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landscape view of island with sea in distance

Overview

A truly unforgettable adventure

One of Travel/Study’s goals has always been to look at the world as a “virtual classroom,” where lessons in history, culture, nature, and science are absorbed in the best way: firsthand. We believe that travel to the Galápagos Islands provides the ultimate learning experience.

Join us for a voyage 500 miles off the coast of Ecuador to this archipelago where animals far outnumber people and can be observed from just a few feet away. We visit the western islands on an itinerary that was designed to build on recent trips to the Eastern Islands led by Professor Bill Durham. Our small expedition ship, the newly refitted National Geographic Islander II, is the perfect vessel for exploring their world, by panga, kayak, while snorkeling or hiking.

Dates

July 12–20, 2024

Duration

9 days

Price

From $12,995 per person

Trip size

44 participants

Minimum age

18 years
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Faculty leader

A different kind of classroom

With renowned Stanford faculty and scholars leading the way, every Travel/Study trip is a one-of-a-kind educational experience.

Bill Durham

Anthropology and Human Biology

An enthusiastic and innovative educator, Bill's lectures cover the ecology, evolution, and conservation of the world's most unusual flora and fauna in Galápagos.

Going to the Galápagos Islands with Bill Durham is like going with a modern day Charles Darwin himself.

—Jerry Yang, ‘90, MS ‘90 

Itinerary

Journey to Darwin’s classroom

Fly to the islands via Guayaquil, maximizing our time in this enchanting archipelago. Spend two nights on Santa Cruz Island before exploring the coastlines and coves of the Galápagos aboard the luxurious National Geographic Islander II. Come face to face with sea lions and marine iguanas on Santiago, pelicans and pink flamingos on Rábida, and penguins on Isabela.

  • Guayaquil, Ecuador

    Upon arrival in Guayaquil, transfer to our hotel. For travelers who opt to arrive a day early—most flights arrive in the late evening—join a a full-day excursion to Hacienda La Danesa, a historic family-owned and operated working hacienda.

    Accommodations:

    Hotel del Parque

  • Guayaquil

    Embark on a tour of the Historical Park (Parque Histórico) this morning. A gateway into Guayaquil’s colonial and republican past, the Park is divided into three different parts: one dedicated to nature, the second to rural life, and the third to urban life. Learn about cacao production in a restored cacao hacienda, observe native wildlife while strolling around the lush forest, and see an exhibition on traditions and customs of the Ecuadorian coast.

    Accommodations:

    Hotel del Parque

    Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • Guayaquil / Baltra, Galápagos / Embark / Santa Cruz

    Fly this morning to Galápagos and embark the National Geographic Islander II. Take a Zodiac cruise after lunch to Caleta Tortuga Negra, a spectacular mangrove-lined cove teaming with marine life on Santa Cruz Island. Look for green turtles, sharks, and schools of golden and eagle rays.

    Accommodations:

    National Geographic Islander II

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Santa Cruz

    Call at Puerto Ayora, the largest town, and headquarters of both the Galápagos National Park and Charles Darwin Research Station. Tour the giant tortoise breeding corrals, a pioneering effort and visit the Station. Then head to the lush, green highlands to see giant tortoises roaming in the wild, where we have lunch at a local ranch dedicated to conservation.

    Accommodations:

    National Geographic Islander II

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • North Seymour / Rábida

    Spend the morning on Seymour. Follow trails past coastal groups of Galápagos sea lions and marine iguanas inland through a silvery forest of Palo Santo to colonies of magnificent and great frigatebirds, blue-footed boobies, and other seabirds. See land iguanas clambering over rocks in search of cactus and other flowers. Look for swallow-tailed gulls, noddy terns, red-billed tropic birds and Galápagos fur seals on the rocky walls of this small island. In the afternoon, cruise to Rábida to catch sight of flamingos feeding in a brackish lagoon and clownish brown pelicans entertaining from their nests.

    Accommodations:

    National Geographic Islander II

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Isabela / Fernandina

    Awaken in the remote western archipelago, haunt of whalers and pirates of yore. Cruise by Zodiacs along the wildly eroded volcanic shores of Isabela, where we might see green turtles, fur seals and even penguins. Keep an eye out for whales and dolphins in the marine-rich waters. After lunch, go ashore on Fernandina for a hike over lava flows past tide pools where young sea lions play and the strange flightless cormorant nests.

    Accommodations:

    National Geographic Islander II

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Santiago

    Early this morning, go ashore on Santiago to stroll along the wide beach or explore Playa Espumilla, a dense coastal forest filled with mangroves and home to Galápagos hawks and other land birds. After breakfast, swim, snorkel, kayak, and paddleboard along the spectacular coast of Buccaneer’s Cove, a secluded atelier where pirates once careened their ships. After lunch, explore tide pools and look for fur seals sheltered in quiet grottos of black basalt at Puerto Egas, where we see evidence of an old salt mine and other human history. Swim and snorkel from the beach, which is frequented by sea lions and marine iguanas.

    Accommodations:

    National Geographic Islander II

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Baltra, Galápagos / Disembark / Guayaquil

    Disembark after breakfast and transfer to Balta for the flight back to the mainland.

    Accommodations:

    Hotel del Parque

    Included meal: Breakfast
  • Guayaquil / Home

    Transfer to the airport after breakfast for flights returning home.

    Accommodations:

    Hotel del Parque

    Included meal: Breakfast

Trip details

Start preparing for the trip of a lifetime

From top to bottom, we’ve taken care of all the details, so you can enjoy a no-stress, worry-free travel experience.

ship at sea with raft and seagulls

Pricing

Secure your spot today

The price of your trip covers a comprehensive educational program in addition to meals, accommodations, tours and excursions. Continue reading for a full list of what’s included.

Category A

Standard Suite with two large windows, seating area with sofa and lounge chair, convertible king/twin beds, ample closets, marble double-sink bathroom, available WiFi, stocked mini-bar and flat screen television with shipboard network

Average square feet: 280
Cabins: 203, 205–208, 210–212, 215, 220, 301–302, 306, 308, 310–312, 316

  • Double: $12,995 per person

Category B

Islander Suite with four windows, separate living room with sofa, two lounge chairs, marble double-sink bathroom with rain shower and tub, convertible king/twin beds, ample closet, available WiFi, stocked mini-bar and flat screen television with shipboard network

Average square feet: 515
Cabins: 209, 218, 303, 309

  • Double: $16,855 per person

Category C

Single suite with two large windows, seating area with sofa and lounge chair, convertible king/twin beds, ample closets marble double-sink bathroom, available WiFi, stocked mini-bar and flat screen television with shipboard network

Average square feet: 280
Cabins: 217, 222, 315, 318

  • Single: $17,795 per person

Join us in the Galápagos Islands

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