Student Travel in Ecuador

Explore Ecuador With No Barriers Youth Programming

No Barriers Youth offers a wide array of experiences to match Ecuador’s natural diversity. Hike through the rainforest and visit a biological research station where scientists are documenting thousands of plant and animal species. Students can also:

  • Retrace Darwin’s footsteps and observe an abundance of wildlife up close on the famous Galápagos Islands
  • Step into the daily life of a self-sustaining community in the Andes by helping them on a variety of projects: organic farming, bread-making, cheese-making, and other agroforestry projects
  • Meet students at a vocational school in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, committed to ending poverty in Ecuador through education
  • Participate in a traditional cleansing ceremony led by a local medicine man

What to Know Before Educational Trips to Ecuador

Ecuador straddles the equator from which it gets its name. The capital city of Quito is a UNESCO World Heritage site for having the best preserved and least altered historic center in all of Latin America. Culturally rich, with large indigenous communities both in the highlands of the Andes as well as the Amazon basin, Ecuador is also a nature lover’s dream with a huge variety of bird, animal and plant species. On the unforgettable Galápagos Islands, animals with no instinctual fear of humans will approach you. Nowhere else in South America will you find so much cultural, geographic, and natural diversity in such a small country.


Choose Your Adventure for Teen Travel in Ecuador

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Adventure, Service, and Immersion

Day 1: Depart and Arrive to Quito! 
  • Evening: Arrive to Quito, Ecuador. Meet your Expedition Leader and Local Guide at the airport and transfer to hotel for the No Barriers Opening Ceremony and safety orientation. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Quito 
Day 2: Quito’s Colonial Center and Salsa Dancing  
  • Morning: Breakfast at the hotel and then explore Quito’s colonial center with your local guide. 
  • Afternoon: Lunch and then learn how to Salsa dance with a local instructor. Visit a local market to learn about the various, fruits, vegetables, and flowers and purchase supplies to use at this evening’s cooking class. 
  • Evening: Learn how to make traditional Ecuadorian dishes and enjoy them for dinner! Evening reflections and overnight in Quito. 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Quito 
Day 3: Chocolate and Ecological Preserve  
  • Morning: Breakfast at the hotel and then transfer to Mindo. Take a brief cable car ride above the cloud forest and then explore the waterfalls at the Mindo Nambillo Ecological Reserve. 
  • Afternoon: After lunch, explore the Butterfly Sanctuary or tube the Rio Mindo. Visit a local chocolate farm to learn all about the history and production of chocolate, including tasting the delicious product 
  • Evening: Dinner and relaxing after a full day of adventure. 
  • Accommodation: Guesthouse, Mindo 
Day 4: Cloud Forests 
  • Morning/Afternoon: Breakfast at the hotel then depart for Yunguilla. Stop along the way for an interactive tour at a  local coffee farm where you will learn about the lifecycle of a coffee plant and its impact on the community. Enjoy lunch at the farm then continue to Yunguilla, stopping to explore a few landmarks along the way. 
  • Evening: Arrive in Yunguilla, a cloud forest community that has embraced a sustainable model of raising organic agriculture and livestock. Meet the community and make your way to the community center where you will be staying for the next few nights.  
  • Accommodation: Community Lodge, Yunguilla 
Day 5: Service and Community Engagement  
  • Morning: Meet with and have an orientation to the community’s families and learn about the available  activities and projects to be completed in the next few days. The group will engage in meaningful projects that further the sustainable goals of the community, such as planting seedlings on the small organic farm, caring for the animals, helping to produce cheeses and yogurt, and other community maintenance projects. 
  • Afternoon/Evening: Lunch with families and spend the afternoon learning more about the community and giving back. The families are very excited to share their culture with you and also love to learn about your interests and life back home. Enjoy time immersed in the community, either by playing games or sports with local children, learning how to cook traditional food, or practicing your Spanish with new friends. 
  • Accommodation: Community Lodge, Yunguilla 
Day 6: Service and Community Engagement  
  • Morning/Afternoon: Depart for Mirador and hike Coluncos. Travel back to the village for lunch and continue your work to sustain and enrich the community. In small groups, rotate between available projects. 
  • Evening: Dinner and continue to learn about the Yunguilla connections to the land. 
  • Accommodation: Community Lodge, Yunguilla 
Day 7: Markets and Museums  
  • Morning: After breakfast, travel to zero degrees latitude for a visit to the Intiñan Museum located on the equator. Marvel at the Pululahua Volcano. 
  • Afternoon: Lunch in Quito, then visit a vibrant artisan market in La Mariscal to shop, speak with artisans and browse the jewelry, clothing, blankets, art, and more. 
  • Evening: Tour Quito’s Yaku Water Park Museum followed by the No Barriers closing ceremony with your Expedition Leader. Dinner and overnight in Quito 
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Quito 
Day 8: Departure  
  • Morning: Depart Quito for your flight home feeling inspired and ready to make a difference. 

Getting immersed in the culture of India and getting to know and love the children was the greatest. When the students would cling to me at the end of class, and tell me how much they enjoyed having me there was heartbreaking.

Rachel W., Student

There is so much life, happening all the time. It's crazy to think that, after only three weeks, I feel like I've become accustomed to so much of how the world move.

Saul S., Student

I just wanted to take a moment to formally thank you for another unbelievable and life changing trip. No Barriers Youth made it all possible and took the guesswork out of a potentially nerve wracking and complicated task.

Amanda W., Trip Leader