Welcome to Lima-Cosmopolitan, Colonial, and Pre- Columbian Culture Enjoy free time today before your Peruvian Andes and Galapagos adventure begins. Explore the fascinating Peruvian capital-where high-rise buildings tower above ancient temples and colourful colonial architecture.
Peruvian Treasures, Presidential Palaces, and Pizarro's Conquests
CLASSIC - 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 - 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 cafe here. (B,D)
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 - Take a Guided Tour of Awanakancha to encounter llamas, alpacas, vicunas, 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. (B,L,D)
Stone Temples and Formidable Fortresses
CLASSIC - Join a Guided Tour of the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo to visit the ruins including the Sun Temple and Princess Baths fountain.
DISCOVERY - 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.
Andean Heights and Hidden Secrets of the Inca's Lost City
CLASSIC - All aboard the 360 degree train to Aguas Calientes enjoying spectacular views of the lush countryside of Urubamba Valley along the way from the panoramic windows or the open-air carriage. From Aguas Calientes, take the winding road to Machu Picchu.
ACTIVE - 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 - Enjoy your overnight stay at the foot of the mountain with a gourmet dinner including wine. (B,D)
A Miraculous Sanctuary in a Tropical Mountain Forest
CLASSIC - 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. (B,L)
Conquistadors, Churches, and the Colourful Culture of Peru
CLASSIC - 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 Amphitheatre 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 - Tonight, enjoy dinner inspired by Peru's eclectic mix of cultures. (B,D)
iBienvenido 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 - Tonight, enjoy dinner with delicious regional cuisine. (B,D)
Traditions Woven through Generations in the Andean Highlands
CLASSIC - Join a Guided Excursion to Otavalo's Indian market-brimming with colourful woven textiles, traditional Ecuadorean apparel, produce, and craftwork.
DISCOVERY - 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 - Enjoy an authentic Andean Dining Experience with lunch served in a local hacienda. (B)
A Gold Altar, Artistic Avenues, and Two Hemispheres at One Time
CLASSIC - 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 Compania Church-the exquisite Jesuit cathedral with its spectacular Spanish baroque architecture-more than 160 years in the making.
DISCOVERY - 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 - 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. (B)
Protected Giant Tortoises and Highly Adaptable Birds
This morning, fly to the remote Galapagos island of San Cristobal where you'll embark on a five-day cruise on the Treasure of Galapagos.
CLASSIC - Take a Naturalist-Led Excursion to the highlands of San Cristobal to visit the Cerro Colourado Tortoise Reserve. Learn about the island's endangered giant tortoise population and the reserve's conservation efforts.
DISCOVERY - Your expert Naturalist Guide will point out other wildlife on the island, including songbirds like the yellow warbler, Galapagos 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 Galapagos National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, and seasonal changes to create the perfect cross-section of sites visited. (B,L,D)
Sky-High Ocean Spray and Diverse Life In and Out of the Water
CLASSIC - 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 Galapagos sea lions, marine iguanas, seabirds, and hawks. Watch for three species of Darwin finches-a hallmark of his research.
DISCOVERY - Enjoy a prime snorkelling spot in Gardner Bay's pristine waters to spot a kaleidoscope of multicoloured reef fish, reef sharks, and the amazing Pacific green turtles.
ACTIVE - This afternoon, your Naturalist Guide takes you to the sheer cliffs of Punta Suarez 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. (B,L,D)
Pink Flamingos, Gliding Rays, and a Message in a Barrel
CLASSIC - 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 travellers will carry it back to the mainland.
ACTIVE - 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. (B,L,D)
A Prehistoric Volcano and Prickly Cactus Forest
ACTIVE - Take a Naturalist Guided Hike to explore Barrington Bay-home to one of the most ancient volcanoes in the Galapagos, 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 Fe Island. Keep an eye out for other species exclusive to the island, including the Galapagos 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 - 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 Galapagos tortoise.
This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner served especially for your final night on board. (B,L,D)
Guarding the Gentle Giants of the Highlands
DISCOVERY - 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 Galapagos 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. (B)
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)