Peru and Galapagos Explorer Iguana
What's The Rush?
I’m not a triathlete, but I’m in decent shape and I’m not looking to experience a place just through a bus window. I’m happy to slow down on the trail, soak it in and breathe in the fresh air.
Sure, I own some hiking boots, they’re even worn in, but they don’t go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.
Earn Your Lunch
I stay active on vacation so that I can eat and drink what I like without feeling guilty. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.
I’ll let my trusty guides sweat the small things, so I can focus on my goal. Getting to the top, reaching the end, achieving my dreams! Sure, it’ll be tough, but the views will be worth it.
I’ve put in the hard yards and now I get to reap the rewards. I’m a seasoned adventurer, not afraid to get my boots wet.
- Read more about the Active Range
- From 13 Days - US$7599
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 and 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 flights north 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.
Explore Machu Picchu
Hike Sacsayhuamán fortress
Hike and cycle in the Sacred Valley of the Incas
Explore Cuzco, Lima and Quito
Ollantaytambo archaeology tour
Hike to Huchuy Qosqo
Meet giant tortoises and iguanas
Swim with turtles and rays at Kicker Rock
Hike Sierra Negra Volcano
and Santa Cruz Island
Explore a lava tunnel
Kayak Isabela Island
Snorkel Kicker Rock
What's included on 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 where indicated on the itinerary.
- 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.
Interactive Trip Map
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 I or Hotel San Agustin, Cuzco (Lunch, Dinner)
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)
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)
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 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)
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 I or Hotel San Agustin, Cuzco (All meals)
Cuzco is the archaeological capital of the Americas and it’s a fabulous place to wander around and get a taste for an ancient city arriving in the 21st century! 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 some time this morning to explore Cuzco’s most popular temples, museums, churches and fortresses. There’s 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. This afternoon we’ll take the short flight to Lima and arrive in time to have dinner together as a group.
Hotel Allpa, Miraflores, Lima (Breakfast, Dinner)
This morning we’ll take a flight from Lima up 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. After lunch we’ll go and explore the Old Town, and then in the evening we’ll chat with our guides about the Galapagos journey that lies ahead.
Hotel EB, Quito (All meals)
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)
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 body-boarding 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 Albemarle, Isabela Island (All meals)
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 Albemarle, Isabela Island (All meals)
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)
Today we’ll cruise to Kicker Rock off the coast of San Cristobal, where we’ll either snorkel or don wet suits, snorkels and masks (and tanks for the divers – diving option add US$250) and explore the around the remains of an underwater volcano with a rock face rising 150 metres (500 feet) above the surface of the water. Afterward we can visit one of three beaches - Manglecito, Puerto Grande and Cerro Brujo and enjoy lunch here. 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)
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.
|Apr 07, 2019 – Apr 19, 2019||US$7599||Filling up||Check Availability|
|May 05, 2019 – May 17, 2019||US$7599||Filling up||Check Availability|
|Jun 30, 2019 – Jul 12, 2019||US$7599||Filling up||Check Availability|
|Jul 14, 2019 – Jul 26, 2019||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|Aug 11, 2019 – Aug 23, 2019||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|Sep 08, 2019 – Sep 20, 2019||US$7599||Filling up||Check Availability|
|Oct 06, 2019 – Oct 18, 2019||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|Nov 03, 2019 – Nov 15, 2019||US$7599||Filling up||Check Availability|
|Dec 01, 2019 – Dec 13, 2019||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|Dec 15, 2019 – Dec 27, 2019||US$7899||Great||Check Availability|
|Dec 22, 2019 – Jan 03, 2020||US$7899||Great||Check Availability|
|Jan 12, 2020 – Jan 24, 2020||US$7599||Filling up||Check Availability|
|Feb 09, 2020 – Feb 21, 2020||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|Mar 08, 2020 – Mar 20, 2020||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|Apr 05, 2020 – Apr 17, 2020||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|May 03, 2020 – May 15, 2020||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|May 31, 2020 – Jun 12, 2020||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|Jun 28, 2020 – Jul 10, 2020||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|Jul 12, 2020 – Jul 24, 2020||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|Aug 09, 2020 – Aug 21, 2020||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|Sep 06, 2020 – Sep 18, 2020||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|Oct 04, 2020 – Oct 16, 2020||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|Nov 01, 2020 – Nov 13, 2020||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|Nov 29, 2020 – Dec 11, 2020||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|Dec 13, 2020 – Dec 25, 2020||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|Dec 20, 2020 – Jan 01, 2021||US$7899||Great||Check Availability|
|Jan 10, 2021 – Jan 22, 2021||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|Feb 07, 2021 – Feb 19, 2021||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|Mar 07, 2021 – Mar 19, 2021||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|Apr 04, 2021 – Apr 16, 2021||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|May 02, 2021 – May 14, 2021||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|May 30, 2021 – Jun 11, 2021||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
|Jun 27, 2021 – Jul 09, 2021||US$7599||Great||Check Availability|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Meals are included except where indicated on the itinerary.
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.
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.
Packed In All The Highlights Of Peru And Galapagos
The Iguana Trip is Adventurous and Fun!
Danny was Awesome!
Bucket List Dream
Trip of a Lifetime Just Like We Expected!
Iguana go back!
LLamas and Lions
Peru (Machu Picchu) and the Galapagos.
The Best of Two Cultures!
Iguana Trip/Quito-Galapagos leg
Exceeded All Expectations
Peru/Galapagos Iguana trip
Peru and the Galapagos
Iguana - Trip of a Lifetime!
Much More Than Iguanas
An amazing adventure
One More off the Bucket List
Great trip, great food and guides.
Iguanas - September 2017
2017 Iguana Trip
2017 Iguana Trip
Would Go Again in a Heartbeat!
The trip of my dreams!
South America Adventure
Peru and Galapagos Islands
My first taste of Sth America
Great way to venture into South America
Really? It was only the second time you ran it?
More than I could have asked for!