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GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, ECUADOR

Adventures Afloat: The Galapagos: Natural and Cultural History

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Road Scholar
Program #6043RJ
11 Days | 10 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
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Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
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 27 — Mar 9, 2015

Expand all
Type: Hotel

Description: The Sheraton Quito Hotel is strategically located in the city’s financial and commercial zone and also nearby the Colonial Old Town, a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site. Enjoy the on site restaurants featuring fusion foods and live piano music in the lounge. Relax your soul, mind, and body or workout in the Sheraton Fitness Center located on the 11th floor with breathtaking views of the modern Quito.

Contact info:
Avenida Naciones Unidas y Republica de El Salvador
Quito, 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: Friday, February 27 - Arrive to Quito.
Note: The new Mariscal Sucre International Airport is located approximately one hour from downtown Quito. Elevations in Quito range from 9,223 ft - 9,883 ft. 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

Description: The Sheraton Quito Hotel is strategically located in the city’s financial and commercial zone and also nearby the Colonial Old Town, a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site. Enjoy the on site restaurants featuring fusion foods and live piano music in the lounge. Relax your soul, mind, and body or workout in the Sheraton Fitness Center located on the 11th floor with breathtaking views of the modern Quito.

Contact info:
Avenida Naciones Unidas y Republica de El Salvador
Quito, 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: Saturday, February 28 - Quito – Colonial Quito, the First UNESCO Wor...
Quito –
Colonial Quito, the First UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Equator


Note: Trail Conditions: Easy. This leisurely-paced day in Quito is very important as it will give the group time to acclimate to highland elevations. 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.

Breakfast: At the hotel.


Morning: Meet your Quito group leader and fellow Road Scholar participants during a welcome and introduction session at the hotel. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

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

Afterwards continue to the colonial center. While walking through the narrow streets, you will learn about Quito’s rich history going from pre-Hispanic times, through the Colonial period, to the Republican era. Admire the wonderful architecture of its colonial buildings and the uniqueness of religious art pieces from the famous Quitenian School of art that combines the European Renaissance and Baroque styles with the indigenous and mestizo influences.



Lunch: At 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: The Past, Present, and Future of Ecuador.


Dinner: At the hotel.


Evening: Time at leisure. Get a good night's rest in preparation for early morning activities the following day.

Lodging: Sheraton Quito Hotel

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

Description: The Yolita II is an expedition-sized vessel in the true tradition of the smaller boats that sail the island of the Galapagos. At 114 feet long and 26 feet wide and cruising at 10 knots, it can carry 16 passengers.

Ship Information: Motorized yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 cabins all with private baths. The ship is 114 feet long and 26 feet wide. Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. Rooms include private bathroom (toilet, shower, washbasin and vanity); locker and drawers. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted.

Contact info:
N/A
Guayaquil, Ecuador
phone: +000-000-0000
Room amenities: All cabins are compact (approximately 112 square feet) with porthole, private bathroom with shower, air-conditioning, and limited closet space. Double occupancy rooms feature two single beds. Single cabins have one bed and are located on the top deck. Electrical outlet accepts 110V appliances with US-style plugs.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dining room, common room, bar, sun deck and small library. A steep set of stairs from the Main Deck to the cabins have to be carefully negotiated. Wetsuit and snorkeling gear: Masks, snorkels, and fins are provided as part of the cruise, though avid snorkelers might wish to bring their own gear to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and full payment is due, in cash, upon embarkation. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of the cruise. Please note that the yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come basis. If you require a petite or XL size, please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com to check 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: Sunday, March 01 - Galapagos - Flight to Baltra Island/Board Y...
Galapagos -
Flight to Baltra Island/Board Yacht/ North Seymour Island.


Note: North Seymour Island: dry landing, moderate to difficult trail conditions due to uneven terrain. There is a 44 lb weight limit for checked luggage on the flights to the islands. Please pack accordingly. Note: Actual cruise itinerary and islands visited are determined by the Galápagos National Park. The park reserves the right to change cruise itineraries without prior notice.

Breakfast: At the hotel.


Morning: Transfer to the airport 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.

Dry landing on North Seymour Island.

North Seymour Island is conveniently located next to Baltra Island. North Seymour has a major nesting colony of Blue-footed Boobies and Magnificent Frigate Birds. During April-May the Blue-footed Boobies can be spotted performing their comical mating dance. Blue-footed boobies oftentimes nest very near the trails, giving visitors the opportunity to get a closer view during the walks. From August-November sea lions are giving birth and it is possible to view pups of all sizes. Just remember to stay at a safe distance as females tend to be very protective of their young. A walk near known iguana nesting sites offers a good opportunity to view marine iguanas and land iguanas.


Dinner: Onboard the yacht.


Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities and lecture.


Lodging: Yolita II

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

Description: The Yolita II is an expedition-sized vessel in the true tradition of the smaller boats that sail the island of the Galapagos. At 114 feet long and 26 feet wide and cruising at 10 knots, it can carry 16 passengers.

Ship Information: Motorized yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 cabins all with private baths. The ship is 114 feet long and 26 feet wide. Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. Rooms include private bathroom (toilet, shower, washbasin and vanity); locker and drawers. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted.

Contact info:
N/A
Guayaquil, Ecuador
phone: +000-000-0000
Room amenities: All cabins are compact (approximately 112 square feet) with porthole, private bathroom with shower, air-conditioning, and limited closet space. Double occupancy rooms feature two single beds. Single cabins have one bed and are located on the top deck. Electrical outlet accepts 110V appliances with US-style plugs.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dining room, common room, bar, sun deck and small library. A steep set of stairs from the Main Deck to the cabins have to be carefully negotiated. Wetsuit and snorkeling gear: Masks, snorkels, and fins are provided as part of the cruise, though avid snorkelers might wish to bring their own gear to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and full payment is due, in cash, upon embarkation. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of the cruise. Please note that the yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come basis. If you require a petite or XL size, please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com to check 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: Monday, March 02 - Galapagos - San Cristobal Island (Leon Dorm...
Galapagos -
San Cristobal Island (Leon Dormido, Cerro Brujo and Isla Lobos).


Note: Leon Dormido: no landing. Cerro Brujo: wet landing and easy, flat trail conditions. Isla Lobos: dry landing and easy to moderate trail conditions.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: This morning we will pay a visit to Leon Dormido, for optimal swimming and snorkeling activities.

Leon Dormido (aka Kicker Rock) is a vertical cone formation which rises almost 500 feet from the ocean. It has eroded to give it the shape seen as a shoe or a sleeping lion. You can usually see Blue-footed Boobies, Masked Boobies, and frigatebirds on its cliffs, as well as sea lions on its shores. Around March, male frigatebirds begin to prepare for courtship by inflating their iconic red pouches--hoping to capture the attention of an available female (mating season in April).

Later in the morning, navigate to nearby Cerro Brujo.

Cerro Brujo ("Wizard Hill") is one of the nicest white-sand beaches found in the islands. It is situated in a secluded spot on the western side of San Cristobal, with beautiful views of Leon Dormido standing proud in the distance. Visitors to this site can either walk along the beach trail in search of marine iguanas, sea lions, and colorful crabs, or enjoy swimming and snorkeling off the beach.

Return to the yacht.


Lunch: Onboard the yacht.


Afternoon: Wet landing on Isla Lobos.

This small rocky island can be reached by boat, approximately one hour northeast of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, off the coast of San Cristobal Island. Its name in Spanish means "sea lion island" due to a large colony of sea lions that reside on the isle. Oftentimes, the loud and lively barks can be heard long before reaching the island. These vocal and playful mammals enjoy sunning themselves on the rocky outcroppings, providing visitors with a great opportunity to observe their social antics. In addition to sea lions, the island is also home to a colony of Blue-footed Boobies and a number of frigatebirds. This is also a good snorkeling site and a good place to possibly see manta rays and sea turtles.

Return to the yacht.


Dinner: Onboard the yacht.


Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: Yolita II

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

Description: The Yolita II is an expedition-sized vessel in the true tradition of the smaller boats that sail the island of the Galapagos. At 114 feet long and 26 feet wide and cruising at 10 knots, it can carry 16 passengers.

Ship Information: Motorized yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 cabins all with private baths. The ship is 114 feet long and 26 feet wide. Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. Rooms include private bathroom (toilet, shower, washbasin and vanity); locker and drawers. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted.

Contact info:
N/A
Guayaquil, Ecuador
phone: +000-000-0000
Room amenities: All cabins are compact (approximately 112 square feet) with porthole, private bathroom with shower, air-conditioning, and limited closet space. Double occupancy rooms feature two single beds. Single cabins have one bed and are located on the top deck. Electrical outlet accepts 110V appliances with US-style plugs.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dining room, common room, bar, sun deck and small library. A steep set of stairs from the Main Deck to the cabins have to be carefully negotiated. Wetsuit and snorkeling gear: Masks, snorkels, and fins are provided as part of the cruise, though avid snorkelers might wish to bring their own gear to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and full payment is due, in cash, upon embarkation. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of the cruise. Please note that the yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come basis. If you require a petite or XL size, please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com to check 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: Tuesday, March 03 - Galapagos - Espanola Island (Gardner Bay, I...
Galapagos -
Espanola Island (Gardner Bay, Islote Osborn and Punta Suarez).


Note: Gardner Bay: wet landing and easy, sandy trail conditions. Punta Suarez: dry landing and difficult trail conditions due to rocky, uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Wet landing at Gardner Bay, Espanola Island.

This morning you will enjoy a beach walk, followed by a panga ride around Gardner and Osborn islets.

Espanola is the southernmost island in the Galapagos. It is best known as the nesting place of the rare Waved Albatross. The majestic birds begin courtship rituals in April, by May they are laying eggs, and in December the young fledge and leave the islands for a few months (return in March). Gardner Bay, on the northeastern tip of the island, has a beautiful white-sand beach where sea lions like to sun themselves. In January, green sea turtles come ashore during night hours to lay their eggs. Hatchlings begin their perilous journey from nest to sea around April and May.

There will be an opportunity for swimming and snorkeling. Try to spot marine species like the king angelfish, creole fish, damsel fish, parrot fish, manta rays, and white-tipped reef sharks.

Return to the yacht.


Lunch: Onboard the yacht.


Afternoon: Afternoon field trip to Punta Suarez on Espanola Island.

Punta Suarez, on the western end of Espanola Island, is home to the Galapagos Hawk (courtship in August) and is also the best place to see the red form of the marine iguana. In January, marine iguanas adopt bright skin colors to try and attract mates. Also, look for mockingbirds, finches, and boobies. Learn about the lava terrain and cross the inactive lava fields.

Later, visit the famous blowhole, where water shoots 50-70 feet into the air.

Return to the yacht.


Dinner: Onboard the yacht.


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

Lodging: Yolita II

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

Description: The Yolita II is an expedition-sized vessel in the true tradition of the smaller boats that sail the island of the Galapagos. At 114 feet long and 26 feet wide and cruising at 10 knots, it can carry 16 passengers.

Ship Information: Motorized yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 cabins all with private baths. The ship is 114 feet long and 26 feet wide. Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. Rooms include private bathroom (toilet, shower, washbasin and vanity); locker and drawers. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted.

Contact info:
N/A
Guayaquil, Ecuador
phone: +000-000-0000
Room amenities: All cabins are compact (approximately 112 square feet) with porthole, private bathroom with shower, air-conditioning, and limited closet space. Double occupancy rooms feature two single beds. Single cabins have one bed and are located on the top deck. Electrical outlet accepts 110V appliances with US-style plugs.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dining room, common room, bar, sun deck and small library. A steep set of stairs from the Main Deck to the cabins have to be carefully negotiated. Wetsuit and snorkeling gear: Masks, snorkels, and fins are provided as part of the cruise, though avid snorkelers might wish to bring their own gear to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and full payment is due, in cash, upon embarkation. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of the cruise. Please note that the yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come basis. If you require a petite or XL size, please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com to check 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: Wednesday, March 04 - Galapagos - Santa Fe and South Plaza Island...
Note: Santa Fe: wet landing and moderate difficulty due to rocky, uneven trail conditions. South Plaza: dry landing and moderate difficulty due to slippery rocks and uneven trail conditions.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Wet landing on Santa Fe Island.

The island has one of the best locations for swimming with sea lions and is also a great place to catch a glimpse of white tipped reef sharks and sea turtles.

Field trip to cactus forest to see some of the tallest opuntia cacti in the archipelago, and search for a colony of Santa Fe Iguanas.

Return to the yacht.


Lunch: Onboard the yacht.


Afternoon: Dry landing on Plaza Sur Island.

Walking field trip to explore local flora and fauna. Follow the trail to a cactus forest to get a close look at land iguanas and their habitat before continuing 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.

The small island is a great place to view seabirds in flight. A walk along the cliff offers good 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: Yolita II

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

Description: The Yolita II is an expedition-sized vessel in the true tradition of the smaller boats that sail the island of the Galapagos. At 114 feet long and 26 feet wide and cruising at 10 knots, it can carry 16 passengers.

Ship Information: Motorized yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 cabins all with private baths. The ship is 114 feet long and 26 feet wide. Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. Rooms include private bathroom (toilet, shower, washbasin and vanity); locker and drawers. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted.

Contact info:
N/A
Guayaquil, Ecuador
phone: +000-000-0000
Room amenities: All cabins are compact (approximately 112 square feet) with porthole, private bathroom with shower, air-conditioning, and limited closet space. Double occupancy rooms feature two single beds. Single cabins have one bed and are located on the top deck. Electrical outlet accepts 110V appliances with US-style plugs.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dining room, common room, bar, sun deck and small library. A steep set of stairs from the Main Deck to the cabins have to be carefully negotiated. Wetsuit and snorkeling gear: Masks, snorkels, and fins are provided as part of the cruise, though avid snorkelers might wish to bring their own gear to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and full payment is due, in cash, upon embarkation. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of the cruise. Please note that the yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come basis. If you require a petite or XL size, please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com to check 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: Thursday, March 05 - Galapagos - Santa Cruz Island (Charles Darw...
Galapagos -
Santa Cruz Island (Charles Darwin Research Station and Los Gemelos).


Note: Charles Darwin Research Station: dry landing, easy trail conditions. Los Gemelos: transfer by bus to the highlands, easy to moderate trail conditions due to uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Dry landing on Santa Cruz Island.

This morning, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island to learn about conservation efforts throughout the 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 geared to conservation. The station has a large team of scientists, educators, volunteers, research students and support staff from all over the world. At the CDRS, visitors have the opportunity to observe giant tortoises at all stages of development, from a few days old to close to one-hundred years of age.

Return to the yacht.


Lunch: Onboard the yacht.


Afternoon: After lunch, enjoy a field trip into the highlands of Santa Cruz Island.

Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the archipelago. It is the administrative center of the islands and the most populated. The National Park Service is based here, but perhaps the most important is the Charles Darwin Research Station, the headquarters of all research and conservation efforts on the islands. Giant tortoises can be spotted on the island at certain times of year and several species of Darwin's finches reside here. A dramatic change in vegetation zones can be seen as one travels into the highland region of the island.

Visit Cerro Chato and 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.

Return to the yacht.


Dinner: Onboard the yacht.


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

Lodging: Yolita II

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

Description: The Yolita II is an expedition-sized vessel in the true tradition of the smaller boats that sail the island of the Galapagos. At 114 feet long and 26 feet wide and cruising at 10 knots, it can carry 16 passengers.

Ship Information: Motorized yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 cabins all with private baths. The ship is 114 feet long and 26 feet wide. Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. Rooms include private bathroom (toilet, shower, washbasin and vanity); locker and drawers. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted.

Contact info:
N/A
Guayaquil, Ecuador
phone: +000-000-0000
Room amenities: All cabins are compact (approximately 112 square feet) with porthole, private bathroom with shower, air-conditioning, and limited closet space. Double occupancy rooms feature two single beds. Single cabins have one bed and are located on the top deck. Electrical outlet accepts 110V appliances with US-style plugs.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dining room, common room, bar, sun deck and small library. A steep set of stairs from the Main Deck to the cabins have to be carefully negotiated. Wetsuit and snorkeling gear: Masks, snorkels, and fins are provided as part of the cruise, though avid snorkelers might wish to bring their own gear to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and full payment is due, in cash, upon embarkation. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of the cruise. Please note that the yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come basis. If you require a petite or XL size, please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com to check 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: Friday, March 06 - Galapagos - Floreana Island (Punta Cormoran...
Galapagos -
Floreana Island (Punta Cormorant, Devil's Crown, Post Office Bay and Mirador de la Baronesa).


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

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Wet landing on the greenish colored beach on Floreana.

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

Novice snorkelers can practice their skills on the main beach in the company of playful sea lions.

Take a dinghy ride along the coast to observe Blue-footed Boobies, sea lions, marine iguanas, and Swallow-tailed Gulls.

Later in the morning, 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 islands. The largely submerged volcano has clear blue waters and a variety of colorful fish. Sea lions are sometimes seen frolicking in the waters and seabirds nest in the crevaces. This site is only suggested for good swimmers as the currents can be very strong.

Return to the yacht.


Lunch: Onboard the yacht.


Afternoon: Afternoon excursion to 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 mail box and held letters from sailors across the globe. If a passing ship was heading where the mail was addressed, 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 mail.

A short walk from the famous barrel will take us to a tunnel formed by laval flows.

Later in the afternoon, embark on a short dinghy ride followed by a dry landing. From the lookout point we will be able to enjoy great views of resident seabirds.

Mirador de la Baronesa is a basaltic tuff formation located in la Olla Bay, between Punta Cormorant and Post Office Bay. Boat rides along the formation provide great opportunities to spot golden eagle rays, sea turtles, mullets, Galapagos Penguins, and sea lions. The site earned its name from letters written by Baroness Eloisa Von Wagner describing the area.

Return to the yacht.


Dinner: Onboard the yacht.


Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: Yolita II

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

Description: The Yolita II is an expedition-sized vessel in the true tradition of the smaller boats that sail the island of the Galapagos. At 114 feet long and 26 feet wide and cruising at 10 knots, it can carry 16 passengers.

Ship Information: Motorized yacht which carries up to 16 passengers in 9 cabins all with private baths. The ship is 114 feet long and 26 feet wide. Public areas include a dinning room, bar, sun/sky deck, and library. Rooms include private bathroom (toilet, shower, washbasin and vanity); locker and drawers. All cabins and public areas are fully carpeted.

Contact info:
N/A
Guayaquil, Ecuador
phone: +000-000-0000
Room amenities: All cabins are compact (approximately 112 square feet) with porthole, private bathroom with shower, air-conditioning, and limited closet space. Double occupancy rooms feature two single beds. Single cabins have one bed and are located on the top deck. Electrical outlet accepts 110V appliances with US-style plugs.

Facility amenities: Public areas include a dining room, common room, bar, sun deck and small library. A steep set of stairs from the Main Deck to the cabins have to be carefully negotiated. Wetsuit and snorkeling gear: Masks, snorkels, and fins are provided as part of the cruise, though avid snorkelers might wish to bring their own gear to guarantee a perfect fit. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and full payment is due, in cash, upon embarkation. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of the cruise. Please note that the yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come basis. If you require a petite or XL size, please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com to check 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: Saturday, March 07 - Galapagos - Santa Cruz Island (Bahia Ballen...
Galapagos -
Santa Cruz Island (Bahia Ballena, Bahia Eden and Dragon Hill).


Note: Bahia Ballena: easy. Bahia Eden: easy. Dragon Hill: dry landing and easy to moderate conditions due to rocky, uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Enjoy a visit to Bahia Ballena ("Whale Bay").

The cove of green sand is located at the base of Cerro Dragon ("Dragon Hill") on the west coast of Santa Cruz Island. The beach contains a large amount of olivine crystals, formed from volcanic materials, which give its sand a special greenish color.

Later in the morning, enjoy a chance to swim and snorkel at Bahia Eden.

Return to the yacht.


Lunch: Onboard the yacht.


Afternoon: Dry landing on Santa Cruz for a field trip to Cerro Dragon.

Walk to a saltwater lagoon which is occasionally visited by pink flamingoes. Hike up to Cerro Dragon for a beautiful view of the bay. This area has an interesting Scalesia forest and is the nesting site for numerous reintroduced land iguanas.

Return to the yacht.


Dinner: Onboard the yacht.


Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.

Lodging: Yolita II

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

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

Contact info:
Manuel Burbano N6-66 y Francisco Ruiz
Puembo, 00000 Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2391106
web: http://www.rincondepuembo.com/en/

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

Facility amenities: Restaurants, large gardens, heated pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, gym
, business center, Wi-Fi, laundry service, room service, a chapel, and a TV and reading room. The hotel also provides a number of entertainment options such as: billiards, table football, karaoke room, and soccer, basketball, and volleyball courts.

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: Sunday, March 08 - Galapagos and Quito- Santa Cruz Island (Bla...
Galapagos and Quito-
Santa Cruz Island (Black Turtle Cove)/Flight to Quito


Note: Black Turtle Cove: no landing.

Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.


Morning: Excursion to Black Turtle Cove on Santa Cruz Island.

Take part in a quiet dinghy ride through the mangroves. During this activity, the motor will be turned off to allow close observation of marine turtles, white tipped reef sharks, yellow rays and other marine species.

Return to the yacht for a farewell snack.

Sail to Baltra Island and transfer to the airport to board your flight for the mainland. Say Farewell to your Galápagos group leader.


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 the hotel.

Lodging: Hosteria Rincon de Puembo

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Eleven: Monday, March 09 - Depart from Quito. Arrive to the U.S.
Note: Participants with independent travel arrangements and/or scheduled on later flights can keep their hotel rooms until check-out time on this day. Except for breakfast, all other meals are on your own on this day.

Depart From: Transfer to the international airport for flight to the U.S.

This concludes the program. We hope you enjoyed your Road Scholar adventure! When you get home, remember to stay in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network; share memories, pictures, and comments about your recent travels.


Breakfast: Early morning breakfast at the hotel restaurant (dependent on flight times).


Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
10 nights of accommodations
28 meals: 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 9 dinners
3 Expert-led lectures
16 Field trips
2 Flights during the program

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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