Top 7 Gap Year Adventure Programs In South America
A lifetime opportunity to explore, understand and travel responsibly across different countries in South America. Available in 8 countries that include Costa Rica, Peru, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua, the Americas are a treat for any enthusiastic gap year traveler. A continent that is home to the prehistoric ‘Mesoamerican Mayan Civilization’, South America is a land of superlatives as its home to the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon, longest mountain range - the Andes, largest river basin - the Amazon River Basin - , rainiest city - Buenaventura in Colombia - and one of the largest spoken indigenous language - Quechua, despite its long history of Spanish evangelism and colonization. To spend a transforming gap year, head to South America for a variety of experiences that include everything on the Gap year spectrum - Adventure, Volunteering, Cultural Exploration, Local Living and Restoration efforts.
Read on to find out about the 7 most recommended gap year and volunteer programs in South America.
Time to work on your Spanish in this carefully crafted and well-rounded program in Quito Ecuador. A chance to take heritage walks in the city, understand the life and times of the Latinas and learn a new language - all in just one program. A chance to meet gap year travelers and Spanish language enthusiasts from around the world, this project also incorporates a LOT of cultural experiences as well which includes Salsa lessons along with weekly Cocktail with the fellow learners. Available for 1-4 weeks, this is one of the most fun and learning gap year activity to take up when in South America.
A responsible and impactful travel option, head to the land of the Incas, live in Cusco and work for its little ones. Be a part of the community schools and get involved in teaching and playing with cute little kids and make a positive difference in the lives. And at the same time, get to tread the sites that are not only a UNESCO World Heritage but also have existed since the beginning of time (well, the prehistoric Mayan times, to be exact). An all-encompassing 2-week volunteer and travel special project where you’ll get to meet a lot of fellow travelers, work with locals, polish your Spanish and explore the topographical and cultural diversity of Peru as well.
The Football Euphoria gets to another level in Ecuador and becomes an amazing addition to your gap year. As a sports coach in this project, you have to play and make informal football training modules for 6-16-year-olds and also add a tad bit of English training to your sessions. A chance to meaningfully spend your time in South America and enliven your passion for Football, this project will also let you explore the best there is of Ecuador. From visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Ecuador, exploring the Andean plateau with a series of active volcanoes to dropping by to the archipelago of Galapagos to experience a beachside retreat, this trip combines the perks of impactful and exploratory travel.
Towering remains of the magnificent and mysterious Mayan civilization, trek the Incan trail of Machu Picchu. Accommodated in a local Andean homestay, this project is also laced with an opportunity to meet a Women's Co-op and the potter's societies to get a good glimpse of the everyday life of Peruvians. Starting in Lima, encompassing Ollantaytambo and ending at the heritage town of Cusco, the project is a thrilling travel experience with a difference. A definite and unmissable addition for your Latin American journey, all journies are incomplete without taking the Incan trip.
A perfect opportunity for nature and animal lovers, head to Costa Rica to shower some love to the Rican turtles. Work at this project includes looking after the endangered sea turtle species that includes Leatherback, Pacific Olive Ridley, and Green Sea turtles at the beaches, saving their nests from the poachers and keeping their natural habitat clean. A rejuvenating experience in the countryside while doing something good for Mother Nature, this project also includes the opportunity to explore different national parks such Tortuguero National Park, The Corcovado National Park, and Manuel Antonio National Park.
Encompassing Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, this 18-day addition to your Gap year in South America is as good as it can get. From scuba diving in the second largest coral reef system in the world to explore the diverse topography of the Mesoamerican volcanic trail, canopying, wildlife spotting, adventure sports are some of the regular features of this trip.
From the bustle of Mexico City life to the thrill of the jungle and beachy breezes of the Yucatan Peninsula, time for merriment in Mexico. Laced with bucket list experiences, strike off the wonder of the world ‘Chichén Itzá’ off your list and take strolls on the colonial lanes of Puebla and capture the archaeological marvels of Oaxaca. Hike the Yucatan Peninsula or just laze at the beach, make the most of the culinary delight that is Mexico as you take this Mexiophilic trip in the Americas.
Wherever you decide to go within South America, the friendliness of the locals, the centrality of music and dance within the culture, the reverence of sports, especially Football, the spicy and lip-smacking food will be some of the common denominators throughout. Team Go Discover Abroad will do its bit to make sure that your South America Gap Year is seamless from start to end laced with learnings and memories. Drop us an email [email protected] to get talking about your trip.