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Carry on Perusing!

Trip Length

Trip Code

25 days GSJE

Countries Visited

Ecuador, Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), Peru

Start City

End City

Lima Lima
Carry on Perusing!

Pisco is the local version of grape brandy. Shake it up with lemon juice, sugar, egg white and you've got your new favourite drink - a Pisco sour.

(Was Peru Encompassed)

Carry on Perusing!


Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1-2: Lima

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

There are llamas in Lima. But there are no lemurs in Lima. Sad but true. Head to the Barranco district for a nightcap.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3-4: Ballestas Islands - Nazca

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

The Nazca Lines were created somewhere between 200BC and 600AD. See if you can spot the hummingbird, spider, monkey, fish, shark, llama and Mark Wahlberg (OK, maybe not Mark Wahlberg).

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5: Arequipa

Meals included: 1 breakfast

She's known as Ciudad Blanca, but you can call her The White City. Arequipa has heaps of great coffee bars, a busy main square and live volcanoes that regularly puff white smoke.

Day 6-7: Colca Canyon

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

What's twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, surrounded by live volcanoes and filled with enormous Andean Condors? This place!

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8-10: Puno - Lake Titicaca

Meals included: 3 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Stay with a local family on Amantani Island - delicious home-cooked meal guaranteed. Bring a little something to say thanks, like cooking oil, rice or pens. Don't bring lollies - not many dentists out this way.

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11-12: Cusco

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

We took a quick office poll and Puno was voted as having the best "cuy". That's guinea pig to you. To reach the Incan ruins at Sacsayhuaman, just ask for directions to "sexy woman" - the locals will know what you mean.

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13-16: Inca Trek

Meals included: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

After you're done, join all the other travellers at a bar along the Aguas Calientes train tracks. Make sure you shout your guide a celebratory Pilsen Callao.

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15

Day 16

Day 17: Cusco

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Markets. Pisac. Touristy knick knacks. Ceviche. Sacred Valley. A slab of juicy alpaca. Beer. Pisco sour. Bed.

Day 18-19: Amazon Jungle

Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Here's some of the weirdos you might meet in the Amazon: tyrant leech king, wood eating catfish and Brazilian wandering spider. We urge you not to Google them before bed.

Day 18

Day 19

Day 20: Quito

Meals included: 1 breakfast

 

Flight from Lima to Quito from must be after 9pm

 

Day 21: Baltra & Bachas Beach

This morning we transfer to Quito Airport for our early morning flight to the Galapagos Islands. Be prepared for an early start as this could mean leaving the hotel as early as 4am. A US$10 per person transit card is payable on departure at Quito Airport and a US$100 per person national park entry fee is payable on arrival. Please have cash on hand for these transactions as using credit cards can be time consuming.
 
On arrival in the Galapagos we are met in the arrivals hall and then transferred to our boat, the Nemo III, anchored a short distance away. Once on board we'll be assigned our cabins, meet the crew members and get to know our naturalist guide and fellow travellers over a delicious lunch.
The sandy, white beaches of Las Bachas on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island are a nesting site for the Pacific green turtle, and marine iguanas are also commonly seen. The sand here is particularly white and soft as it is made of decomposed coral. The rocks provide great snorkelling and are the perfect habitat for the Sally Lightfoot crabs, which are plentiful on the island. A saltwater lagoon near to the beach is home to flamingo and whimbrel, and also look out for great blue herons. Remnants of a floating pier can still be sighted, and it is a testimony to the US presence in the Galapagos during World War II.

Day 22: El Barranco - Bahia Darwin - Genovesa

It takes us an overnight sail to reach Genovesa the archipelagos north east outpost, but it is undeniably worth the voyage. Dolphins are often spotted in the waters around Genovesa while the island itself is one of abundant beauty, with varying landscapes and wonderful wildlife. It is also a twitcher's paradise, with all three kinds of boobies, including the rare red-footed booby, and numerous other species such as tropic birds and frigate birds. Walking the steep path known as Prince Philip's Steps get us into the heart of the seabird rookeries, with birds overhead and nesting among the cliffs. On the island's rocky plains we look out for storm petrels - Genovesa is the only place in the world where they can be seen flying during the day. Afterwards cool off with a snorkel!

Darwin Beach is another superb site with large breeding colonies of seabirds and frigates and other birds such as lava herons, swallowed tail gulls, mocking birds and hopefully the vampire finch. During the walk we will pass by tide pools with playful Sea Lions and Diamond Sting Rays and the island's magnificent marine life makes for spectacular snorkelling and the chance of encountering manta rays, sharks, turtles and moray eels along with many fish.

Day 23: Isla Santiago/Isla Santa Cruz

In Santiago's eastern coast sits Bahia Sullivan also known as James Island. We will walk on Pahoe-Hoe lava from an eruption that occurred in 1897, and witness the colonization of plant species since the last eruption. Hopefully see some Marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, Sea Lions, Finches, Turtles, Sharks and sometimes Penguins. As we walk, our guide will inform us of the geological history of the islands.

We then set sail for Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill), on Santa Cruz's north coast. From our dry landing we walk to a brackish lagoon frequented by lagoon birds including stilts, pintail ducks, sandpipers, sanderlings and occasionally flamingos. Further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western area of the archipelago. This area is a nesting site for land iguanas, which is constantly monitored and assisted by the Charles Darwin Research Station. The arid-zone vegetation makes for a rewarding location for birdwatching, with Darwin's finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, the endemic Galapagos flycatcher and yellow warblers all regulars here. The path can be challenging but we'll be well rewarded with a spectacular view of the bay!

Day 24: Charles Darwin Station/Isla Santa Cruz

Today we visit Santa Cruz, the second largest island in the Galapagos.The small town of Puerto Ayora is the economic hub of the archipelago, and is also home to the Charles Darwin Research Station. The station's visitor centre and museum are essential stops for anyone interested in the archipelago's natural and human history, and keen to learn more about conservation efforts to preserve the unique ecosystems of the Galapagos. It also offers our best chance for close-up encounters with giant tortoises, and we can see many newborn and young giant turtles - part of the breeding program to reintroduce them to their natural habitat. Observe the Giant Opuntia and Jasminocereus cactus trees. Leisure time to explore Puerto Ayora, check email or have a drink at a local bar and see the local’s way of life.
Sadly all good things must come to an end and this is our final excursion. We say farewell to The Galapagos Islands and head to the airport for our flight back to Quito for the last night of the tour. Upon arrival in Quito Airport we are transferred back to our hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 25: Quito

There are no activities planned for the final day so we are able to depart the accommodation at any time. There are many fascinating things to do in and around Quito so please speak to our customer service representative about any optional activities that might be of interest. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.


Your Trip

What to know

 

A good level of fitness and pre-trip training is essential for the Inca Trek. You will trek on hilly terrain or mountainous terrain at altitudes of up to 4200 metres, for up to 7 hours per day.

Nuts and Bolts

• Gecko's expert English-speaking local tour guide throughout the tour, a specialist trekking guide, assistant trekking guide and local guides at some sites.

• Local flights from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado and Puerto Maldonado to Lima.

• Trek on the ‘Classic’ or ‘Quarry’ routes to Machu Picchu with full service camping including porters, cook and equipment (tent and inflatable sleeping mat).

• Guided tour of Machu Picchu including entrance and park fees.

• Boat trip on the Tambopata River to/from Amazon jungle lodge.

• Two nights in the Amazon including jungle activities with a local native guide, a visit to a parakeet clay-lick, a traditional boat excursion and a visit to the indigenous Indian farmlands.

• Boat excursion to the Ballestas Islands.

• Excursion to Colca Canyon staying overnight at a hotel inside the canyon.

• A boat ride to the floating reed islands on Lake Titicaca.

• A homestay on Amantani Island including meals with host family and an exploration of the island.

• Cusco walking tour.

• Transfers to/from hotels to bus stations/ports in Lima, Pisco, Arequipa and Tazi Puno.

 

Summary of accommodation, transport & meals

Transport

Accommodation

Meals

Not Included

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.

Optional Extras

We have chosen a selection of some great optional activities to enhance your travel experience. You will need to cover any additional costs yourself. The below list is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed below have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.


Important Information

Amazon Jungle Leader: please note that your main tour leader will not continue with the group to the Amazon Jungle. Instead you will have the services of a specialst jungle guide, to assist with the jungle activities.
 


Local contact numbers: (Peru / Bolivia) PEAK South America +51 99605 5559 or +51 97009 4823 Local contact number: Peak Ecuador After Hours Emergency: 09 94014877 calling from inside Ecuador or +593 9 94014877 calling from outside Ecuador

TREKKING IN PERU:

 

Very Important - Correct Passport Details: In order to obtain your permit to trek the Inca Trail it is vital that you provide Gecko's with accurate details of the passport you will be travelling on in Peru. If you are travelling on a different passport from what is shown on your permit, you will be refused entry at the entrance to the trail.

 

Sister Companies- Please note that if there are less than four people schedules for your trek to Machu Picchu it is likely that you will be trekking with clients that have booked through one of our sister brands.

Book Early: The Peruvian Government has introduced strict quotas on the number of permits issued for hiking the ‘Classic’ Inca Trail route. These can often be sold out months in advance. To apply for your group’s permits, we will need your deposit, passport details and date of birth, so we ask that you book your holiday early. In the event that we are unable to obtain permits for the ‘Classic Trail' we will use the alternative 'Quarry Trail', an equally challenging trek culminating in a visit to Machu Picchu.

Meals during trek: Please note that we are unable to cater for those with a gluten intolerance (Coeliac) during the trek. Food labelling standards vary quite dramatically from country to country so it is not always safe to rely on ingredient labels in another country. Secondly, due to the remote nature of the trek and available cooking facilities, cross-contamination cannot always be fully avoided.

Typical meals during the trek: Breakfast (toast, fruit salad, ground corn tortillas, vegetable omelette, fried plantains), Snack (biscuits, tea, pop corn, chocolate bars, hot chocolate), Lunch (Vegetable soups, steamed trout, roast beef, quinoa grained, mashed or scalloped potatoes), Dinner (Chicken, rice, goulash, rosemary potatoes, chicken wrapped in tomato sauce)

 

SOME OTHER STUFF:

 

Public Holiday Inconveniences: Please be prepared for the inconvenience of sights such as museums and churches being closed to tourists on public holidays (ie. Christmas Day and New Years Day). Throughout Latin America, quite a few museums are closed on Mondays.

Hotel Breakfasts: Breakfasts in Latin America are simple affairs. They consist of tea or coffee, fruit juice, bread rolls, butter and jam. Eggs and fruit are sometimes available on request, for a small charge.

Meal requests/ allergies: Please note - any special meal requests must be noted on your booking form when making your reservation. We may not be able to cater for any late requests advised on arrival.

 

---- Alternative Itineraries for this trip - Machu Picchu ----

Quarry Trek

In the event that trekking permits for the 'Classic' Inca Trail route are unavailable, we will use the 'Quarry' route. The Quarry Trail, is an exceptional alternative to the 'Classic' trail.

This trek has all the components you expect from an Intrepid operated hike in the South American Andes: it’s safe, landscapes are breathtaking, there are opportunities to interact with local communities and to visit smaller and less known Inca archaeological sites.The overall distance hiked on this trek is approximately 26km, the maximum altitude reached is 4,450 metres above sea level. Since permits are not required for this trek, there

are no restrictions as when you book your trip.

 

INCA QUARRY TRAIL: The Inca Quarry Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people. It's 26km long in total. The tail's highest pass is at 4,450 meters above sea level.

Throughout the trek your gear (and camping gear) will be carried by horses (as opposed to porter).

The first two nights of the trek are spent camping and the third one at a simple hotel. Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. Tents are set up by the porters. Meals are prepared by the trek cook.

 

Day 1 - We leave Cusco early in the morning to drive to Ollantaytambo and onto Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas used to venerate the moon. A short drive from here takes us to Rafq'a, the starting point of our trek and where we meet the horsemen that will join us during the hike. After an approx. 1hr walk we reach the small community of Socma.

A further 60min walk takes to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout. This is a perfect opportunity to stop for photos and a snack.

From here we continue on to our campsite, at 3700 meters above sea level. All going well, we should reach our campsite by lunch time. After lunch we set off to explore the Q'orimarca archaeological site, which used to serve as a check point during the times of the Incas

 

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

 

Day 2 - This is the most challenging but most rewarding day of the hike. A 3hr walk takes us to the top of the first pass, known as Puccaqasa (approx 4370 meters). After enjoying the views of the valley below we walk down for 30min to our lunch spot.

Rested and full of energy again we take on a 2hr hike to the highest pass of the trek: Kuychicassa (4450 meters).

From here we head down for 2hr to a site the Incas called Inti Punku, (meaning Sun Gate - this is not the Sun Gate where you enter the Machu Picchu site) with imposing views over the valley bellow and the Veronica mountain raising over the horizon.

Our campsites is a stone throw away at Choquetacarpo (3600 metres)


Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

 

Day 3 - Day three is all downhill hiking. The first stop is at the Kachiqata quarry, where we witness the work the Incas could not complete due to the Spanish conquest.

Approximately at midday we finally arrive to the town of Kachiqata - the end of this challenging and fascinating trek.

From here we visit Ollantaytambo and in the afternoon we travel by train to Aguas Calientes. The natural hot springs in town are an unbeatable way to
spend a late afternoon/early evening. Tonight we overnight at a simple but comfortable hotel.


Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

 

Day 4 - Today we take a very early bus (5:30am depending on weather conditions) along the winding road to Machu Picchu (approx. 30 minutes). In Machu Picchu we join the travellers who opted to hike the Classic Inca Trail option of this trip before taking on a guided walk of Machu Picchu.

 

Meals included: 1 breakfast

 

Non trekking Alternative – Machu Picchu by Train

The Inca Trail is a highlight of any visit to Peru and it is highly recommended to anybody who is up to the physical demands of a Moderate trek. For those people joining a Gecko's trip who do not wish to join the four-day hike, Gecko's can make alternative arrangements that allow additional time in Cusco and return transport and accommodation to Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu. Should you choose these alternative arrangements, the price for your Gecko's holiday remains the same.

You must notify Gecko's at the time of booking if you wish to take this option, which replaces the 4 Day Inca Trail.

Day 1 & 2: Cusco

Your time in Cusco is your own. Accommodation will be provided for these two nights and breakfast is included. Your tour leader will not be available during this period as he or she will be trekking to Machu Picchu with the rest of the group.

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

Day 3 & 4: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco

Your tour leader will have provided you with your return train ticket to Machu Picchu and your accommodation vouchers for your stay in Aguas Calientes. Please make your own way to the station to depart on the early morning train to Machu Picchu. The train trip will take approximately four hours to reach Aguas Calientes. Once you arrive in Aguas Calientes you should check into your hotel. Please refer to your accommodation voucher for the hotel details. All of the hotels are a short walk from the railway station.

In order to visit the site of Machu Picchu, you will take a bus up the steep zig zagging road to the entrance of the ruins. The buses depart regularly. The ruins are open from 7am to 5pm daily and we will cover the cost of your return bus fare to the ruins and the entrance fee. The vouchers can be used the afternoon of Day 3, or the following morning on Day 4. If you wish to visit the ruins twice, the second visit will be at an additional cost of approximately USD $70 (paid locally).

Those in your group who have trekked the Inca Trail will arrive at the site around 7am on day 4. It is possible to arrange to meet up with the other members in your group at the ruins, to join a fully guided tour of this ancient and mystical Inca City. Before taking the bus back down to Aguas Calientes, there is free time to explore the ruins at your own pace, soaking in the atmosphere. For the adventurous, you can climb to the top of Huayna Picchu, where you have the opportunity to see Machu Picchu from a unique vantage point. You can also make the short hike up to the Sun Gate for that classic photo of Machu Picchu.

In the afternoon of Day 4, we have time for lunch, before catching the train back to Cusco with your fellow trekkers.

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

About this Information

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please ensure that you have the most up-to-date information for your trip. We recommend that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!

Last Updated

15 October 2014


General Contact Details

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E-mail: sales@geckosadventures.com
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