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GALAPAGOS, ECUADOR

Adventures Afloat: The Galapagos: Natural and Cultural History: Family Program

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Road Scholar
Program #20873RJ
11 Days | 10 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
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 9,223 ft - 9,883 ft

Itinerary for Dec 28 — Jan 7, 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, room service, laundry services, business center, casino, WiFi, fitness center, meeting rooms, ball rooms, and shops. The hotel offers airport transfer services for an additional cost. This service can be arranged by calling the hotel directly or emailing them at reservaciones@hotelquito.com.

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, December 28 - Arrivals in Quito, Ecuador.
Note: The new Mariscal Sucre International Airport is located approximately one hour from downtown Quito.

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. Some participants find it helpful to fly into the city a day early in order to have extra time to rest and acclimate to the altitude.

Arrive To: Arrive at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, Ecuador.

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, followed by time at leisure.

Please note that this is an international travel day; no meals or program activities are scheduled on this day. Hotel check-in usually begins at 3PM.

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, room service, laundry services, business center, casino, WiFi, fitness center, meeting rooms, ball rooms, and shops. The hotel offers airport transfer services for an additional cost. This service can be arranged by calling the hotel directly or emailing them at reservaciones@hotelquito.com.

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, December 29 - Quito - Colonial Quito, the First UNESCO Wo...
Quito -
Colonial Quito, the First UNESCO World Heritage Site/The Equator.


Note: 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: Orientation to the program.

Get to know your 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.

Visit El Panecillo for panoramic views of Quito.

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

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


Lunch: At a local restaurant including an introduction to Ecuadorian food products and typical Ecuadorian cuisine.


Afternoon: After lunch, we will leave Quito and travel in a northerly direction to visit the Museo Intinan located on the Equator line, near the Middle of the World complex.

The IntinanMuseum has a permanent exposition that details the Andean cosmovision of Ecuador's ancestral cultures. Learn about the indigenous calendar and its accuracy. Visit an ancient home to find out about the way of life and traditions of indigenous people more than a century ago. Acquaint yourself with the important rituals of Amazonian tribes as you educate yourself about the cultures of Ecuador's Oriente region.

Lecture: The Past, Present, and Future of Ecuador.


Dinner: At the hotel.


Evening: Time at leisure.

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, December 30 - Galapagos Islands - Flight to Baltra Island/...
Galapagos Islands -
Flight to Baltra Island/Board Yacht/Santa Cruz (Black Turtle Cove).


Note: The Galapagos National Park carefully controls the volume and frequency of visitors on each island (and visitor sites) in order to minimize environmental damage in the archipelago. The routes and sites visited during each cruise are predetermined by the national park and the park reserves the right to change these at any time without prior notice.

Breakfast: At the hotel.


Morning: Transfer to the airport for flight to the Galápagos Islands.
Depart for the Galápagos Islands.

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

Participants will have the option to store excess luggage in Quito for the duration of the cruise. The extra luggage will be collected from participants on the day the group flies to the Galapagos Islands. After taking participants to the airport, the Road Scholar driver will drop off the extra luggage at the last program hotel so that it can be safely stored until the group returns from the islands.


Lunch: Light snack on the flight or on the yacht (dependent on flight times).


Afternoon: Arrive to Baltra Island.
Upon arrival you will be met by your naturalist guide and transferred to the yacht.

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

Board the vessel and enjoy an orientation session by your Galápagos group leader.

Our first activity in the Galápagos will be a dinghy ride to Black Turtle Cove, located on the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island.

The shallow cove is surrounded by mangroves and is home to a variety of marine life including sea turtles, stingrays, and sharks. Also be on the lookout for pelicans and other sea birds that are known to frequent the site.
Return to the yacht.


Dinner: On 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, December 31 - Galapagos Islands - Genovesa Island (Darwin...
Galapagos Islands -
Genovesa Island (Darwin's Bay and El Barranco).


Note: 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).

Breakfast: On the yacht.


Morning: 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.



Lunch: On the yacht.


Afternoon: 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.

Return to the yacht.



Dinner: On 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 Five: Thursday, January 01 - Galapagos Islands - Santiago Island (Sulliv...
Galapagos Islands -
Santiago Island (Sullivan Bay) and Rabida Island.


Breakfast: On the yacht.


Morning: Dry 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 Galapagos. 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 opportunities.

Return to the yacht.



Lunch: On 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. Its famous maroon 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 activities.

Return to the yacht.



Dinner: On the yacht.


Evening: Orientation of 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 Six: Friday, January 02 - Galapagos Islands - Santa Cruz Island (Cha...
Galapagos Islands -
Santa Cruz Island (Charles Darwin Research Station/Tortoise Breeding Center and El Chato Reserve).


Breakfast: On the yacht.


Morning: Dry landing at Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island.
Field trip to the Fausto Llerena Giant Tortoise Breeding Center at the Charles Darwin Research Station. At the breeding center there will be an opportunity to view tortoises in all stages of development, ranging from hatchlings to adults.

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

Return to the yacht.



Lunch: On the yacht.


Afternoon: Dry landing on Santa Cruz Island.

Board a bus and travel to the mist-shrouded highlands of Santa Cruz Island to El Chato reserve. Walk on local trails in search of wild giant tortoises. This is also a great place for spotting Short-eared Owls, Darwin's finches, Paint-billed Crakes and more.

Return to the yacht.



Dinner: On the yacht.


Evening: Orientation to the 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, January 03 - Galapagos Islands - Santa Cruz Island (Cerro...
Galapagos Islands -
Santa Cruz Island (Cerro Dragon and Bachas Beach).


Breakfast: On 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: On the yacht.


Afternoon: Wet landing at Bachas Beach.

Apart from being an important nesting site for Galapagos green turtles, Bachas Beach is also a great location to view migratory and aquatic birds. The name of this location dates back to WWII, when the U.S. army abandoned two barges on the beach. Locals found it hard to pronounce the word "barges" in English; over time, the common mispronunciation of the word became the norm, resulting in the name Playa las Bachas. The nearby lagoon is home to flamingoes, White-cheeked Pintail ducks, and Common Stilts.

Enjoy swimming and snorkeling activities.

Return to the yacht.



Dinner: On 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 Eight: Sunday, January 04 - Galapagos Islands - Floreana Island (Post Of...
Galapagos Islands -
Floreana Island (Post Office Bay and Punta Cormorant or Devil's Crown).


Breakfast: On 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: On the yacht.


Afternoon: Depending on weather conditions you will either have the chance to enjoy a half-mile hike at Punta Cormorant to the flamingo lagoon or or take part in a snorkeling field trip at Devil's Crown.
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.

Activities at Punta Cormorant require a wet landing on a local beach. The greenish sand is the result of the olivine crystals present in the sand. This is a favorite hangout for sea lions. A trail leads from the beach 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.

Devil's Crown is one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galápagos Islands. The partly submerged volcano, now extinct, is located just off the coast of Floreana. Within the flooded caldera one can view interesting rock formations and several types of coral, as well as sea urchins, tropical fish, rays, and sharks.

Return to the yacht.



Dinner: On 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 Nine: Monday, January 05 - Galapagos Islands - Espanola Island (Suarez ...
Galapagos Islands -
Espanola Island (Suarez Point and Gardner Bay).


Note: Challenging 2-mile hike over loose boulders and rocky terrain at Punta Suarez.

Breakfast: On 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 Galapagos 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: On 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, kayaking, and snorkeling activities.

Return to the yacht.



Dinner: On the yacht.


Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.

Lodging: Galaven

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: 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: Tuesday, January 06 - Galapagos Islands and Quito - San Cristobal ...
Galapagos Islands and Quito -
San Cristobal Island (Interpretation Center)/Flight to Quito.


Breakfast: On the yacht.


Morning: Dry landing on San Cristobal Island and visit to 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 Galapagos, 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 Galapagos.

Transfer to the airport to catch a flight back to the mainland.



Lunch: Light snack 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.


Evening: Time at leisure. Enjoy your last evening in Ecuador among your newfound Road Scholar friends.

Lodging: Hosteria Rincon de Puembo

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Eleven: Wednesday, January 07 - Departure Flights to the U.S.
Depart From: Transfer to the international airport to check-in for flights back 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: At the hotel (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
2 Expert-led lectures
17 Field trips
2 Flights during the program

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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