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Galapagos & Inca Trail Adventure

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highlights
  • Get acquainted with charming Quito, Ecuador's spirited capital
  • Snorkel the incredible marine life-filled waters of Kicker Rock, also known as Leon Dormido, one of the best snorkelling spots in the Galapagos and an absolute highlight for many travellers
  • Experience the wildlife wonders of the Galapagos Islands
  • Explore Lima's historic centre
The Galapagos & Inca Trail Adventure tour starts in Quito and ends in Cusco. The Galapagos & Inca Trail Adventure is a Trekking tour that takes 17 days taking you from Quito to Cusco and through other destinations in South America.

Prepare for a unique adventure packed full of ancient sights and breathtaking beauty as you travel from the bustle of Quito, visiting the breathtaking Galapagos Islands and experiencing the colonial history of the Incas in Cusco. Discover the charm of the unique Galapagos wildlife, embark on an unforgettable Inca Trail trek along ancient pathways, take on beguiling Lima and get lost on the cobblestoned streets of Cusco. Peru and Ecuador make up the real must-see corner of South America.
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Quito, Ecuador. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

Quito is one of the most attractive cities in South America, sitting at an altitude of 2,850 metres with a view of Volcan Pichincha on the horizon. On day 1 there is a city tour to show the beautiful Colonial style buildings and help you explore the nooks and crannies of cosy Old Town. We’ll be back in Quito at the end of the trip, giving you a chance to further experience the city.

Notes: Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit, the air is thinner and some people can suffer altitude sickness, regardless of age, gender or fitness. Please see the 'Is This Trip Right For You?' and 'Health' sections in the trip notes for more information.

You will need to book a flight from Lima to Quito for today (not included in the tour price) Please book an early flight as there will be a welcome meeting held at 2pm.

Optional Activities in Quito:

Urban Adventures: If you are interested in any of the Urban Adventures listed you will need to contact your booking agent or Urban Adventures directly. Urban Adventures information for Quito can be found here: https://www.urbanadventures.com/search?q=quito

Cotopaxi Volcano, for something more active, head out to the 5,897 metre high Cotopaxi Volcano – drop by the National Park museum, then hike for around 2 hours and visit the picturesque Limpiopungo Lagoon.

Quilotoa Lagoon, if you’re into lagoons, maybe take a full day trip to the stunning Quilotoa Lagoon. Early in the morning, drive 3 hours south through the local communities and Andes views of the Avenue of Volcanoes. Then hike (2 hours return) to the beautiful Quilotoa volcano crater lagoon, before returning to Quito. Something more chill is a full day at the Papallacta Hot Springs – take a scenic drive, reaching heights of 4,150 metres, and then relax in springs with views to the towering Antisana Volcano.

Papallacta-Something more chill is a full day at the Papallacta Hot Springs – take a scenic drive, reaching heights of 4,150 metres, and then relax in springs with views to the towering Antisana Volcano.

Please note, the prices listed below include entrance fees, however these are paid separately by you during the tour. Some tours require a minimum of 2 passengers to operate.
(Please note prices listed are subject to change)
Optional Activities
  • Quilotoa - Quilotoa Lagoon (Full day) - USD 100
  • Quito - Papallacta Hot Springs (Full day) - USD 70
  • Cotopaxi - National Park Hiking Tour - USD 95
  • Urban Adventures: Quito Market Discovery - USD 98
  • Urban Adventures: Quito Sweet & Culinary Experience - USD 104
  • Urban Adventures: Condors and Culture in Otavalo - USD 756
  • Urban Adventures: Quito Legends and Culture Tour - USD 79
Early morning transfer to Quito airport (approximately 45 minutes - 1 hour) for our flight to San Cristobal Island, Galapagos. The flight will take approximately 3.5 hrs including a stop in Guayaquil to pick up additional passengers (you will not need to disembark the plane) Departure time will be between 8.20am and 10.30am depending on flight schedule time.

Welcome to San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands. The Galapagos National Institute has introduced a Transit Control Card. This card has a cost of US$20 and it must be purchased by every person travelling to the Galapagos Islands. You will need to purchase this card upon arrival to the domestic airport on day 2, prior to checking in to your Galapagos flight. Our flight will stop once in Guayaquil to pick up more passenger's (approx 3.5 hours total). Upon arrival we will need to go through immigration and pay the Galapagos National Park entrance fee of US$100 in cash (small bills please). We transfer from the airport to the hotel (approximately 15 minutes) Soon after, travel to La Loberia where you'll put on snorkelling gear for the first time and go for a swim with sea lions, and maybe even some sea turtles. Continue back to town. Tonight you may wish to head out with the group and enjoy some of the fresh seafood available.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Wetsuit (shortsleeve) hire for 5 days
Today begins with a short boat ride to Leon Dormido (approx 45 mins) or Isla Lobos, observing along the way the abundant marine life that Galapagos is renowned for. On the way we might be able to spot nesting frigates and blue-footed boobies and/or might swim/snorkel with playful young sea lions. Here we can snorkel keeping an eye out below for sea turtles, manta rays and maybe the odd harmless Galapagos shark, to name a few. This snorkeling is in open sea, on occasion the currents can be quite strong so it's particularly important you are a confident swimmer for this activity. If you have any concerns, please ensure you speak with your leader. Included lunch today is a packed box lunch on board the boat! Unfortunately it is against National Park rules to eat on the beach.
Later head we will head to the interpretation Center. Learn about the history of the 'Enchanted Islands' and the conservation projects which seek to preserve the unique Galapagos wildlife. Next, make our way to Frigatebird Hill (Cerro Tijeretas), which is located two kilometres from the Interpretation Center, southwest of Isla San Cristobal. It's quite a climb to the top, but well worth the amazing views of the bay. From here you can also see Kicker Rock, an eroded volcanic formation protruding from the sea which has become an emblem of the island. We'll return to town in the late afternoon/early evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Take an early morning boat ride today towards Floreana Island, which should take about 2.5 hours. Along the way keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as dolphins and whales.
On arrival to the island, snorkel in the clear blue waters and then break for lunch. Afterwards venture to a black sand beach which belongs to the Witmers, decedents of some of the first settlers on the Galapagos. The town here, Puerto Velasco Ibarra, has about 150 residents and an intriguing history involving deaths, disappearances and murders. Later in the afternoon, wave goodbye to Floreana and continue to Isabela Island (approximately 2 hours) From Isabela Port it's a short transfer to the hotel where we will spend the night (approximately 15 minutes)
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Start your second day on Isla Isabela with a short bus ride (approximately 15 minutes) to the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center where you'll observe giant tortoises in all stages of development. The centre has almost a thousand giant tortoises training for life on their own. After our visit we take a short bus ride (approximately 15 minutes) to a brackish lagoon where we will be able to observe flamingos.
In the afternoon after an informative visit, board a small pangas for Tintoreras or Shark Alley. On our way we will go along the coast line in the hope to spot blue-footed boobies and the famous Galapagos penguin who is home on the western part of the arquipelago. On arrival, hop off for a short walk on this isolated islet and popular iguana nesting site that’s home to hundreds of marine iguanas. Snorkel in a calm inlet with colourful fish and winding underground lava tubes. This area is frequented by green sea turtles that like to rest on the calm, sandy bottom.
Late afternoon, return to town in search of your own sandy resting spot and enjoy your first Isabela sunset, arguably the most beautiful of all the islands.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Start your last day on Isla Isabela by heading towards the Sierra Negra Volcano (approximately 45 minutes by bus), one of the most active volcanoes in the Galapagos and the second largest crater in the world. Weather permitting, take a challenging hike of around 17 kilometres up the rocky mountain, which takes between five and six hours. After the hike, make your way back to town in the late afternoon for some free time to curl up with a book or venture down to the water for a relaxing swim before dinner. Unfortunately, recycling isn't available on Isabela, so please take your plastic rubbish with you.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Today begins nice an early at about 5 am. Take a boat transfer to Santa Cruz at approximately 6 am. Upon arrival transfer to Puerto Ayora to have breakfast. After breakfast head to the Charles Darwin Research Station. This is a great opportunity to learn more about conservation efforts to preserve the unique ecosystems of the Galapagos.
You can even get close to giant tortoises which are being raised for the repopulation program.
Next, head to a restaurant that offers a typical Eduadorian lunch package, simply referred to as ‘Menu’. Usually this consists of a fresh juice, basic entrée (usually a soup) as well as a main meal. These lunch deals are very popular throughout Ecuador so it’s a great way to eat like a local.
In the afternoon visit the higher part of the islands to observe the giant tortoise roaming in its natural habitat.
Afterwards visit a locally owned Sugar cane farm. Here the farmers will show us the process in which sugar cane is processed and turned into alcohol. Take the opportunity to try some!
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre (45 Minutes) - Free
This morning we will hike approximately 3.5kms to Tortuga Bay beach where we will head out on a kayak excursion in a protected bay. Along the way, keep an eye out for eagle rays, sea turtles and blue-footed boobies. Later head back to Puerto Ayora.
In the afternoon have free time to further explore the town.
Tonight, enjoy an included group dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
We say goodbye to the Galapagos today and take a flight back to Quito (Please note the flight will make a stop in Guayaquil)
You'll arrive back to Quito later afternoon. Perhaps head out for a final group dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Today you will be transferred to Quito airport in time to catch your flight to Lima. The flight from Quito to Lima is not included in the price of the trip and you must purchase it separately. An arrival transfer will be waiting for you at Lima airport to take you to your hotel in Lima.
As this is a combination trip, you will meet your new Tour Leader and fellow travellers at a welcome meeting at 2 pm . This meeting will be followed by an orientation walk of Miraflores.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Lima - Gold Museum - PEN 35
  • Lima - Museo de la Nacion - PEN 10
  • Lima - Pachacamac Tour (30 km from downtown) - USD 37
You'll say goodbye to the Lima Leader today. Take an included fight to Cusco. This flight will be unescorted, however you will be met at Cusco airport by your local leader. Spend a little time acclimatising to the high altitude (3,450 m) and then head out on an orientation walk with your tour leader. You’ll visit the facade of Qoricancha temple, the local San Pedro market, the main square, past the 12 Angled Stone, Regocijo Square and San Blas Square. Finally you’ll visit the Chocolate museum where there will be an opportunity to sample a hot chocolate made from local cacao beans. This might be a good opportunity to purchase some gifts or souvenirs. There’s a small store where you’ll find various handicrafts and a variety of artisanal chocolate products. You might feel overwhelmed by all there is to see in Cusco, but there will be more time for you to go exploring at the end of the trip.

Notes: As this is a combination trip, your experience can be quite different to the other travellers. Some will have started earlier in Lima and everyone will choose their own route to Machu Picchu, either by train or trekking. Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit, the air is thinner and some people can suffer altitude sickness, regardless of age, gender or fitness. Please see the 'Is This Trip Right For You?' and 'Health' sections in the trip notes for detailed information.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Cusco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass, which gives you access to 16 archaeological sites in/around Cusco (Transport & guides are not included) - PEN 135
  • Cusco - Half Tourist Ticket Pass, which gives you access to selected archaeological sites in/around Cusco (transport & guides are not included) - PEN 75
  • Cusco - Cathedral Entrance Fee - PEN 25
  • Cusco - City tour - USD 15
  • Cusco - Coricancha Temple entrance fee - PEN 15
  • Cusco - Pisco Making - Urban Adventures - USD 36
  • Cusco - Pre-Colombian Museum - PEN 20
  • Cusco - Inca Museum - PEN 10
  • Cusco - Machu Picchu Museum & Botanical Garden - Free - PEN 10
Travel by private bus through the Sacred Valley for about two hours. Known as Wilcamayo to the Incas, the valley has been a source of livelihood to the locals for hundreds of years. You’ll see maize crops covering the terraced valley walls and the sacred river beneath. For lunch, visit a community that live in the valley and learn about the local lifestyle and language. If it’s market day, you may have the opportunity to browse the local handicrafts such as beads and ponchos. Continue your journey to the town of Ollantaytambo where you’ll spend the night. If there’s time you may like to see the town’s archaeological site, which includes remnants of an Inca city and soaring views over the present-day settlement.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Ollantaytambo - Archeological site
Depending on the travel arrangements you made before the trip, during the next four days you’ll be doing one of the following: hiking the Classic Inca Trail, hiking the Inca Quarry Trail or staying in Cusco for another two days before taking the train to Aguas Calientes. While away from Cusco, the bulk of your luggage will be stored at your hotel. If you’re hiking the Inca Trail or the Inca Quarry Trail, the evening before you leave Cusco you'll receive a small duffle bag to carry your clothes in for the next four days (5 kg maximum).

Your team of porters will carry these bags for you, together with the food and equipment for the trail. Please note that you won't have access to these items until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. If you’re travelling to Aguas Calientes by train, you'll be able to leave most of your luggage at the hotel in Cusco and only travel with the necessary items during the excursion by train.

Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
Today travel by minivan to the 82 kilometre marker and meet your crew of local porters, cook and guide. The first day includes uphill trekking to the campsite, which is at 3,100 metres above sea level. On the way you’ll see the Inca sites of Ollantaytambo, Huillca Raccay and Llactapata, as well as incredible views of snow-capped Veronica Peak. In the evening, unwind at the campsite with a nourishing meal.

Notes: The Inca Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people, but please come prepared, as the trail is 45 kilometres long and often steep. Each day's journey generally consists of seven hours of walking (uphill and downhill), with stops for snacks and lunch. Trekking usually begins at 7 am (except on the fourth morning) and you reach the campsite around 5 pm. Accommodation on the trek is camping (three nights). Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.

Route 2 Inca Quarry Trail:
Make an early start today and drive to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas worshipped the moon. Drive to the starting point of the trek, Rafq'a, and meet the horsemen who join us on the hike. After an hour’s walk, reach the small community of Socma. Carry on to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout, an opportunity to stop for photos and a food break. Continue to the campsite, which is 3,700 meters above sea level. You should reach the campsite around lunchtime. After lunch, set off to explore the Q'orimarca archaeological site, which once served as a checkpoint to the Incas.

Notes: The Inca Quarry Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people. The hike is 26 kilometres long in total and its highest pass is at 4,450 meters above sea level. Throughout the trek, horses will carry your gear and camping equipment. The first two nights are spent camping and the third night you will stay at a simple hotel. Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.

Route 3 Train:
After spending the night in the Ollantaytambo, leave around 9.30 am and take a short drive to the town of Pisac. Pisac is well known for its market. Here you’ll have the opportunity to shop for souvenirs and perhaps try some local Empanadas. Arrive back into Cusco in the afternoon, where your leader will take you to San Pedro Market in order to buy some things for a picnic tomorrow.

Notes: Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Inca Quarry Trail only.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities)
Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
This is the most challenging day of the trek as you ascend a long steep path (approximately five hours) to reach the highest point of the trail. Colloquially known as 'Dead Woman's Pass', Warmiwanusca sits at a height of 4,200 meters above sea level, providing amazing views of the valley below. The group will then descend to the campsite in the Pacaymayo Valley at 3,650 metres.

Route 2 Inca Quarry Trail:
This is the most challenging and rewarding day of the hike. A three-hour walk takes us to the top of the first pass of Puccaqasa (approximately 4,370 meters high). After enjoying picturesque views of the valley, it’s a short walk before stopping for lunch. Afterwards, make the two-hour hike to Kuychicassa, the highest pass of the trek at 4,450 meters. From here, descend to the sacred site the Incas called Intipunku (Sun Gate), with views of the Nevado Veronica mountain. Head to the campsite, only a stone’s throw away at Choquetacarpo.

Route 3 Train:
Today, take a taxi to Tambomachay, an archaeological site just outside of Cusco. From here you’ll take a short downhill walk (between one and three hours) back to Cusco. On the way, stop to admire some of the archaeological sites, including Puka Pukara, Qinqu Quenqo and Saksaywaman. Arrive back in Cusco in the afternoon and enjoy some free time to go shopping, or perhaps visit Merida, Mendivil and Olave art galleries and workshops. Your tour leader will be able to give you some suggestions or point you in the right direction.

Notes: Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Quarry Trail only.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities)
Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
Start the day with a climb through the Pacaymayo Valley to Runkuracay pass (3,980 metres). Enjoy views of the snow-capped mountain of Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending for around two to three hours to the ruins of Sayacmarca. Continue over the trail’s third pass to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3,850 metres), also known as 'Town Above the Clouds'. Start the two-hour descent down the Inca steps to the final night's campsite by the Winay Wayna archaeological site.

Route 2 Inca Quarry Trail:
Today’s hike will all be downhill. The first stop is the incomplete Kachiqata quarry, where the Incas were intercepted by the Spanish. Around midday, come to the end of the trek. Explore the cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo before taking the short train journey to Aguas Calientes. This is where you’ll meet up with the travellers in your group who didn't hike. Visiting the natural hot springs in town is a soothing way to spend the late afternoon. Spend the night in a comfortable hotel before tomorrow’s visit to Machu Picchu.

Route 3 Train:
After a drive to Ollantaytambo (about one and a half hours), catch a train through the winding Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientes (another one and a half hours). The city is nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu. For those who want a sneak peak, there is time to visit Machu Picchu independently before a guided tour the following day. Otherwise, you can while away the afternoon in the natural hot springs at Aguas Calientes.

Notes: Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Quarry Trail only.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities)
Route 1 Inca Trail:
This is the final and most spectacular leg of the trek to Machu Picchu. The day starts before dawn with breakfast at 4am. Say farewell to the porters as they descend to the train station and then begin hiking by 430am. One the final checkpoint opens at 5am, begin the final leg of the trek. The walk to Intipunku (the Sun Gate) takes around two-and-a-half hours. Weather permitting, enjoy unforgettable views over the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ as you enter Machu Picchu through the Sungate

Route 2 Inca Quarry Trail:
Depending on weather conditions, take a bus at 5:30 am this morning along the winding road to Machu Picchu. The journey takes around 30 minutes. At Machu Picchu, join up with the travellers in your group who hiked the Classic Inca Trail. If skies are clear, enjoy a spectacular views over the ancient city from the Sun Gate, before going on a guided walk around the ruins.

Route 3 Train:
Take an early bus up to Machu Picchu at 5.30 am. The city was built around 1440 AD as a country retreat for Incan nobility, but there’s evidence that the land had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Take a guided tour around the ruins of temples, palaces and living quarters, and enjoy free time afterwards to wander around on your own before the group returns to Cusco.

Visiting Machu Picchu:
According to Machu Picchu visiting regulations, all visitors must follow a pre-determined route within the site. This route must be followed in one direction only and once the guided visit commences exiting and re-entering the site is not permitted. Once the guided visit concludes, visitors must exit the site and personal exploration of Machu Picchu is not permitted.

For all trails - after taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to return to Cusco for a well-deserved shower and a pisco sour. Your evening is then free for the last night of your adventure.

Notes: Due to Intrepid's internal safety policy, our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking trips to the mountaintop ruins of Wayna Picchu.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Your tour comes to an end today and there are no activities planned. As there was little time spent in Cusco at the start of the trip, you may like to stay on for a few extra days to make the most of your visit here. We’ll be happy to assist in booking accommodation (subject to availability). If you decide to stay on, visit some of the sites you didn’t cover during your orientation tour at the beginning of the trip. These may include the Inca ruins of Coricancha, Saqsaywaman, Q'enqo, Pica Pakara, Pisac and Ollantaytambo.

Notes: You may want to consider purchasing a Boleto Turistico (tourism ticket) It gains access to the many fascinating museums here such as the Contemporary Art Museum, Regional History Museum and Qosqo Native Art Museum (transport & guides not included).
Please speak with your tour leader about this for more details.
Optional Activities
  • Cusco - Ruins & Market Walking Urban Adventure - USD 70
  • Cusco - Pisco Making - Urban Adventures - USD 36
  • Cusco - Stand Up Paddle Boarding - USD 75
  • Sacred Valley - Via Ferrata & Zipline - PEN 265
  • Sacred Valley - Mountain Biking - USD 120
  • Cusco - Art Trail workshop - USD 59
what’s included
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights), Hotel (12 nights)
Meals
  • 15 Breakfast, 8 Lunch, 4 Dinner
Transport
  • Plane , Speed Boat , Public Bus , Private Vehicle , Train
Included Activities
  • Isla San Cristobal- Snorkeling in La Loberia (1.5 Hours)
  • San Cristobal - Excursion to Leon Dormido or Lobos Islands
  • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center (45 minutes)
  • Isla San Cristobal - Cerro Tijeretas View Point (1 Hour)
  • Floreana - Snorkeling
  • Isla Isabela -Tintoreras or Shark Alley (2.5 Hours)
  • Isla Isabela - Flamingo lagoon visit (30 Minutes)
  • Isla Isabela - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre (1 Hour)
  • Isla Isabela- Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (5-6 Hours)
  • Kayaking - Isla Isabela
  • Santa Cruz Highlands Visit (3 Hours)
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Tortuga Bay visit (45 Minute walk, one way)
  • Cusco - Orientation Walk
  • Cusco - Chocolate Museum Visit & Hot Chocolate
  • Sacred Valley - Local community visit and lunch
  • Cuzco - 3 Night/4 Day Inca Trail (or 2 Night/3 Day Inca Quarry Trail)
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to Quito and from Cusco are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Galapagos & Inca Trail Adventure tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Booking Type Instant Booking  
Duration 17 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 16 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Quito/ Cusco
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Galapagos & Inca Trail Adventure
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Good to know
Payment

A deposit of 400 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 57 days before departure. For any departures within 14 April 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Galapagos & Inca Trail Adventure tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Galapagos & Inca Trail Adventure tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Galapagos & Inca Trail Adventure tour. You can cancel the tour up to 58 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 57 days of departure.
Trip Details
  • Last modified (date)

    13 Feb 2019

  • Trip title

    Galapagos & Inca Trail Adventure

  • Trip code

    GGTWC

  • Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

  • Introduction

    Prepare for a unique adventure packed full of ancient sights and breathtaking beauty as you travel from the bustle of Quito, visiting the breathtaking Galapagos Islands and experiencing the colonial history of the Incas in Cusco. Discover the charm of the unique Galapagos wildlife, embark on an unforgettable Inca Trail trek along ancient pathways, take on beguiling Lima and get lost on the cobblestoned streets of Cusco. Peru and Ecuador make up the real must-see corner of South America.

  • Style

    Original

  • Themes

    Walking & Trekking,Wildlife

  • Transport

    Plane,Speed Boat,Public Bus,Private Vehicle,Train

  • Physical Rating

    4

  • Physical preparation

    PERU TREKKING:
    The physical rating on this trip is based on you selecting to trek either the Inca Trail or Quarry Trail. Should you wish to take the train option instead of trekking, please downgrade the physical level to a 2.

    On Day 2 of the Inca Trail or Quarry Trek you will be walking uphill from 3000 to 4500 metres above sea level before descending steeply through big steps and difficult terrain. While this demanding walk is the main challenge our passengers face on this trip, it's also one of the highlights and worth every minute of it.

    We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the months before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Doing mountain walks or climbing long staircases with a pack is good preparation. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trekking to its fullest.

  • Group leader

    All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

    Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

  • Visas

    PASSPORT:
    Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months' validity remaining. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

    VISAS:
    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The below country specific information was correct at time of writing, however please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. Also remember to check whether a transit visa is required on route to join this trip or on the way home.
    If you receive an immigration card upon entry, please ensure you keep this safe as it may be requested at point of exit. For further information regarding country entry and exit fees, please refer to the 'Money Matters' section of this document. 

  • Is this trip right for you

    This trip involves a lot of travel by speed boat between the various Galapagos Islands, the rides can be quite bumpy at times. The good news is that seasickness can often be managed with medication. Consult a health professional before your trip.

    Wildlife is a big focus on this trip, with activities like bird watching and swimming.

    This trip includes a 17 km hike (approximately 6-7 hours) on rocky terrain. We recommend bringing comfortable walking shoes that offer good support.

    While you're free to go diving if you choose, our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity. This is part of Intrepid's internal safety policy.

    The sun in the Galapagos islands is incredibly strong due to its close proximity to the equator, ensure you are well prepared with suncreen, sun hat, sunglasses and a rash guard if desired.

    This trip does include snorkeling on multiple days throughout the itinerary. Confident swimming skills are required to take part in this tour.

    This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information on this.

    This trip involves a lot of walking to see the sites, and if you do the Inca trail, there'll be strenuous hiking. The trip is recommended for those with a moderate level of fitness but there are also a few different trail options to suit your interests and physical capabilities. Please bring durable footwear suitable to hiking. See the ‘What to Take’ section of the trip notes for more information.

    For those who do the Inca trail, you'll be camping with basic facilities. It's not exactly the Hilton Hotel, but the rewards of the trek are great.

  • Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

    DIETARY REQUIREMENTS
    Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts.
    Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stalls, markets, etc.
    More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, celiac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance, etc.) can also be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you.

    SIMPLE BREAKFAST
    Some of the included breakfasts along this trip can be quite simple: toasts, spreads, juice and coffee or tea.

  • Money matters

    When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document). 

    The recommended amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting.

    CONTINGENCY FUNDS:
    We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to the equivalent of an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

    MEALS NOT INCLUDED:
    For this trip we recommend between USD 25 to 50 per day. How do we work this out?

    Breakfast - If breakfast is not included, you can expect to pay between USD5 to USD10 at a local café.

    Lunch - If you are happy with a quick snack on the go, you may get away with as little as USD5 to USD10 for a set menu at a local eatery or a sandwich and a drink at a café. On the other hand, a lunch meal at a more tourist restaurant can cost between USD10 to USD15.

    Dinner - At dinner time, your leader will normally recommend restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main.

    These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget, are happy to eat just local food and are not afraid of an upset tummy every now and then, you can eat cheaper than this. If you want to try just the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries.

    CREDIT CARDS & ATMs:
    ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities across Latin America. Credit cards are generally available in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only.

    Check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to and what their fees and charges are. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day.
    If bringing over cash, please note USD100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other USD bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks.


    DEPARTURE TAX:
    In most countries you must pay an airport departure tax. Nowadays, these departure taxes are added into the cost of your airline tickets and paid for at the time of purchase.

    Unless mentioned below, no airport departure tax has to be paid during this trip.


    TIPPING:

    Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. We suggest carrying small notes of local currency around as you go. It’ll make tipping easier. The recommended tipping amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers.

    Usually around USD5 – USD10 a day to cover tips is fine, but your leader might raise the idea of a group tip kitty. Each traveller contributes an equal amount to the pool, and your leader can pay the tips as you go.


    South America - General Tipping Guide:

    To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground.

    - Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest USD1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

    - Local guides: There might be times during the trip where you’ll have a specialist local guide alongside your trip leader. We suggest tipping these guides about USD2 – USD3 per day.

    - Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We suggest USD1-USD2 per day for drivers.

    - Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline USD2-USD4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

    Peru Trekking - General Tipping Guide:

    We recommend you carry the below suggested amounts with you during the trek and that you carry small bills as this makes splitting the tip an easier process. The last day of the trek the tipping will be broken down into envelopes – one per porter, assistant guides and guide.

    Inca Trail: While on the Inca Trail we suggest a total tipping amount of PEN120 to PEN180 per person (approximately USD 37 to USD 55). This is generally the tipping breakdown:
    Porters, cook and assistants PEN 80 to PEN 120
    Assistant guide: PEN 12 to PEN 20
    Guide: PEN 27 to PEN 40

    Inca Quarry Trek: For the Inca Quarry Trek the suggested total tipping amount per person is PEN 120 to PEN 135 (approximately USD 37 to USD 42). This is generally the tipping breakdown:
    Porters, cook and assistants PEN 90
    Assistant guide: PEN 9 to PEN 15
    Guide: PEN 20 to PEN 30

  • Climate and seasonal

    SEA SICKNESS- GALAPAGOS
    Please note that on occasions the water can be rougher than usual. Consequently travel times will be longer than usual. If you suffer from seasickness you may want to reconsider travelling during this period.

  • Your fellow travellers

    SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

  • Itinerary disclaimer

    OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
    A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist.

    Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

    DEMONSTRATIONS AND PROTESTS:
    Demonstrations and protests, often in response to local labour or social issues, occur regularly throughout South America, however Peru in particular. National strikes can be called at short notice and can cause disruption to road networks leading to inevitable itinerary changes. Intrepid does everything possible for these changes to be at little or no extra cost; however in such circumstances we find that travellers need to access part of, or the entire, emergency fund. Please read below for more information on this trip's emergency fund.

    ITINERARY CHANGES:
    Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

    HEAVY RAIN ON THE INCA TRAIL
    If it rains heavily for a number of consecutive days the terrain on the third campsite (Wiñaywayna) can become unstable increasing the danger of landslides. In such instances, the number of safe camping spots is outnumbered by the number campers. This could occur mostly during the wet season (December to March) although it could also happen at any time of the year. In those instances, your trekking guide may assess that it's safer to spend the third night in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Town). Our preferred option will be to camp at Aguas Calientes campsite. Should this camping site be unavailable, you will be required to stay at a local hotel instead. If that's the case, you may requested to make use of your "emergency funds" (as explained under the money matters section in this document). We can provide you with an insurance letter in this case in order to lodge a travel insurance claim for any incidental costs.

  • Accommodation

    Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nts),Hotel (12 nts)

  • Communications

    It is recommended that you download WhatsApp prior to departure; please validate your phone number before leaving home as you will not be able to do this once you arrive, unless you have international roaming enabled. WhatsApp is usually the preferred method for your leader to be in contact with you and the rest of the group while on tour. It is also good for sharing information and photos with the group members.

  • Alternate Joining point description

    Housed in an 18th-century building in the heart of Quito, this boutique hotel offers stylish interiors and free internet.
    All the rooms at Hotel Boutique Plaza Sucre are soundproofed. Each has a balcony and cable TV with satellite channels. Every room has a private bathroom with a hairdryer and a work desk.

  • Alternate Joining point instructions

    Trips starting in Quito: Intrepid offers a pre-arranged transfer service from Quito Airport at an additional fee. If you require this service please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your trip departure. If you have purchased an arrival transfer you will be met as you exit the the arrivals gate.
    Alternatively there are taxi’s available. As you walk out from arrivals gate, directly ahead you will see an information desk where you will be able to book an authorised taxi service. They will charge you USD$25-27 for a trip to Quito’s Down Town.
    Another option is the airport shuttle service which costs around USD$8.50. You can book this service from the AEROSERVICIOS counter at the airport. This service leaves every half hour and will take you to Quito´s Bicentennial Park (Parque Bicentenario), from where you can take a taxi to your hotel. Depending on where your hotel is located, a taxi will cost approximately USD$5-$8.
    The drive to Quito’s Down Town where the hotel is located is approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour depending on traffic.

    Trips starting in Lima (Peru): If you have booked one of our 'combination' tours that started in Lima, you have included airport transfers, however we must have flight information, no later than 15 days out from departure.

    As you exit please look for the Intrepid sign with your name on it. If you have any problems and cannot locate your driver on arrival, please phone our Peregrine Quito Emergency number, listed under ‘Problems and emergency contact information’ section of your essential information. Please note if you are calling the number listed, within Ecuador you will need to drop the +593 and add a 0. If you don’t have a mobile device or coverage there are phone booths located to the left once you exit the arrival gate. There is also an information desk, located directly in front as you exit.

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