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

Program Number: 18484RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/21/2014 - 4/6/2014; 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: $6,149.00 - 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: Vegetarian; Low Salt; Low Fat; Gluten Free    

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.





Archipell I

The Archipel I has 8 large, beautiful, spacious double cabins at its main deck with a view to the sea, a private bathroom, hot water, closet and safe, a comfortable dining room and two bars (interior and exterior), library, air conditioning, TV, DVD, stereo, mobile, first aid equipment, ice maker, water purifier, spacious sundeck with chairs for sleeping and relaxing.


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 Sheraton Quito
  Quito, Ecuador 3 nights
   Archipell I and II
  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
   Casa Andina Select
  Lima, Peru 1 night
 Hotel Sheraton Quito
Type: Hotel
  Contact info: Avenida Naciones Unidas y Republica de el Salvador
Quito,  000 Ecuador
phone: +59322970002
web: www.starwoodhotels.com/fourpoints
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, coffee/tea maker, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, mini refrigerator, telephone, free newspaper, and cable TV.
  Facility amenities: Fitness and spa facilities, laundry/valet service, gift shop, florist, and meeting rooms.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Archipell I and II
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: First-class motor catamaran able to accommodate up to 16 passengers in 8 spacious double cabins.
  Ship Information: CLASS:First Class TYPE: Motor Catamaran CAPACITY: 16 passengers CREW: 7 plus a naturalist bilingual guide LENGTH: 26.80 meters BEAM: 10.80 meters CRUISING SPEED: 10 knots EQUIPMENT: 2 cummins 240 HP motors, 2 generators aids for 110/220V. NAVIGATION & SAFETY: 24 miles Furuno Radar GPS, Satellite Navigator, Depth finder, HF- VHF, Valise satellite radio, depth sounder, cell phone, smoke and fire detectors, ABC fire control system, zodiacs and life jackets.
  Contact info: N22-1189 de Octubre and Veintimilla
El Trebol Building
Quito,   Ecuador
phone: +593-9-8563802
web: www.islasgalapagos.travel / www.galacruises.com
  Room amenities: Private bathroom, windows, hot water, closet, and safe. Cabins have 110 V outlets that accept US-style plugs.
  Facility amenities: Dining room, bar, library, air conditioning, TV, DVD, stereo, ice maker, water purifier, a spacious sundeck with padded lounge chairs, and four double sea kayaks (complimentary). Meals are served buffet-style and feature a blend of Ecuadorian specialties and European cuisine. Vegetarian options available with prior notice. Snorkeling equipment is supplied free of charge; wetsuits are available for rent. Additional expenses (e.g., alcoholic drinks, wetsuit rental, etc.) must be paid in US dollars, cash ($50 or lower bills, no $100s)—NO CREDIT CARDS are accepted.
  Smoking allowed: No

 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

 Casa Andina Select
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Casa Andina Select hotel is located in Lima's trendy Miraflores neighborhood, within easy access to restaurants and local attractions. The newly constructed hotel has 155 rooms with modern installations and various amenities meant to satisfy the needs of both leisure and business travelers.
  Contact info: Calle Schell 452
Miraflores, Lima,   Peru
phone: +51-1-2139739
web: www.casa-andina.com
  Room amenities: Comfortable rooms with private baths, hair dryer, AC, safety deposit box, minibar, soundproof windows, direct dial phone, and cable TV.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Spa, gym, sun terrace with Jacuzzi, conference rooms, business center, high-speed Wi-Fi Internet access, laundry service, valet service, currency exchange, 24 hr front desk, luggage storage, and souvenir shop.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Subject to availability. Please contact the Program Coordinator, Holbrook Travel, at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com for information on availability and rates.


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 Sheraton 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 Casa Andina Select 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, March 21)

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 Sheraton Quito

Day 2: Quito –
Otavalo Craft Market/Interaction with a Local Family/Cuicocha Lake.

(Saturday, March 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Orientation to the program.

After your program orientation, board the Road Scholar bus and transfer to the highland town of Otavalo for a visit to its historic craft market. The scenic 2-hour drive will take you past small villages and some of Ecuador's most beautiful landscapes.

Otavalo's famous market dates back to pre-Inca times. The whole town comes alive every Saturday-- the main market day- when locals and visitors come to buy or barter animals, fresh produce, basic necessities, and all nature of crafts. Otavaleños are well known for their superior weavings and examples of their craft can be found at this market and throughout stores in the country.
 Lunch: Lunch with a local family, featuring traditional Ecuadorian food.
 Afternoon: Visit a local indigenous community and meet a Quichua family that will share with us some of their native customs and traditions. Learn about age-old weaving techniques, Andean music, and the use of medicinal plants.

Enjoy a visit to Cuicocha Lake before driving back to Quito.

Beautiful Cuicocha Lake, located alongside Volcan Cotacachi, was formed when an eroded volcanic crater filled with water over the course of many years. The surrounding cliffs are rich with plant and animal life and are now part of the Reserva Ecologica Cotacachi-Cayapas.

Transfer to Quito.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Sheraton Quito
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Quito -
Orientation to Colonial Quito/Equator Line/Intinan Museum.

(Sunday, March 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Visit El Panecillo for panoramic views of Quito.

Before the Spanish arrived, the hill known as El Panecillo (small bread roll) was used by the Inca for sun worshiping. In the early 1800s, the Spanish military took advantage of El Panecillo's strategic location and elevation (9,843 ft), and built a fortress to protect and monitor the city. In present times, the hill is the site of a city monument and lookout point where visitors can get 360° views of Quito. On clear days, it is even possible to spot Cotopaxi's snowy peak in the distance.

Enjoy a walking exploration of Quito's colonial center. Visit the Independence Square with an informative explanation of the Presidential and Bishop Palace, as well as the Cathedral. Visit La Compañía church, one of the most beautiful churches in Quito, legendary for its gold covered interior. Visit the historic San Francisco church and convent, raised up above a wide stone paved court originally known as "Tiangues," a place used by the indigenous inhabitants of Quito to trade products.
 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: At the hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Sheraton Quito
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Galápagos Islands -
Flight to San Cristobal/Board Archipell I Catamaran/San Cristobal Island (Galapaguera).

(Monday, March 24)

Note: NOTE: There is a 44 lb weight limit for checked luggage on the flights to the islands. Please pack accordingly.



   
 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.

Dry landing excursion to visit the Galapaguera (Interpretation Center) which is located in the northeast part of San Cristobal Island. This Galapaguera has been built to improve the population of the island tortoises, Geochelone chatamensis, in an environment with conditions similar to their natural state. The goal of the center is to present visitors with environmental conservation topics and features a trail lined with native plants and views of the giant tortoises in their natural habitat.

*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: Archipell I and II
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Galápagos Islands -
Plaza Sur Island & Santa Fe Island.

(Tuesday, March 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Dry landing on Plaza Sur Island.

Walking field trip to explore local flora and fauna. Follow the trail to a cactus forest to get a close look at land iguanas and their habitat before continuing our hike in search of local sea lion colonies. Sea lions usually give birth from August - November and females begin mating within weeks of having their young.

The small island is a great place to view seabirds in flight. A walk along the cliff offers good views of Red-billed Tropicbirds, frigatebirds, pelicans, Swallow-tailed Gulls, and other pelagic species.

Return to the yacht.

 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Wet landing on Santa Fe Island.

The island has one of the best locations for swimming with sea lions and is also a great place to catch a glimpse of white tipped reef sharks and sea turtles.

Field trip to cactus forest to see some of the tallest opuntia cacti in the archipelago, and search for a colony of Santa Fe Iguanas.

Return to the yacht.

 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation of the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: Archipell I and II
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Galápagos Islands -
Floreana Island (Asilo de la Paz and La Loberia).

(Wednesday, March 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Dry landing at Asilo de la Paz. Located just outside of the agricultural zone on Floreana, we will find pirate caves and freshwater springs at the base of the hill. The spring provides water for the entire population of the island. The caves were home to Irishman Patrick Watkins, who lived there in the early 1800’s. In 1929 a German philosopher and dentist Dr. Friedrich Ritter settled there with his female companion Dora Strauch.

A pregnant Margret Wittmer arrived in 1932, with her husband Heinz and her step-son Harry. They built a house and also established an agricultural lifestyle before giving birth to son Rolf, the first person to be born in Galapagos. Floreana is most well-known for being the site of several mysterious disappearances in the 1930s—the one receiving the most attention being that of a supposed Austrian baroness, Eloise Wagner von Bosquet, who arrived shortly after the Wittmers with her three lovers.

Return to the yacht.

 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Dry landing and walking excursion to La Loberia to view Galapagos sea lions and marine iguanas on the beach and swimming in the bay nearby.

Take a short hike along the trail through Galapagos National Park to view Marine Iguanas and sea turtles.

Return to the yacht.

 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: Archipell I and II
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Galápagos Islands -
Santa Cruz (Tortoise Breeding Center/Charles Darwin Research Station)

(Thursday, March 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Arrive to Santa Cruz Island.

This morning, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island to learn about conservation efforts throughout the islands.

The Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) is a biological research station operated by the Charles Darwin Foundation. The objective of the CDRS is to conduct scientific research and environmental education geared to conservation. The station has a large team of scientists, educators, volunteers, research students and support staff from all over the world. At the CDRS, visitors have the opportunity to observe giant tortoises at all stages of development, from a few days old to close to one-hundred years of age.

Return to the yacht.

 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Excursion to the Highlands of Santa Cruz. There you will visit the private farm “Las Primicias”. This reserve offers you one of the best possibilities to see the giant turtles of Santa Cruz Island in their natural habitat.

Return to the yacht.

 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: Archipell I and II
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Galápagos Islands -
Isabela Island (Poza de las Tintoreras & Humadales).

(Friday, March 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Dry landing on Isabela Island for a field trip to Las Tintoreras, located 10 minutes south of Puerto Villamil.

Las Tintoreras is an islet on Isabela known for its rich marine life. Tide pools provide visitors the perfect chance to view tropical fish as they are temporarily trapped within a crevice. The calm and crystal clear waters make it easy to view the marine life below.

Isabela Island, the largest island in the archipelago, is made of a chain of five volcanoes which are periodically active. Volcano Wolf is the highest point on the island and in the archipelago, but Sierra Negra is the largest of the five major volcanoes on Isabela. Sierra Negra is a shield volcano, with a large and shallow caldera and relatively flat slopes. In October of 2005, it erupted after a period of seismic activity and lava from the eruption covered up to 14 square kilometers of the caldera floor. Both old and new lava formations can be spotted in the area including cinder cones, tuff cones, and spatter cones.

Return to the yacht.

 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: On the way back to the yacht, visit the Humedales (the wetlands). Study the flora of this unique ecosystem and look for shorebirds and wading birds. The lagoons attract many migrant birds--making this site one of the best water-bird areas in the islands. Also nearby is the Wall of Tears, a historically important location where prisoners built a wall with lava blocks as punishment.

Return to the yacht.

 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: Archipell I and II
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Galápagos Islands -
Isabela (Elizabeth Bay & Moreno Point)

(Saturday, March 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Dry landing at Moreno Bay for snorkeling, hiking and panga ride.

Moreno Point is located near Elizabeth Bay on the west coast of Isabela Island. The plethora of birds seen during a dinghy ride along the striking rocky shores or a hike along path through lava rock leading to tide pools and mangroves create a birdwatcher’s delight. In the tide pools green sea turtles or white-tip sharks can be spotted. Possible spot flamingoes, gallinules, Pintail ducks, turtles, whitetip reef sharks.

Return to the yacht.

 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Afternoon dry landing to Elizabeth Bay. Navigate around the mangrove forests and rugged coastline to observe marine life and shorebirds.

Elizabeth Bay, located on Isabela's west shore, is an extremely interesting site for observing marine life including occasional whale and dolphin sightings in July. It is also one of the best areas to spot and photograph the elusive Galápagos Penguin (Feb-Jul). 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.

 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: Archipell I and II
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Galápagos Islands -
Isabela (Tagus Cove) & Fernandina (Espinoza Point)

(Sunday, March 30)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Dry landing on Isabela.

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 land and marine iguanas, Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Penguins, Mangrove Finches, pelicans, boobies, and a variety of other birds. In October, visitors have the chance to spot Blue-footed Booby chicks in their fuzzy plumage.

Return to the yacht.

 Lunch: Light onboard.
 Afternoon: Wet landing at Punta Espinoza, Fernandina Island. Good walking shoes are a must for the 1.2 mile walk on sharp volcanic rocks.

Fernandina has some of the most dramatic landscapes found in the archipelago. The AA and Pa-hoe-hoe 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 Galapagos Islands. Although Punta Espinosa is better known for its large colony of marine iguanas, one can also expect to see sea lions, Flightless Cormorants (courting and nesting in July) and Galapagos Penguins.

Return to the yacht.

 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
   
Accommodations: Archipell I and II
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Lima -
Farewell to the Galápagos/Flight to Lima via mainland Ecuador

(Monday, March 31)
   
 Breakfast: Early breakfast onboard the ship.
 Morning: Enjoy a brief morning activity on Santa Cruz before transferring to the airport for a flight to Lima via mainland Ecuador.

Transfer to the airport for your flight to the mainland.
 Lunch: Light snack provided on the flight.
 Afternoon: Arrive to mainland Ecuador, collect your luggage and meet the local Road Scholar representative outside the baggage claim area.

Check-in for evening flight to Lima, Peru.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
 Evening: Arrive to Lima and transfer to the hotel, located next to the airport.
   
Accommodations: Ramada Airport Costa del Sol Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

(Tuesday, April 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport and board flight to Cusco.

Arrive in Cusco and transfer to the Sacred Valley with an 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: 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.

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

(Wednesday, April 2)

Note: There is a weight limit of 11 pounds for luggage on the Peru Rail transfer to Machu Picchu. Plan to pack an overnight bag for one night in the Machu Picchu area. Your bag must weigh no more than 11 pounds and measure no more than 62 inches /157 cm (length height width). Excess luggage can be left with the driver and vehicle, and will be secured until your return to Cuzco.



   
 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.

Train journey from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. The bus drive from Aguas Calientes Town to the Machu Picchu ruins takes about 20 minutes (3.7 miles).
 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, April 3)
   
 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.

En route visit Chincheros town and market.

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.

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, April 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to the Sacsayhuaman Ruins.

Lecture: The Agriculture of the Incas.

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, April 5)
   
 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: Casa Andina Select
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

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

(Sunday, April 6)
   
 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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