Andean Culture, Inca Citadels & Galapagos Cruise

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Run by: Veloso Tours

Reference number: encantada

From: £5760.00

Highlights

  • Combine the Galapagos Islands with Machu Picchu on our tour to Ecuador & Peru
  • Explore the world heritage centre of Quito, famed for its magnificent churches
  • Visit one of South America's most colourful local Indian markets
  • Enjoy an unforgettable seven night Galapagos Cruise in the company of experts
  • Daily walks and snorkelling to see the fearless birds, reptiles and marine life
  • Discover Peru's vibrant capital Lima and the former Inca capital Cusco
  • Marvel at the lost Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, buried in mysterious cloud forest
  • Extend your stay with Lake Titicaca and La Paz in Bolivia
  • Extend your stay on to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil

Quito - Days 1 - 3

Day 1 - Departure

Daytime flight on Thursday (First class) or Saturday (Tourist class) to Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated between two ranges of the snowcapped Andes, Quito has a beautiful setting and temperate climate. You will be met at the airport by our representative who will take you to your hotel for 3 nights and give you a quick introduction to the area and your programme.

 

Day 2 - Quito City Tour

Half day tour, covering both the modern and colonial quarters of Quito including La Compañía Church with its ornate façade, and a visit to the Archaeological Museum which houses a fascinating collection of pre-Colombian ceramics & gold.

 

Day 3 - Otavala market

We visit Otavala, embracing an area of snowcapped mountains, lakes and terraced farmland. Visit the colourful and bustling Indian market where men and women with long plaited hair, dressed in their traditional clothes sell all types of weavings, tapestries and handicrafts.

Galapagos Cruise - Days 4 - 10

Days 4 - 10 - Cruise the Galapagos Islands

Cruise the Galapagos Islands where Darwin observed the wildlife that would lead him to his theory of evolution for 7 nights. Flight to the Galapagos and transfer to the M/Y Eric (First) or M/Y Samba (Tourist) with daily morning and afternoon guided excursions to admire the tame wildlife endemic to each island. Basking marine and land iguanas, red and blue footed boobies, frigate birds, giant tortoises, and friendly sea lions abound.

Lima - Days 11 - 12

Day 11 - Flight to Lima

Disembark, transfer to the airport and fly back to the mainland, connecting with a flight to Lima, where we stay for 2 nights.

 

Day 12 - Lima City Tour

With our local guide you will visit the main squares, surrounded by grand colonial buildings, the Anthropological Museum with its fascinating array of textiles, potteries and mummies spanning from 1400 BC to Hispanic time, and the Larco Herrera Museum, where a large collection of randomly arranged treasures is housed.

Cusco - Days 13 - 14

Day 13 - Flight to Cusco 

Flight to Cusco, where we stay for three nights. Afternoon free to acclimatise to altitude of 3,310m or walk to the main square to absorb the local atmosphere.

 

Day 14 - Cusco city tour

A fascinating half day tour of Cusco and the ruins surrounding the city. Within Cusco the evidence of Inca culture is still visible, despite the destructive tendencies of the conquistadores. The Cathedral, churches and numerous other buildings are erected on solid Inca stonework foundations, unchanged over the centuries. Outside the city stands the mighty fortress and religious site of Sacsayhuamán, an astounding megalithic structure, whose massive stones, weighing over 100 tons each, fit together with characteristic Inca precision.

Sacred Valley - Day 15

Day 15 - Sacred Valley of the Incas Tour

A scenic, full day trip to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, affording great views of the valleys and Inca terracing. We visit the Maras salt mines, before we continue to Pisac market, a colourful affair where villagers come from miles around to barter and sell food and weavings. We visit Pisac ruins to see the remains of some of the finest examples of Inca masonry, and continue to the village of Ollantaytambo, with its ancient irrigation system, still in good working order, and with the ancient Inca temple fortress towering above. Return to Cusco.

Machu Picchu - Days 16 - 17

Day 16 - Machu Picchu by Vistadome Train

Set off by Vistadome train along the course of the Urubamba River to Aguas Calientes. This is a spectacular journey through a dramatic and changing landscape with some fantastic views. From Aguas Calientes, you will be met by your guide and take a bus up the steep mountain side to the magnificent citadel of Machu Picchu, which silently awaits. You will have a private guided tour of the ruins to learn about the Inca culture and history of the site, the rest of the afternoon is free.

 

Day 17 - Machu Picchu at Leisure

Early mornings offer an excellent opportunity for a quiet stroll around Machu Picchu, a walk along the Inca Trail to Intipunku (Sun Gate), or a strenuous climb to Huayna Picchu, the rocky escarpment overlooking the ruins. In the afternoon Vistadome train back to Cusco, where we stay for the last night.

 

Day 18 - Departure or Extension (see options below)

Afternoon flight from Cusco to Lima, connecting with return flight home in the early evening and arriving the following day on Day 19, or extend your holiday with options below.

Lake Titicaca & La Paz - Optional Extension

Day 18 - Cusco at Leisure

A full day at leisure in Cusco to explore the city, relax, take an optional extra excursion, or simply enjoy the surroundings and atmosphere of this magnificent city.

 

Day 19 - Andean Explorer Train to Lake Titicaca 

Board the luxurious Andean Explorer Train at Cusco to cross the dramatic Andean landscape. You will sit at a table by the window, where lunch and afternoon tea will be served, as the route takes you through beautiful Andean landscapes, of snow covered mountains, past fields of grazing cattle, hot springs and small villages. The train stops at isolated railway stations where local people await to sell local food and handicrafts. On arrival on the shores of Lake Titicaca, we will be met and taken to our lakeside hotel in Puno, staying for 1 night.

 

Day 20 - Uros Islands

We take a boat trip on the lake to visit the people living on the floating Uros Islands, which together with huts and rafts, are built out of the Totora reeds prevalent in the area. Leave Puno in the afternoon on a scenic bus ride, skirting the lake, past local farmers working their Inca terraces to the charming village of Copacabana, Bolivia's main pilgrimage centre. Continue by boat to Sun Island, where we take a short hike to our simple lodge overlooking the lake.

 

Day 21 - Sun Island & Transfer to La Paz

In the morning we have time to explore Sun Island before taking a boat back to Copacabana. From Copacabana our journey continues along the Bolivian lake shores, arriving at La Paz in the early evening where we stay for 2 nights.

 

Day 22 - La Paz City Tour

Our tour of the city follows a maze of streets and alleyways to visit colonial squares, churches and streets lined with little shops selling wonderful weavings, traditional musical instruments and jewellery, before leading us to the witches' market, where charismatic ladies sell a range of herbs, bottled potions and amulets to cure all ills. We continue to the Moon Valley, an are...

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

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