Expedition Leader Program Pacific Discovery min
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Expedition Leader Program



12 Weeks




This comprehensive expedition guide training program is for people looking to gain experience travelling internationally to developing world regions, learning about managing groups & travel logistics, and trekking in some of the world’s most famous and spectacular mountainous and remote regions. Perfect for those looking to get into global adventure tourism roles or become a savvy adventure traveler.


11 Jan - 4 Apr


14 Jun - 5 Sep


13 Sep - 5 Dec


10 Jan - 2 Apr


What is an Expedition Leader Program?

The Expedition Leader Program & Course takes you on a 12-week trip through 6 countries, while you learn to plan, assess and undertake expeditions to remote areas. On this journey, you will become a confident global traveller, prepared for all circumstances, and you will learn how to safely navigate your way through potential travel dangers. This is the first step on your way to becoming a travel guide.


Who is this program for?

We created this outdoor leader program as an immersive learning experience, for those looking to gain confidence and experience as an international traveller. Whether you are looking to get into the adventure travel industry, or simply become a rounded global traveller yourself, this program provides you with the necessary skills.


Program travel locations

This program takes you on a journey to no less than 6 countries! Explore the Galapagos Islands, volunteer in Ecuador and Laos, check out Machu Picchu, hike through the Vietnamese rice terraces, visit the hill tribes in Thailand and trek into the Himalayas. Now that’s one hell of a trip!


How does it work?

The 3-month Expedition Leader Course is broken into three modules that focus on different key areas to build your repertoire of skills and experience. Each module builds on the one before - as the program progresses so will your skills; your proficiency as a global traveller and your confidence to lead others. The itinerary itself also progresses into more challenging global regions, continuously immersing you in learning experiences and developing key global adventure guiding skills.


Module 1

How to travel internationally with a group - Budgets, logistics, local operators, safety & core skills


Module 2

Putting it into practice - Team trekking, community & service projects abroad, gaining confidence


Module 3

Up we go - Time to test your expedition skills in the legendary Himalayas!


  • 12 week adventure training and qualification program
  • Dynamic, immersive course
  • Focus on mentorship & learning through shared experiences
  • Qualified & experienced technical instructors
  • Low student - instructor ratio for personalised learning
  • Outdoor Leadership Qualification
  • Advanced International Wilderness First Aid certification
  • Accommodation and food allowance
  • All technical equipment, all program related travel during the program (flights included during program)
  • Gain experience in adventure travel management, group leadership, international travel logistics, expedition/travel medicine, youth work, high alpine/jungle/swift water management, leading others above 5,000m, supported and unsupported trek management


  • English Language Fluency
  • Be 18-35 years old at time of commencement
  • Moderate fitness is recommended. All professional development and training is provided
  • A desire to accept challenges, a thirst for knowledge, a love of outdoor activities or for our natural environment
  • Be a social team player that enjoys helping others discover adventure!


Do you want to know more?

We have answered the most frequently asked questions in the FAQ SectionIf you still have any other questions, feel free to fill in this form or to schedule a call with one of our program advisors for more information.


Book a call


Expedition Leader Program Review

Chloe Hickey

I had the pleasure of taking part in the Expedition Leader Program! I loved my time travelling and learning with amazing participants and guides. As well as learning about the countries and cultures we travelled It was was amazing to see the impact we made on the community projects we put our time into. I learnt a lot about myself on this trip and it has made a large impact on my life and I am forever grateful to the Pure Ex team for making it happen.

Becoming an Expedition Leader


I had an incredible trip on the Expedition Leader Program! I decided to challenge myself and get on board an amazing adventure with PureEx and definitely did not regret it. The team was so friendly and I got to learn so many new skills including my NZOIA Bushwalking Leader credential and my Wilderness First Aid certificate, so if you're thinking about taking part in this program my advice is GO FOR IT!


This is a sample guide to what you can expect to do on the program. There might be changes to the destinations, activities and the order in which the activities occur.


Time for an introduction to the essentials that will become your bread and butter for the next 3 months - the core skills needed for global travel in groups: Budgeting, logistics, dealing with operators, hygiene, safety, eating, airports and new cultures. You’ll also cover the foundation hiking and guiding skills you’ll need for the training ahead.



The program kicks off with an environmental project! We love to work with small communities to help them educate local children and adults the techniques for restoring and protecting the local environment. We also want to encourage them to grow and flourish economically. The project work in Ecuador involves a range of activities, including beach clean ups, community recycling programs, assisting with environmental clubs and gardening programs in local schools, tree planting programs and leading community workshops.



Then you’ll be heading to Santa Cruz to catch a boat for a once in a lifetime chance to step foot on the 19 islands, each with unique geology and native wildlife. You’ll be blown away by this unique world. You’ll see giant tortoises, penguins, marine iguanas, huge albatross. You’ll snorkel, hike, kayak and watch the many varied wildlife in a fascinating few days that you will remember forever.



After landing in Lima and exploring the capital, you’ll head to historic Cusco, to take part in a community exchange. You’ll stay, cook and learn with locals, help with a local project, share stories of your family and community at home and get a feel for what life is really like as a Peruvian. Next up, a local Wayki guide will explain all about the Inca ruins, farming, villages and views that surround you. In this trek you’ll climb gradually to a height of 4,700m, see snow capped mountains, herds of llamas, glaciers and turqouise lakes - this is the highest trek in Peru, taking you to the wildest and most beautiful areas of the Andes. Acclimatisation is key as this is area is remote, rugged and fierce. A proper alpine trek to test your skills.



With the Incan capital Cusco as your base, it’s time to explore the incomparable Sacred Valley region. You’ll also visit Machu Picchu. Built in 1450 in the height of the Incan empire. You are sure to be blown away by the setting, history and archeology of this jewel of human history.



  • Developing world travel experience
  • Guiding management experience
  • Adventure guiding core skills


From here, we move to stunning South East Asia. As well as being immersed in some incredible cultures (and food!), you’ll be actively involved with the planning and management of your team’s itinerary - this will be the projects you’re working on, booking your travel from place to place, the itinerary creation and logistics required for trekking. Cultural and language barriers may make some tasks difficult, but literally every day will be a lesson in problem solving, group management, and planning.



The next stop is northern Thailand, specifically the beautiful historical city of Chiang Mai. You’ll start with a trek to visit hill tribes in stunning remote tropical areas. Immerse yourself in these new cultures, chatting to as many locals as possible, trying new foods and taking in all the beautiful scenery! Then you’ll make your way to the Laos border, where you’ll be met with smiles and beautiful jungle as you head to the stunning town of Luang Prabang for a community project. Helping locals, you’ll be working at a local school to further a current project - it may be building, classroom learning, or landscaping. Ask questions, be inquisitive and be the instigators of the change you want to see in the world!



From the lush terraced rice paddies to the rustic charm of the native dwellings, Sapa is a place you’re sure to fall in love with! Many diverse groups like the Dzay, Dzao, Tay,Xa Pho or Hmong populate this richly cultural northern territory. You’ll sample their unique delights as you pass through each village with breath-taking scenery.



  • Outdoor guiding qualifications
  • Project work and community service
  • Developing world experience in South East Asia
  • More advanced treks & leadership opportunities


The Himalayas, what many feel is the spiritual home of adventure. The beautiful, rugged country of Nepal will host your crew as you put into practice the technical, educational and learning principles developed throughout this program. The nature of the high alpine environment will provide a tough classroom at times, but is the ultimate way to learn. You’ll leave a better person, more confident in your skills and richer from an amazing Nepalese experience.



It’s time to focus on all you’ve learnt so far in your program and apply this to how you’d run an expedition of your own. What better place to do so than the awe-inspiring landscape of Nepal. A 12 day trek in the Annapurna Sanctuary awaits - a demanding route that takes you from beautiful lush bush valleys and into the harsh rocky terrain of the Himalayas, under the watchful eye of the majestic peak Machapuchare (6,993m).

On this trek you’ll take in some unreal views from Poon Hill and reach Annapurna base camp. These destinations will become achievements you’ll look back on with immense pride and satisfaction for the rest of your life. Hopefully you’ll start to feel the enthusiasm and magic you can begin to share as a guide when you take others to similarly inspiring destinations. This is what it’s all about!

On return to Kathmandu, you’ll take a side trip to Chitwan National Park - home to rhinoceros, monkeys, deer, and the majestic Bengal tiger as well as many more wildlife



  • High altitude trekking management skills
  • Application of your skills learned to date
  • Experience in coordinating high altitude expeditions



Expedition Leader Program



Enrollment is open, so the next step would be to check current availability here and then apply.