Road Scholar : Home
The Best of the Galápagos and Peru: From Enchanted Islands to Machu Picchu

Program Number: 18484RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/9/2013 - 8/25/2013; 10/30/2014 - 11/15/2014; 11/20/2014 - 12/6/2014; 12/4/2014 - 12/20/2014; 12/17/2014 - 1/2/2015; 1/16/2015 - 2/1/2015; 2/6/2015 - 2/22/2015; 2/20/2015 - 3/8/2015; 3/6/2015 - 3/22/2015; 3/20/2015 - 4/5/2015; 4/10/2015 - 4/26/2015; 4/17/2015 - 5/3/2015; 4/24/2015 - 5/10/2015; 5/1/2015 - 5/17/2015; 5/8/2015 - 5/24/2015; 5/22/2015 - 6/7/2015; 6/5/2015 - 6/21/2015; 7/17/2015 - 8/2/2015; 8/14/2015 - 8/30/2015; 9/25/2015 - 10/11/2015; 10/2/2015 - 10/18/2015; 10/16/2015 - 11/1/2015; 10/23/2015 - 11/8/2015; 10/30/2015 - 11/15/2015; 11/6/2015 - 11/22/2015; 11/20/2015 - 12/6/2015; 12/4/2015 - 12/20/2015; 12/11/2015 - 12/27/2015; 12/18/2015 - 1/3/2016;
Duration: 16 nights
Location: Galapagos Islands/Ecuador/Peru
Price starting at: $5,998.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 42; 16 Breakfasts, 15 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt    

Few other places inspire such wonder and awe as the Galápagos Islands and the Incan Lost City of Machu Picchu. Experience both of these destinations, as well as the UNESCO World Heritage site of Quito in an intimate group setting that allows for optimal time to learn from Road Scholar's acclaimed experts.




Activity Particulars

Quito, Ecuador has an elevation between 9,350 ft and 9,500 ft. 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. It also gives participants an extra day to catch-up to the program if there are unexpected travel delays—especially during busy travel seasons and times of year when bad weather is expected.

Wet and dry landings involve transferring in potentially rough waters from the yacht into a zodiac and stepping into either knee-deep water or onto rocky shores. Daily walks on sharp volcanic rocks and loose stones add another level of difficulty. Please view the Galápagos video "Galapagos Fitness Information - What to Expect" in preparation for your program activities: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U93d0TxTOQA&feature=youtu.be



Due to the remote nature of the islands, listening devices are not available for the Galapagos Islands portion of the program.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Quito (Ecuador), 2 nights; aboard vessel, 7 nights; Lima, 1 night; Sacred Valley (Peru), 2 nights; Machu Picchu, 1 night; Cusco, 2 nights; Lima, 1 night.



Days 1-2: Arrival Quito (Ecuador)

Discover the pre-Columbian and colonial heritage of Quito.
Lodging: Comfortable hotel.



Days 3-9: Flight to Galápagos Islands / embark vessel:

Sail from island to island to view the amazing biodiversity and rare species found only in these islands. Look for sea lions and flamingos, observe a colony of the famous land iguanas and learn about the endearing Galápagos Penguin. Observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat and learn about a tortoise breeding project. Don a snorkeling mask to look for sea turtles, rays and a variety of colorful fish below the surface.



Days 10-13: Flight to Lima via Guayaquil / flight to Cusco / coach to Sacred Valley / train and coach to Machu Picchu:

Journey to Peru, where you’ll ride through the Sacred Valley into the clouds of Peru’s Andes Mountains to discover Machu Picchu. With an expert, walk the ruins and discuss the spiritual and mystical significance of the ancient sites.
Lodging: Country lodge in Yucay; comfortable hotel near Machu Picchu.



Days 14-17: Train and coach to Cusco / flight to Lima / departure:

Delve deeper into the story of the Inca Empire as you explore the walled complex of Sacsayhuaman and the Inca capital of Cusco. Lodging: Comfortable hotels.





Yolita II

The Yolita II is a 114-foot, expedition-sized vessel that can accommodate 16 passengers in 10 cabins. Public areas include a dining room, common room, bar and sun deck. Single cabins have one bed, a porthole, and are located on the bottom deck.


Accommodations
Comfortable, centrally located hotels, selected to allow optimal access to surrounding areas. Rooms in Peru may seem smaller than expected. The Yolita II and the Tip Top III can carry up to 16 passengers and the Galaven I can carry up to 20 passengers. Each yacht has air-conditioned cabins with private baths.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Diego Quiroga

Dr. Diego Quiroga received his B.A. from U.C. Berkeley and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign. Dr. Quiroga is an expert in the fields of medical anthropology, human ecology, and marine conservation and fisheries. He teaches at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (U.S.F.Q.) and also serves as the vice president for external and student affairs. Research projects led him to travel to the Galápagos Islands, where he has worked with fishermen and other local professionals to understand how they interact with the environment. While in the Galápagos, he began writing about the history of scientists and other people who have visited the archipelago. As a member of the national swimming team he represented Ecuador in the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.
 
Fredy Vargas Castillo

Fredy Vargas Castillo grew up in the Galapagos and received his college degree from Quito University. He began working with scientists at the Charles Darwin Research Station, and it was during this time that he developed his interest in wildlife. Fredy then decided to take the naturalist course given by the Galapagos National Park in 1984, and has worked as a naturalist ever since. He currently resides in Guayaquil while his children attend college, and plans to return to Galapagos permanently one day.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Quito
  Quito, Ecuador 3 nights
   Galapagos Majestic
  Galápagos Islands, Ecuador 7 nights
   Ramada Airport Costa del Sol Hotel
  Lima, Peru 1 night
   Posada del Inca - Yucay
  Yucay, Peru 1 night
   El Mapi Hotel
  Machu Picchu, Peru 1 night
   Casa Andina Private Collection – Cusco
  Cusco, Peru 2 nights
   Jose Antonio Hotel
  Lima, Peru 1 night
 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, business center, casino, Internet access, fitness center, meeting rooms, ball rooms, and shops.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: 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.

 Galapagos Majestic
Type: Other
  Description: The brand new Majestic Motor Yacht was specifically designed and built to cruise the Galapagos. Majestic offers 9 double cabins and ample social social areas including a superb sundeck with a large Jacuzzi. Our hand-picked guides are highly experienced and trained to make your Galapagos experience a memorable one
  Ship Information: Year of construction 2013 Type - Motor Yacht Length - 117 feet / 36 meters Beam - 23 feet / 7 meters Draft 10 feet / 3 meters Gross Tonnage - 200 Tons Capacity - 16 passengers Main engines - Cummins Motor N14 / 440 HP @ 1800 RPM Max speed - 10 knots Crew - 12 members Safety & Navigation - 1-MC MURDO 406 CAT.1 EPIRB 1-MC MURDO S4 SART 2-ACR 2727 Survival Radio
  Contact info: 265 Foch Street and 6 de Diciembre Av.
3rd Fl. Sonelsa Tower
Quito,   Ecuador
phone: +593(9)-8350-9004
web: http://www.majesticgalapagos.com/index.html
  Room amenities: All cabins with private bathrooms, hot water, air conditioning All twins can be converted into matrimonials Cabins are 183 sq ft (17 sq m) No smoking allowed in cabins, dining and social area but smoking is allowed in certain deck areas.
  Facility amenities: Sundeck: Jacuzzi and social area, bar Main Deck: Dining room, bar, social area, Main Deck: 4 cabins(2 double + 2 twin beds) 183 sq ft (17 sq m) Lower Deck: 4 cabins (Twin beds) 183 sq ft (17 sq m) All cabins with private bathrooms, hot water, air conditioning All twins can be converted into matrimonials
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Ramada Airport Costa del Sol Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Contact info: Av. Elmer Faucett s/n Aeropuerto
Internacional Jorge Chávez
Lima,   Peru
phone: +5117112000
web: www.costadelsolperu.com/lima/esp/index.php
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Posada del Inca - Yucay
Type: Hotel
  Description: Country lodge built on the site of a 350 year old monastery.
  Contact info: Plaza Manco II de Yucay 123
Yucay,  0000 Peru
phone: +518-420-1107
web: www.sonesta.com
  Room amenities: Heating, direct dial telephones, and in-room safe.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, business center, meeting room, gift shop, and luggage storage.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 El Mapi Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: Smart and contemporary are the defining elements of this hotel, amidst the commercial village of Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes). The newly remodeled El MaPi (formerly Machu Picchu Inn) provides a wonderful location from which you can admire and interact with the quaint folksy town and get a different perspective
  Contact info: 109 Pachacutec Ave.
Machu Picchu Pueblo
Aguas Calientes,   Peru
phone: +51.84.211011
web: www.elmapihotel.com/
  Room amenities: •8 Superior Deluxe Rooms (30 sq.m./322 sq.ft.) - twin beds or king bed, sitting area and complimentary mini bar. •40 Superior Rooms (20 sq.m./215 sq.ft) – twin beds or king bed. Each room is equipped with blackout curtains, 100% cotton sheets, down duvets, hypoallergenic pillows, cotton bath robes, natural herbal amenities, 32" flat screen TVs and tight-focus reading lights.
  Facility amenities: Services Included: - Assistance between Machu Picchu train station and the Hotel - Luggage storage - Personalized Wake up calls - 24/7 reception - Nutritious Buffet breakfast - Welcome signature refreshing lemongrass lemonade - House blends Happy Hour Pisco Sours 5-7pm - DirecTv - Complimentary Wi fi - Turndown services between 6pm- 8pm (local seasonal fruit) - Self guided fern walk - Oxygen upon request - Check-in 1:00 p.m. / Check-out 11 a.m. - Express checkout - Hot Water Pool 6AM – 10PM: Open for adults and supervised children under 12 only. - Gift Shop 8AM – 8PM: The shop offers a wide selection of T-shirts, alpaca knits, outdoors gear and basic travel needs. - Computer Room Two desktop computers and printer available, open 24/7 with complimentary internet
  Smoking allowed: No

 Casa Andina Private Collection – Cusco
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Converted from an 18th century colonial house, the hotel is located 3 blocks away from Cusco’s main square.
  Contact info: Plazoleta de Limacpampa Chico 473
Cusco,   Peru
phone: +51-84-232610
web: www.casa-andina.com
  Room amenities: 100 rooms with heat, cable television, safe deposit box, direct-dial telephone, coffee making facility and private bathroom with hairdryer. Oxygen available upon request.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant and bar, Wi-Fi Internet access, PC with internet access, laundry service, room service, medical assistance and currency exchange.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Jose Antonio Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: Located in Miraflores, an exclusive residential and commercial district, just three blocks from the Pacific Ocean, and within walking distance of shopping, commercial and cultural areas. Close to the best restaurants, parks, cinemas and entertainment places like Larcomar. The Jose Antonio Hotel is at only 30 minutes from the international Airport and 20 minutes from downtown.
  Contact info: Colon 325 Miraflores
Lima,  0000 Peru
phone: +(511) 445-5592
web: www.hotelesjoseantonio.com
  Room amenities: Rooms equipped with safe deposit box, cable TV, hair dryer, phone, mini bar, and air conditioning.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, conference room, laundry, pool, gift shop, internet
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Subject to change. Subject to availability and at a supplemental cost.


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrivals at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, Ecuador. Hotel check-in starts at 3 p.m. You will be staying at Hotel Quito that night.
  End of Program:
Departures from the Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Peru. Hotel check-out by 11 a.m. You will be staying at Jose Antonio Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
N/A
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: N/A
To Start of Program
  Location:  Quito
  Transportation to site: Taxi transportation is available from the international airport in Quito to the hotel. If you choose to use a taxi, please select a regulated taxi service. Please ask for help at the airport information desk if you require assistance. The new Mariscal Sucre International Airport is located approximately one hour from downtown Quito.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Lima
  Nearest airport:  Jorge Chaves Lima Callo International Airport
  Transportation from site: Taxi services are available for the transfer from the hotel to the airport. Please ask the hotel's front desk for assistance.
Elevation Note: 11,000 ft Cusco, Peru/at 12,330 ft Chincheros, Peru.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrive to Quito.
(Friday, August 9)

Note: The new Mariscal Sucre International Airport is located approximately one hour from downtown Quito.

Note: To minimize your chances of experiencing altitude sickness, try to get plenty of rest before you travel, stay hydrated, avoid alcohol and fatty foods, eat high carbohydrate foods, and avoid strenuous exercise at high elevations.



   
 Arrive To: Arrive at the 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.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Quito

Day 2: Quito –
City Excursion & Field Trip to the Equator.

(Saturday, August 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Orientation to the program.

Explore Quito; the first world heritage site. Discover its Historical and Cultural legacy. Today explore Quito’s old town narrow streets where you will learn about Quito’s rich history, from pre-Hispanic times, through the Colonial period, to the Republican era.

Visit Casa del Alabado, a private collection museum to learn about the cosmovision of pre-Hispanic cultures who inhabited the Ecuadorian territory from the 4000 BC to AD 1400. Continue to visit the San Francisco church and convent; one of the oldest churches in the city and a trade center during pre-Hispanic times. Continue to the Independence Square where important buildings are located such as the Presidential House, the Bishops Palace, and the Cathedral.
 Lunch: Lunch at 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 Intinan Museum 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: Dinner at hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Quito
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Quito-
Visit a Local Hacienda/Otavalo Market.

(Sunday, August 11)
   
 Breakfast: Depart the hotel early in the morning.

Enjoy a typical Ecuadorian breakfast at Hacienda La Compañia, built a century ago by the ancestors of the family that owns the hacienda.

Hacienda La Compañia boasts an extraordinary rose plantation which you will be invited to visit. Take a moment to explore the show room and admire the incredible variety of roses produced in the area.
 Morning: Field trip to the Otavalo Market with a group leader site lecture.

The Otavalo Market is a famous market dating back to pre-Inca times, where locals and visitors can buy or barter food, animals, basic necessities, and crafts. Otavaleños are well known for their superior business skills. Examples of their craft can be found at this market and throughout stores in the country.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant near the market.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to explore the Otavalo Market and local town.

Return to Quito.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Quito
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Galapagos Islands -
Flight to San Cristobal/Board Yacht/ Cerro Brujo (Wizard Hill).

(Monday, August 12)

Note: There is a 44 lb weight limit for checked luggage on the flights to the Galapagos Islands.



   
 Breakfast: 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.
 Lunch: A light snack is provided on the flight.
 Afternoon: Arrive to San Cristobal Island.

San Cristóbal 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 Galápagos, covering an area of 558 square kilometers. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, located on the southwestern side of San Cristóbal, is the provincial capital and the second largest populated area in the Galápagos. This port town is also home to one of the archipelago’s two airports (the other airport is located on Baltra Island). Upon arrival you will be met by your naturalist guide and transferred to the boat.

Following standard embarkation procedures, enjoy your first exploration activity in the Galapagos with a visit to 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 Cristóbal, with beautiful views of Leon Dormido standing proud in the distance. Take a short walk in search of marine iguanas, colorful Sally Lightfoot crabs and sea lions, or enjoy swimming and snorkeling off the beach.

*Please note: Actual cruise itinerary and islands visited are always subject to change by the Galápagos National Park. Itineraries are not guaranteed.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day’s activities.
   
Accommodations: Galapagos Majestic
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Galapagos Islands -
Santa Fe Island and Santa Cruz (Black Turtle Cove).

(Tuesday, August 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Dry landing at Santa Fe Island.

Santa Fe is located southeast of Santa Cruz and has some of the tallest stands of opuntia cacti in the Galapagos. Some have been reported to grow as high as 33 feet! A trail into the highlands of Santa Fe Island leads visitors to the only place in the archipelago where the elusive Santa Fe land iguana can be found.

Return to the yacht.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Navigate around the craggy shores and mangroves of Black Turtle Cove (Caleta Tortuga Negra) on Santa Cruz Island in search of local wildlife.

Black Turtle Cove is a small inlet located on Santa Cruz’s northern coast. Shallow waters protect myriad life forms including sea turtles, rays, and black-tip and white-tip reef sharks. Also be on the lookout for birds such as pelicans, Yellow Warblers, Lava Herons, and more!

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: Galapagos Majestic
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Galapagos Islands -
Genovesa Island (Darwin's Bay and El Barranco).

(Wednesday, August 14)

Note: 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: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Wet landing at Darwin's Bay, Genovesa Island.

Genovesa is a great place for a bird watching walk (0.9 miles) plus optional swimming or snorkeling. The island's volcanic sea cliffs and salt bush offer a prime habitat for the birds of the Galapagos. In March, male frigatebirds begin showing off their inflated red pouches in preparation for the mating season in April. August is a great time to spot Red-footed Boobies as well as nesting Nazca Boobies (Masked Boobies) and Swallow-tailed Gulls.

Darwin Bay is the caldera of an extinct volcano which has been partially eroded and offers superb swimming and snorkeling. Sea lions have a busy season from August to November when females can be seen birthing and caring for their pups. Since females go into oestrus only a few weeks after giving birth, mating rituals begin to take place while the young are still being nursed.

Return to the yacht.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Challenging dry landing at El Barranco, Genovesa Island. This is another site where sturdy footwear with good rubber soles are a necesity!

El Barranco, also known as 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 (mating season begins in June), are found in the open lava fields at the end of the trail. While navigating around the cliffs, look for fur seals lounging on jutting rocks and seabirds nesting in the craggy shores.

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: Galapagos Majestic
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Galapagos Islands -
Santa Cruz Island (Bachas Beach and Dragon Hill).

(Thursday, August 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Wet landing at Bachas Beach.

Apart from being an important nesting site for sea 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.

Swimming and snorkeling opportunities.

Return to the yacht.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Wet or dry landing at Sullivan Bay.

Visit to Sullivan Bay to observe fascinating geological features. The landing can be performed either on the rocky shore (dry landing) or the white sand beach (wet landing). The area is covered by Pahoehoe lava flows (solidified lava in corrugated or accordion form). It was very active in the last 25 years of the nineteenth century, making this flow geologically very young. The magma formed is flat, but the movement of underground lava, the rapid cooling and other eruptions led to the break in many places.

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation of the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: Galapagos Majestic
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Galapagos Islands -
Floreana (Post Office Bay, Punta Cormorant and Devil's Crown).

(Friday, August 16)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Wet landing on Floreana Island at Punta Cormorant.

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.

A wet landing at Punta Cormorant will take us through a beach of greenish sand where sea lions like to congregate. The beach's unusual color is a result of the olivine crystals present in the sand. From here, a trail leads 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.

Swimming and snorkeling activities at Devil's Crown.

Return to the yacht.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: 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.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: Galapagos Majestic
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Galapagos Islands -
Espanola Island (Suarez Point and Gardner Bay).

(Saturday, August 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 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: Lunch onboard.
 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 and snorkeling activities.

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: Galapagos Majestic
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Galapagos Islands -
San Cristobal (Pitt Point and Kicker Rock).

(Sunday, August 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Wet landing at Punta Pitt. The beach has a unique greenish color because of the olivine crystals in the sand. Noisy sea lions usually congregate along the shores.

Punta Pitt is located at the east end of San Cristóbal Island. This is the only site in the islands where visitors can watch all three species of boobies and two species of frigates nesting in the same area. The abundant supply of food in the area makes it unnecessary for the birds to compete, leading to a peaceful coexistence among the species. Blue-footed Boobies generally nest in the interior areas of the island, while Red-footed boobies nest on bushes, and Masked Boobies (a.k.a. Nazca Boobies) nest along the cliffs.

Return to the yacht.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Navigate around Kicker Rock, also known as Leon Dormido (Sleeping Lion), to spot birds and marine life. The massive guano-splattered rock and its smaller piece jut high above the water, creating a unique natural sculpture that is frequently photographed for local postcards and travel brochures.

A vertical cone formation, which rises almost 500 feet from the ocean, has eroded to give Kicker Rock the shape seen as a shoe or sleeping lion. You can usually see Blue-Footed Boobies, Masked Boobies, and Frigatebirds on its cliffs. Marine life usually found here include sharks, octopus, turtles, and all nature of fish.

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: Galapagos Majestic
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Lima -
San Cristobal Island (Galapaguera)/Fly to Lima, Peru with Layover in Quito.

(Monday, August 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Dry landing on San Cristobal Island for a visit to La Galapaguera.

The Galapaguera station is located near Cerro Colorado, on the southeastern end of San Cristobal Island (approximately 40 minutes from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno by bus). The station was established with the goal of helping to protect the island’s wild tortoise population. The site includes a visitors’ center, a breeding center with pens and a herpetology lab, and interpretive trails showcasing a large variety of native and endemic plants.

Transfer to the local airport to catch a flight to Quito (approximately 2.5 hours) and a connecting flight to Lima, Peru.
 Lunch: Light snack on the flight.
 Afternoon: Arrive in Quito and layover time before catching a two-hour evening flight to Lima, Peru.
 Dinner: Dinner in the airport or at a local restaurant (time dependent).
 Evening: Arrive in Lima and transfer to the hotel.

The hotel is conveniently located adjacent to the international airport, on Avenida Elmer Faucett, and can be easily accessed via a pedestrian crossing.
   
Accommodations: Ramada Airport Costa del Sol Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Sacred Valley (Yucay) -
Fly to Cusco/Transfer to Sacred Valley/Chincheros Town and Ollantaytambo Ruins.

(Tuesday, August 20)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Hotel check-out and transfer to the international airport to catch a morning flight to Cusco.

Arrive in Cusco and board a coach to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Enjoy an en-route excursion to Chincheros town including a visit to a weaving cooperative, where you will meet with locals and learn about traditional weaving styles and techniques.

Weaving is a way of life in Chincheros, as important for preserving ancient traditions as it is for earning a livelihood. Located in the Peruvian Andes on the Inca road between Cusco and Machu Picchu, Chincheros was an early Inca center built by emperor Tupa Inca as his country estate. During Inca reign, textiles were woven and offered to mark special occasions, from peace treaties and sacrifices to marriage ceremonies and puberty rites. In Chincheros, children grow up playing with their mother's spindle and loom. By age six or seven, most children learn to weave by watching their elders. They begin by weaving jakimas, or narrow ribbons, before moving on to more complicated pieces.

Visit to local farms.
Lecture: The Agriculture of the Incas.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the ruins at Ollantaytambo, accompanied by a guide who will highlight the engineering genius of the Inca.

The Ollantaytambo Ruins are not ruins in the traditional sense. Ollantaytambo is a town with original buildings of Inca construction where the Inca retreated to make their last stand in the highlands against the Spanish. Running water still flows through the town in aqueducts and the terraces above the town still are farmed. The pinnacle above the town is a small burial ground.

Transfer to the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
   
Accommodations: Posada del Inca - Yucay
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes) –
Excursion to UNESCO World Heritage Site.

(Wednesday, August 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Board a train to Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu. The train ride follows the Urubamba River and offers spectacular views of the Andes.

Upon arrival, continue with a bus transfer to the Machu Picchu ruins.
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant near the ruins.
 Afternoon: Full afternoon guided field trip in and around Machu Picchu ruins.

This ancient Inca city was rediscovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, a Yale graduate and U.S. senator fascinated with Inca archaeology. Bingham found Machu Picchu, with the help of a local farmer who knew about the ruins, while searching for Vilcabamba and Vitcos. He hypothesized that the site was a "citadel," existing for strategic and defense purposes. He also speculated that the site was a refuge for Cusco's Virgins of the Sun, based upon the finding of skulls there, although not scientifically classified as female. Breakthroughs in archaeology since 1985 have, taken as a whole, supported the emerging view of Machu Picchu as a ceremonial and administrative center for a very populous region. Machu Picchu was built, flourished, and fell into demise within a period of 100 years.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own for a chance to explore local fare.
   
Accommodations: El Mapi Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 14: Cusco -
Orientation to Aguas Calientes/Train and Bus to Cusco.

(Thursday, August 22)

Note: Your program does not include entrance tickets to Machu Picchu on this day. Revisting Machu Picchu this morning is an optional activity and must be arranged at your own expense. Tickets must be purchased in advance since they are not sold on site. Please contact the program coordinator at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you are interested.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Guided excursion around the town of Aguas Calientes. Visit the local market.

Participants who wish to revisit Machu Picchu are welcome to skip the town excursion and spend the morning at the ruins (at own expense--entrance fee is not included and tickets must be purchased in advance).

Note: Machu Picchu park tickets are not sold on site and must be purchased in advance. Please contact the program coordinator at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you are interested in buying Machu Picchu entrance tickets.
 Lunch: Lunch at hotel.
 Afternoon: Transfer to train station.
Board the early afternoon train to Ollantaytambo Station.

Arrive at the Ollantaytambo Station and board a bus for your transfer to Cusco with an en-route stop at Pisac.

Pisac is a small, sleepy town nestled in an Andean valley along the Urubamba River. The traditional produce market is held on Sundays, when people from surrounding communities converge on the tiny central plaza to buy and sell produce and other supplies. During other days of the week, the town hosts a handicrafts market where all nature of locally made crafts can be seen on display.

Arrive in Cusco and check-in at hotel.

Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to enjoy Cusco at your own pace.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own for a chance to explore local fare
   
Accommodations: Casa Andina Private Collection – Cusco
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 15: Cusco -
Sacsayhuaman Ruins & Introduction to Cusco.

(Friday, August 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to the Sacsayhuaman Ruins.

The fortress of Sacsayhuaman forms the head of the Puma design of old Cusco. It is a wonder of technical achievement and a testament to human will. It is a mystery how it was constructed, since the stones are not found in the region, and most of the blocks weigh more than a ton. The largest rock weighs more than 300 tons. Sacsayhuaman is constructed of huge polygonal blocks which interlock with one another. The stones are so precisely placed that a knife blade cannot be inserted between them.

Excursion through the city of Cusco.

The center of Cusco is a history lesson. Modern and colonial buildings are built on top of Inca foundations, and colonial churches dominate the central square.
 Lunch: Lunch at a café in the main plaza where you can enjoy the colonial architecture of the city.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure.

Pre-dinner presentation by local expert on the history of Inca and Andean musical instruments.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own for a chance to explore local fare.
   
Accommodations: Casa Andina Private Collection – Cusco
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 16: Lima -
Orientation to Lima/Presentation on Peruvian Cuisine.

(Saturday, August 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Morning flight from Cusco to Lima.

Arrive in Lima.

Transfer to local restaurant for a presentation on Peruvian cuisine by a local culinary expert.
 Lunch: Farewell lunch at local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Transfer to the hotel and check-in.

Free afternoon to explore Lima on your own.

 Dinner: Dinner on your own for one final chance to explore Lima's culinary delights.
 Evening: Depending on flight schedules, some participants will transfer to the airport this evening for a late night/early morning flight to the U.S.
   
Accommodations: Jose Antonio Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 17: Depart from Lima/Flights to the U.S.
Arrive to the U.S.

(Sunday, August 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel (dependent on flight time).
 Morning: Transfer to the Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima for flight 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.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


South American Birds: A Photographic Aid to Identification


Author: John Stewart Dunning


Description: This comprehensive South American bird guide has over 1400 color photos and more than 2700 species described with habitat and identification information. A very helpful range map is included for each bird.



Lonely Planet Phrasebooks: Latin American Spanish


Author: Roberto Esposto


Description: This portable phrasebook provides a useful mix of everyday phrases, words and expressions used in different Spanish speaking countries in Latin America. Learn the nuances of the Spanish language as it is spoken in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile.



Voyage of the Beagle


Author: Charles Darwin


Description: FAVORITE The wide-eyed tale of a young man on a five-year voyage that changed his life -- and our way of thinking about the world. First published in 1839, this book is still essential reading. Darwin's South American chapters are an excellent introduction to the Galapagos, Beagle Channel, Chile, Tierra del Fuego, the Chilean fjords and the Brazilian coast. With maps and appendices.



Archaeological Map of Machu Picchu


Author: Wright Water Engineers


Description: Ken Wright's full color site plan shows monuments, topography and physical features of the Inca sanctuary in exquisite detail.



Ecuador Map


Author: Berndtson & Berndtson


Description: A detailed laminated map of Ecuador at a scale of 1:1,000,000, with detailed insets of Quito, Guayaquil, Galapagos and the Ecuadorian Amazon on the reverse.



Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Travellers' Wildlife Guides


Author: David Pearson, Les Beletsky


Description: An excellent guide to Ecuador's wildlife, featuring concise descriptions and color illustrations of 500 frequently encountered reptiles and amphibians, birds, mammals and insects. The Galapagos Islands get a separate chapter and section of illustrations.



Ecuador in Focus, A Guide to the People, Politics, and Culture


Author: Wilma Roos, Omer van Renterghem


Description: This slim guide provides a lively overview of Ecuador’s history, cultural heritage and political, environmental and economic challenges.



Galapagos Islands Explorer Map


Author: Ocean Explorer Maps


Description: A detailed map of the Galapagos archipelago for the traveler at a scale of 1:400,000, including illustrated biographies of famous visitors, a brief wildlife guide with color photographs, a map of Darwin's route.



Galapagos Wildlife, A Visitor's Guide


Author: Bradt Travel Guides


Description: FIELD GUIDE: A compact guide to the birds, reptiles, insects, plants and marine life of the archipelago featuring a very good selection of large color photographs. Separate chapters cover visitor sites, history, conservation and habitats. The authors present key information on the flora, fauna and places in Galapagos for the traveler.



Infinite Ecuador


Author: Sebastian Crespo


Description: The Andes, Amazon, Pacific, Galapagos, historic cities, remote villages and farms are all on display in this collection of photographs.



Insight Guide Peru


Author: Insight Guides


Description: Panoramic in scope, this illustrated overview brings Peru to life in hundreds of color photographs and vivid essays by a team of experts writing on history, archaeology and culture.



The Conquest of the Incas


Author: John Hemming


Description: This well-researched book provides a historical account of the 16th century Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire in Peru and neighboring countries. John Hemming is an anthropologist, writer, and explorer with an extensive travel background. He is also a member of the Royal Geographic Society.



The Incas and their Ancestors, The Archaeology of Peru


Author: Michael Moseley


Description: An outstanding illustrated survey of the archaeology of the Inca, Moche and Nasca civilizations. With hundreds of color illustrations and line drawings, it's an in-depth look at the ancient cultures and history of Peru. A great general introduction.



The Incas, People of the Sun


Author: Carmen Bernard, Paul Bahn (translator)


Description: Featuring hundreds of drawings and photographs, a chronology and long excerpts from the journals of early explorers, this is a colorful pocket encyclopedia of Inca history and archaeology.



The Last Days of the Incas


Author: Kim Macquarrie


Description: MacQuarrie tackles the personality, aspirations and greed of Francisco Pizarro in this vivid account of the conquest of a continent.





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