Ecuador Scuba Expedition

Journey through the diverse landscapes of this equatorial country, from windswept highlands to vibrant coastal towns. Live and work alongside local people and master the fundamentals of scuba diving in the Pacific Ocean.

  • Location Ecuador, South America
  • Duration 4 weeks
  • Expedition Type Scuba

Ecuador is a relatively small country but it certainly packs a punch. You’ll get to experience the warm and vibrant culture of this Latin American treasure, whilst living alongside a rural communities and working together on vital community projects. To top it all of, you’ll have the incredible opportunity to discover the magic of scuba diving – undertaking your PADI Open Water qualification in warm tropical waters.

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A fully supported expedition, from start to finish

Your expedition cost is comprehensive and covers the incredible activities you’ll be taking part in, as well as the extensive support you’ll receive in the lead up to, and during, your expedition. 

Don’t forget you’ll also need your vaccinations, visas, kit and some spending money. You can find guidance on all of these on your personal Traveller Gateway once you sign up.  

  • Ongoing pre-expedition support
  • Flights
  • In country transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Food and accommodation
  • Adventure challenge
  • Project costs
  • Leader and staff costs
  • Camps t-shirt
  • Orientation and language lessons
  • 24 hour emergency support
  • Reserve location

This sample itinerary will give you an insight into what you’ll be getting up to. Please note, the exact projects, activities and camps may change closer to the time of your expedition.

Day Activities More details
Day 1 Leave for Ecuador This morning you will make your way to your designated meeting point ready to embark on your journey to Ecuador.
Day 2 Arrive in Quito Arrive into the buzzing city of Quito where you will be met at the airport by a member of our friendly Camps crew. We’ll transfer you to your accommodation in the city where you’ll spend your first night.
Day 3 Transfer to the coast After breakfast, we’ll hit the road and head to our coastal camp where you will meet the PADI dive team and have a full briefing from the instructors on what to expect over the coming days. In the evening you will have time to relax before the start of your scuba diving adventure.
Day 4 – 11 PADI Open Water Dive Course Over the coming days you will undertake your PADI Open Water Dive Course. Dive into warm Pacific waters as you take on the challenge of mastering the fundamentals of scuba diving. Learn about your equipment and different diving techniques in a confined environment before undertaking a series of open water dives, surrounded by marine life. Keep your eyes peeled for turtles, dolphins and fish of all shapes and colours.
Day 12 – 18 Environmental protection in the Amazon rainforest Take the journey to our Amazon camp, your home for the next part of your expedition. You’ll be living right in the heart of the world’s largest tropical rainforest, a unique opportunity to get back to nature and immerse yourself in this incredible part of the world. For the next few days you will be getting stuck into some environmental project work. This could include planting food trees for bears and getting involved in initiatives to minimise wildlife poaching.
Day 19 Experience the vibrant Otavalo market Today you will spend the day in Otavalo – home to Latin America’s largest artisanal market and the world-famous population of the indigenous Otavalos. Try your hand at bartering in the markets and purchase some unique gifts and souvenirs to remember your time on expedition.
Day 20 – 26 Rural community development It’s back to project work for the next few days at your next camp, located on the outskirts of a small rural community. Here you will be working alongside the locals, getting your hands dirty with some low-level construction, painting, plastering and bricklaying. You will also get to learn some traditional arts and crafts, taught to you by the local community.
Day 27 Back to the city Today you will head back to Quito where you can do some last-minute shopping and explore some more of the local history before checking into a hotel for your final night.
Day 28 Chao Ecuador Time to say your goodbyes to the Camp Ecuador crew before we head back to the airport in time for your flight home.

How you’ll make a difference

You’ll work on a range of projects throughout your expedition, each aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and designed to make a significant and lasting impact on the region’s most critical issues. 

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Community development and environmental protection

You’ll be working on a number of projects to develop community infrastructure, such as constructing a neighbourhood recreational area or improving infrastructure at a local high school. You’ll also help to tackle the issue of waste in the natural environment, by participating in beach clean ups and working on rubbish management projects.

UN Sustainable Development Goals
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No poverty

End poverty in all its forms everywhere

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Quality education

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

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Gender equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

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Clean water and sanitation

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

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Climate action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

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Amazon rainforest regeneration

As the communities in the Amazon develop, deforestation of this important rainforest is increasing at an alarming rate. You’ll work alongside local people to understand the complex relationship between the environment and community development and you’ll assist with important environmental projects, collecting saplings and replanting trees in the jungle.

UN Sustainable Development Goals
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Quality education

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

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Gender equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

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Clean water and sanitation

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

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Climate action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

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Food security

In the rural highlands of Ecuador, food security is a key focus. One of the biggest sources of income for the community at Kuri Kucho is the sale of milk from their cows. During the dry season, the milk truck can get around collecting produce with ease, but in the rainy season some of the dirt roads become impassable and many people can’t sell their milk as a result. You’ll get involved in projects such as improving road infrastructure to connect communities, creating organic gardens to increase local food production and constructing wood ovens for the community.

UN Sustainable Development Goals
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No poverty

End poverty in all its forms everywhere

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Zero hunger

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

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Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

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Improving sanitation facilities

Most homes in the area lack basic water and sanitation facilities. You’ll get involved in our large-scale intiative to provide toilets to those in need, constructing septic tanks and rainwater harvesting tanks with toilets and showers. You could also get involved in a number of other small projects to help improve community facilities for local villagers.

UN Sustainable Development Goals
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Quality education

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

e_inverted-sdg-goals_icons-individual-rgb-05

Gender equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

e_inverted-sdg-goals_icons-individual-rgb-06

Clean water and sanitation

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

e_inverted-sdg-goals_icons-individual-rgb-13

Climate action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Experience the local way of life in our authentic camps 

Our camps are the heart of our expeditions. Built and staffed by locals in the traditional style, and located within the heart of communities, they are the perfect place to relax after a day of project work. You’ll get to stay in a number of camps during your expedition, which could include those featured below. 

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Camp Costa

Camp Costa is a wonderful camp set within a sleepy fishing village along the Ecuadorian coast. Only a short walk away (300m) you’ll find a quiet golden sand beach overlooking the warm and sunny Pacific Ocean. Here you can kick back, look out to sea and you may be lucky enough to spot dolphins, sea lions and even humpback whales cruising past. The camp is located within the village where the locals are so friendly and welcoming that it will become your home away from home in no time. The football pitch is next door so you can challenge some of the locals to a friendly game after a hard day’s project work.

  • Location: 160 km (4 hours drive) from Guayaquil International Airport
  • Accommodation style: rooms in a converted community centre & tents
  • Bed type: comfy mattresses & sheets
  • Toilets: flushing toilets & long drops
  • Showers: cold showers & sinks
  • Power: mains electricity. US standard plug
  • Social area: open sided chill out space with hammocks, volleyball court & football pitch. Bamboo gazebo and fire pit on the beach
  • Signature dish: Ecuadorian ceviche, breaded prawns & patacones (fried plantain)
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Camp Chilli Urku

Experience true off-grid lifestyle in Camp Chilli Urku. Situated in a remote area of the rainforest, to arrive at the camp you’ll trek for a couple of hours through the jungle – the journey is well worth it. Surrounded by endless green, you will truly feel at one with nature as you fall asleep in your hammock listening to the sounds of the rainforest.

  • Location: In the Arajuno area of the Pastaza province
  • Accommodation style: Hammocks under grassed roofed open sided buildings
  • Bed type: Hammock
  • Toilets: flushing toilets
  • Showers: cold bucket
  • Power: there is no power in the camp but we have solar lights charging every morning
  • Social area: big dining room and open space to enjoy incredible views of the rainforest
  • Signature dish: Maito de tilapia or Maito de pollo – Fish or chicken cooked inside a banana leaf with palmito (roots of a type of palm) and yuca (root veg) and rice.
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Camp Kuri Kucho

Kuri Kucho is our highest altitude camp in Ecuador, sitting 3,300 metres above sea level. Its elevated hillside position offers you the most jaw-dropping views of the dramatic highland surroundings. The views across the valley to the glaciated Cayambe (5,790m) are not to be missed and on a clear day you may also catch a glimpse of Antisa. The camp itself is situated in the heart of this widespread community and it’s not uncommon to see children passing by the camp on horseback on the way to school. Accommodation is made out of ecological materials where possible, making this a very unique and environmentally friendly camp full of rustic charm. You are also only 40 minutes drive from Otavalo, Ecuador’s most famous indigenous market where you can grab all sorts of handicraft bargains.

  • Location: 75 km (2 hours drive) from Quito International Airport
  • Accommodation style: Eco houses
  • Bed type: comfy mattresses & sheets
  • Toilets: flushing toilets
  • Showers: hot water bucket showers & sinks
  • Power: mains electricity only in social area. US standard plug
  • Social area: camp fire, volleyball pitch, Otavalo visit
  • Signature dish: Cuy – guinea pig
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Camp Donbiki

One of our newest camps, the incredible Camp Donbiki offers a unique jungle experience. Situated in the heart of the Ecuadorian rainforest, its located next to a wonderful river, so you can be lulled by its peaceful sound as you go to sleep. You’ll be welcomed by the friendly community here as they teach you their local customs and knowledge of the rainforest, including the traditional use of medicinal plants. You’ll work alongside them to help protect and restore the indigenous trees and improve the community facilities.

  • Location: In the Arajuno area of the Pastaza province
  • Accommodation style: Jungle lodge with bunk beds
  • Power: American two pin plug sockets in the communal spaces
  • Social area: the end of each cabin has a chill out space with cushions and there is a small dining room. Lots of open space in camp to enjoy your jungle surroundings
  • Signature dish: Maito de tilapia or Maito de pollo – Fish or chicken cooked inside a banana leaf with palmito (roots of a type of palm) and yuca (root veg) and rice

My 16 year old daughter travelled to Ecuador this summer with Camps International and had the most amazing experience of her life. Not only did it give her the opportunity to meet new people, experience new cultures and help the local communities but it also helped her grow in confidence and gave her many new life skills. I would highly recommend Camps International!

Sarah, Camp Ecuador 2018

Our local camp legends

Our camps are staffed by members of the community who will make you feel like a local in no time. These legends will make your expedition spectacular and will show you the very best of their home country. 

Marisol

Ecuador is a country of spectacular natural diversity, from stunning coastlines to magnificent mountain ranges offering everyone who visits us a varied experience. In our village, we are very proud to work with Camps International and to have volunteers from all over the world work with us to make a difference in our community.

Interested in this expedition?

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