iExplore Galápagos and Peru Experience

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  • Privately Guided
  • Starting Price: $5,899
  • Length: 14 days
  • Operator: iExplore Exclusive
  • 1-800-267-33479am - 5:30pm Eastern
    Destinations: Central and South America, Ecuador, Peru, Galápagos Islands
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Tour Description

Visit two remarkable countries on this suggested program: Peru for its colorful Andean cities and astonishing archaeological sites (including mysterious Machu Picchu) and Ecuador's Galápagos Islands for a wildlife experience unmatched by any other destination on earth.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Quito                                                                                  

Quito, nestled at the foot of 15,696-foot Volcan Pichincha, is known for its eternally spring-like climate and for beauty of its well-preserved colonial center. Originally settled by the Quitu tribe in the first millennium, it was eventually integrated into the Inca Empire before being destroyed and re-founded in 1534 by Spanish Conquistador Sebastian de Benalcazar. For nearly three centuries, the arts and intellectual societies flourished under Spanish colonial rule until 1809, when Quito established the first self-governing junta in the colonies. Liberator Simón Bolívar led as part of the Republic of Greater Colombia until 1830, when the Republic of Ecuador announced its independence with the adoption of the Constitution signed in Riobamba. Due to the city’s preservation of its blended past, UNESCO declared Quito the first of its World Heritage Sites in 1978.  The city is situated in an Andean valley at 9,300 feet, making it the second highest capital city in the world.

Dann Carlton Quito hotel- standard room, no meals                                                

Day 2 - Quito

Depart for a city tour of Colonial Quito. Marvel at the ornate churches such as the Cathedral, La Compañía de Jesus and San Francisco, and experience a long history of local culture in Quito’s “Old Town.” Rich in art , woodcarvings and altars of gold leaf, they are historical icons of Quito. Ride up the road to the Panecillo or the Itchimbia hills for a breathtaking view.

Then visit the Middle of the World, where you will be able to straddle both hemispheres at once.  Visit the Ethnographic Museum (with a display of the costumes and lifestyle of the various Indigenous groups of Ecuador) orthe Inti Ñan Museum (where you will see samples of life in pre-Hispanic times and experience demonstrations of gravity at the Equator).

Dann Carlton Quito hotel- standard room (B, L)

Day 3 - Quito / Otavalo / Quito

Today you will take a sightseeing tour of the Otavalo area. Drive North from Quito along the Panamericana road for your first stop at Guachalá, the Quitsato Sundial, which is located 70 kilometers from Quito. Here you'll find a Monument of the Middle of the World right on the Equator. A short visit will provide you with a very interesting insight to the magnificent astronomic knowledge that was part of the pre-Hispanic population of the Andes.

Continue to your next stop at the Otavalo textile and produce market, full of color that will give you the opportunity to see and smell many of the fruits you will taste during your stay in Ecuador.

Also, stop by the Indian homes for a fascinating textile demonstration. Not only is the technique century old, but is traditional to the area and the local people, who are known throughout South America for the quality of their loom work. We will witness the entire process from cleaning the wool to spinning, dying and working the looms. No trip to Otavalo would be complete without the opportunity to go shopping as well, but this special experience offers a behind the scenes look of the textile products found in the marketplace. After lunch you may want to end with an easy hike to the waterfall of Peguche, which is considered a sacred symbol of the Otavalo culture.

Dann Carlton Quito hotel- Standard Room (B, L)

Day 4 -Quito / Galápagos

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Galapagos (via Guayaquil). Upon arrival at Baltra Airport, you will be met by your guides, who will escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor. Motorized dinghies, known locally as “pangas” will transport you to the boat, where the captain and crew will welcome you aboard. After departure there will be a briefing, lunch and a safety drill.  

The first visit you will make is to Bartolome Island, a dry landing. Passengers will see volcanic formations like lava bombs, spatter and cinder cones. After hiking to the summit you can enjoy a great view of the surrounding islands, including Pinnacle Rock’s eroded tuff cone. Marvel at marine iguanas, lava lizards, tiquilla, and various cacti. Visitors will be able to snorkel and see the Galapagos penguin, sea turtles and white-tipped reef sharks from a safe distance.

M/Y Galapagos Legend (B, L, D)

Day 5 - Quito/Galapagos

Arrive at Urbina Bay, Isabela via a wet landing to the fossil beach and coral area. Depending on the season you may be able to see giant tortoises, land iguanas and flightless cormorants. After the walk we will have time for snorkeling at Fernandina (Espinosa Point), a dry landing. Visitors will see giant marine iguanas mingling with sally light-foot crabs, as well as flightless cormorants at their nesting sites, Galapagos penguins, Galapagos hawks, and sea lions. Among the flora and volcanic formations observers will spot brachycereus cactus, "pa-hoe-hoe" lava and "AA" lava formations. Numerous mangrove beds extend into the sea. 

M/Y Galapagos Legend (B, L, D)

Day 6 - Galapagos

Arrive at Santiago (Egas Port) via a wwet landing on a dark sand beach. Most of the landscape is tuff-stone layers and lava flows. You can observe hunting herons, great blue herons, lava herons, yellow crowned night herons and oyster catchers. Passengers will see marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside red sally light-foot crabs. There is a colony of fur seals swimming in deep cool-water pools where you can swim, snorkel and spot octopuses, sea horse and star fish.

Next we'll do a wet landing at Rábida (Jervis). The volcano-formed beach is dark red and often occupied by sea lions. It’s considered the geographic center of Galapagos because it has the most diverse volcanic rocks on the Islands. You’ll hike to a salt water lagoon where flamingos can sometimes be found. July through September is a good time to observe brown pelicans nesting in the salty bushes. Boobies and nine species of Darwin’s finches can also be see,. You can take a ride along the reefs in a dinghy or snorkel.

M/Y Galapagos Legend (B, L, D)

Day 7 - Galapagos

Arrive at Santa Cruz. Travelers will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, staffed with international scientists conducting biological studies and conservation projects. Guests can admire the giant tortoises that are part of the breeding program, the prickly-pear cactus forest and many land birds. You’ll have some free time to walk around town and shop for souvenirs. Later in the day, you can trek through the highlands of Santa Cruz and visit Cerro Chato to observe the famous giant tortoises and inside the dormant lava tubes.

M/Y Galapagos Legend (B, L, D)

Day 8 - Galapagos/ Guayaquil / Lima

Today we make a wet landing on Santa Cruz (Bachas Beach). This beach is located on the north side of the island where you'll encounter many sea birds, marine iguanas and sea turtles. Transfer to the airport in Baltra for your flight back to mainland.

Upon arrival in Guayaquil, you'll be met and assisted for your flight to Lima. Once at Lima International Airport, you will be met and taken to your hotel for check in.

Lima, the Capital of Peru was founded on 18th January 1535, by Spanish Conquistador Francisco Pizarro, and quickly became known as the City of the Kings. Within 70 years it was the most important city in the Spanish-American Empire, and was the focal point for European trade and cultural activity in the region. It is a city of rare fascination and unexpected pleasures.  Lima has decaying colonial splendor and the teeming vitality of an oriental bazaar; melancholy cloudy winters and warm breezy summers; impoverished urban sprawl and quiet elegant corners among ancient buildings where the night air is scented with jasmine.

Casa Andina Private Collection Hotel- Superior room (B)

Day 9- Lima / Cusco/ Sacred Valley  

This morning you are transferred to the airport where you embark on your flight to Cusco, an Andean community and former ancient capital of the Inca Empire. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred directly to the Sacred Valley. On the way your will visit the local village of Pisac, famous for its bustling, colorful market which attracts tourists from all over the world to try their hand at bartering for local sweaters, ponchos, wall hangings, jewelery, and other crafts. You will have time to shop before enjoying lunch at the charming Wayra Ranch, where you will see a Paso Horse demonstration.

Afterwards, continue on to the massive fortress of Ollantaytambo. A formidable stone structure with massive terraces at the top of a high peak, the fortress was the valley’s main defense against the Antis and was the site of the Incas’ greatest victory against the Spanish during the wars of conquest.  Constructed of rose-colored granite, this huge installation was once a thriving complex of baths, temples and military barracks.  Below lies a complete Incan town that is still inhabited and with its original architecture and layout. Dinner is on your own.

Sol & Luna hotel- standard Casita (B, L) 

Day 10- Sacred Valley  

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and a day at leisure to explore the Sacred Valley. Lunch and dinner on your own.

Sol & Luna hotel- standard Casita (B)

Day 11 - Ollantaytambo / Machu Picchu

This morning you will be transfer to Ollantaytambo station to board the Vistadome train bound for Machu Picchu, where a late morning arrival gives you time to begin your explorations of this breathtaking Incan citadel. Accompanied by your guide, explore the city's ruins, and feel its pulse as you visualize the lives of the priests, craftsmen and servants who inhabited this seemingly unliveable citadel.  Excavations at the site have revealed skeletons, artifacts and woolen clothing, but no gold. The same precision of assembled stones exists here as in other Incan sites. Overlooking the raging Urubamba River in a hidden tangle of vines, tress and mountains, the city of Machu Picchu will forever hold the secret of its destruction, which remains an Incan mystery today. Your guide will return to Cusco this afternoon. Lunch will be served at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge.

Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel - Superior Room (B, L, D

Day 12- Machu Picchu / Cusco

It is said that Machu Picchu is a place of great spirituality, and the ultimate moment happens at sunrise. This morning there is an option to rise early and view the world’s most spectacular ruins at sunrise.

This morning, you will have the opportunity to take one of two hikes on your own. The first is to Inti Punku, the famous Sun Gate, which is the entry point to Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail and offers excellent views of the ruins, (approx 2 hours). The second is the chance to hike up the Huayna Picchu – the highest mountain which is actually part of the ruins from where you are afforded excellent views of the surrounding area, as well as a unique vantage point of the famous "lost city," (approx 2.5 hours). Or if you prefer, you can relax and continue exploring this magnificent citadel on your own. (Entrance fees and guide are not included). You will have lunch at your hotel and in the afternoon, take the  Vistadome train back to Cusco. Upon arrival a representative will be waiting for you to transfer to your hotel.

Casa Andina Private Collection Cusco- Superior room (B)

Day 13- Cusco

Breakfast will be served at your hotel. This morning, you will enjoy a city tour which includes the Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas and Santo Domingo, a Dominican church and convent built upon the foundations of the Koricancha, or the "place of gold," the Incas’ principal religious building, dedicated to the worship of the sun. Continue on to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, a true testimonial to Incan architectural skills. Compiled of massive stones weighing 125 tons each, you are challenged to try to slip a note through the cracks in the blocks, cut and fit together with incredible precision without a single drop of mortar to hold them in place. This ancient fortress (where the greatest battle between the Spanish and Incas took place) overlooks the red-tiled roofs of Cusco and the breathtaking countryside surrounding the city.  Lunch is at a local restaurant and the afternoon is at leisure. Dinner will be on your own.

Casa Andina Private Collection Cusco- Superior room (B)

Day 14- Cusco / Lima

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before transferring to the airport for your flight back to Lima. Upon arrival, you will be meet by our representative  who will assist you. Bon Voyage!

(B)

*** THIS IS A PROPOSAL ONLY AND IS SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY AT THE TIME OF CONFIRMATION. WE ARE NOT HOLDING ANY SPACES FOR THIS ITINERARY AT THIS TIME. ***

Departures

This trip is designed around a cruise component offering weekly departures. Please call for details.

Pricing Information

Low Season Prices: January 5- March 28; May 15 - June 20; September 1 - 30; and November 25 - December 15.

Base price: 2 people sharing one room on land and one standard cabin on the Ship $6299

Base Price: 4 people sharing two rooms on land and 2 standard cabins on the Ship $5899

Upgrade Options Costs
junior cabin $500
legend cabin $700
balcony cabin $1100

An additional $1100 per person will be added for the following:

  • Fuel surcharge: M/V Legend
  • Tickets: Quito-Galapagos-Guayaquil –Economy
  • Galapagos National Park fee
  • Migratory Card, Galapagos

All other dates are considered high season – Add $100 US per person.

Inclusions:

  • Round-trip transfers to/from the main airports by private vehicle
  • Private English speaking guides during the mainland tours
  • Accommodation based on single and double occupancy
  • Porterage of two pieces of luggage per person 
  • Meals as indicated on the itinerary: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees
  • Hotel taxes and quoted service charges
  • 5D/4N cruise onboard the M/V Galapagos Legend –double occupancy
  • All shore excursions with an English speaking guide –not private.
  • All meals while aboard the ship.
  • Shared transfers between the airport and the dock
  • Bottled water on all Peru vehicles during transfers and tours.
  • Vistradome train tickets Ollanta / Machu Picchu / Cusco

Exclusions

  • International airfare (unless air supplement is purchased)
  • Cost of obtaining a passport or visa
  • Communication costs such as phone calls
  • All soft drinks and juices on board including liquor, beer and cocktails
  • Use of snorkeling equipment ($23) and wet suits ($28), which are available for rent, payable onboard (costs subject to change).
  • Any items of personal nature or trip insurance
  • Inoculations
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Alcohol and liquor (unless otherwise stated); soft drinks & bottled water with meals

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