Talk to the Expert
I have been designing trips to my home country of Ecuador for over 20 years. Traveling itself has always felt like magic to me: my mind is always on travel, but my heart is forever in the Galapagos as it never fails to surprise me.
Latin America Specialist
- from $7,276 PP
- 12 Nights
- Year round
- 12 hours from London / 7 hours New York
Visit Ecuador and Peru on this tour that brings you to two amazing world wonders: the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu. It all starts in Peru’s capital city of Lima followed by a flight to Cusco where you’ll explore the Sacred Valley and hop on the famous glass-ceiling trail to visit the “Lost City” of Machu Picchu and its remarkable Inca ruins, including the Temple of the Sun, with an expert private guide. Traveling to Quito, Ecuador, you’ll catch a flight to the Galapagos where an elegant motor yacht waits to bring you on an island-hopping adventure, complete with a naturalist guide (top-level 3 certified). There will be daily excursions, including opportunities to snorkel and hike, evening lectures, and more. Of course, the highlight is coming face-to-face with animals like the Galapagos tortoise, sea lions, marine and land iguanas, fur seals, penguins, and blue-footed boobies.
Why Book with Us
Low Deposit To Book
Book your trip with us and pay a reduced deposit with the rest 90 days before your departure
From the moment you book your trip, our team is on hand 24/7 to assist you throughout your journey.
ATOL & ABTOT Protected
Your trip with us is fully financially protected by our travel insurers. Peace of mind guaranteed.
Intuitive Travel App
One central place to access all of your travel documents and guides without the need for WiFi.
- Explore traditional villages, a farm with camelids and a weaving centre
- Discover ancient salt mines
- Visit Machu Picchu by train and explore with an expert guide
- Sightseeing tour of Cusco and monuments in its surrounds
- Tour Quito’s UNESCO-listed historic centre
- Fly to the Galapagos, exploring San Cristobal, Santa Fe, North Seymour Island & More
- Snorkel with sea lions and other marine creatures
- Support local economies while discovering more of an authentic, local vibe
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Lima: Arrival into Peru
Your adventure begins with your arrival in Lima, the capital city of Peru. As South America’s unofficial gastronomic capital, if your flight doesn’t get in too late you might want to sample some of the mouth-watering cuisines. Some of the favorites include the national dish, ceviche, and Lomo Saltado, a beef stir fry made with classic Peruvian ingredients. If you’re up for experiencing the lively nightlife, you’ll find plenty of options to do just that or get a good night’s sleep, resting for your journey to the Sacred Valley tomorrow.
Day 2 Cusco: Camelids & Ancient Traditions
The private transfer brings you back to Lima’s airport for the flight to Cusco. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel in the Sacred Valley. Along the way, a private guide will lead you on a tour of Awanacancha, a farm and weaving center that aims to keep the tradition of textile arts alive. It involves 14 local active communities, with weaving the primary activity in each one as it has been for centuries. You’ll see guanacos, vicunas, alpacas, and llamas, with the vicunas delicate and small, known for their wool that’s considered the finest of all four camelids. Afterward, visit Ollantaytambo, the oldest inhabited Inca town.
Day 3 Sacred Valley: Inca Villages & Salt Mines
A private guide brings you to the Sacred Valley where your exploits include visits to the Inca villages of Moray, Maras, and Chinchero, the latter of which rises 12,500 feet, providing fabulous Urubamba Mountain views. It hosts a popular market with an Inca wall bordering it featuring large niches that were once part of an Inca Palace, while an approximately 400-year-old adobe church rises above. At the ancient salt mines near Maras, saltwater springs flow from the hill, where you’ll see Inca-built terraces designed for capturing the water and harvesting the salt. Discover more in Maray, with its massive circular Inca agricultural terraces.
Day 4 Machu Picchu: Discover the Bucket-List Ruins
Early this morning, transfer to the train station, boarding the Vistadome to Aguas Calientes, a gateway to Machu Picchu. Constructed around 1450, abandoned only a century later during the Spanish conquest, an expert guide will lead you through the site that was forgotten for hundreds of years until historian Hiram Bingham rediscovered it on an archaeological expedition guided by local villagers. One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, you’ll see classical Inca-style buildings like the Temple of the Sun in its Sacred District. Unwind with a cup of locally made coffee and then enjoy pampering treatments at the Unu Spa.
Day 5 Cusco: Machu Picchu Hike
This morning you’ll head back to the ruins on foot, hiking to see the Huayna Picchu, or the ‘Temple of the Moon’ as it is known locally, one of the three major temples in the Machu Picchu area, nestled on the side of the mountain offering stunning views of the surrounding area. After the 2- to 3-hour trek, you’ll hop aboard the Vistadome train to Poroy Station where our driver will meet you for transfer to your hotel in Cusco, the Inca Empire’s ancient capital. This beautiful city was the epicenter of the famous Inca network of roads that linked all points in the empire.
Day 6 Cusco: Sightseeing Tour of Cusco, Qenqo, Puca Pucara & More
A guided half-day this morning will bring you to the sights of Cusco, including the Temple of Sun, Korikancha, the most important temple of the Inca Empire which provides a fine example of the Inca’s remarkable stonework. Marvel at the displays of priceless colonial art in the baroque-style 17th-century Cusco Cathedral and then visit monuments in the area that surrounds the city. That includes Sacsayhuaman, a fortress that was built using extraordinary measures with rocks from a quarry located nearby. Finish this memorable tour by visiting Puca Pucara, Qenqo, and the Inca bath of Tambomachay, where a ceremony for the water was held.
Day 7 Quito: Travel from Cusco to Quito via Lima
After discovering many of Cusco’s delights, it’s time to move on to Ecuador. A private transfer will bring you to the Cusco airport where you’ll catch your flight to Quito with a connection in Limo. Once you arrive at Quito airport, you’ll be welcomed to the capital city by our driver for transfer to your hotel in the UNESCO-listed historic center, one of Latin America’s most well-preserved old towns. The entire city, spread across an Andean valley surrounded by soaring volcanic peaks is enough to make your jaw drop, but the remarkable colonial buildings perfectly complement the striking natural beauty.
Day 8 Quito: Old Town Tour & a Stunning View over the City
Join a guided tour to see and learn about Quito’s most impressive buildings, gaining an understanding of why it was the first city to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover priceless colonial treasures and magnificent architecture, including San Francisco Church, as old as the city itself with its 16th-century architecture and museum of religious art that contains some 3,500 works. Marvel at the seven tons of glittering gold in La Compañía and visit the area’s bustling hub, Independence Plaza which hosts Quito’s cathedral and the Presidential Palace. The grand finale is a spectacular view of the city and surrounding mountains from Panecillo Hill.
Day 9 San Cristobal, Galapagos: Board Your Yacht & Visit Lobos Island
Taking a private transfer back to Quito’s airport this morning, you’ll catch your flight to San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos. Once there, our driver will be there to greet you for a private transfer to the yacht where you’ll begin your exploration of this unique archipelago.
This afternoon you will have the opportunity to explore Lobos Island, a small islet that sits adjacent to San Cristobal. Despite its size, Lobos Island is brimming with wildlife, particularly sea lions or “lobos marinos” in Spanish. As you step ashore, groups of sea lions will welcome you, while male frigatebirds with inflated red balloons will be perched on bushes and trees. A small colony of blue-footed boobies, which often nest along the trail, will give you the chance to witness their renowned courtship dance.
Lobos Island is an excellent snorkeling location where you can witness the sea lions show off their swimming skills while playing with divers. The calm waters also provide a chance to see sea turtles and rays resting in the sandy bottoms.
Day 10 Galapagos: Santa Fe Island
Today’s landing spot at Santa Fe is surrounded by towering Giant Prickly-pear cactus and stark, barren lava rocks. Situated within one of the most stunning bays in the Galapagos, this location boasts white sand beaches and turquoise waters. As you explore the island, keep your eyes peeled for native Santa Fe land iguanas scurrying along the ground, and Galapagos hawks perching atop the cacti, scouting for prey. Once your hike is complete, you can choose to kayak or snorkel in the calm waters of the bay. Take a swim with adorable sea lion pups and graceful reef sharks, while keeping a lookout for sea turtles, rays, and a wide variety of tropical fish, such as surgeonfish and parrotfish that swim in large schools.
Once you are back aboard your next stop is South Plaza Island, with its remarkable array of wildlife. As you journey along the trail, you will come across a sizable sea lion colony, where you can watch playful pups frolicking in the tide pools and formidable, territorial males guarding their domains. The path will lead you to a cliff, affording you a stunning vantage point to observe numerous seabirds, including frigatebirds, red-billed tropicbirds, boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, and pelicans.
Day 11 Galapagos: North Seymour Island & Mosquera Islet.
Today’s destination is North Seymour Island, a haven for impressive colonies of both magnificent and great frigatebirds, where you can observe their unique mating rituals, including displaying their bright red throat sacs to attract a mate. Swallow-tailed gulls can be seen perched on the cliff edges, while land iguanas are a common sight inland. Near the shore, you can spot marine iguanas basking on the rocks alongside playful sea lions that enjoy riding the waves. With an abundance of marine life, North Seymour is an excellent location for snorkeling, providing an opportunity to see a diverse array of fish, as well as sea lions, sharks, eels, turtles, rays, and much more.
This afternoon, head to Mosquera Islet. A leisurely stroll along the beach offers the opportunity to observe adorable sea lion pups frolicking in the surf and enjoying the tide pools. Keep an eye out for the endemic lava gulls, which frequently soar above the beach while searching for food. If the waves are not too rough, you can go snorkeling at the island’s northern tip or at one of the small, sheltered beaches.
Day 12 Galapagos: Darwin Bay/ El Barranco
Start your day in Genovesa, a paradise for birdwatchers, with huge colonies of seabirds inhabiting the island. As soon as you step onto the beach, you will be greeted by the sounds of hundreds of boobies, gulls, and frigatebirds flying overhead, perching on bushes, or nesting in the sandy terrain. Enjoy an unforgettable wildlife experience, with animals at every turn – sea lions and marine iguanas near the shore, night herons, lava and swallow-tailed gulls, Darwin finches, Galapagos doves, mockingbirds, and more inland. Darwin bay also offers numerous snorkeling spots, ranging from deep waters along the cliffs to shallow waters by the beach.
Next stop is El Barranco, located in the southern part of Darwin Bay at Genovesa Island, featuring cliffs made of fragile fractured lava, which is an ideal nesting place for storm petrels. On today’s nature walk, you will find abundant red-footed and Nazca boobies, Galapagos fur seals, and various species of seabirds. Snorkeling along the cliffs will offer you a chance to see many fish and potentially sharks, rays, and sea lions.
Day 13 Galapagos: Santa Cruz and Baltra Islands & Departure
After disembarking from your 4 night cruise a shared transfer will transport you to the highlands, stopping at one of the reserves to explore the verdant forests. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to observe Galapagos Giant tortoises in their natural habitat, grazing and lounging in freshwater ponds. This area also boasts a rich variety of avian species, including finches such as tree, woodpecker, and vegetarian finches, as well as flycatchers and multiple types of water birds, which are seldom seen in the lowlands. Afterward, another shared transfer brings you to the island’s airport to catch a flight to Quito followed by a connecting flight home. If you’d prefer to extend your journey, our travel experts can help make it happen.
What's not Included
- As we have clients from all over the world. Our itineraries do not include flights. If you would like us to include flights in your trip, we are happy to do so. Please speak to your travel specialist at the planning stage to include them.
- Gratuities for local guides
- We strongly advise all guests purchase comprehensive travel insurance
- Visas if required
Let’s get started making this itinerary yours.
Speak to experienced Destinations Experts about designing this itinerary around your budget and trip preferences
Why book with Unforgettable Travel Co.
100% Financial Protection
We are a licensed and fully bonded tour operator financially protected by both the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL) and the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust (ABTOT). All clients that travel with us are fully financially protected.
Our travel experts live and breathe the destinations they specialise in. This shows in their passionate to create hand crafted trips for our clients. We don’t offer cookie cutter trips, just truly unforgettable journeys unlike any other.
The Best Guides
What makes our trips extraordinary is the unique immersive experiences we include. We pride ourselves in our black book of sought after expert guides, game rangers and local contacts who believe in our philosophy, unforgettable.
From the moment you book your trip, we are on hand 24/7 to assist you throughout your journey. With regional offices around the world, we have ground logistics teams on hand to help you every step of the way.
Luxury Galapagos Explorer
Quito, Cloud Forest, Galapagos Islands12 NightsFrom $10,646 PPA 6-night cruise through the Galapagos Islands on a luxury yacht plus 3 nights in the historic capital Quito and 2 nights in the Cloud Forest.
Small Boat Galapagos Cruise
Quito, Galapagos Islands6 NightsFrom $6,001 PPA four night cruise through the Galapagos Islands on a small yacht plus two nights in the historic capital Quito.
Highlights of Peru
Lima, Arequipa, Colca, Lake Titicaca, Cusco, Machu Picchu12 NightsFrom $4,086 PPA highlights tour of Southern Peru including the iconic Lake Titicaca and Machu Pichu as well as the cities of Cusco and Lima.
COPYRIGHT © 2023 UNFORGETTABLE TRAVEL. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED