Tailormade: Peru, Ecuador & Galapagos

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Way to Travel:
Tailormade Adventures

Discover the highlights of South America, from Peru to the Galapagos

Treat this sample itinerary as inspiration, your trip can be created specifically for you by one of our Tailormade experts and we will help you choose how you wish to travel through this destination. Maybe add in an extra day’s sightseeing, take time out to relax or we can change accommodation to your budget. It will be your adventure, your way!

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 stunning walk along the Inca Trail 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

  • Iconic Machu Picchu
  • Camping along the Inca Trail
  • Galapagos wildlife and volcanic landscapes

 

What's included

  • 15 nights hotel, 3 nights camping, 3 nights boat
  • 20 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 10 dinners
  • Air conditioned vehicle transfers
  • Local guides
  • English speaking naturalist in Galapagos
  • International flights (FI only)
  • Domestic flights

What's not included

  • Any visas required
  • Tips for leaders, guides and drivers
  • Personal Insurance
  • Optional activities
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee—$100pp
  • Galapagos Transit Control Card—$20pp
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874

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

  • Day 1

    Depart UK

    Overnight flights to Lima depart this afternoon

  • Day 2

    Arrive in Lima

    Welcome to Lima, the "City of Kings". Upon arrival to the airport, you will be transferred to your hotel. Your local guide will meet you for a welcome briefing & some tips during your stay in Lima. While Peru's capital officially began life in 1535, when Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city on the Day of the Three Kings, settlements had been scattered through the valley since before the Incas. The city was built on top of an existing palace and temples that belonged to the local chief who had little choice but to move on. Lima was in its prime during the Spanish colonial days and much of the city's attraction now lies in its well-preserved historical center.

     

    Accommodation: Hotel Tambo I

  • Day 3

    Lima to Puerto Maldonado

    In the morning you will be transferred to the airport. Flight to Puerto Maldonado ( not included) Upon arrival to Puerto Maldonado, you will be welcomed at the airport and will be transferred ten minutes to our Puerto Maldonado headquarters. While enjoying your first taste of the forest in our gardens, we will ask you to pack only the necessary gear for your next few days, and leave the rest at our safe deposit. This helps us keep the boats and cargo light. Skirting Puerto Maldonado, we drive 20 kilometers to the Tambopata River Port, entering the Native Community of Infierno. The port is a communal business. Box Lunch is included on route. The forty five minutes 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 you and will brief you with important navigation and security tips.

    The first activity that you are going to do is the Canopy Tower; a twenty minute walk from Posada Amazonas leads to the 30 meter scaffolding canopy tower. A banister staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. From the top you will obtain 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 are seen flying against the horizon, or mixed species canopy flocks land in the treetop next to you. Dinner is included in the lodge. A daily presentation on the Infierno ecotourism project is available every night from a staff member.

     

    Accommodation: Hotel Posada Amazones

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Puerto Maldonado

    In the morning, you will visit Tres Chimbadas Oxbow Lake; this place is thirty minutes by boat and forty five minutes hiking from Posada Amazonas. Once there you will 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 8:00am or 9:00am. Then you will head to Parrot Clay Lick; this clay lick is only a twenty minute walk from Posada Amazonas.  From a blind located about twenty meters away you will 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. The clay lick is active at dawn, during the late mornings and mid-afternoons. After these tours, you will return to the lodge to enjoy of your lunch. By the afternoon, you will have an ethnobotanical tour; a twenty minute boat drive downriver leads you to a trail designed by the staff of the Centro Ñape. The Centro Ñape is a communal organization that produces medicines out of forest plants and administers them to patients who choose their little clinic. They have produced a trail which explains the different medicinal (and other) uses of selected plants. At night, after dinner you will have the option of hiking out at night, 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.

     

    Accommodation: Hotel Posada Amazones

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Puerto Maldonado to Cusco


    We have an early breakfast and get ready for our departure from the lodge. The time of departure is programmed according to the flight times for guests finishing their tour on the same day. Guests are taken from the port to our Puerto Maldonado office, and then on to the airport to take your departure flight. ( not included). Arrive in Cusco, historic heartland and former capital of the Incan Empire. Your local guide will welcome you at the airport and will transfer you to your hotel. On route he will explain you the next few days' activities. Cusco is a favorite destination of many visitors to Peru. As you wander the streets and side alleys of the city you will witness the perfect tapering Inca stonework that provided the foundations for many of Cusco’s colonial and modern buildings. The city itself is the continent's oldest continuously inhabited city and was the home of the Inca Empire for two centuries before the Spanish built their first capital here. Today Cusco is a fascinating combination of both cultures. Take the time to acclimatize to the city's 3450-metre high (11,150 ft) altitude and explore the many Baroque churches and ancient temples that dot the city.

     

    Accommodation: Casa Andina Koricancha Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Cusco

    In the morning, you will have a guided walking tour of the most characteristic places in the center of Cusco, vivid example of the mixture of Inca and Spanish cultures. On the way you will see the Stone of Twelve Angles at the Inca Roca Palace, on Hatun Rumilloc Street. You will visit the most sacred Inca building “The Temple of Qoricancha”. Qoricancha was the most important temple of the Inca Empire. According to archaeologists it housed over 1000 priests and attendants. It was built over an Inca palace dedicated to the worship of the Sun.

    Them explore the San Pedro Market where you will 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.

     

    Accommodation: Casa Andina Koricancha Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Cusco to Sacred Valley

    In the morning, you will be picked up from your hotel to start with visit of the Sacred Valley. On the way you will stop at a point known as El Mirador, from where you will be able to see the whole Sacred Valley and receive a good insight of the Inca history. The Sacred Valley was undoubtedly a key area of settlement to the Incas; its combination of agreeable climate and fertile plains bestow an unusual abundance for the high Andes. Here the Incas sculpted the mountain flanks with vast contour terracing and irrigation channels. Our driver and guide will suggest you the best points for pictures. Later on, you will drive towards the ruins of Pisac. At the ruins you will see and learn about different aspects of Inca culture. You can see a great fine art of stone works and impressive agricultural terraces all over the place. Then, we visit the town of Pisac and wander through the local market, known for its multi-coloured textiles, local foods, and indigenous clothing - a great opportunity to pick up some souvenirs as well as take some great photos. In the afternoon, you will drive along the Urubamba River towards the town of Ollantaytambo. When you arrive in Ollantaytambo you'll see it's a magnificent example of Incan urban planning. It's one of the few places where the Incas defeated the Spanish. Once you get there you will visit the ruins of Ollantaytambo, an important Inca construction built during the Inca's heydays. This is an extraordinary Inca place where besides the ruins you may also see an amazing rock formation representing the Inca god Wiracocha. Afterwards, you will go to your hotel.

     

    Accommodation: Tunupa Lodge

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Sacred Valley to the Inca Trail

    Today travel by minivan to the 82 kilometre marker and meet your crew of local porters, cook and guide. The first day includes uphill trekking to the campsite, which is at 3,100 metres above sea level. On the way you’ll see the Inca sites of Ollantaytambo, Huillca Raccay and Llactapata, as well as incredible views of snow-capped Veronica Peak. In the evening, unwind at the campsite with a nourishing meal.

     

    Accommodation: Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Inca Trail

    This is the most challenging and rewarding day of the hike. A three-hour walk takes us to the top of the first pass of Puccaqasa (approximately 4,370 meters high). After enjoying picturesque views of the valley, it’s a short walk before stopping for lunch. Afterwards, make the two-hour hike to Kuychicassa, the highest pass of the trek at 4,450 meters. From here, descend to the sacred site the Incas called Intipunku (Sun Gate), with views of the Nevado Veronica mountain. Head to the campsite, only a stone’s throw away at Choquetacarpo.

     

    Accommodation: Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Inca Trail

    Start the day with a climb through the Pacaymayo Valley to Runkuracay pass (3,980 metres). Enjoy views of the snow-capped mountain of Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending for around two to three hours to the ruins of Sayacmarca. Continue over the trail’s third pass to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3,850 metres), also known as 'Town Above the Clouds'. Start the two-hour descent down the Inca steps to the final night's campsite by the Winay Wayna archaeological site.

     

    Accommodation: Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Machu Picchu to Cusco

    This is the final and most spectacular leg of the trek to Machu Picchu. The day starts before dawn with breakfast at 4am. Say farewell to the porters as they descend to the train station and then begin hiking by 430am. One the final checkpoint opens at 5am, begin the final leg of the trek. The walk to Intipunku (the Sun Gate) takes around two-and-a-half hours. Weather permitting, enjoy unforgettable views over the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ as you enter Machu Picchu through the Sungate.

     

    Accommodation: Casa Andina Koricancha Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Cusco to Puno

    In the morning you will be transferred to the bus station. Today, you will travel to Puno (10 hours bus journey). The service is provided in buses equipped purely for a touristic trip, looking for the best way to travel from Cusco to Puno. This is a unique experience; the first half of the journey is 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. In this journey, you can enjoy different locations that hold magical charm and an ancestral history, such as: The Sistine Chapel of the Americas or 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, where you can find pottery and sculptures representing zoomorphic figure. Lunch is included in a restautant on route.

     

    Accommodation: La Hacienda Plaza

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 13

    Puno to Suasi Island

    In the morning you will be transferred to the bus station.

    This morning you will be picked up between 8:30 am and 9 am. Please confirm the time when you meet with our representative in the evening of Day 1. Then, be enchanted by the striking scenery and unique cultures on a cruise around Lake Titicaca. Stop by the amazing floating Uros islands which are created entirely from reeds, one of Lake Titicaca’s most interesting sights. These forty or so islands were handmade from a natural reed-like papyrus by the pre-Incan Uru people. Visit Taquile Island, on the Peruvian side of the lake and peruse its residents’ renowned handicrafts, including woollen items. Retire to your eco-lodge on the private Island of Suasi. Enjoy an included dinner tonight at the lodge.

     

    Accommodation: Suasi Island Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    Suasi Island

    Today you have a free day to explore the Island of Suasi. The lodge offers various activities including: Trek to Mount Itapilluni - this late-afternoon trek takes you to the highest point of the island where you will witness an unforgettable sunset over Lake Titicaca. The trek takes approximately 1-2 hours and it's relatively easy. On 106-hectare Suasi Island, you may see mammals such as all four species of camelids (llamas, alpacas, vicunas and guanacos) and viscachas. Alternatively you may simply wish to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. There are also several other optional activities offered by the lodge at an additional cost. Please speak to your tour guide for more information.

     

    Accommodation: Suasi Island Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 15

    Fly to Quito, Ecuador

    Welcome to Ecuador. Sitting at an altitude of 2,850 metres, under the gaze of Volcan Pichincha, Quito is one of the most attractive cities in South America. Your adventure starts with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details ready.

     

    Accommodation: Le Parc Hotel

    Meals included: Lunch Dinner
  • Day 16

    Quito

    Today you have a free day to explore Quito. Constructed on the foundations of an ancient Incan city, it’s known for its well-preserved colonial center, rich with 16th- and 17th-century churches and other structures blending European, Moorish and indigenous styles. These include the cathedral, in the Plaza Grande square, and ultra-ornate Compañia de Jesús Jesuit church.

     

    Accommodation: Le Parc Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 17

    Fly to the Galapagos

    AM- San Cristobal Airport

    Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to San Cristobal (2 1/2 hours flight). Arriving in Galapagos, passengers are picked up at the airport by our naturalist guides and taken to the pier to board the M/Y Coral I or M/YCoral II.

    PM – Interpretation Center & Tijeretas Hill (San Cristobal Island)

    Dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galapagos Islands. Passengers visit the Interpretation Center, an excellent place to learn about islands’ history in The Museum of Natural History which displays information about the volcanic origins of the islands, their remoteness from the continent, ocean currents, climate, the arrival of the different species and their colonization, among other points of interest. The human history is also showcased, chronologically narrating the most significant events related to the discovery and the island’s colonization.

     

    Accommodation: M/Y Coral 1 or 2

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 18

    Galapagos: San Cristobal Island

    AM – Cerro Brujo (San Cristobal Island)

    Wet landing. Cerro Brujo is an eroding tuff cone that is composed of AA lava formations; it is close to a beautiful white sandy beach which is great for snorkelling and sunbathing. Nearby a lagoon ideal for migratory bird species can be seen, including black-necked stilts, ruddy turnstones, whimbrels, sandpiper, and white- cheeked Pintails. Cerro Brujo offers beautiful views of Kicker Rock, an islet in the adjacent southern coast of San Cristobal.

    PM – Pitt Point & Islet (San Cristobal Island)

    Wet landing followed by a high-intensity hike on rocky terrain. The trail includes a 90 meters long, olivine beach and a path that climbs to the top of a volcanic tuff, through several magnificent viewpoints. This is probably the only site where the three booby species of the Galapagos can be seen together, as well as, two species of frigate birds and a sea lion colony. It is also excellent for dinghy rides and snorkelling, where a good range of sea birds can be observed.

     

    Accommodation: M/Y Coral 1 or 2

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 19

    Galapagos: Espanola Island

    AM – Suarez Point (Espanola Island)

    Dry landing. An island of geological interest, being one of the oldest in Galapagos, it has a high percentage of endemism due to its isolation from the rest of the islands. Due to the great variety of wildlife, this is one of the most attractive spots in the Galapagos. Here, it is possible to explore volcanic formations and see large colonies of sea lion and seabirds including the Española mockingbird, Nazca boobies, and the spectacular red-billed tropicbirds. Here, the singular marine iguanas have a turquoise colour with reddish parts during the breeding season, lava lizards, and the colourful Sally light-foot crabs. A somewhat lengthy hike brings visitors to nesting grounds that sometimes overlap the trail. Other birdwatchers favorites include the Galapagos dove, the Galapagos hawk, swallow-tailed gulls and the world’s largest colony of waved albatross, an unequivocal highlight during mating season (April-December). Admire the island’s dramatic backdrop, featuring the famous “Soplador,” a seaward blowhole that shoots water up to 23 m. (75 ft.) into the air.

    PM – Gardner Bay, Osborn or Gardner Islets (Espanola Island)

    Wet landing. Gardner Bay is a beautiful white coral sandy beach guarded by a colony of sea Lions. Here, there are no trails, so visitors stay along the shore, spotting the Galapagos hawk, the American oystercatcher, the Galapagos dove, hood mockingbirds, yellow warblers, lava lizards, marine iguanas, and three species of Darwin finches , cacti finch (Geospizafuliginosa), the small ground finch (Geospizafuliginosa) and the warbler finch (Certhideaolivacea). Swimming and snorkelling offers a great variety of Galapagos marine wildlife: king angelfish, creole fish, damsel fish and parrot fish.

     

    Accommodation: M/Y Coral 1 or 2

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 20

    Galapagos: Floreana Island

    AM – Cormorant Point/ Devil’s Crown/Champion (Floreana Island)

    Wet landing, on an olivine green, sanded beach. We hike from the black mangrove beds to a brackish lagoon, which usually holds one of the largest flamingo populations in the Galapagos. This island features some endemic plants such as Scalesia villosa, white and black mangrove, and holy stick. The trail continues to a beautiful white sandy beach, one of the most important nesting sites of Green Pacific Sea Turtles. It is important to avoid walking in the water due to the Sting Rays that may be hiding in the sand, which can be dangerous if accidentally stepped on. From the beach, one can spot sea turtles, blue-footed boobies plunging into the water, and small reef sharks floating along the shoreline in the search for food.

    This coral-sand beach marks the end of our trail, and we head back to the olivine beach we landed on, to swim or snorkel amongst sea turtles, reef fish, sea lions and, on a good day, white-tipped reef sharks. A small colony of penguins resides on Floreana and can sometimes be observed as well.

    PM – Post Office (Floreana Island)

    Wet landing. Located on the north side of Floreana, the bay was named because in 1793 Captain James Colnett installed a wooden barrel which served as an informal post office for sailors passing through, who would take letters with them back to their destinations. Today, visitors continue the tradition by placing unstamped postcards inside the barrel, hoping that some other traveller, going to the letter destination, will take it back for free. The chances are that the letter posted can take a long time to arrive at its destination. However, there have been cases where it has arrived before the sender.

    We may also encounter Darwin’s finches, Yellow Warbler and Lava Lizards. Great snorkelling opportunities with Green Pacific Sea Turtles. As well, the island is best known for its endemic vegetation: Scalesia villosa, Lecocarpus Pinnatifidus, and the Galapagos Milkwort. Snorkelers can practice on the main beach among playful sea lions.

     

    Accommodation: M/Y Coral 1 or 2

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 21

    Galapagos: Santa Cruz Island

    AM – Highlands Tortoise Reserve (Santa Cruz Island)

    Dry landing. In the mountains of Galapagos is possible to admire different kind of birds, such as: tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers, paint-billed crakes, yellow warblers, and cattle egrets (usually standing on the tortoises’ shell). The journey to the reserve offers great opportunities to see the contrasts that the island offers in reference to the variety of ecosystems. The road goes from the coast through the agricultural zone and straight up to the dense humid forests. Often, Galapagos Giant Tortoises are also seen on the way, wandering through pastures in the paddocks. This spot is a birdwatchers’ haven, since almost every land bird present on the island lives or migrates here.

    PM - Baltra Island Airport

    After the visit, passengers will be taken to Sol y Mar Hotel where you’re going to spend the next 2 nights.

     

    Accommodation: Sol y Mar Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 22

    Puerto Ayora

    Today enjoy a free day in Puerto Ayora. Puerto Ayora is a town in central Galápagos, Ecuador. Located on the southern shore of Santa Cruz Island, it is the seat of Santa Cruz Canton. The town is named in honor of Isidro Ayora, an Ecuadorian president.

     

    Accommodation: Sol y Mar Hotel 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 23

    Fly to Quito and departure

    This morning you will fly back to Quito. For land only travellers, the trip ends here today. Those who are flight inclusive will be taken to Quito airport to catch the overnight international flight home.

     

    Accommodation: None

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 24

    Arrive UK

    Overnight flights arrive back into the UK today

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

Included:

  • 20 breakfasts
  • 11 lunches
  • 10 dinners

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.

Ecuador - Galapagos

Is this trip for you?

There’s a world of life-changing experiences out there, and all our trips are hand-crafted to showcase the best, wherever you’re headed. But what happens if you want to take a detour? Linger a while longer? Or want something completely unique to you? With Exodus’ Tailormade Adventures we can tailor almost any holiday to suit you, creating a bespoke adventure. Every element can be tailored to suit your requirements: we can sort flights and hotel upgrades, extra nights, regional departures, beach extensions, stop overs and more. 

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

Accommodation

Tailormade Accommodation

Whether the destination is more important than the accommodation, or you would like to overnight in comfort, our Tailormade team can offer a wide variety of accommodation options from camping and village houses, to some of the finest hotels around. We do this so we can offer accommodation to suit every budget. The team will listen to your requirements to insure we find the right accommodation to suit you.

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

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

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

Expert Blog Entries

Be the first to post your review! If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then simply use the link below to post your holiday review.

Dates & Prices

Your Tailormade adventure starts here!

Send us your requirements and we will create your bespoke itinerary just for you. To speak to one of our dedicated tailormade team, simply enter your details below and tell us when it’s convenient for you.  

 

Your Tailormade adventure starts here!

Send us your requirements and we will create your bespoke itinerary just for you. To speak to one of our dedicated tailormade team, simply enter your details below and tell us when it’s convenient for you.  

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]

 

* Please note:  Tailormade adventures don’t have scheduled departures – you choose to travel on the dates that suit you. The exact cost per person will depend on your dates of travel and your chosen inclusions but for the itinerary shown based on March departures we estimate £7160 per person. To find out how much your perfect adventure would be, call our team for an exact quote on 0208 772 3874.

Call us on 020 8772 3936