Ecuador, Galapagos & Peru Explorer

24 Days | Go from under the sea to the top of the world

Explorer
From
NZD $12,605
View dates and book

This unique adventure focuses on South America’s heaviest hitters – the Galapagos Islands, the Inca Trail and the Amazon Jungle. Take 24 days to explore these wildly different parts of the region. Snorkel the turtle-filled waters of Leon Dormido, then walk the cobblestone streets of Cusco. Sit on black-sand beaches watching sea lions lounge and later conquer the 4200-metre-high Dead Woman’s Pass. Witness breathtaking natural beauty among the surreal landscapes of the Ecuador Highlands and Galapagos, then wonder at the man-made elegance of Machu Picchu. This tour offers immersive and active adventure led by locals in two bucket-list favourite destinations.

Trip overview

Map of Ecuador, Galapagos & Peru Explorer including Ecuador and Peru
Start
Quito, Ecuador
Finish
Cusco, Peru
Theme
Explorer
Destinations
Peru, Ecuador
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Original
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
GGSJC
We’re in the process of figuring out how much CO2-e this trip generates. In the meantime, find out more about our climate commitments and carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • This trip gives both trekkers and non-trekkers the chance to visit Machu Picchu with Inca Trail*, Quarry Trail and train options.
  • Admire the ingenuity of Inca engineering in the Sacred Valley and contemplate how stone was excavated to build the structures still standing there.
  • Explore Cusco, South America's oldest continuously inhabited city. The city has ancient foundations, an interesting blend of Incan and colonial influences, and seemingly endless things to do and see.
  • Snorkel the incredible marine life-filled waters of Kicker Rock, also known as Leon Dormido, one of the best snorkelling spots in the Galapagos and an absolute highlight for many travellers.
  • Encounter the wildlife wonders of the Galapagos Islands up close. Giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, sea turtles, marine iguanas and more await.
  • Hike to the top of one of the most active volcanoes in the Galapagos – the Sierra Negra – and peer into the second-largest caldera in the world.
  • Marvel at the snow-capped Cotopaxi volcano – one of the largest active volcanos in the world – while hiking through Cotopaxi National Park.
  • Live like a local as you’re welcomed into a family home in a sustainable community high in the hills of Ecuador, getting your hands dirty and helping with everyday tasks like reforestation projects, organic gardening or jam making, to name a few.

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 ‘Medical and Health Information’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more detail.
  • This trip involves a lot of walking to see the sites, and if you trek the Inca Trail* or Quarry Trail, there'll be strenuous hiking. The trip is recommended for those with a good level of fitness. Please bring comfortable footwear suitable to hiking. See the ‘Packing’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more detail.
  • For those who trek the Inca Trail* or Quarry Trail, you'll be camping with basic facilities. It's definitely the journey as well as the final destination (Machu Picchu) that makes this way of exploring Peru worthwhile.
  • Can't decide which trek is for you? Read up on them here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/inca-trail-vs-quarry-trail/
  • This trip forms part of many longer combination trips. Some of your fellow travellers may have started earlier in Lima or elsewhere or be traveling on further after Peru, and some will be doing different routes to Machu Picchu.
  • 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.
  • Many travellers express interest in diving in the Galapagos. We are now able to assist with booking this activity, but only through a provider that meets our internal safety policy. Speak to your agent at the time of booking for more information.
  • Proximity to the equator means the sun in the Galapagos is incredibly strong. Ensure you are prepared with sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses. We also recommend a rash guard.
  • This trip includes snorkelling on multiple days. Confident swimming skills are required to take part. Alternative activities will not be available.
  • From June to August the water in the Galapagos can be 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.
  • 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. Please refer to the itinerary for details.
  • Travellers who choose different ways of reaching Machu Picchu (Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train), will not follow the same routes within Machu Picchu. This means that you may not be able to have photos together, overlooking Machu Picchu. This applies to travellers on the same booking or separate bookings.
  • This trip includes jungle hikes, which can be strenuous due to the humidity. A decent level of fitness is required to feel comfortable when exploring the jungle.
  • While accommodation in the Amazon is clean, comfortable and ideally located, it can seem pretty basic. Please remember that this is a very remote part of the world.
  • Hot water can be sporadic in some parts of the Galapagos, so there may be a few cold showers on the trip.
  • The Galapagos is a great place to switch off and take a break from your phone, as internet access can be patchy and wi-fi is not always available or reliable.

Itinerary

Map of Ecuador, Galapagos & Peru Explorer including Ecuador and Peru

Inclusions

Meals

22 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 7 dinners

Transport

Plane, Speed Boat, Bus, Private Vehicle, Taxi, Train - Route 3 only

Accommodation

Route 1 - Inca Trail: Camping with basic facilities (3 nights), Hotel (16 nights), Jungle Eco Lodge (2 nights), Homestay (2 nights). Route 2 - Quarry Trail: Camping with basic facilities (2 nights), Hotel (17 nights), Jungle Eco Lodge (2 nights), Homestay (2 nights). Route 3 - Train option: Hotel (19 nights), Jungle Eco Lodge (2 nights), Homestay (2 nights)

Activities
  • Amazon - Guided rainforest hike and visit to animal rescue centre
  • Pailon del Diablo Waterfall
  • Walking tour of Banos
  • Cotopaxi -National Park walk
  • Quito - Local community experience
  • Otavalo - Market Visit
  • Quito - Historic District Walking Tour
  • 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 - Kayaking
  • Isla Isabela - Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (5-6 Hours)
  • Santa Cruz Highlands Visit (3 Hours)
  • Santa Cruz – Organic Farm Tour
  • Santa Cruz – Encebollado Cooking Class
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Tortuga Bay walk
  • Isla Santa Cruz - The Galapagos Conservancy visit
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre
  • Lima - Guided walking tour
  • Cusco - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Sacred Valley - Community visit & lunch
  • Sacred Valley - Coffee & cake
  • 3 Night/4 Day Inca Trail (or 2 Night/3 Day Inca Quarry Trail) guided hike(s) with porters' support. Or guided Cusco stay (Machu Picchu by train)
  • Machu Picchu - Guided tour
Add on activities
  • Quilotoa - Quilotoa Lagoon (Full day) - USD100
  • Quito - Urban Adventures: Legends and Culture Tour - USD50
  • Quito - Papallacta Hot Springs (Full day) - USD70
  • Banos - Swing at the End of the World - USD2
  • Banos - Bellavista Viewpoint - Free
  • Banos - Hot springs - USD5
  • Route of the waterfalls - USD2
  • Quito - Flower Plantation Visit - USD10
  • Cotopaxi - National Park Hiking Tour - USD95
  • Wetsuit (shortsleeve) hire for 5 days - USD60
  • Lima - Guided tour of San Francisco Monastery, including The Catacombs Admission Fee - PEN20
  • 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
  • Cusco - Cathedral Entrance Fee - PEN40
  • Cusco - Coricancha Temple (entrance fee) - PEN15
  • Cusco - Pisco Making Urban Adventure (Based on 2 participants) - USD57
  • Cusco - Pre-Colombian Museum - PEN20
  • Cusco - Inca Museum (entrance fee) - PEN10
  • Cusco - Cusco Eat Street (Price based on 4 participants) - USD50
  • Cusco - Cusco Cooking Class - USD70
  • Cusco - 4 Ruins + Qorikancha (Price based on 4 participants) - USD40
  • Ollantaytambo - Archaeological site - PEN70
  • Cusco - Rainbow Mountain Hike (Based on 4 participants) - USD105
  • Cusco - Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain Hike (Based on 4 paticipants) - USD100
  • Sacred Valley - Mountain Biking (Price Based on 2 Participants) - USD170
  • Cusco - Humantay Lake Hike (Based on 4 participants) - USD130
  • Cusco - Full Day Via Ferrata & Zipline - USD95
  • Cusco - Full Day Stand Up Paddle Boarding (Based on 4 participants) - USD85

Dates and availability

Loading trip dates and availabilities...

Important notes

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 5 and 6 (Homestay) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. Inca Trail* permits are sold on request basis only. Once deposit is paid and passport details provided, Intrepid will endeavor to secure a permit for you. If Inca Trail* permits are unavailable by the time you book, you can opt to hike the Quarry Trail instead https://www.intrepidtravel.com/machu-picchu-peru/quarry-trail or travel to Machu Picchu by train.
3. 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 Quarry Trail.
4. At the time of booking, please advise whether you would like to hike the classic Inca Trail, Inca Quarry Trail or take the train. When available, the Inca Trail will be booked as the default option. Fees may apply to changes made after the time of booking, and availability on other options cannot be guaranteed.
5. 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 or errors in providing this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.
6. While hiking the Inca Trail* or Quarry Trail you may be joined by other Intrepid and/or non-Intrepid travelers.
7. As you can choose different ways of reaching Machu Picchu (Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train), there is a small chance you may be the only traveller on your selected option.
8. Parts of your trip go above 2800 meters / 9200 feet where it is common for travelers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilize the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/altitude-sickness
9 All visitors to the Galapagos must have a Transit Control Card. We will use your passport details to complete the application process on your behalf. At the Welcome Meeting in Quito, you will be required to pay your leader US$20 in cash to cover the fee.
The Galapagos National 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.
From the 1st of August 2024 the Galapagos Islands National Park fee will be increasing from US$100 to US$200.
10. Most hotels in highlands should have oxygen cylinders available, however, you may be asked to pay surcharge for use of oxygen longer than 5 - 10 min at the time.
11. Depending on the time of year, and flight availability, your Quito-Lima flight may depart in the very early hours of the morning, or if departing later in the day you may arrive into Lima in the late afternoon. Please speak to your booking agent to confirm what time your flight is (noting that the flight is booked approximately 30 days before departure).
12. Strict rules apply in the Galapagos Islands to protect and preserve its unique biodiversity. Intrepid supports these rules, which range from times of the day that a destination can be visited to the distance kept between people and wildlife. In particular, not removing anything from the environment (shells and corals, for example). All rules will be explained in more detail by your leader when you join the trip. Not adhering to these rules can lead to hefty fines for travellers and Intrepid losing the license to operate in the Galapagos Islands. Failure to adhere to the rules can result in your removal from the trip without a refund.
For more information: http://www.galapagos.org/travel/travel/park-rules/

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.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

Looks like this trip is a best-kept secret... for now!

Check back later or explore reviews for similar trips.

Ecuador, Galapagos & Peru Explorer
From
NZD $12,605