Journey From The Equator - 37 days
FROM USD $4,529
Journey through some of the world’s most spectacular scenery as we explore the highlights of Peru and end in Bolivia’s beautiful capital. Experience the Amazon Jungle and Lake Titicaca, and hike the legendary Inca Trail. Visit one of the deepest canyons in the world and the remarkable desert etchings of Nazca.
This holiday is also offered in reverse. Opt to start in La Paz and end in Quito!
Day 1: Quito
Welcome to Ecuador! Arrving at your hotel the remainder of the day offers free time. Consider heading out ot explore the nation's captial on foot before our group welcome meeting later this evening.
Days 2 - 6: Volcanos & Amazon
Quito - Otavalo – Misahualli – Amazon Jungle. Today we visit the famous market town of Otavalo. The market is a great place to purchase handicrafts and souvenirs for friends back home. The local people of Otavalo, who come from their villages to sell livestock, produce and textiles are distinct in appearance. From Otavalo, you can also opt to explore Laguna Cuicocha, an extinct volcano famous for the deep lake in its crater. Maybe take a boat trip out onto the lake too.
After we descend into the humid Amazon Basin on the banks of the Rio Napo, where we spend the night in the jungle town of Misahualli. Taking a motorised dugout canoe downstream we explore the jungle with our local guide. Visit the native animal reserve, tube down the river to hear the jungle sounds at night or pan for gold before sleeping in local huts made of bamboo and leaves, and dining on delicious jungle meals. Overnight - Otavalo (1), Misahualli (1), Amazon (2), Misahualli (1) (B:2, L:2, D:3)
Journey From The Equator - 37 days Go Guide
: :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
Days 7 - 11: Banos & Cuenca
Misahualli - Banos – Cuenca. Driving through spectacular scenery to Banos, a spa town famous for its hot thermal springs, we have a chance to swim in the pools, relax in the cafes or shop for souvenirs, or opt to go horseback riding in the hills.
Arrivng at the old colonial market town of Cuenca (kwen -ca) - home of the Panama hat, we visit a hat making factory and the cobblestone streets, open plazas and whitewashed buildings with ironwork balconies which has earned the city its UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Overnight - Banos (3), Cuenca (2) (B:1)
Days 12 - 15: Mancora - beach break
Cuenca - Mancora – Huanchaco. Crossing into Peru at Tumbes where the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro first landed in 1532, you will have plenty of time to relax by the beach in the quaint coastal town of Mancora.
Our next stop is Huanchaco where fishermen still ride the surf in reed boats. Rent a reed boat and ride the waves or opt to visit the largest mud city in the world at Chan Chan, which was built by Chimu Kings. Other nearby sites include the Moche-built pyramids known as Huaca del Sol and Huaca de la Luna (temples of the sun and moon). Overnight - Mancora (2), Huanchaco (2)
Days 16 - 17: Lima - Plaza's & Palaces
Welcome to Lima. The Peruvian capital boasts many fine colonial buildings and some of the best museums in South America including the Gold Museum, Museum of the Inquisition and the Catacombs below the San Francisco Church. Spend today and tomorrow exploring this exciting city on foot.
Days 18 - 20: Pisco boat trip, Nazca Lines
Lima – Pisco – Nazca - Arequipa. After a leisurely morning in Lima we travel down the coast to Pisco. By boat we head out to the Ballestas Islands, home to thousands of sea lions and teeming with over 150 species of bird life. From the boat you may spot dolphins and seals playing in the waters and our tour will also take us past the mysterious Candelabra figure engraved on the side of a mountain. Heading back to the shore we travel deep into the desert where we have the chance to try sand boarding down the enormous dunes.
We next travel to Nazca, an oasis town famous for the strange lines and geometrical figures etched into the desert floor. These designs, including a monkey, spider and hummingbird are best viewed from the air on an optional flight though there is a viewing tower to enable all visitors to see the distinctive lines and shapes. Later in the day you have time to visit the underground aqueducts, gold mines and ceramic shops, and the extraordinary Chauchilla Cemetery where you can see the ancient mummies which still have skin and hair intact. Later we transfer to Arequipa by luxury overnight bus. Overnight - Pisco (1), Nazca (1), overnight bus (1)
Days 21 - 23: Arequipa, Colca Canyon
Arequipa – Colca Canyon – Arequipa. Explore the beautiful colonial city of Arequipa with its stunning architecture, cobbled streets and inviting local cafes. Next we visit the nearby Colca Canyon, considered to be one of the deepest canyons in the world. En-route we travel into the high, barren Andean landscape, passing through ghost towns destroyed by earthquakes while learning about the local fauna and flora of the region. At the canyon we’ll walk along the edge catching sight of soaring giant condors and, if possible, enjoy a relaxing soak in the neighbouring hot springs before heading back to Arequipa. Overnight - Arequipa (1), Colca Canyon (1), Arequipa (1)
Days 24 - 29: Inca Trail & Machu Picchu
Cuzco – Inca Trail Trek (or free time in Cuzco) – Cuzco. A short flight brings us to the legendary Cuzco where you’ll enjoy an orientation walking tour of this ancient Inca capital. For those who have chosen to hike the Inca Trail Trek, we begin a once in a lifetime journey on the ancient trail of the Incas. During your hike you will cross spectacular passes and visit more Inca ruins en-route to Machu Picchu. A relatively easy 13km walk on day 1 will get you limbered up for the highest pass at Warmiwañusca (4200m) which we reach before lunch time on day 2. After the pass it is all downhill as the trail winds its way along ancient Inca stairs. On our last morning we rise early for the final walk to the Lost City of Machu Picchu and greet daybreak over the famous ‘Sun Gate’. Enjoy free time to explore Machu Picchu on your own. Later you will have the chance to soak your tired muscles in the hot springs at Aguas Calientes before returning to Cuzco by train.
If you are not participating in the trek then you will visit Machu Picchu by train and have plenty of free time to enjoy the activities available in and around Cuzco. Overnight - Cuzco (1), Inca Trail (3), Cuzco (2) (B:3, L:3, D:3)
Days 30 - 32: The Amazon
Cuzco - Amazon Jungle – Cuzco. We begin our visit to the mighty Amazon with a flight to the jungle community of Puerto Maldonado. A bus ride followed by a motorised canoe journey along the river will bring us to our Amazon lodge. Once settled, we will begin to explore the jungle with plenty of free time to enjoy the rich landscapes diverse flora and fauna. By boat we visit Monkey Island, home to a great variety of monkeys as well as an array of birdlife. We will trek through the rainforest and along the way our guide will point out the many different species of bird and explain the use of plants in local medicine with an optional canoe ride later in the day. Drifting along the smaller lakes hidden in the jungle you might spot the caiman alligator. Later we observe the abundant birdlife of the Amazon from our lakeside-viewing platform.
Departing this jungle haven, we make our way back to Cuzco where you have time to discover this fascinating ancient capital. If you choose not to visit the Amazon Jungle, you will have free time in Cuzco and a portion of your tour cost will be deducted. Overnight - Amazon Jungle (2), Cuzco (1) (B:2, L:1, D:2)
Days 33 - 36: Lake Titicaca
Cuzco – Puno – Lake Titicaca – Puno. Departing Cuzco we head to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. On the way we’ll pass hot mineral pools, snow capped mountains and traditional Native Indian villages where locals sell their wares. In Puno we will learn about the way of life and culture of the Uros people with a boat visit to the floating reed islands.
We continue by boat to the island of Amantaní where we’ll enjoy the hospitality of native Aymara/Quechua families and stay in their homes. If you get the chance, make sure to get involved with the high altitude football games with the men of the village. The next morning we visit Taquile Island where you can buy unique handicrafts at the local cooperative shops. Back in Puno you can practice your bartering skills at the colourful market, arguably the best place to pick up an alpaca sweater.
Heading to Bolivia’s capital, La Paz we travel around Lake Titicaca and across the scenic Altiplano (high plateau), experiencing breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains along the way.
La Paz, the highest city in the world, is built in the basin of a canyon with the snow-capped Mount Illimani in the background. With a whole day free to explore you could wander through the vibrant Indian street markets or the fascinating Witches’ Market where you can find dead cats and llama foetuses to ward off evil spirits. Or why not set your sights further afield and visit the strange rock formations of Moon Valley or the incredible views from Mount Chacaltaya at the world’s highest ski resort. Spend the day in the emerald green region Coroico, the gateway to the Bolivian jungle. Overnight - Puno (1), Lake Titicaca (1), Puno (1), La Paz (1) (B:1, L:1, D:1)
Day 37: La Paz
Our tour concludes today. Opt to extend your stay to further explore Bolivia's delightful capital.