1 Week Conservation and Environment Program

DAY 1 (Sat)

  • Arrival to Quito-Ecuador
  • Transfer in to the hostal in Quito
  • Welcome dinner and Overnight in Quito


Get around Quito and explore its historical center.

  • Small talk about local development and environmental conservation
  • Overnight Quito


Exploring the Northern Andean region (Cuicocha- Cotacachi):

  • Visit Cuicocha National Protected Area. Boat ride and short hike in the surroundings
  • Visit the Union of Organizations of Peasant Families of Cotacachi
  • Visit Intag Coffee spot in Cotacachi.
  • LECTURE: How to encourage friendly agricultural practices with the environment and how the organic production works (Coffee).
  • Overnight with a local indigenous family and learn about their community tourism program


Exploring the Northern Andean region:

  • Visit a textile workshop in Peguche to learn about their environmental activities in their business.
  • Visit to Peguche waterfall and Otavalo´s Artisan Market
  • Visit to a local environmental organization (Spectacled bear conservation project or Condor conservation project)
  • Small talk on the way back about the impact of floriculture in the area of Tabacundo
  • Return to Quito and overnight


Exploring the entrance to the Amazon region (Baños):

  • Bike ride on the waterfalls route in Banos.
  • Visit the Pailón del Diablo and Manto de la Novia waterfalls.
  • Trail to the Luna Runtun view point of the city and its surroundings
  • LECTURE: The Volcano Avenue and its ecosystem.
  • Overnight in Baños
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Exploring the Amazon region (Puyo):

  • Transfer to Puyo
  • Visit an Animal Rescue Center
  • LECTURE: Wildlife conservation in the Ecuadorian rainforest
  • Overnight in Puyo
  • Meals: None


Exploring the Amazon region (Puyo):

  • Botanical garden, Puyo
  • Transfer to Coastal Region
  • Overnight in Puerto López
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Exploring the Coastal region (Puerto Lopez and Machalilla National Park):

  • Machalilla National Park (Isla de la Plata)
  • LECTURE: Marine conservation in Ecuador (Marine Conservation project: beach patrolling, shark fishery and sea turtle monitoring)
  • Overnight in Puerto Lopez
  • Meals: None

DAY 9 (Sun)

  • Exploring the Coastal region (Puerto Lopez and Machalilla National Park):
    • Los Frailes beach
    • Transfer to Guayaquil
    • Farewell lunch
    • Transfer out to the airport
    • Meals: Breakfast and Lunch


Detailed description

Day 1
Transfer in Quito
Day 2

  • Type of Ecosystem:  Andean ecosystem
  • Altitude: 2800 m.a.s.l.

The historic center of Quito has one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centers in the Americas. Quito, along with Kraków, were the first World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO on 18 September 1978. It is located in the center south of the capital on an area of 320 hectares and is considered one of the most important historic areas in Latin America. There are about 130 monumental buildings which hosts a variety of pictorial art and sculpture, mostly of religious inspired in a multi-faceted range of schools and styles and 5,000 properties registered in the municipal inventory of heritage properties.

Economic activity is varied, here is where most of the action of the auto industry is concentrated especially in the assembly for domestic and export consumption, increased construction activity across the country, is the national leading exporter of flowers, wood, and non-traditional products such as palm and asparagus and several products from the valleys.

Day 3

  • Type of Ecosystem: High Andean ecosystem
  • Altitude: 2500-4900 m.a.s.l.

Projects we will visit:

Union of Organizations of Peasant Families of Cotacachi
Is an indigenous organizations whose mission is to to achieve the Buen Vivir (good living) – Alli Kawsay, in their rural and indigenous communities, promoting development with identity through representation and political positioning, the management and implementation of development projects. Their philosophy and way of living is based on the identity and the principles of integration, complementarity, and solidarity of the indigenous nationality of Kichwas of Cotacachi. They fight for food sovereignty through access to land and water, conservation of biodiversity, the promotion of agricultural production and other productive alternatives that are sustainable and also by selling their own products.

Cotacachi- Cayapas Ecological Reserve
Situated in the Imbabura Province of Ecuador, the Cotacachi Cayapas Reserve is a beautiful nature reserve with a number of biological zones. The reserve covers approximately 752 235 acres of land and is part of the Ecuadorian reserve system. Since it extends from the heights of the Sierra Mountains to the western edge of the Esmeraldas region, it enjoys Andean, Sub-tropical and rainforest biospheres as well as interesting pockets of other bio-zones in between. The Reserve uses a condor as their official symbol, which is fitting as these massive birds often make their homes in the Andean mountains.

What makes the Cotocachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve so special is that the area has not undergone extensive farming and replanting and so there are a number of ecologically important plant species in the area that require special protection. These plants have adapted to the many difficulties associated with a high altitude and yet their adaptations are not as extreme as those plants situated at even higher elevations. The Reserve also serves to protect a portion of Ecuadorian coastal rainforest of which there is very little left in Ecuador. The small corner of rainforest that falls within the boundaries of the reserve is part of a protected biodiversity hotspot which stretches all the way from southern Panama to northern Peru, so its importance simply cannot be overstated.

Day 4

  • Type of Ecosystem:  High Andean ecosystem
  • Altitude:  2500-3500 m.a.s.l.

Projects we will visit


Visit to Peguche
The peaceful village of Peguche is located just outside of Otavalo. Peguch is a beautiful waterfall of 18 m high, formed by the river of the same name, which starts at Lake San Pablo. The waterfall is one of the most important tourist attractions in Otavalo because of its proximity and easy access.


Otavalo´s Artisan Market
Otavaleños are famous for weaving textiles, usually made of wool, which are sold at the famous Saturday market. Although the largest market is on Saturday, there is a very wide range of wares available throughout the week in the Plaza de los Ponchos, and the many local shops. The shops sell textiles such as handmade blankets, tablecloths, and much more.

During the market’s peak, almost one third of the town becomes full of stalls selling textiles, tagua nut jewelry, musical instruments, dream catchers, leather goods, fake shrunken heads, indigenous costumes, hand-painted platters and trays, purses, clothing, spices, raw foods and spools of wool.

Spectacled Bear Conservation Project or Condor Conservation Project


Day 5
  • Type of Ecosystem: Tropical Dry Forest
  • Altitude: 0-840 m.a.s.l.

Projects we will visit:

Bike ride on the waterfalls route in Banos.

Visit the Pailón del Diablo and Manto de la Novia waterfalls.

Trail to the Luna Runtun view point of the city and its surroundings

Day 6
  • Type of Ecosystem: Amazon Basin
  • Altitude: 950 m.a.s.l.

Projects we will visit:

Animal Rescue Center
The wildlife refuge was started by a local couple about 6 years ago. They rehabilitate and rescue animals that are in danger of poaching, capture, or neglect and abuse from their owners. There is a full time, fully licensed vet on staff and the animals are cared for and fed on a daily basis.

Day 7
  • Type of Ecosystem: Amazon Basin
  • Altitude: 950 m.a.s.l.

Projects we will visit:

Botanical Garden in Puyo

Day 8

  • Type of Ecosystem: Tropical Dry Forest
  • Altitude: 0-840 m.a.s.l.

Projects we will visit


Marine Ecosystem Conservation Projects
This organization was created in the year 2004, as an urgent response to conserve Ecuador`s ecosystems and marine resources. Anyone who recognizes the necessity to conserve our natural resources for the future is encouraged to join this effort. This is an organization without profit aims whose main purpose is the conservation of the marine biodiversity. It works together and under the supervision of the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador. As a result of this great team work, important achievements in conservations terms have been noticed.

Day 9
  • Transfer to Guayaquil
  • Farewell lunch in Guayaquil
  • Transfer Out to take the international flight


  • 16 – 24 May, 2020
  • 11-19 July 2020
  • 8 – 16 august 2020


Price per person
1450 USD
Program opens with a minimum of 6 people


Program costs include

  • Project fees
  • All accommodations during the program (price based on double or triple rooms)
  • Activities and meals as described in the itinerary
  • National park entrance/user fees
  • All program ground transportation in Ecuador during the program
  • Orientation
  • Professionally trained bilingual guides


Program costs do not include

  • Air transportation, air taxes and ticketing fees, and any Ecuador’s departure taxes
  • All transportation and accommodation costs in your home country to and from the designated departure city
  • Medical insurance (required)
  • Passports (required), travel visas (if necessary), and any vaccinations (if required by your physician)
  • Additional optional activities
  • Academic credit (optional)

Contact us

17 new South St, Suite 303
MA 01060

T | 593-994-673-046
E | staff@ecuaexplora.org

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