This itinerary will be conducted at a relaxed pace. You will typically spend several nights at one location which means less time spent packing and unpacking, and more sightseeing. You will be required to move about unassisted, including getting on and off vehicles, walking up and down stairs and handling your own luggage.
These tours are our proudest creations. They have been crafted for Inspiring Vacations travellers exclusively, with personal and unique experiences in mind. Please see the Important Information on your selected tour for exact group size. Enjoy features such as hand-picked accommodation, a sampling of the region’s best culinary delights, and a range of optional activities to choose from to best suit your travel style.
This tour is fully escorted by an expert English-speaking guide who will accompany you throughout the tour.
✓ Small, intimate group experience – no more than 20 people
✓ Escorted by a local, expert, English-speaking guide in each city
✓ Incredible sightseeing including quaint Cusco, the Inca treasures of the Sacred Valley, the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu, the charming city of Quito perched in the South American Andes and more
✓ Four-night exploration of the stunning, hard-to-reach paradise of the Galapagos Islands
✓ All internal flights, coach, boat and rail transportation
✓ Hand-picked, quality, 3 and 4-star accommodation
✓ Ride the iconic train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, on the foothills of Machu Picchu
✓ Breakfast daily, one lunch
✓ Explore Lima’s chic Miraflores in an included walking tour
✓ Beat the crowds, arrive early to Machu Picchu and be astounded by the grandeur of this bucket list archaeological site with a guided tour
✓ Peruse one of the biggest indigenous markets in South America – the ever-colourful Otavalo Market
✓ Explore Santa Cruz, San Cristobel and other outer uninhabited islands of the Galapagos
✓ Swim and snorkel in Kicker Rock, easily the most renowned destination for marine wildlife in the Galapagos
✓ Airport transfers included on the last day of tour
Travel with the experts for a carefully curated, value-packed discovery of the world's most iconic destinations. Our tours are bursting with must-see sights, rich experiences and quality inclusions, all at an unbeatable price. Bucket list dreams are ticked off on these all-encompassing journeys.
Welcome to Lima, the City of Kings!
Upon arrival at Lima airport, please make your way to the starting point hotel. Tonight you will meet your tour guide and the rest of your fellow travellers at a welcome meeting held at the lobby of your hotel at approximately 5pm. Your tour guide will leave more information in this regard at the hotel’s front desk.
While Peru’s capital officially began life in 1535, Lima was in its prime during the Spanish colonial days and much of the city’s attraction now lies in its well-preserved historical centre. You’ll find excellent museums – a given considering the history and culture of its surroundings – and interesting colonial architecture. One such museum, the Museo de la Nación, is the largest museum in Lima and an ideal place to begin exploring Peru’s ancient history.
At night, the Magic Water Circuit show in the Parque de la Reserva is a tourist drawcard. Every one of the 13 fountains at the park is illuminated with different colours and synchronised to music.
Arrival Information: The easiest way to transfer between the airport and your hotel is by taxi. Official airport taxi boots are available after clearing customs and inside the airport building. Avoid engaging transport providers outside the airport building. Alternatively, you can pre-book your arrival transfer with us at the time of booking.
After breakfast, your tour leader will take you on an orientation walking tour of Miraflores and its surroundings.
The afternoon is free for you to continue exploring Lima at your own pace. Perhaps consider joining an optional city tour.
This tour begins with a visit to the “Pucllana Pyramid” a magnificent ceremonial and archeological centre built in the 4th century A.D. and considered a “sacred village” by the Incas. The Viceroyalty of Peru was the most important of the Spanish Empire and Lima was its capital.
Then, you’ll visit the colonial side of the city and see attractions such as the Cathedral, the Viceroyalty of Peru, Lima's Plaza Mayor (Main Square), Government Palace, City Hall, and other important monuments. Later, you’ll visit the Convent of San Francisco, a seventeenth-century architectural complex that includes a church, a convent and a square. The facade of the church, which has an image of the Immaculate Conception painted on it, was carved in stone and is characterised by its Corinthian columns. You will also see the catacombs, a dark chamber found under the church.
After breakfast you will be transferred to Lima airport in time to board your flight to Cusco.
Your tour Cusco tour leader and the rest of the day is free to start exploring this towb at your own pace
Cusco is the continent's oldest continuously inhabited city and was the home of the Inca Empire for two centuries before the Spanish built their first capital here. Today Cusco is a fascinating combination of both cultures. Inca-built walls line the central streets and many of the elegant colonial buildings are built on or around Inca foundations. This is a city steeped in history, tradition and legend and is a perfect base for explorations into the Inca world.
Make sure you take the time to walk up to San Blas. This traditional old quarter of Cusco is the city's most picturesque district characterised by narrow and steep streets, colonial houses built with walls of Inca stone and numerous art workshops.
If you are into your chocolate, you may want to consider visiting the ChocoMuseo to uncover the secret and history of cocoa while tasting organic Peruvian chocolate. Consider joining their workshop and cooking classes.
Museo Quechua is another popular stop. It is located next door to the Qorikancha temple and showcases 3000 years of history and culture of the Quechua culture.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before heading out to start discovering the city of Cusco in a leader-led walking tour.
You will visit some of the most characteristic places in the centre of Cusco, such as the Stone of Twelve Angles at the Inca Roca Palace. You’ll walk by the Qoricancha temple, considered the most sacred Inca building. According to archaeologists it housed over 1000 priests and attendants. It was built over an Inca palace dedicated to the worship of the Sun.
Then, you will visit the heart of the city, “the Plaza de Armas”, surrounded by colonial arcades and four churches. Pass by the beautiful “Cathedral” of Cusco. This enormous Cathedral was built in the XVI. It contained nearly 400 colonial paintings, including many from the Cusco School, which was prominent in the 17th century. The cathedral is a fine example of colonial baroque art.
Finally, explore the San Pedro Market where you will find vegetables, meats, local cheeses (which you should certainly try), local chocolates, herbal medicines and many local handicrafts. It’s a great place to purchase some souvenirs. The market is also a place where many locals go to eat ‘mystery soups’. Some may be just chicken; however, the most popular amongst the locals are usually the more unusual ones like frog soups or soups that contain the nose or tail of various animals.
In the late afternoon, you will learn all about one of the most traditional drinks of South America: Pisco Sour! We’ll visit a local venue to learn about the distillation process before learning what it takes to blend the perfect Pisco Sour – and yes, you will get to savour the frothy result of your hard work — salud and enjoy responsibly!
Today you will travel by private car through the Sacred Valley on the outskirts of Cusco. Known as Wilcamayo to the Incas, the lush, fertile valley has long been the main source of food for the high Andes. Maize crops can be seen surrounding the river and covering the terraces carved high into the valley walls.
You will head to the town of Pisac and spend time browsing its market stalls in search of hand-painted beads or warm ponchos and maybe practising some of the local language, Quechua.
Later you will continue to the town of Ollantaytambo which has been built over an ancient Inca town. This is a magnificent example of Inca urban planning and one of the few places where the Incas defeated the Spanish.
Sleep-in a little, enjoy a leisurely breakfast and perhaps visit the Ollantaytambo archaeological site. The upper terraces of this site offer great photo opportunities of the squared grid town below.
Later on you will make your way to Ollantaytambo train station which is located 5–10-minute walking distance from your hotel and board the train towards Aguas Calientes.
The train ride to Machu Picchu is one of the most beautiful journeys you can experience in Peru. It’s an almost two-hour journey that passes through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, then descends gradually along the edge of the Urubamba River, before finally reaching the cloud forest. The train reaches its last stop in Machu Picchu Pueblo (formerly Aguas Calientes), on the foothills of Machu Picchu. From here it’s a short bus ride – about 30 minutes – up the steep, zigzagging road to the famed ancient site.
In the afternoon, enjoy a walking tour around Aguas Calientes along with your tour leader.
The one day Inca Trail is a great option for those wanting to experience trekking in Peru. This hike will take you through the same section as the last day of the classic four-day Inca Trail.
You will meet your local guide in Ollantaytambo and take the train towards Aguas Calientes - disembarking at the 104km mark. From here you cross the Urubamba River and shortly after visit the Inca ruins of Chachabamba. After an upwards climb, arrive at the Inca site Wiñay Wayna ('Forever Young') (2680m/8792ft). This is an impressive complex made up of an agricultural centre with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector. Many consider this the most impressive site on the whole Inca Trail.
You will then continue for about one hour further onto 'Inti Punku' (The 'Sun gate') (2730m/8792ft) from where you will enjoy the most impressive views of Machu Picchu. As you are late in the day, you may be lucky enough to enjoy the view all by yourself!
Continue down by bus to Aguas Calientes to re-join the rest of the group.
Whilst generally altitude doesn’t have a significant impact on trekkers, this hike covers approximately 12km of uphill and uneven terrain and requires a good fitness level.
Today is an early start. By 6.30am you will board a bus to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a jewel in South America’s crown.
At 2430 metres above sea level, Machu Picchu is in the middle of a tropical mountain forest, in an extraordinarily beautiful setting. It was probably the most amazing creation of the Inca Empire at the height of their reign. The stonework has to be seen up close to truly comprehend its intricate beauty. Giant walls, terraces and ramps seem as if they have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments.
Upon arrival, we’ll enter the archaeological zone of Machu Picchu and the tour guide will show you the most important sectors of this great Inca City, such as the great Intiwatana (solar clock) and the Sun Temple, among others. Machu Picchu is divided into two sectors, the urban sector in the northern part and the agricultural sector on the south-east side.
After the tour, we’ll return to Aguas Calientes by bus before taking the tourist train back to Ollantaytambo and a bus ride to Cusco.
Today is free for you to recover from a busy day and to enjoy the stunning town of Cusco one more day.
If you are feeling active, perhaps consider taking an optional tour to the ever photogenic Palcoyo Mountain, commonly known as the Rainbow Mountain.
Enjoy one last delicious breakfast this morning, before the Peruvian portion of your adventure comes to an end. At the appointed time, you will be transferred to the airport in time to board your flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Once in Guayaquil and after you clear customs, you will be transferred to your centrally located hotel. Guayaquil, officially Santiago de Guayaquil, is the largest and the most populous city in Ecuador, as well as that nation's main port. The city is the capital of the Ecuadorian province of Guayas and the seat of the namesake canton.
Guayaquil is located on the western bank of the Guayas River, which flows into the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Guayaquil. Because of its location, the city is the centre of Ecuador's fishing and manufacturing industries. Its main attractions include Las Peña’s neighbourhood, Malecon 2000 Pier, Parque historico and more.
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. Please note a US$20 per person transit card is payable on departure at Guayaquil Airport and a US$100 per person national park entry fee is payable
on arrival on the islands. Both payments are made in USD cash.
Your guide will pick you up from the airport and continue on to visit the Highlands of the Island where you can observe the giant tortoise roaming in a natural habitat. Make the most of great picture opportunities with this endangered species, endemic to the Galapagos before continuing to your hotel in Puerto Ayora.
After settling you’ll visit Tortuga Bay. The walking the path is an experience in itself (about 45 minutes each way). Spot lava lizards and a number of birds including a yellow warbler and a Galapagos mockingbird.
At the end of the path you’ll come to Playa Brava. Swimming is prohibited at Playa Brava due to dangerous currents. You will continue walking until you reach Playa Mansa a protected bay where you can swim and enjoy the shade of the mangroves.
After breakfast, you will embark on a full day tour of the beautiful Bartolome Island. You will reach Bartolome Island by speed boat - the trip takes approximately 2 hours each way. Bartolome Island is one of the most recognizable and photographed island in the archipelago thanks to its distinctive pinnacle rock. Follow the trail to the top of this once-active volcano, seeing the different lava rock formations that were created during the formation of island. At the top, enjoy fantastic panoramic views across to Santiago Island’s Sullivan Bay – look out for the surrounding plants like lava cactus as well as Darwin`s finches.
After the walk, take a zodiac ride along the island to meet the cheeky Galapagos penguins, and then disembark on the beach for some snorkelling. This is a great place to see white tip reef sharks, sea turtles, many fish, and maybe swim alongside sea lions. You’ll then return to Puerto Ayora by late afternoon.
After breakfast, transfer to the pier and board a speed-boat to San Cristobal Island (approximately 2.5 hours ride). Upon arrival, walk to your nearby hotel for check-in and prepare for today’s excursion to Loberia, a scenic beach filled with large colonies curious sea-lions, marine iguanas, frigate birds and more.
Enjoy a wildlife filled hike around the site, explore the mangrove forest and go snorkelling to witness some of the Galapagos Island reach marine wildlife.
This morning you will visit one of the most iconic sites in the Galapagos Islands: Kicker Rock or “Leon Dormido”, an amazing rock formation just 90 minutes from San Cristobal Island. This incredible landmark is a remnant of a vertical tuff cone formation with an altitude of 500 feet from the Pacific Ocean, it is considered as one of the best snorkelling sites in the Archipelago.
Erosion has given the formation its characteristic shape of a shoe (hence the name Kicker Rock) and others see a sleeping lion from above, reason why in Spanish is called “Leon Dormido”.
Snorkelling in the rock is truly an unforgettable experience! You will be able to spot marine iguanas, sea turtles, rays, Galapagos sharks, school of colourful fishes and, with some luck, hammerhead sharks. Also in the crevasses of the rock, you can encounter blue-footed boobies, masked-boobies and frigate birds.
Return to San Cristobal and your hotel for a well-deserved resting time. In the afternoon, visit the Interpretation Centre to learn about the history of the Galapagos Islands.
This morning enjoy your own time to stroll around the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno for some souvenir shopping. At the appropriate time you will be picked up and transferred to the airport in time to board your flight to the capital of Ecuador, Quito. Upon arrival, your guide will welcome you and drive to your cosy centrally located hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore the surroundings.
Today, join your local guide on a scenic city tour of Quito. Explore Quito's Old Town, considered a Human Heritage Patrimony and the largest Colonial district in all of South America. Visit “La Compañia de Jesus” Church, surely one of the most beautiful churches in South America as well as the charming “La Ronda” Street, the a popular colonial street for centuries in the centre of the City.
Afterwards, you will head north to "Middle of the World " monument & museum. The Monument was built during the XVII century when a French expedition travelled to Ecuador to define the precise location of the Equatorial Line. Visit Monument to learn about Ecuadorian rich and ancient culture and human history.
Finally, visit the “Inti-Ñan”, a peculiar museum showcasing interactive equator-related science experiments.
After breakfast, join a full day guided tour to the Otavalo Market. Drive north (approximately 2 hours) towards the Northern Andes of Ecuador until you reach the Town of Otavalo and its indigenous market - one of the largest indigenous markets in South America. Explore the town & market by foot, bargain for typical clothing, hats, blankets and souvenirs whilst witnessing the day to day live in this thriving local market.
You will return to Quito in the afternoon.
At the appropriate time, you will be transferred to Quito airport to board your ongoing flight.
We hope you’ve been inspired.
Check out: Check-out time is generally between 10am-12pm. You are welcome to leave your luggage at the hotel reception and spend your final moments of free time exploring the area or alternatively please speak with hotel staff if you would like to extend your check-out time.
Secure your trip with a $99.00 deposit per person.
Once we receive your deposit, we will send you an invoice with your remaining balance and payment options.
While the tour itinerary should give you some guidance and overview to the expected requirements, to determine if this tour is right for you we categorise each of our tours in terms of their intensity. These guidelines are to ensure that each tour group is conducted as expected and to ensure the overall satisfaction of all Inspiring Vacations customers.
As a general rule, porterage is not included, therefore at all times you are expected to handle your own luggage where help may not be available.
A friendly reminder that tipping is not included in your package. Tipping is not compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry and is a welcome way to show your appreciation. If you feel that your guide/s and driver have done an impeccable job, you can choose to give a gratuity, but this is entirely your decision.
The suggested tipping amounts are: USD 2-3 per person per day for local guides; USD 1-2 per person person day for your driver and USD 2-4 per person per day for your tour leader. In restaurants and cafes a 10% of the bill is normally expected. Please note that this information is to be used as a guideline only and it’s based on the recommendation from our ground teams and past travellers. Tipping in local currency is the norm.
The accommodation listed is subject to change. Any changes will be of an equal or higher standard. Bedding configurations (double or twin) are requests only. All efforts will be made to meet your preferences, however, any changes are beyond our control.
Single supplement is $1,120.00 per person, in addition to the twin-share price.
Travel insurance is recommended to protect yourself against the unexpected. In addition to the support that a policy may provide, you may be asked to present a copy of your travel insurance documentation while travelling.
We have partnered with nib to offer our customers competitive rates for their travel insurance. You can book Comprehensive or Essentials cover for your domestic, international or multi-trip journeys simply by clicking HERE.
Note that Inspiring Vacations cannot provide advice with regards to any insurance product.
Visa & Passport information
It is the traveller's responsibility to ensure they have a valid passport. The passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the intended date of return.
Visas may be required.
Please note that these details are subject to change without notice. We recommend visiting https://smartraveller.gov.au for up to date information in terms of entry requirements.
Children must be 5 years old or above and share a room with parents at all times. Children are charged the same price as adults.
Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!
Before your trip:
Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatizing to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.
During your trip:
While your leader has basic first aid training and is aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly.
To enhance your journey, we are offering guests a choice of the following optional activities (prices are per person):
Optional tours can be selected once you have finalised your tour purchase and paid your deposit. When completing your Passenger Booking Form, you will be asked if you would like to add Optional Tours, where any applicable cost will be added to your final balance. If you choose not to select them at this time, you can choose to add them later by logging in to your Account online.
Please note that you must select your Optional Tours no later than 70 days before departure, after which you will be required to purchase them on tour. Please keep in mind that anything purchased on-tour is subject to availability and prices may vary as you will be paying in local currency. We appreciate your understanding.
You can enhance your holiday by arriving or departing before or after the tour. On this tour you can choose from the following options:
Pre Tour Accommodation
Post Tour Accommodation
Arrival and departure airport transfers
Your transfer may be shared with other Inspiring Vacations customers.
Please select the number of extra nights required in the 'Additional Nights Accommodation' field when making your purchase. The additional cost for these arrangements will be added to your final payment invoice and are subject to availability.
This package is sold as land only, however you do have the option of adding domestic & international airfares to your booking. Simply click on’ book now’, and under upgrades , you will be asked “Would you like us to contact you around our flight service?”. By selecting this option Inspiring Vacations will contact you to discuss adding flights to your chosen destination. We can then assist with turning your booking into a flight inclusive package.
Upon completing the purchase of your package and fulfilling the following booking requirements, you will be granted access to our flight portal via your Traveller Hub.
Once these criteria have been met, access will be made available to you via Traveller Hub to book your flights via our flight portal.
The following requests are able to be processed through the online flight portal:
The online flight portal is unable to process the following requests and you must book these yourself independently:
Some airlines may not permit online check-in where flights have been booked by a travel company. Where unavailable to do so online, you will be required to check-in at the airport. Inspiring Vacations cannot check-in online on behalf of our customers.
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