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Highlights of Peru and the Galapagos

Duration
13 Days
Prices From:
AU$ 9,592

Escape to South America to explore two of its most iconic landmarks on one amazing itinerary. Start your journey in Peru where you’ll venture into the Sacred Valley of the Incas and see Machu Picchu before exploring Quito in Ecuador and the world-famous natural playground of the Galapagos Islands.


This 13-day South American vacation takes you to Peru to explore Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas before connecting to Ecuador to explore Quito and the Galapagos Islands. It features mostly first-class accommodations, private tours in Peru, small group tours in Ecuador, and is a great first trip to South America.

Your journey begins in Lima, where you’ll stay overnight before flying to Cusco early the next morning. Cusco is the former capital of the Inca Empire and the gateway to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You’ll spend the day at leisure in Cusco in order to adjust to the high altitude. Take the day easy and see some of the colonial churches and Inca ruins around the Plaza de Armas. After getting your bearing in Cusco, head into the Sacred Valley and explore the remnants of the Inca Empire and the modern-day Quechua villages that keep alive a millennia-long tradition. You’ll visit the textile centre of Chinchero, explore the mountainside fortress of Ollantaytambo, and see the ruins of Pisac that overlook the Vilcanota River. Another day, explore the whitewashed salt mines of Maras before getting in touch with the rural Andean lifestyle in the village of Misminay. End the day at the agricultural terraces of Moray, which are Incan experimental centres carved into the hillside.

After exploring the Sacred Valley of the Incas, you’ll board the train to Aguas Calientes and ride up the mountain to Machu Picchu, the Lost Citadel of the Incas and one of the world’s greatest historical wonders. You’ll explore Machu Picchu over the course of two days, heading along the circuit to learn about the mysterious history of this mountaintop city. You may also have a chance to head to the Sun Gate to enjoy the views from the end of the Inca Trail and climb Huayna Picchu for an unforgettable vantage point of the citadel. After exploring Machu Picchu, ride the train back to Ollantaytambo and connect back to Cusco. The next day, fly back to Lima and connect onward to Quito in Ecuador.

Quito is the Ecuadorian capital and one of South America’s great historical centres. You’ll spend a day exploring the history of colonial Quito on a city tour. Start at the Main Plaza where you’ll see the Government Palace and San Francisco Monastery, which started construction five days after the founding of the city in 1534. Continue along La Ronda Street before reaching Panecillo, a hill on the south side of the city, where you’ll see the statue of Our Lady of the Panecillo and enjoy great views over the hilly city.

From Quito, fly to the Galapagos Islands and spend a few days exploring this natural playground, renowned around the world for its biodiversity. You’ll stay two nights at the Galapagos Magic Tented Camp in the highlands of Santa Cruz, in the midst of a national park known for its Giant Tortoises wandering the hillside. On Santa Cruz, you’ll explore the turquoise waters of the Itabaca Channel, go kayaking or snorkelling alongside blue-footed boobies, sea lions, and herons. You’ll also board a yacht for a journey to South Plaza where you’ll see a sea lion colony, swim alongside white-tipped reef sharks in the tropical waters, and stroll alongside the prickly-pear cactus groves and yellow-gray land iguanas on the shore.

Continue to Isabela, where you’ll spend another two days exploring the Galapagos. This island is known for its rugged volcanic landscape. You’ll tour the small island village of Tintoreras, snorkel through the island’s bays, and bike along the Wetlands Trail to the Wall of Tears, built by American soldiers in WWII. The next day, hike up to the rim of Sierra Negra Volcano, which is the second largest volcanic caldera in the world, before hiking through the drizzle in the shadow of Volcan Chico and spotting Galapagos hawks and flycatchers.

At the end of your adventure, you’ll connect back to Santa Cruz and Baltra to fly back to Quito and return home.


 

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Duration
13 Days
Prices From:
AU$ 9,592

Itinerary View Trip Map View Trip Special

Day 1

Arrive Lima

Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport

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    Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport



    Located within Jorge Chavez International Airport, the hotel Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport offers guests first class infrastructure and service to make your stay in the capital a true pleasure. Thanks to its strategic location, you will be able to save time during your …

    Located within Jorge Chavez International Airport, the hotel Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport offers guests first class infrastructure and service to make your stay in the capital a true pleasure. Thanks to its strategic location, you will be able to save time during your stay and optimize your rest. In this way, you will benefit from a perfect combination of time, pleasure and relaxation.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Business Centre
    • Gift Shop
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Hair/Beauty Salon
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Mail and Postal Facilities
    • Medical Services
    • Parking
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Spa

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Day 2

Cusco

Early morning you will be assisted with checking in for your flight to Cusco. Upon arrival at the airport you will be transferred to the hotel. Day at leisure to adjust to the altitude.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Casa Andina Standard Cusco Catedral

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  • starstarstar

    Casa Andina Standard Cusco Catedral



    About as close as you can get to Cusco's Cathedral and beautiful Plaza de Armas without actually being on the busy square. Intimately identified with the Cusco's illustrious history, the hotel occupies a colonial building with iconic green balconies and red tiles, and features an …

    About as close as you can get to Cusco's Cathedral and beautiful Plaza de Armas without actually being on the busy square. Intimately identified with the Cusco's illustrious history, the hotel occupies a colonial building with iconic green balconies and red tiles, and features an exposed Incan stone wall in the hotel lobby. Several rooms have coveted views of the Plaza de Armas and Compania de Jesus church.

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Day 3

Sacred Valley

You will visit Chinchero, a picturesque village in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. There, you will head to the PARWA Center, where you can appreciate beautiful textiles and even buy some to take home. Then, you will head to Ollantaytambo, where you can visit the archaeological complex of the same name, one of the largest in Peru, which is strategically located on top of a mountain. Then, enjoy a traditional lunch at a restaurant in the town of Ollantaytambo. Once lunch is over, you will head to Pisac, where you will visit the ruins overlooking the Vilcanota River, which will amaze you for its fascinating architecture.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado

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Day 4

Sacred Valley

You will visit the town of Maras, where one of the finest salts in the world is extracted: the salt of Maras. These mines form terraces and lagoons, which become an obligatory point to take amazing photographs. Also, you will visit the Andean community of Misminay, where the families of the community will give you a warm welcome with music and typical dances. Their hosts will share with you the traditional Andean lifestyle through a participative activity. You will know the local gastronomy through a delicious traditional prepared dish with local supplies, which you will enjoy at lunch time, then visit the huge circular agricultural terraces of Moray, which were used as a botanical laboratory by the Incas and from where you will have a privileged view of the Sacred Valley.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 5

Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu

A visit to one of the most important tourist destinations in the world: Machu Picchu. The excursion starts with a train trip to the town of Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo. The natural beauty of the surroundings makes the train the best way to start your visit. When you arrive, you will start the ascent to the ruins, which will without a doubt be one of your most unforgettable experiences. At Machu Picchu you can see one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World and take some impressive photos.

Lunch is at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge (Buffet Lunch)

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Casa Andina Standard Machu Picchu

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  • starstarstar

    Casa Andina Standard Machu Picchu



    Casa Andina Classic Machu Picchu is the ideal choice for those travelers who want to experience Machu Picchu in its entirety. Its strategic location in Aguas Calienes, closest access point to Machu Picchu, at the side of the train tracks from Aguas Calientes.

    Casa Andina Classic Machu Picchu is the ideal choice for those travelers who want to experience Machu Picchu in its entirety. Its strategic location in Aguas Calienes, closest access point to Machu Picchu, at the side of the train tracks from Aguas Calientes.

    Facilities

    • Internet Access
    • Laundry

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Day 6

Machu Picchu - Cusco

Visit the Machu Picchu archeological site for a second time with your guide.

At scheduled time, board the train to Ollantaytambo and upon arrival, transfer from the train station to the hotel.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Casa Andina Standard Cusco Catedral

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Location View map
  • starstarstar

    Casa Andina Standard Cusco Catedral



    About as close as you can get to Cusco's Cathedral and beautiful Plaza de Armas without actually being on the busy square. Intimately identified with the Cusco's illustrious history, the hotel occupies a colonial building with iconic green balconies and red tiles, and features an …

    About as close as you can get to Cusco's Cathedral and beautiful Plaza de Armas without actually being on the busy square. Intimately identified with the Cusco's illustrious history, the hotel occupies a colonial building with iconic green balconies and red tiles, and features an exposed Incan stone wall in the hotel lobby. Several rooms have coveted views of the Plaza de Armas and Compania de Jesus church.

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Day 7

Departure

After breakfast you are transferred to the airport in Cusco for your flight to Lima and onward connections home.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Quito Airport to Hotel

Duration1 Hour

Casa Aliso

Casa Aliso is one of the best boutique hotels in Ecuador; full of personality and character and defined by its unique design, decor and ambiance. Delightfully secluded, Casa Aliso is well known to experienced travellers who want to be close to everything, but desire a quieter, more refined atmosphere. True hospitality is discreet and is expressed on a daily basis by a myriad of small gestures.

Meal Plan Buffet Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Casa Aliso

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  • starstarstarstar

    Casa Aliso



    Casa Aliso is one of the best boutique hotels in Ecuador; full of personality and character and defined by its unique design, decor and ambiance. Delightfully secluded, Casa Aliso is well known to experienced travellers who want to be close to everything, but desire a …

    Casa Aliso is one of the best boutique hotels in Ecuador; full of personality and character and defined by its unique design, decor and ambiance. Delightfully secluded, Casa Aliso is well known to experienced travellers who want to be close to everything, but desire a quieter, more refined atmosphere. True hospitality is discreet and is expressed on a daily basis by a myriad of small gestures.

    Facilities

    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service

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    Preferred Hotel
Day 8

Quito City Tour

The place to start exploring Ecuador is Colonial Quito: a city of narrow cobblestone streets lined with whitewashed walls and, rising above, the steeples and cupolas of the city's many spectacularly decorated historic churches. The city has one of the best preserved colonial centers in all South America, and its integrity was assured in 1978 when the United Nations declared Quito a World Cultural Heritage site.

Morning visit to colonial Quito. We will walk through the Main Plaza, where you will see the Government Palace, La Compania, and some of the most important churches built around the XVI and XVII centuries, including the San Francisco Monastery which was started 5 days after the founding of the city in 1534. Then we will visit the city's famous La Ronda street, where we will learn about traditional work in Colonial Quito.

For our last stop, we will also be visiting the 'Panecillo', the hill that dominates the South of the city, and where we will be able to admire the famous statue of Our Lady of the Panecillo and enjoy spectacular views of Quito.

Duration4 Hours
Day 9

Quito to Santa Cruz Island

You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos. On arrival in Baltra's airport, you will be transferred to Santa Cruz Island and onto your hotel in Puerto Ayora. This tiny island was a military base during the Second World War and hosts the Islands' principal airport. The airport was built using the most advanced environmental techniques to reduce emissions and energy use, some of which you'll notice as you transit through the facility. It was the first ecological airport in the world.

Enter the airport through a special VIP lounge where you will have a chance to change clothes, put on some sunscreen and get a cool drink before transferring to the Itabaca Channel to explore its turquoise waters. You have a chance to kayak, snorkel and stand up paddleboard where we will see some of the famous Galapagos wildlife such as blue-footed boobies, sea lions, brown pelicans, a variety of herons and white-tipped reef sharks.

The ocean (sit on top) kayaks come in doubles or singles, and life jackets are provided. A support boat escorts you throughout the water activities to ensure safety and to provide water, snacks and towels between activities.

From Itabaca Channel, head up to the Santa Cruz highlands to one of the private reserves that borders the National Park where the famous Giant Tortoises inhabit in the wild.

Afterwards you drive to your exclusive giant tortoise reserve where the tented camp is located. Perched high on a hillside overlooking the ocean, Magic Galapagos Tented Camp will be your home for the next two nights. The sounds of nature will be a lullaby in the evenings, and the Milky Way will be your night light. Feast your eyes on the mountains and forest surrounding the lodge, and enjoy the peace of having the entire hillside to yourself, with the exception of seasonal resident giant tortoises.

Dinners are sumptuous three course affairs, prepared by expert chefs in an open-air kitchen in the main lodge. A favorite post-dinner activity is a short walk to the natural lava tubes on the reserve for a night cap in the one-of-a-kind 'Lava Lounge!' It's the perfect spot to relax around the fire and share stories from the day's adventures.

Meal Plan Lunch and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Galapagos Magic Tented Camp

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    Galapagos Magic Tented Camp



    Magic Galapagos (also known as Galapagos Magic) is a tented camp set in a private reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz. It's quite usual to see giant tortoises roam through the grounds of the camp, and it's a pleasure to share this peaceful location …

    Magic Galapagos (also known as Galapagos Magic) is a tented camp set in a private reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz. It's quite usual to see giant tortoises roam through the grounds of the camp, and it's a pleasure to share this peaceful location with them. After a day out exploring it's a treat to return here, take in a glorious sunset, enjoy a drink by the campfire and then sit down to a superb three course dinner. The 'lava lounge', formed out of natural lava tubes, is the ideal place to round off the day, chatting to other guests and sipping a nightcap.

    Facilities

    • Restaurant
    • WiFi

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Day 10

Santa Cruz Island

After breakfast, head back to the Itabaca Channel where you will board a yacht for your trip to South Plaza Island. Just a few hundred meters from the eastern shore of Santa Cruz Island, the Plazas Islands were formed from an uplifted seabed, almost giving them a tilted tabletop quality. We will disembark (dry landing) on South Plazas where we will be greeted by a colony of sea lions.

The yacht then moors at Punta Carrion, where you have the chance to snorkel in its beautiful waters. Swim with a variety of tropical fish and graceful rays, and if you are lucky, you may see white-tipped reef sharks that rest on the sandy ocean floor.

As we make our way up the shore, we will come upon a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents. The succulents are a beautiful groundcover in color contrast to the luminescent green prickly-pear cactus grove that dots the shore - it's an incredibly unusual and memorable vista. Yellow-gray land iguanas sit beneath the cactus patiently waiting for pears to drop.

Make your way further along the trail, where you approach the southern cliff of the island. From there, observe nesting swallow-tailed gulls and several sea birds such as tropic birds, Nazca and blue footed boobies, as well as spend time taking in the beautiful views.

Enjoy lunch on the yacht with island views before returning to Santa Cruz.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 11

Isabela Island

Today, take an early morning speed boat transfer to Isabela Island where you check into your hotel. The adventure then begins with a tour of the Tintoreras, a group of small islands near the village of Puerto Villamil. The islands are named after the white tipped 'Tintoreras' reef sharks that swim in these calm waters. On Tintoreras, you will see almost all of the archipelago's iconic wildlife: white-tipped reef sharks, sea lions, turtles, rays, penguins, and of course pelicans and blue footed boobies. It's like the Galapagos in miniature! After walking on the island, take a chance to snorkel in the bay. Don't be surprised if some of the penguins or sea lions jump in to play alongside you in the water!

In the afternoon, bike the Wetlands Trail where you can see marine iguana colonies and a number of different types of mangrove trees (all four can be seen here) as well as enjoying the network of trails, beaches and historic sites. At the end of the trail is the Wall of Tears, built in the late 1940's by Second World War prisoners held at the US base on the islands. Your guide will explain the importance of the Wall of Tears, giving us a glimpse into the lives of the island's previous inhabitants. On this network of trails you will catch some beautiful views of the village below and we will have the chance to see birds and, maybe even some wild giant tortoises.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Isamar Hotel Galapagos

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    Isamar Hotel Galapagos



    Set in a fishing village, this all-inclusive, oceanfront resort is an 8-minute walk from Flamingo Lagoon, 3 km from the Aeropuerto de General Villamil and 7 km from the Wall of Tears historic site.

    Set in a fishing village, this all-inclusive, oceanfront resort is an 8-minute walk from Flamingo Lagoon, 3 km from the Aeropuerto de General Villamil and 7 km from the Wall of Tears historic site.

    Facilities

    • Beach Access
    • Deck
    • Rooftop Terrace
    • WiFi

    More Details

Day 12

Isabela Island

Hiking Day!

Volcanic eruptions created all of the islands in the Galapagos, and you will get to see this geologic process first-hand as you explore Isabela, one of the youngest and most volcanically active islands of the archipelago.

You start by hiking up to the crater of the massive Sierra Negra volcano, and then onward to the rim of the Volcan Chico. This fascinating walk usually begins with some morning fog and drizzle which sometimes persists in the shadow of the volcano, adding to its mysterious character. Despite the drizzle, you may see Galapagos hawks, finches, flycatchers and short-eared owls en route.

You then reach the rim of the Sierra Negra crater, the second largest in the world after the Ngorongoro in Tanzania. The crater is so large, and the views so expansive, photos can't do it justice, but bring your binoculars and camera anyway! Later, as you head towards Volcan Chico, you may get the feeling we are walking on Mars due to the alien landscape. While it appears to be utterly desolate, a closer look reveals small lizards scurrying among the rocks. From its rim, we will enjoy more amazing views along with lava tubes and fumaroles.

After Volcan Chico and its extreme landscape, relax under the shade of a lovely "jaboncillo" tree to enjoy your box lunch while taking in the spectacular and expansive views over the central and northern parts of Isabela Island. In the distance, you will be able to see Fernandina, Pinzon and Santa Cruz Islands. Then head back down to complete our day of hiking and relax on the beaches of Puerto Villamil.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 13

Isabela Island to Quito

Today, take an early morning speed boat back to Santa Cruz and then a transfer by land to Baltra for your onward journey back to the mainland.

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Daily

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Airport transfers
  • 12 nights accommodation
  • Private guided excursions of the Sacred Valley
  • Private guided tours of Machu Picchu
  • Private Quito city tour
  • 5 days exploring the Galapagos Islands
  • Return Quito to Galapagos flights
  • Entrance and transportation fees
  • Meals as indicated

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes unless otherwise specified
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

DP LIMTPK13DQUIPE
3 May 2021
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