and Peru - The Grand Tour
15 Days / 14 Nights
The Galapagos Islands, Colonial Cities, and Cuzco - Machu Picchu, the
Majestic Heritage of the Inca Empire
Featuring a Galapagos Islands cruise aboard the M/V Coral I or II for
four nights and Inca Roots
Arrival In Quito. Upon arrival at the airport a host will meet and
assist you in transferring to the hotel and in registering. Complimentary
Quito scenic tour - Drive through this overwhelmingly beautiful city down
the broad avenues of the northern residential section. See the modern
Legislative Palace whose stone murals record the country's history and
the impressive San Agustin Monastery and its Sala Capitular. Go downtown
to Independence Plaza, the town's oldest colonial center bordered by the
Cathedral, Government Palace and Archbishop's Palace. Visit La Compañía
Church, famous for its ornate facade and glittering golden altars. Visit
San Francisco Church which is one of the first great religious buildings
in the New World and the home of the works of the famous Indian artist,
Caspicara. This tour is provided when passengers arrive in Quito before
Day 2 Monday
Breakfast at your hotel. Motorcoach to Otavalo Area.
countryside and the Otavalo Indians, two days - At about 8:00 AM our guide
will pick you up from your hotel to begin a day full of interesting opportunities
of learning the secrets of Ecuadorian folklore and furthermore be able
to accomplish purchases at very attractive prices. 15 Km. north of Quito
one can find Carapungo, a small parish that keeps the tradition of honoring
to the deceased by manufacturing "guaguas de pan", those are
colorful dolls made of bread bulk that are used as decorations, the smallest
ones are beautiful on the Christmas three. The following stop is Guayllabamba,
the "green valley" where we will taste the delicious Chirimoyas.
We will cross the canyon of the Rio Pisque where we will learn the geological
formation of the Andes to arrive at the monumental zone of Cochasqui where
there are 15 mounds in the form of pyramids built with volcanic ash blocks.
The pyramids are of different sizes and some have an access ramp, furthermore
exists an ethnographic Museum to investigate the cultural roots using
the wisdom of the aboriginal and the nature of the sector. Luncheon will
be served at Chorlavi Estate. After lunch we visit Caranqui where we can
find the Museum of Atahualpa (last Inca) and optionally an archaeological
project in quarry. We also visit the embroidery fair of Mariano Acosta
and the woodcarving center of San Antonio de Ibarra. Late afternoon departure
to Peguche where we will be guests of an Indian community, will be served
a traditional dinner while we enjoy a Folklorical show. Optional visit
to the Witch Doctor (Shaman) for a spiritual experience. Lunch and dinner
Day 3 Tuesday
Breakfast at your hotel. Motorcoach back to Quito. After an early
breakfast we visit the animals market, the crafts fair and the Institute
Otavaleno of Anthropology and the archaeological museum of the area. Lunch
will be at an authentic Ecuadorian Hacienda with plenty of time to enjoy
the ambiance and beautiful gardens. Afternoon visit to Cotacachi where
leather crafts are made. Return to Quito via motorcoach. Lunch is included.
Day 4 Wednesday
Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer from hotel to the airport for departure.
Flight from Quito to Guayaquil and then on to Baltra - The Galapagos Islands.
Ship - M/V Coral I or II: 5 Days/4 Nights (Wednesday-Sunday) cruising
the islands. All meals and shore excursions during the cruise are included.
Upon arrival at the airport a host will meet and assist you in transferring
to the M/V Coral I or II for midday departure.
Afternoon arrival at Santa Cruz Island. Academy Bay on Santa Cruz Island
is the location of the internationally famous Charles Darwin Research
Station. This is one of the few places in the islands where the giant
tortoises may still be seen. Another point of interest is Turtle Cove,
a mangrove lagoon which is a favorite haunt of the Green sea turtles.
Day 5 Thursday
The ship swings close past Cape Berkeley, where a large volcano half has
dropped away into the sea giving you the opportunity to walk through coral
reefs on an uplifted ocean bed.
Just south of Punta Tortuga, there is the visitor site of Tangus Cove
where early sailors frequently anchored. You can still see some of the
names of the vessels scratched on the cliffs around the cove. After a
dry landing a 2-Km path will take you past a salty lagoon into the lower
slopes of volcano Darwin where volcanic formations can be observed. A
panga ride along the cliffs will enable you to see various sea birds usually
including the Galapagos penguin (Speeniscus Mendiculus) and flightless
cormorant (Nanopterun Harrisi). There are good snorkeling opportunities
in the cove.
Urbina Bay lies around the middle of the western shore of Isabela. It
consists of a flat area formed by an uplifting that took place in 1954.
Here you can find corals, flightless cormorants, pelicans and marine iguanas
(Amblyrhynchus cristatus). Rays and turtles can be seen on the bay. On
this site a wet landing is required to reach the trail that leads onto
the corals. The scenery of volcano Alcedo is magnificent.
Day 6 Friday
Fernandina - Point Vicente Roca (Isabela)
While sea lions zip playfully in and out of the various inlets of Fernandina
Island, hundreds of sunning Marine iguanas blend magically into the background
of the black lava rocks that mark Punta Espinosa. Flightless cormorants,
Galapagos hawks and Sally Light-foot crabs also vie for your attention
as you step into this wonderland of wildlife and geological wizardry.
At the west end of the northern arm of Isabela we find the small old volcano
Ecuador (610 m) coming down almost to the shore. Punta Vicente Roca, at
the volcano's base, is a rocky point with a good snorkeling area.
Day 7 Saturday
Rabida (Jervis) And James Island
Magnificent red sand beaches are on the agenda today as you land at Rabida
(Jervis) Island. Located near the geographic center of the Galapagos archipelago,
this small steep cliffed island serves as a residence to beautiful flamingos,
Blue-footed and Masked boobies, Galapagos doves, and many species of finches.
James Island with its massive lava fields of varying colors leaves a deep
impression on the first time visitor but lava flows are not the only attraction
found here. The cold Humboldt current around the island makes Puerto Egas
a viable home for a colony of fur seals yet the area is equally appealing
to Galapagos hawks, Marine iguanas, and sea lions.
Day 8 Sunday
Morning departure to Santa Cruz Highlands, which is located about
12 km from Bellavista. Going there you pass from the xerophitic vegetation
into the scalecia, miconia, fern-sedge areas as well as Opuntia and the
Cereus, Palo Santo, Croton, and Cryptocarpus bushes.
Afternoon arrival in Baltra. Transfer to airport for departure. Flight
from Baltra to Guayaquil and then on to Lima, Peru. Upon arrival at the
airport a host will meet and assist you in transferring to the hotel and
Peru... home to one of the earliest and most advanced civilizations in
the Western Hemisphere... Under the rule of powerful kings, an incredible
people known as the Incas amassed an empire that built systems of winding
mountain roads, remarkable cities, and an unforgettable legacy. One is
still mystified today by their amazing accomplishments, as can be seen
at the hidden and fascinating Machu Picchu... Take a trip back in time
and explore the roots of an ancient civilization that left behind some
of the most interesting and awe-inspiring constructions in the world.
Arrival in Lima, the "City of Kings" famous for its Spanish
Colonial architecture and extraordinary museums.
Day 9 Monday
American Breakfast at your hotel. City Tour and Gold Museum. This
half day tour visits both the colonial and modern sections of this "City
of Kings." Colonial sites include the lovely Plaza Mayor with its
cathedral and palace, and the exquisite Torre Tagle Palace modern day
seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In modern Lima, drive along the
exclusive residential areas of Miraflores and San Isidro. Then visit Peru's
famous Gold Museum which houses a priceless collection of pre-Colombian
gold artifacts as well as the private armory of Miguel Mujica Gallo. Some
of the cultures represented in this collection include the Chavin, Paracas,
Nazca, Tiahuanaco and Inca.
Day 10 Tuesday
American Breakfast at you hotel. Transfer to airport for departure.
Flight from Lima to Cuzco. Motorcoach from Cuzco to Urubamba Valley. Start
your excursion upon your arrival in Cuzco. Pisac Indian Markets, and Ollantaytambo
Fortress. Early morning flight to Cuzco. Departure from hotel for a drive
to the Spanish Colonial village of Pisac and the Pisac Indian Market.
Here you will find excellent bargains on Alpaca sweaters and a variety
of handicrafts. After lunch the tour continues through the sacred valley
of the Incas, Urubamba, to visit the town of Ollantaytambo and the imposing
Inca Fortress. Return to Yucay in the Urubamba Valley for overnight. Lunch
Day 11 Wednesday
American Breakfast at your hotel. Salt Pools and Quechua Village.
Morning excursion to the impressive salt pools formed by water emerging
from a lake inside a mountain in the Urubamba Valley. Continue your excursion
and visit an authentic Quechua Village to feel the way of life of the
Inca's ancestors. The Inca himself was a noble Quechua. They live off
the land and are always wearing their colorful ponchos, see quechua children
scamper about while woman are weaving their family's clothes. A meaningful
experience! Lunch is included.
Day 12 Thursday
American Breakfast at your hotel. Take a train from Urubamba Valley
to Machu Picchu.
Excursion to Machu Picchu with overnight stay. Early wake up for a train
ride through the sacred valley of Urubamba to the "Lost City of the
Incas," Machu Picchu. Perched 8,200 feet above the valley, it was
hidden by mountains and semitropical jungles for 400 years until discovered
by Hiram Bingham of Yale University in 1911. Archaeologists believe that
the Inca "Virgins of the Sun" took refuge from the Spanish Conquistadors
here. Lunch is included.
Day 13 Friday
Breakfast at your hotel. Free morning to enjoy one of the most incredible
sights on earth, the ruins of Machu Picchu. Take as much time as you need
to study the mysterious ruins, hike Huayna Picchu the pyramid-shape mountain
above Machu Picchu, walk to the Inca Bridge a secret entrance used by
the Inca's army, or toward the Inca Trail to find the historic Sun Gate.
Return via train to Cuzco. Lunch is included.
Day 14 Saturday
American Breakfast at you hotel. Cuzco and nearby Ruins. Morning walking
tour of the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. Visitors are caught up
in the excitement of this city. This tour includes a visit to the Cathedral
and Santo Domingo Church, passing the main streets and Plaza de Armas.
You will walk through the most astonishing Cuzco streets to reach the
San Blas Church. Cuzco is a delightful combination of Inca and Colonial
architecture. Afternoon tour includes a visit to the ruins of Kenko, Puca-pucara,
Tambomachay, and to the Sacsayhuaman fortress.
Day 15 Sunday
American Breakfast at you hotel. Morning transfer to the airport for
Flight to Cuzco and then on to Lima. Return flight to USA.
End Of Our Services ***
Hotels to use: Alameda Real in Quito, Hacienda Pinsaqui or Hosteria
Chorlavi in Otavalo area, El Pardo in Lima, Sol Y Luna in Urubamba Valley,
El Pueblo or Machu Picchu Inn in Machu Picchu, Libertador Cuzco in Cuzco.
Prices available upon request.
includes: Airfare from main Florida gateways, all transfers
and tours, meals indicated in the itinerary, service of a private
bilingual tour guide, all flights within South America, superior
cabin on the M/V Coral I or Coral II, hotel accommodation, hotel
tax, and service charge. Please
click here for more information.
Not included: Airport Departure Taxes from Ecuador $25, Galapagos
National Park Tax $100, Santa Cruz Island Municipal Tax $12. From
Lima and from Cuzco $6.05 each. All these fees must be paid locally.
All our tour packages include: Please