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Galapagos / Peru / Argentina

Ecuador, Peru, Argentina Top Places: Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu, Iguazu Waterfalls

16 days | 15 nights
Private tour
From 3669USD per person
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Dreaming of discovering the best places in South America but cannot decide between Ecuador, Peru or Argentina? The best cities, the national parks and the vestige of the Inca empire in South America? This 16-day trip is made for you! You will explore the incredible Galapagos Islands during a 4 day/3 night cruise. Get close to sea lions, giant tortoises, green turtles, iguanas, blue and red-footed boobies, pelicans and many more. The Galapagos Islands are a real paradise for wildlife lovers and a unique sanctuary: half of the land species and one fifth of the marine species are endemic to the Islands. Iguazu National Park and its 275 individual waterfalls, is another place you cannot miss when traveling to South America. It is one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature thanks to its waterfalls nearly twice as tall as Niagara’s but also to its 2,000-plant species, about 400 bird species, 80 types of mammals that can be found inside the park. Quito, Guayaquil in Ecuador, Lima, Cusco in Peru and of course Buenos Aires, the Paris of the South, are stunning cities that you must visit when traveling to South America and that are part of this great tour. Finally, traveling to South America, would not be complete without learning about the largest empire in pre-Columbian America: the Inca Empire. Explore Cusco, Pisac, Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley and of course The Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu, another one of the New Seven Wonders in the World. This South American private tour has it all! 

Destinations

Galapagos / Peru / Argentina

Trip at a glance

Visits

GALAPAGOS: Barranco, Darwin Bay, Bartolome Island, Pinnacle Bay, Santiago Island, Sullivan Bay, Santa Cruz Island, Charles Darwin Station, ECUADOR: Quito, Guayaquil, PERU: Cusco, Sacred Valley, Pisac Ruins and Market, Ollantaytambo Forteress, Machu Picchu, Lima, ARGENTINA: Iguazu Waterfalls: Brazilian and Argentinian Sides, Bird Park, Buenos Aires: Plaza De Mayo, San Telmo, La Boca, Puerto Madero, Recoleta Cemetery, Palermo, Tango Show

Accomodation

12 hotel nights in 3 or 4* premium hotels + 3 nights in twin cabin (2 separated beds) on board M/C Archipel I

Transportation

Train trip to Machu Picchu in comfortable economy class: Ollantaytambo/Aguas Calientes/Ollantaytambo

Shuttle round trip Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes on day 10

All transfers by private car with private driver

4 day/3 night cruise onboard M/C Archipel I

Dates and Prices

Arrival date

Trip details

Itinerary

Day 1 ARRIVAL IN QUITO

Afternoon

Arrival at Mariscal Sucre, Quito international airport.

Meet and greet with your English-speaking private guide.

Transfer to the city centre and check in at your hotel (50 min).

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in Quito.

Day 2 QUITO: HALF-DAY CITY TOUR, FREE AFTERNOON

Morning

Discover with your guide the least-altered and best-preserved Latin American capital.

Take a walk to visit the colonial churches and monasteries of this urban jewel, the first city in history to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Starting at the Independence Square, flanked by the Presidential Palace your visit will include the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito, the Archbishop's Palace and the City Hall.

Ramble through the city's old streets on your way to El Sagrario church and its exquisitely carved stone façade and step inside the awe-inspiring church of the Society of Jesus.

Walk on to the Convent and Church of San Francisco, one of the greatest religious buildings on the South American continent.

Drive up to the top of the Panecillo hill for breathtaking panoramic views of Quito.

Afternoon

Free afternoon to enjoy the city at your own pace.

Evening

Free evening and overnight at the hotel in Quito.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 3 FLIGHT TO BALTRA, NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND

Morning

Arrival at Seymour airport on Baltra island.

Upon arrival at Seymour airport, you will go through an airport inspection to make sure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands.

On exiting the airport, you are required to pay an entrance fee to the National Park (US$ 100 for adults, US$ 50 for children under 12) as well as the Ingala Transit Control Card ($US 20)

Funds from the entry tax for tourists are used to finance the conservation of biodiversity of flora and fauna, terrestrial and marine, and benefits the local community by improving basic services, education projects, sports, health, environmental sanitation, environmental services and services directly related to tourists.

Meet and greet with your naturalist guide who will escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor.

Transfer on board and cabin allocation. Welcome drink and lunch on board.

Afternoon

Afternoon visit of North Seymour island, a popular island teeming with birdlife.

An easy circular path takes you through the archipelago's most extensive colonies of blue-footed boobies and frigate birds.

At the beginning of the frigate birds mating season, the male adults inflate their dazzling red throat sacs to impressive football-sized balloons.

This is one of the rare spots where both magnificent and great frigate birds breed side by side.

Return on board Archipel I.

Evening

Dinner and night onboard.

Sail north to Genovesa Island overnight.

MEALS
  • Lunch onboard Archipel I
  • Dinner onboard Archipel I

Day 4 GENOVESA ISLAND: BARRANCO, DARWIN BAY

Morning

Before landing, take a dinghy-ride along the eastern arm of the caldera with its overwhelming 80-foot tall (25 metres) walls rising out of the ocean.

Spot the occasional Galapagos fur seal resting or a seabird nesting on one of the ledges at the base of the wall.

Hike up the steep stairs from the landing dock to a bush of Palo Santo shrubs. Red-footed boobies use these scarce nesting places so that they do not have to nest on the rocky ground.

Upon arriving at the edge of the rim, the bushes open onto panoramic views swept by strong sea breezes and the amazing skillful flying of countless seabirds.

Following the exposed rim, you will first pass the Nazca boobies and finally reach the extensive storm petrel nesting places, where the well-camouflaged short-eared owls also nest.

Lunch onboard.

Afternoon

Inside the submerged caldera of Genovesa island lies the 1-mile wide and 200-foot deep Great Darwin Bay.

This small island will surprise you repeatedly, walking along a coral sand beach, crossing barren lava formations and creeks, passing tidal pools and shrubs clinging to the top of the cliffs.

With this peaceful surrounding, every single species has occupied its own ecological niche (or habitat) without disturbing others.

Return on board Archipel I.

Evening

Dinner and night onboard.

Sail south to Bartolomé Island overnight.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard Archipel I
  • Lunch onboard Archipel I
  • Dinner onboard Archipel I

Day 5 BARTOLOMÉ ISLAND: PINNACLE BAY - SANTIAGO ISLAND: SULLIVAN BAY

Morning

After breakfast, hop off on the amazing volcanic Bartolomé Island. Bartolomé is among the most newly-formed islands, and on a geological scale it was just recently born out of fire.

Although at first sight lifeless, Bartolomé offers some of the wildest landscapes and best panoramas of the entire archipelago.

To enjoy the postcard view of the idyllic 'Pinnacle Bay' you will hike up the 375-foot (115 metres) hill up the stairs that lead to the viewpoint at the top of the island.

Enter a dramatic world of extinct, but nevertheless threatening, spatter cones, craters, and lightweight lava droplets that have been spewed out by fiery fountains.

The Summit Trail is also ideal to see how scanty pioneer vegetation such as lava cactuses struggle to take root in the bare virgin lava fields.

Lunch onboard.

Afternoon

Sail to Sullivan Bay located on Santiago Island.

Set foot on the lava stream covering Sullivan Bay with its moonlike landscapes.

While the desolate, stretched-out fields seem mostly lifeless, the site is highly popular among photographers.

On the lava flow, the rare pioneer vegetation that manages to take root are the lava cactus and carpetweed.

During the nesting season, Pacific green turtles come to lay and bury their eggs on the tiny white sand beach, where you might also encounter crabs, the occasional strayed blue heron or oystercatcher.

Keep an eye out for lava lizards, locusts or the Galapagos racer, a small endemic snake species.

Evening

Return on board Archipel I.

Dinner and night onboard.

Sail southeast to Santa Cruz Island overnight.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard Archipel I
  • Lunch onboard Archipel I
  • Dinner onboard Archipel I

Day 6 SANTA CRUZ ISLAND: CHARLES DARWIN STATION, FLIGHT TO GUAYAQUIL

Morning

After breakfast, disembark at Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island to visit Charles Darwin Station.

Learn about the protection and conservation projects on the islands.

The main attractions are the National Park information center, the Van Staelen Exhibition Hall, the Breeding and Rearing Centre for young tortoises and adult Galapagos tortoises in captivity.

Transfer out to Seymour Airport.

Assisted by your naturalist guide and crewmembers, the dinghy will bring you and your luggage to Baltra, where you will take the shuttle back to the airport.

Afternoon

Direct flight to Guayaquil (1 hour 50 min).

Transfer to your hotel (15 min).

Evening

Free evening and overnight at the hotel in Guayaquil.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard Archipel I

Day 7 GUAYAQUIL CITY TOUR, FLIGHT TO LIMA

Morning

In the morning, enjoy a private city tour.

Stroll along the Malecon 2000 (the city's strand) and the Seminario Park with its numerous resident iguanas.

Discover Guayaquil's Cathedral, the City Hall and La Rotonda monument.

Walk up the tiny streets of Las Peñas, a colorful and traditional neighborhood.

Afternoon

At the indicated time, transfer to Guayaquil airport (15 min).

Check-in and assistance. Direct flight to Lima (2 hours).

Welcome by our local English-speaking staff.

Transfer to your hotel located in the residential and shopping district of Miraflores overlooking the Pacific ocean (1 hour).

Evening

Free evening and overnight at your hotel in Lima.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 8 FLIGHT TO CUSCO, HALF-DAY CUSCO CITY AND RUINS TOUR

Morning

In the morning, transfer to Lima airport (45 min to 1 hour).

Assistance for check-in, direct flight to Cusco (1 hour 15 min).

Meet and greet with your local guide at the airport and transfer to your hotel (15 min).

Afternoon

In the morning, you will meet your guide for a city tour of Cusco including the visit of the Plaza Mayor, the Cathedral and the Korikancha, the original Temple of the Sun.

Drive to the hills of Cusco to explore the archaeological sites of Sacsayhuamán, Q’enqo, PukaPukara and Tambomachay.

Transfer back to your hotel or to the city centre (20 min).

Evening

Free evening to discover Cusco's vibrant nightlife.

We recommend the lively pisco bar La Republica del Pisco. Overnight at your hotel in Cusco.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 9 SACRED VALLEY: PISAC RUINS AND MARKET, OLLANTAYTAMBO FORTRESS

Morning

In the morning, drive from Cusco to the village of Pisac (1 hour) with its famous Sunday market where many indigenous Quechua communities meet to sell and trade their goods.

The rest of the week, the whole place is bustling with its handicraft and souvenir market. You will have time to search for jewellery, ponchos, hats, traditional music instruments, ceramics, alpaca products and many other typical Andean crafts (1 hour 30 min).

Visit Pisaqa, Intihuatana, Q’allaqasa, and Kinchiracay. (1 hour 30 min). All 4 places are part of an Inca site on the nearby hill at an altitude of 10,980 feet (3345 m).

The Inca shaped the hill by carving the ingenious terraces that are still used for agriculture to this day.

With military, religious, and agricultural structures, the site was an important and busy place in Inca times.

Afternoon

In the afternoon, transfer to Ollantaytambo, a fortified city built by the Inca Pachacutec.

Explore this quaint settlement with an orthogonal layout (30 min).

Climb the Temple Hill known as the fortress to learn about the purpose of those inca constructions (1 hour 30 min).

Transfer to your hotel in the Sacred Valley (45 min).

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in the Sacred Valley.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 10 MACHU PICCHU TOUR

Your passport is required to enter the Machu Picchu site. You have the option to get a 'Machu Picchu' stamp in your passport if you wish.

Morning

Today might be THE day you have been expecting since you landed on Peruvian soil as you will finally discover the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu.

Transfer to Ollantaytambo train station (45 min).

Board the comfortable train that will take you to Aguas Calientes, the nearest town to Machu Picchu (1 hour 30 min).

In Aguas Calientes, walk from the train to the bus station (5 min) and hop on a bus to the entrance of the archaeological site.

Afternoon

Enjoy the impressive 20-minute drive up the hill to the Machu Picchu site at 7,972 feet (2430 m). Rediscovered in 1911 by the American archaeologist Hiram Bingham, Macchu Picchu is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Learn about every secret this ancient Inca citadel holds and grab every opportunity to take photographs (3 to 4 hours).

Take the bus back to Aguas Calientes (20 min) and board the train back to Ollantaytambo (1 hour 30 min).

Transfer to your hotel in Cusco (1 hour 30 min).

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in Cusco.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 11 FLIGHT TO LIMA, HISTORICAL AND MODERN CITY-TOUR

Morning

In the morning, transfer to Cusco's airport for your flight back to Lima (1 hour 15 min).

Arrival at Lima airport, meet and greet with your local guide and transfer downtown (45 min).

The city founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, still features many invaluable colonial buildings along the main square (the Plaza Mayor) and the nearby streets.

Discover Lima's Cathedral, the Government Palace and the San Francisco Convent among many other impressive colonial buildings.

Afternoon

After lunch, transfer to the upmarket district of Miraflores, famous for its 'Malecon' (the strand) and Larcomar, the huge iconic shopping center overlooking the ocean.

You will then drive past the Huaca Pucllana archeological site on your way to visit the historical center of the capital (30 min).

Evening

Free evening in Lima.

Overnight at your hotel in Miraflores.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 12 FLIGHT TO IGUAZU

Morning

In the morning, transfer to Lima airport (45 min to 1 hour).

Assistance with check-in.

Afternoon

Direct flight to Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil (4 hours).

Arrival late afternoon in Foz do Iguaçu.

Because of the time difference, remember to set your clocks forward 2 hours. Brazil is 2 hours ahead of Peru.

Transfer to your hotel (30 min).

Evening

Overnight at your hotel in Iguazu.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 13 BIRD PARK, HALF-DAY TOUR AT IGUAZU FALLS IN BRAZIL

Remember to bring a change of clothes and swimsuit!

Morning

Meet and greet with your guide and transfer to the Bird Park (15 min).

Enjoy a 2-hour visit of the Bird Park, the largest bird conservation center in South America, home to more than 1500 birds of 150 colorful species flying free over 40 acres (16 hectares).

Afternoon

Transfer to Iguazu National Park entrance (5 min).

Experience the falls from a stunning angle on the Brazilian side (2 hours).

This part of the park runs through a thicker forest with a lusher vegetation, the waters of the falls are more rugged and louder than on the Argentinean side. A close encounter with the local fauna and flora.

Transfer to your hotel in Iguazu.

Evening

Free evening .

Overnight at your hotel in Iguazu.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 14 FULL-DAY TOUR AT IGUAZU FALLS IN ARGENTINA

Don't forget your passport/visa as you will cross the Argentinean border to reach the other side of the falls Add a thrilling jet boat tour to your day. We advise you to wear a swimsuit and bring changing clothes as you will get to the foot of the waterfalls.

Morning

Transfer to the Argentinean entrance of Iguazu National Park (30 min), where 80% of the waterfalls are located.

Walk along a series of boardwalks to catch spectacular views of the falls and the occasional monkeys and toucans that inhabit the nearby forest.

For the adventurous traveler, speed boat rides are available (not included). Be ready to get wet as they take you to the foot of the falls.

Afternoon

End with a train ride to the Devil's Throat, the tallest of all the waterfalls with a sheer 260-foot drop (80 metres).

At the end of the afternoon, transfer to Puerto Iguazu (30 min).

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in Puerto Iguazu.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 15 FLIGHT TO BUENOS AIRES: PLAZA DE MAYO, SAN TELMO, LA BOCA, PUERTO MADERO NEIGHBOROODS, TANGO SHOW

Morning

Transfer to Puerto Iguazu airport (30 min).

Direct flight to Buenos Aires (1 hour 50 min).

Arrival in the morning at Buenos Aires, transfer downtown (30 min).

Afternoon

Discover the historical center on a guided walking tour that will take you through the emblematic Plaza de Mayo and stop for pictures in front of la Casa Rosada, the pink Presidential Palace.

Drive to San Telmo, the city's oldest neighborhood with its many busy cafes, tango parlors and antique shops lining the cobblestone colonial streets. A neighborhood much loved by local artists and dancers.

Take time to tango around the colorful 'El Caminito' street museum, once home to Italian immigrants. Stroll around Puerto Madero, a pioneer project for the rehabilitation of the old docks of the city.

Transfer back to your hotel or downtown (30 min).

Free time to rest or to keep exploring the Paris of the South.

At about 8pm, transfer to Café Los Angelitos (10 min).

Evening

Enjoy a 2h tango-show during your dinner at a hundred-year old tango institution in the capital.

At about 11pm, transfer to your hotel (10 min).

Overnight at your hotel in Buenos Aires.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Dinner with drinks included at Café Los Angelitos

Day 16 BUENOS AIRES: RECOLETA, PALERMO , DEPARTURE

Morning

Drive through La Recoleta, one of the historical central neighborhood in Buenos Aires.

Visit La Recoleta Cemetery, home of over 6,400 graves, famous for being Eva Perón's resting place.

Drive along the exclusive Alvear Avenue and stop at the Alvear Hotel, one of the most luxurious and distinguished hotel in Argentina.

Drive to Palermo, the city's largest district and venture into the upmarket Palermo Chico and explore the fashionable streets of Palermo Soho.

At the indicated time, transfer to Buenos Aires International airport (30 min).

Check-in and assistance.

International flight.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Services

What's included

Accommodation

Nights
12 hotel nights in 3 or 4* premium hotels + 3 nights in twin cabin (2 separated beds) on board M/C Archipel I

Meals

Bed & Breakfast plan
15 breakfasts + 3 lunches + 4 dinners (including 1 tango show dinner with drinks)
Full board plan
15 breakfasts + 15 lunches (including several lunch boxes) + 15 dinners (including 1 tango show dinner with drinks)

Transportation

Train
Train trip to Machu Picchu in comfortable economy class: Ollantaytambo/Aguas Calientes/Ollantaytambo
Bus
Shuttle round trip Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes on day 10
Car
All transfers by private car with private driver
Cruise
4 day/3 night cruise onboard M/C Archipel I

Orientation

Guide
Private English-speaking guide for all visits except during the Galapagos cruise (shared naturalist guide)

Entrance Fees

All entrance fees except for the Galapagos

What's not included

  • Regional Flights: 1950 USD/Person
  • International Flights
  • Entrance Fee to Galapagos National Park: 100 USD/Person
  • Migration Card: 20 USD/Person
  • Snorkelling Equipment Rental: 10 USD/Person/Day
  • Activities inside Iguazu National Park
  • Travel Insurance
  • Extra Meals
  • Drinks
  • Tips

Important notes

Each guest must strictly follow the Galapagos National Park Rules: 

  • Remain on marked trails at visitor sites and respect signs at all times for the protection of wildlife
  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet (two meters) from wildlife to avoid disturbing them, even if they approach you
  • Never feed wildlife, as this can cause health problems
  • Flash photography is not permitted when taking photos of wildlife
  • Professional photography and videos recorded for commercial purposes must be authorized by the Galapagos National Park Department
  • It is your responsibility not to introduce food, animals, or plants into the Archipelago. Cooperate fully with all environmental inspection and quarantine officials during your visit.
  • Do not take or buy any products or souvenirs made from banned substances, including black coral, shells, lava rock, animal parts, or any native wood or vegetation prior to leaving Galapagos. This is illegal and must be reported
  • Practice “leave-no-trace” principles in order to maintain the beauty of the environment
  • Pack out all trash and dispose of or recycle it in the populated areas or on your tour boat
  • Smoking and/or campfires are strictly prohibited within the Galapagos National Park
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