Carry on Perusing!

Ballestas Islands: Little Galapagos
Guinea pig - a Peruvian delicacy
Puno - a town four kilometres above sea-level
Drink like a local in Peru
The 'Lost City of the Incas' - UNESCO World Heritage-listed Machu Picchu
The condors of one of the deepest canyons in the world - Colca Canyon
The floating reed islands of the Uros people on the highest navigable lake in the world - Lake Titicaca
The perfect pisco sour?
The white volcanic 'sillar' architecture and Cathedral of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Arequipa
UNESCO World Heritage-listed ancient Inca capital of Cusco
UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic centre of the Peruvian capital Lima
UNESCO World Heritage-listed Nazca Lines - gigantic lines, symbols and animal images etched into the ground
Warminwanusca - 'Dead Woman’s Pass' on the Inca Trail
  • 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)

    Itinerary

    Day 1-2 - Lima

    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

    • Arrive in Lima, group meeting at 2pm followed by an orientation walk with your tour leader.

    Day 2

    • Morning tour briefing
    • Spend free time exploring Peru's capital
    • Follow the Pan American highway to the seaside village of Paracas
    Breakfast

    Day 3-4 - Ballestas Islands - Nazca

    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

    • Travel by boat to the Ballestas Islands
    • Gain good views of wildlife and natural rock formations
    • Travel by bus to Nazca later in the day

    Day 4

    • Free day to explore the mysterious Nazca Lines
      Board an overnight bus to Arequipa
    Breakfast

    Day 5 - Arequipa

    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.

    • Free time to explore one of the most beautiful cities in Peru, Arequipa
    Breakfast

    Day 6-7 - Colca Canyon

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

    Day 6

    • Travel to and explore the Colca Canyon
    • Perhaps be lucky enough to spot Andean Condors
    • Stay overnight in a local hotel

    Day 7

    • Journey back to Arequipa
    Breakfast

    Day 8-10 - Puno - Lake Titicaca

    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

    • Catch a bus to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca

    Day 9

    • Take a boat across Lake Titicaca to the Uros' floating reed islands
    • Enjoy a homestay on Amantani Island

    Day 10

    • Indulge in a breakfast with your host family
    • Board an afternoon boat back to Puno
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 11-12 - Cusco

    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

    • Acclimatise in Cusco in preparation for the Inca trek

    Day 12

    • Take a walking tour of central Cusco
    • Explore Cusco and see the local sights during free time
    Breakfast

    Day 13-16 - Inca Trek

    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

    • 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

    Day 14

    • 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

    Day 15

    • 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

    Day 16

    • 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
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 17 - Cusco

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

    • Relax and unwind or spend free time exploring Cusco's many markets, museums, eateries and local sights
    Breakfast

    Day 18-19 - Amazon Jungle

    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

    • Fly to Puerto Maldonado, deep in the Peruvian Amazon
    • Take a two-hour boat trip to the jungle lodge
    • Head into the jungle with a guide and learn about the Amazon's wildlife, jungle food and flora and fauna
    • Take in the views from a 30m high canopy tower

    Day 19

    • Wake early and take a boat ride in search of giant river otters, caimen, hoatzin and wading birds
    • Journey to indigenous Indian farmlands
    • Optional evening presentation on the Infierno Ecotourism project
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 20 - Quito

    • Transfer by boat back to Puerto Maldonado and fly to Lima.
    •  
    • Today you need to make your way to Quito to join the second leg of your trip. This flight from Lima to Quito is not included and needs to be booked independently. Transfers to and from the airport for this flight are also not included but can be booked on request. If required please speak with your travel consultant.

     

    Flight from Lima to Quito from must be after 9pm

     

    • On arrival in Quito you need to go to the Rio Amazons Hotel. Details below:

       

      Rio Amazonas Hotel

      Cordero 1342 y Amazonas
      Quito Canton 17211714
      Ecuador

      +593 2-255-6666
    •  
    Breakfast

    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.

  • What's Included

    • • Gecko's expert English-speaking local leader 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.

       

    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.
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Nuts+Bolts

#GSJE
- 16
Boat, Bus, Canoe, Plane, Taxi, Train
3 nights Full service camping, 1 night Overnight bus, 1 night Island homestay, 2 nights Amazon jungle lodge, 12 nights Hotel
Lima
Lima

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.

Contact us for more info

1-877-285-0655

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