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South America Adventure - Peru and Galapagos - March - April 2018

Price A$7,499


Destination

LimaPuerto Maldonado CuscoSacred Valley / OllantaytamboAguas CalientesMachu PicchuCuzcoPunoLake TiticacaLa PazQuitoIsabela IslandGalapagos


Category
Group Tours

Duration
24 days 23 nights
Tour Details

Peru 28th March to 12th April 2018 A$7499 plus air

Galapagos Extension 12th April to 19th April 2018 A$6100 plus air

Most people who return from Peru bring back tales of wonder, tradition, diverse culture, wild landscapes and life changing experiences. If you’re looking for an adventure rich in ancient history, cultural diversity and spectacular scenery, then why not join us on our 16 day, solo tour to Peru? You’ll wander through striking cities, bustling markets, and take on the magnificent jungle and Inca trails. You’ll also make the pilgrimage to the fascinating Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. 

And if that’s not enough adventure for you, we have an 8 day extension to Galapagos where you can explore the islands and get in touch with the culture of Ecuador. 

Take a trip round one of the most attractive cities in South America, Quito and discover Ecuadorian life in all its splendour. Cruise to the picturesque Isabela Island to swim, snorkel or just relax beachside. Visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center, the Flamingo Lagoon and the Charles Darwin Research Station, before heading to Santa Cruz island where you’ll see the amazing Giant Tortoises in their natural habitat.

Peru highlights include:

  • Visit the ancient cities of Lima, Cusco and La Paz.
  • Spend two nights in the heart of the Amazon jungle.
  • Take in a wealth of ancient monasteries.
  • Take a trip to the lush, fertile Sacred Valley.
  • Make the pilgrimage to the sacred Machu Picchu.
  • See the ‘floating islands’ on Lake Titicaca.
  • Try out the wonderful national dishes.
  • Immerse yourself in local culture and tradition.

Galapagos highlights include:

  • Explore the bustling city of Quito and discover the rich heritage of its colonial past.
  • Take a speed boat to Isabela Island to visit the Flamingo Lagoon and the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center.
  • Swim, snorkel and relax int he calm waters of Tintoreras Island.
  • Visit Santa Cruz island and see the Giant Tortoises in their natural habitat.

The question is…will you join us?

Day 1 - Lima

On arrival at Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport you’ll be transferred to your hotel in the well-known coastal suburb of Miraflores. Your Two’s a Crowd Tour Host will meet you at the hotel to assist with check-in, answer any questions you may have and confirm the time for our welcome meeting, which will take place that evening with our Tour Leader. 

Hotel:  Antigua Mira Flores or Similar

Day 2 & 3 - Lima

Days 2 and 3 on tour is a chance for us to explore the colourful city of Lima. Founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador, Francisco Pizarro, it was from Lima that all Spanish territories in South America were governed. Few cities at that time could rival Lima’s power, wealth and opulence. However its glory days ended in 1746 when the city was virtually destroyed by an earthquake. Many of the colonial buildings were rebuilt and we’ll get a first-hand look at several of them on our tour. The striking Plaza Mayor (Plaza de Armas), flanked by some of the most important buildings in town such as the cathedral, the huge Government Palace and the Archbishop’s Palace, constitutes the heart of the city. 

In the morning, we’ll visit the nearby San Francisco Monastery, with its catacombs containing some 70,000 human remains. Next we head to the Central market where we’ll take a walking tour. The market has a huge variety of fresh produce on offer including fruits, vegetables and even Guinea pigs! We’ll get the opportunity to try some local Peruvian fruits and street food. 

Next we visit China town, before returning to our hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free for to explore at leisure. Wander around Miraflores, visit Parque del Amor (Love’s Park) where you can enjoy a view across Lima’s beaches, or catch a taxi to visit the Gold Museum or the Larco Museum, which is renowned for its ancient pottery collection. You may want to visit the impressive National Museum of Anthropology, Archaeology and History of Peru, which is home to a wonderful collection of cultural exhibits. Your Two’s a Crowd Tour Host and Guide will assist with organising such optional activities. 

During your time here, you may wish to try ceviche, Peru’s national dish, which is raw fish marinated in lime juice and often served with hot peppers. This culinary delight is a must for all seafood lovers! 

On day 2 we enjoy a welcome dinner together.

Day 3 is all yours to continue exploring Lima. Spend the day walking around the beachside district of Barranco where streets are lined with traditional casonas (colonial-style houses) or why not take the opportunity to visit some local bars and try various pisco cocktails along the way? 

Hotel: Antigua Mira Flores or Similar

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 & 5 - Amazon Jungle

Day 4's adventure is one of a kind as we transfer to the airport to take our flight to the Amazon Jungle. Upon arrival, the lodge staff will take us to their office in town where we’ll leave most of our luggage in safe storage before we continue travelling with a small pack with just the necessary items for our next two nights in the jungle!

Skirting Puerto Maldonado, we drive 20 kilometers to the Tambopata River Port, entering the Native Community of Infierno. The forty five minute boat ride from the Tambopata Port to Posada Amazonas will take us into the Community´s Primary Forest Private Reserve. Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome us and brief us with some important navigation and security tips. 

A twenty minute walk from Posada Amazonas leads us to our first activity, the 30 meter scaffolding Canopy Tower. A banister staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. From the top we’ll see some spectacular views of the vast expanses of standing forest cut by the Tambopata River winding through the middle. Now and then toucans, parrots or macaws can be seen flying against the horizon, or mixed species canopy flocks landing in the treetops next to you. Keep in mind that we’re seeing wild animals so what we see and experience will be unique to our trip. Dinner is included in the lodge. A daily presentation on the Infierno ecotourism project is available every night from a staff member. 

Day 5 starts with a visit to Tres Chimbadas Oxbow Lake; this place is thirty minutes by boat and forty five minutes hiking from Posada Amazonas. Once there we’ll paddle around the lake in a catamaran, searching for the resident family of nine giant river otters (seen by 60% of our lake visitors) and other lakeside wildlife such as caiman, hoatzin and horned screamers. Otters are most active from dawn to 8 am or 9 am. 

Next we head to Parrot Clay Lick; this clay lick is only a twenty minute walk from Posada Amazonas. From a hide located about twenty meters away we’ll see dozens of parrots and parakeets descend on most clear mornings to ingest the clay on a river bank. Species such as Mealy and Yellow- headed Amazon, Blue-headed Parrot and Dusky headed Parakeet descend at this clay lick, which is active at dawn, during the late mornings and mid-afternoons. We return to the lodge for lunch before we set off on an ethnobotanical tour in the afternoon. A twenty minute boat drive downriver leads us to a trail designed by the staff of the Centro Ñape, which is a communal organization that produces medicines out of forest plants and administers them to patients who choose their little clinic. After our evening dinner there is an option of a night hike, when most of the mammals are active but rarely seen. Much easier to find are frogs with shapes and sounds as bizarre as their natural histories! 

Hotel: Posada Amazonas lodge/ Refugio Lodge or similar

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Cusco

After breakfast we return to Puerto Maldonado by boat and then transfer to the airport for our flight to Cusco. Upon arrival, we transfer to our hotel and the rest of the morning is free to relax and to acclimatize to the new altitude (3,450 meters above sea level). The city itself is the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city and was the home of the Incas for two centuries before the Spanish built their first capital here. Today Cusco is a fascinating combination of both cultures. Inca-built walls line the central streets and many of the elegant colonial buildings are built on or around Inca foundations. This is a city steeped in history, tradition and legend and is a perfect base to explore the Inca world or to enjoy a range of outdoor activities. 

In the afternoon, our Tour Guide will take us on a walking tour of the city including a visit to the Coca Musuem, where we’ll learn more about this infamous plant which has been an essential part of life in the Andes for centuries. On the way we’ll see the Stone of Twelve Angles at the Inca Roca Palace, on Hatun Rumilloc Street. 

Next we’ll visit the heart of the city, ‘the Plaza de Armas’, surrounded by colonial arcades and four churches. We’ll explore the San Pedro Market where you can find vegetables, meats, local cheeses (which you should certainly try), local chocolates, herbal medicines and many local handicrafts. It’s a great place to purchase some souvenirs. The market is also a place where many locals go to eat ‘mystery soups’. Some may be just chicken. However, the most popular amongst the locals are usually the more unusual ones like frog soups or soups that contains nose to tail of various animals!

Hotel: San Agustín El Dorado Hotel (Standard room) or similar 

 

Meals : Breakfast
Day 7 - Cusco

Today is a free day in Cusco. Make the most of your ‘Boleto Turistico’ ticket that was included on your city tour program as it gives you entry to many different sites not included in your city tour. The ticket also provides information on opening and closing times, telephone numbers and a map of the central city.

Highly recommended is a visit to the traditional and picturesque neighborhood of San Blas. It involves an increasingly steep walk from the Plaza de Armas, but the art studios, artisan workshops, bars and restaurants you find at the top, make it worth it. A great area to wander around! Once again your Tour Host and Guide are available to assist with optional activities.

Hotel: San Agustín El Dorado Hotel (Standard room) or similar

Meals : Breakfast
Day 8 - Sacred Valley / Ollantayambo

On day 8 we travel by private bus through the Sacred Valley, known as Wilcamayo by the Incas. The lush, fertile valley has long been the main source of food for the high Andes. Maize crops can be seen surrounding the river and covering the terraces carved high into the valley walls. At the Sacred Valley we’ll visit the stone fortress of Sacsayhuaman where massive stone blocks that form the walls of this site give you an awesome picture of how highly developed Inca engineering was. 

We’ll head to a community in the Valley to learn about local lifestyle and activities and if our visit coincides with market day we’ll spend time browsing the stalls in search of hand-painted beads or warm ponchos and maybe practicing some of the local language, Quechua. Typical lunch is included today. 

In the afternoon, we’ll head to the town of Ollantaytambo that was built over an ancient Inca town, a magnificent example of Inca urban planning. This is one of the few places where the Incas defeated the Spanish. Ollantaytambo’s archaeological site is located to the east of the Plaza de Armas. The upper terraces of this site offer great photo opportunities of the squared grid town below. 

Accommodation: Samanapaq Hotel (Standard room) or similar 

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Day 9 - Aguas Calientes

This morning is free for you to continue exploring the town of Ollantaytambo. At midday we’ll walk to the train station located near the hotel where we’ll board the ‘Expedition’ train towards Aguas Calientes, a modern little town close to the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. The train ride to Machu Picchu is one of the most beautiful journeys in Peru. After passing the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the train starts to descend gradually along the edge of the Urubamba River, till it finally reaches the cloud forest. After approximately 1 hour 45 minutes we’ll arrive in Aguas Calientes, where we’ll be to taken to our hotel. 

The remainder of the afternoon is free and we recommend you visit the open-air market, filled with displays of local Andean curios and clothing or relax at the thermal baths located at the end of the town. Tonight’s dinner is included at a local restaurant. 

Accommodation: Casa Andina Classic Machu Picchu (Traditional room) or similar 

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 - Machu Picchu - Cusco

At 5:30am this morning, we take the bus back up the winding road to Machu Picchu. On our second visit to the ruins we’ll have more free time to explore and take any photos you may have missed yesterday. In the afternoon, the group will return by bus and train to Cusco, where we’ll spend the night. 

Accommodation: San Agustín El Dorado Hotel (Standard room) or similar 

Meals : Breakfast
Day 11 - Cusco

Today is free for you to continue exploring Cusco. 

Accommodation: San Agustín El Dorado Hotel (Standard room) or similar 

Meals : Breakfast
Day 12 - Puno

Today, we travel to Puno by bus. This is a unique experience with the first half of the journey dominated by the magnificent Andean mountains, which tower over the deep valleys. It then reaches the gentler, rolling Andean Plains, where vicuñas and alpacas can be seen. Each different location we pass has its own magical charm and ancestral history. From The Sistine Chapel of the Americas to the Andahuaylillas church, which was built during the 17th century; the archaeological site of Raqchi, also known as Temple of Wiracocha, the majestic La Raya pass (road limit between Cusco and Puno, with a beautiful view of the Chimboya Glacier), and the fascinating Lithic Museum of the Pukará culture. Lunch is included in a local restaurant en-route. 

Located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Puno is a melting pot of Aymara and Quechuan Indian culture and traditional Andean customs are still strongly represented here. The town is known as the folklore capital of Peru and is famous for its traditional dances. Many festivals are celebrated here, so if we’re lucky our visit might coincide with one of the colorful evening parades, when the streets fill with costumed dancers and musicians. 

Accommodation: Taypikala Lago Hotel (Standard room) or similar 

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Day 13 - Lake Titicaca

Today we’ll visit Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, sitting at 3,820 m above sea level. The lake contains numerous islands whose inhabitants continue to live as their ancestors did. Today we visit Uros and Taquile Island on a full day tour by boat. The Uros people live on ‘floating islands’ and navigate in their traditional boats, both made out of totora reeds. The Uros on the islands have intermarried with the Aymara and no pure Uros exist. The people are friendly, but very poor, and consequently there are constant requests for money. Rather than giving the children money or sweets, we suggest that you buy their little reed boats or drawings. 

Next we continue to Taquile Island, located on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca, 45km offshore from the city of Puno and a two hour boat journey. About 2,200 people live on the island and the Taquile people are known for their kindness, their weaving skills, their pre-Columbian constructions and lovely countryside. You’ll find some of the highest-quality handicrafts in Peru on Taquile. In the afternoon, we’ll return to Puno by boat. 

Accommodation: Taypikala Lago Hotel (Standard room) or similar 

Meals : Breakfast
Day 14 - La Paz

Today, we travel to Desaguadero, where we’ll cross the border into Bolivia. The first stop is the Peruvian migration office where you’ll be asked to leave the bus and proceed through Peruvian migration. Then walk via a bridge to the Bolivian side, submit your passport at the Bolivian migration office and reboard the bus, which will continue to La Paz. About 30 minutes after crossing the border there’s another stop where the army will check your documents. On our way to La Paz, we’ll stop at Tiahuanaco for a guided visit. The Tiahuanaco archaeological site was where the Incas learned about building systems and agricultural practices. This was the base of a great civilization that began around 500 BC before mysteriously ‘disappearing’ around 1200 AD. It is believed that the ceremonial complex dates back to the 8th century AD and was once at the center of a powerful and self-sustaining empire based in the southern Central Andes. The sprawling ruins comprise temples, courtyards, terraced pyramids, monolithic stone statues and gateways. The most famous structure is the Puerta Del Sol (Gateway of the Sun). 

From the ruins it is less than a two-hour drive to La Paz, where we’ll spend the night. We’ll enjoy spectacular views of the city on our approach, due to its unique location in the middle of a vast volcanic crater that resembles a bowl. 

Accommodation: Rosario de la Paz Hotel (Standard room) or similar 

Meals : Breakfast
Day 15 - La Paz

At around 3,600 meters above sea level, La Paz feels like the top of the world. It’s not far from it and vies with Tibet for the title of highest capital in the world. Although Sucre is the official capital of Bolivia, La Paz is the center of commerce, finance and industry. Despite the abundance of colonial architecture, La Paz’s indigenous roots run deep, and the atmosphere in the market - filled streets is both modern and traditional. 

This morning we’ll head out on an included half day city tour. We’ll visit Moon Valley, known to the locals at Valley de la Luna, which is a maze of canyons and giant spires. Following this we head back to La Paz and delve into the witches market, where witches in dark hats sell dried llama fetuses for good luck. Our tour will finish with a ride up the cable car to view the city from above. 

Accommodation: Rosario de la Paz Hotel (Standard room) or similar 

Meals : Breakfast
Day 16 - La Paz

For those not continuing onto Galapagos, our trip ends this morning after breakfast in La Paz. Airport transfers are included in the tour cost.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 17 - Quito

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Ecuador. 

Our adventure starts with an arrival transfer at Quito airport. 

Spend the rest of the day getting to know your surroundings and exploring the city of Quito. Sitting at an altitude of 2,850m, under the gaze of Volcan Pichincha, Quito is one of the most attractive cities in South America. Long and incredibly thin, the city stretches along a central valley formed by the east and west ranges of the Andes. Although compact, Quito’s Old Town is full of historic buildings with more than 30 churches to explore, not to mention the fascinating museums. Its dynamic nightlife and atmospheric streets showcase Ecuadorian life in all its splendour. 

La Compania de Jesus is considered by many to be the most beautiful in the Americas and it’s certainly one of the most ornate. It’s claimed that seven tonnes of gold leaf cover the interior whilst the exterior is decorated with statues, busts, sculpted heads and a jungle of carved leaves. 

And don’t forget to take a walk down Quito’s oldest street, the famous Calle La Ronda, for a peek into the colonial past of the city. 

Tour briefing will be held at the hotel tonight. 

Accommodation: Plaza Sucre Hotel or similar 

Day 18 - Isabela Island

Early in the morning we’ll transfer to Quito airport for our flight to Santa Cruz Island. The Galapagos National Institute has introduced a Transit Control Card. This card has a cost of US$20 and it must be purchased by every person travelling to the Galapagos Islands after checking in at Quito airport. 

Upon arrival you need to go through immigration and pay the Galapagos National Park entrance fee of US$100 in cash (small bills please). 

We land at about midday and transfer from the airport to the port of Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island) for lunch (not included). 

After lunch we travel by private speed boat for approx 2.5-3hr speed to Isabella Island. While the seas are not especially bumpy this time of year (June to September are best avoided), if you do suffer from seasickness best to take your medication just in case.

Upon arrival at Isabela Island you need to pay the USD5 dock fee collected by the Galapagos National Park. As per all the random and mandatory fees charged by the Galapagos National Park, these fees can change without notice. 

After a brief rest at the hotel, we’ll head to the Flamingo Lagoon, the largest coastal lagoon found in the Galapagos and one of the main reproductive sites for the grand majority of flamingos. If you are up for a walk, ask your tour leader to point you in the direction of a walking track that takes you back into town. 

Accommodation: Casa Marita Hotel or similar 

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 19 - Isabela Island

On day 3 after breakfast, we visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center followed by lunch in a restaurant. In the afternoon we travel by speedboat to Tintoreras Island - a deep crevice with clear and calm waters frequented by Tintoreras (white-tip sharks) as well as penguins, sea lions and marine iguanas. Enjoy swimming, snorkeling or just relaxing before returning to the hotel. The snorkelling site will be chosen depending on the swimming and snorkeling ability of members of the group. 

Accommodation: Casa Marita Hotel or similar

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 20 - Isabela Island

Day 4 is free for you to explore, with some optional activities on offer. You can go for a (long) walk or (easy) bike ride to the ‘Muro de las Lagrimas’ (Wall of Tears). From 1946 to 1959, the Ecuadorian government designated Isabela Island as a penal colony. Prisoners were obligated to build a wall with enormous blocks of lava. The site takes its name from the arduous labour and harsh conditions in which the prisoners lived. 

Accommodation: Casa Marita Hotel or similar

 

Meals : Breakfast
Day 21 - Santa Cruz

Today, we’ll take a private speedboat to Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island) where we’ll be transferred to our hotel. Drop off your bags, grab your camera and head off to the Charles Darwin Research Station. The station’s visitor centre is an essential stop for anyone interested in the archipelago’s natural and human history, and keen to learn more about conservation efforts to preserve the unique ecosystems of the Galapagos. It also offers a great chance for close-up encounters with giant tortoises, and you can see many newborn and young giant turtles - part of the breeding program to reintroduce them to their natural habitat. 

After lunch we continue exploring Santa Cruz Island on a walk to Tortuga Bay, a picturesque beach located approximately 1hr walk (each way) from town. Water and snacks are not available in Tortuga Bay so come prepared. 

Accommodation: Solymar Hotel or similar 

Meals : Breakfast
Day 22 - Santa Cruz

Day 6 is free for you to continue to explore Santa Cruz island. You can opt to take on a vehicle based tour to the highland and see the Giant Tortoises in their natural habitat. Join your tour leader for a group dinner (own expense) before returning to Quito tomorrow. 

Accommodation: Solymar Hotel or similar

Meals : Breakfast
Day 23 - Quito

On day 7 we’re transferred to the airport in time for our late morning flight back to Quito. We’ll arrive at our hotel in the afternoon. You are then free to relax and enjoy Quito at your leisure, before the farewell dinner at Theatrum (own expense). 

Accommodation: Solymar Hotel or similar

Meals : Breakfast
Day 24 - Quito

On our last day on tour there are no group activities planned and you can depart at any time. Hotel check out is normally at 10am. 

Meals : Breakfast

PERU

Lima - Antigua Mira Flores

The Hotel Antigua Miraflores; an authentic introduction to Peru’s rich cultural heritage. Enjoy the elegance and character of a turn of the century mansion with all the comforts and amenities of a fine hotel and the warmth and charm of a colonial B&B.  Within walking distance of some of Lima's best restaurants and bars, the Hotel Antigua Miraflores, is the perfect home base to experience vibrant Miraflores. 

Amazon Jungle - Posada Amazonas Lodge

Posada Amazonas is a 30-bedroom rainforest lodge perfect for your first taste of the Amazon’s natural wonders. This spacious lodge offers an excellent combination of convenience and comfort with outstanding opportunities to see Amazonian wildlife.

Cuzco - San Agustín El Dorado Hotel

Located in Cusco´s historical area, one block from the Temple of the Sun, this hotel offers elegant rooms with wood flooring, modern amenities and free Wi-Fi. The 4-star accommodation includes cable and satellite TV, minibar and concierge service. The hotel features a Cocktail Lounge, where guests can savour Peruvian and international dishes. 

Ollantaytambo - Samanapaq Hotel

Featuring free WiFi and an on-site restaurant, rooms are equipped with a private bathroom with shower, free toiletries, hairdryer and a flat-screen TV. Cusco is 42 km from Hotel Samanapaq, while Machu Picchu is 31 km from the property. 

Aguas Calientes - Casa Andina Classic Hotel
Casa Andina Classic Machu Picchu is a friendly and cozy hotel that provides you a strategic location in Aguas Calientes, nearest access point to the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu. This hotel has 54 new and comfortable rooms distributed in a 5 story biulding, where you can relax and restore energy to enjoy the visit to the citadel. A spectacular view of the Vilcanota river provides our restaurant a special atmosphere, framing the gastronomic experience with nice views of the mountains.

Puno - Taypikala Hotel
Taypikala Lago, located only 15 min. the city of Puno, near the Inca Uyo or temple of fertility in the village of Chucuito the shores of Lake Titicaca. The Taypikala is an attractive colonial style implemented and has spectacular views of majestic Lake Titicaca altiplano observing own landscapes such as meadows, reed beds, rock formations and copies of the Aymara agriculture. 

La Paz - Rosario Hotel
Situated in the heart of the museum district of La Paz, just 5 minutes’ walk from the train station, Hotel Rosário offers comfortable rooms in a former colonial house. The guest rooms at Hotel Rosário are decorated with motifs from the Aymara and Quechua cultures. All rooms feature private bathroom, cable TV and safety deposit box. Many rooms also have Wi-Fi connectivity 

ECUADOR

Quito - Plaza Sucre Hotel 

Situated only 1 km from the city center, the Hotel Boutique Plaza Sucre guests is well located to enjoy the town's attractions and activities, being close to Plaza Santo Domingo, Casa de Sucre and Teatro Bolívar. The hotel provides 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi in all rooms, and Wi-Fi in public areas. All 25 rooms exude an atmosphere of total peace and harmony. Throughout the day you can enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the garden. 

Isabela Island - Casa Marita Hotel
Isabela lies in the heart of the Galapagos Islands. Hidden past the horizon, the archipelago's largest island keeps pure, protected and distant from the ingenuity of man. Surrounded by white, sandy beaches and turquoise seas; lush vegetation and a natural celebration of life, La Casa de Marita (Marita's House) is much more than a wonderful boutique hotel in one of the planet's most unique destinations - it's a viewpoint to the island outside, just as as the one within. 

Santa Cruz - Solymar Hotel

The Hotel Solymar is the only upscale hotel owned and operated by Galapagueños. As former guides, we know our Islands intimately and can assist our guests with their travel plans, whether your desires be to kayak with sea lions or hike through the highlands to encounter the famous giant tortoises.

Peru

Peru inspires wonder, from the majestic ruins of Machu Picchu and the mysterious Nazca Lines to the Cordillera Blanca’s soaring peaks and Lake Titicaca’s floating islands. Stroll Cusco’s cobblestone streets and take in stunning Inca and colonial architecture, or visit an Andean community where daily life remains rooted in tradition. Savor intriguing flavors: the country of pisco sours and cebiche is now a hotbed for fusion food. Exploring, trekking, and bird-watching satisfy a thirst for outdoor adventure, and world-class hotels offer creature comforts.

Currency

The local currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol S/. ( Sol means sun). You can exchange USA dollars or Euros at almost any place, banks, money changing offices, hotels, restaurants and with street money changers. Beware of false notes. You are better off exchanging at money changing offices or banks. It  is  better to obtain your Soles in Peru than in your home country as you will obtain better exchange rates but beware of fraudulent notes and unofficial money traders offering you lucrative deals on the streets.

Many ATMs are available for all major credit cards (Visa, Master Card, Cirrus, etc.), but you need to take cash if you go to Aguas Calientes. ATMs and banks are a rare find in those areas. Most ATM's in Peru charge for withdrawing money from your home bank accounts. Please check with your bank to ensure your credit cards have international access.  At the Lima airport most ATMs are Gobalnet, but after arrivals come out and take the stairs on your left (or lift just after the stairs) once at the top take a right and then after the Serpost post office on the left there is a cafe and opposite there are a bank of ATMs, Scotiabank, BCP, and BBVA. If going from departures just turn left, past Starbucks and then on the right. You can withdraw USA dollars or Peru Nuevos Soles.ATMs offer English and Spanish instructions.

Weather

Summer in Peru is from December to February and winter from July to September. There's not a bad time to visit Peru, however as a very general recommendation the best time to visit the coast is during the summer (Dec-Feb) and the best time to visit the mountains is in the winter (Jul-Sept). The jungle is hot and steamy all year round with heavy rains in December and January.

Electricity

The supply voltage in Peru is 220 volts at 60 hertz.The same as Australia and New Zealand. There are two types of plugs in Peru (with corresponding electrical outlets):

  • Type A: two flat parallel prongs (used in most of North America; if your North American Type A plug has one prong wider than the other,

        it will probably not work in Peru)

  • Type C: two round prongs (used in much of Europe, but not in the UK or Ireland)

Electrical outlets in Peru are often designed to incorporate both plug types.

Visas

A visa is not required for Australian and NZ passport holders  for stays of up to 183 days provided they:

  • Hold a passport valid at least six months on entry with two blank visa pages
  • Hold proof of sufficient funds
  • Hold proof of onward/return flights
  • Hold all documents required for the next destination

Ecuador

Ecuador is much more than just a jumping off point for the Galapagos Islands. From its Inca treasures and vibrant cities to the variety of its terrain---coastal, rain forest, and mountains---and its many species of birds and wildlife, Ecuador has much to get excited about. The equator runs right through Ecuador, which means the night sky brings out the stars in both hemispheres. The mainland has three distinct regions: the Andes mountains that run north to south, the Pacific coast, and the Amazon basin in the east. You can indulge in adventures like trekking, horseback riding, biking, and white-water rafting to scaling mountains and volcanoes.

Currency

Since 2000, the official unit of currency in Ecuador has been the U.S. dollar. You can use American or Ecuadorean coins, both of which come in denominations of 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, and 50¢. Otherwise, all the currency is in the paper form of American dollars, in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100. It's very hard to  change larger denominations especially in taxis. If you are retrieving money from an ATM, be sure to request a denomination ending in 1 or 5 (most ATMs will dispense money in multiples of $1) so that you won't have to worry about breaking a large bill. If you are stuck with big bills, try to use them in restaurants to obtain change.

ATMs are ubiquitous in Ecuador. You'll even find them in remote areas such as the Galápagos. Some of the major banks include Banco de Guayaquil, Banco Pichincha, and Banco del Pacífico. Most ATMs accept cards from both the Cirrus and PLUS networks, but some can't deal with PINs that are more than four digits. Before you go to Ecuador, make sure that your PIN fits the bill. Remember that many banks impose a fee every time you use their card at another bank's ATM, and that fee can be higher for international transactions.

Weather

Temperatures are usually colder in the higher altitudes, and warmer along the coast and in Galapagos. In Ecuador seasons are defined more by rainfall than by temperature. A warm rainy season lasts from January to April, and May through December is characterized by a cooler, drier period that is ideally timed for a summer trip. Ecuador has four different geographical regions and each region has a different environment and weather patterns. Generally speaking, however, Ecuador has two seasons: a wet season and a dry one.

Electricity

The supply voltage in Peru is 110 volts at 60 hertz as per USA. Use USA compatible plug with  flat parallel prongs

Visas

A visa is not required for Australian and NZ passport holders for stays of up to 90 days provided they:

  • Hold a passport valid at least six months on entry with two blank visa pages
  • Hold proof of sufficient funds
  • Hold proof of onward/return flights
  • Hold all documents required for the next destination

Remember we are a full service travel company and can quote and book your air travel and arrange travel insurance. Easy!

Peru

YOUR TOUR INCLUDES:

  • Local English speaking tour leader throughout Peru.

  • Local guides at some sights.

  • All transport, sightseeing and excursions as per the itinerary.

  • 15 nights hotel accommodation in your own room — always!

  • Meals as per itinerary: 15 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners.

  • Flights Lima - Puerto, Maldonado - Cuzco.

  • Group Airport Arrival and departure transfers.

  • Two’s a Crowd tour host from Australia.

Deposit and final payments are not refundable. Please see our Terms & Conditions on our website for more information.

  • logo1 Proud winner of the 3AW Small Business Success Award in 2016
  • logo3 We are 100% Australian owned and operated
  • logo4 Our group tours include travel insurance. See tour brochures for more info.
  • logo 6 Fully ATAS accredited. A national scheme which accredits only those travel businesses who have met strict financial and customer service criteria.
  • logo 7 Full member of Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA), the peak body for Australia's travel businesses
  • logo6 Proud member of one of Australia's best travel buying groups

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