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Peru and Galapagos Explorer

Iguana

4.57 out of 5 (from 29 reviews)

  • 13 Days - From US$6,999
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Trip Introduction

Our 13-day ‘Iguana’ trip has been a long time in the making. Inside two weeks, you’ll experience the absolute best that Peru and the Galapagos Islands have to offer. You’ll travel in comfort and style, get off the beaten track, stay in fantastic locally owned accommodations, meet the locals & experience some of the world’s most iconic landscapes and monuments - all in typical Active Adventures style of course.

You’ll cycle into the Sacred valley of the Incas, hike the Huchuy Qosqo Trail, experience Machu Picchu and explore the wonders of Cuzco. And that’s just Peru! After a short flight to Quito, you’ll head to the Galapagos Islands where you’ll snorkel with seals, hike around one of the world’s largest volcanic craters, sea kayak near Isabela Island, get up close to all manner of wild creatures and relax on isolated beaches. If you’re only likely to visit this part of South America once in your life, we’ll make sure it’s a trip that you never forget.

Highlights

  • Explore Machu Picchu
  • Hike Sacsayhuamán fortress
  • Hike and cycle in the Sacred Valley of the Incas
  • Explore Cuzco
  • Ollantaytambo archaeology tour
  • Hike to Huchuy Qosqo
  • Chinchero
  • Meet giant tortoises and iguanas
  • Swim with turtles and rays at Kicker Rock
  • Hike Sierra Negra Volcano
  • and Santa Cruz Island
  • Explore lava tunnels
  • Kayak Isabela Island
  • Snorkel Kicker Rock

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What's included in our Iguana trip?

  • All guiding services
    - You’ll have an experienced trip leader with you for the entire duration, as well as specialist local guides in select locations.
  • All accommodations
    - Charming hotels in the Galapagos Islands and in the cities.
    - Local lodges in the smaller villages.
  • All meals
    - Breakfast, lunch and dinner, except the free day in Cuzco.
  • All activities
    - Hiking, kayaking, biking, market visits, archaeology tour and Inca ruins. 
    - Snorkelling (diving add $250).
    - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre.
    - Charles Darwin Research Station.
    - Interpretation Centre.
  • All transport
    - Airport transfers.
    - International flights from Peru to Ecuador.
    - Domestic flights to and from the Galapagos Islands.
    - All boat transport.
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Interactive Trip Map

Daily itinerary

Sunday — Arrive in Cuzco, hike Sacsayhuamán fortress

Our trip starts in Cuzco, the heart of the Inca empire. After lunch, we’ll set off for a walk around this amazing ancient city and up to Sacsayhuamán fortress overlooking the main Plaza and Cuzco Valley. The fortress is a magnificent archaeological site representing a set of jaguar’s teeth with massive, perfectly fitted stones weighing up to 130 tonnes each and was the place where the Incas made their final stand against the Spanish conquistadores. No one really knows what the Incas used Sacsayhuamán for – some say it was a sanctuary and temple of the sun, others say it was a granary, and yet another theory is that it was the place where the old Inca king would play football using the heads of his enemies! No matter who is right, you’ll have a lot of fun hearing all the stories this amazing area inspires. Later, we’ll take a walk through the colourful Cuzco street markets. If you prefer, you can take some time to soak in the vibrant atmosphere of Cuzco’s lively town square and meet up again later for an evening meal.
Hotel Royal Inca, Cuzco (Lunch, Dinner)

Monday — Cycle Sacred Valley, visit Pisac market, hike Pisac ruins

We’ll head into the fertile Sacred Valley of the Incas this morning, stopping just above Cuzco, where we’ll jump on our bikes and ride down through breath-taking scenery, dotted with local villages and surrounded by the massive green slopes of the Andes. We’ll finish our ride in the small town of Pisac, where we’ll have a chance to check out the colourful mercado artesanal. From here, we’ll begin a spectacular hike up to the Pisac ruins. It’s a heart-pumping walk up through ancient agricultural terraces – you’ll never forget the views of Pisac and the Urubamba Valley! After exploring the ancient complex, we’ll descend the original Inca stairways and head further into the Sacred Valley. Our home for the night is the small village of Yucay, in the heart of the Peruvian Andes.
Sonesta Posada Del Inca, Yucay (All meals)

Tuesday — Explore Chinchero, hike to Huchuy Qosqo

We’ll set off early this morning and head to the remote market village of Chinchero. Said to be the birthplace of the rainbow, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time 500 years while we explore the cobbled alleyways and beautiful town square – still the main trading centre of the Incas from over half a century ago. From Chinchero, we’ll drive past the Piuray Lagoon and on to the Andean village of Tauca, where we’ll begin our hike to Huchuy Qosqo. The dramatic mountain views of the Urubamba range and deep valleys below are off the charts! As we make our way over the Pucajasa Mountain Pass, we’ll pass through high mountain meadows, lagoons and indigenous communities that have little contact with the outside world. Shortly before lunch we’ll arrive at the spectacular ruins of Huchuy Qosqo (Little Cuzco), thought to be the remnants of an Inca hideaway village. After lunch, we’ll hike down to Lamay village and drive a short distance to Ollantaytambo, where we’ll take an unforgettable train ride down to the sub-tropical village of Aguas Calientes. You’ll have a chance to wander around this colourful little town before dinner and relax after a full day of hiking!
Aguas Calientes Hotel, Aguas Calientes (All meals)

Wednesday — Visit Machu Picchu

After an early breakfast, we’ll head up to the ancient city of Machu Picchu, where we’ll meet our local guide who will show us around this fascinating ancient city. Afterwards, you’ll have all morning to explore the many passageways and stone structures of this mysterious place on your own. We’ll also have the chance to hike back to the Sun Gate for a unique perspective on these remote Inca ruins, set high on top of a mountain surrounded by lush peaks. After plenty of time to explore Machu Picchu, we’ll take a scenic train ride back to Ollantaytambo, known to the locals simply as ‘Ollanta’.
Hotel Samanapaq, Ollantaytambo (All meals)

Thursday — Ollantaytambo archaeology tour, hike to Las Salineras

Ollanta is dominated by two large ruins and is the best surviving example of Inca city planning, with narrow cobblestone streets that have been inhabited since the 13th Century! The Ollantaytambo ruins offer a fascinating insight into Inca archaeology, so we’ll spend the morning with a local guide discovering the site, placing our travels into context. Later, we’ll take an incredible hike into the majestic Valle Sagrado de Los Incas. After a visit to the town of Maras, we’ll hike down to the salt pans of Las Salineras with the Rio Urubamba and the Sacred Valley below us. These unique salt terraces have been used since Inca times and provide a great opportunity to hone your camera skills. A hot spring at the top of the valley discharges a small stream of heavily salt-laden water that the Incas diverted into shallow pools to produce salt, and this is still done today.
Hotel Royal Inca, Cuzco (All meals)

Friday — Free day in Cuzco

Cuzco is the archaeological capital of the Americas and it’s a fabulous place to spend a day exploring – it’s no wonder it’s the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city! Walk along Cuzco’s central streets, lined with massive Inca-built stone walls that form the foundation of the city and blend into the colonial and modern architecture that has been added over the years. You can take the day to explore Cuzco’s most popular temples, museums, churches and fortresses. Alternatively, we’ll help you arrange one of the many optional guided activities available including mountain biking, hiking, or horseback riding. There’s also no shortage of great food and entertainment in Cuzco, with restaurants to suit any taste, cafés for coffee in the Plaza de Armas and great bars with local music.
Hotel Royal Inca, Cuzco (Breakfast)

Saturday — Fly to Lima and on to Ecuador

This morning we’ll take a short flight from Cuzco to Lima, and on to Ecuador’s capital. Quito is a mesmerising city to visit, with its cobbled streets and towering cathedrals, nestled in a valley flanked by majestic mountains. On a clear day, several snow-capped volcanoes are visible from the capital. As well as being in a beautiful location, this colonial city is rich in history and much of the old town is well preserved, the buildings are unchanged and to walk down the narrow streets is to step into bygone eras. Later we’ll meet up again to chat with our guides about the Galapagos journey that lies ahead.
Hotel Sebastian, Quito (All meals)

Sunday — Fly to the Galapagos Islands

We’ll hop back on the plane for a short flight to Santa Cruz Island, in the heart of the Galapagos Archipelago. After settling in, we’ll hike into the amazing cloud forest highlands - it’s hard to believe we were in the Peruvian Andes a few days ago! Once there, we’ll have a chance to see giant tortoises in their natural environment, along with intriguing birdlife like the vermillion flycatcher. Later, we’ll take a look inside the lava tunnels scattered throughout the highlands. These tunnels were formed by molten lava flowing beneath the surface, which left behind large tube-like caves, some almost a mile long!
Posada del Mar Hotel, Santa Cruz Island (All meals)

Monday — Visit Tortuga Bay, Charles Darwin Research Station

This morning we’ll hike to Tortuga Bay, one of the most stunning beaches in the Galapagos! We’ll have the option of trying our hand at bodyboarding or surfing, or just lounging around on the incredibly fine sand. Tortuga Bay is accessible only by foot and is home to hundreds of prehistoric-looking marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and pelicans. Later, we’ll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about the breeding programs that are saving vulnerable species of tortoises and land iguanas. Also, there will be a chance to see different types of carapace that help differentiate the tortoise species. This afternoon, we’ll head to Isabela Island - the largest and Western-most Island in the Galapagos.
Hotel San Vicente, Isabela Island (All meals)

Tuesday — Hike Sierra Negra Volcano and sea kayak Isabela Island

Our hike today will take us to the summit of Sierra Negra volcano, rising nearly a mile above the ocean. See the lowland vegetation change before your eyes as we ascend through a lunar-like landscape on our way to the top. It’s quite a hike to the top of the volcano, but the views across the seven mile wide crater and surrounding coastline are worth the climb! This is one of the largest volcanic calderas in the world, and one of the most active. As we hike, we might be lucky enough to see Galapagos hawks, short-eared owls, finches and fly-catchers that inhabit this region. After lunch we’ll head back down to sea level for a kayaking trip in the calm waters of Isabela Bay. Here we’ll have the chance to see some of the island’s most amazing wildlife up close. Marine iguanas bask in the sun, blue-footed boobies sit in pairs on the rock tops and Sally Lightfoot crabs scurry out of our way along the water’s edge. In the clear waters below us, rays gracefully swim by and turtles pop up for a breath of air.
Hotel San Vicente, Isabela Island (All meals)

Wednesday — Visit Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre, San Cristobal Island and visit la Loberia

This morning, we’ll head to a Galapagos giant tortoise breeding centre where we can meet these majestic prehistoric creatures and learn about the efforts being made to conserve the species. Later, we’ll take a short flight to San Cristobal Island and head to La Loberia - a beach that is home to a large sea lion colony and nursery. You’re not likely to see this many sea lions in one place anywhere else in the world! This evening, we’ll dine on local produce and fresh fish.
Casa Blanca or Blue Marlin Hotel, San Cristobal (All meals)

Thursday — Snorkel Kicker Rock and cycle San Cristobal highlands

Today we’ll cruise to Isla Lobos off the coast of San Cristobal, where we’ll don wetsuits, snorkels and masks (and tanks for the divers – diving option add US$250) and explore the underwater world for a close up view of sea lions as they fish for their dinner! Isla Lobos is home to one of the main sea lion, frigate bird and blue-footed booby colonies in the area. After a swim with the sea lions, we’ll get back on our boat and head for Kicker Rock, where we’ll either snorkel or take two dives around the remains of an underwater volcano with a rock face rising 150 metres (500 feet) above the surface of the water. After lunch, we’ll head to the town of La Soledad to bike down through the lush highland cloud forest that blankets the top of the island.
Casa Blanca or Blue Marlin Hotel, San Cristobal (All meals)

Friday — Visit interpretation centre, fly to Quito, depart

This morning, we’ll visit San Cristobal Interpretation Centre to learn about the history and mystery of the archipelago, from its discovery and what makes it so special, to Charles Darwin’s visit and the present day efforts to protect this amazing World Heritage Site. Afterwards, we’ll take a short flight back to Quito on the mainland, and depart for home. We’ll make sure you return home relaxed and refreshed from all the great activities, fine food and friendly people you’ll have met while travelling with us in Peru and the Galapagos Islands.
(Breakfast, Lunch)


Activity Key - zoom in to see activity detail

Hiking Biking Kayaking Boating Flying

Itinerary

Sunday — Arrive in Cuzco, hike Sacsayhuamán fortress

Our trip starts in Cuzco, the heart of the Inca empire. After lunch, we’ll set off for a walk around this amazing ancient city and up to Sacsayhuamán fortress overlooking the main Plaza and Cuzco Valley. The fortress is a magnificent archaeological site representing a set of jaguar’s teeth with massive, perfectly fitted stones weighing up to 130 tonnes each and was the place where the Incas made their final stand against the Spanish conquistadores. No one really knows what the Incas used Sacsayhuamán for – some say it was a sanctuary and temple of the sun, others say it was a granary, and yet another theory is that it was the place where the old Inca king would play football using the heads of his enemies! No matter who is right, you’ll have a lot of fun hearing all the stories this amazing area inspires. Later, we’ll take a walk through the colourful Cuzco street markets. If you prefer, you can take some time to soak in the vibrant atmosphere of Cuzco’s lively town square and meet up again later for an evening meal.
Hotel Royal Inca, Cuzco (Lunch, Dinner)

Monday — Cycle Sacred Valley, visit Pisac market, hike Pisac ruins

We’ll head into the fertile Sacred Valley of the Incas this morning, stopping just above Cuzco, where we’ll jump on our bikes and ride down through breath-taking scenery, dotted with local villages and surrounded by the massive green slopes of the Andes. We’ll finish our ride in the small town of Pisac, where we’ll have a chance to check out the colourful mercado artesanal. From here, we’ll begin a spectacular hike up to the Pisac ruins. It’s a heart-pumping walk up through ancient agricultural terraces – you’ll never forget the views of Pisac and the Urubamba Valley! After exploring the ancient complex, we’ll descend the original Inca stairways and head further into the Sacred Valley. Our home for the night is the small village of Yucay, in the heart of the Peruvian Andes.
Sonesta Posada Del Inca, Yucay (All meals)

Tuesday — Explore Chinchero, hike to Huchuy Qosqo

We’ll set off early this morning and head to the remote market village of Chinchero. Said to be the birthplace of the rainbow, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time 500 years while we explore the cobbled alleyways and beautiful town square – still the main trading centre of the Incas from over half a century ago. From Chinchero, we’ll drive past the Piuray Lagoon and on to the Andean village of Tauca, where we’ll begin our hike to Huchuy Qosqo. The dramatic mountain views of the Urubamba range and deep valleys below are off the charts! As we make our way over the Pucajasa Mountain Pass, we’ll pass through high mountain meadows, lagoons and indigenous communities that have little contact with the outside world. Shortly before lunch we’ll arrive at the spectacular ruins of Huchuy Qosqo (Little Cuzco), thought to be the remnants of an Inca hideaway village. After lunch, we’ll hike down to Lamay village and drive a short distance to Ollantaytambo, where we’ll take an unforgettable train ride down to the sub-tropical village of Aguas Calientes. You’ll have a chance to wander around this colourful little town before dinner and relax after a full day of hiking!
Aguas Calientes Hotel, Aguas Calientes (All meals)

Wednesday — Visit Machu Picchu

After an early breakfast, we’ll head up to the ancient city of Machu Picchu, where we’ll meet our local guide who will show us around this fascinating ancient city. Afterwards, you’ll have all morning to explore the many passageways and stone structures of this mysterious place on your own. We’ll also have the chance to hike back to the Sun Gate for a unique perspective on these remote Inca ruins, set high on top of a mountain surrounded by lush peaks. After plenty of time to explore Machu Picchu, we’ll take a scenic train ride back to Ollantaytambo, known to the locals simply as ‘Ollanta’.
Hotel Samanapaq, Ollantaytambo (All meals)

Thursday — Ollantaytambo archaeology tour, hike to Las Salineras

Ollanta is dominated by two large ruins and is the best surviving example of Inca city planning, with narrow cobblestone streets that have been inhabited since the 13th Century! The Ollantaytambo ruins offer a fascinating insight into Inca archaeology, so we’ll spend the morning with a local guide discovering the site, placing our travels into context. Later, we’ll take an incredible hike into the majestic Valle Sagrado de Los Incas. After a visit to the town of Maras, we’ll hike down to the salt pans of Las Salineras with the Rio Urubamba and the Sacred Valley below us. These unique salt terraces have been used since Inca times and provide a great opportunity to hone your camera skills. A hot spring at the top of the valley discharges a small stream of heavily salt-laden water that the Incas diverted into shallow pools to produce salt, and this is still done today.
Hotel Royal Inca, Cuzco (All meals)

Friday — Free day in Cuzco

Cuzco is the archaeological capital of the Americas and it’s a fabulous place to spend a day exploring – it’s no wonder it’s the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city! Walk along Cuzco’s central streets, lined with massive Inca-built stone walls that form the foundation of the city and blend into the colonial and modern architecture that has been added over the years. You can take the day to explore Cuzco’s most popular temples, museums, churches and fortresses. Alternatively, we’ll help you arrange one of the many optional guided activities available including mountain biking, hiking, or horseback riding. There’s also no shortage of great food and entertainment in Cuzco, with restaurants to suit any taste, cafés for coffee in the Plaza de Armas and great bars with local music.
Hotel Royal Inca, Cuzco (Breakfast)

Saturday — Fly to Lima and on to Ecuador

This morning we’ll take a short flight from Cuzco to Lima, and on to Ecuador’s capital. Quito is a mesmerising city to visit, with its cobbled streets and towering cathedrals, nestled in a valley flanked by majestic mountains. On a clear day, several snow-capped volcanoes are visible from the capital. As well as being in a beautiful location, this colonial city is rich in history and much of the old town is well preserved, the buildings are unchanged and to walk down the narrow streets is to step into bygone eras. Later we’ll meet up again to chat with our guides about the Galapagos journey that lies ahead.
Hotel Sebastian, Quito (All meals)

Sunday — Fly to the Galapagos Islands

We’ll hop back on the plane for a short flight to Santa Cruz Island, in the heart of the Galapagos Archipelago. After settling in, we’ll hike into the amazing cloud forest highlands - it’s hard to believe we were in the Peruvian Andes a few days ago! Once there, we’ll have a chance to see giant tortoises in their natural environment, along with intriguing birdlife like the vermillion flycatcher. Later, we’ll take a look inside the lava tunnels scattered throughout the highlands. These tunnels were formed by molten lava flowing beneath the surface, which left behind large tube-like caves, some almost a mile long!
Posada del Mar Hotel, Santa Cruz Island (All meals)

Monday — Visit Tortuga Bay, Charles Darwin Research Station

This morning we’ll hike to Tortuga Bay, one of the most stunning beaches in the Galapagos! We’ll have the option of trying our hand at bodyboarding or surfing, or just lounging around on the incredibly fine sand. Tortuga Bay is accessible only by foot and is home to hundreds of prehistoric-looking marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and pelicans. Later, we’ll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about the breeding programs that are saving vulnerable species of tortoises and land iguanas. Also, there will be a chance to see different types of carapace that help differentiate the tortoise species. This afternoon, we’ll head to Isabela Island - the largest and Western-most Island in the Galapagos.
Hotel San Vicente, Isabela Island (All meals)

Tuesday — Hike Sierra Negra Volcano and sea kayak Isabela Island

Our hike today will take us to the summit of Sierra Negra volcano, rising nearly a mile above the ocean. See the lowland vegetation change before your eyes as we ascend through a lunar-like landscape on our way to the top. It’s quite a hike to the top of the volcano, but the views across the seven mile wide crater and surrounding coastline are worth the climb! This is one of the largest volcanic calderas in the world, and one of the most active. As we hike, we might be lucky enough to see Galapagos hawks, short-eared owls, finches and fly-catchers that inhabit this region. After lunch we’ll head back down to sea level for a kayaking trip in the calm waters of Isabela Bay. Here we’ll have the chance to see some of the island’s most amazing wildlife up close. Marine iguanas bask in the sun, blue-footed boobies sit in pairs on the rock tops and Sally Lightfoot crabs scurry out of our way along the water’s edge. In the clear waters below us, rays gracefully swim by and turtles pop up for a breath of air.
Hotel San Vicente, Isabela Island (All meals)

Wednesday — Visit Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre, San Cristobal Island and visit la Loberia

This morning, we’ll head to a Galapagos giant tortoise breeding centre where we can meet these majestic prehistoric creatures and learn about the efforts being made to conserve the species. Later, we’ll take a short flight to San Cristobal Island and head to La Loberia - a beach that is home to a large sea lion colony and nursery. You’re not likely to see this many sea lions in one place anywhere else in the world! This evening, we’ll dine on local produce and fresh fish.
Casa Blanca or Blue Marlin Hotel, San Cristobal (All meals)

Thursday — Snorkel Kicker Rock and cycle San Cristobal highlands

Today we’ll cruise to Isla Lobos off the coast of San Cristobal, where we’ll don wetsuits, snorkels and masks (and tanks for the divers – diving option add US$250) and explore the underwater world for a close up view of sea lions as they fish for their dinner! Isla Lobos is home to one of the main sea lion, frigate bird and blue-footed booby colonies in the area. After a swim with the sea lions, we’ll get back on our boat and head for Kicker Rock, where we’ll either snorkel or take two dives around the remains of an underwater volcano with a rock face rising 150 metres (500 feet) above the surface of the water. After lunch, we’ll head to the town of La Soledad to bike down through the lush highland cloud forest that blankets the top of the island.
Casa Blanca or Blue Marlin Hotel, San Cristobal (All meals)

Friday — Visit interpretation centre, fly to Quito, depart

This morning, we’ll visit San Cristobal Interpretation Centre to learn about the history and mystery of the archipelago, from its discovery and what makes it so special, to Charles Darwin’s visit and the present day efforts to protect this amazing World Heritage Site. Afterwards, we’ll take a short flight back to Quito on the mainland, and depart for home. We’ll make sure you return home relaxed and refreshed from all the great activities, fine food and friendly people you’ll have met while travelling with us in Peru and the Galapagos Islands.
(Breakfast, Lunch)

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Dates

Trip Date Price Status  
Sep 10 ’17 – Sep 22 ’17 US$6999 Almost full Check Availability
Oct 8 ’17 – Oct 20 ’17 US$6999 Filling up Check Availability
Nov 5 ’17 – Nov 17 ’17 US$6999 Great Check Availability
Dec 3 ’17 – Dec 15 ’17 US$6999 Great Check Availability
Dec 17 ’17 – Dec 29 ’17 US$7299 Filling up Check Availability
Dec 24 ’17 – Jan 5 ’18 US$7299 Great Check Availability
2018
Jan 14 ’18 – Jan 26 ’18 US$6999 Great Check Availability
Feb 11 ’18 – Feb 23 ’18 US$6999 Filling up Check Availability
Mar 11 ’18 – Mar 23 ’18 US$6999 Filling up Check Availability
Apr 8 ’18 – Apr 20 ’18 US$6999 Filling up Check Availability
May 6 ’18 – May 18 ’18 US$6999 Great Check Availability
Jun 3 ’18 – Jun 15 ’18 US$6999 Filling up Check Availability
Jul 15 ’18 – Jul 27 ’18 US$6999 Great Check Availability
Aug 12 ’18 – Aug 24 ’18 US$6999 Great Check Availability
Sep 9 ’18 – Sep 21 ’18 US$6999 Great Check Availability
Oct 7 ’18 – Oct 19 ’18 US$6999 Great Check Availability
Nov 4 ’18 – Nov 16 ’18 US$6999 Great Check Availability
Dec 2 ’18 – Dec 14 ’18 US$6999 Great Check Availability
Dec 16 ’18 – Dec 28 ’18 US$7299 Great Check Availability
Dec 23 ’18 – Jan 4 ’19 US$7299 Great Check Availability
2019
Jan 13 ’19 – Jan 25 ’19 US$6999 Great Check Availability
Feb 10 ’19 – Feb 22 ’19 US$6999 Great Check Availability
Mar 10 ’19 – Mar 22 ’19 US$6999 Great Check Availability
Apr 7 ’19 – Apr 19 ’19 US$6999 Great Check Availability
May 5 ’19 – May 17 ’19 US$6999 Filling up Check Availability
Jun 2 ’19 – Jun 14 ’19 US$6999 Great Check Availability
Jun 30 ’19 – Jul 12 ’19 US$6999 Great Check Availability

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Useful Info

No Forced Single Supplement:

Most other travel companies charge all solo travellers a single supplement fee. We don't! When it comes to accommodation, our trip fares are based on a twin-share rate, which means we'll match you up with another person of the same gender to share a room with. If there's no one suitable to share with, there's no forced single supplement! Having said that, if you specifically request your own room, you can opt to pay the additional single supplement fee.

Trip Start:

If you arrive on the first day of your trip, an Active Adventures South America representative will meet you at the Cuzco airport (CUZ) (flights to arrive by 11am) and take you to your accommodation. If you’re already in Cuzco, you’ll meet your trip leader and the rest of your group in the lobby of your hotel at 12 noon.

Trip End:

On the last day of your trip, we’ll fly you to Quito airport (UIO) and then transport you back to your hotel to pick up your other luggage. You can book a flight home departing any time after 9pm on this day and we’ll be happy to transport you back to the airport.

Accommodation:

The ‘Iguana’ is an active adventure trip around Peru and the Galapagos Islands. We stay in clean, comfortable and interesting accommodation and in the Galapagos Islands we prefer to stay on the mainland rather than on live-aboard boats. This means you can interact more with the local communities and have better opportunities to hike and cycle as well as snorkel and dive. Many of the places we stay are off-the-beaten-track and truly spectacular.

Diving in the Galapagos:

Kicker Rock is one of the most interesting dive spots in the world. Our dive guides are all highly qualified with years of dive experience. If you’re a diver and would like to dive on the trip, there is an additional fee of US$250 for two dives plus a safety dive, including all the necessary gear. Please Note: Due to strong currents, the Galapagos is not a destination for novice divers. We recommend you have logged at least 10–20 dives before diving here and you must bring your PADI or SSI certification to dive.

Included:

Details of what’s included in your trip fare are on the General Information page at the back of this booklet. In addition, your ‘Iguana’ trip fare includes your international flights from Cuzco to Quito, your domestic flights to the Galapagos Islands return and a small plane flight from Isabela Island to San Cristobal Island. The fare also includes your Active Adventures trip leader joining you for the entire trip over the 13 days from Cuzco through to the Galapagos Islands and back to Quito. All your meals are included, except for lunch and dinner in Cuzco on your free day, where we’ve found most people like to check out the local restaurants on their own.

Not Included:

The Ecuadorian government charges every person who enters the Galapagos Islands a US$100 park entrance fee. You’ll be asked to pay this when you arrive to the airport in Galapagos. INGALA, the coordinating body of Galapagos, also charges a US$20 Transit Control Fee, which is paid through the airline as you check in at Quito airport.

Fitness:

The ‘Iguana’ is an active trip, and has options to suit a wide range of fitness levels and outdoor experience. If you keep reasonably active and like to give things a go, you’re likely to enjoy the trip much more.

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Reviews

  • Would Go Again in a Heartbeat!

    “We have had two wonderful experiences with your company. Each one was a trip of a lifetime. We are so fortunate to have found out about your company. Thank you.”
    Pat Huntington – New Hampshire, United StatesJune 2017
  • The trip of my dreams!

    “The Iguana trip was better than was advertised! I had prepared for the trip to Peru by reading about the history of the area in the book, The Last Days of the Incas, by Kim MacQuarrie. When we visited the many different Inca sites, the history came alive for me. I could picture the great battles, and the capture of the Inca rulers, and the narrow escapes. It was wonderful! Cuzco was a beautiful city surrounded by mountain peaks and full of many good places to eat. After Peru, going to the Galapagos was like a beach vacation in the most beautiful place in the world. We loved snorkeling and seeing the giant land tortoises. We saw every animal associated with the Galapagos and more! I still can't believe I was lucky enough to find this trip with Active Adventures. Top notch all the way around. Thank you to our wonderful guides who we loved!”
    Brenda Peterson – Texas, United StatesApril 2017
  • “A stellar bucket list trip with outstanding guides. The Peru part of our trip was complicated by a local strike causing havoc with our original itinerary but Zac and the Active Adventures folks were amazing in rearranging the itinerary, lodging, meals, etc. Pepo was super in the Galagagos. Both parts of the trip were great fun and very professionally run. Very active but doable for four of us in our 60's.”
    Jim Miller – Illinois, United StatesOctober 2016
  • Peru and Galapagos Islands

    “The two regions of this trip were so different. In Peru, learning about Inca history, seeing the structures that they built with minimal tools and that have survived for centuries and getting to spend time in small towns and interacting with local artisans was fabulous. The Galapagos Islands were a wildlife fest with snorkeling, kayaking and boat rides between islands and viewing sea "creatures" in the shallows and deep water. You also hiked volcanos and saw land tortoises, iguanas and the topography change as you go from lush to lava fields. Wonderful experiences”
    Carol Miller – Illinois, United StatesOctober 2016
  • My first taste of Sth America

    “The trip lived up to all that it offered and more. The organisation and the guides were exemplary. Fully recommend it to all active golden oldies!!”
    Jane Murray – Auckland, New ZealandAugust 2016
  • Phenonmenal Guide

    “Zac is a phenomenal guide - his knowledge of Peru and its history, his sense of humor, enthusiasm, leadership, attention to detail, and clear concern for the well-being of each member of the group made him the best guide I've ever met!”
    David Folkes – Colorado, United StatesMay 2017
  • South America Adventure

    “As a first time traveller to South America it was a great comfort to travel with local guides who were not only proficient in Spanish but also more importantly familiar with all of the great local places to visit. Pepo and Zac were invaluable guides, they made us feel welcome from the first minute. Pepo had great insight about the Galapagos Islands and the time we spent at his family tree-house was great fun. Zac is full of knowledge about Peru, the sacred valley, the Incas and recommendations for the best places to eat. The professionalism displayed by Zac as our tour guide was unbelievable! He was able to seamlessly re-organise our trip schedule as there was a local strike with road closures. His knowledge of the area and the people meant that we hardly even noticed the change in our itinerary. I cannot recommend him enough! I have previously traveled with Active in New Zealand so I knew that I was in for a lovely trip. My expectations were well met and my only criticism is that the tour wasn't longer! The trip has opened my eyes to the beauty of Peru and the Galapagos and now I just can't wait to go back and it explore it even more.”
    Liz Grenik – Western Australia, AustraliaNovember 2016
  • Great trip!

    “The trip was overall amazing. The guides were all very knowledgeable and were always trying to make the trip more comfortable and enjoyable. I really could not be more impressed. Each of them was likeable and friendly (as well as informational). They took us to great sites and great restaurants. 5 star!!!”
    Zane Levinson – Pennsylvania, United StatesJuly 2016
  • Great way to venture into South America

    “Fabulous way to combine the Inca trial and Galapagos islands. Hiking at 14,000 feet and sandy beaches packed with sealions. Meet real people, share ral experiences, get to meet wildlife up close!”
    Alan Burgess – Essex, United KingdomJune 2016
  • truly active

    “Active Adventures packs a lot into two weeks. The pace is very fast and being in good condition is very important. This trip went to two places on my bucket list and I enjoyed both immensely. Machu Picchu was everything I expected and a bit more. The Galapagos Islands were a treat, especially the giant tortoises.”
    Terry Allan – Ohio, United StatesJune 2016
  • Iguana Trip

    “The South America Adventure was a highlight of a lifetime! Our guides were fantastic, especially Jhayro! Jhayro led our group on many adventures through Peru, including rock climbing, biking, zip-lining, and hiking to amazing Inca ruins. We ate incredible cuisine at a variety of restaurants, and one day, we were served a picnic lunch as fine as we could get in a 5-star restaurant. The hotels were comfortable and quiet and clean. One of our guides, Daniel, was an expert speaker on a variety of topics. We learned about the history, geology, flora and fauna, and culture of each area. No questions went unanswered, even if he had to do research and inform us the next day. Our group was small enough to bond and enjoy each others company. Iguana was a wonderful experience!”
    Mary Allan – Ohio, United StatesJune 2016
  • Really? It was only the second time you ran it?

    “As the name implies, Active Tours are just that Active and subject to all sorts of unknowns. What makes them so good is the Tour Leader's ability to adapt and improvise. We hiked much quicker than expected, so we were able to take a quick nap after lunch in the shadow of Inca Ruins. We climbed much slower than expected, so we got to the Salt mines as the sun set. I was really surprised when Jhayro said this was only the second time the it ran, it was so well done I had thought they had it all down pat. As always, great job!”
    Dave Pratt – Hawaii, United StatesMay 2016
  • Aventura Fantastica!

    “This was our second Active Adventures trip and while we went to Peru mainly to see Machu Picchu, I feel it was only a fraction of the fun we had during our trip. For me, hiking at 14,000+ feet, climbing rocks via ferrata to go zip lining was an awesome experience despite being very prone to altitude illness (we got there a day early and I was fine by the second day) and having a hubby who is very afraid of heights. Machu Picchu was magnificent but I really enjoyed the less crowded Incan and pre-Incan sites we visited more because we had them nearly all to ourselves. Our tour leader Jhayro and another local guide Daniel (who we had for 3 days in Peru) also made our trip extra special being so friendly and fun to be with both while leading us on adventures as well as during meals and on the bus.

    The food we had in Peru was excellent and that is coming from someone who is usually viewed as a picky eater with a fussy stomach. My hubby, who is a much more adventurous eater than I, tried alpaca and guinea pig and both were surprisingly good (yes, I tried them too!). After a couple days, we were used to not drinking the tap water or flushing paper down toilets so neither were a big deal. In fact, when we were in Quito, it seemed strange to be able to do so!

    For the Galapagos portion of our trip, we were led by Jose since our scheduled guide Pablo couldn't be there due to a family emergency. Jose was very knowledgable about the local geology, flora, fauna and variety of other things and with several in our group being (former) teachers or scientists, we sure did ask a lot of questions. The unique wildlife of the islands was the primary reason I wanted to visit and I loved seeing Galapagos turtles again as I'd not seen them since I was a child back in the 60's (I remember riding on some in a zoo which I know now was so wrong!). It was my first time seeing marine iguanas and blue footed boobies in the wild and I also enjoyed seeing a variety of other creatures that are in other places but we don't see very often, even living in Hawaii which has very similar geology.

    Like Hawaii, each of the Galapagos Islands was different and it was interesting to see how they varied. The different forms of transportation we used to get from island to island were also adventures in themselves: 2 hour ride on a speed boat and an hourish ride on a teeny prop plane!

    The only thing that was not quite what we expected with this trip was that some of the activities listed on the Galapagos Island itinerary we did not get to do. Nevertheless, the trip was fantastic and being probably my one and only trip to South America, it will always be remembered.”
    Shirley Pratt – Hawaii, United StatesMay 2016
  • More than I could have asked for!

    “I have never traveled solo before, so I was very hesitant to take a trip like this. I'm so glad I did! Active took all of the stress out of planning the trip, so all I had to do was enjoy my time! The rolling green hills of the Sacred Valley, majestic mountains of the Andes, the wonder itself of Machu Pichu! And that was only in Peru! The Galapagos was better than I could have imagined. At one point I was swimming with sea turtles, sea lions, eagle rays, and yes, penguins! I was in absolute awww the entire time in Galapagos. This truly was an amazing trip and I would highly recommend it anyone!”
    Markie Gibson – Washington, United StatesMay 2016
  • “Amazing trip! If time is not your luxury, this trip truly offers the best of the best for Peru and Galapagos. I would highly recommend to anyone who loves a mix of adventure, culture and chill once you get to the Galapagos.”
    Anne-Marie Davies – Alberta, CanadaApril 2016

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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Legendary Kiwi Hospitality

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

Expert LOCAL Guides & Trip Leaders

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

Everything is Included

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

A Sense of Achievement

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

Small Groups

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

Diverse Experiences

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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