Discover the Galápagos & Peru 2019

15 day River Cruise Lima to Quito

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Overview

Fantastic treasures await you on this cruise to Peru and the Galápagos Islands. Enjoy a walking tour of Lima; guided sightseeing in Quito, where you can have your photo taken at the “Center of the World,” and also in Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire; and an excursion to Otavalo’s famous Indian market, where you can shop for beautiful textiles, artwork and other unique souvenirs.

Also, visit the fascinating Inca constructions of ancient Puca Pucara, which translates to “Red Fortress,” the magnificent Temple of Sacsayhuaman, which overlooks the city of Cusco, the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo, and mystical Machu Picchu. Then, fly to San Cristobal Island for a fantastic 4-night Galápagos Islands cruise onboard the recently refurbished Treasure of Galápagos. In the company of a local Naturalist, you’ll encounter indigenous plants and animals found only in the Galápagos Islands, such as giant tortoises, Galápagos fur sea lions and marine iguanas - just to name a few. Also, enjoy an amazing opportunity to snorkel in the turquoise waters and see the colourful fish, sea lions and perhaps a penguin or shark! For travellers who want to see ancient ruins, learn about new cultures and be awed at the amazing natural world, this cruise adventure is not to be missed!

Fantastic treasures await you on this cruise to Peru and the Galápagos Islands. Enjoy a walking tour of Lima; guided sightseeing in Quito, where you can have your photo taken at the “Center of the World,” and also in Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire; and an excursion to Otavalo’s famous Indian market, where you can shop for beautiful textiles, artwork and other unique souvenirs.

Also, visit the fascinating Inca constructions of ancient Puca Pucara, which translates to “Red Fortress,” the magnificent Temple of Sacsayhuaman, which overlooks the city of Cusco, the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo, and mystical Machu Picchu. Then, fly to San Cristobal Island for a fantastic 4-night Galápagos Islands cruise onboard the recently refurbished Treasure of Galápagos. In the company of a local Naturalist, you’ll encounter indigenous plants and animals found only in the Galápagos Islands, such as giant tortoises, Galápagos fur sea lions and marine iguanas - just to name a few. Also, enjoy an amazing opportunity to snorkel in the turquoise waters and see the colourful fish, sea lions and perhaps a penguin or shark! For travellers who want to see ancient ruins, learn about new cultures and be awed at the amazing natural world, this cruise adventure is not to be missed!

Itinerary

Avalon has designed included activities with a choice of experiences. We invite you to select the tours, activities, and events that interest you most, so you can experience your cruise your way. There are three types of included shore excursion on every Europe cruise:

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Classic
<p>Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.</p>
Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Day 1 Lima, Peru


Welcome to Lima - Cosmopolitan, Colonial and Pre-Columbian Culture

Enjoy free time today before your Peruvian Andes and Galápagos adventure begins. Explore the fascinating Peruvian capital - where high-rises tower above ancient temples and colourful colonial architecture.

Day 2 Lima

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Peruvian Treasures, Presidential Palaces and Pizarro’s Conquests

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a guided walking tour of Lima - to see the colonial Old Quarter, Plaza de Armas, the presidential Government Palace and the ornate Cathedral - founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Visit the San Francisco Monastery and see its famous catacombs.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

This evening, join a guided tour of Lima’s Larco Herrera Museum - on the site of a 7th-century pre-Columbian pyramid. With the world’s largest private collection of pre-Columbian Peruvian art, see 5,000 years of art, artifacts and archaeological treasures. Enjoy a welcome dinner in the beautiful Peruvian café here.

Day 3 Cusco - Sacred Valley

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Alpacas, Llamas and Ancient Andes Villages

Fly to the ancient Andean city of Cusco - former capital of the Inca Empire - on your way to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Take a guided tour of Awanakancha to encounter llamas, alpacas, vicuñas and guanacos and learn about their vital role in Peruvian culture. Continue to the old mountain village of Pisac to browse the local market and colourful stalls for alpaca sweaters, woven blankets and handmade jewellery.

This evening, enjoy dining on Andean and Western dishes with wine.

Day 4 Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Stone Temples and Formidable Fortresses

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join a guided tour of the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo to visit the ruins including the Sun Temple and Princess Baths fountain.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Join an escorted visit to a native Incan home in the village of Ollantaytambo to experience the way of life enduring since the 13th century.

Machu Picchu

Andean Heights and Hidden Secrets of the Inca’s Lost City

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

All aboard the Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes enjoying spectacular views of the lush countryside of Urubamba Valley along the way. From Aguas Calientes take the winding road to Machu Picchu.

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Take a guided walk of Machu Picchu to explore the “Lost City of the Incas” high atop the Andes. 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.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Enjoy your overnight stay at the foot of the mountain with a gourmet dinner including wine.

Day 5 Machu Picchu - Cusco

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

A Miraculous Sanctuary in a Tropical Mountain Forest

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a second included guided excursion to Machu Picchu. Set out early to see the sunrise over the ruins and wander through perfectly assembled stone walls and terraces amid the natural landscape as a hidden sanctuary.

After lunch, return to the Sacred Valley by train and continue to Cusco.

Day 6 Cusco

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Conquistadors, Churches and the Colourful Culture of Peru

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

A guided walking tour of Cusco reveals more on the struggle between the Incas and the invading Spaniards. Visit the imposing Cathedral and the Santo Domingo Monastery. Next, see the semi-circular Kenko Amphitheater with its stone altars and labyrinth of passages and the ancient site of Puca Pucara before reaching 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.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Tonight, enjoy dinner inspired by Peru’s eclectic mix of cultures.

Day 7 Quito, Ecuador

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Bienvenido a Ecuador! South America’s Most Biodiverse Country

Fly to Quito, capital of Ecuador and a UNESCO world cultural heritage site and begin the Ecuadorian portion of your holiday.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Tonight, enjoy dinner with delicious regional cuisine.

Day 8 Quito. Excursion to Otavalo

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Traditions Woven Through Generations in the Andean Highlands

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join a guided excursion to Otavalo’s Indian market - brimming with colourful woven textiles, traditional Ecuadorean apparel, produce and craftwork.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Visit the town of Peguche - famous for its exquisitely handcrafted weavings. Take an escorted tour of local homes to observe the handiwork in creating woven blankets and clothing that are so important to life in the Andes highlands.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Enjoy an authentic Andean dining experience with lunch served in a local hacienda.

Day 9 Quito

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

A Gold Altar, Artistic Avenues and Two Hemispheres at One Time

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a guided sightseeing tour of Quito that showcases the colonial city’s historic sites, including the impressive Legislative Palace with its enormous sculpted mural of Ecuadorean history. You’ll also see Independence Plaza and visit the 16th-century San Francisco Monastery and La Compañía Church - the exquisite Jesuit cathedral with its spectacular Spanish baroque architecture - more than 160 years in the making.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Take a guided walk down Calle La Ronda - one of Quito’s oldest streets - with artist’s workshops and galleries. Later, visit a local chocolate factory to taste for yourself why Ecuador is one of the world’s finest chocolate producers.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join a guided excursion to the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo - the “middle of the world.” Stand in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres at the same time at the exact location of the Earth’s Equator.

Day 10 San Cristobal - Galápagos Islands (Embarkation)

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Protected Giant Tortoises and Highly Adaptable Birds

This morning, fly to the remote Galápagos Island of San Cristobal where you’ll embark on a five-day cruise on the Treasure of Galápagos.

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a naturalist led excursion to the highlands of San Cristobal to visit the Cerro Colorado Tortoise reserve. Learn about the island’s endangered giant tortoise population and the reserve’s conservation efforts.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Your expert naturalist guide will point out other wildlife on the island, including songbirds like the yellow warbler, Galápagos large-billed flycatchers, and the chatham mockingbird (unique to this island), that put darwin on track of his evolution theory. Enjoy a captain’s welcome dinner on board this evening.

NOTE: The ship’s itinerary may vary according to Galápagos National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, and seasonal changes to create the perfect cross-section of sites visited.

Day 11 Espanola Island

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Sky-High Ocean Spray and Diverse Life In and Out of the Water

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Take a guided excursion with your expert naturalist to explore the southeastern part of the archipelago. Visit the glistening white coral beaches of Gardner Bay to see Galápagos sea lions, marine iguanas, seabirds, and hawks. Watch for three species of Darwin finches - a hallmark of his research.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Enjoy a prime snorkeling spot in Gardner Bay’s pristine waters to spot a kaleidoscope of multi-coloured reef fish, reef sharks and the amazing Pacific green turtles.

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

This afternoon, your naturalist guide takes you to the sheer cliffs of Punta Suárez to witness the spectacular spray from an ocean blowhole. Watch for the blue-footed and Nazca boobies, and other remarkable bird species, including the waved albatross. Be on the lookout for the male Christmas iguana that turns red and green during mating season.

Day 12 Floreana Island

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Pink Flamingos, Gliding Rays and a Message in a Barrel

Classic

Your local expert is ready to guide you through the history and heritage of local destinations. You’ll marvel at the legends, lore, and spectacular architecture of iconic and historic sites.

Join a naturalist led excursion to Floreana’s Post Office Bay - with its historic 18th-century whalers’ postal service - consisting of a barrel - to drop mail with the hopes that future travelers will carry it back to the mainland.

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Explore the island’s channels by panga boat, or take a swim with playful sea lions. This afternoon, join your naturalist guide for an easy hike at Cormorant Point in search of greater flamingos, blue-footed boobies and sea turtles, or take another opportunity to snorkel with reef fish, turtles and rays gliding through the crystal shallows.

Day 13 Santa Fe Island

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

A Prehistoric Volcano and Prickly Cactus Forest

Active

Embark on energetic excursions to keep you in motion and on the go - from a guided jogging tour of Amsterdam, to biking, paddling, and hiking your way through scenic locales.

Take a naturalist guided hike to explore Barrington Bay - home to one of the most ancient volcanoes in the Galápagos, animal species found nowhere else in the world, and a forest of giant prickly pear cacti - mainstay of the land iguana, endemic only to Santa Fé Island. Keep an eye out for other species exclusive to the island, including the Galápagos hawk, snake and mockingbird. Take time to enjoy the inviting waters off Barrington Bay to snorkel with sea lions and vibrantly coloured fish, before cruising to Santa Cruz Island.

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

You’ll also visit Tortuga Bay for a naturalist guided excursion to Santa Cruz Island - the nesting place of the Pacific green turtle, marine iguanas and the giant Galápagos tortoise.

This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner served especially for your final night on board.

Day 14 Santa Cruz Island (Disembarkation)

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

Guarding the Gentle Giants of the Highlands

Discovery

We’ve found inspiring and interactive activities to speak to your interests - from cooking classes, to painting workshops - to immerse yourself in each culture you explore.

Take a naturalist guided excursion to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island to visit El Chato tortoise reserve. You’ll have the opportunity to observe Galápagos tortoises in the wild and learn how these gentle giants are studied and protected across the archipelago.

Continue to the airport for your return flight to Quito.

Day 15 Quito, Equador

  • Meals included:
  • Breakfast

Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning.

Questions? Our travel specialists can help with any queries, quotes or special requirements.  Request a callback or email us.

Notes

  • Maximum elevation on tour: 11,200 ft.
  • Small Group Discovery - We never allow more than 16 passengers on our Small Group Discovery vacations, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the destination and local culture.

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