Activities and Trips
The program leads volunteers on organized trips almost every weekend to different parts of Ecuador. Many volunteers also participate in activities in Otavalo, although during the week it can be difficult to balance the busy teaching schedule.
If you want to take trips on your own, you are welcome to do so. We recommend taking a look at Lonely Planet’s Ecuador site for ideas and information.
The following is a list of potential activities for weekend trips during the Summer:
Baños: Volunteers often travel to Baños, known as the “Gateway to the Amazon,” for hiking, rafting, nightlife, and the local hot springs. Baños is located at the foot of Tungarahua, a volcano. In the past, more daring volunteers have gone bungee jumping in Baños.
Esmeraldas: The coastal region, known as the Esmeraldas, is famous for Afro-Ecuadorian culture as well as for its incredible beaches.
Quito: Every volunteer will fly into Quito, Ecuador’s capital, but many take weekend trips there. Quito’s old city features colonial architecture, while the new town is a maze of color thrown over the Andes. Its visitors enjoy nightlife, food, art, and most of all, the city’s incredible atmosphere.
Hiking: Volunteers typically go on many hikes ranging from low to moderate difficulty. Frequent sites for hikes include the Cuichocha and Mojanda lakes, a hike to the Peguche waterfall, and a hike up the inactive volcano, Imbabura. Volunteers that plan to go on hikes must bring an emergency survival kit. Please see the What to Pack section of the site for information on what to include in this kit. No volunteer will be allowed to participate on hikes without a complete emergency survival kit.
Salsa Dancing: Salsa lessons from beginner to advanced are available for volunteers for $3 per lesson. Typically, volunteers learn as a group.
Sports: Volunteers often form groups for sports activities during the summer, often including running and soccer. Most of these activities take place in the stadium in Otavalo, but volunteers also frequently play sports with their students in the villages where they work.