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Few destinations are more iconic than the Galápagos Islands. Designated the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, the Galápagos Islands have been described as a “unique living museum and showcase of evolution.” They are home to a fascinating array of wildlife inhabiting an unspoiled ecosystem, living in harmony with their human visitors. With multiple ways to explore on land and at sea, including hikes, photo walks, kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling, every day reveals new discoveries  interpreted by a team of expert local guides.

Trip Highlights

  • Walk among wildlife unfazed by your presence: lounge on beaches with sea lions, marvel at huge colonies of marine iguanas, and see nesting seabirds. Snorkel with sea lions, turtles, and abundant fish in the protected waters of the Galápagos Marine Reserve.
  • Observe giant Galápagos tortoises in the wild on an adventure in the highlands of Santa Cruz.
  • Adventure by kayak, paddleboard, glass-bottom boat, and Zodiac.

Get a Glimpse

Lisa Mangiamele

Faculty Host: Lisa Mangiamele

Dr. Lisa Mangiamele is an integrative biologist interested in social communication, comparative neurobiology, and the evolution of brain and behavior. Her research has focused on studying the mechanisms of communication in a variety of wild species, including frogs and fish, with field work taking her to Panama, Costa Rica, and the Vienna Zoo. At Smith, Dr. Mangiamele teaches Animal Physiology, Systems Neurobiology, and Experimental Methods. In her free time she likes to hike with her husband and 7-yr-old son.

Learn More About Associate Professor Lisa Mangiamele

More Information

At a Glance

Day(s) Travel Schedule
Day 1 Depart the U.S. for Ecuador
Day 2 Travel to the Galápagos Islands; embark the National Geographic Endeavour II
Days 3–8 Explore the Galápagos Islands. Exact itineraries are at the direction of Galápagos National Park regulations.
Day 9 Disembark National Geographic Endeavour II and travel to the mainland
Day 10 Depart Ecuador for the U.S.

Day 1: Quito or Guayaquil, Ecuador

We meet you on arrival in Ecuador, either in Quito, Ecuador’s capital city in the Andes, or in the coastal city of Guayaquil, for an included transfer to your convenient hotel for an overnight stay. Both cities are well-served by international carriers, and Galápagos flights start and end in Quito with a stop in Guayaquil. Guests in Guayaquil stay at the locally owed Hotel Oro Verde and have the choice of several hotels in Quito, including a convenient airport hotel.

Day 2: Quito or Guayaquil/Galápagos

This morning, take a required flight to the Galápagos Islands (booked by Lindblad Expeditions at an additional cost) and board National Geographic Endeavour II. After lunch, we begin our exploration of the islands and their diverse wildlife.

Days 3–8: Exploring the Galápagos

Our expedition includes visits to Santa Cruz and a careful selection of other diverse islands. Our itinerary offers an optimal balance of wildlife, landscapes, and experiences. All itineraries are subject to Galápagos National Park regulations. Here is a sample of islands we may visit during our expedition.


Home to swallow-tailed gulls, Española mockingbirds, Nazca boobies and, seasonally, the world’s only population of waved albatross at Punta Suarez.


Follow a trail past a rose pink-tinted lagoon frequented by flamingos. Snorkel among sea lions and abundant fish, or cruise along Champion Islet by Zodiac. Visit the famous barrel at Post Office Bay.

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is not just the principal town in the islands, it is home to the Charles Darwin Research Station, where you learn about the science being done here. Visit the neighboring captive breeding program for
Galápagos giant tortoises being conducted by their partners in conservation, the Galápagos National Park Service. Later after lunch in the highlands, search for wild Galápagos giant tortoises in their native habitat.
Continue on a second day exploring the north of the island at Cerro Dragon, the habitat of the colorful Santa Cruz land iguanas, brought back from the brink of extinction. Later take a Zodiac cruise or paddle a mangrove-lined lagoon.


Walk to the top of Bartolomé’s volcanic cone for a stunning view of Pinnacle Rock and the surrounding golden sand beaches. After the hike, immerse yourself among schools of multicolored reef fish. You may also have the opportunity to swim with Galápagos penguins. Visit Sombrero Chino, the nearby islet in the shape of a Chinese hat, where you can take a Zodiac ride along the Sullivan Bay lava flow, and may also kayak and paddleboard.


Sail into a flooded caldera, walk among swallow-tailed gulls, red-footed boobies, and Nazca boobies and keep a lookout for hunting short-eared owls. Ride Zodiacs, kayak along the caldera, and snorkel among large schools of parrot fish at this magical place.

DAY 9: Galápagos/Disembark/Quito or Guayquil

Disembark this morning for a return flight to the mainland, where we transfer to Hotel Oro Verde in Guayaquil, and have several options in Quito, including a convenient airport hotel. The afternoon and evening are at your leisure. You may be able to take advantage of overnight flights home. 

DAY 10: Quito or Guayaquil

After breakfast, transfer to the airport and board flights home. 

Trip Details

  • Duration: 10 days
  • Activity Level: Moderate
  • Cost: Cabin prices start at $8,358* per person, based on double occupancy; single cabins start at $13,241*.
    • *Prices denote a 10% discount for all individuals traveling with Smith College.
  • Deposit: 15% of the trip price, per person, payable to Lindblad Expeditions; final payment is due 120 days prior to departure.
  • Co-Sponsors: None


To ensure a reservation on one of our trips or to find out more information, contact Sarah Doody, travel program coordinator, at 904-432-3141, or send an email to Reservations may also be faxed to 866-427-4335. We will contact you and send you the final brochure as soon as it becomes available. You can then send in your trip deposit to confirm your place.

Optional Extensions

Optional Pre-Voyage Extension

Tropical Andes & Colonial Quito

6 Days • From $3,050
Before your Galápagos adventure, discover the lesser-known wonders
of mainland Ecuador on this six-day adventure in the Andes. Explore
Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage site, from the comfort of historic Casa
Gangotena on Plaza San Francisco. Then immerse yourself in the heart of
the Ecuadorian Chocó, one of the world’s top five biodiversity hotspots,
at Mashpi Lodge.

Optional Post-Voyage Extension

Machu Picchu & Peru’s Land of the Inca

8 days • From $6,038
As maginifcent as the Galápagos Islands are for wildlife, so is Peru
from a cultural and archaeological perspective. Take advantage of your
proximity to explore Peru's Sacred Valley of the Inca, majestic Machu
Picchu, and the winding, colonial streets of Cusco. Gain insights from the
historian Peter Frost.

Day 9: Galápagos/Guayaquil/Lima, Peru

Depart Galápagos this morning and fly to Lima, Peru via Guayaquil, arriving in the evening. Check-in at Belmond Miraflores Park, set on a green promenade overlooking the Pacific in fashionable Miraflores. 

Day 10: Lima

Explore World Heritage-designated colonial Lima this morning, where we stroll the Plaza Mayor and delight in a private welcome lunch with a special musical presentation at Casa Aliaga, one of the oldest houses in Lima. Then visit the extraordinary Larco Museum dedicated to pre-Columbian art. Return to our hotel with dinner on your own to sample local fare.

Day 11: Lima/Cusco/Sacred Valley

Board a short scenic flight to Cusco this morning, and continue to Moray—a visually stunning Inca site with dramatic agricultural terraces in the heart of the fabled and fertile Urubamba Valley. After lunch and an opportunity to experience a local market, check-in at Sol y Luna, an independently owned Relais & Châteaux property where we stay in individual casitas set in verdant gardens. Unwind with dinner at the hotel tonight.

Day 12: Sacred Valley

Spend the day exploring the archaeological sites and culture of the Sacred Valley in the company of historian Peter Frost (or a colleague), who has lived and worked in Peru for decades. He or a colleague joins us for a talk at our hotel and a visit to the massive Inca stone fortress of Ollantaytambo, set above a thriving Inca community. Lunch is at a working, family-owned hacienda, where we are treated to a show of Peruvian Paso horses, and Nilda Callañaupa, founder of El Centro de Textiles Tradicionales de Cusco, demonstrates Inca weaving traditions.

Day 13: Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu

Marvel at the dramatic scenery by train to Machu Picchu. Check-in at the 31-room Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, adjacent to the UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore over two days in the company of your handpicked tour director and local guides. Lunch and dinner at the hotel. 

Day 14: Machu Picchu/Cusco

Awaken this morning overlooking Machu Picchu, where we have a full morning to explore with our guides or spend time in Machu Picchu Pueblo at the foot of the mountain. After lunch, return by train and bus to Cusco—UNESCO World Heritage site and a burgeoning cultural capital. Check-in at the Belmond Hotel Monasterio, in the heart of colonial Cusco, for two nights.

Day 15: Cusco

Explore the magnificently ornate 17th-century cathedral, the sacred Inca Temple of the Sun, and other treasures of Cusco. Visit nearby Sacsayhuamán, with commanding views over the city. This afternoon is at leisure to discover Cusco. Dinner is on your own. 

Day 16: Cusco/Lima/U.S.

After breakfast, fly from Cusco to Lima, connecting to flights home. Depending on your flight schedule, optional rooms at the Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel are available.


Peru extension cost per person:
Double: $6,038 Single: $7,446

Cost Includes: Seven hotel nights; meals indicated; transfers if traveling on designated flights; sightseeing; porterage; services of local guides and tour escort; tips to local guides, drivers, and tour escort; taxes and service charges. Not Included: Airfare; meals not indicated as included; alcoholic beverages; personal items.