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Depart London on your scheduled flight to Quito where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
In the morning a half day walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the historic old town awaits. Visiting Independence Square, stop at the Cathedral and Presidential Palace before passing the church of La Compania and San Francisco. Finishing at El Panecillo Hill, here you will have panoramic views over the capital city whilst enjoying a well-deserved lunch.
Fly to Baltra Island this morning where you will be met and transferred to Santa Cruz via a short ferry crossing. After a welcome drink and a leisurely lunch, your guide will take you to see the island's famed giant tortoises. These gentle giants roam freely between the national parks and boast lifespans of over a hundred years. Next visit the lava tunnels; formed by rivers of fast flowing liquid lava, a walk through these passageways will take you on an exciting journey back in time to the very formation of these volcanic islands.
Today, take a boat trip out to one of the bio-diverse Galapagos isles. Here you have the opportunity to view a selection of wildlife the islands are so revered for. Spot iguanas lazing in the shade of cacti, blue-footed boobies and sea lions perched on top of rocky outcroppings or frigate birds showing off their vibrant red pouches. Before lunch get a sea lion's view of these magnificent creatures and other marine life such as sea turtles, rays and tropical fish as you snorkel around the bay.
After breakfast, journey on foot through arid, aromatic forests that hug the spectacular white sandy coastline of Tortuga Bay to arrive at hidden blue lagoons. These natural pools are perfect for swimming or snorkelling in or rent a kayak and paddle close to white tip sharks, turtles and schools of rays on the tranquil lagoon of Playa Mansa.
Embark on another boat trip to a different island today to enjoy more wildlife spotting and snorkelling.
Start today with a stop at Cascajo, a breathtaking viewpoint where you can witness a phenomenal panoramic view of Santa Cruz and other islands of the archipelago. Descend onto Garrapatero beach where you can observe flamingos, frigates, mockingbirds and blue-footed boobies. In the afternoon you have the chance to be part of a volunteer program to plant a tree and leave your own eco-signature in these enchanted lands.
Returning to Baltra Island, you will catch a flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city. Transfer to your hotel and have the rest of the day at leisure.
Embark on a guided morning walk of the city. Starting at the Malecon 2000, an impressive boardwalk overlooking the Guayas River, you will then visit the picturesque neighbourhood of Las Penas before strolling down Avenue 9 de Octubre, the main downtown district. Finish at Parque Bolivar, one of the only parks in the world to have land iguanas.
Transfer to Guayaquil airport for your flight back to the UK.
After a day at leisure in Guayaquil, take an evening flight to Lima. Your guide will meet you on arrival and accompany you to your hotel.
This morning you will fly to Cusco. In the afternoon your guide will commence your half day tour, taking you around all the most important sites.
Today is the highpoint of this extension - a visit to the world renowned Machu Picchu. Board the Vistadome train to climb up through the Andes, then a bus to the summit of the archaeological site. Constructed on a saddle between the two Andean peaks, Machu Picchu was one of the greates achievements of South American civilisation.
After breakfast at your hotel the rest of the day is free for you to relax and explore Cusco.
After breakfast return to the UK via Lima and Madrid.
A visa is not required for entry into Peru for UK passport holders. Further advice should be sought from the applicable tourist authority for other nationalities and for general queries. We strongly advise you check with your destinations? Tourist Board or Embassy for the most up-to-date guidelines regarding required passport validity.
You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Direct is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices:
|Age in Years||Up to 64||65 - 74||75 - 85|
|Up to 17 days cover||£39||£75||£129|
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
All flights are operated by LAN TAM airlines. Each passenger is entitled to 23kgs of hold luggage and hand luggage not exceeding 55cm x 40cm x 20cm in size. Flight times are for guidance only and subject to change.
We recommend that you consult your local GP for advice on vaccinations and travel health before departure.
This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility.
There is no minimum number of travellers for this extension however the main tour passenger numbers will apply for the main part of the tour. If in the unlikely event there are less than the required number of people booked on your main tour date then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival and will have a guide with you throughout the duration of your trip, ensuring you have first-hand knowledge at all times.
The currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol, the symbol is S/. We recommend you exchange your currency before you leave the UK. US Dollars are widely accepted in Peru should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you. Cash machines are available in all the major cities to withdraw money in the local currency.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any lunches and dinners where these are not mentioned on your itinerary and personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £200-£300 should be sufficient.
Please note that Breakfast and Lunch is not included on the last day of the main tour as your flight departs Guayaquil in the early hours of the morning on Day 10.
Weather and Climate
Please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.
To end your journey in Ecuador why not extend your stay by relaxing on the beautiful beaches in the province of Santa Elena.