Ecuador Spanish Immersion Expedition

This 2 week expedition will allow you to explore the different terrains of Ecuador. Practice and improve your Spanish through interactions with the local people, make an impact through environmental conservation and community projects and explore the heart of the Amazon jungle.

  • Location Ecuador, South America
  • Duration 2 weeks
  • Expedition Type Real World Studies

Ecuador is home to some incredible scenery and makes a wonderful backdrop to this life changing expedition. Discover more about the local culture, work on important conservation and community projects and explore the cities of Quito and Otavalo.

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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 and in-country transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Food and accommodation
  • Entry costs to places mentioned in the itinerary
  • Real World Studies resources and material
  • 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 Arrive at Quito Upon arrival at Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, you will be met by a member of the Camps crew who will travel with you to your accommodation. Depending on your arrival time you may be able to visit the Historic Centre of Quito – named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978.
Day 2 Transfer to Camp Chilli Urku In the morning you’ll start the journey to Camp Chilli Urku where you’ll experience true off-grid lifestyle staying in a remote area of the rainforest. On arrival, you will be given a camp tour and an introduction to your upcoming projects and academic activities and you will take part in a goal setting exercise. The majority of your language lessons will be related to the Real World Studies Pathway that you will have taken part in before your expedition and so your expedition goals will reflect this. In the evening, 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.
Day 3-4 Project work and Spanish lessons For the next two days, you will be dividing your time between project work and Spanish lessons. Project work in the Amazon focuses on reforestation, and environmental protection. You could be working on projects such as seed collection, forest restoration, and learning about forest types and ethnobotany. You’ll also be working on your Spanish language skills in a series of lessons and workshops relating to environmental protection. The aim of these lessons is to allow you to practically apply what you’ve learnt by taking part in a variety of activities such as community interviews and meetings with local people. You’ll also receive a traditional cooking lesson presented in Spanish! This will give you a real understanding of how the language is used in everyday life in Ecuador.
Day 5 Rainforest trek Head off on an adventurous trek through the jungle, spotting wildlife in the trees along the way. Once you reach the primary rainforest, you’ll be collecting saplings and preparing them for replanting. You will continue this work after lunch before heading back to camp for a session in moral dilemmas.
Day 6 Project work and cultural activities After a good night’s sleep and hearty breakfast, you’ll spend the morning back on the project site to continue your reforestation work. In the afternoon you’ll take part in another Spanish lesson before getting involved in some cultural activities all hosted in Spanish.
Day 7 Transfer to Otavalo Take a 9 hour bus transfer to Otavalo city. On arrival, you will settle into your accommodation before practicing your Spanish over dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 8 Otavalo market and Camp Kuri Kucho After breakfast you will take a walk through the world famous Otavalo markets before grabbing lunch at a local restaurant. You will then head to Camp Kuri Kucho, situated in the Andes region of Ecuador. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see the mighty volcanoes that surround the camp, including Cayambe, Cotopaxi and Imbabura. On arrival at camp, you will be warmly welcomed by the team and Camp Manager and once settled, you will take a tour of the community.
Day 9 Community interaction Today you will be heading in for another classroom-based language lesson before learning more about the project work you’ll be getting involved with over the next few days. After lunch, you will begin to get stuck into this project work. Lack of water is a huge issue within the Kuri Kucho region. Without a reliable source of water, communities are unable to benefit from farming and agriculture. It also means that sanitation is an ongoing challenge and so this is what your project work will be focussed on.
Day 10-12 Project work and Spanish lessons Over the next few days, you will be continuing with your project work. There will also be plenty of time to practice your Spanish with a number of classroom sessions and practical applications in the community. In the evenings, there will be a chance for you to reflect on your daily achievements and the opportunity to host a sports and activity afternoon with the community primary school.
Day 13 Quito After your final breakfast at camp, you will start the day by finishing your project work. You will then take the 2 hour journey to the buzzing capital city of Quito. Here you can explore the area, visit the old town and enjoy a trip to the artisanal markets where you can buy all sorts of handicrafts. In the evening, you will head out for your final dinner before heading back to the hostel for a well-earned sleep.
Day 14 Departure Say your final goodbyes to the Camps team this morning before you head 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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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

Rainforest regeneration

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

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.

Camp Chilli Urku

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: Grass roofed open sided buildings
  • Bed type: Hammock
  • Toilets: Flushing
  • 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.
Camp Kuri Kuchu

Camp Kuri Kuchu

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

Great experiences, enthusiastic staff and a real passion for making a difference to communities. Students on expeditions have gained the confidence to widen their horizons.

Caroline, Travelling Teacher 2019

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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