West Coast you're Wonderful
Your Amazon lodge can only be accessed by boat, so keep hands, feet and objects inside at all times. You're in piranha country now.
Day 1-2 - Quito
Home to the only version of the Last Supper where Christ and co. are feasting on cuy (that's roast guinea pig, to you).
- Tour briefing in the evening
- If arriving early, spend some time getting to know the city
- Quito is located 2850 metres above sea level so you may experience some of the milder effects of altitude, such as dizziness, insomnia and shortness of breath. If this is the case, we recommend you drink plenty of fluids, and avoid any strenuous activities. This is a perfect opportunity to soak up the atmosphere in one of the many bustling cafes.
- Take a walking tour through the ‘Centro Historico’ which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978.
- Visit the beautiful Church of the Society of Jesus (La Compania de Jesus)
- View the city and surrounding volvanoes from ‘El Panecillo’ (The Little Bread Loaf)
- Visit ‘La Mitad del Mundo’ (The Middle of the World) which was built on what was claimed in 1736 to be the line of the equator and the smaller nearby called Museo Solar Inti Nan which is supposedly where the equator actually runs through since re-measurements were made.
- Enjoy a free evening and perhaps grab some dinner from a local restaurant
Day 3-4 - Amazon Jungle
Keep your eyes peeled for the good, the bad (goliath spiders) and the lazy (sloths). We'll stay in a remote jungle lodge. It's like a soothing 'Sounds of the Jungle' CD come to life.
- Travel into the jungle, heading to your rustic jungle lodge on the banks of the Napo River
- The Amazon rainforest region spans 5.5 million square kilometres across nine nations and so it is considered one of the greatest wonders of the natural world. It is one of the largest and most bio-diverse tropical rainforests on Earth
- The rivers are home to tropical fish, frogs and caimans whilst the jungle canopy houses monkeys, sloths, countless species of bats, colourful toucans and golden macaws. On the floor of the jungle, you might be lucky enough to spot armadillos.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
- After breakfast we begin a trek for 3-4 hours through the deep primary rainforest
- Along the way, an indigenous guide will show us the many species of plants and explain their medicinal purposes.
- Keep your eyes open for monkeys and birds such as oropendolas and parrots
- After lunch, take a walk in the forest to observe the different kinds of trees cultivated by the locals such as: Bananas, cassave (yuca), papaya tree, pineapple, orange trees and sugar cane
- Continue to the small settlement where we can observe (and buy) pottery made by the local indigenous women
- Visit the Quichua indigenous community of Chontayacu and learn about the local customs and way of life of the native people of the jungle.
- Depending on time we may have the opportunity to visit a wildlife rehabilitation centre where we might be lucky enough to see tapir, toucan, ocelot, monkey, capybara and boa constrictor. This is at additional cost.
- In the evening you may choose to have a farewell drink sitting beside the typical jungle fire place.
Day 5-6 - Banos
You'll come for the mountain biking, whitewater rafting, horse riding, hiking and a well earned massage. You'll stay for the melcocha (sugar cane candy).
- Leave the jungle and return to the mountains
- Discover Ecuadorian country life in Banos
- Explore the town or surrounding environment
- Perhaps go mountain bike riding, white-water rafting, hiking and horse riding, or simply relax in thermal baths
Day 7-9 - Riobamba - Cuenca
Ride the Devil's Nose Railway through the Andes, zig-zagging 2400ft down a rock wall on your way to Alausi. Still in one piece? Good, because we're off to Cuenca.
• Catch a local bus bound for Riobamba
• Riobamba is known as “the Sultan of the Andes” the town is located on Ecuador’s Avenue of Volcanoes
• Perhaps visit the markets, explore the town or wander down to Parque Maldonado which is a large stately square, bordered by 19th century
• The day starts by travelling on a public bus in the shadow of the volcanic giant – Chimborazo (6310m). Pass through tiny villages and sprawling countryside.
• Luggage is stored at the picturesque town of Alausi before boarding the train to Devil’s nose
• Ride the Devil’s Nose Railway (La Nariz del Diablo) through the mountains. This is the last stretch of track which remains functional from the famous Ferrocarril Transandino. The Trans-Andean Railway was constructed over a century ago and was considered, in its time, an incredible feat of engineering.
• Stop by the Museum Condor Pununa
• Head back to Alausi for lunch before continuing on to Cuenca
• Get acquainted with Cuenca, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the third largest city in Ecuador which was founded in 1557.
• Enjoy free time to relax or visit as many of the local sights as you can such as the Inca ruins of Ingapirca. These ruins are two - three hours from Cuenca and this excursion is at additional cost. These are the largest ruins in Ecuador and were initially occupied by the Canari people over 500 years ago.Breakfast
Day 10-14 - Zorritos Beach - Chiclayo - Trujillo - Lima
Welcome to Peru. Palm trees and sunbaking in Zorritos, witch doctors and seafood in Chiclayo, and the awesome ruins of Chan Chan near Trujillo. Girls, head to the Alameda del Calzado shoe market on the Avenida Espana for leather sandals.
- Journey into Peru and through the Sechura Desert
- Spend the night in the fishing village of Zorritos
- Head further down the coast to Chiclayo
- Reach Trujillo, gateway to the Chan Chan ruins
- Visit the magnificent ruins of Chan Chan - the imperial city of the Chimu Kingdom
- Perhaps take a short taxi ride to the surf village of Huanchaco
- Catch a bus to Lima, the Peruvian capital
Day 15-16 - Lima - Paracas
Lima's usually covered in a thick layer of fog, but squint and you'll see some great art, Spanish architecture, baroque churches and pre-Columbian temples.
- Enjoy one-and-a-half free days to explore the capital of Peru
- View the architecture, visit museums, drop some coins in the shops and markets, or grab a refreshment in a bar, restaurant or cafe
Day 17-18 - Ballestas Islands - Nazca
Ballestas Islands is like a mini Galapagos. You've got big, bulbous male sea lions surrounded by their sleek and shiny harem; curious little Humboldt penguins and so many seabirds that they block out the sun.
- Take a motor boat out to the Ballestas Islands
- View the rare sea birds and sea lions sheltering in the island's many caves and arches
- Continue by bus to Nazca
- Spend a free day exploring the mysterious Nazca Lines
- Board an overnight bus bound for Arequipa
Day 19-21 - Arequipa
Couple of slow days, with lots of time for activities like seeing Colca Canyon, cycling or horse riding. The puffs of white smoke from surrounding volcanoes make perfect photo backdrops.
- Enjoy free time exploring 'The White City' of Arequipa
- Perhaps visit the Santa Catalina monastery or embark on a day trip to the Colca Canyon
- Opportunities to go trekking, mountain biking and horse riding
Day 22-23 - Cusco
Our fave bit of Cusco is the markets. Start with the Artisan Market at the corner of Avenida del Sol and Tullumayo, the market town of Pisac and the San Pedro food market, near Plaza San Francisco.
- Acclimatise in Cusco in preparation for the Inca trek
- Take a walking tour of central Cusco
- Explore Cusco and see the local sights - including Sacsayhuaman, Quenca and Tambo Machay - during free time
Day 24-27 - Inca Trek
Are you ready? Make sure you've left enough space on your memory card for this one.
- Gaze upon massive Inca fortifications in Ollantaytambo
- Begin the Inca trek
- Hike past the ancient hilltop fort of Huillca Raccay and the archaeological site of Llactapata
- Stunning views of snow-capped Veronica Peak
- Camp near the village of Wayllabamba
- The most difficult part of the trek - Dead Woman’s Pass
- Panoramas of the Vilcanota and Vilcabama mountain ranges, and ruins in the valley below
- Camp with a view over the cloud forest
- Climb up to the ruins of Runkuracay
- Continue up the Inca staircase
- Spectacular views of Pumasillo and the entire Vilcabamba range
- Enter the beautiful cloud forest
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
- The final, and most spectacular, leg of the trek to Machu Picchu
- Arrive at Inti Punku, the Gateway of the Sun
- Experience a panoramic view of Machu Picchu at sunrise
- Explore Machu Picchu on a guided tour
- Return to Cusco by train
Day 28-29 - Cusco - Puno
Puno's on the shores of Lake Titicaca. They both sound vaguely rude, but they're not. In fact they are both delightful. Stop laughing.
- Relax and unwind or spend free time exploring Cusco's many markets, museums, eateries and local sights
- Catch a bus to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca
- Enjoy the drive through magnificent mountains and local scenery
Day 30-31 - Lake Titicaca - Puno
When you stay overnight with a local family, prepare to be fed loads of good food and get offered plenty of local beer. Then they'll sing, dance and dress you up in traditional garb so you can join in.
- Take a boat across Lake Titicaca to the Uros' floating reed islands
- Enjoy a homestay on Amantani Island
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
- Indulge in a breakfast with your host family
- Board an afternoon boat back to Puno
Day 32 - Puno - Copacabana
Dare you not to whistle at least once.
- Journey from Puno to Copacabana
- Stay overnight in this lovely lakeside destination, which is dominated by it's large 17th-century cathedral
Day 33-35 - La Paz
Nobody knows how bowler hats came to be adopted by Bolivian women. Or why the ones they wear are so small. Don't get bogged down asking questions, just enjoy.
- Enjoy free time in La Paz to wander around the cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways that are features of this Andean city
- Perhaps explore the colourful markets, including the famous 'Witches Market', or simply relax in one of the many cafes
What to Know
Experienced local leaders plus there will be the services of local guides at some sites. All transportation, accommodation, sightseeing and meals as indicated.
- International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.
This tour passes through volcanic areas. In the instance a volcano becomes potentially dangerous and authorities declare nearby towns unsafe for travel, the itinerary will be re-routed. Where possible, Geckos will provide advance notice of such changes. At short notice, when this is not possible, your tour leader will provide up to date information on behalf of Geckos.
Trip Dates and Prices
Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price 23 Jun 2013 - 27 Jul 2013 2 Request US $4,125 Book Now 18 Aug 2013 - 21 Sep 2013 7+ Available US $4,125 On Sale Sale: US $3,094 Book Now 29 Sep 2013 - 02 Nov 2013 7+ Available US $4,125 On Sale Sale: US $3,094 Book Now 20 Oct 2013 - 23 Nov 2013 7+ Available US $4,125 Book Now 01 Dec 2013 - 04 Jan 2014 7+ Available US $4,125 Book Now 22 Dec 2013 - 25 Jan 2014 7+ Available US $4,125 Book Now 12 Jan 2014 - 15 Feb 2014 7+ Available US $4,125 Book Now 02 Feb 2014 - 08 Mar 2014 7+ Available US $3,630 Book Now 23 Feb 2014 - 29 Mar 2014 7+ Available US $3,630 Book Now 16 Mar 2014 - 19 Apr 2014 7+ Available US $3,630 Book Now 06 Apr 2014 - 10 May 2014 7+ Available US $3,630 Book Now 20 Apr 2014 - 24 May 2014 7+ Available US $4,125 Book Now 15 Jun 2014 - 19 Jul 2014 7+ Available US $4,125 Book Now 06 Jul 2014 - 09 Aug 2014 7+ Available US $4,125 Book Now 27 Jul 2014 - 30 Aug 2014 7+ Available US $4,125 Book Now 17 Aug 2014 - 20 Sep 2014 7+ Available US $4,125 Book Now 07 Sep 2014 - 11 Oct 2014 7+ Available US $4,125 Book Now 28 Sep 2014 - 01 Nov 2014 7+ Available US $4,125 Book Now 19 Oct 2014 - 22 Nov 2014 7+ Available US $4,125 Book Now 09 Nov 2014 - 13 Dec 2014 7+ Available US $4,125 Book Now 30 Nov 2014 - 03 Jan 2015 7+ Available US $4,125 Book Now 21 Dec 2014 - 24 Jan 2015 7+ Available US $4,125 Book Now
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