• Associates 2018 Travel Program to Galapagos
  • Blue-footed boobie, Galápagos Islands
    Blue-footed boobie, Galápagos Islands
  • Kayaking in Santiago Island, Galápagos
    Kayaking in Santiago Island, Galápagos
  • Green sea turtle, Galápagos
    Snorkeling with a green sea turtle, Galápagos National Park, Galápagos Marine Reserve

Galápagos Islands, August 24–September 2, 2018

Family Travel Program with the Caltech Alumni Association

"A little world within itself," as Darwin described it, where life-altering encounters with animals—curious or sublimely indifferent to our presencehappen like nowhere else on earth.  Each island is diversely fascinating and magical. You'll discover the islands and habitats of this legendary volcanic archipelago aboard the intimate expedition ship, National Geographic Endeavour II, waking each day to fresh adventures. The onboard fleet of nimble Zodiacs and kayaks will let you explore natural wonders up-close. Gain remarkable insights from Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic's knowledgeable team. Hike among the wildlife; investigate the vibrant sea—snorkeling and swimming daily with sea lions, sea turtles, and penguins; and capture these moments in your best photos ever with the help of a certified photo instructor.

Please view the brochure for itinerary, reservation guidelines, and detailed pricing.
Reservation form

We hope you and your family can join us for this very special adventure. For questions or reservations, please contact Lindblad Expeditions at groups@expeditions.com or (888) 773-9007, or contact Ruby Rico at caltechassociates@caltech.edu or (626) 395-6392

Faculty Leader

Rob Phillips, Fred and Nancy Morris Professor of Biophysics and Biology

Rob Phillips, Fred and Nancy Morris Professor of Biophysics and Biology
"The Galápagos are completely iconic," says Rob Phillips, professor of biology and biophysics, whose research at Caltech addresses the physics of genome management such as how viruses and cells physically manipulate DNA as part of their standard repertoire during their life cycles and how transcriptional networks lead to regulatory decisions. On his most recent trip in 2014, Phillips shared the marvel of the Galápagos islands, "Right before your eyes you can see the products of evolution, if you like. You can swim in the water with the flightless cormorants. The famed Darwin's finches are there. You can wonder what penguins are doing at the equator."

Prior to the privilege of a life in science, Phillips spent seven years of travel and self-study (and work as an electrician). Over the last decade, he has merged his love of travel with his research by exploring the ways in which the study of DNA sequences can help us understand the living world around us, with special emphasis on the hidden sphere of viruses and bacteria. As a result, he has led students trips to the Galápagos Islands, the Wallace Line in Indonesia, and the South Island of New Zealand.


Itinerary at a Glance

AUG. 24: U.S./Guayaquil, Ecuador
Depart U.S. and arrive Guayaquil by late evening; it's a short drive to Hotel Hilton Colón, where we spend the night.

AUG. 25: Guayaquil/Galápagos/Embark 
After the 1 1⁄2-hour flight to the Galápagos, we'll immediately board the ship. Over the course of the week, our exact routing depends on the National Park Service. (B, L, D)

AUG. 26-31: Galápagos Islands 
The following itinerary is a representative sample of the islands we may visit during your week on board: (B, L, D daily)

This is an enchanting landscape where lava, mangroves, and golden sand converge. Great walks and views abound, with a chance to snorkel with Galápagos penguins. 
Santiago offers close encounters with Galápagos fur seals, along with an opportunity to study the inhabitants of the island's countless tide pools.
Santa Cruz 
Learn about the science taking place at the Charles Darwin Research station and visit the neighboring captive breeding program for endangered species of Galápagos giant tortoises, run by their partners in conservation, the Galápagos National Park Service.
The largest of the Galápagos Islands, Isabela offers opportunities for a refreshing morning swim or walk along the black-sand beach. Enjoy a more challenging hike over rugged shoreline and a shorter walk within an iguana colony, or experience kayaking and deep water snorkeling in which the animal, bird, and marine life is beyond compare.
This is the youngest island in the Galápagos and one of the most pristine tropical islands left on earth. Look forward to hikes over relatively recent lava flows and wildlife spotting for marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, and Sally Lightfoot crabs.
Snorkel among sea lions in the clear waters off Champion Islet. We may also find flamingos, pintail ducks, and various shorebirds. Hike to a pristine white-sand beach—a favorite nesting site for sea turtles.
The exclusive home to waved albatross (seasonal) and colorful marine iguanas, Española is also a paradise for Darwin's finches, sea lions galore, and the famous blue-footed boobies. Snorkel and stroll along the island's lovely beaches.

SEPT. 1: Galápagos / Disembark / Guayaquil 
Disembark and fly to Guayaquil. The late afternoon and evening are free to explore the city. Overnight Hotel Hilton Colón. (B)

SEPT. 2: Guayaquil / Home 
Morning departure flights home. (B)

(B) Meals indicated as (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner).