Quito & Galapagos

Travel Dates

January 31 – February 9, 2024

Dates subject to change one or two days until flights are confirmed.

Volunteer Fee

$2,000

Covers all costs for lodging, transportation, food, activities, donations, etc. However this does not include AIRFARE, GALAPAGOS VISA AND ENTRY FEE, or SOUVENIRS.

Airfare Costs

$1,000

This is an estimated cost for all airfare and visa costs departing from SLC airport.

February 2024 is Trip FULL. Complete form to be put on a waiting list.

Ecuador Yuda Venture

Explore the Galapagos Islands and Quito area—a perfect blend of nature, culture, and adventure! Encounter unique wildlife, stunning landscapes, and colonial history. Dive into vibrant markets, delicious cuisine, and Andean adventures all sprinkled with the Yuda Bands humanitarian touch to give you an unforgettable cultural and service journey!

On the Itinerary

Day 1 & 10 are travel days. We’ll depart SLC in the morning of Jan. 31 and return to SLC the late afternoon of February 9.

Day 2

Otavalo

Along with our awesome local guide, we’ll dive right into the customs and traditions of the famous mountain village, Otavalo. The Otavalan market is a must-visit – it’s bursting with souvenirs and vibrant textiles. After our city tour, we’ll sit down for a yummy lunch with a local Otavalan family. It’s the perfect way to soak up the local vibes and flavors!

Day 2 (continued)

Middle of the Earth

On our way back from Otavalo to Quito we’ll visit “Mitad del Mundo” where you will straddle the Earth’s equator, standing in both hemispheres simultaneously. Beyond its geographic significance, the site provides engaging exhibits, cultural demonstrations, and an iconic monument. From educational experiments to captivating photo opportunities, Mitad del Mundo promises a memorable blend of geography and culture.

Day 3

Mindo

Get set for an adventure-packed day in the enchanting Mindo cloud forest! Highlights include a butterfly and hummingbird sanctuary visit, a scenic waterfall hike, and learning the art of chocolate-making. If the weather permits, brace for the thrill of river tubing. It’s an unforgettable day of exploration and fun!

Day 4

Quito

Discover Quito’s heart with a visit to Basilica del Voto Nacional and other iconic sites. Then, soar to 13,000 feet on one of the world’s highest cable cars, atop the active stratovolcano, Pichincha. Wrap up the day with a culturally immersive evening—enjoy a local cultural dinner and captivating presentations, soaking in Ecuador’s rich heritage.

Day 5

Home Visits

Today, attend church and make heartwarming visits to families in need. Before the trip, choose a family to support by collecting second-hand items. This impactful day isn’t just about the families we visit—it’s a journey that opens your eyes to their humble circumstances, fostering appreciation for your own blessings. Join us for a touching day of giving back and gaining newfound perspective.

Day 6

Galapagos

Get set for a chill day of bliss! After an early flight to San Cristobal in the Galapagos, settle into our cozy B&B. The afternoon is yours for island exploration—beach time, bonding with sea lions, and exploring the Galapagos Historical Museum. It’s a day designed for relaxation and discovery in the enchanting Galapagos archipelago.

Day 7

360 Tour

Gear up for an exhilarating day sailing around the entire island. Encounter unique wildlife on land, in the air, and underwater. Dive into crystal-clear waters near Kicker Rock, swimming with sea lions, sharks, turtles, and manta rays. It’s a day of awe-inspiring encounters in the extraordinary Galapagos.

Day 8

Tortoise Sanctuary

Embark on a captivating land journey with a local expert, uncovering secrets of the Galapagos. Discover hidden water sources, enjoy the lagoon’s tranquility, and reach the Tortoise Sanctuary. Immerse yourself in volunteering with these ancient creatures, creating meaningful connections.

Day 9

Final Day

You have the morning to soak in the last vibes of the island or you can take your time packing for the journey home. Around noon we’ll be catching our flight to Guayaquil and onward to Quito. After spending a few hours at the airport and saying goodbye to our local guide we’ll boarding our flight back to America. Tonight, we’ll be spending the night on a plane.

Ecuador Travel Info

COVID-19

  • No vaccine required
  • No testing required
  • No masks required

Requirements

  • Passport
  • 16+ years old
  • Galapagos Visa ($20)
  • Galapagos Conservation Fee ($100)

Travel Time

  • SLC to Quito ~ 10-15 hrs with layovers
  • Quito to Galapagos ~ 4hrs

Volunteer with Confidence

Gateway Airport

One of the biggest concerns that parents have is sending their child off to navigate immigration, customs, or other “unknowns” of landing in a foreign, non-English speaking country. Because of this we will all meet together at a US based gateway airport. This way our trip guide(s) will escort your child from the gateway airport to the final destination.

Parents Are Welcome

Our groups are primarily made up of youth but family members and teachers are invited to accompany us. Each year since 2007, a handful of mothers and fathers have added a wonderful variety and maturity to the group. Sometimes teachers and students that ran a Yuda Bands project together will travel together to meet their student they worked together to sponsor.

Easy to Get in Contact

International communication has become quite convenient. Most carriers extend service internationally for $9 per 24 hours. However we recommend communicating with home and posting on social media only at night at our hotels and lodges where Wifi will be available. Parents are given a 24/7 number to contact their child in case of emergency.

U.S. and Local Support

Both US guides and local Yuda Bands directors will help with language and culture. Local directors share valuable insight to culture and traditions while US guides fill a parental role and maintain a high standard of hygiene, safety and behavior in the group.

Safe & Clean Lodging

We stay in clean and simple accommodations on all of our trips. Security, location, and comfort are all taken into account when selecting lodging for our trips. A long history with owners and managers of these facilities helps us negotiate pricing, helping us keep our volunteer fees low.

Clean Meals & Water

Where we eat our meals varies by country and even location within each country. Volunteers and guides eat together during specified meal times (itinerary provided a week before departure) either in the homes of trusted locals or in established restaurants. Both take great care to properly clean and prepare the food to avoid any stomach issues. Purified water is provided throughout the trip.

Yuda Venture FAQ’s

If accompanied by a parent or older sibling we can talk about your specific situation, but if you’re traveling alone the age restrictions are as follows:

Guatemala and Nicaragua: 14+ Zimbabwe and Ecuador : 16+

Yes. Typically we go to Nicaragua every November over Thanksgiving break and we go to Guatemala and Zimbabwe/Botswana in the summer.

The volunteer fee covers your living expenses and costs to visit tourist sites and complete activities.

You will room with 1-3 others of your same gender and similar age.

It helps to understand some Spanish when traveling to Guatemala and Nicaragua but it is not necessary. Your guide and local support will help translate.
Because airfare prices are constantly changing. We don’t have control over the prices, so we don’t include them in the overall cost of the trip. We do however try to find the best prices and shortest flight times.
A liability release form as well as a media release form. This gives us permission to use photos and videos of you on our website and social media so we can update your family members back home.
We realize that while these trips are a great value, they are a lot of money. We recommend you checkout our fundraising page for ideas of how to raise enough money for your trip.
No you don’t. If you sold bands you will visit your student in their home. If you didn’t then you will be able to pick your own student that you will visit during your trip.
Yes. Many people have returned to the same location in following years and others have joined us on all three of our trips around the world.
Currently we do not offer any kind of financial aid. You can however checkout our fundraising page.
If there are enough available spots on a planned trip you are welcome to join us. For family/friend groups of 10 or more we can work with you to schedule your own private trip to one of our locations.
No, most volunteers do not know anyone before going on the trip.
You can see the estimated costs of flights on each country’s itinerary page. Once the group is full your trip guide will purchase the airfare for you, however you are responsible to pay for the ticket.

The trips are pretty much all inclusive. There might be a few meals you will be responsible to buy and you are also responsible for COVID-19 tests, visas (Zimbabwe) and souvenirs.

About Yuda Ventures

In 2007, Yuda Bands began sponsoring high school students in Guatemala. The following year, we embarked on our inaugural volunteer trip, connecting face-to-face with sponsored students and completing various service projects. Since then, our organization has grown, providing hundreds of years of education to students in 10 countries across four continents. Our commitment to fostering global awareness and bridging cultural divides remains unwavering. As we continue to expand our reach, we invite you to join us on this transformative journey. Your participation will not only make a difference but also contribute to a world where education and understanding thrive. Come be a part of this meaningful life-changing adventure to Ecuador!

January 2024 Trip is FULL. Complete form to be put on a waiting list.