“Land of Eternal Spring” and “Land of Abundance.” Sounds like paradise, doesn’t it? Those are the monikers for Ecuador & Peru—two places you’ll visit on this 14-day vacation to Quito, the Galápagos Islands & Peru—and Monograms makes it simple for you! We’ve arranged your hotel and cruise accommodations, daily buffet breakfast (plus six lunches and five dinners), sightseeing, and transportation. You also have the services of a Local Host® in each city—Quito, Lima, Cusco & Machu Picchu—so you have a friend in each city that can help you get settled, offer suggestions, answer questions, and help you make the most of your trip.
Your vacation begins as soon as you arrive. Your Local Host will greet you in Quito with a warm welcome and a set of materials to help you personalize your trip and start exploring immediately. The next day, after included breakfast, we’ll pick you up at your hotel for a private sightseeing tour with a local expert that features Independence Plaza and the Basilica of San Francisco Plaza Church. After two nights in Quito, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight to the Galápagos Islands, where you’ll board the Santa Cruz II for four nights.
On your cruise, you’ll visit Santa Cruz Island, with a white-sand beach and brackish lagoons that serve as feeding grounds for various wading birds; Santiago Island, home to marine iguanas, Galápagos finches, flamingos, sea lions, and a common nesting area for sea turtles; Puerto Egas, known for its black-sand beach, land and marine birds, marine iguanas, and a colony of fur seals; Rábida Island, with its red-colored beach and large colonies of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers, and Darwin’s finches; Bartolomé Island, where you’ll hike to the summit for a spectacular view of two beautiful bays and fascinating formations of lava flows; Genovesa Island, where you’ll take a panga ride along the cliffs to see the shore and seabirds nesting on the cliffs’ ledges, and where you’ll climb up Prince Phillip’s Steps to see masked boobies, blue and red-footed boobies, frigatebirds, and more; and finally on Santa Cruz Island, visit a Tortoise Reserve to see the Giant Galápagos Tortoises living in the wild. Throughout your cruise, you’ll be with an expert Naturalist who will bring this destination to life and be able to answer any question you may have.
Then you're off to Peru. When you arrive in Lima, your Local Host will greet you and help you get settled. The next day, after an included breakfast, we’ll pick you up at your selected hotel for guided sightseeing of this historic city. You’ll also have free time to explore on your own (with the assistance of your Local Host of course). Perhaps visit one of the many museums or take an excursion to the Pachacamac Pilgrimage Center, built around 700 AD as a temple for the worship of the sun god, Pachacamac. After two nights in Lima, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight to Cusco, where your sightseeing tour with a local expert includes the Santo Domingo monastery and the ancient Inca ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Kenko, and Puca Pucara.
From Cusco, we've arranged transportation for you to the Sacred Valley, where you’ll visit Pisac, a market town where locals sell handmade handicrafts at bargain prices, and Ollantaytambo, where you’ll witness some of the finest examples of Inca masonry. Of course, no trip to Peru is complete without seeing majestic Machu Picchu with its roughly 200 structures, many of which are still unsolved mysteries. Travel in a domed-train car through the lush Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes, the small town at the base of Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, join a local expert for a guided tour of the Machu Picchu ruins and hear the stories that only a local can tell you and imagine what it was like to live here in the 15th century. We've also included an overnight, so you may choose to wake up to watch the sunrise over Machu Picchu and explore the ruins for a second day with your second included entrance.
This vacation covers a lot of territory and would prove difficult to plan on your own, which is why we've handled all the details for you. Between the cruise, the hotels, the sightseeing, and transportation we've arranged, you just have to show up ready to enjoy!