Day 1: Australia – – Guayaquil, Ecuador
Depart Australia for Guayaquil, Ecuador. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 2: Guayaquil (B,D)
Enjoy the morning at leisure before a welcome meeting in the afternoon. After the meeting go on a guided city tour visiting sights including Malecon 2000 & Cerro Santa Ana. After the tour enjoy a welcome dinner with your group.
Day 3: Guayaquil – – Baltra Island, Galapagos (B)
Take an early morning transfer to Guayaquil airport for your flight to Baltra Island, Galapagos. On arrival, meet you guide and transfer to Puerto Ayora. In the afternoon, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. This is a great opportunity to learn more about conservation efforts to preserve the unique ecosystems of the Galapagos. You can even get close to giant tortoises which are being raised for the repopulation program.
Day 4: Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos (B)
Today you will visit the Santa Cruz highlands to observe the giant tortoise roaming in its natural habitat. Afterwards visit a locally owned sugar cane farm. Here the farmers will show us the process in which sugarcane is processed and turned into alcohol. Take the opportunity to try some! The rest of the day is free, so you can explore Puerto Ayora.
Day 5: Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos (B,L)
Today you will go on a full day tour to one of the nearby islands of Bartolome, Seymour, Santa Fe or Plazas. The actual island visited will not be known until arrival and may change due to climate conditions, operations, and availability as per the Parque Nacional Galápagos.
All islands offer stunning natural beauty and the opportunity to get up close and personal to native flora and fauna in their natural habitat.
Day 6: Santa Cruz Island – – San Cristobal Island, Galapagos (B)
After breakfast, take a private speedboat to San Cristobal island and then transfer to your hotel. In the afternoon, take a short hike to La Loberia, where you can swim and snorkel with sea lions.
Day 7: San Cristobal Island, Galapagos (B,L)
Today begins with a short boat ride to Kicker Rock or Lobos Island. Along the way, observe the abundant marine life that Galapagos is renowned for. We might be able to spot nesting frigates and blue-footed boobies and we might even have the opportunity to swim with playful young sea lions. Here we can snorkel keeping an eye out below for sea turtles, manta rays and maybe the odd harmless Galapagos shark, to name a few. This snorkelling is in open sea and on occasion, the currents can be quite strong so it’s particularly important you are a confident swimmer for this activity. Included lunch today is a packed box lunch on board the boat! Unfortunately, it is against National Park rules to eat on the beach.
Day 8: Galapagos Islands – – Guayaquil – – Lima (B)
After breakfast, visit the Interpretation Centre to learn about the history of the ‘Enchanted Islands’ and the conservation projects which seek to preserve the unique Galapagos wildlife. You will then be transferred to your hotel for your flight to Guayaquil and then your onward flight to Lima. Welcome to Lima, Peru! On arrival, your local Webjet tour leader will meet you at the airport for your transfer to Miraflores (approx. 45-60 minutes), where you can settle in and recover from the long day of travel.
Day 9: Lima (B)
After a trip briefing this morning your leader will take you on a half-day walking tour of downtown Lima, including the city’s historical centre and Larco Museum.
Flanked by streets of ornate mansions, palaces and churches, Plaza Mayor is the best place to start any exploration of Lima. Take a walk through the old streets to get a feel for colonial life. On one side of the plaza is the Cathedral of Lima, which houses the remains of Lima’s founder, Francisco Pizarro. Visit the nearby San Francisco Monastery, with its catacombs containing some 70,000 human remains. Continue onto the Central market where you’ll take a walking tour. The market has a huge variety of fresh produce on offer, including fruits, vegetables and even guinea pigs.
The City of Lima, like many other capital cities in the world, has spectacular museums that show great collections of treasures of ancient Peru. We will visit the Museum Larco Herrera, which has on display remains that show the world of the ancient Peruvians from around 3000 years ago. Among the most spectaculars remains, we will see the great collection of Ancient Erotic Art, that is, without doubt one of the best attractions in the city of Lima. In addition to this great erotic collection, we also can see galleries with pieces of gold and silver. Unlike other museums, this place is the only one that has over 45,000 archaeological pieces properly classified.
Day 10: Lima – – Cusco (B)
This morning take a flight to Cusco. On arrival, take the time to acclimatise to the city’s 3,450 m (11,150 ft) altitude and explore the many Baroque churches and ancient temples that dot the city. Your tour leader will take you on an orientation walk. You’ll visit the facade of Qoricancha temple, the local San Pedro market, the main square, past the 12 Angled Stone, Regocijo Square and San Blas Square. Finally you’ll visit the Chocolate museum where there will be an opportunity to sample a hot chocolate made from local cacao beans. This might be a good opportunity to purchase some gifts or souvenirs. There’s a small store where you’ll find various handicrafts and a variety of artisanal chocolate products. Tonight is free, perhaps head out for dinner with your fellow travellers. Your leader will be able to recommend some good places to eat!
Day 11: Cusco – Sacred Valley – Ollantaytambo (B, L)
Today we travel through the Sacred Valley, on the outskirts of Cusco. Known as Wilcamayo to the Incas, this fertile valley has long been the main source of food for the high Andes. At the Sacred Valley, visit the stone fortress of Sacsayhuaman where massive stone blocks that form the walls of this site give you a clear image of how highly developed Inca engineering was. Venture to a community in the valley to learn about the local lifestyle. If your visit coincides with market day (Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday), spend time browsing the stalls in search of hand-painted beads or warm ponchos. Lunch will also be provided by the local community. We then continue to Ollantaytambo, a short 20 minute drive. Ollantaytambo’s archaeological site is located to the east of the Plaza de Armas. The upper terraces of this site offer great photo opportunities of the squared grid town below. Tonight we spend the night in a hotel in Ollantaytambo town.
Day 12: Ollantaytambo – – Aguas Calientes (B)
Today tale a train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, which is nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu. This journey ensures that we can travel to Machu Picchu as early as possible tomorrow morning.
Optional Activities (additional cost applies): 1-Day Inca Trail – this is a great option for those wanting to experience trekking in Peru, but don’t want to do the full 4 days. This trek starts from the train station known as “Km 104” and after a steep ascent, it follows the last portion of the Classic Inca Trail. Trekkers enter Machu Picchu at the sun gate in the afternoon where there will be some time to take a few photos before taking a short bus ride down to Aguas Calientes to spend the night and re-join the rest of the group.
Please note – this trek must be pre-booked prior to departure from Australia. Please refer to the fine print for pricing.
Day 13: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco (B)
Today we take a bus up the winding road to Machu Picchu (approximately 30 minutes). This is your chance to decide for yourself whether Machu Picchu was built around 1440 as a country retreat for Incan nobility or is an ancient astronomical observatory. Enjoy a guided visit of the incredible site (approx. 1.5–2 hours) with plenty of free time afterwards to wander around the many temples, palaces and living quarters. After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, return to Cusco.
Day 14: Cusco – free day at leisure (B)
Today enjoy free time to relax, shop or explore more of Cusco’s sights. Perhaps head to a cafe on the Plaza de Armas and watch the world go by.
Day 15: Cusco – – Amazon Jungle (B,L,D)
After breakfast, we take a flight to Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon Jungle, where you’ll be staying for three nights on a Amazon Jungle lodge experience! A representative from the lodge will welcome you at the airport. You’ll then make a quick trip to the lodge’s office in town by van. Here you’ll be able to pack the gear you’ll need for the next few days and leave the rest, securely stored, behind. Travel by bus or motorised canoe to the Amazon lodge (approximately 30–45 minutes). Once you arrive, there will be time to unpack and unwind before a short orientation and briefing. Either tonight or tomorrow night, you’ll venture into the jungle for a night jungle excursion!
Please note – rooms at the lodges are simple but comfortable and built using local materials such as bamboo, adobe mud and palm trees. Rooms, don’t have regular doors for the entrance and bathroom, instead traditional curtains are used. Each room opens out to the rainforest, providing a true jungle experience. Rooms are equipped with flushing toilets, showers (cold water only), mosquito nets and kerosene lamps. Electricity and internet are only available in the common areas at designated times.
Day 16: Amazon Jungle (B, L, D)
Start your day with a boat ride (approximately 30 minutes) followed by a short walk (between 25 and 45 minutes), to arrive at an oxbow lake in the middle of the rainforest – the habitat of a family of giant otters. Along the way you’ll see a variety of jungle fauna – perhaps hoatzins, monkeys, macaws, black caimans, flying parrots, and, if you’re lucky, a family of endangered giant river otters (pteronoura brasilienses). In the late morning, you will head to the parrot clay lick where birds come here to feed on the salt in the clay. The macaws begin by ceremoniously circling the cliff area. Usually the feeding frenzy lasts 20 to 25 minutes. The salt from the clay is thought to detoxify the birds’ fruit diet. After lunch back at the lodge, you’ll head back out to the jungle to take a short walk and learn about the medicinal properties and practical uses of the plants. Return to the lodge once again to freshen up, then enjoy some dinner. After dinner, there will be an optional night walk through the jungle.
Day 17: Amazon Jungle (B, L, D)
Today your Amazon Jungle adventure continues with a visit to a mammal feeding area. The mammals are known to feed at any time of the day or night, and they’re more timid than birds, with less regular routine. As a result, mammals are more difficult to see. This feeding area is visited by white-lipped peccaries, collar peccaries, deer, agouti, squirrels and tapir – see how many of these you can spot. We then head back to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, it’s time to visit a Brazil nut farm. Here you’ll be treated to a fascinating demonstration of the entire process of their production, from harvesting to completion. Enjoy a final dinner back at the lodge tonight.
Day 18: Amazon Jungle – – Lima (B)
This morning travel back to Puerto Maldonado before taking the flight back to Lima. Once at your hotel, the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 19: Lima – – Australia (B)
Today at the appropriate time, you will be transferred to the airport as a group for your homeward fights.
Day 20: Australia
Arrive home today.
Please note – some flights may arrive home one day later.