21 Day Rainforest/Andean Highlands/Galapagos/Machu Picchu

$11,995 USD per person

Overview

TOUR OVERVIEW

The Ultimate South America Adventure is a ‘Trip of a Lifetime’ and one not to be missed! I have done this trip five times and I absolutely love going back. There is always so much to see and so much to experience and I love seeing it through the eyes of each group that I host. There are four very distinct components of this trip and each offer a unique and different experience for the group. We travel by plane, by train, by dugout canoe and motorized canoe, by bus, by Zodiak, by Catamaran and by foot. It is almost like a traveler’s ‘Smorgasbord of Adventures’!! You will be talking about this trip for many yeasrs to come! Please watch this video to get a detailed description of the entire itinerary: My 24 Day Rainforest/Andean Highlands/Machu Picchu Adventure

Itinerary

Depart: Sunday, 12 November 2017
Return: Sunday, 03 December 2017

Day 1 – Sunday, Nov.12 : Quit0 (-/-/-)
Welcome to Ecuador! Today you will be picked up at the airport and transferred to the hotel. Enjoy an evening meeting with your PEAK tour leader.

Overnight: JW Marriott (Comfort) **DELUXE ROOM**

Day 2 – Monday, Nov.13: Quito (B/-/-)
Today you enjoy a free day in Quito. There are several opportunities to enjoy day trips.

Overnight: JW Marriott (Comfort) **DELUXE ROOM**

Day 3 – Tuesday, Nov.14: Sacha Lodge (B/L/D)
Transfer to airport for morning flight over the high Andes to Coca, transfer by motorized canoe to Sacha Lodge along one of the two main tributaries of the Amazon River, the Napo. Welcome orientation and drinks. Enjoy a visit to the butterfly farm or enjoy a short walk with your guides in this amazing Ecuadorian Amazon Jungle.

Overnight: Sacha Lodge (Comfort)

Nov 14, 15, 16, 17, Sacha Lodge (3B/3L/3D)

These three days are filled with various fascinating and fun activities. Activities range from jungle walks, dugout canoe rides, bird watching and visits to the clay lick. The Observation tower and Canopy Walkway will also be a part of your amazing experience here!

Overnight: Sacha Lodge (Comfort)

Day 7 – Saturday, Nov 18th: Sacha Lodge – Quito (B/-/-)

Early morning transfer to airport for departure flight to Quito. On arrival in Quito the group will be picked up at the airport and transferred to their hotel.

Overnight: JW Marriott (Comfort) **DELUXE ROOM** (2 nights)

Day 8 – Sunday, Nov 20th: Quito – Cotacachi La Mirage (B/-/D)

Today you will be picked up in the morning to take the way to the north to visit Otavalo Market, one of the biggest indigenous markets in South America. Then we will go to La Mirage Hotel & SPA where you can enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight: La Mirage Garden Hotel & Spa (Comfort)

Day 9- Monday, Nov 13th: Cotacachi La Mirage (B/-/D)

La Mirage Garden Hotel and Spa – the only Five Star Hotel in the Province of Imbabura and only member of the elite international Relais & Chateaux Chain in the entire country – welcomes you to step into a magic atmosphere and enjoy traditional Ecuadorian Hospitality. Enjoy today at leisure.

Overnight: La Mirage Garden Hotel & Spa (Comfort)

Nov 22nd, Cotacachi – Quito (B/-/-)

Today you will transfer back to Quito. On our way back we will pass through Cayambe where you can buy the delicious “bizcochos” and also make a stop at the Equator Line. In the afternoon you will have a briefing for your Galapagos cruise.

Nov 23rd, Quito – Galapagos (B/L/D

Once you arrive in San Cristobal, a representative of Legend Yacht will wait for you and take you to the boat for lunch and then you will have your fist excursion.

Interpretation Center & Tijeretas Hill

Dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, capital of the Galapagos Islands. Passengers visit the Interpretation Center, an excellent place to learn about Natural History in the Galapagos. The Museum of Natural History displays information on the volcanic origins of the islands, their remoteness from the continent, ocean currents, climate, the arrival of the different species and their colonization, among other points of interest. The human history is also showcased, chronologically narrating the most significant events related to the discovery and colonization of the islands.

Tijeretas Hill involves a high intensity walk amidst beautiful landscapes and a magnificent view at the foot of a frigatebird nesting colony.

Overnight: m/v Galapagods Legend

Nov 24th, Galapagos (B/L/D)

AM – Gardner Bay, Gardner & Osborn islets (Española)

Wet landing on a beautiful white coral sand beach guarded by a colony of sea lions. There are no trails, so we stay along the shore where we can spot Galapagos hawks,American Oystercatchers, Galapagos Ground Doves, Hood mockingbirds*, Yellow Warblers, lava lizards, marine iguanas, and three species of Darwin’s finches: a subspecies (Geospiza fuliginosa) of the Large Cactus Finch, which is similar to the large ground finch, the Small Ground Finch (Geospiza fuliginosa) and the Warbler Finch (Certhidea Olivacea), another endemic subspecies. Swimming and snorkeling* offer a great variety of Galapagos marine wildlife: king angelfish, Creole fish, damsel fish, parrotfish, manta rays, and white-tipped reef sharks.

PM – Suarez Point (Española)

Dry landing. An island of geological interest, we explore volcanic formations and a riveting wildlife: large sea lion colonies and seabirds including the Española mockingbird, Nazca Boobies and the spectacular Red-billed Tropicbird. You will also encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards, and the colorful Sally Lightfoot Crabs.
A somewhat lengthy hike will bring you among Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies,* right up to nesting grounds that sometimes overlap the trail. Other birding favorites include Galapagos Dove, Galapagos Hawk, Swallow-tailed Gulls and the world’s largest colony of Waved Albatross,* an unequivocal highlight during mating season (May-December).
Admire the island’s dramatic backdrop, featuring the famous Soplador, a seaward blowhole that shoots water up to 23 m. (75 ft.) in the air.

Overnight: m/v Galapagos Legend

Nov 25th, Galapagos (B/L/D)

AM – Post Office (Floreana)

Wet landing. Located on the north side of Floreana, the bay was named because in 1793 Captain James Colnett installed a wooden barrel which served as an informal post office for sailors passing through, who would take letters with them back to their destinations. Today, visitors continue the tradition by placing unstamped postcards inside the barrel, hoping that some other traveler, going to the letter destination, will take it back for free. The chances are that the letter posted can take a long time to arrive to its destination. However, there have been cases where it has arrived before the sender.
We may also encounter Darwin’s finches,* Yellow Warbler and Lava Lizards. Great snorkeling opportunities with Green Pacific Sea Turtles.* As well, the island is best known for its endemic vegetation: Scalesia villosa, Lecocarpus Pinnatifidus, and the Galapagos Milkwort. Snorkelers can practice on the main beach among playful sea lions.

PM – Cormorant Point / Devil’s Crown / Champion (Floreana)

Wet landing, on an olivine green sanded beach. We hike from the black mangrove beds to a brackish lagoon, which usually holds one of the largest flamingo populations in the Galapagos. This island features some endemic plants such as Scalesia villosa, white and black mangrove, and holy stick. The trail continues to a beautiful white sandy beach, one of the most important nesting sites of Green Pacific Sea Turtles. It is important to avoid walking in the water due to the Sting Rays that may be hiding in the sand, which can be dangerous if accidentally stepped on. From the beach, one can spot sea turtles, blue-footed boobies plunging into the water, and small reef sharks floating along the shoreline in the search for food.
This coral-sand beach marks the end of our trail, and we head back to the olivine beach we landed on, to swim or snorkel amongst sea turtles, reef fish, sea lions and, on a good day, white-tipped reef sharks. A small colony of penguins resides on Floreana and can sometimes be observed as well.

Nov 26th, Galapagos (B/L/D)

AM – Highlands (Santa Cruz)

Dry landing. A 45-minute bus ride will take us to the Santa Cruz highlands, located in the northwest of Puerto Ayora, where we will find a natural reserve with giant tortoises.* These enormous and slow-moving reptiles are responsible for the island’s name and therefore approaching them in their humid and forested abode is always an inspiring adventure. They can weigh between 250 and 300 kg and can live up to 200 years. Additionally, travelers can walk inside surprising lava tubes.

PM – Fausto Llerena Breeding Center – Charles Darwin Station (Santa Cruz)

Dry landing. We visit the Station where the Galapagos giant tortoise-breeding program takes place as part of our efforts to preserve the fragile Galapagos environment and where the famous Lonesome George (the last surviving specimen of his specie) lived for decades. Admire a prickly-pear cactus forest and variety Darwin’s finches and other land birds. The Darwin Station also works providing environmental education to the communities, schools and tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands. You will also have some free time to visit the town and shop for souvenirs.

You will then head to the airport for our flight back to Quito. Upon arrival in Quito Airport you will be transferred back to your hotel for an overnight stay.

Overnight: JW Marriott (Comfort) **DELUXE ROOM**

Nov 28th, Lima – Cusco (-/-/-)

Arrival in Lima and assistance at the airport to help you with your connection flight to Cusco.

Welcome to Cusco! Upon arrival to the airport, you will be transferred to your hotel. Your local guide will meet you for a welcome briefing & some tips during your stay in Peru.

Overnight: Monasterio hotel 5* (Comfort)

Nov 29th, Cusco (B/-/-)

Buffet Breakfast at the hotel.

Free day.

Overnight: Monasterio hotel 5* (Comfort)

Nov 30th , Cusco – Machu Picchu (B/L/D)

Buffet Breakfast at Monasterio hotel.

Early pick up to drive you to Poroy train station (30 min aprox.) in order to take luxury train “Hiram Bingham” to Aguas Calientes (around 3 hours), where you can enjoy a delicious brunch on board.

Upon arrival to the town, you will be to taken to the MachuPicchu ruins starting with a short bus ride up the steep, zigzagging road to the impressive Lost City of the Incas. Once you arrive to the ruins, you will have a private guided.

Built around 1450, the ancient city was deserted less than a century later following the Spanish invasion and ‘lost’ for hundreds of years before it was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911. We will have a guided visit to the archeological site with our guide. From there, you can do an optional walk to the Inca Bridge (approximately one and a half hours walk, some moderate uphill and downhill). The Inca Bridge is a very impressive example of Inca architecture built as a way to cross very steep mountains. Similar to Machu Picchu, its mortar-free design is earthquake resistant and the stones are so precisely cut that to this day not even a knife fits between them.

After your private guided tour of the ruins, you can enjoy the tea buffet which is offered at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge.

Dinner included at the hotel

Overnight: Belmond Sanctuary Lodge hotel 4*

Dec 1st, Machu Picchu – Cusco (B/L/D)

Buffet Breakfast at the hotel.

For those who want to wake up earlier, there is the opportunity to visit Machu Picchu (without a guide) by your own for a second time, enjoy, take pictures and explore by yourself, before starting the journey back to Cusco.

Lunch included at the hotel.

In the afternoon, you will take the Luxury Train “Hiram Bingham” to return back to Cusco.

On board, you will enjoy a Gourmet Diner.

Once you arrive to Poroy train Station, you will be transferred to your hotel in Cusco.

Overnight: Monasterio hotel 5*

Nov 24th, Cusco – Lima (B/-/-)

Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Then, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima.

Have a quick tour by the modern area of Lima (San Isidro and Miraflores) and transfer to your hotel

Dinner at Huaca Pucllana

Overnight Belmond Miraflores Park, Lima

Dec 3rd

Morning at leisure

Check-out at 12pm

Car at disposal until 9pm (to go to the airport)

The guide can take you some place nice to have lunch, then follow with the city tour in Lima Downtown and end at the Magic water of circuit

Transfer to airport

Map