock tower, ring the church’s bell for good luck, and take in the awe-inspiring views of Quito from this magnificent Gothic church.
- Otavalo & Lake Cuicocha
- Site of the famous Mercado Artesenal, this lively village turns into an incredible open-air market every weekend, with vendors selling native wares such as carvings, clothing, jewelry, and ceramics. Weather permitting, we will also take a boat ride on nearby Lake Cuicocha, a magnificent crater lake inside a dormant volcano.
- El Teleferico
- Running from the edge of the city center to the top of the Pichincha Volcano, this tram is one of the highest aerial lifts in the world!
- Chiva Dance Party
- Take a private moonlit ride on our open-air chiva bus. We’ll have a blast as we cruise around town and dance to the latest tunes.
… and movies, bowling, ice skating, pool parties and more!