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Intergenerational Galapagos: Natural and Cultural History

Program Number: 19308RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/28/2015 - 7/8/2015; 6/24/2016 - 7/4/2016; 7/10/2016 - 7/20/2016; 7/17/2016 - 7/27/2016; 7/22/2016 - 8/1/2016;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: Galapagos, Ecuador
Price starting at: $4,149.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship; Intergenerational
Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 28; 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Salt; Low Fat; Gluten Free    

Program intended for grandchildren from 8 - 11 years of age.

Study unique animal and plant species in one of the world's most extraordinary settings — the Galápagos Islands. Learn about delicate ecosystems, Darwin's observations and the human impact on the Galápagos.

Activity Particulars

The Program is an extremely active program that begins with flying into Quito, a city at 9,600 feet elevation in the Andes Mountains. While exploring the remote Galapagos Islands, daily activities require wet and dry landings, walking on rough volcanic terrain, and optional swimming and snorkeling in strong currents. Please view the Galápagos video "Galapagos Fitness Information - What to Expect" in preparation for your program activities:

June 24 and July 17 are intended for children ages 8-11 at time of travel.
July 10 and July 22 are intended for children ages 12-15 at time of travel.
Because the ship has double-sized cabins, when 2 adults travel with 1 child, they will be accommodated in 2 cabins (child and one adult will share a cabin and the other adult will have a single cabin). Every effort will be made to room them in adjoining cabins, but it cannot be guaranteed. During the land portion of the program, in Quito, all three participants will be accommodated in one room.

Actual cruise itinerary and islands visited are assigned by the Galapágos National Park and can be changed without prior notice. Please refer to the date-specific detailed itinerary on the Road Scholar website to check on the vessel and visitor sites included in your program.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

Quito (Ecuador), 2 nights; aboard vessel, 7 nights; Quito, 1 night.

Days 1-2:
Arrival Quito (Ecuador):

Explore the city of Quito, visit the colonial center of town and pay a visit to the Middle of the World Monument.
Lodgings: Modern hotel.

Days 3-9:
Embark Vessel:

Look for flamingos, frigatebirds, boobies, tropicbirds, Darwin's finches and many other feathered residents during daily island treks. Observe the unique vegetation of the Galápagos such as native palo santo, carpetweed, and lava and opuntia cacti and learn about the constant threat posed by introduced species. Identify splatter bombs, Pahoehoe lava and other unique volcanic formations during hikes. Accompany your expert naturalist on panga rides to secluded inlets, mangroves, and rocky outcroppings in search of fur seals, nesting birds, and marine species. Learn about current research and conservation projects in the Galápagos and enjoy close-up views of the archipelago's infamous giant tortoises.

Days 10-11:
Disembark /Quito / departure:

Experience your last morning on the islands, then disembark and fly to mainland Ecuador.
Lodgings: Comfortable hotel located in a village near the airport.


The Galaven is an 88 ft. expedition yacht equipped to carry up to 20 passengers in 11 air conditioned cabins. She was built in 2000 has spacious outdoor seating areas, dining room, and library with audiovisual equipment for onboard presentations. All cabins are air conditioned and have private bathrooms and ocean views.


In a delicate balance, man, animal, and plant cohabitate Ecuador’s mountains, rainforests, and shores. Among such a range of wildlife and fauna, Charles Darwin was inspired to spark his revolutionary theory of evolution in 1859 in the country’s Galapagos Islands. Coupled with its natural beauty, Ecuador’s animated culture can be seen in its varied dishes and the excitement of soccer fans rooting for El Nacional.

Comfortable and modern hotels.

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 earned a master’s and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Illinois. Dr. Quiroga teaches at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito and is an expert in the fields of medical anthropology, human ecology, and marine conservation and fisheries, and he has worked with Galápagos fishermen to learn how they interact with the environment. Dr. Quiroga represented Ecuador as a swimmer in the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Quito
  Quito, Ecuador 2 nights
  Galapagos Islands, Ecuador 7 nights
   Hotel Rincon de Puembo
  Quito, Ecuador 1 night
 Hotel Quito
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Hotel Quito is housed in an attractive art deco building, located at the top of a hill in a residential area of the city. From the hotel, guests can enjoy exceptional 360º views of the city, the neighboring valley and the surrounding mountains.
  Contact info: Av. González Suárez N27 142
Quito, NA Ecuador Ecuador
phone: +593-2-3964900
  Room amenities: Cable TV, radio, WiFi, safety deposit box, hair dryer, and local newspaper.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, room service, laundry services, business center, casino, WiFi, fitness center, meeting rooms, ball rooms, and shops. The hotel offers airport transfer services for an additional cost. This service can be arranged by calling the hotel directly or emailing them at
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Subject to availability. Room types and rates are subject to hotel availability. Please contact the program coordinator, Holbrook Travel, for additional night requests and/or prices.

Type: Other
  Description: The Galaven is an 88 ft. expedition yacht equiped to carry up to 20 passengers in 11 air conditioned cabins.
  Ship Information: Year built:2000 Length: 88 ft Beam: 22 ft Draft: 6 ft Gross tonage: 171 tons Capacity: 20 passengers Crew: Captain, 2 bilingual naturalist guides, and 8 other crew members Safety & navigation: GPS, sonar, naval radars, fire detection and prevention systems, and life vests.
  Contact info: 265 Foch Street and 6 de Diciembre. 3rd floor. Sonelsa Tower.
Quito,   Ecuador
phone: +593-2-2524438
  Room amenities: All cabins are air conditioned and have private bathrooms. Biodegradable shampoo and soap is provided in each cabin.
  Facility amenities: Outdoor seating areas, dining room, and library with audiovisual equipment for onboard presentations. A small number of kayaks are available, free of charge, for use during the cruise. Snorkeling equipment (e.g., mask, snorkel, and fins) is provided as part of the cruise. Wetsuits can be rented for the duration of the cruise and payment is due in full (cash) upon boarding the yacht. Prices range from $35-$70 depending on the length of your cruise. The yacht has a limited selection of suits and these are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or if you require a petite or XL size in order to verify if the yacht carries your size. The yacht only accepts cash for additional expenses (e.g., alcoholic beverages, wetsuits, etc.) during the cruise.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Hotel Rincon de Puembo
Type: Hotel
  Description: The hotel is located conveniently near the Quito airport in the beautiful village of Puembo.
  Ship Information: N/A
  Contact info: Manuel Burbano N66 y Francisoc Ruiz
Puembo,  00000 Ecuador
phone: +593-22391106
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, telephone, wi-fi, and cable TV.
  Facility amenities: Las Cúpulas Restaurant
, El Grill Bar and Restaurant, large gardens, heated pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, gym
, business center, soccer, basketball, and volleyball courts. Billiards, table football, karaoke room, TV and reading room, laundry service, cable television, 24 wi-fi.
  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 for information on availability and prices.

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 Hotel Quito that night.
  End of Program:
Departures from the international airport in Quito, Ecuador. Hotel check-out by 11 a.m. You will be staying at Hotel Rincon de Puembo the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required from travelers arriving from an endemic area and those traveling to the Amazon region of Ecuador. For more information about entry requirements, please contact the Embassy of Ecuador in Washington, D.C. at (202) 234-7166 or visit
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Quito
  Nearest city or town:  Quito
  Nearest airport:  International Airport in Quito
  Transportation to site: Taxi transportation is available at the international airport in Quito. After completing Customs you will see a counter marked AIRPORT TAXI SERVICES. Please advise the representative which hotel you need to go to and they will issue you a ticket for that destination. Once outside, a taxi service representative wearing the official airport taxi badge will direct you to the next available taxi. Check to see that the taxi is in good physical condition with a registration number placard in the windshield. Taxis are payable in dollars (Ecuador’s currency is the U.S. dollar). If transferring to/from the airport by taxi, please be sure to only use official licensed taxis. The new Mariscal Sucre International Airport is located approximately one hour from downtown Quito.
  From End of Program
  Location: Quito
  Transportation from site: Taxi services are available for hire at the hotel. Please ask for assistance at the hotel's front desk.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Elevation Note: Quito is at an elevation of approximately 9,400 feet.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrive to Quito.
(Sunday, June 28)

Note: To minimize your chances of experiencing altitude sickness while in Quito, try to get plenty of rest before you travel, stay hydrated, avoid alcohol and fatty foods, consume high carbohydrate foods, and avoid strenuous exercise at high elevations.

The new Mariscal Sucre International Airport is located approximately one hour from downtown Quito.

 Arrive To: Arrive at Quito's 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.

Please note that this is an international travel day; no meals or program activities are scheduled on this day.
Accommodations: Hotel Quito

Day 2: Quito –
Colonial Quito, the First UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Equator.

(Monday, June 29)

Note: The Mariscal Sucre International Airport is located approximately one hour from downtown Quito. Elevations in Quito range from 9,223 ft - 9,883 ft. To minimize your chances of experiencing altitude sickness while in Quito, try to get plenty of rest before you travel, stay hydrated, avoid alcohol and fatty foods, consume high carbohydrate foods, and avoid strenuous exercise at high elevations.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Meet your Quito group leader and fellow Road Scholar participants during a welcome and introduction session at the hotel. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

Explore Quito’s colonial center; the best preserved colonial and historic center in Latin America, starting with a panoramic view of the city at El Panecillo hill. 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.

Afterwards continue to the colonial center. While walking through the narrow streets, you will learn about Quito’s rich history going from pre-Hispanic times, through the Colonial period, to the Republican era. Admire the wonderful architecture of its colonial buildings and the uniqueness of religious art pieces from the famous Quitenian School of art that combines the European Renaissance and Baroque styles with the indigenous and mestizo influences.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant including an introduction to Ecuadorian food products and typical Ecuadorian cuisine.
 Afternoon: After lunch, continue to the famous Middle of the World and celebrate the ability to be in both hemispheres at the same time - a once in a lifetime experience. Learn important facts, myths and legends about the Geography of Earth while visiting the Equator as well as the history of the first group of scientists who had the hard mission to determined Earth’s shape in 1743. Visit the Ethnographic museum where you will get a general vision about Ecuador’s demography, geography and economy.

Return to the hotel.

Lecture: The Past, Present, and Future of Ecuador.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Hotel Quito
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Galápagos -
Flight to Baltra Island/Board Yacht/Black Turtle Cove.

(Tuesday, June 30)

Note: Black Turtle Cove: no landing. There is a (44 lb weight limit for checked luggage, please pack accordingly). Excess luggage can be stored at the hotel in Quito. Actual cruise itinerary and islands visited are always subject to change by the Galápagos National Park. Itineraries are not guaranteed.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport for flight to the Galápagos Islands, where you will be assisted by your Quito group leader.

Depart for the Galápagos Islands.
**Note: The Galápagos airline tickets are issued in Ecuador and held by the group leader for safekeeping. The airline tickets will be distributed to participants on-site.**

After saying a fond goodbye to our Quito Group Leader, we will proceed through security and get ready to embark on our flight.
 Lunch: Light lunch served on the flight.
 Afternoon: Upon arrival to the Galápagos Islands, we'll deplane and walk across the tarmac to the airport building and follow the arrival signs to Immigration. With passport in hand we will stop at the Immigration counter for an inspection of our travel documents before we can proceed to the baggage claim area.

After collecting our luggage, we will meet our naturalist Galápagos Group Leader and transfer to the yacht.

Once on board, we'll take part in a welcome orientation and a safety drill as we sail to our first visitor site in the Galápagos.

Our first visit in the Galápagos will be to Black Turtle Cove. The inlet is surrounded by mangroves and the shallow cove is a haven for wildlife such as white-tipped sharks, sea turtles and a variety of rays.

Swimming and snorkeling.

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: Onboard the yacht.
 Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.
Accommodations: Galaven
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Galápagos -
Genovesa (El Barranco and Darwin's Bay).

(Wednesday, July 1)

Note: El Barranco: dry, difficult landing and moderate to difficult trail conditions due to steep, rocky terrain. The visit to El Barranco (a.k.a. Prince Phillip's Steps) includes climbing/descending approximately 20 steep and irregular stone steps (there is a hand rail). Darwin’s Bay: wet landing, easy to moderate trail conditions due to uneven terrain.

 Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.
 Morning: Visit El Barranco (a.k.a Prince Phillip's Steps) on the southern part of Darwin's Bay, Genovesa Island. During the panga rides along the cliffs, look for fur seals and several species of seabirds.

Prince Phillip's Steps is a trail which leads up a steep rock staircase through squadrons of frigatebirds and Red-billed Tropicbirds. Red-footed Boobies perch on the branches of Palo Santo trees and Storm Petrels, which serve as prey for Short-eared Owls, are found in the open lava fields at the end of the trail.

The youngest area of the island, from a geological point of view, lies in this area. The cliffs located in the south are composed of very fragile lava. The natural erosion that has occurred in these lava flows has become the ideal place for nesting Storm Petrels. Two species of petrels can be seen here, nesting in cavities and holes in the lava. One is the Wooden Petrel, which feeds during the night, and the other is the endemic Galápagos Petrel that is active during the day.

Dry landing on Genovesa Island at Darwin's Bay.

Return to the yacht.
 Lunch: Onboard the yacht.
 Afternoon: Dry landing on Genovesa Island at Darwin's Bay.

Genovesa is a great place for a bird watching walk plus swimming or snorkeling at Darwin Bay. The island's volcanic sea cliffs and salt bush offer a prime habitat for the birds of the Galápagos. In March and April, male frigatebirds begin courtship rituals, showing off their inflated red pouches. By August, the island is full of Nazca Boobies (Masked Boobies) and Red-footed Boobies, and Swallow-tailed Gulls can be found nesting. Darwin Bay is the caldera of an extinct volcano which has been partially eroded and offers superb swimming and snorkeling.

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: Onboard the yacht.
 Evening: Lecture and orientation to the next day's activities. (Please note that the day/time of lectures is subject to change)
Accommodations: Galaven
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Galápagos -
Santiago Island (Sullivan Bay) and Rabida Island.

(Thursday, July 2)

Note: Sullivan Bay: wet landing and moderate difficulty due to rocky, volcanic terrain. Rabida Island: wet landing, easy to moderate trail conditions due to hills and sandy terrain.

 Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.
 Morning: Wet landing at Sullivan Bay.

Enjoy a walking field trip to observe the unique geological features of this island. Good walking shoes are a must--the volcanic terrain is sharp and rough.

Santiago, or San Salvador, is the fourth largest island in the Galápagos. A volcanic eruption that took place in the early 1900s formed huge lava flows in the area that is now Sullivan Bay. As the lava cooled off, it solidified into a black sheet of interesting shapes and textures that made its way to the sea. The rope-like lava seen on this island is called pahoehoe lava. Other interesting formations include lava bubbles and tree shapes, ghosts of Santiago's past. Few plant species have been able to root in this harsh environment. Although the volcanic formations on Santiago have the obvious spotlight, keep an eye out for American Oystercatchers nesting along the coast (July) and Galápagos Hawks performing their acrobatic courtship rituals (August).

Swimming and snorkeling.

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

This afternoon, spend time on one of the most colorful and volcanically varied islands in the archipelago, Rabida (Jervis) Island. It's famous red sandy beach and stunning lookouts provide wonderful landscapes and it is also a great snorkeling site. The island is a birdwatcher's delight. Some of the rarest species are in abundance, such as nine varieties of finches, Large-billed Flycatchers, Galápagos Hawks, and Brown Pelicans.

Swimming and snorkeling.

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: Onboard the yacht.
 Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.
Accommodations: Galaven
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Galápagos -
Santa Cruz Island (Fausto Llerena Giant Tortoises Breeding Center & El Chato)

(Friday, July 3)

Note: Fausto Llerano Breeding Center: dry landing, easy trail conditions. El Chato: moderate to difficult trail conditions due to uneven terrain and sometimes muddy conditions.

 Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.
 Morning: Dry landing on Santa Cruz Island and field trip to the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, located inside the Charles Darwin Research Station. It is home to tortoises ranging from three inches to four feet long. At four years of age the tortoises are strong enough to survive on their own and are repatriated to their respective islands.

The Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) is a biological research station operated by the Charles Darwin Foundation. The objective of the CDRS is to conduct scientific research and environmental education to promote conservation of the islands' unique environments. The Station has a team of over a hundred scientists, educators, volunteers, research students and support staff from all over the world.

Return to the yacht.
 Lunch: Onboard the yacht.
 Afternoon: Visit El Chato in the highlands of Santa Cruz in search of the giant tortoises.

Santa Cruz is the most important island in the Galápagos 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. Giant tortoises can be spotted on Santa Cruz at certain times of the year. Several species of Darwin's finches make this island home as well. Yellow warblers, Galápagos rails and paint-billed crakes can also be seen. In addition, a dramatic change in vegetation zones can be seen as one travels higher on the island.

Swimming and snorkeling.

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: Onboard the yacht.
 Evening: Lecture and orientation to the next day's activities. (Please note that the day/time of lectures is subject to change)
Accommodations: Galaven
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Galápagos -
Santa Cruz Island (Cerro Dragon and Bachas Beach).

(Saturday, July 4)

Note: Cerro Dragon: dry landing, easy to moderate trail conditions due to rocky, uneven terrain. Bachas Beach: east, sandy trail conditions.

 Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.
 Morning: Dry landing on Santa Cruz and walk on trails up to the lookout on Cerro Dragon.

Cerro Dragon ("Dragon Hill"), 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 yacht.
 Lunch: Onboard the yacht.
 Afternoon: Wet landing on Playa de Las Bachas.

Bachas Beach represents one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) on Isla Santa Cruz. It is a good place to see flamingos, as well as migratory and aquatic birds. The name Las Bachas originates from the Second World War, when the American army left two barges discarded on the beach, the first settlers could not pronounce the name correctly in English, which resulted in Las Bachas Beach.

Swimming and snorkeling.

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: Onboard the yacht.
 Evening: Orientation of next day's activities and lecture.
Accommodations: Galaven
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Galápagos -
Floreana Island (Post Office Bay, Punta Cormorant and Devil's Crown).

(Sunday, July 5)

Note: Post Office Bay: wet landing and easy trail conditions. Punta Cormorant: wet landing and easy trail conditions.

 Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.
 Morning: Wet landing at Post Office Bay.

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 makeshift postbox, and held letters from sailors across the globe. If a passing ship happened to be heading where the mail was addressed to, 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 their letters and postcards.

Return to the yacht.
 Lunch: Onboard the yacht.
 Afternoon: Wet landing on Floreana Island at Punta Cormorant.

Floreana Island is the sixth largest island in the archipelago. It has a colorful history, with varying accounts of how the island was settled and how its first residents (German immigrants) died or mysteriously disappeared. The only family remaining from the original settlements are the Wittmers who continue to live on the island.

A wet landing at Punta Cormorant will take us through a 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 a known nesting site for green sea turtles. Around January, pregnant females come ashore at night to dig nests and lay eggs (between 75-100 eggs per nest) before returning to sea. The eggs begin hatching in April and May.

Swimming and snorkeling activities at Devil's Crown.

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: Onboard the yacht.
 Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.
Accommodations: Galaven
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Galápagos -
Espanola Island (Punta Suarez and Gardner Bay).

(Monday, July 6)

Note: Punta Suarez: dry landing and difficult trail conditions due to rocky, uneven terrain. Gardner Bay: wet landing and easy, sandy trail conditions.

 Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.
 Morning: Dry landing at Punta Suarez.

Our walking exploration will take us over loose boulders and challenging rocky ground as we make our way to view nesting boobies and the famous blowhole.

Punta Suarez, on the western side of Espanola Island, is home to the Galápagos Hawk and the red form of the marine iguana. In January, the iguanas change color, adopting bright hues that are attractive to potential mates. Visitors have a good chance of seeing Blue-footed Booby chicks around October. Espanola is also the breeding site of most of the archipelago's Waved Albatrosses, so be on the look-out for these large and graceful flyers! Albatrosses display courtship behavior in April, nest and lay eggs in May, and by December the young fledge and leave for a few months before returning in March.

Return to the yacht.
 Lunch: Onboard the yacht.
 Afternoon: Wet landing at Gardner Bay.

Gardner Bay is situated on Espanola's eastern coast. Its beautiful white sand beach is usually dotted with sunbathing sea lions. The soft sand and clear waters make this a perfect location for snorkeling and swimming. In January, green sea turtles steal ashore under cover of night to dig pits and lay eggs before making their way back to sea. Eggs hatch from April to May.

Swimming and snorkeling activities.

Return to the yacht.
 Dinner: Onboard the yacht.
 Evening: Orientation of next day's activities.
Accommodations: Galaven
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Galápagos and Flight to Quito-
San Cristobal Island (Interpretation Center).

(Tuesday, July 7)

Note: San Cristobal: dry landing and easy, flat terrain.

 Breakfast: Onboard the yacht.
 Morning: Dry landing on San Cristobal Island and visit the Interpretation Center.

San Cristobal Island, also known as Chatham Island, is one of the oldest islands in the archipelago and the first island visited by Darwin during his famous voyage on the HMS Beagle in 1835. It is also the easternmost and the fifth largest island in the Galápagos, covering an area of 558 square kilometers. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, located on the southwestern side of San Cristobal, is the provincial capital and the second largest populated area in the Galápagos.

Transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Quito.
 Lunch: Light snack served on the flight.
 Afternoon: Late afternoon arrival in Quito.
Transfer to the hotel.

Enjoy some free time before meeting your group for dinner.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Hotel Rincon de Puembo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Depart from Quito.
Arrive to the U.S.

(Wednesday, July 8)
 Depart From: Transfer to the international airport for flight to the U.S.

This concludes the program. We hope you enjoyed your Road Scholar adventure! When you get home, remember to stay in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network; share memories, pictures, and comments about your recent travels.

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.
 Breakfast: Early morning breakfast at the hotel restaurant (dependent on flight times).
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

Birds, Mammals and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands

Author: Andy Swash, Robert Stills

Description: This strikingly compact, comprehensive field guide features 500 color photographs, distribution maps and information on status, habitat and behavior.

Boobies, Iguanas and Other Critters

Author: Linda Litteral

Description: This beautifully illustrated book provides an overview of the Galapagos for ages 10 to 14. Clear, detailed and accurate, it explains the volcanic formation of the islands, ecology, wildlife and scientific research.

Charles Darwin

Author: David King

Description: A new addition to DK's acclaimed Biography series, this is a detailed and accessible chronicle of Darwin's life, sure to grab the interest of younger readers. With more than 100 full-color photographs and illustrations.

Darwin and Evolution for Kids, His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities

Author: Kristan Lawson

Description: An interactive, illustrated biography of Darwin for kids ten and up (and their families). The book, which includes hands-on activities, covers Darwin's career from his youth to his mind-expanding voyage aboard the Beagle to the development of the theory of evolution through natural selection.

Evolution's Workshop

Author: Edward J. Larson

Description: A vivid history of the Galapagos and the role of the islands as a crucible of evolutionary ideas, written by a Pulitzer Prize winner. Larson covers Darwin and the discovery of the islands, the visits of Hancock and Beebe, the influence of the United States during WWII and the establishment of the national park.

Galapagos Islands Explorer Map

Author: Ocean Explorer Maps

Description: Not just handy for keeping track of your Galapagos cruise, this detailed map (1:400,000) of the islands includes illustrated biographies of famous visitors and a wildlife guide.

Galapagos Wildlife

Author: Pocket Naturalist

Description: A fold-up, laminated card featuring color drawings and short descriptions of commonly encountered birds, mammals and reptiles of the Galapagos.

Galapagos Wildlife, A Visitor's Guide

Author: David Horwell, Pete Oxford

Description: With chapters on visitor sites, history, conservation and habitats, this compact photographic guide introduces birds, reptiles, marine and other life of the archipelago.

Galapagos, A Natural History

Author: Michael Jackson

Description: This comprehensive guide to the natural history of the Galapagos is practically mandatory reading -- the single best introduction to the geology and climate, habitats, plants, birds, animals, ecology and evolution.

Galapagos, Islands Born of Fire

Author: Tui De Roy

Description: A stunning celebration of the landscapes, wildlife and habitats of the Galapagos by a photographer who was raised in the archipelago. Tenth anniversary edition.

Galapagos, The Islands That Changed the World

Author: Paul D. Stewart (Director)

Description: Also available on Blu-Ray, this stunning three-part BBC documentary captures the rugged beauty, allure, wildlife and history of the archipelago like never before.

Galapagos, World's End

Author: William Beebe

Description: This wry, wonderfully evocative account of a 1924 scientific expedition includes an excellent chapter on the human history of the Galapagos.

Galapagos: The Enchanted Islands, Through Writer's Eyes

Author: John Hickman (Editor)

Description: Hickman weaves original accounts by Galapagos whalers, gentleman pirates, fitful castaways, settlers and scientists, including Ambrose Crowley, Herman Melville, Charles Darwin and William Beebe, in these tales of the colorful human history of the archipelago.

Inside the Beagle with Charles Darwin

Author: Fiona MacDonald

Description: MacDonald gives detailed accounts of daily life aboard the Beagle, animals and places encountered, as well as excellent illustrations and a balanced discussion of Darwin's ground-breaking scientific theories. Ages 8 and up.

Insight Guide Ecuador and Galapagos

Author: Insight Guides

Description: Presenting the natural history, politics, culture, wildlife and attractions of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands with style and authority.

The Boy on the Back of the Turtle

Author: Paul Quarrington

Description: Humorist, novelist and family man on a quest, Quarrington offers an entertaining account of a Galapagos voyage in the company of his seven-year-old daughter and 70-year-old father.

The Galapagos, A Natural History

Author: Henry Nicholls

Description: Editor of the Galapagos Conservation Trust magazine and author of Lonesome George, Henry Nicholls charts the human and natural history of the archipelago from its fiery origins through famous visitors and current conservation challenges.

The History of Ecuador

Author: George Lauderbaugh

Description: this compact book includes chapters on Ecuador today, Ecuador's indigenous and colonial past, the oil boom and other events.

The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin

Author: Peter Sis

Description: Sis illuminates Darwin's grand life: his travels, ideas and impact, using watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations. The richly embellished pages feature a gorgeous gatefold spread as well as diary pages, maps and charts.

Understanding Galapagos: What You'll See and What it Means

Author: Sehoya Cotner, Randy Moore

Description: An excellent introduction to the flora and fauna of the Galapagos and a stellar overview of evolutionary biography on the islands. Accessible for readers from all backgrounds.

Voyage of the Beagle

Author: Charles Darwin

Description: 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, it's still a marvelous introduction to the wildlife, nature and allure of South America.

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