Go deeper in diverse Peru before island-hopping in the Galapagos

This trip combines our most comprehensive adventure through Peru with an immersive experience on the Galapagos Islands to become a breathtaking 30-day tour through ancient cities and beautiful landscapes. Cruise deep into the Amazon and spend two nights in jungle lodges, stay with a local family on Lake Titicaca’s floating islands, explore Colca Canyon and reach the famed Inca city of Machu Picchu by trek or train. Just when you think it can’t get any more amazing, prepare to have your mind blown all over on the Galapagos Islands. Encounter colourful, bizarre and beautiful wildlife and traverse volcanic landscapes. Walk among giant tortoises, hike to the top of a volcano on Isla Isabela and fall in love with sea lions.

This trip requires Inca Trail Permits. View permit availability here.


Start
Lima, Peru
Finish
Quito, Ecuador
Destinations
Ecuador, Peru
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer, Wildlife
Code
GGSFC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • Choose the classic Inca Trail, the quieter Quarry Trail or the scenic train route to reach Machu Picchu. It will be unforgettable, no matter how you get there.

  • Take a boat tour around the floating islands of Uros on Lake Titicaca and spend the night with a local family in a traditional island community.

  • Spend two nights deep in the Amazon Jungle, trekking with local flora and fauna experts through the ‘Lungs of the World’.

  • Huge giant tortoises, colourful marine iguanas and the puppies of the sea (AKA sea lions) – come face-to-face with these creatures and more on the Galapagos Islands.

  • Stay in locally-owned hotels in the Galapagos with daily island-hopping adventures by speedboat. The perfect way to see the best of the archipelago while supporting home-grown businesses.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Sometimes you’ve got to rough it to get amongst it. While most of the accommodation on this trip is tourist class, there will be some very basic accommodation when it makes sense. This includes the two homestays in rural Peru, the Amazon Jungle eco-lodges and (if you choose to trek to Machu Picchu) camping along the Inca or Quarry Trail. There'll be no power in these places and some won't have showers and hot water.

  • The Amazon can be hot, humid and sticky. While travelling in this region, it's best to wear light cotton clothing and come prepared with insect repellent.

  • Altitude sickness is always a possibility at the heights this trip reaches, regardless of age or health. Please see the ‘Medical and health information’ section of Essential Trip Information for more information on this.

  • This trip involves a lot of walking, such as the 5—6 hour hike to the top of Sierra Negra Volcano in The Galapagos. If you choose to hike either the Inca or Quarry trails, they will be strenuous. The trip is recommended for those with at least a moderate level of fitness. Please bring durable footwear suitable to hiking. See the ‘What to Take’ section of the trip notes for more information.

  • This trip involves a lot of travel by speedboat between the various Galapagos Islands. The rides can be quite bumpy at times, but the good news is that seasickness can often be managed with medication. Please consult a health professional to assess your suitability for such medication.

  • Close proximity to the equator means sun in the Galapagos Islands is incredibly strong. Ensure you are prepared with sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses. We also recommend a rash guard.

  • This trip includes multiple snorkelling excursions. Travellers often find snorkelling in the Galapagos to be the most memorable part of their journey, jut note that confident swimming skills are required to take part. Alternative activities will not be on offer.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020.
View the 2019 itinerary
Welcome to Lima, Peru! You’ll get to see downtown Lima and the historical centre on your walking tour tomorrow, but with plenty to do and see in this capital, perhaps arrive a few days early to see more of the sights. There’s the famous suburb of Miraflores, Central Park and Lovers’ Park, and the 16th-century monastery of San Francisco with its catacombs of some 10,000 remains. There are also plenty of museums including the Museum of the Inquisition, the National Museum and the Gold Museum, just make sure you’re in your hotel at 4 pm for an important welcome meeting. After the meeting, why not head out with your new travel companions for a bite of Peru's national dish – ceviche.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Lima - Museo de la Nacion - PEN10
  • Lima - Gold Museum - PEN35
  • Lima - Private Lima: Home Cooked Tour Urban Adventure (price from) - USD83
  • Lima Coast Biking Tour - Urban Adventures - USD52
  • Lima - Lima Discovery - Urban Adventures - USD37
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
Set out on a guided tour of downtown Lima, where streets are flanked with colonial mansions, palaces and churches. See the iconic Plaza Mayor with its imposing Cathedral on foot, then board a local bus bound for Pisco. The bus will stop about three or four times along the way during the 4-hour journey. There are no planned activities upon arrival in Pisco, but you may want to seek out a bar serving Peru's national libation – this is the birthplace of the Pisco sour, after all.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning, wildlife enthusiasts might like to take the opportunity to visit the Paracas National Reserve for a chance to spot pelicans, red-footed boobies and flamingos on a 2-hour boat tour. Otherwise, take it easy do some more sightseeing in Pisco before the drive to one of the world's most mysterious archaeological sites, the Nazca Lines. Along the way, stop in the town of Huacachina. This little settlement sits beside a small lake with dramatic sand dunes. Perhaps go sandboarding or simply enjoy the photo opportunities. Upon arrival, explore the eerie desert graveyard of Chauchilla, where the arid conditions have naturally interred the remains of the Nazca people buried here. Visit the Nazca lines, enormous geoglyphs representing animals drawn into the sand thousands of years ago. Climb to the viewing platform, or perhaps take an optional flight over the lines for the best experience.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Ballestas Islands - Guided tour - PEN57
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Between June and September, the port to Ballestas Islands might be closed due to weather conditions. If this happens, you’ll be offered an alternative land tour of the Paracas National Reserve instead.

Flights over the Nazca lines are not recommended for those with a weak stomach. Planes turn sharply to facilitate viewing of the lines. Several local operators offer flights over the lines and there have been safety issues in the past. While Intrepid cannot guarantee the safety of any of the flights, your tour leader can recommend some operators that are safer than others according to our assessment. Your leader is specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting booking this activity through any other operators.
Travel approximately 9 hours from Nazca to Arequipa by local bus. Standing at the foot of El Misti Volcano and oozing the best of Spanish colonial charm, Arequipa vies with Cusco for the title of Peru's most attractive city. Built out of a pale volcanic rock called sillar, the old buildings dazzle in the sun, giving the city its nickname – the 'White City'. The main plaza, with its cafes and nearby cathedral, is a lovely place to while away the day.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chauchilla Cemetery Tour
Optional Activities
  • Nazca - Flight Over the Nazca Lines - USD100
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Spend the day in stunning Arequipa. Perhaps wander the main plaza with its lovely cathedral, many cafes and eateries. You may like to visit the Andean Sanctuaries Museum in Arequipa, which houses Peru’s famous ‘Ice Maiden’, the Inca mummy of a girl who died in the 1440s. There’s also the Monasterio de Santa Catalina, a 16th century monastery which only accepted women from well-to-do Spanish families. These nuns grew infamous for their luxurious lifestyles, each one having her own servant, splurging on fine products and enjoying frequent parties.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Arequipa - Santa Catalina Monastery - PEN45
  • Arequipa - Juanita Museum - PEN20
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
From January to April, Juanita is switched to a different ‘mummy’, Sarita, so that she can be properly preserved and maintained.
Today you’ll travel about 5 hours by minivan to the town of Chivay. Along the way, you’ll see llamas, alpacas and vicunas – not sure how to differentiate between these adorable creatures? Your tour leader will explain the differences between them. You’ll also stop for breaks, photo opportunities and to try some local coca tea. The third stop takes you to the highest point on the tour at Patapama (4800 metres above sea level) before descending to your destination of Chivay. The town will be your base for exploring the Colca Canyon in the coming days. Enjoy a break for lunch in town and then go on a short trek in the area, which will take you to the local thermal baths. From here you can either spend the evening soaking in the baths, dining on llama steak at a nearby restaurant or seeing some live Andean music at a pena (local bar).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Colca Canyon -Guided tour
Optional Activities
  • Colca Canyon - La Calera hot springs - PEN15
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
When stopping off at Patapama, you’re likely to experience some shortness of breath. This is nothing to worry about as it’s a short stop and the bus will quickly descend to lower altitude. Remember to prepare for altitude sickness before the trip. The accommodation in Chivay is very basic, has no heating and can sometimes be noisy. There are, however, ensuite toilets and you may request extra blankets on a chilly night.
This morning you’ll board a bus to Puno, it’s a long drive, but the dramatic views of Peru’s highlands – the Altiplano – make it an exceptionally scenic one too. Puno is located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, which you’ll explore in the coming days. Upon arrival, take the change to get acquainted with the town. Puno is known as Peru’s folklore capital, this is due in no small part to its thriving indigenous cultures, including the Aymara and Quechua. If you’re lucky enough to arrive during a festival, you’ll be treated to an elaborate parade of costumes and dances.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Start the day with a tour of Lake Titicaca. Sitting 3820 metres above sea level, it holds the title of highest navigable lake in the world. Hop in a motorboat and learn about the spiritual significance the lake holds for the Quechua while cruising across its waters. Stop off at Uros Titinos, floating man-made islands made entirely from reeds and home to several families. Later, head to your homestay in the Lake Titicaca region. To get a better understand of daily life, why not help your host family with some of their daily activities. Your hosts will be happy to teach you a few words of their language, Quechua, and a friendly game of soccer may also be on the cards!
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lake Titicaca - Boat tour & Homestay
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Your homestay tonight is a mud brick house. The accommodation is very basic, but the experience is rewarding, nonetheless. Be prepared to use shared drop toilets and have no access to a shower for the night. There will be plenty of blankets to keep you warm.
After breakfast, take a 1-hour boat ride to Taquile Island. The locals here make their livelihood out of textiles, with the women doing the spinning and men doing the knitting. Browse the handmade goods sold here including warm, high quality items. Next, take an uphill trek for about an hour to visit the main area of the island. After a brief stay, the boat will take you back to Puno (about 3 hours).


Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a scenic bus ride across the Altiplano towards Cusco (approximately 7 hours). Cusco is the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city and here, colonial buildings are built upon foundations remaining from Inca times. Spend a little time acclimatising to the high altitude (3450 metres), then set out to discover some of Cusco's lesser-known sights on a guided walking tour. Visit the facade of Qoricancha temple, San Pedro market, the main square, 12 Angled Stone, Regocijo Square and San Blas Square. End the walking tour at Cusco's Chocolate museum where you'll get to sample a decadent cup of hot chocolate made from local cacao beans. There’s also a small store where you can browse handicrafts and artisanal chocolate products.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cusco - Orientation Walk
  • Cusco - Chocolate Museum Visit & Hot Chocolate
Optional Activities
  • Cusco - Coricancha Temple entrance fee - PEN15
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a free day in Cusco, the heart and soul of Peru. You may like to visit the city’s many museums and archaeological sites with a boleto turistico (tourism ticket). This includes the Contemporary Art Museum, Regional History Museum, Qosqo Native Art Museum and the Inca ruins of Saqsaywaman, Q'enqo, Pica Pakara, Pisac and Ollantaytambo. The most easily accessible among these sites is Coricancha, which was once the Incan empire's richest temple until the Spanish built a Dominican church on top of it.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Sacred Valley - Via Ferrata & Zipline - PEN265
  • Sacred Valley - Mountain Biking - USD120
  • Cusco - Pisco Making - Urban Adventures - USD51
  • Cusco - Stand Up Paddle Boarding - USD75
  • Cusco - Totem painting workshop - USD59
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Depending on the travel arrangements you made before the trip, during the next four days you’ll be doing one of the following: hiking the Inca Trail, hiking the Quarry Trail or staying in Cusco for another two days before taking the train to Aguas Calientes. While away from Cusco, the bulk of your luggage will be stored at your hotel. If you’re hiking the Inca Trail or the Quarry Trail, the evening before you leave Cusco you'll receive a small duffle bag to carry your clothes in for the next four days (5 kg maximum). Your team of porters will carry these bags for you, together with the food and equipment for the trail. Please note that you won't have access to these items until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. If you’re travelling to Aguas Calientes by train, you'll be able to leave most of your luggage at the hotel in Cusco and only travel with the necessary items during the excursion by train.

Route 1: Inca Trail
Today travel by minivan to the 82-kilometre marker and meet your crew of local porters, cook and guide. The first day includes uphill trekking to the campsite, which is at 3100 metres above sea level. On the way you’ll see the Inca sites of Ollantaytambo, Huillca Raccay and Llactapata, as well as incredible views of snow-capped Veronica Peak. In the evening, unwind at the campsite with a nourishing meal.

Notes: The Inca Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people, but please come prepared, as the trail is 45 kilometres long and often steep. Each day's journey generally consists of seven hours of walking (uphill and downhill), with stops for snacks and lunch. Trekking usually begins at 7 am (except on the fourth morning) and you reach the campsite around 5 pm. Accommodation on the trek is camping (three nights). Double tents (twin-share) and inflatable camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.

Route 2: The Quarry Trail
Make an early start today and drive to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where the Inca worshipped the moon. Drive to the starting point of the trek, Rafq'a, and meet the horsemen who join us on the hike. After a 1-hour walk, reach the small community of Socma. Carry on to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout, where there’ll be an opportunity to stop for photos and a food break. Continue to the campsite, which is 3700 metres above sea level, and arrive around lunchtime. After lunch, set off to explore the Q'orimarca archaeological site, which once served as a checkpoint to the Inca.

Notes: The Quarry Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people. The hike is 26 kilometres long in total and its highest pass is at 4450 metres above sea level. Throughout the trek, horses will carry your gear and camping equipment. The first two nights are spent camping and the third night you will stay at a simple hotel. Double tents (twin-share) and inflatable camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.

Route 3: Train
For those travellers who would prefer not to hike, or who are unable to, will spend an extra day in Cusco. With no planned activities for this day, perhaps ask your leader for suggestions on how to make the most of your time in this beautiful city.
Accommodation
  • Camping with basic facilities on trek or hotel in Cusco (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cusco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass (access to 16 archaeological sites, transport & guides not included) - PEN135
  • Cusco - Half Boleto Turistico Pass (access to selected archaeological sites, transport & guides not included) - PEN75
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Quarry Trail only.
Route 1: Inca Trail
This is the most challenging day of the trek as you ascend a long steep path (approximately 5 hours) to reach the highest point of the trail. Colloquially known as 'Dead Woman's Pass', Warmiwanusca sits at a height of 4200 metres above sea level, providing amazing views of the valley below. The group will then descend to the campsite in the Pacaymayo Valley at 3650 metres.

Route 2: The Quarry Trail
This is the most challenging yet rewarding day of the hike. A 3-hour walk takes you to the top of the first pass of Puccaqasa (approximately 4370 metres high). After enjoying picturesque views of the valley, it’s a short walk before stopping for lunch. Afterwards, make the 2-hour hike to Kuychicassa, the highest pass of the trek at 4450 metres. From here, descend to the sacred site the Inca called Intipunku (Sun Gate) and enjoy views of the Nevado Veronica mountain, then head to the campsite, only a stone’s throw away at Choquetacarpo.

Route 3: Train
Today you’ll head to a community along the valley to learn about local lifestyle and activities. If your visit coincides with market day, you can spend time browsing the stalls in search of hand-painted beads or warm ponchos and maybe practising a little bit of the local language, Quechua. Your leader might also suggest an optional local meal or an Andean picnic with the locals.
Accommodation
  • Camping with basic facilities on trek or hotel in Cusco (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Quarry Trail only.
Route 1: Inca Trail
Start the day with a climb through the Pacaymayo valley to Runkuracay pass (3980 metres). Enjoy views of the snow-capped mountain of Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending for around 2 to 3 hours to the ruins of Sayacmarca. Continue over the trail’s third pass to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3850 metres), also known as 'Town Above the Clouds', then begin the 2-hour descent down the Inca steps to the final night's campsite by the Winay Wayna archaeological site.

Route 2: The Quarry Trail
Today’s hike will all be downhill. The first stop is the incomplete Kachiqata quarry, where the Inca were intercepted by the Spanish. Around midday, come to the end of the trek and explore the cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo before taking the short train journey to Aguas Calientes. This is where you’ll 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 late afternoon, before spending the night in a comfortable hotel before tomorrow’s visit to Machu Picchu.

Route 3: Train
Travel by train through the winding Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientes (approximately 90 minutes). Sitting at the base of Machu Picchu in a picturesque valley, Aguas Calientes takes its name from the numerous hot springs that are dotted throughout the area.
Accommodation
  • Camping with basic facilities on Inca Trail or hotel in Aguas Calientes (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Machu Picchu Site Museum - PEN25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Included lunch on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Quarry Trail only.
Route 1: Inca Trail
This is the final and most spectacular leg of the trek to Machu Picchu. The day starts before dawn with breakfast at 4.30 am, then say farewell to the porters as they descend to the train station. Begin hiking by 5.30 am – the walk to Intipunku (the Sun Gate) takes around 2.5 hours. Weather permitting, enjoy unforgettable views over Machu Pichu ‘Lost City of the Inca’ as the sun rises (and before it’s crawling with tourists). After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to return to Cusco for a well-deserved shower and a Pisco sour.

Route 2: The Quarry Trail
Depending on weather conditions, take a bus at 5:30 am along the winding road to Machu Picchu (approximately 30 minutes). At Machu Picchu, join up with the travellers in your group who hiked the Inca Trail. If skies are clear, enjoy spectacular views over the ancient city from the Sun Gate, before going on a guided walk around the ruins and returning to Cusco with the group for a well-earned Pisco sour.

Route 3: Train
Take an early bus up to Machu Picchu at 5.30 am. The city was built around 1440 AD as a country retreat for the Inca nobility, but there’s evidence that the land had been a sacred Inca site for much longer. Take a guided tour around the ruins of temples, palaces and living quarters, and enjoy free time afterwards to wander around on your own before the group returns to Cusco.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Visiting Machu Picchu:
According to Machu Picchu visiting regulations, all visitors must follow a pre-determined route within the site. This route must be followed in one direction only and once the guided visit commences, exiting and re-entering the site is not permitted. Once the guided visit concludes, visitors must exit the site and personal exploration of Machu Picchu is not permitted.

Sunrise at Machu Picchu:
Inca Trail trekkers: Due to safety reasons, the final checkpoint for all trekkers does not open until 5 am therefore the estimated arrival time to Machu Picchu Sungate is approximately 7.30 am. Quarry trekkers and Train travellers: The first bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu departs at 5.30 am. The estimated arrival time is between 6-6.30 am. The sun rises at Machu Picchu at approximately 5.30 am, therefore it's not possible to be there in time for sunrise.

Due to Intrepid's internal safety policy, our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking tri
Enjoy free time to delve deeper into all Cusco has to offer. Those with weary legs may want to simply grab a coffee from a cafe at Plaza de Armas and do some people-watching. Cafe Daria is a great choice for a meal. In addition to serving up delicious food, this central pizzeria also provides vocational training to young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For those who can't get enough active adventure, the hills that surround Cusco are well-suited for some mountain biking. Ask your tour leader for advice on optional activities and how to make the most of your free day.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cusco - City tour - USD15
  • Rainbow Mountain Hike - USD97
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning you will take a flight to the frontier town of Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon Jungle, where you'll be staying for two nights. Upon your arrival, lodge staff will take you to their office in town where you’ll be able to pack a small duffle bag with clothing and other items needed for two days in the jungle, stow the rest of your luggage and then travel by private vehicle to the water. Here, board a motorised canoe and cruise deep into the jungle. The journey to your eco-lodge in the Madre de Dios region will take around 3 hours, and you'll be given a packed lunch on the way. Arrive and settle in to your thatched-roof lodge before a short orientation walk of the immediate area and a briefing. Spend the evening getting acquainted with the sights and smells of the jungle and fall asleep to the sounds of nature.
Accommodation
  • Jungle Lodge (2 nights)
Included Activities
  • Amazon Jungle - Amazon jungle lodge stay
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Special Information
ACCOMMODATION:
We stay at two different lodges in the same area and the activities may vary slightly according to which lodge you are at. Depending on which lodge you are staying at, the included night excursion may be on the night of Day 1 or Day 2. As both of our lodges are in the same area of the jungle, you will see the same wildlife and your overall jungle experience will be the same in either lodge.

HEALTH/PHYSICAL:
Tomorrow there is an 11-kilometre jungle walk. At times the paths can get quite muddy and some people can find the trek a little exhausting, but the adventure is well worth it! Along the way there will be regular stops and you'll encounter magnificent fauna and flora in their natural habitat.
Leave behind the natural wonders of the Amazon and return to Puerto Maldonado where a short 2-hour flight will take the group back to Lima. One of our local representatives will meet you at the airport and will accompany you back to the hotel in Lima. The rest of the day is then free to explore more of Lima's sights and perhaps do some last-minute souvenir shopping. In the evening, maybe gather the group together for one last night out on the town.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Lima - Archaeological Museum - PEN15
  • Lima - Museum of the Inquisition - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your last day in Lima is free e to explore more of the sights and perhaps do some last-minute souvenir shopping before flying out to Quito.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Take an included flight to Quito, where you can use any free time to explore before a meeting to welcome any new travellers joining you on the next stage of your adventure.
Optional Activities
  • Quilotoa - Quilotoa Lagoon (Full day) - USD100
  • Quito - Papallacta Hot Springs (Full day) - USD70
  • Cotopaxi - National Park Hiking Tour - USD95
  • Urban Adventures: Quito Market Discovery - USD98
  • Urban Adventures: Quito Sweet & Culinary Experience - USD104
  • Urban Adventures: Condors and Culture in Otavalo - USD756
  • Urban Adventures: Quito Legends and Culture Tour - USD79
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, the travellers in your group and your group leader are likely to change today.

There will be a welcome meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and meet travellers joining you. It’s important that you attend the meeting as your new leader will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where and when the meeting will take place.
Board you flight and head to the glorious Galapagos Islands. After joining up with your fellow travellers, head to La Loberia where you'll put on snorkelling gear for the first time and go for a swim among sea lions, perhaps spotting sea turtles too. Return to town for a free evening. Perhaps head out with the group and enjoy some of the fresh seafood available.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla San Cristobal- Snorkeling in La Loberia (1.5 Hours)
Optional Activities
  • Wetsuit (shortsleeve) hire for 5 days - USD60
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today begins with a 45-minute boat ride to Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock). On the way we might be able to spot nesting frigates and blue-footed boobies. There is also potential to swim among playful young sea lions. At Leon Dormido you can snorkel and look for sea turtles, manta rays and maybe the odd harmless Galapagos shark. Currents can be quite strong so it's important you are a confident swimmer to participate in this activity. If you have any concerns, please ensure you speak with your leader. Eat lunch on the boat then head to the Interpretation Center. Learn about the history of the 'Enchanted Islands' and the conservation projects which seek to preserve them. Continue to Frigatebird Hill (Cerro Tijeretas), which is located two kilometres from the Interpretation Center. It's quite a climb to the top, but well worth the amazing views of the bay. Return to town in the late afternoon or early evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • San Cristobal - Excursion to Leon Dormido or Lobos Islands
  • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center (45 minutes)
  • Isla San Cristobal - Cerro Tijeretas View Point (1 Hour)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
If we are unable to visit Leon Dormido, alternative plans will be made to visit Isla Lobos, where sea lions, marine birds and marine iguanas are plentiful.
Take an early morning boat ride towards Isla Floreana, which should take about 2.5 hours. Along the way keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as dolphins and whales. On arrival to the island, snorkel in the clear blue waters and then break for lunch. Afterwards venture to a black-sand beach which belongs to the Witmers, decedents of some of the first settlers on the Galapagos. The town here, Puerto Velasco Ibarra, has about 150 residents and an intriguing history involving deaths, disappearances and murders. Later in the afternoon, wave goodbye to Floreana and continue to Isla Isabela (approximately 2 hours). From Isabela Port it's a short transfer to the hotel where we will spend the night (approximately 15 minutes).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Floreana - Snorkeling
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Please note when you arrive at Isla Isabela, you'll need to pay a port fee of USD 10.
Start your second day on Isla Isabela with a short bus ride (approximately 15 minutes) to the Arnaldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Center where you'll observe giant tortoises in all stages of development. The centre has almost a thousand giant tortoises preparing for life on their own. Afterwards, head to a brackish lagoon to observe flamingos. In the afternoon, board a small Zodiac (panga) and cruise to Las Tintoreras (Shark Alley), looking out en roue for blue-footed boobies and the famous Galapagos penguin. On arrival, take a short walk on this isolated islet and popular iguana nesting site. Snorkel in a calm inlet with colourful fish and winding underground lava tubes. This area is frequented by green sea turtles that like to rest on the calm, sandy bottom. In the late afternoon return to town in search of your own sandy resting spot and enjoy your first Isabela sunset, arguably the most beautiful of all the islands.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Isabela -Tintoreras or Shark Alley (2.5 Hours)
  • Isla Isabela - Flamingo lagoon visit (30 Minutes)
  • Isla Isabela - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre (1 Hour)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Start your last day on Isla Isabela by heading towards the Sierra Negra Volcano (approximately 45 minutes by bus), one of the most active volcanoes in the Galapagos and the second-largest crater in the world. Weather permitting, take a challenging hike of around 17 kilometres up the rocky mountain, which takes 5—6 hours. After the hike, make your way back to town for some free time to curl up with a book or venture down to the water for a relaxing swim before dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Isabela- Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (5-6 Hours)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Unfortunately, recycling isn't available on Isabela, so please take your plastic rubbish with you.

Please ensure you wear comfortable walking shoes that offer good support for the hike today. During the rainy season it can get quite muddy. There's an option to hire gumboots locally, should you wish to do so. During the hike it can get quite hot and there isn't much shade along the way so be sure to come prepared with your hat, sunscreen and plenty of water (we recommend 2 litres per person).
Start the day with a kayak around Isabela before transferring by private speedboat to Isla Santa Cruz. Once you arrive on Santa Cruz head to a restaurant that offers a typical Eduadorian lunch package, simply referred to as ‘Menu’. This usually this consists of a fresh juice, a basic entree (usually a soup) and a main meal. These lunch deals are very popular throughout Ecuador so it’s a great way to eat like a local. In the afternoon enjoy free time to further explore the town or go on an optional excursion to the Charles Darwin Research Centre.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kayaking - Isla Isabela
Optional Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre (45 Minutes) - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
In the afternoon visit the highland of Isla Santa Cruz to observe the giant tortoise roaming the wild. Afterwards visit a locally owned sugar cane farm. Here the farmers will show us the ways sugar cane is processed and turned into alcohol. Along the way, keep an eye out for eagle rays, sea turtles and blue-footed boobies. Later, head back to Puerto Ayora.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Santa Cruz Highlands Visit (3 Hours)
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Tortuga Bay walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Say goodbye to the Galapagos today and take a flight back to Quito (please note the flight will make a stop in Guayaquil). Arrive in Quito in he late afternoon. Perhaps head out for a group dinner.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning your adventure comes to an end in Quito. As there are no activities planned for the final day, you can depart the accommodation at any time after check out.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

26 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 6 dinners

Transport

Plane, Speed boat, Canoe, Train, Private vehicle, Public bus

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (21 nights), Jungle Lodge (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Chauchilla Cemetery Tour
  • Colca Canyon -Guided tour
  • Lake Titicaca - Boat tour & Homestay
  • Cusco - Orientation Walk
  • Cusco - Chocolate Museum Visit & Hot Chocolate
  • Amazon Jungle - Amazon jungle lodge stay
  • Isla San Cristobal- Snorkeling in La Loberia (1.5 Hours)
  • San Cristobal - Excursion to Leon Dormido or Lobos Islands
  • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center (45 minutes)
  • Isla San Cristobal - Cerro Tijeretas View Point (1 Hour)
  • Floreana - Snorkeling
  • Isla Isabela -Tintoreras or Shark Alley (2.5 Hours)
  • Isla Isabela - Flamingo lagoon visit (30 Minutes)
  • Isla Isabela - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre (1 Hour)
  • Isla Isabela- Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (5-6 Hours)
  • Kayaking - Isla Isabela
  • Santa Cruz Highlands Visit (3 Hours)
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Tortuga Bay walk

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
A single supplement is available on this trip. On the following nights the single supplement is not available:
- Days 18 & 19: Amazon Jungle

INCA TRAIL PERMITS:
Inca Trail permits are sold on request basis only. Once deposit is paid and passport details provided, Intrepid will endeavour to secure a permit for you.
If Inca Trail permits are unavailable by the time you book, you can opt to hike the Inca Quarry Trail instead.
The Inca Trail closes in February to allow cleaning and restoration works. If the trek portion of your trip starts in February you will be automatically booked to hike the Inca Quarry Trail.
https://www.intrepidtravel.com/machu-picchu-peru/quarry-trail
Should you choose not to hike at all, please let us know in writing at the time of booking so alternative arrangements can be made. Without this prior warning, local fees may apply.

GALAPAGOS PARK, TRANSIT CARD & ISABELA PORT FEES
A Galapagos Transit Card fee of USD 20 is payable on departure from Quito Airport (or whichever airport in Ecuador you are flying to the Galapagos from). The Galapagos park fee (USD 100) and Isabela Port fee (USD10) are payable upon arrival to the islands (cash only). These amounts are in addition to your trip payment.

When booking, please ensure that your details are correct and they match your passport.
Your passport must match the booking details provided to us; otherwise it could cause issues with your transit card and internal flights resulting in purchasing a new card and flights at your own expense.

SEA SICKNESS – GALAPAGOS
Please note that from June to August the water is rougher than usual. Consequently travel times will be longer than usual. If you suffer from seasickness you may want to reconsider travelling during this period.

INTERNET IN THE GALAPAGOS
Some of the hotels in the Galapagos do have internet connections however it's often very slow and and may not always be functional.

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.

INCA TRAIL OR QUARRY TRAIL
While hiking the 4 Day Inca Trail or the 3 Day Quarry Trail portion of this trip you may be joined by other Intrepid and/or non-Intrepid travellers.

ITINERARY CHANGES (2020): 
Please note the flight from Lima to Quito on Day 21 will be included for all 2020 departures. 

Essential trip information

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