34-Nights Quito to La Paz: Amazon & Ancient Cultures - 18-to-Thirtysomethings
$3679 per person
Really discover what South America is all about on this epic five-week journey through Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. This adventure truly has it all – the Pacific coast, the awe-inspiring Amazon, and the archeological highlights and cultural treasures of the Andean highlands. Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, tear it up on mountain bikes, raft wild rivers, catch big waves, and get your adrenaline pumping on exciting optional excursions. With local transportation and authentic accommodation, this adventure offers an intense blend of included activities and free time to explore on your own.
Experience traditional life in a local community in the Amazon, witness colonial cities and volcanoes, Sandboard the dunes of Huacachina., spot condors at Colca Canyon, conquer the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, settle in with the locals at a homestay on Lake Titicaca, Get adventurous in Baños, relax on the beach with free time in Mancora.
Simple hotels (19 nts), hostel (4 nts, multi-share), overnight buses (4 nts), camping (3 nts), homestay (3 nt), G Adventures-supported community lodge (1 nt).
CEO (Chief Experience Officer), specialist Inca Trail CEO on hike, local guides.
Group Size Notes
Max 18, avg 14.
20 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 8 dinners
Your G for Good Moment: Shandia Biking & Community Experience, Shandia Your G for Good Moment: Shandia Community Lodge, Shandia Your G for Good Moment: Ccaccaccollo Community and Women's Weaving Co-op visit, Ccaccaccollo Your G for Good Moment: Handmade Biodegradable Soap Products Your Welcome Moment: Welcome Meeting - Meet Your CEO and Group Your First Night Out Moment: Connect With New Friends Your Local Living Moment: Amazon Jungle Experience, Tena Your Discover Moment: Baños Your Discover Moment: Lima Your Foodie Moment: Huacachina Winery Visit, Huacachina Your Discover Moment: Cusco Your Foodie Moment: Sacred Valley Brewery, Ollantaytambo Your Big Night Out Moment: Cusco Your Local Living Moment: Lake Titicaca Homestay, Lake Titicaca. Amazon Jungle excursion to a local community. Beach time in Mancora. Sunset sandboarding & dune buggies (Huacachina). Pachamanca-style dinner (Nazca). Colca Canyon excursion. Guided tour of Machu Picchu. Inca Trail hike with a local guide, cook, and porters (4 days). Lake Titicaca excursion. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Lima, "the City of the Kings," became the effective capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru, established 1560. Today, a visit to Lima may serve as a unique Peruvian experience that offers a glimpse into the Andean world, Spanish tradition and the country's modern aspect. Visit handsome old buildings and baroque churches that testify to the city's religious background and the Plaza de Armas, shared by the realms of the Catholic church, municipality and national government. The pre-Inca ruins of Pachacamac lie a short distance south of the city. Once a ceremonial site, Pachacamac has been the most important religious center of the Andean world since before the age of Christ. Stop and admire The Temple of the Sun and the Moon, Lima's outstanding museums, and Machu Picchu - a "Jewel in the Mist."
Quito is a fantastic place to visit and the best place to start your Latin American journey. Quito is also the entertainment center in Ecuador with new bars and discos opening every week and also the best place to shop, either at the small souvenir shops or at big malls. Quito has many interesting cultural sites, historical sites, museums, private galleries, churches, exhibition centers, and theaters.
The Cuzco (Cusco) region of Peru combines Inca legacy with Spanish colonial architecture in an atmosphere at once provincial and sublime. The chaotic marketplaces where campesinos barter grain or potatoes for multi-colored fabric belie the mute spirituality of the Lost Cities, where Inca stonework conveys order and balance. Such diversity enhances this inspiring nine-day adventure. The blue sky radiates with an intensity achieved only at high altitudes (the city of Cuzco lies 11,150 feet above sea level), while the landscape offers its unique pattern of exacting agricultural grids and tangled jungle masses.
Machu Picchu is a fortress city of the ancient Incas, in a high saddle between two peaks 50 miles NW of Cuzco, Peru. The extraordinary pre-Columbian ruin consists of five sq. miles of terraced stonework link by 3,000 steps; it was virtually intact when discovered by Hiram Bibghan in 1911.
Trujillo (Salaverry), Peru
The essence of Trujillo. Trujillo, Peru - Peru's most important northern city, is summed up each year during the floral Spring Festival. Barefoot women wearing white lace skirts and blouses, with ornate gold filigree ornaments dangling from their earlobes, spin and whirl through the streets in the traditional marinera dance. Charming, simple, formal and delicate - all are characteristics of this coastal city, making it the perfect spot to explore Peru's gentle but fiercely patriotic north. Trujillo is also noted for its colorful colonial architecture, with building painted in bright blues, yellows, reds and oranges. A circular street called Espana encloses the center of town, and most of the fascinating city sites are within this ring. Trujillo is an excellent place to sample ceviche ( a mixture of raw fishes marinated in a lime juice marinade) and other local seafood. On the fringe of Trujillo are the ruins of Chan Chan, possible the world's largest adobe city that was, at one time, home to the Chimu Indian tribe. Nearby Huanchaco Beach is a great spot for surfers, and an outgoing, friendly fishing village. The fisherman still utilize the handmade totora reed boats, called caballitos (little horses) because of the way they are ridden: riders do not sit on the boats, but straddle them on their knees. The design of these curved, peapod-shaped boats has changed little from the craft used by pre-Inca fishing tribes. Further north is Piura, Peru, a hot commercial city best known for its folk dance, the tondero, and the black magic practiced by the descendents of black slaves. The tondero is a lively, barefoot Afro-Peruvian dance accompanied by strong rhythmic music and dancers in multicolored outfids. Many Lima business executives travel to this region every year to consult with the area's brujos - witches, folk healers and fortune tellers.
Puno lies on the shores of Lake Titicaca. This area is the cradle of the Aymara civilization and the birthplace of the Inca Empire.
Sparkling in the sun, Arequipa is called the White City because of the sillar, a white volcanic stone that makes up its buildings, modern ones as well as Spanish colonial. Peru's second-largest city sits surrounded by towering mountainsâ€”including the 19,000-ft/5,800-m volcano El Misti.
The city itself is the home of the monastery of La Recoleta (with a museum and library) and several interesting churches, but its highlight is the Santa Catalina Convent. Built in the late 16th century (but closed to the public until 1970), it was a self-contained community, a place where nuns could worship and live without leaving the convent. Walk through the well-preserved structure, soak up the peaceful atmosphere and discover the tiny, secluded plazas and lovely courtyards within.
From Arequipa, take a guided tour of Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world (10,500 ft/3,191 m deep). (Day trips are possible, but they require many hours in a bus and are not recommended; two- or three-day trips are preferable.) Several local agencies arrange two-day trips with pleasant overnights in rural hotels. A journey to the canyon offers a view of extensive pre-Incan and Incan agricultural terracing, some of which is still farmed today, as well as a chance to see Andean condors at Cruz del Condor, a lookout point.
Adventurous travelers can follow in the footsteps of the chasqui, the Incan foot messengers, and trek the canyon. The Cotahuasi Canyon is more remote than the Colca, but it is the deepest in the world, with stretches as low as 10,857 ft/3,300 m. It is located 125 mi/200 km northwest of Arequipa. Or visit the Reserva Nacional de Salinas y Aguada Blanca, a nature reserve with stunning lakes and salt flats, located high in the surrounding mountains. The area is about 465 mi/750 km southeast of Lima by air. By road, the distances are closer to 625 mi/1,000 km.
Deep as the Grand Canyon in the USA, Colca Canyon is a colorful Andean valley with pre-Incan roots founded by the Spaniards in the 1530s. It's claimed to be the biggest and deepest canyon in the world making it impossible to see the bottom of the valley. Inhabitants of the valley welcome guests with a range of cultural, adventurous sports, and archaeological activities.
Cuenca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Ecuador that boasts old world charm, cobblestone streets and stunning colonial architecture, despite also being the third largest city in Ecuador. This Andean city offers a pleasant climate, colonial plazas, many museums, old-world cathedrals and churches, excellent international food and an exciting nightlife for a range of interests.
History buffs will get a real kick out of Ollantaytambo, a pretty town about 26 mi/42 km northwest of Cusco. Before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, Ollantaytambo served as the royal estate and ceremonial center of the Inca ruler Pachacuti, who had previously conquered this region.
The town itself still serves as a living example of Inca urban planning, while the surrounding Inca terraces and Temple Hill provide more fine examples of Inca architecture. Ollantaytambo played an important role during the Spanish Conquest. It was here that Manco Inca Yupanqui successfully defended the Inca position against a Spanish expedition following the fall of Cusco, but later retreated to the greater security of Vilcabamba.
Visitors can easily spend a couple of days exploring the nearby archaeological sites and strolling around the town. The higher sites offer spectacular views of the mountains and valleys, while the streets of Ollantaytambo are home to pre-Columbian and colonial architecture, traditional markets and plenty of Andean character.
La Paz, Bolivia
Baños (Banos de Agua Santa) is a premier destination in the central highlands of Ecuador in Tungurahua Province. Relax in the thermal springs, revel in the views of the waterfalls and Volcán Tungurahua, boat or bike to the Amazon basin, hike through the gorges and lush rain forests. There's something for everyone to enjoy in Banos.
Nazca (Nasca) is located on the coast of southern Peru, and is the largest town in the Nazca Province. It is most famous for the Nazca Lines, the desert line drawings only visible from high elevations. Nazca is also famous for its complicated system of aqueducts, used to irrigate farmland as well as for home use, that are still functioning today.
Mancora is a seaside town in northwester Peru with a reputation for all day fun at the beach and a sizzling nightlife. Beautiful beaches, balmy turquoise waters less crowded than other surfing hot spots, and plenty of places to try for fantastic food and drink.
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Price are per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability and change without notice. Prices reflect land only accommodations, airfare is additional. Blackout dates/seasonal supplements may apply.
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