Itinerary for two-week faculty-led trip in Maymester 2013:
(tentative, subject to change pending final contracts)
Day 1 (May 24, 2013): Fly to Quito, stay at a hotel in downtown Quito.
Day 2 (May 25, 2013): Tour of historic Quito Old Town, including visits to the Basilica del Voto Nacional, Independence Plaza, 16th century cathedrals, and the Central Bank Museum.
Days 3-10 (May 26-June 2, 2013): Fly to Galapagos Islands and cruise for 8 days throughout the archipelago on our personal 20-passenger yacht. Islands to be visited include San Cristobal, Genovesa, Fernandina, Isabella, Santiago, Rabida, Seymour Norte, Santa Cruz (including Darwin Research Center), and Santa Fe. Each morning ride a panga (a raft with an outboard motor) from the cruise ship to an island where our two naturalists (trained and certified by the Galapagos National Park System) will lead a 3-hour hike. Return to the ship for lunch; cruise to the next landing to take another hike in the afternoon. Each day there also will be an opportunity to swim, snorkel, sun on the beach, or kayak along the shore. In the evening, the naturalists will provide a lecture on the next day’s itinerary. After dinner, relax on the sun deck or in the ship’s lounge. On the final day of the cruise, return to San Cristobal Island and tour the Galapagos National Park Interpretive Center.
In the afternoon of June 2, fly back to Quito and stay at the Hosteria San Jorge Botanical Reserve in a hacienda built in the 1800’s in the foothills above the city.
Day 11 (June 3, 2013): Leaving the Andean highland habitat at 9,300 ft elevation, travel by bus along the EcoRuta Paseo del Quinde (Trail of the Hummingbird Ecological Route). The greatest density and diversity of birds per acre in the world exist along the corridor of this ecological route. A naturalist will lead a short bird watching and plant identification hike through the cloud forest at the San Jorge Tandayapa Hummingbird Reserve Lodge at 5,580 ft elevation. After lunch at the lodge, continue our decent into the tropical rainforest at 3,280 ft elevation. Stay at the San Jorge de Milpe Orchid & Bird Reserve Lodge, known for its majestic waterfalls and swimming hole; experience the sounds of the tropical rainforest on a night walk.
Day 12 (June 4, 2013): Rise at dawn to go bird watching and then spend the day hiking, learning about the flora of the rainforest, bird watching, and swimming in a tropical water fall. Return to San Jorge Lodge in Quito. After dinner enjoy an evening performance of traditional indigenous music and dance by a local troupe.
Day 13 (June 5, 2013): Travel to the town of Otavalo to experience the culture of the indigenous highlands people and to visit the largest indigenous market in the world to sample local fruits and shop for local handicrafts. Have lunch at the 16th century Hacienda Cusin. Return to Quito in the evening.
Day 14 (June 6, 2013): Return to Newark.