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July 2013

"Christmas" Iguana Green Sea Turtle Blue-Footed Booby

A 10-day program examining the geology and environment of the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador,
guided by experts in geology and Galápagos ecology.
Led by
Professor of Geology Jim Reynolds

Our excursion to the Galápagos Islands will allow us to visit nature in its purest state, practically untouched by human intervention. To minimize our impact on the islands we visit, we will live aboard a yacht, in relative luxury, with excellent meals prepared by our private chef and attended by a crew of expert, experienced sailors. We will be accompanied by a National Park Ranger who is an expert naturalist as well as a fountain of knowledge and experience with regard to the ecosystems found in the islands.


Note that this itinerary was updated to reflect major changes in the program that was first proposed. Our new itinerary is outlined below:

Monday, June 29th : Our group will convene at the departure gate at Miami International Airport (MIA) (details to be announced later). The 4-hour flight will land in the colonial coastal city of Guayaquíl, where our tour company, Columbus Travel, will provide transfer service to our hotel. Our flight departs Miami at 6:20 PM (EDT) and arrives in Guayaquíl at 9:35 PM (CDT). Be sure you arrive in Miami more than two hours before the flight departs.

We will travel through the islands aboard the yacht Aida María, sleeping in double-occupancy cabins and eating excellent food prepared by our personal chef.

Saturday -Monday:
June 29
  Miami, Florida: We will meet at the departure gate at Miami International Airport (MIA) and fly to Guayaquíl, Ecuador (GYE) where we will spend the night in a hotel.
June 30
Am San Cristobal Island: After returning to the Guayaquíl airport, we will fly to the Galápagos Island of San Cristobal (SCY). We will meet our yacht in the capital city of Barquerizo Moreno. San Cristobal is the first island in the Galápagos that Charles Darwin visited.
Pm San Cristobal Island: Isla Lobos: This small island is named after the sea lions that rest and play on its rocky shores.»Read more
MON July 1
Am Santa Fe Island: A volcanic uplift that hosts a forest of Opuntia and palo santo. Endemic land iguanas are often seen »Read more
Pm South Plaza Island: South Plaza has one of the largest populations of land iguanas in the Galápagos. »Read more
July 2
Am Santa Cruz Island: Visit Charles Darwin Station in Puerto Ayora : The station is operated by the Charles Darwin Foundation, an organization that provides scientific assistance to ensure the proper preservation of the Galápagos. »Read more
Pm Santa Cruz Island: El Chato: We'll take a bus to this reserve in the highlands where you will have the opportunity to observe giant tortoises in the wild. »Read more
Santa Cruz Island: Highlands: The highlands are located in the northern part of the island and can reach elevations up to 1500 mt. »Read more

July 3

Am Isabela Island: Puerto Villamil
A small peaceful town with a laid back atmosphere and long white-sand, palm-lined beaches. »Read more
Pm Isabela Island: The Wall of Tears
Isabela was a penal colony. Prisoners were made build a wall with huge blocks of lava as punishment. »Read more
Isabela Island: Tortoise Breeding Station: Created to protect animals in their first years of life from the threats of foreign species.»Read more
July 4
Am Isabela Island: Moreno Point
Beautiful rocky shores where penguins and shore birds, including blue herons, are usually spotted. »Read more
Pm Isabela Island: Elizabeth Bay: As we enter the bay, hawks can soar overhead and schools of fish can be seen swimming underneath. »Read more
July 5
Am Isabela Island: Tagus Cove: The HMS Beagle anchored in this submerged volcanic crater.
An opportunity to see penguins as well as marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs and sea lions. »Read more
Pm Fernandina Island: Espinosa Point
A narrow stretch of land where hundreds of marine iguanas gather largely on black lava rocks. »Read more
Isabela Island: Vicente Roca Point: The remnants of an ancient volcano form two turquoise coves with a bay protected from ocean swells. »Read more
July 6
Am Santiago Island: Puerto Egas: Puerto Egas, with its black sand beaches, was the site of small salt mining industry in the 1960's. »Read more
Pm Rábida Island: A bird-watcher’s delight. Species includes Flycatchers, Galapagos Hawks and Brown Pelicans. »Read more
July 7
Am North Seymour Island: Explore the rocky coast, passing colonies of blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigatebirds. »Read more
  Baltra Island: Transfer to the Baltra airport (GPS) and fly to Guayaquíl. We will have about an 8-hour layover. Those who wish will have the opportunity to take a bus tour of this beautiful colonial city. Our flight to Miami will depart at 11:55 PM.
July 8
Am Arrival in Miami (MIA) will be at 5:10 AM. The band of happy explorers will say their farewells and head for their flights to their final destinations.
NB. Itineraries are subject to National Park regulations and can be modified without previous notice.



Giant Galápagos Tortoises wallow in a shallow pond on Isla Santa Cruz.


A curious sea lion blows bubbles in JR's face.


Sunset over Isla Daphne Mayor at the end of a great adventure!




To see more photos, go to JR's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Jim.Reynolds.Brevard?ref=tn_tnmn
If you are not already a Friend, Friend me!

Note: Itineraries are subject to National Park regulations and can be modified without previous notice.


Round-trip airfare from Atlanta (departures from other airports are possible)
All land and sea transportation in Ecuador.
One night in Guayaquíl
8 days, 7 nights on a yacht touring the islands

All meals (prepared by the yacht chef)

National Park entrance fee

Expert Ecuadorian park ranger naturalist
Daily hikes on different islands
Daily snorkeling at different islands

Volcanoes, birds, reptiles, fish, sea lions

*Costs not included in the program are:
1) tips for the ranger and yacht crew (~$500),
2) airport departure tax (~$50),
3) personal expenses, such as beverages consumed aboard the yacht, souvenirs,
4) an optional bus tour of Guayaquíl, and
5) baggage handling fees.

Unfortunately, most places in the islands do not accept credit cards and ATM's had not yet taken hold, as of 2011. You will need to carry a pretty significant wad of cash to cover these expenses. There are ATM's in the Guayaquíl airport but not in San Cristobal or Baltra.



You may receive academic credit for this trip by enrolling in
GEOL 271 for the Summer of 2013 (2 hours of Pass/Fail credit).

This trip is limited to 15 participants.



The cost of the trip for BC students will be $4885 for those wishing to receive credit
and $4235 for those not receiving credit.
Other members of the Brevard College Community (faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, Board of Visitors members, and their families)
will also pay $4235.

No spaces will be reserved for anyone, under any circumstance,until the $850 deposit is paid.
Registration Deadline: March 1, 2013. After this date, any remaining spots will be offered to the general public.
Once this happens, they will fill quickly. On the 2011 trip, 10 spaces sold out in 8 days.


  1. Register with a check or credit card in the Brevard College Business Office.
  2. Register by calling Ms. Janie McCall at 828-884-8310.
  3. A deposit of $850 is due upon registration. This deposit is nonrefundable.*
  4. Submit a signed waiver form which you can download by clicking here.
  5. A second payment of $850 is due on February 15, 2013.
  6. The balance ($3185 or $2535 [credit dependent]) is due March 15, 2013.

*If the trip is canceled by Brevard College, registrants will receive a full refund.

**Registration is open exclusively to Brevard College Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, Trustees, Board of Visito Members and their families until March 1, 2013. After that date, people not affiliated with Brevard College may also register to fill any remaining spots.