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GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, ECUADOR

Adventures Afloat: The Galapagos: Natural and Cultural History

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Road Scholar
Program #6043RJ
11 Days | 10 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
Quito is at an elevation of approximately 9,400 feet.

Itinerary for Nov 14 — Nov 24, 2012

Expand all
Type: Hotel

Description: Just 20 minutes from Mariscal Sucre International Airport, the Hilton Colon Quito hotel is 10 minutes' walk from the colonial Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Relax in our Fitness Center & Spa, complete with outdoor heated pool. Choose from 5 dining experiences, including gourmet Mediterranean at Portofino and Japanese at Kioto.... more Just 20 minutes from Mariscal Sucre International Airport, the Hilton Colon Quito hotel is 10 minutes' walk from the colonial Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Relax in our Fitness Center & Spa, complete with outdoor heated pool. Choose from 5 dining experiences, including gourmet Mediterranean at Portofino and Japanese at Kioto. All Hilton Colon Quito hotel rooms have wireless internet access. Choose a Suite for mountain views or an Executive Room for Executive Lounge access. In the business district, 5 miles from the airport, the hotel has 15 meeting rooms for up to 700, an Executive Lounge and wireless internet access throughout. The Hilton Colon Quito hotel enjoys spectacular views of the city. Enjoy the fitness center and spa treatments then relax with a massage. Have a flutter at our late-night casino.

Contact info:
Amazonas N 1914 Y Patria Avenida 1
Quito, Ecuador
phone: +59322560666
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Please call for pricing
.

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day One: Wednesday, November 14 - Arrive to Quito.
Arrive To: Arrive at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport.

Proceed through Immigrations, Baggage Claim and Customs before exiting the secured area of the airport. The Road Scholar representative will be waiting outside the exit door with a Road Scholar sign (only applies to Road Scholar group flights).

Transfer to the hotel and check-in.

Please note that this is an international travel day; no meals or program activities are scheduled on this day.

Lodging: Hilton Colon Quito Hotel

Type: Hotel

Description: Just 20 minutes from Mariscal Sucre International Airport, the Hilton Colon Quito hotel is 10 minutes' walk from the colonial Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Relax in our Fitness Center & Spa, complete with outdoor heated pool. Choose from 5 dining experiences, including gourmet Mediterranean at Portofino and Japanese at Kioto.... more Just 20 minutes from Mariscal Sucre International Airport, the Hilton Colon Quito hotel is 10 minutes' walk from the colonial Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Relax in our Fitness Center & Spa, complete with outdoor heated pool. Choose from 5 dining experiences, including gourmet Mediterranean at Portofino and Japanese at Kioto. All Hilton Colon Quito hotel rooms have wireless internet access. Choose a Suite for mountain views or an Executive Room for Executive Lounge access. In the business district, 5 miles from the airport, the hotel has 15 meeting rooms for up to 700, an Executive Lounge and wireless internet access throughout. The Hilton Colon Quito hotel enjoys spectacular views of the city. Enjoy the fitness center and spa treatments then relax with a massage. Have a flutter at our late-night casino.

Contact info:
Amazonas N 1914 Y Patria Avenida 1
Quito, Ecuador
phone: +59322560666
Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Please call for pricing
.

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Two: Thursday, November 15 - Quito – City Excursion & Field Trip to the ...
Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Orientation to the program. Visit El Panecillo for panoramic views of Quito.

Before the Spanish arrived, the hill known as El Panecillo (small bread roll) was used by the Inca for sun worshiping. In the early 1800s, the Spanish military took advantage of El Panecillo's strategic location and elevation (9,843 ft), and built a fortress to protect and monitor the city. In present times, the hill is the site of a city monument and lookout point where visitors can get 360° views of Quito. On clear days, it is even possible to spot Cotopaxi's snowy peak in the distance.

Enjoy a walking exploration of Quito's colonial center. Visit the Independence Square with an informative explanation of the Presidential and Bishop Palace, as well as the Cathedral. Visit La Compañía church, one of the most beautiful churches in Quito, legendary for its gold covered interior. Visit the historic San Francisco church and convent, raised up above a wide stone paved court originally known as “Tiangues,” a place used by the indigenous inhabitants of Quito to trade products.

Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant including an introduction to Ecuadorian food products.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will leave Quito and travel in a northerly direction to visit the Museo Intinan located on the Equator line, near the Middle of the World complex.

The Intinan Museum has a permanent exposition that details the Andean cosmovision of Ecuador's ancestral cultures. Learn about the indigenous calendar and its accuracy. Visit an ancient home to find out about the way of life and traditions of indigenous people more than a century ago. Acquaint yourself with the important rituals of Amazonian tribes as you educate yourself about the cultures of Ecuador's Oriente region.

Lecture: Galapagos: A Natural Laboratory of Evolution and its Threats.

Dinner: Dinner at hotel.

Lodging: Hilton Colon Quito Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Ship Information: The Tip Top II is a First Class Steel-hulled Motorized Yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 comfortable, outside cabins with private baths. The ship was built in 1983 (rebuilt in 2006) in Ecuador and is 90 feet long, with 22 feet of beam and 5 feet draft. Electricit on board is 110/125 V AC and electrical outlets accept standard US-style plugs.

Contact info:
Moisés Brito S/N & Los Colonos Puerto Ayora
Puerto Ayora - Santa Cruz Is, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2526938
web: www.rwittmer.com

Room amenities: All cabins have air conditioning, a storage locker, safety deposit box, and private bathrooms with hair dryers. Biodegradable soap and shampoo/conditioner are provided during the cruise. Smoking is only allowed on outer decks.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits and buoyancy vests are available for rent, but must be reserved prior to the cruise. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you would like to reserve a wetsuit for your program. Laundry service is not available on the yacht. In an effort to conserve water, the yacht might ask participants to refrain from hand washing clothing during the cruise. Participants will be able to hang bathing suits and wet clothing to dry on clotheslines on the top deck. Purified drinking water is provided free of charge on the yacht. Participants will be given reusable bottles to refill as needed at the water dispenser in the main lounge.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Three: Friday, November 16 - Galapagos - Flight to Galapagos. Balt...
Galapagos -
Flight to Galapagos.
Baltra and Santa Cruz (Bachas Beach)


Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Transfer to the airport.
Flight to Baltra Island (Galapagos).

**Note: The Galápagos airline tickets are isued in Ecuador and held by the group leader for safekeeping. The airline tickets will be distributed to participants on-site.**

Lunch: Lunch en-route.

Afternoon: Arrive to Baltra Island.

Baltra Island hosts one of the two available airports in the Galapagos Islands. The other airport is located on San Cristobal Island.

Transfer to pier to board yacht.
Welcome orientation and light snack.

Field trip to Playa las Bachas on Santa Cruz Island with a site lecture about local flora and fauna. Visit the the flamingo lagoon.

Bachas Beach is an important nesting site for sea turtles and a great place to look for migratory birds, pelagic species and flamingos.

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

Orientation to the next day's activities.

Dinner: Dinner onboard and welcome cocktail with the crew.

Lodging: Tip Top II

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Ship Information: The Tip Top II is a First Class Steel-hulled Motorized Yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 comfortable, outside cabins with private baths. The ship was built in 1983 (rebuilt in 2006) in Ecuador and is 90 feet long, with 22 feet of beam and 5 feet draft. Electricit on board is 110/125 V AC and electrical outlets accept standard US-style plugs.

Contact info:
Moisés Brito S/N & Los Colonos Puerto Ayora
Puerto Ayora - Santa Cruz Is, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2526938
web: www.rwittmer.com

Room amenities: All cabins have air conditioning, a storage locker, safety deposit box, and private bathrooms with hair dryers. Biodegradable soap and shampoo/conditioner are provided during the cruise. Smoking is only allowed on outer decks.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits and buoyancy vests are available for rent, but must be reserved prior to the cruise. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you would like to reserve a wetsuit for your program. Laundry service is not available on the yacht. In an effort to conserve water, the yacht might ask participants to refrain from hand washing clothing during the cruise. Participants will be able to hang bathing suits and wet clothing to dry on clotheslines on the top deck. Purified drinking water is provided free of charge on the yacht. Participants will be given reusable bottles to refill as needed at the water dispenser in the main lounge.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Four: Saturday, November 17 - Galapagos - Santiago and Bartolomé islands
Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.

Morning: Field trip: Wet landing on the white sand beach in Sullivan Bay, Santiago Island. Enjoy a walking exploration of the lava flows to observe and learn about the island's fascinating geological features.

A volcanic eruption that took place on Santiago Island in the early 1900’s formed huge lava flows in the area that is now Sullivan Bay. As the lava cooled off, it solidified into a black sheet of interesting shapes and textures that made their way to the sea. The rope-like lava seen on this island is called pahoehoe lava. Other interesting formations include lava bubbles and tree shapes; ghosts of Santiago’s past. Few plant species have been able to root in this harsh environment.

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

Lunch: Lunch onboard.

Afternoon: Dry landing on Bartolomé for a hiking field trip up a dormant volcano with a site lecture. View volcanic formations such as lava bombs, spatter, and cinder cones. From the summit, we will be able to enjoy post card views of Pinnacle Rock and nearby islands.

Pinnacle Rock, the "Guardian of the Isles" rises sharply from the coast of Bartolomé. The lunar-like landscape is home to one of the islands' most endearing residents: the Galapagos Penguin. The penguins make their home here, fishing in the waters nearby.

Dinner: Dinner onboard.

Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: Tip Top II

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Ship Information: The Tip Top II is a First Class Steel-hulled Motorized Yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 comfortable, outside cabins with private baths. The ship was built in 1983 (rebuilt in 2006) in Ecuador and is 90 feet long, with 22 feet of beam and 5 feet draft. Electricit on board is 110/125 V AC and electrical outlets accept standard US-style plugs.

Contact info:
Moisés Brito S/N & Los Colonos Puerto Ayora
Puerto Ayora - Santa Cruz Is, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2526938
web: www.rwittmer.com

Room amenities: All cabins have air conditioning, a storage locker, safety deposit box, and private bathrooms with hair dryers. Biodegradable soap and shampoo/conditioner are provided during the cruise. Smoking is only allowed on outer decks.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits and buoyancy vests are available for rent, but must be reserved prior to the cruise. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you would like to reserve a wetsuit for your program. Laundry service is not available on the yacht. In an effort to conserve water, the yacht might ask participants to refrain from hand washing clothing during the cruise. Participants will be able to hang bathing suits and wet clothing to dry on clotheslines on the top deck. Purified drinking water is provided free of charge on the yacht. Participants will be given reusable bottles to refill as needed at the water dispenser in the main lounge.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Five: Sunday, November 18 - Galapagos - Genovesa Island (Darwin's Bay &...
Galapagos -
Genovesa Island (Darwin's Bay & Prince Phillip's Steps)


Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.

Morning: Field trip to Prince Phillip's Steps, Genovesa Island for bird watching and site lecture.

Prince Phillip's Steps is a trail which leads up a steep rock staircase through squadrons of Frigatebirds and Red-billed Tropicbirds. Red-footed Boobies perch on the branches of Palo Santo trees, and Storm Petrels, which serve as prey for Short Eared Owls, are found in the open lava fields at the end of the trail.

Return to the yacht.

Lunch: Lunch onboard.

Afternoon: Wet landing in Darwin's Bay, Genovesa Island.

Genovesa's volcanic sea cliffs and salt bush offer a prime habitat for the birds of the Galapagos. Darwin Bay is the caldera of an extinct volcano which has been partially eroded and offers superb swimming and snorkeling.

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

Dinner: Dinner onboard.

Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: Tip Top II

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Ship Information: The Tip Top II is a First Class Steel-hulled Motorized Yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 comfortable, outside cabins with private baths. The ship was built in 1983 (rebuilt in 2006) in Ecuador and is 90 feet long, with 22 feet of beam and 5 feet draft. Electricit on board is 110/125 V AC and electrical outlets accept standard US-style plugs.

Contact info:
Moisés Brito S/N & Los Colonos Puerto Ayora
Puerto Ayora - Santa Cruz Is, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2526938
web: www.rwittmer.com

Room amenities: All cabins have air conditioning, a storage locker, safety deposit box, and private bathrooms with hair dryers. Biodegradable soap and shampoo/conditioner are provided during the cruise. Smoking is only allowed on outer decks.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits and buoyancy vests are available for rent, but must be reserved prior to the cruise. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you would like to reserve a wetsuit for your program. Laundry service is not available on the yacht. In an effort to conserve water, the yacht might ask participants to refrain from hand washing clothing during the cruise. Participants will be able to hang bathing suits and wet clothing to dry on clotheslines on the top deck. Purified drinking water is provided free of charge on the yacht. Participants will be given reusable bottles to refill as needed at the water dispenser in the main lounge.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Six: Monday, November 19 - Galapagos - Santiago (Puerto Egas & Buccane...
Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.

Morning: Field trip to Puerto Egas, Santiago Island.

Also called San Salvador, this island is the fourth largest in the Galapagos. Puerto Egas, located on James Bay on the western side of the island, has black volcanic formations that provide shelter to a number of creatures. Here you will see marine iguanas sunning themselves on the rocks while sea birds fly overhead in search of food. Brightly colored Sally Lightfoot crabs live in the rock crevices and tide pools; a sharp contrast to the black lava formations they call home. Galápagos fur seals enjoy the inlets along the western shoreline and have been known to swim with visitors from time to time.

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

Lunch: Lunch onboard.

Afternoon: Afternoon visit to Buccaneer Cove on Santiago's north western tip.

Navigate around the island's craggy cliffs searching for seabirds that come here to nest. In the 17th and 18th centuries, pirates and whalers reportedly used the cove as a safe place to rest and load up on supplies such as water and food. During that time, passing ships released goats on the island in the hopes that they would multiply and be a source of food for subsequent voyages. However, without any natural predators to hold their numbers in check, the animals became feral and depleted most of Santiago's vegetation. In the 1970s the national park began an extermination program in an effort to eradicate feral goats, pigs, and cats in the islands.

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

Later in the afternoon visit the Minas de Sal located northwest of Santiago Island. This is a crater with a saltwater lagoon, which during the summer dry season becomes a salt mine.

Dinner: Dinner onboard.

Evening: Orientation of next day’s activities.

Lodging: Tip Top II

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Ship Information: The Tip Top II is a First Class Steel-hulled Motorized Yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 comfortable, outside cabins with private baths. The ship was built in 1983 (rebuilt in 2006) in Ecuador and is 90 feet long, with 22 feet of beam and 5 feet draft. Electricit on board is 110/125 V AC and electrical outlets accept standard US-style plugs.

Contact info:
Moisés Brito S/N & Los Colonos Puerto Ayora
Puerto Ayora - Santa Cruz Is, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2526938
web: www.rwittmer.com

Room amenities: All cabins have air conditioning, a storage locker, safety deposit box, and private bathrooms with hair dryers. Biodegradable soap and shampoo/conditioner are provided during the cruise. Smoking is only allowed on outer decks.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits and buoyancy vests are available for rent, but must be reserved prior to the cruise. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you would like to reserve a wetsuit for your program. Laundry service is not available on the yacht. In an effort to conserve water, the yacht might ask participants to refrain from hand washing clothing during the cruise. Participants will be able to hang bathing suits and wet clothing to dry on clotheslines on the top deck. Purified drinking water is provided free of charge on the yacht. Participants will be given reusable bottles to refill as needed at the water dispenser in the main lounge.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Seven: Tuesday, November 20 - Galapagos - Isabela & Fernandina Islands
Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.

Morning: Excursion: Panga ride to Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela Island in search of seabirds and marine life.

As cold currents flow around the northwestern tip of Isabela, food-rich waters are brought closer to the surface, attracting all sorts of marine life and birds. Punta Vicente Roca’s coves, rich marine life, and well protected bay have made this into a prized diving location in the islands. Flightless Cormorants, Masked Boobies and Blue-footed Boobies can be seen along the cliffs and the water’s edge.

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

Lunch: Lunch onboard.

Afternoon: Field trip: Dry landing at Punta Espinoza, Fernandina Island. During this afternoon hike, participants will have a chance to observe the island's unique volcanic formations and search for resident wildlife.

This young island is the third largest in the Galápagos and is also the westernmost; located next to Isabela Island. Fernandina has some of the most dramatic landscapes found in the archipelago. The aa and pahoehoe lava formations create a unique landscape and provide visitors with a great chance to study lava flows and the forces which gave birth to the Galápagos Islands. Although Punta Espinosa is better known for its large colony of marine iguanas, one can also expect to see sea lions, Flightless Cormorants and Galápagos Penguins.

Dinner: Dinner onboard.

Evening: Orientation of next day's activities and lecture.

Lodging: Tip Top II

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Ship Information: The Tip Top II is a First Class Steel-hulled Motorized Yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 comfortable, outside cabins with private baths. The ship was built in 1983 (rebuilt in 2006) in Ecuador and is 90 feet long, with 22 feet of beam and 5 feet draft. Electricit on board is 110/125 V AC and electrical outlets accept standard US-style plugs.

Contact info:
Moisés Brito S/N & Los Colonos Puerto Ayora
Puerto Ayora - Santa Cruz Is, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2526938
web: www.rwittmer.com

Room amenities: All cabins have air conditioning, a storage locker, safety deposit box, and private bathrooms with hair dryers. Biodegradable soap and shampoo/conditioner are provided during the cruise. Smoking is only allowed on outer decks.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits and buoyancy vests are available for rent, but must be reserved prior to the cruise. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you would like to reserve a wetsuit for your program. Laundry service is not available on the yacht. In an effort to conserve water, the yacht might ask participants to refrain from hand washing clothing during the cruise. Participants will be able to hang bathing suits and wet clothing to dry on clotheslines on the top deck. Purified drinking water is provided free of charge on the yacht. Participants will be given reusable bottles to refill as needed at the water dispenser in the main lounge.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Eight: Wednesday, November 21 - Galapagos - Isabela Island (Tagus Cove & El...
Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.

Morning: Wet landing on Urbina Bay. Search for resident wildlife and observe the remains of a coral reef on land during a walk along the bay.

Urbina Bay is situated approximately two fifths of the way along Isabela’s western coast. The flattened area of the bay exhibits signs of a coral reef on land; proof that the flat land we see today in that area was once uplifted from the sea. Cormorants, pelicans, marine iguanas, and Flightless Cormorants frequent this site in addition to marine turtles and rays which are sometimes seen swimming in the bay.

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

Later this morning, take a panga ride to Tagus Cove for a chance to spot resident seabirds and examine historical graffiti left on cliff walls by early sailors. A walk on the lower slopes of Volcan Darwin provides the perfect opportunity for a site lecture on lava formations.

Some of the most popular sites on Isabela are located on its western coast and take longer to reach (especially on smaller boats), so this island is oftentimes not included on shorter itineraries. Tagus Cove offers visitors the opportunity to see writings (carved and painted) left behind by pirates and whalers who frequented the area in years gone by. A short trail leads to the base of the Darwin Volcano where different lava formations can be studied. The island is home to Flightless Cormorants, Galápagos Penguins, Mangrove Finches, pelicans, marine iguanas and a variety of other birds.

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

Lunch: Lunch onboard.

Afternoon: Panga ride to Elizabeth Bay with site lecture: Marine Species of the Galápagos Islands.

While following the lower western edge of this large island, we will reach a site that is well known for its marine life. Elizabeth Bay is situated in the crook of Isabela’s ‘arm’ as it begins to bulge and form the southern portion of the island. This site is reached by boat and generally does not include land excursions. The bay is home to a large number of sea and shore birds, as well as Marine turtles and rays. A short boat ride to the end of the bay, to the nearby Mariela Islands, is a nice option for those who wish to see Galápagos Penguins.

Dinner: Dinner onboard.

Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: Tip Top II

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cruise Ship

Ship Information: The Tip Top II is a First Class Steel-hulled Motorized Yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 comfortable, outside cabins with private baths. The ship was built in 1983 (rebuilt in 2006) in Ecuador and is 90 feet long, with 22 feet of beam and 5 feet draft. Electricit on board is 110/125 V AC and electrical outlets accept standard US-style plugs.

Contact info:
Moisés Brito S/N & Los Colonos Puerto Ayora
Puerto Ayora - Santa Cruz Is, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2526938
web: www.rwittmer.com

Room amenities: All cabins have air conditioning, a storage locker, safety deposit box, and private bathrooms with hair dryers. Biodegradable soap and shampoo/conditioner are provided during the cruise. Smoking is only allowed on outer decks.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits and buoyancy vests are available for rent, but must be reserved prior to the cruise. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you would like to reserve a wetsuit for your program. Laundry service is not available on the yacht. In an effort to conserve water, the yacht might ask participants to refrain from hand washing clothing during the cruise. Participants will be able to hang bathing suits and wet clothing to dry on clotheslines on the top deck. Purified drinking water is provided free of charge on the yacht. Participants will be given reusable bottles to refill as needed at the water dispenser in the main lounge.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Nine: Thursday, November 22 - Galapagos - Isabela Island (Volcan Chico, B...
Galapagos -
Isabela Island (Volcan Chico, Breeding Center & Poza de las Tintoreras)


Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.

Morning: Dry landing on Isabela Island for a field trip to Las Tintoreras, located 10 minutes south of Puerto Villamil.

Las Tintoreras is an islet on Isabela known for its rich marine life. Tide pools provide visitors the perfect chance to view tropical fish as they are temporarily trapped within a crevice. The calm and crystal clear waters make it easy to view the marine life below.

After exploring Las Tintoreras, visit the wetlands or Humedales. Study the flora of this unique ecosystem and look for shorebirds and waders. The lagoons attract many migrant birds--making this site one of the best water-bird areas in the islands. Also nearby is the Wall of Tears, a historically important location where prisoners built a wall with lava blocks as punishment.

On the way back to the yacht, enjoy a field trip to the Breeding Center Arnaldo Tupiza, where visitors can view tortoises of different ages and sizes and learn about local captive breeding project.

Lunch: Lunch onboard.

Afternoon: Afternoon excursion to Sierra Negra Volcano.
Isabela Island, the largest island in the archipelago, is made of a chain of five volcanoes which are periodically active. Volcano Wolf is the highest point on the island, and the archipelago, but Sierra Negra is the largest of the five major volcanoes on Isabela and in the Galápagos. Sierra Negra is a shield volcano, with a large and shallow caldera and relatively flat slopes. In October of 2005, it erupted after a period of seismic activity and lava from the eruption covered up to 14 square kilometers of the caldera floor. Both old and new lava formations can be spotted in the area including cinder cones, tuff cones, and spatter cones. Views from Sierra Negra’s caldera are awe-inspiring and also provide visitors with good birding opportunities.

Dinner: Dinner onboard.

Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: Tip Top II

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Oro Verde Hotel Guayaquil is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World in Ecuador. Strategically located in the downtown commercial and banking heart of the city, only eight minutes from the José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport. Oro Verde offers 230 luxury rooms, three restaurants, bar, delicatessen, room service, a luxurious Club Floor, swimming pool, fitness and business center, casino and shops.

Contact info:
9 de Octubre Street
Guayaquil, Ecuador
phone: +59342327999
web: www.oroverdehotels.com/gye

Room amenities: Equipped with a mini bar, radio, direct dialing telephone, safe for valuables, cable TV, broadband Internet connection, reading light over each bed, a remote control air conditioner, hair dryer.

Facility amenities: Internet, 24 hour room service, Laundry / dry cleaning, Safety boxes, Three versatile meeting rooms that can accommodate groups of 4 to 20 people.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Subject to availability
Please contact your program provider, Holbrook Travel, for additional information. 1-800-451-7111.


Day Ten: Friday, November 23 - Galapagos - Santa Cruz Island (Charles Darw...
Galapagos -
Santa Cruz Island (Charles Darwin Research Station & Pit Craters).
Flight to Guayaquil.


Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.

Morning: Field trip to Charles Darwin Research Station with site lecture (The Charles Darwin Research Station: Research and Conservation Efforts), followed by a short visit to the highlands to view the Pit Craters (aka Los Gemelos).

Santa Cruz is the most important island in the Galapagos in many respects. It is the second largest island, the most populated, and it is the administrative center of the islands. The National Park Service is based here, but perhaps most important is the Charles Darwin Research Station, the headquarters of all research and conservation efforts on the islands. Giant tortoises can be spotted on Santa Cruz at certain times of the year. Several species of Darwin’s finches make this island home as well. In addition, a dramatic change in vegetation zones can be seen as one travels higher on the island.

Transfer to the airport on Baltra Island to catch a flight to Guayaquil.

Lunch: Lunch en-route.

Afternoon: Arrive to Guayaquil.
Transfer to the hotel.
Walking excursion through the resurrected Malecon (waterfront).

Established along the banks of the Guayas River, Guayaquil is Ecuador’s largest city and most important port. The city underwent a transformation considered short of miraculous centered around a two mile riverfront walkway, or Malecon, with restored historic buildings, gardens, museums, stores, and restaurants.

Dinner: Farewell dinner.

Evening: Depending on the international carrier participants will either check-out of the hotel and transfer to the international airport for a late night/early morning flight or spend the night at the hotel and depart in the morning.

Participants who depart on the evening of Day 10 will not miss any program activities.

Lodging: Hotel Oro Verde

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Eleven: Saturday, November 24 - Depart from Guayaquil. Arrive to the USA. ...
Depart From: Transfer to Guayaquil's José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport for flight to the U.S.

Note: Participants with independent travel arrangements and/or scheduled on later flights can keep their hotel rooms until check-out time on this day. Except for breakfast, all other meals are on your own on this day.

Breakfast: Early morning breakfast at the hotel restaurant (depending on flight times).

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
10 nights of accommodations
28 meals: 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 9 dinners
9 Expert-led lectures
17 Field trips
2 Flights during the program

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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