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

Program Number: 18484RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/16/2013 - 9/1/2013; 8/14/2014 - 8/30/2014; 10/8/2014 - 10/24/2014; 10/9/2014 - 10/25/2014; 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.
Edgar Vargas (Galapagos)

Edgar Vargas was born and raised in Ecuador's famous Galápagos Islands. He attended college in Guayaquil, on the mainland, with additional studies at the University of Colorado. Prior to becoming a naturalist in the Galápagos in 1990, Edgar taught environmental education for the Charles Darwin Research Station as well as biology and chemistry classes at a local high school. In the mid 1990's, Edgar became the head of tourism for the Galápagos National Park. Being a PADI diver, he is just as comfortable exploring the underwater world as he is living on land.
 
Gustavo Leon

As a musician and a native of Cusco, Gustavo Leon found himself deeply drawn to the rich musical traditions of the Andean highlands. This special affinity led him to devote his life to the research and preservation of Peru's folkloric Andean music. His extensive research has focused on the origins of Andean music, its different forms, regional influences, and instruments. Gustavo is a talented musician and an expert on native Andean woodwind, percussion, and string instruments including the siku, domingacha, and charango. His interactive educational style will get your toes tapping as he introduces, through musical performances, the various song styles and instruments of the Andes.
 
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 2 nights
   M/Y Letty
  Galápagos Islands, Ecuador 7 nights
   Hotel Oro Verde
  Guayaquil, Ecuador 1 night
   Posada del Inca - Yucay
  Yucay, Peru 2 nights
   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.

 M/Y Letty
Type: Other
  Description: The M/Y Letty is a first-class yacht capable of accomodating no more than 20 guests. The vessel was built in 1991 and is refurbished annually; it features three decks of spacious staterooms with polished teak interiors. All decks are connected via staircases.
  Ship Information: Type: Superior first class motor yacht Capacity: 20 exclusive guests in ten double cabins Crew: 11 including your Captain and two naturalist guides Cruising Speed: 8 knots L.O.A.: 83 feet / 25 meters BEAM: 24 feet / 7 ½ meters DRAFT: 6 feet / 1.8 meters GROSS TONS: 240 Engines: (2) 402 HP Caterpillar, 8-cylinder turbo diesel Generators: (1) Perkins 90 KW and (1) John Deere 65KW Water Capacity: 5,000 gallons / 18,921 liters Watermaker Production: 1,200 gallons per day/ 4536 liters per day Fuel Capacity: 5,400 gallons / 20,435 liters Navigational Equipment: 24 mile Furuno radar, Furuno GPS, Electronic compass, magnetic compass, barometer Communication: VHF-DSC CH70 and MF/HF with DSC radios Safety Equipment: Viking 25-person inflatable capsule lifeboat (SOLAS certified) 40 life vests Type I approved with whistles and lights, 6 circular buoys with emergency lights, Portable fire extinguishers, CO2 fix station, smoke detectors, SART (radar transponder) EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacon)
  Contact info: KM 1.5 Via Samborondón
Edificio Samborondon Business Center, Torre A Piso 3
Quito,   Ecuador
phone: +593-42839390
web: www.ecoventura.com/expeditionyachts.aspx
  Room amenities: The spacious, air conditioned staterooms are outside facing and have windows or portholes. Each cabin has its own bathroom, biodegradable soap/shampoo, hair dryer, closet, drawers, intercom and separate climate controls for individual comfort.
  Facility amenities: •20-guest superior first-class motor yacht •10 fully air-conditioned outside staterooms with private bathrooms •Dining room featuring Ecuadorian and international cuisine •Fully-stocked bar •Conference room for briefings with TV, DVD player and library •Observation areas and open sun deck •Three meals daily, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages •Captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail parties •House wine and local beer served during dinner •Guided excursions with English-speaking naturalist •Low guide to passenger radio (max 10 guests per guide) •Complimentary snorkeling equipment, 3mm custom wet suits and kayaks Purchases on board: Every passenger has an open tab at the bar and boutique, which are paid the last day of the cruise. The yacht accepts cash (US Dollars), Master Card or VISA credit cards. Preference of payment is in that order. Wetsuits: Men: XS, S, M, ML, L, XL, XXL, XXXL, Women (US dress size): 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14,16, Children: 10 (S), 12 (M), 14 (L).
  Smoking allowed: No

 Hotel Oro Verde
Type: Hotel
  Description: Oro Verde Hotel Guayaquil is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World in Ecuador. Strategically located in the downtown commercial and banking heart of the city, only eight minutes from the José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport. Oro Verde offers 230 luxury rooms, three restaurants, bar, delicatessen, room service, a luxurious Club Floor, swimming pool, fitness and business center, casino and shops.
  Contact info: 9 de Octubre Street
Guayaquil,   Ecuador
phone: +59342327999
web: www.oroverdehotels.com/gye
  Room amenities: Equipped with a mini bar, radio, direct dialing telephone, safe for valuables, cable TV, broadband Internet connection, reading light over each bed, a remote control air conditioner, hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: Internet, 24 hour room service, Laundry / dry cleaning, Safety boxes, Three versatile meeting rooms that can accommodate groups of 4 to 20 people.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  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 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.
  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 16)

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 17)
   
 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: Galapagos Islands -
Flight to San Cristobal Island/Board Yacht/Galapaguera.

(Sunday, August 18)
   
 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 Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal Island.

Upon arrival you will be met by your naturalist guide and transferred to the yacht.

Enjoy a welcome orientation, safety drill, and a light lunch.

Field trip to La Galapaguera Station.

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.

Return to the yacht and set sail.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day’s activities.
   
Accommodations: M/Y Letty
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Galapagos Islands -
Genovesa Island (Darwin's Bay & El Barranco).

(Monday, August 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Dry landing on Genovesa Island at Darwin’s Bay.

Genovesa is a great place for a bird watching walk plus optional swimming or snorkeling. The island's volcanic sea cliffs and salt bush offer a prime habitat for the birds of the Galápagos. 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: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Dry landing at El Barranco (a.k.a. Prince Phillip’s Steps) on the southern part of Darwin Bay, Genovesa Island.

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. A trail 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 (a favorite prey for local Short Eared Owls) are found in the open lava fields at the end of the trail.

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: M/Y Letty
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Galapagos Islands -
Santa Cruz Island (Bachas Beach, Caleta Tortuga Negra and Dragon Hill).

(Tuesday, August 20)
   
 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.

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.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Cerro Dragon is 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.

 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation of the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: M/Y Letty
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Galapagos Islands -
Fernandina Island (Punta Espinoza) & Isabela Island (Urbina Bay & Punta Vicente Roca).

(Wednesday, August 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Semi-wet landing at Punta Espinoza, Fernandina Island.

This young island is the third largest in the Galápagos and is also the westernmost; located next to Isabela Island. Fernandina has some of the most dramatic landscapes found in the archipelago. The aa and pahoehoe lava formations create a unique landscape and provide visitors with a great chance to study lava flows and the forces which gave birth to the Galápagos Islands. Although Punta Espinosa is better known for its large colony of marine iguanas, one can also expect to see sea lions, Flightless Cormorants and Galápagos Penguins.

Return to the yacht.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Afternoon field trip to Urbina Bay on Isabela Island.

Urbina Bay is situated approximately two fifths of the way along Isabela’s western coast. The flattened area of the bay exhibits signs of a coral reef on land; proof that the flat land we see today in that area was once uplifted from the sea. Cormorants, pelicans, marine iguanas, and Flightless Cormorants frequent this site in addition to marine turtles and rays which are sometimes seen swimming in the bay.

Swimming and snorkeling opportunities.

Navigate around Punta Vicente Roca to view its tuff walls and wall-sculpted cave. Look for sea turtles that sometimes frequent this site.

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: M/Y Letty
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Galapagos Islands -
Isabela Island (Elizabeth Bay & Tagus Cove).

(Thursday, August 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Small boat excursion to Elizabeth Bay to observe marine life around the rocky islets known as “Las Marielas.”

Elizabeth Bay, located on Isabela's west shore, is an extremely interesting site for observing marine life. It is also one of the best areas to spot and photograph the elusive Galápagos Penguin. A colony of these unique birds inhabits a rocky islet at the entrance to the bay. A small passage lined with mangroves leads into an enclosed cove. The sheltered waters host marine turtles, rays, flightless cormorants, and sea lions. Although the marine life is the star of this visitor's site, don't forget to look up once in a while and scan the skies; Galápagos Hawks are oftentimes seen circling overhead.

Return to the yacht.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Dry landing at Tagus Cove on Isabela Island.

Tagus Cove offers visitors the opportunity to see writings (carved and painted) left behind by pirates and whalers who frequented the area in years gone by. A short trail leads to the base of the Darwin Volcano where different lava formations can be studied. The island is home to Flightless Cormorants, Galápagos Penguins, Mangrove Finches, pelicans, marine iguanas and a variety of other birds.

Opportunity for swimming and snorkeling.

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: M/Y Letty
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Galapagos Islands -
Santiago Island (Puerto Egas) & Rábida Island.

(Friday, August 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Wet landing at Puerto Egas, Santiago Island.

Puerto Egas, located on the western side of the island, has black volcanic formations that provide shelter to a number of interesting creatures. Look for starfish, octopus, and small fish that sometimes get trapped in the tide pools. Observe marine iguanas sunning themselves on the rocks or feasting on exposed green algae while sea birds fly overhead in search of food. Brightly colored Sally Lightfoot crabs live in the rock crevices and tide pools; a sharp contrast to the black lava formations they call home. Galápagos fur seals enjoy the inlets along the western shoreline and have been known to swim with visitors from time to time.

Swimming and snorkeling opportunities.

Return to the yacht.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Wet landing on Rabida Island.

Also known as Jervis, this island has a dark red beach where visitors can view sea lions and nesting pelicans. A salt water lagoon located a small distance from the beach is home to flamingoes and the occasional white-cheeked pintail. Palo santo trees cover the island’s volcanic peak, which can be seen from a short trail (approximately ½ mile).

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: M/Y Letty
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Galapagos Islands -
Santa Cruz Island (Highlands & Charles Darwin Research Station).

(Saturday, August 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Dry landing at Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island. Board a bus to the highlands to view giant tortoises at “Las Primicias” reserve. Before returning to the yacht, make a stop to view some of the largest lava tubes found in the islands.

Santa Cruz is the second largest island, the most populated, and it is the administrative center of the national park. This unique island offers visitors the opportunity to experience, in one place, all of the different life zones present in the Galapagos. A short trip to the highlands provides the chance to spot giant tortoises in the wild as they move languidly through the brush. Moving higher on the island, observe the change in vegetation and temperatures. The mist-covered forests in this part of the island are home to Scalesia forest and various bird species including Short-eared Owls, Galapagos Doves, Vermillion Flycatchers, and many types of finches.

Return to the yacht.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Dry landing at Puerto Ayora for a field trip to the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) and the Centro de Crianza Fausto Llerena.

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. At the CDRS you will be able to observe giant tortoises at all stages of growth, from a few days to close to one hundred years old!

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: M/Y Letty
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Guayaquil -
San Cristobal Island (Interpretation Center)/Flight to Guayaquil/Walk along Malecon.

(Sunday, August 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Dry landing Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal. Field trip to the Interpretation Center.

The Galapagos National Park Visitor Center on San Cristobal Island was inaugurated in 1998. Displays provide interesting details on the history, ecosystems, and flora and fauna of the islands. The center is open all week and contains meeting rooms, a small auditorium and audiovisual equipment.

Return to the yacht and then transfer to the airport to catch a flight back to the mainland.
 Lunch: Light lunch on the flight.
 Afternoon: Arrive in Guayaquil and transfer to the hotel.

Late afternoon excursion to the Malecon (river walk).

A revitalization project in the 1990s reshaped Guayaquil, turning it into a beautiful and vibrant city with many tourist attractions. The two mile river walk along the Guayas River, known as the Malecon, has become a favorite spot for locals and tourists to take a stroll and visit restaurants, art galleries, stores, and museums.

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

Day 11: Sacred Valley -
Flight to Cusco via Lima and Transfer to the Sacred Valley/Introduction to Machu Picchu & Market Day at Pisac.

(Monday, August 26)
   
 Breakfast: Early breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport for morning flight to Lima, Peru to connect with your flight to Cusco.

Arrive to Cusco.

Transfer to hotel in the Sacred Valley with en route market visit 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.

 Lunch: Box lunch en-route.
 Afternoon: Arrive at hotel and check-in.

Lecture: Introduction to Inca Culture.

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

Day 12: Sacred Valley (Yucay) -
Chincheros Town and Ollantaytambo Ruins.

(Tuesday, August 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: 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 a local restaurant.
 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.

 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 28)
   
 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 29)
   
 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.

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 30)
   
 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 31)
   
 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, September 1)
   
 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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