Itinerary

There is a later version of this trip also available for travel from Jan 1, 2014 to Dec 31, 2014. View later Galapagos & Inca Trail Adventure.

Day 1 Quito

Travel to Quito and discover this vibrant city resting beneath Volcan Pichincha. Explore the picturesque streets and cobblestone alleys on a walking tour. The many churches, cathedrals and colonial mansions reflect the history of the region and are well worth exploring further.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Days 2-3 Isla San Cristobal

Head off to San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos Archipelago. Saddle up on mountain bikes for a ride around the island, stopping to see cheeky sea lions sunbathe at La Loberia, before a welcome dinner back in town. The next day, visit Isla de Lobos and Cerro Brujo Beach to observe blue-footed boobies. Take to the sea and swim or snorkel with playful sea lions. Visit the Interpretation Center to learn about the Galapagos’s history before heading to Mann Beach for another swim.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 4-6 Isla Floreana/Isla Isabela

Glimpse dolphins frolicking in the waves and experience some of the Galapagos's best snorkelling at Isla Floreana. In the afternoon, journey into Floreana’s highlands to visit the mysterious Pirate and Whaler caves. Take a walk along mangrove-lined paths to the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre, seeing them in all stages of development, before hopping aboard pangas (small boats) to explore Shark Alley, visiting a nesting site for marine iguanas. On day 6, get a bird's-eye view of this magical landscape from Sierra Negra volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the region and then relax and enjoy the spoils of island life before dinner.
ACCOM: Hotel - 3

Days 7-8 Isla Santa Cruz

Greet the day kayaking in pristine waters in search of the Galapagos penguin and other wonderful creatures, before making tracks to Isla Santa Cruz. Visit the interesting and informative Charles Darwin Research Station to meet the breeds of tortoises and land iguanas brought back from the brink of extinction, then head to the white sands of Tortuga Bay to swim and see the quirky marine iguanas playing in the breakers.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Day 9 Quito

Journey into the highlands of Santa Cruz and see the amazing lava tunnels - striking geological formations that create a unique habitat for wildlife – and witness the Giant Tortoise in the wild. Then it’s time to farewell the majesty of the Galapagos Islands and return to the mainland on a flight back to Quito. Enjoy free time to revel in the nightlife of this enchanting city, and perhaps sample traditional fare at a local eatery or street stall for a final taste of Ecuadorian cuisine. There should also be time to hit the markets to pick up colourful souvenirs.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Day 10 Lima

Travel to Peru and arrive in the country's oceanside capital. With churches, palaces and ornate colonial mansions, Lima is a great city to explore by foot.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Day 11 Cuzco

Welcome to Peru! Get acquainted with the intriguing blend of Inca and Spanish cultures and discover some of Cuzco's lesser-known sights on a guided walking tour. Take the opportunity to taste unique mate de coca (coca tea).
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Day 12 Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo

Travel through the lush Sacred Valley and visit a local community. Learn about their traditional lifestyle, browse handicrafts and pick up a few words of the Quechua language. Look out for the maize crops alongside the river and covering the terraces that stretch high up the valley walls. Spend the night exploring the Ollantaytambo ruins - a magnificent example of Inca urban planning.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Days 13-16 Inca Trail/Machu Picchu/Cuzco

Trek the Inca trail, which once linked this ancient Peruvian Empire. The ancient paths wind around mountains, across high, rocky plateaus, through dense cloud forest and past crumbling temple ruins. Climb over challenging mountain peaks - including the 4,198m high Warmiwanusca (Dead Woman's Pass) - and camp out in the evenings. On the final morning, climb the steps to Intipunku, the Sun Gate, and see mystical Machu Picchu appearing through the mist. Rest for a moment to take it all in before descending to the famous site to spend the day uncovering the mystery of these amazing Inca ruins before returning to Cuzco.
ACCOM: Camping (with basic facilities) - 3, Hotel - 1

Day 17 Cuzco

Still seeking adventure? An optional trip from Cuzco to the Urubamba River provides whitewater rafting or mountain-biking thrills. For those with weary legs, have lunch at the Aldea Yanapay Cafe, part of a self-sustainable organisation that provides the underprivileged kids of Cuzco with health and education facilities.