Visit Peru and discover its highlights from Lima to Cusco on an exciting journey that encompasses modern cities and ancient worlds. Explore Peru's lush Amazon Jungle, the epic Lake Titicaca and the vast Colca Canyon. Enjoy local homestays, hike the famed Inca Trail and be immersed in fascinating Peruvian culture while discovering its history buried deep within the walls of lost cities.
Amazing wildlife, both on land and underwater, is the drawcard of the remote Galapagos Islands. Tour the Galapagos' outstanding natural beauty and interesting history by foot, boat and bike on this active adventure. Trace Darwin's theory of evolution, spot colourful, bizarre and beautiful creatures and have an experience that is completely out of this world as you discover the incredible Galapagos Islands.

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


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

Why you'll love this trip

  • Whether you trek the classic Inca Trail, the Inca Quarry Trail or take the scenic train route, the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu are a majestic destination, no matter how you get there

  • The floating islands of Uros on Lake Titicaca are a marvel of concept, construction and history. Take a boat tour on the lake and spend the night with a local family in a traditional island community

  • Explore Cusco, South America's oldest continuously inhabited city. The city has ancient foundations, an interesting blend of Inca and colonial influences and endless things to see and do

  • The Amazon Jungle is known as the world's lungs. Get a glimpse into a wild place with some of the largest biodiversity on Earth

  • Get acquainted with the beautiful churches and graceful boulevards of Quito, Ecuador's capital

  • The Galapagos Islands played a profound role in forming Charles Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection. Explore the islands on this in-depth adventure, coming face-to-face with some of the most extraordinary wildlife on earth

  • Get your blood pumping as you scale a volcano on Isabela Island, and kayak in beautiful Isabela Bay

  • Get up close and personal with giant tortoises on Santa Cruz Island. These nearly extinct creatures are one of the greatest drawcards to the Galapagos

  • This is a land based Galapagos trip, we use locally owned hotels on the islands. On this trip you will have more opportunities to interact with the locals as opposed to staying on a boat.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information on this.

  • This trip involves a lot of walking to see the sites, and if you do the Inca trail, there'll be strenuous hiking. The trip is recommended for those with a moderate level of fitness but there are also a few different trail options to suit your interests and physical capabilities. Please bring durable footwear suitable for hiking. See the ‘What to Take’ section of the trip notes for more information.

  • For many of the stops along the tour, you'll have very basic accommodation. This includes the two homestays in rural Peru, the amazon eco-lodge and camping along the Inca Trail (if you do this option). There'll be no power in these places, some won't have showers and hot water.

  • The Amazon Rainforest can be hot, humid and sticky. While travelling in this region, it's best to wear light cotton clothing, and don't forget your insect repellent.

  • This trip involves a lot of travel by speed boat between the various Galapagos Islands, the rides can be quite bumpy at times. The good news is that seasickness can often be managed with medication. Consult a health professional before your trip.

  • This trip includes a 17 km hike (approximately 6-7 hours) on rocky terrain. We recommend bringing comfortable walking shoes that offer good support.

  • The sun in the Galapagos islands is incredibly strong due to its close proximity to the equator, ensure you are well prepared with suncreen, sun hat, sunglasses and a rash guard if desired.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2019 to 31 December 2019. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

Welcome to Lima, Peru. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 4 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. One of the most beautiful cities in South America, there's plenty to do and see in Lima. You’ll get to see downtown Lima and the historical centre on your walking tour tomorrow, but we also recommend arriving 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. Be sure to have a bite of Peru's national dish of ceviche.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Lima - Museo de la Nacion - PEN10
  • Lima - Gold Museum - PEN35
  • Lima Home Cooked - Urban Adventures - USD74
  • Lima Coast Biking Tour - Urban Adventures - USD45
  • Lima Discovery - Urban Adventures - USD34
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive in time for today's welcome meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand.
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 four 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
A haven for birdlife, wildlife enthusiasts can opt to visit the Paracas National Reserve this morning for a chance to spot pelicans, red-footed boobies and flamingos on a two-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 sand-boarding 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 about nine 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 Juanita Museum, 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
Today we travel about five 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.

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 Tour 3d/2n
  • 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, en suite toilets and you may request extra blankets on a chilly night.
Wake up early to visit the Colca Canyon. More than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, the Colca has some breathtaking views. Here you’ll see terraced crops that have been cultivated since pre-Inca times by local villages. This is also the home of the Andean condor. Witness one of the world’s largest flying birds soar above and below you from a prime viewing point above the canyon. Later in the afternoon, visit a Colca Canyon community and meet your homestay host family. You might like to offer to help your host family with their daily activities such as planting, collecting water, peeling potatoes or preparing the family meal.

Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Notes: While the homestay has very basic facilities, it’s a great opportunity to meet the locals. You’ll be sharing a toilet with the family and have no access to a shower. There is however a proper bed with plenty of blankets and breakfast in the morning.
Say goodbye to your host family and board a bus for Puno. It’s a long drive (about five hours), 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 aquainted 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. 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 one-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 three hours).



Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Puno is home to Kusimayo, a terrific local organisation supported by The Intrepid Foundation that works towards improving the living condition of children, families and elderly affected by poverty and malnutrition in surrounding rural communities.

Check out this video if you'd like to learn more: vimeo.com/154422813
If after your time here you'd like to support this project, donations can be made through The Intrepid Foundation's website: theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/kusimayo
Take a scenic bus ride across the Altiplano towards Cusco (about six 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 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 - USD36
  • Cusco - Stand Up Paddle Boarding - USD75
  • Cusco - Art Trail 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 Classic Inca Trail, hiking the Inca 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 Inca 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 Classic Inca Trail:
Today travel by minivan to the 82 km 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 km 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 Inca Quarry Trail:
Make an early start today and drive to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas worshipped the moon. Drive to the starting point of the trek, Rafq'a, and meet the horsemen who join us on the hike. After an hour’s walk, reach the small community of Socma. Carry on to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout, an opportunity to stop for photos and a food break. Continue to the campsite, which is 3700 metres above sea level. You should reach the campsite around lunchtime. After lunch, set off to explore the Q'orimarca archaeological site, which once served as a checkpoint to the Incas.

Notes: The Inca Quarry Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people. The hike is 26 km 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 disinterested in hiking the trail or who are unable to, you will spend an extra day in Cusco.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cusco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass, which gives you access to 16 archaeological sites in/around Cusco (Transport & guides are not included) - PEN135
  • Cusco - Half Tourist Ticket Pass, which gives you access to selected archaeological sites in/around Cusco (transport & guides are not included) - PEN75
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Inca Quarry Trail only.
Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
This is the most challenging day of the trek as you ascend a long steep path (approximately five 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 Inca Quarry Trail:
This is the most challenging and rewarding day of the hike. A three-hour walk takes us 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 two-hour hike to Kuychicassa, the highest pass of the trek at 4450 metres. From here, descend to the sacred site the Incas called Intipunku (Sun Gate), with views of the Nevado Veronica mountain. Head to the campsite, only a stone’s throw away at Choquetacarpo.

Route 3 Train:
We'll head to a community along the valley to learn about local lifestyle and activities, and if our visit coincides with market day, we 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) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Inca Quarry Trail only.
Route 1 Classic 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 two to three 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'. Start the two-hour descent down the Inca steps to the final night's campsite by the Winay Wayna archaeological site.

Route 2 Quarry Trail:
Today’s hike will all be downhill. The first stop is the incomplete Kachiqata quarry, where the Incas were intercepted by the Spanish. Around midday, 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’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. Spend 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 (approx 90 mins). 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) (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. Say farewell to the porters as they descend to the train station and begin hiking by 5.30 am. The walk to Intipunku (the Sun Gate) takes around two-and-a-half hours. Weather permitting, enjoy unforgettable views over Machu Pichu ‘Lost City of the Incas’ as the sun rises (and before it’s crawling with tourists).

Route 2 Quarry Trail:
Depending on weather conditions, take a bus at 5:30 am this morning along the winding road to Machu Picchu. The journey takes around 30 minutes. At Machu Picchu, 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 the Sun Gate, before going on a guided walk around the ruins.

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 Incan nobility, but there’s evidence that the land had been a sacred Incan 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.

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.

For all options – 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. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
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 trips to the mountaintop ruins of Wayna Picchu.
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
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. 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 three 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 aquainted 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 - Activities as mentioned in trip notes
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Special Information
ACCOMMODATION:
We stay at two different lodges in the same area. 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-km 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 two-hour flight will take the group back to Lima. One of our local representatives will meet you at the airport and who 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 visit - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
You will need to book a flight from Lima to Quito for today (not included in the tour price) Please book an early flight as there will be a welcome meeting held at 2pm.

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Quito, Ecuador.

Quito is one of the most attractive cities in South America, sitting at an altitude of 2,850 metres with a view of Volcan Pichincha on the horizon. On day 1 there is a city tour to show the beautiful Colonial style buildings and help you explore the nooks and crannies of cosy Old Town. We’ll be back in Quito at the end of the trip, giving you a chance to further experience the city.

Notes: Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit, the air is thinner and some people can suffer altitude sickness, regardless of age, gender or fitness. Please see the 'Is This Trip Right For You?' and 'Health' sections in the trip notes for more information.


Optional Activities in Quito:

Urban Adventures: If you are interested in any of the Urban Adventures listed you will need to contact your booking agent or Urban Adventures directly. Urban Adventures information for Quito can be found here: https://www.urbanadventures.com/search?q=quito


Cotopaxi Volcano, for something more active, head out to the 5,897 metre high Cotopaxi Volcano – drop by the National Park museum, then hike for around 2 hours and visit the picturesque Limpiopungo Lagoon.

Quilotoa Lagoon, if you’re into lagoons, maybe take a full day trip to the stunning Quilotoa Lagoon. Early in the morning, drive 3 hours south through the local communities and Andes views of the Avenue of Volcanoes. Then hike (2 hours return) to the beautiful Quilotoa volcano crater lagoon, before returning to Quito. Something more chill is a full day at the Papallacta Hot Springs – take a scenic drive, reaching heights of 4,150 metres, and then relax in springs with views to the towering Antisana Volcano.

Papallacta-Something more chill is a full day at the Papallacta Hot Springs – take a scenic drive, reaching heights of 4,150 metres, and then relax in springs with views to the towering Antisana Volcano.

Please note, the prices listed below include entrance fees, however these are paid separately by you during the tour. Some tours require a minimum of 2 passengers to operate.
(Please note prices listed are subject to change)
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.
Welcome to San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands. As you start this trip on the Galapagos Islands and join other travellers arriving from Quito, you have two options for joining the group.
SUNDAY DEPARTURES: You can meet the others at San Cristobal Airport at 11.30 am: The guide will be waiting in the arrivals hall with an Intrepid sign for the arriving passengers from Quito.
FRIDAY DEPARTURES: You can meet the others at San Cristobal Airport at 12.30pm: The guide will be waiting in the arrivals hall with an Intrepid sign for the arriving passengers from Quito.
Alternatively you can meet them at the hotel (Casa de Nelly) when they arrive at approximately one hour after the airport meeting time. Check in time for the hotel is 12 pm. If you're making your own way to the hotel, we recommend taking a short cab ride which will cost approximately US$2. 
Please advise us where you plan to join this trip no later than 15 days prior to departure. If you are going to be late for either of these meeting times, please contact the local emergency number located in the 'Essential Trip Information'
After joining up with the group, travel to La Loberia where you'll put on snorkelling gear for the first time and go for a swim with sea lions, and maybe even some sea turtles. Continue back to town. Tonight you may wish to 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 - USD40
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today begins with a short boat ride to Leon Dormido (approx 45 mins) or Isla Lobos, observing along the way the abundant marine life that Galapagos is renowned for. On the way we might be able to spot nesting frigates and blue-footed boobies and/or might swim/snorkel with playful young sea lions. Here we can snorkel keeping an eye out below for sea turtles, manta rays and maybe the odd harmless Galapagos shark, to name a few. This snorkeling is in open sea, on occasion the currents can be quite strong so it's particularly important you are a confident swimmer for this activity. If you have any concerns, please ensure you speak with your leader. Included lunch today is a packed box lunch on board the boat! Unfortunately it is against National Park rules to eat on the beach.
Later head we will head to the interpretation Center. Learn about the history of the 'Enchanted Islands' and the conservation projects which seek to preserve the unique Galapagos wildlife. Next, make our way to Frigatebird Hill (Cerro Tijeretas), which is located two kilometres from the Interpretation Center, southwest of Isla San Cristobal. It's quite a climb to the top, but well worth the amazing views of the bay. From here you can also see Kicker Rock, an eroded volcanic formation protruding from the sea which has become an emblem of the island. We'll return to town in the late afternoon/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
Take an early morning boat ride today towards Floreana Island, 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 Isabela Island (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
Isabela Port Fee: Please note when you arrive at 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 Giant Tortoise Breeding Center where you'll observe giant tortoises in all stages of development. The centre has almost a thousand giant tortoises training for life on their own. After our visit we take a short bus ride (approximately 15 minutes) to a brackish lagoon where we will be able to observe flamingos.

In the afternoon after an informative visit, board a small pangas for Tintoreras or Shark Alley. On our way we will go along the coast line in the hope to spot blue-footed boobies and the famous Galapagos penguin who is home on the western part of the arquipelago. On arrival, hop off for a short walk on this isolated islet and popular iguana nesting site that’s home to hundreds of marine iguanas. 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.

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 between five and six hours. After the hike, make your way back to town in the late afternoon for some free time to curl up with a book or venture down to the water for a relaxing swim before dinner. Unfortunately, recycling isn't available on Isabela, so please take your plastic rubbish with you.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Isabela- Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (5-6 Hours)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Sierra Negra Hike: Please ensure you wear comfortable walking shoes that offer good support. 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, 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).
Today you will start the day with a kayak around Isabela before transferring by private speedboat to Isla Santa Cruz.

Once you arrive on Santa Cruz you will head to a restaurant that offers a typical Eduadorian lunch package, simply referred to as ‘Menu’. Usually this consists of a fresh juice, basic entrée (usually a soup) as well as 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 visit the higher part of the islands to observe the giant tortoise roaming in its natural habitat.

Afterwards visit a locally owned Sugar cane farm. Here the farmers will show us the process in which sugar cane is processed and turned into alcohol. Take the opportunity to try some!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kayaking - Isla Isabela
Optional Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre (45 Minutes) - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning we will hike approximately 3.5kms to Tortuga Bay beach. Along the way, keep an eye out for eagle rays, sea turtles and blue-footed boobies. Later head back to Puerto Ayora.

In the afternoon have free time to further explore the town or go on an optional excursion to the Charles Darwin Research Centre.

Tonight, enjoy an included group dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Santa Cruz Highlands Visit (3 Hours)
Optional Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Tortuga Bay visit (45 Minute walk, one way) - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
We say goodbye to the Galapagos today and take a flight back to Quito (Please note the flight will make a stop in Guayaquil)
You'll arrive back to Quito later afternoon. Perhaps head out for a final 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. Because there is little time spent in Quito on this trip, we recommend staying a few extra days to see more of Ecuador. If you choose to stay on, we’d be happy to assist you with booking accommodation.
Ecuador has some of the most beautiful churches in the Americas, including the lavish La Compania de Jesus, which is decorated with seven tonnes of gold. Not far from the capital, there are volcanoes, hot springs and Incan ruins to explore. Consider doing one of our one-day sightseeing tours of Quito, which can include the Old Town, markets and the city's culinary delights (see urbanadventures.com).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

27 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 8 dinners

Transport

Plane, Speed Boat, Canoe, Train, Private Vehicle, Public bus

Accommodation

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

Included activities

  • Chauchilla Cemetery Tour
  • Colca Canyon Tour 3d/2n
  • Colca Canyon -Guided tour
  • Lake Titicaca - Boat tour & Homestay
  • Cusco - Orientation Walk
  • Cusco - Chocolate Museum Visit & Hot Chocolate
  • Amazon Jungle - Activities as mentioned in trip notes
  • 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)

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Peru and Galapagos Explorer trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Prices may change, so secure your trip today!
Jump to a departure month

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.

LIMA- QUITO FLIGHT
The Lima to Quito flight on day 21 is not included in the tour price.
Note that the first meeting of the second part of this trip takes place in Quito at 2pm on day 21, so preferably please book an early flight out of Lima.
Please consider booking international flights with Lan so you can book this flight on an airpass. Contact us for more information.
**Airport transfers are included for these flights, however we must have flight information, no later than 15 days out from departure**

GALAPAGOS PARK, TRANSIT CARD & ISABELA PORT FEES
A Galapagos Transit Card fee of US$20 is payable on departure from Quito Airport (or whichever airport in Ecuador you are flying to the Galapagos from). The Galapagos park fee (US$100) and Isabela Port fee (US$10) 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 INCA QUARRY TRAIL
While hiking the 4 Day Inca Trail or the 3 Day Inca Quarry trail portion of this trip you may be joined by other Intrepid and/or non-Intrepid travellers..

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Peru and Galapagos Explorer trips score an average of 4.75 out of 5 based on 4 reviews in the last year.

Peru and Galapagos Explorer , May 2018

Craig Rushton

Peru and Galapagos Explorer , May 2018

Peter Agar