Welcome to Ecuador!
Ecuador, your host country, is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. It’s truly one-of-a-kind with four different worlds coming together in a spectacular way.
The Pacific Coast, the Andes, the Amazon, & the Galapagos Islands constitute Ecuador’s geography and cultural identity. These distinct worlds offer a truly mind-boggling array of experiences.
The Galapagos Islands are considered the living laboratory of Darwin's theory of evolution. It's no wonder 80% of the land birds, 97% of the reptiles & land mammals, and more than 30% of the plants are native to only these islands.
Immerse yourself in the wildlife, culture, and unique ecosystem it has to offer. We’ll hike, snorkel, and boat our way across the archipelago as we get to know the wildlife, locals, and remarkable landscapes.
Duration: 8 days, 7 nights
Start: Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) - Quito, Ecuador
Plan to arrive at any time after 2pm on Day 1.
If you arrive earlier, please plan to meet us at 2pm on day 1 at the airport for included transportation.
Finish: Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) - Quito, Ecuador
Plan to depart Day 8 after 9:30PM
If you want to spend more time in Ecuador please plan accordingly. We’re happy to help.
What’s not included
When should I book my flight?
Travel connects us. Community keeps us connected.
Before your trip you'll have the opportunity to join a custom Facebook Group and connect with others members of your group. Many travelers meet in the airport, or for pre-trip drinks if they are from the same city. Others coordinate plans to stay in a location after their trip.
During your adventure, our Trip Leaders do their best to foster an open, supportive environment, where people feel safe to truly be themselves.
After your trip, you'll be an official U30X Alumni, and part of our large online Travel Community where you'll have access to our network of thousands of past travelers. We are constantly hosting meetups that range from simple happy hours to hikes, to outdoor movie nights.
More than 70% of our travelers come solo, but they all leave with friends.
Travel can be unpredictable. Our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience.
While it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into it and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Meals will be typical Ecuadorian food with options for every diet.
Sample Breakfast Menu:
Sample Dinner Menu:
We do our best to accommodate vegan, vegetarian, or any allergy requests.
*Private room options are available upon request and subject to hotel availability (for an extra charge)
Travel insurance is mandatory in order to participate in any of our trips.
When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all travelers must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of $200,000 USD for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please ensure that all the activities you plan on participating in are covered by your travel insurance.
We recommend using either Wanderwell or World Nomads to purchase your policy. The Wanderwell “Preferred Plan” or the World Nomads “Explorer Plan” will cover all included activities on U30X trips. Wanderwell donates at least one percent of your insurance purchase to Explore Austin, a sustainable youth outdoor education program, via 1% for the Planet, selected by Under30Experiences.
If you have travel insurance with your credit card we require proof of purchase of the trip in the form of a receipt or credit card statement on a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage, and emergency contact telephone number.
Give us at least 30 days notice and you can switch your trip for free, or we'll hold your Experience Credits for future use.
If you have an emergency cancellation that is less than 30 days before your trip, please refer to your travel insurance company as they may cover you for some expenses.
We are not able to transfer trips or hold experience credits within 30 days of the trip because we have already secured reservations on your behalf.
All Under30Experiences trips are accompanied by experienced Trip Leaders.
The goal of the Trip Leader is to facilitate an awesome experience and help our travelers have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eateries, and introduce you to our local friends.
You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the regions visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects.
We recommend using a travel backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.
Below includes our staff picks of the best items on the market that we travel with! All products selected are 3 ounces or less to comply with TSA carry-on size and organically inspired when possible.
Necessary Packing List
Guidelines for U.S. Passport Holders
Make sure you have an updated passport with you. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the last date of your trip. Please consult the U.S. Department of State with any more questions.
Make sure there is no damage to your passport. Conditions that may constitute damage requiring you to replace your passport include water damage, a significant tear, unofficial markings on the data page, missing or torn out visa pages, a hole punch, or other injuries.
The tap water in Galapagos is not safe to drink. Please bring a reusable water bottle to refill from filtered water stations and join us in our efforts to be environmentally friendly and keep Belize beautiful.
Our suggested travel insurance vendor is World Nomads and has a minimum of $200,000 USD coverage.
Please consult with your doctor before traveling in regards to physical activity and vaccinations.
No inoculations are required to enter Ecuador from the USA but the Center for Disease Control suggests vaccinating for Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Required vaccines should go through CDC, recommended vaccines should be through your doctor.
If you are traveling from South America you will be required to present proof of Yellow Fever Vaccine.
Mosquito borne viruses exist in most of Latin America. Please cover exposed skin and use mosquito repellent.
Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities. For legal reasons our Trip Leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc.
More specific Health information for Travelers to Ecuador can be found at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Always carry a copy of your travel insurance, health insurance and passport with you. A photo of these items on your phone is also a good backup.
Keep your passport and any valuables locked in your hotel room.
Don’t leave valuables unattended.
US Citizens please consider registering with US State Department's “SMART Traveler Program” who can contact your family in case of emergency.
In Quito the weather is mild with temperatures between 48 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is recommended to use light clothing during the day, and sweaters or jackets at night.
The coast, including the Galapagos Islands, has warm weather. The average temperature is around 87 degrees Fahrenheit or 28 degrees Celsius. We recommend light clothing, comfortable and water resistant shoes, and a sweater or jacket for some cold nights. It’s also recommended to bring sunglasses, a hat, bug repellent, and plenty of sunscreen.
Ecuadorian culture consists of a mix of indigenous practices and European colonial influence.
Spanish is the official language in Ecuador, however, as tourism develops in this country you can occasionally find people who speak English. In the highlands you may also find people who speak Quechua, the ancient Incan language.
Two of the most popular leisure activities in Ecuador are soccer and dancing. You can find Ecuadorians enjoying a variety of music like salsa, bachata, and merengue.
While tipping isn’t customary, it is certainly appreciated especially when you have received great service. Be sure to tip in the local currency (USD) to ensure the recipient does not have to pay additional fees when exchanging. Here are some common guidelines to follow:
While your trip leader will assist you with optional activities available, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time.
Respect the people around you and the environment in which you’re traveling. This includes, but is not limited to fellow travelers, Trip Leaders, the local community, nature, wildlife, and yourself.
Do your best to keep yourself and fellow travelers out of harm’s way.
It’s important to obey local laws and customs while on our trips. This includes, but is not limited to wearing appropriate clothing while visiting certain communities, refraining from taking photos of people without asking, avoiding the use of illegal drugs, having weapons, and soliciting prostitution. If you’re not sure about something, take time to educate yourself, or ask.
Travel involves contact with new cultures. When confronted with a different way of living than you’re used to, do your best to understand that neither way is better or worse. They’re simply different ways of life.
Know your limits! This applies to physical ability, emotional space, social situations, and alcohol consumption. If you can’t participate in something, be upfront about it. If you need a break from people, take it. Stop drinking before you get too drunk.
Trip Leaders are working in the travelers’ best interest. If they say something or ask you not to do something it’s not because they’re tyrants, but because they want you to have a good time!
Lying or withholding information about any physical or mental condition that might affect your ability to participate in any of the activities may be grounds for removal from your trip with no refund.
Recommended Activities in Quito:
Recommended hotels in Quito:
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U30X is such an amazing travel community. Once your trip is over, the experience is not. They keep in touch with their alumni & provide platforms for travel questions, personal development, & community connections in your own backyard! If you're a young person looking to travel I highly recommend U30X!
There are not enough ways for me to describe how amazing this company is. After my first trip I always told people, it wasn't about the location, but the experience that u30x gave me. I have some of the best experiences of my life with u30x, and now a passion for travel. Also, their alumni community and groups are awesome too!
Traveling with U30X has been life changing for me. I've made lifelong friends with both travelers and staff. I can't come up with enough good things to say about the company, the people, and the experiences I've had!
Just returned from my second trip with Under30Experiences. My first trip was to the Costa Rica rainforest. My most recent trip was to Iceland. Both trips were such an amazing experience. I loved learning about Iceland and its origins. I enjoy the small groups and I made some great new friends! Recommend them for anyone wanting to travel alone or with a couple of friends.
I was so scared to travel abroad alone and then I came across their website and they made international travel so easy! And the people I’ve met on the trips are some amazing individuals! I’ve done 6 of their trips and plan on continuing to do even more!!
My Hike the Inca Trail trip was beyond amazing, and I couldn't have asked for anything more from a trip. Our leaders made us all feel instantly comfortable, and the group was fantastic. The trip was well planned and the hike was unforgettable. Memories to last a lifetime.