The Road Less Traveled programs take teens outside to seek adventure, find challenges, make friends, build community, and understand the world in a different way.
In South America, we visit the wonders of Ecuador and the Galapagos and the ancient Incan empire of Peru. The region boasts more biodiversity than anywhere else on Earth, from the darkness of the Amazon rainforests to the snowcapped Andes Mountains.
The Road Less Traveled covers it all. We paddle, hike, swim, dive, surf, explore and learn. We accompany and support each other along the way.
EXPERIENCE AND EXPERTISE
We have safe houses set up in every location
Our leaders (average age, 26) are Wilderness First Responder Certified
Our leaders attend a 10-day intense training program
We have a leader return rate of 50%
We register ALL of our travelers, itineraries and contact information with the US embassy in the destination country so that they can contact us should the need arise
We always have a doctor on call, 24/7, and no traveler has spent a night in a hospital due to an injury
Everyone returns securely home from our international service trips, always changed for the better, and often dreaming of their next adventure with The Road Less Traveled. In fact, many of our teens are returning travelers.
13 years! We ran our first Peru Pachamamma program back in 2004 and our first Ecuador program in 2005.
Instructors selected for our South America programs have deep experience with RLT, with young people, with international travel, and are Spanish speakers. Beyond this, they are centered, thoughtful, inspiring, skilled, committed, selfless, and dedicated.
During the school year, our South America program instructors attend school or work as teachers, social workers, authors, adventure guides, artists, scientists, emergency medical technicians, and as entrepreneurs across the globe.
Most importantly, they have strong values: honesty, integrity, respect for the environment, and compassion for others. The average age of our leaders is 26 years old, the minimum is 21.
Get to know last year's program instructors on this page. We will be updating this page with this year's trip leader assignments in the spring.
Each leader is selected personally for their ability to prevent and solve problems in the field, their capacity to relate to and enjoy our young people, their language skills and travel experience, and their knowledge and love of the places we visit. All leaders have a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) (or higher) medical certification.
RLT demands the ultimate responsibility in life. They are more than just leaders, instructors and mentors. They are guardians, in the most genuine sense of the word – essentially a parent to every child.
Directors and founders, Jim and Donna, would not hesitate to trust the physical and emotional safety of their own children with any of our instructors. To learn more about our instructors and their backgrounds please visit this page.
The service varies by program and the needs of the communities we visit each year. Past projects in Peru have included teaching english, working on local farms, and helping to build and maintain local water supplies. Our Ecuador project takes us to the small community of Cochas, where we teach English, play soccer, and make repairs to nearby farms and facilities.
Matthew is our third son to participate in a RLT trip and we have been so happy with your programs. You have truly provided all three of them with life changing travel. Our son Matthew had, as he says with a huge smile, an "awesome" time on the Sigue No Mas trip. This is high praise from Matthew, who usually is reserved in his opinions. He enjoyed every single part of it, from the leaders, his fellow participants, the village to the activities and the Galapagos," Gerri C., Alumni Parent, Sigue No Mas
With each subsequent event you continue to reinforce my opinion that you are the finest child care professionals I have come across," Robert M, Alumni Parent, Pachamama
Ankit came back beaming with excitement, and his over 800 photos were testimony to how much he enjoyed. We are impressed at how the experience has helped to grow his character and personality," Deepa, Alumni Parent, Sigue No Mas
Interested in hearing more? We have hundreds of alumni families who can tell you more about their RLT experience. Please contact our office at 773-342-5200 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
OUR AWARDS AND ACCREDITATIONS:
The Road Less Traveled is committed to providing exceptional travel experiences for young adults. In 2016, the American Camp Association recognized The Road Less Traveled as the winner of the 2016 Gordie Kaplan Program Excellence award. This ACA award honors outstanding student travel programs and recognizes organizations that develop positive and creative responses to the needs of people and ecosystems across the globe.
Our work with children is serious business. Our commitment to safety is unrivaled and we always place quality before quantity. This conviction has empowered and inspired us to provide only the best in training, emergency preparedness, and staffing over the years. To learn more about our ACA accreditation, our exceptional safety record, our Markel's Safety 1st Recognition, B-Corp Certification, and extensive leader training please visit this page.
We invite you to begin your journey to South America today.