- Experience history come to life with a walking tour of Lima
- Marvel at masterful Incan masonry in the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu
- Cruise the Galapgos Islands, one of the world's most biodiverse regions on the planet
This 15-day journey, Galapagos luxury trip and Peru, features the vibrant history of Peru and Machu Picchu and an unbelievable array of wildlife on a cruise through the Galapagos Islands. Experience the best of both destinations on a trip that combines some of the finest hand-picked hotels and luxury cruise options that Peru and the Galapagos have to offer. Enjoy insider visits in Lima and Cusco and an unforgettable journey to Machu Picchu, then embark on voyage to a remarkable archipelago of thirty-five volcanic islands, where you will experience a rare, close encounter with extraordinary creatures accompanied by trained biologists and experts in the ecology of the region. This itinerary is customizable & can be tailormade to suit your interests. For the Galapagos portion, there are many luxury cruise options available, including special family departures, charters, shorter or longer duration or land-based hotel options on one of the Galapagos Islands. Flights to the Galapagos are available from Quito or Guayaquil.
LimaView on map
Arrival to Peru
An English-speaking Aracari representative will be expecting you from your international arrival, will greet you and give you your customized welcome pack with a booklet of your trip itinerary and other useful information before whisking you off to your hotel, assisting you with all check-in procedures.Accommodation options
- Day 2
LimaView on map
Into the Past and Creative Footsteps
Lima boasts an impressive concentration of ancient history. Not only do the origins of the city pre-date the Spanish foundation of the city by several millennia, its museums are full of the artistic treasures of magnificent pre-Columbian civilizations that flourished throughout the coastal deserts of Peru. Explore Lima's rich history with visits to a selection of sites including Huaca Pucllana, the Larco Museum, Lima’s Main Square with its beautiful baroque style buildings, and Casa Aliaga, the city’s oldest mansion.
In the afternoon meet with our 'Friend in the City' - a friend away from home, as opposed to a 'traditional' tour guide. Together head to Barranco. Originally a trendy seaside resort for wealthy Lima residents at the beginning of the 20th century, Barranco features holidaymakers’ elegant mansions and stately homes that display neo-colonial style and charming decorative features. As you meander through the area taking in the sites, you will also spend some time exploring a few of the many innovative art galleries, traditional craft shops - Las Pallas is one of our favoriotes - and trendy ateliers.Accommodation options
- Day 3
Lima – Sacred ValleyView on map
Visit Pisac Ruins and Market
Fly from Lima to Cusco and drive to the Sacred Valley. En route stop at Awanacancha ranch to meet the different camelids that live in the Andes such as llamas, alpacas, vicuñas and guanacos. Visit Pisac market and ruins. With Inca masonry of superlative quality, the stunning terracing at Pisac follows the contours of the mountain. The views of the valley will leave you in awe.Accommodation options
- Day 4
Sacred Valley - Machu PicchuView on map
visit Olantaytambo and take the train to Machu Picchu
Today visit the fabulous town of Ollantaytambo and its ruins. It was here that one of the greatest battles of the Conquest was fought, and one of the few where the Incas defeated the Spaniards.
In the afternoon take the scenic vistadome train to Machu Picchu. The journey from Ollantaytambo is approximately 1.5 hours. Upon your arrival to Aguas Calientes you will then board a a bus to the ruins. The main destination on many travellers’ lists, the ‘lost city of the Incas’ is a man-made marvel that has become a symbol for the ingenuity and prosperity of one of the most expansive empires in Latin American history.Accommodation options
- Day 5
Machu Picchu - CuscoView on map
visit Machu Picchu
This morning, visit Machu Picchu again ruins. Optionally hike to the Sun Gate, Huayna Picchu, or Machu Picchu Mountain, for spectacular panoramic views from above. Following your visit, take the bus back to the town of Aguas Calientes and board the Vistadome train. Transfer to your hotel in Cusco.
- For small groups we recommend privately chartering the Private Machu Picchu train
- Day 6
CuscoView on map
In and Around Cusco
Since its narrow alleyways were originally designed by the Incas as a city for walking, start your exploration of Cusco on foot. Begin at the Plaza de Armas, the Main Square, which is marked by the exquisite Spanish Colonial architecture and ornamentation imposed by Spanish colonists to exert religious and political influence. Underneath it all, however, you can clearly see remnants of Inca Cusco in the solid stonework. Visit Koricancha, the most sumptuous “Sun Temple” in the Inca Empire, and the breathtaking Cathedral, a repository for Cusco’s colonial art, as well as many other important archaeological relics and artifacts. You will also stop by the colourful San Pedro market and pass through the charming neighborhood of San Blas. Next, visit Sacsayhuaman, an Inca citadel atop a hill, on the outskirts of the city. Not only are the imposing terraces of masterful stonework a sight to behold, but the vistas overlooking the sienna rooftops of Cusco provide a whole new perspective to the city you traversed.Accommodation options
- Day 7
Cusco - Lima - GuayaquilView on map
Fly to Guayaquil in Ecuador
Fly from Cusco to Guayaquil via Lima. An Aracari representative will assist you with your layover in Lima. In Guayaquil you will be met by an Aracari representative to transfer you to your hotel.
- For the Galapagos portion of the itinerary there are many luxury cruise options. The following is a sample itinerary. Please contact us to learn about alternatives including special family departures, charters, shorter or longer duration or land-based hotel options on one of the Galapagos Islands. Flights to the Galapagos are available from Quito or Guayaquil.
- Day 8
Guayaquil – Galapagos IslandsView on map
Ocean Spray Cruise (8 days/7 nights)
Fly from Guayaquil to Baltra l Island and take your first glimpse of the fascinating Galapagos Islands. Assistance will be provided for you when you arrive to the airport by an Ocean Spray representative after you have landed. You will be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing.
The Ocean Spray is a large luxury catamaran that includes a sundeck, Jacuzzi and cabins with private balconies. There are also kayaks available for guests to use during their cruise.
The afternoon visit Chinese Hat, named for its shapes resemblance to a traditional Chinese Coolie hat. One of the least visited sites in the central islands, Chinese Hat offers rare, up close viewing of Galapagos wildlife and well preserved remnants of fragile volcanic rock that can’t be found in such a unique condition anywhere else. The landing site is a tiny crescent shaped cove with sandy white beach cradled between black lava rocks and the crystal turquoise waters of the channel. A sea lion colony likes to rest on the warm white sands, while the rockier sections of the coast are alive with fiery colored sally lightfoot crabs. Marine iguanas sun themselves atop the rocks after foraging for algae in the channel. American oyster catchers stalk the tide pools stabbing at shellfish with their bright orange beaks.
- 7 nights aboard the Ocean Spray
- Day 9
Galapagos IslandsView on map
In the morning explore Vicente Roca Point. Isabela Island is the largest in the archipelago, this seahorse-shaped island is also one of the youngest and most volcanically active.The morning visit is to Vicente Roca Point. Comprised of two separate coves, this site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola-mola (or pacific sunfish).
In the afternoon you will enjoy a visit to Espinosa Point on Fernandina Island. No foreign species have ever invaded Fernandina Island and therefore it is one of the world's most pristine island ecosystems. Fernandina is the youngest island in Galapagos. Access to this site is extremely restricted by the Galapagos National Park and you will be one of those very lucky visitors. The volcano “La Cumbre” dominates the landscape with lava fields reaching the ocean.
Crossing the Bolivar Channel that divides Isabela and Fernandina Islands, you will land at Espinosa Point. After walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, you’ll reach the island's highlight: the Flightless Cormorant nesting site. This area provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos Hawk.
- Day 10
Galapagos IslandsView on map
The morning visit, including Tagus Cove's cliff-side gallery, provides a clear view of pirate graffiti dating back to 1836. The contrast between vandalism and the pristine environment is thought provoking. Up the (1.25 mi / 2 km) hike through lava formations, you will see stunning views of the surrounding slopes and volcanoes, making our way to Darwin Lake. This salt-water crater-lake may have been filled with a tidal wave brought on by a volcanic eruption.
In the afternoon, the landing is at Urbina Bay which presents some fascinating geological formations. In 1954, an uplift from the sea formed the bay which has been characterized by the resulting terrestrial coral reef ever since. Expect to see stingrays and sea turtles swimming near the surface of the water, along with Flightless Cormorants, pelicans, and marine iguanas. You will be dazzled by the breathtaking view of Volcano Alcedo, with the possibility to see land iguanas and giant tortoises in the wild.
- Day 11
Galapagos IslandsView on map
The morning visit will take you to Elizabeth Bay, a secluded space lacking any landing sites. Take a traditional 'panga' ride or dinghy ride, passing the red mangroves and amongst the wildlife of the lively bay. Elizabeth is known for its marine life; you will probably see sea turtles and rays skimming the surface of the water. You may also see Brown Pelicans diving for fish, penguins, Blue-footed Boobies and possibly spot humpback whales.
In the afternoon visit Moreno Point, located south west of Elizabeth Bay. Here, a dry landing onto what was once flowing lava is possible. The lava has left craters in its wake, which formed crystal tide pools. By looking into the pools, you can peer into another world, as the marine life drifts by your window. In the brackish pools of this area, you may see pink flamingos, White-Cheeked Pintails, and Common Gallinules. If you look carefully into the pools you may see white-tip reef sharks and some sea turtles.
- Day 12
Galapagos IslandsView on map
Santa Cruz Island
In the morning start at the Charles Darwin Station - Breeding Center "Fausto Llerena" home to tortoises ranging from 4-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long. Here you will observe the various sub-species of tortoises interacting with each other, and possibly with you. Many of the older tortoises are accustomed to humans. The babies are only kept until they are about four years old, or large enough to survive in the wild. These conservation efforts continue to be extremely successful.
Here at the Santa Cruz Highlands, you can walk along a path, observing the hills, ferns, volcanoes, and rich wildlife. This area is home to giant tortoises, forest, mockingbirds, Bahama ducklings, White-cheeked Pintail ducklings, Darwin finches, and many other species. You will come upon the underground lava tubes, which are more than one kilometer (half a mile) long. Local guides will provide information and flashlights. Walking through the lava tubes is a unique and surreal experience.
- Day 13
Galapagos IslandsView on map
South Plaza and Santa Fe Islands
In the morning, you will head to South Plaza Island. This small island with steep cliffs was formed by rising lava and is now covered by Opuntia cacti. It is also home to one of the largest sea lion colonies as well as colorful yellow and red land iguanas. The most characteristic plant is the Sesuvium. During the rainy season its color is a greenish to yellowish tone and in the dry season (end of June through January) a bright red.
Our afternoon visit is to Santa Fe Island. Santa Fe (Barrington) is home to the small picturesque bay and anchorage on the islands northeast coast. The bay has two visitor trails, one leading to a scenic viewpoint atop a cliff and the other spanning from a small beach to a tall prickly pear cactus forest.
- Day 14
Galapagos IslandsView on map
Española Island is the southernmost island of the Galapagos and is the breeding site of nearly all of the Waved Albatrosses in the entire world. Española is densely populated with mockingbirds, Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies, Darwin finches, Galapagos Doves, hawks, marine iguanas, and loads of sea lions.
In the morning, start at Suarez Point on a trail where you will have the chance to see Blue-footed Boobie, albatrosses (From April to December) and Nazca Boobies. You will also visit a beautiful site on the ocean front where there is a cliff that the large albatrosses use as a launching pad! You'll have the chance to see the famous blowhole that spurts water into the air. The landscape is great for photography.
In the afternoon, you will visit the spectacular Gardner Bay & Osborn Islet. After landing, you can walk across a lovely white sand beach amongst a busy sea lion colony or dive into the water to swim with sea lion pups. It is the breeding site of nearly all of the world's 12,000 pairs of Waved Albatrosses.
- Day 15
Galapagos Islands - GuayaquilView on map
San Cristobal Island and fly to Ecuador
In the morning we will visit the Interpretation Center or Galapaguera on San Cristobal Island. The Interpretation Center is located on San Cristobal Island. The center was donated by the Spanish government and inaugurated by the Prince of Spain in 1998. This center focuses on the interaction between humans and the process of the “natural history laboratory”, demonstrating that a harmonious relation between human beings and nature is possible.
Please keep in mind that on departures days, your morning visit will be early and short in order to be prepared before heading back toward the airport for your return flight to Ecuador’s mainland. You will be transferred to your scheduled departure from the Airport to mainland Ecuador.
An Aracari representative will be expecting you from your flight from Baltra, Galapagos with a sign bearing your name. He will assist you with all check-in procedures and escort you to the departure area to catch your international flight.
Aracari specializes in tailormade travel. Here are just some of our further trip suggestions. Contact us for more bespoke ideas to inspire your travels.
Journey pricing as of 2022
Basic Pricing - US$13,200 per person
This is a sample journey and can be tailored to your interests and travel style.
- Based on two people travelling together in double or twin occupancy
- Cost per person for this 15-day itinerary.
- Discounted children's rates on request
This journey is based on two people travelling together in double or twin occupancy, excluding flights (international and domestic).
- Includes all specified services in the journey description
- All transfers and entrance fees
- A welcome pack on arrival including: a pre-loaded cell phone to contact your travel consultant at any time, a printed booklet packed with insider tips alongside your detailed journey and up-to-date recommendations on dining and shopping
- Hand-selected English-speaking guides
- Specialist guides (where noted)
- 24-hour support from our locally based team
- 14 nights in a hand-picked and personally tested selection of Peru and Ecuador’s finest hotels and cruise ships
Galapagos luxury trip and PeruBucket-list travel
- Domestic flights (quoted separately).
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Travel Insurance.
- International Flights and airport taxes.
- Neither personal expenses nor any other service not specified in the itinerary.
- Day 2