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The Many Faces of Ecuador: The Coast, Highlands, and the Amazon

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Road Scholar
Program #16488RJ
12 Days | 11 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
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
Elevations up to 10,600 ft.

Itinerary for Mar 15 — Mar 26, 2014

Expand all
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
Avenida Naciones Unidas y Republica de el Salvador
Quito, 00000 Ecuador
phone: +593-22970002
web: www.starwoodhotels.com

Room amenities: Air conditioning, coffee/tea maker, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, mini refrigerator, telephone, free newspaper, and cable TV.

Facility amenities: Fitness and spa facilities, laundry/valet service, gift shop, florist, and meeting rooms.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Subject to availability.
Additional hotel nights are subject to availability. Please contact the program coordinator, Holbrook Travel, at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com for information on availability and prices.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Saturday, March 15 - Arrive to Quito, Ecuador.
Note: The new Mariscal Sucre International Airport is located approximately one hour from downtown Quito.

Note: To minimize your chances of experiencing altitude sickness, try to get plenty of rest before you travel, stay hydrated, avoid alcohol and fatty foods, eat high carbohydrate foods, and avoid strenuous exercise at high elevations. Some participants find it helpful to fly into the city a day early in order to have extra time to rest and acclimate to the altitude.

Arrive To: Arrivals at the international airport in Quito, Ecuador.

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 (does not apply to independently booked 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: Sheraton Quito Hotel

Type: Hotel

Contact info:
Avenida Naciones Unidas y Republica de el Salvador
Quito, 00000 Ecuador
phone: +593-22970002
web: www.starwoodhotels.com

Room amenities: Air conditioning, coffee/tea maker, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, mini refrigerator, telephone, free newspaper, and cable TV.

Facility amenities: Fitness and spa facilities, laundry/valet service, gift shop, florist, and meeting rooms.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Subject to availability.
Additional hotel nights are subject to availability. Please contact the program coordinator, Holbrook Travel, at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com for information on availability and prices.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Sunday, March 16 - Quito - Orientation to Quito - UNESCO Wor...
Quito -
Orientation to Quito - UNESCO World Heritage Site/Historical and Cultural Legacies of Ecuador's Capital.


Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel

Morning: After breakfast, join your group leader for a program orientation. Meet program staff and fellow participants, review program guidelines, and learn more about what's in store during this Road Scholar adventure!

Depart the hotel and begin an orientation to the historic city of Quito.

Group leader site lecture: From Quito to Ecuador – An Historical Overview.

Quito was once the capital of the Quitu Empire before it was conquered by the Incas. The Inca rulers later razed Quito to keep its riches from the Spaniards. Today, all signs of its pre-Columbian origins have been erased. The city is now divided between beautiful colonial architecture and the clean lines of its modern section.

Enjoy a visit to the Museo Casa del Alabado.

This pre-Columbian art museum is housed in a two-story, renovated 17th century Spanish colonial residence in Quito’s historic downtown area. Unlike most museums which arrange displays in chronological order, the Casa del Alabado has organized its exhibits based on Andean cosmology. The approximately 5000 artifacts showcased in this impressive space include 500 pieces that belong to the museum’s permanent exhibit.

Continue exploring Quito, with visits to Independence Square, La Compania Church (with Gold Interior) and San Francisco Church and Convent.

Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant with an introduction to Ecuadorian food products and typical Ecuadorian cuisine.

Afternoon: After lunch, pay a visit to Guayasamin's Capilla del Hombre.

Quito’s Bellavista neighborhood is home to some important spaces dedicated to the works of Ecuador’s beloved artist, Oswaldo Guayasamin (1919-1999). The Guayasamin Foundation features various pieces from the artist’s private collection as well as a large exhibit of his paintings. A few blocks from the Guayasamin Foundation, on a hill overlooking the city, stands the Capilla del Hombre. This monument, chapel, and museum was designed by Guayasamin (he died before its completion) as a cultural space dedicated to the plight of Latin American people—from pre-Columbian times until the present—a subject featured prominently in the artist’s work.

Return to the hotel.
Lecture: Present and Future of Ecuador.

Dinner: Dinner at hotel.

Lodging: Sheraton Quito Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Sacha Lodge is located in the heart of the Amazon and is strategically situated beside a tranquil oxbow lake, Pilchicocha. The lodge was carefully designed to be comfortable for travelers while preserving the flavor of the jungle.

Contact info:
5000-acre private ecological reserve in Ecuador's Amazon region
Coca, Ecuador
phone: +(800) 327-3573
web: www.sachalodge.com

Room amenities: Cabins have high thatched roofs and private shaded terraces, constructed with traditional materials. Each room has a private bathroom with flushing toilet and hot shower and contains ceiling fans above two comfortable double beds.

Facility amenities: Accommodations are provided in double cabins with thatched roofs and private shaded terraces. Buildings were constructed with traditional materials and blends seamlessly with the jungle. A raised lookout located above Sacha's lounge and bar provides guests with wonderful views of the Pilchicocha Lake and the surrounding forest. Electricity is provided by a generator.

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


Day Three: Monday, March 17 - Coca - Boat Transfer on the Napo River/Intro...
Coca -
Boat Transfer on the Napo River/Introduction to Amazonia.


Note: The flight from Quito to Coca has a 44 lb weight limit, per person, for checked luggage. Some excess luggage can be stored at Sacha Lodge's private hangar in Quito for the duration of your stay at the lodge.

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel

Morning: Transfer to Quito airport for 45 minute flight to Coca (flight will depart at about 10:30 a.m.).

The town of Coca is also known as Puerto Francisco de Orellana. This port city is the capital of the Orellana province and one of the country's gateways to exploring the Amazon. It is located at the confluence of two important rivers, the Napo and the Coca.

Lunch: Boxed lunch en route.

Afternoon: Boat transfer on the Napo River (2 hours).

One of the Amazon's main tributaries, the Napo River is also Ecuador's longest river. These areas of rich jungle are constantly threatened by the discovery of oil and the clearing of lands for farming purposes. In an effort to retain some of country's rich natural heritage, Ecuador has established a number of parks and research stations in the Amazon.

Walking transfer down Toto Trailhead (20 minutes). Complete transfer with canoe ride to lodge.

Arrive to lodge, check-in and orientation.

Time at leisure with the opportunity to swim in Lake Pilchicocha, which is a black water lake home to many species of fish and animals.

Excursion to the butterfly house to view the beautiful colors of many different species of butterflies.

Designed as a live exhibition conservatory, the Butterfly House is now successfully breeding nearly 40 local butterfly species. Learn how these beautiful insects are bred and raised. Wander through "the flying room," where hundreds of colorful butterflies including spectacular Blue Morphos flutter from flower to flower.

Lecture: Ecuador's Amazon.

This region of South America contains the world's largest tropical rainforest and is possibly the planet's most biologically diverse region, with many species still waiting to be discovered.

NOTE ABOUT LODGE ACTIVITIES: the group will be divided into small groups, each of which will be led by a native guide with expert knowledge of the rainforest's medicinal and other useful plants, and a bilingual naturalist guide educated in the biology and ecology of the area. A typical day at Sacha begins at sunrise or earlier, in order to take advantage of the cool morning hours when the rainforest animals are most active. In the afternoon, visits begin between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. and often continue into the evening, when the nocturnal insect and frog chorus begins.

Dinner: Dinner at lodge.

Evening: Night walk through the rainforest to view the hundreds of different species of nocturnal animals or embark on a canoe ride on the lake to view spectacled and black caimans.

Lodging: Sacha Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Sacha Lodge is located in the heart of the Amazon and is strategically situated beside a tranquil oxbow lake, Pilchicocha. The lodge was carefully designed to be comfortable for travelers while preserving the flavor of the jungle.

Contact info:
5000-acre private ecological reserve in Ecuador's Amazon region
Coca, Ecuador
phone: +(800) 327-3573
web: www.sachalodge.com

Room amenities: Cabins have high thatched roofs and private shaded terraces, constructed with traditional materials. Each room has a private bathroom with flushing toilet and hot shower and contains ceiling fans above two comfortable double beds.

Facility amenities: Accommodations are provided in double cabins with thatched roofs and private shaded terraces. Buildings were constructed with traditional materials and blends seamlessly with the jungle. A raised lookout located above Sacha's lounge and bar provides guests with wonderful views of the Pilchicocha Lake and the surrounding forest. Electricity is provided by a generator.

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


Day Four: Tuesday, March 18 - Amazonia/Napo River - Yasuni National Park ...
Amazonia/Napo River -
Yasuni National Park Parrot Lick/Interpretation Center/Rainforest Walk.


Breakfast: Breakfast at lodge.

Morning: Field trip to Yasuni National Park Parrot Lick.
Site lecture: The Life and Habits of the Local Parrot Population.

One of Ecuador's most accessible parrot licks just happens to be located a short distance from Sacha Lodge, in Yasuni National Park. The parrot lick is an exposed clay bank where brightly colored parrots of several different species gather in the morning hours. When weather conditions are ideal (sunny and dry) the parrots can often be seen perching on and eating the exposed clay. Witness hundreds of parrots gathering around this bank for a spectacular show of sound and color. This activity is strictly weather-dependent since the parrots do not appear when it rains. In case of rain, we will try to visit the lick the next day. Activities will be substituted accordingly.

After spending time at the clay lick, stop at the Interpretation Center to enjoy a site lecture about the people of Amazonia. Learn about their lifestyle, language, and customs.

Return to the lodge.
Time at leisure to rest and relax until lunch.

Lunch: Lunch at lodge.

Afternoon: Walking field trip on the Pantano Trail.

While walking on the Pantano Trail, you will experience several different types of rainforest habitats. From secondary to primary forests as well as flooded forest and swampy areas. An excellent trail for monkeys and birds. In the afternoon your naturalist and native guides will intrigue you with their knowledge of the jungle and its inhabitants as well as provide you with an everlasting experience and memory of the neotropical rainforest.

Return to the lodge.

Dinner: Dinner at lodge.

Lodging: Sacha Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Sacha Lodge is located in the heart of the Amazon and is strategically situated beside a tranquil oxbow lake, Pilchicocha. The lodge was carefully designed to be comfortable for travelers while preserving the flavor of the jungle.

Contact info:
5000-acre private ecological reserve in Ecuador's Amazon region
Coca, Ecuador
phone: +(800) 327-3573
web: www.sachalodge.com

Room amenities: Cabins have high thatched roofs and private shaded terraces, constructed with traditional materials. Each room has a private bathroom with flushing toilet and hot shower and contains ceiling fans above two comfortable double beds.

Facility amenities: Accommodations are provided in double cabins with thatched roofs and private shaded terraces. Buildings were constructed with traditional materials and blends seamlessly with the jungle. A raised lookout located above Sacha's lounge and bar provides guests with wonderful views of the Pilchicocha Lake and the surrounding forest. Electricity is provided by a generator.

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


Day Five: Wednesday, March 19 - Amazonia/Napo River - Lagartococha Lake & Tr...
Amazonia/Napo River -
Lagartococha Lake & Trail/Fishing for Piranhas/Bird Viewing from Canopy Tower


Breakfast: Breakfast at lodge.

Morning: Field trip: Nature hike on the Lagartococha Trail.

The Lagartococha Trail offers the chance to learn more about the native people and their relationship with the forest. Learn about the trees where native people believe the spirits of their ancestors live and the mysterious “dwende” (devil-man of the forest).

Arrive at Lake Lagartococha and begin a canoe ride through the tranquil natural swamp, home of anacondas, caimans, and capybaras.

Walk to the opposite side of Largatococha for an opportunity to spot capuchin or squirrel monkeys playfully jumping through the trees.

Return to the lodge.

Lunch: Lunch at lodge.

Afternoon: Fishing lesson: Learn how to fish for the infamous, and much maligned, razor-toothed piranha. Despite its scary reputation, piranhas are not known for attacking people and swimming at the same time is perfectly safe and fun!

Enjoy a quiet canoe ride through the flooded Amazonian forest in search of troops of squirrel, capuchin, and howler monkeys. Keep your eyes peeled for the shy and elusive river otter as well as the incredibly well camouflaged three-toed sloth.

Arrive at Sacha´s 135-foot wooden tower built around an ancient Kapok tree. Get close-up views of vibrantly colored birds through powerful spotting scopes and watch the sun set with an amazing view of the Mount Sumaco Volcano.

Canoe ride back through the flooded forest.

Listen to the symphony of frogs and insects while navigating through the narrow flooded forest trail. Watch the several species of bats flying overhead and listen to the many species of nocturnal birds making their eerie nighttime calls.

Dinner: BBQ dinner – Farewell to the Amazon.

Lodging: Sacha Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: This charming hotel is housed in a restored 17th century Andean estate. The equatorial line and snowcapped Cayambe Mountains are only 30 minutes away. Winding cobblestone pathways, fountain courtyards, and perennial gardens offer inviting spaces where guests can relax and enjoy the fresh mountain air.

Contact info:
P.O. Box # 123
Otavalo - Imbabura
San Pablo del Lago, Imbabura, Ecuador
phone: +593-6-2918013/17
web: www.elmonasteriodecusin.com

Room amenities: Rooms have wood-beamed ceilings and log burning Kiva fireplaces, and are decorated with Andean crafts. Private bathrooms have thick cotton towels and hairdryers. Hot water bottles on request.

Facility amenities: Horseback riding, stables with arena, mountain biking, an internet cafe, basketball, squash and volleyball courts, a game room for pool, table-tennis and darts, and two television viewing rooms with an extensive and highly selective video library. 24 hour laundry service is available.

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


Day Six: Thursday, March 20 - Otavalo – Introduction to the Highlands. ...
Breakfast: Breakfast at lodge.

Morning: Boat transfer to Coca.

Lunch: Box lunch en-route.

Afternoon: Flight to Quito.
Upon arrival in Quito, board a bus and begin your transfer to Otavalo (approx. 2 hours).

Otavalo is a largely indigenous town in the Imbabura Province of Ecuador. The highland town is situated in a valley surrounded by imposing volcanoes. The Otavalo Indians have become famous for the weaving of textiles, a tradition that dates back more than 400 years. The town's famous market has traditionally been held on Saturdays, but its popularity has been so great that many local vendors set up their wares throughout the week in the Plaza de los Ponchos. The area was traditionally made up of farming communities but the focus has changed with the growth of tourism and the demand for handicrafts.

Arrive at the hacienda and check-in.
Time at leisure to rest, relax, and enjoy the gardens.

Lecture: A History of the Indigenous People of Otavalo - Independence and Entrepreneurial Expertise.

Dinner: Dinner at the hacienda.

Lodging: El Monasterio de Cusin

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: This charming hotel is housed in a restored 17th century Andean estate. The equatorial line and snowcapped Cayambe Mountains are only 30 minutes away. Winding cobblestone pathways, fountain courtyards, and perennial gardens offer inviting spaces where guests can relax and enjoy the fresh mountain air.

Contact info:
P.O. Box # 123
Otavalo - Imbabura
San Pablo del Lago, Imbabura, Ecuador
phone: +593-6-2918013/17
web: www.elmonasteriodecusin.com

Room amenities: Rooms have wood-beamed ceilings and log burning Kiva fireplaces, and are decorated with Andean crafts. Private bathrooms have thick cotton towels and hairdryers. Hot water bottles on request.

Facility amenities: Horseback riding, stables with arena, mountain biking, an internet cafe, basketball, squash and volleyball courts, a game room for pool, table-tennis and darts, and two television viewing rooms with an extensive and highly selective video library. 24 hour laundry service is available.

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


Day Seven: Friday, March 21 - Otavalo - Textile Market/Cultural Interact...
Otavalo -
Textile Market/Cultural Interaction with Indigenous Community.


Breakfast: Breakfast at hacienda.

Morning: Field trip to Otavalo textile market and site lecture.

Our day will continue with a visit to a local indigenous community. Meet one of the Quichua families who will share with us some of their native customs and traditions. Interact with locals while learning the traditional style of bread baking.

Enjoy a walk through the community and visit the gardens, orchards, medicinal plants, cuy farm and local honey project.

Lunch: Lunch with a local family, featuring traditional Ecuadorian food.

Afternoon: After lunch, delight in a dance performance by the local children.
Return to the hacienda.

Dinner: Dinner at hacienda.

Lodging: El Monasterio de Cusin

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The Hosteria Abraspungo is located at the 3.5 kilometer marker on the way to Guano, in a residential suburb named “Las Abras”, in the city of Riobamba. It’s name comes from two words: “Abras” from the Spanish word “abra”, which means a deep rupture in the hard earth, caused by erosion from water. “Pungo” from the Quichua word “pungu”, which means door or entrance. Abraspungo is also the name of a glacial valley which is located between the mountains Chimborazo and Carihuairazo, at 4.000 Mts. above sea level. The idea to build Abraspungo, began with the purpose of providing comfortable and peaceful lodging for our customers, in peaceful countryside surroundings which offer the special micro-climate characteristic of the Guano valley.

Contact info:
Located at 3½ kilometer marker on the way to Guano city, in the residential suburb “Las A
Riobamba, 00000 Ecuador
phone: +593-3-2364031
web: www.abraspungo.com.ec/

Room amenities: Telephone, TV, and room service.

Facility amenities: Fax and email service, restaurant, bar, laundry service, conference room, and mail service.

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


Day Eight: Saturday, March 22 - Riobamba - Avenue of the Volcanoes/Hacienda...
Breakfast: Early morning coffee at the hacienda.

Transfer to Riobamba with a stop at Hacienda La Compañia for breakfast.

The Hacienda La Compañia is a traditional Ecuadorian hacienda which has been in the Jarrín family for more than a century. In addition to its famed hospitality and cuisine, the property boasts an extraordinary rose plantation which you will have a chance to see and enjoy. Also, pay a visit to the showroom to view and marvel at all the different varieties of roses produced in the area.

Morning: Continue your transfer through the famous "Avenue of the Volcanoes." Site lecture: Agriculture in the Ecuadorian Andes.

Lunch: Lunch at a local hacienda en route.

Afternoon: Continue with the transfer to Riobamba.
Arrive in Riobamba and check-in at the hotel.

The capital of the Chimborazo province, Riobamba, is a small town located in an important agricultural region of Ecuador. It was once home to the Puruhuá Indians before becoming part of the Inca Empire during the 15th century. The city’s current layout and Spanish architecture reflect its colonial past. Colorful buildings, tiled roofs, parks and plazas, are framed by scenic views of snow-capped volcanoes.

Dinner: Dinner at hotel.

Lodging: Abraspungo Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: One of Cuenca Ecuador's most historic antique buildings, is located in the Old Town district of Cuenca, which is a living museum itself. The house where the Santa Lucia hotel is located was built by the first governor of Azuay province, Don Manuel Vega Davila, in 1859. The house remained in the Vega family for over a hundred years, being a peaceful witness of important episodes of the history of southern Ecuador.

Contact info:
Antonio Borrero 8-44 y Sucre
Cuenca, Ecuador
phone: +59 3782-8000
Room amenities: Digital Safebox DDI Phone Cable Television Private Bathroom

Facility amenities: Santa Lucia hotel has rescued and preserved this piece of Cuenca heritage, keeping this house as an example of the architectural style of the last part of the XIX Century Ecuador.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Nine: Sunday, March 23 - Cuenca - Devil's Nose Train Ride/Ingapirca I...
Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Rail excursion to "Devil's Nose."

Construction of the Guayaquil to Quito railway line began in 1899 with the help of American engineers. The ambitious project was delayed once the tracks reached the Devil's Nose; a large and very steep rock formation that stood in their way. However, a unique solution was devised to get past the sheer rock face that to this day is recognized as a masterpiece of engineering.

Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.

Afternoon: Field trip to Ingapirca Ruins with site lecture.
Site Lecture: Ingapirca Ruins and the Lifestyle of the Inca Royalty.

Ingapirca is the most important Inca complex in Ecuador, located in the southern Andean region of Cañar. The circular Temple of the Sun, which stands in the center of the complex, was once an important ceremonial center for the Cañari-Inca. The superior stone masonry skills of the Inca can be seen in the perfect cut and fit of the stones. In addition to the temple, excavations have uncovered observatories, storage rooms, priests’ quarters, a plaza, and cemeteries.

Transfer to Cuenca.
Arrive in Cuenca and check-in at hotel.
Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure.

Dinner: Dinner at hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Santa Lucia

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: One of Cuenca Ecuador's most historic antique buildings, is located in the Old Town district of Cuenca, which is a living museum itself. The house where the Santa Lucia hotel is located was built by the first governor of Azuay province, Don Manuel Vega Davila, in 1859. The house remained in the Vega family for over a hundred years, being a peaceful witness of important episodes of the history of southern Ecuador.

Contact info:
Antonio Borrero 8-44 y Sucre
Cuenca, Ecuador
phone: +59 3782-8000
Room amenities: Digital Safebox DDI Phone Cable Television Private Bathroom

Facility amenities: Santa Lucia hotel has rescued and preserved this piece of Cuenca heritage, keeping this house as an example of the architectural style of the last part of the XIX Century Ecuador.

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

Elevator: Yes


Day Ten: Monday, March 24 - Cuenca - Exploration of an UNESCO World Heri...
Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Walking orientation through the Old City of Cuenca ending at the Tomebamba River.

Despite being the third largest city in Ecuador, Cuenca has managed to retain its colonial flavor and small town feel with 16th century buildings, churches, red tiled roofs, and narrow cobbled stone streets. Cuenca is also the heart of Ecuador’s artistic culture.

Transfer to Turi's Hill for breathtaking view of Cuenca.

Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.

Afternoon: Time at leisure.
Field trip to the Ortega Hat Factory.
Site Lecture: The Making of the Panama Hat.

The lightweight Panama Hats were a hit in the tropics because of their breathable weave and quickly overtook sales of the more traditional, and heavier, felt hats. In the early 1900’s Panama Hats became synonymous with linen suits and tropical seaside locations. Despite their name, the famous brimmed hats made of woven toquilla straw, originated in Ecuador. The misnomer comes from the fact that the straw hats were originally exported to the rest of the world via Panama.

Return to the hotel.
Time at leisure.
Lecture: The Inca Civilization and its Influence on Cuenca.

Dinner: Dinner at hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Santa Lucia

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 and 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: +593-4-2327999
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, and hair dryer.

Facility amenities: Internet, 24 hour room service, laundry/dry cleaning, safety deposit boxes, and meeting rooms.

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, at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com for availability and rates.


Day Eleven: Tuesday, March 25 - Guayaquil - Farm Visit/Las Peñas Historic ...
Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel

Morning: Begin transfer to Guayaquil.
En route excursion to a typical coastal farm.

Visit a local coastal hacienda with banana and cocoa plantations; learn about the sowing and harvesting process and what is needed to prepare the goods for export. Banana and cacao are some of the most exported products in the nation and an important source of revenue for Ecuador.

Lunch: Typical lunch at local hacienda.

Afternoon: Continue with transfer to Guayaquil.

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. Indulging in the locals' favorite pastime, take a stroll along the Malecon and visit a museum, Las Peñas Hill and local exhibits.

Excursion to local museum to learn about archaeology and how the pre-hispanic people lived in Ecuador thousands of years ago.

Visit to the Las Peñas neighborhood.

Las Peñas is a colorful historic neighborhood located at the base of Santa Ana Hill in Guayaquil. Las Peñas runs the length of Numa Pompillo Lllona, its only street, and exemplifies Ecuador's coastal colonial architectural style. From the top of Santa Ana Hill one can see panoramic views of the city and the Guayas River.

Dinner: Dinner at local Malecon (waterfront) restaurant.

Evening: Depending on the international carrier used, 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.

Lodging: Hotel Oro Verde

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Twelve: Wednesday, March 26 - Depart from Guayaquil/International Flights ...
Depart from Guayaquil/International Flights
Arrive to the U.S.


Depart From: Transfer to international airport for flight to the U.S.

Participants enrolled in the Road Scholar extension (program #20185), will be transferred to the airport to catch a flight to the Galápagos Islands.

Note: Participants with independent travel arrangements and/or scheduled on later flights can keep their hotel rooms until check-out time on this day.

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel (depending on flight time).

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 ...
11 nights of accommodations
31 meals: 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 10 dinners
4 Expert-led lectures
16 Field trips
2 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances
2 Flights during the program

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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