Camp Ecuador 2 Months

True Ecuadorian adventure awaits on our 2 month programme. Soak up the laid back coastal vibes of the Pacific coast at Camp Costa, experience life surrounded by the mighty Amazon Rainforest at Camp Amazonia, and take in the stunning snow-capped mountains surrounding camp Kuri Kucho.

Immerse yourself in the traditions and culture of the local communities and make a measurable difference to improving their quality of life on our projects. We listen to the needs of each community so you’ll be working on the projects that are a priority for them. Get stuck into project work at local schools, improving infrastructure to ensure a safe and productive learning environment. There’ll be plenty of fun interacting with the local school children too. You’ll also work on initiatives to help retain the local culture and heritage of the fascinating communities you’ll live and work alongside, so that they can benefit from visiting tourists.

Hit the craft market in Otavalo (the largest in South America) for some bartering and to soak in the buzz. Explore the beachside towns of Puerto Lopez and Canoa, unwind after a day of project work in a beach bar with your new friends. After spending two culture and adventure filled months in Ecuador, you will have made a measurable impact on the communities that you will have lived and worked with. The people you meet will stay with you long after you leave South America.

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Ecuador-gap

Camp Ecuador 2 Months

$4,530 per traveller


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The impact you will make

01

Turtle Conservation (Costa)

The waters surrounding Ecuador are home to green, hawksbill and leatherback turtles, all of which are now endangered due to human activity. You’ll support a local village close to an important turtle nesting site by promoting turtle conservation to help safeguard the future for these wonderful animals.

ecuador galapagos

activities include

  1. Beach patrols & clean ups
  2. Environmental education workshops
  3. Digging foundations
  4. Laying bricks
  5. Plastering, painting and decorating buildings & signs
02

School Improvement (Esmeraldas)

The school in the Chura community consists of just 3 classrooms to serve primary and secondary students. Our work here is mainly focused on improving these educational facilities – repairing the classrooms which are beginning to fall apart, constructing a toilet block for the students to use instead of a hole in the ground, building playground equipment and constructing another classroom for the growing number of students.

03 08 2017 2 The health center at Camp Esmeraldas is looking AMAZING

Activities Include

  1. Plastering and mixing cement
  2. Painting educational murals
  3. Building playground equipment
  4. Installing flood defences
03

Water Collection (Chilli Urku)

The community at Camp Chili Urku lies on a ridge which runs through the jungle and therefore doesn’t have much running water. However, there is a perfectly good source of water: rain  (it is the rainforest after all). We are working to build rainwater harvesting tanks with toilets, showers, and a washing area for clothes in each of the houses. We also plan to build a reservoir above the village to provide a central communal supply of water.

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Activities Include

  • Digging holes for septic tanks
  • Constructing washing areas in houses
  • General maintenance
  • Establishing rainwater reservoir
04

Reforestation (DonBiki)

As the community develops, they cut down more trees to sell the wood and have spaces for crops. The Shiwa palm (native to the community and especially important as fast-growing contacuro trees grown within this palm) has suffered the most from this deforestation and we aim to replant more of these. As well as reforesting with Shiwa, we will be reforesting with medicinal plants, and aiming to engage the younger generations in learning about these and the other plants that surround them.

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Activities Include

  1. Collecting seedlings
  2. Planting trees
  3. Educating community on importance of protectingrainforest
  4. Learning about indigenous plants
05

School Kitchen Improvement (Kuri Kucho)

Currently the community school provides lunch for all the children and the food is cooked and prepared in a classroom which is totally unsuitable and poses a real fire hazard. You will help by continuing the alterations on this building to provide the school with a safe and hygienic kitchen.

volunteer project

activities include

  1. Mixing cement
  2. Plastering, painting and decorating buildings
  3. Learn about bio-construction
  4. Make your own building materials
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What people say

Thompson, bailey
The communities were so honoured to have us and I will never forget the children that we spent our mornings with. I never realized how incredible it feels to help others learn until I took... Bailey – Ecuador
elliot, kat
It was my first time traveling which was nerve wracking but as soon as I met my leader, Paola, I felt totally comfortable and excited to start work. Each camp was so unique and every... Kat – Ecuador

Camp Costa

Camp Costa is a wonderful camp set within a sleepy fishing village along the Ecuadorian coast. Only a short walk away (300m) you’ll find a quiet golden sand beach overlooking the warm and sunny Pacific Ocean. Here you can kick back, look out to sea and you may be lucky enough to spot dolphins, sea lions and even humpback whales cruising past.

The camp is located within the village where the locals are so friendly and welcoming that it will become your home away from home in no time. The football pitch is next door so you can challenge some of the locals to a friendly game after a hard day’s project work.

Location: 160 km (4 hours drive) from Guayaquil International Airport

Accommodation: Traditional buildings & tents with comfy mattresses & bedding. Flushing toilets & long drops, cold showers & sinks

Power: Mains electricity. US standard plug.

Phone Signal: No

Meals: Three healthy, well balanced and tasty meals a day e.g. toast, cereal,  and fruit for breakfast; fish with veg for lunch/dinner & fruit

Signature dish: Ecuadorian ceviche, breaded prawns & patacones (fried plantain)

If you’re feeling brave: Try live lemon ants or chontacuro grubs!

Social: Open sided chill out space with hammocks, volleyball court & football pitch. Bamboo gazebo and fire pit on the beach

 

camp costa

Camp Esmereldas

Camp Esmeraldas lies on the shores of the Esmeraldas River, the principal water system of the north. The lush forests of the area are home to many birds including toucans, owls and parrots as well as howler monkeys.

The community of Camp Esmeraldas is predominantly of Afro-Ecuadorian decent and from Manabi province who earn their living from cattle and cacao farming. Our work here focuses on helping improve the infrastructure of the community on both sides of the river; the school is in desperate need of refurbishment and we are also working on a medical centre.

Location: In the village of Chura, closest town Viche, and closest city Quinindé

Accommodation style: Tents in the main camp, and hammocks in Chancama (not every group goes to Chancama)

Power: Three American plug sockets in dining area

Phone signal: None due to remote location. We use a satellite phone to communicate internally.

Signature dish: Encocado de pescado – which is fish from the river cooked in a coconut based sauce which is creamy and delicious.

Social area: Shaded area with lots of cushions and a few hammocks and a chill out zone with more hammocks outside

Gappers-at-camp

Camp DonBiki

One of our newest camps, the incredible Camp DonBiki offers a unique jungle experience. Situated in the heart of the Ecuadorian rainforest, its located next to a wonderful river, so you can be lulled by its peaceful sound as you go to sleep.

You’ll be welcomed by the friendly Shiwakucha community here as they teach you their local customs and knowledge of the rainforest, including the traditional use of medicinal plants. You’ll work alongside them to help protect and restore the indigenous trees and improve the community facilities.

Location: In the community of Shiwakucha, in the Arajuno area of the Pastaza province

Accommodation style: Jungle lodge with bunk beds

Power: Two American plug sockets in each room

Phone signal: Very limited

Signature dish: Maito de tilapia or Maito de pollo – Fish or chicken cooked inside a banana leaf with palmito (roots of a type of palm) and yuca (root veg) and rice.

Social area: The end of each cabin has a chill out space with cushions and there is a small dining room. Lots of open space in camp to enjoy your jungle surroundings.

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Camp Chilli Urku

Experience true off-grid lifestyle in Camp Chilli Urku. Situated in a remote area of the rainforest, to arrive at the camp you’ll trek for a couple of hours through the jungle – the journey is well worth it. Surrounded by endless green, you will truly feel at one with nature as you fall asleep in your hammock listening to the sounds of the rainforest.

Location: In the community of Shiwakucha, in the Arajuno area of the Pastaza province

Accommodation style: Hammocks in a wooden house up in a hill

Power: There is no power in the camp but we have solar lights charging every morning

Phone signal: Very limited due to the remote location

Signature dish: Maito de tilapia or Maito de pollo – Fish or chicken cooked inside a banana leaf with palmito (roots of a type of palm) and yuca (root veg) and rice.

Social area: Big dining room and open space to enjoy incredible views of the rainforest

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Camp Kuri Kucho

Kuri Kucho is our highest altitude camp in Ecuador, sitting 3,300 metres above sea level. Its elevated hillside position offers you the most jaw-dropping views of the dramatic highland surroundings. The views across the valley to the glaciated Cayambe (5,790m) are not to be missed and on a clear day you may also catch a glimpse of Antisana (5703m) in the distance.

The camp itself is situated in the heart of this widespread community and it’s not uncommon to see children passing by the camp on horseback on the way to school. Accommodation is made out of ecological materials where possible, making this a very unique and environmentally friendly camp full of rustic charm.

You are also only 40 minutes drive from Otavalo, Ecuador’s most famous indigenous market where you can grab all sorts of handicraft bargains.

Location: 75 km (2 hours drive) from Quito International Airport

Accommodation: Eco houses & tents with comfy mattresses & bedding. Modern toilets, showers & sinks

Power: Mains electricity only in social area. US standard plug

Phone Signal: No

Meals: Three healthy, well balanced and tasty meals a day e.g. toast, sausage and omelette for breakfast; pasta, chicken stew/curry with veg for lunch/dinner & fruit

Signature dish: Chicken & veg

If you’re feeling brave: Try guinea pig!

Social: Camp fire, volleyball pitch, Otavalo visit

 

camp kuri kucho

Camp legends

jimena
Local camps crew

Jimena

Our Operations Leader and all round volunteering super star in Ecuador. Jimena ensures the smooth running of all our volunteer projects and spend her spare time raising money for The Camps Foundation, our charity.

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Example itinerary

Day 01

Welcome to Ecuador!

You fly into Guayaquil and will be met at the airport by a member of our Camp Ecuador team before being transferred to your accommodation in the city (approx. 1-hour transfer)

Day 02-07

Camp Costa

We travel down the coast to our awesome Camp Costa. You’ll be welcomed by our wonderful camps staff who will show you around the projects, community and camp.

Over the next few days you’ll get stuck into projects in the local area. The waters surrounding Ecuador are home to green, hawksbill and leatherback turtles, all of which are now endangered due to human activity. You’ll support a local village close to an important turtle nesting site by promoting turtle conservation to help safeguard the future for these wonderful animals.

Day 08-09

R&R Weekend

This weekend you’ll have the chance to explore more of your amazing surroundings. We’ll head up the coast to the small beach town of Puerto Lopez – from here you are able to book a boat tour of Isla de la Plata, home to blue footed boobies, turtles and the Frigate bird.  Depending on the time of year you may also be able to spot whales, or you might just want to relax on the beach and enjoy a few days off. We’ll head back to Camp Costa in the late afternoon giving you some time in the morning to explore the town before we head off.

Day 10-13

Back to projects

Back to the project work in Camp Costa.

Day 14

Relax in Canoa

In the morning, you will head to Canoa, a relaxed undeveloped fishing village with a cool hippie vibe and a marvelous beach near Puerto Lopez. We’ll spend the night here, giving you a chance to chill out and soak up the laid back atmosphere.

Day 15-21

Camp Esmeraldas

The journey to your next camp is around 5 hours. Camp Esmeraldas lies on a community on the banks of the Rio Esmeraldas and is the core of a disparate set of communities along the banks of the river. You’ll be welcomed by the friendly community here, and will spend the next few days working on projects to help support this community. Your work could include improving the local schools and community facilities or building flood defence systems to safeguard the village.

Day 15-18

Project work

These are your final few days at Camp Costa. You will finish up on project work before saying your farewells to the community.

Day 22

Camp Chancama

Today we will journey to Camp Chancama, in the middle of the rainforest. To get there we will ride a boat to the other side of the river and walk around one hour through the rainforest to the camp. You will be doing project work in this community too.

Day 23-27

Back to Camp Esmeraldas

Back to the project work in Camp Esmeraldas.

Day 28-29

Explore Quito

In the morning, you will head to the buzzing capital city of Quito. You have a chance to explore the city, visit the old town on a City Tour and go to the artisanal market to buy handcrafts.

Day 30-33

Camp DonBiki

You transfer to Camp Donbiki in the middle of the rainforest. The camp is located next to a wonderful river, so you can be lulled by its sound when you go to bed. Get ready for the humidity and remember to pack your bug spray and sun cream.

This is our first year in the community so you will be some of the first volunteers to visit here and will be getting involved in establishing new projects.

Day 34-37

Jungle trek to Chilli Urku

Head off on an adventurous trek through the jungle to get to Camp Chili Urku. This community is formed by Kichwa families that have lots of history. This amazing camp offers a real off-grid experience as you spend the next few nights sleeping in hammocks right in the heart of the jungle.

Day 38-41

Back to Camp Donbiki

You will head back to Camp Donbiki to continue with project work.

Day 42-43

Quito

We transfer back to Quito.  You might want to book a trip to the mountain region of Cotopaxi or the hot springs of Papallacta.  These are free days where you have a chance to personally explore the city at your leisure.

Day 44-48

Camp Kuri Kucho

The journey to Camp Kuri Kucho takes only a couple of hours. You can often see the volcanos that surround the camp like Cayambe (5790m) and Antisana (5704m) and from the community building down the hill, you can also see Cotopaxi (5897m) and Imbabura (4610m) on a clear day.

Day 49

Otavalo

You will spend the day and night in Otavalo, you will visit “El Mercado de ponchos”, where you could buy traditional Ecuadorian handcraft and the famous poncho with a big variety of colours and designs.

Day 50-55

Project work

Head back to Camp Kuri Kucho to continue with project work in the community.

Day 56

Quito

In the morning, we transfer to Quito. You will be staying in the Mariscal area, a lively hub for restaurants and bars to celebrate your last night in Ecuador. You can also go to the “teleferico” to take in the city and enjoy the view as you reflect on the amazing experiences of the past couple of months.

Day 57

Departure Day

Say your goodbyes to Ecuador as we transfer you to the airport in time for your flight home.

Please note:

This itinerary is for example purposes only and is subject to change.

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Top up your trip

Add some extra adventure to your time in Ecuador. All top ups are available to book through our friendly travel advisors.

PADI Scuba Ecuador

Explore the beauty of the Pacific Ocean and it’s really impressive marine life by booking one of our diving activities. We offer everything from a basic fun dive to internationally recognised career courses. Most diving...

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Whale Watching

NB: June - September only Between June and September humpback whales arrive off the coast of Ecuador. Witness the wonder and marvel of these beautiful and impressive creatures for a once in a lifetime experience...

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Galapagos Islands

No trip to South America would be complete without a visit to the world’s most famous and fascinating islands. The Galapagos are among the most extraordinary places on Earth: there are things that you can se...

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What's included

Food
Drinking water
Accommodation
Pre-travel support from dedicated UK team
In-country support from dedicated local team
In-country airport & activity transfers
All project costs & materials
Orientation & language lessons
24-hour emergency support
Camps t-shirt

 

Don’t forget… flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations. Please note, you must be over 18 years old at time of departure.

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