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Explore Ecuador & Peru

Experience some of South America’s incredible sites on a 16-day adventure that brings together the awe-inspiring landscapes of Ecuador and the vivid cultures of Peru. Explore the Amazon rainforest and sleep under its living, orchestral canopy during two days at our jungle lodge; follow in the footsteps of the Incas at iconic Machu Picchu; and feel at home among the people of the Sacred Valley. From the cacophony of the Amazon to the silent beauty of the Andes, echoes of this experience will resound long after the trip is over.

Latin America
  • Duration: 16 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Wildlife, Parks & Nature Reserves, History, Local Culture & Cuisine
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Accommodation standard:   Moderate%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: SEPNG/155225
  • Starts: Quito, Ecuador
  • Finishes: Lima, Peru
You will Visit
  • Quito
  • Lima

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Quito

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.

02

Day 2: Quito/Otavalo

Drive to the highlands with a stop at the community of Peguche for a local lunch. Continue to Otavalo and visit the famous handicraft market. Stay the night at a historic highlands hacienda.
Spend a night in the Otavalo area and visit its world famous handicrafts market, the largest in South America. Villagers from the surrounding countryside come here every week to sell handmade goods as well as livestock, fruits, and vegetables.

One of the most obvious signs of the Otavaleños' cultural integrity is their traditional dress. This is not just worn for the tourists at the Saturday market, but is worn throughout their daily life.

Otavalo is famous both for its friendly people and its Saturday animal market. The market dates back to pre-Inca times when jungle products were transported from the eastern lowlands and traded for highland goods. Today's market has two different functions: the local market for buying and selling animals, food, and other essentials, and the crafts market for the tourists and other interested people.

03

Day 3: Otavalo/Papallacta

Visit the home and studio of Don Miguel, and learn how the Indigenous people of the Otavalo region have used the backstrap loom to create their woven goods. Continue to the Papallacta Hot Springs Resort for onsite hot springs, optional spa treatments, and hiking excursions. There is plenty of time to soak, relax, and enjoy the mountain views.

04

Day 4: Papallacta/Tena

Visit Guango private cloud forest reserve for a walk with our CEO to learn about the unique flora and fauna of the region. Enjoy a visit to Misahualli to visit the cheeky Capuchin monkeys who call this town home. Continue to Tena to catch our motorized canoe to the Amazon lodge. Settle in and receive a briefing from the local naturalist guide about the lodge and area. After, embark on a night walk with the naturalist guide to learn about nocturnal creatures of the Amazon.
The lodge is located along the bank of the Arajuno River approx. 40min. from Tena. We stay in comfortable cabañas next to the river, which have private bathroom with hot water in the rainfall-shower, electricity and a balcony. From your balcony, you can relax in a hammock or deck chair and observe hummingbirds, shore river birds and butterflies. In the evening, listen to the night music of the multitude of frogs and other nocturnal creatures. The Lodge also has an open-air lounge with pool and full service bar, all connected by a raised and roofed boardwalk to guests rooms.

The lodge is dedicated to protecting the pristine jungle environment and has a dedicated recycling program, energy conservation program and offer biodegradable amenities including shampoo and shower gel in the bathrooms.

05

Day 5: Tena

Depart early by canoe to visit a parrot clay lick (Saladero). With our naturalist guide view parrots and parakeets who gather to eat the mineral-rich clay which helps them digest fruits or seeds. Return to the lodge for breakfast then continue on to visit AmaZOOnico, an animal rescue centre that rehabilitates, reintroduces, and cares for animals who are victims of illegal trafficking. Later, enjoy a unique cultural experience at a local family's home. Meet the family, learn about their traditions and what daily life is like, living in the Amazon.

06

Day 6: Tena/Baños

Depart the Amazon to Baños, a stunning town surrounded by volcanos. Along the way visit the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park and discover ethnobotany – the study of the relationship between cultures and the plants around them.
Baños is one of the most popular spots in the country. Many Ecuadorian families vacation here. One look at this delightfully green mountain town and you will know why. Baños means “baths” and this is precisely what the town is famous for. Some are thermal springs from the base of Tungurahua Volcano, which means “little hell” in Quichua. Other baths have melt water running into them from Tungurahua's glaciated flanks. Locals swear that the baths are good for your health; it's definitely worth rising early to watch the dawn creep over the mountains from a hot spring vantage point.

07

Day 7: Baños

Free day to explore Baños where there are numerous optional activities such as hiking, horseback riding, hot springs, and mountain biking.
The town is the perfect setting for outdoor pursuits. Activities include horseback riding, canyoneering, hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and rafting on the River Patate.

08

Day 8: Baños/Quito

Drive back to Quito along the scenic Avenue of Volcanoes with a visit to Cotopaxi National Park en route. Enjoy stunning views of the perfectly shaped volcano (one of the highest, active volcanoes in the world).

09

Day 9: Quito/Lima

Catch a flight to Peru and transfer to the Lima hotel.

10

Day 10: Lima/Urubamba

Board an early flight to Cusco then on to the Sacred Valley to explore the pre-Inca salt pans of Las Salineras and tour the Maras and Moray ruins. Enjoy a traditional pachamanca-style meal of local specialties.

11

Day 11: Urubamba

Continue exploring the Sacred Valley with a visit to the “Parque de la Papa” (“Potato Park”). Exclusive to Journeys travellers and part of G Adventures for Good – walk through this rural community with a local guide to learn about potato cultivation, weaving, and the importance of both to Andean culture. Also, explore the Ollantaytambo and Pisac ruins and visit the G Adventures-supported Sacred Valley Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosqo.

12

Day 12: Urubamba/Aguas Calientes

Catch an early transfer to Ollantaytambo station and board the scenic train to Aguas Calientes with option to visit the market.
For serious archaeology buffs, there is time for an optional independent visit to Machu Picchu before the guided tour the following morning.

13

Day 13: Aguas Calientes/Cusco

Enjoy a guided tour of the Machu Picchu ruins. Free time to explore on your own or take an optional visit to the Inca Bridge before returning to Cusco by train.

14

Day 14: Cusco

Explore historic Cusco with options to visit museums or go whitewater rafting, horseback riding or mountain biking. This evening, look to the night sky for a different view at the Cusco Planetarium. Enjoy a presentation on the southern sky, contemporary astronomy, and the ancient Inca relationship with the cosmos. Check out the on-site museum and use the telescopes to admire the stars.
Please remember that star gazing is completely weather dependent and sometimes there can be cloudy skies.

15

Day 15: Cusco/Lima

Fly back to Lima and spend an afternoon in Peru's bustling capital.

16

Day 16: Lima

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Otavalo Weaving Lesson, Otavalo National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Amazon Home Experience, Tena National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Visit the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park, Baños National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Traditional Andean Experience, Urubamba National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Cusco Planetarium, Cusco G Adventures for Good: Parque de la Papa (Potato Park), Urubamba G Adventures for Good: Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley, Lamay Recharge: Papallacta Hot Springs Visit, Papallacta
    • Arrival transfer
    • Community local lunch
    • Overnight in an historic hacienda
    • Explore the Otavalo handicraft market
    • Cloud forest reserve visit
    • Two nights at an Amazon lodge with jungle excursions
    • Excursion to Cotopaxi National Park
    • Two-day Sacred Valley tour including Ollantaytambo, Moray, and Pisac ruins, and pre-Incan salt pans
    • Traditional pachamanca-style dinner
    • Scenic train ride and guided tour of Machu Picchu
    • Internal flights
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (11 nts), historic hacienda (1 nt), jungle lodge (2 nts), hot springs resort (1 nt)
    • 15 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
    Transport
    • Private van/bus, boat, plane, train, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Visit the Otavalo Weaving studio and get a lesson from Miguel Andrango
  • Explore the Cusco Planetarium
  • Learn about the relationship between cultures and the plants around them at the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
  • Enjoy an adobe and ceramic making demonstration in a small community
  • Traverse the Amazon jungle with a local naturalist guide