About ETE

Ecuador Travel Experiences is born from the cooperation and partnership between Trek Ecuador (www.trekecuador.com), a tour operator, and Fundación Mente (www.mente.ec), an NGO working for environmental conservation and sustainable development.

Relying on our many years of experience in conservation issues and tourist activities in natural and heritage areas, and through our commitment to conservation and the protection of our culture and national wealth, we believe in the importance of tourism as a way to promote conservation and sustainable development.

For these reasons we have developed www.ecuadortravelexperiences.com, as an environmentally responsible marketing platform for tourist products and destinations in Ecuador. The platform provides options for organizing customized trips that will help you experience Ecuador through equitable interactions with the natural environment and the local culture, and at the same time, give back to the destinations that you visit. We have created a network of allies that promote tourism from an environmental and culturally responsible perspective.

The philosophy behind the alliance

between a tour operator and a conservation NGO is simple: to encourage environmental responsibility in the tourism industry, and to generate –as much as possible—the participation of and the benefits for the local population. Therefore, the travel destinations, experiences, and products that we offer comply with several criteria for best practices in social and environmental management.

We only work with local lodging and accommodation companies, all of them family and community businesses. To guarantee that the benefits and remuneration remain in the hands of the local population, we don’t work with big companies or hotel chains.

We develop travel experiences for small groups (maximum 16 people per group) to ensure authentic and personal travel experiences.

All our travel experiences include interaction with the local population to guarantee an authentic cultural immersion.

We strengthen the local production chain by hiring local suppliers, especially for the food. In this way, the traveler learns about local gastronomical traditions and tastes products that come directly from the hands of small producers. We favour a healthy diet based on local products produced by families in the area.

We promote trips to several areas of high natural value. Ecuador is a megadiverse country, and we believe that the best experiences take place in nature: natural spaces, protected areas, and indigenous territories with high biodiversity.

We work to reduce our environmental footprint. Through the partnership between tour operator and NGO, we guarantee that the income generated by the tourists will be shared along with the tourism supply chain; in turn, the profits will be reinvested in environmental and social projects in the areas we work with, in productive projects, centred on conservation and community development.

By booking a tour with us

you insure that a percentage of the price you pay is returned to conservation and sustainable development projects implemented by Fundacion Mente. This doesn’t mean that the traveler pays more, but that the partnership recognises that part of the income must be reinvested to protect the regions, the natural areas and cultural heritage you experience. The reinvestment percentage varies depending on the itinerary (the itineraries are always customized), and may vary from 10% to 50% of the profit (income – costs), depending on the type of travel experience.

These are some of the projects implemented by Fundacion Mente that your travel experience can support:

We do not offer pre-established travel packages

instead we work with suppliers in all of Ecuador, to create customised travel experiences for each client. Our network of allies is small, but continually growing since today’s traveler is better informed about the impact that tourism can generate (regarding the use of plastic, pollution, CO2, etc.).

The ETE team has 20+ years of experience

as guides, tour leaders, ecolodge managers, and product development in adventure and nature-based tourism.

Cristina Serrano
An expert Tour Leader, Cristina has been leading travel groups for 2 decades. She has developed a close personal and professional relationships with our partner communities and local allies.

Daniela Abad
Daniela is based in Quito, and provides key operational and administrative support for all the work we do.

Mayra Tusa
Mayra is based in Quito, and provides office support for all our projects and initiatives.

Mario Orozco
Mario is based in the Amazonian city of Puyo. Mario provides vital operational and logistical support to our projects in the Amazon Basin.

Julian Larrea
Director of Fundacion Mente. Julian is an adventurer, formerly a mountain-climbing, paragliding, and trekking guide and tour leader. His adventures led him to understand the complex reality of rural and indigenous communities, and to develop a passion for conservation and community work.

Maria Isabel Endara
General Manager of Trek Ecuador. Since 2005, Marisa has designed travel itineraries in Ecuador for responsible travelers looking for unique and authentic experiences that support local communities and conservation.

Juan Carlos Garcia
Project Director. Over the last 20 years, Juan Carlos has worked for national and international NGOs, cooperation agencies, as a consultant for the Ministry of Environment in Ecuador, and as a travel experience developer.

The team has designed and organized trips in Ecuador for more than 20 years, developing a consistent network of tourist products which showcase Ecuador’s natural and cultural diversity: a small country that can be travelled easily and that has diverse regions in its name: the Amazon, the Galapagos Islands, volcanoes and snow-capped mountains, rivers and forests with a rich biodiversity, a country that is also home to a variety of local indigenous groups and communities.

What sets us apart?

We offer the traveler the possibility of enjoying destinations such as the Amazon, Galapagos, Quito, and the Ecuadorian Andes through customised experiences combining contact with nature and interact with the local population, its customs and traditions.
Our travel experiences are developed from the perspectives of ecotourism, slow tourism (slow food), the protection of wildlife and biodiversity, and respect for the local customs and traditions. The customized travel packages are designed for couples, families, adults or retirees. Our travel experiences are suited for adventurous travelers who are open to discovering their chosen destination through natural landscapes, food, and interaction with local communities.

Testimonials

This is what people have to say about Ecuador Travel Experiences