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GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, ECUADOR

Adventures Afloat: The Galapagos: Natural and Cultural History

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Road Scholar
Program #6043RJ
11 Days | 10 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Hyatt from Tucson, AZ Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/16/14 - 02/26/14
This was our first Road Scholar trip, and we thoroughly enjoyed it--seeing all the incredible wildlife and habitat was a true once-in-a-lifetime experience! It is extremely gratifying to know how dedicated Ecuador is to protecting it for the world to see. The boat, the guides, the staff were all great. The only downside was that 7 out of 20 passengers had intestinal problems--likely culprit was a food source. Perhaps the Galaven should reconsider serving salads! Otherwise, meals were very good.

Peggy from Reno, NV Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/16/14 - 02/26/14
The Galapagos trip was amazing! The guides were terrific, the boat and staff wonderful, and the land and snorkeling activities perfect. I also enjoyed the day in Quito before leaving for the Galapagos Islands.

Suzanne from Miami, FL Number of programs attended: 7
Date attended: 02/16/14 - 02/26/14
I enjoyed this trip immensely and would have enjoyed it more if I had not gotten diarrhea towards the end of the trip. Recommend that bring Immodium and not eat the lettuce or any other uncooked vegetable. I believe this is what caused my diarrhea. About 60% of us had this problem. Today my doctor told me it's never a good idea to eat the lettuce when in South America. The guides were wonderful and we had good weather. Recommend renting a wet suit as the water is cold. Bring earplugs, too.

Jill from Plymouth, MN Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 02/09/14 - 02/19/14
Here's a chance to push yourself out of your comfort zone and experience a one of a kind environment which reinforces how we must all care for the world we inhabit. This is not a luxury cruise experience but is an adventurous opportunity to see the beauty of Quito and the Galapagos Islands flora and fabulous, unique fauna. Lots of snorkeling and beach time is included as well as daily hikes with excellent well educated, articulate guides.

Bette from Mesa, AZ Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 02/09/14 - 02/19/14
Five days on the Galapagos Islands is perfect. To protect yourself vs the sun gloves, scarves and a large hat is a must. The guides were great and ever so accommodating for every visitor. This was a great experience. BP

Lorraine from Bayside, CA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 01/19/14 - 01/29/14
A wonderful opportunity to both learn about and experience the amazing abundance of life and beauty of the Galapagos Islands. Excellent guides who are knowledgeable and passionate. Also enjoyed our time in Quito.

Ronald from Bellevue, WA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/19/14 - 01/29/14
An excellent program. Road Scholar delivered what it advertised. Inspiring, well-traveled fellow participants. Wonderful professional guides. A trip of a lifetime. Very few downsides/complaints.

Patricia from Toronto, ON Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 12/15/13 - 12/25/13
If you like swimming, snorkeling, and seeing wildlife in a situation as unspoiled as the Garden of Eden, this is for you. A few of the hikes are physically demanding but there's no pressure to do any more than you feel capable of.

Marilyn from Davis, CA Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 12/15/13 - 12/25/13
We were exceptionally lucky to have such an fantastic group on our tour. The sights and experiences were unbelievable. We loved our guide Enrique!!

Glenn from Colorado Springs, CO Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 11/24/13 - 12/04/13
Expand your world, knowledge and friendships on a Galapagos trip. If you are adventuresome and enjoy exploring new places then this trip should be put on your list. It was active stimulating and fun!

John from Colorado Springs, CO Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 11/24/13 - 12/04/13
If you are looking for an active, informative and fun experience, look no further than the Galapagos program. Guides were fantastic!!!! Program delivered above and beyond my expectations. If you enjoy living on a small ship, ocean waves, unique animal speceis to view and an outstanding group of fellow adventurers, then this trip if for you. Jack Carson, 85 years young

Suzanne from Burlington, WI Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 11/24/13 - 12/04/13
Our trip to Quito and the Galapagos, Ecuador with Roads a scholar was a terrific life adventure. The small group provided many opportunities to bond with other participants as well as experience the culture and appreciate the unique animals and natural environment. Plenty of opportunities to snorkle and observe the areas and animals up close with excellent guides to explain what we were about to see, what we were seeing, and recap what we saw. I highly recommend this program to active adults who want to experience this terrific environment.

Jo Ann from Bothell, WA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/06/13 - 10/16/13
This was our first adventure with Road Scholar and I was impressed with the care and attention to detail that flowed throughout this program. Our Quito guide, Gonzalo was excellent with a great sense humor and extensive knowledge in a wide variety of areas. We thoroughly enjoyed out city tour with him. The Galaven crew and our Galapagos guides were most attentive and the food was great. Billy’s passion and knowledge regarding this world heritage site helped make the trip more rewarding for me. It was also a treat to snorkel so much even if my husband wasn’t able to manage this activity. I felt well taken care of and ready for more. I especially appreciate the way that the Galapagos National Park is working with the delicate balance of conservation along with the need for tourist dollars and the local fishing concerns. Our agenda allowed us to visit 2 destinations a day and we were frequently the only boat and only park visitors at these locations. This offered views and experiences of absolute solitude as you gaze about on these magnificent beaches where endemic animals thrive. The only representation of other visitors prior to us, were footprints left in the sand. I truly enjoyed this aspect of the tour as well as the crystal clean, air, land and water.

Neil from Owings Mills, MD Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/06/13 - 10/16/13
Tour 6043 to the Galapagos was a wonderful experience. Thank you Road Scholar.

Linda from Owings Mills, MD Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/06/13 - 10/16/13
I really enjoyed this well organized trip.

Suzi from St Simons Island, GA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 07/21/13 - 07/31/13
This trip is a once in a lifetime adventure. You will see landscapes and animals you only read about. From beginning to end this trip is 5 star. The guides are professional, friendly and helpful. The staff n the Galaven were great. The Center of the Earth stop in Ecuador is fascinating. Hoping to take many more trips with Road Scholar.

Melissa from Richmond Hill, NY Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 08/11/13 - 08/21/13
The Galapagos trip is outstanding! A really unique place to see. I was very pleased with all aspects - the naturalist guides, the local cuisine, the design of the trip. A fabulous experience!

Frank from Stafford, VA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 07/21/13 - 07/31/13
If you love seeing an ecological wonder, then don't miss this trip. The Galapagos Islands reflect a natural habitat that would be hard, if not impossible, to find elsewhere

Daniel from Rochester, MN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/29/13 - 06/08/13
The Road Scholar program to the Galapagos is wonderful in every way. Cost,food,accomodations,guides you name it they do it right!

Kathleen from Meadville, PA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 05/01/13 - 05/11/13
This was a life long dream that was made into reality.

Eileen from Ithaca, NY Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 02/20/13 - 03/02/13
I have written a book with day by day descriptions of this trip with photos. You can view it at http://www.mixbook.com/photo-books/travel/galapagos-8925988?vk=ymWDidOAWC To view books from my other Road Scholar trips, go to https://sites.google.com/site/eileeninithaca1/

Sandra from Lafayette Hill, PA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/03/13 - 04/13/13
The Galapagos trip on the Tip Top III was terrific (great crew). I really enjoyed the small group/small boat experience. It helped to make the experience personal and highly pleasurable. We were lucky to have a great group of energetic people who were like minded and ready to explore and participate in all of the activities. Our guide, Edgar, told us we were a "hard core" Road Scholar group! The trip confirmed my belief that we as a society must conserve and maintain our natural resources so that beautiful natural sites remain that way! I highly recommend this adventure.

Patrick from Alexandria, VA Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 03/06/13 - 03/16/13
My tenth RS trip and one of the very best. The one day touring Quito and standing on the equator was a great way to start the adventure. The guides, Gonzalo and Solange were well informed and engaging and the crew of the Tip Top III were wonderful. We saw every one of the animals and birds we went there to see and had fabulous snorkeling nearly every day to boot! I recommend that those contemplating a trip to the Galapagos go sooner than later because with a new airport on the islands it loooks like tourism might explode.

Bobbie from Alexandria, VA Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 03/06/13 - 03/16/13
This was my ninth trip with RS(my first outside North America)and it was a dilly! Our guide Gonzalo, our naturalist Solange, and the crew of Tip Top III were personable, knowledgeable, and professional ... simply top-notch, all of them. They shared their pride of place and their stories, which added immeasurably to the experience. It was interesting to learn, for instance, that Solange's family has lived in the Galapagos Islands for more than 100 years! I saw all the wildlife I had hoped to see, including, of course, marine iguanas and land iguanas, but also giant land tortoises IN THE WILD. The variety and number of birds was astounding, and Solange's expertise allowed us to distinguish even among all the various Darwin's finches. The snorkeling was wonderful too; I swam with rays and green sea turtles and penguins and flightless cormorants and many, many, many colorful fish. I explored several options for touring the Galapagos before I chose Road Scholar, and I cannot imagine anything else would have been better!

Roberta from Arlington, VA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/06/13 - 03/16/13
Just returned (Mar 16th) after a wonderful trip. Animal and bird life exceeded expectations. Tip Top III and crew are top notch. Gonzolo was with us for the whole trip, he did a wonderful job and was fun to be with. Solange was our park guide. She takes great pride in her islands. The snorkeling was fantastic. Face to face encounters with sea lions and sea turtles are memorable moments. We even saw the Mola Mola - a brief blur. Weather was good, not too hot or wet. Sea turtles, marine iguana, frigate birds and boobies(blue footed, red footed & Nazca) were breeding which made for some spectacular displays - especially the frigate birds. Interesting visit to the tortoise breeding station.

Barbara from Healdsburg, CA Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 02/06/13 - 02/16/13
Just back from a month of travels...last segment of trip was the Galapagos program and it was the highlight. It was active, interesting, informative and fun -- loved being on Tip Top III with capacity of 16 guests + guides and crew. Our guide, Ruly, was excellent--positive, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and fun. A great experience. Walt and Barbara Gruber, Healdsburg CA

Mary from Tallahassee, FL Number of programs attended: 19
Date attended: 12/12/12 - 12/22/12
Enthusiastic and knowledgeable Galapagos leader and engaging participants made the trip especially memorable. We saw penguins, sea lions, sea turtles, dolphins, many types of birds--and a life-time supply of marine iguanas!

Beth from Cullowhee, NC Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 12/12/12 - 12/22/12
I highly recommend this program, with its helpful and knowledgeable guides, attentive and safety-conscious boat crew, excellent meals, and incredible scenery and wildlife. The other participants were great, too. Be sure to take a good camera, dramamine, and a rain jacket or poncho, just in case.

Cheryl from Minneapolis, MN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 12/12/12 - 12/22/12
Fabulous trip that was seamlessly organized and which attracted interesting, educated and engaging participants.

Dale from El Cerrito, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/14/12 - 11/24/12
I was impressed with how different each stop was from the others; I didn't get a sense we had seen sights at a destination before. The proximity of wildlife was truly remarkable! I'm used to destinations where wildlife is not close—and critters move away ASAP at our arrival. Here, we had to keep from stepping on them!

Jini from Lake Placid, NY Number of programs attended: 32
Date attended: 10/31/12 - 11/10/12
This was a physically demanding program but the guide and boat crew were very good about helping us in and out of the Zodiacs and over lava rocks. Bring an ample supply of medicines (like Immodium and Dramamine) and firsf aid items. We were rarely in a town. Many of or group came down with a flu-like illness.

Robert from Glen Mills, PA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/02/12 - 05/12/12
Early May is an excellent time to take this trip, with great weather and usually warm water. Important!: bring shoes or slippers for wearing just on the boat. Water shoes and shoes worn on the beach and on lava are not permitted to be worn on the boat. We are encouraged to minimize our clothing but laundry is not permitted on the boat, so clothing is worn for several sweaty days. Clothing with insect repellent is very nice to have. Hats with wide brims are highly suggested.

Rose from Springfield, PA Number of programs attended: 6
Date attended: 05/02/12 - 05/12/12
Want to experience a world that you never imagined? Want to swim and/or snorkel with marine life large and small? Join the Road Scholar Galapagos Cultural and Natural History Tour and sail on a tour you will never forget!


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"Stopping for a group shot at Bartolome Is." Uploaded By: Holbrook

"Most difficult climb - week 1, Tip Top II" Uploaded By: Alex

"Marine iguanas basked by the thousands at Fernandina" Uploaded By: Dale

"A giant tortoise lumbered behind us; we meandered for our lives!" Uploaded By: Dale

"Two birds fight on Prince Phillip's Steps" Uploaded By: Dale

"Old Soul" Uploaded By: Ruth

"Galapagos Penquin" Uploaded By: Ruth

"Cormorants Drying Tiny Wings" Uploaded By: Ruth

"Marine Iguanas" Uploaded By: Ruth

"Orlando" Uploaded By: Ruth

"Frigate Bird - Male Warming Up" Uploaded By: Ruth

"Oyster Catchers w/ Egg(s)" Uploaded By: Ruth

"Flightless Cormorant" Uploaded By: Ruth

"Blue Footed Boobies" Uploaded By: Ruth

"Galapagos Green Turtle" Uploaded By: Ruth

"Western Pacific Sea Tortoise" Uploaded By: Ruth

"Old Quito+" Uploaded By: Ruth

"Lunch In Quito" Uploaded By: Ruth

"Indigenous" Uploaded By: Ruth

"Lunch In Quito" Uploaded By: Ruth

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"large land tortoises" Uploaded By: Ruth

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"Marine Iguana" Uploaded By: Ruth

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"Introduced Species -- Young Adult 2" Uploaded By: Ruth

"Introduced Species -- Young Adult" Uploaded By: Ruth

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"Prince Phillp's Steps by Carol McCormack" Uploaded By: Carol Attended: 02/24/10 - 03/06/10

"Galapagos Dove by Carol McCormack " Uploaded By: Carol Attended: 02/24/10 - 03/06/10

"Blue-Footed Boobies by Carol McCormack" Uploaded By: Carol Attended: 02/24/10 - 03/06/10

"John and Baby Sea Lions by Carol McCormack " Uploaded By: Carol Attended: 02/24/10 - 03/06/10

"Sally Lightfoot Crab by Carol McCormack " Uploaded By: Carol Attended: 02/24/10 - 03/06/10

"Galapagos Land Iguana by Carol McCormack" Uploaded By: Carol Attended: 02/24/10 - 03/06/10

"Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron by Carol McCormack" Uploaded By: Carol Attended: 02/24/10 - 03/06/10

"Streets of old Quito" Uploaded By: Frank

"Colonial Quito" Uploaded By: Frank

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"Land iguana, Galápagos Islands" Uploaded By: Frank

"Red-footed Boobie, Galápagos Islands" Uploaded By: Frank

"Chinese Hat, Galápagos Islands" Uploaded By: Frank

"Wet landing in the Galápagos " Uploaded By: Frank

"Prince Phillip's Steps, Tower Is (a.k.a. Genovesa)" Uploaded By: Frank

"Prince Phillip's Steps, Tower Is (a.k.a. Genovesa)" Uploaded By: Frank

"Galápagos Islands" Uploaded By: Frank

"Charles Darwin Research Station, Sta Cruz Is" Uploaded By: Frank
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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

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4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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