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Quito to La Paz Adventure

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Quito, Ecuador
Machu Picchu
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Trip Code: ECTQL1
Duration: 36 Days
From £2445 for 36 Days
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Quito to La Paz AdventureQuito to La Paz AdventureQuito to La Paz Adventure

Journey through the historic heart of South America on this action packed adventure and discover some of the world’s most breathtaking treasures, from hiking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, embracing the culture and tradition of some incredible cities, to experiencing the lush rainforests and diverse wildlife of the Amazon jungle!

We may be able to offer a reduced price on this trip, which could mean a fantastic saving for you. Contact us for details!

Experience the best that South America has to offer as you make your way from Quito to La Paz over 36 action packed days; soaking up the impressive Andean landscapes, discovering fascinating cultures and embracing tonnes of adventures along the way! Explore the captivating history of the Inca civilisation as you trek through the clouds on the Inca trail to Machu Pichu, unravel the mysteries of the Nazca lines, enjoy the beautiful streets and rich culture of Quito, immerse yourself in the lush rainforest of the Amazon jungle and even check out some traditional potions at a Bolivian witches market!

Quito, Amazon and Banos Day 1- 8
This tour kicks off in the culturally rich and atmospheric city of Quito, where you will experience Ecuadorian arts, music and architecture at its very best! Next you will head to the heart of the Amazon jungle as you trek through lush rainforests, discover exotic and diverse wildlife and learn all about the fascinating way of life for the local communities. After your Amazon adventure you will spend a couple of days in the picturesque town of Banos, located at the foothills of the Tungurahua volcano. There is plenty to keep you busy in Banos, from hiring a bike, horse riding or rafting all set amongst stunning landscapes, waterfalls and even hot springs!

Cuenca- Lima Day 9 - 16
The next leg of your journey begins in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Cuenca where you will discover rich Ecuadorian history first hand through its wonderfully preserved buildings and museums. Situated next to the stunning El Cajas national park you will also have the chance to trek and explore the spectacular natural landscapes, including more than 200 lakes and a huge array of wildlife! 

Head to the idyllic fishing town of Zorritos next, where you can snorkel, visit the mangrove swamps or look out for local birdlife before setting off for Trujillo and the discovering the impressive archaeological site of the Chan Chan mud city.Visit Peru’s capital city Lima, and immerse yourself in the traditional culture, modern art scene, tantalising cuisine and lively nightlife that make it one of South America’s most exciting cities!

Pisco, Nazca and Cuzco Day 17 - 24
Next stop is a walking tour of the seaside city of Pisco, where you can soak up the surroundings and embrace the local way of life before setting off to discover the weird and wonderful Nazca lines. These remarkable pieces of history revealing large depictions of animals, insects and birds in the landscapes are steeped in mystery and there are many local theories and speculations to their origins. Wander through the charming streets of the ‘White City’, Arequipa, which is surrounded by volcanoes and steeped in Colonial architecture, local culture and delicious cuisine, then head out to the impressive Colca Canyon, which is nearly twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, and marvel as Andean Condors soar through the skies above! 

Next stop is the ancient and enchanting city of Cuzco, which is the country's oldest inhabited city and home to the Coca museum where you can learn all about this diverse and traditional plant before heading off to the lush landscapes and picturesque villages of Sacred Valley.

Inca Trail, Lake Titicaca and La Paz Day 25 - 36
Spend 3 days trekking the iconic and spiritual journey up through the mountains, take on the valleys and steep slopes, camping along the way as you make your way up the historic Inca Trail to the breathtaking, ancient ruins of Machu Picchu! Although the journey is hard, this is sure to be a highlight of your trip and leave you with memories to last a lifetime! After you’ve had a chance to chill out and recover from your epic trek you will head to the fascinating floating villages of Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America, where you will have the unique chance to stay with a local family and understand the day to day activities of life on the water.

The tour will finish in the intriguing and captivating city of La Paz in Bolivia, one of the highest cities in the world! La Paz is packed to the brim with unusual and intriguing markets and you will even have the chance to browse the weird and wonderful potions and ailments at the cities traditional witches market. 

Quito to La Paz

1. Explore the beautiful and culturally diverse streets of Quito in Ecuador. 
2. Trek through the lush rainforest of the Amazon jungle, discovering the exotic and colourful wildlife. 
3. Explore lakes, Llamas, spectacled bears and Pumas at El Cajas National Park.
4. Visit the spectacular mud city of Chan Chan.
5. Pick up some traditional Peruvian clothing and cuisine at Lima's markets
6. Marvel at the mysterious and ancient Nazca lines depicted in the Peruvian mountainsides. 
7. Visit the Colca Canyon which is nearly twice as deep as the Garnd Canyon!
8. Make the iconic 4 day trek along the Inca Trail to the spectacular Machu Picchu.
9. Experience a completely different way of life on Lake Titicaca. 
10. Explore one the the highest cities in the world, La Paz and visit a traditional witches market! 

Download the Ecuador Country Info Brochure - Click Here!

Quick Facts

Trip Name
Quito to La Paz Adventure
Trip Code
South America
Mariscul Sucre International Airport (airport code UIO)
Minimum Duration
36 Days
Minimum Age
Trip Type
Group Tours
From £2445 for 36 Days
£ 195.00
Preferred Duration
This is a 36 day tour only.
Reasonable standard of health and fitness for some of the activities involved, esspecially trekking the Inca Trail. The trip involves some long/overnight journeys so a level of patience will also be required. English language is not common in South America so you must be prepared to make an effort with the local language and respect local customs.
Ideal for
Adventure Tours in South America; Tour of Peru; Tour of Ecuador; Gap Year Adventure Tours; Career Break Adventure Tours; Adventure Holidays, Inca Trail Trek, Machu Pichu Tour.
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Arrival Dates

Contact us for dates as we have weekly departures available.

British nationals will not require a visa for the first 90 days of their stay in Ecuador. For more information about your visa requirements you can click here.

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A range of accommodation options will be arrange for you for the duration of your tour, including hotels, hostels, home stays and camping.
Some Meals
Some meals are included during your tour (28 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners). You will need to budget for meals not included. We recommend approx. $650to cover food costs and other expenses.
Tour Activities
A range of amazing activities will be arranged for you throughout your tour. Please see the Extra Info tab for a detailed itinerary of activities.
All transport (for included activities) is included for the duration of your tour. Transport types will include ferry, bus and overnight bus.
Tour Leader
You will have a dedicated tour guide for the duration of your tour, who will show your the sights and give you all the information you need.
24 Hour Support
You will have 24 hour support from our in-country staff and from our UK office for the duration of your tour.
Equipment and Medical Discounts
Changing Worlds customers will receive 10% off Travel Equipment, Medical Supplies and Vaccinations from Nomad Travel Store.
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Not Included

Flights; Airport Transfers; Travel Insurance; Vaccinations, Tourist Visa; Some Meals as per Itinerary; Any Activities not on Itinerary or optional activity options.
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Days 1- 2: Quito
Your adventure will kick off in the capital city of Ecuador, Quito. Arguably one of the most beautiful cities in South America, Quito boasts breathtaking views as it sits in the Andean valley and is surrounded by spectacular volcanic peaks. Quitos town is jam packed with historic and colonial buildings for you to explore, including more than 30 churches and plenty of museums to keep you busy! 

Optional Activities
• Compania de Jesus - USD4
• La Ronda - Free
• Equator Monument Entrance fee - USD80
• Cotopaxi National Park - hiking - USD80
• Ballet Folklorico Ecuatoriano de Jacchigua - USD40
• Mindo Cloud and Tropical Forest - USD290
• Antisana Trek Full day from Quito (Optional) - USD70
• Otavalo Market day trip - USD45
• Quito City Tour by Night (Optional) - USD30
• The Equator line tour (Optional) - USD40

Hotel (2 nts)

Days 3-5: Amazon Jungle
You will leave Quito bright and early and start you journey by bus, boat and then canoe to reach the local community in the Amazon jungle and the starting point for your trek. The 3-4 hour trek will take you up close to the jungles diverse and exotic wildlife as you visit protected private reserves within sections of secondary and primary forest. The third day in the jungle is all about the local communities, as you will work with the locals to learn the skills it takes to live in this secluded part of the world. A local guide will explain, demonstrate and encourage you to get involved in typical activities such as fishing in the Napo river, understanding medicinal plants, blow pipe hunting and traditional cultural events such as singing and dancing. 

Jungle Lodge (3 nts)

Days 6-8: Baños 
The next day will see you heading off to the town of Baños. Located in the foothills of the Tungurahua volcano, Baños is the perfect place to explore the Ecuadorian countryside, as it is surrounded by waterfalls, hot springs and stunning landscapes. There’s plenty to keep you busy in Baños, with many different ways to take in your spectacular surroundings, from hiring out a bike, horse riding, hiking or even rafting. For a truly unforgettable experience though, wake up early and watch the sun rise from the comfort of a hot spring! There will also be a walking tour of the town including the Cathedral, local market, and artisanal market.

Optional Activities
• Baños bike rental per day - USD6
• Canyoning - USD35

Hostel (3 nts)

Day 9 - 10: Cuenca
Today you will make the journey to the captivating, UNESCO World Heritage city of Cuenca. Despite being one of the largest cities in the country Cuenca retains much of its old age charm and is full to the brim with historic buildings, including many 16th and 17th century buildings and an impressive cathedral dating back to 1557.  

Head out to El Cajas National Park, where you can explore some of the countries most spectacular and varied landscapes, including over 200 lakes! Theres plenty to keep you busy here, whether its hiking round the national park, trout fishing or looking out for some amazing and unusual wildlife such as Llama’s, Spectacled Bears, Pumas and Tigrillo’s. 

You can reach El Cajas by local bus from Cuenca (approx 1 hr and 45 mins). Once there, pay the entrance fee, hire a native guide and start hiking around the beautiful lakes.

Optional Activities
• El Cajas National Park - USD60
• City tour - USD20
• Ingapirca ruins - USD30

Hotel (2 nts)

Days 11 - 12: Zorritos
Today you will travel by local bus to Huaquillas on the border of Ecuador and Peru before crossing the border and continuing on to the fishing town of Zorritos on the Pacific coast. Zorritos is a popular destination for locals in Peru and boasts stunning long beaches and a great selection of seafood. Use this time to chill out and explore the town, snorkel in the sea or visit the mangrove swamps and search for local birdlife. 

Optional Activities 
• Mangrove swamps - USD60
• Snorkelling - USD25
• Hemingway's Route - PEN110


Hostel (2nts)

Days 13 - 14: Trujillo
Today we will head off to Trujillo where there will be the chance to visit the impressive mud city of Chan Chan. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, Chan Chan is unlike many of Peru’s archaeological sites in that it was not an Inca city but instead part of the ancient Chimu and Moche civilisations that were present in this region of Peru from the first century AD through to the 15th century. 

Included Activities
• Chan Chan Archaeological Site

Optional Activities
• Huaca del Sol y la Luna - PEN12
• Caballito de totora ride - PEN15

Hotel (1 nt)

Days 15 -16: Lima
Lima is the capital and largest city of Peru and is jam packed with ornate colonial buildings, churches and palaces. Since its founding in 1535 by Spanish conquistador, Francisco Pizarro, the city has been the cultural and trade capital of Peru. Your guide will take you on a walking tour of downtown Lima and then you will be free to explore the city, learn about the history of this incredible city, grab some delicious peruvian cuisine or head to the markets and pick up your own traditional Alpaca jumper!

Overnight bus (1 nt), Hotel (1 nt)

Day 17: Pisco
Next stop on your adventure will be the small fishing town of Pisco (most famous as the home of Peru’s famous drink - the Pisco Sour!) Here you will receive a tour of this beautiful town, taking in your surroundings and observing the local way of life. Why not sample a few local delicacies at the Plaza de Armas!

Included Activities
• Leader-led walking tour

Hotel (1 nt)

Day 18: Nazca
Today you take the bus journey to Nazca which is home to the famous Nazca lines. These remarkable pieces of history are large indents in the ground which have been formed by scraping away the top layer of gravel which then contrasts with the paler one underneath. Animals, insects and birds have all been depicted here and there are many local theories as to their mysterious origins. 

There is also the option to visit the spectacular Ballestas island, which are sometimes referred to as the Galapagos of Peru, and are home to a huge array of unusual wildlife.

Optional Activities
• Flight Over the Nazca Lines - USD100

Hotel (1 nt)

Days 19- 20: Arequipa 
Early in the afternoon you will head out on the 9 hour bus journey to the beautiful city of Arequipa. Arequipa is a city packed to the brim with Spanish colonial charm, exquisite cuisine and enchanting architecture, all in set in the breathtaking surroundings of three dramatic volcanoes. Theres plenty to keep you busy here as you can visit the Monasterio de Santa Catalina, check out Incan mummies at the Juanita museum, or just chill out in the main plaza at one of the many cafes. 

Optional Activities
• Santa Catalina Monastery - PEN37
• Juanita Museum - PEN20

Hotel (2 nts)

Days 21-22: Colca Canyon/Arequipa
Today you will head off on a fascinating bus journey where you can spot Llamas, alpacas and vicunas as well as stop of to try some coca tea before descending the Colca Canyon to Chivay Town. More than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, the Colca Canyon provides some truly breathtaking views, and some epic photo opportunities. Your guide will organise a short trek which will finish at a local thermal hot bath, where you will be able to relax and unwind. You can now choose whether you want to spend your evening chilling out in the baths or listening to live Andean music at the pena. For a real treat, head out early the next morning and witness the magnificent Andean Condour soaring high above the canyon!

Included Activities
• Colca Canyon entrance

Optional Activities
• La Calera hot springs - PEN15

Accommodation in Chivay is in a very basic hostel. There is no heating at the hostel however you can request extra blankets if required. (Hostel 2 nts)

Days 23 - 24: Cuzco
We say goodbye to Arequipa and make the 10 hour bus journey to the ancient and intriguing city of Cuzco which is steeped in Peruvian tradition, history and culture. Cuzco is the country's oldest inhabited city and was home to the Incas for two centuries before the Spanish built their first capital here, making it the perfect place to explore the Inca world and a range of exciting outdoor activities. 

You will head off on a walking tour of the city where you will visit the Coca museum, learning about the coca plant which has been an essential part of life in the Andes for centuries. 

Optional Activities
• Boleto turistico (Full BTC) - PEN135
• Qoricancha - PEN12
• Aldea Yanapay - Free
• Cathedral - PEN27

Hotel (2 nts)

Day 25: Sacred Valley
Today consists of a short two hour journey to visit the Sacred Valley, home to a range of impressive inca sites just outside of Cuzco. This fertile land which is rich with maize crops has long been the source of food for the high Andes and you will learn all about the way of life in the local communities in the valley. 

Included Activities
• Leader-led walking tour
• Sacred Valley and local community visit
• Optional Activities
• Ollantaytambo Ruins - PEN70

Hotel (1 nt)

Day 26 - 29: Inca Trail 
Day one - Today we will make the journey by minivan to meet the cooks and porters at the beginning of the trail ready to start the trek! The first day includes some uphill trekking on the way to the campsite where you will see the ruins of Llactapata, burnt to the ground by the last Incan emperor to discourage Spanish pursuit down the trail.

Day two - Today is the most challenging day of the trek where we will take a steep path to reach the highest point of the journey, Warmiwanusca (nicknamed ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’) before descending into the Pacaymayo Valley and further onto the Runkuracay pass where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding snow capped mountains. 

Day three - Today we will continue on over the third pass until we reach the beautiful ruins of Phuyupatamarca, at a staggering 3,850m above sea level, which has been nicknamed ‘the town above the clouds’. From here we start the descent down the inca steps to reach the final nights camp at the Winay Wayna archaeological site. 

Day four - Today we will wake up bright and early at 4.30 am, eat a hearty breakfast and say farewell to our porters as we begin the last leg, and most memorable leg of our journey. The trek to the Inti-Punku (sun gate) takes approximately 2.5 hours and this is where you will see the first glimpse of the breathtaking Machu Picchu site. On a clear morning the view from the sun gate can be spectacular and certainly make the last four days and early morning worth it!

After exploring Machu Picchu and the endless photo opportunities we will return to Cuzco for a well deserved rest and a Pisco Sour or two!

The Inca Trail is within the ability of most reasonably fit people, but be prepared as it is 28 miles long and steep in places. On average you will walk for 7 hours a day starting at 7am and stopping for food and drinks breaks throughout the day until you arrive at the campsite for 4-5 pm. You will be given a small duffle bag the night before your trek in which to pack clothes for the next 4 days which will be carried by the porter along with the food, equipment and tents. 

Included Activities
• 4 or 3 days trek and Machu Picchu guided tour

Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nts), Hotel (1 nt)

Day 30: Cuzco
Spend today exploring Cuzco and recovering from your hard work trekking, grab a coffee in one of the quaint cafes at the Plaza de Armas or shop for some traditional Peruvian trinkets at the local markets. If you still have the taste for adventure then try out some mountain biking in the surrounding hills!

Optional Activities
• Mountain biking - USD35

Hotel (1 nt)

Day 31 - 33:  Puno/Lake Titicaca
Today we will make the journey through breathtaking scenery of the high altiplano to Puno on the outskirts of Lake Titicaca. We will take a tour of the lake by motor boat, stopping to visit the many of the Uros floating villages which were originally built to isolate the communities from rival tribes. To gain a thorough understanding of daily life on the floating islands we will be welcomed into local homes for an overnight stay in the community, where you will help families out with their daily chores, or even play soccer with the kids! 

After breakfast the next morning we will say our goodbyes and board the boat again to visit Taquile Island, where you can buy some high quality, locally knitted goods before taking the boat back to Puno. 

Optional Activities
• Sillustani archaeological site - USD10

Hotel (2 nts), Homestay (1 nt) 
Homestay in Lake Titicaca is in a mud brick house which includes beds and blankets. 

Day 34 - 36:  La Paz 
Today we will head off by bus to Desaguadero where we will cross the border into Bolivia and head straight to one of the highest cities in the world, La Paz. La Paz is packed to the brim with traditional and modern architecture, markets and cuisine and is a fantastic city to get a real insight into fascinating Bolivian culture. La paz is renowned for it’s unusual markets and the Mercado de Hechiceria or Witches' Market is one not to be missed! Browse through weird and wonderful stalls selling everything from potions to ailments. 

Optional Activities
• Witches' Market - Free
• Coca Museum - BOB8
• City Tour La Paz + Valle de la Luna - USD105

Hotel (2 nts)

Ecuador Map

Ecuador is a very compact South American country brimming with biodiversity and incredible natural beauty. Less than half a day from the capital city, Quito, you will find the Andean mountains, the Amazon Rainforest and the beaches of the Pacific coast – perfect for expeditions, adventure sports and chilling out. Ancient ruins and countless volcanoes can be found all over the country including the isolated Galapagos Islands (made famous by Darwin’s theory of evolution) which are separated from the mainland by the Pacific Ocean.
Ecuadorians are renowned for their warmth and welcoming nature, which you will experience firsthand throughout Ecuador. And if you do ask a local for directions, be prepared to be taken to your destination in person! 

Quick Facts
The Republic of Ecuador
South America
Bordering Countries
Colombia and Peru
Capital City
Democratic Republic
15 million
US Dollar (USD)
The Republic of Ecuador
65% of the population live below the poverty line
Main Exports
Petroleum, Bananas, Shrimp, Coffee, Cocoa, Fish
Tropical along the coast and in the Amazon region; cooler in the highland areas
Time Zone
GMT -5
Ecuador Flag

Fun Facts
• Ecuador is the Spanish word for Equator
• Ecuador is the world’s number one producer of bananas
• You can balance an egg on a nail at the Equator

Travel Highlights
• Visit the equator at Mitad del Mundo and straddle both hemispheres
• Explore the crater of the Sierra Negra volcano on horseback
• Visit the land where 'Lonesome George' used to roam – George was the last of the Pinta Island Tortoise Species
• Surf at Montanita – one of Ecuador’s best surf beaches
• Hike up the Cotopaxi volcano and enjoy the breathtaking glacial views
• Discover the biodiversity and wildlife of the Galápagos Islands

Ecuador Ecuador

Where is Ecuador?
The Republic of Ecuador is located on the north western coast of South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator and bordering Colombia and Peru to the east.
History of Ecuador
For centuries, Ecuador was inhabited by indigenous civilisations. That was until the Incas arrived from Peru, attempting to expand their empire into neighbouring countries. Despite strong resistance from the native Ecuadorians, the Incas were successful in establishing their civilisation across Ecuador during the 1400s. The following century, in 1526, the Spanish explorers landed in Ecuador. This was the same year that the Inca Empire became divided for the first time, thanks to Huavna Capac, the Inca ruler, leaving his empire to two sons, rather than to one son as tradition dictated. Years of fighting ensued but Atahualpa finally defeated his brother to become ruler of the Inca Empire. In the 1530s, the Spaniards increased their presence and the Inca Empire was all but eradicated. The Spanish forced the local Indians and Mestizos (people of mixed European and indigenous race) into hard labour which led to various uprisings and, eventually, liberator Simón Bolívar leading his country to independence in 1830.
Following a turbulent and violent past, the 19th century was predictably filled with chaotic politics and rulers who could not bring stability to the region. The 1920s and 1930s put further strain on Ecuadorian society and the economy, especially with the collapse of the coco market and then the Great Depression. More positively, however, Ecuador saw a significant rise in its banana exports from the late 1940s up to the 1960s bringing increased wealth and stability for many. That, unfortunately, was until Ecuador was hit by recession in the 1960s. Social unrest and insecurity fuelled the rise of an anti-communist military government that took power in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until 1979 that a democratic government was properly installed. This gave a new voice to many indigenous groups and, for the first time, gave them a role in Ecuador’s politics. The landscape for Ecuador’s future is now much more positive, but Ecuador still has a long way to go to achieve economic stability and combat its high levels of unemployment.

Climate in Ecuador
Ecuador’s rich biodiversity and varied terrain means the climate various from region to region. As a guide, Ecuador’s winters tend to be dry, lasting from June to September, and the summers are wetter, lasting from December to April. The jungle area, known as the Oriente, remains high in humidity all year round. The sierra region is much cooler, and the coast tends to be warm throughout the year. The Galápagos Islands have a cool climate for most of the year, although December to April sees a much warmer period, perfect for snorkelling, surfing and boat trips.

Language in Ecuador
The official language of Ecuador is Spanish but Quichua, an Inca language, is spoken by the Indian population. Ten other native languages are spoken in Ecuador, and English is the most spoken foreign language.
Food in Ecuador
Ecuadorian food is famous for exotic fruits, fantastic seafood, and a spectacular assortment of Andean potatoes. You’ll enjoy sampling Ecuador’s national and regional dishes, including shrimp marinated in lemon, pastries stuffed with spiced meats and toasted corn. And if you're feeling really brave, why not try roasted cuy (guinea pig) or tronquito (soup made from bull penis)!
Travelling in Ecuador
For getting around the local area, public buses are a good bet, although you should expect crowding due to the cheap fares. Local taxis are also a popular option for short journeys or day trips around the area, especially if you are sharing the fare with other passengers. This can often be cheaper than renting a car. You should try and agree the price before you leave as taximeters rarely work.
For longer journeys, Ecuador has a pretty reliable bus network. However, be prepared for poor road conditions that can create an uncomfortable ride at times. Buses tend to leave from a number of central terminals in the main towns and cities, and it’s a good tip to buy your ticket a day in advance to guarantee your seat.
For short travel times and spectacular views, there’s no better option than flying. It is also an affordable option in Ecuador. Most travel hot spots are no more than 30mins away and there are regular flights from most of the main towns and cities. Flights to the Galápagos Islands can, however, be on the expensive side due to a 3 hour flight time. Tourists usually have to pay more than locals. Furthermore, you cannot reserve your seat. You should therefore confirm your reservation 24 hours before departure to ensure your place has not been issued to someone else!
Sport in Ecuador
South America has a wealth of sporting talent. You only need mention the national football teams of Brazil, Argentina and Mexico to realise the skill, flair and passion for sport on the South America continent. Ecuador shares this passion, from the north to south. Football is Ecuador’s first sport, with many young athletes dreaming of playing football for their country. That is why you, as a volunteer sports coach, can give children the chance to play football in a structured environment. Football, however, is not the only sport in Ecuador. Tennis, golf, rugby and other sports are played with enthusiasm and there are grassroots initiatives in other sports including basketball, hockey and netball. You can also play lots of sport in Ecuador with a number of local sports teams. On the sports pitch, you will learn new skills and attitudes to sport. Off the pitch, the cross-cultural friendships you build are priceless.

Gap Years and Career Breaks in Ecuador
Explore the outstanding travel opportunities in this unassuming country that is rammed full of fun to be had. From the depths of the Amazon rainforests to the shores of the world famous Galapagos Islands, the diversity of people, land and wildlife will keep you in awe of this dramatic nation throughout your gap year or career break.

Some of you may be wondering where the money you pay towards your tour is actually going. As with any trip overseas, there are many things to consider that incur a cost, all of which are added benefits making the experience as memorable and fulfilling as possible!
Project Assessment
Before you see a tour on our website, a lot of background work has gone on. We have met with local organisations, vetted in-country staff, conducted rigorous safety assessments and thoroughly evaluated the tour. Only then do you get to see the tour on our website and book your place, safe in the knowledge that it is well-structured and guaranteed to be an amazing experience.
Help Choosing Which Tour
If you are not sure which tour or country to choose, our hugely informative Travel Advisors are here to help. They are a friendly bunch, have all travelled extensively and can offer lots of advice on choosing the right tour or destination for you. This makes the task of deciding to travel in a foreign country much less intimidating, and far more exciting.
Pre-departure Advice
Once you have booked your tour, you will be assigned a dedicated Travel Advisor to offer essential pre-departure advice on vaccinations, visas, kit lists and more. They will also be on call to answer those important last minute questions in build up to your tour start date.
Help with Flights and Insurance
We do not include flights and travel insurance in our tour fees. This avoids us having to pass on unnecessary admin charges to you. It also gives you flexibility to find flights and insurance to suit your tour budget. We do, however, offer lots of help on this through our leading flights and insurance partners, providing you with an easy booking facility and the best prices around.
Airport Pick-Up
There’s nothing like seeing a friendly face when you walk out of a new airport. And once we have given you a warm welcome, the in-country staff will take you back to your accommodation and help you settle in.
Arrival Induction
We will take you through a local orientation and tour induction on arrival. This will introduce you to any useful amenities and local customs, talk your through your tour itinerary, and it will also show you how to stay safe while travelling abroad.
Accommodation and Food
Accommodation is provided on all of our tours. In some destinations, you may be able to upgrade to alternative accommodation, this is something that will be offered to you at different stages of your tour. We endeavour to supply food where we can on our tours, however in some cases this is not always possible. Please see the trip itinerary on the Extra Info tab for further details.  
In-Country Staff
Your safety and enjoyment is extremely important to us. That’s why we have dedicated in-country teams to look after you and guide you throughout your tour. Our staff can be reached 24-hours a day and will travel with you throughout your tour to ensure everything is running smoothly, and that you are happy.
24-Hour Emergency Support
In addition to our in-country staff, you will benefit from our international support network. You will be given emergency contact details before you leave which you can call in the event of a crisis. We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Giving Others Similar Travel Opportunities
In order to provide a reliable flow of participants on our tours overseas, we have to spend a chunk of money on recruiting people like you to take part in these amazing experiences. It costs to maintain a website, an office, phone lines and a team of dedicated Travel Advisors to answer all your questions!
Cotopaxi Airport Flights

There are quite a few things to consider and to organise before you travel to your chosen destination to take part in your placement, trip or tour.

Flights and insurance are not included on your placement which means you will have to arrange them before you leave. But don't panic this can be simpler than you may think! To make life much easier for you, we offer a free, personal booking service through our chosen flights and insurance partner – STA Travel. They will guide you every step of the way. If you would like to talk with one of our STA Travel advisors to get a quote then either call them on +44 (0)333 321 3102 or email changingworlds@statravel.co.uk

In many cases your chosen destination country will have requirements with with regards to visas, which will depend on the purpose of your visit, and there will be recommended and required vaccinations to make sure you are protected against any possible health issues that you may face in specific areas. Changing Worlds is here to help and we are on hand to provide you with advice on visas and vaccinations.

Booking your flights is an essential part of your trip. That's why we have teamed-up with STA Travel. This means that once you have reserved your place on your chosen placement, trip or tour, you will have a dedicated booking agent on hand to talk through your plans.

Travelling after your project? Need a round-the-world ticket? Not a problem. Your booking agent will work with you to find the most suitable and flexible flights possible. And remember, the sooner you book your tickets, the better the price will be.
STA Travel is also one of the world’s largest flight providers specialising in adventure travel and can therefore offer some of the cheapest prices around. They have over 700 branches worldwide, which makes them easy to contact wherever you are in the world. They also hold an ATOL licence through the Civil Aviation Authority, meaning you can book in confidence, secure in the knowledge that your flights are fully protected.
Note: If you choose to book your tickets through another flight provider, you must ensure that they hold a full ATOL licence.
Why are flights not included?
By not including flights in our placements, trips and tours, it avoids us having to pass on unnecessary admin charges to you. This keeps the cost of your trip lower and also means you have the freedom to search around for the lowest fares and most flexible tickets that fit your travel plans. It also means you can benefit from the expertise of our preferred partner – STA Travel.
We take the safety of our travellers very seriously. You must therefore book adequate travel insurance before you come away with us – you simply won’t be able to participate in your placement, trip or tour if you don’t. Although policies vary, your insurance must include emergency medical expenses, personal accident cover, and repatriation. We also recommend that you book baggage, personal liability and cancellation cover.
To help you navigate through this confusing world of insurance, we have partnered with STA Travel to offer you a specialist insurance service. Your personal advisor will find out exactly what you’re planning to do, from scuba diving to jumping out of planes, and tailor a policy specific to your requirements. In addition to this personal service, some of the other benefits of booking with STA Travel are as follows:
• Access to a network of over 700 branches in over 40 countries worldwide
• Advice and assistance over the phone from a travel help facility, available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year
• Access to a 24-hour multilingual emergency telephone number for medical help, hospital treatment and/or repatriation
• A choice of 3 levels of cover to suit your needs – budget, standard and premier
• A range of durations, from 4 days up to a maximum of 24 months
• A simple extension service that gives you the flexibility to extend your 4-week volunteer project while in-country (up to 24 months!)
• Cover for over 100 adventure sports and adrenalin activities, including black water rafting, bungee jumping, elephant trekking, heli-skiing, kite surfing, scuba diving, shark cage diving and sky diving
• Peace of mind – STA Travel is an Appointed Representative of Towergate Underwriting Group Limited and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
Note: You must provide us with details of your travel insurance before you leave as you will not be permitted to participate on your placement, trip or tour if you do not have adequate cover. It is also advisable to book your cover as early as possible to make sure you are insured for cancellation of your trip due to illness, serious accident or any other insurable reason.
Why is insurance not included?
Each of our volunteer’s plans are different, and while STA Travel can provide adequate cover for the vast majority of our travellers, there may be some activities or destinations that cannot be covered by STA Travel. It is therefore important to give you the freedom to choose the insurance that covers your plans and that you feel comfortable with. It also saves us from having to pass on extra admin costs to you.

Different destination countries have different visa requirements depending on things such as your length of stay and your reasons for entering the country, and whether you will be gaining paid work during your time in the country. Changing Worlds will supply you with any advice you need with regards to the visas you require for your chosen destination, and we will make information available to you to assist with your application.

It is important that you check your visa requirements well in advance of your travel date, as with many tourist and working holiday visas you will need to submit an application to the relevant consulate, embassy or high commission before your travel date. In some cases entry to your destination country will be granted at immigration on arrival without having to apply for a visa before the departure date for your travels.

With all visa applications it is important that you have sufficient space available in your passport for the relevant visas required for your travels, and that your passport is valid for at least six months after your planned date of return.

At least 6 – 8 weeks before your chosen travel date you should visit your local GP or Nomad Travel Clinic to discuss your vaccination and medication requirements. Your medical professional will be able to advise you of any recommended and required vaccinations for your chosen destination(s).You should inform your doctor of all of your destination countries, and what activities you plan on doing, and in which regions you plan to stay while you are there, as different regions and activities have different health risks in some countries.

Some destination countries will require you to produce a certificate of vaccination in order to enter the country, so be sure that you understand any vaccination requirements for your chosen destination, so that you do not have any issues when passing through customs.

Above all you should make sure you are well prepared for your travels, so that you have the best experience possible whilst overseas!
Speak To Us
If you have any questions or would like some more information, simply contact one of our friendly Travel Advisors. You can give us a call, request a call back or drop us an email and they will be able to answer any questions you might have.

Book Your Place
Once you have decided to travel with us, you can secure your place by paying a small deposit. You will then be able to pay the rest of your placement fee in easy-to-manage instalments.

Welcome Pack
Once we have received your deposit, we will send you a welcome email confirming your booking. This will contain your personal login details for your Travel Centre – an online account full of useful information about your destination, you chosen project and all the things you need to do before you depart.

Personal Information
We will ask you to provide some key information to help us create the best overseas experience for you, such as medical and dietary requirements, any previous language lessons you have done, and what you’re hoping to get out of your time abroad. We may also ask you to complete a police background check.

Flights and Insurance
You will need to book your flights and travel insurance before you leave, and then provide us with these details. We do not include flights and insurance in the project fee (to avoid passing on extra admin costs to you) but our partners will help you find the best options around.

Next you will need to get your visa for your trip. British citizens do not require visas unless they are planning to work before or after the course, in which case a Working Holiday Visa will be required. We will also provide you with lots of information to make obtaining your visa very straightforward.
Final Payment
We will ask you for your final payment 90 days before your scheduled departure date. Once paid, you will be ready to pack your bags, grab your passport and get on the plane!
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Nomad Travel Store


Nomad Travel has been kitting out travellers for a wide range of trips since 1990. 

Specialising in kit that can take you off the beaten track, Nomad ensure that you leave fully prepared for your trip. With large ranges in-store and online including clothing, rucksacks, footwear and a lot more as well as a team of travel experts to help you select your gear, Nomad are the one stop shop for all your travel needs. 

In addition Nomad have been providing travel health advice to thousands of people to ensure they leave prepared health-wise for their trip. As well as general advice about your destination, vaccinations and information about anti-malaria options, you will also be able to discuss any health issues you might be worried about when travelling abroad.

Changing Worlds have teamed up with Nomad Travel Stores to offer great deals on a whole range of equipment and clothing.

By quoting 'CW1000' you will be entitled to a 10% discount on travel gear and vaccinations, both online and in-store.

Visit their website to take advantage of this great offer and service here: www.nomadtravel.co.uk 



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  • "I had such an amazing gap year! this project was challenging but completely worth it."
    Francesca Le Poideven , Business & Law, Kenya
  • "Lake Nakuru National Park is just incredible. The game rangers were so friendly and helpful, going out of their way to make sure I had an amazing time during my placement. I would love to do it all over again!"
    Maria Rossi , Wildlife & Conservation, Kenya
  • "It was great fun because the kids want to learn and everything you do is such a novelty to them. I was moved by what I saw, not for sentimental reasons, but because the teachers and the children were so keen and worked so hard."
    Katie Godfrey , Teaching, Kenya
  • "This was such a heartwarming project, the children have so little but are so greatful. I met some amazing people and will remember this experience forever."
    Sylvia Amani , Teaching, Kenya
  • "What a fascinating country. I not only learned so much about the healthcare system and gained some great experience to help with my degree, but got to visit some amazing places in Kenya. The Masia Mara trip was just unreal."
    Aaron Leyman , Medical & Health, Kenya
  • "The kids were so amazing, it was such a heartwarming experience and i'm just really glad that I could help out."
    Gemma Bracknell , Care Work, Kenya
  • "What a great project! I am so greatful to have had this opportunity and it is certainly something I will never forget."
    Suzanne Hart , Care Work, Kenya
  • "I really enjoyed my time on the Galapagos Islands. This tour is such a great way to see the islands. Everyone I met were so welcoming, and they helped to make this an unforgettable experience. Seeing giant tortoises up close was awesome!"
    Jocelyn Whitehead , Wildlife & Conservation, Ecuador
  • "This is was certainly one of the most unique and fulfilling trips I have had. From helping out the kids with learning the game of tennis, to seeing the smiles on their faces, these moments gave me a new light on my career and my way of life."
    Peter Kung , Sports, Argentina
  • "The experience of living with other volunteers and students was a great! An unbelievable sports experience! As a football fan I really couldn't imagine a better place to visit."
    Joseph Berry , Sports, Argentina
  • "Working in the orphanage with these adorable kids was a great way to do something really good with my time abroad on my gap year. I would recommend it to anyone who is keen to work with children. A magical experience! I cannot wait to go back to Argentina and see how they are all getting on."
    Jade Garcia , Care Work, Argentina
  • "I loved this volunteer project in the orphanage in Buenos Aires. So many great kids, who love to play and learn from you. I really enjoyed the cooking lessons in the bakery, and the kids really liked to do face painting and arts, which was really fun, it was great to be able to put smiles on their faces. I will treasure my memories of my trip to Argentina for a long time."
    Susan Tanner , Care Work, Argentina
  • "Football coaching in India was awesome - from the day I arrived to the day I left. The people, especially the children, the culture, the food, were all great!! It was an experience that I will never forget!! If you have the opportunity travel and coach sport... especially in India....then just go for it! .... Sanj"
    Sanjay Thanki , Sports, India
  • "The experience I had in Ecuador was without doubt the greatest experience of my life so far. I would recommend the programme to anyone who has even the slightest interest in playing or coaching football."
    Craig Lawlor , Sports, Ecuador
  • "My time in Quito was amazing. I had a wonderful experience working with the kids, and partying in the Mariscal. My homestay was also fabulous and I made amazing friends with my other housemates and the family. I look forward to returning sometime soon."
    Francesca Ioffreda , Sports, Ecuador
  • "Overall it is such an enjoyable placement and very good for helping my German and communication skills. It’s really fun and everyone is really friendly. The kids are lovely and there’s never a dull moment!"
    Stephanie Memory , Teaching, Germany
  • "The experience of becoming a ski instructor was out of this world. The group bonded and we all met friends for life! The local people were the friendliest and most welcoming people I have ever come across."
    Phil Nolan , Sports, Canada
  • "The experience of becoming a ski instructor was out of this world. The group bonded and we all met friends for life! The local people were the friendliest and most welcoming people I have ever come across."
    Samantha Platt , Sports, Canada
  • "I am extremely passionate about this project and being a professional photographer, meant I could teach a wide range of skills to the kids".
    Remy Whiting , Art & Craft, South Africa
  • "Having the in-country contacts to work on my own photography stories was perfect. Thanks to all involved".
    James Burton , Art & Craft, South Africa

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