Saint Francis Xavier University Ecuador Service Trip

Saint Francis Xavier University Ecuador Service Trip

Trip Highlights

  • Grassroots environmental conservation and community development project in a cloud forest community
  • Intillacta cloud forest ecological reserve
  • Canopy zip line activity
  • Learn how chocolate is made at a cacao farm
  • Swim and enjoy the Mindo waterfall sanctuary

Trip Summary

This adventure is jam-packed with learning opportunities, adventure and service. From Quito we travel to the highlands of Ecuador to complete service work in a community located in a cloud forest. The Mestizo people of the highlands will welcome your group to their community to work along-side them on the community farms, taking part in the processing of dairy products and enjoying some social and sporting events. We visit an ecological reserve and enjoy a canopy zip line activity. Finally, we travel to Mindo to visit the beautiful waterfalls, swim in the crystal pools and learn about the process of cacao beans being transformed into delicious chocolate bars.


Depart Halifax and travel to Quito. On arrival, you will be met at the airport by a World Youth Adventures representative and transferred by private vehicle to your accommodation.

Meals:  Nil

Today you will have the opportunity to sleep late, to recover from your travels, breakfast will be arranged later than usual so the group can have time to rest. You will visit the Old Town Quito and discover some of the city's most historic buildings as well as the local food culture on this comprehensive walking tour! Tour the Monastery of San Francisco and learn about its impressive history from our expert guide. Admire the Independence Monument, Archbishop's Palace and Government Palace while at Independence Plaza. Learn about the unique architecture of the various churches that are located in this area. Discover how traditional sweets are prepared and enjoy a taste of Ecuadorian cuisine during your lunch break. Overnight in hostel.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today you will travel to your host community located in the heart of the cloud forest! But first you will stop by the iconic middle of world monument! You will also visit a unique museum that features a number of interactive exhibits demonstrating events that occur only on the equator. These include the complex Coriolis Effect, and the loss of muscle strength experienced when standing precisely on the line of the equator to name a few! You will enjoy a delicious lunch and in the afternoon you will arrive to the community where you will be welcome by the community president after this you will have a cultural activity to get to know the community members. Overnight in hostel.

Meals:  B,L,D

During your stay you will work on grassroots environmental conservation and community development. This community has focused their efforts in environmental restoration and habitat conservation. Daily activities can include: organic farm work, tree nursery maintenance and reforestation, creating crafts in the artisan shop, sign construction and trail development. According to the current needs of the community (the daily activities can vary), you will also have the chance to work on improving local school infrastructure, building water tanks, improving the community meeting center or building an organic vegetable garden for the school children. Overnight in hostel.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we pack and get ready to leave the community and visit an ecological reserve which is a family owned project working towards more sustainable livelihoods based on principles of ecotourism, agro-ecology, and nature conservation. Your visit to this reserve contributes to the active conservation of the Chocó Cloud Forest, a unique and endangered ecosystem. Upon arrival you will receive an introduction to the work carried out at the reserve and walk through their organic gardens and restored forests learning about sustainable practices. Here you will enjoy a canopy zip line activity. The journey is made out of six zip lines, which in total add up to 2 150m (7053,81 feet), built under strict international safety regulations. This activity offers the unique chance of a close encounter with the biodiversity of Andean Cloud Forests from a different perspective. You will enjoy a delicious lunch made with organic vegetables cultivated on this reserve. You will enjoy a delicious lunch made with organic vegetables cultivated on this reserve. In the afternoon you will travel to the town of Mindo to learn about how organic cacao is transformed into delicious chocolate bars at one of the local chocolate factories. Overnight in hostel.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today you will visit the waterfall sanctuary where 9 waterfalls of different sizes can be observed, you can also swim in cristal water pools. After this visit you will have some free time to rest at the hotel, late checkout is included. At 5.30 pm the group will gather at the hostal to go to a local restaurant for a farewell dinner! At 7 pm the group will leave Mindo to travel directly to the airport in Quito to catch the international flight.

Meals:  B,L,D

Depart Quito just after midnight (based on current flight schedules) to return to Halifax in the evening.

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners
  • accommodation based on twin/multi share
  • expert bilingual guide
  • private transportation
  • sightseeing and entry fees as per the itinerary
  • airport transfers
  • coordination and management of service learning project
  • international airfares

What's Not Included

  • Visa costs
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Bottled water, aerated and alcoholic drinks
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, postage etc
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips


It is great knowing that a guide is meeting you at the airport and making sure you are settled into your hotel with very clear instructions of your next days adventure. I loved it.

Bob McLaughlin, Auckland, New Zealand

Our Ecuador private tour, the two of us, a driver and a travel guide, was generally excellent.

Richard Ogrodnik, Glen Iris, Victoria

Upcoming Travel Dates



Duration:8 Days
Starting Point:Halifax
Finishing Point:Halifax
Activities:Service Learning Project
Adventure Touring
Grade:Adventure touring  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG4329