Peru Holidays - Holidays to Peru - Chinchero market

Highlights of Peru, Ecuador & Galapagos Cruise


PRH14Q
14 NIGHTS
FROM £4,195
International flights quoted separately
See the highlights of Ecuador and Peru in one visit, on this fabulous holiday that included historic Quito in the Andean Highlands, the markets of Otavalo and a Galapagos Cruise with glorious wildlife. Then fly to Cusco in Peru to visit Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of the Incas & the famous lost city of Machu Picchu. English speaking city guides, all transfers & excursions included.
Ecuador & Peru Highlights - Blue footed boobie
• 
Quito
• 
Otavalo excursion
• 
Andean Highlands
• 
Galapagos Islands
• 
Santa Cruz Island
• 
Lima
• 
Cusco
• 
Sacred Valley
• 
Ollantaytambo
• 
Machu Picchu
• 
Quito
• 
Otavalo excursion
• 
Andean Highlands
• 
Galapagos Islands
• 
Santa Cruz Island
• 
Lima
• 
Cusco
• 
Sacred Valley
• 
Ollantaytambo
• 
Machu Picchu
Day 1
You will be met at Lima Airport and transferred to your hotel.
 
Check in and relax in this capital city - the largest in Peru and its gastronomical centre.
Day 2
Enjoy a half day city tour of historic Lima, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its well preserved architecture.
 
Founded in 1535, Lima was re-named the "City of Kings" when it was conquered by Spain and it became the most important city in the region. Today you can see many imposing buildings from the colonial era with their intricate balconies, including Government Palace on the Plaza Mayor, where you can still watch the changing of the guard.
 
The beautiful cathedral on the main square, the Plaza de Armas, and building such as the President's Palace, the Archbishop's Palace, City Hall and the baroque Torre Tagle Palace a couple of blocks east of the main square, add to the city's charm. See the 17th century Santo Domingo church and monastery, that is today a World Heritage Site, before driving through the financial district of San Isidro and the residential district of Miraflores. Afternoon is at leisure to explore the city independently.
Day 3
Transfer to Lima Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Cusco Airport and transferred 2-hours to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
 
Check into your hotel in this region that is renowned for its many ancient Inca ruins, including the amazing citadel of Machu Picchu. Balance of the day is at leisure to rest and acclimatise to the altitude.
Day 4
This morning enjoy a small group tour of the Sacred Valley.
 
We visit the picturesque colonial village of Pisac in the Urubamba Valley. Here we visit the impressive Pisac archeological complex, a collection of remains of Incan dwellings, temples and terracing, before visiting the village's colouful Indian market.
 
At Awanacancha we visit an Andean textile centre that strives to keep traditional Incan textile art alive. Here we learn about the dyeing techniques and instruments used for hundreds of years in the weaving of these famous textiles - as well as close up views of lama, alpaca and vicuna.
 
After an included lunch, we end the day with a visit to the citadel of Ollantaytambo, built to protect the northern entrance to the Sacred Valley from invasion, and later the centre of Incan resistance against the Spanish. The fortress and walled terraces of this town provide some of the finest examples of Incan architecture, with the six rose-coloured monoliths of the Temple of the Sun being particularly outstanding.
Day 5
Up early this morning to transfer to Ollantaytambo Station for the air-conditioned Vistadome train to the famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu - an amazing 1.5-hour journey to this magnificent mountain top city situated in a beautiful cloud forest, that was abandoned and reclaimed by the jungle until it was rediscovered in 1911.
 
This legendary "Lost City of the Incas" is without a doubt one of the world's most impressive archaeological sites. Built on the summit of Machu Picchu (meaning "Old Peak"), on a natural saddle between steep forested mountains, it overlooks the deep canyon of the Urubamba River some 3,400 m above sea level. With its giant walls, terraces and ramps that appear to have been cut naturally out of the rock escarpments, Machu Picchu's history remains shrouded in mystery as the Incas did not leave any written records.
 
At the gateway town of Aguas Calientes, leave the train and board the bus for the 40-minute zig-zag ride up to this 14th century citadel for a guided tour. Here we visit the Main Plaza, Circular Tower, the Sacred Sun Dial, Royal Quarters, Temple of the Three Windows and various burial grounds.
 
We suggest you take a packed lunch (to avoid queues at the restaurant) and in the late afternoon return by bus to Aguas Calientes. Then take the 1.5-hour Vistadome train back to Ollantaytambo, continuing 2-hours back to Cusco - where you will be met and transferred back to your hotel.
 
Note: You must take your passport today, as this will be needed to gain access to Machu Picchu and only one bag or rucksack not exceeding 5 kg (11 lb) is allowed as hand luggage on the train. From January to June, parts of the railtrack may be impassable due to mud slides when a bus transfer is substituted.
Day 6
Today enjoy a half day tour of the city of Cusco situated high in the Andes Mountains, followed by a visit to some of its ancient Inca ruins outside the city.
 
Comprising a fascinating mix of colonial churches, monasteries and extensive pre-Columbian ruins, almost every central street in this city has remnants of Inca walls. Explore the Plaza de Armas and the impressive Qurikancha (Temple of the Sun), whose walls and floors were once covered in sheets of solid gold.
 
Walk down well-preserved Loreto Street, and along Ahuajpinta Street you can see the remains of impressive Incan palaces as well as old colonial buildings such as the 16th century cathedral and the Museum of Colonial Art. If you walk down Hatun Rumiyoc, a cobbled street near the Archbishop's Palace, keep an eye out for the famous 12-sided stone that fits so perfectly you can't even insert a coin.
 
We then leave the city and visit the impressive walled fortress of Saksaywaman on the northern outskirts, believed to have been both a military and ceremonial centre. We also visit the archaelogical site at Tambomachay (also known as the Incan Baths) and the excavated ruins at Q'inqu, before returning to town.
 
In the evening savour the local cuisine including a Pisco sour, the national drink. If you are feeling adventurous you can even try guinea pig - the local speciality.
Day 7
Transfer to Cusco Airport for your onward flight.

Arrive at Guayaquil Airport, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
 
Check in and relax in this important port, that is the largest city in Ecuador. Here the vibe is Caribbean, in marked contrast to the Andean region.
Day 8
Transfer to Guayquil Airport for your flight to the spectacular Galapagos Islands.
 
You will be met at Baltra Airport and transferred by bus to the boarding jetty. Here you will embark by panga boat (zodiac) on your Expedition Cruise through this magnificent archipelago, situated on the equator in the Pacific Ocean some 560 miles (900 km) west of the Ecuador mainland.
  
These volcanic islands are famous for their vast number of endemic species, studied by Charles Darwin during his historic voyage on the Beagle, which contributed to his Theory of Evolution by natural selection. Check in and relax in this astonishing marine reserve, where the unique wildlife does not seem perturbed by human visitors - allowing for extremely close-up encounters.
 
Please note that you need to be relatively mobile to enjoy an expedition cruise in the Galapagos, as you will be embarking and disembarking by panga boat (zodiac). All sightseeing with a naturalist guide, marine fees, snorkelling and medical care aboard the boat are included, but not the cost of medicines. Wetsuits are available for hire. Children < 6 years are not allowed on an expedition cruise.
Days 9 To 11
Enjoy cruising through the marine-rich waters of the world-famous Galapagos Islands, with shore excursions each day with a naturalist.
 
Your exact routing will depend on your departure date and the vessel you have selected.
Day 12
Disembark from your Expedition Cruise and transfer to Baltra Airport for your flight to Quito.
 
You will be met at Quito Airport and transferred to your hotel in the city.
Day 13
This morning we suggest an optional visit to the equatorial monument that marks the Centre of the World at latitude 0º - about 16 miles (25 km) north of Quito. Here you can stand with a foot on each hemisphere and visit the Intiñan folk museum that showcases the different Native American groups living in Ecuador, their culture and traditions. There is also a colonial-style tourist village complete with main square, church, post office, bull ring and gift shops.
 
Afterwards enjoy a walking tour through the streets and main square of the historic Colonial Quarter, the largest and best preserved in South America. Take in its magnificent colonial architecture - including the Cathedral, President's Palace, Archbishop's Palace and the Municipal Building flanking Independence Plaza. You will see many mansions, monasteries and churches, and visit the Church & Convent of Santo Domingo. The city also has many cosmopolitan galleries and boutiques filled with contemporary paintings, sculptures and exquisite traditional crafts.
 
Please note: Quito walking tour is conducted at an altitude of 2,800 m and includes climbing stairs. As you will be visiting churches (except on Sundays, when this is not permitted), do not wear shorts or mini skirts as these are not allowed.
Day 14
Transfer to Quito Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Lima Airport and transferred to your hotel situated near the airport.
 
Check in and relax in this capital city.
Day 15
Transfer to Lima Airport for your flight home.

Contact us
Order a brochure
Feedback