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Adventures Afloat: The Best of the Galápagos and Peru: From Enchanted Islands to Machu Picchu

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17 Days | 16 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. 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.
Discussion Board

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Tim Burke Nov 27, 2015 at 01:49 PM

Thank you, Michael for suggesting the walking tour. Sounds good.

Tim Burke Nov 27, 2015 at 01:45 PM

Good Morning fellow travelers. The Dec 18 trip approaches. Read about having currency not issued before 2004 because of counterfeiting concerns. Also read same in travel book. Is this Ecuador and Peru ? Anyone have experience with this ??
Barbara Ardell Nov 27, 2015 at 01:54 PM

Peru only. Ecuador is no problem at all.
Magda Roth Nov 27, 2015 at 10:56 PM

Ecuador uses US currency, they cannot print paper money, but can issue change which is NOT accepted outside Ecuador, And yes, we had only perfect money, issued after 2004. Especial in Peru, they will not accept even the smaller imperfection. Older travel books talked about counterfeit problem in Peru, did not notice. Were able to take money from ATM, purchase with dollars, but you get sometimes a rounded down exchange rate. In Lima, near the Presidential Palace did good shopping and with good exchange rate (we took a later plane out of Lima). By the way, older travel books recommended to have your own WC paper. We had two rolls with us, but it wasn't needed. Bad idea.

Linda Kennedy Nov 18, 2015 at 07:39 PM

The lava rocks on some trail require very sturdy footwear, not open toed sandals. The only time I wore sandals was on the walking tours in Quito, Lima, etc.

Tim Burke Nov 18, 2015 at 07:25 PM

Thank you all for your suggestions and sharing your experiences. Very helpful. I'm trying not to pack 4 pairs of shoes. One for hiking and town, one for water, one for boat. If I wear water shoes for wet landings in Galapagoes, do I need to bring in day pack a sturdy pair of shoes to hike on lava rock ? Or did sandals work for both ? Thanks
Magda Roth Nov 18, 2015 at 07:36 PM

Tim, hi. I have problems with my shoes, so ended up having two water shoes and two tennis shoes. Did not find necessary to have shoes for the boa; I was barefoot. Make sure that your shoes are comfortable. I had some blisters from my Teva water shoes and was very happy that I had a second choice in a Keen one (they were better for me). My husband used Keen water shoes, and was happy with them. If you are in a big rain in Peru, will you be able to use your shoes next day? As for landings shoes and sturdier ones on the lava, yes sometimes we used both. Have a back pack to carry the extra pair.
John Hultin Nov 19, 2015 at 11:15 AM

You could get by with 2 pair - sturdy tennis/walking shoes, and sturdy sandals like Tevas or Keens. Like all footwear, you should break them in before traveling. If you don't like going barefoot on the boat, then some dime-store flip-flops would be handy. You can get by with tennis shoes in all but the fanciest restaurants and clubs (you're a tourist, after all). The guides will tell you if it's a wet or dry landing on the islands so you can choose your footwear for each excursion accordingly.

Magda Roth Nov 18, 2015 at 12:57 PM

Just came back from the tour, and enjoyed it totally. As a suggestion: separate cloths for Peru in closed plastic bags, so they do not get damp in Galapagos. The weather in Peru during the day is not cold, so make sure you have the "onion" dress code for the part of the trip. Very likely the rainy season will start in Peru, and is NOT practical to climb Machu-Picchu with umbrellas (use panchos), but they come in handy in the cities. There is plenty of bottled water from the guides. Don't forget the trekking poles, I used them, my husband did not. Went back to Machu Picchu the second day, hoping to see the sun rise, it was foggy and later rainy, but it was an incredible wonderful, different experience from the first day when it was sunny.

Michael Kahn Nov 17, 2015 at 04:03 PM

Jim, I arrive the afternoon of 12/16. I think I'll try and orient myself an head over to the tourist office. On the morning of 12/17, I thought I'd do this walking tour.


Tim Burke Nov 17, 2015 at 02:04 PM

My wife and I will be on the Yolita II for Dec18 trip. Anyone else. We'll arrive in Quito Dec 16 . Any recommendations ? How is water handled. Do you use only bottled water in cities, on boat ? Anyone have digestive upsets from salads, fruits, water ?
Magdalena Vazquez Nov 17, 2015 at 02:37 PM

Only use bottled water but no worries because your tour guides will constantly have a supply on hand. On the boat you can refill from their bottled water dispenser. A water bottle carrier you would be a very handy item for all of the walking excursions.
John Hultin Nov 18, 2015 at 10:34 AM

Magdalena is correct. Food and water will be safe anywhere you eat with the tour. Elsewhere, on your own, you may want to be a bit more choosy with your salads, and stick to bottled water.
Steven Gallon Nov 18, 2015 at 04:05 PM

Tim, I highly recommend the free walking tour of Quito. I couldn't tell from the link you provided if this is the same tour we took, but ours was a most worthwhile introduction to many aspects of Quito and Ecuador in general. We had a personable, enthusiastic, knowledgable guide (who sweetly reminded us that the tour guides appreciate tips!). I echo what Magdalena and John have said re food and water. My husband and I liked and had no problems from the food or beverages on the Yolita II. Wish we could beam ourselves back there to join you! If Stalin or Naldo (Nardo?) are crewing, please share our warm greetings with them (Steve and Linda Gallon from Oregon, last week of April 2015).

Jan Bandrofchak Nov 03, 2015 at 05:16 PM

We did this trip two years ago in September. Since we've never been on a cruise, I don't have any point of comparison. That said, we LOVED IT. Take medication if you're prone to seasickness. Crew was great, guide was very knowledgeable and the shore excursions were amazing.
Carol Diamond Nov 03, 2015 at 07:05 PM

Yes, I will get some meds from my doctor! Thanks for the encouragement. I haven't been on a cruise either!

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
16 nights of accommodations
42 meals: 16 breakfasts, 15 lunches, 11 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
24 Field trips
5 Flights during the program


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