Location
Multiple Locations +2
  • Peru
    • Cusco
  • Ecuador
    • Quito
Length
4 - 12 weeks
Program Tags
Adventure Travel Conservation Cultural Immersion Language Immersion Post-High School Volunteer Abroad
Payment plans
Health & Safety

Program Details

Activities
Animal Viewing Backpacking City Exploring Hiking Rafting Sightseeing Surfing Trekking
Timeframe
Year Round
Housing
Guesthouse Host Family Hostel Tent
Primary Language
English
Age Min.
18

Pricing

Starting Price
3850
Price Details
4 weeks: $3850.00
7 weeks: $5450.00
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Meals Tour Guide Transportation Wifi
What's Included (Extra)

Pre-departure briefing and support
Airport pick-up
Gapforce Leader
Local guides and support staff
Welcome and orientation briefing
All accommodation
Spanish lessons
All tours on itinerary
Project donation
Meals listed in itinerary
Social activities
24/7 UK emergency back-up

What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
Feb 22, 2024
Apr 17, 2024
39 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Discover the lost lands of the Incas! Whether the awe-inspiring spectacle of Machu Picchu; the sensation of waking up to the sounds and sights of the rainforest; or intimate encounters with incredible animals, you are sure to encounter something to astound you at every turn of this journey across Peru and Ecuador. Volunteering opportunities in wildlife conservation and mean you can leave your mark and give something back as you travel this vibrant, surprising corner of South America.

Conclude your adventure with a tour of the Galapagos Islands, an archipelago of unparalleled marine biodiversity. Hike, sail and snorkel your way round the islands made famous by Charles Darwin, encountering sea lions; dolphin; turtles; sharks and more. Wrapping up with a return to Quito for the nights of your adventure where there is a chance to explore the city and visit the Mitad del Mundo, zero degrees of latitude and longitude - the centre of the world!

Video and Photos

Impact

Sustainability

We are committed to exert a positive impact on the regions, countries and communities which we visit. For us it is paramount that the local organisations and communities benefit from our cooperation by working with trusted local businesses and project partners who align with our sustainability objectives.

Ethical Impact

We are passionate about travel and the positive impact it has on young people’s outlook and future prospects. Our mission is to help people become global citizens through authentic, socially and environmentally responsible travel experiences which aid self-discovery and personal development.

As a small team, we are committed to providing a highly personalised service from your initial contact right through to your chosen adventure. We achieve this through our dedicated team of program leaders and support staff, all of whom are passionate travellers united by a common purpose to help young people explore the world.

Program Highlights

  • Stunning 5 day Andean trek to Machu Picchu, one of the seven modern wonders of the world
  • Surf the pacific waves off the coast of Mancora, Peru's best known beach town
  • Navigate your way through the rapids with some white water rafting near Baños, Ecuador's adventure sports capital
  • Get up close and personal with a vast range of animals whilst volunteering at an Amazon Wildlife Rescue Sanctuary
  • Trek the Quilotoa Loop, arguably one of the best multi-day trekking routes in South America and one of Ecuador's most popular treks!

Program Reviews

4.79 Rating
based on 43 reviews
  • 5 rating 81.4%
  • 4 rating 16.28%
  • 3 rating 2.33%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Housing 4.55
  • Support 4.55
  • Fun 4.65
  • Value 4.7
  • Safety 4.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 43 reviews
Default avatar
Carole
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Stay in South America February 2024

"Having found this program on the internet I was a little hesitant at first about the reliability of the offer, ultimately I have no regrets about this wonderful stay! Peru and Ecuador have left me with truly unique memories that I won't find anywhere else. The locals are friendly and warm, the culinary diversity is qualitative, the natural landscapes are breathtaking!

Our guide (Colin) was caring, very kind, funny and gave very good advice! It was a pleasure to speak in English, Spanish AND French with him!! The local guides were all wonderful. Our youth group was friendly. All the activities offered were great.
Volunteering was incredible and one of my greatest life experiences! I was able to improve my Spanish during this stay while helping others and enjoying it, what more could you ask for?

I am grateful to have been able to participate in this program and I highly recommend it."

En ayant trouvé ce programme sur internet j’étais un peu hésitante au départ quant à la fiabilité de l’offre, finalement je n’ai aucun regret de ce merveilleux séjour!
Le Pérou et l’Équateur m’ont laissé des souvenirs véritablement uniques que je ne trouverai nul part ailleurs. Les habitants sont aimables et chaleureux, la diversité culinaire est qualitative, les paysages naturels sont à couper le souffle!

Notre guide (Colin) était bienveillant, très gentil, drôle et de très bons conseils! C’était un plaisir de parler à la fois en Anglais, en Espagnol ET en Français avec lui!! Les guides locaux étaient tous formidables. Notre groupe de jeunes était sympathique. Toutes les activités proposées étaient géniales.
Le volontariat était incroyable et fait partie de mes plus belles expériences de vie! J’ai pu améliorer mon espagnol durant ce séjour tout en aidant les autres et en profitant, que demander de plus ?

Je suis reconnaissante d’avoir pu participer à ce programme et je le recommande vivement.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Bridge jumping was one of the best experiences of my whole life !
18 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Johanna
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a lifetime

When I was choosing my gap year program I had a checklist of everything I wanted to get out of the experience.
1. Meeting new people from around the world. Check. In my group I made friends with people from England as well as South Africa, Ireland and Martinique! It was so cool to be put in a group of people who have different life experiences and stories to share. We had lots of fun debating on the different ways to say words and exploring how our lives differ in school and social life. I was so happy with the bonds I’ve made and the friendships that will always be remembered for future travel buddies!
2. Adventure. Check. This trip was everything I could have hoped for in terms of adventure. Zip-lining, white-water rafting and bungee jumping were some key highlights that made sure, there was never a dull moment. The adrenaline rush I got from these activities was very unforgettable! I can also never forget waking up to tea at 5am in a tent ready to start our hike on the Salkantay trek up to Machu Picchu! This trek held so many cherished memories like going for a dip in the glacier water river, singing our way down a mud slide as it poured down on us and so many more! I can say that my thrill seeking was fulfilled!
3. Volunteer work with animals. Check. The volunteer work on this program was very unique and incredible. We had the opportunity to work at the Yanacocha animal rescue center which was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity! It felt good to be doing hard work feeding, cleaning pens and completing extra work around the sanctuary. The owner and volunteer coordinator made many efforts to make it a fun work environment with the other volunteers. We had chants in the mornings to pump us up for work and fun games in the evening after work was done! You could tell they loved it there and their hearts were in it for the animals! The sanctuary was filled with macaws, pumas, tayras, owls, baby racoons, toucans, ocelots, caymans, many kinds of monkeys and so many more. It was devastating leaving because of the love I developed for these animals. We also had the unique chance to go through gap forces terms and conditions for volunteering to make sure it is ethical and the animal walfare is good. From working there for a week we already knew the sanctuary was amazing and had all the right intentions and going through the paperwork verified that. We even got to release a toucan and sloth into the jungle which was an incredible experience! As I’m done the trip this volunteer experience was definitely my favourite part of the entire trip!
4. Lastly experiencing the jungle. Check.
We stayed at the ecolodge Tamandua which was a close tie to my favourite part of the trip. We had an amazing view over the tree tops and spent our nights stargazing on the decking that hung over the trees. Our days were spent either walking to hidden waterfalls, making bracelets and chocolate, reading in hammocks and enjoying the peace that the jungle brings. Another once in a lifeline opportunity we had was sleeping in hammocks in the jungle! We set up the hammocks and shelter ourselves, even making one out of leaves and sticks! We fell asleep to just what you can imagine a jungle would sound like at night and woke up to the birds singing and the sunrise! I even had the opportunity to do it twice which I jumped at the chance to. As a kid I dreamed of being in the jungle and what I got from this trip was so much better!
Overall all of my wishes were checked off and fulfilled way beyond I could have ever hoped! Thank you GapForce

Pros
  • We kept moving around, so we got to see a variety of landscapes and have different experiences.
  • Freedom even with the scheduled activities
  • Meeting people around the world
18 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Joe
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

A fantastic 7 weeks with a lovely group of people

Lovely varied itinerary with plenty of flexibility means this trip could appeal to all from hiking enthusiasts to animal lovers and everything in between. Personal highlights included hiking to Machu Picchu, surfing in Punta Hermosa and all the activities in Banos. The Spanish Lessons and Homestay experience at the beginning of the trip gives ample opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture. All the other participants were super friendly, welcoming and enthusiastic which really added to the overall experience.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Cleaned out a Puma's cage
Pros
  • Varied itinerary
  • Great social side
  • Unique experiences
Cons
  • Some people may struggle at altitude
20 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Sarah
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

South American Explorer

Incredible time and would highly recommend doing the full 7 week trip. I especially enjoyed the treks and the beautiful scenery each trek provided. On this trip you are able to see many different places in Peru and Ecuador and get exposed to a their respective cultures. This trip has a nice mix of bustling towns, smaller towns, remote areas, the jungle, the mountains and the beach. I especially loved the adventure activities in Baños such as white water rafting, bridge jumping, rock climbing and canyoning.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I saw a monkey autopsy at Yana Cocha animal rescue centre
Pros
  • Beautiful treks and scenery
  • Traveling in a group
  • Tamandua ecolodge
Cons
  • Lunch not included
21 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Bee
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

South America explorer

This was such an amazing experience. I loved all the places that we visited. The treks were a real bonding experience as a group, as was our time in the jungle. The volunteering experience was a highlight for me. Before coming I was worried about how ethical it would be but I didn’t have any issues with yanacocha. Would highly recommend to any gap year students looking to have fun and see some more of the world. It’s great having a guide with you to show you things that maybe you would’ve missed in just solo traveling.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Definitely releasing a sloth into the wild
Pros
  • Travelling with a group
  • Experiencing different cultures
  • Interacting with different animals
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Lunches not included
21 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Julian
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

South America Explorer honest review

This is the trip if you would like to experience every activity there is to offer from Peru and Ecuador. It is well thought and well planned with an intense week always followed by a relaxing week.

Prior to the adventure it has been easy to contact and seek help from gap force and the guides we had during the trip have been more than kind and helpful.

Overall, I enjoyed the trip and am glad that I have been exposed to such a different part of the world and culture. However, I do hope that we could’ve gone to more countries and deeper into the Amazon rainforest or at least the galapogas islands. I guess South America is too big for a single trip, even if it’s 7 weeks long.

Pros
  • Wide range of activities
  • Kind and caring guides
  • Reasonable intensity
Cons
  • Not the best for foodies
  • Lacking galapogas
  • only limited to Peru and Ecuador
44 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Hannah
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

South America

A variety of lots of different activities and places which made it unique. We toured a lot of different cities and town and did new activities everyday and all the activities were fun and interesting. We also had the freedom to choose wether we wanted to do everything or not and also we visited a lot of different activities places and we also had enough free time to explore on our own which I really liked but at the same time there was always something fun to do everyday the was planned that we did as a group.

Pros
  • Fun
  • Adventure
  • Expirience
Cons
  • Hotel problems
  • Food not always good
  • Long travel
52 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Oscar
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience in South America

I had the most amazing experience of my life on this trip. Even though parts of the actual trip were slightly different from the itinerary, such as activities in Tamandua the Jungle Retreat, we still had a really fun time, and generally seeing all of the amazing sites. Occasionally, we had issues with our accommodation being unavailable through the hotels fault not Gapforce’s, and we ended up staying in different places which was a hassle. However the amazing, fun guides we had sorted it out as quick as they could, and Leaders like Colin and Raul also made sure we were safe. In places such as Quito where it’s more dangerous, they were well knowledgeable and made us as safe as possible. Money belts are really important so defenitely bring one!

Pros
  • The friends you make
  • Amazing views
  • Plenty of downtime especially the second half of the trip
Cons
  • A lot of moving thorough different hostels
  • Difficult treks
  • A lack of food variety at times
51 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers