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Authentic Peru & Galapagos Tour

Lima - Arequipa - Cuzco - Machu Picchu - Huaraz - Quito - Santa Cruz
18 days / 17 nights.
Authentic Peru & Galapagos Tour
tour map
ITINERARY
Day 1. LIMA

Arrival to Lima, reception at the airport and transfer by private vehicle to your hotel. We recommend the Second Home Lima.

Hotel Second Home Lima

Day 2: LIMA - AREQUIPA (B)

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight to Arequipa. Arrival in Arequipa, reception and transfer to your hotel, Los Tambos. Widely regarded as the most beautiful city in Peru, Arequipa is often coined the 'white city' due to the beautiful building made from white volcanic sillar. Free day to wander around the city.

Los Tambos   |  Meals: B

Day 3: AREQUIPA (B)

Private driver with car available to visit some less-frequented sites outside of Arequipa.

Meals: B

Day 4. AREQUIPA - CUZCO (B)

After breakfast, private transfer to the airport for the flight to Cuzco. Arrival and transfer to your hotel. We recommend the Garden House. Free day to aid acclimatization.

The Garden House   |  Meals: B

Day 5. CUZCO (B)

Today, a private guided tour of Cuzco including the Cathedral, Qoricancha temple, the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman overlooking Cuzco, Qenko and Puka Pukara. Cuzco's history extends back to before 1000 BC when the Marcavalle Culture was the dominant power; indeed organized life in the City began practically with them. In the second phase of its history, around 800BC, Cuzco was home to the Chanapata culture and later developed several regional states. What is traditionally known as the Inka civilisation began around 1200 AD in its initial phase, with the first Inka, Manko Capaq and Mama Ocllo. It is also suggested that Pachakuteq, the ninth king, elaborated another foundation in 1438 which is also known as the expansive phase. Inca builders hereafter laid out the city in the form of a puma, with the fortress of Sacsayhuaman as the head. After the arrival of the Spanish to the city on November 15th 1533, Francisco Pizarro re-founded it for the Spanish King on March 23rd 1534. In 1536 Manko Inka began a long and bloody war against the Spanish invaders with a siege lasting over 8 months over the city. Finally in 1572, after a war that lasted 36 years, Tupaq Amaru I, the last emperor of the Inka dynasty was defeated, captured and executed in the city's main square. The Spanish subsequently destroyed many of the structures in the city or used them as foundations for many of their own churches and buildings.

Meals: B

Day 6. CUZCO - MACHU PICCHU (B & D)

Enjoy a good night's sleep before boarding the Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes. Arrival to Aguas Calientes, assistance with your luggage and check-in to the El Mapi Hotel. Boarding of the bus for the short ride up to Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca citadel. Shortly after, a private guided tour of Machu Picchu, the most spectacular ancient city in the world. Built by the Inca Pachacutec, and comprising stone blocks fitted with masterful precision, Machu Picchu harmoniously blends into the mountain landscape. There are many theories as to the origins behind Machu Picchu but three of the most popular ideas include a temple to the sun, a fortress against the jungle inhabitants or a sanctuary for the Incas. This fabulous city has houses, temples, warehouses, a large central square, all connected by narrow roads and steps, and is surrounded by terraces cut into the mountain side which were used for agriculture. Dinner at your hotel.

El Mapi Hotel   |  Meals: B & D

Day 7. MACHU PICCHU - CUZCO (B)

Early visit to Machu Picchu for sunrise. Time for some private reflection. Today no guide is provided as we feel that Machu Picchu requires a certain amount of self discovery to be fully understood. Take any of the several paths around various parts of the site, trek up to Wayna Picchu or walk down to the Inca's bridge. Let Machu Picchu unfold all its mysteries for you, take in the breathtaking cloud forests and jagged mountains, or marvel at the extraordinary Masonic precision of the ancient Incas. Return to Cuzco aboard the train.

Meals: B

Day 8. SACRED VALLEY (B)

Free day with your private driver to tour the Sacred Valley. We recommend Maras, Moray and the ruins of Pisaq which are relatively tourist free compared to the markets. There are also several villages where their traditions have changed little over the last 300 years.

Meals: B

Day 9. CUZCO - LIMA (B)

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight to Lima and transfer to your hotel. Free day to enjoy Barranco, the most bohemian district of Lima with magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean.

Meals: B

Day 10. LIMA - HUARAZ (B)

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight to Huaraz, the capital of the Peruvian Andes. Arrival and transfer to your hotel, the Andino Hotel. Free day in Huaraz for orientation. Perhaps visit the nearby pre-inca Wilcahuain complex.

The Andino Hotel   |  Meals: B

Day 11: HUARAZ -CHAVIN (B)

Private drive to Chavin de Huantar, site of the oldest pan-andean civilisation dating back to 2000BC. Located on the outskirts of the village of the same name, you may choose to tour the ruins or simply marvel at the landscape. Chavin has many galleries and subterranean tunnels and houses many carved stone figures of anthropomorphic semblances reminiscent of the Maya culture. It is the oldest known pre-Columbian culture discovered and is known as Chavin-Kotosh. The most remarkable piece of carving is "El Lanzon", a granite carving 4.5 metres in height. Its head is built into the roof of the gallery and its base into the floor, making it immovable. An anthropomorphic figure with feline teeth, it is thought to indicate an important ceremonial, religious artefact. Return to Huaraz.

Meals: B

Day 12: LLANGANUCO LAKE (B)

Enjoy a private drive through the Cordillera Blanca with a visit to the beautiful, glacial Llanganuco Lake situated at 3850m. There are splendid views of the Cordillera Blanca, the highest tropical mountain range in the world. Return to Huaraz.

Meals: B

Day 13. HUARAZ - LIMA - QUITO (B)

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the return flight to Lima and connecting flight to Quito. Transfer to your hotel, we recommend the Café Cultura.

Hotel Cafe Cultura   |  Meals: B

Day 14. QUITO - GALAPAGOS ISLANDS (B)

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight to Baltra Island. Reception and transfer to Santa Cruz Island and the Silberstein Hotel or similar. In the afternoon a visit to the Charles Darwin Centre with your driver.

Meals: B

Day 15. SANTA CRUZ ISLAND (B)

Private driver with car available to visit the island of Santa Cruz.

Meals: B

Day 16. TOUR OF THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS (B, L)

After breakfast, enjoy a full day tour out by yacht to one of several islands, including Bartolome, North Seymour and Las Bachas, or South Plazas and Punta Carrion. Each day the decision is made on which island is visited according to the permission by the government. This choice is made by evaluating where the other 100 yachts currently are stationed and you will be able to visit the island with e least amount of tourist currently at land. Full day tour of the island, including lunch. In the late afternoon, return to your hotel for a free evening.

Examples include:

Bartolome Island.

Arriving at Bartholome we will ascend a lookout point from where you can admire the spectacular panorama of the Sullivan Bay and the famous needle shaped rock, the so-called Pinnacle Rock. The beaches at the foot of the Pinnacle Rock boast some fine snorkeling spots from which you can discover the marvelous underwater world with a good chance to encounter penguins or the softly gliding turtles. Bartolome is famous for Pinnacle Rock, a towering spearheaded obelisk that rises from the ocean's edge and is the best known landmark in the islands. Galápagos penguins—the only species of penguin found north of the equator—walk precariously along narrow volcanic ledges at its base. Sea lions snooze on rocky platforms, ready to slide into the water to play with passing snorkelers. Just below the surface, shoals of tropical fish dodge in and out of the rocks past urchins, sea stars and anemones. A perfectly crescent, pink-and-white sandy beach lies just to the east of the pinnacle. Sea turtles use the beach as a nesting site and can sometimes be found wading in the shallow water near the shore, or resting in the sand to recover from the arduous task of digging nests, laying eggs and covering them over.

Penguins dot the nearby rocks of the next landing site, less than a kilometer along the eastern shore. Here the submerged walls of a tiny volcanic crater give the impression of a fountain pool. This dry landing—no wet feet! — is the entrance to a 600-meter (2000-foot) pathway complete with stairs and boardwalks leading to Bartolome's summit. The route is not difficult and presents a museum of vulcanology; a site left untouched after its last eruption, where cones stand in various stages of erosion and lava tubes form bobsled-like runs from the summit. At the top you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Santiago Island and James Bay to the west, and far below, Pinnacle Rock and our beach, where the crystal blue waters of the bay cradle your yacht.

North Seymour and Las Bachas.

A visit to the island of North Seymour which is renowned for its frigate birds and their intensive courting rituals. The island is also inhabited by other frigate birds and blue-footed boobies, as well as endemic black lizards and sea lions inhabit on its shores. The deserted, picturesque beach Las Bachas at the northern shore of Santa Cruz invites you for a swim in the crystal-clear water or to relax in the sun. Afterwards you will be visiting the bay Caleta Tortuga Negra which is close by. This bay is surrounded by mangroves where you can spot pelicans and herons. While snorkelling you can have a swim with the turtles, white-tip sharks and rays.

North Seymour Island

The island was lifted from the ocean floor by a seismic event, and its origins as a seabed give the island its low, flat profile. Cliffs only a few meters high form the shoreline, where swallow-tailed gulls sit perched in ledges. A tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees stand just above the landing, usually without leaves, waiting for the rain to bring them into bloom.

This island is teaming with life! You might have to give way to a passing sea lion or marine iguana; blue-footed booby nests sit beside the trail where mating pairs perform their courtship dance. Further along, the rocky shore displays white sand, and large flocks of pelicans mass for a dive-bomb feeding frenzy, rendering a tableau for us from ages long past. The trail turns inland to reveal the largest nesting site in the Galápagos of the "magnificent frigate bird." These huge, dark acrobats have two-meter wingspans, and males, with puffed up scarlet throat sacks, sit precariously perched in low bushes to watch over their equally large chicks.

Las Bachas

This is a sandy white-coral beach that is a major egg-laying site for sea turtles. Bachas are notches, and the beach's name refers to the indentations left in the sand by both laying turtles and their departing hatchlings. On the shore, there are marine iguanas and in the lagoon, flamingos are commonly seen. A newer visitor's site, Dragon Hill (Cerro Dragon) is a brackish water lagoon that attracts flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks and other species of birds. There is a short walk up a small hill, which rewards hikers with a nesting site for iguanas and a great view!

South Plazas and Punta Carrion

Located In the east of Santa Cruz, the main characteristics of the small island of South Plaza are the Opuntia cacti and the carpets of red sesuvium, a succulent plant that turns green in the rainy season. The cactus is the main food of land iguanas, which are usually, found resting in the cacti's shade. The island contains one of the largest sea lion colonies of the Galapagos, along with swallow-tailed gulls and red-billed tropicbirds. Boobies are also found roosting on the southern cliffs of the island. Punta Carrion offers a great opportunity to see Sea Lions.

South Plazas

This is the southern partner of two small crescent-shaped islands that lie just a few hundred meters off the east coast of Santa Cruz. The northern island is used for scientific purposes only. South Plaza is one of the smallest yet richest islands in the archipelago. Only 130 meters wide (426 feet), it was formed from uplifted seabed, giving it a titled tabletop quality. Our landing is in the channel between North and South Plaza, where the island tilts toward the water.

The approach makes for a lavishly colorful sight! The turquoise waters of the channel contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. The rocks have grown thick with green seaweed in places, speckled with bright orange "Sally light foot" crabs. Further up the shore a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus. Yellow-gray land iguanas sit beneath, waiting patiently for pears to drop.

The trail gradually follows the tilt of the island to the cliffs that overlook the ocean to the south, where swallow-tailed gulls nest. Red-billed tropic birds, masked and blue-footed boobies ride the windy currents. The overlook is a great place for spotting large marine life, including manta rays. Surf pounds an inlet at the western corner of the island, where a colony of sea lion bachelors make their home, accounting for the surface of the rocks, polished by the oils of their fur. The shoreline of Las Plazas makes for excellent snorkeling in a sea lion colony of nearly a thousand. Your guide will find the right spot to swim with youngsters away from areas claimed by the surly bulls.

Meals: B & L

Day 17. TOUR OF THE ISLANDS AS ABOVE (B, L)

Join a cruise to visit one of the islands mentioned above before returning to your hotel.

Meals: B & L

Day 18. SANTA CRUZ - QUITO (B)

After an early breakfast, transfer to the airport for your connecting flight back to Quito.

Meals: B

End of our services.
Authentic Peru & Galapagos Tour Itinerary Overview:
Day 1. Lima
Day 2. Lima - Arequipa (B)
Day 3. Arequipa (B)
Day 4. Arequipa - Cuzco (B)
Day 5. Cuzco (B)
Day 6. Cuzco - Machu Picchu (B & D)
Day 7. Machu Picchu - Cuzco (B)
Day 8. Sacred Valley (B)
Day 9. Cuzco - Lima (B)
Day 10. Lima - Huaraz (B)
Day 11. Huaraz - Chavin (B)
Day 12. Llanganuco Lake (B)
Day 13. Huaraz - Lima - Quito (B)
Day 14. Quito - Galapagos Islands (B)
Day 15. Santa Cruz Island (B)
Day 16. Tour of the Galapagos Islands (B, L)
Day 17. Tour of the Islands as Above (B, L)
Day 18. Santa Cruz - Quito (B)
End of our services.
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WHAT IS INCLUDED / NOT INCLUDED
Our Price Includes:
  • Accommodation in double (or single) rooms at authentic hotels
  • All meals as indicated on the itinerary
  • Transfers based on private service
  • Tours and excursions as per itinerary with English speaking guides in private service
  • except the Galapagos cruises which are in group service
  • All internal flight tickets (economy class)
  • International Lima - Quito flight
  • Train tickets in Vistadome class
  • All entrance fees excluding the Galapagos fees (US$110 per person payable in cash)
Our price does not include:
  • International flight to Peru and any airport taxes ($6 p/p for domestic and $32 p/p for international)
  • Personal expenses such as telephone bills, laundry expenses, beverages, etc
  • Insurance against theft, loss, illness and/or accident etc
  • Gratuities, baggage porterage and other extras not specified
  • Galapagos fees (US$110 per person payable in cash)
Authentic Peru & Galapagos Tour - 18 days / 17 nights.

Authentic Peru & Galapagos Tour

Lima - Arequipa - Cuzco - Machu Picchu - Huaraz - Quito - Santa Cruz
18 days / 17 nights.

For current availability contact us at info@amazingperu.com and we will send you the relevant trip dossier along with a 90 day fixed quote, terms and conditions. Please bear in mind that significant price reductions are available for groups.

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