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Great Galapagos & Inca Trail - Machu Picchu - Quito to Cusco

Price per Person
4990 USD
Service Level
Comfort / 4 stars Htl. & Camping
Travel Style
Andean Empire
Activity Level
Level 4 SNORKELING2 LAVA TUNNELS
Group Size
Max 16 - Avg. 12
Minimum Age
12 years old
Start / Finish
Quito, Ecuador - Cusco, Peru
Season
Year Round
Activities
Wildlife Trekking Hiking Snorkeling Swimming Cultural FreeDay
Discover the wonders of three of the best Galapagos Islands with an entertaining island-hopping experience that will bring you close to giant tortoises, sea lions, iguanas, sea turtles, penguins and other wildlife that inhibit this famous volcanic destination. Also experience the wonders of Cusco and the ancient paradise of Machu Picchu by taking the journey along the trail that has been trekked for centuries. A trip of a life-time to experience the very best of this natural and cultural paradise!

"Unique Experiences:"

  • Snorkel with sea turtles, eagle rays, sea lions and hummer head sharks at Kicker Rock, the best site in the Galpagos islands.                                                 
  • Kayak with penguins and eagle rays at  Tintoreras islet. 
ico1 CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION

ico1 HIKING TO THE TOP OF SERRA NEGRA VOLCANO

ico1 ENCOUNTER WITH THE GIANT TORTOISES IN THE WILD

ico1 SNORKEL LAVA TUNNELS AND ROCK FORMATIONS

ico1 SWIMMING WITH SHARK AT TINTORERAS

ico1 ENJOY WALKING ON SAND BEACHES AT TORTUGA BAY

ico1 WALKING LAVA TRAILS AND SEE MARINE IGUANAS ALONG THE SEA SHORT

ico1 TONS OF WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS IN ISABELA ISLAND

ico1 EXPLORING CUSCO INCA CITY

ico1 DISCOVERING THE MYTHS AND LEGENDS OF THE SACRED VALLEY

ico1 HIKING THE ROYAL INCA TRAIL

ico1 VISITING MACHU PICCHU INCA TREASURE

ico1 TAKING A PHOTO AT THE SUN GATE

ico1 OUR EXPERT LEADERS AND NATURALIST GUIDES

Day 1: Arrival day

Day 1: Arrival day
Day 1: Arrival day
Meet your AJ trip leader and group at 6:00pm.

Welcome to Quito! The largest, best-preserved colonial city of America - declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is considered the Cultural Capital of South America and is located on the equator in a valley at the foothills of the Pichincha volcano.

Depending on arrival time, you can spend your day exploring the old town of Quito and the surrounding area. ADVENTURE JOURNEYS can help you to organize a day trip (please request in advance). In the evening, one of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel’s lobby for a welcome briefing at 18:00 hours. At this time we will discuss the details and questions you may have regarding the adventure. Our first day is an acclimation and information day.

Accommodation:  Dann Carlton Hotel  or similar

Day 2: Galapagos - Isabela

Day 2: Galapagos - Isabela
Day 2: Galapagos - Isabela
Today we get ready to explore the most amazing archipelago in the Pacific coast and the place where Charles Darwin based his theory on the evolution of species. We will board a morning flight from Quito to the island of Baltra. Once we arrive, we head to the town of Puerto Ayora, the largest town in the Galapagos. From here we will take a quick boat to the largest island in the archipelago and where the most of the volcanic activity in the Galapagos is reported. The island was formed by six shield volcanoes, Alcedo, Cerra Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf; five of them are still active which makes the island one of the most volcanically active places on earth. During our island crossing, be on the lookout for dolphins and whales (July to October).

The Galapagos Islands is located 600 miles (965.6 km) from the coast of Ecuador, it is really important to understand that you will have to take air, road and sea transportation to get there.

Flying time: 3 hours (including the stop at Guayaquil city on the way to Baltra airport)

Speed boat time from Santa Cruz to Isabela: 2 hours (If you normally get seasick is very important to take medication before getting on the boat)

What to wear today: Light pants, t-shirt, fleece top, tennis shoes, hat, sun cream.

Accommodation: Cormorant or Similar
Meals : Breakfast

Day 3: Isabela Island

Day 3: Isabela Island
Day 3: Isabela Island
Explore the amazing formations of lava created by the last eruptions of the volcanic island along the seashore. This magical place has historically been filmed by BBC and National Geographic for their documentaries. It is a labyrinth of lava arches comprised of crystal clear water full of sea turtles, eagle rays, sea lions, sharks and more. The turtles navigate their own highway from the mangroves to the open sea through "Los Tuneles". Here, we will have the best snorkeling opportunity with all these beautiful animals, including the curious Galapagos penguins playing around. In the afternoon, we return to Puerto Villamil to go kayaking in Tintoreras to observe sea lions, penguins, turtles and marine iguanas.

This will be the best snorkeling opportunity with all these beautiful animals, including the curious Galapagos penguin playing around. Before or after the trip, you can enjoy some optional activities such as snorkeling at "Concha de Perla", taking surfing lessons, biking or just relax on the exotic white-sand beaches of Isabela Island. We recommend you to take some time to visit the giant tortoise breeding center located walking distance from the hotel.

Boat ride to the Lava Tunnels time: 1 hour each way

Snorkeling time: 2 times of 1 hour each

What to wear today: shorts, water long sleeve t-shirt, sandals or tennis shoes, bathing suit, hat or baseball cap, sun cream, mosquito repellent, buff.

Accommodation: Cormorant or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Lava Tunnels - Isabela

Day 4: Lava Tunnels - Isabela
Day 4: Lava Tunnels - Isabela
After driving up from Puerto Villamil to the trail head, we will prepare our backpacks for the hike into a young forest ecosystem, a world of recent geological history. Our destination is the rim of Sierra Negra Crater, an active volcano which last erupted in October 2005.

Upon arrival, we take in breathtaking views and explore the circumference of the massive, lava-filled crater, a caldera that is over six miles across at its widest point. If we feel energetic enough, we can continue our hike to Volcan Chico, a secondary crater that has a wild landscape of puffing fumaroles and colorful lava formations; great examples of the dramatic geological events that have formed the Galapagos Islands over millennia. In the afternoon we will visit Tintoreras Islet, located at a short distance from Puerto Villamil and home to a great variety of wildlife. Its turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos Penguins, marine turtles and sea lions. One of its beaches, surrounded by mangroves, is one of the few sites where marine iguanas can reproduce successfully.

  • Hiking time: 4 hours both ways
  • Hiking distance: 6 miles (9.6 km) (10 miles -16 km- optional to Volcan Chico)
  • Hiking elevation gain: 950 feet (289.5 meters)
  • Maximum elevation while hiking: 3687 feet (1124 meters)
  • Kayaking time: 2 hours
  • Snorkeling time: 1 hour
What to wear today for hiking: shorts, t-shirt, tennis shoes, rain jacket, hat, buff, sun cream, mosquito repellent.

What to wear today for kayaking and snorkeling: sandals, shorts, water long sleeve t-shirt, bathing suit, hat, sun cream, mosquito repellent.

Accommodation:
Cormorant House or Similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Santa Cruz Island

Day 5: Santa Cruz Island
Day 5: Santa Cruz Island
In the morning, traverse from Isabela to Santa Cruz Island to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. During our island crossing, we will be on the lookout for dolphins and whales (July to October). Once we arrive, we will check in at the hotel. We will then visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to Learn more about many of the endemic species seen in the wild, as well as the ongoing conservation and management efforts on the Galapagos Islands. In the afternoon, we will head to the 'El Chato' reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz, home to the famous Galapagos tortoises. Hiking through El Chato's beautiful landscape with these lumbering giants is an unforgettable experience! We will also see other highland wildlife such as pintail ducks, egrets, flycatchers, finches and frigatebirds, which gather to wash the salt off their feathers at a fresh water lake. Afterwards, return to Puerto Ayora to spend the evening in Galapagos' most populous town.

 

What to wear today: shorts, t-shirt, tennis shoes or sandals, hat, rain jacket (for the boat ride), sun cream.

 

Accommodation:  Silberstein or similar
Meals : Breakfast

Day 6: Quito - Tababela

Day 6: Quito - Tababela
Day 6: Quito - Tababela
After our final breakfast in the Galapagos Islands, and the last photos taken of sea lions, we have a transfer to Baltra’s airport in time to catch the flight back to the mainland.

Accommodation: Mirolindo or similar
Meals : Breakfast

Day 7: Quito - Cusco

Day 7: Quito - Cusco
Day 7: Quito - Cusco
Be met by a Valencia Travel representative upon arrival at the Cusco airport and taken to your hotel in the center of the city for your first night here. Seize the remainder of the day to relax and explore this beautiful city at your own pace.

Check in time 12:00pm/Check out 10:00am (Early check in, has an extra cost).

Today at 3:00pm: Free Walking tour

Places to be visited:

  • Regocijo square
  • Main square of Cusco
  • Plaza Nazarenas
  • San blas town (best handicrafts)
  • Wall of 12 angles stone
  • San Pedro market
The tour will be for about 2 hours approx. This tour is optional; you are not forced to do it if you do not want to! For this tour we recommend to tip the guide and the amount you tip is a personal decision and not an obligation.

Optional 1: Half day City tour

(Extra activity to do for an extra cost, Price: USD 30 per person).

We will pick you up at 1:30pm to start the tour visiting the mean cathedral, Qoricancha (the temple of the sun), and the four archaeological sites like Sacsayhuaman, Q´enqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay, ending around 6:00pm then we will drop off to your hotel. (Meals are not included on this day, but we are always happy to offer suggestions).

  • If you would like to do this excursion, please confirm in advance in order to secure your spot and schedule a tour guide and transport.
Include:

  • Transport
  • Professional English speaking guide.
  • Not include:
  • Tourist ticket (ticket access for all this places: USD 38).


Accommodation: Casa Andina or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Cusco Inca City - Free Day

Day 8: Cusco Inca City - Free Day
Day 8: Cusco Inca City - Free Day
Enjoy a free day at leisure to discover this ancient city on your own, or opt to do an optional activities such as:

Full day - Sacred Valley Tour (Highly recommended)

Embark on a full day excursion to the Urubamba Valley, visiting the colorful Indian market in Pisac. Appreciate the mixture of color and tradition and have an opportunity to purchase their hand-made souvenirs. Pisac is located at the entrance of the Sacred Valley. The Valley is 31km/19mi from Cusco, and at an altitude of 2,970m(9,700 ft). Following Pisac is Urubamba, where we will have a delicious buffet lunch at Tunupa restaurant and then continue on to Ollantaytambo, the oldest continuously occupied town on the American continent. The narrow streets of Ollantaytambo, along with their canals, have not changed much from the time of the Inca Empire. They evoke their ancestral inheritance and give you a feeling of what it would like to be living during this time. The last visit will be the Chinchero market. Chinchero is believed to be the mythical birthplace of the rainbow. Its major claim to tourism is its colorful Sunday market which is much less tourist-orientated than the market at Pisac. At the end, we will return you to the Plaza de Armas in Cusco around 6:30pm. The night is free for you to eat in a restaurant of your choice; although we always have plenty of suggestions for you if you require them.

  • If you would like to do this excursion, please confirm in advance in order to secure your spot and schedule a tour guide and transport.
Include:

  • Transport
  • Professional English speaking guide.
Not include:

  • Tourist ticket (ticket access for all this places: USD 25).
  • Meals (Approx. USD 20)
  • Tip
P.S: Tonight we will have the Inca trail briefing at 7:00pm at the hotel lobby.

Accommodation: Casa Andina or similar
Meals : Breakfast

Day 9: Inca Trail Adventure Begins

Day 9: Inca Trail Adventure Begins
Day 9: Inca Trail Adventure Begins
Total distance to be covered: 12km or 7mi. (5 to 6 hours more or less).

We will meet and pick you up from your Hotel at 4:30am (time to be confirmed at the briefing time) and travel by bus to Piskacucho (called kilometer 82) where the trail starts. There will be a breakfast stop in Ollantaytambo (6:30-7am) to load up on energy (breakfast – not included). On arrival at kilometer 82 (approx. 8:30am), we will have time to organize ourselves (use the restrooms, put on sun cream, mosquitoe repellant, etc.) Once ready, it is necessary to show your entrance tickets, passports and, if paying a student rate, the student card at the trails 1st control point. Now, start the journey along the Incan Trail to our first camp! To start the trail (2720m/8923ft), we cross the Vilcanota River and follow its route to the right. The first day is relatively easy (a warm-up on the 'Inca flat' terrain) and we will have great views of the site of an Inca Fortress ('Huillca Raccay'), the vast and incredible Inca site 'Llactapata' (officially called 'Patallacta'), the Urubamba mountain range that divides the jungle and the Andes and the beautiful snow-capped peak of 'W'akay Willca' (5860m/19225ft), known in books as Veronica. Our first campsite (Ayapata) will be one hour and a half up the small village of Wayllabamba (3000m/9842ft) in the temperate green valley of the same name. Temperature at night is usually around 5ºC (depending on the month).

Accommodation: Camping site 1
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Along the Inca Trail

Day 10: Along the Inca Trail
Day 10: Along the Inca Trail
After waking up around 5:30am and having breakfast, we will start a steep ascent towards the highest pass (Abra de Warrmihuañusca/’Dead Woman’s Pass’ – 4200m/13779ft). On this day a real sense of achievement is felt on reaching the top! After a rest here, we’ll begin the descent to the lunch stop which is located at Pacaymayu (3550m/11646ft). On the way up to the pass we will be able to see lots of hummingbirds and other birds. Also we will have the time to appreciate an incredible variety of native plants and trees such as the ´Polylepis´ or Q’ueuña trees which grow in the astonishing cloud forest at 3650/11972m! After lunch begins 2 hours of steep climbing to Runkuraqay pass (4000 m/13123ft). We will arrive in our campsite by 5 pm. Temperature at this campsite around 4ºC during the nights.

Accommodation: Camping site 2
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Inca Trail Camping

Day 11: Inca Trail Camping
Day 11: Inca Trail Camping
This is the most impressive day (in our opinion!), so just keep thinking of that on the ascent on day 2! Again we wake up for breakfast early and start the day with a gentle climb to visit the archaeological site of ‘Phuyupatamarca’(meaning ‘Town in the Clouds’) and to reach the third highest point on the trail (3680m)). The views from here of the mountains, canyons and surrounding area are, in short, “spectacular!”

The Inca site, ‘Phuyupatamarca’, is located a few minutes walk from the third pass. After visiting this, we continue walking (3000 steps!) through the cloud forest and the impressive agricultural Inca site of ‘Intipata’ until we arrive at our third campsite Wiñay Wayna (2680m/8792ft). Today we have only walked about 4 to 5 hours and have arrived to camp by lunch time! A short distance from this campsite is located the Inca site of the same name ‘Wiñay Wayna’ (‘Forever Young’). Even if you are tired after your day's trek, don't miss out on visiting the most impressive site on the trail. Temperature during the night is around 12º C.

Accommodation: Camping site 3
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Machu Picchu - Cusco

Day 12: Machu Picchu - Cusco
Day 12: Machu Picchu - Cusco
We depart the last campsite at about 5:30am on the final day (breakfast 3:30-4:00am). We’ll start early in order to get to ‘Inti Punku’ (‘Sun gate’) (2730m/8792ft) before sunrise. This is the place from where you will have your first dramatic view of Machu Picchu (2400m/7873ft) with the sun rising over it! After some time there, we will walk down the last part of the trail to the spot where you can take the classic photo (postcard shot) of this ancient city. Finally, we visit Machu Picchu itself!

Enjoy a walking tour (approx. 2 hours) given by your guide and after this you can explore the mysterious city by yourself. You will meet your guide in Aguas Calientes for lunch and be given your train tickets back to Cusco. Leave Aguas calientes town in the afternoon, and once in Ollantaytambo, you will have a bus waiting for you to bring you back to your hotel in Cusco. The train is included in the tour is until Ollantaytambo and then from here we take a bus to Cusco. Your train will leave Aguas calientes town in the afternoon and you need to be in the train station 30 min before it leaves. (The exact time will be given to you by your tour guide) Once in Ollantaytambo town you will have a bus waiting for you to take you back to your hotel in Cusco. Allocations or Itinerary are subject to change depending the availability on time of booking.

Accommodation: Casa Andina or similar
Meals : Breakfast

Day 13: Cusco - Departure

Day 13: Cusco - Departure
Today, we will take you to the airport according your flight itinerary.
Meals : Breakfast
  • Transportation: Travel comfortably in private land transportation.
  • Accommodation (based on double occupancy): First Class hotel in Quito, 4-star hotel in Baños, home stay in the Amazon, 5-star Spa Resort in Papallacta, Colonial Hacienda in Imbabura
  • Meals: 6 Breakfasts, 3 lunches & 2 dinners
  • Allow USD 120 for meals not included.
  • Staff & Trip Leader: Certified AJ expert English-speaking adventure leader and local guides.


      NOT INCLUDED
  • My Own Room supplement 1199 USD
  • Flight tickets Quito – Lima – Cusco
  • Galapagos National Park fee (100 USD per person)
  • Transit control card for the Galapagos (USD 20 per person)
  • Wetsuits (available for rent locally)
  • Isabela Island fee (USD 10 per person)
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary, drinks. Food budget: 280 USD for not included meals.
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips
  • Transfers to International flights.
  • Passport,
  • Travel insurance,
  • Airline tickets,
  • Credit or debit card (see personal spending money),
  • Pocket knife,
  • Fleece top,
  • 4 shirts/t-shirts,
  • 2 pair of short,
  • 2 pairs of long trousers,
  • 2 pair hiking pants/track pants,
  • Sport sandals,
  • Toiletries (biodegradable),
  • Watch or alarm clock,
  • Quick dry clothing,
  • Rain coat,
  • Rain pants,
  • Warm clothing,
  • 3 warm pairs of socks
  • Wool hat if possible
  • Waterproof binoculars,
  • Bug spray,
  • Sun cream,
  • Flashlight,
  • Sun Hat,
  • Waterproof camera if possible,
  • Swimming suit,
  • Waterproof back pack,
  • Water bottle,
  • Tennis shoes,
  • Money belt,
  • Sunglasses,
  • Dry bag if possible
  • Loose-fitting, light coloured long-sleeved shirts
  • Loose-fitting, light coloured hiking pants
  • Thermal underwear
  • Knee-high socks
  • Warm gloves
  • Warm hat
  • Small towel and swim wear
  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • Antibacterial wipes/gel
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Ear plugs
  • Plastic bags
  • Walking poles (Optional, must be rubber-tipped)
  • SMILE
NOTE: Hiking equipment is available to rent locally if desired (prices subject to change):
Walking pole 15 soles each (30 per pair)
Sleeping bag 45 soles
Air mattress 45 soles
RECOMMEND FLIGHTS - CONNECTING TO CUZCO - PERU

OPTION 01

  1. QUITO - LIMA: LAN 1449 (Airline Operator: Lan Peru) / Aircraft Carrier: Airbus 319
08:35 (UIO) / 10:50 (LIM) / 1:30 hrs Economy.
  1. LIMA -CUSCO: LAN 2043 (Airline Operator: Lan Ecuador) / Aircraft Carrier: Airbus 319
13:20 (LIM) / 14:40 (CUZ) / 2:30 hrs Economy

 
OPTION 02

  1. QUITO - LIMA: Lan 1481 (Airline Operator: Lan Ecuador) / Aircraft Carrier: Airbus 319
20:15 (UIO) / 22:13 (LIM) / 1:30 hrs Economy.

  1. LIMA -CUSCO: Lan 2117 (Airline Operator: Lan Peru) / Aircraft Carrier: Airbus 320
04:25 (Next Day) (LIM) / 05:45 (Next Day) (UIO) / 2:30 hrs Economy


ITINERARY DISCLAIMER

It is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described; however, due to our travel style, on occasions, it may be necessary or desirable to make small changes. Weather conditions and unpredictable local circumstances may lead us to make alterations to the route and/or travel times. Hotels and flight schedules might change according to availability. Any mention of specific wildlife in the itinerary or trip details is not a guarantee that it will be seen during the trip.

 


DRIVING TIME

From 1 to 2 hours driving average from place to place.
 


SEASON

All year except February


PROVINCE

Pichincha, Galapagos, Cusco, Lima


TERRITORY

From Galapagos Islands to Andeans secrets, mountains in Peru included the Secret Valley and Machu Picchu




ALTITUDE

From sea level to 4200m (up to 13800 ft)


AVG. TEMP.

Day 15-34ºC / 59-93ºF; Night 12-17ºC / 53-62ºF.


DIFFICULTY LEVEL

Moderate to challenge. This program will run from Galapagos Island, included short hikes to volcanoes and snorkeling for 1 or 2 hours, to the Andean mountains of Peru where we will trek the Inca Trail for 4 days, including 6 to 8 hours of hiking per day.


ADVENTURE GEAR

Snorkeling gear, Kayak for 2 people, hiking sticks, Sleeping bag, Comfortable tents for 2 people.


SAFETY

Guides are certified as Wilderness First Aid Responders. We carry a complete first aid kid.

 


ACCOMMODATION

All prices are based on double-occupancy. If you are traveling solo, you will be matched with another participant of your same sex. If you prefer to have a single room, please contact AJ prior to your departure to arrange your accommodation at an extra cost.


MEALS

Traveling with Adventure Journeys you will have the possibility to experience and taste local food and snacks. Your guide will help you identify typical food and suggest the best places to enjoy it. Some meals are not included in order to give you some flexibility about where, what and with whom to eat. You have the option to share these meals with the group, however there is no obligation to do this. If you have any allergies or food restrictions, please inform AJ prior to your departure.

Vegetarians, Vegans and Gluten Free people are very welcome in our trip, our guides are always ready to coordinate with chefs and restaurants for substitute meals for them, as Ecuador is very well known for its great diversity of gastronomy.


YOUR TRIP LEADERS AND GUIDES

All AJ guides and trip leaders are highly experienced, licensed from the Tourism University to operate in Ecuador and certified as Wilderness Adventure First Aid respondents. They all have approved several extra training courses for kayaking, rafting, biking and horse riding, besides this they all are Ecuadorian and have a fantastic personality. We always carry a complete first aid kit in our trips.
In some locations and for some activities, local guides join the trip leaders to provide an added service and make sure we practice sustainable tourism involving local indigenous people in our operation.


In the Galapagos Islands, minimum 4 participants for the AJ trip leader service are required.

SUSTAINABLE ECO AND CULTURAL TOURISM

Clients receive interpretation and education about the ecology and conservation of the Andes, Amazon rain forest and Galapagos Islands, and learn about the factors that threaten it. We aim to promote long-term conservation of both local people cultural identity and the environment. We transport out and recycle all non-organic garbage and we prefer to work with local suppliers. Your visit will encourage the local communities to support responsible eco-tourism as a sustainable alternative for their living.


HEALTH INFORMATION

Please inform AJ of any existing medical conditions (i.e. pregnancy, diabetes, etc). Yellow fever, Hepatitis B vaccination and Malaria Medication are mandatory for this trip. We strongly recommend to ensure that routine immunizations such as tetanus and diphtheria are up to date and to consider Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations. Please ask your doctor for advice.

 

 
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    Born to Explore
      • Location

        Republica, E7-03 y Eloy Alfaro Oficina 307 
        Pichincha - Quito - Ecuador 
        EC170526

        Galapagos Office. - Pampas Coloradas, Isabelas 678 and Petrel streets  
        Santa Cruz Island - Ecuador
      • Contact Us

        +593 2 255 8805
        +593 95 955 5556
        + 593 99 623 6400

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