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Peru and the Galapagos Islands

15 days from £6580 per person

With its location on the Pacific coast, a visit to Peru can easily be combined with the Galapagos Islands. Starting in Lima, travel to Cusco and visit the fortress of Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu. Continue by air to the Ecuadorian capital Quito before flying to the Galapagos – an island archipelago 1,000 kilometres off the coast. This fascinating place, famed for its incredibly vast number of endemic species and for the studies of Charles Darwin, provides a wonderful end to the itinerary and is a privilege to experience at first hand. Please note that the Galapagos cruise is operated on a 'join-in basis' with other travellers.

Route: Lima – Cusco – Aguas Calientes – Cusco – Quito – Baltra Island – Galapagos cruise – Guayaquil

Itinerary Highlights

An ancient Inca citadel suspended high in the Andes, Machu Picchu is an intriguing site where the journey to reach it is just as spectacular.

Situated 2850m above sea level, Quito is the highest capital in the world and a fantastic destination that is full of ancient colonial charm and architectural treasures.

1000 kms off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are a remote volcanic archipelago containing many diverse and rare animals and plants, some unique to the islands.

Itinerary: Peru and the Galapagos Islands

Depart the UK on the Iberia flight to Lima via Madrid. Capital of Peru, Lima is the largest city in the country and a city of grand colonial architecture, first-class museums and exquisite churches. (N)
Accommodation in Lima: Miraflores Park Plaza Hotel (or similar)
Today explore the city with your guide. Places of interest include the Plaza Mayor – the original site on which Lima was founded by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535 – as well as the historic cathedral, grand Presidential Palace and Church of San Francisco with its collection of fine frescoes. The fascinating Archaeological Museum, depicting the progression of Peru’s various early civilizations from the Chavin in 1,000 BC to the Incas, is also well worth visiting and an excellent introduction to the country’s history. End the day with a drive along the Lima’s Pacific coast through the enchanting neighborhoods of San Isidro, Miraflores and Larco Mar. (B)
Accommodation in Lima: Miraflores Park Plaza Hotel (or similar)
This morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Cusco. Cusco is the former ancient capital of the Inca Empire. In the afternoon enjoy a walking tour of Cusco, including the beautiful Plaza de Armas, to absorb the city’s wonderful atmosphere and marvel at some of the finest colonial architecture in South America. (B)
Accommodation in Cusco: Belmond Hotel Monasterio (or similar)
After breakfast leave Cusco and drive to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This enchanting valley is home to a number of fascinating Inca ruins with two most important found close to the traditional colonial village of Pisac and charming Ollantaytambo with its monumental fortress. Spend time in Pisac and then enjoy lunch at Huayoccari Hacienda – a private residence overlooking the mountains offering fabulous views of the valley. After lunch continue to Ollantaytambo which dates to the 13th century. Walk the village’s narrow cobbled streets then visit the rose-coloured fortress which once housed baths, fountains, temples and barracks. (B/L)
Accommodation in Cusco: Belmond Hotel Monasterio (or similar)
This morning transfer to the railway station and board a train bound for the legendary ‘Lost City’ of the Incas, Machu Picchu. Upon your arrival at Aguas Calientes a twenty-five minute bus ride will bring you to the ruins of this famous Inca city. With its breathtaking location Machu Picchu is the foremost archaeological site on the continent and the highlight of a visit to Peru. Unknown to the outside world until the 20th century, explore this UNESCO protected citadel with your guide before retreating to your accommodation. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Aguas Calientes: Belmond Sanctuary Lodge (or similar)
Rise early this morning to witness the sunrise over Machu Picchu. Later explore this magnificent citadel on your own or take a hike with your guide, perhaps to the famous Sun Gate for excellent views of the ruins or up Huayna Picchu for a unique panorama of the entire city. In the early afternoon return by train to Cusco. (B/L)
Accommodation in Cusco: Belmond Hotel Monasterio (or similar)
This morning transfer to Cusco Airport and fly to Lima. On arrival in Lima connect onto a flight to Quito. Capital of Ecuador, Quito is one of South America’s hidden gems. With an elegant UNESCO protected colonial centre, the original heart of the city is an eye-catching combination of graceful pastel-coloured homes, narrow cobbled streets, imposing squares and opulent churches including the city’s 450 year old cathedral. (B)
Accommodation in Quito: Casa Gangotena (or similar)
Today tour Quito with your guide. Starting at the Plaza de la Independencia visit the Cathedral of Quito then walk to the Jesuit church of La Compania with its awe-inspiring gold-leaf interior and fine collection of colonial art. From here head to the Plaza de San Francisco to visit the Church and Convent of St Francis – the city’s oldest and largest colonial church – then explore narrow cobbled streets around Calle Morales. End the day atop Panecillo Hill, marvel at the statue of Quito’s ‘winged Virgin’ and enjoy the spectacular views over the city below. (B)
Accommodation in Quito: Casa Gangotena (or similar)
This morning fly via Guayaquil to Baltra Island in the Galapagos and board the Galapagos Odyssey for a five night cruise. With eight spacious cabins and a maximum of sixteen passengers, there is a resident naturalist on board, large sun deck, bar and small library. The diversity of species on these fascinating islands, named after the local tortoise, inspired Darwin’s theories on natural selection and ultimately his book ‘On the Origin of Species’. Due to the strong conservationist efforts and strict regulations in the archipelago, the endemic wildlife and fauna Darwin noted in his studies remain unique to the area even today. (B/L/D)
Accommodation: onboard cruise
Enjoy four full days exploring these fascinating islands with your fellow passengers in the company of an expert naturalist. Endemic species here include fur seal, sea lion, green sea turtle, Galapagos tortoise, marine iguana, Galapagos land iguana and lava lizard. Over 180 species of bird have also been recorded. Please note that weather, water and wildlife viewings will affect your actual day-to-day itinerary but the cruise will visit the main islands and their landmarks. Most expeditions from the Galapagos Odyssey are by pangas – inflatable rubber crafts with outboard motors. (B/L/D)
Accommodation: onboard cruise
This morning leave the Galapagos Odyssey and fly back from Baltra Island to Guayaquil. On arrival in Guayaquil connect onto the evening overnight Iberia flight non-stop to Madrid. (B)
Arrive into Madrid in the afternoon and connect onto the onward Iberia flight to the UK. (N)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Domestic flights
  • Train travel as specified
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Peru and the Galapagos Islands Holiday Review

“First and foremost it was a simply stunning time – we really enjoyed every aspect of it” – “You put together for us a most wonderful trip, and you plugged away with the Peruvian agents getting just the trip we wanted”

P & ST - Peru and the Galapagos Islands - September 2015

Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

Please call us for more information or complete the online enquiry form to request a quotation.

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