Today we have a special guest article from our Friends in NZ Travel Secrets, about the best Ecuador adventures for students visiting Ecuador.
Looking to make the most of your gap year? How about learning something new while traveling? Do you want to experience the adventure of a lifetime before you face what waits in university?
Why find an answer to just one when you can do them all in Ecuador? This is especially true if you were born with a real sense of adventure and your definition of fun is trekking up the mountains and backpacking through thick rainforest.
With an astounding display of natural beauty, decorated with beaches, valleys, lakes, volcanoes, the Amazon rainforest, and the Andes mountain range, this is the travel destination you need to visit if you really want to take a break from the urban jungle and be rejuvenated to go back to it.
Combined with the cultural splendor you will experience and witness in some of Ecuador’s beautifully restored mansions, picture-perfect plazas, and monasteries, and architectural treasures from the colonial days, you will start university with a different perspective.
Take time to enjoy all of Ecuador and starting out in university, from finding student accommodation to facing new challenges, will feel like an adventure instead of something dreadful.
Just be careful not to fall in love too much as you might end up looking for colonial houses as a student residence to rent and nothing less. Not many parts of the world have such architectural wonders to offer.
One great consolation, however, is that you can decorate student rooms with a flair of Ecuador or with souvenirs and knickknacks from your travels.
Ecuador has an entirely unique ecosystem and geography that make it a great place for students to get hands-on experience in Biology and Science. Just imagine what you will discover in the Galapagos Islands and the rainforest. Climb the Andes and you’re sure to see a different view from the top.
If you take into account the many immersion and volunteer programs available, you will have unique learning experiences in this part of South America. From humanitarian work and Social Studies to history and science, there is something for everyone in Ecuador.
With all the Andean summits, volcanoes, and thick forests in Ecuador, there is no shortage of trekking trails and destinations on this side of the world. Depending on how far you want to go, you can trek and climb the Andean mountains, volcanoes and accessible craters, and the impressive system of trails that the Incas have created.
Want to take it up a notch? You can mix trekking with white-water rafting, mountain biking, and zip lining wherever and whenever possible.
Not your typical horseback riding, this short riding tour can take you to cloud 9, literally. The riding trail follows the breath-taking scenery of areas surrounding Machachi, including Corazon Volcano’s cloud forest.
Reach the top and you will see what the vegetation will look like up to 4000 meters above. The tundra landscape will take you to a different world, including a glimpse of the remote life that locals enjoy.
No, you’re not going to ride a bike in the countryside but up to the summits, down the side of volcanoes, and through untouched displays of Mother Nature. Along with plenty of lakes and valleys to explore, you should prepare yourself for one physically demanding yet rewarding bike tour of your life.
Want to focus on one thing at a time? You should sign up for a volcano trail mini-expedition where you get to explore 6 volcanoes that are active and dormant. Your tour will take you to:
• Guagua Pichincha Volcano that last erupted in 1999.
• Cotopaxi has been quiet for decades but its extremely violent past is not easily forgotten.
• Corazon, an extinct volcano where you can stay overnight.
• Quilotoa, a crater lake that formed when a dacite volcano collapsed following a major eruption.
• Chimborazo and its nature reserve. This giant peak is popularly known as Ecuador’s highest peak and the Earth’s furthest point from the center.
• Tungurahua, an active volcano which name translates to “little hell” in the local language.
There are many ways to explore the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador but kayaking along rivers and lagoons lets you explore deep into the forest. It also gives you an opportunity to kayak with pink dolphins and giant otters.
Take a stop and follow the trail that the Jaguars leave behind or enjoy an encounter with the local shamans.
In this adventure, you get to visit different islands in Galapagos and enjoy some activities while you’re at it. At San Cristóbal, for example, you can cycle up the mountain and mountain bike downhill. During the boat ride to Floreana, you can snorkel and explore private caves.
Unlike the usual island hopping, Galapagos Island Hopping gives you plenty of time to explore every island you pass by for cultural and local immersion and for a different adventure each time.
The islands of Darwin & Wolf are two of the world’s best dive sites, which make a dive tour a must-do when in the Galapagos. With a choice of remote or less-remote dive sites, you have options to choose from. Either way, you are sure to encounter whale sharks, hammerheads, manta and eagle rays, white tip shark, sea lions and more during your dive.
There are plenty of more adventures that await you in Ecuador. But start with the list above to unleash the adventurer in you. After your trip, going back to the real world and becoming a student in every sense of the word will be less daunting.
Ready to take on Ecuador? Contact Happy Gringo today or request a free quote for an adventure-packed itinerary and experience.