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GALAPAGOS, ECUADOR

Adventures Afloat: Amazing Ecuador: The Andes and the Galápagos

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Road Scholar
Program #21548RJ
13 Days | 12 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
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 Dec 15 — Dec 27, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Monday, December 15 - Arrive to Quito.
Note: The new Mariscal Sucre International Airport is located approximately one hour from downtown Quito.

Arrive To: Arrive at Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport.

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

Transfer to the hotel and check-in.

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

Day Two: Tuesday, December 16 - Quito – City Excursion to Colonial Quito.
Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.

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

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

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

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

Afternoon: After lunch, return to the hotel for the rest of the afternoon to relax.

Lecture: Ecuador; Ten Thousand years of History by Diego Quiroga PHD. A review of the most important events in Ecuador's history and its influence in today's' political and social situation.

Dinner: Dinner at hotel.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

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

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

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

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

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


Day Three: Wednesday, December 17 - Otavalo - Exploring Ecuador's Highlands ...
Otavalo -
Exploring Ecuador's Highlands
Discover the Otavalo Indigenous Culture.


Breakfast: Breakfast at the hacienda.

Morning: This morning we make our way to the province of Imbabura, also known as the Lakes Province, due to its numerous aquatic formations.

Depart early in the morning to visit a private hacienda dating back from the republican times for a country style breakfast. Here you will receive an introduction to one of the major economic activities in Ecuador, the floral industry. Learn about Ecuadorian roses, known worldwide for their beauty and fine quality.

Continue to the town of Otavalo to meet the Kichua-Otavalos, an indigenous group known for their fine textiles and tapestries.

Lunch: Lunch with local family.

Afternoon: After lunch return to the hotel for free time to relax.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Lodging: El Monasterio de Cusin

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

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

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

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

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

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


Day Four: Thursday, December 18 - Otavalo - Train ride through Andean landscap...
Otavalo -
Train ride through Andean landscapes and sugarcane plantations
Meet Afro Ecuadorian community.


Breakfast: Breakfast a the hotel.

Morning: This morning we board a locomotive taking us through the natural landscapes formed by mountains and sugarcane plantations.

Arrive to the town of Salinas to meet the Afro-Ecuadorian community. Learn about the history of their ancestors who were brought as slaves during the colonial period and their struggles and liberation.

Lunch: Have lunch at local restaurant.

Afternoon: Visit a local handicraft project with an inspiring story of success and over coming adversity.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: El Monasterio de Cusin

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Five: Friday, December 19 - Galapagos - Flight to Galapagos. Santa ...
Galapagos -
Flight to Galapagos.
Santa Cruz Island (Charles Darwin Research Station & Puerto Ayora)


Note: There is a 44 lb weight limit for checked luggage on the flights to the islands. Please pack accordingly.

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Transfer to the airport.
Flight to Baltra Island, Galápagos (44 lb weight limit for checked luggage, please pack accordingly).

**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 snack served on the flight.

Afternoon: Arrive to Baltra Island.

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

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

Field trip to Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about conservation efforts throughout the archipelago. Site Lecture: "The Charles Darwin Research Station: Research & Conservation Efforts"

The Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) is 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.

After visiting the Charles Darwin Research Station, enjoy a walk through the town of Puerto Ayora.

Optional swimming and snorkeling. The yacht also has 2 kayaks that may be utilized during this time which are on a first come, first serve basis.

Return to the yacht.

Dinner: Dinner onboard and welcome cocktail with the crew.

Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.

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

Description: Twin main engines, twin electric generators, twin Radars, Eco-sounders and GPS, Reverse Osmosis Water Maker, coastguard required safety equipment and twelve knot cruising speed.

Ship Information: The Tip Top III is a First Class Steel-hulled Motor Yacht built in Guayaquil/Ecuador in 2001. Technical Information: *Length: 104 feet *Beam: 22 feet *Draft: 5 feet *Cruising Speed: 11 knots. *Electricity: 110/125 V AC (standard US-style outlets)

Contact info:
00000000000000
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
phone: +00000000000000
web: www.rwittmer.com

Room amenities: All cabins have private bathrooms, porthole or window, a safety deposit box, and a/c. Biodegradable soap and shampoo/conditioner are provided during the cruise. Smoking is only allowed on the outer decks.

Facility amenities: The Tip Top III accommodates up to 16 guests in 10 cabins, each with private bathroom. The Upper Deck features four cabins with one double lower berth and one single lower berth. The cabins, bar, dining room and lounge are fully carpeted. A beautiful teak floored sun deck creates a delightful place for resting and relaxing on board. All decks are connected by staircases. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits and buoyancy vests are available for rent, but must be reserved prior to the cruise. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you would like to reserve a wetsuit for your program. Wetsuit prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of your cruise and full payment, in cash, is due upon boarding the vessel. Laundry service is not available on the yacht. In an effort to conserve water, the yacht might ask participants to refrain from hand washing clothing during the cruise. Participants will be able to hang bathing suits and wet clothing to dry on clotheslines on the top deck. Purified drinking water is provided free of charge on the yacht. Participants will be given reusable bottles to refill as needed at the water dispenser in the main lounge.

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


Day Six: Saturday, December 20 - Galapagos - Santa Fé and S. Plaza Islands
Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.

Morning: Field trip: Wet landing on Santa Fé Island.

Field trip to cactus forest (to view some of the tallest opuntia cacti in the islands) and a colony of Santa Fé land iguanas with a site lecture. Santa Fé Island is home to some of the tallest stands of opuntia cacti in the Galapagos. 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 Galapagos where the illusive Santa Fe land iguana can be found.

Site Lecture: "Evolution on the Galapagos Islands"
Santa Fé Island offers good opportunities for visitors to swim with sea lions. It is also known as a great place to spot Galápagos White-tipped Sharks and sea turtles.

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

Return to the yacht.

Lunch: Lunch onboard.

Afternoon: Walking field trip to explore local flora and fauna. A dry landing on Plaza Sur Island (South Plaza Island) will lead us to a cactus forest where we will take a close look at land iguanas and their habitat before continuing our hike in search for local sea lion colonies.

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 others.

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

Return to the yacht.

Dinner: Dinner onboard.

Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: Tip Top III

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

Description: Twin main engines, twin electric generators, twin Radars, Eco-sounders and GPS, Reverse Osmosis Water Maker, coastguard required safety equipment and twelve knot cruising speed.

Ship Information: The Tip Top III is a First Class Steel-hulled Motor Yacht built in Guayaquil/Ecuador in 2001. Technical Information: *Length: 104 feet *Beam: 22 feet *Draft: 5 feet *Cruising Speed: 11 knots. *Electricity: 110/125 V AC (standard US-style outlets)

Contact info:
00000000000000
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
phone: +00000000000000
web: www.rwittmer.com

Room amenities: All cabins have private bathrooms, porthole or window, a safety deposit box, and a/c. Biodegradable soap and shampoo/conditioner are provided during the cruise. Smoking is only allowed on the outer decks.

Facility amenities: The Tip Top III accommodates up to 16 guests in 10 cabins, each with private bathroom. The Upper Deck features four cabins with one double lower berth and one single lower berth. The cabins, bar, dining room and lounge are fully carpeted. A beautiful teak floored sun deck creates a delightful place for resting and relaxing on board. All decks are connected by staircases. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits and buoyancy vests are available for rent, but must be reserved prior to the cruise. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you would like to reserve a wetsuit for your program. Wetsuit prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of your cruise and full payment, in cash, is due upon boarding the vessel. Laundry service is not available on the yacht. In an effort to conserve water, the yacht might ask participants to refrain from hand washing clothing during the cruise. Participants will be able to hang bathing suits and wet clothing to dry on clotheslines on the top deck. Purified drinking water is provided free of charge on the yacht. Participants will be given reusable bottles to refill as needed at the water dispenser in the main lounge.

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


Day Seven: Sunday, December 21 - Galapagos - Chinese Hat and Rabida Island
Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.

Morning: Morning field trip to Chinese Hat, a small island off the southeast tip of Santiago.
The landscape on Chinese Hat Island is dominated by volcanic rubble, including sharp outcroppings, cracked lava formations and very fragile lava tubes which break when you step on them (staying on trails is especially important on this island). The island is home to sea lions and sally lightfoot crabs.

Optional swimming, snorkeling and sea kayaking.

Return to the yacht.

Lunch: Lunch onboard.

Afternoon: Wet landing on Rabida Island.
Field trip: The volcano-formed beach is dark red and frequented by sea lions. It’s considered the geographic center of Galapagos because it has the most diverse volcanic rocks on the Islands.

The island also offers perhaps the only opportunity to see pelicans nesting up close. It is additionally home to one of the best lagoons for viewing flamingoes. Hike to a salt water lagoon, where flamingos can sometimes be found. July through September is a good time to observe brown pelicans nesting in the salty bushes. Boobies and 9 species of Darwin’s finches can also be observed.

Time at leisure for optional swimming, snorkeling or kayaking.

Dinner: Dinner onboard.

Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: Tip Top III

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

Description: Twin main engines, twin electric generators, twin Radars, Eco-sounders and GPS, Reverse Osmosis Water Maker, coastguard required safety equipment and twelve knot cruising speed.

Ship Information: The Tip Top III is a First Class Steel-hulled Motor Yacht built in Guayaquil/Ecuador in 2001. Technical Information: *Length: 104 feet *Beam: 22 feet *Draft: 5 feet *Cruising Speed: 11 knots. *Electricity: 110/125 V AC (standard US-style outlets)

Contact info:
00000000000000
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
phone: +00000000000000
web: www.rwittmer.com

Room amenities: All cabins have private bathrooms, porthole or window, a safety deposit box, and a/c. Biodegradable soap and shampoo/conditioner are provided during the cruise. Smoking is only allowed on the outer decks.

Facility amenities: The Tip Top III accommodates up to 16 guests in 10 cabins, each with private bathroom. The Upper Deck features four cabins with one double lower berth and one single lower berth. The cabins, bar, dining room and lounge are fully carpeted. A beautiful teak floored sun deck creates a delightful place for resting and relaxing on board. All decks are connected by staircases. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits and buoyancy vests are available for rent, but must be reserved prior to the cruise. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you would like to reserve a wetsuit for your program. Wetsuit prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of your cruise and full payment, in cash, is due upon boarding the vessel. Laundry service is not available on the yacht. In an effort to conserve water, the yacht might ask participants to refrain from hand washing clothing during the cruise. Participants will be able to hang bathing suits and wet clothing to dry on clotheslines on the top deck. Purified drinking water is provided free of charge on the yacht. Participants will be given reusable bottles to refill as needed at the water dispenser in the main lounge.

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


Day Eight: Monday, December 22 - Galapagos - Santa Cruz Island (Black Turtle...
Galapagos -
Santa Cruz Island (Black Turtle Cove & Dragon Hill)


Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.

Morning: Field trip to Black Turtle Cove on Santa Cruz Island.

Take part on a dinghy ride though the mangroves. The motor will be turned off to allow close observation of marine turtles, white tipped reef sharks, spotted eagle rays, and yellow rays.

Site Lecture: "Marine species of the Galápagos Islands".

Optional swimming and snorkeling and sea kayaking

. Return to the yatch

Lunch: Lunch onboard.

Afternoon: Dry landing on Dragon Hill.

Walk to a saltwater lagoon which is occasionally visited by pink flamingos. Hike up to Dragon Hill, which offers a beautiful view of the bay. This area is a nesting site for numerous reintroduced land iguanas. There is also a peculiar scalesia tree forest.

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

Later in the afternoon visit the Minas de Sal (Salt Mines) located northwest of Santiago Island.

Return to the yacht.

Dinner: Dinner onboard.

Evening: Orientation of next day’s activities.

Lodging: Tip Top III

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

Description: Twin main engines, twin electric generators, twin Radars, Eco-sounders and GPS, Reverse Osmosis Water Maker, coastguard required safety equipment and twelve knot cruising speed.

Ship Information: The Tip Top III is a First Class Steel-hulled Motor Yacht built in Guayaquil/Ecuador in 2001. Technical Information: *Length: 104 feet *Beam: 22 feet *Draft: 5 feet *Cruising Speed: 11 knots. *Electricity: 110/125 V AC (standard US-style outlets)

Contact info:
00000000000000
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
phone: +00000000000000
web: www.rwittmer.com

Room amenities: All cabins have private bathrooms, porthole or window, a safety deposit box, and a/c. Biodegradable soap and shampoo/conditioner are provided during the cruise. Smoking is only allowed on the outer decks.

Facility amenities: The Tip Top III accommodates up to 16 guests in 10 cabins, each with private bathroom. The Upper Deck features four cabins with one double lower berth and one single lower berth. The cabins, bar, dining room and lounge are fully carpeted. A beautiful teak floored sun deck creates a delightful place for resting and relaxing on board. All decks are connected by staircases. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits and buoyancy vests are available for rent, but must be reserved prior to the cruise. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you would like to reserve a wetsuit for your program. Wetsuit prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of your cruise and full payment, in cash, is due upon boarding the vessel. Laundry service is not available on the yacht. In an effort to conserve water, the yacht might ask participants to refrain from hand washing clothing during the cruise. Participants will be able to hang bathing suits and wet clothing to dry on clotheslines on the top deck. Purified drinking water is provided free of charge on the yacht. Participants will be given reusable bottles to refill as needed at the water dispenser in the main lounge.

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


Day Nine: Tuesday, December 23 - Galapagos - Floreana Island (Post Office Bay...
Galapagos -
Floreana Island (Post Office Bay, Devil's Crown & Punta Cormorant)


Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.

Morning: Excursion to Post Office Bay.

Post Office Bay, located on the northern side of Floreana, received its name after Captain James Colnett installed an empty barrel which served as an informal post box. Sailors would commonly pick up and drop off mail. Whenever sailors found mail addressed to a destination on their ship's route, they would take it along with them.
Today, visitors continue the tradition by placing unstamped letters and postcards inside the barrel. Although mail can sometimes take many weeks or months to arrive at its final destination--most visitors would agree that the delays are well worth the fun experiment.

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

Return to the yacht.

Lunch: Lunch onboard.

Afternoon: Snorkel or swim at Devil’s Crown.

Devil’s Crown is a shallow sunken crater that makes for one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galapagos. It offers visitors the chance to play in the water with sea lions and also see a wide variety of colorful fish in the clear blue water. One must be a good swimmer as currents can be very strong.
The eroded volcanic cone is also a popular roosting site for seabirds such as boobies, pelicans, frigates, and tropicbirds.

Later in the afternoon make a wet landing on a greenish colored beach of Floreana Island.

Field trip: Hike from black mangrove beds to a lagoon. This large, brackish lagoon holds one of the largest flamingo populations in the Galápagos. Floreana Island is best known for its endemic plant life like the Galapagos millwork, passion flower, and button mangrove.

Floreana Island (also called Santa Maria or Charles) is the sixth largest island in the archipelago. It has an interesting history starting with the first resident who, according to local stories, was marooned on the island in the early 1800’s and survived by growing vegetables and trading with passing ships. For a while it became a penal colony and in later years, in the 1930’s, it was inhabited by German settlers.

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

Return to the yacht

Dinner: Dinner onboard.

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

Lodging: Tip Top III

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

Description: Twin main engines, twin electric generators, twin Radars, Eco-sounders and GPS, Reverse Osmosis Water Maker, coastguard required safety equipment and twelve knot cruising speed.

Ship Information: The Tip Top III is a First Class Steel-hulled Motor Yacht built in Guayaquil/Ecuador in 2001. Technical Information: *Length: 104 feet *Beam: 22 feet *Draft: 5 feet *Cruising Speed: 11 knots. *Electricity: 110/125 V AC (standard US-style outlets)

Contact info:
00000000000000
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
phone: +00000000000000
web: www.rwittmer.com

Room amenities: All cabins have private bathrooms, porthole or window, a safety deposit box, and a/c. Biodegradable soap and shampoo/conditioner are provided during the cruise. Smoking is only allowed on the outer decks.

Facility amenities: The Tip Top III accommodates up to 16 guests in 10 cabins, each with private bathroom. The Upper Deck features four cabins with one double lower berth and one single lower berth. The cabins, bar, dining room and lounge are fully carpeted. A beautiful teak floored sun deck creates a delightful place for resting and relaxing on board. All decks are connected by staircases. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits and buoyancy vests are available for rent, but must be reserved prior to the cruise. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you would like to reserve a wetsuit for your program. Wetsuit prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of your cruise and full payment, in cash, is due upon boarding the vessel. Laundry service is not available on the yacht. In an effort to conserve water, the yacht might ask participants to refrain from hand washing clothing during the cruise. Participants will be able to hang bathing suits and wet clothing to dry on clotheslines on the top deck. Purified drinking water is provided free of charge on the yacht. Participants will be given reusable bottles to refill as needed at the water dispenser in the main lounge.

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


Day Ten: Wednesday, December 24 - Galapagos - Española Island (Punta Suarez, G...
Galapagos -
Española Island (Punta Suarez, Gardner Bay & Gardner Island).


Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.

Morning: Disembark at Punta Suarez.
Punta Suarez, on the western side of Española Island, is home to the Galapagos Hawk and is also the best place to see the red form of the Marine Iguana. Gardner Bay, on the other side of the island, is often called the most beautiful part of the Galapagos Islands; when the waves roll into the bay, a flume shoots water 150 feet into the air.
Walk over lava beds to observe marine birds with site lecture.

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

Return to the yacht.

Lunch: Lunch onboard.

Afternoon: Afternoon excursion to Gardner Bay for a beach walk followed by a panga ride around Gardner and Tortuga islets.

Española Island is the southernmost island in the Galapagos. It is best known as the nesting place of the rare Waved Albatross. In fact most of the world’s population of these majestic birds nest here. Sea lions abound on Española Island.

Optional swimming and snorkeling at Islote Osborn.
Late afternoon visit to Gardener Island.
The tortoise population of this island was reduced by human depredation. In 1965 only 12 females and 2 males were found and were transferred to the pens of the Galapaguera on Santa Cruz Island. By the year 1976, in collaboration with the San Diego Zoo a third male was brought. After monitoring several adults were found and by 1991 first tortoises born in the wild were placed. Tortoises are concentrated near Manzanillo Bay on the upper part of the island.

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

Dinner: Dinner onboard.

Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: Tip Top III

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

Description: Twin main engines, twin electric generators, twin Radars, Eco-sounders and GPS, Reverse Osmosis Water Maker, coastguard required safety equipment and twelve knot cruising speed.

Ship Information: The Tip Top III is a First Class Steel-hulled Motor Yacht built in Guayaquil/Ecuador in 2001. Technical Information: *Length: 104 feet *Beam: 22 feet *Draft: 5 feet *Cruising Speed: 11 knots. *Electricity: 110/125 V AC (standard US-style outlets)

Contact info:
00000000000000
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
phone: +00000000000000
web: www.rwittmer.com

Room amenities: All cabins have private bathrooms, porthole or window, a safety deposit box, and a/c. Biodegradable soap and shampoo/conditioner are provided during the cruise. Smoking is only allowed on the outer decks.

Facility amenities: The Tip Top III accommodates up to 16 guests in 10 cabins, each with private bathroom. The Upper Deck features four cabins with one double lower berth and one single lower berth. The cabins, bar, dining room and lounge are fully carpeted. A beautiful teak floored sun deck creates a delightful place for resting and relaxing on board. All decks are connected by staircases. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits and buoyancy vests are available for rent, but must be reserved prior to the cruise. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you would like to reserve a wetsuit for your program. Wetsuit prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of your cruise and full payment, in cash, is due upon boarding the vessel. Laundry service is not available on the yacht. In an effort to conserve water, the yacht might ask participants to refrain from hand washing clothing during the cruise. Participants will be able to hang bathing suits and wet clothing to dry on clotheslines on the top deck. Purified drinking water is provided free of charge on the yacht. Participants will be given reusable bottles to refill as needed at the water dispenser in the main lounge.

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


Day Eleven: Thursday, December 25 - Galapagos - San Cristobal Island (Interpreta...
Galapagos -
San Cristobal Island (Interpretation Center, Leon Dormido, & Cerro Brujo).


Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.

Morning: Dry landing on San Cristobal.

San Cristóbal Island, also known as Chatham Island, is one of the oldest islands in the archipelago and the first island visited by Darwin during his famous voyage on the HMS Beagle in 1835. It is also the easternmost and the fifth largest island in the Galápagos, covering an area of 558 square kilometers. Punta Pitt is the easternmost point in the Galapagos Islands where we will see all three boobies, red footed, blue footed and Nazca, due to the abundance of food and little competition for nesting. Nazca boobies nest on the cliffs, red footed in the trees and blue footed boobies on the ground. In the dry season a spectacular red to purple carpet is formed by the succulent sesuvium.

Return to the yacht.

Lunch: Lunch onboard.

Afternoon: After lunch, enjoy a visit to León Dormido, a small island off the coast of San Cristobal, for optional swimming, snorkeling and kayaking.

Later in the afternoon prepare for a wet landing at Cerro Brujo, a great place for watching lake and coastal birds. Cerro Brujo offers excellent views of Kicker Rock (aka Leon Dormido), the southern part of Upper San Cristobal and the coast adjacent to Cerro Brujo.

Return to the yacht.

Dinner: Dinner onboard.

Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: Tip Top III

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, 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 Twelve: Friday, December 26 - Galapagos - Santa Cruz Island. Flight t...
Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.

Morning: Morning instruction for the return to Quito. Transfer to the airport on Baltra Island to catch a flight to Quito.

Lunch: Light lunch served on the flight.

Afternoon: Arrive to Quito.
Transfer to the hotel.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.

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

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

Lodging: Hotel Rincon de Puembo

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Thirteen: Saturday, December 27 - Depart from Quito. Arrive to the USA.
Depart From: Transfer to Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport for flight to the U.S.

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

Breakfast: Early morning breakfast at the hotel restaurant (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.
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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
9 nights of accommodations
34 meals: 12 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 11 dinners
9 Expert-led lectures
16 Field trips
1 Hands-on experiences
3 Flights during the program

Ratings

4.4
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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