Ecuador Quest (SEEQ)
Strange how a country that’s literally at the centre of the Earth can be overlooked, isn’t it? Stranger still considering how amazing Ecuador is. This 8-day trip shows off its best, rolling natural wonders (the Amazon!), stunning landscapes (the Ecuadorian highlands!), rich culture (Quito!) and active pursuits like hiking, horseback riding and mountain-biking everywhere you look. Good on its own, this trip also makes an ideal add-on to any Galápagos trip. (Trust us. It’s worth the time.)
Highlights: Feel like a local at an Amazon homestay, witness Andean scenery, soak in the hot springs of Baños, shop the Otavalo market
Machu Picchu Explorer (SPEX)
A wonder of the ancient world, the “lost city of the Incas” is the ideal place to unleash your inner historian. With 2-Days to explore the Sacred Valley, once you’ve left the road less travelled, you’ll find majestic ruins, striking views of the Peruvian mountains and local villages bursting with culture. As the premiere operator in the region, be assured we'll leave no stone unturned. An optional 1-day hike up the Inca Trail brings you even closer to Machu Picchu’s storied past, and if you prefer something a little more relaxing, there’s always the scenic train.
Highlights: Explore ancient ruins off the beaten path in the Sacred Valley with our expert guide, visit local villages and a Planterra-supported Women's Weaving Co-op, take in mountain views on the scenic train to Machu Picchu, enjoy traditional specialties with a Pachamanca-style dinner
If you're short on time but still want to experience the awe-inspiring majesty of hot springs and volcanos, look no further than this trip packed with Ecuadorian highlights. Among these are a jaunt through the Amazon jungle, a trip to the Papallacta hot springs, and a visit to the Otavalo handicraft market for souvenirs (because lava is kind of hard to pack in your suitcase). Throw in 2 nights in a luxury Amazon lodge and an overnight in a historic hacienda, and you'll have made a month's worth of memories in only nine days.
Highlights: Traverse the Amazon jungle with a local naturalist guide, be surrounded by towering volcanoes, explore an Andean community and have lunch with locals, learn about traditional handicrafts and folk art from local artisans, straddle both hemispheres at the 'middle of the earth'
If you're the epicurean sort who's looking to experience some gourmet living, try this culinary trip on for size. You'll spend 11 days travelling Chile and Argentina, immersing yourself in the Mendoza wine region and taking a full-day winery tour in Maipo Valley. On top of a 2-night stay in an estancia (ranch) in Uruguay, you'll also take a visit to a Planeterra-supported culinary school for a demonstration and lunch. We can guarantee you won't find Argentinean food fresher than this.
Highlights: Taste your way through the Maipo Valley and Mendoza vineyards, learn to prepare local specialties at a cooking class in Mendoza, live the cowboy life at a stylish 'estancia' ranch in Uruguay, visit a Planeterra-sponsored culinary training project, explore Buenos Aires's trendy neighbourhoods
Every four years, soccer fans get the chance to watch the world's best players compete in the mother of all championships. This time it's happening in Brazil. Join the party and connect with the people's samba spirit while exploring the most exuberant nation in South America. Get a dose of urban delights in Rio and southern Curitiba and natural wonders at stunning Iguassu Falls and the massive Pantanal wetlands. Better yet, you'll fly between Rio and Curitiba so there's more time to celebrate. While no match tickets are included, you're free to arrange your own or simply dance along during the country's biggest party yet.
Highlights: Being a part of football euphoria in Brazil, sipping caipirinhas at night, marvelling at Iguassu Falls, encountering wildlife in the Brazilian Pantanal, cheering for your team with many others, partying with thousands on the Brazilian streets, experiencing all Rio has to offer by day and night.
Experience two wonders of the ancient world on one comprehensive trip full of culture, discovery and exploration. Begin in the “lost city of the Incas” - the ideal place to unleash your inner historian - and journey through majestic ruins and local villages bursting with culture, with an optional 1-day hike up the Inca Trail. Then set off for the Galápagos island chain to see the incredible archipelago wildlife in the company of an expert naturalist guide. In the evenings, return to the comfortable Queen of the Galápagos (G8) to reflect on the day’s adventure under a canopy of stars. Retire to air-conditioned cabins with exclusive lower berths and private bathrooms.
Highlights: Explore ancient ruins off the beaten path in the Sacred Valley, visit local villages and a women's weaving co-op, take in mountain views on the scenic train to Machu Picchu, 3 nights cruising and exploring the Galápagos National Park aboard the Queen of the Galápagos (G8), snorkel with sea lions and sea turtles
Ecuador Quest (SEEQ)
|Trip||Length||Style||Service Level||Starting Price|
|Ecuador Quest (SEEQ)||8 days||Classic||Standard||
|Machu Picchu Explorer (SPEX)||8 days||Comfort||Upgraded||
|Ecuador Amazon, Hot Springs & Volcanoes (SEAV)||9 days||Comfort||Upgraded||
|Taste of Chile, Argentina & Uruguay (SCTS)||11 days||Comfort||Upgraded||
|Brazil Football 2014—Falls & Fandemonium (SZWC)||13 days||Yolo||Basic||
|Discover Machu Picchu and Galápagos - Central Islands (SPX06GA)||13 days||Comfort||Upgraded||