Mysteries of the Inca Empire with Galápagos Cruise (1305)

17 Day Tour from Lima to Quito

2017 Tour Details View 2016 Tour Details »

On this Peru tour—with a Galápagos Islands cruise—delve into the past, learn about the local culture, and experience beautiful scenery as you overnight in Lima, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Lake Titicaca, and Quito, along with three nights aboard the Galápagos Legend. You'll visit ancient ruins, enjoy guided sightseeing, and marvel at the flora and fauna found in the Galápagos Islands.

History comes alive on this tour through Peru. Imagine what life was like in the 15th century as you tour the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, where you'll see this famous Inca complex set in a majestic setting. More history awaits at Ollantaytambo, the archaeological site of the Incas’ resistance during the Spanish conquest, and the Temple of Sacsayhuaman, a fortress with some of the best examples of Inca masonry. Guided sightseeing in Cusco features the Santo Domingo Monastery and the Cathedral, housing a magnificent collection of artwork.

On this Peru tour, you'll also learn about the local culture. On your motorboat tour of Lake Titicaca, you'll visit Taquile Island, where you'll see how the local people integrate their Inca and Spanish past, and the Uros Floating Islands, where you'll learn how the Uros Indians construct their islands from tortora reed. In the Incan town of Ollantaytambo and in Sillustani, visits with locals in their homes give you insight into their way of life. Spend time at the Indian market in Pisac and in Awanakancha, learn about the importance of camelids (llama, vicuña, alpaca, and guanaco) to Inca culture.

You'll also spend six nights in Ecuador, including three nights in Quito and three nights cruising the Galápagos Islands. Swim and snorkel in search of sea life, explore the islands, marvel at the many bird species, and enjoy seeing giant tortoises, sea lions, land iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and much more.

These are just some of the many highlights of this Peru tour and Galápagos Islands cruise. Designed for savvy, value-minded travelers, it's a dream vacation!
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 Destinations & Sightseeing

Sightseeing:
In Lima, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Lake Titicaca. Inside visits as shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.

Scenic Highlights:
Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca.

The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:

  • City of Cusco
  • Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu
  • Historic Center of Lima
  • Galapagos Islands
  • City of Quito

Transportation:

Transportation:
Private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.

 Meals

 Meals & Itinerary

16 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 8 dinners

 Itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.

Day 1 Lima, Peru

Welcome to Lima, Peru. Heralded as the “City of Kings” by Spanish conquistadors, Lima retains vestiges of its opulent past with its colonial buildings and world-class museums.

Day 2 Lima

Sightseeing today focuses on Lima’s colonial heritage. Founded in 1535, Lima was once capital of Spain’s South American Empire. Visit the baroque 11th-century SAN FRANCISCO MONASTERY, with Spanish and Moorish architecture throughout. Continue to Plaza Mayor, where you will see the Government Palace that houses the presidential palace and was once the home of Francisco Pizarro, founder of Lima and conqueror of Peru. Nearby, see the cathedral where Pizarro’s remains are buried. The remainder of your day is free to explore. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant this evening.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 3 Lima–Cusco–Sacred Valley

Fly to Cusco high in the Andes and upon arrival, descend into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Stop at AWANAKANCHA and learn about the importance of camelids (llama, vicuña, alpaca, and guanaco) for Inca cultures. See them up close and learn how their coats are transformed into precious weaving fibers used in ancient weaving techniques still in use today. Continue to PISAC, a charming village with an infamous INDIAN MARKET, where you have plenty of time to browse the many colorful stalls selling handicrafts ranging from alpaca sweaters and blankets to painted vases and sterling silver. Later, arrive at your hotel in the peaceful Sacred Valley.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 4 Sacred Valley

Start the day with a visit to the village of OLLANTAYTAMBO and the Inca ruins of the same name. Explore the archaeological site that was the scene of the Inca resistance during the Spanish conquest—the only place ever to resist Spanish attacks. See how the temple area at the top of the terraces was the perfect defensive stronghold, then visit a LOCAL HOME in this Incan town to experience life in a traditional village, which has been remarkably well preserved. Next, visit the SEMINARIO CERAMICS WORKSHOP to learn about Peruvian ancient and modern art. End your day at a local chicheria for a taste of a chicha, a typical Inca drink in Peru.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 5 Sacred Valley–Machu Picchu

Board the VISTADOME train that cuts a path through the picturesque Urubamba Valley bound for Aguas Calientes, the quaint town closest to the “Lost City of the Incas.” Ascend the mountainside through tropical forest to the sacred refuge of MACHU PICCHU. Listen as your guide recounts the many accomplishments of the Incas as you tour the terraced ruins dating back to the 15th century. The ruins went undiscovered for nearly 400 years after they were abandoned when the Inca Empire fell to the Spanish. Many mysteries surrounding Machu Picchu remain to this day.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 6 Machu Picchu–Cusco

Enjoy some free time this morning to explore the mountain town of Aguas Calientes; perhaps visit the local market, quaint boutiques, or take a walk along nearby trails. Later this afternoon, return to Cusco, former capital of the Inca Empire.,L)

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch

Day 7 Cusco

Embark on a guided sightseeing tour of Cusco that focuses on the city that was once the political, military, and cultural epicenter of the Incas until the Spanish toppled it. In fact, Inca foundations can still be found in Cusco, with the Spanish baroque structures built on top. Visit the SANTO DOMINGO MONASTERY, where these two forms of architecture are melded together with the temple of both cultures atop one another. Also see the CATHEDRAL in the Plaza de Armas, housing a magnificent collection of artwork, including a depiction of The Last Supper that portrays the apostles dining on cuy (guinea pig). Continue to the hillside overlooking Cusco for a visit to the TEMPLE OF SACSAYHUAMAN. Some of the best examples of Inca masonry can be found at this fortress, where stones weighing up to 350 tons are pieced together to form a complex that could house up to 10,000 men. Learn about the ceremonies and battles that took place here, then see the ruins of Kenko and Puca Pucara before returning to Cusco.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 8 Cusco–Juliaca–Puno

Fly to Juliaca, then transfer to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Legend says the first Inca, Manco Capac, arose from the waters of the lake by the power of the sun god to found the Inca Empire.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 9 Puno. Excursion To Lake Titicaca

Experience fascinating LAKE TITICACA today as you embark on a motorboat tour of the highest navigable lake in the world and its manmade islands. On TAQUILE ISLAND, see how the local people integrate their Inca and Spanish past. This is evident by the Spanish peasant dresses made of Andean textiles—the islanders make some of the finest in all of Peru. Continue to the UROS FLOATING ISLANDS, a group of approximately 40 artificially made islands. Learn how the Uros Indians construct their islands, homes, boats, and many other resources completely of tortora reed, a centuries-old practice. Enjoy a farewell dinner hosted by your Tour Director this evening.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 10 Puno–Juliaca–Lima

Return to Juliaca, stopping at the pre-Incan burial grounds of SILLUSTANI en route. See the above-ground tombs, chullpas, in which the Aymara Indians buried their high priests. You will be welcomed into one of the locals’ HOMES for an inside look at life here. Later, a short flight returns you to Lima, where you will transfer to your hotel.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 11 Lima–Quito, Ecuador

Board a flight for Quito.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 12 Quito–Baltra (Embarkation)–Galápagos Cruising

Fly to Baltra and visit the highlands of SANTA CRUZ, marked by extinct volcanoes, lava tubes, and astonishing plants. Here witness giant tortoises in a natural reserve and learn about efforts to conserve these ancient creatures. Continue to the port where you will board the Galápagos Legend.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 13 Galápagos Cruising: Santiago & Bartolomé Islands

Wake up at SANTIAGO and Puerto Egas, once a buccaneer supply base and now a prime habitat for marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, yellow-crowned night herons, and Darwin’s finches. Encounter a Galápagos fur seal grotto, one of the few places in the archipelago where fur seals can be seen. Swim and snorkel in search of octopus, sea horses, starfish, and other sea life. Visit BARTOLOMÉ and see the iconic Pinnacle Rock, marine iguanas, lava lizards, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, and the Galápagos penguin. Bartolomé offers some of the best snorkeling in the archipelago too!

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 14 Galápagos Cruising: Santa Cruz & North Seymour Islands

Back on SANTA CRUZ, walk by a brackish lagoon where feeding flamingos are often found. Climb DRAGON HILL, an important nesting ground for endemic land iguanas. At NORTH SEYMOUR, walk amid large nesting colonies of blue-footed boobies, magnificent and great frigate birds, and swallow-tailed gulls. You will also encounter sea lions and land iguanas.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 15 Galápagos Cruising: Baltra (Disembarkation)–Quito

Your final visit takes you to Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz, where sea turtles lay their eggs. Disembark and fly to Quito.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 16 Quito

Included sightseeing showcases Quito’s treasures: Independence Plaza and the 16th-century SAN FRANCISCO MONASTERY, and the Jesuit’s LA COMPANIA CHURCH with its stunning golden altars.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 17 Quito

Your vacation ends after breakfast this morning.

Breakfast Breakfast

 Tour Director

With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.

MAURICIO YONFA

Years of Experience: 15

Born in Venezuela and raised in Ecuador, I'm an architect by profession, but a Tour Director by heart. I have worked as a South America lecturer for cruise lines, a guide in Ecuador and the Galápagos, and a Tour Director in South America. My goals are to transform each guest into a Peruvian expert and to encourage them to try and appreciate authentic Incan food. So, let's discover together the mysterious land of the Incas' and maybe even sample roasted guinea pig!

Tour Director - MAURICIO YONFA

 Accommodations

LIMA San Agustin Exclusive (F)
SACRED VALLEY La Casona Yucay (MF)
MACHU PICCHU El Mapi Hotel Machu Picchu (F)
CUSCO Jose Antonio Cusco (F)
PUNO Eco Inn Puno (F)
QUITO Grand Mercure Alameda (SF)
GALÁPAGOS CRUISE Galápagos Legend (F)

 Know Before You Go

These Know Before You Go travel tips are designed with you in mind, with helpful hints to help you prepare for and enjoy your escorted vacation. They are your guide to getting ready and contain general information on travel documentation, customs, and the country/countries you will be visiting, including budgeting, transportation, climate, languages, and much more. With Globus, you benefit from our experience.



* The "Starting at" or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. If a price is crossed out, the new price includes a limited time promotional offer(s) – please review current promotions or deals for additional information. Some tours require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Cosmos).