9 days
Quito, Minga Lodge and Banos – Estimated 6 Service Hours
Meaningful. Sustainable. Unforgettable
Venture into the heart of Ecuador’s lush Amazonian rainforest, where you’ll find one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems. In Otavalo, you’ll experience the culture and heritage of the city, visiting the Mercados de los Ponchos—a famous market known for its local beautiful textiles—and learning how traditional crafts and meals are prepared when you visit a local family’s home. As you’re immersed in the Quito and Otavalo cultures, you’ll also put your hands to work: building and restoring local schools and promoting social justice.
YOUR SERVICE PROJECT THEMES
We work with the award-winning charity Free The Children to better understand the needs of each community and then focus projects on those issues. Themes include: 
  • Education
  • Health
  • Clean water and sanitation
  • Alternative income and livelihood
  • Agriculture and food security
 
Day 1: Arrive in Quito
Meet your Field Director at the airport. 

Day 2: Quito 
  • Visit Yunguilla, a sustainable development community in the cloud forest.
  • Tour the Intiñan Solar Museum and witness the natural forces at work near the equator.
 
Day 3: Transfer to the Amazon Basin
Take a scenic drive through the Amazon Basin and canoe up the Napo River to the Minga Lodge. Settle in for community orientation.

Days 4-5: Service Project — Amazon Basin
As communities evolve so do their needs. That’s why we work closely with Free The Children to understand each community’s challenges. Since projects are determined closer to your actual tour date, here’s a glimpse at what a typical day might look like. 
  • Each morning, you’ll begin your service project in a nearby village, focusing on education, clean water and agriculture.
  • Afternoons are spent immersed in cultural activities.
  • Evenings are a chance to reflect, discuss events as a group, and draw connections between the day’s work and relevant global issues.
 
Day 6: Service Project — Transfer to Baños de Agua Santa
Bid farewell to the Minga Lodge and travel by boat and bus to Baños de Agua Santa, a city known as the Gateway to the Amazon.

Day 7: Baños 
  • Visit one of the 60 waterfalls that make Baños such a popular world attraction.
  • Explore the beautiful Pastaza river canyon and then return to Quito.
 
Day 8: Otavalo 

  • Browse the local markets for local crafts and regional foods.
  • Learn the art of making ponchos at a workshop taught by a local family.
  • Visit Mercado de los Ponchos, a famous market where indigenous Otavaleños sell woven textiles like blankets and tablecloths.
 
Day 9: Depart for home
*Please note, some flights will depart late in the evening which will result in the group arriving back in the US on the following day.

Interested in learning more about this tour?
YOUR SERVICE PROJECT THEMES
We work with the award-winning charity Free The Children to better understand the needs of each community and then focus projects on those issues. Themes include: 
  • Education
  • Health
  • Clean water and sanitation
  • Alternative income and livelihood
  • Agriculture and food security
 
Day 1: Arrive in Quito
Meet your Field Director at the airport. 

Day 2: Quito 
  • Visit Yunguilla, a sustainable development community in the cloud forest.
  • Tour the Intiñan Solar Museum and witness the natural forces at work near the equator.
 
Day 3: Transfer to the Amazon Basin
Take a scenic drive through the Amazon Basin and canoe up the Napo River to the Minga Lodge. Settle in for community orientation.

Days 4-5: Service Project — Amazon Basin
As communities evolve so do their needs. That’s why we work closely with Free The Children to understand each community’s challenges. Since projects are determined closer to your actual tour date, here’s a glimpse at what a typical day might look like. 
  • Each morning, you’ll begin your service project in a nearby village, focusing on education, clean water and agriculture.
  • Afternoons are spent immersed in cultural activities.
  • Evenings are a chance to reflect, discuss events as a group, and draw connections between the day’s work and relevant global issues.
 
Day 6: Service Project — Transfer to Baños de Agua Santa
Bid farewell to the Minga Lodge and travel by boat and bus to Baños de Agua Santa, a city known as the Gateway to the Amazon.

Day 7: Baños 
  • Visit one of the 60 waterfalls that make Baños such a popular world attraction.
  • Explore the beautiful Pastaza river canyon and then return to Quito.
 
Day 8: Otavalo 

  • Browse the local markets for local crafts and regional foods.
  • Learn the art of making ponchos at a workshop taught by a local family.
  • Visit Mercado de los Ponchos, a famous market where indigenous Otavaleños sell woven textiles like blankets and tablecloths.
 
Day 9: Depart for home
*Please note, some flights will depart late in the evening which will result in the group arriving back in the US on the following day.

Interested in learning more about this tour?

Refer a friend or colleague to EF and we’ll thank you with $1,000.  Learn more

Your experience includes

  • Airfare & transportation

    Round-trip flights on major carriers; Comfortable motorcoach

  • Hotels

    8 overnight stays in hotels with private bathrooms

  • Regional-style meals

    Traditional breakfasts, lunches and dinners bring local flavors to life as part of your trip experience.

  • Full-time Tour Director

    Your culturally connected Tour Director is with your group 24/7, providing deep local insight while handling all on-tour logistics.

  • Guided sightseeing

    Gain insider knowledge and cultural perspective from your licensed local guides while they lead you on sightseeing tours.

  • 6 Service Hours

    Earn up to 6 service hours that count towards academic credit and the presidential award.

  • Volunteer and Leadership Activities

    Participate in volunteer, leadership, action planning and social issue activities.

  • Entrances

    Gain access to local attractions, like nature hikes with your guide—we'll take care of lines and tickets.

  • Continuous Support

    Your dedicated EF team helps you every step of the way—from recruiting and enrolling travelers to planning and managing your tour.

  • Worldwide Presence

    EF has over 500 schools and offices in more than 50 countries worldwide so wherever you go, we're there too.

  • 24-hour Emergency Service

    Travelers and their families can count on EF's dedicated emergency service team.

  • Peace of Mind Program

    Feel secure knowing your group can change their destination or travel dates due to unforeseen circumstances. Learn more about your flexible options at eftours.com/peaceofmind.

Guaranteed lowest price

Includes airfare, hotels, meals, full-time Tour Director and more.
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      $2,970*
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      Price is valid for students under the age of 20 at the time of travel that room in triples and quads. Minimum participation is required. Change and cancellation fees of up to the total price will apply. Applicable airline baggage fees are not included and can be found at www.eftours.com/baggage. Program price is valid today only.

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