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Peru, Ecuador & the Galápagos Islands

From £5126.00
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Departing by Air
Duration 17 Days
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See an unforgettable World Wonder, the treasures of the Inca, the world’s highest capital and some of the planet’s most unusual creatures.

Beginning with a visit to Peru’s Sacred Valley where the Inca civilisation once thrived and to the magical “lost city” of Machu Picchu, this wonderful Small Group Tour will reveal Cuzco’s unique blend of Inca architecture and colonial style, and Peru’s cosmopolitan capital, Lima.

You’ll fly to lofty Quito, to explore the Ecuadorean capital in its spectacular Andean setting, and spend four nights in the remote Galápagos Islands. Here, encounters with the fearless, extraordinary creatures that make the islands their home will leave you with some astonishing memories, and ensure a wonder-filled conclusion to a very special holiday.

What You’ll Love

  • 14 nights’ carefully chosen accommodation, staying in the Sacred Valley (2 nights), Aguas Calientes (1 night), Cusco (2 nights), Lima (2 nights), Quito (3 nights), Santa Cruz, Galápagos (2 nights) and San Cristobal, Galápagos (2 nights) sharing a twin/double room
  • Entrances and Galapagos National Park fees
  • Internal flights from Cusco to Lima, from Lima to Quito, from Quito to San Cristobal and from Baltra to Quito
  • Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers
  • Breakfast each day, four lunches and one dinner
  • Return flights to Cusco, via Bogotá (returning from Quito via Bogotá)
  • An inter-island ferry and bay cruise in the Galápagos
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, knowledgeable tour manager

Alternative Departures

Single supplements apply. Subject to availability.

Itinerary

Day One – Fly to Peru

Fly overnight, vía Colombian capital Bogotá, to Lima.

Day Two – Arrive in Lima

Upon arrival in the Peruvian capital, transfer to your hotel to rest and relax.

Day Three – Tour of Lima

Today’s tour will introduce this thriving city, founded by conquistador Francisco Pizarro, where Spanish colonial influences abound, especially around its central Plaza Mayor, the Plaza de Armas. See the Presidential Palace and the city’s Baroque cathedral, explore the ultra-modern San Isidro and Miraflores districts, which overlook the Pacific Ocean, and enjoy a second evening in the city.

Day Four – Cusco and the Sacred Valley

Fly to Cusco and transfer into the fabled Sacred Valley of the Incas for two-night stay, where today’s  highlights will include a visit to the tiny Andean town Ccaccaccollo, known for the ancient art of fabric weaving.

Day Five – The Sacred Valley

Continue your discovery of the Sacred Valley, taking in the Inca ruins and market of ancient Pisac, as well as the fortress at Ollantaytambo. Visit a ‘Potato Park’ where you’ll learn about the importance of the tuber to the valley’s indigenous community. Spend a second night in the valley.

Day Six – Magical Machu Picchu

Journey, today, to the fabled ‘Lost City of the Incas’, travelling by narrow-gauge railway and bus to breathtaking Machu Picchu. On arrival, your guide will introduce the layout of the original citadel, after which you are free to explore the site – an experience you’ll never forget.

Today you’ll travel by narrow-gauge railway and bus to breath-taking Machu Picchu, the iconic Lost City of the Incas. On arrival, your guide will introduce the layout of the original citadel, after which you are free to wander around the site. Magnificently set in the heart of the Andes, Machu Picchu seems to have been a military outpost, a secret retreat of Inca rulers and a sanctuary built in honour of Inca chief Pachacutec. With its Royal Tomb, Temple of the Sun, Priest’s House, Temple of the Three Windows and Sunken Plaza, it is undeniably one of the true wonders of the world.

At the end of the day, you’ll head back down to nearby Aguas Calientes for an overnight stay in this lively Andean jungle spa town.

Day Seven – Optional sunrise visit to the citadel and return to Cusco

A second day’s optional visit to Machu Picchu begins with the unforgettable sight of sunrise over the citadel and the opportunity to explore the site before the bulk of visitors arrive. Travel to Cusco by train and bus for a two-night stay.

Day Eight – Cusco included tour

Join your guide for an introduction to one of the Americas’ most compelling and enthralling cities, with its ancient palaces and temples, and its roll call of colonial remnants.

Join your guide for an introduction to one of The Americas’ most enthralling cities, with its ancient palaces and temples, and its roll call of colonial buildings. Highlights will include the Santo Domingo monastery, built over the Inca Temple of the Sun, the monumental cathedral and the Spanish glories of the main square, the Plaza de Armas. You will also visit San Pedro market’s colourful stalls, and journey out into the surrounding hills to take in the ruins at the Inca sites at Sacsayhuaman, Puca Pucara and Tambomachay, before spending a second night in the city.

Day Nine – Fly to Quito

Bidding farewell to Lima, today you’ll head to the airport to board the two-hour flight back into the high Andes and to the extraordinary Ecuadorian city of Quito.

Stunningly set just 22 kilometres south of the equator, over 9,300 feet above sea level and beneath the volcanic slopes of towering Pinchincha, Quito is a Spanish colonial treasure-chest arrayed around its UNESCO-listed Historic Centre.

Upon arrival, you will be met by your local tour manager and be transferred to the hotel for some time at leisure before a welcome brief  this evening.

Day 10 – Quitzalo Solar Clock, ‘Middle of the World’ and the Otavalo Market

This morning, pay a visit to the ‘Middle of the World’, where the equator is marked with a monument and visitor centre, before continuing to the highland town of Otavalo, probably the most famous of all South America’s colourful, indigenous markets, before returning to Quito via Cotacachi and Peguche.

Day 11 – Fly to the Galapagos Islands

Bid farewell to Quito and fly to the remote, volcanic Pacific Galápagos archipelago, arriving at the island of Baltra and then transferring to Santa Cruz by boat, home of the giant tortoise for which the Galápagos are famed for.

Enjoy lunch at a local ranch before the chance to go in search of the famous giant tortoise on a gentle guided walk around the island’s volcanic interior. Afterwards, transfer to your hotel for a two-night stay.

Day 12 – Santa Cruz Island and Academy Bay tour

Enjoy an unforgettable cruise across the pristine waters of Academy Bay, stopping to enjoy opportunities for snorkelling or swimming amongst a colourful array of marine species, including turtles and curious sea lions. Ashore, there are marine iguanas to encounter, and an astonishing collection of cacti and red volcanic rocks, at which to marvel.

Day 13 – Charles Darwin Research Centre

This morning you’ll call at the Charles Darwin Research Station, where you’ll enjoy a fascinating visit to the centre and learn about vital conservation work across the Galápagos. You’ll also have the chance to meet several subspecies of giant tortoise, many of which are at ease with human contact.

After the tour, catch the boat to San Cristóbal island for a two-night stay in delightful Puerto Moreno.

Day 14 – Isla Lobos

After breakfast, transfer to the dock to board a boat for the short trip, accompanied by your certified Galápagos National Park guide, to tiny Isla Lobos, where you will not only see the resident sea lions, but colonies of frigate birds and blue-footed boobies. A swim in the calm, clear waters, or a stroll along the white sand beach brings yet more sightings and close-up views of marine life. This evening, enjoy an included farewell dinner.

Day 15 – Fly to Quito

Fly back to Quito, then transfer to your hotel for the final night of your tour.

Day 16 – City tour and return flight

Join your tour manager for a guided introduction to the Ecuadorian capital, including the historic centre, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After the tour transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight.

Day 17 – Arrive back in the UK

You’ll land back in the UK, today, at the end of a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime, South American adventure.


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