Indigenous women performing during Corpus Christi parade, Pujili, Ecuador

Itinerary: Peru/Ecuador - Incas, Intrigues & Iguanas

1 April to 27 April 2021

Of all the world’s vanished civilisations, few evoke as much mystique as the Incas of Peru. Stumbled upon and shattered by a handful of Spanish adventurers in 1538, the Inca Empire was the last great pristine civilisation on earth – a current aside from the mainstream of human history. And yet its dominion was vast, stretching over a distance greater than from London to Moscow, along the spine of the world’s highest cordilleras outside the Himalayas, and home to scores of different ethnic groups. This Journey seeks to understand the Inca Empire on a tour through its Andean heartland. We take in classic Inca sites where their cyclopean stonework melds into the grandeur of the Andean landscape. The culmination is the most spectacular site of all, Machu Picchu, perched on the very fringes of Amazonia. Meet with local families and artisans: then there are UNESCO World Heritage sites in the magnificent and lively colonial cities.

Ecuador packs more than its fair share into its relatively small borders. Quito is the oldest continuously inhabited city in all South America and its well-preserved colonial centre makes it one of the most beautiful too. Thriving towns dot the country, but it’s outside of these centres that Ecuador truly comes into its own, thanks to diverse landscapes ranging from the impenetrable Amazon to the mighty Cotopaxi.

On this journey you will:

• Immerse yourself in the fascinating architectural heritage of Lima, Cuzco and Arequipa
• Evoke images of the exotic in Otavalo, Cotopaxi, Amazonia, Riobamba, Chimborazo and more
• Try spinning, dyeing and weaving with traditional Andean artisans at Misminay village
• Board the scenic train and follow the Urumbamba River to iconic Macchu Picchu
• Hike past rural shepherds’ houses and grazing alpacas and llamas to the stunning ‘Rainbow Mountain’, one of the world’s most spectacular geological formations
• Drive across the high Altiplano to Lake Titicaca and enjoy a stay on Suasi, a private island
• Spot majestic Condors soaring high above the spectacular cliffs of Colca Canyon
• Visit the charming community of Chinchero on market day and be amazed at the array of textiles and crafts
• Discover ancient fortress of Ollantaytambo and the Inca’s Sacred Valley
• Have the option of extending your Journey to the Galapagos islands

You have the option to just travel through Peru & Ecuador and then return home from Guayaquil on 25 April 2021, or continue on by choosing one of the optional Galapagos Islands cruise extensions.

Our Hotels:

We understand that travel isn't all about a fleeting glimpse of popular mass tourist spots, or always staying at luxury hotels, but is also about time, space, privacy and those special destinations and moments that turn your holiday into a truly magical experience. Our South America Journey is a tour for everyone wanting to see Peru and Ecuador’s great sites but also by roads less travelled and explore new horizons rarely encountered. On this adventure, we use good 3 - 4 star hotels, but as no Journey to South America would be complete without staying in some traditional Haciendas and Amazonian Jungle lodges, we have included them as well. You’ll find their individual web links below.

PLEASE NOTE: Hotels are 'indicative' and subject to availability and may change. They will be confirmed closer to departure.

Participants should note that the order of visits and activities described may be modified to accommodate changes in flight schedules, special access to museums and craftspeople, the pathways chosen by our experienced and knowledgeable local guides, local road conditions and unexpected contingencies such as festivals, street processions or religious ceremonies.

Meals:

Meals included in the tour price are indicated in the itinerary as per B (breakfast), BL (boxed lunch), L (lunch), and D (dinner).

Rocoto, Peruvian dish, Peru, South America
Download detailed printable itinerary: Peru, Ecuador & Galapagos Cruise Extension - PDF format

Itinerary:

Day 1: 1 April 2021, Departure Australia

Depart Australia from your capital city this morning. Cross the International Date Line and arrive in Lima on the same date.

Day 2: 1 April 2021, Arrival Lima

Welcome to Lima, the 'City of Kings'. Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and privately escorted to your hotel in the charming coastal neighbourhood of Miraflores.

Overnight stay: Hotel Britania Miraflores

Day 3: 2 April, Lima, B

Head downtown and explore the center of Lima and it´s impressive sights. As you wander through the Plaza de Armas and Plaza San Martin, it is hard not to be intrigued about its diverse architecture. Your guide will introduce you to the city's architectural heritage, before heading to Santo Domingo Monastery that boasts the oldest carved choir stalls in Lima. It was here that first university in South America, San Marcos University, was founded in 1551. Head to ‘Casa Aliaga’, the oldest colonial house in Latin America, which is owned by the Aliaga family and their descendants. Francisco Pizarro granted this ancient temple to one of his followers Jeronimo de Aliaga in 1535. It features a series of salons that represent life in Lima in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.

Cathedral Plaza de Armas, Lima, Peru, South America

Cathedral with intricate carved wooden oriels, Lima, Peru, South America,

Yellow Facade of the Municipality Building, Plaza de Armas, Lima, Peru, South America

Then Explore Lima’s bohemian neighborhood of Barranco and Miraflores. Start off with Miraflores stopping at the Kennedy Park and the Park of Love with the sculpture ‘The Kiss’ and a stunning view over the bay of Lima. You then head to the bohemian neighborhood of Barranco to visit the ‘Bridge of Sighs', the legendary 'La Ermita' chapel and a lookout point for a view of the Pacific Ocean. Before returning to the hotel you have the chance to sample Peruvian craft beer at ’Barranco Beer Company’. This family-run brewery serves six flagship beers, as well as some specials and seasonal options (beer not included).

Miraflores, Coastal view onto Pacific Ocean from Kennedy Park, Lima, Peru, South America

Day 4: 3 April 2021, Lima - Arequipa, B

You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your upcoming flight to Arequipa. Then you have a half day walking city tour. Because some of the old buildings are made of white volcanic material (sillar) Arequipa is also known as the ‘white city’. You will visit the extraordinary Santa Catalina Convent. Built in the 16th century, it’s a huge construction which once served as a town within itself housing 450 nuns. Traditionally, the oldest daughters of Arequipa’s aristocratic families entered the convent in their early teens and spent their lives there, cloistered away. The convent complex has been beautifully refurbished, bringing the past vividly alive once more.

Cathedral, Plaza de Armas, Arequipa, Peru, South America

Santa Catalina Convent, Arequipa, Peru, South America

Striking Blue, Santa Catalina Convent, Arequipa, Peru, South America

Overnight stay: Hotel Casa Andina or Arequipa Jerusalen

Day 5: 4 April 2021, Arequipa - Colca, B

Depart in the early morning and make our way to the Colca Valley. Passing through the town of Yura, Pampa de Arrieros, Pampa Cañahuas (where the Vicunas National Reserve is located) as well as Vizcachani and Tojra, where you will have the chance to spot a variety of migratory birds all year round. Your journey will continue through Chuccura and Patapampa with a visit to a viewpoint where you can see the picturesque panoramic views of the volcanoes of Mismi.

Patapama Pass between Arequipa and Chivay, Peru, South America

After four hours on the road arrive in Chivay where you will take a break for some lunch (not included) and to stretch your legs. Along the way to our hotel you will have the chance to stop over in the local city market.

Indigenous Women in their traditional outfit knitting in Chivay, Peru, South America

From this point on you will begin a gradual increase in altitude to acclimatize you for higher altitudes to come. We invite you to enjoy the special energy of one of the most spectacular landscapes in southern Peru: the Colca valley - where the river is united with the sky, the Sun with the Moon, and the mind with the body. Located at an altitude of 3250 meters above sea level, our hotel here is built on the banks of the River Colca and is surrounded by hundreds of pre-Inca agricultural terraces that have been declared a Peruvian National Heritage.

Pre-Inca agricultural terraces, Colca Valley, Peru, South America

It's design inspired by the old pre-Inca structures, Colca Lodge employs earth, stone and straw in its construction to create a magical environment where the rooms are connected with the gardens which, in turn, shade into the adjacent crop-fields without the use of dividing structures such as walls or hedges.

Overnight stay: Hotel Colca Lodge

Day 6: 5 April 2021, Colca, B

Begin your day with an early morning drive to the observation point ‘Mirador del Condor’ - the perfect spot to look down 1,200 m into the canyon. It’s here that the legendary condor, the bird with the largest wingspan in the world, can be seen rising and circling on the morning thermals, silhouetted against the magnificent backdrop of the mountain scenery. Afterwards stop by at Maca and Yanque to visit its colonial churches. Your last stop is at the Mirador lookout point of Antahuilque, where terraces have the shape of an amphitheater. You may choose to go on a short afternoon trek (your guide will suggest the trail based on your fitness level and interests). You may also optionally request to go to the Uyu Uyu archeological site at an additional entry cost.

Andean Condor in flight, Colca Valley, Peru, South America

Day 7: 6 April 2021, Colca - Puno, B

Alapcas grazing on the Altiplano, Peru, South America

Morning at leisure to enjoy your hotel. You then say goodbye to Colca in order to continue your trip across the Altiplano landscapes to Puno. The average altitude en route reaches 4,500 m (14,700 ft). After a 6-hour journey through the high desert landscape you reach the city on the shores of Lake Titicaca: Puno.

Lake Titicaca, Peru, South America

Overnight stay: La Hacienda Puno Plaza de Armas

Day 8: 7 April 2021, Puno - Suasi, B/L/D

This morning you will be transferred to Puno’s pier to board a speed boat and cruise to the Uros floating islands. The next stop is in Taquile, the weavers' island, but unlike in conventional tours, you disembark in the less touristy south part. In the afternoon you arrive at Casa Andina Private Collection Hotel, the only hotel on Suasi island. Maybe you will witness a glorious sunset over the lake from the top of the island. Suasi is a largely unknown private island with a lovely hotel built with natural materials like stone, mud bricks and thatched with ‘ichu’ - local high-altitude grass. The hotel offers stunning lake views from every room. Due to its remoteness and awesome scenery, Suasi is an ideal place to relax and have an authentic encounter with the Andean world.

Aerial view of Uros floating islands, Lake Titicaca, Peru, South America
Image Credit: Gentle [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]
A single floating Uros island, Lake Titicaca, Peru, South America

Traditional Reed boat, Lake Titicaca, Peru, South America

Traditional Poncho weaving, Cusco, Peru, South America

Overnight stay: Casa Andina Private Collection Hotel, Isla Suasi

Day 9: 8 April 2021, Suasi, B/L/D

You will find yourself immersed in the energy of this truly special island. Walking and hiking are just some of the activities available. Be on the lookout for unique fauna, including llamas and alpacas as well as vicunas. You will also find a lovely rose garden and a green house where organic crops of native grains and vegetables are grown. If you just want to relax, the spa offers different health treatments for its guests (at additional cost). An insight into the Altiplano, its cultural legacy, history and natural environment can be gained at the hotel’s Andean library. But Suasi offers you as well the possibility to participate in different excursions with the habitants. Let them show you the different types of birds and plants or enjoy a ride in a canoe or in a wooden boat or watch the beautiful night-time sky with the bright stars and finish the evening with a romantic campfire.

Puno Ibis, Lake Titicaca, Peru, South America

Day 10: 9 April 2021, Suasi - Puno - Sicuani, B/BL/D

Around midday you take a speed boat to return to the pier. After that, you will be taken to Sicuani to spend the night (approx. 248 km.). Dinner at our hotel in Sicuani.

Overnight stay: Wilkamayu Hotel

Day 11: 10 April 2021, Sicuani - Rainbow Mountain - Cusco, B/BL

We are really off the tourist trail now as we take you to enjoy spectacular panoramic views of three Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain peaks in this full-day trip to Palcoyo. You will be picked up from your hotel around 06:00 hrs and set out on a drive towards the trailhead at Palcoyo. From here you will begin your short uphill walk for 45 minutes to Palcoyo Pass (5000m), where you will have a spectacular view of the multi-colored vistas across the Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain peaks as well as the highest mountain in the Cusco region, Ausangate. Spend around 1 hour at the pass, taking pictures of the vibrantly coloured landscape, enjoying a snack, and taking in the awe-inspiring view. Then make your descent along the path which you came (approx. 20-30 min). Your transfer vehicle will be waiting at the trailhead to take you to the village of Checacupe, where you will enjoy a boxed lunch and explore an Inca rope suspension bridge. After taking some time to walk across the bridge, take pictures and enjoy the stunning area, you will be transferred to your hotel in Cusco.

Total distance: 5km
Estimated walking time: 2hrs
Max. Altitude: 5,000m

Palcoyo Rainbow Mountains, Andes, Peru, South America

Palcoyo Rainbow Mountains near Cusco, Andes, Peru, South America

Overnight stay: Inkarri Hostal

Day 12: 11 April 2021, Cusco - Sacred Valley, B/L

Today we'll visit the charming community of Chinchero. The village's highlight is the Sunday market that traces back to the Inca time when barter or 'trueque' existed. Today the market, noted for its textiles, takes place in the main square, at the foot of an Inca wall. Chinchero is a real hub of activity, vibrant with color and movement which fascinates tourists with its range of handicrafts. You also will explore the remains of Tupac Inca Yupanqui's royal house, as well as a beautiful colonial temple built on Inca foundations.

Traditional Inca textile designs, Cusco, Peru, South America

An indigenous woman with her child in traditional dress, Peru, South America

Indigenous woman knitting, Cusco, Peru, South America

Portrait of an indigenous boy wearing traditional dress, Cusco, Peru, South America

Lunch with a local family.

Finally, we'll visit the fortress of Ollantaytambo where the Temple of the Sun (formed of six gigantic monoliths, whose total weight exceeds 50 tons) and the Terrace of the Ten Niches stand out, before we arrive at our hotel in the Sacred Valley.

Temple of the Sun, Ollantaytambo, Peru, South America

Ollantaytambo, Temple of the Sun, Peru, South America

Overnight stay: Hotel La Casona de Yucay

Day 13: 12 April 2021, Sacred Valley, B/L

Today, take a hike from Moray to the salt terraces of Maras and head into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Moray's circular terraces hidden among the hills are similar to that of a Greek amphitheater. Surrounded by an impressive backdrop of snow-covered mountains, Moray served as an open-air agricultural laboratory for adapting crops to different environmental conditions. Continue to the salt mines of Maras, which, providing it´s a sunny day, will have an intense white snow like shine - an impressive sight for any visitor. The salt was extracted from these mines during Inca times and the same method has been used ever since. As with all our walks, if you are not up to it, our guide will have several alternative programs for you.

Walking time: Approx. 5 hours
Altitude difference: 600 meters (mainly downhill)

Circular Terraces Moray, Peru, South America

Salt Terraces of Maras, Peru, South America

Salt mine of Maras with indigenous woman, Peru, South America

After the tour you will be transferred to the Misminay Community, a traditional Andean community close to the district of Maras.

During a weaving demonstration at Misminay, your hostess will teach you the crafts techniques used over many centuries by their ancestors. The preparation process includes the gathering of wool, and its spinning, plying and dyeing.

Traditional indigenous weaving techniques, Peru, South America

An indigenous woman with her child weaving, Peru, South America

Then in an ‘agricultural session’ at the community, gain an insight on ancient techniques and traditional farming knowledge and different products that they grow. The workshop includes the chance to try your hand at plowing, sowing or harvesting.

Enjoy a three-course lunch at Misminay, cooked by the women of the community with naturally cultivated ingredients from their fields. On a clear day, views at Misminay are truly phenomenal. You can see most of the snow-capped mountains of the Sacred Valley and the surrounding farmlands.

Day 14: 13 April 2021, Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes, B

This morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to Ollantaytambo train Station.

Take the morning PERU RAIL EXPEDITION train to Machu Picchu, a scenic journey enjoyed through panoramic windows, through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, you will be greeted by your guide who will assist you onto the shuttle bus to the entrance of the citadel. During your guided tour you will experience the uniqueness of the location and the genius that went into its construction. In the "Lost City of the Incas" you'll see the Main Square, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows and the Sun Dial, amongst other things The duration of your magical trip to one of the seven new wonders of the world will be around 3 to 4 hours after which you will make your way out of the citadel with your guide.

Forgotten during the Spanish conquest, the temples and buildings of Machu Picchu are consequently uniquely well-preserved, which, together with its setting high above the river amidst spectacular mountain landscapes, makes the site the most extraordinary archaeological site in South America.

The Lost City of Machu Picchu, Andes, Peru, South America

Day 15: 14 April 2021, Aguas Calientes - Cusco, B

After breakfast you have the morning free to return to the majestic site of Machu Picchu and discover its hidden spots. Climb to the famous vantage point to take a photo like the one above. (Entrance fee for Machu Picchu and shuttle bus included – but no guide service).

Return by PERU RAIL EXPEDITION train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel in Cusco.

Overnight stay: Inkarri Hostal

Day 16: 15 April 2021, Cusco, B

Sunrise in Cusco with Cathedral, Peru, South America

Temple of the Sun, Cusco, Peru, South America

This morning you walk through the major sites of interest in Cusco. You visit the famous cathedral with its magnificently carved woodwork, ornate altar and many hundreds of canvases from the 17th-century Cusco Painting School. You continue exploring the cultural wealth of Cusco at the Temple of the Sun where we witness the incredible masonry of the Incas, an engineering feat that remains an enigma. You will have a stop at San Pedro market. Afterwards you walk along Hatunrumiyoc Street named after the 12-angled stone clearly visible in the remaining walls of what used to be Inca Roca’s Palace. You make a last stop in San Blas artisan quarter. Its steep cobblestone alleys not only offer spectacular views of the city but are lined with workshops and galleries, a great way to soak in Cusco's artistic atmosphere.

Afternoon at leisure.

Indigenous Women with child, Andes, Peru, South America

San Blas artisan quarter, Cusco, Andes, Peru, South America

Day 17: 16 April 2021, Cusco - Quito, B

Transfer from your hotel to the airport for your morning flight, arriving in the evening in Quito (2850m altitude), and be met and transferred from the airport to your hotel in the Andean capital, where you can enjoy a welcome drink and relax. Overnight at hotel Reina Isabel, a 4.5 awarded Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor as well as the winner of best hotel in Quito 2018 from Booking.com

Overnight stay: Hotel Reina Isabel

Day 18: 17 April 2021, Quito - Equator Line - Otavalo, B/L/D

The morning will be dedicated to a tour of Quito; a city surrounded by volcanoes, most prominently by Pichincha volcano (4800m). Quito was founded by the Inca civilization and developed by the Spanish colonizers. Its historic centre is a true architectural jewel, dating back to the XVIth and XIXth century and recognised as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site for its unique sites, churches, and colonial convents. Then, travel to “The Middle of the World”, in the north of Quito, where the Equator runs along the monument. The line marks the 00’00 latitude established in XVIII century thanks to the famous 1st French Geodesic Mission. Visit the Equator monument and its neo-colonial village. You can put a foot in both hemispheres at the same time. Then, drive to the beautiful Andean region of Otavalo. Stop for a panoramic view of San Pablo Lake, dominated by the majestic Imbabura mountain. Check in to the hotel which every year from 2011 has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor and a Travellers Choice award 2019.

Plaza de San Francisco, Quito, Ecuador, South America

Stunning Cathedral interior, Quito, Ecuador, South America

San Pablo Lake with Imbabura volcano in background, Ecuador, South America

Overnight stay: Hacienda Pinsaqui

Day 19: 18 April 2021, Otavalo: Market, Volcanoes, Lakes, Artisans - Quito, B/L

Today you will visit the indigenous artisan market in Otavalo, famous for its large variety of textiles and handicrafts, or tour the community, meeting its residents and farmers. With your private guide you will walk through the market to browse the different stands and meet local people. Otavalo is one of the most visited indigenous markets in South America, rich in traditions and customs. As you make your way through the maze of stalls selling alpaca sweaters, ponchos, hammocks, pan flutes and other souvenirs, you can admire the multicoloured handicrafts and try haggling with the merchants. You can also learn about indigenous weaving workshops as you visit one in Peguche village. Enjoy a delicious traditional lunch at one of Ecuador’s oldest haciendas, ideally located on the flanks of the Imbabura Volcano and in the heart of Ecuador’s lake province. You will also visit the village of Cotacachi, famous for its leather goods, and Cuicocha Lagoon, located in an ancient crater at the foot of the Imbabura and Cotacachi Volcanoes, before returning to Quito where you will stay the night.

Local indigenous woman, Otavalo, Peru, South America

Colourful Textiles, Otavalo Market, Otavalo, Ecuador, South America

Beautiful colourful rugs on display, Otavalo Market, Ecuador, South America

Overnight stay: Hotel Reina Isabel

Day 20: 19 April 2021, Quito - Baño, B

Drive along the Avenue of Volcanoes. Running for 150 km south of Quito between two parallel cordilleras, the avenue contains seven peaks more than 5200 m high. A perfectly symmetrical 6000 m snow cone, Cotopaxi, could well be the world's most beautiful volcano. Continue to the beautiful town of Baños, famous for its hot springs and its location at the base of Tungurahua Volcano. Enjoy a guided walk around the town then spend the night in a small charming hotel; La Floresta.

Avenue of volcanoes, Cotopaxi volcano, Ecuador, South America

Overnight stay: La Floresta Hotel

Day 21: 20 April 2021, Baños - Amazonia, B/D

Pailon del Diablo Waterfall, Ecuador, South America

This morning you will travel on a small boat on the river “Rio Verde” and hike to the impressive Pailon del Diablo waterfall. You will then be driven down to the town of Tena, located in the Amazon region. Arrive at our lodge in the rainforest on the banks of the Napo River, a tributary of the Amazon River. Step into the heart of the animal and bird kingdom, home to eight species of monkeys, 50 species of bats, anteaters, three-toed sloths, ocelots, and birds of more colours than you could ever imagine. Take a short walk in the surrounding forest and undertake one of the other optional activities which are available. Dinner and night in our lodge.

Amazon Jungle, Yasuni, Ecuador, South America

Macaws on a clay lick, Madre de Dios, Amazon, Peru, South America

Toucan, Amazon, Ecuador, South America

Sword-billed Hummingbird, Amazon, Ecuador, South America

Squirrel Monkey, Amazon, Ecuador, South America

Blue poison Dart Frog and Yellow/Black Poison Dart Frog, Amazon, Ecuador, South America

Overnight stay: Casa del Suizo

Day 22: 21 April 2020, Amazonia, B/L/D

Today you will delve deep into the Amazonian rainforest with indigenous Kichwa guides. Breakfast will be eaten either during the hike or at the lodge. Discover the diverse flora and fauna the rainforest has to offer during the morning walk (3 hours) through the forest. You will see the gigantic Ceiba trees, learn about certain medical plants, and hike to the “Mirador” (viewpoint) to admire the immense beauty of the forest. There is an optional visit to an animal reserve. Take a dip in the river or visit an indigenous family and observe their handicrafts and hunting methods. Dinner and night in the lodge.

Indigenous Huaorani Tribe, Amazon, Ecuador, South America
Image Credit: Kleverenrique [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
Indigenous tribe, Amazon, Ecuador, South America

Sloth, Amazon, Ecuador, South America

Ocelot Cat, Amazon, Ecuador, South America

Cock of the Rock (Rupicola Peruvianis), Amazon, Ecuador, South America

Exotic Tropical Butterflies, Amazon, Ecuador, South America

Day 23: 22 April 2021, Amazon - Riobamba, B/L

Drive to Riobamba, the capital of the province at the foot of the highest Ecuadorian volcano: Chimborazo (6300 m). Take a tour around the city or walk to the volcano. Overnight in Riobamba.

Train Station, Riobamba, Ecuador, South America

Dancing Procession during Corpus Christi Festival, Ecuador, South America

Overnight stay: Hacienda Andaluza

Day 24: 23 April 2021, Riobamba - Devil’s Nose Train - Ingapirca - Cuenca, B

After breakfast, travel to Alausi. Once there we board the famous train for the exhilarating journey down towards the Devil's Nose, that zig-zags through the Andes, an amazing feat of engineering. This part of the track drops dramatically in altitude, and the train descends on a series of switchbacks as you slowly leave the crisp mountain air and scenery for the warmer tropics of the lowlands. Continue by private vehicle to Cuenca, via Ecuador's principal Inca ruins of Ingapirca. The remains date back to before the Spanish conquistadors took hold of the region. Archaeologists believe that the main structure, known as The Temple of the Sun, was used for religious and ceremonial purposes. Today, it provides welcome shade for grazing llamas and the occasional tourist. Arrival in Cuenca and overnight in our hotel.

Devil's Nose, Winding rail line from Alausi to the lowlands, Ecuador, South America

The blue domes of the cathedral, Cuenca, Ecuador, South America

Richly decorated colonial buildings, Cuenca, Ecuador, South America

Overnight stay: Hotel Los Balcones

Day 25: 24 April 2021, Cuenca - Guayaquil, B

Visit Cuenca’s historic centre, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, and visit a Panama hat factory. Cuenca is a beautiful colonial city, built on the site of an ancient Inca settlement, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Tour the city as you wander the narrow cobblestone streets, marvelling at the architecture. The colonial centre has been beautifully restored; colourful flowers tumble from ironwork balconies and the white-washed houses have grand wooden doors. Travel through the coastal region and arrive in Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador. Here you can enjoy an exciting night tour where you’ll visit the famous “Malecon 2000” (the waterfront promenade which stretches 2.5km along Rio Guayas, with viewpoints, monuments, gardens, bars, restaurants etc) and the historic neighbourhood “Las Peñas”, a picturesque area perched on Santa Ana Hill with colourful houses and a traditional aristocratic yet cosy ambience.

Historic old Town of Las Penas in Guayaquil, Ecuador, South America

The team of Zen Oriental Journeys' Travel Partners, Ecuador, South America
The team of our Ecuadorian Travel Partners

Overnight stay: Hotel Unipark

Day 26: 25 April 2021, Guayaquil - Return flight home, B

Travellers who have NOT booked any of the Galapagos Cruise Extensions options will return home today.

Travellers who have booked any of the Galapagos Cruise Extensions options, will spend the night in Guayaquil and will continue their journey on 26 April 2021 flying out to San Cristobal on Galapagos.

Day 27: In flight

Day 28: Arrival in Australia

PRICING:

Peru/Ecuador: 1 April to 27 April 2021

Indicative price per person twin share (Land only): AUD 8460.00
Single Supplement: AUD 920.00

Airfare: From Australia TBA when available for booking

COST INCLUSIONS:

• Transfers from & to the airport, bus or train station
• Accommodation based on TWIN SHARE in the selected hotel category, generally 3-4 star standard
• Domestic flights in Peru and Ecuador
• Private services with local English-speaking guides, except for the following services shared with other travellers (Suasi Island 3D/2N)
• Train ticket Ollantaytambo - Machu Picchu - Ollantaytambo in Expedition Class (Tourist Class)
• Safety briefing before the Rainbow Mountain trek
• Comprehensive first-aid kit including oxygen bottles if required in areas of high altitude
• Entrance fees to the sites noted in the itinerary (important: the chronological order of visits in the itinerary may change to ensure the best operation)
• Meals as noted (B: breakfast, BL: boxed lunch, L: lunch, D: dinner)
• Permanent assistance by our Guest Experience Department

COST EXCLUSIONS:

• International flights
• Tips (for guides, drivers, waiters, luggage porters)
• Beverages during meals (unless specified in the itinerary)
• Early check-in & late check-out
• Travel Insurance (compulsory)
• Visas not required

FLIGHTS:

Flights from Australia and return are not included in the price of the tour. We will send the recommended flight options when they are available to book, and ask that you make your own flight reservation. We work in partnership with helloworld Westfield Marion to provide tickets but you can use your preferred provider.

Sharon Evans
Owner/Manager
Helloworld, Marion Westfield Mall, Level 2
Westfield Marion
Oaklands Park SA 5046
Telephone: +61 (08) 8358 1949
Fax: +61 (08) 8358 1960
E-mail: Sharon

HOW STRENUOUS:

The South America Journey is an active tour. It requires a good level of fitness, as it is physically more demanding. It involves optional hiking, and some travel to remote, high altitude areas where tourist facilities are less developed. There is walking over rough and uneven ground in a few places. The more difficult aspects of this itinerary involve areas of high altitude to which you will be gradually introduced. Our travel partners will have oxygen bottles on hand in case of need. Our local guides will suggest alternative activities to some of the walks included. There are some long driving distances as indicated in the itinerary.

TRAVEL ADVICE:

Before booking, please refer to the DFAT website to ensure you are happy with the travel advice for the destination(s) you are visiting:

Please visit http://www.smartraveller.gov.au or ring 1300 139 281 for information on current Government travel advice.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL:

As we take more travellers to more remote parts of the world, we recognize our obligation to plan and operate our Journeys in a responsible and sustainable fashion. We view this as an environmental, cultural, and social necessity. Above all, we are committed to the well-being of the communities, which are our hosts, the cultural and natural environment that we are there to experience. We also believe that by following these policies we can provide you with more rewarding and interesting experiences.

Prices may fluctuate due to changes in charges, taxes and currency. Prices and flights are correct at time of preparing this program and are subject to availability at time of booking. Special conditions and seasonal surcharges to airfares and package prices may apply depending on date of travel. Flight times are subject to change by the airline.

CANCELLATION POLICY:

On International Flight tickets

• Please refer to the Fare conditions on the fare class you have purchased

Bookings including: Galapagos hotels, cruises, haciendas, amazon lodges, groups

• 120 - 61 days prior to departure 20% penalty
• 60 days or less prior to departure 90% penalty

For further information, don’t hesitate to contact Zen Oriental Journeys by emailing Lee Grafton or ring 0401 123 347

FINAL PAYMENT & CLOSE OF BOOKING: 27 NOV 2020

Bookings will be processed in order of receipt. Any bookings after this date will be accepted subject to visa processing, flight availability, land content and room availability. Such booking must be paid in full after confirmation of your acceptance in the tour. Special conditions and additional charges to airfares and package prices may apply depending on date of booking.

Costs associated with the Asia In-Country Study Tours can be tax deductible. Educators may be able to claim their study tour expenses under a number of tax deduction categories which include: self-education expenses; excursions, school trips and camps if these trips have an educational benefit and are related to the curriculum or extra-curriculum activities of the school; acquisition of teaching aids used for curriculum development and teaching programs. Participants must contact their tax advisor or visit the Australian Tax Office website to confirm eligibility.

 
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