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What is included?

PricesSee our prices and services for the Coast and Jungle Study Programs. Find out about all our prices, discounts and services.

The Rio Muchacho Study Program includes:

  • round-trip Quito - Rio Muchacho - Quito
  • meals and accomodation (full board)
  • excursions and activities
  • 18 hours (one week) of Spanish lessons plus...
  • your teacher's attention whenever you need it!

Sign up for classes with Vida Verde Spanish School at Rio Muchacho Organic Farm

Pictures from Rio Muchacho


What to bring

The Ecuadorian Coast has a hot climate but it still can be changing. Bring the following:

  • ORIGINAL passport! (the security checkpoint en route does not accept copies)
  • shorts and long pants (no cotton jeans)
  • t-shirts and long-sleeved shirts
  • raincoat or poncho
  • bathing suit
  • insect repellent
  • sunblock (VERY important) and hat
  • flashlight
  • binoculars (wildlife watching) and camera
  • good walking shoes

Rio Muchacho Organic Farm

Rio Muchacho's gardensRí­o Muchacho is not only a farm. It is an example of sustainable agricultural production and a demonstration of the use of alternative energies and technologies. The influence of Rio Muchacho reaches far beyond the compounds of their farmland. In the City of Bahí­a de Cáraquez a Rio Muchacho initiative successfully implemented is the paper recycling process. Thanks to recycling and other similar projects, Bahí­a is now Ecuador's first "ecociudad" - eco-city. Ecuadorian/New Zealand couple Dario Proaño and Nicola Mears, the founders of Rio Muchacho Farm however want more than instant success. That is why they also invest in environmental education - in their own Environmental School as well as in Baí­ha. Amongst their audience are whole school classes, students of all ages and from all over Ecuador, environmentally-aware tourists, children of the neighbouring farms and even the farmers themselves. The farm invests heavily in public environmental programs and does not receive support from foundations or government. Rio Muchacho can maintain this level of operation only thanks to eco-tourism.


Climb the Giant Fig TreeThis 5-day Study Program takes students on a rural ecological adventure. Rio Muchacho is brimming over with tropical crops, animals and alternative technologies. The students that want to learn more than Spanish encounter fantastic opportunities. Rio Muchacho's gardens are full of exotic herbs fruits and vegetables. The farmers are experts in sustainable and organic food growing and open to sharing their methods. Often students are filled with ideas and some contribute with their own know-how improving parts of the farm's biological cycle. Meanwhile, daily life is full of surprises. From compost toilets to tree housing. For example discover new types of (vegetarian) food, explore the farm on horseback, prepare and taste freshly-made chocolate and last but not least, enjoy the famous beach of Canoa!

Rio Muchacho Highlights:

  • 18 hours of Spanish lessons with Vida Verde Spanish School teachers
  • full immersion in an operational tropical organic farm
  • horseback ride or hike into the valley and see the Howler monkeys
  • enjoy the famous Pacific Coast beach of Canoa
  • visit Isla Corazón, hike in the mangrove forests and see frigate bird colonies
  • visit Isla de la Plata, famous for its Galapagos-like flora and fauna (seasonal and optional)
  • whale-watching! (seasonal and optional)

Activities and Study Program schedules are flexible! Changes can be made according to participant's wishes and weather conditions.

Study Program Details


Time Description
11pm Sunday Departure from Quito (night bus). Alternative: Take a plane to Manta and drive to Bahí­a de Caráquez in only 3 hours
6.30am - 9am From Bahí­a de Caráquez travel to Canoa and have breakfast
9.00am - 12.00pm Morning on the beach (Optional activities: Surfing class or horseback riding on the beach)
12.00pm - 1.00pm Lunch
1pm - 5pm Spanish Classes (4 hours)
5pm - 6pm Drive to Rio Muchacho Organic Farm - Welcoming and accommodation
6pm - 7pm Dinner


Time Description
7.30am Breakfast
8am - 12pm Spanish Classes (4 hours)
1pm Lunch and relaxation
2pm - 6pm Farm Tour: Tropical crops, permacultures, organic agriculture. Make key rings out of Tagua wood
6pm - 8pm Dinner; prepare your own dessert: Make chocolate out of fresh cacao beans


Time Description
Early in the morning Cow milking (optional)
7.30am Breakfast
8am - 12pm Visit to Rio Muchacho Environmental School. Handcraft workshop with tagua, mate and palm seeds
12.00pm Lunch and relaxation
1.30pm - 5.30pm Spanish Classes (4 hours)
6pm Dinner and coffee roasting and grinding: prepare your own coffee from the bean to the cup!


Time Description
7.30am Breakfast
8.30am - 12.30pm Spanish Classes (4 hours)
1pm Lunch and relaxation
2pm - 6pm Horseback ride (or hike) to see Howler Monkeys in the Rain Forest. Visit a waterfall and go for a swim in a natural swimming pool. Special: Baño Negro (clay face mask)
6pm Dinner and relaxation
Evening Campfire (guitar available)

Friday (A)

Time Description
7.30am Breakfast and depart from Rí­o Muchacho
9am - 12pm Options: Visit to the lookout points, the Galapagos Turtle, ecopaper manufature or go in for a scenic ride along the shore in a eco-taxi
12pm Lunch
12.30pm - 2.30pm Spanish Classes (2 hours)
2.30pm - 6.30pm Isla Corazón: Mangrove Islands with a colony of frigate birds
7pm - 10pm Dinner and leisure
10.15pm Bus to Quito

Friday (B)

Time Description
7.30am Breakfast and departure from Rí­o Muchacho
9am - 12pm City tour in Bahí­a de Caraquéz and visit of the Ecopapel project; optional: Work with the ecopapel.
12pm Lunch in Bahí­a de Caraquéz
2.30pm Departure for Puerto López
Evening Arrival at Puerto López. Dinner and accommodation

Saturday (B)

Time Description
8.30am Boat ride to Isla de la Plata: Whale watching with guide (seasonal)
11am Arrival at Isla de la Plata and Lunch
11.30am - 2pm Hiking Tour on the Isla. Watch blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, albatrosses, etc. Chance to encounter see lions! Fantastic panorama view off the island's cliffs
2pm - 3pm Snorkeling inside the island's cove
3pm - 5pm Return to mainland: Whale watching (seasonal)
6.30pm Dinner
8pm Bus to Quito from Puerto Lopez

Accommodation and Meals

Sheets, blankets, and towels are provided. Showers and clean composting toilets are shared by the guests. Delicious organic meals are prepared by the family who live on the farm.

The food is largely vegetarian, occasionally complemented by chicken and river shrimp. It is typical food with many vegetables and salads and usually cooked over a wood fire. Fresh fruits from the farm are almost always served at breakfast. The local diet is very tasty. It is heavy on rice, green banana and (cassava) yuca. Most people sleep without a mosquito net, but students should bring one if they feel more comfortable with a mosquito net.