Location: Peru, Ecuador
Duration: 13 Days
Type: South America Tours
Destinations: Lima, Cusco, Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Ecuador, Guayaquil, Baltra, Galapagos, Santa Cruz, Rabida, Santiago Egas Port, Isabela Tagus Cove, Guayaquil.
Description: ILE Tours and Galapagos Eco Tours is happy to offer a new program designed for adventure, culture, nature and archeology lovers. This program begins with the famous Inca Trail hike which ends at the East Gate overlooking Machu Picchu, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. The Inca Trail also offers the opportunity to stop and marvel and many other Inca sites before reaching Machu Picchu.
Magnificent structures, aqueducts, walls, and trails all built in accordance with nature will greet you daily on the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley.
After the hike concludes your tour with one of South America’s other gems with a cruise of the Galápagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. Here you will be transported to a pre-historic paradise on the relatively young Galápagos Islands with their volcanos, lava fields, and a plethora of wild and sea life unlike any place in the world.
Whales, porpoises, giant tortoises, cormorants, red dragons, land and sea iguanas, magnificently colorful fish and birds everywhere. Soak in clear water and appreciate the Galápagos archipelago aboard a luxury cruise or with daily island excursions from a luxury seaside resort.
Welcome and reception in Lima airport. You will be transferred to your hotel in Miraflores by private car.
Airport reception in Cusco and private transfer to the Hotel Jose Antonio (or equivalent). Rest and acclimate to Cusco’s 3,300 meters (11,000 feet) elevation by breathing, relaxing and drinking the coca tea provided in your hotel. In the afternoon take the Cusco City Tour (Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Tambomachay and Puca Pucara). Evening orientation with your guide in the hotel lobby to discuss hike, answer questions and let you know what time you will be picked up the next morning.
Check out of your hotel and store the bulk of your luggage safely with your hotel until you return. Get and keep your luggage claim check. Depart from Cusco by bus through Urubamba before stopping briefly at Ollaytaytambo where you can buy last-minute gear and personal supplies. Next, we move on to Piskacucho (Km 82) and the start of the Inca Trail hike. We will have lunch in Miskay and relax a bit before hiking to our first campsite. Along the way, we will visit the Patallaqta archaeological site. L/D
We’ll start the day early in the morning with a hearty breakfast before hiking to the highest point of the Inca Trail. Here we can literally see the various ecological zones and microclimates from a panoramic viewpoint. We will cross the Warmiwañusca pass at 4,200 meters/ 13,780 feet above sea level. After lunch, we will continue on to the Pacaymayo campsite where we will enjoy dinner at our campsite.
Day 3 of the hike begins with a nutritious breakfast and then a 45-minute hike up to the second-highest pass on the Trail (3,850 meters/12,631 feet above sea level). Along the way, we will visit the Runcuracay archaeological site. Throughout the day we will also visit the Sayacmarca and Phuyupatamarca Archaeological Complexes.
After lunch, we will head to the Wiñaywayna ruins where we will spend our last night on the Trail.
After a very early breakfast begin the final leg of the trek to the lost city of Machu Picchu. First, hike to Inti Punku (“Sun Gate”) to take in an inspiring and panoramic view of the Machu Picchu citadel. After a short hike down to Machu Picchu, register and then enjoy a 3-hour private guided tour of the sanctuary-city. After the tour of Machu Picchu take the bus down to Aguas Calientes and board the Vistadome train back to Cusco where you will be greeted and taken to the Hotel Jose Antonio.
After breakfast, you will checkout and be taken to the Cusco airport for your flight to Lima and a connection to Guayaquil. In the Guayaquil airport, you will be greeted and taken to the Hotel Continental in the center of Guayaquil.
After breakfast checkout of your hotel. Store the bulk of your luggage safely with the hotel until you return and bring only what you need for the cruise. Santa Cruz (Dragon Hill) Wet landing. Visitors walk to a saltwater pond, which is occasionally visited by pink flamingos. Then they’ll hike up to Dragon Hill, which provides a beautiful view of the bay. This area is a nesting site for numerous reintroduced land iguanas.
There is also a peculiar scalesia tree forest. Santa Cruz (Venice): Dinghy ride around the islet along the coast of Santa Cruz. The land iguanas inhabiting Venice are protected from the wild dogs on the island of Santa Cruz. In Santa Cruz, it is possible to observe the vegetation and marine animals like spotted eagle rays and golden rays, mullets, white-tipped reef sharks and Pacific green sea turtles which rest in the calm waters of the coves and channels.
The volcano-formed beach is dark red and is a favorite place for sea lions. It’s considered the geographic center of Galapagos because it has the most diverse volcanic rocks on the Islands. You’ll hike to a salt-water pond, where flamingos can sometimes be found. July through September is a good time to observe brown pelicans nesting in the salty bushes. Boobies and nine species of Darwin’s finches can also be observed.
You can take a dinghy ride by the reefs, as well as snorkel. Santiago (Egas Port): Wet landing on a dark-sand beach. Most of the landscape is tuff-stone layers and lava flows. You can observe hunting herons, great blue herons, lava herons, yellow-crowned night herons, and oystercatchers. Passengers will see marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside red Sally Light-foot crabs.
There is a colony of fur seals swimming in deep cool-water pools. Here you can swim and snorkel and find octopuses, sea horses, starfish.
Fernandina (Espinosa Point) Dry landing. Visitors will see the biggest marine iguanas mingling with red Sally Light-foot crabs, as well as flightless cormorants nesting sites, Galapagos penguins, Galapagos hawks, and sea lions. Among the flora and volcanic formations, observers will spot brachycereus cactus, and “pa-hoe-hoe” lava and “AA” lava formations. Numerous mangrove beds extend into the sea.Isabela (Tagus Cove): Dry landing on Galapagos’s largest island.
Visitors will learn about the five volcanoes that formed this island with their eruptions. The trail leads to Darwin’s salt-water pond and an excellent view of the lava fields and volcanic formations. You’ll take a dinghy to observe marine life. Galapagos penguins can often be seen here. Opportunity for snorkeling. The graffiti is believed to have been written by 19th-century pirates and they help passengers appreciate the relationship between the islands and tourism today.
Bartolome Dry landing. Passengers will see volcanic formations such as lava bombs, spatter, and cinder cones. After hiking to the summit you can enjoy a great view of the surrounding islands, including Pinnacle Rock’s eroded tuff cone. On the way to the summit, you’ll often see colonies of marine iguanas, lava lizards, tiquilla and various cacti. You’ll be able to snorkel and see the Galapagos penguin, sea turtles, and white-tipped sharks at a safe distance.
Santa Cruz (Black Turtle Cove) Located near Las Bachas beach on the northern side of the island. Passengers will take a dinghy through the mangrove. The motor is turned off to allow close observation of marine turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, spotted eagle rays, and yellow rays.
Santa Cruz (Charles Darwin Research Station)Travelers will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, staffed with international scientists conducting biological research and conservation projects. Here you’ll be able to admire the giant tortoises involved in the breeding program. Visitors can also admire the prickly-pear cactus forest and many land birds.
Later on, you’ll have some free time to walk around town and shop for souvenirs. Disembark at Baltra. Airport, flight to Guayaquil reception and transfer to Hotel Continental.
After breakfast, you will be greeted in your hotel and taken by private car to the airport for your flight to Lima. END OF SERVICES
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