Galapagos and Peru Adventure

23 Nights from €5,879 Including Flights

Overview

Packed full of adventure and outstanding natural beauty, this 23-night South American tour is the holiday of a lifetime. Starting in Ecuador and traversing through the stunning landscapes of Galapagos, Peru and Bolivia, you will encounter an abundance of rare, exotic wildlife found within the Amazon’s luscious, emerald jungles, including macaws, monkeys and toucans, in addition to the penguins, blue-footed boobies and giant tortoises found upon the Galapagos’ pristine sandy beaches, and sea turtles, manta rays and sharks to be seen beneath the islands’ clear, azure waters.

You’ll also have the opportunity to soak up the vibrant culture, captivating history and passionate energy of some of the continent’s greatest cities, including Quito, Lima, Cusco, Puno and Le Pas, indulging in delectable local fare along the way. One of the greatest highlights of this trip includes the famous trek of Peru’s iconic Inca Trail, a tough but rewarding experience offering some of the finest views imaginable, ending in the World Heritage-Listed Machu Picchu – a must-see on many people’s bucket lists. We think that this tour is ideal for nature lovers, adventurers and cultural enthusiasts; aspects of the itinerary are physically-challenging, requiring a certain level of fitness (INT).

Highlights

  • Explore the stunning Galapagos Islands, home to a plethora of exotic, rare wildlife
  • Snorkel the incredible marine-filled waters of Kicker Rock, one of the world’s best snorkelling spots with playful sea lions, majestic sea turtles, manta rays and the Galapagos Shark
  • Encounter the near-extinct Galapagos Giant Tortoises from an up-close perspective
  • Scale the Galapagos’ second most active volcano on Isabela Island, home to the world’s largest crater
  • Trek Peru’s iconic Inca Trail, reaching dizzying heights of nearly 4,500 metres above sea level
  • Discover the beautiful sights and architecture of Quito, one of South America’s most attractive cities
  • Spend two days in the luscious Amazon Rainforest, with chances to hike the stunning scenery in search of monkeys, macaws, peccaries, jabirus, butterflies and exotic flora
  • Tour the breath-taking, incredibly charming cities of Cusco, Lima, Puno and La Paz
  • Witness the world-famous sights of Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World
Whats included?
  • Flights & taxes
  • Accommodation
  • Transfers
  • Checked baggage
  • CAR licensed & bonded
  • In resort assistance & 24 hour contact centre
Why Book with Tropical Sky?
  • Hassle-free - book direct quickly and easily
  • Choice of airlines and the option to switch
  • A friendly, family run business with a wealth of experience.
  • Great deals on offer for multiple destinations
  • No amendment fees
  • Low deposits
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Day 1

Quito

Upon arrival in Quito, you’ll transfer to your hotel in time for a welcome meeting at 2pm – ensure you have your insurance details and next of kin information to hand for your tour leader. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy a city tour through the beautiful colonial architecture and quaint old town. Set at an altitude of 2,850 metres, Quito is one of South America’s most attractive cities with stunning views of Volcan Pichincha.

Day 2

San Cristobal Island, Galapagos

Today begins with an early morning transfer to Quito Airport for your flight to San Cristobal Island, which should take around 3.5 hours. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel and take a little time to unpack and relax before heading to La Loberia, where you’ll put on your snorkelling gear to go for a swim with the sea lions, and maybe some sea turtles. Head back to town afterwards to enjoy an evening at leisure.

Day 3

San Cristobal Island, Galapagos

Take a short 45-minute boat ride to Leon Dormido or Isla Lobos this morning, with the chance to spot nesting frigates, blue-footed boobies and playful young sea lions. On arrival, you’ll be able to swim with the sea turtles, manta rays and harmless Galapagos shark in the open sea, and spend some time unwinding on the beautiful beach. Lunch will be enjoyed on board the boat, and you’ll then head to the Interpretation Centre, where you’ll learn about the ‘Enchanted Islands’ engaging history and wildlife.

Next, you’ll make your way to Frigatebird Hill and make a climb to the top for spectacular views of the bay and Kicker Rock. Return to town in the late afternoon/early evening for the rest of the day at leisure.

Breakfast and Lunch included.

Day 4

Floreana Island – Isabela Island, Galapagos

After breakfast, take an early-morning boat ride to Floreana Island (2.5 hours) and keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and whales along the way. On arrival, enjoy a spot of snorkelling in the clear blue waters before lunch, and then venture to a black sand beach belonging to the descendants of Galapagos’ first settlers. The town here, Puerto Velasco Ibarra, is home to around 150 residents and carries a very interesting past. Later in the afternoon, continue to Isabela Island, taking around 2 hours, and on arrival, transfer to your hotel.

Breakfast and Lunch included.

Day 5

Isabela Island, Galapagos

Begin your first full day on Isabela Island with a short bus ride to the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre; here, you’ll observe nearly a thousand giant tortoises in all stages of development, training for life in the wild. You’ll then hop on the bus again to go to observe flocks of flamingos in their natural habitat at a brackish lagoon.

In the afternoon, you will board a small pangas for Tintoreras or Shark Alley – along the way, you may see some blue-footed boobies or Galapagos penguins along the coast. On arrival, you’ll take a short walk on the isolated islet to see a popular marine iguana nesting site; snorkel in a calm inlet amongst colourful fish and intertwining underground lava tubes, with the chance to see green sea turtles resting beneath you. In the late afternoon, return to town to enjoy your first sunset over Isabela – arguably the most beautiful sunset in the Galapagos.

Breakfast included.

Day 6

Isabela Island, Galapagos

Your last day on the island commences with a trip to the Sierra Negra Volcano – one of the Galapagos’ most active volcanoes home to the second largest crater in the world. If weather permits, you’ll take a challenging 17-kilometre hike up the rocky mountain, taking around 5 to 6 hours. After the hike, make your way back to town in the late afternoon for some time at leisure; venture down to the water for a relaxing swim, or find a picturesque spot to curl up with a good book.

* Please Note: during the rainy season, the volcano hike can become muddy – please ensure you wear comfortable walking shoes with lots of support – you can hire gumboots locally if you wish. Also, during the hike, it can get very hot and there isn’t much shade along the way – please come prepared with a sunhat, sunscreen and plenty of water.

Breakfast and Lunch included.

Day 7

Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos

It’s an early start today at around 5am, and you’ll hop on a boat transfer to Santa Cruz Island at 6am. Upon arrival, transfer to Puerto Ayora for breakfast, followed by a trip to the Charles Darwin Research Station – this is a fascinating opportunity to learn about the conservation efforts in place to preserve the unique Galapagos ecosystems.

Next, you’ll enjoy a traditional Ecuadorian lunch in a restaurant before heading to the higher parts of the islands to observe giant tortoise roaming in their natural habitat. Afterwards, you’ll visit a locally owned sugar cane farm to learn about the process of turning sugar cane into alcohol with the opportunity to try some.

Breakfast included.

Day 8

Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos

This morning begins with a hike of approximately 3.5 kilometres to Tortuga Bay Beach, where you will head out on a kayaking excursion around a beautiful protected bay; keep an eye out for eagle rays, sea turtles and blue-footed boobies. Head back to Puerto Ayora for an afternoon at leisure, and tonight there will be a fun group dinner.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included.

Day 9

Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos – Quito

Say goodbye to the Galapagos today as you take a flight back to Quito. You’ll arrive in the late afternoon with the rest of the day at leisure – perhaps head out for a final group dinner with your fellow travellers.

Breakfast included.

Day 10

Lima

Today you will be transferred to Quito Airport for your ongoing flight to Lima. As this is a combination trip, your tour leader will change to a Peruvian specialist and most likely the composition of your group too.

Your Peruvian adventure will begin with a 2pm welcome meeting, followed by a walking tour of downtown Lima, including the city’s historical centre. If you arrive early, we recommend taking a walk around Miraflores – go from Central Park to Larco Avenue, or go to Parque del Amor (Love’s Park) for a beautiful view of Lima’s beaches.

Days 11 & 12

Amazon Jungle

Day 11 starts with an early-morning transfer to Lima Airport for your 3-hour flight to Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon Jungle. Upon arrival at around midday, the lodge staff will transfer you to their office in town. When you arrive at the Jungle Lodge office, you will be provided with a small duffle back to pack your personal items required for the duration of your jungle stay; the remainder of your belongings will be stored safely in the office.

Travel by private vehicle to the port, which should take around 45 minutes, and from here you will take a motorised canoe upriver to your jungle lodge in the Madre de Dios area, taking around 2.5 hours. You’ll enjoy a packed lunch aboard the boat ride, and once you arrive, there will be time to unpack and unwind before a short orientation and briefing.

The next two days will be packed with fun-filled activities. Your full day in the jungle includes a trek which lasts around half a day; at times, the paths can become muddy and people can find the trek a little exhausting – along the way, there will be plenty of stops, and you can encounter magnificent flora and wildlife, from macaws and monkeys to peccaries, jabirus, otters and thousands of butterflies. Return to the lodge for lunch, and head out on a night-time excursion through the jungle for more opportunities to encounter rare wildlife.

Two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners included.

Day 13

Cusco

Depart the lodge early this morning to catch your 35-minute flight to Cusco, the true heart and soul of Peru. Spend a little time acclimatising to the 3,450 metre-high altitude, and head out on an orientation walk with your tour leader, where you’ll visit the façade of Qoricancha Temple, the local San Pedro Market, the Main Square, and the Chocolate Museum, where you’ll have the opportunity to sample locally-made and sourced hot chocolate. Tonight is free to spend at leisure in the city – perhaps head out for dinner with your fellow travellers – your tour leader will happily suggest some great dining venues.

Breakfast included.

Day 14

Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo

Hop on to a private bus in the morning and travel through the lush terraces of the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo. Along the way, stop off at a village for lunch in a community which still practices many Incan traditions. On arrival, you’re free to spend the rest of the day as you wish. Perhaps head to the archaeological park that lies to the left of the main square, or if you’re feeling energetic, you could climb to the top of the squared terraces for amazing views over the valley; just remember, if you have chosen to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu tomorrow, don’t push yourself today.

Breakfast and Lunch included.

Day 15

Inca Trail, Inca Quarry Trail or Train Option

Depending on the travel arrangements you made prior to the trip, you’ll be doing one of the following for the next four days: hiking the classic Inca Trail, hiking the Inca Quarry Trail or staying in Cusco for another two days before taking the train to Aguas Calientes. If you’re hiking, you’ll receive a small duffle bag to carry your clothes in for the next few days (5kg max.) Your team of porters will carry these bags for you, in addition to the food and equipment needed for the trail.

Choice 1 – Inca Trail: Travel by minivan to the 82 kilometre marker and meet your crew of local porters, cook and guide. Today involves an uphill trek to the campsite, situated 3,100 metres above sea level; on the way, you’ll see the sights of Ollantaytambo, Huillca Raccay and Llactapata, as well as incredible views of the snow-capped Veronica Peak. In the evening, unwind at the campsite with a hearty meal.

Choice 2 – Inca Quarry Trail: It’s an early start today as you drive to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas worshipped the moon. Drive to the starting point of the trek, Rafq’a, and meet with the horsemen who will join you on this hike. After an hour’s walk, reach the small community of Socma, carry on to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout for a food break and the opportunity to take some photos. Continue to the campsite, which is 3,700 metres above sea level; you should reach the campsite around lunchtime. After lunch, set off to explore the Q’orimarca archaeological site.

Choice 3 – Train + 2 nights in Cusco: Leave Ollytaytambo at around 9:30am for a short drive to the town of Pisac, well known for its market. Arrive back into Cusco in the afternoon, where your tour leader will take you to San Pedro Market to buy some food for a picnic tomorrow.

Breakfast included for all choices, Lunch and Dinner included for those trekking the Inca / Inca Quarry Trail only.

Day 16

Inca Trail, Inca Quarry Trail or Train Option

Choice 1: This is the most challenging day of the trek as you ascend a long, steep path to reach the highest point of the trail, taking around five hours. Known as ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’, Warmiwanusca sits at a height of 4,200 metres above sea level with amazing views of the valley below. You will then descend to the campsite in the Pacaymayo Valley at 3,650 metres.

Choice 2: The most challenging and rewarding day of the hike, a three-hour walk takes you to the top of Puccaqasa, approximately 4,370 metres above sea level. After soaking up picturesque views of the valley, it’s a short walk before stopping for lunch. Then, you’ll make the two-hour hike to Kuychicassa, the highest pass of the trek at 4,450 metres. From here, descend to the sacred site of Sun Gate, with views over the Nevado Veronica Mountain. Head to the campsite, set just a stone’s throw away at Choquetacarpo.

Choice 3: Today, you’ll take a taxi to Tambomachay, an archaeological site set just outside of Cusco. From here you’ll take short downhill walk (1-3 hours) back to Cusco. On the way, stop to admire some of the archaeological sites, including Puka Pukara, Quinqu Quenqo and Saksaywaman. Arrive back in the afternoon and enjoy some time at leisure.

Breakfast included for all choices, Lunch and Dinner included for those trekking the Inca / Inca Quarry Trail only.

Day 17

Inca Trail, Inca Quarry Trail or Train Option

Choice 1: Start the day with a climb through the Pacaymayo Valley to Runkuracay Pass. Enjoy views of the snow-capped mountain of Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending for around two to three hours to the runs of Sayacmarca. Continue over the trail’s third pass to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, also known as the ‘town above the clouds’. Start the two-hour descent down the Inca steps to the final night’s campsite by the Winay Wayna archaeological site.

Choice 2: Today’s hike will be completely downhill, with the first stop being the incomplete Kachiqata Quarry, where the Incas were intercepted by the Spanish. Around midday, you’ll come to the end of the trek; explore the cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo before taking the short train journey to Aguas Calientes – this is where you will meet up with the travellers in your group who didn’t hike. Visiting the natural hot springs in town is a soothing way to spend the afternoon at leisure.

Choice 3: After a drive to Ollantaytambo (around one and a half hours), catch a train through Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientes, taking another 1.5 hours. Nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu, the city is home to beautiful hot springs where you may while away the afternoon; or for those who want a sneak peak, there is time to visit Machu Picchu independently before a guided tour tomorrow.

Breakfast included for all choices, Lunch and Dinner included for those trekking the Inca / Inca Quarry Trail only.

Day 18

Inca Trail, Inca Quarry Trail or Train Option (Machu Picchu)

Choice 1: This is the final and most spectacular leg of the trek to Machu Picchu; the day starts before dawn with breakfast served at 4pm. Begin the final part of the trek when the checkpoint opens at 5am – the walk to Sun Gate will take around 2.5 hours. Weather permitting, you’ll bask in the unforgettable views over the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ as you enter Machu Picchu through Sungate.

Choice 2: Depending on weather conditions, take a bus at 5:30am this morning along the winding road to Machu Picchu, taking around 30 minutes. On arrival, join up with the travellers in your group who hiked the Classic Inca Trail. If skies are clear, enjoy spectacular views over the ancient city from Sun Gate, before going on a guided walk around the ruins.

Choice 3: Take an early bus up to Machu Picchu at 5:30am; take a guided tour around the ruins of temples, palaces and living quarters and enjoy free time afterwards to wander around at leisure before the group returns to Cusco.

FOR ALL TRAILS: It’s time to return to Cusco for a well-deserved shower and cocktail; your evening is then free for the final night of your adventure.

Breakfast included.

Day 19

Cusco

Enjoy some free time to relax, shop and explore more of Cusco’s sights. You may like to rest in one of the cosy cafes on Plaza de Armas, or head to the San Pedro Market to find vegetables, meats, local cheeses, chocolates, herbal medicines and handicrafts.

Breakfast included.

Day 20

Puno

Travel by local bus through the dramatic scenery of the high altiplano Puno, located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, which should take around 6 hours. You’ll be set at an altitude of 3,830 metres, and the views of endless water stretching into the horizon are simply incredible. Puno is a melting pot of Aymara and Quechuan Indian culture, and the locals still practice many ancient Andean traditions. If you’re lucky, your trip may coincide with one of the city’s many cultural festivals.

Breakfast included.

Day 21

Lake Titicaca Homestay

Embark on a tour of the lake by slow motorboat, stopping off to visit the Titinos Floating Islands, originally built to isolate the Titinos from rival tribes - these islands are built from many layers of totora reeds that grow in the shallows of the lake. To gain a closer insight into the daily life in this region, you’ll be welcomed into local homes for an overnight stay with the community. Make the most of your visit by helping your host family with their daily activities, or trying to chat in the local language, Quechua.

*Please Note: Your homestay tonight is in a traditional mud brick house; rooms have many beds and blankets, and there are shared drop-toilets but no showers.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included.

Day 22

Puno

This morning after breakfast, you’ll board the boat again and head to Taquile Island, around an hour away. Here, the tradition of knitting is strictly a male domain, and women do the spinning; it’s a great spot to pick up some high quality, locally-knitted goods. An uphill hour-long trek will bring you to the main area of the island, and after your visit, you will descend 500 steps back to the boat.

Breakfast included.

Day 23

La Paz

Travel by local bus to Desaguadero and cross the border into Bolivia. At the border, you will say goodbye to your Peruvian tour leader and a local Bolivian leader will take over the last portion of your tour. After border formalities, you will walk across a bridge to the Bolivian side, and board a bus again. Head for La Paz, which should take around 5 hours; on arrival, you will feel like you’re on top of the world at around 3,600 metres above sea level, as you discover the colonial architecture and browse the local markets.

Breakfast included.

Day 24

La Paz

Your adventure draws to an end after breakfast this morning – head for the airport in time for your return flight home. As this itinerary doesn’t include a lot of time in Bolivia, you may choose to extend your time here if you’d like to explore the famous Salt Flats of Uyuni and other wonderful sights.

Breakfast included.

  • International flights
  • Internal flights
  • 23 nights of hotel, jungle lodge, homestay and camping accommodation
  • 21 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 7 dinners
  • International flights
  • Plane, speed boat, canoe, train, private vehicle and public bus transportation
  • All tours, excursions and entrance fees included in itinerary

What’s Not Included

  • Optional tours, activities, transport costs and entrance fees
  • Meals not included in itinerary
  • Personal expenses, tips and gratuities

Book today

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