- Kayak, hike, and boat in the Amazon jungle
- Snorkel with penguins in the Galápagos Islands
- See an incredible variety of wildlife in the rainforest
- Walk around the famed 15th-century "lost city" of Machu Picchu
|Day 1||Enter the Amazon!||The Amazon|
|Day 2||See Macaws, Monkeys & More||The Amazon|
|Day 3||Kayaking Trip Through the Jungle||The Amazon|
|Day 4||Transfer to Cusco & Sightsee||Cusco|
|Day 5||Explore Inca Ruins Outside the City||Urubamba|
|Day 6||Tour the Lost City of Machu Picchu||Ollantaytambo|
|Day 7||Discover Stunning Scenery in the Sacred Valley||Cusco|
|Day 8||Free Day in Cusco||Cusco|
|Day 9||Fly to Ecuador & Get to Know Guayaquil||Guayaquil|
|Day 10||Transfer to the Galápagos Islands||Puerto Ayora|
|Day 11||Yacht Tour to an Uninhabited Island||Puerto Ayora|
|Day 12||Hike and Relax on Isla Isabela||Isabela|
|Day 13||Snorkel Through the Cabo Rosa Tunnels||Isabela|
Day 1: Enter the Amazon!
Welcome to Peru! Arrive in Puerto Maldonado and meet your guide for the journey up the Tambopata River. Your destination is a remote lodge in the pristine Amazon rainforest near Lake Sachavacayoc. Expect to see wildlife all around you: buzzing insects, flocks of birds, playful monkeys, and tropical plants. Look for caimans (freshwater crocodiles) before settling in at the lodge to get some rest.
Day 2: See Macaws, Monkeys & More
You'll spend the morning inside Tambopata National Reserve at Collpa Chuncho, the biggest macaw clay lick in the world. A crowd of macaws congregates here each morning, eating clay that provides nutrients they can't get anywhere else. Along the trip there and back, there's a good chance you'll spot sloths and monkeys going about their morning business.
After lunch at the lodge, go on a guided hike to an oxbow lake, where you'll spot dozens of different bird species in the shallows, monkeys on the shore, and flocks of red-bellied macaws in the palm forest. Both tonight and tomorrow, optional guided night hikes give you the opportunity to spot tapirs, night monkeys, and tarantulas and to enjoy the incredible soundtrack of the jungle after dark.
Day 3: Go on a Kayaking Trip Through the Jungle
Journey by land and water to Tres Chimbadas Lake, where you'll have the opportunity to spot two elusive animals — giant river otters and giant anacondas. You can also try your hand fishing for piranha from the boat. In the afternoon, you'll go kayaking on a calm section of the Tambopata River. It's a great way to cool off from the jungle heat before returning to the lodge to rest.
Day 4: Transfer to Cusco & Sightsee
This morning, catch a quick flight to Cusco, the birthplace of the Incas and one of the world's most beautiful and fascinating cities. In the afternoon, you'll have time for a relaxed walking tour of Cusco's historic center. You will visit the Cathedral and Koricancha (Temple of the Sun) and the nearby ruins. These include Qenqo (where sacrifices were made), Puca Pucara, Tambomachay (also called "The Bath of the Inca"), and Sacsayhuaman Fortress, where Inca festivals like Inti Raymi and Warachicuy take place).
Note that it's important to drink plenty of water and take it relatively easy today as you adjust to Cusco's high altitude.
Day 5: Explore Inca Ruins Outside the City
Today starts with a visit to Chinchero, a quiet little town best known for its outdoor weaving studios, terraced Inca ruin, and intricately frescoed colonial church. Next is Moray, where you'll see three massive Inca amphitheaters, examples of incredible engineering precision. Then take an easy stroll through rolling farmland to Salineras, a beautiful patchwork of pools and paths built by the Incas to produce salt. Transfer to Aguas Calientes to spend the night.
Day 6: Tour the Lost City of Machu Picchu
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Your day begins with an early morning bus ride up to the ruins of Machu Picchu. A spectacular stone city surrounded by incredibly steep green mountains, Machu Picchu needs no introduction: it's one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Your tour guide will lead you on an unforgettable walk through the old city's stone-lined paths, along the terrace edges to the base of structures that testify to the extraordinary skill of its builders. For 400 years, the so-called “lost city of the Incas” remained hidden atop a mountain ridge until it was revealed to the world on the pages of National Geographic in 1911. Later, catch the train to Ollantaytambo, where you’ll spend the night.
Day 7: Discover Stunning Scenery in the Sacred Valley
This morning, wander through charming Ollantaytambo, perhaps the most perfectly preserved of all Inca towns. Its atmospheric cobblestoned alleyways and sun-drenched plazas are presided over by a spectacular llama-shaped ruin.
Later, you'll drive through the sunny and scenic Sacred Valley, passing incredible terracing, ancient irrigation canals, and massive hilltop forts on the way to Pisac. Pisac’s bustling town square is home to the region’s largest and most famous craft market, and the surrounding streets are a maze of charming gardens, carved stone buildings, and hidden courtyards.
Finally, head back to Cusco, stopping along the way to visit Cochahuasi, an animal sanctuary where you can get close to flamingos, monkeys, lynxes, and Peru’s national emblem, the spectacular Andean Condor.
Day 8: Free Day in Cusco
Today is free for you to spend as you like. Take some downtime to rest and sort through photos, or if you feel energetic, the city's many churches, museums, markets, and art galleries offer plenty of diversions. Go rafting or horseback riding outside of town, or just wander around and enjoy the spectacular mountain views and charming architecture of downtown Cusco.
Day 9: Fly to Ecuador & Get to Know Guayaquil
Today you'll fly from Cusco to Guayaquil, Ecuador, where you’ll stay one night and rest up ready for the next stage of your South American adventure. There are no scheduled activities today, but there will be time in the afternoon and evening to wander around the city's colorful streets, sample traditional Ecuadorian cuisine, and shop for souvenirs.
Day 10: Transfer to the Galapagos
This morning, you'll take a flight to Baltra Island in the Galapagos. A local guide will meet you, and together you’ll start the island-hopping by bus, taxi, and ferry across Itabaca Channel. Your first stop is a highlands ranch where you'll see giant tortoises wandering around. Later you’ll head to Garrapatero Beach to go for a swim and admire native birds.
In the evening, make your way to the central street of Puerto Ayora, which is closed to traffic. Local restaurants put tables and chairs out on the street, and you'll enjoy an al fresco dinner as you relax into the tropical island atmosphere.
Day 11: Yacht Tour to an Uninhabited Island
Ride a yacht to an uninhabited island around Santa Cruz. Depending on the weather, scheduling, and permissions by the national park, you'll visit one of the following islands: Santa Fé, South Plazas, Bartolomé, or North Seymour.
Each island is unique, offering spectacular scenery and opportunities to see rare wildlife. Santa Fé and South Plazas are home to endemic land iguanas, while Bartolomé is known for its beautiful lava flows. On North Seymour, look for frigate birds, land iguanas, and blue-footed boobies. In the evening, return to Puerto Ayora to enjoy some free time.
Day 12: Hike and Relax on Isabela Island
Hop on a speedboat to Isabela Island, where you'll spend some time checking out the tortoise breeding center or the flamingo lagoon. Wander along the stunning, white sand beach, which offers the best opportunity to spot migratory birds in the entire Galapagos. After lunch, you'll go on a boat ride past reef sharks, blue-footed boobies, pelicans, and penguins on your way to the Tintoreras islets. Enjoy a short hike and the chance to snorkel with sea turtles, rays, penguins, and multitudes of fish.
Day 13: Snorkel Through Los Tuneles
Get ready for more wildlife encounters with a thrilling excursion to Los Tuneles, a perfect snorkeling spot. A series of lava flows have produced unique geological formations here, including arches and tunnels underneath and above the water, making the area an excellent place to swim around. In the shallow waters, you can find tropical fish, rays, turtles, sea horses, and white-tipped reef sharks. Keep your eyes open for penguins sitting on the rocks and prepare yourself for the possibility of swimming with majestic sea turtles. Later in the afternoon, you’ll enjoy some free time to soak up the serenity and beauty of Isabela one last time.
Day 14: Depart Galapagos - End of Trip
This morning, hop across the islands back to Baltra airport and catch a flight back to Guayaquil. From there, you'll make your connection home. Safe travels!
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