• Ecuador
    • Quito
4 - 12 weeks
Need-based funding, General grants/scholarships, Payment plans
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Host Family Hotel Lodge
Age Max


Starting Price
Price Details
International & domestic airfare is not included in the tuition. Roundtrip airfare from New York to Quito/Guayaquil will be approximately $1,200.

FINANCIAL AID IS AVAILABLE: We offer between 10-50% financial aid based on need. Please submit our financial aid application if interested.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
May 01, 2023
Aug 16, 2023
5 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Contained within the borders of one small country are the headwaters of the Amazon and the snow-capped volcanoes of the Andes is the beautiful country of Ecuador. One of the most biodiverse countries in the world, Ecuador's remarkable variety of habitats is as rich culturally as biologically.

Experience Otavalo, an Andean mountain village famous for its volcanic crater lake and artisan markets. Become an integral part of your rural Ecuadorian home, harvesting fresh bananas and cacao or playing soccer with your siblings. Improve your Spanish as you work side by side with locals on the construction of a school or participate in another community-led volunteer project.

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

BIPOC Support

We recognize that we are a long way from the diversity we aim for within our students, staff, and partners. We want and need more diversity to truly become the organization we would like to be. We recognize that this will not happen overnight or without dedicating time, attention, and resources. To that end, we have created a strategic plan to address our current shortfalls and to make significant improvements, which you can see on our Diversity & Inclusion page.

Neurodivergent Support

At Carpe Diem, each applicant reads through our extensive Essential Eligibility Criteria prior to enrollment. This criteria allows applicants to determine if the organization is an appropriate fit for their gap semester/year goals and their individual needs. During the interview and application process, we have honest and direct conversations with students and families about the support that our staff is able to provide throughout the program experience. We are committed to creating a culture of acceptance and support. To that end, our Overseas Educators and local leaders are selected for their skill in group facilitation and promoting inclusive group dynamics.

Accessibility Support

At Carpe Diem, each applicant reads through our extensive Essential Eligibility Criteria prior to enrollment. This criteria allows applicants to determine if the organization is an appropriate fit for their gap semester/year goals and their individual needs. We have honest and open conversations with applicants about our ability to support individual needs on each program, with the ultimate goal of a healthy and successful experience for all students. In the past, we have worked with students with severe allergies, diabetes, chronic injuries, and mental health diagnoses. We know each student's journey is individual and we work with families to support these individual needs where possible to help determine if the program is a good fit for their gap semester goals.



Global Routes - and our sister organization, Carpe Diem Education - is committed to maximizing the net positive impact while minimizing the carbon footprint of every program. In our office, on our programs, and through our carbon offset match, our programs are geared toward environmental education to empower future leaders to move their communities to take action. During our programs, students learn more about their impact as individuals and a travel community - then take a solution-oriented lens to tackling key issues. We also contribute to and amplify the voices of organizations and partners who focus on permaculture, natural building, and sustainable solutions.

Ethical Impact

Global Routes - and our sister organization, Carpe Diem Education - is designed to connect to our local communities and provide reciprocal exchange and engagement. Through engaging in experiential education, community engagement, and intercultural exchange, our students develop enhanced perspectives, deeper cultural understanding, and a profound sense of self-discovery and personal growth. We work with vetted local providers to build their businesses as they provide value to our students and programming. With our homestay families, we ensure we minimize our footprint by regularly rotating the communities we work with and evaluating our social impact alongside their community leaders.

Program Highlights

  • OUR MODEL: Our hallmark model includes meaningful community service, cross-cultural exchange, and living and volunteering in rural homestay communities.
  • COMMUNITY SERVICE: Students receive a certificate for 50 to 80 community service hours.
  • LEARNING GOALS: Spanish, construction, leadership, outdoor skills
  • GROUP SIZE: 9-18 students; 2 U.S. leaders; 2 Ecuadorian Staff

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 8 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 4.9
  • Support 4.9
  • Fun 5
  • Housing 4.75
  • Safety 4.75
Showing 1 - 8 of 8 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Ecuador 2023

Global Routes Ecuador was the most impactful month of my life! I got a chance to learn about the history and culture of the Indigenous community in Ecuador and I was even in Homestay in the gorgeous house of the sweetest Indigenous woman. Throughout my trip, I was swimming in waterfalls, hiking the most beautiful mountains and having the most fun with my travel group. We would spend hours playing card games, singing songs and going on walks in town. I loved every moment I spent in Ecuador and I would do it all again in a heart beat!

  • All the kindhearted locals!
  • All the water activities!
  • The fantastic views!
36 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Andrew N.
Yes, I recommend this program

My time in Ecuador <3

I didn’t think I could have so much fun with a group of people I had just meet. Global Routes is an amazing program, I definitely see myself back in another country with them. My time with the group <3, the food, and just the overall experience was perfect! Somethings I did while in Ecuador with Global Routes include Hiking, Sightseeing, Community Service, Cultural Immersion, Camping, and in general just having fun everywhere we went! If you’re reading this review and thinking about going on a Global Routes Program… DO IT! It’s an unforgettable experience which no one can take from you <3

  • Gain Leadership Skills
  • Meet great new people/ Network
  • Have so much fun!
40 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Ecuador 2023

We got to immersed ourselves in the culture in various ways, bond with the locals and our host families all while having the opportunity to the exquisite views. The culture of the locals took my breath away, their dress and jewelry added to uniqueness.
We learnt about textile threading, music and instruments. This was the most fun part because we had the opportunity to share the dance with out colleagues and locals. It was amazing.
Then we were involved in tubbing and it was by far the best experience, using rubber tunes and gliding through the rapids. It was indeed an adventure.

  • Amazing foods
  • Site seeing
  • History
  • Bugs
46 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Ecuador & The Galapagos

Global Routes was such a life-changing experience. It changed my perspective on the way I see the world and the people in it -- I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything! Traveling with Global Routes gave me an opportunity to learn and grow, while feeling 100% safe and supported. My Ecuador & Galapagos trip has not only spurred my love of travel, culture, and adventure but has gifted me with some of my dearest, lifelong friends. Global Routes is the way to go!

What would you improve about this program?
Encourage Global Routes Alumni to stay involved with the program!
96 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience, opportunity for personal growth

My Global Routes trip to Ecuador had a very big impact on me. Not only did the trip help me improve my Spanish and provide a great cultural exchange & community service experience, but it also gave me more confidence and independence. I went on the program the summer before I went to college, and the confidence I gained on my Global Routes trip helped me a lot during that transition. Part of the reason why my trip was so successful was that my leaders were awesome. They were fun, supportive, and led great group discussions and activities. I still think back to my trip with fond memories-- it was a very positive and formative experience. I would absolutely recommend the program!

90 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience, so grateful!

I would definitely recommend Global Routes to anyone looking to go abroad for the summer. Before I went, I looked into a TON of programs, and decided that Global Routes was the best option, and I'm happy to say that it exceeded my expectations. My homestay family was kind, warm, welcoming, and accommodating, my leaders were fantastic, and the places we visited were amazing. The program enabled me to have an authentic experience while feeling very safe and supported. I have wanted to go back to Ecuador since the day I got home. Global Routes definitely knows what they are doing!

95 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing

I had the time of my life in Ecuador. I talk about my trip every single day and think about it constantly. I still see my friends that I made there and they are some of my closest friends. It was life changing and I will never forget the experience I had during my four weeks. I wish I could go back every day.

99 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Decision of My Life

I would totally recommend Global Routes to a friend because the experience abroad is life changing. I am so glad that I made the bold move to go to Ecuador. I experienced things that I have never experienced before and probably will not experience them again, such as eating guinea pig and teaching english in the local school. Our days started off in the field, where we constructed bleachers and a bathroom at the communal soccer field. Some of us would then help at the school or help out at home, allowing us all to have different experiences. This trip to Ecuador honestly changed the way I view the world, and I am very thankful for that.

90 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers