Breakfast daily, 8 lunches, 12 three-course dinners including a welcome dinner at a historic home and a farewell dinner in Lima
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
ARRIVE IN LIMA, PERU. Arrive in Lima, where you will be met by your Tour Director.
LIMA. This afternoon, your Local Guide focuses on the city’s colonial heritage during a walking TOUR. Start at the Plaza de Armas to see the Government Palace and the cathedral. From here, stroll to the venerable SAN FRANCISCO MONASTERY with its splendid 17th-century cloister murals. For a special treat, stop at a [LF] LOCAL PERUVIAN FOOD MARKET to taste some typical Peruvian fruit and experience a bit of everyday life in Lima. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow traveling companions at one of Lima’s finest historic homes, CASA GARCIA ALVARADO.
LIMA–CUSCO–SACRED VALLEY. Fly to Cusco, the impressive Andean city that was once the capital of the Inca Empire. Head into the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where you will enjoy a special lunch prepared exclusively for Globus guests at a private location. Here, enjoy a live Andean band and experience a mystical [LF] El Pago a la Tierra, or 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. Next, continue to PISAC, an old mountain village where you will have free time to shop for local wares, such as alpaca sweaters and blankets, jewelry, or hand-painted ornamental dishes and vases. Stay in the Sacred Valley tonight, and enjoy a special dinner at the hotel. (B,L,D)
SACRED VALLEY–MACHU PICCHU. This morning, visit the Inca Fortress of OLLANTAYTAMBO, followed by the opportunity to visit a [LF] HOME, meet some of the locals, and experience their traditional way of life. Next, board the Vistadome TRAIN for a short journey through the lush Urubamba Valley. Then, transfer to a motorcoach for the ascent to legendary MACHU PICCHU, the “Lost City of the Incas,” high above the steep valley overlaid with dense tropical jungle. Your Local Guide will bring you closer to the lives and mysteries still hidden in these amazing structures built by the Pre-Columbian masters of this sacred land. Tonight, learn how to mix the perfect Pisco Sour, Peru’s national drink, before an exquisite dinner at the hotel. (B,L,D)
MACHU PICCHU–CUSCO. Your entrance to MACHU PICCHU is included for a second day. Enjoy the tranquility of the morning, with free time to wander the ruins at your own pace and experience the magic that is Machu Picchu. After lunch, return to the Sacred Valley by TRAIN and continue on to Cusco. (B,L)
CUSCO. This morning, learn more about the Incas and their struggle against invading Spaniards on your Cusco city TOUR, with visits to the imposing CATHEDRAL and the SANTO DOMINGO MONASTERY. During your city tour, you will be greeted by an INCA KING, so have your cameras ready! Also visit the semi-circular KENKO Temple with its stone altars and labyrinth of passages, and see the ancient site of Puca Pucara before the TEMPLE OF SACSAYHUAMAN, perched on a hillside overlooking Cusco. It remains unfathomable how and when this fortress of gigantic stones—with some blocks weighing more than 350 tons—was built. The remainder of your day is free to explore at your leisure. Tonight, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
CUSCO–JULIACA–PUNO (LAKE TITICACA). Board a flight to Juliaca, where you will continue to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca.
PUNO. EXCURSION TO LAKE TITICACA. Today, take a motorboat trip to some of the more unique islands of LAKE TITICACA. Start with TAQUILE ISLAND, which was once part of the Inca Empire and was one of the last areas of Peru to be conquered by Spain in the 16th century. The Spanish banned traditional dress on the island, which is why the Spanish peasant dress can still be found today. Next, travel to the fascinating UROS ISLANDS, home to the Uros Indians, who were forced to live on the lake as the Inca Indians pushed farther into their territory. These islands are completely made by reeds and are continually added to as they disintegrate to the bottom of the lake. (B,L,D)
PUNO–SILLUSTANI–JULIACA–LIMA. Depart for Juliaca this morning, visiting the ruins of SILLUSTANI en route. At this pre-Incan burial ground, see where the ancient Aymaras buried their high priests in chullpas—above-ground, cylinder-shaped tombs dating back to the 1400s. While here, [LF] spend some time with the locals, see their HOMES, learn how they work, what they eat, and gain a better understanding of their lives. Fly from Juliaca to Lima this afternoon.
LIMA–PARACAS. BALLESTAS ISLANDS CRUISE & NAZCA LINES. Enjoy a scenic drive south along the Pan-American Highway to the Bay of Paracas. CRUISE out to the Ballestas Islands, which are inhabited by a wide variety of sea mammals and exotic birds, including boobies, sea lions, and Humboldt penguins. The huge Candelabro, a candelabra-shaped etching on the Paracas cliffside, can also be seen as you cruise back to shore. Continue to the town of Pisco, the wine capital of Peru. Have your camera handy today as you board your aircraft for a FLIGHT over the Nazca plains, which can only be appreciated by air. Your pilot will point out the mysterious markings known as the NAZCA LINES, a series of drawings of animals and geometric figures etched into the parched soil—some up to 1,000 feet long! Theories vary, but the most accepted belongs to German mathematician Maria Reiche, who dubbed the land the “astronomical calendar” of the ancient Peruvians. Enjoy dinner this evening at your hotel.
PARACAS–LIMA. After some free time in Paracas, return to Lima today. Tonight, your Tour Director hosts a memorable farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
LIMA–QUITO, ECUADOR. Fly to Quito, capital of Ecuador.
QUITO. On an included city tour, see INDEPENDENCE SQUARE with its CATHEDRAL and SAN FRANCISCO PLAZA CHURCH, and the BASILICA.
QUITO–SAN CRISTOBAL (EMBARKATION)–CRUISING. Fly to San Cristobal and embark the Seaman Journey for a 4-night CRUISE. This afternoon, visit the GALÁPAGOS DARWIN INTERPRETATION CENTER with your expert Naturalist and learn about ongoing conservation of the archipelago, its history, ecosystems, flora, and fauna. (B,L,D)
CRUISING: SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND. Today, visit CERRO COLORADO TORTOISE RESERVE and learn about the island’s giant tortoise population and measures taken to help preserve and breed these endangered species. The center includes a large corral, breeding center, and interpretative trail, where it is possible to see different species of native and endemic plants as well as birds, such as the San Cristobal mockingbird, yellow warblers, many species of finch, and the Galápagos flycatcher. This afternoon, explore CERRO BRUJO, offering beautiful views of Kicker Rock and famous for being the first place Charles Darwin visited in the archipelago. Visit a lagoon, home to many migratory bird species, such as black-necked stilts, ruddy turnstones, whimbrels, and whitecheeked pintails. Also, enjoy snorkeling with the sea lions and other marine life. (B,L,D)
CRUISING: ESPAÑOLA ISLAND. Today, join your Naturalist for excursions to Gardner Bay and Punta Suárez on ESPAÑOLA ISLAND, one of the oldest islands in the archipelago. Here, you will see the famous blowhole, as well as unique sea bird colonies, including the waved albatrosses (Apr.-Dec.), Nazca and blue-footed boobies, and Darwin’s finches. (B,L,D)
CRUISING: FLOREANA ISLAND. Wake up at FLOREANA ISLAND and visit CORMORANT POINT to see a brackish lagoon, which usually holds one of the largest flamingo populations in the Galápagos. The trail continues to a beautiful white-sand beach, one of the most important nesting sites of Green Pacific sea turtles. Enjoy a chance to snorkel among sea turtles, reef fish, sea lions, and even white-tipped reef sharks. This afternoon, visit POST OFFICE BAY, named for the wooden barrel that served as an informal post office for sailors passing through. Here, you may also encounter Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers, and lava lizards, and take advantage of another chance for great snorkeling. (B,L,D)
CRUISING: SANTA CRUZ (DISEMBARKATION)–BALTRA–GUAYAQUIL. After breakfast, disembark and transfer to the CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION, where the Galápagos giant tortoise breeding program helps preserve the fragile Galápagos environment. Learn how eggs are brought from the nearby Galápagos Islands, incubated artificially until the galápaguitos (little turtles) are born and then at the age of five are returned to their native areas. Fly to Guayaquil.
GUAYAQUIL. Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.