Machu Picchu & Galapagos

16 days
from
£5,399
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Trip code: 
APGA
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Multi-country
Min age:
16
Group size:
2–16

Discover Peru's 'Lost City of the Incas' and Ecuador's 'Enchanted Isles'

This fascinating trip combines two truly outstanding places in South America. Flying into the Peruvian highlands, we encounter Cuzco, a city replete with Inca architecture and colonial charm. A beautiful train ride through mountains and cloud forest takes us to the extraordinary lost city of Machu Picchu. Ecuador's Galapagos archipelago is one of the world's leading ecological sites, with incredible fauna both on land and at sea as well as striking volcanic landscapes. We explore the islands from the comfort of our small sleep-on-board yacht, which grants us access to areas that larger boats cannot reach.

Highlights

  • Visit Machu Picchu to discover the incredible 'Lost City of the Incas'
  • Historic Cuzco, former capital of the vast Inca empire
  • Optional day walk on the Inca Trail, at no extra cost (please request at the time of booking)
  • Seven nights on board a small first-class motor-yacht in the Galapagos Islands
  • Galapagos wildlife and volcanic landscapes

Key information

  • 6 nights en suite hotels, 7 nights en suite air-conditioned twin cabins on board the Cachalote
  • Optional Inca Trail day walk: request on booking
  • Group normally 2 to 16 plus local leader/staff. Min. age 16 yrs
  • Spends time at altitude
  • Travel by flight, minibus, train and motor yacht

 

What's included

  • All accommodation 
  • All land/sea transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader in Peru and registered naturalist guide in the Galapagos
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Flights between Cuzco and Quito (if booking incl. flights)
  • Return flights from Quito to the Galapagos

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Compulsory Galapagos taxes approx. US$120 (paid locally)
  • Flights between Cuzco and Quito (if booking excl. flights)
Sea Lions, Galapagos

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Depart London.

    We fly overnight to Cuzco, with stops in Madrid and Lima.

  • Day 2

    Arrive Cuzco (3400m); afternoon walking tour.

    The group flights arrive into Cuzco today. The Inca capital of Cuzco is among the most attractive cities in South America, with much of the centre comprising colonial-era buildings with Inca foundations, and it is full of interesting museums, churches and pre-Columbian sites. To help acclimatise, we have a relaxed walking tour this afternoon to discover its historic buildings and winding streets.

    It is recommended to take it easy upon arrival into Cuzco and to drink plenty of water to allow your body time to acclimatise to the altitude.

    Inkarri Hotel (or similar)

  • Day 3

    Free day in Cuzco; optional Sacred Valley tour.

    Today has been left free to explore the city in more detail. The Plaza de Armas is a fantastic spot for people watching, and the Koricancha Sun Temple, located in the Santo Domingo Church and monastery are worth a visit. The Mercado San Pedro is the place to try some local produce and there are many handicraft markets to shop for souvenirs such as alpaca jumpers and scarves.

    Outside the town are more Inca ruins, notably the fortress of Sacsayhuaman where the Inca armies made their last stand against the Conquistadores. Alternatively you may wish to take an optional visit to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the incredible ruins at Pisac. Various other optional activities can be arranged from Cuzco - your leader will have the details.

    Inkarri Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Train to Aguas Calientes; optional day walk along Inca Trail via Winay Wayna ruins.

    This morning we take the train to Aguas Calientes, a lively town in the valley below Machu Picchu. This afternoon and the rest of the day is free for visits to the hot springs or shopping in the large craft market. Our Machu Picchu entrance ticket is valid for tomorrow, however should you wish to visit the ruins today as well, you will need to purchase an extra ticket. Please inform your leader at the start of the holiday if you would like to purchase an extra entrance ticket to Machu Picchu.

    For those who wish to walk to Machu Picchu, there is an optional day walk along a section of the Inca Trail. The trail passes the ruins of Wiñay Wayna and ascends a stone staircase to the Sun Gate for the iconic view of Machu Picchu and its magnificent backdrop. Although this optional walk is available at no extra cost, it must be pre-booked since numbers are strictly limited (and a permit required). You should request this at the time of booking.

    A packed lunch is included today.

    Presidente Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Early morning tour of Machu Picchu; afternoon return to Cuzco.

    We wake early this morning and take the short bus ride (approx. thirty minutes) up the winding road to the greatest ruin in the world; Machu Picchu. At this hour the ruins are at their quietest and most evocative (before the day-trippers arrive from Cuzco). This is one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient world, in a mountain setting of staggering immensity. The Spaniards never found it and the Incas left no records behind, so Machu Picchu remains a great enigma, a city lost for centuries in the jungle until it was rediscovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. The site has since been cleared and its location atop a mountain makes it one of the most awe-inspiring sights in the world.

    Your leader will give you a two/three hour guided tour of the ruins and afterwards there will be free time to explore individually at your leisure. There are some spectacular walks around the site that you may wish to do, including following the path to the Inca Drawbridge or up to the Sun Gate for that iconic view of the ruins. Once you’ve had your fill, return to Aguas Calientes and board an afternoon train, following the steep-sided and winding Urubamba River Valley to Ollantaytambo (approx. one and a half hours), then continue by road back to Cuzco (approx. two hours).

    Inkarri Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Fly to Quito (2850m).

    Today we depart Cuzco on a flight to Quito via Lima. Quito has one of the best-preserved colonial centres in South America and plenty of vibrant markets to explore.

    Hotel Vieja Cuba (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Quito city tour.

    We have a half-day city tour of Quito, one of the smaller and more attractive of the capitals of South America - 2,850m high in the western cordillera of the Andes. Quito is the second highest capital in the world, and as always at altitude, it is a good idea not to do anything too strenuous at first!

    We explore the colonial centre with its narrow streets and hanging balconies. The tour usually includes the Independence Plaza, flanked by the Presidential and the Archbishop palaces as well as La Compañia Church with its impressive gold leaf decorations. A short drive brings us to El Panecillo Hill for a panoramic view of the city and to admire the 45m high statue of the ‘Virgen de Quito’, the only original Madonna with wings. Please note that entrance fees are not included.

    Hotel Vieja Cuba (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Fly to Galapagos; visit the Charles Darwin Centre; board boat.

    We return to Quito airport for the flight to Galapagos and the island of Baltra via Guayaquil. We will take a short ferry crossing to Santa Cruz Island, where we drive to the highlands to look for wild tortoises. We follow this with a visit to the Charles Darwin Centre, where we learn about the ecology of the islands and visit the centre's turtle hatchery. After this visit, we board the boat at Puerto Ayora, the island's main town. Please make sure that you bring your camera, sun cream and appropriate clothing: comfortable footwear for some short walks (possibly amongst grass), light clothes, a hat/cap and a light waterproof in case of a shower or mist.

    Cachalote 1 motor-yacht

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Galapagos cruise following itinerary A (Tower) or B (Fernandina) to discover the unique wildlife of these volcanic islands.

    Our Galapagos Cruise alternates between two itineraries. For the next seven days, your specific itinerary in the Galapagos depends on the departure date of the trip (please ask your Sales Consultant if unsure).

    Itinerary A (Tower): Walk on the tiny Plazas Islands to see a cactus forest, land iguanas and seabirds, then cruise to the white sand beaches of Santa Fe .

    Itinerary B (Fernandina): A short walk on the tiny island of Chinese Hat before snorkelling with sea lions (and penguins if lucky!); on to the dark red beach of Isla Rabida to walk amongst spatter cones, pelicans, Blue-footed and Nazca boobies.

    Cachalote 1 motor-yacht

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Galapagos Cruise

    Itinerary A (Tower): A day at San Cristobal Island: the white sand beach, Blue-footed boobys and old cone of Cerro Brujo, giant tortoise at Galapaguera and crystal clear waters around the striking spear of Kicker Rock.

    Itinerary B (Fernandina): We start three days exploring the largest island of Isabela with the chance for early morning exploration of the mangroves at Los Tintoreras and then walk to the huge 5-mile wide caldera on Sierra Negra volcano. Our scheduled visit to Las Tintoreras alloted by the Galapagos National Park is from 0600 to 0800 hrs, therefore should you wish to stay onboard and have a lie in instead that's not a problem.

    Cachalote 1 motor-yacht

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Galapagos Cruise

    Itinerary A (Tower): Swim with sea lions and marine iguanas at the paradisiacal beach at Gardener Bay on Espanola (Hood) Island. In the afternoon, walk amongst Nazca and Blue-footed booby birds and nesting Waved Albatross (in season) next to pounding surf at Punta Suarez.

    Itinerary B (Fernandina): Cruising round Isabela's west side, we're likely to see whales and dolphins. We land at Punta Moreno's swirling fresh lava flows and also explore the islets of Elizabeth Bay with the largest colony of penguins in the Galapagos.

    Cachalote 1 motor-yacht

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 12

    Galapagos Cruise

    Itinerary A (Tower): At Floreana Island snorkel in the spectacular sunken crater of Devil's Crown amongst thousands of fish. We wil then visit the lagoon at Punta Cormorant (often with flamingos) and Post Office Bay, the mailbox used by 18th Century whalers.

    Itinerary B (Fernandina): In 1954 Urbina Bay was uplifted 4 metres and we walk here amongst exposed coral heads, wandering giant tortoises and huge land iguanas. We'll then make an afternoon visit to Tagus Cove and Darwin Lake, directly opposite recently active Fernandina Volcano.

    Cachalote 1 motor-yacht

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    Galapagos Cruise

    Itinerary A (Tower): To Dragon Hill, a nesting site for land iguanas with a large lagoon; dramatic Sullivan Bay with a walk on a huge lava flow only 100 years old before swimming from the white-sand beach in crystal clear waters.

    Itinerary B (Fernandina): Land at Punta Espinosa on Fernandina in the midst of a huge colony of Marine iguanas; the sea life is very rich here and supports a large sea lion and fur seal colony. We then cross the straights and explore the cliffs of Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela.

    Cachalote 1 motor-yacht

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    Galapagos Cruise

    Itinerary A (Tower): Less-visited Genovesa (also called Tower) Island is home to an abundance of red-footed boobies, fur seals, storm petrels and Short-eared Owls. Here, we look for tropicbirds at Prince William Steps before snorkelling, whilst at Darwin Bay, Galapagos mockingbirds also await.

    Itinerary B (Fernandina): Excellent birding on Santiago (James) Island at Puerto Egas followed by an afternoon snorkel and a walk amongst incredible volcanic scenery up little Bartolome Island - cones, lava tubes and Pinnacle Rock.

    Cachalote 1 motor-yacht

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 15

    Galapagos cruise ends; disembark the Cachalote and fly to Guayaquil; depart Guayaquil.

    Itinerary A (Tower): We explore the mangroves of Turtle Cove at dawn watching marine turtles rising for air; rays and herons fishing from the trees.

    Itinerary B (Fernandina): An early morning walk on North Seymour amidst Palo Santo trees and blue-footed booby colonies.

    Both itineraries: After a late breakfast we disembark for the journey back to Baltra to transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Guayaquil. In Guayaquil you will need to collect your luggage and check it back in for your international flight to London. The group flights depart Guayaquil in the afternoon/evening.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 16

    Arrive London.

    The group flights arrive into London this evening.

Extend Your Trip

Napo Wildlife Centre extension

Travel to the UNESCO Biosphere of Yasuni National Park and spend three nights staying at the Napo Wildlife Centre, a 100% community-owned lodge with 82 square miles of private reserve. This small, comfortable lodge is 100% community-owned and so net profits are fed directly to the Anangu community and the preservation of the pristine rainforest in which the lodge resides. Located inside Yasuni National Park, the Napo Wildlife Centre is perched on a hillside next to the small and picturesque Anangucocha Lake. Its small number of rooms and large private reserve means that visitors have excellent chances of spotting some of the many mammals living in the forest, everything from Jaguar to sloths have been spotted here. The lodge also has the two most accessible parrot and macaw clay licks in Ecuador within its reserve and as well as two spectacular canopy towers which provide a unique vantage point for viewing for viewing an ecosystem that few people get access to.

Essential Info

Visas

Peru

Visas are not required by UK citizens, Western European nationals, Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans and most other nationalities. If you are in any doubt please contact the nearest Peruvian Embassy.

Ecuador

British passport holders do not need a visa for Ecuador. Very few other nationalities need a visa for Ecuador, but if you are in any doubt you should contact the nearest Ecuadorian Embassy.
Please note that if flying via the US (even as a transit passenger) you must clear US immigration. Most UK citizens are eligible for visa-free travel, but you must register on the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), which costs USD14 and is valid for two years. Please go to http://www.exodus.co.uk/USvisa for more information.

Vaccinations

Peru

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in Peru. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

If you are travelling to the Tambopata reserve in the Amazon rainforest, the risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. We also strongly recommend that you obtain a Yellow Fever vaccination. Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in the Amazon region. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites: always apply insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers while in the rainforest to avoid being bitten.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up‐to‐date information.

Ecuador

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Typhoid and Hepatitis A. If you will spend any time in the Amazon Rainforest we recommend a Yellow Fever vaccination. Please note that your certificate of vaccination may be inspected on arrival to this region. Malaria is also a risk in some areas of the country (including the Amazon Rainforest) so we suggest you consult a Doctor for more advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up‐to‐ date information.

Eating and Drinking

On board Cachalote I, all meals are included and are served in a buffet style. There is a wide choice of food available, including vegetarian options.

For the rest of the trip, we visit a variety of cafes and restaurants for any meals which are not included in the itinerary. Hotel breakfasts are normally simple buffet-style affairs, usually including bread/toast and jam, cereal, sometimes eggs or a cooked dishes, sometimes fruit, tea/coffee and fruit juice. Regrettably we can not guarantee that wheat/gluten free products will be available for breakfast in all locations - if you have an intolerance you may wish to bring your own breakfast food. We provide a packed lunch on day 3, whether you are taking the train or doing the optional walk to Machu Picchu.

Weather

Peru's diverse geography results in a very varied climate. In Cuzco and the Andes, April to November is the dry season; during these months the sky is generally bright and clear with strong sunshine in the mornings, sometimes clouding over as the day progresses.

In the Andes, however, anything is possible at any time of year, including cloud rolling up from the Amazon basin, rain or even snow, and rapid and unexpected changes! During the dry season temperatures at night can dip to around the freezing mark (and sometimes below!). 

Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are in the Cloud Forest and as such attract large amounts of precipitation all year as clouds move up from the Amazon Basin. Rain here can be heavy, but is seldom prolonged.

In Quito and the highlands it should be warm by day and generally dry. Maximum daytime temperatures are almost constant throughout the year at 20ºC, nights 8ºC. Some rain can be expected in February to May and October to November but storms, though heavy, are generally short, and Quito is considered to have quite a pleasant climate.

It is possible to visit the Galapagos at any time of year, but seasonal variations do affect what you see and there are climatic changes to be aware of.  The weather is controlled by the two main ocean currents of the region, the Humboldt, bringing cold water from the Antarctic, and El Nino, which brings tropical water from the Gulf of Panama. How close to Galapagos they converge (which varies from year to year) is the key to the weather.

'Dry season'

Generally speaking, late May to early December is the cooler 'dry' season. In this period it is not necessarily dry, as there is a persistent light mist (garua) and often light drizzle, and the higher mountain slopes are covered in cloud and fog or rain. At this time the winds are in the southeast and are higher than at other times, so seas can sometimes be choppy and anyone worried about seasickness might be better advised to avoid it. Daytime maximum temperatures lie between 27ºC and 31ºC, the cooler months being July to November. In July and August the fairly strong winds introduce a chill factor, and it can feel quite cold at nights, though throughout the year the official night temperatures vary between 19ºC and 24ºC.

'Wet season'

Depending on how close the convergence of the two currents comes to Galapagos, there may or may not be a wet season from January to April or May. Approximately every seven years the El Nino current actually hits the islands and there will be heavy rains in these months. In other years rain usually falls sporadically from otherwise clear skies. The ocean temperatures are higher, with generally calm seas and strong sunshine: pleasant, but potentially very hot. Apart from an El Nino year, the weather is usually better from December/January to April/May than at other times even if there is some rain, and most people would regard these months as the best time to go.

There are plenty of wildlife highlights throughout the year:

January: Nesting land birds; Green sea turtles arrive to lay eggs on the islands beaches; land iguana’s start breeding on Isabela.

February: Nesting marine iguanas on Santa Cruz; Greater flamingos start nesting on Floreana.

March: The bright red throat pouches of frigatebirds are inflated during mating season on Genovesa and San Cristobal.

April: Huge numbers of Waved albatross on Española displaying courtship rituals; eggs of Green sea turtles begin to hatch; land iguana eggs hatch on Isabela.

May: Courtship of Blue-footed boobies begins on North Seymour; Waved albatross on Española start laying eggs.

June: Giant tortoises migrate to the lowlands and start nesting; migrating birds stop in the Galapagos to rest; migrating Humpback whales can often by seen around the western islands.

July: Dolphins and whales are more likely to be seen around the western islands; Blue-footed boobies on Española start breeding.

August: Nazca boobies nest on Genovesa Island; Sea lions start giving birth to pups.

September: Penguins seen in the water when snorkelling around Bartoleme.

October: Galapagos fur seals start mating; Blue-footed boobies start raising chicks.

November: Curious sea lion pups found in the water amongst snorkelers.

December: Mating Green sea turtles; Waved albatross chicks fledge.

 

Galapagos-Puerto-Vilami

Is this trip for you?

Seven nights are spent on board a small yacht (the Cachalote) in two berth cabins - single cabins are not available, and if you are travelling on your own you will be paired up in a cabin with a member of the same sex. There may be passengers on the boat who have not booked through Exodus, and occasionally this may include families with children below the minimum age of this trip.

The Cachalote operates different itineraries on alternate weeks: Itinerary A (Tower) and Itinerary B (Fernandina). Each itinerary follows a different path and visits a different set of islands in the Galapagos - please refer to the correct itinerary for your date within these Trip Notes. During the cruise we live aboard, visit a number of islands and sites and spend as much time as possible ashore watching the birds and animals. Due to local regulations, there is usually very little disruption to the schedule, but this can also mean little deviation in the event of poor weather or other circumstances. Exodus use only small Galapagos boats (8 to 16 passengers) as we believe this is the most satisfying and environmentally friendly way to see the islands. We do not use the large boats preferred by some of our competitors.

This trip spends considerable time at altitude, Cuzco itself lies at 3400m above sea level.

Please note that there are now extremely stringent booking procedures in place for the Inca Trail. If you would like to do the optional day walk to Machu Picchu on day 3 then it's essential that you let us know at the time of booking as a permit is required to do so. We will also need your full passport details or we will be unable to process your booking.

Inca Trail Regulations
Those who have opted to do the day walk along a section of the Inca Trail will require an Inca Trail permit. There are a number of important regulations regarding the Inca Trail that we would like to make you aware of:

  1. Spaces on the Inca Trail are on a first come, first served basis and we urge you to book as early as possible. 
  2. If you cancel your booking more than 8 weeks before departure and wish to transfer your deposit to another departure or another trip the transfer fee is £150 as we will lose the permit we have purchased. This is an amendment to our Booking Conditions. No transfers are possible within 8 weeks of departure. 
  3. Bookings can only be made if we are supplied with your full name, passport details, date of birth and nationality, exactly as per the passport you will be using to travel to Peru (this information is used to purchase your Inca Trail permit). If your passport details do not match those on your permit you will be refused entry to the Inca Trail by the local authorities. 
  4. Should the passport used to purchase your permit be lost, stolen or expire before your Inca Trail start date, you must purchase a new passport and notify Exodus immediately as we will need to apply to amend your Inca Trail permit. To do so, you must supply copies of both your old and new passports to Exodus in advance of travel and pay an administration fee of £25. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you make a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
  5. Please be aware that these regulations may change at any time, and Exodus is not responsible for the decisions made by Peruvian authorities.
  6. There is a possibility that the Peruvian authorities may increase the entrance fees to the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and other major sights at any time. If they do so, we will inform you of this increase and the extra amount will need to be paid locally in cash in Peru.

Please Note: If you have elected to do the optional day walk along a section of the Inca Trail, you should be aware that whilst your departure date may be 'Guaranteed', your Inca Trail permit itself will initially be 'On Request'. If travelling within the current year we will try to purchase your permit immediately upon receiving your booking. If travelling next year, we will apply for your permit as soon as they are released for sale. In either case, in the event that we are unable to get your permit we will contact you.

Accommodation

Hotels and motor yacht

6 nights comfortable hotels, all en suite, 7 nights on Cachalote in twin cabins with en suite facilities.

The hotels normally used are indicated within the itinerary however accommodation may differ from those stated depending on your departure date. In Cuzco, Aguas Calientes and Quito, we stay in small, locally-owned hotels in central locations close to restaurants and shops. The hotels in Peru are simple local 3-star rated, whereas those in Ecuador are of a slightly higher standard.

Please note that central heating is very rare in Peru, even in good standard hotels. Most hotels provide plug in heaters and spare blankets. A railway line runs straight through the centre of Aguas Calientes and whilst we try to allocate rooms away from it whenever possible, the trains might be heard from some rooms.

Our Galapagos boat Cachalote I is a charming 96-foot schooner, rated as 'First Class'. Features include panoramic windows in the saloon and dining areas, air-conditioning in every cabin, and three spacious wooden decks. She is equipped with eight double occupancy cabins with en-suite WC and hot and cold showers, and the onboard service is excellent, with a wide variety of meals served for lunch and dinner. All nights in the Galapagos are spent on board the Cachalote I.

Single rooms can be arranged for a supplement (from £210) for the six hotel nights in Peru, subject to availability – please enquire at the time of booking. Unfortunately, we cannot offer single cabins on the Cachalote, and you will be paired up with another traveller of the same sex for the 7 nights on board.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed June 2017
    Julian Haskett

    Machu Pichu and Galapagos

    Trip to Cusco to acclimatise to altitude then visit Machu Pichu. Fly on to Quito the Capital of Equador then a week sailing round the Galapagos.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first sight of Machu Pichu then just about everything in the Galapagos.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had three different Guides all were excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light, don't go if you don't like heights or steep steps.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip was everything we had hoped for and more. I have no hesitation in recommending this trip.
  • Reviewed May 2017
    Alexandra Tuesley

    Fantastic

    Fantastic adventure from start to finish. Well organised, friendly and helpful staff. Just brilliant would recommend to any one..

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sleeping 14ft on top of a mountain and then waking to see the most amazing sunrise and views. Amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group leader was so lovely. He made us all feel special and as if it was the first time he was doing the trip and seemed to enjoy it as much as we all did. Had so much information to share with us about the area, the history and funny stories.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just sit back relax and enjoy your adventure. It is all taken care of.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just wish I had done it years ago. Looking forward to booking another adventure with Exodus
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Dawn Homer

    Peru and Galapagos

    Highlights of Cuzco and Machu Picchu and Quito and Galapagos itinerary B. Done with two amazing guides and with an amazing group of like minded travellers

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Machu Picchu for the first time and seeing animals in their own environment which are particular to the Galapagos archipelago

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Wilbert Ramos, cool, calm, collective, warm, empathetic, knowledgeable and a beautiful soul. Risell Morretti Cruz, Naturalist who is enthusiastic, knowledgeable, approachable and you can tell he is from Galapagos as he breathes it.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes don't hesitate to book with Exodus but consider land only as flights are unflexible and had what I feel were two unnecessary flights which marred the overall experience at the very end. To be flown back from Galapagos to Quito when we had already spent two nights there and then to have Exodus bounce a flight change with Iberian airlines to Gatwick instead of to Heathrow where our car was parked and not inform us meaning a hard bargain at Quito to find the flight had been delayed and then we had to fly back to Quayaqil be turfed off the plane and reboarded on the same aircraft made the journey home very difficult. This also ultimately ended in us losing luggage so an additional hour + waiting at Heathrow. Exodus should consider a last night overnight in Quayaqil cutting two flights out giving an opportunity for travellers to see that city. We could have flown directly from there with a change in Amsterdam and flown back to Birmingham which would have made the experience perfect.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Our first trip with Exodus would consider using them again.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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