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MAA Expeditions

  MAA PERU EXPEDITION 2008
  MAA GALAPAPOS ISLANDS PRE-TRIP 2008


Photographs by Bill Rhoten and Margaret Betchart

     
 

 

MAA GALAPAGOS ISLANDS PRE-TRIP
July 1-7, 2008

Here is the schedule for the MAA 2008 Pre-Trip to Quito, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. We have reserved spaces on board the 100-passenger M/V Galapagos Legend for the voyage.

DAY 1 - USA TO QUITO, ECUADOR
Tues July 1
Fly USA to Quito on American or Continental Airlines. Arrive Quito in the evening and transfer to Hotel Hilton Colon. Quito is a charming city with excellent hotels and services, situated at 9,000 feet in a high Andean valley surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes.

DAY 2 - QUITO, ECUADOR
Wed July 2
Breakfast at hotel. Morning Quito city tour, including the Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage site, a colorful mix of Spanish architecture, gilded colonial churches, historic plazas, markets, and quaint shops. Lunch on your own. Afternoon at leisure. Welcome dinner. (B,D)

DAY 3 - QUITO TO GALAPAGOS - BARTOLOME ISLAND
Thurs July 3
Morning transfer to Quito airport for flight to Galapagos. Board M/V Legend for 5 days/4 nights. Lunch on board ship. Introduction to the ship and safety drill. Excursion to Bartolome Island to discover the undersea life while snorkeling, and take a walk to the summit of Bartolome for a spectacular view. Enjoy sunset at Bartolome over the Galapagos Islands. Welcome dinner on board ship. (B,L,D)

DAY 4 - GALAPAGOS - URBINA BAY & PUNTA ESPINOSA
Fri July 4
Breakfast on board ship. Morning visit to Isabela Island’s Urbina Bay, an area of uplifted coral from the 1954 earthquake which is now populated by large land iguanas. There may be possible sightings of young Galapagos tortoises and Darwin’s finches. Lunch on board ship. Afternoon excursion to Punta Espinosa, an extraordinary location for marine iguanas, green sea turtles, and sea lions, with vistas of the famous volcanoes of Isabela Island -- Wolf, Darwin, Alcedo, Sierra Negra, and Cerro Azul. Dinner on board ship. (B,L,D)

DAY 5 - GALAPAGOS - SANTIAGO ISLAND (JAMES BAY) & RABIDA
Sat July 5
Breakfast on board ship. Morning excursion to Puerto Egas (James Bay) on Santiago Island. Here we will look for blue-footed boobies, sally lightfoot crabs, marine iguanas, and fur seals, and have an opportunity to explore the undersea life while snorkeling and swimming. Lunch on board ship. Afternoon excursion to the beautiful shore of Rabida Island, with dramatic red cliffs, mangroves, sea lions, and slopes covered by silver-trunked palo santo trees. Zodiac cruise along the shore and look for blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds, and brown noddy terns. Dinner on board ship. (B,L,D)

DAY 6 - GALAPAGOS - SANTA CRUZ ISLAND (Puerto Ayora)
Sun July 6
Breakfast on board ship. Special morning visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about the Galapagos tortoise breeding program, and see the famous Galapagos tortoises. See the community of Puerto Ayora, and zodiac back to the ship anchored in Academy Bay (named after the California Academy of Sciences expedition). Lunch on board ship. Afternoon visit to the highlands of Santa Cruz to see Galapagos tortoises in the wild. Farewell dinner on board ship. (B,L,D)

DAY 7 - GALAPAGOS (BACHAS BEACH) TO LIMA
Mon July 7
Breakfast on board ship. Morning excursion to spectacular Bachas Beach, where white sands edge flamingo lagoons. Look for boobies flying overhead, see green sea turtles, and snorkel. Return to ship and prepare to disembark. Transfer to Galapagos Airport. Return flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador. Snack on flight. Take TACA flight Guayaquil to Lima, Peru. In transfer to Hotel. Passengers have dinner on their own. (B,L aloft)

The Quito/Galapagos pre-trip for all participants will include:

  • Group in transfer July 1.
  • Hotel Hilton Colon July 1 and 2, 2008, based on twin share of a Deluxe Room. All participants without a roommate must pay the single supplement of $150 (total for the 2 nights).
  • Breakfast buffet at the Hilton Colon July 2 and 3.
  • Quito half-day city tour July 2 and welcome dinner.
  • Transfers to the Quito Airport for Galapagos flight July 3.
  • Air tickets from Quito to Galapagos, with return to Guayaquil per person.
  • Galapagos National Park Tax
  • Accommodations, meals, and activities on board M/V Legend in the cabin category of your choice based on twin share (two to a cabin).

Participants can register twin share and we will assign a roommate.
Very limited single accommodations are available; please inquire about the cost.

TOTAL PACKAGE COST PER GALAPAGOS PRE-TRIP PARTICIPANT:

Superior Twin Cabin $3,150 per person + air Guayaquil/Lima $275*
Junior Suite $3,560 per person + air Guayaquil/Lima $275*
Legend Suite $3,760 per person + air Guayaquil/Lima $275*
Balcony Suite $4,030 per person + air Guayaquil/Lima $275*
The Superior Twin Cabins are on the same deck as the dining room and are very comfortable, but have portholes instead of windows. The Junior Suites are larger & have two large picture windows. The Legend Suites are larger still, and have a sitting area & windows. The cabins on the top deck are Balcony Suites with private terraces. Cabins have either double beds or twin beds; bathrooms are identical. The entire ship is quite comfortable.

Galapagos Pre-trip Excludes: Independent transfers; tips to staff and naturalists on board ship; any personal costs of any sort (room service, use of internet, phone, fax, laundry, alcoholic beverages, sodas, bottled water, Ecuador Airport Departure Tax ($37.90 per person as of 5/28/07); anything not explicitly listed as included in the tour package. Costs are subject to unavoidable increases in fuel costs for the ship.

Deposit & Cancellation Policy: An immediate deposit of $500 per person is recommended to confirm your preferred cabin category on the Galapagos Pre-Trip, July 1-7, 2008. Phone Lisa Kolbe, MAA (202) 293-1170. Deposit is refundable until 6 months before departure, less a $100 per person cancellation fee. Within 6 months of departure, it is nonrefundable. The final payment is due 150 days before departure (February 1, 2008) and is nonrefundable. Trip cancellation insurance will be offered which will protect passengers in the event of unexpected medical problems. Passengers with pre-existing medical conditions can be protected by purchasing the insurance within 14 days of the date on their confirmation letter. This would allow you to get reimbursed for your trip payments by the insurance company.

*Air Fares for participants taking both the Peru Expedition and Galapagos pre-trip may be confirmed through our air consolidator. Air fare on American Airlines from Miami to Quito, with return from Lima is approximately $650 base fare + tax of approximately $175 per person + $35 per person ticketing fee. Attractive add-on fares will be available (approximately $100 from New York, $170 from Boston or Chicago, $230 from Los Angeles, or $250 from San Francisco). In addition there is one flight on TACA Guayaquil to Lima, Peru, at $275. Air fares are subject to change.

Questions? Please call:

Lisa Kolbe, MAA
Phone (202) 293-1170
Fax (202) 293-3412

or

Marisa Eide, Betchart Expeditions Inc.
Phone (800) 252-4910
Fax (408) 252-1444

Email:

 

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