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GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, ECUADOR

Adventures Afloat: The Galapagos: Natural and Cultural History

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Road Scholar
Program #6043RJ
11 Days | 10 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
Quito is at an elevation of approximately 9,400 feet.

Itinerary for Jul 21 — Jul 31, 2013

Expand all
Type: Hotel

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

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

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

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

Elevator: Yes

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

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, July 21 - 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.

Arrive To: Arrive at Quito's international airport.

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

Transfer to the hotel and check-in.

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

Lodging: Sheraton Quito Hotel

Type: Hotel

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

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

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

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

Elevator: Yes

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

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, July 22 - Quito – Colonial Quito, the First UNESCO Wo...
Quito –
Colonial Quito, the First UNESCO World Heritage Site & Field Trip to the Equator


Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Orientation to the program.

Explore Quito; the first world heritage site. Discover its Historical and Cultural legacy.

Today explore Quito’s old town narrow streets where you will learn about Quito’s rich history going from pre-Hispanic times, through the Colonial period, to the Republican era. Visit Casa del Alabado, a private collection museum to learn about the cosmovision of pre-Hispanic cultures who inhabited the Ecuadorian territory from the 4000 BC to AD 1400.

Continue to visit the San Francisco church and convent; one of the oldest churches in the city and a trade center during pre-Hispanic times. Continue to the Independence Square where important buildings are located such as the Presidential House, the Bishop Palace, and the Cathedral.



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

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

Return to the hotel.

Lecture: Galapagos: A Natural Laboratory of Evolution and its Threats.



Dinner: Dinner at hotel.

Lodging: Sheraton 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. 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 23 - Galapagos - Flight to San Cristobal Island/B...
Galapagos -
Flight to San Cristobal Island/Board Yacht/Puerto Chino or Galapaguera.


Note: Please note; actual itinerary and islands visited are subject to change and are based on Galapagos National Park regulations. Itineraries are not guaranteed. Snorkeling equipment is supplied during the cruise as part of your program. Wetsuits are not included, but are available for rent on board the yacht (rates range from $35-$70 based on length of cruise). Payment is due, in cash, upon embarkation. The vessel has a limited selection of wetsuits; these are rented out on a first come basis.

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Transfer to the airport.
Flight to San Cristobal, Galápagos (44 lb weight limit for checked luggage, please pack accordingly). Excess luggage can be stored at the hotel in Quito.

**Note: The Galápagos airline tickets are isued 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 Cristobal Island.

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

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

Board the vessel and enjoy an orientation and a light snack.

Our first activity in the Galapagos will be a visit to the San Cristobal Interpretation Center.

The Interpretation Center located just outside Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, houses informative exhibits about the Galapagos Islands and their unique wildlife. The center was inaugurated in 1998 in an effort to educate visitors and locals about the islands' natural environments and to promote their conservation.

Return to the yacht.

*Please note: Actual cruise itinerary and islands visited are always subject to change by the Galapagos National Park. Itineraries are not guaranteed.


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. 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 24 - Galapagos - Santa Fe Island and South Plaza ...
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 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 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. 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 25 - Galapagos - Santa Cruz Island (Charles Darwi...
Galapagos -
Santa Cruz Island (Charles Darwin Research Station and Los Gemelos).


Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Dry Landing on Santa Cruz Island for a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station followed by a brief field trip to Los Gemelos ("The Twins") craters in the highlands of Santa Cruz.

Disembark early for a visit to the famous 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.

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. 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 26 - Galapagos - Isabela Island (Wetlands, Wall o...
Galapagos -
Isabela Island (Wetlands, Wall of Tears, Tortoise Breeding Center "Arnalldo Tupiza," and Sierra Negra Volcano).


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. 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 27 - Galapagos - Isabela Island (Moreno Point an...
Breakfast: Onboard the island.


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.

Optional swimming and snorkeling activities.

Return to the yacht.


Lunch: Onboard the yacht.


Afternoon: Wet landing at Urbina Bay on Isabela Island and walking field trip.

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.

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.

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

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. 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 28 - Galapagos - Fernandina Island (Punta Espinoz...
Galapagos -
Fernandina Island (Punta Espinoza) and Isabela Island (Punta Vicente Roca).


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. 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 29 - Galapagos - Santiago Island (Playa Espumilla...
Galapagos -
Santiago Island (Playa Espumilla) and Bartolome Island.


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

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

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

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

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

Elevator: Yes

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

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Ten: Tuesday, July 30 - Galapagos and Quito- North Seymour Island a...
Galapagos and Quito-
North Seymour Island and Baltra Island/Flight to Quito.


Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Dry landing on North Seymour.

North Seymour Island is home to many sea lions, the infamous blue footed boobies and magnificent frigatebirds. Formed by a series of submarine lava layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity, the island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone.

Return to the yacht for a farewell snack.

Sail to Baltra Island and transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Quito.


Lunch: Light snack served on the flight.

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

Time at leisure to finish packing or relax before joining the rest of the group for dinner.


Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant, with scenic views of the city.

Lodging: Sheraton Quito Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Eleven: Wednesday, July 31 - Depart from Quito. Arrive to the U.S.
Depart From: Transfer to the 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.

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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