Stride climate

Trip Type : Private Guided
Ultimate Ecuador & Peru Highlights tour

Ultimate Ecuador & Peru Highlights

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Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays. Luxury - 5 star
28 days
From: $ 18,308 $ 654 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • This trip highlights the best of what Peru and Ecuador have to offer in Luxury and style
  • This 28-day itinerary has it all
  • From the jungles of the Amazon to the exotic wildlife in the Galapagos and the fascinating ancient ruins of Peru

Short Description

Experience the highlights and hidden treasures of Ecuador, Galapagos and Peru with an epic 28 day adventure! This custom journey offers you the chance to catch a glimpse into the local culture and explore the wonders of this historical mecca. Your journey begins on the mainland, learning about the colonial history of Quito and traversing the wonders of the countryside. From there, your custom expedition will guide you through one of the world's premiere nature and wildlife destinations in the Galapagos. Every day of your voyage will offer new adventures and memories, as you observe the wildlife in their natural habitat and investigate the magic of the underwater world through a variety of activities and excursions. Next, venture to Peru to discover centuries of architecture as you trek from lodge to lodge along the Andes Mountains, on a route that will end at the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. This is your chance to be captivated, as you relish in the mystery, understand the history and embrace the adventure. So, grab your gear and get packing!

Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Trip Type Private Guided
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Lodging Level Luxury - 5 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Quito
End City Cusco

Destinations

Ecuador Peru

Cities & Attractions

Galapagos Quito

Activities

Wildlife viewing

N/A
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Trip Includes

  • Full support before, during & after your trip
  • Meals as mentioned
  • Accommodation as mentioned
  • Tours/activities as mentioned
  • Transport as mentioned

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Itinerary

Day 1: Quito Arrival

DAILY SUMMARY
Transportation: Airport Transfer
Accommodation: Hosteria Rincon de Puembo

Welcome to Ecuador! Upon arrival at the airport in Quito, you will be greeted by your English speaking driver, who will transfer you directly to your hotel. This will make for an easy and comfortable start to your adventure. Check into your room and enjoy the rest of the day free at your leisure to get settled and ease into your exploration at a relaxing pace. (This service is on a private basis.)

Quito
Ecuador is all about history, fascinating indigenous cultures, slow winding rivers and lush tropical forests, spectacular snow capped volcanoes and some of the most exciting wildlife on earth. Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is one of the most well preserved Spanish colonial cities in all of South America and is an essential part of every Ecuador trip. This distinction was recognized in 1978 when Quito became designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Since then, visitors to the city have been delighted by its stunning old cathedrals, colonial plazas, and countless other highlights.

Day 2: Quito - Otavalo

DAILY SUMMARY
Tour: Hacienda Zuleta Arrival
Accommodation: Hacienda Zuleta
Meals: B, L, D

Hacienda Zuleta Arrival
From Ecuador's capital city of Quito, the journey to Hacienda Zuleta is approximately 2 hours, as you drive through lush pastureland and scenic landscapes. With some luck, you may even be able to admire views of the snow-capped volcano Cayambe on your way, which is just a few miles away from Zuleta. Dating from the late XVI century, the stunning Hacienda Zuleta lies in the spectacular Andean mountain range of Ecuador at 9,600 feet above sea level.

To visit Hacienda Zuleta is to experience four centuries of Ecuadorian life steeped in pre-Colombian, Spanish and Ecuadorian traditions. This exclusive property is open to only a limited number of visitors each year in order to retain intimacy, warmth and sincerity, reminiscent of a bygone age. When you reach the accommodation, get settled into your room and enjoy the rest of the evening as you please.

Day 3: Otavalo

DAILY SUMMARY
Tour: Otavalo Market & Cuicocha Lake Hike
Accommodation: Hacienda Zuleta
Meals: B, L, D

Otavalo Market & Cuicocha Lake Hike
Otavalo is set in the beautiful countryside, surrounded by Andean peaks, valleys and waterfalls. The Cayambe Volcano is along the Panamerican Highway to Otavalo. It is 5,790 meters and the highest point in the world, which lies directly on the Equator. Otavalo is a small and charming town, home to the famous Otavalo Indians. It lies at 2350 meters, in a spring like valley situated between the Imbabura Volcano (4609m) and the Cotacachi Volcano (4939m).

Your adventure today, starts with a visit to the vibrant and stunning local Indian Market, which is one of the most well known in the Ecuadorian Andes. It has been considered as an economic and social center, since more than 4000 years. After strolling through the stalls and admiring the hustle and bustle of the market, you will continue on to the Cotacachi-Cayapas ecological reserve. There, you will embark on a three hour hike around the picturesque Cuicocha Lake. This deep-blue crater lake on the lower southern flanks of Mount Cotacachi, is a beautiful site to be explored. Throughout your hike, you can marvel at more views of the surrounding volcanoes Cayambe, Imbabura and Cuicocha. Keep your eye out for the local flora and fauna, with great bird watching opportunities in the area as well. This includes ruddy ducks, giant hummingbirds, silvery grebes and more! After the hike, you will have the opportunity to visit the historic colonial town of Cotacachi, famous for its leather work.

Day 4: Quito - Coca - Amazon

DAILY SUMMARY
Tour: Hacienda Activies
Transportation: Airport Transfers
Transportation (Air): Domestic Flight
Tour: Amazon Arrival & Activities
Accommodation: Sani Lodge
Meals: B, L, D

DOMESTIC FLIGHT
Quito - Coca
Flight #: TBD
Departs: TBD
Arrives: TBD
Hacienda Activies
After breakfast you may visit the organic garden, feed baby calves, count sheep, talk to the vaqueros, enjoy the embroidery museum, or relax in the garden before leaving towards the Cotacachi-Cayapas ecological reserve for a three hour hike at Cuicocha Lake, a deep-blue crater lake on the lower southern flanks of Mount Cotacachi.

Afterwards, you will wave goodbye to beautiful countryside as you embark to a different region of Ecuador. Today, you will be transferred from Otavalo to the airport in Quito in good time to board your domestic flight to Coca, where your Amazon Adventure will kick off! (This service is on a private basis).

Amazon Arrival & Activities
Your journey today begins with a short 40 minute flight from Quito to Coca. Upon arrival in Coca, you will be greeted by a staff member and transferred to the banks of the Napo River. There, your bilingual guide will give you a safety precautions briefing, before taking off on a 2.5 hour boat trip on the largest Ecuadorian affluent of the Amazon, the Napo River! As you cruise the waters, you will get your first real taste of the Amazon as you admire the passing ancestral communities and fascinating flora and fauna. Observe the birds flying overhead, herons, egrets, vultures and mire, while enjoying delicious packed lunch. Your motorized canoe ride will be followed by a 15 minute walk through flooded forest and 20 minute canoe paddle across the beautiful Challuacocha Lake. Once you have arrived at the lodge, you will be greeted with refreshing cold drinks and snacks, before you are welcome to get settled in your cabin.

After getting settled in, you may want to take off on a short hike on the nearby trails. This will allow you to get acquainted with the sights, smells and sounds of the Amazon jungle. As you enter the forest, sunlight is immediately filtered and you are faced with a million shades of green. A symphony of insect song fills the air, and our senses are instantly heightened. You might see one of the forest’s 13 species of primate, birds, frogs, or extraordinary flora. The walk is one of discovery, and immediately tunes us in to the richness of Amazon ecosystem. After plenty of time to explore, you will return to the lodge, where a delicious dinner will be prepared for you. A bilingual guide will present a briefing tonight about Amazonia, while you enjoy Ecuadorian beers, spirits and cocktails. You may want to head out onto the lagoon later this evening too, in search of the nocturnal wildlife, paddling silently through the black waters! (This service is on a group basis.)

Day 5: Amazon

DAILY SUMMARY
Tour: Observation Tower & Rainforest Walk
Accommodation: Sani Lodge
Meals: B, L, D

Observation Tower & Rainforest Walk
After breakfast at the lodge, you will set out for a full day of adventure in the rainforest. A highlight of any trip to Sani Lodge is the chance to admire life among the tree tops from the observation tower. To get there your leaders will paddle on the Challuacocha Lake for 30 minutes followed by a short 10-minute walk. Wind your way up a 108 foot tall staircase, to the wooden observatory perched at the top of the forest canopy. The exhilaration of standing above the entire forest is quickly overtaken by the excitement of spotting some of the 565 registered species of birds, including colorful birds such as macaws, toucans, honeycreepers, tanagers, flycatchers, hummingbirds and with a bit of luck a close view of howler, squirrel monkeys or sloths resting on the canopy.

The tower gives you a unique aerial perspective, opening up a whole new world of Amazon biodiversity that is often difficult and almost impossible to see from the ground. The journey continues exploring the nearby trails searching for more Amazonian creatures walking through Chorongo trail that have 5 hours of duration in the deep tropical rainforest. In the afternoon you will go back to the lodge, where another delicious dinner awaits. (This service is on a group basis.)

Day 6: Amazon

DAILY SUMMARY
Tour: Sani Isla Community Visit, Kayaking & Nocturnal Wildlife Walk
Accommodation: Sani Lodge
Meals: B, L, D

Sani Isla Community Visit, Kayaking & Nocturnal Wildlife Walk
After breakfast you will head up the Napo River by canoe to visit the Sani Isla Community Center. Here you can learn how the loal community lives in harmony with the Amazon Rainforest.

Lunch will be served in the community grounds, allowing you the opportunity to taste the traditional food of the area. You will have the opportunity to play with a blowgun, an ancient Kichwa tradition of hunting. In the afternoon you learn how to make artisan chocolate with the women of the community.

In the afternoon you’ll kayak in Napo river, from the Community center back to the main port of Sani Lodge. You will arrive back at the lodge in time for dinner. This evening, you can take an optional night walk in the rainforest to track down insects, spider and frog species come to life in their nocturnal habitat. (This service is on a group basis.)

Day 7: Amazon - Coca - Quito

DAILY SUMMARY
Tour: Yasuní National Park Parrot Wall & Amazon Departure
Transportation (Air): Domestic Flight
Transportation: Airport Transfers
Accommodation: Casa Gangotena
Meals: B

DOMESTIC FLIGHT
Coca - Quito
Flight #: TBD
Departs: TBD
Arrives: TBD
Yasuní National Park Parrot Wall & Amazon Departure
Following breakfast this morning, you will head back to Coca to catch your flight back to Quito. Sadly, your adventure through the wonders of Ecuador is coming to an end.

You will be transferred to the Napo River where your boat journey awaits. Board the boat and cruise up the calms waters as you take in every last bit of the grandeur of the Amazon! During the boat ride, you will visit the parrots wall at Yasuní National Park for a wonderful view of hundreds of parrots searching for a gap to land and eat the earth in a process for their digestion. Here you will see Mealy Amazon, Yellowcrowned, Orange-winged and Blue-headed parrots. After the delightful visit, you will be returned to the airport in Coca, with plenty of time to board your onward flight back to Quito. (This service is on a group basis.)

Upon arrival back in Quito, you will be greeted at the airport by your driver and transferred to your hotel, to spend the rest of the day at your leisure. (This service is on a private basis.)

Quito
Ecuador is all about history, fascinating indigenous cultures, slow winding rivers and lush tropical forests, spectacular snow capped volcanoes and some of the most exciting wildlife on earth. Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is one of the most well preserved Spanish colonial cities in all of South America and is an essential part of every Ecuador trip. This distinction was recognized in 1978 when Quito became designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Since then, visitors to the city have been delighted by its stunning old cathedrals, colonial plazas, and countless other highlights.

Day 8: Quito

DAILY SUMMARY
Tour: Full Day City & Mitad del Mundo Tour

Accommodation: Casa Gangotena
Meals: B, L

Full Day City & Mitad del Mundo Tour

In the morning after breakfast, you will be met by your English speaking guide for a 45 minute journey northwest to the Equatorial Monument. Near the monument, you will stop to walk to the rim of the extinct Pululahua volcanic crater, for a view into the crater with its indigenous village, patchwork farms and orchards, far below on the crater floor. After viewing this charming local village, proceed to the nearby "Mitad del Mundo" (Middle of the World). This is the monument that marks the equator at its closest point to the city of Quito. Archaeological evidence shows that both pre-Inca and Inca civilizations recognized and celebrated the equinox, the day the sun is directly over the equator, at this same location just like modern Ecuador.

Begin your guided visit to the “Ciudad Mitad del Mundo”(Middle of the World City), a group of buildings designed to explain the significance of the site, as well as the Ethnographic Museum or the Initñam Museum, sited right on the Equator. Here, you will have the chance to be in two hemispheres at the same time, one foot in the northern hemisphere and one foot in the southern hemisphere.

Return back to the capital city to enjoy lunch in the Old Town. You will visit the colonial center of Quito, the first city ever to be named a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. It is the ideal place to get a sense of Ecuador's Spanish Colonial history. First on the agenda is a walk through the Main Plaza, the Plaza de Independencia, where you will see the Government Palace, the Cathedral, and some of the most important churches built around the XVI and XVII centuries. This will include the monastery of San Francisco, a building that started to be built only 5 days after the founding of the city.

End the tour with a visit to the Pacari shop, where you can learn all about the process of creating the best chocolate in the world! Activities here will include a guided tour by story and video, through the history of Ecuadorian cacao. Of course, you can also indulge in a tasting of the award-winning Pacari chocolate. The presentation showcases the agricultural side of chocolate cultivation and the communities that work with Pacari, to bring the product to market. You will be leaving the tour along with a delicious complimentary gift of chocolate as well. Yum! (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 9: Quito - Baltra Island - Santa Cruz Island - Floreana Island

DAILY SUMMARY
Transportation: Airport Transfer
Transportation (Air): Domestic Flight
Tour: Galapagos Arrival
Accommodation: Floreana Lava Lodge
Meals: B, L, D

DOMESTIC FLIGHT
Quito - Galapagos
Flight #: TBD
Departs: TBD
Arrives: TBD
This morning, you will be picked up at your hotel in Quito and transferred to the airport in good time for your flight to the Galapagos. (This service is on a private basis.)

Galapagos Arrival
Welcome to the Galapagos! Upon arrival at the Baltra airport, you will be met by an expert local guide for your transfer to Santa Cruz Island. This journey involves overland public transport, as no private vehicles are permitted, to the Itabaca Channel and a short crossing on the public ferry. From there, your adventure truly begins, with a visit to the impressive Los Gemelos craters and a look at the highland Galapagos tortoises.

In the early afternoon, enjoy a specially prepared lunch en route to the town of Puerto Ayora. There, a private speed boat will be waiting to take you on a two hour ride to the island of Floreana. Floreana's peaceful island, is home to the Galapagos’ smallest population, only 150 people! It is also the least developed and most natural of the four inhabited islands. Once a pirates’ lair, Floreana was the first inhabited island in the Galapagos and descendants of the original population still live there, together with the mysterious tales and legends that surround their ancestors.

Day 10: Floreana Island

DAILY SUMMARY
Tour: Floreana Highlands Exploration
Accommodation: Floreana Lava Lodge
Meals: B, L, D

Floreana Highlands Exploration
After breakfast this morning, explore the Floreana highlands by open-air bus (chiva). This is an unbeatable, historic and comfortable way to admire the island. Along the way, your Naturalist Guide will point out various wildlife and teach you about the rich history of Floreana's first inhabitants, such as the Wittmers, the ‘Baroness’, and the pirates that once visited here. You will also learn about the "Enigma of Floreana", involving the mysterious deaths of several of the Island's inhabitants...a riddle that has never been solved.

Up in the highlands, you will reach Asilo de la Paz (Peace Haven), where you will hop off the bus to begin hiking. Making your way to this historic site, explore the pirate caves and visit the freshwater spring that provides water for the entire Island. You can also expect to see giant tortoises lumbering around in the vegetation or even on the trail. Leaving Asilo de Paz, you will continue through a rural area, where the local people grow produce for their own consumption. This is a fascinating example of how the island inhabitants survive in this remote location. Over the years, they were able to develop an understanding of the local environment and now work to preserve their unique agricultural knowledge. Back on the coast, you will be able to watch the extraordinary behavior of the frigate birds who ‘dance’, as they wash their salty wings in the fresh water. With a little bit of luck, you may even be able to see males puffing up the red pouches on their chests, in an attempt to attract the females.

From La Primavera, you will ride the chiva back down towards Las Palmas. This is where the Island’s first permanent inhabitant, the eccentric Dr Ritter, lived and is buried. Arriving in 1926, this German physician believed that with a combination of exercise and the right vegetarian diet, he would live to be 150 years old. He didn't, but his story is one of the many strange episodes that is still talked about on the island. En route, you can admire the spectacular views of the Floreana shoreline, and on arrival, sit down to a tasty BBQ. Back at the lodge in the afternoon, you will have time for more marine exploration, snorkeling, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding.

Day 11: Floreana Island - Isabela Island

DAILY SUMMARY
Tour: Tintoreras Islands & Tortoise Breeding Center
Accommodation: Casa Marita
Meals: B, L, D

Tintoreras Islands & Tortoise Breeding Center
Today, you will embark on an early morning speed boat and transfer to Isabela Island. Check into your charming hotel, to drop off your belongings and freshen up, before your exploration continues. There is still so much to do and see in the Galapagos!

Your Isabela adventure begins with a tour of the Tintoreras. This is a group of small islands near the village of Puerto Villamil, that are named after the white tipped ‘Tintoreras’ reef sharks, who swim in these calm waters. An entire Galapagos experience concentrated in one area, you will see almost all of the archipelago’s iconic wildlife here. From white tipped sharks, sea lions, turtles and rays, to penguins, and of course pelicans and blue footed boobies. You will also have the chance to snorkel in the bay, but don’t be surprised if some of the penguins or sea lions jump in to play alongside you in the water!

In the afternoon, you will walk from your hotel to the local giant tortoise-breeding center for your next excursion. Along the way, you may catch a glimpse of pink flamingos feeding in the lake. At the Center, your guides will explain the process of breeding and then releasing these giant slow moving creatures, back into the wild. The breeding center is an important conservation tool and it is here, that the islands’ giant tortoise population is presently recovering.

Day 12: Isabela Island

DAILY SUMMARY
Tour: Sierra Negra Volcano & Volcan Chico
Accommodation: Casa Marita
Meals: B, L, D

Sierra Negra Volcano & Volcan Chico
Volcanic eruptions created all of the islands in the Galapagos, and today you will have the chance to see this geologic process first-hand. Isabela island is one of the youngest and most volcanically-active islands in all of the archipelago.

Make the most of this full day adventure, exploring and admiring the Isabela highlands. Your guiding will begin with a hike up to the crater of the Sierra Negra volcano, followed by the rim of the Volcan Chico. This fascinating walk usually starts off with some morning fog and drizzle, which can add to the volcano's mysterious character. However, when you reach the rim of the Sierra Negra crater, you will see why the excursion is so worth the journey! This crater, the second largest in the world, after the Ngorongoro in Tanzania, offer views so expansive, that photos simply cannot do justice. Take the time to simply soak up and appreciate this overwhelming sight before your eyes, while you are there to see it for yourself.

Later on, continue towards Volcan Chico. You may get the feeling that you are walking on Mars, but while the landscape appears to desolate, a closer look will reveal small lizards, scurrying about among the rocks. From there, head under the shade of a lovely “jaboncillo” tree, where you will enjoy a delicious picnic lunch. While you relax, marvel at the spectacular views over the central and northern parts of Isabela Island. In the distance, you will even be able to spot Fernandina, Pinzon and Santa Cruz Islands. On a full and happy stomach, continue back down to complete your day of hiking (16 km in total). You will be rewarded with some time for heavenly relaxation on the beaches of Puerto Villamil!

Day 13: Isabela Island - Santa Cruz Island - Puerto Ayora

DAILY SUMMARY
Tour: Garrapatero Full Day Excursion

Accommodation: Angermeyer Waterfront Inn
Meals: B, L, D

Garrapatero Full Day Excursion

Today, you will venture an off-the-beaten-path area of Santa Cruz Island, and when you will reach a high point on the road, you will switch to mountain bikes for a long downhill glide on freshly paved roads to Garrapatero Beach. On the ride, you will pass small farms and enjoy views of the ocean and the distant islands.

Once you arrive on the beach at Garrapatero, you may see a few local families, but few, if any, tourists. You will take a short walk for about 500 mts (~0.3 mile) on a flat and easy terrain through a deciduous forest until you reach El Garrapatero beach. You will then paddle the bay in sit-on-top sea kayaks while looking for sharks, rays, turtles, and sea birds. Kayaking activity takes place from the beach along the bay for about 45 minutes. Afterwards, enjoy a specially prepared lunch before walking to the brackish lagoon where you will have high possibilities to find pink flamingos.

Once back in the Puerto Ayora town, you will have the option of staying and shopping for souvenirs, or (if time allows) walking the 3 km boardwalk to Tortuga Bay, and checking out one of the largest and most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos. At Tortuga Bay you can walk on the beach, swim, or even snorkel a bit more.

Day 14: Puerto Ayora - Santa Cruz Island - San Cristóbal Island

DAILY SUMMARY
Tour: Charles Darwin Research Station & La Loberia
Accommodation: Casa Opuntia Galapagos
Meals: B, L, D

Charles Darwin Research Station & La Loberia
In the morning, you will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station’s giant tortoise Breeding Center. The Charles Darwin Research Center is the matrix of all the scientific researches in the Galapagos Islands. It is from these headquarters from where all the most sensitive conservation projects are being directed. The conservation and preservation of giant tortoises, marine iguanas among others are some of the examples of the Center labor. We can walk along the core of the Research Center where we can find the corrals where the giant tortoises are being breed as well as the corrals where the land iguanas are being studied. The Research Center offers a brand new Interpretation Center with some of the most important samples of the Center Collection.

After exploring the Darwin Research Station, you will board a shared speedboat transfer to San Cristóbal Island. Upon arrival in San Cristóbal Island, you will embark on a short walk towards La Loberia. Here, you will grab your bikes, or walk along the coast, do a bit more snorkeling, or just sitting and watching a playful colony of sea lions against the stunning ocean sunset.

Day 15: San Cristóbal Island

DAILY SUMMARY
Tour: Leon Dormido
Accommodation: Casa Opuntia Galapagos
Meals: B, L, D

Leon Dormido
Today, you will leave early from Baquerizo Moreno Port and head to the impressive Leon Dormido or Kicker Rock, but before getting there you will try out your snorkeling gear in a small protected bay with calm water and playful sea lions.

Leon Dormido, made of two rocks in the form of an obelisk jutting dramatically out of the sea, is considered one of the top snorkel and dive sites in the Galapagos, and here you will use the snorkeling equipment to explore a channel between the rocks. Stingrays, white-tipped reef sharks, hammerhead sharks, turtles, tropical fish and eagle rays all live in the waters around Leon Dormido and if you are lucky you may even get to spot dolphins and whales!

Day 16: San Cristóbal Island

DAILY SUMMARY
Tour: Española Island
Accommodation: Casa Opuntia Galapagos
Meals: B, L, D

Española Island
Located two hours from San Cristóbal, is the southernmost island and one of the oldest in the Galápagos archipelago - the Española Island . The island's flat profile is extremely dry with only a few inches of rain per year. Despite the dry climate the island is one of the world's only known nesting sites for the Waved Albatross (aka Galapagos Albatross). From April to December this island is covered with these adorably clumsy birds. Blue-Footed and Nazca Boobies as well as many other bird species also call this island home.

There are also other unique species found only on Española Island is the Green and Red Marine Iguana (also known as Christmas Iguanas). Quite often you will be greeted by these colorful reptiles.

Day 17: San Cristóbal Island - Lima

DAILY SUMMARY
Tour: Galapagos Departure
Accommodation: Wyndham Costa Del Sol Lima Airport
Meals: B

Galapagos Departure
It is time to say goodbye to the enchanted islands, and after an early breakfast, you will pay a quick visit to the Interpretation Center located at the northern edge of town. The Center provides great information about this fascinating archipelago, including the natural history of the Islands’ as well as the impact of humans on the ecosystem. You will also learn about the efforts to conserve the Galapagos and the challenges facing the Islands. From there, you will transfer to the airport in good time to board your flight to Lima, where your voyage continues!

Welcome to Peru! Upon arrival in Lima, you will make your own way to your accommodation by foot. You will be staying at a close by airport hotel, for your ease and convenience. Get settled into your room and enjoy a good night's rest, before it's back to the airport tomorrow morning.

Lima
Lima was once considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Latin America. Over the past decade, Lima has been transformed to recapture its colonial history and charm. The three most popular areas are Downtown Lima, Miraflores and Barranco. Downtown Lima is where the Main Square is located, which includes the historical Presidential Palace, the monastery Santo Domingo and the 16th Century Cathedral. This square is the cornerstone of Lima’s foundation, from where avenues expanded and enhanced the growth of the city. The suburbs of Miraflores and Barranco are the focus of Lima’s action, nightlife and fine shopping. This gastronomic destination also features exceptional restaurants and fascinating museums, dedicated to archaeology, history and chocolate production.

Day 18: Lima - Cusco

DAILY SUMMARY
Transportation: Airport Transfer
Accommodation: El Mercado

After checking out of your hotel in Lima this morning, you will walk your own way back to the airport in good time to catch your domestic flight to Cusco.

Upon arrival at the Cusco Airport, you will be greeted by your driver, who will be holding a sign with your name on it for easy identification. They will assist you in the transfer directly to your hotel, for a smooth and easy start to the Peruvian portion of your adventure. (This service is on a private basis.)

Check into your room, make yourself comfortable and spend your first evening in Cusco getting acclimated to the high altitude!

Cusco
Cusco is a beautiful city with well preserved colonial architecture, evidence of a rich and complex history. The city itself represents the center of indigenous Quechua culture in the Andes, and by merely walking the streets one sees the layers of history. Spanish colonial buildings erected directly atop Inca walls line the square, while the modern tourist nightlife flourishes in their midst. The city is surrounded by a number of ruins, the most impressive being Sacsayhuaman, the site of the 1536 battle in which dozens of Pizarro's men charged uphill to battle the forces of the Inca. Nowadays, Cusco is known for its indigenous population--often seen on the streets in traditional clothing--and its substantial tourist-fueled night life.

Day 19: Cusco

DAILY SUMMARY
Accommodation: El Mercado
Meals: B

Enjoy this free day at your leisure in Cusco . You may want to enjoy a coffee on one of the balconies overlooking the Plaza de Armas, or wander through the streets of San Blas in the historical district. Have fun making memories, as you prepare yourself for the voyage of a lifetime!

Day 20: Cusco

DAILY SUMMARY
Tour: Sacred Valley Full Day Tour

Accommodation: El Mercado
Meals: B, L

Sacred Valley Full Day Tour

Today’s tour first takes you to the picturesque village of Pisac, by the banks of the Urubamba River. The village is best known for its well-preserved Incan ruins, which lie atop a hill at the entrance to the valley. The lower slopes of the surrounding mountains feature impressive-looking agricultural terraces dating from Inca times. Pisac has a famous open-air market on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, which invites the visitor to explore the quaint village’s sleepy streets.

Your visit then takes you to Urubamba, a small town located by the eponymous river under the snow-capped peaks of Mount Chicón. Here, you will stop to enjoy a delicious traditional Peruvian lunch. Next, you will visit the town of Ollantaytambo, which boasts an impressive archaeological site and well-preserved Inca town structure. This was the estate of Emperor Pachacutec who conquered the region, built the town and the ceremonial center. Ollantaytambo dates from the late 15th century and has some of the oldest continuously occupied dwellings in South America. Overlooking the town is the archaeological complex, a ceremonial center built by the Incas on a steep hill.

On your way back to Cusco, you will visit the town of Chinchero, which comprises mainly mud brick (adobe) houses, and where locals go about their business in traditional dress. The town’s main square has some unique features such as the characteristic Inca wall with its massive trapezoidal niches. The nearby colonial church also has a very interesting, intricate interior, with Cusco School-style paintings covering a large part of its walls. After you day of exploration, you will be transferred back to your hotel. (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 21: Cusco - Salkantay Lodge

DAILY SUMMARY
Tour: Cusco to Salkantay Lodge
Accommodation: Salkantay Lodge
Meals: B, L, D

Cusco to Salkantay Lodge
Early this morning at 7:00 AM, you will be picked up in Cusco by a guide and driver and driven to the Salkantay Lodge in Soraypampa. En route, you will visit the Inca ruins of Tarawasi near Limatambo (approx. 1.5 hours from Cusco).

After leaving Limatambo, you will pass through the mountain village of Mollepata, where you will stop for a short coffee break, before ascending a winding mountain road to a place called Marcoccasa (30 minutes from Mollepata by vehicle). Here, you will begin your trek to Soraypampa on an old route called the “Camino Real” (Royal Path). This is a good opportunity for you to continue to acclimate, while enjoying a beautiful six hour trek. Salkantay Lodge takes its name from the majestic peak at the head of the valley—Mt. Salkantay, the second most sacred peak in Inca mythology and, at 6,270 m (20,600 ft), the highest in the region.

Upon arrival, you will receive a warm welcome by the friendly staff as you are shown to your rooms and have time to wash-up, before tea and cookies. The trip leader will hold a briefing by the fireplace, followed by aperitifs and dinner. Overnight at Salkantay Lodge (3,869 m/12,690 ft).

Trek time: Approximately 6 hours (including picnic lunch en route)
Difficulty: Moderate
Option: Guests who do not wish to trek, may be transported to the lodge by vehicle (This service is on a group basis.)

Day 22: Salkantay Lodge

DAILY SUMMARY
Tour: A Hike to Humantay Lake
Accommodation: Salkantay Lodge
Meals: B, L, D

A Hike to Humantay Lake
Today you will hike along the slopes above Salkantay Lodge to Lake Humantay, which is fed by the glaciers of Mt. Humantay. Those who are not up to diving into the frigid waters of the beautiful lake can sit back and enjoy the views here. After lunch back at the lodge, you may want to enjoy a relaxing soak in the outdoor jacuzzi. Enjoy th

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we had a wonderful time

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we had a wonderful time in Japan. Every aspect of our trip, train, guided tours, theatre, food tours was taken care of (vouchers, train), so we could concentrate on having fun and not worry about arranging everything ourselves
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Our Peru trip was amazing!

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Our Peru trip was amazing! The guides and lodges and food was fantastic! The sights and trek was wonderful. Truly a memorable experience! The only issue we had was not enough time in Macchu Picchu. 4 hours was not enough time to explore and have our guided tour there
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Memorable and life changing

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The staff and personnel associated with Global Basecamps did everything possible to make our trek in the Lares Area of Peru memorable and life changing. The areas we toured, our guides, accommodations, food, transitions to and from airports and hotels, in fact everything about the 10 days we spent in Cusco, Lares, and Machu Picchu was perfect. Thank you to Alison in California, and Nico, Eddie, Carlos, Sam and others in Peru for a great trek
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wonderful experience

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Loved our Thailand/Cambodia trip curated by Global Basecamps. The pre-trip communications were exceptional and a sign of the wonderful experience we would have when we arrived in Thailand and Cambodia. Once we arrived, every excursion and hotel were as described. We had an amazing trip and would use Global Basecamps again … no doubt!
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This trip was outstanding!

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This trip was outstanding! All of our accommodations were lovely, our guides genuinely wanted us to learn and be well taken care of .. they were awesome.
Very well organized and no glitches - exceeded our expectations. Thank you
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This was a great trip.

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This was a great trip. It was not easy but our guide Jimmy was the best ever, and the rest of the crew, especially; Juan Carlos, Darwin and Enrique made every day special. Thank you for a wonderful memory.
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Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Private - your group only

Trip ID#:

globalbasecamp-GB0218-07617

Trip Excludes

  • International & domestic flights
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Entrance visas when applicable
  • Other services not mentioned
  • Tips and gratuities to guides, drivers
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