Quito - Otavalo - Quito. This morning we travel to the market town of Otavalo. The market has been ia tradition since pre Incan times, and there are many authentic goods and crafts to purchase. Here you can haggle with the locals for colourful handmade gifts, especially the famous woven textiles. After we've explored the markets we return to Quito for the night
Overnight: Quito | Breakfast
Quito - Banos. On day 3 we travel by bus through spectacular scenery to Banos, a spa town famous for its hot thermal springs. Besides soaking in the pools, there are pathways to walk into the surrounding mountains and plenty of exciting optional activities on offer such as canyoning and white water rafting. The less energetic can spend their time relaxing in cafés and shopping for souvenirs.
Overnight: Banos | Breakfast x 2
Banos - Cuenca. We travel onto the old colonial market town of Cuenca, Ecuador's third largest city. Cuenca is the home of the Panama hat and you will have the chance to visit a factory. Cuenca's beautiful colonial air of cobblestone streets, open plazas and whitewashed buildings with ironwork balconies has earned it the UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Here you have the opportunity to visit the celebrated Inca ruins of Ingapirca, the country's most important archaeological site.
Overnight: Cuenca | Breakfast x 2
Cuenca - Mancora (Peru). Departing Cuenca we head south, crossing into Peru at Tumbes where the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro first landed in 1532. We travel on to Mancora, our base for the next 3 nights. There's plenty of time to relax on the beach, perhaps learn to surf, and enjoy this attractive coastal town which has a lively nightlife.
Overnight: Mancora | Breakfast x 3
Mancora - Lima. Next stop is Lima, Peru's capital city, where there's plenty of time to explore. Lima has many fine colonial buildings and some of the best museums in South America. Many of the sights including the city's two main squares the Plaza de Armas and Plaza San Martin, are within easy walking distance of the hotel. The Plaza de Armas houses the Cathedral, Municipal Palace and Presidential Palace where the changing of the guard can be seen every day.
Overnight: Lima | Breakfast x 3
Lima - The Amazon. On day 13 we fly to Puerto Maldonado, gateway to the Amazon Jungle. We travel by canoe to our jungle lodge on the river's edge. After lunch we will set off on a trek through the rainforest along wooden walk ways. On the way our guide will stop to show you various species of bird and explain the medicinal plants and delicate ecological systems of the Amazon Jungle. There is an opportunity to take a canoe ride drifting along one of the small lakes hidden away in the jungle, observing caiman and the abundant bird life. We then return to the lodge for dinner.
The following day we hike deeper into the jungle, enjoying the surroundings and exploring the delights and hidden wonders of the Amazon Rainforest. In the afternoon we take a short boat trip across the Madre de Dios River to Monkey Island. where we can see a great variety of monkeys.
Overnight: The Amazon (jungle lodge) | Breakfast x 1, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Cuzco - Sacred Valley. Today we explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas. First stop is the Pisac ruins, perched on a hilltop with incredible views of the surrounding mountains. We then go down to the famous traditional market of the same name, which is a great place for souvenirs. After lunch, we continue along the valley to the temple/fortress of Ollantaytambo with its enormous Inca terracing constructed on the side of a steep mountain.
If you are doing the Inca Trek to Machu Picchu, tonight you will stay in Ollantaytambo. If you are doing the Lares Trek or have opted to take the train to Machu Picchu, this afternoon, you will return to Cuzco where you will spend the night.
Overnight: Ollantaytambo | Breakfast
Ollantaytambo - Inca Trail. On day 17 we begin a once in a lifetime trek along the ancient trail of the Incas. On day 18 we reach the highest point of the trail and reaches 4200m in height. This is physically the most demanding point but rewards you with spectacular views. Fascinating ruins and dramatic mountain scenery fill every day of the hike.
If you are not participating in the Inca Trail Trek or alternative Lares Trek then you will visit Machu Picchu by train and have plenty of free time to enjoy the activities available in and around Cuzco. Meals are not provided during the time spent in Cuzco.
Overnight: Inca Trail (camping) | Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 3
Machu Picchu - Cuzco. Early this morning we walk the final leg of the Inca Trail to the Lost City of Machu Picchu and see daybreak over the famous ‘Sun Gate’. Located high above the fast flowing Urubamba River, the cloud shrouded ruins of Machu Picchu will take your breath away. After a guided tour of this incredible site there's free time to explore before returning to Cuzco.
Overnight: Cuzco | Breakfast
Spend the day at leisure exploring Cuzco with its amazing churches, colonial buildings and picturesque streets, many of which have Inca walls, arches and doorways. On a hill overlooking the city stands the ceremonial fortress of Sacsayhuaman which are well worth a visit. There are also many optional excursions and activities available such as white water rafting, horse riding, mountain biking and canoeing on offer.
Overnight: Cuzco | Breakfast
Cuzco - Puno. Leaving Cuzco, we take a scenic journey to Puno, passing herds of llamas and allpacas, hot mineral pools, snow capped mountains and through villages where the locals sell food, fur hats and alpaca sweaters. Puno is on the shores of Lake Titicaca, which at 3,855 metres above sea level, is the highest navigable lake in the world. We arrive in time for you to visit the colourful local market.
Overnight: Puno | Breakfast
Puno - Lake Titicaca. This morning we depart Puno for our overnight excursion to the floating reed islands in the Bay of Puno to see the Uros islanders way of life and we will have the option to ride in a traditional reed boat before continuing our boat journey to the island of Amantaní. Here we enjoy the hospitality of the local Aymara/Quechua families sleeping in their homes.
Overnight: Lake Titicaca (homestay) | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lake Titicaca - Puno. This morning we visit Taquile Island, where the men stand around knitting distinctive woollen hats while the women work the fields. You can buy some of these unique handicrafts in the local cooperative shops. After lunch we board our boat for the return journey to Puno where we spend the night.
Overnight: Puno | Breakfast
Puno - La Paz. On day 25 we cross the border into Bolivia and travel on to La Paz, our final destination. The rest of the day is free to explore the city. Built in a steep valley La Paz offers a spectacular cityscape, with huge skyscrapers set against a rugged mountain backdrop. Our hotel is centrally located and just around the corner from the city's colourful indigenous street markets including the fascinating witches market. The main square, Plaza Murillo, is also within walking distance.
Overnight: La Paz | Breakfast
Our adventure comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have booked post tour accommodation you'll have more time to explore the sights.
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I had the most incredible experience on this trip, thank you.”