2020 Galapagos Islands

June 10 – 17
Tour Operator: Orbridge (Read additional tour details here.) 
Price: From $4,995 (airfare additional)
Tour Length: 8 days
View Brochure (PDF) 
UNC Lecturer: Stephen Walsh, Lyle V. Jones Distinguished Professor of Geography & Director, Center for Galapagos Studies & Galapagos Science Center
Read more about Stephen.

Join us as we explore the Galapagos Islands—one of the most biologically unique places on earth. Undiscovered by Europeans until the 16th century, the Galapagos Islands hold a central position in modern history as the birthplace of the theory of evolution. Designated the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, the Galapagos Islands are home to a fascinating array of wildlife inhabiting an unspoiled ecosystem, living in harmony with their human visitors.

This exciting journey features a day of guided touring in Quito plus an intimate cruise through the archipelago with up-close access to endemic species. Expert naturalists guide you through the wonders of this national park, whale sanctuary, and marine reserve.

Each island in this volcanic archipelago hosts species that are exquisitely adapted to the available food sources and surrounding environments: the marine iguana, which eats mostly algae and is the only sea-going lizard in the world, and the Galapagos tortoises—some species of which were hunted to the brink of extinction by 18th- and 19th century whalers. You can also observe how species have evolved to interact with each other—certain Darwin’s finches have developed a symbiotic relationship with land iguanas, who will obligingly raise themselves up from the ground so that the birds can more easily pluck parasites from their bellies. Because the human presence is still relatively minimal, many of the animals are remarkably unafraid of visitors.

Your accommodations for this adventure are aboard Isabela II, a 40-guest vessel with spacious cabins, local cuisine, and a staff dedicated to ensuring both your comfort and maximum enjoyment of this truly extraordinary destination and its diverse inhabitants.

Schedule of Events

  • Day 1 : Depart U.S. | Arrive Quito
  • Day 2 : Quito
  • Day 3 : Quito | Flight to Baltra | Santa Cruz - Embarkation
  • Day 4 : Floreana
  • Day 5 : Española
  • Day 6 : San Cristóbal
  • Day 7 : San Cristóbal - Disembarkation | Flight to Guayaquil
  • Day 8 : Guayaquil | Depart for U.S.


We offer the Tar Heel Travel program as a service to our alumni and friends of the University. As travel is a GAA member perk, we require one traveler per room to be a member of the General Alumni Association in order to be eligible to travel. For more information or to join the GAA, contact the membership office at (800) 962-0742 or join online.

Additional Information

Note: Tour schedule is subject to change due to local conditions. Many excursions in this program involve an element of walking as some of the finest attractions are located in areas not closely accessible by motorcoach.

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All 2020 prices and itineraries (including port order) are tentative and subject to change; final pricing adjustments may occur after the release of marketing materials.