Galapagos Highlights & Peru

Galapagos Highlights & Peru

Starting at $4,989


Destinations & Sightseeing
Itinerary and Meals
Accomodations

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FROM THE HEIGHTS OF MACHU PICCHU TO THE ECOLOGICAL DELIGHTS AND SEUSSIAN LANDSCAPE OF THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, THIS 14-DAY TOUR IS LIKE STEPPING ONTO ANOTHER PLANET.

Begin your tour in Quito, Ecuador, a city nestled in a valley ringed with volcanic crests. Quito is a vibrant UNESCO World Heritage Site and the perfect introduction to South America. Sail to the Galapagos Islands, the biodiverse wonderland where Charles Darwin stumbled upon the groundbreaking theory of evolution. Here, you’ll come face-to-face with wildlife that exists nowhere else on Earth. In Peru, you’ll trace the legacy of the ancient Incan people and witness the cultural and architectural effects of early Spaniard colonization. See ancient culture and modern energy collide in Lima, and wander the streets of beautiful Cusco, South America’s oldest living city. With the services of friendly Local Hosts throughout your journey, you’ll never miss a beat. Come explore the other Americas on this thrilling, unforgettable tour.

Highlights:
* Transportation via rail, motor coach and yacht 
* 13 nights hotel accommodations
* Buffet breakfast daily, 6 lunches and 5 dinners 
* Private city tour of Quito
* Tour of the Galapagos Islands, including a visit to the Giant Tortoise Reserve, Divine Bay, and the Charles Darwin Research Center 
* City tours of Lima, and Cusco
* Tour the Sacred Valley, including an excursion to the Awana Kancha llama farm and Ollantaytambo 
* Guided tour of Machu Picchu
* Services of Local Hosts in each city

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Map for Galapagos Highlights & Peru


Destination & Sightseeing

ITINERARY

Day 1 - Arrive Quito, Ecuador
Arrive in Quito, where you will be met by your Local Host.

Day 2 - Quito
Your private city tour showcases the rich legacy left by the Incas and, later, the Spaniards. See Independence Square, dominated by its formidable Cathedral, San Francisco Plaza Church, and the Basilica with its marvelous stained-glass windows. (B)

Day 3 - Baltra, North Seymour & Santa Cruz
Fly to Baltra in the Galápagos. Upon arrival, board a yacht bound for North Seymour, an island teeming with life. You might have to give way to a passing sea lion, marine iguana, or blue-footed boobies that nest here. As you walk along the shore, see large flocks of pelicans in a dive-bomb feeding-frenzy, and one of the largest nesting sites in the Galápagos of the “magnificent frigate bird.” In the bushes you can see the males up close with their puffed-up scarlet throat sacks. Return to the yacht and begin your journey to the Finch Bay Hotel. (B, L, D)

Day 4 - Santa Cruz Excursion to the Highlands
Transfer to the lush highlands of Santa Cruz to a farming area called El Manzanillo on the edge of the Giant Tortoise Reserve. Here, tortoises can be seen grazing year-round, along with woodpecker finches, mockingbirds, and flycatchers. After lunch, visit a local farm where coffee, sugar cane, and cocoa beans are grown, harvested, and prepared. Return to the hotel and perhaps spend time on the private beach. (B, L, D)

Day 5 - Santa Fé
Board a yacht bound for Santa Fe, where you will see the endemic Santa Fé land iguana and the large opuntia cactus forest. The beach area is covered with California sea lions, and the coastline is an excellent location for snorkeling with sea turtles. (B, L, D)

Day 6 - Excursion to Divine Bay
Today's adventure takes you to wildlife rich Divine Bay on Santa Cruz Island. Marine Iguanas, herons, noddy terns, blue-footed boobies, and tropicbirds are commonly seen here. While some may choose to explore by boat, the more adventurous can take to the sea by kayak. Keep an eye out for sea turtles, rays, and reef sharks as you cruise the tranquil waters. Return to the hotel for lunch, followed by an afternoon visit to the Charles Darwin Reseach Station, established to help conserve the Galápagos' natural habitats and protect the area's famous giant tortoises. (B, L, D)

Day 7 - Baltra, Guayaquil & Lima, Peru
This morning, depart the hotel and visit the Twin Pit Craters, great depressions of volcanic material. Then, fly to Lima. (B)

Day 8 - Lima
Your included city tour focuses on Lima's rich colonial history as well as the modern city. Lima was the bastion of Spanish South America from its founding in 1535 until the independence of the South American republics in the early 19th century. See the Cathedral, where the remains of Francisco Pizarro are sealed in a wooden coffin and the Santo Domingo Convent to see the relics of three famous Peruvian saints-Santa Rosa de Lima, San Martin de Porres, and San Juan Macias. (B)

Day 9 - Lima to Cusco
Fly to Cusco high in the Andes. Your guided tour visits the Santo Domingo Monastery, previously the Koricancha Temple, one of the most important temples devoted to worship of the sun. It is said it was covered in gold leaf and filled with golden representations of nature. In the Plaza de Armas, see the Cathedral before taking a short drive outside the city to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman with its intricate stone walls, amphitheatre of Kenko, and the Red Fortress of Puca Pucara. (B)

Day 10 - Cusco to the Sacred Valley
Today, a short drive into the Sacred Valley of the Incas brings you to Awankancha, where you will learn about the importance of the alpaca (llama) for Inca cultures as well as the ancient weaving techniques. Continue, to the market town of Pisac. Handmade rugs, alpaca sweaters, and jewelry can be bought here at bargain prices. At the other end of the valley is Olliantaytambo. Here, some of the finest examples of Inca masonry can be seen. (B, L)

Day 11 - Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu
Board a train bound for Machu Picchu and cut a path through the Sacred Valley to this “Lost City of the Incas,” discovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911. On a guided tour, explore this intact fortress with its temple remains, holy houses, and mile-long aqueduct. For hikers, a brisk one-hour walk leads to the Sun Gate, the ancient entrance used by the Incas. (B, L, D)

Day 12 - Machu Picchu to Cusco
A morning at leisure in Machu Picchu allows you to wake up early to see the sunrise over Machu Picchu. Return to Cusco, where your Local Host will recommend options for your free time. Perhaps visit the Inca Museum or wander through the artisan district of San Blas. (B)

Day 13 - Cusco to Lima
Fly to Lima, where the remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B)

Day 14 - Lima
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

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