The Encantada Tour

Andean Mountains Culture, the Enchanted Islands and the stunning cosmopolitan setting of Rio de Janeiro


Basking marine iguanas cling to the shining basalt rocks, which are the tips of huge volcanoes that rise out of the Pacific. The Galapagos Islands form an archipelago that is home to an immense variety of fearless creatures, many of them unique. Retracing Darwin's steps, we roam and swim amongst them in this delightful setting.

 


Day by Day Summary


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Quito
Days 1 - 3

Days 1-3

Depending on the airline used, we depart for 2 or 3 nights in Quito. Situated between two ranges of the snowcapped Andes, Quito has a beautiful setting and a temperate climate. The next morning we take a tour of both the modern and colonial quarters of Quito including La Compañía Church with its ornate façade, and a visit to the Archaeological Museum which houses a fascinating collection of pre-Colombian ceramics & gold. On Day 2 there will be a morning excursion to the Otavalo market and the countryside north of Quito. (B)

Galapagos Islands
Days 4 - 10

Days 4-10

Cruise the Galapagos Islands, where Darwin observed the wildlife that would lead him to his theory of evolution. Spend 7 nights cruising the archipelago onboard the M/V Eric/Letty/Flamingo with daily morning and afternoon guided excursions to admire the tame wildlife endemic to each island. Basking marine and land iguanas, red and blue footed boobies, frigate birds, giant tortoises, and friendly sea lions abound. (B,L,D)

Lima
Days 11 - 12

Days 11-12

On Monday we fly back to the mainland connecting with a flight to Lima, where we stay for 2 nights. The following day we explore Lima with our local guide. We will visit the main squares, surrounded by grand colonial buildings, the Anthropological Museum with its fascinating array of textiles, pottery and mummies spanning from 1400 BC to Hispanic time, and the Larco Herrera Museum, where a large, important collection of randomly arranged treasures is housed. (B)

Cusco
Days 13 - 14

Days 13

Continue with a flight to Cusco, where we stay for 2 nights. Arrivinag at an altitude of 3,310m, we take the afternoon to relax and acclimatize. (B)

Day 14

A fascinating half day tour of Cusco and the ruins surrounding the city. Within Cusco, the evidence of Inca culture is still apparent despite the destructive tendencies of the conquistadores, with the Cathedral, churches and hotels resting on solid Inca foundations. Outside the city stands the fortress of Sacsayhuamán, whose stones weigh over 100 tons and are fitted together with characteristic Inca precision. (B)

Machu Picchu
Days 15 - 16

Day 15

Set off by train on a glorious journey along the course of the Urubamba River to Aguas Calientes. From here we take a bus up the steep mountain side to the magnificent citdadel of Machu Picchu, which silently awaits. Our local guide will show us the ruins explaining the history of the site. Overnight in Aguas Calientes. (B)

Day 16

Early morning offers an excellent opportunity for a quiet stroll around Machu Picchu, a walk along the Inca Trail to the Sun Gate, or a strenuous climb to Huayna Picchu, the rocky escarpment overlooking the ruins. In the afternoon return to Cusco, by train and bus, where we stay 2 nights. (B) 

Sacred Valley
Days 17 - 18

Day 17

A scenic, full day trip to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, affording great views of the valleys and Inca terracing. We stop at the Maras salt mines, and the concentric circular terraces of Moray. On to the village of Ollantaytambo, with its ancient irrigation system, still in good working order, and the temple fortress towering above. We contirune to Pisac market, a colourful show of local foods and weavings, and visit Pisac ruins to see the remains of some of the finest Inca masonry.  (B,L)

Day 18

Early flight to Lima, where we have day use of a hotel room. Evening flight arriving home on Day 19.

Bolivia
Extension

Day 18

Early departure from Cusco on a memorable train journey, part of the Orient Express group, with seats at a table by the window where lunch is served as we pass towering Andean mountains, hot springs and solitary villages. The train stops at isolated railway stations where local people await to sell their wares. On arrival on the shores of Lake Titicaca, we will be met and taken to our hotel in Puno for 1 night. (B)

Day 19

This morning we take a boat trip on the lake to visit the people living on the floating Uros Islands, which together with huts and rafts, are built out of the Totora reeds prevalent in the area. Leave Puno in the afternoon on a scenic bus ride, skirting the lake, past local farmers working their Inca terraces to the charming village of Copacabana, Bolivia's main pilgrimage centre. Continue by boat to Sun Island, where we take a short hike to our wonderful hotel overlooking the lake. Overnight (B)

Day 20

After breakfast, we have time to explore Sun Island before taking a boat back to Copacabana. From Copacabana our journey continues along the Bolivian lake shore arriving at La Paz in the early evening where we stay for 2 nights. (B)

Day 21

In the morning we take a city tour and visit the colonial quarter of La Paz, the fascinating witches' market, where weird and wonderful potions are sold, and the Moon Valley, an area of sandstone sculpted by wind and rain to create a surreal lunar landscape. (B)

Day 22

Transfer to the airport for your flight back home arriving on Day 23 (Saturday). (B)

Bolivia & Brazil
Extension

Day 22

 

From Bolivia fly on to Rio de Janeiro, via Sao Paulo, staying for 3 nights in the cosmopolitan beach areas of Copacabana and Ipanema. (B)

Day 23

Morning excursion to Brazil's famous landmark, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, perched on Corcovado mountain, granting fabulous views of the

city in a unique setting of granite peaks, lagoon, beaches and the sea. Afternoon free to explore Rio de Janeiro. (B)

Days 24-25

Afternoon visit to Rio's Botanical Gardens. Following day flight home arriving on Day 26 (Tuesday). (B) 


The Encantada Tour

Landmark Itinerary


17 Nights from £4,984


Countries

Ecuador

Peru


Accommodation

Quito - 3 nights

Galapagos Cruise - 7 nights

Lima - 2 nights

Cusco - 3 nights

Machu Picchu - 1 night

Cusco - 1 night

 


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WHAT'S INCLUDED

Your Holiday Includes


26 Days / 24 Nights

International flights (1 overnight)

Excursions with English-speaking guides

Accommodation and breakfast

Transfers to and from accommodation

Transport and meals as shown


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