Fly from London to Lima and transfer to your hotel. This lively capital possesses a unique charm, azure ocean views and arty cobbled barrios for you to explore. Sample a cuisine that’s causing a serious buzz on the international foodie scene, and a definite leader in the Latin American pack.
A short morning flight takes you to Cusco from where you will travel overland into the heartland of Inca culture, the Sacred Valley. Home to craft markets, flower- filled plains and impressive Inca sites, it’s the perfect environment to acclimatise to Peru's highlands. Highlights include the colourful town of Pisac and the impressive Inca fortress at Ollantaytambo.
Relax, snap up some coloured wools at the market or get active in the valley. It’s an adventure playground that lends itself to rafting down rivers, testing mountain bike skills, trotting Peruvian Paso horses or zooming around on quad bikes. It’s also home to our very own philanthropy project, Children of the Rainbow. You can visit this heart-warming project which offers a sunnier future to the region’s deprived children.
After a scenic train journey through the foothills of the Andes, you’ll arrive at the bustling town of Aguas Calientes. Accompanied by our superb guide step back in time to possibly the world's most unique classroom, Machu Picchu. It’s a place where llamas roam on the grassy banks and masterfully cut stones perch together without mortar, forming an architectural masterpiece.
The magnificent citadel beckons you back to see the early morning sun glint over this awe-inspiring sight. Returning to Cusco by train, soak up the picturesque villages and little gorges flanking the track. You’ll arrive in time for a top notch dinner, almost certainly another Peruvian classic, like fresh ceviche or fabulous fusion dishes.
Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, is a jewel in the country's crown. Inca planners chose a puma's body as the blueprint for this well preserved city and it's a pleasure to walk around. Explore the boulder-walled alleys and plazas where brightly dressed village folk sell their wares. Finish at the ruins of Koricancha temple and the Inca site of Sacsayhuaman with its giant boulders overlooking the city.
Fly from Cusco to one of Latin America's most impressive capitals, Quito. It’s also the world's highest at 9,350 feet, perched just 18 kilometres north from the equator. Plus, it has one of the best-preserved historic centres in Latin America. Buzzing with brightly dressed women, its central plaza definitely offers up an exotic introduction to the country. The historic centre also hides sophisticated night-life and a vibrant culinary scene.
The old town is packed with architectural treasures. Discover museums, cathedrals and Baroque buildings nestling among 17th-century facades and picturesque plazas. It’s a photographer's paradise. You’ll see women in colourful shawls and fedoras and men with cowboy hats bouncing on horseback over the cobbled streets. Explore boutique-filled alleys and hidden craft shops. In the afternoon there’s time to enjoy spectacular views from the top of Panecillo Hill.
Leave the cultural delights of Quito behind and fly to Baltra Island. It’s your hop-off point to a showcase of biodiversity and wildlife rich volcanic islands, the Galapagos. Board the Ocean Spray, a luxury catamaran for just 16 guests, and prepare to be wowed by the playful, distinctly un-camera-shy, residents of this iconic archipelago.
Cruising is undoubtedly the best way to explore. These 13 volcanic islands are populated by extraordinary creatures. Many are found nowhere else and this was what spurred Charles Darwin to formulate his theory of evolution. The draw is the charismatic animals, unafraid of humans, who allow you to approach. Watch blue-footed boobies prance around rocks, snorkel with sea-lions or maybe even sharks. Take a stroll across the moon-like landscape or visit beaches where you'll confuse crustated iguanas for scattered rocks.
All adventures must come to an end. And as you swap the sea for the air, your head will be filled with fond memories of the islands. You’ll fly to Guayaquil for a last Ecuadorian dinner before preparing for your flight home tomorrow, eager to return to this enigmatic part of the world.
Spend the last hours of your trip in Guayaquil strolling along the seafront Malecon. There’s time to stretch your legs in the Botanical Gardens or explore the Barrio Las Penas and its old wooden houses before your evening flight home.