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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.
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Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
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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 Sep 23 — Oct 3, 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: Wednesday, September 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: 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: Thursday, September 24 - Quito – Colonial Quito, the First UNESCO Wo...
Quito –
Colonial Quito, the First UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Equator


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.

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.

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 and typical Ecuadorian cuisine.

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.

Evening: Time at leisure.

Lodging: Hilton Colon Quito Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: The M/C Galapagos Seaman Journey is a 90-foot expeditionary first-class catamaran able to accommodate up to 16 passengers. Polished teak interiors, quality furnishings, and spacious cabins provide a superior level of comfort while cruising in the Galápagos.

Ship Information: Type: Motor Catamaran Category: Boutique Yacht Naturalist Liveaboard Material construction: Fiberglass Length: 90 feet (27.6 meters) Beam: 36.08 feet (11 meters) Draft: 4.75 feet (1.45 meters) Year build: 2007 Main engines: 2x Cummins 350 hp IMO Electric system: 2x 50 kw IMO Electric power: 110v and 220v AC/DC Cruising Speed: 10 knots Water capacity: 3000 gallons Diesel capacity: 2500 gallons Passengers: maximum 16 Crew: 9 members Diving: Sport platform Equipment for sports: Snorkeling (free use of equipment), sea kayaking and surfing

Contact info:
Isla Española #144, between Av. General Rumiñahui and Av. Ilalo
Quito, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2867832
web: www.galapagoscatamarans.com/

Room amenities: Spacious outside cabins with A/C, picture window or porthole, closet, safety deposit box, hair dryer, and private bathrooms with full hot/cold shower. Cabins have dual 110/220 V outlets. No smoking allowed in the cabins.

Facility amenities: Bar, lounge, dining area, and a spacious sun deck with chaise lounge chairs. Bar tabs and any other additional onboard purchases must be paid in full in USD at the end of the cruise. The vessel has four double kayaks available for guest-use during visits to specially designated sites within the national park (e.g., Tagus Cove, Chinese Hat, Gardner Bay, etc.). Snorkeling equipment such as fins, masks, and snorkels are provided free of charge during the cruise. Avid snorkelers sometimes prefer to bring their own equipment in order to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits are available for rent ($30 USD payable in cash upon embarkation) for the duration of the cruise. Suits are available in women's and men's sizes ranging from small to extra large. Small and medium suits are available in children's sizes.

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


Day Three: Friday, September 25 - Galápagos - Flight to Baltra Island/Board Ya...
Galápagos -
Flight to Baltra Island/Board Yacht/Twin Craters/Highlands.


Note: 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 for flight to the Galápagos Islands. Your Quito group leader will assist you with the check-in process before bidding you farewell at the airport.

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: Depending on flight times, a light lunch will be served on the flight or on the boat.

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

After collecting your luggage and going through Customs, you will be met by your Galápagos group leader and transferred to the harbor. Board a "panga" (motorized boat) and enjoy a short ride to the Galapagos Seaman Journey.

Enjoy an orientation, safety drill and a light snack.

Dry landing on Santa Cruz Island. Transfer to the highlands to view Los Gemelos ("The Twins") craters and look for Galápagos tortoises living in the wild.

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 contains unique vegetation and is home to a number of birds including the vibrantly colored Vermilion Flycatcher and Yellow Warbler.

Most of the island's wild population of giant tortoises lives in the highlands. In June to August the tortoises make their way to lower ground to begin nesting. The eggs start to hatch with the arrival of the warmer season (December - April).

Return to the boat.

Dinner: On board the boat.

Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.

Lodging: M/C Galapagos Seaman Journey

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: The M/C Galapagos Seaman Journey is a 90-foot expeditionary first-class catamaran able to accommodate up to 16 passengers. Polished teak interiors, quality furnishings, and spacious cabins provide a superior level of comfort while cruising in the Galápagos.

Ship Information: Type: Motor Catamaran Category: Boutique Yacht Naturalist Liveaboard Material construction: Fiberglass Length: 90 feet (27.6 meters) Beam: 36.08 feet (11 meters) Draft: 4.75 feet (1.45 meters) Year build: 2007 Main engines: 2x Cummins 350 hp IMO Electric system: 2x 50 kw IMO Electric power: 110v and 220v AC/DC Cruising Speed: 10 knots Water capacity: 3000 gallons Diesel capacity: 2500 gallons Passengers: maximum 16 Crew: 9 members Diving: Sport platform Equipment for sports: Snorkeling (free use of equipment), sea kayaking and surfing

Contact info:
Isla Española #144, between Av. General Rumiñahui and Av. Ilalo
Quito, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2867832
web: www.galapagoscatamarans.com/

Room amenities: Spacious outside cabins with A/C, picture window or porthole, closet, safety deposit box, hair dryer, and private bathrooms with full hot/cold shower. Cabins have dual 110/220 V outlets. No smoking allowed in the cabins.

Facility amenities: Bar, lounge, dining area, and a spacious sun deck with chaise lounge chairs. Bar tabs and any other additional onboard purchases must be paid in full in USD at the end of the cruise. The vessel has four double kayaks available for guest-use during visits to specially designated sites within the national park (e.g., Tagus Cove, Chinese Hat, Gardner Bay, etc.). Snorkeling equipment such as fins, masks, and snorkels are provided free of charge during the cruise. Avid snorkelers sometimes prefer to bring their own equipment in order to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits are available for rent ($30 USD payable in cash upon embarkation) for the duration of the cruise. Suits are available in women's and men's sizes ranging from small to extra large. Small and medium suits are available in children's sizes.

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


Day Four: Saturday, September 26 - Galápagos - Isabela Island (Tintoreras and W...
Breakfast: On board the boat.

Morning: Board a panga and navigate to Las Tintoreras islet to look for white-tipped reef sharks, sea lions, Galapágos Penguins, and other local residents.

Las Tintoreras is located just south of Puerto Villamil, Isabela. The islet's name means "sharks" in Spanish--a reference to the many reef sharks that like to rest in the surrounding shallow waters. A small bay and a connecting crevice provide shelter to a multitude of small fish as well as turtles, sharks, rays, and marine iguanas. The island is a prime nesting site for marine iguanas because it lacks non-native predators.

Return to the boat.

Lunch: On board the boat.

Afternoon: Dry landing on Isabela and field trip to the Wall of Tears.

The historic Wall of Tears is located approximately 3.7 miles from Puerto Villamil. The path that leads to the wall first passes through a cemetery where some of the first settlers were buried, then it continues through an area of mangroves, lagoons, and a white-sand beach before reaching the 16-20 ft wall that was built by prisoners back when the island hosted a penal colony (1944-1959).

Return to the boat.

Dinner: Onboard the boat.

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

Lodging: M/C Galapagos Seaman Journey

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: The M/C Galapagos Seaman Journey is a 90-foot expeditionary first-class catamaran able to accommodate up to 16 passengers. Polished teak interiors, quality furnishings, and spacious cabins provide a superior level of comfort while cruising in the Galápagos.

Ship Information: Type: Motor Catamaran Category: Boutique Yacht Naturalist Liveaboard Material construction: Fiberglass Length: 90 feet (27.6 meters) Beam: 36.08 feet (11 meters) Draft: 4.75 feet (1.45 meters) Year build: 2007 Main engines: 2x Cummins 350 hp IMO Electric system: 2x 50 kw IMO Electric power: 110v and 220v AC/DC Cruising Speed: 10 knots Water capacity: 3000 gallons Diesel capacity: 2500 gallons Passengers: maximum 16 Crew: 9 members Diving: Sport platform Equipment for sports: Snorkeling (free use of equipment), sea kayaking and surfing

Contact info:
Isla Española #144, between Av. General Rumiñahui and Av. Ilalo
Quito, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2867832
web: www.galapagoscatamarans.com/

Room amenities: Spacious outside cabins with A/C, picture window or porthole, closet, safety deposit box, hair dryer, and private bathrooms with full hot/cold shower. Cabins have dual 110/220 V outlets. No smoking allowed in the cabins.

Facility amenities: Bar, lounge, dining area, and a spacious sun deck with chaise lounge chairs. Bar tabs and any other additional onboard purchases must be paid in full in USD at the end of the cruise. The vessel has four double kayaks available for guest-use during visits to specially designated sites within the national park (e.g., Tagus Cove, Chinese Hat, Gardner Bay, etc.). Snorkeling equipment such as fins, masks, and snorkels are provided free of charge during the cruise. Avid snorkelers sometimes prefer to bring their own equipment in order to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits are available for rent ($30 USD payable in cash upon embarkation) for the duration of the cruise. Suits are available in women's and men's sizes ranging from small to extra large. Small and medium suits are available in children's sizes.

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


Day Five: Sunday, September 27 - Galápagos - Isabela Island (Punta Moreno and...
Note: Punta Moreno: Moderate to difficult hike on sharp, accordion-like, Pahoehoe lava. Wear comfortable tennis shoes with good ankle support. Please take steps to remain hydrated during this hike as the black lava absorbs and radiates the heat from the sun.

Breakfast: On board the boat.

Morning: Dry landing and walking field trip to Punta Moreno.

Punta Moreno is situated on Isabela Island’s northern coast and includes a 1.3-mile trail through a Pahoehoe lava flow and past lagoons and mangroves. The seemingly barren landscape at Punta Moreno is home to three kinds of cacti. Numerous coastal lagoons in the area attract an abundance of bird species, while lookout points afford panoramic views of the active Sierra Negra, Cerro Azul, and La Cumbre (located on nearby Fernandina) volcanoes. Be on watch for flamingoes, Paint-billed Crakes, White-cheeked Pintails, and Common Gallinules that commonly frequent the area.

Return to the boat.

Lunch: Onboard the yacht.

Afternoon: This afternoon board pangas to navigate the mangroves at Elizabeth Bay and view the penguin colony at nearby Mariela Islets.

Elizabeth Bay is situated in the crook of Isabela’s ‘arm’ as it begins to bulge and form the southern portion of the island. The bay is home to a large number of sea and shore birds, as well as marine turtles and rays. A short boat ride to the end of the bay, to the nearby Mariela Islands, is a nice option for those who wish to see Galápagos Penguins.

Opportunity for swimming and snorkeling.

Return to the boat.

Dinner: Onboard the boat.

Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: M/C Galapagos Seaman Journey

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: The M/C Galapagos Seaman Journey is a 90-foot expeditionary first-class catamaran able to accommodate up to 16 passengers. Polished teak interiors, quality furnishings, and spacious cabins provide a superior level of comfort while cruising in the Galápagos.

Ship Information: Type: Motor Catamaran Category: Boutique Yacht Naturalist Liveaboard Material construction: Fiberglass Length: 90 feet (27.6 meters) Beam: 36.08 feet (11 meters) Draft: 4.75 feet (1.45 meters) Year build: 2007 Main engines: 2x Cummins 350 hp IMO Electric system: 2x 50 kw IMO Electric power: 110v and 220v AC/DC Cruising Speed: 10 knots Water capacity: 3000 gallons Diesel capacity: 2500 gallons Passengers: maximum 16 Crew: 9 members Diving: Sport platform Equipment for sports: Snorkeling (free use of equipment), sea kayaking and surfing

Contact info:
Isla Española #144, between Av. General Rumiñahui and Av. Ilalo
Quito, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2867832
web: www.galapagoscatamarans.com/

Room amenities: Spacious outside cabins with A/C, picture window or porthole, closet, safety deposit box, hair dryer, and private bathrooms with full hot/cold shower. Cabins have dual 110/220 V outlets. No smoking allowed in the cabins.

Facility amenities: Bar, lounge, dining area, and a spacious sun deck with chaise lounge chairs. Bar tabs and any other additional onboard purchases must be paid in full in USD at the end of the cruise. The vessel has four double kayaks available for guest-use during visits to specially designated sites within the national park (e.g., Tagus Cove, Chinese Hat, Gardner Bay, etc.). Snorkeling equipment such as fins, masks, and snorkels are provided free of charge during the cruise. Avid snorkelers sometimes prefer to bring their own equipment in order to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits are available for rent ($30 USD payable in cash upon embarkation) for the duration of the cruise. Suits are available in women's and men's sizes ranging from small to extra large. Small and medium suits are available in children's sizes.

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


Day Six: Monday, September 28 - Galápagos - Fernandina (Punta Espinoza) and ...
Note: Punta Espinoza: Challenging landing when the tide is low. Visitors cannot disembark at the dock during low tide and must land on rocks instead. Urbina Bay: Strong waves can make disembarkation tricky at this site. Use a zip-lock bag to protect cameras and binoculars from splashes during the wet landing. Please take steps to remain hydrated during this approximately 2-mile hike.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.

Morning: Dry landing at Punta Espinoza.

Punta Espinoza, Fernandina’s only land visitor site, is a thin strip of sand and lava that stretches from the sea to the base of La Cumbre Volcano. This young island is the third largest in the Galápagos and is also the westernmost; located next to Isabela Island. Fernandina has some of the most dramatic landscapes found in the archipelago and is also one of the best places to see the lava cactus. The aa and pahoehoe lava formations create a unique landscape and provide visitors with a great chance to study lava flows and the forces which gave birth to the Galápagos Islands. Although Punta Espinosa is better known for its large colony of marine iguanas (January - June is nesting season), one can also expect to see sea lions, Flightless Cormorants and Galápagos Penguins.

Return to the boat.

Lunch: Onboard the yacht.

Afternoon: Wet landing at Urbina Bay for a walking exploration on local trails and along the beach.

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.

Swimming and snorkeling opportunities.

Return to the boat.

Dinner: Onboard the boat.

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

Lodging: M/C Galapagos Seaman Journey

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: The M/C Galapagos Seaman Journey is a 90-foot expeditionary first-class catamaran able to accommodate up to 16 passengers. Polished teak interiors, quality furnishings, and spacious cabins provide a superior level of comfort while cruising in the Galápagos.

Ship Information: Type: Motor Catamaran Category: Boutique Yacht Naturalist Liveaboard Material construction: Fiberglass Length: 90 feet (27.6 meters) Beam: 36.08 feet (11 meters) Draft: 4.75 feet (1.45 meters) Year build: 2007 Main engines: 2x Cummins 350 hp IMO Electric system: 2x 50 kw IMO Electric power: 110v and 220v AC/DC Cruising Speed: 10 knots Water capacity: 3000 gallons Diesel capacity: 2500 gallons Passengers: maximum 16 Crew: 9 members Diving: Sport platform Equipment for sports: Snorkeling (free use of equipment), sea kayaking and surfing

Contact info:
Isla Española #144, between Av. General Rumiñahui and Av. Ilalo
Quito, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2867832
web: www.galapagoscatamarans.com/

Room amenities: Spacious outside cabins with A/C, picture window or porthole, closet, safety deposit box, hair dryer, and private bathrooms with full hot/cold shower. Cabins have dual 110/220 V outlets. No smoking allowed in the cabins.

Facility amenities: Bar, lounge, dining area, and a spacious sun deck with chaise lounge chairs. Bar tabs and any other additional onboard purchases must be paid in full in USD at the end of the cruise. The vessel has four double kayaks available for guest-use during visits to specially designated sites within the national park (e.g., Tagus Cove, Chinese Hat, Gardner Bay, etc.). Snorkeling equipment such as fins, masks, and snorkels are provided free of charge during the cruise. Avid snorkelers sometimes prefer to bring their own equipment in order to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits are available for rent ($30 USD payable in cash upon embarkation) for the duration of the cruise. Suits are available in women's and men's sizes ranging from small to extra large. Small and medium suits are available in children's sizes.

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


Day Seven: Tuesday, September 29 - Galápagos - Santiago Island (Playa Espumilla...
Galápagos -
Santiago Island (Playa Espumilla, Buccaneer Cove and Puerto Egas).


Breakfast: Onboard the boat.

Morning: Wet landing at Espumilla Beach. Look for land and wading birds druing a walk on the visitor's trail, followed by swimming and snorkeling opportunities.

Playa Espumilla is located on the northern side of James Bay and is a known nesting site for green sea turtles. A looping visitor’s trail passes by a seasonal lagoon that is sometimes visited by ducks and flamingoes and a dry zone that is frequented by many land birds.

Wet landing with a short beach walk at Buccaneer Cove.

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 boat.

Lunch: On board the boat.

Afternoon: Wet landing at Puerto Egas.
Puerto Egas, located on the northwestern side of Santiago, has black volcanic formations that provide shelter to a number of creatures. Here you will see marine iguanas sunning themselves on the rocks while sea birds fly overhead in search of food. Brightly colored Sally Lightfoot Crabs live in the rock crevices and tide pools; a sharp contrast to the black lava formations they call home. Galápagos fur seals enjoy the inlets along the western shoreline and have been known to swim with visitors from time to time.

Return to the boat.

Dinner: On board the boat.

Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: M/C Galapagos Seaman Journey

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: The M/C Galapagos Seaman Journey is a 90-foot expeditionary first-class catamaran able to accommodate up to 16 passengers. Polished teak interiors, quality furnishings, and spacious cabins provide a superior level of comfort while cruising in the Galápagos.

Ship Information: Type: Motor Catamaran Category: Boutique Yacht Naturalist Liveaboard Material construction: Fiberglass Length: 90 feet (27.6 meters) Beam: 36.08 feet (11 meters) Draft: 4.75 feet (1.45 meters) Year build: 2007 Main engines: 2x Cummins 350 hp IMO Electric system: 2x 50 kw IMO Electric power: 110v and 220v AC/DC Cruising Speed: 10 knots Water capacity: 3000 gallons Diesel capacity: 2500 gallons Passengers: maximum 16 Crew: 9 members Diving: Sport platform Equipment for sports: Snorkeling (free use of equipment), sea kayaking and surfing

Contact info:
Isla Española #144, between Av. General Rumiñahui and Av. Ilalo
Quito, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2867832
web: www.galapagoscatamarans.com/

Room amenities: Spacious outside cabins with A/C, picture window or porthole, closet, safety deposit box, hair dryer, and private bathrooms with full hot/cold shower. Cabins have dual 110/220 V outlets. No smoking allowed in the cabins.

Facility amenities: Bar, lounge, dining area, and a spacious sun deck with chaise lounge chairs. Bar tabs and any other additional onboard purchases must be paid in full in USD at the end of the cruise. The vessel has four double kayaks available for guest-use during visits to specially designated sites within the national park (e.g., Tagus Cove, Chinese Hat, Gardner Bay, etc.). Snorkeling equipment such as fins, masks, and snorkels are provided free of charge during the cruise. Avid snorkelers sometimes prefer to bring their own equipment in order to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits are available for rent ($30 USD payable in cash upon embarkation) for the duration of the cruise. Suits are available in women's and men's sizes ranging from small to extra large. Small and medium suits are available in children's sizes.

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


Day Eight: Wednesday, September 30 - Galápagos - Rábida Island and Chinese Hat.
Note: Rábida: Easy to moderate walking on relatively flat terrain. Trail is approximately .6 miles long.

Breakfast: On board the boat.

Morning: Wet landing on Rábida.

Disembark on Rábida's dark red beach--a favorite spot for snoozing 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 ½ mile).

Swimming and snorkeling opportunities.

Return to the boat.

Lunch: On board the boat.

Afternoon: After lunch, board pangas and navigate to Chinese Hat to see its coastal volcanic formations and resident wildlife.

Sombrero Chino (or Chinese Hat) is a small, hat-shaped, island located a short distance from Santiago's southeastern tip. A cove on the northern side of the island offers good conditions for swimming and snorkeling; it is also a favored sea lion hangout. A short trail along the coastline allows for closer inspection of lava formations and native vegetation such as Sesuvium, Opuntia, lava cactus, saltwort, saltbush and more.

Swimming and snorkeling opportunities.

Return to the boat.

Dinner: On board the boat.

Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: M/C Galapagos Seaman Journey

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: The M/C Galapagos Seaman Journey is a 90-foot expeditionary first-class catamaran able to accommodate up to 16 passengers. Polished teak interiors, quality furnishings, and spacious cabins provide a superior level of comfort while cruising in the Galápagos.

Ship Information: Type: Motor Catamaran Category: Boutique Yacht Naturalist Liveaboard Material construction: Fiberglass Length: 90 feet (27.6 meters) Beam: 36.08 feet (11 meters) Draft: 4.75 feet (1.45 meters) Year build: 2007 Main engines: 2x Cummins 350 hp IMO Electric system: 2x 50 kw IMO Electric power: 110v and 220v AC/DC Cruising Speed: 10 knots Water capacity: 3000 gallons Diesel capacity: 2500 gallons Passengers: maximum 16 Crew: 9 members Diving: Sport platform Equipment for sports: Snorkeling (free use of equipment), sea kayaking and surfing

Contact info:
Isla Española #144, between Av. General Rumiñahui and Av. Ilalo
Quito, Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2867832
web: www.galapagoscatamarans.com/

Room amenities: Spacious outside cabins with A/C, picture window or porthole, closet, safety deposit box, hair dryer, and private bathrooms with full hot/cold shower. Cabins have dual 110/220 V outlets. No smoking allowed in the cabins.

Facility amenities: Bar, lounge, dining area, and a spacious sun deck with chaise lounge chairs. Bar tabs and any other additional onboard purchases must be paid in full in USD at the end of the cruise. The vessel has four double kayaks available for guest-use during visits to specially designated sites within the national park (e.g., Tagus Cove, Chinese Hat, Gardner Bay, etc.). Snorkeling equipment such as fins, masks, and snorkels are provided free of charge during the cruise. Avid snorkelers sometimes prefer to bring their own equipment in order to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits are available for rent ($30 USD payable in cash upon embarkation) for the duration of the cruise. Suits are available in women's and men's sizes ranging from small to extra large. Small and medium suits are available in children's sizes.

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


Day Nine: Thursday, October 01 - Galápagos - Santiago Island (Sullivan Bay) a...
Note: Sullivan Bay: Wet landing and moderate difficulty due to rocky, volcanic terrain. The looping visitor trail is approximately 1 mile in length. Wear comfortable tennis shoes with good ankle support. Bartolomé: The walk to the lookout point at the top of the volcano involves climbing 375 steps up a long wooden staircase. The stairs have railings, but there are no sitting areas along the way.

Breakfast: On board the boat.

Morning: Dry or wet landing at Sullivan Bay, Santiago for a walking exploration of the island.

A volcanic eruption that took place in the early 1900’s formed huge lava flows in the area that is now Sullivan Bay. As the lava cooled off, it solidified into a black sheet of interesting shapes and textures that made its way to the sea. Interesting formations include Pahoehoe lava, lava bubbles and tree shapes; ghosts of Santiago’s past. Few plant species have been able to root in this harsh environment.

Return to the boat.

Lunch: On board the boat.

Afternoon: Dry or wet landing on Bartolomé for an exhilarating hike up to the lighthouse look out point and swimming/snorkeling opportunities.

Pinnacle Rock, the “Guardian of the Isles” rises sharply from the coast of Bartolomé. The lunar-like landscape is home to one of the islands’ most endearing residents: the Galápagos Penguin. The penguins make their home here, fishing in the waters nearby. Do not be surprised if a playful sea lion decides to join you for a swim in the shallow waters off the northern beach. Other common visitors include colorful tropical fish, rays, sea turtles, and white-tipped sharks.

Return to the boat.

Dinner: On board the boat.

Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: M/C Galapagos Seaman Journey

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

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

Ship Information: N/A

Contact info:
Manuel Burbano N66 y Francisoc Ruiz
Puembo, 00000 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: Friday, October 02 - Galápagos and Flight to Quito- Santa Cruz Is...
Note: Bachas Beach: Easy walk, approximately .6 miles, over sandy terrain. Please be mindful of sea turtle nests in the sand dunes.

Breakfast: On board the boat.

Morning: Wet landing at Bachas Beach.

Apart from being an important nesting site for sea turtles, Bachas Beach is also a great location from which 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 Las Bachas. The sand dunes at this site are nesting grounds for Galápagos Green Turtles and a nearby lagoon is home to flamingoes, White-cheeked Pintail ducks, Common Stilts, and some migratory species.

Transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Quito.
Say farewell to your Galápagos group leader and board a flight back to the mainland.

Lunch: Light snack served on the flight.

Afternoon: Late afternoon arrival in Quito. Meet your Road Scholar representative at the airport after collecting your luggage and exiting the secured area.

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. Meet the rest of the group for dinner.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Rincon de Puembo

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Eleven: Saturday, October 03 - Depart from Quito. Arrive to the U.S.
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.

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

Breakfast: Early morning breakfast at the hotel restaurant (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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