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GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, ECUADOR

Adventures Afloat: The Galápagos: Natural and Cultural History

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Road Scholar
Program #6043RJ

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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 Jul 5 — Jul 15, 2015

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: +593-2-2560666
web: www.hilton.com

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: Sunday, July 05 - 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. Check-in usually begins between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

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: +593-2-2560666
web: www.hilton.com

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: Monday, July 06 - Quito – Otavalo Market/Andean Cuisine/Indige...
Note: Bus transfer from Quito to Otavalo takes approximately 2 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Get to know 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. 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.

Orientation to the program.

Board the Road Scholar bus in preparation for a two-hour journey to Otavalo and its famous market. The scenic journey will take us northward, through breathtaking Andean landscapes and small communities. Once at the market, we will join our group leader on a walking orientation of the plaza and its many stalls to learn about local handcrafting traditions.

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.



Lunch: At a local restaurant featuring Andean cuisine.

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

Our afternoon activities will include 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.

Transfer back to Quito.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Hilton Colon Quito Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: The Galaven is an 88 ft. expedition yacht equiped to carry up to 20 passengers in 11 air conditioned cabins.

Ship Information: Year built:2000 Length: 88 ft Beam: 22 ft Draft: 6 ft Gross tonage: 171 tons Capacity: 20 passengers Crew: Captain, 2 bilingual naturalist guides, and 8 other crew members Safety & navigation: GPS, sonar, naval radars, fire detection and prevention systems, and life vests.

Contact info:
265 Foch Street and 6 de Diciembre. 3rd floor. Sonelsa Tower.
Quito, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2524438
web: www.galavengalapagos.com

Room amenities: All cabins are air conditioned and have private bathrooms. Biodegradable shampoo and soap is provided in each cabin.

Facility amenities: Outdoor seating areas, dining room, and library with audiovisual equipment for onboard presentations. A small number of kayaks are available, free of charge, for use during the cruise. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and payment is due in full (cash) upon boarding the yacht. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of your cruise. The yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you require a petite or XL size in order to verify 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: Tuesday, July 07 - Galápagos - Flight to San Cristobal Island/...
Galápagos -
Flight to San Cristobal Island/Board Yacht/Puerto Chino or Gordillo Breeding Center.


Note: Puerto Chino or Jacinto Gordillo Breeding Center: dry landing, moderate to difficult trail conditions due to rocky, uneven terrain. There is a (44 lb weight limit for checked luggage, please pack accordingly). Excess luggage can be stored at the hotel in Quito. Actual cruise itinerary and islands visited are always subject to change by the Galápagos National Park. Itineraries are not guaranteed.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Transfer to the airport to board a morning flight to the Galápagos Islands.

Once at the airport, your Quito group leader will provide the domestic airline tickets and assist participants during the check-in process.

**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: Arrive to San Cristóbal, Galápagos Islands.

Upon arrival to the Galápagos airport, please 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 group leader and transferred to the yacht.

Board and set sail.

Enjoy an orientation, safety drill and a light snack.

Dry landing on the east side of San Cristobal Island at Puerto Chino.

The beautiful white sands of the beach are surrounded by dry forest habitat where you are likely to see both blue footed boobies and frigatebirds diving in to the turquoise waters. The Jacinto Gordillo Breeding Center is a new center where hatchling turtles can be viewed from birth to four years old.

Return to the yacht.

Dinner: Onboard the yacht.

Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.

Lodging: Galaven

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: The Galaven is an 88 ft. expedition yacht equiped to carry up to 20 passengers in 11 air conditioned cabins.

Ship Information: Year built:2000 Length: 88 ft Beam: 22 ft Draft: 6 ft Gross tonage: 171 tons Capacity: 20 passengers Crew: Captain, 2 bilingual naturalist guides, and 8 other crew members Safety & navigation: GPS, sonar, naval radars, fire detection and prevention systems, and life vests.

Contact info:
265 Foch Street and 6 de Diciembre. 3rd floor. Sonelsa Tower.
Quito, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2524438
web: www.galavengalapagos.com

Room amenities: All cabins are air conditioned and have private bathrooms. Biodegradable shampoo and soap is provided in each cabin.

Facility amenities: Outdoor seating areas, dining room, and library with audiovisual equipment for onboard presentations. A small number of kayaks are available, free of charge, for use during the cruise. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and payment is due in full (cash) upon boarding the yacht. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of your cruise. The yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you require a petite or XL size in order to verify 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: Wednesday, July 08 - Galápagos - Santa Fe Island and South Plaza...
Note: Santa Fe Island: Dry landing, moderate trail conditions due to uneven, rocky terrain. South Plaza Island: dry landing, moderate trail conditions due to uneven, rocky terrain.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.

Morning: Dry landing on Santa Fe Island.

Santa Fe is located southeast of Santa Cruz and has some of the tallest stands of opuntia cacti in the Galápagos. Some have been reported to grow as high as 33 feet! A trail into the highlands of Santa Fe Island leads visitors to the only place in the archipelago where the illusive Santa Fe land iguana can be found.

Return to the yacht.

Lunch: Onboard the yacht.

Afternoon: Dry landing at South Plaza Island.

South Plaza is the larger of two islands located off the east coast of Santa Cruz. A dry landing on a jetty will lead us to a cactus forest where we will take a close look at land iguanas and their habitat before contiuing our hike in search of local sea lion colonies. Sea lions usually give birth from August - November and females begin mating within weeks of having their young.

This small island is known as a great place to watch seabirds in flight. A walk along the cliff top provides perfect views of Red-billed Tropicbirds, frigatebirds, pelicans, Swallow-tailed Gulls, and other pelagic species.

Return to the yacht.

Dinner: Onboard the yacht.

Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: Galaven

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: The Galaven is an 88 ft. expedition yacht equiped to carry up to 20 passengers in 11 air conditioned cabins.

Ship Information: Year built:2000 Length: 88 ft Beam: 22 ft Draft: 6 ft Gross tonage: 171 tons Capacity: 20 passengers Crew: Captain, 2 bilingual naturalist guides, and 8 other crew members Safety & navigation: GPS, sonar, naval radars, fire detection and prevention systems, and life vests.

Contact info:
265 Foch Street and 6 de Diciembre. 3rd floor. Sonelsa Tower.
Quito, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2524438
web: www.galavengalapagos.com

Room amenities: All cabins are air conditioned and have private bathrooms. Biodegradable shampoo and soap is provided in each cabin.

Facility amenities: Outdoor seating areas, dining room, and library with audiovisual equipment for onboard presentations. A small number of kayaks are available, free of charge, for use during the cruise. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and payment is due in full (cash) upon boarding the yacht. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of your cruise. The yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you require a petite or XL size in order to verify 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: Thursday, July 09 - Galápagos - Santa Cruz Island (Fausto Llere...
Galápagos -
Santa Cruz Island (Fausto Llerena Breeding Center and Los Gemelos).


Note: Fausto Llerana Breeding Center: dry landing, easy trail conditions. Los Gemelos: transfer by bus to the highlands, easy to moderate trail conditions due to uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.

Morning: Dry Landing on Santa Cruz Island for a visit to the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, located inside the Charles Darwin Research Station. It is home to tortoises ranging from three inches to four feet long. At four years of age the tortoises are strong enough to survive on their own and are repatriated to their respective islands.

The Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS), a biological research station operated by the Charles Darwin Foundation. The objective of the CDRS is to conduct scientific research and environmental education for conservation. The Station has a team of over a hundred scientists, educators, volunteers, research students and support staff from all over the world. At the CDRS you will be able to observe giant tortoises at all stages of growth, from a few days to close to one hundred years old!

Return to the yacht.

Lunch: Onboard the yacht.

Afternoon: After lunch, enjoy a field trip into the highlands of Santa Cruz Island to view Los Gemelos ("The Twins") craters.

The twin craters found in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island are actually large sinkholes--not volcanic formations. They were created as a result of the collapse, or the sinking, of surface materials into cracks. The surrounding Scalesia forest is a great place to view vegetation that is unique to this island and search for land birds. Wild giant tortoises begin nesting from June to August. Their eggs begin to hatch with the arrival of the warmer season (December-April).

Return to the yacht.

Dinner: Onboard the yacht.

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

Lodging: Galaven

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: The Galaven is an 88 ft. expedition yacht equiped to carry up to 20 passengers in 11 air conditioned cabins.

Ship Information: Year built:2000 Length: 88 ft Beam: 22 ft Draft: 6 ft Gross tonage: 171 tons Capacity: 20 passengers Crew: Captain, 2 bilingual naturalist guides, and 8 other crew members Safety & navigation: GPS, sonar, naval radars, fire detection and prevention systems, and life vests.

Contact info:
265 Foch Street and 6 de Diciembre. 3rd floor. Sonelsa Tower.
Quito, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2524438
web: www.galavengalapagos.com

Room amenities: All cabins are air conditioned and have private bathrooms. Biodegradable shampoo and soap is provided in each cabin.

Facility amenities: Outdoor seating areas, dining room, and library with audiovisual equipment for onboard presentations. A small number of kayaks are available, free of charge, for use during the cruise. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and payment is due in full (cash) upon boarding the yacht. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of your cruise. The yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you require a petite or XL size in order to verify 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: Friday, July 10 - Galápagos - Isabela Island (Sierra Negra Vo...
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.

Return to the yacht.

Dinner: Onboard the yacht.

Evening: Orientation of next day’s activities.

Lodging: Galaven

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: The Galaven is an 88 ft. expedition yacht equiped to carry up to 20 passengers in 11 air conditioned cabins.

Ship Information: Year built:2000 Length: 88 ft Beam: 22 ft Draft: 6 ft Gross tonage: 171 tons Capacity: 20 passengers Crew: Captain, 2 bilingual naturalist guides, and 8 other crew members Safety & navigation: GPS, sonar, naval radars, fire detection and prevention systems, and life vests.

Contact info:
265 Foch Street and 6 de Diciembre. 3rd floor. Sonelsa Tower.
Quito, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2524438
web: www.galavengalapagos.com

Room amenities: All cabins are air conditioned and have private bathrooms. Biodegradable shampoo and soap is provided in each cabin.

Facility amenities: Outdoor seating areas, dining room, and library with audiovisual equipment for onboard presentations. A small number of kayaks are available, free of charge, for use during the cruise. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and payment is due in full (cash) upon boarding the yacht. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of your cruise. The yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you require a petite or XL size in order to verify 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: Saturday, July 11 - Galápagos - Isabela Island (Moreno Point and...
Note: Moreno Point: dry landing, moderate to difficult trail conditions due to volcanic rock and uneven terrain. Tagus Cove: dry landing, moderate to difficult trail conditions due to rocky, uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.

Morning: Dry landing at Moreno Bay on Isabela Island. A hike to tide pools and a dinghy ride along the island's rocky shores will highlight some of the island's diverse marine and bird life.

Swimming and snorkeling activities.

Return to the yacht.

Lunch: Onboard the yacht.

Afternoon: In the afternoon we will make a dry landing at Tagus Cove begin our walking exploration of this unique site.

Learn about the eruption of five volcanoes that formed Isabela, the largest island in the archipelago. Hike the trail to Darwin's salt water lagoon and an excellent view of the lava fields and volcanic formations. Observe marine life during a dinghy ride while you search for the Galápagos Penguin.

In February, the Galápagos Penguins that live most of the year on Bartolomé migrate to the cooler waters around Isabela and Fernandina. In July, whales and dolphin can often be spotted off Isabela's western coast.

Opportunity for swimming and snorkeling before we board a panga and return to the yacht.

Dinner: Onboard the yacht.

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

Lodging: Galaven

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: The Galaven is an 88 ft. expedition yacht equiped to carry up to 20 passengers in 11 air conditioned cabins.

Ship Information: Year built:2000 Length: 88 ft Beam: 22 ft Draft: 6 ft Gross tonage: 171 tons Capacity: 20 passengers Crew: Captain, 2 bilingual naturalist guides, and 8 other crew members Safety & navigation: GPS, sonar, naval radars, fire detection and prevention systems, and life vests.

Contact info:
265 Foch Street and 6 de Diciembre. 3rd floor. Sonelsa Tower.
Quito, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2524438
web: www.galavengalapagos.com

Room amenities: All cabins are air conditioned and have private bathrooms. Biodegradable shampoo and soap is provided in each cabin.

Facility amenities: Outdoor seating areas, dining room, and library with audiovisual equipment for onboard presentations. A small number of kayaks are available, free of charge, for use during the cruise. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and payment is due in full (cash) upon boarding the yacht. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of your cruise. The yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you require a petite or XL size in order to verify 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: Sunday, July 12 - Galápagos - Fernandina Island (Punta Espino...
Galápagos -
Fernandina Island (Punta Espinoza) and Isabela Island (Punta Vicente Roca).


Note: Punta Espinoza: dry landing, moderate trail conditions due to slippery rocks at low tide and uneven terrain. Punta Vicente Roca: no landing.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.

Morning: Dry landing at Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island.

Field trip to Punta Espinoza to see the biggest marine iguanas mingling with Sally lightfoot crabs, Galapagos Penguins (starting in February), Galapagos Hawks, sea lions and Flightless Cormorants. In January and February look for brightly colored marine iguanas as they go through courtship rituals. Nesting begins in March. Travelers visiting the island around July might catch a glimpse of Flightless Cormorants exhibiting courtship and nesting behaviour.

During land explorations among the flora and volcanic formations, look for brachycereus cactus, pa-hoe-hoe lava and AA lava formations.

Return to the yacht.

Lunch: Onboard the yacht.

Afternoon: Navigate to the coves at Punta Vicente Roca, Isabela Island.

Take a dinghy ride to the marine site of Punta Vicente Roca to observe sea lions, marine iguanas, Blue-footed and Masked Boobies, and Flightless Cormorants.

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

Return to the yacht.

Dinner: Onboard the yacht.

Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: Galaven

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: The Galaven is an 88 ft. expedition yacht equiped to carry up to 20 passengers in 11 air conditioned cabins.

Ship Information: Year built:2000 Length: 88 ft Beam: 22 ft Draft: 6 ft Gross tonage: 171 tons Capacity: 20 passengers Crew: Captain, 2 bilingual naturalist guides, and 8 other crew members Safety & navigation: GPS, sonar, naval radars, fire detection and prevention systems, and life vests.

Contact info:
265 Foch Street and 6 de Diciembre. 3rd floor. Sonelsa Tower.
Quito, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2524438
web: www.galavengalapagos.com

Room amenities: All cabins are air conditioned and have private bathrooms. Biodegradable shampoo and soap is provided in each cabin.

Facility amenities: Outdoor seating areas, dining room, and library with audiovisual equipment for onboard presentations. A small number of kayaks are available, free of charge, for use during the cruise. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and payment is due in full (cash) upon boarding the yacht. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of your cruise. The yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you require a petite or XL size in order to verify 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: Monday, July 13 - Galápagos - Santiago Island (Playa Espumill...
Galápagos -
Santiago Island (Playa Espumilla) and Bartolome Island.


Note: Espumilla Beach: wet landing, easy trail conditions. Bartolome Island: dry and wet landings, moderate to difficult trail conditions due to a long walkway of 375 wooden steps rising 374 ft. (114 meters) up to the lookout point.

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. In January, under cover of night, green sea turtles cautiously make their way ashore to nest. The eggs begin to hatch aorund April and May and infant turtles begin their perilous journey from nest to sea.

Optional swimming and snorkeling activities.

Return to the yacht.

Lunch: Onboard the yacht.

Afternoon: Dry or wet landing on Bartolome Island for a hiking field trip up a dormant volcano.

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. During part of the year, they leave the island in search of cooler waters found around Fernandina and Isabela. Once the penguins return to Bartolome in August, they waste no time in getting ready for romance. By September they can be observed going through courtship rituals.

On Bartolome Island we will be able to view volcanic formations such as lava bombs, spatter, and cinder cones. Hike to the summit (375 wooden steps) 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.

Optional swimming and snorkeling activities.

Return to the yacht.

Dinner: Onboard the yacht.

Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: Galaven

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: Tuesday, July 14 - Galápagos and Quito- North Seymour Island a...
Galápagos and Quito-
North Seymour Island and Baltra Island/Flight to Quito.


Note: North Seymour Island: dry landing, moderate to difficult trail conditions due to uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.

Morning: Dry landing on North Seymour Island.

North Seymour is well known to birders. It has one of the most active seabird breeding colonies in the archipelago. In April and May, Blue-footed boobies begin to perform their amusing mating dance. They oftentimes nest very near the trails, giving visitors the opportunity to get a closer view during the walks. Sea lions have a busy season from August to December, with females either mating, giving birth or tending to their pups. Watch out for protective mothers and aggressive males defending their harems.

Return to the yacht for a farewell snack.

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

Lunch: Light snack served on the flight.

Afternoon: Late afternoon arrival in Quito. Collect your luggage and exit the baggage claim. A Road Scholar representative will be waiting with a sign as you leave the restricted area.

Transfer to the hotel.



Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.

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

Lodging: Hotel Rincon de Puembo

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Eleven: Wednesday, July 15 - 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

4.7
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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