Machu Picchu & Galapagos - Nemo II

16 days
from
£5,449
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Trip code: 
APG8
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Multi-country
Min age:
16
Group size:
2–14

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 the Nemo II, a First Class Motor Sail Catamaran, 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, and colourful Quito
  • Optional daywalk on the Inca Trail, at no extra cost (please request at the time of booking)
  • Seven nights onboard a First Class Motor Sail Catamaran exploring the Galapagos Islands
  • Snorkel with iridescent fish, playful sea lions and turtles

Key information

  • 6 nights comfortable en suite hotels, 7 nights en suite air-conditioned twin cabins on board the Nemo II
  • Optional Inca Trail daywalk: request on booking
  • Group normally 2 to 14 plus local leader/staff. Min. age 16 yrs
  • Spends time at altitude
  • Travel by flight, minibus, train and motor yacht

 

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners
  • 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 transfers in Cuzco
  • Flights between Cuzco and Quito (if booking incl. flights)
  • Return flights from Quito/Guayaquil 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)
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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.

    Hotel Eco Inn/Casa Andina Koricancha/Garcilazo 1 (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.

    Hotel Eco Inn/Casa Andina Koricancha/Garcilazo 1 (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.

    Hotel Hatun Inti Classic (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

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

    In order to beat the day-trippers arriving from Cuzco and reach the ruins as early as possible, a very early start is required to queue for Machu Picchu; only government-registered buses can make the 30-minute drive up the winding road to the site entrance and during high season (May-October) queues can be hours long. 

    Machu Picchu is one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient world and what makes it all the more dramatic is its mountain backdrop of staggering immensity. The Spaniards never found it; the Incas left no records of it, and so Machu Picchu remained a great enigma, a city lost for centuries in the jungle until it was rediscovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. 

    Having been trialled in 2017, new regulations for visiting Machu Picchu will be fully enforced for 2018; of the three possible visiting slots, Exodus will purchase the morning slot from 06:00 until 12:00 (unless unavailable), you will be limited to a maximum of four hours within the site and must be accompanied by a guide. There will also be three set routes to follow around Machu Picchu; Exodus selects the most comprehensive route. 

    We catch an afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo (1hr 30 mins) and continue by private bus to Cuzco (2hrs 30 mins).

    Hotel Eco Inn/Casa Andina Koricancha/Garcilazo 1 (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

    Half day 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; board Nemo II.

    This morning we transfer to Quito Airport for our flight to the Galapagos Islands. Be prepared for an early start as this could mean leaving the hotel around 5.30am. A USD20 per person transit card is payable on departure at Quito and a USD100 per person national park entry fee is payable on arrival in the Galapagos. Please have cash on hand to pay for these.

    On arrival in the Galapagos we are met in the arrivals hall and then transferred to our boat, the Nemo II, which will be anchored a short distance away in Santa Cruz. Once on board we'll be assigned our cabins, meet the crew and get to know our naturalist guide and fellow travellers over lunch. 

    Our Galapagos Cruise alternates between two itineraries (A & B). 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

    Navigate to Bachas beach. The name is “Spanglish” for 'barges', which were wrecked offshore during World War II. There is a delightful swimming beach here with a lagoon behind, and a longer beach for a stroll and wildlife-watching. The saltwater lagoon often has Great Blue herons and small waders such as Sanderlings. Both beaches are nesting areas for Green sea turtles which leave tracks in the sand, especially from November to February. After dinner we navigate the short distance to Santa Cruz. 

    Itinerary B

    Navigate to North Seymour to discover the 2km trail that crosses the island and around the rocky coast. Along the way the trail passes colonies of Blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds. The Magnificent frigatebird, a large black bird with a long wingspan and a hooked beak, is extremely fast and has excellent vision. Frigatebirds are known for the large red pouch on their necks. During mating season the males throw back their heads, inflate their pouch (sometimes to the size of a football), and shake trying to capture the attention of females. Blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds have an interesting relationship. Sharing the same nesting area on North Seymour, Blue-footed boobies nest on the ground making their nests from the twigs of the Palo Santos trees, while the frigatebirds' nest just above them in the saltbushes. After dinner we navigate to Santa Cruz.

    Nemo II

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Galapagos Cruise Day 2

    Itinerary A

    After naviating to Santa Fe Island we spend some time in one of the most beautiful coves in all of the Galapagos, with its white sandy beaches and turquiose waters. In the large sea lion colony bulls vie for the right of beachmaster whilst cows laze in the sun. The loop trail leads us past salt bushes where Galapagos hawks can be seen at close range, alongside the largest land iguanas in the Galapagos. This afternoon we navigate to South Plazas island, where the biggest population of land iguanas in the Galapagos can be found. The iguanas here are yellow-brown and feed on the fruit and pads of the Prickly Pear Cactus. As we walk alongside the sea cliffs, Swallow-tailed gulls, frigatebirds, Audubon shearwaters, Red-Billed tropicbirds, Brown pelicans, Blue-footed and Masked boobies are frequently seen. 

    Itinerary B

    Today's excursion allows us to discover the highlands of Santa Cruz and its incredible vegetation zones. We visit a private finca called 'Las Primicias' which offers the best possibility to see Galapagos giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Our next visit will be the Charles Darwin Research Centre to begin learning about the ecology of the islands, their origin and formation. You can also see the famous Galapagos giant tortoise hatchery which is based here.

    Nemo II

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Galapagos Cruise Day 3

    Itinerary A

    A day at San Cristobal Island to discover Cerro Brujo, a striking eroded tuff cone and one of the first sites visited by Charles Darwin. We have a landing to explore the white sand beach where Blue-footed boobies, Brown pelicans, sea lions and marine iguanas are all found, before making our way to explore the striking spear of Kicker Rock and the nearby sea lion colony of Isla Lobos. 

    Itinerary B

    Today we wake up on the south coast of Isabela, the largest island of the Galapagos Archipelago. Isabela was formed by five giant volcanic craters, all of which are still considered active. The island is located in one of the youngest geological areas in the world, having been formed less than 1 million years ago. Our morning begins at Punta Moreno where we take a panga ride along the beautiful rocky shores where Galapagos penguins and shore birds are frequently seen. After a dry landing the path traverses through jagged black lava rock. As the swirling black lava flow gave way to form craters, crystal tide pools formed, some of which are surrounded by mangroves. This is a magnet for Pink flamingos, Blue herons, and Bahama pintail ducks. You can walk to the edge of the lava to look straight down on these pools where you might spot the occasional Green sea turtle, White-tipped shark or Puffer fish. In the afternoon we navigate to Urbina Bay, an area that was uplifted by 4 metres in 1954. Walk here amongst exposed coral heads, wandering Galapagos giant tortoises and huge land iguanas. Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants and Brown pelicans nest in this area as well.

    Nemo II

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Galapagos Cruise Day 4

    Itinerary A

    Arriving at Espanola Island, we spend the morning at Punta Suarez on the western tip where sea lions, sea birds and the largest marine iguanas of the Galapagos are found, along with Masked boobies nesting among the rock formations. A 45-minute boat ride from Punta Suarez takes us to Gardner Bay, a stunning stretch of white-sand beach with excellent possibilities for swimming and snorkelling. Visitors can find migrant, resident and endemic wildlife include brightly coloured marine iguanas, Espanola lava lizards, Hood mockingbirds, Swallow-tailed gulls, Galapagos hawks and a large colony of Waved albatross.

    Itinerary B

    On the west coast of Isabela, directly east of Fernandina is Tagus Cove, a beautiful and well-protected spot sheltered by two volcanic craters. Thanks to its sheltered position this cove has been used as an anchorage for over 300 years. The walking trail ascends through a dry vegetation zone offering spectacular views of Darwin Lake, a saltwater crater lake. At the top of the trail it is possible to observe the different vegetation zones and on a clear day we may even catch a glimpse of Darwin and Wolf volcanoes. After lunch, we navigate towards Fernandina Island, the youngest and most active volcano in the Galapagos. The flat lava of Punta Espinosa offers a stark and barren landscape but wildlife thrives here - flightless cormorants build their nests on the point, sea lions sprawl on the beach or play in the tide pools and large numbers of marine iguanas dot the sand.

    Nemo II

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Galapagos Cruise Day 5

    Itinerary A

    Today's excursion allows us to discover the highlands of Santa Cruz and its incredible vegetation zones. We visit a private finca called 'Las Primicias' which offers the best possibility to see Galapagos giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Our next visit will be the Charles Darwin Research Centre to begin learning about the ecology of the islands, their origin and formation. You can also see the famous Galapagos giant tortoise hatchery which is based here.

    Itinerary B

    After navigating to Santiago Island, we disembark at Puerto Egas on the dark sand beaches of James Bay. Our visit begins with a walk along the rocky coast to view some of the Galapagos Island's best tide pools. Sponges, snails, hermit crabs, barnacles and fish including the endemic four-eyed Blenny can be seen, amongst a variety of shorebirds, marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs and sea lions. This site is named after Hector Egas who attempted to mine salt here, an industry that was abandoned in the 1950's. Bird lovers will be delighted with the opportunity to catch a glimpse of one of Darwin's finches, the endemic Galapagos hawk, or the colourful Vermillion flycatcher. There is a fur seal grotto here, where fur seals and sea lions can be seen swimming in the rocky lava ringed pools. We also visit Espumilla Beach today, one of the most idyllic locations in the Galapagos Islands and an important nesting site for marine turtles. Espumilla beach is also well known for its Palo Santo Forest and some extraordinary lava formations. Caleta Bucanero (Buccaneer Cove) is our final stop. This natural monument of rocks caused by sea erosion was used by pirates to careen their ships and is a place of local legends and stories!

    Nemo II

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    Galapagos Cruise Day 6

    Itinerary A

    Today we arrive on Floreana Island, where the famous Post Office Bay is found. In 1793 British whalers established a Post Office barrel to send letters to and from England, a tradition that has continued and thrives to this day, with many visitors collecting and leaving postcards to destinations all over the world! We also visit Cormorant Point today, an area with a green sand beach (caused by the olivine crystals) and large lagoon where Pink flamingoes and other shore birds can be seen. This is also a good spot for seeing Large-billed flycatchers and numerous finch species.

    Itinerary B

    Rabida is a tiny island and one of the most striking of the archipelago. Volcanic activity on this island has produced fantastic vivid colours, with red sand beaches and cliffs as a result of the high percentage of oxidised iron in the lava. A trail from the shore leads to a small salt-water lagoon where Greater flamingos can be seen. Nesting pelicans make use of the cliffs whilst Pintail ducks, marine iguanas and sea lions scatter the beach along Sullivan Bay.

    Nemo II

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    Galapagos Cruise Day 7

    Itinerary A

    Sombrero Chino is a small islet located near the south-east coast of Santiago. Shaped like a Chinese hat when seen from afar, it is geologically fascinating, with many lava tubes leading from the cone to the coast. We land on a beautiful crescent-shaped white sand beach, home to sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. The trail on Sombrero Chino explores its volcanic origin, one of the most evident in the islands. Snorkeling in the waters near Sombrero Chino can create a stir; white-tipped sharks frequent these waters, as do the playful Galapagos penguins and sea lions. This afternoon we navigate to Bartolome, a desolate landscape made famous by the tuff cone known as Pinnacle Rock, which has become one of the most visited and photographed parts of the islands. Very little vegetation grows in this barren place. Mangroves border the beach and the small shrub Tiguilia grows in the volcanic sands. The seeds and tiny white flowers of the Chamaesycae provide food for the island's finches. These plants are common to arid regions and are able to survive in harsh volcanic conditions.

    Itinerary B

    Our overnight navigation brings us to Genovesa. The most northerly island in the Galapagos is renowned for the sheer number of birds living on its volcanic cliffs. There are large populations of Red-footed boobies, Storm petrels, frigatebirds, tropicbirds and nocturnal Swallow-tailed gulls here. A challenging walk up a steep cliff and a trail through a Palo Santo forest takes us past the nesting sites for many of these birds. There is also time at Darwin Bay, where we land on a small coral beach near the caldera of a collapsed volcano - an excellent spot for photography of the many birds in this area.

    Nemo II

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 15

    Fly to Guayaquil; depart Guayaquil.

    Itinerary A

    An early start to explore Black Turtle Cove, a red mangrove wetland on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. This is a wonderful spot to see Green turtles and is a nursery for rays and Galapagos sharks. There is also abundant birdlife, such as the Yellow warbler and Lava heron. 

    Itinerary B

    This morning we have a circumnavigation of Daphne Island, an important centre for scientific research. There are very strict limits about the numbers of visitors allowed on Daphne at any one time and as such, we don't disembark here but will see the volcanic formations and bird life from the boat before returning the short distance to Baltra. 

    Both itineraries

    We say farewell to the Galapagos Islands after this mornings excursion and head to the airport on Baltra for our flight to Guayaquil where the holiday ends. At Guayaquil airport, it's possible to connect with international flights this evening from 6pm onwards. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 16

    Arrive London.

    The group flights arrive into London this evening.

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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 and/or Chikungunya are known risks in places visited on this trip. 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. 

Zika fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. 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. 

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 7 dinners are included.

All meals onboard the Nemo II are included and will be 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 there will be more or less rain, usually falling 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.

Galapagos-Puerto-Vilami

Is this trip for you?

This trip has been graded 2 (Leisurely/Moderate).

This holiday provides the perfect mix of culture and nature, spending five days visiting some of Peru's best highlights followed by a weeks' liveaboard, exploring the Galapagos Islands.

In the Galapagos, the Nemo II operates different itineraries on alternate weeks: Itinerary A and Itinerary B. 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.

It is ideal for wildlife enthusiasts, photographers and those with an interest in history or geology. Though you do not need to be particularly fit, you should note that due to the volcanic nature of the Galapagos islands there will be some walking on rough ground and sharp volcanic rocks. The ability to withstand high temperatures and swim will maximize your enjoyment. Due to local regulations in the Galapagos we have specific time slots for making our landings and site visits. There is usually very little disruption to the schedule, but this can mean little room for deviation in the event of poor weather or other circumstances.

Each day will feature a mixture of walking, snorkelling and exploring the islands by boat. To get closer to the designated landing sites on each of the islands we disembark the Nemo II into small pangas (motorised dinghies). Landings on the islands are divided into two types - wet and dry. For dry landings, the panga will take you right up to a landing stage or rocky outcrop where you can disembark without getting wet. However, in some places where there is no landing stage the panga will stop close to a beach and you will be expected to walk through shallow water (generally no more than ankle-deep) to the shore. The leader will always advise conditions prior to leaving the Nemo II and it is possible to skip any particular excursion if you would rather relax on board the boat.

There are plenty of opportunities for snorkelling in the Galapagos and this is one of the best ways to experience the marine life. A mask and snorkel will reveal an exciting underwater world with sea lions, rays, turtles, marine iguanas and a colourful array of fish. On most days of the itinerary there will be either one or two snorkelling sessions.

We offer Galapagos cruises in conjunction with our Ecuadorian partners, and Exodus participants will join an international group, not all of whom have booked through Exodus. Occasionally some of these may be younger than Exodus' minimum age for this trip. 

Please note that there is limited mobile reception in the Galapagos (apart from on the inhabited islands) and no wifi on board the Nemo II. 

In Peru, many of the towns and sites visited are built on hillsides and include walking up and down steep steps, on cobbled streets, or Inca terraces, therefore good mobility is required. This trip also spends considerable time at altitude; Cuzco itself lies at 3400m above sea level. Please refer to the Altitude Warning within the Trip Notes for further information. 

Optional Inca Trail daywalk: 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.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels and Nemo II (First Class Motor Sail Catamaran)

6 nights comfortable hotels, all en suite and 7 nights on the Nemo II 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, our hotels are centrally located and are close to restaurants and shops. 

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.

The Nemo II is a First Class Motor Sail Catamaran with an outside lounge and dining area, an inside lounge/bar area and a spacious sun deck, perfect for relaxing and observing the incredible Galapagos landscape. There are two superior cabins with double beds, two standard cabins with a lower single bed and an upper double bed, and three twin cabins with two single bunk beds. All cabins have air conditioning and en suite bathrooms. Beach towels are provided and there are also two sea kayaks on board for passenger use.

Please note that a lot of the travelling between islands is done overnight, so some cabin noise and movement should be expected.

Boat specifications:

First Class Motor Sail Catamaran
14 passenger capacity with 2 superior cabins, 2 standard cabins and 3 twin cabins.
Crew: 6 + 1 naturalist guide
Length: 21.88m
Beam: 10.39m 2 Engines

Extra nights accommodation

Should you wish to extend your stay, Exodus can book additional nights accommodation in Cuzco for you before the tour, or in Guayaquil after the tour. Please enquire at the time of booking.

Single Supplement

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

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

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Dates & Prices

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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]

Optional Inca Trail daywalk: An Inca Trail permit is required for the optional daywalk along a section of the Inca Trail. These are strictly limited and are highly sought after, therefore we strongly recommend booking at least 6 months in advance to avoid disappointment. 2018 Inca Trail permits are now on sale so don’t delay! Whilst your departure date may be 'Guaranteed', your Inca Trail permit itself will initially be 'On Request'. Inca Trail permits are strictly limited and are only released one year at a time. We cannot reserve or pre-purchase them. 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 to discuss your options.

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Call us on 020 8772 3936