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

Program Number: 18484RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/13/2014 - 4/29/2014; 5/2/2014 - 5/18/2014; 5/23/2014 - 6/8/2014; 7/25/2014 - 8/10/2014; 8/14/2014 - 8/30/2014; 10/8/2014 - 10/24/2014; 10/9/2014 - 10/25/2014; 10/17/2014 - 11/2/2014; 10/30/2014 - 11/15/2014; 11/20/2014 - 12/6/2014; 12/4/2014 - 12/20/2014; 12/17/2014 - 1/2/2015;
Duration: 16 nights
Location: Galapagos Islands/Ecuador/Peru
Price starting at: $6,199.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 43; 16 Breakfasts, 15 Lunches, 12 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 and more in an intimate group setting that allows for optimal time to learn from Road Scholar's acclaimed experts.




Activity Particulars

Wet and dry landings by small Zodiac boat. Island activities require 3-5 hours of physical activity per day. Elevations of 11,000 feet. Ascending and descending many steps at archaeological ruins.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

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



Days 1-2: Arrival Lima (Peru):

An expert-led city excursion includes the magnificent colonial Cathedral of Lima and the Larco Museum, where a world-class collection of pre-Columbian artifacts is houses in an 18th-century mansion. Lodging: Hotel in the fashionable Miraflores neighborhood.



Days 3-7: Flight to Cusco / coach to the Sacred Valley / train to Machu Picchu / train to Cusco:

Delve into the fascinating history of the Inca Empire. Learn about Incan agriculture in the Sacred Valley, explore the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo, journey into the Andes to walk among the ruins of Machu Picchu and experience the Inca capital of Cusco. Lodging: Country lodge in Yucay; comfortable hotel near Machu Picchu; colonial-style hotel in Cusco.



Day 8: Flight to Guayaquil (Ecuador):

Stroll the Malecón, Guayaquil’s lovely boardwalk, and prepare for your journey to the Galápagos. Lodging: Centrally located hotel.



Days 9-15: 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 16-17: Flight to Guayaquil / departure:

Lodging: Centrally located hotel.



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.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Casa Andina Select
  Lima, Peru 1 night
   Casa Andina Private Collection - Valle Sagrado
  Yucay, Peru 2 nights
   El Mapi Hotel
  Machu Picchu, Peru 1 night
   Eco Inn Cusco
  Cusco, Peru 2 nights
   Hilton Colon Quito Hotel
  Quito, Ecuador 2 nights
   M/V Legend
  Galápagos Islands, Ecuador 7 nights
   Hosteria Rincon de Puembo
  Quito, Ecuador 1 night
 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 prior: 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.

 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
web: www.casa-andina.com
  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

 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

 Eco Inn Cusco
Type: Hotel
  Description: Eco Inn Cusco is located on Avenue El Sol, the principle avenue of the city. Just a few blocks from the historic district and main square, it is across from the largest craft market in Cusco. It features 167 rooms on 4 floors within easy walking distance of the sites of Cusco.
  Contact info: Av. El Sol 1010
Cusco,   Peru
phone: +51 084-581270
web: http://www.ecoinnhotels.com
  Room amenities: Rooms have cable TV, blackout curtains, telephone dialing national / international, safe deposit box, Wi-Fi access, hair dryer , 110 and 220 volts.
  Facility amenities: Bilingual Staff, free Wi-Fi access in all facilities, Spa, stores, laundry, safe deposit box, panoramic elevator, smoking area, hair dryers, room service until 11pm.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hilton Colon Quito Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Hilton Colon Quito hotel enjoys spectacular views of the city and surrounding mountains. The historic colonial section of the city (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) can be reached within a 10 minutes' walk. The hotel is well equiped to meet the needs of both the vacation and business traveler, with 15 meeting rooms, an executive lounge, and wireless internet access throughout.
  Contact info: Amazonas N 1914 Y Patria Avenida 1
Quito,   Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2560666
web: www.hilton.com
  Room amenities: Private bathroom, hairdryer, air conditioning, Hilton Serenity Bed, LCD Flat Panel TV, TV-Cable, iron/ironing board, safety deposit box, and coffee maker.
  Facility amenities: Tour desk, automated teller (ATM), baggage storage, barber shop, concierge desk, florist, foreign currency exchange, gift shop, laundry/valet service, lounge, news stand, on-site convenience store, room service, safety deposit box, business center, fitness room, and pool.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 M/V Legend
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The M/V Legend is a 301 ft long expedition ship. It has 58 comfortable cabins and can accommodate up to 100 passengers. As one of the larger vessels operating in the Galápagos Islands, the M/V Legend is able to provide an added level of space, comfort, and amenities not available on expedition yachts.
  Ship Information: Length: 301 ft (92 mts) Wide: 47 ft (15 mts) Decks: 5 Made in: Germany Refurbished: September 2007 Cabins: 58 Passengers: 100 Crew: 60 Guides: 7 multilingual naturalists Speed: 17 knots Cruise speed: 15 knots
  Contact info: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Galápagos Islands,   Ecuador
phone: +59399456205
web: www.kleintours.com
  Room amenities: Staterooms are fully air-conditioned with private baths (with showers), closet space, phones, safety deposit boxes, and TVs. Cabins vary in size and amenities based on category.
  Facility amenities: The ship has a spacious dining room, bar and lounge, sun deck, pool, jacuzzi, jogging track, sauna, massage services, gift shop, infirmary, library, and auditorium.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Hosteria Rincon de Puembo
Type: Hotel
  Description: The hotel is located conveniently near the Quito international airport in the beautiful village of Puembo.
  Contact info: Manuel Burbano N6-66 y Francisco Ruiz
Puembo,  00000 Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2391106
web: http://www.rincondepuembo.com/en/
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, telephone, Wi-Fi, and cable TV.
  Facility amenities: Restaurants, large gardens, heated pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, gym
, business center, Wi-Fi, laundry service, room service, a chapel, and a TV and reading room. The hotel also provides a number of entertainment options such as: billiards, table football, karaoke room, and soccer, basketball, and volleyball courts.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Additional nights after: Subject to availability Additional hotel nights are subject to availability. Please contact the program coordinator, Holbrook Travel, at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com for information on availability and prices.


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrivals at the Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Peru. Hotel check-in starts at 3 p.m. You will be staying at Casa Andina Select that night.
  End of Program:
Departures from the Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, Ecuador. Hotel check-out by 11 a.m. You will be staying at Hosteria Rincon de Puembo 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:  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. The new Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Peru is located approximately 45 minutes from the arrival hotel.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Quito
  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 Lima.
(Sunday, April 13)

Note: The Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Peru is located approximately 45 minutes from the arrival hotel.



   
 Arrive To: Arrivals at Lima's Jorge Chávez International Airport.

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: Casa Andina Select

Day 2: Sacred Valley - Orientation to Lima/Flight to Cusco and Transfer to the Sacred Valley
(Monday, April 14)

Note: 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.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Orientation to the program.

Lecture: An Overview of Peru.

Brief Orientation through Lima with visits to the Cathedral and the Church of Santo Domingo.

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.

Lima's historic Santo Domingo Church and Convent was built by the Dominican Order in 1540, on land donated by Francisco Pizzaro. Colorful tiles, stained glass windows, catacombs, religious relics, and attractive courtyards are just some of the attractions at this site. Santo Domingo is located at the intersection of Conde de Superunda and Camana Streets, just a block away from the Plaza de Armas in central Lima.
 Lunch: Box Lunch en route to the airport.
 Afternoon: Transfer to the airport for flight to Cusco. Upon arrival transfer to hotel in the Sacred Valley and check-in.

Lecture: Introduction to Inca Culture.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
   
Accommodations: Casa Andina Private Collection - Valle Sagrado
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Sacred Valley (Yucay) -
Chincheros Town and Ollantaytambo Ruins.

(Tuesday, April 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the 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: Casa Andina Private Collection - Valle Sagrado
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes) -
Excursion to UNESCO World Heritage Site.

(Wednesday, April 16)

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.
 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 5: Cusco -
Orientation to Aguas Calientes/Train and Bus to Cusco/Explore Market at Pisac

(Thursday, April 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Guided excursion around the town of Aguas Calientes. Visit the local market.

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

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

Arrive at the Ollantaytambo Station and board a bus for your transfer to Cusco with 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.

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: Eco Inn Cusco
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Cusco -
Sacsayhuaman Ruins & Introduction to Cusco.

(Friday, April 18)
   
 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: Eco Inn Cusco
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Quito -

Flight to Quito via Lima

(Saturday, April 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast en route.
 Morning: Transfer to the Cusco airport for flight to Quito via Lima.
 Lunch: Lunch en route.
 Afternoon: Upon arrival in Quito transfer to the hotel and check in.

Free time to rest.

Before dinner, enjoy a lecture on the Past, Present, and Future of Ecuador.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Colon Quito Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Quito -
City Excursion and Field Trip to the Equator.

(Sunday, April 20)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Visit El Panecillo for panoramic views of Quito.

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.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Colon Quito Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Galápagos Islands - Flight to Baltra Island/Board the MV Legend/Santa Cruz (Los Gemelos Craters).
(Monday, April 21)

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



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport for flight to the Galápagos Islands.

Note: Actual cruise itinerary and islands visited are determined by the Galápagos National Park. The park reserves the right to change cruise itineraries without prior notice.

Arrive to Baltra Island.

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

Enjoy an orientation and lunch before taking part in your first activity in the Galapagos Islands.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the boat
 Afternoon: Dry landing on Santa Cruz Island. Board a bus to this island's mist-shrouded highlands to see giant tortoises in the wild. Additionally, visit Los Gemelos ("The Twins") craters and walk through a local Scalesia forest.

The twin craters found at the highest point on Santa Cruz are actually giant sinkholes and do not owe their existence to volcanic activity. They were created by erosion and the collapse of surface material into cracks and underground caves. Scalesia forests surround the sinkhole and are home to unique cloud forest vegetation.

Return to the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: M/V Legend
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Galápagos Islands - Santiago (Puerto Egas) and Bartolome
(Tuesday, April 22)

Note: The 1.2 mile walk to the top of the volcano on Bartolome includes a climb up a long wooden staircase (375 steps) with railings.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Wet landing on a beach of black volcanic sand, visited by Darwin in 1835.

The first section of the trail is comprised of volcanic ash (eroded tuff) and the other half of partially uneven terrain is comprised of volcanic basaltic rock lounging the shoreline.

The unique, truly striking layered terrain of Santiago’s shores is home to a variety of resident and migrant birds, including the bizarre Yellow-crowned Night Heron and astounding array of marine wildlife including lobster, starfish and marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally Light-foot Crabs. Colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water pools formed by volcanic rocks are also a highlight.

Enjoy swimming and snorkeling opportunities before returning to the ship.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Dry or wet landing on Bartolome Island. The 1.2 mile walk to the top of the volcano includes a climb up a long wooden staircase (375 steps) with railings. The views are worth the effort!

Bartolome Island is home to Pinnacle Rock, the "Guardian of the Isles" which rises sharply from the coast. The lunar-like landscape is home to one of the islands' most endearing residents: the Galapagos Penguin. The penguins make their home here, fishing in the waters nearby and going through their courtship rituals in September.

View volcanic formations such as lava bombs, spatter, and cinder cones. Hike to the summit to enjoy a great view of the surrounding islands, including Pinnacle Rock's eroded tuff cone. On the way to the summit, watch for colonies of marine iguanas, lava lizards, tiquilla and various cacti.

Opportunity to snorkel and spot Galapagos Penguins, sea turtles, and white tipped reef sharks (from a safe distance). In September, the penguins can be seen going through their courtship rituals.

Enjoy swimming and snorkeling opportunities before returning to the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: M/V Legend
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Galápagos Islands -
Santa Cruz (Dragon Hill) and North Seymour.

(Wednesday, April 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Dry landing on Santa Cruz. Enjoy a 2-hour walk on local trails to reach Dragon Hill. Look for endemic land iguanas, flamingoes, and Darwin's finches.

Dragon Hill (Cerro Dragon), 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.

Return to the ship.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Dry landing on North Seymour in seach of seabird colonies.

North Seymour is one of the most active seabird breeding colonies in the archipelago. Blue-footed boobies will oftentimes nest very near the trails, giving visitors the opportunity to get a closer view during the walks. Also be on the lookout for Great Frigatebirds, Swallow-tailed Gulls, sea lions, and land iguanas.

Enjoy swimming and snorkeling opportunities before returning to the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: M/V Legend
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Galápagos Islands -
Santa Cruz (Bachas Beach and Black Turtle Cove).

(Thursday, April 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Wet landing at Playa de las Bachas, Santa Cruz for a walking field trip to a local flamingo lagoon.

Apart from being an important nesting site for sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), 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 de las Bachas.

Enjoy swimming and snorkeling opportunities before returning to the ship.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: After lunch, navigate in and around the mangroves of Black Turtle Cove in search of sea turtles, golden rays, white-tipped reef sharks, tropical fish, and sea birds.

Return to the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: M/V Legend
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Galápagos Islands -
Santiago (Sullivan Bay) and Rabida.

(Friday, April 25)

Note: Challenging 1.5-hour walk at Sullivan Bay on sharp lava flows. The terrain at this site is mostly flat, but the volcanic surface is rough and irregular and must be negotiated carefully.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Wet landing at Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island. Although the terrain at this site is mostly flat, walking on the sharp and ropy lava formations can be very challenging.

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

Enjoy swimming and snorkeling opportunities before returning to the ship.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Wet landing on Rabida Island.

Rabida (also known as Jervis) 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 a .5 mile walk).

Navigate along Rabida's cliffs in search of nesting seabirds and snorkel in search of resident marine life before returning to the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: M/V Legend
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Galápagos Islands -
Isabela (Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove).

(Saturday, April 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Wet landing at Urbina Bay on Isabela Island. Search for interesting geological formations and resident wildlife during a walking exploration along local trails.

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.

Enjoy swimming and snorkeling opportunities before returning to the ship.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: Dry landing on Isabela Island.

Some of the most popular sites on Isabela are located on its western coast and take longer to reach (especially on smaller boats), so this island is oftentimes not included on shorter itineraries. 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.

Observe marine life during a dinghy ride while you search for the Galapagos Penguin. The penguins typically frequent the cooler waters around Isabela and Fernandina from February to July.

Return to the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: M/V Legend
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Galápagos -
Fernandina (Punta Espinoza) and Isabela (Punta Vicente Roca).

(Sunday, April 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: Dry landing at Punta Espinoza, Fernandina Island. Good walking shoes are a must for the 2-hour walk on sharp volcanic rocks.

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 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.

Enjoy swimming and snorkeling opportunities before returning to the ship.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard.
 Afternoon: After lunch we will navigate to Punta Vicente Roca and enjoy a dinghy ride in search of marine life and seabirds.

As cold currents flow around the northwestern tip of Isabela, food-rich waters are brought closer to the surface, attracting all sorts of marine life and birds. Punta Vicente Roca's coves, rich marine life, and well protected bay have made this into a prized diving location in the islands. Flightless Cormorants, Masked Boobies and Blue-footed Boobies can be seen along the cliffs and the water's edge.

Enjoy swimming and snorkeling opportunities before returning to the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: M/V Legend
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Quito -
Baltra/Flight to Quito.

(Monday, April 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard.
 Morning: After breakfast disembark and transfer to Baltra Island. A 45-minute bus ride will take us to the Santa Cruz highlands, located to the northwest of Puerto Ayora, where we will find a natural reserve with giant tortoises. These enormous and slow-moving reptiles are responsible for the island’s name and therefore approaching them in their humid and forested abode is always an inspiring adventure. They can weigh between 250 and 300 kg and can live up to 150- 200 years.

Continue with the transfer to the airport on Baltra Island to catch a flight to Quito.
 Lunch: Light snack on the flight.
 Afternoon: Arrive in Quito and transfer to the hotel.

Free afternoon to rest and relax.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner at hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hosteria Rincon de Puembo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

(Tuesday, April 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel (dependent on flight time).
 Morning: Transfer to the International Airport in Quito 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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