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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 Jan 23 — Feb 2, 2015

Expand all
Type: Hotel

Description: The Sheraton Quito Hotel is strategically located in the city’s financial and commercial zone and also nearby the Colonial Old Town, a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site. Enjoy the on site restaurants featuring fusion foods and live piano music in the lounge. Relax your soul, mind, and body or workout in the Sheraton Fitness Center located on the 11th floor with breathtaking views of the modern Quito.

Contact info:
Avenida Naciones Unidas y Republica de El Salvador
Quito, 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: Friday, January 23 - Arrive to Quito.
Note: To minimize your chances of experiencing altitude sickness while in Quito, try to get plenty of rest before you travel, stay hydrated, avoid alcohol and fatty foods, consume high carbohydrate foods, and avoid strenuous exercise at high elevations.

The new Mariscal Sucre International Airport is located approximately one hour from downtown Quito.

Arrive To: Arrive at Quito's 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: Sheraton Quito Hotel

Type: Hotel

Description: The Sheraton Quito Hotel is strategically located in the city’s financial and commercial zone and also nearby the Colonial Old Town, a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site. Enjoy the on site restaurants featuring fusion foods and live piano music in the lounge. Relax your soul, mind, and body or workout in the Sheraton Fitness Center located on the 11th floor with breathtaking views of the modern Quito.

Contact info:
Avenida Naciones Unidas y Republica de El Salvador
Quito, 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: Saturday, January 24 - Quito – Colonial Quito, the First UNESCO Wor...
Quito –
Colonial Quito, the First UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Equator


Note: Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Breakfast: At the hotel.


Morning: Meet your Quito group leader and fellow Road Scholar participants during a welcome and introduction session at the hotel. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

Orientation to the program.

Explore Quito’s colonial center; the best preserved colonial and historic center in Latin America, starting with a panoramic view of the city at El Panecillo hill. 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.

Afterwards continue to the colonial center. While walking through the narrow streets, you will learn about Quito’s rich history going from pre-Hispanic times, through the Colonial period, to the Republican era. Admire the wonderful architecture of its colonial buildings and the uniqueness of religious art pieces from the famous Quitenian School of art that combines the European Renaissance and Baroque styles with the indigenous and mestizo influences.



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


Afternoon: After lunch, continue to the famous Middle of the World and celebrate the ability to be in both hemispheres at the same time - a once in a lifetime experience. Learn important facts, myths and legends about the Geography of Earth while visiting the Equator as well as the history of the first group of scientists who had the hard mission to determined Earth’s shape in 1743. Visit the Ethnographic museum where you will get a general vision about Ecuador’s demography, geography and economy.

Return to the hotel.

Lecture: The Past, Present, and Future of Ecuador.



Dinner: At the hotel.


Lodging: Sheraton Quito Hotel

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

Description: The Yolita II is an expedition-sized vessel in the true tradition of the smaller boats that sail the island of the Galapagos. At 114 feet long and 26 feet wide and cruising at 10 knots, it can carry 16 passengers.

Ship Information: Motorized yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 cabins all with private baths. The ship is 114 feet long and 26 feet wide. Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. Rooms include private bathroom (toilet, shower, washbasin and vanity); locker and drawers. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted.

Contact info:
N/A
Guayaquil, Ecuador
phone: +000-000-0000
Room amenities: All cabins are compact (approximately 112 square feet) with porthole, private bathroom with shower, air-conditioning, and limited closet space. Double occupancy rooms feature two single beds. Single cabins have one bed and are located on the top deck. Electrical outlet accepts 110V appliances with US-style plugs.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dining room, common room, bar, sun deck and small library. A steep set of stairs from the Main Deck to the cabins have to be carefully negotiated. Wetsuit and snorkeling gear: Masks, snorkels, and fins are provided as part of the cruise, though avid snorkelers might wish to bring their own gear to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and full payment is due, in cash, upon embarkation. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of the cruise. Please note that the yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come basis. If you require a petite or XL size, please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com to check if the yacht carries your size. The yacht only accepts cash for additional expenses (e.g., alcoholic beverages, wetsuits, etc.) during the cruise.

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


Day Three: Sunday, January 25 - Galápagos - Galápagos Islands - Flight to B...
Galápagos -
Galápagos Islands - Flight to Baltra Island/Board Yacht/ Santa Cruz (Playa de las Bachas).


Note: Playa de las Bachas: easy, sandy trail conditions. There is a 44 lb weight limit for checked luggage on the flights to the islands. Please pack accordingly. Note: Actual cruise itinerary and islands visited are determined by the Galápagos National Park. The park reserves the right to change cruise itineraries without prior notice

Breakfast: At the hotel.


Morning: Transfer to the airport where you will be assisted by your Quito group leader. Depart for the Galápagos Islands.

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


Lunch: Light lunch served on the flight.

Afternoon: Upon arrival to Galápagos Islands, proceed through Immigration. Have your passport ready at the immigration counter before proceeding to baggage claim.

Upon arrival you will be met by your Galápagos guide and transferred to the yacht.

Board and set sail.

Enjoy an orientation, safety drill and a light snack.

Sail to Santa Cruz Island and disembark at Playa de las Bachas for a field trip to a flamingo lagoon.
Apart from being an important nesting site for sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), Bachas Beach is also a great location to view migratory and aquatic birds. The name of this location dates back to WWII, when the U.S. army abandoned two barges on the beach. Locals found it hard to pronounce the word "barges" in English; over time, the common mispronunciation of the word became the norm, resulting in the name Playa de las Bachas.

Return to the yacht.


Dinner: Onboard the yacht.

Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.


Lodging: Yolita II

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

Description: The Yolita II is an expedition-sized vessel in the true tradition of the smaller boats that sail the island of the Galapagos. At 114 feet long and 26 feet wide and cruising at 10 knots, it can carry 16 passengers.

Ship Information: Motorized yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 cabins all with private baths. The ship is 114 feet long and 26 feet wide. Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. Rooms include private bathroom (toilet, shower, washbasin and vanity); locker and drawers. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted.

Contact info:
N/A
Guayaquil, Ecuador
phone: +000-000-0000
Room amenities: All cabins are compact (approximately 112 square feet) with porthole, private bathroom with shower, air-conditioning, and limited closet space. Double occupancy rooms feature two single beds. Single cabins have one bed and are located on the top deck. Electrical outlet accepts 110V appliances with US-style plugs.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dining room, common room, bar, sun deck and small library. A steep set of stairs from the Main Deck to the cabins have to be carefully negotiated. Wetsuit and snorkeling gear: Masks, snorkels, and fins are provided as part of the cruise, though avid snorkelers might wish to bring their own gear to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and full payment is due, in cash, upon embarkation. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of the cruise. Please note that the yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come basis. If you require a petite or XL size, please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com to check if the yacht carries your size. The yacht only accepts cash for additional expenses (e.g., alcoholic beverages, wetsuits, etc.) during the cruise.

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


Day Four: Monday, January 26 - Galápagos - Genovesa Island (Darwin's Bay an...
Note: Note: Dry, difficult landing and moderate difficulty due to steep, rocky trail conditions. The visit to El Barranco (a.k.a. Prince Phillip's Steps) includes climbing/descending approximately 20 steep and irregular stone steps (there is a hand rail).

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Wet landing at Darwin's Bay, Genovesa Island.

Genovesa is a great place for a bird watching walk (0.9 miles) plus optional swimming or snorkeling. The island'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, snorkeling.

Return to the yacht.


Lunch: Onboard the yacht.


Afternoon: Challenging dry landing at El Barranco, Genovesa Island. This is another site where sturdy footwear, with good rubber soles is a necessity! El Barranco, also known as 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. While navigating around the cliffs, look for fur seals lounging on jutting rocks and seabirds nesting in the craggy shores.

Return to the yacht.


Dinner: Onboard the yacht.


Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: Yolita II

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

Description: The Yolita II is an expedition-sized vessel in the true tradition of the smaller boats that sail the island of the Galapagos. At 114 feet long and 26 feet wide and cruising at 10 knots, it can carry 16 passengers.

Ship Information: Motorized yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 cabins all with private baths. The ship is 114 feet long and 26 feet wide. Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. Rooms include private bathroom (toilet, shower, washbasin and vanity); locker and drawers. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted.

Contact info:
N/A
Guayaquil, Ecuador
phone: +000-000-0000
Room amenities: All cabins are compact (approximately 112 square feet) with porthole, private bathroom with shower, air-conditioning, and limited closet space. Double occupancy rooms feature two single beds. Single cabins have one bed and are located on the top deck. Electrical outlet accepts 110V appliances with US-style plugs.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dining room, common room, bar, sun deck and small library. A steep set of stairs from the Main Deck to the cabins have to be carefully negotiated. Wetsuit and snorkeling gear: Masks, snorkels, and fins are provided as part of the cruise, though avid snorkelers might wish to bring their own gear to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and full payment is due, in cash, upon embarkation. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of the cruise. Please note that the yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come basis. If you require a petite or XL size, please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com to check if the yacht carries your size. The yacht only accepts cash for additional expenses (e.g., alcoholic beverages, wetsuits, etc.) during the cruise.

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


Day Five: Tuesday, January 27 - Galápagos - Bartolome Island and Santiago Is...
Note: Bartolome Island: dry or wet landing with moderate to difficult trail conditions, including a long stairway, 375 steps. Sullivan Bay: dry or wet landing with easy trail conditions.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Dry or wet landing on Bartolome Island. The 1.2 mile walk to the top of the volcano includes a climb up a long wooden staircase (375 steps) with railings. The views are worth the effort!

Bartolome Island is home to Pinnacle Rock, the "Guardian of the Isles" which rises sharply from the coast. 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.

View volcanic formations such as lava bombs, spatter, and cinder cones. Hike to the summit to enjoy a great view of the surrounding islands, including Pinnacle Rock's eroded tuff cone. On the way to the summit, watch for colonies of marine iguanas, lava lizards, tiquilla and various cacti.

Opportunity to snorkel and spot Galapagos Penguins, sea turtles, and white tipped reef sharks (from a safe distance).

Return to the yacht.


Lunch: Onboard the yacht.


Afternoon: Wet or dry landing at Sullivan Bay.

Visit to Sullivan Bay to observe fascinating geological features. The landing can be performed either on the rocky shore (dry landing) or the white sand beach (wet landing). The area is covered by Pahoehoe lava flows (solidified lava in corrugated or accordion form). It was very active in the last 25 years of the nineteenth century, making this flow geologically very young. The magma formed is flat, but the movement of underground lava, the rapid cooling and other eruptions led to the break in many places.

Optional swimming, snorkeling.

Return to the yacht.



Dinner: Onboard the yacht.


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

Lodging: Yolita II

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

Description: The Yolita II is an expedition-sized vessel in the true tradition of the smaller boats that sail the island of the Galapagos. At 114 feet long and 26 feet wide and cruising at 10 knots, it can carry 16 passengers.

Ship Information: Motorized yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 cabins all with private baths. The ship is 114 feet long and 26 feet wide. Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. Rooms include private bathroom (toilet, shower, washbasin and vanity); locker and drawers. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted.

Contact info:
N/A
Guayaquil, Ecuador
phone: +000-000-0000
Room amenities: All cabins are compact (approximately 112 square feet) with porthole, private bathroom with shower, air-conditioning, and limited closet space. Double occupancy rooms feature two single beds. Single cabins have one bed and are located on the top deck. Electrical outlet accepts 110V appliances with US-style plugs.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dining room, common room, bar, sun deck and small library. A steep set of stairs from the Main Deck to the cabins have to be carefully negotiated. Wetsuit and snorkeling gear: Masks, snorkels, and fins are provided as part of the cruise, though avid snorkelers might wish to bring their own gear to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and full payment is due, in cash, upon embarkation. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of the cruise. Please note that the yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come basis. If you require a petite or XL size, please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com to check if the yacht carries your size. The yacht only accepts cash for additional expenses (e.g., alcoholic beverages, wetsuits, etc.) during the cruise.

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


Day Six: Wednesday, January 28 - Galápagos - Isabela Island (Sierra Negra Vol...
Galápagos -
Isabela Island (Sierra Negra Volcano and Wetlands, Wall of Tears, Tortoise Breeding Center).


Note: Sierra Negra Volcano and Wetlands: dry landing, moderate to difficult trail conditions due to steep, rocky terrain. Wall of Tears or Tortoise Breeding Center: dry landing, easy trail conditions.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Dry landing on Isabela Island.

In the morning, explore the wetlands, a complex of trails that consist of numerous sites that form spectacular scenery. The trails travel through lava rock paths, tombs, a mangrove forest, volcanoes, and beaches and also offer great opportunities to observe local flora and fauna.

From the wetlands' trails, continue your visit with a stop at the infamous Muro de las Lagrimas ("Wall of Tears"). This wall was erected by convicts back in the days when the island housed a penal colony. Numerous prisioners died in the course of building the stone wall, leading many locals to give it the now famous name. According to local lore, it is possible to hear the convicts' cries emanating from the area from time to time.

Later in the morning, visit the Tortoise Breeding Center.

The Tortoise Breeding Center of Isabela contains 330 juvenile and adult tortoises that populate south Isabela. It houses many breeds in danger of extinction. The center also has beautiful gardens consisting of native plants.

During your land explorations, also be on the look-out for resident land iguanas. January marks the start of their breeding season. By April the eggs beging to hatch and visitors have the opportunity to view mature iguanas and their hatchlings.

Return to the yacht.



Lunch: Onboard the yacht.


Afternoon: Dry landing on Isabela. Afternoon excursion to the Sierra Negra Volcano.

The Sierra Negra volcano is believed to be the oldest volcano on Isabela. According to some geologists, the wider and shallower a caldera, the more ancient. This conclusion is based on research that indicates that the ongoing volcanic processes in calderas tend to file and break down their edges over thousands and millions of years.

Note: Those participants who do not wish to participate in this hike can spend the afternoon at Puerto Villamil exploring town on their own.

Return to the yacht.


Dinner: Onboard the yacht.


Evening: Orientation of next day’s activities.

Lodging: Yolita II

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

Description: The Yolita II is an expedition-sized vessel in the true tradition of the smaller boats that sail the island of the Galapagos. At 114 feet long and 26 feet wide and cruising at 10 knots, it can carry 16 passengers.

Ship Information: Motorized yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 cabins all with private baths. The ship is 114 feet long and 26 feet wide. Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. Rooms include private bathroom (toilet, shower, washbasin and vanity); locker and drawers. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted.

Contact info:
N/A
Guayaquil, Ecuador
phone: +000-000-0000
Room amenities: All cabins are compact (approximately 112 square feet) with porthole, private bathroom with shower, air-conditioning, and limited closet space. Double occupancy rooms feature two single beds. Single cabins have one bed and are located on the top deck. Electrical outlet accepts 110V appliances with US-style plugs.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dining room, common room, bar, sun deck and small library. A steep set of stairs from the Main Deck to the cabins have to be carefully negotiated. Wetsuit and snorkeling gear: Masks, snorkels, and fins are provided as part of the cruise, though avid snorkelers might wish to bring their own gear to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and full payment is due, in cash, upon embarkation. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of the cruise. Please note that the yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come basis. If you require a petite or XL size, please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com to check if the yacht carries your size. The yacht only accepts cash for additional expenses (e.g., alcoholic beverages, wetsuits, etc.) during the cruise.

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


Day Seven: Thursday, January 29 - Galápagos - Isabela Island (Elizabeth Bay an...
Note: Elizabeth Bay: no landing. Tagus Cove: dry landing with moderate to difficult trail conditions due to steep, rocky terrain.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Morning dinghy excursion to Elizabeth Bay, Isabela Island. Navigate around the mangrove forests and rugged coastline to observe marine life and shorebirds.

Elizabeth Bay, located on Isabela's west shore, is an extremely interesting site for observing marine life. It is also one of the best areas to spot and photograph the elusive Galapagos Penguin. A colony of these unique birds inhabits a rocky islet at the entrance to the bay. A small passage lined with mangroves leads into an enclosed cove. The sheltered waters host marine turtles, rays, Flightless Cormorants, and sea lions. Although the marine life is the star of this visitor's site, don't forget to look up once in a while and scan the skies; Galapagos Hawks are oftentimes seen circling overhead.

Return to the yacht.


Lunch: Onboard the yacht.


Afternoon: Dry landing on Isabela Island at Tagus Cove.

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, Galapagos Penguins, Mangrove Finches, pelicans, marine iguanas and a variety of other birds.

Return to the yacht.



Dinner: Onboard the yacht.


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

Lodging: Yolita II

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

Description: The Yolita II is an expedition-sized vessel in the true tradition of the smaller boats that sail the island of the Galapagos. At 114 feet long and 26 feet wide and cruising at 10 knots, it can carry 16 passengers.

Ship Information: Motorized yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 cabins all with private baths. The ship is 114 feet long and 26 feet wide. Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. Rooms include private bathroom (toilet, shower, washbasin and vanity); locker and drawers. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted.

Contact info:
N/A
Guayaquil, Ecuador
phone: +000-000-0000
Room amenities: All cabins are compact (approximately 112 square feet) with porthole, private bathroom with shower, air-conditioning, and limited closet space. Double occupancy rooms feature two single beds. Single cabins have one bed and are located on the top deck. Electrical outlet accepts 110V appliances with US-style plugs.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dining room, common room, bar, sun deck and small library. A steep set of stairs from the Main Deck to the cabins have to be carefully negotiated. Wetsuit and snorkeling gear: Masks, snorkels, and fins are provided as part of the cruise, though avid snorkelers might wish to bring their own gear to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and full payment is due, in cash, upon embarkation. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of the cruise. Please note that the yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come basis. If you require a petite or XL size, please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com to check if the yacht carries your size. The yacht only accepts cash for additional expenses (e.g., alcoholic beverages, wetsuits, etc.) during the cruise.

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


Day Eight: Friday, January 30 - Galápagos - Isabela Island (Urbina Bay) and ...
Galápagos -
Isabela Island (Urbina Bay) and Fernandina (Punta Espinoza).


Note: Urbina Bay: wet landing and easy to moderate trail conditions due to uneven terrain. Punta Espinoza: dry landing and moderate to difficult rocky trail conditions.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Wet landing at Urbina Bay on Isabela Island.

Search for interesting geological formations and resident wildlife during a walking exploration along local trails. Optional swimming and snorkeling. 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.

Return to the yacht.



Lunch: Onboard the yacht.


Afternoon: Dry landing at Punta Espinoza, Fernandina Island. Good walking shoes are a must for the 1.2 mile walk on sharp volcanic rocks.

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 Galapagos 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 Galapagos Penguins.

Return to the yacht.



Dinner: Onboard the yacht.


Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: Yolita II

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

Description: The Yolita II is an expedition-sized vessel in the true tradition of the smaller boats that sail the island of the Galapagos. At 114 feet long and 26 feet wide and cruising at 10 knots, it can carry 16 passengers.

Ship Information: Motorized yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 cabins all with private baths. The ship is 114 feet long and 26 feet wide. Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. Rooms include private bathroom (toilet, shower, washbasin and vanity); locker and drawers. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted.

Contact info:
N/A
Guayaquil, Ecuador
phone: +000-000-0000
Room amenities: All cabins are compact (approximately 112 square feet) with porthole, private bathroom with shower, air-conditioning, and limited closet space. Double occupancy rooms feature two single beds. Single cabins have one bed and are located on the top deck. Electrical outlet accepts 110V appliances with US-style plugs.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dining room, common room, bar, sun deck and small library. A steep set of stairs from the Main Deck to the cabins have to be carefully negotiated. Wetsuit and snorkeling gear: Masks, snorkels, and fins are provided as part of the cruise, though avid snorkelers might wish to bring their own gear to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and full payment is due, in cash, upon embarkation. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of the cruise. Please note that the yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come basis. If you require a petite or XL size, please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com to check if the yacht carries your size. The yacht only accepts cash for additional expenses (e.g., alcoholic beverages, wetsuits, etc.) during the cruise.

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


Day Nine: Saturday, January 31 - Galápagos - Santiago Island (Playa Espumilla...
Galápagos -
Santiago Island (Playa Espumilla and Caleta Bucanero) and Rabida Island.


Note: Playa Espumilla: wet landing and easy, sandy trail conditions. Caleta Bucanero: wet landing and easy to moderate trail conditions due to uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Wet landing on Espumilla Beach.

Playa Espumilla is located on the northwestern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay. During the last presence of the El Nino phenomenon, one of the two lagoons at this site underwent a process of sedimentation, which led to the disappearance of a resident colony of flamingos. The main attractions here are a palo santo forest, beach and the landscape. The beach is an important site for nesting marine turtles (Chelonia midas agassizi).

Disembark at Caleta Bucanero ("Buccaneer Cove") to enjoy a short walk along the beach (less than 0.6 miles).

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, pirates and whalers reportedly used Buccaneer 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.

Return to the yacht.



Lunch: Onboard the yacht.


Afternoon: Wet landing on Rabida Island.

Rabida (also known as Jervis) has a dark red beach where visitors can view sea lions and nesting pelicans. A salt water lagoon located a small distance from the beach is home to flamingoes and the occasional White-cheeked Pintail. Palo santo trees cover the island's volcanic peak, which can be seen from a short trail (approximately a .5 mile walk).

Optional swimming, snorkeling.

Return to the yacht.



Dinner: Onboard the yacht.


Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: Yolita II

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The hotel is located conveniently near the Quito airport in the beautiful village of Puembo.

Contact info:
Manuel Burbano N66 y Francisoc Ruiz
Puembo, Ecuador
phone: +593-22391106
web: www.rincondepuembo.com/en/

Room amenities: Air conditioning, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, telephone, wi-fi, and cable TV.

Facility amenities: Las Cúpulas Restaurant
, El Grill Bar and Restaurant, large gardens, heated pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, gym
, business center, soccer, basketball, and volleyball courts. Billiards, table football, karaoke room, TV and reading room, laundry service, cable television, 24 wi-fi.

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

Additional nights after: 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.


Day Ten: Sunday, February 01 - Galápagos and Quito- Daphne Island and Mosqu...
Galápagos and Quito-
Daphne Island and Mosquera Islet/ Flight from Baltra Island to Quito.


Note: Daphne Island: no landing.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Navigate around Daphne Island, located off the coast of Santa Cruz.

Located just north of Santa Cruz Island and west of Baltra Island, Daphne Major is a volcanic island consisting of a tuff crater rising 394 ft. above sea level. Biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant conducted extensive studies of Darwin’s finches and their results have strongly supported Darwin’s theory of evolution. Daphne offers a large variety of other birds including the Galápagos Martins, Blue-footed Booby, Nazca Booby, Short-eared Owls, Red-billed Tropicbirds and Magnificent Frigate birds. Visitors are not allowed on the island but can only observe from the banks

Weather and time permitting we will visit Mosquera Islet.

Mosquera Islet is located between North Seymour and Baltra Islands, and is a convenient site to enjoy one last shore activity before heading to Baltra to catch a flight back to the mainland. The flat, sandy island attracts a large number of sea lions as well as shorebirds.

Sail to Baltra Island and transfer to the airport to board a flight to Guayaquil. Say Farewell to your Galápagos group leader


Lunch: Light snack served on the flight.

Afternoon: Late afternoon arrival in Quito.
Transfer to the hotel.

Free time. Spend your last evening in Ecuador with your new Road Scholar friends, finish your packing, or get a good night's sleep in preparation for international departures tomorrow.


Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Rincon de Puembo

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Eleven: Monday, February 02 - Depart from Quito. Arrive 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.

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

This concludes the program. We hope you enjoyed your Road Scholar adventure! When you get home, remember to stay in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network; share memories, pictures, and comments about your recent travels.


Breakfast: Early morning breakfast at the hotel restaurant (dependent 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
3 Expert-led lectures
16 Field trips
2 Flights during the program

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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