Ecuador: The Galápagos Islands and the Andes

Experience the richness of the unique ecology and wildlife in Ecuador and the Galápagos.

offered by Experiment In International Living

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Please visit our website for more information. During this high school summer abroad program in Ecuador, explore the country’s various geographical areas: the Andes Mountains, the upper Amazon basin, and the Galápagos archipelago. In each location, learn about the richness of Ecuador’s ecology and wildlife and the importance of preserving it. Investigate rare plant and animal species on the Galápagos Islands. Go on excursions to mountains, hot springs, and a primary forest. Paddle into the heart of the jungle on a guided canoe expedition and learn about indigenous Ecuadorian traditions. Your discovery of Ecuador’s ecology takes place throughout every stage of the program. On your first excursion, see the rivers and diverse wildlife of the Mindo Nambillo cloud forest. In the Amazon basin, see the stunning waterfalls of the Baños and observe monkeys and exotic birds as you canoe down the Napo River. During your homestay week, hike up Chimborazo, an inactive volcano that reaches 16,400 feet above sea level. The program’s four days in the Galápagos give you the opportunity to study the fragile ecology and unique biodiversity of these remarkable islands. Cruise by night from island to island, swim alongside seals in lava grottoes, explore mangrove forests and flamingo lagoons, and observe the courtship displays of rare tropical birds. You’ll also experience Ecuadorian cities and learn about the country’s history and cultures. See the gold-inlayed sixteenth-century churches and colonial buildings of Quito’s Old Town. Ride a train to Devil’s Nose. Improve your Spanish language skills through interactive lessons and conversations with local residents. Riobamba, a small city surrounded by the snow-capped Andes, provides the setting for a weeklong homestay. Share daily activities such as sports, movies, and walks through town with your host family. Learn how to prepare ceviche or empanadas and, working alongside a local nonprofit, participate in a three-day community service project. Orientation: Quito, 2 days Homestay: Riobamba, 8–9 days Other Accommodations: Hostels or hotels


  • Spanish
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Studies


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