From the hotel in Puembo/Quito to the colonial center of Quito is about 18 miles, usually under 1 hour. This leisurely-paced day in Quito is very important as it will give the group time to acclimate to highland elevations.
At the hotel, we'll have a buffet meal with juice, coffee, tea, water.
8:30 a.m. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We'll review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods labeled “Free Time” and “At Leisure” offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable while going out to explore on your own, engaging in available activities independently, making new friends among fellow Road Scholars, or simply relaxing. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Meals on our program feature local cuisine. In many cases, they will be plated and served set meals; in others, we will have buffets with multiple options. Beverages include coffee, tea, water; other beverages are usually available for purchase. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. We'll ride to the center of the city for an orientation to Ecuador’s capital. We'll accompany the Group Leader in a walking exploration of the historic UNESCO World Heritage Site, learning about Quito's history from pre-Hispanic times, through the Colonial Period, to the Republican Era. The architecture found in Quito’s historical center is a great example of the Baroque style which is a fusion of Spanish, Moorish, Flemish and Indigenous art. Next, we'll visit the Museo Casa del Alabado to learn about Ecuador's pre-Columbian cultures through close examination of their art, pottery and ceremonial pieces. Unlike most museums which arrange displays in chronological order, the Casa del Alabado has organized its exhibits based on Andean cosmology. The approximately 5,000 artifacts showcased in this impressive space include 500 pieces that belong to the museum’s permanent exhibit.
At a local restaurant including an introduction to typical Ecuadorian food products and cuisine.
After lunch, we'll continue by bus to the famous Middle of the World for a once-in-a-lifetime experience of being in two hemispheres at the same time! During this field trip we'll not only learn important facts, myths and legends surrounding our planet and the equator, but we will also become acquainted with the history of the first group of scientists who in 1743 had the hard mission of trying to determine Earth’s shape. Before returning to the bus and driving back to Quito, we'll pay a visit to the on-site Ethnographic Museum for an overview of Ecuador's demographics, geography and economy. Back at the hotel, we'll enjoy an expert presentation on the past, present and future of Ecuador.
Enjoy a two course meal at the hotel restaurant plus water and coffee or tea. Other beverages available for purchase.
At leisure. Prepare luggage for early check out and flights to the Galápagos. This is a Road Scholar Adventures Afloat Family program. Adults are responsible for their minor children. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Minors are never to be left unsupervised. In addition to lectures and field trips exclusively for our Road Scholar group, you are invited to take advantage of activities and events aboard ship that are separate from the Road Scholar program. The time available in each port is set by the cruise line and the Galapagos National Park. Whenever possible, the Road Scholar daily schedule indicates port arrival and departure times (subject to change by the cruise line and/or Galapagos National Park). This may mean that free time in port is limited. Regardless of the time in port, Road Scholar delivers a robust educational program. All routes, field trips, and excursions are subject to change as weather and sea conditions may affect the itinerary. Sea conditions could affect the progress of the ship, making it run late and sometimes miss ports because it is not safe to dock. Because of this, the cruise itinerary should always be regarded as provisional. The operator/Galapagos National Park reserves the right to change the content of field trips and excursions without prior notice.