Road Scholar : Home
Peru to New York: The Inca and Maya, the Panama Canal and More

Program Number: 21221RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/29/2014 - 5/22/2014;
Duration: 23 nights
Location: Peru/Ecuador/Panama/Costa Rica/Guatemala/Honduras/Mexico/United States
Price starting at: $10,599.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 62; 21 Breakfasts, 21 Lunches, 20 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Salt; Low Fat; Gluten Free    

On a grand voyage from Peru to New York, discover the treasures of the Incas and the Mayans, experience life at an Ecuadorian hacienda, sail through the Panama Canal and explore vividly beautiful environments.

Activity Particulars

Walking on uneven and hilly terrain. Stone steps without railings at archaeological sites. In certain ports, guests are brought ashore in tender boats. Participants must be able to get in and out of tenders.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

Lima (Peru), 2 nights; Sacred Valley, 1 night; Machu Picchu, 1 night; Cusco, 2 nights; aboard Marina, 16 nights.

Days 1-2: Flight from the U.S. / arrival Lima (Peru):

A walking excursion in Peru’s capital includes its beautiful cathedral. Visit the Archaeological Museum, housed in an old colonial mansion. Lodging: Stylish five-star hotel.

Days 3-6: Flight to Cusco / coach to Sacred Valley / train and coach to Machu Picchu / train and coach to Cusco:

Fly over the Andes to Cusco, the city once at the heart of the Inca Empire. Learn about life in this rugged country on field trips to an alpaca farm and the historic Pisac Market. Journey to Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas,” to find amazing ruins of temples and homes. Discover the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuamán. Lodging: Hotel with spectacular views in Sacred Valley; comfortable hotel in town closest to Machu Picchu; four-star hotel in Cusco.

Day 7: Flight to Lima / embark Marina:

Before boarding the ship, enjoy a field trip to Lima’s Larco Museum, boasting an exceptional collection of pre-Columbian artifacts.

Day 8: Salaverry:

Journey into the desert to discover the Temples of the Sun and Moon, built of adobe brick by the Moche civilization. Visit the new archaeological museum at the site.

Days 9-10: At Sea / Manta (Ecuador):

Spend the day at an authentic hacienda, where you learn about important Ecuadorian exports like cacao and the “ivory” of the tagua palm. At a local village uncover the secret to making a genuine (misnamed) Panama hat.

Days 11-12: At Sea / Panama Canal Transit:

Continue up the coast then transit the Panama Canal, learning about this incredible feat of engineering as you go.

Day 13: Puerto Limón (Costa Rica):

Learn about the agriculture of lush Costa Rica during a shore excursion to a tropical plant farm.

Days 14-15: At Sea / Santo Tomás (Guatemala):

Journey to the Mayan ruins of Quirigua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Examine magnificent carved stelae and sculpted calendars found at the site.

Day 16: Roatán (Honduras):

Walk the trails of Carambola Botanical Gardens and learn about the fruit trade between this island and America. Discover Roatán’s beautiful reef on a snorkeling excursion.

Day 17: Cozumel (Mexico):

From Cozumel, take a ferry to the mainland to explore Tulum, a lovely Mayan walled city perched atop seaside cliffs.

Days 18-19: At Sea / Miami, Fla.:

Sail through the Straits of Florida then go ashore at Miami to learn about the history of some of South Florida's iconic sites during explorations in the Art Deco District, Little Havana, Coconut Grove, and Coral Gables.

Days 20-21: Port Canaveral, Fla. / Charleston, S.C.:

Relive the golden years of the U.S. space program during a visit to the Kennedy Space Center. Then journey to South Carolina to learn about life in the Antebellum South at lovely Boone Hall Plantation. Explore the well-preserved historic district of Charleston.

Days 22-23: At Sea / New York City, N.Y. / disembark / departure


Comfortably mid-size, Marina blends sophistication with a casually elegant ambiance. Designed for epicureans and travel connoisseurs, this 16-deck ship offers multiple gourmet dining venues as well as expert instruction at The Culinary Center, the only hands-on cooking school at sea. Other amenities include a spa, putting green, paddle tennis court, casino, library and artist loft.

The elegant 1,250-passenger ocean liner Marina debuted in 2011. Its designer touches include a Lalique grand staircase. Passengers can enjoy multiple dining venues, including six open-seating gourmet restaurants, at no extra charge. Cooking classes are offered at the Bon Appétit Culinary Center while artists-in-residence offer instruction in the Artists Loft.
Meals and Lodgings
   Casa Andina Private Collection - Miraflores
  Lima, Peru 2 nights
   Casa Andina Private Collection - Valle Sagrado
  Yucay, Peru 1 night
   Machu Picchu Pueblo
  Machu Picchu, Peru 1 night
   Casa Andina Private Collection – Cusco
  Cusco, Peru 2 nights
   Marina - Oceania Cruises
  Lima, Peru
At Sea, Peru
Manta, Ecuador
At Sea, Peru
Panama Canal, Panama
Limon, Costa Rica
At Sea, Peru
8 nights
   Camino Real Tikal
  Santo Tomas, Guatemala 1 night
   Marina - Oceania Cruises
  Belize City, Belize
Cozumel, Mexico
At Sea, Peru
Key West, USA
At Sea, Peru
Charleston, USA
At Sea, Peru
7 nights
 Casa Andina Private Collection - Miraflores
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: The hotel has is located in heart of Miraflores, one of the upscale districts of the city of Lima. The hotel is within a short distance of shopping areas, gardens, parks and beaches.
  Ship Information: Not applicable.
  Contact info: Av. La Paz 463
Lima,   Peru
phone: +51 12 134 300
  Room amenities: 148 rooms with air-conditioning, Wi-Fi Internet access, hair dryer, cable television, telephone, in-room safety deposit box. Most rooms are non-smoking.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, coffee shop, wireless Internet access, business center, ATM, shop, laundry service, airport transfer service, heated swimming pool, spa, gymnasium and beauty salon.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Subject to availability. Type of accommodations and rates are subject to hotel availability. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or for assistance in booking additional nights.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Casa Andina Private Collection - Valle Sagrado
Type: Hotel
  Description: The hotel provides comfortable lodging in attractive, chalet-style accommodations with panoramic views of the Andes. Visitors will surely enjoy the many amenities available, including a full service Spa and a planetarium. Casa Andina Valle Sagrado's location, between Urubamba and Ollantaytambo, makes it a great starting point for local explorations within the valley.
  Ship Information: Not applicable.
  Contact info: 5to Paradero
Yanahuara,   Peru
phone: +51-84-984765501
  Room amenities: The cozy rooms are decorated with local touches and feature white stone walls and wood-beam ceilings. All rooms have safety deposit boxes, coffee maker with supplies, and private bathrooms with tubs and hairdryers. Rooms have balconies or sitting areas that are perfect for enjoying views of the hotel gardens and the Sacred Valley.
  Facility amenities: Full-service Spa, planetarium and observatory, gourmet restaurant, bar, billiards/game room, TV lounge, meeting facilities and banquet room, free Wi-Fi Internet access, Internet centers, room service, gift shops, crafts exhibition/market featuring local artisans, laundry service, Globalnet ATM machine, taxi service (to Cusco & Valley points of interest), and 24 hr front desk.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Machu Picchu Pueblo
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Machu Picchu Pueblo hotel is tucked away deep in the lush Andean cloud forest near the sacred Machu Picchu ruins. Meandering stone pathways connect the property's attractive whitewashed cottages, creating the appearance of a small village. Flourishing vegetation provides privacy between buildings, inspiring a feeling of solitude and tranquility.
  Ship Information: Not applicable.
  Contact info: Machu Picchu Km. 110 on the railroad line, Aguas Calientes
Aguas Calientes,   Peru
phone: +51-84-211122
  Room amenities: All rooms have terracota tiled floors, heating, telephone, and private bathroom with hot water.
  Facility amenities: Concierge, restaurant, café, bar, chapel, swimming pool (fed by local spring), gift shop, gardens, Spa, and spacious lounge with fireplace, sofas and good selection of books.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Casa Andina Private Collection – Cusco
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Converted from a beautiful 18th century colonial house, with 5 stately courtyards, and featuring their restaurant "Alma" with creative, regional cuisine. 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
  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

 Marina - Oceania Cruises
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: Marina is a mid-size cruise ship capable of accommodating up to 1,258 passengers in 625 comfortable cabins.
  Ship Information: Year Built: 2011 Year Entered Present Fleet: 2011 Country of Registry: Marshall Islands Tonnage (GRT): 66,084 Guests: 1,258 Passenger Decks: 11 Number of Crew: 800 Officers' Nationality: European Cruise/Hotel Staff Nationality: International
  Contact info: 8300 NW 33rd Street, Suite 308
Miami, FL 33122 USA
phone: 800-531-5619
  Room amenities: Cabin sizes and layout vary based on ship category. Room amenities include toiletries, hair dryer, minibar/refrigerator, nightly turndown service, private safe, television, and direct dial phone.
  Facility amenities: Restaurants, café/coffee bar, card room, casino, classes and workshops, show lounge, beauty salon, business services, butler service, concierge desk, culinary arts center, dry cleaning/laundry, duty-free shops, elevators, infirmary/medical center, fitness center, fitness instruction and/or group fitness classes, full service spa, heated pool, jogging track, massage room, outdoor swiming pool(s), shuffleboard, yoga classes, and 24-hour room service. Wireless internet service is available throughout the ship for an additional cost. All suites include a wireless laptop for guests' convenience. Designated smoking areas are available on Deck 9, the forward starboard corner of the Pool Deck, and Deck 10, in the aft, port corner of Horizons. Smoking is expressly forbidden in all staterooms and suites, on verandas, or in any areas of the ship other than officially designated smoking areas.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Camino Real Tikal
Type: Hotel
  Description: Set in the heart of the Peten Jungle close to the island of Flores, this hotel offers a great starting point for exploring Tikal and the surrounding area.
  Ship Information: Not applicable.
  Contact info: Lote 77, Parcelamiento Tayasal, San José
Peten,   Guatemala
phone: +502 2337-4402
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, private bathroom, cable TV, mini bar, safety deposit box, and private balcony with lake views.
  Facility amenities: Pool, billiards, bar, restaurant, beach and table games, Jacuzzi, and souvenir shop.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrivals at the Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima, Peru. Hotel check-in starts at 3 p.m. Participants taking the group flight, should arrive to JFK by 8:00 pm for adequate connection time You will be staying at Casa Andina Private Collection - Miraflores that night.
  End of Program:
Cruise ends with docking at New York City. Departure flights should be later than noon. You will be staying at Marina - Oceania Cruises the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: N/A
To Start of Program
  Location:  Lima
  Nearest airport:  Jorge Chaves Lima Callo International Airport
  Transportation to site: Taxi transportation is available from the international airport in Lima 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:  At Sea
  Transportation from site: Taxi services are available at the New York pier.
Elevation Note: 11,000 ft Cusco, Peru/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: Depart from USA.

Overnight flight to Lima, Peru

(Tuesday, April 29)
 Arrive To: Road Scholar participants must arrive to JFK no later than 8:00 pm to connect with their international flight to Lima, Peru on LAN.

Day 2: Arrive to Lima, Peru -
Immigration & Customs Procedures/Transfer to Hotel/Time at Leisure/Welcome Dinner with Culinary Presentation.

(Wednesday, April 30)
 Arrive To: Arrivals at Lima's Jorge Chávez International Airport.

Proceed through Immigrations, Baggage Claim, and Customs. After exiting the restricted arrivals area, participants should look for the Road Scholar representative who will be holding a Road Scholar sign (only applies to group flights).

Transfer to the hotel and check-in, followed by time at leisure to rest after the overnight flight.
 Lunch: On your own.
 Afternoon: Orientation to the program.

Exploration of Miraflores area, where you will have a chance to get your first glimpse of Pacific Ocean and learn about what local Peruvians like to do for recreation.

Transfer to a local restaurant for dinner and a Presentation on Peruvian cuisine by a local culinary expert.
 Dinner: Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant
Accommodations: Casa Andina Private Collection - Miraflores
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Lima -
Lima City Orientation and Archaeological Museum.

(Thursday, May 1)
 Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Lecture: Overview & Diversity of Peru.

Field trip to the Archaeological Museum.

This is Peru’s oldest and largest state museum. It is housed in an old colonial mansion on Plaza Bolivar, in the Pueblo Libre District of Lima. The museum displays a large collection of ceramics, textiles, sculptures, and ancient Peruvian metals dating back to pre-Hispanic times. Some notable pieces in this collection include the Raimondi Stela and Tello Obelisk. Another portion of the exhibits focuses on the country’s colonial and Republican periods.
 Lunch: At local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Walking orientation through the historic section of Lima, including a visit to the Cathedral.

The most important church in any town in Peru is usually called La Catedral (Cathedral). In the case of Lima, La Catedral is also the most important church in all of Peru. This beautiful colonial building in the Plaza de las Armas presumably houses the remains of Francisco Pizarro—whether the bones are authentic or not is a matter of conjecture.

Return to the hotel.
 Dinner: At the hotel restaurant.
Accommodations: Casa Andina Private Collection - Miraflores
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Yucay (Sacred Valley) -
Korikancha / Awanakancha Alpaca Center/Pisac Market.

(Friday, May 2)
 Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport.
Flight to Cusco.

Arrive in Cusco and enjoy a visit to Koricancha before transferring to Yucay in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Koricancha, also spelled Qorikancha, is an important Inca temple located in downtown Cusco. Built in honor of their sun god, Inti, the site was once an important religious center. Conquistadors reported that the temple originally held a statue of the sun, made of gold weighing approximately two tons and inlayed with gems. The structure was built with enormous boulders and is considered one of the most outstanding examples of this type of Inca construction. Unfortunately, very little remains of this architectural wonder since the Spaniards did their best to destroy it during their conquest of Cusco. The grand, Baroque church known as Santo Domingo was built on Koricancha’s foundations and came to be viewed by the Spanish as a symbol of Christian triumph over heathen religion.

Transfer to Yucay (Sacred Valley). En-route excursion to the Awanakancha Alpaca Center.

The Awankancha Alpaca Center is a living museum where visitors can see llamas, alpacas and vicuna. A demonstration will show how the wool from these South American animals is used to make woven textiles.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch en route.
 Afternoon: Excursion to Pisac Market.

The Pisac Market dates back to the ancient Peruvian days when people in the highlands depended on trade. The traditional produce market is held on Sundays, when natives come to trade vegetables, herbs and potatoes for other goods like matches, oranges and medicines. 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 at your hotel and enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at your leisure to rest and relax.

Lecture – Inca Culture & the Lost City of Machu PIcchu.
 Dinner: At the hotel restaurant.
Accommodations: Casa Andina Private Collection - Valle Sagrado
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes) -
Excursion to UNESCO World Heritage Site.

(Saturday, May 3)

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: Scenic train ride to Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu. The train's path follows the Urubamba River and affords tantalizing glimpses of the snow-capped Andes.

Disembark at the Aguas Calientes train station and continue with a bus transfer to the Machu Picchu Ruins. In order to reach the mountaintop ruins, buses have to negotiate a steep road with a series of switchbacks. The journey takes approximately 20 minutes.
 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.

Transfer by bus back to Aguas Calientes and go to your hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.
Accommodations: Machu Picchu Pueblo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Cusco -
Orientation to Aguas Calientes/Train and Bus to Cusco/Chincheros Town and Weaving Cooperative.

(Sunday, May 4)
 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). Please note that the number of visitors to Machu Picchu is strictly regulated and tickets must be purchased in advance (tickets are no longer sold on site). Please contact the program coordinator for more information.

Transfer to the train station and board a late morning train back to Ollantaytambo Station.

Disembark at Ollantaytambo Station in time for lunch.
 Lunch: At local restaurant in Ollantaytambo town.
 Afternoon: Begin bus transfer to Cusco.

En route to Cusco, enjoy a field trip to the town of Chincheros including a visit to a weaving cooperative, where you will meet with locals and learn about the 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.

Arrive in Cusco and check-in at hotel.
 Dinner: At the hotel restaurant.
Accommodations: Casa Andina Private Collection – Cusco
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Cusco -
Sacsayhuaman Ruins/Colonial Cusco/Andean Music.

(Monday, May 5)
 Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant.
 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: At a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Casa Andina Private Collection – Cusco
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Cusco to Lima & Start Cruise-
Fly Back to Lima/Larco Herrera Museum/Embark Ship.

(Tuesday, May 6)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport for flight to Lima.

Arrive in Lima and transfer to the Larco Herrera Museum.

An 18th century mansion in the Pueblo Libre District of Lima houses one of Peru’s most important museums. The privately funded museum holds one of the world’s largest collections of Peruvian pre-Colombian artifacts, and showcases pieces from lesser known cultures such as the Moche, Chimú, and Nazca, as well as the famous Inca. Its name honors the founder’s father, Don Rafael Larco Herrera, a well-known collector of pre-Columbian artifacts and archeology aficionado. The museum has 6 exhibit halls, 11 storage rooms, a vault for gold and silver exhibits, a terrace with large stone displays, a garden and patio.

Lecture at the museum – Introduction to Northern Civilizations of Peru.
 Lunch: Lunch at the museum.
 Afternoon: Transfer to the port to board the ship and begin your cruise.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
Accommodations: Marina - Oceania Cruises
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9: Salaverry, Peru -
Sun and Moon Temples/Museo Huacas de Moche/Chan Chan Ruins/Hunchaco Village.

(Wednesday, May 7)
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Field trip to view the Temples of the Sun and the Moon, with site lecture and a visit to the Museo Huacas de Moche.

Although the original names of these Moche monuments are not known, they have been called the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. They rise impressively against the backdrop of the imposing Cerro Blanco. The Pyramid of the Sun is the single largest adobe structure in the Americas, although two thirds of it was washed away when treasure hunters diverted the Moche River to aid in plundering the pyramid.

The Museo Huacas de Moche, part of the Temples of the Sun and Moon complex, was inaugurated with much fanfare in 2010. The modern museum has archaeological artifacts and interactive displays that provide visitors with detailed information about the huaca complex and its historical importance. The exhibits also offer interesting insights into the life and religious beliefs of the people who once inhabited the region.

Orientation to the city of Trujilo.

Trujillo is one of Peru's most important cities and is known across the country as a cultural and educational hub. Before its modern incarnation, the site of Trujillo was the center of the Chimu culture, the second largest native empire in the Western Hemisphere.
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Time at leisure to explore the village of Huanchaco.

Huanchaco is a small fishing village near Trujillo. The ancient art of making totora reed kayaks, or caballitos, is still preserved here. Local fishermen still use them daily to fish. It is common to see men out at sea, paddling on their caballitos, while rows of totora boats are propped up to dry along the beach.

Field trip to Chan Chan ruins, with site lecture.

The adobe city of Chan Chan was the capital of the Chimu empire. The ruins represent the largest adobe city in the world. It is estimated that Chan Chan once supported a population of 80,000.

Return to the ship.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
Accommodations: Marina - Oceania Cruises
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Day at Sea -
Cruising the Pacific Ocean/Shipboard Activities.

(Thursday, May 8)
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Take advantage of your time at sea to read about your up and coming ports of call, make use of the ship's amenities, or just lounge on a deck chair and enjoy the invigorating sea air.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to participate in a broad choice of activities, including the ship's special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program once onboard the ship).
 Dinner: On board the ship.
Accommodations: Marina - Oceania Cruises
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Manta, Ecuador - Archaeological Museum/Visit to a Local Hacienda.
(Friday, May 9)
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Disembark at Manta Port.

Visit the archaeological museum and stop at a local hacienda.

While at the hacienda, see and learn about Ecuador's unique tagua nut, known by many as "vegetable ivory." When carved, the tagua nut bears a remarkable resemblance to ivory.

Also, learn about the making of Panama hats (a misnomer since the hats originated in Ecuador). See how the toquilla straw is carefully selected, processed, and then expertly woven to create the iconic hat.

Conclude your visit at the hacienda with a look at the farming of cacao and the production of high quality cocoa.
 Lunch: Enjoy a typical country lunch at the hacienda.
 Afternoon: Transfer back to Manta with a scenic drive by the local shipyard and fish market.

Return to the ship.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
Accommodations: Marina - Oceania Cruises
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Day at Sea -
Cruising the Pacific Ocean/Lecture/Shipboard Activities.

(Saturday, May 10)
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Time at leisure to enjoy shipboard activities.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Lecture: The Concept of a Canal from Dreams to Reality. Opportunity for group discussion after the lecture.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
Accommodations: Marina - Oceania Cruises
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Panama Canal, Panama -
Transiting the Panama Canal.

(Sunday, May 11)
 Arrive To: On board the ship.
 Morning: Enjoy a full day transiting the Panama Canal.

Sail into the Panama Canal through its Pacific entrance, just outside Flamenco Island. A Panama Canal pilot will come onboard to guide the ship through the various locks. During the transit the ship will pass through the Miraflores Locks, Pedro Miguel Locks, Gailard Cut, Gamboa, and Gatun Lake before exiting into the Atlantic.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Full day transit through the Canal.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
Accommodations: Marina - Oceania Cruises
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Puerto Limon, Costa Rica -
A Look at Costa Rican Agriculture/Pineapple Plantation/Heliconia and Tropical Plant Farm.

(Monday, May 12)
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Disembark and enjoy a lecture while transferring from the coast to the rich agricultural farm lands to examine the operations of a typical pineapple plantation.

Travel onward to a local heliconia and tropical plant farm for a site lecture on some of the most beautiful tropical plants of Costa Rica.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Return to the pier and board the ship.

Free time to enjoy ship amenities.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
Accommodations: Marina - Oceania Cruises
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Day at Sea -
Cruising the Caribbean Sea.

(Tuesday, May 13)
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Time at leisure to enjoy shipboard activities.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Lecture: A Political and Economic Overview of Central America. Opportunity for group discussion after the lecture.
 Afternoon: On board the ship.
Accommodations: Marina - Oceania Cruises
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 16: Santo Tomas, Guatemala -
Flight to Flores/Walking Exploration of the Tikal Ruins.

(Wednesday, May 14)

Note: Please pack a small bag for the overnight trip to Tikal. Activities include ascending/descending steep staircases and walking on irregular forest trails. Participants must walk for approximately 20 mins on an unpaved path to get from park entrance to the first ruins. Items to bring: binoculars, camera, hat, insect repellent, sunscreen, rain poncho, good walking shoes, and water bottle. Average daytime temps 88-90F and average humidity 75-82%. More rain from Jun-Nov.

 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Disembark at Santo Tomas and transfer to the airport for flight to Flores.

Upon arrival, transfer to Tikal National Park and visit the museum. The Tikal Museum (Museo Sylvanus G. Morley) is a small museum filled with exquisite ceramics and artifacts excavated from Tikal. One of the more notable pieces include the three long-nosed, pale turquoise rain gods.
 Lunch: Lunch at the archaeological site.
 Afternoon: Field trip to Tikal National Park archaeological site. During this activity, enjoy on-site instruction on the history and architecture of this impressive Maya complex.

Tikal, with its massive temples rising high above the Petén Jungle, is the kind of exotic place one would expect to see in an Indiana Jones movie. Walking within this enormous archaeological complex can be overwhelming if not accompanied by a knowledgeable guide or a good map. During its apogee in the Classic Period, Tikal was the center of a powerful kingdom that dominated the region both economically and politically. The remains of this once vibrant city are still impressive and include more than 4,000 structures and six of the tallest temples of its kind (some are over 200 feet tall!).

Transfer to hotel and check in.

Time at leisure to enjoy the hotel and surrounding area.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.
Accommodations: Camino Real Tikal
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Belize City, Belize -
Transfer from Tikal to Belize City/Yaxha National Park & Ruins/Belize Zoo & Tropical Education Center.

(Thursday, May 15)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Field trip to Yaxha National Park, located approximately 45 miles from Flores, en route to Guatemala-Belize border.

The Yaxha ruins are part of the Maya Biosphere Reserve along with the sites of Nakum and El Naranjo. Findings indicate that the city was occupied throughout the pre-classic and post-classic periods and that it was allied to Tikal. Yaxha has more than 500 buildings, including a twin pyramid complex not seen anywhere else save in Tikal.

Continue with the transfer and border crossing into Belize.
 Lunch: Enjoy some typical Belizean cuisine at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Field trip to the Belize Zoo.

The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center was founded in 1983. The organization was born from an effort to provide a safe haven for a number of wild animals that, ironically, had been used in the making of documentaries about tropical forests. The zoo and its education center encompass 29 acres of tropical savanna and house more than 125 animals native to Belize.

Transfer to Belize City. Board the ship and take advantage of some free time to freshen-up before dinner.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
Accommodations: Marina - Oceania Cruises
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Cozumel, Mexico -
Ferry to Playa del Carmen/Tulum Ruins.

(Friday, May 16)
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Disembark in Cozumel and board a ferry to Playa del Carmen.

From Playa del Carmen, transfer to Tulum. Admire and study the ancient Maya ruins of Tulum during walking explorations of the archaeological site.

Although the ruins at Tulum lack the grandeur of Chichén Itzá and Cobá, its setting is breathtaking. Situated on a cliff, overlooking the azure waters of the Caribbean, the Tulum ruins are a popular destination for travelers to the Yucatán.

Despite having been built sometime during the Early Classic Period (250-600), the walled city of Tulum did not gain true importance until the Late Post Classic Period (1200-1530). When the Spaniards arrived in the early sixteenth century, Tulum still operated as an important trading port. It is believed to be one of the last cities of the Mayan world to be abandoned after Spain's conquest.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant at Playa del Carmen.
 Afternoon: Time at leisure to explore Playa del Carmen.

Take the ferry back to Cozumel and board the ship.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
Accommodations: Marina - Oceania Cruises
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Day at Sea -
Cruising the Straits of Florida.

(Saturday, May 17)
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Lecture: Cultural and Natural Wonders of the Coast and Caribbean. Opportunity for a post-lecture group discussion.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to enjoy ship amenities.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
Accommodations: Marina - Oceania Cruises
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: Key West, U.S. -
Exploring Key West.

(Sunday, May 18)
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Enjoy a lecture about Harry Truman's Little White House with Bob Woltz, our Truman expert on board the ship.

Disembark in Key West and board the City View Trolley for a fun exploration of Key West and its historic sites.

Enjoy an hour long, narrated journey around the 4 miles long and 2 miles wide island. The scenic ride will help to reveal why Key West is such a fascinating place to visit!

At stop #6 we will step off the trolley to visit the Hemingway House. The visit will include a docent-led walk through the home of one of America's most colorful and beloved authors.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, get back on trolley to continue our explorations. Step off the trolley at stop #1. Enjoy docent-led visits to President Truman's Little White House and the Audubon House.

Return to the ship.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
Accommodations: Marina - Oceania Cruises
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21: Day at Sea -
Shipboard Activities.

(Monday, May 19)
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Morning at leisure to participate in a broad choice of activities, including the ship's special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program once onboard the ship).
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Time at leisure to enjoy shipboard activities.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
Accommodations: Marina - Oceania Cruises
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 22: Charleston, U.S. -
Boone Hall Plantation/Historic Charleston.

(Tuesday, May 20)
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Disembark and transfer to historic Boone Hall Plantation. Journey back in time to the Old South as you drive down live oak-lined roads leading to the grand plantation house. Learn about daily life on a southern plantation and discuss the social and economic impact of large plantations in South Carolina.

Delve into the history of Boone Hall Plantation and its evolution through several owners since 1681. View the nine remaining slave cabins and the exhibits inside each. Discover how slaves grew food and used herbal remedies in their everyday lives. Discuss the task vs. gang systems used by overseers of the plantations. Learn the many factors that shaped the economy of the "Old South" and the nation.

Learn about the Gullah-- their origin, culture, and English-based creole during a visit to the Gullah Theatre. Enjoy a live presentation of this unique culture adapted by African slaves.

Enjoy a self-guided garden tour to admire and learn about the various plants, flowers, and trees currently growing in the beautiful gardens on the front lawn. One of the garden's highlights is its collection of antique roses that are over 100 years old!
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant featuring Lowcountry cuisine.
 Afternoon: After lunch embark on a field trip to historic Charleston. Explore the historic district as well as the Battery, Citadel, and Four Corners of Law.

Late in the afternoon, participants will be dropped off in front of the City Market Place for independent explorations.

Return to the ship.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
Accommodations: Marina - Oceania Cruises
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 23: Day at Sea -
Shipboard Activities/Farewell Dinner.

(Wednesday, May 21)
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Morning at leisure to participate in a broad choice of activities, including the ship's special guest speaker series (these are announced in the daily program once onboard the ship).
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Free time to enjoy ship amenities.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner on board the ship.
Accommodations: Marina - Oceania Cruises
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 24: Arrive in New York/Disembark.
(Thursday, May 22)

Note: Departure flights should not be any earlier than noon to provide enough time for disembarkation and transfer to the airport.

 Arrive To: Arrive in New York and dock.

Disembark in New York. If you are taking advantage of Road Scholar air services, a transfer to the airport will be provided.
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
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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