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Location: Quito, Ecuador; Galápagos Islands; Guayaquil, Ecuador
Trip Leaders: Dr. Scott Eckert and Chris Young
Trip Dates: July 10–18, 2019
Trip Cost: Starting at $5,399 per person for a double occupancy (shared) room
Trip Capacity: 36
Registration Deadline: December 1, 2018 Sold Out - Add your name to our waiting list
Final Payment Deadline: January 11, 2019

Trip Overview

Step into the extraordinary archipelago Charles Darwin called “a little world within itself,” and surround yourself with swimming-basking-flying examples of perfect adaptation. Feel the thrill of encountering flora and fauna that famously inspired Darwin—and generations of nature lovers after him. Undiscovered by Europeans until the 16th century, the Galápagos Islands are central to modern scientific and evolutionary history. In a place where human presence is relatively minimal, you can observe and photograph remarkable species up close, including boobies, turtles, and sea lions.

Here are a few highlights:

  • A full-day tour of Quito, including visits to the gold-leaf interior of the Jesuit Church of La Compañía and to a curated collection of Pre-Columbian art
  • Remarkable proximity to the diversity of species endemic to the Galápagos, such as Nazca boobies and red- and blue-footed boobies, giant tortoises, marine iguanas, and Darwin’s finches
  • A myriad of aquatic wildlife in the clear waters of the world’s second largest marine reserve
  • Snorkeling with sea lions, colorful tropical fish, and sea turtles—or observing them through a glass-bottom boat
  • The services of an expert Expedition Leader with extensive local knowledge and experience as a cultural, historic, and naturalist interpreter
  • Exploring secluded inlets and white sand beaches such as Gardner Bay, where sea lions lounge and Española mockingbirds sing
  • Visits to the lush highlands of Santa Cruz Island, the perfect place to see the Galápagos giant tortoise, and to Cerro Brujo, one of the first sites Charles Darwin visited

The trip includes the following:

  • 4 nights aboard the Isabella II, with exploration of the area on panga boats, naturalist-led hikes and excursions, and evening lectures
  • 2 nights at the Hilton Colon in Quito
  • 1 night at the Wyndham Hotel in Guayaquil
  • A welcome reception in Quito, 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 4 dinners, including a farewell dinner
  • Complimentary use of kayaks, shorty wetsuits, and snorkeling equipment
  • Galápagos National Park entrance fee and transit card
  • Internal air travel (from Quito to the islands on Day 3 and from the islands to Guayaquil on Day 7)
  • Airport transfers for guests arriving and departing during the suggested times
  • Gratuities for guides and drivers on airport transfers and excursions and for hotel porters

The following are not included:

  • Trip cancellation insurance and passenger travel protection plan*
  • International airfare
  • Costs associated with obtaining passports or entry visas
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Meals and beverages other than those specified on the itinerary
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, communication charges, and optional activities

*Please contact Principia Lifelong Learning if you would like a recommendation for travel insurance.

Meet Your Trip Leaders

Dr. Scott Eckert has been active for nearly three decades in the field of pelagic marine vertebrate research and conservation, focusing largely on sea turtles. He is world-renowned for his expertise on leatherback turtles and the important role these wide-ranging oceanic reptiles play in the marine environment. Scott pioneered the use of microelectronics on sea turtles, was the first to successfully use satellite telemetry to study the long-term movements and behaviors of leatherbacks and whale sharks, and was also the first to connect the collapse of major sea turtle nesting aggregations to distant commercial fishing activity. His current research focuses on the oceanic behavior and ecology of the leatherback sea turtle from numerous field sites in the U.S. and the Caribbean. Scott joined the Principia College faculty in 2010.

Chris Young is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Principia College. His areas of speciality include ancient Greek and contemporary European philosophy. He joined the Principia College faculty in 2006. While at Principia, Chris has led successful abroad programs to Nepal, Greece, and Italy.

Photo by Meg Andersen (C'17)