Leave the airlines to us.
Our itineraries reflect 40 years of experience in crafting exceptional educational tours. That means we know exactly how to make the best of your time abroad—incredible destinations, immersive activities, centrally located hotels, and smart, well-traveled tour managers who ensure your educational goals are met. Here are some of the exceptional features of this tour.
We have high standards, which is why we take care to include these features in every tour.
Leave the airlines to us.
After a busy day, comfort is key.
Save the commuting time, beat the morning crowds and keep right on exploring after dark when your hotel is in the heart of the city.
Delicious, authentic, multi-course dinners at local restaurants with meal times tailored to maximize your experience.
Part guide, part educator, part engineer, part mind-reader, part magician—ACIS Tour Managers are your travel partner.
Never wait hours at the airport to share a transfer with other later groups.
We're so sure you're going to love your tour, we guarantee it!
Urban transportation is on us, allowing you to explore each destination with ease.
24/7 on the ground support whenever and wherever you need it.
Our tours are designed to help you and your students be in the moment and experience everything the world has to offer.
Engage with this small community's members as you experience their town center and museum, learning about the Manteño culture's pre-Columbian period as a center for trading, and its history as one of the last coastal communities to succumb to colonization.
Learn about the day-to-day life of living and farming at an altitude of 3000 meters, and participate in several cooperative activities such as helping local families in their organic gardens or with cattle farming.
Learn about the underwater ecosystem of Isla de la Plata, known as the "Mini-Galápagos," on a snorkeling excursion where you can swim with colorful fish and, if lucky, sea turtles too.
Horseback Ride, Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Río Frío Boat Trip, Cultural Exchange with Local Students, Manuel Antonio National Park, Community Service Project in Sarapiquí, Monteverde Canopy Tour and Hanging Bridges, Jauri Tropical Farm, Sarapiquí Homestay, Costa Rican Cooking Lesson, Arenal Volcano
This itinerary is the starting point for your tour, but it’s not set in stone. If there are days you would like to change, or specific places you’d like to go, we can work with you to create a personalized program that fits the needs of you and your students.
Depart from the USA. Arrive in Quito, Ecuador's capital city located 9,350 feet above sea level, and meet your ACIS Tour Manager.
Begin your day with a guided sightseeing tour of Quito, viewing Independence Square with its monument to the independence heroes of August 10, 1809, and visiting one of the colonial-era churches, which boast impressive exhibitions of architectural and religious art. Then travel just north of Quito to view the world from the equator. See the Mitad del Mundo monument as you drive to the Intiñan Museum for a visit. This interactive museum—which locals claim to be on the “real” equator (as determined by GPS)—is loaded with unique activities you can only do at the equator, like balancing an egg on a nail or watching how water spirals differently down a drain in each hemisphere. Then return to Quito.
Today travel to the Pifo area just outside of Quito to delight in an incredible hidden treasure—a fragrant local rose farm. Ecuador is one of the world's largest exporter of roses, and this farm's location in the highlands will teach you how the combination of high altitude, twelve hours of sunshine, cold nights, and use of organic soils and compost helps them to harvest strong and tall flowers all year long. After, enjoy a
cultural exchange visit with members of the local El Tablón agricultural community. Learn about the day-to-day life of living and farming at an altitude of 3000 meters, and participate in several cooperative activities such as helping local families in their organic gardens or with cattle farming. As an alternative, a service learning project at the local school could be arranged from September through June.
After breakfast journey south along the "Avenue of the Volcanoes" for a full-day visit to Cotopaxi National Park. Explore the museum and enjoy a hike through this unique, high-altitude, Andean páramo ecosystem. You'll visit the glacially-fed Limpiopungo Lake, and continue hiking to the Father José Rivas Refuge. At 4,800 meters above sea level on the northern side of Cotopaxi Volcano, this hut offers amazing views of the perfect cone's glaciers and snowcapped peak. If the climatic conditions are favorable, you can also make out almost all the peaks in the country. Then depart for Baños, known worldwide as an eco-tourism paradise.
Baños de Agua Santa is a small and vibrant city located at the base of the Tungurahua Volcano, surronded by rivers and beautiful mountains. Start your exploration of this picturesque place with "The Route of Waterfalls." On this route you will enjoy several waterfalls, such as the Agoyan and the Manto de la Novia, ending with entrance to the famed 80-meter Pailón del Diablo (Devil's Cauldron). A short trail leads you to spots where you can admire the impressive falls from a small bridge, or from a viewpoint where you have to be prepared for a natural shower! Next visit the unique Casa del Arbol of Baños. Walking up to the treehouse on a clear day gives you spectacular panoramic views over the slopes of Tungurahua, which is Ecuador's most active volcano. From the treehouse's perch at the edge of a mountain precipice, if you have the nerve, try out the swings and feel like you are flying over the abyss. In the afternoon continue to the charming town of Riobamba.
Today visit Ecuador’s highest volcano, Chimborazo, an impressive stratovolcano with an altitude of 6,268 meters. If measuring from the center of the Earth rather than sea level, its peak is actually the highest point on our planet. Walk around part of the reserve and admire the stunning scenery—a mix of plains and otherworldly-looking Polylepis forests. Keep an eye out for hummingbirds, hawks, condors, wild llamas, alpacas, and the llama's smaller sister, called vicuñas. Then for a spectacular view of the Ecuadorian Andes, make your way up to the Carrel Refuge hut located at 4800 meters, or, if you're feeling more ambitious even to the Edward Whymper Refuge hut at 5000 meters. Afterward you'll have plenty of time to rest as you depart the mountains for the coastal city of Guayaquil.
After breakfast in Guayaquil, journey to the small indigenous
Agua Blanca community living within Machalilla National Park, one of the oldest archeological sites in South America. As one of the last coastal communities to succumb to colonization, it offers natural wonders and an important look at the Manteño culture's pre-Columbian period as a center for trading. The community has a vividly painted small church, a small artisan's market and a museum to visit in the village center. Don your bathing suits and take a dip in the natural sulfur lagoon to enjoy the curative powers of its therapeutic mineral waters and mud, and stroll around the park to watch for monkeys, butterflies and hummingbirds among the local flora of the ceibo trees. Continue to the fishing and ecotourism village of Puerto López for the evening.
Today you will board a boat to explore the rugged, uninhabited paradise of Isla de la Plata, known as the "Mini-Galápagos." Part of Machalilla National Park, the island has a dry ecosystem and topography similar to the Galápagos, and attracts several unique bird species, like the blue footed booby, frigate and albatross. Walk some of the hiking trails, and then learn about the underwater ecosystem on a
snorkeling excursion where you can swim with colorful fish and, if lucky, sea turtles too. From June to September you may also spot humpback whales as they migrate to warmer waters to reproduce. Return to Puerto López in time for dinner tonight.
This morning you have time to discover more of Puerto López at your own pace. Perhaps shop for final souvenirs, watch the fishermen unload their catch, savor one last ceviche, or relax on the beach. In the afternoon, transfer to the airport in Guayaquil for your flight home.
Arrive in the USA.
Most Enhanced health coverage, program interruption, baggage delay/loss and travel delay protection while on tour. Plus, enhanced medical/job loss cancellation refund policy
Rate $500Add to Tour
Enhanced health coverage, program interruption, baggage delay/loss and travel delay protection while on tour. Plus, enhanced medical/job loss cancellation refund policy
Rate $350Add to Tour