Enjoy a free morning in Lima before travelling by bus to Paracas. Take the morning to explore more of Lima before journeying down the coast to Paracas. Walk the town's lively peatonal (pedestrian avenue) and find a cafe to sample some Peruvian food, such as ceviche or papa a la huancaina (potatoes with a chili cheese sauce).
Try your first Pisco sour while staying in Pisco's neighbour of Paracas.
Optional visit to Ballestas Islands before travelling to Nazca. En route, stop at a winery and at the Oasis of Huacachina. There is time in the morning for an optional excursion to the popular Ballestas Islands, an excellent chance to view a lively sea lion colony, pelicans, penguins, and other varieties of bird life.
Back on land, catch a bus south to Nazca. On the way, pass by the pleasant colonial town of Ica.
Ica enjoys a dry, sunny climate year-round and is known for its huge sand dunes. Located around the nearby oasis of Huacachina, the dunes are perfect subjects for photography and for a favourite local past time: sandboarding. Apart from the dunes, Ica is famous for its wines and there are several wineries and distilleries in the area.
Take a guided tour of the Nazca desert cemetery and potter's studio. Opt for a flight over the Nazca Lines before the overnight bus to Arequipa. Travel south to one of the world's greatest archaeological mysteries, the Nazca Lines. The lines consist of patterns and pictures etched in the ground, crisscrossing a wide area of flat desert. From the ground we can make out very little, and the best view is from a light aircraft, which can easily be arranged.
Remains of the Nazca culture are still visible during our included tour of the ancient Pre-Inca desert cemetery site of Chauchilla, with 2000-year-old mummies, bones, and pottery on the desert floor. The tour also includes a visit to an artisan's workshop, where modern masters create Nazca style pottery.
Later, board a night bus to Arequipa.
Enjoy a free day in Arequipa. Opt for a city tour or visit to the Santa Catalina Monastery. Explore Arequipa, the 'white city'. Interested in history and architecture? Opt to visit to the Santa Catalina Monastery, offering a brief respite from the outside world and a unique view into a bygone way of life.
For those spicy food lovers, checking out one of the "Picanterias" is a must. Arequipa holds a variety of regional food?? alpaca, shrimp, pork, lots of soups, and spicy sauces waiting for you to dig in.
Travel to Chivay, a village near Colca Canyon, for an optional dip in the thermal baths. Continue on to nearby Colca Canyon for the day, take a guided tour to spot condors. Travel a rough, rutted road through the Salinas y Aguada Blanca National Reserve. Along the way there are chances to see vicunas, alpacas and llamas. Stop at Mirador de Patapampa lookout, the highest point on the tour at 4,910m with views of nearby volcanoes.
Travel by bus to Puno. Arrive with a little time to wander the markets and explore the city. Climb over the mountains today, descending at Puno, which is on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Titicaca is also the largest lake in the world above 2000m, and the views from its Islands are stunning.
Enjoy a guided tour of Lake Titicaca with a homestay in a small village. Head out by boat across Lake Titicaca. Visit the community on the Taquile Islands and stop at a local restaurant to enjoy a lunch with spectacular views.
After, cruise to the another village (this can vary based on community availability) for an overnight homestay on the shores of the lake. This experience provides an opportunity to learn more about rural life in the Peruvian highlands and to participate in local traditions. Eat with the family, learn some Quecha and Spanish language skills, try on traditional costumes, and help out with daily chores around the village.
Visit the floating islands of Uros before returning to Puno. Opt to visit to Sillustani burial site. Leave the homestay families late morning and visit the Uros Islands on the way back to Puno. A popular optional activity in Puno is to visit to the spectacular chullpas (funerary towers) of Sillustani, a pre-Inca archaeological site only a short drive away.
Hop on the bus for a full day's drive to Cusco. The trip from Puno to Cusco takes the better part of the day, with stark, beautiful scenery en route as you travel through the high Altiplano region. Check out a bit of Cusco, find a spot for dinner, or get prepared to head into the Sacred Valley.
Opt to go mountain biking, whitewater rafting, or relax in a cafe.
Enjoy a full-day guided tour of the Sacred Valley. Stop at the G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op before visiting a local pottery making community. Break for lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa community restaurant in Huchuy Qosco. After lunch, opt to head out on a hike to the Ollantaytambo storehouses and look out over the ruins. Or, wander around the cobblestone streets and visit a local Chicheria (corn beer bar). Travel through the stunning Sacred Valley of the Incas, visiting a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op. Meet the women and learn about traditional weaving and dyeing. Opt to pick up some handmade souvenirs and textiles directly from the women who made them.
Have lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa community restaurant. Learn about the G Adventures for Good project and eat a delicious buffet-style lunch. Proceeds of this meal go directly back to the remote community.
Depart Ollantaytambo by van to Lares town where the hike begins. Spend the first night at a G Adventures-supported campsite in Cuncani. The Lares Trek is a scenic, less touristic route to hike through the Andes. It is one day shorter than the Inca Trail but higher in elevation. Enjoy G Adventures-supported handmade biodegradable soap products for use on the Lares Trek.
Start early to hike from the foothills of Sicllaccasa Mountain to its high pass (4,750m/15,583 ft), providing scenic views of lagoons and the snow-capped Chicon Mountain. Celebrate after reaching the highest point by making an offering of coca leaves to the Andean gods. After the morning hike, stop to rest and take in the amazing view. Continue hiking downhill to our second campsite near the stream for the night.
Enjoy the last few hours of hiking before travelling by van to Ollantaytambo and train to Aguas Calientes. Spend some time relaxing in town or visiting the nearby hot springs.
Enjoy a guided visit to Machu Picchu at sunrise. Use some free time to explore the ruins on your own. Later, travel back to Cusco. Rise early to catch the first bus up to Machu Picchu with your guide. Enjoy a guided visit to the ruins followed by free time to explore. Opt to walk up to the Sun Gate or Inca Bridge.
When ready, head back down by bus to Aguas Calientes to meet up with the rest of the group. Take the scenic train back to Ollantaytambo to meet the van for the ride back to Cusco.
Enjoy a free day to explore Cusco or relax. Opt to go whitewater rafting, mountain biking or get a massage.
Fly to Puerto Maldonado and continue by motorized boat to the comfortable and intimate G Lodge Amazon. Fly to Puerto Maldonado, deep in the lowlands of the Amazon Jungle.
After a brief stop in town to store large luggage, drive to the pier and travel by covered motorized boat to the jungle lodge. En route, see birds typical of the river or forest edge. The Tambopata Rainforest Area holds the world record for the most bird sightings in one area.
Local community members make up the majority of the lodge staff, including multilingual naturalist guides. Here you have the opportunity to learn from them not only about the area's rich flora and fauna, but also about their extensive practical uses for medicinal plants and other forest plant resources, through traditional techniques for building, fishing, and hunting.
Enjoy guided excursions by expert naturalists to spot wildlife at nearby oxbow lakes and along jungle trails. Spend some time relaxing in a hammock, enjoying the local swimming hole or visiting a nearby plantation. Go for a caiman-spotting cruise after dinner. Head out early to catch the jungle at its wildest (and coolest). Walk slowly through the forest searching for wildlife before heading out on an oxbow lake by canoe. Search for anaconda, the elusive giant river otter or black caiman. Even if you don't spot these shy creatures, there are plenty of other birds, interesting plants and other animals to discover.
Fly back to Lima for an optional final dinner and night out. Have a final delicious Amazonian breakfast before heading back towards the airport by motorized boat and van. Fly to Lima and opt for a final night out for dinner or Pisco Sours.
Fly to Quito. Flight is unescorted and included in the price of the tour. Your transfer to the airport and your flight to Quito are included in this trip. Please note that this flight is unescorted and your transfer will be waiting for you at the Quito airport and will bring you to your hotel.
Transfer early to the airport for the flight to the Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival meet the Naturalist Guide, who will assist with the transfer to the Xavier, located in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. Visit the Santa Cruz highlands and get up close and personal with giant tortoises. Flights from Quito to Baltra depart between 6:40am and 9:40am depending on the day of the week. These will arrive into the Galapagos between 9:30am and 12:30pm with a short refuelling stop in Guayaquil (you will not disembark the plane). You will generally arrive at the boat in time for lunch before the afternoon activity.
Visit Chinese Hat for snorkelling opportunities and to observe the birds and sea lions before taking an excursion to Black Turtle Cove to see the marine life. Spot Galapagos penguins and explore marine life that is fantastic for snorkelling. There is also a large sea lion colony at Chinese Hat as well as many marine iguanas that can be seen on the guided walk. Hike among the volcanic scenery, with good views to the cone of the island's volcano.
In the afternoon, take an excursion by "panga" to Black Turtle Cove to witness the extensive mangrove system and interesting waterway canals. Sea turtles and different species of rays can often be seen in this cove, offering a peaceful and fascinating glimpse into the diversity of the area.
Visit Cerro Dragon on the west coast of Santa Cruz Island to see land iguanas and a salt water lagoon frequented by flamingos and other species of birds. Continue to Daphne Island in the afternoon to spot birds and wildlife.
Land at South Plaza in the morning for wildlife spotting opportunities. Afternoon visit to Santa Fe Island for guided walks to observe the wildlife and plentiful marine iguanas. Opportunities for swimming and snorkelling with the sea lions.
Visit the Interpretation Centre on San Cristobal Island before flying back to Quito. Transfer to the group hotel upon arrival, and enjoy one last night on the town.