Ecuador and Peru
13 Days / 12 Nights














Day 1: Arrival in Quito
Upon arrival at the airport a host will meet and assist you in transferring to the hotel and help you in registering. Overnight in Quito.
Day 2: Otavalo Indian Market
Breakfast at your hotel. Early morning departure for a drive along the Pan-American Highway to visit one of South America's most famous Indian fairs, the Otavalo Market. En route to the market, a quick stop at Calderon allows the opportunity to see how the popular marzipan "bread dolls" are made and to make "bargain price" purchases of them. Arriving at Otavalo, take a walk through the bustling produce market where the Indians meet to trade among themselves. Continue to the tourist market, which is piled high with colorful ponchos, tapestries, woolen goods, and Indian jewelry. In the afternoon drive to the woodcarving center of San Antonio de Ibarra and to the village of Cotacachi, famous for its leather handicrafts. Lunch is provided en route.Overnight in Quito. (B,L)
Day 3: Quito / Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristóbal [Chatham] Island) / Interpretation Centre and Cerro Tijeretas (San Cristóbal Island)
AM: Arrival by plane to San Cristóbal Island and transfer to the M/V Santa Cruz, anchored at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the provincial capital of the Galápagos Islands. Cabin assignment and lunch. After lunch, introductory talk.
PM: Interpretation Centre and Cerro Tijeretas (San Cristóbal Island)
In the afternoon, disembark at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (dry landing) and visit the Interpretation Centre where visitors will acquire a greater understanding of Galápagos' uniqueness throughout informative visual aids. From the Interpretation Centre, we stroll along an easy boardwalk to the north shore of San Cristóbal, to the site considered as the spot where Darwin set foot for first time on Galápagos in 1835. A bust of the naturalist was placed there to commemorate this event. This area is teeming with life: Darwin finches, San Cristóbal mockingbirds, marine iguanas, sea lions, etc. Hills frame this turquoise bay, home to two species of frigates. A staircase leads to the top of Cerro Tijeretas, from where a good portion of northern San Cristóbal is visible: Wreck Bay, Lobos Islet, Punta Carola and the impressive Kicker Rock. Return on board. Welcome cocktail, expedition plan for Saturday and dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Cerro Brujo / Punta Pitt (San Cristóbal Island)
AM: A dinghy ride along the shores of tuff-stone layers takes guests to Cerro Brujo's white coralline beach (wet landing). The beach is a large expanse, great for walking, with rewarding bird watching with good views of seabirds like blue-footed boobies, brown pelicans, herons, frigate birds, and more shore birds. Also, look out for Galápagos sea lions. Highlights ashore include the Chatham (San Cristóbal) mockingbird, Chatham lava lizard; both species are endemic to this island, and seen nowhere else in the Galápagos. These are the same shores that Charles Darwin walked upon, back in September 1835, as San Cristóbal was the first island where he set foot in the Galápagos. Cerro Brujo is an excellent site for acquainting oneself with snorkelling gear and techniques. Back on board for lunch.
PM: In the afternoon, disembark (wet landing) on the eastern tip of the island. Pitt Point is an eroded tuff cone; the trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline. This is the only site in the Galápagos where the three species of boobies can be found together, as well as the two frigate species, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions along the beach. After the walk, if conditions are favourable, there is a chance to swim from the beach or snorkel at the nearby islets. Expedition plan for Sunday and dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Santa Fe Island / South Plaza Island
AM: After breakfast, a wet landing on a sandy white beach with many sea lion harems. Bulls vie for the right to be "Beach Master", while smaller males masquerading as females make stealthy mating moves. Galápagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The giant prickly pear cactus found here live up to their name with tree-sized trunks! The endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during the afternoon walk. Snorkelling and swimming from the beach rounds off the rewarding experience, or if guests prefer, the glass bottom boat for non-snorkellers. Lunch on board.
PM: Disembark (dry landing) in the channel between North and South Plaza Islands, where the island tilts toward the water, the approach makes for a lavishly colourful sight! The turquoise waters of the channel contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. The rocks have grown thick with green seaweed in places, speckled with bright orange 'Sally Lightfoot' crabs. Further up the shore a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus. Yellow-grey land iguanas sit beneath these, waiting patiently for pears to drop. Along the coastline one finds sea lion colonies, while frigates, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters glide playing with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small but amazing island. Expedition plan for Monday and dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station / Highlands of Santa Cruz Island
AM: Morning disembarkation (dry landing) visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens, including tortoise celebrities like "Lonesome George" within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Lunch at the poolside of the Finch Bay Eco Hotel.
PM: After lunch, visit the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, with their impressive Scalesia forest and the geological formation of the twin pit craters known as Los Gemelos. From December to mid-April a visit to see the giant tortoises in the wild may be included, if weather conditions are good. Return to Puerto Ayora and embark on the M/V Santa Cruz. Tuesday's expedition plan and dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Punta Suárez (Española (Hood) Island) / Gardner Bay (Española Island)
AM: Morning outing at Punta Suárez (dry landing) for an exciting walk on lava/boulder terrain to visit its unique sea bird colonies, including waved albatrosses (April - December), Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, swallow- tail gulls as well as a view of the Galápagos famous "blow-hole". Among its land birds, the Hood island mockingbird, Galápagos hawks, Galápagos doves and three species of Darwin's finches are common highlights. Also, look for red-green-black marine iguanas. Back on board for lunch.
PM: In the afternoon, disembark (wet landing) at a white coral beach for a short walk to observe the sea lions, mockingbirds, finches or enjoy the beach. There is great snorkelling in this area, or a ride aboard the glass- bottom boat. Departure briefing, Farewell Cocktail and dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Baltra Island / Guayaquil / Lima
Disembark at Baltra Island. Transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the continent. Flight to Lima.Upon arrival a host will meet and assist you for transferring to your hotel and help you in registering. Overnight in Lima.(B)
Day 9: Lima
Breakfast at your hotel. City Tour of Lima and Larco Museum - This half day tour visits both the colonial and modern sections of this "City of Kings." Colonial sites include the lovely Plaza de Armas with its cathedral and palace, and the exquisite Torre Tagle Palace modern day seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In modern Lima, drive along the exclusive residential areas of Miraflores and San Isidro. Continue to the Larco Museum, founded in 1926, it showcases remarkable chronological galleries providing an excellent overview on 3000 years of development of Peruvian pre-Columbian history. Located in a unique vice-royal mansion of the 18th century built over a 7th century pre-Columbian pyramid, is surrounded by beautiful gardens. Features the finest gold and silver collection from Ancient Peru and the famous erotic archaeological collection, one of the most visited Peruvian tourist attractions. (B)
Day 10: Lima / Cusco
Breakfast at your hotel. Flight to Cusco.Upon arrival at the airport a host will meet and assist you in transferring to the hotel and help you in registering.Tour of Cusco and its Ruins – This afternoon tour of the oldest continuously inhabited city in the western hemisphere includes important landmarks of enchanting Cusco and also the nearby ruins of Kenko, Puca-Pucará, Tampumachay as well as the Sacsayhuaman fortress.Once the center of the Inca civilization, modern Cusco is a delightful combination of Inca and colonial architecture.During the tour, you will visit Cusco´s Cathedral, Santo Domingo Church and the Plaza de Armas. Overnight in Cusco. (B)
Day 11: Cusco / Machu Picchu
Breakfast at your hotel. Full day excursion to Machu Picchu with overnight stay – Early wake up for a train ride through the sacred valley of the Urubamba to the “Lost City of the Incas”, Machu Picchu. Perched 8,200 feet above the valley, it was hidden by mountains and semi-tropical jungles for 400 years until discovered by Hiram Bingham of Yale University in 1911. Archaeologists believe that Inca “Virgins of the Sun” took refuge from the Spanish Conquistadors here.Guided tour of the ruins upon arrival.All transfers are included. Lunch is included.Overnight in the area. (B,L)
Day 12: Machu Picchu / Cusco
Breakfast at your hotel. Free morning to enjoy one of the most incredible sights on earth, the ruins of Machu Picchu.Take as much time as you need to study the mysterious ruins, hike the Huayna Picchu, stroll to the Inca Bridge or walk toward the Inca Trail to find the legendary Sun Gate.Afternoon shuttle bus to the train station for your return trip to Cusco.Upon arrival transfer from rail station to hotel.Overnight in Cusco. (B)
Day 13: Cusco / Lima / Home
Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer to the airport for flight to Lima and your connect flight home. (B)
Included: All airport-hotel-airport transfers, all listed tours and excursions, all tours are guided by licensed bilingual tour guides, all transportation needed (bus, train, boat) for the operation of the itinerary, all entrance fees to places visited, hotel accommodation at indicated hotels, 7 Nights aboard M/V Santa Cruz, meals indicated in the itinerary, baggage handling at airports and hotels, hotel taxes and service charge, 24-hour emergency phone numbers.
Not included: Peru international airport departure tax : $31.00, Peru domestic airport departure tax : $7.40 each city, Expenses of personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, bottled water, etc, Tips to tours guides, waiters and bellboys, Galapagos National Park entrance fee, gratuities, bar, gifts and additional items, Services not listed in the itinerary.
Hotels to use:
Machu Picchu
Tourist Superior
Jose Antonio
La Rabida
First Class
Jose Antonio Executive
Hatuchay Tower
Alameda Quito
Plaza del Bosque
Libertador Cusco
Inkaterra Machu Picchu
Hilton Colon
Country Club Lima
Sanctuary Lodge
2012 Rates per person in US$:
Tourist Superior: $5031 in double, $5586 in triple, $7088 in single, $7454 in single alone.
First Class: $5194 in double, $5846 in triple, $7468 in single, $7834 in single alone.
Deluxe: $5668 in double, $6148 in triple, $8247 in single, $8612 in single alone.
Luxury: $6470 in double, $7259 in triple, $9806 in single, $10171 in single alone.
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Quito, Galapagos Islands, Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu