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Treasures of the Incas with Galapagos Premium Cruise

Style: Luxury | Pace: Comfortable

Why not begin your South American adventure with a journey to the Galapagos Islands? Embark on an adventurous journey of discovery across the diverse ecosystems of these islands. Experience for yourself the captivating environment which has inspired nature-lovers of all backgrounds for generations. The mysterious world of the ancient Inca Empire pairs nicely with the flavors of a modern gastronomic powerhouse. From classic Peruvian dishes such as ceviche, to a traditional Pachamanca Feast in Sacred Valley, you'll be inspired to introduce new recipes into your own cooking back home. These sumptuous dining experiences will fuel captivating days exploring the secrets of an ethereal part of the world. From the pulsating capital of Lima to the mist-cloaked mountains of Machu Picchu and the serene waters of South America’s largest lake, you'll be spellbound by Peru.

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Overview

Why not begin your South American adventure with a journey to the Galapagos Islands? Embark on an adventurous journey of discovery across the diverse ecosystems of these islands. Experience for yourself the captivating environment which has inspired nature-lovers of all backgrounds for generations. The mysterious world of the ancient Inca Empire pairs nicely with the flavors of a modern gastronomic powerhouse. From classic Peruvian dishes such as ceviche, to a traditional Pachamanca Feast in Sacred Valley, you'll be inspired to introduce new recipes into your own cooking back home. These sumptuous dining experiences will fuel captivating days exploring the secrets of an ethereal part of the world. From the pulsating capital of Lima to the mist-cloaked mountains of Machu Picchu and the serene waters of South America’s largest lake, you'll be spellbound by Peru.

  1. Welcome to Ecuador. On arrival, you will be greeted and transferred to your hotel in Quito, Ecuador's culturally rich capital city, situated high in the Andes. You'll join your Traveling Concierge and fellow travelers at 6 pm for a private drinks reception and Welcome Dinner.

    meal(s):Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Hotel Plaza Grande
  2. A drive north will take you to the Monument to the Equator. Here, you can experience the rare opportunity of standing in the Northern and Southern hemispheres simultaneously. Next, visit the Ethnographical Museum, which presents the history of the cultures of Ecuador. Continue to the historic center of Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Journey to the San Francisco Square, pass the church of La Compañia and see its ornate and richly sculptured façade. Continue on to visit one of the oldest streets in Quito, La Ronda. Later, enjoy dinner with wine in the historic Old Town at Theatrum.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Hotel Plaza Grande
  3. Fly to Baltra Island and take a short journey to Puerto Ayora, where you will board the Santa Cruz II and enjoy lunch along with an introduction. Afterward, relocate to Mosquera Islet.

    Mosquera

    You’ll land among the long and narrow sand bank surrounded by lava reefs, the perfect rookery for young sea lions. Walk along sandy dunes and past the sea lion colonies. Learn more about the fragile marine and terrestrial ecosystems of Galapagos

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    hotel:Santa Cruz II (Darwin Suite Cabins)
  4. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal Island)
    After breakfast, we disembark at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the island’s capital, and drive to the southern shore. At Cerro Colorado, visit the breeding center for highly endangered giant tortoises in the midst of a fantastic deciduous forest, home to dozens of bird species, including the San Cristobal mockingbird, and the San Cristobal lava lizard, both island natives.

    Punta Pitt (San Cristobal Island)
    In the afternoon, arrive at Punta Pitt, an eroded tuff cone, whose trail provides spectacular views of the shoreline. This is the only site in the Galapagos where the three species of boobies can be found together. Walk or enjoy a panga ride along the coast. If you’re up for it, why not try snorkeling, swimming or kayaking in your free time?

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    hotel:Santa Cruz II (Darwin Suite Cabins)
  5. Santa Fe Island
    After breakfast, take a dinghy over to this idyllic sandy-white beach populated by sea lions. The land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during the morning walk amid the giant prickly pear cactus. Enjoy Santa Fe Your Way, with opportunities to snorkel or swim from the panga, relax on the glass bottom boat, or spend time kayaking.

    South Plaza Island
    After a rejuvenating lunch, arrive at South Plaza Island, where the turquoise waters contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. Beyond, a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus. Yellow-grey land iguanas sit beneath these, waiting patiently for pears to drop. Along the coastline you can find sea lion colonies, while frigates, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters glide, playing with the thermals.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    hotel:Santa Cruz II (Darwin Suite Cabins)
  6. Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)
    Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and its spectacular giant tortoise Breeding Center, hidden within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest, home to many land birds. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Board your transport for lunch in the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island, a completely different ecosystem.

    Santa Cruz Island
    Spend an afternoon at leisure, with the opportunity to enjoy Santa Cruz Island at your own pace. Your Traveling Concierge is on hand to assist with booking any activities. Afterward, return to Puerto Ayora and the Santa Cruz II.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    hotel:Santa Cruz II (Darwin Suite Cabins)
  7. Punta Suarez (Española Island)
    An exciting walk reveals the island’s unique sea bird colonies, including Galapagos albatross (April-December), Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls as well as a view of the Galapagos’ famous “blow-hole.” Also, look out for red-green-black marine iguanas.

    Gardner Bay – Osborn Islet (Española Island)
    In the afternoon, the picture-postcard white coral beach of Gardner Bay and the nearby islet of Osborn provide a beautiful setting for observing sea lions, mockingbirds, and finches. Expect great snorkeling with an opportunity for swimming and kayaking as well.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    hotel:Santa Cruz II (Darwin Suite Cabins)
  8. Eden Islet (Santa Cruz Island)
    A panga ride takes you to Eden Islet, a small islet located off the coast of Santa Cruz, where you can observe blue-footed boobies diving into the water, reef sharks and frigates. There’s a chance to snorkel and, if weather condition permits, ride in the glass-bottom boat and kayak.

    North Seymour Island
    North Seymour was lifted from the ocean floor by a volcanic event, and its origins as a seabed give the island its low, flat profile. A tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees stands just above the landing, usually without leaves, waiting for the rains to burst into bloom. This is a great introductory site to the islands and their wildlife, full of bird colonies of blue-footed boobies, two species of frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, as well as sea lions and marine iguanas.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    hotel:Santa Cruz II (Darwin Suite Cabins)
  9. On your last day cruising the Galapagos, disembark at Baltra Island and transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland. Arrive at your hotel at Guayaquil.

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:Hotel del Parque
  10. Welcome to Peru! Fly from Guayaquil to Lima. On arrival at Lima International Airport, you will be greeted and transferred to your luxurious hotel in Miraflores. You can relax before meeting your Traveling Concierge at 6 pm for a Welcome Dinner, where you'll have the opportunity to get to know your fellow travelers over wine and dinner at Amoramar, in the trendy bohemian district Barranco.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:JW Marriott Hotel Lima (Ocean View Rooms)
  11. Experience the cultural metropolis of Lima through the eyes of a Local Expert. A mix of modern high rises and ancient temples, you'll delve into the history of the fascinating City of Kings. Explore the UNESCO-listed Historic Center of Lima, view the cathedral, and visit the Monastery of San Francisco. A Highlight Lunch is served at CALA, known for mouth-watering Peruvian favorites. Experience Lima Your Way and visit the workshop of Víctor Delfín, one of Peru's leading artists best known for his monumental El Beso sculpture, or take a guided visit to MATE-Museo Mario Testino, created by one of the world's most influential photographers.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch with Wine
    hotel:JW Marriott Hotel Lima (Ocean View Rooms)
  12. Board your flight to Cusco and continue on to Peru's Sacred Valley. Visit the colorful market in the town of Chinchero. Afterward, meet Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, a Quechua scholar, president of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, and a recipient of a TreadRight Foundation grant. Have lunch with Nilda and learn about her mission to preserve traditional weaving techniques and how she has succeeded in bringing weaving once more to the forefront of her community. Later in the afternoon, check in to your luxurious spa resort.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Tambo del Inka
  13. In the town of Maras, you'll meet with a local family who explain ancient salt mining techniques. Visit the spectacular terraced salt pans where you will have a chance to participate in the ancient tradition. The salt pans, dating back to Inca times, have been passed down through families for generations and today are maintained in much the same way as they were long ago. Dine the local way as you feast on a typical Peruvian meal, a caja china lunch of fresh vegetables and slow-roasted meats, all cooked in a wooden box. After lunch, witness a private Pachamama Ceremony, or 'Payment to the Earth,' as a local shaman performs the centuries-old ritual.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch
    hotel:Tambo del Inka
  14. Today you'll visit the town of Ollantaytambo, a national archeological site set on the Urubamba River. Afterward, board your first-class seats on the Vistadome train for your scenic journey to Machu Picchu village. Enjoy lunch at your rejuvenating resort followed by a guided exploration of its nature trails and fascinating cloud forest ecosystem. One for tea lovers, the afternoon will be spent discovering a working tea plantation, before viewing the world's largest private collection of indigenous orchids. In the evening, learn how to blend the perfect pisco sour before enjoying dinner with wine at the hotel.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
  15. No trip to Peru would be complete without visiting the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Pichu. You’ll arrive at this striking archeological site before the crowds of day-trippers. Meet your Local Expert for a guided exploration through the enigmatic Lost City of the Incas, rediscovered only 100 years ago by archaeologist Hiram Bingham. See the great Temple of the Sun, Sacred Plaza and the Intihuatana, believed to be an ancient sun clock. In the afternoon, enjoy time to explore Machu Picchu at your leisure or return to your resort. After a full day of discovery, enjoy a delicious dinner with wine, where you can share stories of your day with fellow guests in the serenity of your tranquil hotel.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
  16. Bid goodbye to Machu Picchu as you travel through the Sacred Valley by train en route to Cusco. Stop for a traditional Highlight Lunch and savor a sumptuous Pachamanca Feast of Peruvian cuisine cooked underground. After lunch, get up-close to llamas, guanacos, alpacas and even the rare vicuñas before arriving at your hotel in Cusco, steps away from the Plaza de Armas.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch
    hotel:JW Marriott El Convento
  17. Join your Local Expert to explore Cusco, where you'll check out the Temple of the Sun at Korikancha, the cathedral and the citadel of Sacsayhuaman. Shop like the locals do at the San Blas artisan center. Enjoy free time for shopping on the Plaza de Armas, where you can stock up on a few souvenirs. In the evening, enjoy a candlelit Highlight Dinner with wine at one of the city’s most prominent culinary scenes, the MAP Restaurant in the central Museum of Pre-Colombian Art.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:JW Marriott El Convento
  18. Board your included flight to Juliaca and continue to Puno, nestled along the majestic shores of Lake Titicaca. The peaceful, lakeside Libertador Hotel on Esteves Island is your home away from home.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Libertador Lake Titicaca
  19. Cruise Lake Titicaca to the floating islands of Uros, where locals bundle reeds from the lake to build floating platforms, houses and canoes. On Amantaní Island, join the local community for a lunch of regional specialties. Afterward, you can explore local handicrafts before returning to Puno, where you can relax until your evening dinner with wine.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Libertador Lake Titicaca
  20. Head to Sillustani on the shores of Lake Umayo to explore the impressive burial grounds, before your flight to Lima. Savor a sensational Celebration Dinner with Wine at the world-renowned Astrid y Gastón. In the ambiance of a magnificent San Isidro hacienda, Chef Gaston Acurio Jaramillo—the father of modern gastronomy in Peru—dreams up innovative dishes for you to enjoy.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:JW Marriott Hotel Lima (Ocean View Rooms)
  21. Your Peruvian adventure draws to a close as you say goodbye to your fellow travelers and Traveling Concierge, before being transferred to Lima airport.

    meal(s):Breakfast
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  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Intra-Air Included

    Prices include economy airfare for any intra-trip flights required by this itinerary. For trip specific terms and conditions, please refer to the Dates & Prices tab.

Thank you for your interest in this tour. If no dates are displaying, please call our reservations line at 1-877-622-9109 for more information

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: Call for details

Roommate matching is not available on this trip.

Intra-Air: Prices include economy air and air-related charges for the flights between Quito-Baltra Island, Baltra Island-Guayaquil, Guayaquil-Lima, Lima-Cusco, Cusco-Juliaca, and Juliaca-Lima and require purchase of round-trip air travel on LATAM Airlines. If you are flying with another airline between your gateway city and the itinerary's start and end gateway cities, the above prices will be higher.

This trip experiences high elevations. We recommend guests with pre-existing medical conditions talk with a doctor prior to travel.

Price includes Galapagos National Park Fee ($100 per person), Galapagos Transit Control Card ($20 per person) and all onboard cruise gratuities ($196 per person).

Private Door to Door: Private door-to-door transfer service is available for guests traveling in a party of three or fewer on vacations to Europe, US, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and India. Private door-to-door transfers are not available on vacations to Australia and New Zealand. Private door-to-door transfers are limited from/to one address within a 50 miles radius of an international airport within the USA and include the gratuity for the driver with 1 suitcase and 1 carry-on bag per person permitted. No additional stops and/or drop-offs are permitted. All private door-to-door transfers are subject to availability and must be confirmed at time of booking. If private door-to-door transfers cannot be provided, a credit will be applied to the booking.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

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  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options

Dining Summary

20 Breakfasts, 15 Lunches, 16 Dinners.

Highlights

VIP Experiences

  • Lima: Meet acclaimed local artist Victor Delfin, known for his monumental El Beso sculpture at his workshop in the city's trendy Barranco district

Journey Highlights

  • Aguas Calientes: With a Local Expert, explore the cloud forest, visit a working tea plantation and an orchid farm
  • Cusco: Join a Local Expert to explore the Temple of Korikancha, Sacsayhuaman and the cathedral
  • Lake Titicaca: Cruise the lake and learn about the lifestyle and customs of the local people, who bundle reeds from the lake to build floating platforms, houses and canoes
  • Lima: Experience the beautiful 'City of Kings' through the eyes of a Local Expert
  • Machu Picchu: Spend a full day exploring the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, rediscovered by American historian Hiram Bingham in 1911 after being forgotten for centuries. A Local Expert helps you understand the enigmatic fortress abandoned by the Incas in the 16th century
  • Puno: Explore Sillustani to view the stone burial towers 'chullpas' that have dotted the shores since pre-Inca times
  • Quito: Explore the 500-year history of Quito with your private Luxury Gold Local Expert
  • Sacred Valley: Visit a local Maras family who offers a variety of authentic and regional craft workshops
  • The Galapagos Islands: Intimately explore this incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site of approximately 20 islands of the world’s most unique ecosystems and biodiversity

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Intra-Air Included

    Prices include economy airfare for any intra-trip flights required by this itinerary. For trip specific terms and conditions, please refer to the Dates & Prices tab.

Print Itinerary

Reviews

Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Samuel Burstein
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Knowledgeable about their tours. Rapidly respond to questions. Very easy to reach.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We so appreciate your kind words and couldn't be happier to see how much you enjoyed Lima and the Treasures of the Incas. Thank you for taking the time to write.
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Vacation : Fantastic trip. Visiting multiple different environments including Lima, Machu Picchu, the sacred valley and Cusco, in addition to Lake Titicaca, Good food and comfortable transportation.
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Everything was well planned. Guides always helpful and informative
Vacation : Great trip. Great experience. Tour guides could not have been better. They were the greatest.
Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Intra-Air Included

    Prices include economy airfare for any intra-trip flights required by this itinerary. For trip specific terms and conditions, please refer to the Dates & Prices tab.

Print Itinerary
  • U.S. citizens traveling to Peru must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering Peru.

  • The currency in Peru is the Peruvian Sol. You can use your debit or credit card to pay in most places and will usually find a better exchange rate in Peru.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local cuisine.  Peruvian food is a colorful mix of cultural influences and flavorful ingredients. Sample popular specialties including seafood ceviche – the country’s national dish –stir fried beef, potatoes with spicy cheese sauce, and stuffed peppers. And there’s nothing quite like a South American pisco sour cocktail prepared with lemon juice, egg white, and pisco liqueur.

    The hot and spicy nature of Peruvian food, created by ají and ajo (hot pepper and garlic), has become celebrated at home and abroad. Peruvians enjoy a wide variety of vegetables, with over 2000 kinds of indigenous and cultivated potatoes alone. Tropical fruits are abundant. And the seafood is incredible. Try ceviche and the local seabass, prepared in a variety of ways. Typical dishes made with scallops (conchitas), mussels (choros), octopus (pulpo) and shrimp (camarones) are plentiful and delicious. Try the popular specialties sopa criolla (spicy soup with beef and noodles) and ají de gallina (shredded chicken in a piquant cream sauce).  Rice and potatoes accompany virtually every dish here. Alfajores (wafer-thin spirals of shortbread dusted with icing sugar) are Peru’s most popular dessert. 

    You’ll also encounter a variety of interesting beverages.  Peru’s most famous drink is the pisco sour cocktail, made from a potent grape brandy. Chicha de jora (fermented red or yellow corn juice) and chicha morada (non-alcoholic purple corn juice) are popular drinks dating from Inca times. Peruvian beers and national wines are also good.

  • We suggest bringing a variety of comfortable, lightweight clothing that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress in Peru’s various regions. Sturdy walking shoes are important. Insect repellant and sunscreen may come in handy, as well as a light jacket and reusable water bottle. A more formal outfit will serve you if you plan on dining out in nicer restaurants.  Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • There is no hard and fast rule about tipping when dining out in Peru. Some restaurants will add a service charge to the bill in which case there is no need to leave an additional tip. In upscale restaurants it is appropriate to leave 10 percent gratuity.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend the equivalent of $4-5 per person/per day for your driver and $6-7 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Intra-Air Included

    Prices include economy airfare for any intra-trip flights required by this itinerary. For trip specific terms and conditions, please refer to the Dates & Prices tab.

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