Galapagos and Inca Trail Adventure

16 Nights from £3,829 Including Flights

Overview

A dreamy adventure for nature lovers and explorers, this incredible 16-night tour offers the wonderful opportunity to experience western South America’s rich wildlife, charismatic cities and magnificent natural wonders.

Starting in Quito, Ecuador and ending in Cusco, Peru, you’ll become acquainted with Ecuador’s spirited capital before taking to the sparkling blue waters and verdant archipelago of the Galapagos Islands, home to some of the planet’s most beautiful scenery and unique fauna.

After seven blissful nights of tropical island exploration, it’s time to embark on an unforgettable trip to Peru, entailing picturesque treks along ancient Incan pathways to the world-famous Machu Picchu, discovering the charms of Lima and losing yourself around the cobbled streets and endless beauty of Cusco.

Please note: The minimum age for this tour is 15 years and over.

Highlights

  • Discover the quaint streets and beautiful colonial architecture of Quito, Ecuador’s charming capital and one of South America’s most attractive cities
  • Experience the famous wildlife of the Galapagos Islands as you swim with the majestic sea turtles, playful sea lions, manta rays and more
  • Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre to learn about the preservation and conservation of the Galapagos’ rare ecosystems
  • Take the challenging hike of Sierra Negra Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the Galapagos with the second largest crater in the world
  • Explore Lima’s magnificent historic centre
  • Follow the picturesque forested path of the Inca Trail to the incredible Machu Picchu
  • Wander the beautiful cobblestone passages of Cusco, the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city
Whats included?
  • Flights & taxes
  • Accommodation
  • Transfers
  • Checked baggage
  • ATOL protection
  • In resort assistance & 24 hour contact centre
Why Book with Tropical Sky?
  • Hassle-free - book direct quickly and easily
  • Choice of airlines and the option to switch
  • A friendly, family run business with a wealth of experience.
  • Great deals on offer for multiple destinations
  • No amendment fees
  • Low deposits
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Day 1

Quito

Upon arrival in Quito, your adventure will begin at 2pm with a welcome meeting – be sure to have your insurance details and next of kin information handy to provide to the tour leader. You’ll then enjoy a quick city tour around the beautiful colonial-style architecture and old town before spending some time at leisure to explore one of the most attractive cities in South America.

Day 2

San Cristobal, Galapagos

Take an early morning transfer to Quito Airport for your flight to San Cristobal Island, taking around 3.5 hours with a quick stop in Guayaquil to pick up additional passengers. Upon arrival, you’ll transfer from the airport to your hotel; soon after, travel to La Loberia for an opportunity to snorkel with the sea lions, and maybe even some sea turtles. Continue back to town for a night at leisure – you may wish to head out with the group and enjoy some fresh seafood specialities.

Breakfast included.

Day 3

San Cristobal, Galapagos

Today begins with a short boat ride to Leon Dormido or Isla Lobos, which should take around 45 minutes. Along the way, keep an eye out for nesting frigates and blue-footed boobies, and you may even get the chance to swim with the playful young sea lions. On arrival, you’ll snorkel in the crystalline waters with chances to see wild sea turtles, manta rays and the harmless Galapagos Shark. Lunch will be enjoyed on the boat (it’s against National Park rules to eat on the beach), before heading to the interpretation centre where you will learn about the fascinating history of the ‘Enchanted Islands’ and about the conservation of Galapagos wildlife. Next, you will make your way to Frigatebird Hill – it’s quite a climb to the top, but the stunning views of the bay and Kicker Rock are well worth it. Return in the late afternoon/early evening.

Breakfast and Lunch are included.

Day 4

San Cristobal - Floreana Island – Isabela Island, Galapagos

Take an early morning boat ride towards Florena Island, which should take around 2.5 hours with lots of opportunity to spot dolphins and whales along the way. On arrival, you’ll enjoy a snorkel in the clear blue waters before lunch, and then you’ll head to the black sand beach belonging to descendants of some of the first settlers on the Galapagos. The town here, Puerto Velasco Ibarra, is home to just 150 residents and carries an interesting history to discover. Later in the afternoon, you’ll continue on to Isabela Island via boat which should take around 2 hours; from the port, it’s a short transfer to your hotel for the night.

Breakfast and Lunch are included.

Day 5

Isla Isabela, Galapagos

Start your day with a short 15-minute bus ride to the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre where you can observe these majestic creatures in all stages of development; there’s almost 1,000 giant tortoise here, training for life in the wild. From here, you’ll take another short bus ride to a brackish lagoon to observe beautiful flamingos in their natural habitat.

In the afternoon, you’ll board a small pangas to Tintoreras or Shark Alley – along the way, you may spot the famous Galapagos Penguin or blue-footed boobies along the coastline. On arrival, hop off for a short walk along the isolated islet and iguana nesting site, before snorkelling in a calm inlet filled with tropical fish and winding underground lava tubes; the area is frequented by green sea turtles which may be spotted on the sandy bottom. In the late afternoon, return to town to enjoy one of the Galapagos’ most picturesque sunsets.

Breakfast included.

Day 6

Isla Isabela, Galapagos

Begin your last day on this island with a trip to Sierra Negra Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the Galapagos with the second largest crater in the world. Weather permitting, you’ll take a challenging 17-kilometre hike up the rocky mountain, taking around 5 to 6 hours. After the hike, make your way to town in the late afternoon for some free time to spend on the beach, in the pool or curled up with a good book before dinner.

Breakfast and Lunch are included.

Day 7

Santa Cruz, Galapagos

It’s an early start today at around 5am, with a boat transfer to Santa Cruz at 6pm; upon arrival, transfer to Puerto Ayora for breakfast before heading to the Charles Darwin Research Station where you’ll learn about conservation efforts to preserve the Galapagos’ unique ecosystems and you can get close to giant tortoises which are being raised for the repopulation program.

Next, you’ll enjoy lunch in a traditional Ecuadorian restaurant and a visit to the higher parts of the islands to observe giant tortoise roaming in their natural habitat. Afterwards, visit a locally owned Sugar Cane farm to learn about the process of turning sugar cane into alcohol with the opportunity to try some.

Breakfast included.

Day 8

Santa Cruz, Galapagos

This morning you will hike approximately 3.5 kilometres to Tortuga Bay where you will head out on a kayak excursion in a protected bay. Along the way, keep an eye out for eagle rays, sea turtles and blue-footed boobies; later on, head back to Puerto Ayora to enjoy some free time exploring the town. Tonight, you’ll enjoy a group dinner.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included.

Day 9

Santa Cruz, Galapagos – Quito, Ecuador

Say goodbye to the Galapagos today as you take a flight back to Quito; upon arrival in the late afternoon, you’ll have some time at leisure – perhaps head out for a final group dinner in the evening.

Day 10

Lima

Today you will be transferred to Quito airport in time to catch your flight to Lima (not included); an arrival transfer will await you at Lima Airport to take you to your hotel in Lima. You will meet your new tour leader and fellow travellers at a welcome meeting at 2pm, followed by an orientation walk of Miraflores.

Breakfast included.

Day 11

Cusco

Take an unescorted flight to Cusco (included) today, and meet your local leader at the airport upon landing. Spend a little time unwinding and acclimatising to the high altitude before heading out on an orientation walk with your tour leader; visit the façade of Qoricancha Temple, the local San Pedro market, the main square, and the chocolate museum where you can sample locally-made hot chocolate.

Day 12

Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo

Travel via private bus through the Sacred Valley for around two hours – along the way, you’ll see maize crops covering the terraced valley walls and sacred river beneath. For lunch, visit a local community that reside in the valley and learn all about the local lifestyle and language. If it’s a market day, you may have the opportunity to browse the local handicrafts such as beads and ponchos. Continue your journey to the town of Ollantaytambo where you’ll spend the night – if there’s time, you may like to see the town’s archaeological site which includes remnants of an Inca City and soaring views over the present-day settlement.

Breakfast and Lunch are included.

Day 13

Inca Trail, Inca Quarry Trail or Train Option

Depending on the travel arrangements you made prior to the trip, you’ll be doing one of the following for the next four days: hiking the classic Inca Trail, hiking the Inca Quarry Trail or staying in Cusco for another two days before taking the train to Aguas Calientes.

Choice 1 – Inca Trail: Travel by minivan to the 82 kilometre market and meet your crew of local porters, cook and guide. Today involves an uphill trek to the campsite, situated 3,100 metres above sea level; on the way, you’ll see the sights of Ollantaytambo, Huillca Raccay and Llactapata, as well as incredible views of the snow-capped Veronica Peak. In the evening, unwind at the campsite with a hearty meal.

Choice 2 – Inca Quarry Trail: It’s an early start today as you drive to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas worshipped the moon. Drive to the starting point of the trek, Rafq’a, and meet with the horsemen who will join you on this hike. After an hour’s walk, reach the small community of Socma, carry on to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout for a food break and the opportunity to take some photos. Continue to the campsite, which is 3,700 metres above sea level; you should reach the campsite around lunchtime. After lunch, set off to explore the Q’orimarca archaeological site.

Choice 3 – Train + 2 nights in Cusco: Leave Ollytaytambo at around 9:30am for a short drive to the town of Pisac, well known for its market. Arrive back into Cusco in the afternoon, where your tour leader will take you to San Pedro Market to buy some food for a picnic tomorrow.

Breakfast included for all choices, Lunch and Dinner included for those trekking the Inca / Inca Quarry Trail only.

Day 14

Inca Trail, Inca Quarry Trail or Train Option

Choice 1: This is the most challenging day of the trek as you ascend a long, steep path to reach the highest point of the trail, taking around five hours. Known as ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’, Warmiwanusca sits at a height of 4,200 metres above sea level with amazing views of the valley below. You will then descend to the campsite in the Pacaymayo Valley at 3,650 metres.

Choice 2: The most challenging and rewarding day of the hike, a three-hour walk takes you to the top of Puccaqasa, approximately 4,370 metres above sea level. After soaking up picturesque views of the valley, it’s a short walk before stopping for lunch. Then, you’ll make the two-hour hike to Kuychicassa, the highest pass of the trek at 4,450 metres. From here, descend to the sacred site of Sun Gate, with views over the Nevado Veronica Mountain. Head to the campsite, set just a stone’s throw away at Choquetacarpo.

Choice 3: Today, you’ll take a taxi to Tambomachay, an archaeological site set just outside of Cusco. From here you’ll take short downhill walk (1-3 hours) back to Cusco. On the way, stop to admire some of the archaeological sites, including Puka Pukara, Quinqu Quenqo and Saksaywaman. Arrive back in the afternoon and enjoy some time at leisure.

Breakfast included for all choices, Lunch and Dinner included for those trekking the Inca / Inca Quarry Trail only.

Day 15

Inca Trail, Inca Quarry Trail or Train Option

Choice 1: Start the day with a climb through the Pacaymayo Valley to Runkuracay Pass. Enjoy views of the snow-capped mountain of Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending for around two to three hours to the runs of Sayacmarca. Continue over the trail’s third pass to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, also known as the ‘town above the clouds’. Start the two-hour descent down the Inca steps to the final night’s campsite by the Winay Wayna archaeological site.

Choice 2: Today’s hike will be completely downhill, with the first stop being the incomplete Kachiqata Quarry, where the Incas were intercepted by the Spanish. Around midday, you’ll come to the end of the trek; explore the cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo before taking the short train journey to Aguas Calientes – this is where you will meet up with the travellers in your group who didn’t hike. Visiting the natural hot springs in town is a soothing way to spend the afternoon at leisure.

Choice 3: After a drive to Ollantaytambo (around one and a half hours), catch a train through Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientes, taking another 1.5 hours. Nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu, the city is home to beautiful hot springs where you may while away the afternoon; or for those who want a sneak peak, there is time to visit Machu Picchu independently before a guided tour tomorrow.

Breakfast included for all choices, Lunch and Dinner included for those trekking the Inca / Inca Quarry Trail only.

Day 16

Inca Trail, Inca Quarry Trail or Train Option (Machu Picchu)

Choice 1: This is the final and most spectacular leg of the trek to Machu Picchu; the day starts before dawn with breakfast served at 4pm. Begin the final part of the trek when the checkpoint opens at 5am – the walk to Sun Gate will take around 2.5 hours. Weather permitting, you’ll bask in the unforgettable views over the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ as you enter Machu Picchu through Sungate.

Choice 2: Depending on weather conditions, take a bus at 5:30am this morning along the winding road to Machu Picchu, taking around 30 minutes. On arrival, join up with the travellers in your group who hiked the Classic Inca Trail. If skies are clear, enjoy spectacular views over the ancient city from Sun Gate, before going on a guided walk around the ruins.

Choice 3: Take an early bus up to Machu Picchu at 5:30am; take a guided tour around the ruins of temples, palaces and living quarters and enjoy free time afterwards to wander around at leisure before the group returns to Cusco.

FOR ALL TRAILS: It’s time to return to Cusco for a well-deserved shower and cocktail; your evening is then free for the final night of your adventure.

Breakfast included.

Day 17

Cusco

Your tour comes to an end today and there are no scheduled activities. You may wish to book a couple more nights in Cusco to make the most of your time here, where you’ll have the chance to visit some of the sites that weren’t covered during your orientation tour. If you’re heading home today, transfer to the airport in time for your departing flight.

Breakfast included.

  • International flights
  • Internal flights
  • Group tour with a maximum of 16 passengers
  • 12 nights of hotel accommodation, 3 nights of camping accommodation with basic facilities
  • 15 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 4 dinners
  • Plane, speed boat, public bus, private car and train transportation
  • Tours, entrance fees and activities included in itinerary

What’s Not Included

  • Optional activities, entrance fees and transport costs
  • Tips & Gratuities

Alex Cooper
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