12-Nights Peru Splendors with Galapagos Cruise
From its amazing archaeological treasures to its gastronomic delights and from its rich history to its melting pot of cultures, Peru offers visitors a wide array of attractions—and on this tour, you’ll experience its highlights. Plus, you’ll have the thrilling opportunity to cruise through the Galápagos Islands. Start in Lima, a cosmopolitan city steeped in history with pre-Columbian ruins, Spanish colonial buildings, and remnants of colonial mansions. On your sightseeing tour, you’ll see many of its famous sights. High in the Andes Mountains, Cusco is the oldest continuously inhabited city in South America and is sure to please history buffs. Learn about the Incas’ struggles with the invading Spaniards on your tour of Cusco and visit the Temple of Sacsayhuaman, built in the early 12th century with some stones weighing more than 350 tons. Try to figure out how it was built so precisely without the help of modern machinery and technology! Of course, no vacation to Peru is complete without visiting Machu Picchu. Built around 1450 at the height of the Inca Empire, Machu Picchu is located in a gorgeous mountain setting above the Urubamba Valley. Stand in awe as you witness it—it is one of the most majestic images in all of South America!
Not only will you visit the must-see sights, you’ll also have an opportunity to learn about Peruvian life. Experience a Mother Earth ceremony performed by a local shaman. These ceremonies thanking Mother Earth and asking for good health and safe travels have been practiced in Peru since before the arrival of the Incas. You’ll also stop at a local Peruvian food market and visit a home to meet some of the locals and experience their way of life.
Conclude your vacation by cruising through the Galápagos Islands, where you will witness blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds, sea lions, land iguanas, and much more. For even more spectacular beauty and fun, you can swim or snorkel in search of sea life such as octopus, sea horses, and starfish. Afterward, spend time in Quito, where a sightseeing tour shows you its highlights - a perfect conclusion to an amazing adventure!
12 nights from $4909 per person
The Galápagos Archipelago is a unique world heritage. Situated on the equator 600 miles off the coast of South America, this remote volcanic archipelago remains much as it was millions of years ago. Over the centuries, animal and plant life from the Americas reached the islands and gradually evolved into new forms. Many of its species are found nowhere else on earth. Since Darwin's famous voyage, its marine and terrestrial ecosystems have provided a wealth of information and source of inspiration for people through the world. The "Enchanted Islands" continue to play an important role in our understanding of life on earth. The Galapagos experience offers world travelers a way to step back in time, to visit an isolated, relatively untouched place on earth.
Lima, "the City of the Kings," became the effective capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru, established 1560. Today, a visit to Lima may serve as a unique Peruvian experience that offers a glimpse into the Andean world, Spanish tradition and the country's modern aspect. Visit handsome old buildings and baroque churches that testify to the city's religious background and the Plaza de Armas, shared by the realms of the Catholic church, municipality and national government. The pre-Inca ruins of Pachacamac lie a short distance south of the city. Once a ceremonial site, Pachacamac has been the most important religious center of the Andean world since before the age of Christ. Stop and admire The Temple of the Sun and the Moon, Lima's outstanding museums, and Machu Picchu - a "Jewel in the Mist."
Quito is a fantastic place to visit and the best place to start your Latin American journey. Quito is also the entertainment center in Ecuador with new bars and discos opening every week and also the best place to shop, either at the small souvenir shops or at big malls. Quito has many interesting cultural sites, historical sites, museums, private galleries, churches, exhibition centers, and theaters.
The Cuzco region of Peru combines Inca legacy with Spanish colonial architecture in an atmosphere at once provincial and sublime. The chaotic marketplaces where campesinos barter grain or potatoes for multi-colored fabric belie the mute spirituality of the Lost Cities, where Inca stonework conveys order and balance. Such diversity enhances this inspiring nine-day adventure. The blue sky radiates with an intensity achieved only at high altitudes (the city of Cusco lies 11,150 feet above sea level), while the landscape offers its unique pattern of exacting agricultural grids and tangled jungle masses.
This tropical city of over two million people spreads out along the banks of chocolate-colored Guayas River, about 12 miles from Gulf of Guayaquil. The river, navigable for the largest of ocean vessels, makes this one of the Pacific's most important and best-protected ports. Visitors find the city itself is primarily valued as a gateway for the Galapagos Island and the rest of the country. Ecuador's scenic capital Quito can be reached via a 45-minute flight from Guayaquil. Lush green hillsides, snow-capped volcano cones and brilliant sunshine combine to make the city a charming surprise. Guayaquil offers a rich and interesting history. The meeting of Bolivar and San Martin is commemorated with the colonnaded La Rotunda facing the river. Other attractions include Colon Park where the city was founded, the Santo Domingo Church and the cemetery, often called the White City. With its elaborate tombs and monuments, this is one of South America's most striking burial grounds.
The Urubamba valley is also named the Sacred Valley. It begins in the Urubamba's village and continues to Macchu Picchu.
Machu Picchu is a fortress city of the ancient Incas, in a high saddle between two peaks 50 miles NW of Cuzco, Peru. The extraordinary pre-Columbian ruin consists of five sq. miles of terraced stonework link by 3,000 steps; it was virtually intact when discovered by Hiram Bibghan in 1911.
Today Baltra is the most important airport of Galápagos and a small navy base for Ecuador. Baltra has suffered most from human settling and does not have any visitor sites. Many cruises start from the its harbour and already there pelicans and noddies will welcome you.
To the north lies Mosquera, a small sandy bank with a large colony of sea lions. Go swimming and snorkeling on the beach.
Isla Santa Cruz
Here, the Charles Darwin Station offers insight into ongoing research and conservation in the Galapagos. Also located on this island is Cerro Dragon, one of the best places to spy land iguanas.
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Valid Travel Dates
- Breakfast daily, 5 lunches, 7 three-course dinners including a Welcome Dinner in Lima and a farewell dinner in Cusco
- Sightseeing per itinerary
- Tour Director and more!
Charges not included in the land vacation price: airfare to and from the start of your vacation; airline baggage fees including checked and/or excess baggage fees; Federal inspection fees for the Federal U.S. Customs and Immigrations; agricultural tax; other per person taxes imposed by government entities; applicable cruise taxes, fees, fares and port charges; passports; visas and vaccinations; transfers; tips to your Tour or Cruise Director, Local Host, driver, Local Guides, and/or ships' crew; gratuities on ferries, trains, and cruise ships; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted menu as presented at a hotel or restaurant (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel, ship, or restaurant); additional excursions and activities not listed as 'included' in the itinerary; porterage at airports or train stations; Travel Protection premiums; and all other items of a personal nature.
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