Absolute Peru & Galapagos North & Central Islands

Valid for all trips departing September 1st, 2013 - December 31st, 2014 Last Updated:
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Introduction

Explore Peru's southern coast and its Incan Highlands. From the soaring heights of the Inca Trail to the steamy jungle stay at the exclusive G Lodge Amazon, this epic journey includes an all-encompassing tour of Peru and four nights exploring the Galápagos. As one of the biggest tour operators in the region, our exclusively operated fleet of yachts offers great value, and in Peru, we run our own treks, ensuring the fair treatment of our porters and the quality of food and equipment as you follow the Inca Trail to majestic Machu Picchu.

  • Four nights cruising the Galápagos National Park aboard the Daphne
  • Trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • Explore extraordinary frigatebird and booby cliff colonies on Genovesa
  • Discover biological history from your naturalist guide
  • Witness Lake Titicaca and the Nazca Lines
  • Encounter wildlife in the Amazon Jungle
Duration: 27 days
Start/Finish City: Lima to Quito
Service Level: Standard
  • Great value, reasonable prices, quality experiences
  • Comfortable and varied tourist-class accommodations chosen for location and character
  • Mix of public and private transport for the best overall experience
  • All the top highlights included, plus plenty of time to explore on your own
Physical Grading: 4
You might encounter a few high-altitude hikes or other more strenuous activities. Pro tip: Put down that pastry, buster.
Travel Style: Classic
The trips we've built our reputation on.

Designed for maximum variety, these trips are geared towards travellers searching for a healthy mix of active exploration, uncommon landscapes, amazing wildlife and local cultures.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Absolute Peru & Galapagos North & Central Islands (PH07HB)

Day 1 Arrive Lima

Arrive in Lima at any time. There are no planned activities so check into our hotel and enjoy the city.

*Please note: if you have pre-booked the Peru Culinary Bundle your CEO will inform you upon arrival when you will see each show throughout your tour, these days are subject to change: Lima cooking class (Day 1) (pre night accommodation recommended) and Cusco cooking class (Day 7). For more information on the shows see the Optional Activities section.

*Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Latin America (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.

Known as the City of Kings, Peru’s capital city Lima was founded by Francisco Pizarro on the Day of the Three Kings (Epiphany) in 1535. The Plaza de Armas is the heart of old Lima, and it is here you find the Cathedral, Government Palace and Archbishop’s Palace. The Cathedral dates back to the 1700s and houses the remains of the conquistador Pizarro. To get a feel for colonial Lima, take a cab to the Plaza de Armas and watch the changing of the Palace Guard in the afternoon. Walk the streets surrounding the Jirón de la Unión for great examples of Spanish-colonial architecture and to get a taste for life in a large South American city. An optional city tour visits many of the city’s highlights.

There are many fine museums in and around the city, including the Museo Rafael Larco Herrera, which houses an equally impressive collection of pottery, mummies and textiles from the Paracas and Nazca cultures. The more affluent coastal districts of Miraflores, Barranco and San Isidro offer good nightlife and cafés all within walking distance. Limeños (Lima’s residents) are friendly, and the city is filled with excellent restaurants; seafood lovers in particular should be sure to try a ceviche, for which Lima is well known.

Day 2 Paracas (1B)

Take the morning to explore more of Lima before hopping on a bus for our short trip down the coast to Paracas. Walk the town’s lively peatonal (pedestrian avenue) and find a café to sample some Peruvian food, such as ceviche or papa a la huancaina (potatoes with a chilli cheese sauce).

Paracas is just down the coast from the important port town of Pisco, which gives its name to the white grape brandy produced in the region. If you haven’t tried the national drink, don’t pass up this chance to sip on a tasty and frothy Pisco Sour in the heart of Pisco country.

From here, opt to visit the Ballestas Islands, where we observe the sea lion colonies, Humbodlt penguins and a variety of other birds.

Approximate Distance: 250km
Estimated Travel Time: 4.5 hours

Day 3-4 Nazca

There is time this morning for an optional excursion to the popular Ballestas Islands, an excellent chance to view a lively sea lion colony, pelicans, penguins and other varieties of bird life.

Back on land, catch a bus south to Nazca. On the way we pass by the pleasant colonial town of Ica. Ica enjoys a dry, sunny climate year-round and is known for its huge sand dunes. In the nearby oasis of Huacachina, the dunes are perfect subjects for photography and for a favourite local past time: sandboarding. Apart from the dunes, Ica is famous for its wines and there are several wineries and distilleries in the area.

Next visit one of the world's greatest archaeological mysteries, the Nazca Lines. The lines consist of patterns and pictures etched in the ground, crisscrossing a wide area of flat desert. Some of the lines measure up to 10 km (32 miles) in length, and yet remain perfectly straight. The depictions of birds, insects and animals are only recognizable from the air. Who drew the lines, and why, is something modern archaeologists can only theorize about, but current beliefs suggest that they may be part of complex agricultural calendar. From the ground we can make out very little, and the best view is from a light aircraft, which can easily be arranged.

The entire desert area was also once the home for the ancient Paracas and the Nazca cultures, which preceded the Incas by more than half a millennium. Remains of the Nazca culture are still visible during our included tour of the ancient Pre-Inca desert cemetery site of Chauchilla, with 1500 year-old mummies, bones and pottery on the desert floor. The tour also includes a visit to an artisan’s workshop, where modern masters create Nazca style pottery.

Approximate Distance: 210km
Estimated Travel Time: 4 hours

Day 5 Arequipa

Peru’s second most important city after Lima, Arequipa maintains a traditional colonial style and more laid back pace in comparison with the capital. Sitting at 2325 m (7626 ft) above sea level and surrounded by the Andes mountains, this delightful colonial town is well worth a visit. Arequipa was built from a very light coloured volcanic rock called sillar, so older buildings dazzle in the sun, giving the city its nickname, “the White City.” The main plaza with its cafés and nearby cathedral is a top draw for visitors.

Those with an interest in history and architecture may take an optional visit to the Convent of Santa Catalina, offering a brief respite from the outside world and a unique view into a by-gone way of life. Spectacular mountains surround Arequipa, the most famous of which is El Misti Volcano, at 5822 m (19096 ft) with its beautiful snow-capped peak. Also looming nearby are the volcanoes Chachani and Pichu Pichu.

Approximate Distance: 570km
Estimated Travel Time: 8-9 hours

Day 6-7 Colca Canyon (1B)

Travel a rough, rutted road through high plains flanked by extensive Inca and pre-Inca terracing that goes on for kilometres, en route to the Colca Canyon—one of the deepest canyons in the world. Our first stop is Chivay, a picturesque village near the canyon, where we can take a dip in the local hot thermal baths, watch live Andean music at a peña or go for a llama steak. Two nights gives us time to take short hikes to acclimatize to the altitude. Take a tour around the canyon, stopping in fascinating villages and at “miradors” (scenic lookouts), where with a little luck we see Andean Condors soaring over the majestic Andes. Other unusual animals we may see in the Andean landscape include 3 different species of camelids: alpaca, llama and vicuña.

Approximate Distance: 158km
Estimated Travel Time: 4.30 hours

Days 8-10 Puno/Lake Titicaca (2B,1L,1D)

We climb over the mountains today, descending at Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Located at 3830 m above sea level, Puno is the highest altitude of any place we sleep on the tour. After spending a night in Puno, we head out by boat across Lake Titicaca. En route to Taquile Island we visit the floating reed islands of the Uros people. An overnight homestay in a small village on the shores of the Lake provides an opportunity to learn more about rural life in the Peruvian highlands and to participate in local traditions.

Located at 3830 m above sea level, Puno is the highest altitude of any place we sleep on the tour. As a result the weather can be extreme with very cold nights and a strong sun during the day (don’t worry, if you get cold, buy an alpaca sweater from the market — they are inexpensive here). Puno is also known for its wealth of traditional dances: there are up to 100 different varieties, usually performed in the street processions celebrating Catholic feast days. If you are fortunate enough to be visiting at the right time you may even catch one of these celebrations.

A popular optional activity in Puno is a visit to the spectacular chullpas (funerary towers) of Sillustani, a pre-Inca archaeological site only a short drive away.

Titicaca is also the largest lake in the world above 2000m, and the views from both Amantaní and Taquile Islands are stunning.

This morning we board a boat on Lake Titicaca. We head to Taquile Island for lunch in a local restaurant and the chance for some shopping in the local weaving cooperatives. From there we head to Amantani where overnight with a local family and enjoy typical music of the area. The following morning we will visit the floating islands of Uros en route to Puno.

The Totora reeds that grow in the shallows of the lake are used for making everything from the islands themselves to the model boats that the islanders sell. The islands are made up of layers upon layers of reeds; as the layers closest to the water start to rot, they are replaced with fresh reeds on top. The reeds are also used to build their boats, which if constructed well will last up to 6 months.

The people of Taquile Island's unique culture, style of dress and lifestyle make for a memorable visit. The men of the community do all the knitting, as this is strictly a male domain, while the women do the spinning. High quality, locally knitted goods are available for purchase at various cooperatives on the island. Despite the short distance that separates the two islands, Amantaní is quite distinct. Its soil is a rich terra cotta red, due to the high iron deposits, and the colour contrasts brightly with the deep azure blue of the lake and sky and the greenery of the local crops. For the night we split into smaller groups and billet into family homes to experience their style of living first-hand.

The following morning we visit the Uros Islands on our way back to Puno.

HEALTH NOTE: when you arrive in Puno, the altitude and resulting lack of oxygen may affect you. It may take a little time to acclimatize to this, but before long you probably will not even notice it. Just take it easy for the first day or two, and cut back on alcohol and cigarette consumption to minimize the effects. You may also find that your appetite is reduced. This is no cause for alarm, but simply a reaction to the altitude. Be sure to drink plenty of water and do not attempt too much in any given day.

Approximate Distance: 250km
Estimated Travel Time: 6 hours

Day 11 Cuzco (1B)

The trip from Puno to Cusco takes the better part of the day, with stark, beautiful scenery en route as you travel through the high Altiplano region.

Cusco is the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city, and the hub of the South American travel network. The city attracts travellers who come not just to visit a unique destination but also to experience an age-old culture very different from their 20th century way of life; one could easily spend a week just in and around the area. Inca-built stone walls line most of the central streets and you don't have to go far to see other major Inca ruins. It is a city steeped in history, tradition and legend.

Cusco’s numerous colonial churches are one of the city’s most common sights. The Cathedral was started in 1559 and took 100 years to build; it is also one of the city’s greatest repositories of colonial art. Immediately in front of the entrance is a vault containing the remains of the famous Inca historian, Garcilaso de la Vega. Also worth visiting are the churches of La Compañía, La Merced and San Francisco.

While most ruins are just outside of the city, the main ruin within is that of the Coricancha, once the Inca Empire's richest temple. Today the ruin forms the base of the colonial church of Santo Domingo. During Inca times this temple was literally covered with gold, but within months of the arrival of the first conquistadors this incredible wealth had all been melted down. It is left to the individual imagination to envision the magnificence of the original structure.

There are several good museums in Cusco, including the Archaeological Museum, which also houses a small art museum, the Regional History Museum and the Religious Art Museum. Our best advice for exploring Cusco is to wear a comfortable pair of shoes, arm yourself with a city map and set off to explore!

Approximate Distance: 389km
Estimated Travel Time: 7.30 hours

Day 12 Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo (1B)

Travel with our local guide through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. An important source of food for the Inca, the Sacred Valley is a lush agricultural region that continues to supply the city of Cusco with much of its produce. Visit the impressive Pisac ruins and the colourful artisan market (market days only). The day trip finishes in the picturesque village of Ollantaytambo, site of another large Inca ruin. Here we catch our breath and prepare for the hike ahead.

Ollantaytambo is your first taste of what lies ahead on the Inca Trail. The town and fortress of Ollantaytambo are strategically situated overlooking the beautiful Urubamba River Valley. This major ruin site is known as the best surviving example of Inca urban planning and engineering. It is admired for its huge steep terraces guarding the Inca Fortress and for being one of the few places where the Spanish lost a major battle during the conquest. We spend the night in this small town before heading out for the start of the hike the next morning.

Approximate Distance: 95km
Estimated Travel Time: 2.30 hours

Day 13-16 Inca Trail/Machu Picchu (4B,3L,3D)

The 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is physically challenging but worthwhile, and the excursion is within the ability of most reasonably fit people. It is a 44km (27 mile) hike, with three high passes to be crossed, one of which reaches an elevation of 4200m (13,776 ft). The trail is often steep, and it may rain even during the dry season. The temperatures at night may fall below freezing, so it is important to come prepared.

NOTE: We offer two alternatives to hiking the Inca Trail. If Inca Trail permits are sold out, travellers will be given the option to hike the Lares Trek (details below). Travellers not able to hike or not interested in hiking, can opt to spend two extra days in Cusco (details below) before travelling to Machu Picchu. If you do not want to hike, we need to know at the time of booking in order to obtain train tickets. Once Inca Trail permits are confirmed there will be fee for any changes made. The fee may vary depending on the changes that are made to your itinerary. Please advise your agent or G Adventures.

Also note the Inca Trail is closed for general maintenance every February for the entire month. Travellers will be hiking the Lares Trek during this time. Other closures to either trek may occur at anytime throughout the year due to inclement weather or other conditions beyond our control. In these instances, itineraries will be reworked to provide the best and safest possible experience.

INCA TRAIL DETAILS
Day 1 of the Inca Trail:
Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the hike begins. This takes about 40 mins. Our crew of local porters, cooks and guides will take care of all the details for the duration of the hike. Porters carry the majority of the gear so you’ll only need to carry a small daypack with water, rain gear, snacks, a camera, etc. You’ll trek through beautiful scenery with a variety of flora, changing with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata.

Start point Km 82 to Wayllambama
Approximate distance: 11km/6.8mi
Estimated hiking time: 5-6 hrs

Day 2 of the Inca Trail:
Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman’s Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4198m (13,769ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax.

Wayllabamba to Paqaymayo
Approximate distance: 12km/7.5mi
Estimated hiking time: 6-7 hrs

Day 3 of the Inca Trail:
Today we cross two more passes and more ruins along the way. The first pass is at 3998m (13,113ft) where, on a clear day, you can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. You’ll hike through cloud forest on the gentle climb to the second pass of the day where you walk through original Incan constructions. The highest point of this pass is 3700m (12,136ft). On a clear day, enjoy the views of the Urubamba Valley. At 3650m (11,972ft) you’ll reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the ‘Town Above the Clouds’. We either camp here or an hour and half further along, near the Wiñay Wayna ruins (Forever Young).

Paqaymayo to Wiñaywayna
Approximate distance: 16km/10mi
Estimated hiking time: 8 hrs

Day 4 of the Inca Trail:
The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before the sun rises. When the morning is clear, you soak in your first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu as the mist rises off the mountains and the sun begins to illuminate the site. Hike down to Machu Picchu about 45 minutes more where you’ll have a guided tour of the site and free time to explore. Travellers can opt to visit the Inca Bridge (15 min walk) for no additional charge, if time allows. After your visit, catch the bus from outside the Machu Picchu gate and take it 15 mins downhill to Aguas Calientes where you’ll meet your CEO and any non-hiking members of your group. Eat and relax before your train back to Cusco this evening.

Wiñaywayna to Intipunku (Sun Gate)
Approximate distance: 4km/2.5mi
Estimated hiking time: 1.5 hrs

Aguas Calientes to Cusco
Approximate Distance: 118km/73mi
Estimated Travel Time: 3.15 hrs

LARES TREK DETAILS:
The Lares Trek is one day shorter than the Inca Trail, but higher in elevation (33km/20.5 miles, with a high point of 4600m/14,928ft). Travellers hiking the Lares Trek will start the same day as those hiking the Inca Trail. The 3-day hike starts with a van ride from Ollantaytambo to the trekking start point and returns back to Ollantaytambo by van from the trekking end point. From there, hikers will take a scenic train to Aguas Calientes for one overnight stay. In most cases, your CEO will hike the Lares Trek with you. From Aguas Calientes you will take the bus (15 mins) to Machu Picchu early the next morning for a guided tour of Machu Picchu. After the tour and some free time, catch the bus down to Aguas Calientes and take the train back to Cusco with the rest of the group.

NOTE: The locations and distances may change on this hike as we will camp in different locations depending on pace, ability and weather. Starting in 2014 travellers will stay in a newly established community-owned and managed campsite in an indigenous village previously bypassed by the tourism industry. Details on this IDB/MIF and Planeterra project can be found in the Associated Planeterra Project section of our “Before You Go”.

Day 1 of the Lares Trek:
Start early and take a van (3 hrs) to Lares town where the hike will start with a leisurely pace through the valley of Cuncani. Hike 4km (2.5mi) to Chancachaca where we stop for lunch. Altitude here is around 3480m (11,417ft). Continue on to Wacawasi where we camp for the night at 3825m (12,549ft).

Lares town to Wacawasi
Approximate distance: 11km/6.85mi
Estimated hiking time: 4 hrs
Highest point: 4200m/13,780ft

Day 2 of the Lares Trek:
Start early and hike for about 4 hrs from Wacawasi to Wacawasi-Ccassa for a total of 7.5km (4.6mi). Head downhill another hour or so before stopping for lunch in Auroracocha. Continue down for another 2.5 hrs to Mantanay where we stay the night (3200m/10,499ft).

Wacawasi to Mantanay
Approximate distance: 11km/6.8mi
Estimated hiking time: 6.5hrs
Highest point: 4600m/15092ft

Day 3 of the Lares Trek:
Today we hike about 2.5 hrs (9km/5.6mi) to Punta Carretera where we stop for lunch. Take a bus about 30 mins back to Ollantaytambo were we catch the train for a relaxing, scenic ride to Aguas Calientes.

Mantanay to Punta Carretera
Approximate distance: 9km/5.6mi
Estimated hiking time: 3.5 hrs
Highest point: 4100m/13451ft

Punta Carretera to Ollantaytambo
Estimated travel time (bus): 30 mins

Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
Estimated travel time (train): 2 hrs

Day 4:
Rise early to catch the first bus up to Machu Picchu with your guide. Enjoy a guided visit to the ruins followed by free time to explore. When you’re ready, head back down by bus to Aguas where you’ll meet up with the rest of the group and take a train back to Cusco.

Aguas Calientes to Cusco:
Approximate distance: 118km/73mi
Estimated travel time: 3.15 hours

CUSCO STAY DETAILS:
Anyone electing to do the Cusco Stay will have two extra days to explore this ancient Inca capital city. You will travel with your group, CEO and local guide through the Sacred Valley, visiting the Planeterra-supported Ccaccacollo Women’s Weaving Co-op on the way. Stay the night in Ollantaytambo. When the hikers leave the next morning, travellers doing the Cusco Stay will return to Cusco with their CEO, visiting the sites of Maras and Moray Salt Mines on the way. The next day, enjoy an included tour of the archaeological sites around Cusco, including Saqsaywaman. The next day, travel by van to Ollantaytambo where you catch the scenic train to Aguas Calientes. The next morning, rise early to catch the first bus up to Machu Picchu with your guide. Enjoy a guided visit to the ruins followed by free time to explore. When you’re ready, head back down by bus to Aguas where you’ll meet up with the rest of your group and take a train back to Cusco. Please note, on these days breakfast will be the only meal included.

Day 17 Cuzco (1B)

Today is free to relax, explore and shop in Cusco, or discover its surroundings on any number of optional excursions.

Cusco is considered the mecca of Peru and rightly so. This beautiful colonial town offers much to the visitor with its nearby ruins, cobble-stoned streets, museums, churches and lively atmosphere. Among the more adventurous optional activities available in Cusco are: horseback riding around archaeological sites such as Sacsayhuaman, Tambo Machay and Puca Pucara; white water rafting on the Urubamba River; and mountain biking down to the Sacred Valley, perhaps visiting an Inca ruin along the way.

Day 18-20 Amazon Jungle (3B,2L,2D)

Fly from Cusco, high in the Andes, to Puerto Maldonado, deep in the lowlands of the Amazon jungle. Travel by motorized canoe to our lodge in the Tambopata Rainforest Area, which holds the world record for the most bird sightings in one area. Explore the jungle with local guides before flying to Lima for a final night out.

About half of Peru is located within the Amazon Basin, however, due to its isolation, not a lot of it is available to the casual traveller. Puerto Maldonado is the region’s principal city and is serviced by air from the capital and from Cusco. The town is situated at the confluence of the Madre de Dios and Tambopata Rivers, and is a bustling, booming tropical frontier town. Its principal activities are gold mining, Brazil nut collecting, timber extraction, agriculture and ecotourism. After a brief stop in the town we depart on an afternoon boat trip by motorized canoe to our jungle lodge. Depending on flight arrival times we have either a boxed lunch aboard the boat or lunch upon arrival at the lodge. During our voyage you will have the chance to see bird species typical of the river or forest edge such as Black Skimmers, Pied Lapwings, Capped Herons, Jabiru Storks, Roadside Hawks and several species of kingfishers, swallows, and flycatchers. The Tambopata area includes habitats ranging from the Andean highlands around the rivers' headwaters through some of the last remaining intact cloud forests to the lowland rainforests of the Amazon basin. The area is renowned for its diverse plant and animal populations and include over 1,300 bird species (including 32 parrot species - 10% of the world’s total), 200 mammal species including 4 species of primates, 90 frog species, 1,200 butterfly species and 10,000 species of higher plants—all protected within the reserve. Some of the more famous residents are the Harpy Eagle, the prehistoric looking Hoatzin, tapir, peccary, jaguar, ocelot and playful river otters who live in the area’s oxbow lakes.

The lodge itself combines native architectural style and materials with low-impact eco-friendly technology. Rooms are simple but comfortable, with mosquito netting for individual beds, flush toilets, showers (no hot water), and kerosene lamps for lighting (no electricity). Local community members make up the majority the lodge staff, including multilingual Naturalist Guides. Here you have the opportunity to learn from them not only about the area’s rich flora and fauna, but also about their extensive practical uses for medicinal plants and other forest plant resources, through traditional techniques for building, fishing, and hunting.

After exploring the jungle with local guides, fly to Lima for the final night and one last Pisco Sour.

Cusco to Jungle Lodge:
Approximate Distance: 320km
Estimated Travel Time: 4 hours

Jungle Lodge to Lima:
Approximate Distance: 856km
Estimated Travel Time: 6 hours

Day 21 Lima/Quito

Included in this trip is your transfer to the airport and your flight to Quito. A transfer will be waiting for you at Quito airport and will transfer you to your hotel. Overnight in Quito.

Located 2850m (9348 ft) above sea level, the Ecuadorian capital of Quito enjoys a wonderful spring-like climate, despite the fact that it is only 22 km (14 miles) south of the Equator. Nestled in a valley flanked by mountains, on a clear day several snow-capped volcanoes are visible from the city centre. Add to its beautiful location a rich history and well-preserved colonial district, and you begin to understand Quito’s appeal to thousands of tourists every year.

In 1978 UNESCO declared Quito a World Heritage site, and any new development in Quito's old town is now strictly controlled. Life in Quito tends to be peaceful, though the drivers are fond of using their car horns! There are approximately 2,000,000 inhabitants in the metropolitan area, but the pace is relaxed and the residents hospitable.

Quito is separated into two basic sections, the old and the new cities. The old city is full of historical buildings and churches. One of the more noteworthy is the Catedral de Quito, located on the Plaza de la Independencia. Built between 1550 and 1562, it was one of the first neoclassical works in Quito. La Compañía de Jésus Church is considered one of the most beautiful in the Americas. The decorations in the Compañía contain approximately one and one-half tons of gold, and construction of the church took 170 years (1605-1775).

The small, rounded hill dominating the old town is El Panecillo or 'the Little Bread Loaf,' a major Quito landmark. From here there are marvellous panoramic views of the entire city and surrounding volcanoes. You can easily take a trolley (streetcar) or a cab between the Old Town and New Town.

Quito’s large foreign population and steady stream of travellers have given it a varied and vibrant nightlife, and salsotecas and other dance clubs abound. For a real Ecuadorian experience though, be sure and drop by a peña if you can; these are great places for meeting locals and dancing, as well as enjoying local cooking.

Day 22 San Cristóbal (1B,1L,1D)

Early flight to San Cristóbal the capital of the Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival meet our naturalist guide who will assist with the transfer to our boat. After lunch we will visit the San Cristóbal's Interpretation Centre to learn more about the natural history, human history, and conservation efforts of the Galapagos Islands.

Flights from Quito to San Cristobal depart between 8:10am and 10:10am depending on the day of the week. These will arrive into the Galapagos between 10:40am and 12:40pm with a refuelling stop in Guayaquil (you will not disembark the plane). You will generally arrive onto the boat in time for lunch on Day 2 before your afternoon activity.

Please note: The National Park charges a visitor fee of USD100, payable on arrival, which funds park maintenance and supervision in the Galapagos, as well as ecological study, conservation and infrastructure development in Ecuador's other National Parks. Entry fees and the funds they generate for the national park system are among measures taken by the Ecuadorian government to protect its natural heritage.

Estimated Travel Time: 3 hours (By flight)

The Galapagos Islands are located about 1000 km (620 miles) off the Pacific coast of South America. The archipelago is comprised of 13 major islands and scores of islets that served as a living laboratory for Charles Darwin, the renowned evolution theorist. Long before Darwin arrived in the Galapagos, seafarers knew these isolated islands as home to some of the strangest and most wonderful wildlife imaginable, including birds that could swim but no longer fly, aquatic iguanas, dragon-like lizards left over from prehistoric times, and the giant Galapagos tortoises for which the islands were named.

Covering nearly 5000 square km (3100 square miles), the Galapagos Islands are now a National Park. The Galapagos National Park is the institution that controls the preservation of this environment, assisted by the Charles Darwin Research Station. Inaugurated in 1964 and based in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, the Charles Darwin Research Station is the one place where visitors can easily see the famous Galapagos Tortoises, which may live up to two hundred years. This is also the training centre for naturalist guides who accompany all visitors landing at more than 40 approved sites on the islands, and members of the international scientific community often come to study at the station.

San Cristóbal is the easternmost island of Galapagos and one of the oldest. The principal town is Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galapagos.

Day 23 Santa Fé/Plazas (1B,1L,1D)

Set sail and reach Santa Fé Island, a fairly small and dry island. Also called Barrington, Santa Fé Island is well-known as a great place for watching (and swimming with) sea lions. Along the island's northern shore you can view the forest of giant Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia). Santa Fé is also home to a number of endemic species which have bounced back from various threats to their survival. You may get a chance to see the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snake, a variety of finches and the Galapagos mockingbird.

In the afternoon, visit South Plaza Island. One of the smallest islands in the Galapagos, South Plaza has one of the largest populations of land iguanas. Walk along a path through a cactus forest and view a combination of dry and coastal vegetation.

Day 24 Genovesa (1B,1L,1D)

In the morning, land at Genovesa Island, an old imploded volcano, where there will be an excursion to Darwin Bay for some fantastic snorkelling opportunities within the a partially eroded crater on the south side of the island.

The second landing is at El Barranco, otherwise known as Prince Phillip's Steps, on the southern tip of the island. This site is a major breeding ground for red footed boobies and masked boobies can also be seen. Other birds like various species of finches can be seen as well as the Galapagos Mockingbird.

Well to the north of the main Galapagos Island group, Genovesa Island itself is the shape of a horseshoe due to its volcanic history.

Day 25 Santiago/Rábida (1B,1L,1D)

Visit Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island in the morning to witness the striking and fascinating giant lava formations. Very few plants have managed to survive on this island due to the harsh environment and relatively new lava floe. Enjoy a walk along the lava formations before coming to a white coral sand beach, where plentiful sally lightfoot crabs and sea lions can be seen.

In the afternoon, we will take an excursion to Rábida Island, where we will land on a red sand beach. From here a short trail leads to a salt water lagoon, often home to wading flamingos. Another trail goes past the lagoon to the interior, where the revered palo santo trees grow. When burned, the branches of this tree give off a pleasing aroma and ward off mosquitoes. Back on the beach among low-lying bushes nest the prehistoric-looking pelicans. This is the best area for close viewing of these nesting birds, and it's a rare treat to watch parent pelicans return with gullets full of fish for the squawking youngsters.

Day 26 Santa Cruz/Baltra/Quito (1B)

Take an excursion by "panga" to Black Turtle Cove on Santa Cruz Island to witness the extensive mangrove system and interesting waterway canals. Sea turtles and different species of rays can often be seen in this cove, offering a peaceful and fascinating glimpse into the diversity of the area.

Disembark in Baltra. Transfer to the airport for the flight back to Quito.

Flights from Baltra to Quito depart between 10:00am and 1:00pm depending on the day of the week. These will arrive into Quito between 2:30pm and 5:30pm with a refuelling stop in Guayaquil (you will not disembark the plane). You will arrive back at the hotel in the early evening in time for dinner.

Day 27 Quito (1B)

Depart at any time.

What's Included

4 nights in the Galápagos Islands. Incredible wildlife encounters. Daily opportunities for swimming and snorkelling. Flights to and from the Galápagos Islands. Snorkelling equipment in the Galápagos. Guided tour of Nazca desert cemetery and potter's studio. Guided tour of Colca Canyon (2 nts). Guided tour of Taquile and Uros Islands on Lake Titicaca. Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo ruins guided tour with visit to a Planeterra-supported women's weaving project and lunch at the Planeterra-supported Sacred Valley Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosco, an indigenous village (full-day). 4-day Inca Trail hike with local guide, cook, and porters. Planeterra-supported handmade biodegradable soap products for use on the Inca Trail. Guided tour of Machu Picchu. 3-day excursion to G Adventures' exclusive Amazon lodge. Internal flights.

Highlights

Four nights cruising the Galápagos National Park aboard the Daphne , trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, explore extraordinary frigatebird and booby cliff colonies on Genovesa, discover biological history from your naturalist guide, witness Lake Titicaca and the Nazca Lines, encounter wildlife in the Amazon Jungle

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. Please note that this tour is a combination of two G Adventure trips and the different sections of your trip will be led by different CEOs, one in Ecuador and one in Peru.

2. The rules and regulations controlling the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu are continually changing. Before embarking on your adventure to Peru it is very important that you familiarize yourself with the Inca Trail booking policies and guidelines as described in a document available on our website, at the following URL address:

http://www.gadventures.com/inca-advisory.php

3. Please advise at time of booking if you do not wish to hike the Inca Trail. Instead, you will have 2 nights in Cusco, travel by train for a night in Aguas Calientes, and join the hikers for the tour of Machu Picchu.


4. Portions of the Inca Trail will be closed for general maintenance during the month of February each year. Also, closures may occur at various times throughout the year due to inclement weather or other conditions beyond our control. During these periods, any tour affected will hike the Lares Trek.

5. Once you have confirmed your booking please give us your international flight details and advise us if you have any important issues such as allergies, special diets, etc.

6. The Ecuadorian government currently levies a Galapagos Islands Park entry fee of $100 USD per person. This is payable at the airport upon arrival in the park. It is not included in the cost of the tour, and must be paid in CASH. This fee funds Park maintenance and supervision in Galapagos, as well as ecological study, conservation and infrastructure development in Ecuador's other National Parks. Entry fees and the funds they generate for the National Park System are among measures taken by the Ecuadorian government to protect its natural heritage.

7. The Galapagos National Park authorities have implemented a system of Transit Control Cards at a fee of $10 USD per person. This card is to be purchased in CASH at a counter in the Quito airport before boarding the flight to the Galapagos. Please retain this card along with your passport as you will be required to present this upon arrival to the Galapagos Islands. Please note that this applies to all tourists entering the Galapagos Islands and is a supplement to the existing entry fee to the National Park and is not controlled by tour operators or travel agencies. It is the first of a number of initiatives to track, control and maintain the sustainable tourism targets set out by the Galapagos National Park and the Ecuadorian government in an attempt to preserve the fragile environment of the archipelago.

8. Please note that the rooming on our Galapagos yachts is done on a first-come, first-serve basis, and we are not able to guarantee the specific cabin you will receive on board. The cabins are comfortable and clean, all with private bathrooms. Due to the specific location of the cabins on board, the window sizes vary as well as the noise at times when the boat is navigating, given the proximity of the cabin to the engine room. Our friendly and competent crew will ensure the smooth and comfortable journey for the duration of your tour.

9. Please note that this trip is a combination of multiple G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and/or particular vehicles operating your tour may change between tour segments. You may also expect some group members to join or leave the tour, between tour segments.

Group Leader Description

Your G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds. For your Galapagos voyage we have a highly experienced shipboard staff and crew, including a local naturalist guide in the Galapagos (certified by the Galapagos National Park).

Group Size Notes

Max 16, Avg 12.

Meals Included

20 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 9 dinners.

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. G Adventures understands the importance of breakfast to start your day, we strive to include a basic breakfast wherever possible. A typical breakfast may include toast, coffee and tea, however this may vary depending on the city. Should breakfast not be included, your CEO can suggest some local options.

Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. While trekking in remote regions etc. food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients.

For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow USD240-320 for meals not included. Drinks and tips while on the yacht are extra. You must pay a USD10 (cash) Tourist Transit Card fee at the Quito airport and a USD100 (cash) Galápagos park entry fee immediately upon arrival to the islands (subject to increase).

Transport

Plane, Daphne motorized yacht, private van, train, public bus, boat, canoe, Zodiac, taxi.

Local Flights

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotels/guesthouses (15 nts), G Lodge Amazon (2 nts), overnight bus (1 nt), homestay (1 nt), camping (3 nts), motorized yacht (4 nts, twin-share).

My Own Room Exceptions

Night 9: overnight bus, Nights 11-12: Colca Canyon, Night 14: homestay, Nights 18-20: Inca Trail, Nights 23-24: Amazon Jungle.

About Accommodation

Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Latin America (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.

Joining Hotel

Hotel Britania Miraflores
Calle Independencia 211 esq. 2 de Mayo
Miraflores, Lima
Tel: +51 1 203-3900

Please note, the March 29, April 12 and April 26, 2014 departures will commence at the following hotel:

Hotel Antigua Miraflores
Avenida Grau 350
Miraflores, Lima
Peru
Tel: +51 1 241 6116

Please note for the March 15 and May 24, 2014 departures the tour will commence at the following hotel:

Embajadores Hotel
Juan Fanning 320
Miraflores, Lima
Peru
Tel: +51-1-242-1801

Please note that the May 10th and July 19th, 2014 departure will commence at the following hotel:

Lima Wasi
Av. Armendariz 375
Lima Peru
+51 1 2430721

Please note that the June 21 and August 30, 2014 departures will commence at the following hotel:

Casa Suyay
Calle la Esperanza 144, Miraflores
Lima
Peru
+ 511 2429432

Please note that the following departures will commence at the Hotel San Blas

July 5
August 2
September 13

Hotel San Blas
Av. Arequipa 3940 Miraflores
Lima
Peru
02222601

Joining Instructions

Jorge Chavez International Airport in Callao Lima, is approximately a 45-minute drive from the Miraflores district, where our joining hotel is located. The easiest way to get there is via taxi. Immediately after the customs and immigration area, as you head to the exits, you will find an official taxi stand. You can pay for the car at set (approximately $27 USD) rates and won’t need to worry about sorting out a ride outside the airport facilities, where the situation tends to get more chaotic, with many drivers vying for few clients. There are exchange facilities in the Arrivals area open 24 hours.

If you are arriving from abroad and have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, someone will be at the airport to meet you. Upon leaving the baggage claim area you will see a large open area with sign boards all around. Look for a G Adventures sign board with your name. As there are many people and signs in this area it may be difficult for you to spot the sign immediately. Please take your time in doing so and if at that stage you do not see a G Adventures sign board with your name go to the customer service area to wait. In the event that your driver does not arrive within 20 minutes please ask the information desk to arrange an official taxi for you which should cost approximately $27 USD and this money will be reimbursed by your CEO or G Adventures representative.

FINDING YOUR TRANSFER - As you walk out of the airport there will be many drivers holding signs with agency or passenger names as well as taxi drivers asking you if you require their services. These are NOT our drivers and you should not accept their services. Please wait for our designated transfer person with a G Adventures sign board.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER 
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. 

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office Lima, Peru.
During office hours (Weekdays, 9-6pm Local Time): +51 1 241 1650 or 01 241 1650 (from mobile within Peru) or 241 1650 (from payphone within Peru)
After hours Emergency number: +51 99 758 2712.

G Adventures Local Office Quito, Ecuador
During office hours (Weekdays 9am-6pm Local Time)
From outside Ecuador: + (593 2) 223-0791 or (+593 2) 223-6641or (+593 2) 254-3183
After hours Emergency number + (593 9) 99 506 000 or (09) 99 506 000 (from within Ecuador)

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

Continuing Point Hotel

Hotel Hilton Colon-Standard
Avenida Amazonas N19-14 y Avenida Patria
Quito
Ecuador
Tel: +593 2 2560 666

Continuing Point Instructions

On day 21, you will fly from Lima to Quito. Included in this trip is your transfer to the airport and your flight to Quito. A transfer will be waiting for you at Quito airport and will transfer you to your hotel. A G Adventures representative will contact you at the joining point hotel in Quito regarding the Galapagos portion of the trip. Overnight in Quito.

The last day of the tour is a departure day in which no activities have been planned.

Excess luggage can be stored free of charge at the continuing hotel during the Ecuadorian portion of your tour if desired.

What to Take

Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, but because of the higher altitude in the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night. We recommend the use of a duffel bag or backpack, whichever is easiest for you to carry. A good size daypack is also essential.

There is not a lot of extra space on the boat in the Galapagos. Life aboard the yacht is very informal, making casual, comfortable clothing a must.

Please note that Galapagos is a protected National Park so your luggage will be checked before arrival and departure to and from the islands. Don’t bring with you any food, seeds or other organic material that could affect the delicate ecosystem of the islands.

Porters are not often available, so be prepared to carry your own bags. Please remember that you can leave unnecessary articles in your joining hotel storage room.

Please do not bring any alcoholic beverages aboard, as your boat has a bar offering a variety of alcoholic drinks and prices are reasonable.

LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE ON THE BOAT: Please note that the amount of luggage you can bring on the boat is LIMITED due to small cabin size. We recommend travellers use soft sided duffel bags of 40-50 litres in capacity. We will accept luggage types onboard, however if you are a single traveller sharing with another traveller, it´s especially important to keep in mind that cabins are small in size and it´s best to pack light. Luggage storage facilities are available at the start hotel for anything you don´t need while you are exploring the Galapagos.

Please note that the electric outlets on this boat are 110v and will have either 2 flat prongs or two pin-like prongs. If necessary please bring an adaptor with you for your electric devices, ie, battery chargers.

Checklist

- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
- G Adventures vouchers and trip details
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates if required
- Camera
- Reading/writing material
- Cover for backpacks
- Pocketknife.
- Fleece top
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- Small towel and swim wear
- Shirts/t-shirts
- Shorts
- Long trousers
- Hiking pants/track pants
- Sturdy walking shoes
- Sport sandals
- Sunblock
- Sunglasses
- Sun hat
- Toiletries (biodegradable)
- Watch or alarm clock
- Water bottle
- Purification tablets or filter
- Headlamp
- Money belt
- First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).

RECOMMENDED FOR THE INCA TRAIL (OR LARES TREK)
- Inner sheet (for sleeping bag)
 - Wool hat, mitts or gloves (preferably waterproof)

- Rain poncho (can buy locally)

- Strong plastic bags to help keep gear dry

- Sleeping bag (this can also be hired locally for approximately $10 USD)

- Mattress (a foam mattress is included as part of the hike; self inflating type mattresses are available for hire)

- Anti-inflammatory tablets (e.g. Ibuprofen)

- Thermal underwear
- Headlamp
- Water bottles
- Cards
- Flip flops
- Fleece
- Waterproof hiking boots
- Hiking long sleeve shirt
- Hiking pants
- Mosquito spray
- Sunscreen
- Sunhat with brim

RECOMMENDED FOR THE AMAZON

• Camera, memory cards, batteries and chargers
• Cover for backpack (suggested)
• Flashlight or headlamp
• Binoculars
• Windproof/waterproof jacket
• Swim wear
• Rain poncho
• Sun hat
• Shorts/skirts (can be worn around the lodge, not on hikes)
• Loose-fitting, light-coloured long pants/trousers for hiking (any colour but black)
• Loose-fitting, light coloured long-sleeved shirts (any colour but black)
• T-shirts
• Walking boots/sturdy shoes
• Socks
• Flip flops/sandals can be worn around the lodge
• Knee-length socks (to be used with rubber boots)
• Sunblock
• Bug repellent with DEET
• Toiletries (biodegradable)
• Watch/alarm clock
• Water bottle (water available for refills)

Suggested: cleansing wipes, ear plugs, biodegradable laundry soap, bags to keep dirty laundry or wet swim wear separate

All other camping equipment is provided for the Inca Trail excursion. Porters carry the camping gear, food, and a portion of your personal belongings. All you will need to carry is a day-pack, containing waterproof jacket, fleece top, camera, water bottle, snacks, sunscreen, and hat during the hike.

In our continued effort to support the rights of the porters on the Inca Trail we would like ensure that they never exceed the weight limit for their packs as set out by the Peruvian authorities. Porters are allowed to carry no more than 6Kg of personal belongings per hiker. That means that including your sleeping bag, toiletries, clothing, etc... you are allowed a total weight of 6KG for the hike which will be carried in a duffle bag provided by our local office. Any additional weight must then be carried by you in your day pack. To help achieve this goal we recommend that you carry travel sized toiletries, eg. contact lens solution, that you bring sport sandals that can be worn with socks (which are lighter than running/walking shoes) and that you limit electronics such as MP3 players to those that you are willing to carry. Please note, the remainder of your luggage will be stored for you at one of our hotels in Cusco. It is advised that you bring anything of value (eg. money, passport, credit cards, camera, etc) with you on the trek.

If at the end of your trek, you felt your trekking guide and support team did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline we suggest each hiker contributes the following to a collective pool. We suggest a tipping amount of $40 per person for the Inca Trail and $35 per person for the Lares Trek.

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.

Detailed Trip Notes

G Adventures ADVENTURER YACHT
Our Galapagos boat, the Daphne is an air-conditioned motor vessel with a capacity for 16 passengers. Spacious cabins feature a large view window, upper and lower berths, and private bathroom facilities. Recently refurbished, it of 8 crew members, including a certified naturalist guide. Your total comfort is ensured by our helpful, cheerful staff who will attend to your every need. Additional vessel features include cozy bar, a small library and dining room. All meals are provided and are served aboard the vessel. You may purchase alcoholic beverages, water and soft drinks on the boat. In addition you are allowed to bring your own non-alcoholic beverages with you if you have any personal preferences.

PLEASE NOTE:
At times, when the g1 is being serviced, we will use another boat of equivalent standard and size. In this case a different itinerary may be used.

LIFE ON BOARD
The daily schedule consists of a shore excursion immediately following breakfast, lunch aboard and perhaps a siesta before the afternoon shore excursion. In the evening after dinner, your naturalist guide will brief you on the islands to be visited the following day. You are ferried from the yacht to shore via small boats called pangas. Landings are either “dry” or “wet”, where you might have to wade ashore in shallow water. Your naturalist guide will accompany you during all excursions.

ACCOMMODATION
This is a G Adventures Classic tour, all accommodation will be Tourist Class and of a Standard service level.

CLIMATE
Located on the Equator, the Galapagos climate is tempered by the Humboldt Current, so you do not experience extreme heat. The warmest weather is December to June, when temperatures range from 22-33°C (72-90 °F), and the water temperature is in the mid 20s (mid 70s °F). From July to November, the temperatures are cooler and range from 18-24°C (60s -75°F). The average water temperature rarely reaches 21°C (70°F).

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

The currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol (PEN) and in Ecuador the US Dollar (USD).

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank.

You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies.

Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money, a combination of US dollar cash and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

We do not recommend bringing travellers cheques as they are very difficult to change in country.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

Ecuador: USD $40.80

Many airline tickets already include this departure tax as part of the paid fare. Please check your ticket and ask at the airline counter when checking in for your flight.

Tipping

It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.

Onboard the Galapagos yacht, tipping the Naturalist guide and boat crew is customary. There will be two envelopes presented at the end of the voyage, one for the guide and one for crew members. The recommended amount is $12-15 USD per day from each traveller ($5 USD for the guide and $7-10 USD for the crew members). This is only a suggestion as we understand that tipping is a personal choice.

Optional Activities

PERSONALIZE MY TRIP
Extras are specially designed for travellers with unique interests, they are optional add-ons to your G adventures trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Extras must be booked prior to departure.

Extras available on this trip:
PERU CULINARY BUNDLE

Lima Cooking, Half-day (approx. 9am-2pm)
Cusco Cooking, Half-day (approx. 12pm-5pm)

Enjoy two exciting cooking classes in both Lima and Cusco. You will visit a local market to pick out the ingredients for your dish and will be taught a unique Peruvian dish. After your cooking lesson indulge in the flavours that is influenced by such faraway places as China, Italy, West Africa and Japan.

Note: If the Extra is on the arrival or departure day we strongly recommend booking an additional pre or post night accommodation.

*For specific days of each activity please see the Full Itinerary*

Quito:
Quito City Tour
This tour of Quito is perfect for seeing fascinating panoramas, churches, and historical architecture of Quito. Learn about colonial art, culture, legends, and traditions.
Quito was designated by UNESCO as World Cultural Heritage Site. The trip takes about 3.5 hours including the visit to the lookout point of El Panecillo where you will find one of the best views of Quito.
Trip includes English speaking guide/driver and private transportation)
- Entrance fees for the churches and Panecillo are not included in the price and are approx $ 9 USD p/p.
- Price for 1 person : $ 50 USD - Price for 2+ persons : $40 USD


City Tour + Equator Line
(Combination of City tour and Middle of the World Tour)
After the scenic city tour of Quito (described above) we go to the Equator line museum . Here we visit the Inti Ñan local museum where you can see different experiments to prove that you are at the Centre of the Earth. On the 00°00’00” line at the museum, you will have the opportunity to interact with demonstrations of phenomena that occur in nature, and which can be tested on our magnetic equatorial line.

This trip takes about 5 hours in total and includes English speaking guide/driver and private transportation )
- Entrances fees for City Tour : $ 6 USD (Churches)
- Equator line fees : $ 6 USD (Museums)
- Price for 1 person : $ 60 USD - Price for 2+ persons : $45 USD


The Middle of the world
Driving 25 Kms. (16 miles) north of Quito, marks the exact Middle of the World, latitude 0º. Here you can stand with a foot on each hemisphere. We will visit the Inti ñan site museum (pathway of the sun) which show the diversity of Ecuador's native groups .

On the 00°00’00” line at the museum, you will have the opportunity to interact with demonstrations of phenomena that occur in nature, and which can be tested on our magnetic equatorial line.

Later we head up to Pululahua crater view point , which is one of the two inhabited volcanic caldera in the world. Trip includes English speaking guide/driver and private transportation)
- Entrance fees for the Museums are not included in the price and are approx $9 USD p/p.
- Price for 1 person : $ 50 USD - Price for 2+ persons : $40 USD


Otavalo Market
The Otavalo market is considered one the biggest and best native markets in South America. Here you can find an extremely wide variety of handicrafts made in Ecuador. We head north along the Pan-American highway for 2.5 hours. On the way we visit the village of Calderon to see the bread figures and Cayambe to taste the typical ‘biscochos’ (local biscuits). After you have explored the Otavalo market, we go to the leather market at Cotacachi or Peguche the weaving town . The busiest Market Day is Saturday with the most vendors, but the market is open daily.
This trip takes about 8 hours and can depart everyday at 08h00 am (trip includes English speaking guide/driver and private transportation )
- Price for 1 person : $ 100 USD - Price for 2+ persons : $70 USD


Mindo Cloud Forest – Full Day
Drive northwest for about 2 hours, enjoy the dramatic change of vegetation as we go down the andes to the cloudforest. Mindo is a tiny town set amidst some of the most beautiful and peaceful countryside in the entire country. It is a centre for both nature and adventure activities.
Go walking through the cloud forest and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the different waterfalls, take time to ride up the cable car with amazing views.
Time for lunch in a local restaurant (not included) and visit a butterfly farm where you will be able to see an array of colorful humming birds for which Mindo is renowned.
In the afternoon there is also the option of an organic chocolate tour which includes a demonstration of the chocolate-making process and of course tasting too!
This trip takes about 9 hours and can depart everyday at 07h00 am (trip includes English speaking guide/driver and private transportation )

Allow : $10 USD for lunch and $ 20 USD for entrance fees.
- Price for 1 person : $ 100 USD - Price for 2+ persons : $70 USD


Cotopaxi Volcano
A spectacular 2-hour drive in private transport takes us to Cotopaxi Volcano National Park , the highest active volcano in the world (5897 m) . We visit a museum in the park and hike around a lagoon at the bottom of the volcano to learn about the flora and fauna found at this altitude. We then continue by car up the volcano to the parking lot, at over 4500m. Then we walk approximately 1.5hrs to the refuge at 4800m, and after a short break, continue to the glacier (if the weather holds out). We head back to the Pan-American highway to have lunch somewhere near Latacunga, or buy a box lunch on the way to have more time in the park. Return to Quito in the afternoon.

This trip takes about 8 hours and can depart everyday at 07h00 am (trip includes guide/driver in english and private transportation )
- Price for 1 person : $ 100 USD - Price for 2+ persons : $70 USD
- Does not include Cotopaxi Park Entrance fee $35 USD per group ( Park fee cost can be split between travellers)


PAPALLACTA HOT SPRINGS

Two hours drive to the east are the Termas de Papallacta. They are located on the Cinnamon trail, (65km from Quito) which is the same route that Francisco de Orellana took in 1542 when he crossed the Andean mountain range in search of spices and gold, and discovered the Amazon River.

Things to do:

a) Hot springs pools with different temperatures and sizes with views of the Antisana volcano 5750m.
b) Trekking up the river
 on marked path
c) Horseback rides
 - extra cost
d) Relax in the new spa recently inaugurated (spa services not Included in entrance fee cost.)

Important Note:
- Lunch not included however restaurant available onsite offering typical Ecuadorian meals with some international options.
- Return to Quito in the afternoon.

- This tour provides transport service only. Your driver will drop you off at the Hot Springs and wait for you when you are ready to leave.

- Full day tour
Tour Price: $100 USD – 1 Person
$50 USD per person for 2+ travellers
$7 USD Entrance fee per person

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Please note your Adventure travels to high altitude. This is medically defined as anything over 8,000 feet (2,440 meters). Most people can travel to 8,000 feet with minimal effects. However, everyone reacts to altitude differently and altitude sickness can on set with some people irrespective of fitness and age. For details on how to best prepare and what to do in the unlikely event you are effected on your Adventure, please consult your physician.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

Care should be taken when wandering around on your own in both central Lima and in Quito, as some areas can be dangerous and pickpockets are daring.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Associated Planeterra Project

Through Planeterra, G Adventures supports the Galapagos Conservancy.

The Galapagos Conservancy (GC) is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting conservation, education and scientific research in and on behalf of the Galapagos Islands. GC raises funds from individuals and institutions to support projects in the Galapagos. They also conduct seminars, briefings and other public education and advocacy efforts to inform the general public about conservation issues and the work being undertaken in Galapagos by the Charles Darwin Research Station and the Galapagos National Park Service.

All donations to this project through Planeterra directly support the Marine Turtle project at Quinta Playa in the Galapagos Islands. Implemented by the Charles Darwin Research Station, this is an ecological project monitoring one of the green sea turtles' most important nesting sites in the Galapagos Islands.

The overall goal is to evaluate the green turtle colony in Quinta Playa through systematic monitoring of nesting parameters, hatchling recruitment, basking behaviour and nesting habitat quality.

Main Objectives of this project are:
• Estimate the size of the green turtle nesting colony in Quinta Playa
• Study the effects of human activities such as tourism, fishing and garbage on the green turtle population
• Promote the conservation of green turtles
• Share results with Galapagos National Park in order to protect and conserve sea turtles

On this tour you may have the opportunity to visit the following Planeterra project:

HOUSE OF THE PEOPLE OF THE SUN
Inti Runakunaq Wasin (IRW) is Quechua for “House of the People of the Sun”. It is a non-profit organization based in Cusco that acts as a haven for children and adolescents who live in extreme poverty. The home is open during the day and is run by a staff of volunteer teachers and social workers. Children are given the opportunity to voluntarily drop-in to receive help with homework, a warm meal and participate in a variety of classes and workshops that teach them valuable skills including jewelry making, leather working, cooking, music and English. IRW currently supports 50 children through their programs. However, there are still many more children working and living on the streets of Cusco.

After fundraising for 5 years, a dream was made into a reality in 2009 when Planeterra purchased a permanent home for IRW. Planeterra continues to support the children's training workshops and support programs.

It is possible to visit this project on most tours that pass through Cusco. To arrange a visit please speak to your G Adventures CEO.

How You Can Help? All donations to this project are being matched by G Adventures, please go to www.planterra.org to learn more or make a donation.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.