18484
Galapagos Islands/Ecuador/Peru
The Best of the Galápagos and Peru: From Enchanted Islands to Machu Picchu
The Galápagos and Machu Picchu are two of Latin America’s most renowned icons. Come see for yourself as you discover the unique wildlife and preserved ruins of these two sacred places.
Program No. 18484RJ
Length
17 days
Starts at
6,995
Flights start at
795
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
17 days
16 nights
42 meals
16 B 14 L 12 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
In Transit to Program, Check-in
Lima
Casa Andina Select Miraflores

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

DAY
2
Lima City Excursion, Peru Cuisine Presentation, Larco Museum
Lima
B,L
Casa Andina Select Miraflores

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, enjoy a buffet featuring various types of breakfast foods including pastries and fruit, plus water, coffee, and juice.

Morning: Orientation to the program. Meet your 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. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. 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: Welcome lunch at local restaurant including a Peruvian Food presentation.

Afternoon: Field trip to the Larco Museum. The privately funded Larco Museum, also known as Museo Rafael Larco Herrera, holds one of the world’s largest collections of Peruvian pre-Colombian artifacts and showcases pieces from lesser known cultures such as the Moche, Chimú, and Nazca, as well as the famous Inca. Its name honors the founder’s father, Don Rafael Larco Herrera, a well-known collector of pre-Columbian artifacts and archaeology aficionado. The museum is housed in an 18th century mansion in the Pueblo Libre District of Lima and has 6 exhibit halls, 11 storage rooms, a vault for gold and silver exhibits, a terrace with large stone displays, and a garden with a patio. Lecture: Introduction to Inca Culture.

Dinner: Dinner will be on your own to explore the local fare.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Fly to Cusco, Transfer to Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo Ruins
Yucay
B,L,D
Posada del Inca - Yucay

Activity note: There is a weight limit of 23 kg (approximately 50 lb) for checked luggage on the internal flights in Peru. Elevation in Cusco is approx. 11,000 ft. Elevation in Yucay is approx. 9,375 ft. 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: In the hotel dining room, enjoy a buffet featuring various types of breakfast foods including pastries and fruit, plus water, coffee, and juice.

Morning: Transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Cusco. Traditional Inca welcome with coca tea upon arrival at the Cusco airport. Transfer to Ollantaytambo with an en route visit to the Awanakancha Alpaca Center. The Awankancha Alpaca Center is a living museum where visitors can see llamas, alpacas and vicuna. A demonstration will show how the wool from these South American animals is used to make woven textiles. On our way, we will briefly visit the handicraft market in Pisac for a look at locally made crafts from the area. The traditional produce market in Pisac is held on Sundays and dates back to ancient times when people in the highlands depended on trade for survival. During other days of the week, the town hosts a large handicrafts market where all nature of locally made crafts can be seen on display.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Ollantaytambo town.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will stroll through the Ollantaytambo ruins to learn about 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 agricultural terraces above the town are still in use. The pinnacle above the town is a small burial ground. Learn about Andean agricultural techniques and how local farms still use these practices today. Lecture: The Agriculture of the Incas. Transfer to the hotel and check-in.

Dinner: Enjoy a typical two course Peruvian plated meal, juice and water.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, UNESCO World Heritage Site
Machu Picchu
B,L
El Mapi Hotel

Activity note: Elevation in Aguas Calientes is approx. 6,695 ft. 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. This bag must weigh no more than 11 pounds and measure no more than 62 inches /157 cm (length, plus height, plus width). Excess luggage can be left with the driver and vehicle, and will be secured until your return to Cuzco.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, enjoy a buffet featuring various types of breakfast foods including pastries and fruit, plus water, coffee, and juice.

Morning: Early morning transfer to Ollantaytambo train station. Board a train to Machu Picchu. This scenic journey by rail follows the meandering path of the Urubamba River and provides travelers with spectacular views of the snowcapped Andes. Disembark at the Aguas Calientes Station (6,693 ft) and board a bus that will take you up the mountain to the Machu Picchu Ruins (7,972 ft) for a field trip.

Lunch: At a local restaurant near the ruins featuring a buffet, juice and water.

Afternoon: Full afternoon guided field trip in and around Machu Picchu ruins. This ancient Inca city was rediscovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, a Yale graduate and U.S. senator fascinated with Inca archaeology. Bingham found Machu Picchu, with the help of a local farmer who knew about the ruins, while searching for Vilcabamba and Vitcos. He hypothesized that the site was a "citadel," existing for strategic and defense purposes. He also speculated that the site was a refuge for Cusco's Virgins of the Sun, based upon the finding of skulls there, although not scientifically classified as female. Breakthroughs in archaeology since 1985 have, taken as a whole, supported the emerging view of Machu Picchu as a ceremonial and administrative center for a very populous region. Machu Picchu was built, flourished, and fell into demise within a period of 100 years. Transfer by bus down to the town of Aguas Calientes. Check-in to the hotel.

Dinner: On your own for a chance to explore local fare.

DAY
5
Train to Ollantaytambo, Visit Chincheros, Transfer to Cusco
Cusco
B,L,D
Casa Andina Private Collection – Cusco

Activity note: Elevation in Cusco is approximately 11,000 ft. 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. Buses begin boarding for the park at 6:00 a.m. and participants must return in time for early lunch before departure.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, enjoy a buffet featuring various types of breakfast foods including pastries and fruit, plus water, coffee, and juice.

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).

Lunch: At the hotel restaurant featuring a buffet of typical Peruvian dishes, juice and water.

Afternoon: Transfer to the 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 stop in Chincheros. 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. Continue with transfer to Cusco. Arrive in Cusco and check-in to the hotel.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: Time at leisure.

DAY
6
Sacsayhuaman Ruins & Introduction to Cusco
Cusco
B,L
Casa Andina Private Collection – Cusco

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, enjoy a buffet featuring various types of breakfast foods including pastries and fruit, plus water, coffee, and juice.

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: At a café in the main plaza where you can enjoy the colonial architecture of the city.

Afternoon: Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to experience the ancient city of Cusco at your own pace. Please see the “Notes” section for a list of points of interest and activities in Cusco. Pre-dinner presentation by local expert on the history of Inca and Andean musical instruments. Your group leader will provide instructions for the best times to arrive back to the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner on your own for a chance to explore local fare.

Evening: Time at leisure.

DAY
7
Flight to Quito via Lima
Quito
B,D
Hotel Quito

Activity 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 the chances of experiencing altitude sickness while in Quito, try to get plenty of rest before travel, stay hydrated, avoid alcohol and fatty foods, consume high carbohydrate foods, and avoid strenuous exercise at high elevations.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, enjoy a buffet featuring various types of breakfast foods including pastries and fruit, plus water, coffee, and juice.

Morning: Say goodbye to your Peruvian group leader. Transfer to the Cusco airport for flight to Quito via Lima.

Lunch: On your own. There will be opportunities for lunch at the Lima airport, however, a light snack will be provided on the flight.

Afternoon: Upon arrival to Quito, transfer to the hotel and check-in. Meet your Quito group leader for introduction and orientation to Ecuador. Lecture: The Past, Present, and Future of Ecuador.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant featuring a two course plated meal, including water.

Evening: Time at leisure.

DAY
8
Quito Orientation, Casa del Alabado, Capilla del Hombre
Quito
B,L,D
Hotel Quito

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, enjoy a buffet featuring various types of breakfast foods including pastries and fruit, plus water, coffee, and juice.

Morning: After breakfast we will travel by motorcoach to Quito's colonial section. Accompany the group leader in a walking exploration of the historic UNESCO World Heritage Site. While walking through the narrow streets, we will learn about Quito’s rich history going from pre-Hispanic times, through the Colonial Period, to the Republican Era. We will have the opportunity to study the architectural styles of local 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. After our city explorations we will enjoy a visit to the Museo Casa del Alabado to learn about pre-Columbian art. The art museum is housed in a two-story, renovated 17th century Spanish colonial residence in Quito’s historic downtown area. Unlike most museums which arrange displays in chronological order, the Casa del Alabado has organized its exhibits based on Andean cosmology. The approximately 5000 artifacts showcased in this impressive space include 500 pieces that belong to the museum’s permanent exhibit.

Lunch: At local restaurant with an introduction to Ecuadorian food products and typical Ecuadorian cuisine.

Afternoon: After lunch, pay a visit to Guayasamin's Capilla del Hombre. Quito’s Bellavista neighborhood is home to some important spaces dedicated to the works of Ecuador’s beloved artist, Oswaldo Guayasamin (1919-1999). The Guayasamin Foundation features various pieces from the artist’s private collection as well as a large exhibit of his paintings. A few blocks from the Guayasamin Foundation, on a hill overlooking the city, stands the Capilla del Hombre. This monument, chapel, and museum was designed by Guayasamin (he died before its completion) as a cultural space dedicated to the plight of Latin American people—from pre-Columbian times until the present—a subject featured prominently in the artist’s work. Return to the hotel. Lecture: Introduction to Geology of the Galápagos Islands.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant featuring a two course plated meal, including water.

Evening: Time at leisure.

DAY
9
Flight to Baltra Island, Board Yacht, Playa de las Bachas
Galápagos Islands
B,L,D
Tip Top III

Activity note: There is a 44 lb weight limit for checked luggage on the flights to the islands. Please pack accordingly. Extra luggage can be stored at the hotel in Quito. 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. Bachas Beach: Dry landing, easy trail conditions.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, enjoy a buffet featuring various types of breakfast foods including pastries and fruit, plus water, coffee, and juice.

Morning: After breakfast, we'll transfer by motorcoach to the airport in preparation for our flight to the Galapagos Islands. Our Group Leader will assist us with check-in procedures at the airport. After saying a fond goodbye to our Quito Group Leader, we will proceed through security and get ready to embark on our flight. 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 board a bus that will drive us as far as the Itabaca Channel. After a short ferry ride to Santa Cruz Island, we will get on another bus and transfer to the Puerto Ayora dock. A short panga ride will deliver us 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.

Lunch: On board the boat we’ll enjoy a typical two course Ecuadorian meal, plus juice and water. Other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After lunch we will navigate a short distance along the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island. We will board pangas and make a wet landing at Bachas Beach in preparation for our first adventure in the Galápagos. We will join our naturalist leader on a walking exploration in search of aquatic and migratory birds. The sand dunes at this site are nesting grounds for Galápagos Green Turtles and a nearby lagoon is home to flamingoes, White-cheeked Pintail ducks, Common Stilts, and some migratory species. There will be an opportunity for snorkeling and/or swimming before we return to the yacht.

Dinner: After enjoying a welcome cocktail with the boat crew, we'll sit down for a plated meal with dessert, juice and water. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.

DAY
10
Santiago Island, Sullivan Bay, Bartolome Island
Galápagos Islands
B,L,D
Tip Top III

Activity note: Sullivan Bay: wet landing and moderate difficulty due to rocky, volcanic terrain. Bartolome: dry landing. The 1.2 mile walk to the top of the volcano includes a climb up a long wooden staircase (375 steps) with railings.

Breakfast: On board the boat, enjoy a buffet with traditional breakfast foods including eggs, cereals, fruit, coffee and water.

Morning: Wet landing at Sullivan Bay, followed by a walking field trip led by our naturalist leader. During this activity we'll be able to get a good look at the island's unique geological features. Good walking shoes are a must--the volcanic terrain is sharp and rough! Santiago (a.k.a. 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). We will have the opportunity to swim and snorkel before returning the yacht.

Lunch: On board the boat we’ll enjoy a typical two course Ecuadorian meal, plus juice and water. Other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Dry landing at Bartolomé Island. After disembarkation we will accompany our naturalist leader on a hike up Escalera Hill. On Bartolomé Island we will be able to view volcanic formations such as lava bombs, spatter, and cinder cones. From the summit it is possible to see surrounding islands as well as Pinnacle Rock's eroded tuff cone. On the way to the summit, watch for colonies of marine iguanas, lava lizards, tiquilla and various cacti. Bartolomé is one of the best places to find Galápagos penguins. Return to the yacht.

Dinner: On board the boat, enjoy a plated meal, dessert, juice and water. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Lecture and orientation to the next day's activities. (This lecture may take place on another evening of the cruise.)

DAY
11
Genovesa Island, El Barranco and Darwin's Bay
Galápagos Islands
B,L,D
Tip Top III

Activity note: El Barranco: difficult dry landing onto the rocky shore, followed by a climb up a steep stone staircase with railings. Much attention must be given when climbing and descending the staircase since steps might be slippery. Darwin Bay: easy to moderate hike on coral sand and slabs of lava. The trail is approximately .9 miles in length. When the tide is high, parts of the trail might be covered in water.

Breakfast: On board the boat, enjoy a buffet with traditional breakfast foods including eggs, cereals, fruit, coffee and water.

Morning: Dry landing at El Barranco (a.k.a Prince Phillip's Steps). After climbing the stone steps we will walk on local trails in search of local birds. El Barranco visitor site includes a steep stone staircase and a rocky trail that extends for approximately 1 mile 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. Return to the yacht.

Lunch: On board the boat we’ll enjoy a typical two course Ecuadorian meal, plus juice and water.

Afternoon: After a panga ride and wet landing, we will accompany our naturalist leader on a walking exploration of 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. Opportunity for swimming, snorkeling and/or kayaking before we return to the yacht. Return to the yacht.

Dinner: On board the boat, enjoy a plated meal, dessert, juice and water.

Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.

DAY
12
Santiago, Puerto Egas and Caleta Bucanero
Galápagos Islands
B,L,D
Tip Top III

Activity note: Puerto Egas: wet landing and easy to moderate walking conditions. Caleta Bucanero: Panga ride and a wet landing on a red sand beach. Short walk on coastal trails.

Breakfast: On board the boat, enjoy a buffet with traditional breakfast foods including eggs, cereals, fruit, coffee and water.

Morning: A short panga ride will take us to Santiago Island in preparation for a wet landing at Puerto Egas' black sand beach. As we explore local trails, our naturalist leader will help to point out local wildlife. Puerto Egas, located on the northwestern side of Santiago Island, has black volcanic formations that provide shelter to a number of creatures. Here it is possible to see marine iguanas sunning themselves on the rocks while sea birds fly overhead in search of food. Brightly colored Sally Lightfoot crabs live in the rock crevices and tide pools; a sharp contrast to the black lava formations they call home. Galápagos fur seals enjoy the inlets along the western shoreline and have been known to swim with visitors from time to time. Opportunity for swimming, snorkeling and/or kayaking before returning to the yacht in time for lunch.

Lunch: On board the boat we’ll enjoy a typical two course Ecuadorian meal, plus juice and water. Other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: This afternoon, we will board a panga and navigate along the cliffs and beaches of Caleta Bucanero (a.k.a. Buccaneer Cove) in search of nesting seabirds. There will be an opportunity for swimming, snorkeling and/or kayaking before we make a wet landing on the beach and accompany our naturalist leader on a walk along the coast to an abandoned salt mine. Return to the yacht.

Dinner: On board the boat, enjoy a plated meal, dessert, juice and water. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.

DAY
13
Isabela, Punta Vicente Roca and Fernandina, Punta Espinoza
Galápagos Islands
B,L,D
Tip Top III

Activity note: Punta Vicente Roca: no landing. Punta Espinoza: dry landing, moderate trail conditions due to slippery rocks at low tide and uneven terrain. Good walking shoes are a must for the 1.2 mile walk on sharp volcanic rocks.

Breakfast: On board the boat, enjoy a buffet with traditional breakfast foods including eggs, cereals, fruit, coffee and water.

Morning: After breakfast, we'll join our naturalist leader in a panga ride to Punta Vicente Roca. As we navigate in and around the coves we will look for resident wildlife. 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. Before returning to the yacht we will have the opportunity to enjoy a bit of swimming and/or snorkeling.

Lunch: On board the boat we’ll enjoy a typical two course Ecuadorian meal, plus juice and water. Other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: This afternoon we will make a dry landing at Punta Espinoza and then walk on local trails in search of the resident sea lion colony and Flightless Cormorant nesting site. Fernandina has some of the most dramatic landscapes found in the archipelago and is also one of the best places to see the lava cactus. 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 Galápagos Islands. Return to the yacht.

Dinner: On board the boat, enjoy a plated meal, dessert, juice and water. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.

DAY
14
Isabela Island, Urbina Bay, Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay
Galápagos Islands
B,L,D
Tip Top III

Activity note: Urbina Bay: strong waves can make disembarkation tricky at this site. Use a zip-lock bag to protect cameras and binoculars from splashes during the wet landing. Please take steps to remain hydrated during this approximately 2-mile hike. Elizabeth Bay: Approximately a 2 hour panga ride along mangroves and islets.

Breakfast: On board the boat, enjoy a buffet with traditional breakfast foods including eggs, cereals, fruit, coffee and water.

Morning: After breakfast we will make a wet landing at Urbina Bay and begin our walking exploration of this unique site. 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. Opportunity for swimming, snorkeling and/or kayaking before we take a panga ride to Tagus Cove to view Galapagos Penguins, marine iguanas, sea lions and a variety of birds. Return to the yacht in time for lunch.

Lunch: On board the boat we’ll enjoy a typical two course Ecuadorian meal, plus juice and water. Other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: This afternoon we will enjoy a panga ride in and around the mangroves and islets of Elizabeth Bay to look for shore birds, marine turtles, rays, sea lions, and more. Return to the yacht.

Dinner: On board the boat, enjoy a plated meal, dessert, juice and water. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Lecture and orientation to the next day's activities. (Please note that the day/time of lectures is subject to change)

DAY
15
Isabela Island, Tintoreras, Breeding Center, Sierra Negra
Galápagos Islands
B,L,D
Tip Top III

Activity note: Las Tintoreras: moderate walking on aa lava, rocks and sandy terrain. Sierra Negra: the hike to the volcano lookout point can be very challenging due to the trail's incline and oftentimes muddy conditions. Misty and/or rainy weather is the norm at this site, so dress accordingly. Wall of Tears: dry landing and easy walking.

Breakfast: On board the boat, enjoy a buffet with traditional breakfast foods including eggs, cereals, fruit, coffee and water.

Morning: After a dry landing at Las Tintoreras islet, we will walk along the coast in search of marine life. Las Tintoreras is located just south of Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island. The small island's name means "sharks," referring to the reef sharks that are commonly found resting in the shallow waters at this site. A small bay and a connecting crevice provide shelter to a multitude of small fish as well as turtles, sharks, rays, and marine iguanas. The island is a prime nesting site for marine iguanas because it lacks non-native predators. Then we will enjoy a short walk through the humedales (wetlands) for a chance to observe flamingoes and migratory birds that frequent the local lagoons and mangroves. After making a dry landing on Isabela we will drive a short distance to the Arnaldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Center where we will learn about local tortoise conservation efforts. The center raises hundreds of juvenile and adult tortoises from the southern region of the island, many of which are in danger of extinction. The landscaping at the center showcases native plants. Transfer by bus to Puerto Villamil and return to the yacht in time for lunch.

Lunch: On board the boat we’ll enjoy a typical two course Ecuadorian meal, plus juice and water. Other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: At Puerto Villamil we will board a bus and travel for 45 minutes to the highlands of Isabela. After disembarking at the Paradero Sierra Negra, we will begin a challenging hike along the slopes of the volcano. Sierra Negra is a shield volcano, with a large and shallow caldera and relatively flat slopes. In October of 2005, it erupted after a period of seismic activity and lava from the eruption covered up to 14 square kilometers of the caldera floor. Both old and new lava formations can be spotted in the area including cinder cones, tuff cones, and spatter cones. On a clear day, the views from Sierra Negra’s caldera are awe-inspiring. The site also offers good birding opportunities. Participants who prefer to skip this activity can explore the town on their own or stay onboard the boat.

Dinner: On board the boat, enjoy a plated meal, dessert, juice and water. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation to the next day's activities.

DAY
16
Charles Darwin Research Station, Flight to Quito
Quito
B,L,D
Hotel Rincon de Puembo

Activity note: There is a 44 lb weight limit for checked luggage on the flights to and from the islands.

Breakfast: On board the boat, enjoy a buffet with traditional breakfast foods including eggs, cereals, fruit, coffee and water.

Morning: Early this morning, after breakfast, we will disembark at Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island in preparation for our last activity in the Galápagos. We will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and its Interpretive Center to learn about local research and conservation efforts. 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. After completing our morning field trip we will board a bus that will take us as far as the Itabaca Channel. From there we will take a short ferry ride to Baltra Island and then transfer by bus to the airport. After checking in for our flight to Quito, it will be time for us to bid farewell to the Islas Encantadas and our Galápagos Group Leader.

Lunch: We will be provided a sandwich and drink at the airport, for lunch en route. A light snack will also be served on the flight.

Afternoon: Late afternoon arrival in Quito. Transfer to the hotel. Time at leisure to finish packing or relax before joining the rest of the group for dinner.

Dinner: Enjoy a Farewell Dinner at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
17
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity 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 buffet breakfast at the hotel restaurant (depending on flight times).