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

Program Number: 18484RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/8/2014 - 10/24/2014; 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: $6,499.00 - 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.





Tip Top III

The Tip Top III is specially designed and built to accommodate 16 guests in comfortable cabins. With 100 feet of length, 22 feet of beam and a 5 feet Draft, the Tip Top III is a very comfortable, well known yacht in the Galapagos Islands. Public areas are linked by stairs including a large sun deck.


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

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

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

Fredy Vargas Castillo grew up in the Galapagos and received his college degree from Quito University. He began working with scientists at the Charles Darwin Research Station, and it was during this time that he developed his interest in wildlife. Fredy then decided to take the naturalist course given by the Galapagos National Park in 1984, and has worked as a naturalist ever since. He currently resides in Guayaquil while his children attend college, and plans to return to Galapagos permanently one day.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Sheraton Quito Hotel
  Quito, Ecuador 2 nights
   Tip Top III
  Galápagos Islands, Ecuador 7 nights
   Antara Hotel
  Lima, Peru 1 night
   Posada del Inca - Yucay
  Yucay, Peru 2 nights
   El Mapi Hotel
  Machu Picchu, Peru 1 night
   Hotel Costa del Sol Picoaga
  Cusco, Peru 2 nights
   Antara Hotel
  Lima, Peru 1 night
 Sheraton Quito Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Sheraton Quito Hotel is strategically located in the city’s financial and commercial zone and also nearby the Colonial Old Town, a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site. Enjoy the on site restaurants featuring fusion foods and live piano music in the lounge. Relax your soul, mind, and body or workout in the Sheraton Fitness Center located on the 11th floor with breathtaking views of the modern Quito.
  Contact info: Avenida Naciones Unidas y Republica de El Salvador
Quito,   Ecuador
phone: +593-22970002
web: www.starwoodhotels.com
  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
  Additional nights prior: 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.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Tip Top III
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: Twin main engines, twin electric generators, twin Radars, Eco-sounders and GPS, Reverse Osmosis Water Maker, coastguard required safety equipment and twelve knot cruising speed.
  Ship Information: The Tip Top III is a First Class Steel-hulled Motor Yacht built in Guayaquil/Ecuador in 2001. Technical Information: *Length: 104 feet *Beam: 22 feet *Draft: 5 feet *Cruising Speed: 11 knots. *Electricity: 110/125 V AC (standard US-style outlets)
  Contact info: 00000000000000
Galapagos Islands,   Ecuador
phone: +00000000000000
web: www.rwittmer.com
  Room amenities: All cabins have private bathrooms, porthole or window, a safety deposit box, and a/c. Biodegradable soap and shampoo/conditioner are provided during the cruise. Smoking is only allowed on the outer decks.
  Facility amenities: The Tip Top III accommodates up to 16 guests in 10 cabins, each with private bathroom. The Upper Deck features four cabins with one double lower berth and one single lower berth. The cabins, bar, dining room and lounge are fully carpeted. A beautiful teak floored sun deck creates a delightful place for resting and relaxing on board. All decks are connected by staircases. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits and buoyancy vests are available for rent, but must be reserved prior to the cruise. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you would like to reserve a wetsuit for your program. Wetsuit prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of your cruise and full payment, in cash, is due upon boarding the vessel. Laundry service is not available on the yacht. In an effort to conserve water, the yacht might ask participants to refrain from hand washing clothing during the cruise. Participants will be able to hang bathing suits and wet clothing to dry on clotheslines on the top deck. Purified drinking water is provided free of charge on the yacht. Participants will be given reusable bottles to refill as needed at the water dispenser in the main lounge.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Antara Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Antara Hotel is a boutique property located in the heart of Lima’s vibrant Miraflores district. The waterfront area is just a 5-minute walk from the hotel.
  Contact info: Alcanfores 450
Miraflores
Lima,  18 Peru
phone: +511-444-4505
web: http://www.antarahotel.com/
  Room amenities: Private bathroom, hair dryer, air conditioning, cable TV, safety deposit box, and Internet access.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, business center, concierge services, spa, laundry service, currency exchange, and Wi-Fi in public areas. Airport shuttle services available for an extra fee.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Subject to availability. Type of room and rates are subject to hotel availability. Participants should contact the program coordinator at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com for assistance in booking extra hotel nights.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

 Posada del Inca - Yucay
Type: Hotel
  Description: New: Former 18th century colonial style monastery surrounded by beautiful gardens.
  Contact info: Plaza Manco II de Yucay 123
Yucay,   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

 Hotel Costa del Sol Picoaga
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Hotel Costa del Sol Picoaga is housed in a 17th century mansion that once belonged to the Marquis de Picoaga. The building exudes colonial charm, with original murals, stone archways, and a large Spanish-style courtyard with a fountain.
  Contact info: Santa Teresa 344
Cusco,   Peru
phone: +51-84-221269
web: http://www.costadelsolperu.com
  Room amenities: Private bathroom, hair dryer, heating, safety deposit box, Wi-Fi, mini bar, cable TV, telephone, and clock radio.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, banquet hall, Wi-Fi, baggage storage, 24-hour room service, laundry service, and shoe-shining.
  Smoking allowed: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
All day arrivals at the international airport in Quito, Ecuador. Hotel check-in starts at 3 p.m. You will be staying at Sheraton Quito Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Departures from the Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima, Peru. Hotel check-out by 11 a.m. You will be staying at Antara Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
N/A
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: N/A
To Start of Program
  Location:  Quito
  Transportation to site: Taxi transportation is available at the international airport in Quito. Participants who wish to hire a taxi can do so at the Airport Taxi Services booth located after clearing Customs. Please stop at the booth and tell the representative that you need a taxi to take you to your hotel (give the hotel name) in Quito. The representative will give you a ticket that notes your destination and fare. From there, you will exit the airport and look for a taxi service representative, wearing an official airport badge, who will direct you to the next available taxi. The driver will assist you with your luggage, collect your ticket, and take you to your hotel. The taxis are not metered; the fare is a set rate, calculated based on your final destination. Payment to the driver must be made in US dollars, cash, and tipping is optional. 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: Cusco, Peru at 11,000 ft/Chincheros, Peru at 12,330 ft

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: Arrivals in Quito, Ecuador.
(Wednesday, October 8)

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

Day 2: Quito -
City Excursion and Field Trip to the Equator.

(Thursday, October 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Orientation to the program.

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

Day 3: Galápagos Islands -
Flight to Galápagos. Baltra (Charles Darwin Research Station).

(Friday, October 10)

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: 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.
 Lunch: Light snack on the flight.
 Afternoon: Arrive to Baltra Island.

Baltra Island hosts one of the two available airports in the Galapagos Islands. The other airport is located on San Cristobal Island. Transfer to pier to board yacht. Welcome orientation and light snack.

Field trip to Charles Darwin Research Station.

Santa Cruz is the most important island in the Galapagos in many respects. It is the second largest island, the most populated, and it is the administrative center of the islands. The National Park Service is based here, but perhaps most important is the Charles Darwin Research Station, the headquarters of all research and conservation efforts on the islands. Giant tortoises can be spotted in the highlands of Santa Cruz in greater numbers from August to May. Nesting tends to take place from June to August and by December the giant tortoise eggs begin hatching (through April). Several species of Darwin's finches make this island home as well. In addition, a dramatic change in vegetation zones can be seen as one travels higher on the island.

Enjoy a leisurely walk through Puerto Ayora before returning to the yacht.
 Dinner: Welcome cocktail with the yacht's crew, followed by dinner.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day’s activities.
   
Accommodations: Tip Top III
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Galápagos Islands -
Santa Fe Island & South Plaza Island.

(Saturday, October 11)
   
 Breakfast: On board the yacht.
 Morning: 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.

Optional swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking.

Retun to the yacht.
 Lunch: On board the yacht.
 Afternoon: Dry landing on Plaza Sur Island (South Plaza 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.
Before dinner enjoy a lecture on Galápagos Islands.
 Dinner: On board the yacht.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: Tip Top III
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Galápagos Islands -
Chinese Hat & Ràbida Islands.

(Sunday, October 12)
   
 Breakfast: On board the yacht.
 Morning: Wet landing on Chinese Hat (Sombrero Chino), a small island off the coast of Santiago Island. Spot eagle rays, sea lions and marine iguanas at this excellent snorkeling site. Possibly observe Galapagos Penguins along the rocky shoreline.

Optional swimming, snorkeling, and sea kayaking.

Return to the yacht.
 Lunch: On board the yacht.
 Afternoon: Wet landing on Ràbida where you will see sea lions, pelicans and blue footed boobies. Walk to a small saltwater lagoon to observe pink flamingos wading and feeding.

Optional swimming, snorkeling and sea kayaking.

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: On board the yacht.
 Evening: Orientation of the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: Tip Top III
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Galápagos Islands -
Santa Fe Island (Black Turtle Cove & Dragon Hill).

(Monday, October 13)
   
 Breakfast: On board the yacht.
 Morning: After breakfast, enjoy a field trip to Black Turtle Cove.

Navigate around the craggy shores and mangroves of Black Turtle Cove (Caleta Tortuga Negra) on Santa Cruz Island in search of local wildlife.

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

Returning to the yacht.
 Lunch: On board the yacht.
 Afternoon: Dry landing on Santa Cruz Island and walking exploration of Dragon Hill.

Dragon Hill, Santa Cruz Island is one of the newest visitor sites accessible to tourists in the Galàpagos Islands. One of the lengthier Galàpagos walking trails will lead visitors along a beach and up a trail to the lagoon lookout, where bright flamingos, pintail ducks, and land iguanas can be spotted.

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: On board the yacht.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: Tip Top III
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Galápagos Islands -
Floreana Island (Post Office Bay, Devil's Crown & Punta Cormorant).

(Tuesday, October 14)
   
 Breakfast: On board the yacht.
 Morning: Wet landing at Post Office Bay, Floreana Island and walking field trip.

The infamous Post Office Bay can be found on the northern side of Floreana Island. This is the site where whalers used to "mail" their correspondence. A barrel was used as a mail box and held letters from sailors across the globe. If a passing ship was heading where the mail was addressed, the captain would collect and deliver it. Although the barrel is no longer the original one, the system still works since visitors continue to collect and drop off mail.

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

Before returning to the yacht navigate to La Loberia at Post Office Bay to observe local sea lion rookeries. If we are lucky, we might also spot sea turtles.

Return to the yacht.
 Lunch: On board the yacht.
 Afternoon: Weather permitting, snorkel or swim at Devil's Crown.

Devil's Crown is a shallow sunken crater that makes for one of the best snorkeling sites in the islands. The largely submerged volcano has clear blue waters and a variety of colorful fish. Sea lions are sometimes seen frolicking in the waters and seabirds nest in the crevaces. This site is only suggested for good swimmers as the currents can be very strong.

Wet landing at Punta Cormorant, Floreana.

Walk through the beach of greenish sand where sea lions like to congregate. The beach’s unusual color is a result of the olivine crystals present in the sand. From here, a trail leads us to a lagoon where flamingoes can be found wading with other birds such as oystercatchers, and Black-necked Stilt. A white sandy beach near the lagoon is good for swimming and is sometimes used by turtles as nesting site.

Novice snorkelers can practice their skills on the main beach in the company of playful sea lions.

Take a dinghy ride along the coast to observe Blue-footed Boobies, sea lions, marine iguanas, and Swallow-tailed Gulls.

Return to the yacht.
Before dinner enjoy a lecture on Galápagos Islands.
 Dinner: On board the yacht.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: Tip Top III
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Galápagos Islands -
Española Island (Punta Suarez, Gardner Bay & Osborn Islet).

(Wednesday, October 15)
   
 Breakfast: On board the yacht.
 Morning: Dry landing on Española and morning field trip to Punta Suarez.

Punta Suarez, on the western end of Española Island, is home to the Galápagos Hawk (courtship in August) and is also the best place to see the red form of the marine iguana. In January, marine iguanas adopt bright skin colors to try and attract mates. Also, look for mockingbirds, finches, and boobies. Learn about the lava terrain and cross the inactive lava fields.

Later, visit the famous blowhole, where water shoots 50-70 feet into the air.

Return to the yacht.
 Lunch: On board the yacht.
 Afternoon: Wet landing at Gardner Bay, Española Island.

This afternoon you will enjoy a beach walk, followed by a panga ride around Gardner and Osborn islets.

Española is the southernmost island in the Galápagos. It is best known as the nesting place of the rare Waved Albatross. The majestic birds begin courtship rituals in April, by May they are laying eggs, and in December the young fledge and leave the islands for a few months (return in March). Gardner Bay, on the northeastern tip of the island, has a beautiful white-sand beach where sea lions like to sun themselves. In January, green sea turtles come ashore during night hours to lay their eggs. Hatchlings begin their perilous journey from nest to sea around April and May.

There will be an opportunity for swimming and snorkeling. Try to spot marine species like the king angelfish, creole fish, damsel fish, parrot fish, manta rays, and whitetipped reef sharks.

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: On board the yacht.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: Tip Top III
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Galápagos Islands -
San Cristobal Island (Punta Pitt, Kicker Rock & Cerro Brujo).

(Thursday, October 16)
   
 Breakfast: On board the yacht.
 Morning: Wet landing on Punta Pitt on San Cristobal Island.

Olivine beaches lead to the trail rising to the top of the tuff cone, passing through several natural viewpoints. Composed of volcanic tuff substrate, Punta Pitt has been naturally eroded by the high winds. This is the only spot in the Galápagos where you can possibly see three species of boobies and two species of frigate birds nesting in the same area.

Return to the yacht.
 Lunch: On board the yacht.
 Afternoon: Sail around Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido), a massive tuff rock that juts out abruptly almost 500 ft. straight up from the ocean. Kicker Rock serves as a nesting place for many sea birds.

Optional swimming and snorkeling.

Wet landing on Cerro Brujo to walk on a white sand beach to observe sea lions, brown pelicans, marine iguanas and blue-footed boobies.

Optional swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking.

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: On board the yacht.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
   
Accommodations: Tip Top III
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Guayaquil -
North Seymour Island/Flight to Lima via Guayaquil.

(Friday, October 17)
   
 Breakfast: Early breakfast on board the yacht.
 Morning: Dry landing at North Seymour Island. Walking field trip in search of bird colonies, marine iguanas and sea lions.

North Seymour has a major nesting colony of Blue-footed Boobies and Magnificent Frigate Birds. During April-May the Blue-footed Boobies can be spotted performing their comical mating dance. Blue-footed boobies oftentimes nest (May - November) very near the trails, giving visitors the opportunity to get a closer view during the walks. From August-November sea lions are giving birth and it is possible to view pups of all sizes. Just remember to stay at a safe distance as females tend to be very protective of their young. A walk near known iguana nesting sites offers a good opportunity to view marine iguanas and land iguanas.

Transfer to the airport on Baltra Island to catch a flight to Guayaquil.
 Lunch: Light snack on the flight.
 Afternoon: Arrive in Guayaquil, collect your luggage and meet the local Road Scholar representative outside the baggage claim area.

Flight times permitting, enjoy a short exploration of Guayaquil before checking-in for the flight to Peru.

Check-in for evening flight to Lima, Peru.

 Dinner: At the hotel.
Please note that depending on flight times, group might have an early dinner at Guayaquil. The group leader will advise at the site.
 Evening: Upon arrival in Lima, transfer to the hotel and check-in.
   
Accommodations: Antara Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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

(Saturday, October 18)

Note: There is a weight limit of 23 kg (approximately 50 lb) for checked luggage on the internal flights in Peru.



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

Brief Orientation through Lima.

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

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

(Sunday, October 19)
   
 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 local restaurant.
 Afternoon: 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. The terraces above the town still are farmed. The pinnacle above the town is a small burial ground.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Time at leisure.
   
Accommodations: Posada del Inca - Yucay
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes) –
Exploring a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

(Monday, October 20)

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 stored at the hotel in Cusco.



   
 Breakfast: Early breakfast at the 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.

Board the bus back to Aguas Calientes and transfer to hotel.
 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.

(Tuesday, October 21)

Note: Participants who plan to return to Machu Picchu this morning will need to purchase their entrance tickets in advance. Park tickets are not sold on site. Please contact the program coordinator at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you are interested in buying Machu Picchu entrance tickets.



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

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

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

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

Arrive in Cusco and check-in at hotel.

Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to enjoy Cusco at your own pace.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own for a chance to explore local fare
   
Accommodations: Hotel Costa del Sol Picoaga
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

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

(Wednesday, October 22)
   
 Breakfast: At the 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: Hotel Costa del Sol Picoaga
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 16: Lima -
Presentation on Peruvian Cuisine.

(Thursday, October 23)
   
 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: Antara Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

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

(Friday, October 24)
   
 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


Understanding Galápagos: What You'll See and What It Means


Author: Randy Moore and Sehoya Cotner


Description: A comprehensive, and easy to read, guide on the biology, geology, climate, and history of the Galápagos Islands.



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.



Galapagos, A Natural History Guide


Author: Michael Jackson


Description: This comprehensive overview of the habitats, plants, birds, and animals of the islands, written with the curious visitor in mind, is practically mandatory reading. It's the single best overview of the archipelago. Jackson also includes a useful bibliography, wildlife checklists and a list of plants by vegetation zone. Illustrated with many charts and maps, we refer to the book often.



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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