Peru, Ecuador & Galapagos

Cusco
Cusco to Puno - © Bob Cable
Hiram Bingham Exterior Scenic View - © Genivs Loci
Galapagos Odyssey Cruise
Lake Titicaca - © Bob Cable
Machu Picchu - © Bob Cable
UNESCO World Heritage Nazca Lines, Peru
Quito
Sealions swimming, Galapagos Islands

Holiday Highlights

  • Machu Picchu
  • Flight over Nazca Lines
  • Ballestas Island excursion
  • Huancayo, Hiram Bingham, Belmond Andean Explorer Rail Journeys
  • Lake Titicaca Tour
  • 5-night cruise on Galapagos
  • Tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas
  • City tours in Lima, Cusco, Guayaquil and Quito
  • 22 days from £11,950pp
REQUEST A QUOTE

This is an epic journey we arranged for a group of 4 adults who wanted to experience the abundant historic, cultural and environmental jewels of Peru and Ecuador AND some memorable train journeys. To make the most of the trip one of the couples extended their travels and spent an amazing five days cruising around the remote and exceptional Galapagos to make this a ‘holiday of a lifetime’!

“A wonderful holiday. My father in law commented several times he was very impressed by Ffestiniog Travel for your arrangements. All planning worked. We were really well looked after by the ground agents in Peru and Ecuador. All the tour guides were really helpful and really looked after us.

“Our trip in the Galapagos was wonderful. A good boat, we all felt very safe in all the boat transfers and off boat activities and our naturalist guide Roberto, who if we go back for another route, we would email him and work our trip around his schedule.”
Mr & Mrs C from Devon

If South America is on your ‘to do’ list contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss a Tailor Made itinerary or click on the Request a Quote button.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Flight to Lima

An overnight flight from London to Lima.

Day 2 – Arrive Lima

Our couple arrived in Lima in the morning and were met by a local guide who assisted them with their luggage and organised transfer to the Westin Lima Hotel for an overnight stay. A day to relax and explore Lima.

Day 3 – By Train to Huancayo

Early transfer to Desamparados’ station to board the train for an incredible scenic journey to Huancayo. The 535km route follows the Rimac River and travels into the Andes Mountains, crossing 58 bridges, 69 tunnels and amazing zigzag lines. It includes two stops - one at San Bartolome to appreciate how the locomotive is turned and the other one in Matucana to visit the town. They also pass Galera, which, at 4,871m above sea level, is considered to be the highest railway station in the world. Lunch was included on board and on arrival in Huancayo they were met by a local guide who transferred them to the Hotel Presidente for an overnight stay.

Day 4 – By Road to Paracas

A day’s journey by road back to sea level and the coastal town of Paracas. The route travels through breathtaking landscapes including snow-capped mountains, lagoons and passes several traditional Andean villages. A packed lunch was included during the journey. On reaching Paracas the couple stayed at the Paracas Luxury Collection Resort and Spa for one night.

Day 5 – Boat Trip to Ballestas Islands and Flight Over the Nazca Lines

An amazing day which began with a morning boat trip to see one of the main attractions of Ica: The Ballestas Islands. En route they passed the famous Candelabro (candlestick) which is thought to have a connection with the enigmatic Nazca Lines. Ballestas Islands is teeming with wildlife including frigates, pelicans, Nazca boobies, Humboldt penguins, sea lions and much more. After the excursion, our Ffestiniog Travellers headed to an airfield to board a small plane to see the phenomenal, gigantic Nazca Lines that are only visible from air. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the reasons why the ancient Nazca people traced them and the methods used to draw such huge figures with such amazing precision still remain a mystery. Return flight to Lima for a 2-night stay.

Day 6 – Explore Lima

Our couple enjoyed a tour of Peru’s capital, beginning in Lima’s modern sector at Miraflores, the perfect point to enjoy views of the bay and the Pacific Ocean and where you can see the contrast between Lima’s modern buildings and its ancient Peruvian architecture, such as the pre-Hispanic site of Pucllana. They visited San Isidro, the financial and commercial heart of the city and home to the pre-Hispanic remains of Huallamarca. Downtown Lima boasts important architectural buildings including the Government Palace and the Cathedral and the tour visited the 16th Century Santo Domingo convent, the first temple and convent built by Dominicans in Lima. Following a rest at the hotel the couple later visited the Museo Larco to see the private collection of Don Rafael Larco Hoyle, a display of more than 45,000 pieces of pottery and hundreds of textiles, metals and stones. They even got exclusive access to its famous collection of erotic pottery!

Day 7 – To Cusco and Half Day City Tour

Flight to Cusco and a private transfer to the Palacio del Inka Luxury Collection Hotel for a 3-night stay. In the afternoon our couple enjoyed a city tour taking in the famous stone that has twelve angles, Korikancha or Temple of Sun, the Cathedral that shelters priceless pieces of colonial art and the impressive fortress, Sacsayhuaman, that overlooks Cusco. Other sites on the tour included Qenqo, Puca Pucara and the Inca bath of Tambomachay.

Day 8 – Hiram Bingham Train to Machu Picchu

A morning transfer to the railway station to board the Hiram Bingham service to the Lost City of the Incas. During the journey the couple enjoyed a brunch whilst soaking up the amazing views of the valley and the contrasting high, snow-capped mountains. From the town of Machu Picchu a bus took the couple to the world renowned Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu. Here they toured the amazing ancient structure. At the end of the tour they had a well-deserved cup of tea before returning to the train to enjoy cocktails and dinner on their journey back to Cusco.

Day 9 – Day tour of The Sacred Valley of the Incas

The couple began the day with a visit to the town of Chinchero, built on ancient Inca foundations and considered to be one of the most important farming centres in Cusco, surrounded by amazing snow-capped mountains. Next stop were the circular terraces of Moray, located in the Sacred Valley and known as the botanic laboratory of the Incas. The salt mines of Maras gave the couple the opportunity to see the puddles of salt turn into mirrors of colour caused by the reflected light of sun. A lunch at Wayra Ranch and a Peruvian Paso Horse Exhibition was followed by a visit to another town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Ollantaytambo, considered to be the oldest, continuously occupied town in South America. It has an impressive archaeological site and fortress which contains some superb Inca stonework and terracing.

Day 10 – Belmond Andean Explorer Train to Puno

Today our couple joined the Belmond Andean Explorer train to travel along one of the highest train routes in the world, passing through breathtaking scenery en route to Puno and Lake Titicaca and Arequipa to explore more natural wonders and ancient kingdoms. This 2-part journey included 2 night’s twin bed cabin accommodation on board the train.

Day 11 – Boat Trip on Lake Titicaca

Following breakfast on the train the couple boarded a boat to spend the morning exploring Lake Titicaca and visiting the astonishing floating islands of Uros and continuing to Taquile Island where they enjoyed a private lunch at Collata Beach and watched dance and artisan craft displays, arriving back at Lake Titicaca Station (Puno) mid-afternoon. The Belmond Andean Explorer journey continued with pre-dinner cocktails and dinner served on board.

Day 12 – Arrive Arequipa and Fly to Lima

Early breakfast on board the train before the couple took a tour of nearby Sumbay Caves, famous for featuring more than 500 ancient paintings and engravings of local wildlife. The transfer to the airport enabled the couple to get a panoramic view of Arequipa, a city with a Baroque centre, three volcanoes and a deep canyon. Evening flight to Lima for a 1-night stay, again at the Westin Lima Hotel.

Day 13 – Fly to Quito

Mid-morning flight to Quito for a 2-night stay at La Casona de la Ronda . The couple had a chance to relax and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Day 14 – Quito City Tour & Middle of the World

Today began with a guided tour of Quito’s historic centre, a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site. Ecuador’s capital is the highest capital city in the world at 2,850m above sea level and home to 2.2m people. Its cobblestone squares, narrow streets and skilfully ornamented colonial churches and monasteries are some of the finest in South America. A visit to the painted equatorial line of Mitad del Mundo followed, one of the most visited sites in Ecuador. From the panoramic balcony of the prominent equatorial monument you can admire Cayambe volcano on a clear day and at 5,790m it is the highest and only place on Earth where the equator touches snow. Nearby is the private Inti Ñan Solar Museum (Path of the Sun) which is dedicated to the ancestral worldview of various ethnic groups. Here physics experiments explain gravitational effects on the equator.

Day 15 – Fly to Galapagos National Park and Board Yacht

Following breakfast at the hotel our Ffestiniog Travellers flew to San Cristobel to begin their Galapagos cruise. On arrival there was an opportunity to see the hard work that goes on to save the famous Galapagos Giant Tortoise at the breeding centre on Colorado Hill. Accommodation for the next five nights was on board the Galapagos Odyssey Yacht.

Day 16 – Española

The cruise explored Española’s western tip - a birdwatcher and photographer’s dream location. It is a chance to get close to nature, taking a short hike past colourful marine iguanas. Española is one of the crown jewels of the Galapagos, providing a privileged opportunity to become an eyewitness to evolution.

Day 17 – East Galapagos

Today the yacht headed east to visit Punta Cormorant, Devil's Crown, Baroness Lookout and Post Office Bay. There was a chance to spot Galapagos penguins from the dinghy, or a flamingo lagoon against the pockmarked backdrop of extinct tuff cones and scented palo santo bushes. Baroness Viewpoint is a fantastic place to absorb the environment of the Galapagos and has an intriguing history - once inhabited by an indulgent baroness and her three lovers!

Day 18 – Barrington Bay (Santa Fe) & South Plaza

Santa Fé is another crown jewel of the Galapagos, where the pale Barrington land iguana and practically every other creature are unique to the Galapagos. Popular South Plaza is not to be missed! This bizarre ‘Jurassic islet’ is the best place to see the emblematic ‘Galapagos dragons’, which crawl across it.

Day 19 – North Seymour & Bachas (Santa Cruz)

North Seymour is another highlight of the cruise. In the archipelago’s most extensive seabird breeding colony you can walk just a short distance from frigate birds and blue-footed boobies. Strolling along its coastline, the blinding white Bachas Beach appears full of natural life. It is one of most important breeding sites for Pacific green turtles.

Day 20 – Mosquera & Flight to Guayaquil

Final day of the cruise visited Mosquera which stands out for having one of the largest concentrations of Galapagos sea lions in the entire archipelago. Our couple were escorted by their guide and crew members by dinghy to Baltra for an airport shuttle service to Guayaquil airport, where a private transfer took them to Hotel Unipark for an overnight stay.

Day 21 – Guayaquil & Flight to London

The couple enjoyed a city tour before a private transfer from the hotel to the airport for an early evening flight home via Bogota.

Day 22 – Arrive Home

Arrive London Heathrow mid-afternoon.

Selected Hotels

5* Westin Lima Hotel, Lima

Hotel Presidente, Huancayo

5* Paracas Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Paracas

Palacio del Inka Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco

5* La Casona de la Ronda, Quito

Hotel Unipark, Guayaquil

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • International flights in Economy Class with Avianca
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Tips at Peruvian airports and hotels
  • 8 lunches and 5 dinners
  • Entrance fees to the Peruvian monuments detailed above
  • Local taxes
  • Flight over Nasca Lines from Pisco
  • Ballestas Islands excursions on boat (the boat is shared with other passengers) but the guide is on private service
  • One-way train Lima/Huancayo and return by road Huancayo/Paracas
  • Round-trip train Hiram Bingham to Machu Picchu
  • One-way train Belmond Andean Explorer – route Peruvian Highlands: Cusco/Puno/Arequipa
  • Quito city tour
  • 6 day/5night full-board cruise on Galapagos Odyssey
  • Guayaquil city tour
  • Transfers and guides as detailed above

Price per person

From £11,950 per person sharing

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