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Machu Picchu, Ecuador Amazon & Galapagos Cruise

14 Days | From $5,390


Highlights

  • Explore the Sacred Valley & Cusco
  • Visit an ancient Inca Fortress
  • Trek through the Amazon rainforest
  • View the forest from a canopy tower
  • Watch parrots flock at clay licks
  • Observe endemic wildlife in the Galapagos

Visit three of the most fascinating destinations in South America in one trip. Explore the ancient ruins of the Inca civilization. Stay in a luxurious eco-lodge in the Amazon amidst scarlet macaws, howler monkeys, and countless other animals. Cruise the Galapagos Islands and view wildlife that inspired Darwin to introduce his theory of natural selection.

Pricing

  • TRIP LENGTH14 days
  • STARTING AT $5,390 per person
  • DEPARTURE DATESEvery Sunday


Included
  • Local Andean Discovery guides
  • 3-night / 4-day Galapagos wildlife cruise
  • Accommodations based on double occupancy
  • All activities per itinerary
  • Airport transfers in private vehicle
  • Most meals
  • Internal flights by Andean Discovery (additional cost)
  • Andean Discovery U.S. and South American staff assistance from start to finish
Not Included
  • International airfare to and from South America
  • $120 per person Galapagos park fees
  • Gratuities
  • Travel insurance (available upon request)

Itinerary
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Detailed Itinerary >>

Quito, Ecuador, is a spectacular city positioned just a few miles shy of the equator in a narrow valley surrounded by volcanoes. At 9,350 feet above sea level, it is the second highest capital city in Latin America, and maintains a pleasant spring-like climate all year round. Quito is also the cultural epicenter of Ecuador, with a plethora of museums, expansive outdoor parks, and colorful festivals and fairs. Upon evening arrival into Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport, you will be met by Andean Discovery staff and transferred to your hotel to relax after the long flights.

Overnight Superior: Wyndham Quito Airport
Overnight Standard: Rincon de Puembo

This morning you will be met by Andean Discovery staff and transferred to the airport in time for your morning flight to Baltra Island, Galápagos. Upon arrival in the Galapagos, you will be met by your Galapagos naturalist guide and have lunch and a welcome briefing on board the Galapagos Legend.

Bartolomé

This afternoon you will discover a fascinating lunar-like landscape formed by different volcanic parasitic cones as you hike to the summit of Bartolome for impressive views of the surrounding islands, including the eroded tuff cone Pinnacle Rock. The lack of vegetation is immediately noticeable and you may encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards, and blue- footed boobies along the way. Enjoy some beach time and a great opportunity to snorkel and observe Galapagos Penguins, sea turtles and White-tipped Reef Sharks and a great variety of colorful fish. The water here is generally clear, without too much surf and full of marine life, making it one of the best snorkel sites in the Galapagos.

Overnight: Galapagos Legend – Standard Plus cabin (upgrades available)

Meals: (B, L, D)

South Plaza (Plazas Island)

Dry landing on the northern part of the Islet. The walk begins with an impressive cactus forest surrounded by land and marine iguanas, as we reach its highest point, be on the lookout for tropicbirds, a Nazca and blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls. In South Plaza there is a large colony of the smaller sized land iguanas. The population is approximately 300 individuals. They feed on all kinds of vegetation, but during the dry season survive on the fruits and flowers of Opuntia cacti. Due to their proximity with marine iguanas, this is the only place on Earth where we will find the Galapagos hybrid iguana.

North Seymour

This afternoon disembark on North Seymour Island and enjoy a two-hour walk amidst large nesting colonies of blue-footed boobies, great frigate birds, and swallow-tailed gulls for an in depth encounter with sea bird breeding cycles and as well as sea lions. You will also observe sea lions, land iguanas, and on a lucky day, you might even come across a Galapagos Snake.

Overnight: Galapagos Legend – Standard Plus cabin (upgrades available)

Meals: (B, L, D)

Pitt Point / Pitt Islet (San Cristóbal Island)

Wet landing followed by a high intensity hike on rocky terrain. The trail includes an olivine beach of 90 meters long and a path that climbs to the top of a volcanic tuff, through several magnificent viewpoints. This is probably the only site where the three booby species of the Galapagos can be seen together, as well as two species of frigatebirds and a sea lion colony; it is also excellent for dinghy rides and snorkeling, where a good range of sea birds can be observed.

Cerro Brujo (San Cristóbal Island)

Wet landing. Cerro Brujo is an eroding tuff cone* that at several locations is composed of AA lava formations, and a beautiful white sand beach, great for snorkeling and sunbathing. We visit a lagoon where migratory bird species can be seen: Black-necked Stilts, Ruddy Turnstones, Whimbrels, other sandpiper species and White-cheeked Pintails. Cerro Brujo offers beautiful views of Kicker Rock, the southern part of San Cristobal and the adjacent coast.

Overnight: Galapagos Legend – Standard Plus cabin (upgrades available)

Meals: (B, L, D)

Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve (San Cristóbal Island)

Dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Passengers visit the San Cristóbal giant tortoise* Breeding Center to learn about the National Park’s conservation programs. Enjoy a beautiful landscape on the way to the Reserve. Passengers will also have the opportunity to visit the port village, have a drink or shop for arts and crafts and other souvenirs.

Transfer to the airport in Baltra in time for your morning flight to Quito. A light lunch/snack will be served on the flight. Additional lunch not included. Quito, Ecuador, is a spectacular city positioned just a few miles shy of the equator in a narrow valley surrounded by volcanoes. At 9,350 feet above sea level, it is the second highest capital city in Latin America, and maintains a pleasant spring-like climate all year round. Quito is also the cultural epicenter of Ecuador, with a plethora of museums, expansive outdoor parks, and colorful festivals and fairs. Upon arrival at Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport, you will be met by Andean Discovery staff and transferred to your hotel.

Overnight Superior: Wyndham Quito Airport
Overnight Standard: Rincon de Puembo

Meals: (B)

This morning a 30-minute flight takes you to Coca, a small town located in the upper Amazon Basin. From there embark on a 2-hour motorized canoe ride along the Napo River. Look for marine birds, including herons and kingfishers, along the way. Next board traditional, dugout canoes for a majestic and peaceful 1- to 2-hour ride surrounded by trees overhead. You will be paddled along a narrow creek that connects to the lagoon where your lodge is located. Keep your eyes out for monkeys, toucans, parrot, and macaws. After arriving at the lodge and enjoying dinner, opt to look for caimans around the lake as you take in the evening sounds of the jungle.

Overnight Superior: Napo Wildlife Center
Overnight Standard: Sani Lodge

Meals: (B, L, D)

A native Anangu guide and a bilingual naturalist guide lead you during today’s excursions, including visits to two parrot clay licks. Back at the lodge you may see a group of giant otters investigating near the dock; a large, black caiman crossing the lake; a capybara looking for rest near the water’s edge; or blue and yellow macaws soaring overhead.

Overnight Superior: Napo Wildlife Center
Overnight Standard: Sani Lodge

Meals: (B, L, D)

After an early breakfast, climb a 120-foot canopy observation tower and emerge on top of a huge Ceiba tree. Here you cross onto a wooden platform that is built into the tree to experience the view formerly reserved only for the birds. Flocks of colorful tanagers pass through the tree canopy, Spider Monkeys search for fruit in nearby trees, and toucans call in the early mornings and afternoons. This afternoon hike into the forest interior where you may see lizards, colorful manikins, or the unique and endemic Golden mantle tamarin monkeys. Afterward, explore the lake and creeks by dugout canoe with great possibilities of running into a Giant otter family.

Overnight Superior: Napo Wildlife Center
Overnight Standard: Sani Lodge

Meals: (B, L, D)

This morning board the canoes for a paddle upstream back to Coca for your flight to Quito. Meet up with your guide for a tour of Quito’s colonial center, commonly referred to as “old town,” and enjoy a delicious lunch made with locally grown ingredients.  Visit the striking La Compañia church, with an ornate baroque facade built entirely out of volcanic stone. Equally impressive is the Church of San Francisco, Quito’s largest colonial structure. Its adjacent museum houses much of the church’s original artwork, some of which dates back to the early 1600s. See the Virgin of Quito (El Panecillo), an enormous statue of an elegant winged woman who watches over the city from an impressive vantage point atop a 650-foot peak. The site offers sweeping 360-degree views of Quito and the surrounding valley below.

Later this afternoon, for additional cost, opt for a special visit to the home of the great Ecuadorian master painter and sculptor, Oswaldo Guayasamín (1919-1999), which is now a museum that houses most of his art. A man of Kichwa Indian and Mestizo heritage, Guayasamín personally experienced racism and discrimination, which became a major theme in his artwork. He was an advocate for indigenous rights and his images capture racism, political oppression, poverty, and other social tensions in Latin America in the 20th century. Guayasamín was also a passionate art collector, and the museum displays his impressive collection of pre-Columbian metal, bone, and ceramic pieces.

This evening, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima, you will be met by Andean Discovery staff and transferred to your hotel.

Overnight: Lima Airport Wyndham Hotel

Meals: (B, L)

The capital of the Inca Empire awaits! This morning, Andean Discovery staff will assist with your check-in for the spectacular one-hour flight over the Andes Mountains to Cusco.  Upon arrival, you’ll be met by your local Andean Discovery guide and driver and begin the journey toward the Sacred Valley. Extending from Cusco to the intriguing 15th-century city of Machu Picchu and surrounded by the Andes, the Sacred Valley is home to archeological sites and small towns alike. Prepare to experience this balance of what was and what is—ancient civilization and modern life.

The first stop is Sacsayhuaman, featuring some of the largest and most impressive stonework of the Incas.  Marvel at the massive limestone boulders and ponder how the Incas transported, carved, and meticulously positioned the stones so that not even a sheet of paper fit between them.  Next, visit a Quechua community and participate in a ceremonial offering to Mother Earth.  Learn about the important role of weaving in Peruvian culture before continuing your descent into the Sacred Valley. Enjoy a traditional lunch in a private estate and peruse its fine collection of Inca and colonial artifacts. Later this afternoon, you’ll check in to your room at an Andean paradise with fragrant gardens and mountain views.

Overnight Superior: Hacienda Urubamba
Overnight Standard: Villa Urubamba

Meals: (B, L, D)

This morning transfer to the Ollantaytambo train station for a spectacular train ride through the Urubamba river gorge on your way to Machu Picchu. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, you will be greeted by staff from your luxurious eco-lodge. This afternoon choose from several activities at the lodge, including a nature walk in the orchid pavilion, natural sweat lodge-sauna, bird observation, or relax on your own. An additional visit to the Machu Picchu ruins can be scheduled for this afternoon if desired. (Additional cost for extra Machu Picchu visit and must be booked at least 30 days in advance.)

Overnight SuperiorInkaterra’s Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
Overnight Standard: Casa Andina Classic Machu Picchu

Meals: (B, L, D)

This morning take a short bus ride to the sacred ruins of Machu Picchu for a private tour. Explore the Temple of the Sun, the Royal Tomb, ceremonial fountains and baths, and the Sacred Plazas. Opt for an exhilarating one-hour hike up the steep trail to the summit of Huayna Picchu (Young Peak) for a breath-taking bird’s-eye view of Machu Picchu. After your visit, transfer to Aguas Calientes for lunch and board the train for Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival in Ollantaytambo, you will be met by your driver and transferred the rest of the way to Cusco. This evening enjoy dinner on your own at one of Cusco’s many fine restaurants.

Overnight Superior: Palacio del Inka
Overnight Standard: Casa Andina Classic Cusco

Meals: (B, L)

This morning you will explore Cusco, the capital of the Inca empire and known as the “Navel of the World” in the Quechua language. Quechua-speaking descendants of the Incas fill the streets, proof that this ancient culture is still vibrant today.  Meet your guide and wander down cobbled walkways admiring the architecture, a unique blend of Inca and Spanish influences. The first stop is a local, open-air market where Cusqueños buy their produce, meats, and cheeses.  Discover exotic fruits, and several varieties of Quinoa, the Andean superfood, as well as unusual items like guinea pig and live frogs. Sample local delicacies, such as Chuta bread, which is cooked in traditional wood-burning ovens.  Later this morning, visit the Coricancha, a temple dedicated to the sun that was once covered in sheets of gold and filled with golden figures and statues.

This afternoon enjoy some free time to explore Cusco on your own.  Explore the colorful artisan shops of the San Blas neighborhood and search for the famed twelve sided stone.
This evening you will be transferred to the airport in Cusco to fly to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima, check in on your own for your international flight.

Optional activity: Time permitting, you may choose to visit the market with a professional chef, who will show you how to select the best ingredients and give you a cooking class to prepare a traditional recipe. This activity must be requested in advance for an additional cost.

Meals: (B)



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