Want to see and do it all? Can’t decide whether to hike the iconic Inca Trail or discover the world’s number one destination for wildlife, the Galapagos? Well my friend, this is the trip for you. Say hello to giant tortoises, puffer fish & Peruvian llamas, before embarking on a once in a lifetime adventure to one of the man-made wonders of the world, Machu Picchu.
Well good morning paradise. The ocean is calling, and who are we to resist her? Our wildlife kayaking adventure will see us taking to the seas with beady eyes on the lookout for green sea turtles.
This morning we’ll grab some kayaks & get out on the water around Las Tintoreras where we’ll set out in search for the Galapagos Penguin – the only penguin found north of the Equator! On return, spot colourful fish as you snorkel the underground lava tubes. This area is often frequented by green sea turtles that like to rest on the calm, sandy bottom, so make sure you are on the lookout for these incredible creatures as you snorkel through the clear blue water.
This morning we’ll head to the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center to learn about the island’s natural history on a guided tour, before we take off Santa Cruz Island. Before heading to Santa Cruz Island, you can choose to chill or get active, it's up to you! If you feel like getting out and about, this afternoon’s optional activity is a guided trip to the gorgeous Tortuga Bay. After a half an hour stroll along a path you'll arrive at a stretch of white sandy beach where marine iguanas sunbathe. You also have an opportunity to kayak in the bay in search of sharks, rays, turtles, and great blue herons. This pristine beach is absolute heaven! Not ready to wield a paddle? No worries – this is the perfect opportunity to sun bathe, body surf, surf, or look for marine iguanas, lava gulls and the famous blue- footed boobies. If you aren’t feeling up for the walk, take to the streets and go local or head to town to shop for souvenirs or relax.
This morning we’ll pay a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, once home to one of the island’s most famous residents, the world-famous Lonesome George – who was 100 years old when he died. Here you’ll observe many species of tortoises and land iguanas brought back from the brink of extinction and learn about this centre and research facility. Later we're back on the boat as we head to our next island, San Cristobal. - keep an eye out for bathing sea lions that the island is known for! This island is made up of four volcanoes – all extinct – and later, we’ll head up into the highlands for a scenic downhill bike ride. Starting at a panoramic viewpoint called La Soledad, we’ll bike through the tiny town of El Progreso and five different and varied vegetation zones until we reach a beach La Loberia beach. From there you can check out some of the other locals - we’ll be able to watch cute sea lions sun bathing, playing and vying for our attention. Tonight, it’s all about relaxing over drinks at one of our favourite local spots while watching the sunset.
Today we take to the water to get our last glimpse of the famous and equally incredible underwater world of Galapagos. First we’ll cruise along the coast in our boat where our Local Guide will point out the species of shore birds like the Great Frigatebird and other native species. We begin our stay in search of wildlife and then we are off to Kicker Rock (or Leon Dormido as it’s known by the locals) the remains of a tuff cone - Kicker Rock rising a massive over 143m out of the ocean (that's about 50 floors in building terms). We’ll check out the underwater landscape as we head along the edge and through a channel of this drastic compact ash formation. Your Local Guide will keep you in the know as we look out for sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, chocolate chip starfish, and, with any luck, a Galapagos Shark or two. Don’t worry, they won’t be as interested in you as you are in them, so it's perfectly safe. Later we’ll head to Puerto Grande, a beautiful beach which is our final stop for the day. After lunch on board, spend your time swimming in the turquoise water or snapping photos of Kicker Rock in the distance. We’ll head back to town late afternoon where we'll be treated to one of the best BBQ’s in the Galapagos at one of the local’s favorite spots to celebrate a great Galapagos trip.
Our included flight will land us in the seaside Peruvian capital of Lima. Arriving late, we’ll nevertheless be pumped at the prospect of what tomorrow brings – namely more Contiki peeps joining our squad as we take on Peru over the next few days. That’s right, we’ve still got 1 more week of South American adventuring to go, and yet more awesome people to enjoy the journey with. Life is pretty sweet right now.
Your Peruvian adventure starts today, meet up with your fellow explorers before your Inca Trail Trek
Today we explore the Sacred Valley. Take a guided tour of the Pisac and Ollantaytambo ruins, one of Peru’s oldest towns before spending the night in the Sacred Valley. Tonight make sure you rest up, as tomorrow the expedition to Machu Picchu will begin!
This morning the adventure will really begin! We will drive to Piscacucho village, at kilometre 82 of the Cusco-Machupicchu Railway, we’ll begin the hike up through the Valley of Wayllabamba, at a relatively easy pace to get acclimatised to the altitude. We'll hike until we reach the first archaeological complex of Llactapata. We'll then continue on until we reach the Wayllabamba campsite, our highest point of the day at 3,000m above sea level and will be our base for the night. Km hiking : 11.5 Km Average time hiking: 6 hours Please note: This is a flexible itinerary. Space to trek the Inca Trail is in high demand with limited spaces each day. As a result, the 4-day hike may be on different days than specified.
On our second day we begin our ascent, to a place called Yunca Chimpa, on the way we will see the nature and ecological change in the region. From here we will continue up to Llulluchapampa (3,750 metres). From this point we can see the Wayllabamba valley and Warmiwañusca (Located at 4,200 metres) also called Dead Woman Pass. We will then descend to our campsite at Pacaymayo (3,600m) in the afternoon. Km Hiking : 10.5 KM Average time Hiking: 7 hours Please note: This is a flexible itinerary. Space to trek the Inca Trail is in high demand with limited spaces each day. As a result, the 4-day hike may be on different days than specified.
The third day will start with an ascent to the Ruins of Runkurakay, an inca resting place and see us climb to Runkurakay pass which is 3,860m. We start the descent to the impressive Archeaological Site of Sayaqmarca (3,600m), a mysterious inca outpost. We'll continue to the Archaeological centres of Phuyupatamarca ”Town Above the Cloud"" (3,600m), then finish the day at our campsite and final site of the day, Wiñay Wayna ruins (Forever Young) located at 2,650m (8,694 ft.) Km Hiking : 14 KM Average time Hiking: 8 hours Please note: This is a flexible itinerary. Space to trek the Inca Trail is in high demand with limited spaces each day. As a result, the 4-day hike may be on different days than specified.
It’s our final morning on the trail and today we walk towards the Sun Gate, where you'll have your first glimpse of Machu Picchu and get the feeling that you've conquered an enchanted land! Explore the magical ancient ruins & imagine life as it was in the Inca times. Spend the day uncovering the mystery of these amazing Inca ruins before returning to the Sacred Valley for some much needed R&R. Km hiking : 6 Km Average time hiking: 3.5 hours Please note: This is a flexible itinerary. Space to trek the Inca Trail is in high demand with limited spaces each day. As a result, the 4-day hike may be on different days than specified.
Today we make our way back to Cusco via the Sacred Valley. We will stop at the weaving community of Chinchero, one of the great local causes supported by Contiki, ContikiCares & The TreadRight Foundation, in partnership with the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, launched a grants program in 2015 that seeks to support local artisans. You will visit the Cusco Centre for Textile Traditions, one of the first recipients of the new grants program. The centre employs more than 500 people from the Cusco region in an effort to maintain the more than 10,000 year old Andean weaving traditions. We will then arrive back to Cusco. Enjoy a free afternoon; relax with a book or wander the town before we meet up with the group for our farewell dinner. Please note: This is a flexible itinerary. Space to trek the Inca Trail is in high demand with limited spaces each day. As a result, the 4-day hike may be on different days than specified
Don’t forget to swap addresses with your mates and Tour Manager, as our South American adventure ends this morning after breakfast.
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Trip Name: Trails, Turtles & Treks
Duration: 14 Days
From Price: £3,307
Supplier Tour ID: GUIT/161121
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