Peru and Galapagos Explorer

Peru and Galapagos Explorer Iguana

4.46 out of 5 (from 87 reviews)

ACTIVE 3 - 4
  • ACTIVE 1

    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.

  • ACTIVE 2

    Leg Stretcher

    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.

  • ACTIVE 3

    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.

  • ACTIVE 4

    Challenge Accepted

    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.

  • ACTIVE 5

    The Ultimate

    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

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 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.
Check Availability

Interactive Trip Map


Day 1 — 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 I or Hotel San Agustin, Cuzco (Lunch, Dinner)

Day 2 — 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)

Day 3 — 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)

Day 4 — 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 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)

Day 5 — 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 I or Hotel San Agustin, Cuzco (All meals)

Day 6 — Free morning in Cuzco, afternoon flight to Lima

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)

Day 7 — Fly to Quito and explore the Old Town

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)

Day 8 — 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)

Day 9 — 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 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)

Day 10 — 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 Albemarle, Isabela Island (All meals)

Day 11 — 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)

Day 12 — Snorkel Kicker Rock and cycle San Cristobal highlands

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)

Day 13 — 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)


Trip Date Status    
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

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.


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.

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.


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

    “This trip was exactly what we hoped for - packed with gorgeous views, amazing history, beautiful handcrafts and lots of time being out in the beautiful landscapes. Our time in the Galapagos was equally magnificent - we swam with turtles and sharks, saw many unique birds and enjoyed the unique culture on 3 separate islands. The guide were incredibly knowledgeable and skilled at managing the group. We were thrilled with this second trip with Active after a wonderful time in New Zealand last year.”
    Audrey Wennink – Illinois, United States January 2019
  • December 2018

    “We had a fun, exciting, wonderful trip of a lifetime! We did not want to be driven around on a bus with old people, and this sure was nothing like that! It also was manageable for those of us who wanted to be outdoors and active, but are not military buff. Erick was very accommodating about adjusting the trip activities to fit our abilities, and he was fast thinking, capable and resourceful about getting help when I got in trouble with altitude sickness and its effects. He and Pablo were both enthusiastic, fun and engaging guides. They both took us to a wonderful variety of great restaurants with fabulous food throughout the trip.”
    Amy Lauterbach Pokorny – New York, United States January 2019
  • The Iguana Trip is Adventurous and Fun!

    “From hiking, to biking, to snorkeling, to walking around Cuzco, Quito and 3 Galapagos Islands, this trip has it all. Beautiful scenery, friendly people, efficient transportation of several modes: vans, trains, planes, ferry, speedboat, or dive boat! Amazing architectural wonders like Machu Pichu, Huchuy Qosqo, a 6 mile wide volcano crater, all kinds of interesting animals, many wonderful meals at very nice restaurants, lots of safe drinking water, fun group interaction, and guides who were very knowledgeable and professional made for a complete and unforgettable experience. And lots of opportunities to shop too! We'll never forget it and hope to keep in touch with our new friends who shared the adventure with us.”
    Mary-Jane Sackett – Massachusetts, United States October 2018
  • Danny was Awesome!

    “Danny was an awesome guide. His enthusiasm for the culture of Peru really comes through. He is also very knowledgeable about the history. He brought us to great restaurants so we were able to enjoy the amazing food.”
    Katy Yeager – California, United States October 2018
  • Bucket List Dream

    “I loved this trip! Not only did I get to celebrate my 36th anniversary at Machu Picchu, I fell in love with Peru. What a great place and the sites we hiked and visited were spectacular. The second half of the trip to the Galapagos Islands was fantastic. I got to scuba dive and saw a bunch of hammerhead sharks. The guides were all very nice and polite. Thank you.”
    Mary Neilson – Indiana, United States August 2018
  • Trip of a Lifetime Just Like We Expected!

    “We had high expectations for this trip that we've been dreaming about for decades. The time finally came for us to plan and execute. We are so happy to have found Active Adventures through a recommendation from a friend who did a different trip but said we won't be disappointed. Every detail was thought of in the complex moving parts of each day which was filled with multiple activities. Reading our itinerary before leaving, I was excited to see all the things we would do just before lunch! For an active family like ours, there was never a dull moment. Our guides in both Peru and Galapagos were certainly the highlights. Equally bright, knowledgeable, caring and full of smiles. They were like encyclopedias - I've never seen my 2 young adult sons so engaged in learning. The Iguana Trip offered a combination that was absolutely worth getting the most from 2 amazing and very different parts of the world.”
    Anna Carner – Colorado, United States July 2018
  • Iguana go back!

    “My wife and I celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary on the June Iguana trip with Erick in Peru and Pepo in the Galapagos Islands. From the very beginning of the trip, Active Adventures made the trip easy and exciting. The website was very easy to navigate and gave us lots of information. Once we landed, in Cusco, Active Adventures and Erick had everything set up. Erick was a fantastic guide with a ton of information. As a high school social studies teacher, I really appreciate the thorough history and cultural education our group received during our adventures around the area. Celebrating our anniversary day at Machu Pichu was the icing on the cake. The accommodations very clean and comfortable. The activities were vigorous but not daunting. The hikes, bike ride, train rides were perfect and our group had a great time. But the adventure was not over.
    Following an outstanding week in Peru it was on to the Galapagos and our guide Pepo. He was just as knowledgeable about the islands and the people as Erick was in Peru. Galakiwi helped us in many aspects of this phase of our adventure. The sea kayaking, the highlands, the snorkeling and scuba diving all were top notch. Seeing hammerhead sharks by everybody in the group just added to the trip. Once again the accommodations and the food were first class. Mary and I are already thinking about our next Active Adventure. Thanks again!”
    Mike Neilson – Indiana, United States June 2018
  • LLamas and Lions

    “This is like 2 totally different vacations in one big package. The first week in Peru you are hiking in the ever-changing mountains, absorbing the archeology, architecture and customs of people that have a thousand years of history. Then you go to the Galapagos Islands, which have had only 3 generations of human beings populating them. This second week belongs to the animals - how they interact with their habitat and each other. (And sometimes very closely with nearby humans!) Which was the better time? Impossible to pick!”
    Nancy Kucera – Illinois, United States June 2018
  • Iguana

    “This trip has a little of everything – ancient history, extraordinary wildlife, great food, amazing views, secluded beaches, spectacular mountains, thrilling heights, and fascinating culture. It went by way too fast. ”
    Kimberli Werner – Thirsk, United Kingdom May 2018
  • Peru (Machu Picchu) and the Galapagos.

    “Once again this was an amazing trip. Warm, kind wonderful people in Peru. Our hike on the Inca Trail was a full day of walking and some incredible scenery.
    Machu Picchu was so exciting to see, and to walk up to Sun Gate and look down below unto the amazing scenery is very hard to describe to you, unless you have been there. Absolutely beautiful...this was the highlight of the trip for me. But the Galapagos was another great memory. Going to the Darwin Centre to see the giant tortoises, and to walk amongst them was something else. Biking and snorkelling was enjoyable as well. A lot about this trip was wonderful and I would definitely recommend this trip to active people.”
    Bonnie Reid – Ontario, Canada May 2018
  • The Best of Two Cultures!

    “Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of Peru mixed with the Galápagos Islands was an adventure that will never be forgotten. I found so much beauty in both cultures. The friendly hard working people of Peru, the colourful wear, the wonderful food and the rich history of the Inca people was awe-inspiring. I could not stop the tears of joy when I first saw the majesty of Machu Picchu. I fulfilled my childhood dreams (well past the age of a child) in the Galapagos with the visit to Charles Darwin Research Institute and the visit with the giant land tortoises. What magnificent creatures they are. The food in both countries was wonderful making this a culinary experience as well. Our tour mates were so much fun and we will long stay friends, well at least virtual pals. The tour guides, Daniel, Zambo and Lenni were so knowledgeable and made certain at all times that everyone was well, which can not always be easy with differing levels of fitness, different ages and different wants. Great accommodations and transportation made all comfortable even after a long day of activity. Thank you to Active Adventures.”
    Darlene Arsenault – British Columbia, Canada May 2018
  • Great guides!

    “The guides on our trip, Daniel and Sambo, were exceptional. They knew the areas well and took good care ou us. They really made the trip enjoyable.”
    Pat OBryan – Illinois, United States April 2018
  • Iguana Trip/Quito-Galapagos leg

    “We participated in the second half of the Iguana trip (a day in Quito and 6 days in the Galapagos Islands) and we loved it. The day in Quito was fun with highlights including a trip to the Equator, a visit to the historic quarter including the magnificent Iglesia de La Compania de Jesus and the winged Virgin Mary statue, La Virgin del Panecillo.

    Our Galapagos adventure began in Baltra where we were met by our guide, Zambo who was superb. Zambo is a native of Santa Cruz and has so much knowledge to impart which, coupled with a true love and pride for his islands, made for a very rich experience. Highlights for me were: the beautiful beach at Tortuga Bay, Santa Cruz, El Chato Tortoise Preserve in the Santa Cruz highlands where we encountered many giant tortoises, the hike up the Sierra Negra volcano on Isabela when the mists parted and the huge caldera came into view; kayaking on Isabela and seeing golden rays and my first blue footed booby and snorkelling in Cerro Tijeretas on San Cristobal. The fact that this is a land based tour made for a truly interactive holiday. The local people were without fail friendly and helpful. All accommodations were very clean and comfortable and everything moved along seamlessly with no hitches at all. The local company, GalaKiwi did a great job, and their experience shows. This is the first time I have been on a guided tour and for a destination like this I would highly recommend this company as many of the sights require local guides and the vast majority of the islands are designated national park land. All in all, a wonderful experience.”
    Gillian Lane – Massachusetts, United States April 2018
  • Amazed!

    “This was our third Active adventure so we had some pretty clear expectations and hopes for the trip. In almost all respects, this adventure far exceeded our expectations. The activities were all relevant and even though altitude played a minor role for the first half of our trip, our training and pharmaceutical preparations paid off. I was the oldest of the participants and was happy I was able to stay within sight of everyone though I'll admit I came to recognize people by their butts pretty quickly. The guides for both sections of the adventure were first rate and not only knew history but the flora and fauna as well. They were great 'cat herders' and got us to where we needed to be with time to spare. Active South America must have a PhD level training program in patience and compassion because these guys excelled at every turn. ASA was spot on in their descriptions of the activities but perhaps undersold how good the accommodations would be; for the most part we were in very, very nice hotels that seemed delightfully quaint and family run. We never felt like nameless folks just passing through. As for food, we figured we might lose a few pounds due to the high level of activity and being at altitude for a week. Not so, my friends. The food was fresh, tasty and doggone it, very, very plentiful. We found ourselves trying things we might not otherwise be interested in ... except for Mary Ann and Giuseppe, the two Guinea Pigs offered up for our dining pleasure. Nope, none of us went there. The bottom line for us was that at the end, we were amazed our trip had gone by so fast, that we had seen and learned so much and that we thoroughly enjoyed our guides and other tour members. All that said, some may be interested in an economic perspective so here it is: dollar-wise, the trip on the front end seems expensive but by some point during the trip, we came to the conclusion that it was an exceptional value for the experiences we had. It was a true bucket-list adventure for us and we are so happy we choose ASA to provide us the experience we've always hoped to have. Pura vida! (Mark & Sandy Hudson, Shelby, NC, USA)”
    Mark Hudson – North Carolina, United States March 2018
  • Exceeded All Expectations

    “Excellent guides in both Peru and the Galapagos; hotels were all first rate, food was awesome, and our experiences were very memorable. Also, the staff in the Galapagos were really helpful.”
    Tamara Lovell – New York, United States March 2018
  • Peru/Galapagos Iguana trip

    “Unforgettable mix of exposure to the natural world of the Galapagos and the cultural and natural wonders of Peru!”
    Win Quayle – Massachusetts, United States March 2018
  • Peru and the Galapagos

    “It was an amazing two week trip. We felt as if we had two trips in one. Each week was unique. The guides were so knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Pepo had his daily "super plan" and Erick with his thoughtful planning the night before our next day's adventures. Eager to get back to Peru for more adventures. A fantastic experience from the start to the finish.”
    Deb Manegold – Massachusetts, United States March 2018
  • Iquana Tour

    “The guides and assistants were superb, absolutely the best. Caring, knowledgeable, good at explaining, good English, no BS just solid information from good recent sources. Both were especially good at accommodating a wide range of physical abilities, which must have been challenging. Cusco as a base made sense logistically, however some of us felt altitude effects. I would bring a nasal saline spray next time because the air was thin and dry. But the scenery, the ruins, the weaving we saw were absolutely spectacular and totally worth it. The Galapagos Islands were wonderful. The snorkeling was especially good. It was perfect to do a shallow spot first (which was excellent), and then the deep area by Kicker Rock. The bird nesting we saw there, and then the deep water snorkeling, were unforgettable.”
    Jim Rundle – New York, United States March 2018
  • Iguana - Trip of a Lifetime!

    “Our Iguana trip to Peru and Ecuador exceeded my expectations in all respects! We had a wonderful group of 8 (12 in the Galapagos) and delightful, expert guides, who worked tirelessly to make it all flow smoothly. I was very impressed with the preplanned agenda of great activities, charming hotels, and excellent restaurants, with a myriad of forms of transport linking them all together (vans, buses, trains, boats, planes, and even "toot-toots"). What surprised me was that out guides and drivers were willing to go way beyond the itinetary to meet our special needs and desires.
    In Peru, our ever-competent, ever-knowledgable guide Erick Farfan, arranged a taxi for us to go back to town after old knees gave out during a long hike. He also helped us to make arrangements for half of us to visit a weaving village while the other half took a long Andean hike, provided extra snacks for a low blood sugar moment, and walked a lagging group member back to the van before rerunning back to the rest of the group. These actions, along with many others, allowed every member of the group to have the best trip possible. I will always be thankful to Erick for his expertise, great humor, and patience.
    In the Galapagos, Pepo was our "Super Plan" star! He knows everything about his home islands and proudly shared the wonders of the geology, flora, fauna, and fun local eating places! He answered our endless questiond thoroughly, and we never spotted a bird or plant that he couldn't name. He also met the special requests and needs of the group, and e,plained and worked around any problems that arose - like a gas shortage for boats! All the islanders knew Pepo, and meeting his mother and cousin made us feel like family, too. I also want to praise Andy, his assistant on Santa Cruz and Isabella. With Pepi leading and Andy following our group on all the hikes, it enabled us all to move at comfortable speeds, and even the slowest member of the geoup was able to do the 7+ mile hike up the Sierra Negra Volcano. Andy's kindness and charm was a great asset to us all.”
    Marguerite Sibley – Iowa, United States March 2018
  • Much More Than Iguanas

    “The Iguana trip in December 2017 was adventurous and outlandishly beautiful. We went in the off-season, were 2 very compatible couples, biked, kayaked, snorkeled and hiked with condors, turtles, fish, iguanas and sea lions. The people of Peru and Ecuador are welcoming and friendly. The food was awesome as were our guides.”
    Ingrid Tuxhorn – Ohio, United States January 2018
  • An amazing adventure

    “Thank you for the opportunity to see so much in such a short period of time.

    Michelle Wilson – Queensland, Australia January 2018
  • An adventure

    “A massive trip with so many memories and fab experiences. Great to bookend the trip with extra days if you can as we found the travelling tiring. From Brisbane we found we'd flown 16 sectors!”
    Robert Marrill – London, United Kingdom January 2018
  • One More off the Bucket List

    “I would definitely endorse this trip to anyone considering going to this area. This trip was near perfect in all ways, we were a bit off season so there were not so many crowds, the weather though overcast many days was great (even had sun in Machu Picchu) Our guides (Eric and Peppo) were wonderful hosts, showing us an area which you can tell they love and are proud of. The food was wonderful, accommodations were overall great....totally loved the dome room in San Cristobal, only caveat was the room in Cusco had issue with sewer gas escaping into the room. ”
    Carole Baker – Ohio, United States December 2017
  • Great trip, great food and guides.

    “We had such a good time on the trip. The food, accommodations, and sites were great. We were lucky enough to have a small group (3) which made it even nicer.
    Machu Picchu and the hiking in Peru were great, Great food and accommodations.
    The trip got even better once we got to the Galapagos. Hiking, snorkeling/scuba, kayaking, and biking were great. Pepo did a fantastic job tailoring our activities around the weather. The food was great for all the seafood lovers, vegetarians will have to be a little patient. ”
    Andy Baker – Ohio, United States November 2017
  • Amazing!

    “We have a goal of visiting each continent, and our trip to South American with Active South America did not disappoint! This is our second Active Adventures and we will be back for more. Peru and the Galapagos were beautiful and every detail of the trip was attended to perfectly. Thank you, Active, for a wonderful and memorable holiday. ”
    Kristy Reeves – South Carolina, United States October 2017
  • Iguana 2017

    “This was a really good trip, essentially of two halves. Peru with its amazing mountains and then Galapagos with incredible wildlife. Best to be fit when you come, the Peruvian hikes are challenging, which is great, whereas Galapagos is more relaxed.”
    Kelly Olsen – Cambs, United Kingdom October 2017
  • Iguanas - September 2017

    “I had an amazing time on my Iguana trip to Peru and the Galapagos Islands. The Peru trip was much more strenuous than I expected but our guide, Erick was vigilant in keeping us together and encouraging us the whole time. He was fantastically organized, fun and knowledgeable which enhanced the whole experience! The Galapagos trip was lead by Galakiwi which did feel more laid back, and flexible. Pepo and Juan Carlos led us through Kicker Rock and amazing landscapes. I thought the Galapagos would be the highlight of my trip, but Peru proved to be the main event. I was fortunate that my group became fast friends of diverse but like-minded people. Overall, an amazing trip!”
    Donna Wolbers – Michigan, United States October 2017
  • Fun trip!

    “I had a great time!”
    Liz Sinclair – California, United States October 2017
  • 2017 Iguana Trip

    “The Peru portion of the trip with Erick was spectacular. Erick's attention to detail, compassion for each individual on the trip and genuine love for Peru made this portion of the trip absolutely amazing. ”
    JoJo Tadich – Florida, United States September 2017
  • 2017 Iguana Trip

    “The Peru portion of the trip was spectacular. Erick truly cares about the overall experience of his clients. He paid attention to all the details of the trip from the experiences of the country, the restaurants and the excursions. He didn't leave any stone unturned when it came to having fun and caring about his clients. I highly recommend Erick to anyone wanting to have a fabulous time in Peru.”
    Will Tadich – Florida, United States September 2017
  • Iguana Trip

    “Our guides Erick and Jessica could not have been better. Our group was well taken care of, and we experienced a trip of a lifetime that we could not have done without them.”
    Jennifer Smart – Georgia, United States August 2017
  • 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 States June 2017
  • 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 States May 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 States April 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, Australia November 2016
  • “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 States October 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 States October 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 Zealand August 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 States July 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 Kingdom June 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 States June 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 States June 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 States May 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 States May 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 States May 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, Canada April 2016

Why travel with Active Adventures?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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