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Highlights of Ecuador and Peru
Quito, The Galapagos, the Amazon Basin, Cusco and Machu Picchu
If we had to pick two absolutely "must see" destinations in South America they would undoubtedly be the incredible Incan ruins of Machu Picchu and the naturalist's paradise of the Galapagos Islands. For this incredible itinerary we've added an unexpected twist; a visit to the Ecuadorian Amazon for three days of guided exploration with the Huaorani, an indigenous group who still live deep within the rainforest as they have for centuries.
Starting in the beautiful Colonial capital of Quito, you'll venture deep into the Amazon basin by light plane and dug-out canoe until you reach the Huaorani Lodge, a sustainable tourism initiative that is equal parts cultural interaction and jungle exploration. Your base is a comfortable riverfront lodge with surrounded by an enormous protected area in the heart of the rainforest. From the Amazon you'll head to the Galapagos Islands for a naturalist-led cruise aboard a luxurious small ship with daily excursions that get you up close and personal with the island's world-famous animal residents. From the incredible biological wealth of Ecuador the journey continues to Peru for a historical and cultural tour of Cusco, including the incredible small indigenous markets of the Sacred Valley and culminating in a private tour of Machu Picchu, one of the world's most important archeological sites.
This incredible itinerary is just a sample trip to get your imagination flowing. Call us now at (866) 577 2462 or submit the form and let one of our international travel specialists custom design the perfect trip for you today!
Why Travel with Global Basecamps
- Expert local guides with an intimate knowledge of local culture and wildlife.
- Private vehicles and beautiful small guesthouses, hotels and lodges
- Travel at a slow pace with a focus on cultural interaction and intimate wildlife encounters
- All of our trips directly benefit local communities through a variety of educational and cultural initiatives.
- Through our partner CarbonFund.org, Global Basecamps will plant a Nepal fruit tree for each trip booked.
Browse our collection of sample trips which have been designed to inspire you. Keep in mind, we customize every trip to meet your specific travel needs and budget.
Highlights of Peru and Ecuador Itinerary
Day 1: QuitoUpon arrival in Quito you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to a very centrally located and comfortable guesthouse in a fantastic neighborhood full of shops, cafes and galleries.
Day 2: QuitoToday is a free day to explore the city on your own.
Day 3: OtavaloToday after breakfast you’ll be met at the hotel and taken on a full day tour of the famous marketplace of Otavalo, a largely indigenous town in Imbabura Province located in a valley surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes. The indigenous Otavaliños are famous for the weaving of textiles, usually made of wool, and the market is a great place to shop for sweaters, hats, ponchos and shawls.
Day 4: Quito – QuehuerionoThis morning after breakfast you’ll be met at the hotel to begin the drive to Shell, an oil company outpost containing the last airport before entering the Amazon Basin. The drive winds past Ecuador’s famous volcanoes before driving down through a variety of towns known for the products that they sell including a town called “pants” and a town called “ice cream”. After arriving at Shell you’ll board a small charter plane for the 50 minute flight into Huaorani Territory. Upon arrival at the small Amazonian village of Quehueriono you’ll be greeted by your Huaorani hosts and taken by dugout canoe up one of the tributaries of the mighty Amazon River to the lodge, perched on the banks of the river in dense tropical rainforest. This is truly exploring at its best!
Days 5-7: Huaorani TerritoryThe next three days will be spent exploring the Amazon River with your hosts, the Huaorani, and your naturalist-guides. This is the true Amazon and is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Day 8: Huaorani Territory – QuitoToday you’ll continue to travel upriver until you reach the edge of the Huaorani Territory and the beginning of Ecuador’s oil fields. The contrast between the living untouched Amazon and the over-developed industrial oil fields can be shocking but truly shows what happens when industry is left unchecked in the rainforest. After lunch you’ll transfer to the airport for the short flight back to Quito. Upon arrival you’ll check-in to a small boutique guesthouse in a very central location.
Day 9: Quito – Baltra – Santa CruzThis morning you’ll be met at the airport for the flight to the Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival in Baltra you will board a beautiful small expedition vessel for a 4 Day/3 Night cruise through the Islands. Your first stop is Santa Cruz, the second largest island in the Galapagos. The small town of Puerto Ayora is the economic centre of the archipelago, with the largest population of the 4 inhabited islands (approx 10.000). Santa Cruz is also the only island where six different zones of vegetation can be seen: Coastal, Arid, Transition, Scalesia, Miconia, and Pampa Zones. The Charles Darwin Research Station and the Galapagos National Park offices are based here and you’ll have an opportunity to visit the research center and hike the highlands in the afternoon. The station is also a tortoise breeding and rearing centre, where tortoises of different subspecies are prepared for reintroduction to their natural habitats.
Day 10: Isabela Island - Punta Morena - Elisabeth BayThis morning you’ll arrive at Isabela Island, a very large island whose surface almost covers half of the land mass of the Galapagos archipelago. Found on this island is Punta Morena, a young volcanic landscape with numerous fresh-water pools where Flamingos, Bahama Ducks and other birds unite. About 40 kms away you’ll find Punta Morena and the mangrove area of Elisabeth Bay and its off-shore islands. Here you can see little dwarf penguins as well as schools of manta rays, turtles and other huge pelagic fish including whale-sharks.
Day 11: Bartolomé Island - Puerto Egas / Seymour NorthThis morning before breakfast, disembark at Bartolomé Island (dry landing) for a hike to the summit. This is a steep climb is aided by a wooden staircase and although strenuous the view from the top is definitely worth the effort. Return to the boat for breakfast followed by a panga ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock before heading to the beach for a last day of snorkeling with sea lions and Galapagos Penguins. This afternoon is an outing on North Seymour (dry landing) for a walk along the coast and the interior of the island observing bird colonies of blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, swallow tailed gulls as well as sea lions and marine iguanas.
Day 12: San Cristobal Island - QuitoThis morning you’ll arrive on San Cristobal Island. After breakfast and a visit to the Interpretation Centre at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight back to the continent. Upon arrival you will be transferred back your hotel for another night before your departure for Peru.
Day 13: Quito - CuscoThis morning you’ll be met at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your onward flight. Upon arrival in Cusco you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to a beautiful traditional hotel located right in Cusco’s famous city center. The rest of the day and evening are free to explore the city or rest and acclimatize.
Day 14: CuscoToday is a free day to explore the beautiful city of Cusco, do some shopping or simply relax in preparation for the trip to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu.
Day 15: Cusco – Machu PicchuThis morning after breakfast you’ll be met at the hotel and transferred to the train station for the beautiful ride up to Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival you’ll check into a beautiful lodge known for the world-class quality of it’s excursions, rooms and food. Under the guidance of one of the hotel’s expert guides you can explore the mysteries of Machu Picchu until dinner time.
Day 16: Machu Picchu - CuscoThe day begins with an early morning visit to the fabled ruins and you’ll have plenty of time to explore in both guided and individual exploration. In the afternoon you’ll return to Cusco by train and the evening is free to relax.
Day 17: Cusco – OnwardThe morning and early afternoon are free to do some last minute shopping or relaxing before being transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima and home.
Highlights of Ecuador and Peru Information
- Prices start at $3525 per person
- Prices include expertly guided private touring in private vehicles, most meals, lodging in local guesthouses and hotels, all domestic transportation and conservation and national park fees
- Prices do not include international airfare, taxes, international visas or gratuities for guides and camp staff.
- This incredible journey of discovery is just one option for exploring South America. Fill out the Custom Trip Form and let one of our international travel specialists custom design the perfect trip for you today!
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Who is Global Basecamps?
Help Us Plant a Tree!
We love planting trees, and Global Basecamps makes it a priority to donate to reforestation efforts every year. In fact, we plant a tree for every traveler we send around the world.
Reforestation projects are one of the best ways to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, so travel responsibly by choosing Global Basecamps.
In 2014, Global Basecamps, along with local partners, financially supported the planting of 56,000 Quena trees in the Yanacocha and Queunacocha communities in the Peruvian Andes mountains.