Llamas overlooking Machu Picchu

Peru, Ecuador & the Galapagos 2016

Enchanting Lima, then to the Andes for Cusco and the ancient Inca Machu Picchu; plus picturesque Quito and a spectacular 4 night Galapagos Cruise

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Overview

Style Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of 15-24 likeminded travelers escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. More of these packages
24 travelers max, dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures Scheduled Dates
Price Includes
  • Flights
  • Cruise
  • Coach
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Guides
  • Round trip flights from Miami via LATAM Airlines including fuel surcharges and taxes and fees, with other gateways available on request
  • All flights within Peru & Ecuador
  • All ground transportation and transfers
  • Accommodations in Superior and Deluxe hotels with private bath
  • Vistadome train to/from Machu Picchu
  • Four-night Galapagos Cruise aboard the M/V Santa Cruz II in standard outside cabins
  • Breakfast daily plus 4 lunches and 6 dinners
  • Galapagos National Park Fee ($100) & Transit Control Card ($20)
  • Comprehensive guided sightseeing tours including entrance fees
  • Professional English-speaking tour directors and guides
Optional
  • Optional second visit to Machu Picchu or opportunity to climb to Huayna Picchu
  • Exciting excursion from Cusco to Tipon & Andahuaylillas
Highlights Lima, Pisac Market, Machu Picchu, Koricancha (Cusco), Quito & the Galapagos Islands.
Departs Los Angeles (LAX), New York Kennedy (JFK), Miami (MIA) (flight schedule)
Themes Active,  History & Culture,  Nature & Wildlife,  Small Ship Cruises
What to Expect This fast-paced, escorted tour involves a significant amount of walking or hiking, often on uneven terrain, and reaches high altitudes requiring a high level of physical fitness to fully enjoy the trip. This tour also includes long scenic drives between destinations and may have limited rest stops. The Galapagos cruise portion of this tour may have up to 90 passegners on board.
Already Booked? Find everything you need to know before you go, including how to pay your balance due, passport & visa requirements, flight information, weather, and more.

Peru, Ecuador & the Galapagos itinerary mapJoin us on a fascinating voyage of discovery as we visit some of the most splendid and awesome sites in South America. In Peru, you’ll see Lima, the City of Kings; Cusco, the ancient Incan capital; and Machu Picchu, the Lost City. In Ecuador, you’ll visit Quito, the lovely colonial capital city and UNESCO World Heritage site; Otavalo, with its colorful, charming market that is known throughout the world; and then cruise the Galapagos Islands, the magical place that inspired Charles Darwin to propose his theory of evolution. And while there are no compromises in the quality of the hotels and the scope of touring included in our program, it's yours for a price that's as amazing as the trip itself!

LATAM Airlines

Dates, Prices & Options

Departure Dates & Prices

Departures & Prices
per person, double occupancy*
Depart Return Price Book by
Oct 4
Fri Sep 16 2016 Fri Sep 30 2016 $5999   Departed
Fri Sep 30 2016 Fri Oct 14 2016 $5999   Closed
Fri Nov 25 2016 Fri Dec 9 2016 $6599 $5999 Closed
Fri Dec 9 2016 Fri Dec 23 2016 $6899 $6299 Closed

Want to stay longer? We may be able to arrange for you to stay later than the scheduled dates. Contact us about prices and availability.

Options, Extensions & Fees

Optionals & Upgrades
Rooming Selection / Cabin Categories
Double Occupancy, Explorer Cabin, Horizon Deck included
Double Occupancy, Explorer Cabin, Expedition Deck ON REQUEST
+$125
Double Occupancy, Explorer Cabin, Panorama Deck ON REQUEST
+$225
Double Occupancy, Darwin Suite, Panorama Deck ON REQUEST +$700
Single Occupancy, Voyager Sgl Cabin, Horizon Deck ON REQUEST +$2000
Single Occupancy, Explorer Cabin, Horizon Deck +$3750
Single Occupancy, Explorer Cabin, Expedition Deck ON REQUEST +$4000
Single Occupancy, Explorer Cabin, Panorama Deck ON REQUEST
+$4200
Peru Optional Excursions
Machu Picchu 2nd Visit +$80
Machu Picchu 2nd Visit Plus Huayna Picchu Entrance +$95
Tipon & Andahuaylillas Excursion1 unavailable

1. The Tipon & Andahuaylillas optional tour is not available for Sep 16 - Dec 9, 2016 departures due to a flight schedule change.

Taxes & Fees
Galapagos National Park Fee of $100 included
INGALA Tourist Control Card of $20 included

Flights & Departure Cities

Departure Airports
Miami (MIA)
Dec 9 unavailable
All other departures included
New York Kennedy (JFK)
Dec 9 included
Nov 25 unavailable
All other departures +$225
Los Angeles (LAX)
Nov 25, Dec 9 unavailable
All other departures +$300

This package includes round-trip flights from the cities listed above, subject to availability. Please review the flight schedule, especially if you're booking connecting flights.

Coming from somewhere else? Unfortunately, we don't offer departures from cities that are not listed, but you can book your own connecting flights separately.

Transfers: Transfers for this package are provided on a group basis only. For passengers deviating in any way from the group program, transfers are not provided. Individual, private transfers can be arranged at a supplement in price. Taxis and other forms of transportation are also available and may cost less than private transfers. If you wish to arrange private transfers, please request this service at the time of reservation.

How to Make a Reservation

To make a reservation, simply select an available departure date and reserve online using our secure booking system. Or call one of our travel specialists at 800-555-5765, Mon–Fri 9:30–6:00 Eastern time. But first, check out our Things to Know section.

We only require a per-person deposit payment, which you can pay with your credit card or PayPal account. This deposit will be applied towards the cost of your package, and is generally non-refundable (details). The balance is due 105 days prior to departure (or within 72 hours, if you're booking less than 105 days prior to departure), and can be paid by credit card, PayPal, check or money order.

Deposit
Deposit $800

Itinerary

Day 1: Depart USA/Arrive Lima

Accommodations: 2 nights Atton San Isidro, Lima.

  • Depart USA on your flight bound for Lima, Peru
  • Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel
  • Passengers departing New York (JFK) must check-in the night before the listed departure dates for their overnight flights arriving in the morning of Day 1. An additional hotel night is included to guarantee rooms will be ready for early check-in.

Day 2: Lima

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • After breakfast visit the Larco Herrera Museum
  • Enjoy some free time for lunch
  • In the after Lunch embark on a panoramic tour of Lima

Plaza de Armas, LimaFull Day Itinerary: After breakfast, your exploration begins with a visit to the Larco Herrera Museum, boasting one of the greatest private collections of pre-Columbian artifacts. Its permanent exhibition includes a variety of colorful textiles, ceramics and jewelry, but perhaps its most interesting collection consists of ancient erotic artifacts. Next, enjoy some free time for lunch before embarking on a panoramic tour of Lima, driving by the Monastery of San Francisco, the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral of Lima, the ornate Archbishop’s Palace and other buildings. You will also visit the fashionable districts of San Isidro and Miraflores with their beautiful parks and elegant residences overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Note: For the Mar 23, 2016 departure, the Cathedral of Lima will be closed due to Easter.

Day 3: Sacred Valley

Accommodations: 1 night Casa Andina Private Collection, Sacred Valley. Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.

  • After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Cusco
  • Explore Pisac Market and shop for unique crafts
  • Continue to Ollantaytambo and tour the fortress and ruins

Full Day Itinerary: After breakfast, transfer to the airport to board a short flight to Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire (11,000 feet above sea level). Upon arrival, travel to nearby Pisac, a picturesque Andean village with a wonderful market. Here you'll have a chance to buy locally made ponchos, sweaters and other handcrafted clothing, ceramics and hand-painted beads. Enjoy browsing the "locals" section of the market, where villagers come from miles around, dressed in their traditional clothing, to barter and sell their produce.

OllantaytamboContinue to Ollantaytambo (3,000 feet above sea level), located at the foot of spectacular Inca ruins which protected the strategic entrance to the lower Urubamba Valley, also known as the Sacred Valley. The temple area is at the top of a series of steep terraces which helped provide excellent defenses. Stone used for these buildings was brought from a quarry high up on the opposite side of the Urubamba River, an incredible feat involving the efforts of thousands of workers. Afterwards, check in to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 4: Machu Picchu

Accommodations: 1 night Casa Andina Classic, Machu Picchu. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Transfer to Ollanta station to board the Vistadome train to Machu Picchu
  • Enjoy a guided tour of the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu

Machu PicchuFull Day Itinerary: It's a short drive from your hotel to the Ollanta railroad station where you'll board the Vistadome train that will take you through the lush Urubamba Valley, passing through stunning scenery en route to the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu, one of the most spectacular and enigmatic archaeological sites in the world. (8,000 feet above sea level).

Unknown to the outside world until archaeologist Hiram Bingham rediscovered it in 1911, Machu Picchu is now the most recognizable symbol of the Incan Empire. Believed to have served as a country retreat town for Inca nobility, the complex consists of giant walls, terraces, and ramps constructed from precisely cut rock formations. This impressive architectural feat, in combination with its breathtaking natural setting amid mist-covered green mountains above the rushing Urubamba River, makes for a visually stunning, and even mystical, experience. Enjoy the remainder of the day and evening in Aguas Calientes, at the foot of Machu Picchu.

Day 5: Machu Picchu & Cusco

Accommodations: 2 nights Casa Andina Private Collection, Cusco. Included meals: Breakfast

  • Morning at leisure or optional second visit to Machu Picchu
  • Return to Ollanta station by Vistadome train then transfer to Cusco by bus

Machu Picchu panoramaFull Day Itinerary: Enjoy the morning at leisure to explore the quaint town of Aguas Calientes, revisit the citadel at Machu Picchu or trek to the top of Huayna Picchu on an optional excursion. This afternoon, journey back to Ollanta station by Vistadome train, then continue to Cusco by motor coach. Upon arrival, check into your hotel for overnight.

Optional Excursion: Second Visit to Machu Picchu, $80 or $95. Early this morning, there will be an opportunity to independently visit Machu Picchu for a second time, and for the more adventurous, to test their limits with a climb to Huayna Picchu, the sharp peak which towers above the citadel. Entrance to Machu Picchu: $80 per person. Entrance to Machu Picchu & Huayna Picchu: $95 per person. Price includes reserved ticket and roundtrip bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu. Please contact us to reserve this option in advance as availability is limited.

Day 6: Cusco

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Morning city tour of Cusco
  • Visit the Sacsayhuaman Fortress & Puka Pukara
  • Afternoon at leisure or join the Tipon & Andahuaylillas optional excursion
  • NOTE: Due to a flight schedule change, departures Sep 16, 2016 - Dec 9, 2016 will return to Lima on Day 6 and overnight at the Costa del Sol Airport Hotel then continue to Quito on Day 7.

Plaza de Armas, CuzcoFull Day Itinerary: After breakfast, enjoy a panoramic city tour of Cusco. You'll see the Plaza de Armas, center of the Inca Empire, where Francisco Pizarro proclaimed the conquest of Cusco. Here, you'll visit Cusco's beautiful 16th century cathedral. Then, just a few blocks away, you will discover the ruins of the Koricancha, an important temple built to honor Inti, the Incan sun god. When the conquistadors first arrived in Cusco, the temple was covered in sheets of solid-gold and adorned with golden statues, but within months of their arrival, the temple was stripped and the gold plundered as treasure for Spain.

Ruins, Sacsayhuaman FortressNext, continue to the Sacsayhuaman fortress, an emblematic Inca construction built in the 15th century. The size of the fortress and its massive stones are remarkable, and the manner in which they were transported, cut, and laid is still a mystery. Next, travel to Puka Pukara, also known as the "red fortress", which is thought to have been a military stronghold. It has many rooms, courtyards, bathrooms, aqueducts, and towers to explore. Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure or take advantage of an optional excursion to Tipon & Andahuaylillas. (The Tipon & Andahuaylillas optional tour is not available for Sep 16 - Dec 9, 2016 departures due to a flight schedule change.)

NOTE: Due to a flight schedule change, departures Sep 16, 2016 - Dec 9, 2016 will return to Lima on Day 6 and overnight at the Costa del Sol Airport Hotel then continue to Quito Day 7.

Optional Excursion: Tipon & Andahuaylillas, $68. This afternoon’s optional excursion begins with a scenic drive to Tipon, an impressive complex located 15 miles outside of Cusco. Tipon is an ancient marvel of engineering consisting of twelve agricultural terraces and an advanced irrigation system that is still used by the local population to this day. Next, continue to Andahuaylillas and visit the Church of San Pedro Apostol, considered the “Sistine Chapel of the Americas” because of its ornate gold-leaf altar and beautiful artwork adorning its ceiling and walls. (This tour is not available for Sep 16 - Dec 9, 2016 departures due to a flight schedule change.)

Day 7: Cusco, Lima & Quito, Ecuador.

Accommodations: 2 nights Hilton Colon, Quito. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Transfer to the airport for your flight to Quito, Ecuador via Lima
  • Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel

Full Day Itinerary: Today bid adiós to Peru as you transfer to the airport in Cusco for your flight via Lima to Quito, Ecuador's capital city (9,500 feet above sea level). Upon arrival and after customs formalities, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for check-in.

Day 8: Quito

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Afternoon city tour of Quito and Equatorial Monument

Quito and Cayambe volcanoFull Day Itinerary: Today, enjoy a panoramic city tour of Quito. Arguably one of the loveliest of all South American cities, Quito enjoys a spectacular setting surrounded by mountains and several snow-capped volcanoes, including the still-active Mt. Pichincha. Begin your walking tour at Independence Plaza, flanked by the Cathedral, Presidential Palace, Municipal Building and the Archbishops’ Palace. The next stop, La Compañía de Jesús, has an ornate and richly sculptured facade and interior, with colored columns, 10-sided altars, and gilded balconies. Continue to the Monastery of San Francisco, Quito's oldest church and the largest colonial building constructed in Latin America.

Next, drive 16 miles north of Quito to the Equatorial Monument, the Mitad del Mundo ("Middle of the World"), commemorating the exact place where Charles Marie de la Condamine established the Equator, where you can stand with one foot in the northern and one in the southern hemisphere.

Day 9: Quito, Galapagos Cruise: San Cristobal & Punta Pitt

Accommodations: 4 nights M/V Santa Cruz II. Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Transfer to the airport for your flight to San Cristobal Island
  • Continue to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno to board your first-class cruise ship
  • Disembark on the eastern tip of the island at Punta Pitt
  • Weather permitting, swim from the beach or snorkel at the nearby islets

SnorkelingFull Day Itinerary: Transfer to the airport for your flight to San Cristobal Island, gateway to the Galapagos Islands to begin your adventure. Upon arrival, transfer to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno to board your first-class cruise ship, the M/V Santa Cruz, your home for the next 4 nights. Settle into your cabin, and enjoy an introductory briefing and lunch.

In the afternoon, disembark on the eastern tip of the island at Punta Pitt, an eroded tuff cone, which provides spectacular views of the shoreline. This is the only site in the Galápagos where the three species of boobies can be found together.

Day 10: Galapagos Cruise: Sante Fe Island & South Plaza Island

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • After breakfast, take a dinghy to Sante Fe Island
  • Snorkel & swim from the beach or take a glass-bottomed boat ride
  • Disembark in the South Plaza Island channel

Sea lions sunbathingFull Day Itinerary: After breakfast, take a dinghy to Sante Fe Island, where you'll find an idyllic sandy white beach populated by many sea lion harems. The endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during the morning walk amid the giant prickly pear cactus. Here, you may snorkel and swim from the beach, or explore the water from a glass-bottomed boat.

After lunch on board and a chance to rest, disembark in the South Plaza Island channel, where turquoise waters contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. A carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus. You may see yellow-grey land iguanas patiently waiting for pears to drop. Along the coastline you may find sea lion colonies, while frigates, swallow-tailed gulls, and shearwaters glide above, playing with the thermals.

Day 11: Galapagos Cruise: Santa Cruz, Puerto Ayora, & Darwin Research Station.

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station
  • Afternoon optional activities available

Charles Darwin Research StationFull Day Itinerary: In the morning, disembark (dry landing) to visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoises within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest, also home to many land birds. The Research Station is the headquarters of scientific exploration, conservation and the National Park administration. Later, board our transport to travel to the cooler highlands of the island, a completely different ecosystem, to enjoy lunch.

This afternoon, there are several options to choose from, which can be discussed in advance with your Expedition Leader:

1) Trek along trails amid the miconia forests in the highlands, home to many elusive birds including the dark-rumped petrel

2) Mountain bike (mostly downhill) to Garrapatero Beach

3) Sea kayak and relax on a beautiful, sandy beach

4) Experience sustainable agriculture at an organic coffee plantation. At the end of the afternoon’s activities, return to Puerto Ayora and embark on the M/V Santa Cruz

Day 12: Galapagos Cruise: Española Island, Punta Suarez & Gardner Bay

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Morning walk at Punta Suarez
  • Enjoy the white coral beach of Gardner Bay

Blue-footed BoobieFull Day Itinerary: This morning, enjoy an exciting walk at Punta Suarez, to see its colonies of unique sea birds, including waved albatrosses (April-December), Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, and swallow-tail gulls. You'll also see the famous Galapagos "blow-hole," and keep an eye out for the famous marine iguanas with their interesting red, green and black coloration. Return to the ship for lunch on board.

In the afternoon, the picturesque white coral beach of Gardner Bay provides a beautiful setting for observing sea lions, mockingbirds, and finches. Enjoy an opportunity to snorkel or ride aboard a glass-bottomed boat.

Day 13: Galapagos Cruise, Baltra Island & Quito

Accommodations: 2 nights Hilton Colon, Quito. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Disembark at Baltra Island, transfer to the airport for your flight back to Quito
  • Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel

Day 14: Otavalo Market & Quito

Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.

  • Drive along the Panamerican Highway to Otavalo
  • Explore the famous market at Otavalo
  • Continue to Peguche, a nearby Indian village
  • Return to Quito for a farewell dinner and overnight

Otavalo Market vendorFull Day Itinerary: This morning, set out on the Panamerican Highway to Otavalo. After driving through dramatic Andean scenery, arrive at the famous Indian fair and the textile market of Otavalo, undoubtedly one of the best in all of Latin America.

The beauty of Otavalo lies in its people, the Otavaleño Indians. Unlike other indigenous groups who have given up their traditional dress for modern jeans and t-shirts, Otavaleños are true to their ancestral cultural heritage, and are still easily identified by their distinctive dress. Women wear intricately embroidered blouses and a wealth of beaded necklaces, while men have long, braided hair and wear calf-length white trousers, ponchos and sandals. Stroll by their many stalls filled with ponchos, scarves, blankets, hats, handbags and more, and observe as the Otavaleños barter in silence.

Then proceed to Peguche, a nearby Indian village, where local artisans weave in their homes. Learn about their culture and everyday life. Later, return to Quito for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 15: Depart Quito/Arrive USA

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Transfer to the airport for your return flight
  • Arrive in the USA later today
  • Passengers returning to New York (JFK) or Los Angeles (LAX) will arrive back to the USA a day later

Important Notes

  • The high altitudes reached on this trip (Cusco is at 11,000 feet above sea level) and the amount of walking involved, often on uneven terrain, require that you be in good physical condition to fully enjoy the trip. We strongly suggest that you consult your physician if you have any concerns regarding your ability to handle these conditions.
  • Please remember that the exact route and program may vary according to weather and ocean conditions, and the wildlife encountered. There is no guarantee that all the possible species mentioned will be seen.
  • Itineraries and program are subject to change without previous notice due mainly to readjustment of the National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes or safety reasons.

Dry landing: guests step from a dinghy onto rocks or a dock.

Wet landing: as a dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, guests step into knee-deep water and wade ashore.

Videos

Video: Friendly Planet in Peru & Ecuador

Reviews

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I just returned from Ecuador on a Friendly Planet tour, and I cannot even begin to express how impressed I am with Friendly Planet. The trip was amazing, and we did more than I could imagine in 7 days. I have been on trips with other organizers before, but this was by far the most organized and well-led trip I have been on. Our tour guide was phenomenal, and everything ran right on schedule, with unbelievable accommodations, an abundance of delicious meals, and incredible scenery everywhere. I would absolutely recommend Friendly Planet to other travelers, and look forward to traveling with them again in the future.

Tamara Marks-Moses, Houston, TX

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