From Quito to La Paz, check out the best of Peru and Ecuador
Traipsing through jungles? Check. Turning into a prune in hot springs and waterfalls? Check check. Balancing on floating islands made out of reeds? Hiking ancient mountain trails to long-lost cities? Exploring two of South America’s (nay, the world’s) most exciting destinations for three whole weeks? Abso-freakin’-lutely. That’s what it’s all about on this epic Peruvian and Ecuadorian adventure, amigos. Kicking off in Quito, you’ll scramble over ruins at Ollantaytambo, wander the cobblestone streets of Cuenca, explore the Amazon by night, peruse some markets in Peru and just have mucho amounts of fun. Vamanos?
This trip requires Inca Trail Permits. View permit availability here.
UNESCO is a pretty good judge of character, right? With its colonial architecture, plazas, churches and colourful local life, there's a reason they've listed Quito's Old Town as a World Heritage site
There's nothing like munching on a red tomato from an Ecuadorian market, eh? Saunter (yes, saunter) around the Otavalo Markets and find yourself smack bang in the middle of Souvenir City, population: you
Visit the colonial city of Cuenca
Get your adrenaline kicks in Banos – or just plonk yourself in a hot spring
Head out on a city tour of Lima visiting Miraflores, down town and end in the Bohemian neighbourhood of Barranco.
Roam the Amazon jungle at night while pretending you're David Attenborough (it has a calming influence). Float down the river, keeping an out for the glaring eyes of jaguars and caimans
The floating islands of Uros on Lake Titicaca seem like the sort of thing Pixar would come up with. Spend the night under the stars in a traditional island village
Whether you trek the classic Inca Trail, the Inca Quarry Trail or take the scenic train route, trust us, this is going to be one of the highlights of your awesome lives
Don't worry, we won't hog all of your time. You'll have plenty of opportunity to bounce around Cusco, digging deep into the pockets of Incan history
The Wicked Witch of the West had her flying monkeys and red shoes. The witches of La Paz have dried llama foetuses and alpaca blankets. While both sound imaginary, the Witches' Market in La Paz is a true Bolivian experience
This trip involves a lot of travel on local buses, including some long stints (8 hours from Banos to Cuenca; 6 hours from Cuenca to Tumbes), and conditions can be fairly basic. Bus travel can be tiring, but it’s also a great opportunity to relax, rub shoulders with the locals and enjoy the scenery.
It’s important to wear sunscreen and other sun protection, and always drink plenty of water.
Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit some people can suffer altitude sickness. Some people aren’t affected at all, but if you are, be sure to drink plenty of water and don’t push yourself too hard. If possible, arrive into Quito a few days early to allow yourself time to acclimatise. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information about altitude sickness.
On this trip you’ll be camping along the Inca Trail and spending the night in a homestay on Lake Titicaca. Both have very basic, shared facilities (such as drop toilets and no showers). This is all part of the adventure of being among nature!
While hiking the 4 Day Inca Trail or 3 Day Inca Quarry trail portion of this trip you may be joined by some non-Geckos travellers, who might be over the age of 29 years old.
The Amazon Jungle can be very hot and humid. Light cotton clothing is the best way to tackle this. Also, don't forget tropical-strength insect repellent.
Very Important - In order to obtain the necessary permit to trek the Inca Trail, we must be provided with accurate details of the passport to be used whilst travelling in Peru. If the name, passport number, nationality or date of birth shown on the permit are different from the passport, park authorities will refuse entry. If passport details have not been supplied, the permit cannot be issued. When we are unable to secure the "Classic Trail", our groups take the "Inca Quarry Trek". This also applies during February each year, when the Classic Trail is closed for restoration.
BOLIVIAN VISA FOR U.S CITIZENS
Nationals from the United States need a visa to enter Bolivia and you we highly recommend you obtain this visa in advance from your nearest Bolivian consulate or Embassy. Not obtaining the visa in advance is likely to cause long delays at the border.
Please see the visa information on these trip notes for more information.
A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip however excludes nights 10 & 11 (Amazon Jungle) and night 20 (Lake Titicaca, Homestay) where you will be in shared accommodation.
PASSPORT DETAILS REQUIRED
Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase Entrance fees to certain sites. Additionally on certain trips it's needed to book bus, train or flight tickets. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.
On June 30th Peruvian authorities released a new list of regulations for visiting Machu Picchu, which came into effect from July 1st
The main points impacting our visits are:
1. Tickets are now only valid only for one entry, that means that passengers cannot leave the site and re-enter as we have in the past.
2. Once the passengers begin on a chosen circuit (there are 3 different ones) they cannot walk backwards and once they finish the circuit they must leave the site. They cannot explore afterwards.
3. The two allotted times to visit are 6am-12pm/ 12-4.30pm
4. It will be mandatory to have a guide (Machu Picchu guide, not our Leaders) to visit the site. However, this rule can’t be applied as there are not enough official guides to cover the large amount of people visiting so authorities are being flexible.
These new regulations are affecting how much time our passengers can spend in Machu Picchu, in the past, after a 1-2.5 hour tour passengers could stay longer to explore the site unguided, this is not possible anymore.
Our only alternative is to make passengers explore the upper part of Machu Picchu (Sun gate and Inka Bridge) before their guided tour starts (so about 2 hours before meeting the guide). Your Tour Leader will provide more information on what the group options are at the Welcome meeting.