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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 Feb 22 — Mar 4, 2015

Expand all
Type: Hotel

Description: The Hotel Quito is housed in an attractive art deco building, located at the top of a hill in a residential area of the city. From the hotel, guests can enjoy exceptional 360º views of the city, the neighboring valley and the surrounding mountains.

Contact info:
Av. González Suárez N27 142
Quito, NA Ecuador Ecuador
phone: +593-2-3964900
web: www.hotelquito.com/

Room amenities: Cable TV, radio, WiFi, safety deposit box, hair dryer, and local newspaper.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, business center, casino, Internet access, fitness center, meeting rooms, ball rooms, and shops.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Subject to availability.
Room types and rates are subject to hotel availability. Please contact the program coordinator, Holbrook Travel, for additional night requests and/or prices.


Day One: Sunday, February 22 - 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: Hotel Quito

Type: Hotel

Description: The Hotel Quito is housed in an attractive art deco building, located at the top of a hill in a residential area of the city. From the hotel, guests can enjoy exceptional 360º views of the city, the neighboring valley and the surrounding mountains.

Contact info:
Av. González Suárez N27 142
Quito, NA Ecuador Ecuador
phone: +593-2-3964900
web: www.hotelquito.com/

Room amenities: Cable TV, radio, WiFi, safety deposit box, hair dryer, and local newspaper.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, business center, casino, Internet access, fitness center, meeting rooms, ball rooms, and shops.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Subject to availability.
Room types and rates are subject to hotel availability. Please contact the program coordinator, Holbrook Travel, for additional night requests and/or prices.


Day Two: Monday, February 23 - Quito – Colonial Quito, the First UNESCO Wo...
Quito –
Colonial Quito, the First UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Equator


Breakfast: Breakfast at 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: Lunch at 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: Dinner at hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Quito

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, February 24 - Galápagos - Flight to Baltra Island/Board Y...
Galápagos -
Flight to Baltra Island/Board Yacht/Black Turtle Cove.


Note: Black Turtle Cove: no landing. 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: Breakfast at hotel.

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

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

Lunch: Light lunch served on the flight.

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

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

Board and set sail.

Enjoy an orientation, safety drill and a light snack.

Our first visit in Galápagos will be Black Turtle Cove. The inlet is surrounded by mangroves and the shallow cove is a haven for wildlife such as white-tipped sharks, sea turtles and a variety of rays.

Swimming and snorkeling.

Return to the yacht.


Dinner: Onboard the yacht.

Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.


Lodging: Galaven

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

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

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

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

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

Facility amenities: Outdoor seating areas, dining room, and library with audiovisual equipment for onboard presentations. 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, February 25 - Galápagos - Genovesa (El Barranco and Darwi...
Note: El Barranco: dry, difficult landing and moderate to difficult trail conditions due to steep, rocky terrain. The visit to El Barranco (a.k.a. Prince Phillip's Steps) includes climbing/descending approximately 20 steep and irregular stone steps (there is a hand rail). Darwin’s Bay: wet landing, easy to moderate trail conditions due to uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Visit El Barranco (a.k.a Prince Phillip's Steps) on the southern part of Darwin's Bay, Genovesa Island. During the panga rides along the cliffs, look for fur seals and several species of seabirds.

Prince Phillip's Steps is a trail which leads up a steep rock staircase through squadrons of frigatebirds and Red-billed Tropicbirds. Red-footed Boobies perch on the branches of Palo Santo trees and Storm Petrels, which serve as prey for Short-eared Owls, are found in the open lava fields at the end of the trail.

The youngest area of the island, from a geological point of view, lies in this area. The cliffs located in the south are composed of very fragile lava. The natural erosion that has occurred in these lava flows has become the ideal place for nesting Storm Petrels. Two species of petrels can be seen here, nesting in cavities and holes in the lava. One is the Wooden Petrel, which feeds during the night, and the other is the endemic Galápagos Petrel that is active during the day.

Dry landing on Genovesa Island at Darwin's Bay.

Return to the yacht.


Lunch: Onboard the yacht.


Afternoon: Dry landing on Genovesa Island at Darwin's Bay.

Genovesa is a great place for a bird watching walk plus swimming or snorkeling at Darwin Bay. The island's volcanic sea cliffs and salt bush offer a prime habitat for the birds of the Galápagos. In March and April, male frigatebirds begin courtship rituals, showing off their inflated red pouches. By August, the island is full of Nazca Boobies (Masked Boobies) and Red-footed Boobies, and Swallow-tailed Gulls can be found nesting. Darwin Bay is the caldera of an extinct volcano which has been partially eroded and offers superb 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 Five: Thursday, February 26 - Galápagos - Santiago Island (Sullivan Bay) ...
Note: Sullivan Bay: wet landing and moderate difficulty due to rocky, volcanic terrain. Rabida Island: wet landing, easy to moderate trail conditions due to hills and sandy terrain.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Wet landing at Sullivan Bay.

Enjoy a walking field trip to observe the unique geological features of this island. Good walking shoes are a must--the volcanic terrain is sharp and rough.

Santiago, or San Salvador, is the fourth largest island in the Galápagos. A volcanic eruption that took place in the early 1900s 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. The rope-like lava seen on this island is called pahoehoe lava. Other interesting formations include lava bubbles and tree shapes, ghosts of Santiago's past. Few plant species have been able to root in this harsh environment. Although the volcanic formations on Santiago have the obvious spotlight, keep an eye out for American Oystercatchers nesting along the coast (July) and Galápagos Hawks performing their acrobatic courtship rituals (August).

Swimming and snorkeling.

Return to the yacht.


Lunch: Onboard the yacht.


Afternoon: Wet landing on Rabida Island.

This afternoon, spend time on one of the most colorful and volcanically varied islands in the archipelago, Rabida (Jervis) Island. It's famous red sandy beach and stunning lookouts provide wonderful landscapes and it is also a great snorkeling site. The island is a birdwatcher's delight. Some of the rarest species are in abundance, such as nine varieties of finches, Large-billed Flycatchers, Galápagos Hawks, and Brown Pelicans.

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 Six: Friday, February 27 - Galápagos - Santa Cruz Island (Fausto Llere...
Galápagos -
Santa Cruz Island (Fausto Llerena Giant Tortoises Breeding Center & El Chato)


Note: Fausto Llerano Breeding Center: dry landing, easy trail conditions. El Chato: moderate to difficult trail conditions due to uneven terrain and sometimes muddy conditions.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


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

The Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) is a biological research station operated by the Charles Darwin Foundation. The objective of the CDRS is to conduct scientific research and environmental education to promote conservation of the islands' unique environments. The Station has a team of over a hundred scientists, educators, volunteers, research students and support staff from all over the world.

Return to the yacht.


Lunch: Onboard the yacht.


Afternoon: Visit El Chato in the highlands of Santa Cruz in search of the giant tortoises.

Santa Cruz is the most important island in the Galápagos in many respects. It is the second largest island, the most populated, and it is the administrative center of the islands. The National Park Service is based here. Giant tortoises can be spotted on Santa Cruz at certain times of the year. Several species of Darwin's finches make this island home as well. Yellow warblers, Galápagos rails and paint-billed crakes can also be seen. In addition, a dramatic change in vegetation zones can be seen as one travels higher on the island.

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 Seven: Saturday, February 28 - Galápagos - Santa Cruz Island (Cerro Dragon...
Note: Cerro Dragon: dry landing, easy to moderate trail conditions due to rocky, uneven terrain. Bachas Beach: east, sandy trail conditions.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Dry landing on Santa Cruz and walk on trails up to the lookout on Cerro Dragon.

Cerro Dragon ("Dragon Hill"), located on a northwestern corner of Santa Cruz, was named after a colony of land iguanas that inhabited the site in the 1970s. Flamingoes and shorebirds seasonally visit the lagoons in search of shrimp, appearing in larger numbers during the dryer season when the crustaceans are more plentiful. The rocky beach provides good snorkeling opportunities when the tide is high.

Return to the yacht.


Lunch: Onboard the yacht.


Afternoon: Wet landing on Playa de Las Bachas.

Bachas Beach represents one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) on Isla Santa Cruz. It is a good place to see flamingos, as well as migratory and aquatic birds. The name Las Bachas originates from the Second World War, when the American army left two barges discarded on the beach, the first settlers could not pronounce the name correctly in English, which resulted in Las Bachas Beach.

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, March 01 - Galápagos - Floreana Island (Post Office Ba...
Galápagos -
Floreana Island (Post Office Bay, Punta Cormorant and Devil's Crown).


Note: Post Office Bay: wet landing and easy trail conditions. Punta Cormorant: wet landing and easy trail conditions.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Wet landing at Post Office Bay.

The infamous Post Office Bay can be found on the northern side of Floreana Island. This is the site where whalers used to "mail" their correspondence. A barrel was used as a makeshift postbox, and held letters from sailors across the globe. If a passing ship happened to be heading where the mail was addressed to, the captain would collect and deliver it. Although the barrel is no longer the original one, the system still works since visitors continue to collect and drop off their letters and postcards.

Return to the yacht.


Lunch: Onboard the yacht.


Afternoon: Wet landing on Floreana Island at Punta Cormorant.

Floreana Island is the sixth largest island in the archipelago. It has a colorful history, with varying accounts of how the island was settled and how its first residents (German immigrants) died or mysteriously disappeared. The only family remaining from the original settlements are the Wittmers who continue to live on the island.

A wet landing at Punta Cormorant will take us through a beach of greenish sand where sea lions like to congregate. The beach's unusual color is a result of the olivine crystals present in the sand. From here, a trail leads us to a lagoon where flamingoes can be found wading with other birds such as oystercatchers, and Black-necked Stilt. A white sandy beach near the lagoon is good for swimming and is a known nesting site for green sea turtles. Around January, pregnant females come ashore at night to dig nests and lay eggs (between 75-100 eggs per nest) before returning to sea. The eggs begin hatching in April and May.

Swimming and snorkeling activities at Devil's Crown.

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, March 02 - Galápagos - Espanola Island (Punta Suarez a...
Note: Punta Suarez: dry landing and difficult trail conditions due to rocky, uneven terrain. Gardner Bay: wet landing and easy, sandy trail conditions.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Dry landing at Punta Suarez.

Our walking exploration will take us over loose boulders and challenging rocky ground as we make our way to view nesting boobies and the famous blowhole.

Punta Suarez, on the western side of Espanola Island, is home to the Galápagos Hawk and the red form of the marine iguana. In January, the iguanas change color, adopting bright hues that are attractive to potential mates. Visitors have a good chance of seeing Blue-footed Booby chicks around October. Espanola is also the breeding site of most of the archipelago's Waved Albatrosses, so be on the look-out for these large and graceful flyers! Albatrosses display courtship behavior in April, nest and lay eggs in May, and by December the young fledge and leave for a few months before returning in March.

Return to the yacht.


Lunch: Onboard the yacht.


Afternoon: Wet landing at Gardner Bay.

Gardner Bay is situated on Espanola's eastern coast. Its beautiful white sand beach is usually dotted with sunbathing sea lions. The soft sand and clear waters make this a perfect location for snorkeling and swimming. In January, green sea turtles steal ashore under cover of night to dig pits and lay eggs before making their way back to sea. Eggs hatch from April to May.

Swimming and snorkeling activities.

Return to the yacht.


Dinner: Onboard the yacht.


Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: Galaven

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

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

Contact info:
Manuel Burbano N66 y Francisoc Ruiz
Puembo, 00000 Ecuador
phone: +593-22391106
web: http://www.rincondepuembo.com/en/

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

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

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

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


Day Ten: Tuesday, March 03 - Galápagos and Flight to Quito- San Cristoba...
Galápagos and Flight to Quito-
San Cristobal Island (Interpretation Center).


Note: San Cristobal: dry landing and easy, flat terrain.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Dry landing on San Cristobal Island and visit the Interpretation Center.

San Cristobal 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. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, located on the southwestern side of San Cristobal, is the provincial capital and the second largest populated area in the Galápagos.

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.

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: Wednesday, March 04 - 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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