How deep is your love of adventure? Is it deep enough to follow the course of Charles Darwin to discover your own love affair with the wildlife paradise of the Galápagos Islands and the Amazon Rainforest? And, delve further south to soar higher in the Andes and the heart of Peru? If so, this Independence by Globus vacation in South America is pointing you in the right direction. Ignite your independent spirit on a canoe trip downriver from Coca to the comfort of your lodge the Amazon Rainforest, where you’re in good hands with a Naturalist guide to explore the jungle from its rainforest canopy to the forest floor. Be awestruck by the wealth of wildlife that thrives in this tropical wilderness.
Next, explore the historic heart of Quito and depart for parts unknown where blue-footed boobies, giant tortoises, and diving iguanas of the Galápagos give new meaning to mind-blowing discoveries. Cruise in luxury on the Galápagos Legend and explore the archipelago in the company of a Naturalist guide. Sail upon pristine waters to discover the perfectly evolved creatures who thrive on this volcanic archipelago. Stroll the sand where sea lions bask and albatross brace against the updrafts above the cliffs. Sail, snorkel, and simply stay in a state of astonishment through the sanctuaries of spectacular species on Bartolomé, Santiago, North Seymour, and San Cristobal Islands.
Visit the Giant Tortoise Reserve where conservationists work to protect the gentle giants for which the islands are named. Then, set your compass to the heart of Peru to ignite your independent spirit in Lima, Cusco, and magnificent Machu Picchu to find the “Lost City of the Incas.” Explore ancient ruins that defy explanation and encounter the captivating cultures that live on in the Sacred Valley and Cusco. Timeless temples, textiles, and tantalizing dishes are all on the menu on this free-spirited sojourn in South America. You’ll also find the I-time you deserve to fall in love with adventure again!
Starting at $7819 Per Person
* The “Starting at” or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include International airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. If a price is crossed out, the new price shown includes a limited time promotional offer(s) – please review current promotions or deals for additional information. Some tours require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Globus). ISK4
Welcome to Quito, where your hotel is available for mid-afternoon check-in.
• Fly to Coca where you will be met by your Naturalist.
• Travel by motorboat down the Napo River with opportunities to spot birds like herons, kingfishers, and others.
• Arrive at your Amazon lodge located on the banks of Napo River Lake surrounded by pristine rainforest.
• Tonight, enjoy a welcome briefing and dinner.
• During your stay, enjoy nature excursions with a Naturalist who introduces you to the Amazon. Activities each day vary based on weather conditions.
• On the suspended rainforest canopy walk, your Naturalist points out many different species of vibrantly feathered birds.
• Jungle walks show off the immense biodiversity and medicinal plants that have been used by the native cultures for hundreds of years.
• Take a night walk or canoe ride with your Naturalist to discover creatures that can rarely be seen during the day!
• Continue your Amazon exploration.
• Visit the lodge’s butterfly house, one of Ecuador’s largest.
• You will also cruise through the flooded forest in search of troops of squirrels, capuchin, and howler monkeys—and maybe even the incredibly well camouflaged 3-toed sloth.
• After fishing for piranhas, arrive at the Kapok Tree tower, perched 150-feet high. Get close-up views of birds as the sun sets on volcanic Mount Sumaco and the Andes.
• Depart your Amazon lodge and fly from Coca to Quito today.
• The remainder of your afternoon is at leisure.
• Your included private city tour showcases the rich legacy left by the Incas and the Spaniards. See Independence Square, dominated by its formidable cathedral, San Francisco Plaza Church, and the Basilica with its marvelous stained-glass windows.
• Fly to Baltra and transfer with your expert Naturalist to the Galápagos Legend for your 3-night cruise.
• Sail to North Seymour, a landmass formed by a series of underwater volcanic eruptions, which deposited layers of lava on the ocean floor. Take a walk amidst large nesting colonies of blue-footed boobies, magnificent and great frigate birds, and swallow-tailed gulls for an in-depth encounter with sea bird breeding cycles. You will also encounter sea lions, land iguanas and, on a lucky day, you might even come across the endemic Galápagos snake.
• Wake up at Bartolomé Island to discover a fascinating moonscape formed by volcanic parasitic cones. Hike to the summit for impressive views of the surrounding islands and Pinnacle Rock. You will also encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards, and blue-footed boobies. Bartolomé offers some of the best spots to snorkel, thanks to clear waters and abundant sea life, including sea turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, and maybe even Galápagos penguins.
• This afternoon, sail to Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island and take a walk on young Pahoehoe lava flows formed during the last quarter of the 19th Century. See the reddish-yellow tuff-cones with various flora growing from the fissures. Walking on the solidified lava gives the impression of walking on another planet. After your guided walk, spend time snorkeling from the white sand beach where you may see penguins, sea lions, sharks and rays.
• Arrive at Pitt Islet on San Cristobal and walk to the top of a volcanic tuff to be rewarded with several magnificent viewpoints. This is one of the few sites where the Galápagos’ three booby species (blue-footed, red-footed, and Nazca) can be seen together. You will also find the two species of frigate birds and a sea lion colony. The island waters are excellent for dinghy rides to see a range of seabirds—and a great spot to snorkel!
• At Cerro Brujo, visit a lagoon where migratory bird species can be seen: black-necked stilts, ruddy turnstones, whimbrels, other sandpiper species, and white-cheeked pintails. Cerro Brujo offers beautiful views of Kicker Rock, the southern part of San Cristobal, and the adjacent coast. Your visit includes time to swim with the sea lions and other marine life.
• After breakfast, disembark in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and visit the Giant Tortoise Reserve on San Cristobal. Learn about the national park’s conservation and breeding programs to protect the endangered tortoise species.
• Also, visit the port village for a last chance at souvenirs before bidding farewell to the enchanted Galápagos Islands.
• Transfer to San Cristobal Airport and fly to Quito. Later, fly to Lima, Peru.
• Your included city tour focuses on Lima’s rich colonial history as well as the modern city. Lima was the bastion of Spanish South America from its founding in 1535 until the independence of the South American republics in the early 19th century. See the cathedral, where the remains of Francisco Pizarro are sealed in a wooden coffin, and the Santo Domingo Convent to see the relics of three famous Peruvian saints—Santa Rosa de Lima, San Martin de Porres, and San Juan Macias.
• Fly to Cusco, high in the Andes, where you will be met by your Local Guide.
• Your guided tour visits the cathedral in Plaza de Armas and Santo Domingo Monastery, one of the most important temples devoted to worship of the sun. It is said it was covered in gold leaf and filled with golden representations of nature.
• Take a short drive outside the city to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, a fortress of gigantic stones—with some blocks weighing more than 350 tons. Followed by the amphitheater of Kenko, and the red fortress of Puca Pucara.
• Today, a short drive into the Urubamba Valley, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, brings you to Awanakancha to learn about the importance of the alpaca for Inca cultures, as well as the ancient weaving techniques still in use today.
• Continue to the market town of Pisac, where you can buy handmade rugs, alpaca sweaters, and jewelry at bargain prices.
• At the other end of the valley, visit Ollantaytambo to see some of the finest examples of Inca masonry.
• Embark on a train trip bound for Machu Picchu and cut a path through the Sacred Valley to this “Lost City of the Incas,” discovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911.
• On a guided tour of Machu Picchu, explore this intact fortress with its temple remains, holy houses, and mile-long aqueduct. For hikers, a brisk one-hour walk leads to the Sun Gate, the ancient entrance used by the Incas.
• A morning at leisure allows you to wake up early to see the sunrise over Machu Picchu with your second included entrance to the ruins.
• Return to Cusco by train.
Your vacation ends after breakfast this morning.