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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.
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Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
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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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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!

Carol Diamond Nov 03, 2015 at 12:22 PM

My husband and I are seriously considering the September 2016 trip. Anyone cruise on the Yolita II? How was it? I get seasickness sometimes. Anyone get sick?
John Hultin Nov 03, 2015 at 01:57 PM

We went two years ago. It's nice but not luxurious. Stateroom were a bit run-down. One couple had an issue with mold. However, food was good, and crew was great. I don't recall anyone having an issue with seasickness. We went in Feb. Seasons may make a difference. Keep your expectations in check, and it's a great trip.
John Hultin Nov 03, 2015 at 01:59 PM

Point of clarification - the trip was GREAT! You only need to keep modest expectations in regard to the luxuriousness of the boat.
Magdalena Vazquez Nov 03, 2015 at 05:47 PM

We just completed this trip this past Sept./Oct. Truly one of the best excursions. The Yolita II is a bare bones ship, not very modern or contemporary decor but it was comfortable and the staff are terrific. Almost everyone took seasickness medicine as a preventative measure for the first two or three days. After this you got used to the movement. If you are prone to seasickness you should get a patch and will probably need to keep it "refreshed". Both Galapagos and Peru were amazing places to visit. Very well organized, beautiful hotels, and tour guides and lecturers were proficient and enthusiastic.
Carol Diamond Nov 03, 2015 at 07:07 PM

Great idea, thanks!
Barbara Ardell Nov 08, 2015 at 05:06 PM

Just got back. Agree with all that was said above. You definitely want to bring something if you're prone to sea sickness. My husband used a patch and that worked. Many took Dramamine or similar medication. Food on the ship was very good and plentiful - almost too much with 3 full meals a day. Crew was excellent as was our guide, Elizabeth. Very knowledgeable!. Long days with lots of activities. I could have done with fewer tortoises and iguanas and more beach/snorkel time. The snorkeling was amazing. Not as much coral as the Caribbean, but great fish and sea lions and very clear and calm water. The Machu Picchu part of the trip was also awesome and very well run. Again, excellent guides, hotels, transportation, food, etc. Overall, we were very pleased with everything.

Magda Roth Sep 21, 2015 at 10:05 PM

We are going on the trip on October 30th. At Machu Picchu anybody from previous trips went back next day in the park? Did you go early in the morning to catch the sunrise? how complete (?) is the half day visit?
Alan Weinstein Sep 22, 2015 at 09:54 AM

we went back the only ones. It was wonderful early in the am. Others were disappointed that they did not. You do have to keep in mind that you have only so much time before you have to meet the group in the town square. We had tickets, purchased in advance to climb up to Huana Pichu but it was damp and slippery early in the morning and we were nervous about the timing so we did not do that. Go, u won't be sorry, and you will never be back. The am & pm lights is very different. For the Galpagos, wear teva type shoes/sandals they are very versatile.
Magda Roth Sep 22, 2015 at 04:37 PM

Thank you, great info.

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16 nights of accommodations
42 meals: 16 breakfasts, 15 lunches, 11 dinners
11 Expert-led lectures
26 Field trips
4 Flights during the program


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