Climb to the peak of an extinct volcano, take in spectacular views of Pinnacle Rock and get up close to wildlife that you won’t find anywhere else on the planet. The Galapagos Islands guarantee a unique holiday filled with once in a lifetime experiences. On this trip you sail around these iconic islands in style aboard the luxurious Ocean Spray Mega-Catamaran, spending your days relaxing on the huge sundeck or on your private balcony. Next tick-off the legendary Machu Picchu and colonial Cuzco before continuing to the magnificent Iguazu Falls where you experience these natural wonders from both the Brazilian and Argentine sides. The final stop on this superb holiday is vibrant Rio de Janeiro where your days are filled with the extraordinary sights and sounds of this great city. This truly is a trip that brings together some of South America’s most iconic experiences.
UK - Guayaquil
Depart the UK for your daytime flight to Guayaquil on the coast of Ecuador.
After the long journey relax at the Wyndham Guayaquil .
Guayaquil - Galapagos Islands (Tuesday) - Bartolome
Transfer to the airport for the flight to Baltra in Galapagos. Upon arrival at Baltra Airport you will transfer to the Ocean Spray mega catamaran where you will have time to settle in to your cabin whilst you sail to Bartolome. A small extinct volcano, the main attraction here is the trail of over 370 steps to the peak where you are rewarded with spectacular views of pinnacle rock and moon like landscapes. Snorkel in the bay where you may be lucky enough to sport sea turtles or Galapagos penguins.
Accommodation: Ocean Spray
Galapagos Islands - Genovesa, Darwin Bay and El Barranco
This morning you will arrive at Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island. Stroll along the coral white sand beach and continue along the half mile trail through mangroves full of land birds such as red-footed boobies. Further along the trail you will find tidal pools where sea lions playfully swim. In the afternoon you visit Prince Phillip's Steps where a steep rocky path leads you to a high cliff face where you find Palo Santo vegetation and may be lucky enough to see short-eared lava owls.
Galapagos Islands - Santiago, Buccaneer Cove and Egas Port
Visit Espumilla Beach which is a popular place to find an abundance of marine iguanas and sally light foot crabs. Snorkelling is particularly good here as you may spot octopi, moray eels and sharks. Buccaneer Cove was once a refuge for British Buccaneers, hundreds of seabirds are found perching on the red cliff faces. Egas Port or James Bay as it is otherwise known is home to the curious Galapagos Hawk and lava lizards. Gorgeous tidal pools and grottos full of fauna can be found along the coastline trail and you can often find Galapagos fur seals basking in the sun.
Galapagos Islands - South Plaza Island and Santa Cruz
This small island, South Plaza Island's steep cliffs were formed by rising lava from the sea and is now covered in Opunita cacti. South Plaza Island is also home to one of the largest sea lion colonies in the Galapgos. You land at Santa Cruz and take a tour to the highlands where you will visit the lava tubes and look out for giant tortoises.
Galapagos Islands - Mosquero Islet
Visit Mosquero Islet before heading for the airport at Baltra Island. Mosquero is a small reef of rocks with a large population of sea lions and home to many shore birds. Return to the mainland and overnight at the Wyndham in Guayaquil.
Guayaquil - Cuzco
Transfer to the airport for the flight to Cuzco via Lima. The luxurious Palacio Nazarenas is an all suite hotel which has been lovingly restored from the site of an old palace and convent. It is also the only hotel in Cusco with a swimming pool!
Accommodation: Belmond Palacio Nazarenas
With your private local guide explore the wonders of the city of Cusco which was built on Inca foundations. Destinations included are Koricancha or Temple of the Sun to view the spectacular masonry of the Incas, the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral which houses a host of carved woodworks, altars and paintings. Finally visit the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuamán.
Cuzco - Machu Picchu
Transfer to the train station (either Poroy or Ollantaytambo) for the Vistadome service to Aguas Calientes which is the closet town to the historic citadel of Machu Picchu. Probably the most famous sight in all of South America awaits you with it's exquisite Inca stonework. Discover the history with your knowledgeable local guide.
After a day sightseeing, relax in the famous Sanctuary Lodge located next to the entrance gates.
Accommodation: Belmond Sanctuary Lodge
Machu Picchu - Cuzco
Return to Machu Picchu and spend more time exploring this lost city of the Incas. We also include the ticket which enables you to climb Huayna Picchu, the mountain backdrop to the citadel.
In the afternoon take the bus down the winding path to Aguas Calientes and connect to the return train to Cusco. Overnight at the Palacio Nazarenas, as before.
Cuzco - Lima - Iguazu
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Iguazu via Lima. Arriving early evening more luxury awaits at the Das Cataratas hotel, the only option within the Brazilian side of the park. Oozing Portuguese colonial charm enjoy an unrivaled location allowing access to the falls before the crowds arrive and after they leave.
Accommodation: Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas
Full day excursion to the Argentine side of the falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The subtropical rainforest of the park provides the setting for one of the worlds natural wonders. Iguazu derives it's name from the Guarani word for 'big water', a very fitting description. The falls cover 2 miles and there are 250 individual waterfalls. With your guide explore the most accessible areas via walkways and even by boat to the base of the falls (you will get wet!). Free afternoon to explore the Brazilian side of the falls directly from your hotel.
Iguazu - Rio de Janeiro
A short flight takes you to the iconic city of Rio de Janeiro, the home of Olympics 2016 and one of the host cities of World Cup 2014. Many describe the city as one of the world's most beautiful and vibrant and with it's dramatic backdrop you can easily understand. Beach culture is huge and for the next three nights you are well placed to experience the lifestyle firsthand from the comfort of the famous Copacabana Palace hotel.
Accommodation: Belmond Copacabana Palace
Rio de Janeiro
Explore the wonders of Rio from the man made Tijuaca forest, a lush, green backdrop for the famous Corcovado, Statue of Christ. Take the cogwheel train to the mid point and continue by foot up the many stair for an amazing view of the city below. Most fantastic vistas await after the cable car trip to the summit of Sugar Loaf Mountain. Lunch is included at a traditional Brazilian restaurant.
Rio de Janeiro
Free day to further explore the city. Perhaps visit the old part of town, Santa Teresa or nearby Lapa for nightlife, the Botanical Gardens with it's innumerable types of birds and animals or just relax by the beach whilst sipping a cold caipirinha from the local kiosk.
Rio de Janeiro - UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
Pricing Information & Dates
17 day tour, from £9295 per person
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