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Treasures of the Incas with Quito and Galapagos Islands Cruise

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Tour Pace: Comfortable
Machu Picchu
Tour Style: Luxury
18 Days from $11,109 per person

Delve into the mysterious world of the Inca empire on this stylish exploration of Peru. Every detail is taken care of as you journey from the pulsating capital of Lima, to the mist-cloaked mountains of Machu Picchu and halcyon waters of South America's largest lake. All the while enjoying the complete comfort of a Luxury Gold itinerary.

 

Against a backdrop of ancient ruins, indulge in classic Peruvian dining that draws inspiration from ingredients both native and contemporary, at Huaca Pucllana. In Cusco, meet Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, an expert in traditional weaving, to learn how the TreadRight foundation is helping protect this ancient skill. Enjoy two nights at the award-winning Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel where your elegant room comes complete with a fireplace to warm you each evening.

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  1. Welcome to Ecuador. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

    hotel:Hotel Plaza Grande, Quito
  2. (Relaxed Start) 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 centre 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):Full Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  3. In the morning, fly to Baltra, in the Galapagos Islands, where you will be met and transferred to the Itabaca Channel. A ferry will take you across the channel to Santa Cruz Island, where you then head for the highlands to learn about the island’s ecosystems and biodiversity. After lunch, travel to El Chato Reserve to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. A short journey will take you to Puerto Ayora where you board La Pinta, your yacht for the next four nights.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  4. In the morning, a panga (dinghy) will ferry you to Eden Islet to observe Blue footed boobies, reef sharks and frigates. There will be a chance to snorkel and, if weather conditions permit, ride in a glass-bottom boat to see the tiny island of Sombrero Chino. Upon return to Eden Islet, explore the beautiful surrounds and wildlife as you wander the 1,312-foot-long (400 metres) trail.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  5. In the morning, the Galapagos icon of Bartolomé Island awaits. Ascend a wooden staircase for spectacular views from the top before boarding a panga cruise around the colossal Pinnacle Rock. After lunch, the panga will take you to Sullivan Bay, a white, coral-sand beach that is perfect for swimming and snorkelling. It also has a trail running above a lava field that flowed here less than 100 years ago.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  6. Begin your day with an easy stroll to observe marine and land birds, with options available for all travellers. In the afternoon, there is a panga ride alongside the cliffs before disembarking for a captivating walk to observe large colonies of Nazca boobies, Frigatebirds, storm petrels, and the elusive short-eared owl.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  7. Return to Baltra Island to disembark and be transferred to Baltra Airport for your flight to Lima, Peru. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. (FB) Anticipated arrival time in Lima is 22:00.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
    hotel:JW Marriott Hotel (Ocean view rooms), Lima (2 nights).
  8. Experience Lima through the eyes of a Local Expert as you are introduced to the beautiful 'City of Kings'. Explore the UNESCO listed Historic Centre of Lima; view the imposing cathedral, and visit the San Francisco Monastery with its shadowy catacombs lined with skulls and bones. A Highlight Lunch is included in the trendy, bohemian district of Barranco at one of Lima's most up-and-coming restaurants, Amor Amar. Continue exploring Barranco and visit the workshop of Victor Delfin, one of the leading sculptors and painters in Peru, best known for his monumental El Beso, a large sculpture unveiled in 1993 in "Love Park" in the Miraflores district. Meet Victor and his wife—who was his muse for the sculpture—at his home. Then, over a hot chocolate or authentic café pasado, listen to an expert barista spill the beans on Peruvian coffee. As evening falls, the restaurant terrace at Huaca Pucllana overlooks the illuminated ruins of a 1500-year-old pre-Inca pyramid. In contrast, the cuisine at the evening's Highlight Dinner is 'new Andean', exquisitely executed by one of the capital's celebrated chefs.

    meal(s):FB, HL, HD
    hotel:Belmond Miraflores Park Lima Hotel
  9. Board your flight for Cusco and drive to Peru's Sacred Valley. Stretching between the old Inca capital of Cusco and the legendary city of Machu Picchu, this was the fertile homeland of the Inca Empire. Visit the colourful Sunday market in the town of Chinchero, one of the most traditional markets in all of South America, where you'll be surrounded by locals in their traditional dress, buying and selling their wares. Then, meet Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, a Quechua and scholar, president of the Centre for Traditional Textiles of Cusco and recipient of a TreadRight Foundation grant. Enjoy lunch with Nilda and learn about her mission to preserve traditional weaving techniques and why weaving in Peru is much more than just an art form. View weavers at work, learn about weaving patterns and Andean beliefs. Later, check into your luxurious resort and relax before dinner at your hotel.
    meal(s):FB, L, D
    hotel:Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Sacred Valley (2 nights).
  10. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before heading to the little town of Maras to meet with a local family, giving you the unique opportunity to learn the local arts and crafts of the region. View the spectacular terraced salt pans dating back to Inca times, a patchwork landscape of pinks, tans and browns. Families have passed down caring for these salt pans for generations and today maintain them in much the same way they did long ago. Experience the ways in which they care for the salt pans and how their way of life depends on this tradition. In Moray, view the Incan ruins of circular terraces said to have been used for agricultural experiments. Experience a typical, trendy 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 a centuries-old ritual of expressing reverence to the Earth as a source of life. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy your resort's facilities.
    meal(s):FB, L
    hotel:Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Sacred Valley.
  11. Start the day with a visit to the town of Ollantaytambo, a National Archeological Site. Settle in to the panoramic viewing cars of the Vistadome train for the scenic journey to Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lunch is included upon arrival at your resort, reminiscent of an ancient Andean village. Explore nature trails winding past waterfalls and gardens as your Local Expert explains the fascinating cloud forest ecosystem. Discover a working tea plantation and the world's largest private collection of indigenous orchids. In the evening, learn how to blend the perfect pisco sour before enjoying dinner at the hotel.
    meal(s):FB, L, D
    hotel:Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (2 nights).
  12. Today, you have the entire day to discover the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu, recently named one of the 'New Seven Wonders of the World'. Meet your Local Expert for a walk through the enigmatic 'Lost City of the Incas'. Learn about its history and the people who once lived there as you explore the site. Witness the great Temple of the Sun, Sacred Plaza and the intricately carved Intihuatana, believed to be an ancient sun clock. After an included lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge, there is more time to explore the archaeological site at your own pace, or perhaps visit the local town and browse its market before dinner.
    meal(s):FB, L, D
    hotel:Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.
  13. Return by train to the Sacred Valley and tantalise your taste buds with a Highlight Lunch at a Pachamanca Feast, a traditional Peruvian meal cooked underground. At a local camelid farm, get up close and personal with llamas, guanacos, alpacas and even the rare and precious vicuña, known for their soft and highly prized wool. Arrive at your stylish hotel, only steps away from the Plaza de Armas. Built atop ancient Incan ruins and situated around a 16th century convent, your hotel is a veritable museum in the historic city of Cusco.
    meal(s):FB, HL
    hotel:JW Marriott El Convento, Cusco (2 nights).
  14. Join a Local Expert to explore Cusco and its surroundings. Visit the Temple of the Sun at Korikancha and the formidable citadel of Sacsayhuaman, made of gigantic boulders, and the city cathedral. Visit the local market where you can practice your bartering skills. Set out for San Blas, Cusco's artisan centre, where you visit an unusual candle shop and learn about its importance to the locals. After, enjoy some free time on the Plaza de Armas for shopping. In the evening, enjoy a candlelit Highlight Dinner at the reputed MAP restaurant.
    meal(s):FB, HD
    hotel:JW Marriott El Convento, Cusco.
  15. After departing Cusco in the morning, board your included flight to Juliaca before a drive to Puno, situated on the edge of the majestic waters of Lake Titicaca. Arrive on Esteves Island and your lakeside hotel.
    meal(s):FB, L, D
    hotel:Libertador Lake Titicaca (2 nights).
  16. Cruise Lake Titicaca, the most sacred lake in the world of the Incas, to the famous floating islands of Uros. Here the local people bundle reeds from the lake to build floating platforms, houses and canoes. Learn about their lifestyle and customs before continuing to the island of Amantani, known for its weaving, stone carvings and gorgeous landscape. Enjoy lunch hosted by local restaurateur, Gladys Quispe Yanarico at Samari. After, there is time to explore or purchase local handicrafts before returning to Puno where you can relax until dinner.
    meal(s):FB, L, D
    hotel:Libertador Lake Titicaca.
  17. Head out to Sillustani on the shores of Lake Umayo, to explore the impressive burial grounds, before your flight to Lima. In the evening you are treated to a sensational Farewell Celebration Dinner with wine at world-renowned Astrid y Gaston, located in a magnificent San Isidro hacienda with over 300 years of history.

    meal(s):FB, L, CD
    hotel:Belmond Miraflores Park Lima Hotel
  18. Your Peruvian adventure draws to a close today. A departure transfer is included to Lima airport.
    meal(s):FB
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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.
  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
17 Feb 18 6 Mar 18 $11,570$11,109pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
14 Apr 18 1 May 18 $11,570$11,109pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
28 Apr 18 15 May 18 checkmark $11,570$11,109pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
4 Aug 18 21 Aug 18 $11,570$11,109pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
1 Sep 18 18 Sep 18 $11,570$11,109pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
13 Oct 18 30 Oct 18 $11,570$11,109pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109

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: from $6,870

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $137 per person.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

Intra-Air: Prices include economy airfare and related charges for the flights between Lima-Cusco, Cusco-Juliaca, and Juliaca-Lima 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.

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.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

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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

Meal Summary

1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 11 Full Breakfasts (FB), 7 Lunches (L), 5 Dinners (D), 2 Highlight Lunches (HL), 2 Highlight Dinners (HD) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD).

Included Highlights

Signature Experiences

  • Cusco: Dine at the sought-after MAP restaurant, situated in the inner
  • courtyard of the Museum of Pre-Colombian Art.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Lima: In the artistic district, meet sculptor and painter Victor Delfín, best known for his monumental El Beso sculpture, at his workshop.
  • Sacred Valley: The Center of Traditional Textiles and founder Nilda Callañaupa empower Quechuan women and men in the communities of Chinchero, Chahuaytire and Pitumarcat by preserving and teaching textile traditions that were disappearing.
  • Machu Picchu: Join an expert in Andean culture for a full day discovery of the enigmatic Lost City of the Incas.
  • Cusco: Practice your bartering skills at a local market. All purchases are later donated to local needy families.

  • 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 48 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.

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