Ecuador & Peru
This itinerary combines the highlights of Ecuador and Peru into one unforgettable adventure. Experience the majesty of the Andes as you explore the ruins of the Incan empire in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu. Leave the soaring peaks behind and travel to the wilds of the Galápagos Islands to snorkel, swim, and hike through this spectacular ecosystem, absolutely brimming with unique wildlife.
Best time to visit: April-October
Ideal for: Active Couples, Families
Day 1 – Lima
Arriving in Lima, Peru, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in the heart of the city.
Day 2 – Lima Highlights Tour
Discover Lima’s wealth of attractions on a private, half-day City Highlights Tour beginning in the colonial-era center of the city. Visit the Church and Convent of Santo Domingo, the ancient ceremonial site of Huaca Pucllana, the Museum of Religious Art, and the parks and Pacific overlooks of the Miraflores neighborhood. In the evening, enjoy a 3-hour private tour of the Larco Museum’s collection of Peruvian artwork and artifacts, and then sit down for a gourmet dinner overlooking the museum’s gardens.
Day 3 – Cusco & the Sacred Valley
Transfer to Lima’s international airport for your flight to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. You will be met at the airport for a private transfer—a 90-minute drive through beautiful mountain scenery—to your hotel in the Urubamba Valley, also called as the Sacred Valley, which is home to a number of renowned archaeological sites.
Day 4 – Ruins of the Sacred Valley
Discover the ancient ruins of the Sacred Valley on a private, full-day tour to Pisac and Ollantaytambo. Begin by exploring the agricultural terraces and temples of Pisac, spread along the mountain slope high above the valley floor. Back in the town of Pisac, you’ll have the chance to shop at the vibrant artisan market for handmade woolen clothes and other crafts before driving to the fortress ruins of Ollantaytambo.
Day 5 – Machu Picchu & the Sanctuary Lodge
This morning, board the Vistadome Train at Ollantaytambo Station to the town of Aguas Calientes, which is the gateway to the ruins of Machu Picchu. Arriving in Aguas Calientes you’ll set off with your guide for a half-day exploration of the ancient stone walls, temples, and terraces of Machu Picchu. At the end of the day, settle into the Sanctuary Lodge just outside the entrance to the ruins.
Day 6 – Explore Machu Picchu
Meet your guide early this morning for a half-day excursion in and around Machu Picchu, including hiking up to the Sun Gate—once a strategic entrance to the citadel—for fantastic views over Machu Picchu. For adventurous hikers, consider making the trek up to the ruins of Huayna Picchu, which are perched on a peak overlooking the valley.
Day 7 – Train to Cusco
Spend the morning visiting the citadel of Machu Picchu on your own, or exploring the town of Aguas Calientes, which has restaurants, shops, and a few short hikes. In the early afternoon, head to the train station for the 3-hour return journey on the Vistadome train to Cusco, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 8 – Tour of Cusco
Spend today discovering the capital of the Inca Empire on a private, half-day tour of Cusco and nearby Inca ruins. Cusco is the oldest continuously inhabited city in South America, with much of the colonial city sitting on ancient foundations. Visit the main square, the Cathedral, Santo Domingo Church, and learn about Inca history and stonework at the ruins of Puka-Pukara, Qenqo, Tambo Machay, and the fortress of Sacsayhuaman which presides over the city.
Day 9 – Fly to Quito, Ecuador
Fly back to Lima, connecting to your international flight to Quito, Ecuador, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel in the historic heart of the city. Settle into your hotel and enjoy exploring the area, which is filled with churches, plazas, and museums.
Day 10 – Fly to the Galápagos & Set Sail
Return to the airport this morning for your flight to Baltra in the Galápagos Islands. Cross the channel by ferry to Santa Cruz Island, where you will get and introduction to the ecosystems of the islands and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, travel to El Chato Reserve, one of the best places to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat, as well as numerous bird species—and then head to Puerto Ayora to begin your ocean adventure.
Day 11 – Santa Cruz Island & Sombrero Chino
After breakfast, land on the green-hued, volcanic sands of Whale Bay. Enjoy beautiful views of the northwest side of Santa Cruz Island on a short walk from the beach, and then head back to the bay to snorkel or explore the coast on a panga ride. After lunch, head to the tiny islet of Sombrero Chino off the southeastern tip of San Salvador Island. The cove offers incredible snorkeling and is home to white-tipped reef sharks and brightly-hued tropical fish.
Day 12 – Bartolomé Island
Start the day with a dry landing on Bartolomé Island for a hike to the summit, and then take a dinghy ride around Pinnacle Rock, go snorkeling, or look into the depths on the glass-bottomed boat. After lunch, land on the white coral beach at Sullivan Bay, where the last major volcanic eruption was less than a century ago.
Day 13 – Tower Island
Disembark at Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island, also called Tower Island, for a walk to see thousands of frigate birds, red-footed and masked boobies, herons, finches, and gulls. Return to the harbor to swim and snorkel, or take sea kayaks along the island’s steep cliffs. After lunch, go for a panga ride along the cliffs to Prince Phillip’s Steps, where you can climb up to, and then walk across, the flat-topped island. Enjoy your last evening aboard the yacht!
Day 14 – Return to Quito
Disembark La Pinta and return to the airport on Baltra Island for your flight to Quito. Arriving in Quito you will be met by your local guide for a tour to the Middle of the World Monument on the Equator. Return to your hotel in Old Quito for the night.
Day 15 – Departure
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Remarkable Journeys has partnered with Lost World Adventures to create this journey. We partnered with Lost World due to their well-mannered relationships with tour guides, hotellers, airlines, and ground management services in the region. In our opinion, they offer the best value and experience in the region.
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