Journeys of Discovery (19-Day)

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  • Group Tour
  • Starting Price: $10,990
  • Length: 19 days
  • Operator: Travcoa
  • 866-591-0260

Tour Description

Join us on this unique journey to discover the natural and cultural wonders of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. Begin in Ecuador where theM/V Galápagos Explorer II awaits you for a four-day cruise of the living laboratory where Charles Darwin studied and collected samples of exotic flora and fauna. Explore the islands by Zodiacs, hike through volcanic landscapes and swim and snorkel in crystal-clear waters. Then travel in style to the ancient lands of the Incas. Expert guides introduce you to the sacred Urubamba Valley and the imposing fortress of Sacsayhuamán on private tours. Take a deluxe train to the mountaintop citadel of Machu Picchu and spend a night at the only hotel overlooking the ruins. Enjoy preferred access to the ruins at sunset and sunrise, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Cruise the highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca. Along the way, immerse yourself in the local culture with VIP touches such as a private choir performance inside a 16th-century monastery, private tours of world-renowned art collections and a unique visit to a local school in the Urubamba Valley.

  • Dine privately at Lima’s Casa Aliaga, South America’s oldest private home still occupied by the original family
  • Explore the remote islands of the Galápagos with expert guides and naturalists
  • Cruise the highest navigable lake in the world and meet local villagers

Itinerary

DAYS 1 - 3

Quito, Ecuador

Your journey begins in Quito on Day 1. Set in a valley ringed by snowcapped volcanoes, explore the many colonial churches, monasteries and museums, and visit the Equatorial Monument. Tour a rose plantation and visit the owner’s family home and private chapel. Visit the famous Otavalo market to admire the handcrafted textiles of the local, indigenous people. In the small town of Peguche - Ecuador’s center for weaving - enjoy strolling through the town’s narrow streets where quaint shops abound.

Plaza Grande, Quito

DAYS 4 - 7

The Galápagos Islands

TheM/V Galápagos Explorer IIawaits you for a 5-day cruise of the islands Charles Darwin made his living laboratory. His observations on the islands’ diverse species would later become the basis for the Theory of Evolution. You’ll explore the islands by Zodiacs and find opportunities to hike along scenic pathways and swim and snorkel in crystal-clear waters.

M/V Galápagos Explorer II

DAYS 8 & 9

Lima, Peru

Start your exploration of Lima at the Larco-Herrera Museum, located in a majestic 18th-century colonial mansion, to view the world’s largest private collection of Peruvian pre-Columbian art. Continue on your tour of this “City of the Kings,” and visit the San Francisco Monastery and the Plaza de Armas. Enjoy lunch at America’s best-preserved colonial mansion, Casa Aliaga. Later, see more examples of exquisite pre-Columbian and colonial art when you visit the private collection of Enrico Poli, one of the best private collections of its kind in the world.

Miraflores Park Hotel, Lima

DAYS 10 & 11

Urubamba Valley

Fly to the mountains to Cuzco, and then drive down to the urubamba Valley, the “Sacred Valley of the Incas.” Your time here will help you acclimate to the high altitude as you ascend gradually. Arrive at the colorful village of Chinchero and visit the Traditional Textile Center. On Day 11 drive to the Huilloc community, to meet the children at a local school and learn about their culture. Then enjoy lunch at the Wayra Ranch, where you will watch a performance of the Peruvian Paso horses. Visit Pisac, best known for its market and friendly people.

Hotel Rio Sagrado, Urubamba Valley

DAY 12

Machu Picchu

Board the scenic Vistadome train in Ollantaytambo for your journey to Machu Picchu. The photos of this spectacular citadel perched high in the mountains hardly convey the awe-inspiring feeling of being here. Witness a sunrise over the ruins - an unforgettable experience.

Sanctuary Lodge, Machu Picchu

DAYS 13 & 14

Cuzco

High in the Andes, more than 10,000 feet above sea level, Cuzco was founded in the 15th century by the Incas and was later conquered by the Spanish. You’ll explore the Convent of Santo Domingo, known as Korikancha to the Incas, and see the archaeological site of Sacsayhuamán.

Hotel Monasterio, Cuzco

DAY 15

Puno Lake Titicaca

Board the Andean Express bound for Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Fed by run-off from the snow-clad Andes, the lake is revered as the cradle of the Inca civilization. upon arrival in Puno late this afternoon, check into your hotel located on a small island just off the mainland, where your room provides spectacular views of the lake.

Libertador Lago Titicaca, Lake Titicaca

DAYS 16 & 17

Lake Titicaca, Bolivia

Board a hydrofoil for a cruise to the islands of Lake Titicaca. Visit Isla de la Luna, “Moon Island,” the legendary home of the Inca goddess Mama Quila. Continue on to Cocotoni Bay, known as the “Lovely Corner” - an untouched bay on the lake offering truly pastoral scenery. Visit the Native Chapel, the chullpas (burial towers), and the Altiplano Museum, which presents the history of this area from pre-Columbian through colonial times and present day. After dinner enjoy a ritual fire ceremony by the Kallawayas, traditional medicine men who will explain how they use local herbs for healing and fortune telling.

On Day 17 board a totora-reed boat and sail to the urus Iruitos Floating Islands and the Quewaya Sustainable Tourism Project. Enjoy a special dinner and festive folkloric show. Then end the evening with a tour of the Alajpacha Native Observatory to learn about both the stars of the southern skies and the fascinating cosmological vision of the ancient Incas.

Inca Utama Hotel and Spa, La Paz

DAYS 18 & 19

La Paz, the Valley of the Moon Depart for Home

The city of La Paz and its surroundings can transport you to the mysterious pre-Hispanic past. Explore the native, colonial and modern areas, the Indian Market, the archaeological site of Tiwanaku, and the Witch Doctor’s Market. Drive to the Valley of the Moon, a unique valley of clay and rock formations which formed over thousands of years and now resembles the face of the moon. On Day 19 you will be transferred to the La Paz airport for your flight home or on to your next destination.

Hotel Camino Real Suites, La Paz

NOTE:

 

High Altitude. This journey spends three nights in Cuzco at over 10,000 feet, three nights in Quito at over 9,200 feet and three nights in Bolivia at over 12,000 feet. These high altitudes will affect your blood pressure and breathing. Caution must be observed.

Departures

Pricing Information

February 13, 2012

From $10,990.00 per person double occupancy.

From $3,790.00 single room supplement.

March 12, 2012

From $10,990.00 per person double occupancy.

From $3,790.00 single room supplement.

October 8, 2012

From $10,990.00 per person double occupancy.

From $3,790.00 single room supplement.

October 22, 2012

From $10,990.00 per person double occupancy.

From $3,790.00 single room supplement.

December 3, 2012

From $10,990.00 per person double occupancy.

From $3,790.00 single room supplement.

Journey Includes

  • Deluxe rooms in the best available hotels
  • Three meals per day, including our unique Dine-Around program that lets you enjoy any restaurant you choose with à la carte dining, or relax with room service when available*
  • A professional Travel Director as your personal concierge
  • Local sightseeing with professional English-speaking guides with unparalleled knowledge, including entrance fees for places visited
  • Active participation and up-close encounters to experience the cultures of your journey
  • Bottled water, soft drinks, coffee and tea included with meals; bottled water during sightseeing excursions
  • All gratuities to hotel and restaurant staff and local guides and drivers
  • Group or individual airport transfers on arrival and departure flights
  • TheTravcoAssist Travel Protection Plan, including emergency medical evacuation insurance coverage for injury or illness, and 24-hour Worldwide Live Travel Assistance through Travel Guard Assistance

*Due to remote or undeveloped locations on some journeys, accommodations may not always meet Western standards. Dine-Around opportunities will be limited in remote or unsecured locations.

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

Options and Extras

Tour Notes