Peru / Galapagos

Peru, Galapagos Tour

12 days | 11 nights
Private tour
From 2969USD per person
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Tour Description

Traveling to Peru and the Galapagos Island is a trip of a lifetime that combines the humbling experience of stepping in the footprints of the Inca emperor to explore the amazing heritage of one of the most important civilizations in human history while having the opportunity to discover the most unique natural sanctuary on Earth.

Following this extensive Peru and Galapagos Tour, you will wander through the Sacred Valley, the heart of the Inca Empire, from Cusco to the timeless Machu Picchu, the citadel that never ceases to amaze.

From Peru fly to the small friendly country of Ecuador before making your way to the Galapagos Islands. There, your tour will take a completely different route as you will encounter the fascinating biodiversity that had led Darwin to draw his conclusions about his Theory of Evolution. 

Destinations

Peru / Galapagos

Trip at a glance

Visits

PERU: Lima, Sacred Valley (Maras Salt Ponds, Moray Terraces), Machu Picchu, Cusco, Sacsayhuaman

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS: Santa Cruz Island: Highlands, Isabela Island: Flamingo lagoon, Tintoreras, Cabo Rosa Tunnels. Depending on availability: North Seymour Island, Bartolome Island, South Plaza Island, Santa Fe Island

ECUADOR: Quito City, Middle of the World

Trip details

Itinerary

Day 1 ARRIVAL IN LIMA

Evening

Arrival at Jorge Chávez, Lima international airport. Welcome by our local English-speaking staff. Transfer to your hotel located in the residential and shopping district of Miraflores, overlooking the Pacific ocean (1 hour).

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in Lima.

Day 2 LIMA CITY TOUR, FLIGHT TO CUSCO

Morning

Meet with your tour guide for a half-day city tour of the capital of Peru. The city founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, still features many invaluable colonial buildings along the main square (the Plaza Mayor) and the nearby streets. Discover the majestic Cathedral of Lima, the Government Palace and the San Francisco Convent among many other impressive colonial buildings.

Afternoon

In the afternoon, transfer to Lima airport (45 min to 1 hour) for your direct flight to Cusco (1 hour 15 min). Arrival in Cusco (11,152 ft - 3400 m).

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in Cusco

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 3 MARAS SALT PONDS, MORAY AGRICULTURAL TERRACES AND CHINCHERO TOWN

Morning

Transfer to the site of Maras (30 min).

Walk between the hundreds of salt ponds used to dry the salt according to a method inherited from pre-inca times.

The many colors of the polygonal ponds can go from light reddish to brownish to white according to the season. This contrasts with the surrounding landscape and give the site a most-unusual aspect.

Free time to shop pink salt collected by the local community workers.

Transfer to Moray archeological site (30 min).

Walk around and down those impressive circular agricultural terraces that were used to conduct scientific experiments in Inca times (30 min).

Afternoon

Drive to the town Chinchero (45 min).

This afternoon, you will visit the town of Chinchero and its church.

Transfer to your hotel in the Sacred Valley (45 min).

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in the Sacred Valley.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 4 MACHU PICCHU TOUR

 Your passport is required to enter the Machu Picchu site. You have the option to get a 'Machu Picchu' stamp in your passport if you wish.
Morning

Today might be THE day you have been expecting since you landed on Peruvian soil as you will finally discover the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu.

Transfer to Ollantaytambo train station (30 min).

Board the comfortable train that will take you to Aguas Calientes, the nearest town to Machu Picchu (1 hour 30 min).

In Aguas Calientes, walk from the train to the bus station (5 min) and hop on a bus to the entrance of the archaeological site.

Enjoy the impressive 20-minute drive up the hill to the Machu Picchu site at 7,972 feet (2430 m). Rediscovered in 1911 by the American archaeologist Hiram Bingham, Macchu Picchu is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Learn about every secret this ancient Inca citadel holds and grab every opportunity to take photographs (3 to 4 hours).

Afternoon

Take the bus back to Aguas Calientes (20 min) and board the train back to Ollantaytambo (1 hour 30 min).

Transfer to your hotel in Cusco (1 hour 30 min).

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in Cusco.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 5 CUSCO CITY AND SACSAYHUAMAN, FREE AFTERNOON

Morning

In the morning, you will meet your guide for a city tour of Cusco including the visit of the Plaza Mayor, the Cathedral and the Korikancha, the original Temple of the Sun.

Drive to the hills of Cusco to explore the archaeological site of Sacsayhuamán.

Transfer back to your hotel or to the city centre (20 min).

Afternoon

Afternoon at leisure to explore the Spanish colonial city known to the Inca as the 'belly button of the world'. Stroll around numerous plazas, shops selling incredible art and crafts or visit the great Pre-Columbian Museum MAP (not included).

Evening

Evening at leisure.

Overnight at your hotel in Cusco.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 6 FLIGHT TO LIMA, FLIGHT TO QUITO

Morning

In the morning, transfer to Cusco airport for your flight back to Lima (1 hour 15 min).

Afternoon

At Lima airport, take your connecting international flight to Quito (2 hours 30 min). Assistance for check-in.

Arrival at Mariscal Sucre, Quito international airport. Welcome by our local English-speaking staff. Transfer to your hotel located in the northern centre of Quito, residential area with restaurants (50 min).

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in Quito.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 7 QUITO CITY TOUR, MIDDLE OF THE WORLD

Morning

Discover with your guide the least-altered and best-preserved Latin American capital.
Take a walk to visit the colonial churches and monasteries of this urban jewel, the first city in history to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Starting at Independence Square, flanked by the Presidential Palace your visit will include the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito, the Archbishop's Palace and the City Hall.
Ramble through the city's old streets on your way to El Sagrario church and its exquisitely carved stone façade and step inside the awe-inspiring church of the Society of Jesus.
Walk on to the Convent and Church of San Francisco, one of the greatest religious buildings on the South American continent.
Drive up to the top of the Panecillo hill for breathtaking panoramic views of Quito.

Afternoon

In the afternoon, drive out of the city to the Equatorial Valley (50 min), north of the capital, where you will visit the 'Middle of the World' monument. 

A monument and a museum exhibiting an ethnographic collection indicate the Equator line. 

Transfer back to your hotel in Quito (1 hour 30 min).

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in Quito.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 8 FLIGHT TO BALTRA, SANTA CRUZ ISLAND: HIGHLANDS, TWIN CRATERS, GIANT TORTOISES

Morning

Arrive at Seymour Airport on Baltra Island this morning and meet and greet your Certified National Park guide and fellow passengers at the arrivals hall. Then, on a shared bus, reach Itabaca Channel where you will take a five minute ferry ride to the northern reaches of Santa Cruz Island. Visit the Highlands where you'll trek with your guide to see the Twin Craters, crossing lava tunnels and visiting a private ranch to observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat.

Afternoon

Transfer to your hotel.

Free afternoon.

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at the hotel on Santa Cruz Island. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch included

Day 9 ISABELA ISLAND: GIANT TORTOISES BREEDING CENTER, MORENO POINT, POZA DE LOS FLAMINGOS, LAS TINTOREAS ISLETS, SNORKELING

Morning

Set sail to Isabela Island on a two-hour speedboat journey at 6:30 this morning. At 4,640 sq. km, Isabela is the archipelago's largest island, and almost four times the size of Santa Cruz, encompassing a wealth of biodiversity and natural attractions. Its wetlands are laced with lagoons, swamps, and mangroves, and are recognized for their migrant bird populations, one of which is the emblematic flamingo. Visit the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center, where endangered Galapagos Giant Tortoises are cared for and live in captivity. Moreno Point on Isabela's western shores reveal tidal lagoons and extensive lava fields and give visitors the opportunity to observe herons, frigatebirds and green turtles. Its shrub dotted landscape is unique for the candelabra cacti that reach impressive heights of up to seven meters, which towers above surrounding mangrove bushes and saltwater lagoons fringed with seagrass. Your first destination on Isabela Island this morning is Poza de Los Flamingos, where you will marvel at the distinctive color of these migratory birds that change as they transform from chicks to adults.

Afternoon

Visit Las Tintoreras this afternoon, a group of islets just off the shores of Puerto Villamil, named for its population of white-tipped reef sharks that are frequently spotted resting in its surrounding calm and clear waters. After a dry landing, walk along the nature trail with your guide, keeping your eyes peeled for sea lions and marine iguanas that live in this shark channel, continuing along the mangrove-lined shoreline. Then enjoy a zodiac ride to observe Galapagos penguins and blue-footed boobies before taking to the waters for some snorkeling.

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch included

Day 10 CABO ROSA TUNNELS, SNORKELING, RETURN TO SANTA CRUZ

Morning

A popular day trip from Puerto Villamil, the Cabo Rosa Tunnels are widely recognized for its biodiversity and tunnel-like lava formations that have taken shape over hundreds of years. Reach this uninhabited islet this morning on a one-hour boat journey, and engage in some light hiking on lava rock with your guide, observing the endemic vegetation and varieties of birds. A favorite site for snorkelers, dive into the crystal clear waters to observe giant sea turtles, sea horses, and manta rays up close.

Afternoon

In the afternoon we will take the ferry back to Santa Cruz Island and head to your hotel.

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch included

Day 11 BARTOLOME ISLAND, NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND, SOUTH PLAZAS ISLAND OR SANTA FE ISLAND

Depending on navigation and availability conditions, you will spend the day on one of the four islands below:

Bartolome Island
Depart from your hotel early this morning, and by bus, reach the Itabaca Channel where you will board the yacht and begin your 20-minute journey to the Daphnes, a pair of twin volcanic islands. Bird lovers will swoon at the sight of masked boobies, tropical birds and frigates, before continuing on the yacht for 90 minutes to the tiny 1.2 sq. km island of Bartolome. After a dry landing, climb to the top of a small cone with your guide, gaining 114 meters in altitude, and observe a dramatic landscape of lava fields, volcanic cones, and lunar-like craters. Following your visit, sail to Sullivan Bay, a favorite destination on this island hopping tour because of its unique geological characteristics. Situated on the southeastern end of Santiago Island, you will land on a sparkling white sand beach by wet landing, where you will spend some leisurely time swimming and snorkeling among the tropical fish, sea turtles and rays. Witness Sullivan Bay's contrasting geological features on an easy walk across its wild terrain, and contemplate the relatively young landscape of black lava flow, collapsed craters and volcanic hornitos, feeling the ropy lava beneath your feet as you explore. Return to the Itabaca Channel and transfer to your hotel by bus for your 5 PM arrival.

North Seymour Island
Depart from your hotel early this morning, and by bus, reach the Itabaca Channel where you will board the yacht. A 45-minute journey will transport you to North Seymour, a small and flat 1.9 sq. km island formed by the uplifting of underwater volcanic lava. Following a dry landing on the island's rocky coast, learn about the 72 land iguanas that were introduced to North Seymour in 1932 to colonize the island on a two-hour tour with your guide. Captain Alan Hancock and his crew transported these undernourished iguanas from Baltra Island in the hopes that they will thrive in better conditions on North Seymour. And in 1934 just two years later, the species was identified to have adapted without issues. Walk the arid boulder-strewn landscape, and follow along an easy circular path that takes you past the most extensive colonies of blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds in the archipelago. If conditions are optimal, spend some time discovering the area's marine wildlife as you snorkel. Depending on availability, head to Mosquera Islet to observe its large colonies of sea lion sunbathe or splash in the water, or head to the white coral sands of Bachas Beach on the northern shores of Santa Cruz, a beach that earned its name after World War II when the American army abandoned their barges on the beach. If conditions permit, swim or snorkel among the marine wildlife here before reaching your hotel at 4:00 pm.

South Plazas Island
By bus this morning, depart from your hotel to the Itabaca Channel to board your boat and sail 20 minutes to Punta Carrión where you will have to opportunity to witness birds and sea turtles, and snorkel in a small cove. Then, sail for approximately 90 minutes towards South Plaza Island off the eastern shores of Santa Cruz. Despite its small size, South Plaza is recognized for its outstanding collection of wildlife species, and after a dry landing, you'll have the opportunity to embark on a 90-minute walk to witness one of the largest sea lion colonies in the Galapagos, land iguanas and masked boobies, as well as discover the island's rugged landscape. Return to the boat for lunch and reach Puerto Ayora for a 4 PM arrival at your hotel.

Santa Fe Island
From the dock of Puerto Ayora, the yacht will sail 90 minutes to Santa Fe Island - one of the oldest in the Galapagos archipelago at an estimated four million years. With a wet landing on the beach, embark on a 90-minute walking tour with your guide to explore the island's 24 sq. km, keeping your eyes peeled for sightings of Galápagos hawks, fork-tailed gulls and migratory birds. Situated between Santa Cruz and San Cristobal, Santa Fe also boasts a diversity of endemic species, like the Santa Fe land iguana, Galapagos Mockingbird, and rice rat. Its landscape is unique for its population of the large prickly pear cactus, Opuntia Echos, which feeds Santa Fe's land iguanas. If conditions permit, enjoy a relaxing swim or snorkel in the shimmering waters of Barrington Bay as hawks fly overhead, keeping your eyes peeled for rays, tropical fish and marine tortoises. Sail back to Santa Cruz for the evening and return to your hotel at 4 pm.

Afternoon

Return to your hotel.

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the Hotel
  • Lunch on Board

Day 12 FLIGHT TO QUITO, DEPARTURE

Morning

After breakfast at your hotel, transfer to Seymour Airport on Baltra Island for your onward journey.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Services

What's included

Accommodation

Nights
11 nights in 3* premium hotels

Meals

Bed & Breakfast plan
11 breakfasts + 4 lunches

Transportation

Train
Train to Machu Picchu in comfortable economy class: Ollantaytambo/Aguas Calientes/Ollantaytambo on day 4
Boat
Shared boat excursions
Bus
Shuttle round trip Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes on day 4 and transfers from/to Baltra Airport on days 8 & 12
Car
Private car for all transfers and visits for land-based visits, shared transfers in the Galapagos

Orientation

Guide
Shared English-speaking naturalist guide

Entrance Fees

All entrance fees to mentioned sites, except for the Galapagos

What's not included

  • Entrance Fee to Galapagos National Park (100 USD/Person)
  • TCT Ingala Migration Card (20 USD/Person)
  • Domestic Flights:
    • Lima to Cusco
    • Cusco to Lima
    • Quito to Baltra
    • Baltra to Quito
  • Regional Flights:
    • Lima to Quito
  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Wetsuit Rental
  • Extra Meals
  • Drinks
  • Tips

Dates and Prices

Arrival date

Important notes

People with heart conditions are strongly advised to seek medical advice before booking. 

This tour includes many visits at sites above 10,000 ft (3000 m). To avoid altitude sickness, we strongly advise against any strong physical effort or any alcohol consumption in high-altitude places. 

 

Each guest must strictly follow the Galapagos National Park Rules: 

  • Remain on marked trails at visitor sites and respect signs at all times for the protection of wildlife
  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet (two meters) from wildlife to avoid disturbing them, even if they approach you
  • Never feed wildlife, as this can cause health problems
  • Flash photography is not permitted when taking photos of wildlife
  • Professional photography and videos recorded for commercial purposes must be authorized by the Galapagos National Park Department
  • It is your responsibility not to introduce food, animals, or plants into the Archipelago. Cooperate fully with all environmental inspection and quarantine officials during your visit.
  • Do not take or buy any products or souvenirs made from banned substances, including black coral, shells, lava rock, animal parts, or any native wood or vegetation prior to leaving Galapagos. This is illegal and must be reported
  • Practice “leave-no-trace” principles in order to maintain the beauty of the environment
  • Pack out all trash and dispose of or recycle it in the populated areas or on your tour boat
  • Smoking and/or campfires are strictly prohibited within the Galapagos National Park
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