5 flights (longest 2.5hrs); 2 rail and road journeys (longest 4hrs).
This holiday incorporates simple, economical mid-range hotels, some with plenty of history and special features.
Archipel is a small, good value motor catamaran with a dazzling white and blue contemporary décor with polished wood, lending her a genuine nautical feel.
Breakfast daily, full board days 3-6.
We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.
• 5 night cruise around the Galápagos Islands.
• Panoramic driving tour of Lima.
• Half day city tour of Cusco and visit Sacsayhuamán Inca fortress ruins.
• Full day excursion to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
• Guided tour of Machu Picchu ruins.
Summary of nights
13 days, 12 nights: Quito 2; Galápagos 4; Lima 1; Cusco 2; Machu Picchu 1; Cusco 1; Lima 1.
Included in the journey price
• Services of our team of experts in our London office.
• Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides.
• All land and air transport within Latin America.
• Accommodation as specified.
• Meals as specified.
• Excursions as specified, including entrance fees.
Not included in the journey price
• Tips and gratuities.
• Meals other than specified.
• International flights to Latin America.
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket.
• Optional excursions
The unit of currency in Ecuador and the Galápagos is the US dollar; in Peru is the sol.
It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$35-$45 per day should cover the cost drinks and the odd souvenir, and of decent quality meals on those days in the holiday itinerary when not on the cruise. Eat at the very best restaurants and you will pay considerably more.
How to take it
Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds.
We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency in Peru, and use in Ecuador and the Galápagos where the dollar is the national currency. Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.
Tips are welcomed and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income.
Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants. On the cruise, you might consider a tip of $15-20pp per day for the crew and $8-10pp per day for the guide.
Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier
Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.
Given the limited medical facilities in the Galápagos Islands and the costs related to air ambulance services, you are strongly encouraged to obtain travel insurance which includes air ambulance services.
If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.
This holiday is suitable for all able, reasonably fit visitors. The sea can be choppy around the Galápagos islands.
In the Galápagos, from January to April it’s hot and the sun is relentless, with some sudden showers. May to July, and October to December is cloudier; August and September it’s often cloudy and cool, and a stiff breeze makes the waters choppier. High and Low seasons reflect demand rather than the best time to go. Many boats are in dry dock in September.
The rainy season in the Andes runs between November and March when there are showers most afternoons. The dry season is in June, July and August when the sun is strong during the day, but at night the temperature drops dramatically (from freezing point to 10°C). May, September and October are less predictable, with both rainy and sunny spells.
Lima is covered in a dull grey mist for much of the year, although the sun does break through between November and March. It almost never rains in Lima, and temperatures are moderate.
In Cusco and the highlands, June to September can be very cold at night, but days are usually extremely clear with sun. November to April are the wettest months of the year – note that rains tend to be in short, heavy bursts, rather than continual showers, with rains clearing towards the end of April. Nights are cold throughout the year at altitude.
Your stay in Cusco y is at high altitude (3,300m). A small minority of visitors may suffer temporarily from altitude sickness. Symptoms vary; most common are mild headaches, slight nausea and breathlessness. If you don’t recover in a day or two speak to our representatives; in very rare instances it is necessary to descend to lower altitudes. Most people are unaffected and if you drink plenty of water and allow your body to acclimatise (don’t exert yourself or drink alcohol) in the first couple of days after arrival, you will minimise your chances of suffering any symptoms.
Please refer to our Briefing Dossier
for further information.
Clothing and special equipment
For day-to-day wear you should go prepared to encounter all seasons. Both warm clothing and a sun hat are essential at altitude; a light fleece jacket and a waterproof/breathable outer shell makes a good combination. Trousers, skirt or shorts made from light, quick-drying synthetic materials work well. If you plan to eat in smart restaurants, although clothing is not formal (no need for jacket and tie), something quite smart would be appropriate.
Strong, comfortable footwear is essential and you should bring insect repellant, sun block, hat and sun glasses. You should take swimwear for pools and ocean swimming (Galápagos). The ship provides complimentary use of snorkelling equipment and 3mm ‘shorty’ wetsuits but you may prefer to bring your own. Aqua-socks or rubber sandals are useful for embarking and disembarking on wet landings. Bring a light waterproof jacket in case of rain. For June to November departures, the waters can be chilly.
Due to luggage restrictions on the train to Machu Picchu, main luggage must be left in Cusco. You can take up to 10kgs per person on the train and an overnight holdall is recommended to separate your luggage for the night spent away from Cusco.
Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in South America and Galápagos.
Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements.
For admission to the Galápagos a yellow fever certificate is required for anyone over 1 year old coming from an area with risk of yellow fever transmission.
You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.
Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.
APIS and ESTA - important flight information:
ESTA - if flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online
This costs $14 per person, and must be done by you personally.
Passports must also be machine-readable e-passports with a digital chip. Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.
APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.
We’ve partnered with Water To Go
to offer Journey Latin America clients a 50% discount on 7cl filtered, reusable water bottles with every booking. The bottle can be refilled at any water outlet and has a filter that eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, allowing the water to be safe to drink.
Contact your Travel Consultant for more information and to include the purchase in your booking.