Academy International is headed south! Join our intrepid world travelers as they lead an unforgettable journey into the heart of Ecuador. Academy international experiences are a thoughtful blend of cultural immersion, language study and adventure travel. Students will operate in both a group setting as well as in pairs during an immersive homestay experience that is designed to enrich and deepen the connections we work to establish; connections with both the people and the places that will be host to our travelling community. Our journey will begin in the world’s second highest capital city of Quito where we will wander colonial streets, open air markets and the Unesco World Heritage sites of “Old Town”. We will then travel to the small mountain hamlet of Banos where we will settle in with our homestays and begin morning sessions of language school. This Ecuadorian highland community offers stunning views and access to many waterfalls, hikes through lush forests, boat rides down pristine rivers and many natural thermal hot springs to soak in. Throughout the week we will have plenty of time to sample local eateries, shop in colorful Ecuadorian markets, adventure in the mountains and immerse ourselves in this vibrant Latin American cultre. Next, we'll head to the mesmerizing Galapagos Islands where we will tour one of the few places left on Planet Earth where the human footprint is kept to a minimum. The many creatures that call these islands home are not found anywhere else in the world! We will have the opportunity to snorkel or surf as well as observe the largest tortoises and iguanas in the wild, explore underground lava tunnels and experience the fascinating Charles Darwin Research Station. At the end of our 15-day Ecuadorian adventure, students will return home sun-soaked and full of stories. Join the Academy International experience and the close-knit family of travelers that become bonded by the unique comradery gained by exploring new horizons together. Ecuador offers our students a geographically and culturally rich locale that will inspire and educate in truly magical ways.
Program Itinerary: *Subject to change
Depart for Ecuador. Arrive in Quito.
Explore this high Andean colonial city! Wander large open markets and the Unesco World Heritage Site of "Old Town"
July 12th – 18th:
Travel to the mountain hamlet of Banos. Surrounded by lush forests, cascading waterfalls and towering volcanoes, Banos is a great base camp for our adventures and interactions. We will meet our host families and our teachers from the language school. Spend our days practicing our Spanish, eating local foods and soaking in hot springs, trekking mountain trails, rafting raging rivers and more!
July 19th – 22nd:
Flight to the Galapagos Islands! These isolated volcanic islands, full of creatures and ecosystems found nowhere else on the planet (think giant human-sized iguanas!) will play host to several days of discovery, education and adventure! We will explore on land and on sea as we navigate the beaches, breaks, caves and contours of these island beacons of biodiversity!
Return to Quito for a final day of colonial exploration, market shopping and a final fiesta out on the town!