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Galapagos, Incas, Rio & Buenos Aires

Quito - Galapagos - Lima - Cuzco - Machu Picchu - Rio de Janeiro - Iguazu Falls - Buenos Aires (18 days / 17 nts)  From $4836

Blue Footed Booby

Day 1: Arrive Quito
Upon arrival in Quito private transfer from the airport to the hotel. Overnight in Quito.

Day 2: Quito - Galapagos (M/Y Aida Maria)
Morning private transfer to the airport to board the flight to Galapagos. Fly from the Ecuadorian Mainland to the islands on an early morning 90-minute flight. As you prepare to arrive at Baltra, peer out the Aida Maria - View of the yacht | tt2window. The landscape below will seem otherworldly - and it is for you have come to a place like no other. The Galapagos Islands are unique and you are about to see why. Your bilingual naturalist guide will greet you at the airport and assist you through customs. Embark the M/Y Aida Maria. During lunch he/she will introduce you to the islands and specifically the flora and fauna you will encounter at our first destination: Las Bachas Beach.

On the sandy white beaches of Las Bachas we will get a close look at a sea turtle nesting area and a lake frequented by leggy pink flamingos and other migratory birds. Afterward, we cool ourselves off with our first dip in the deliciously blue Pacific Ocean. As this is our first evening together, the crew will invite us to a pre-dinner cocktail on the yacht before the welcome dinner. If the night is clear, as it usually is, the stars above will bedazzle; look for the Southern Cross, the Big Dipper (turned up-side down!) and Orion.

(Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 3: Genovesa, Darwin Bay - Prince Philip Steps
After We spend the enSanta Cruz Is. - Bachas Beach | tt2tire day on Tower (Genovesa), considered to be one of the most spectacular Islands in Galapagos for bird species. Genovesa has 2 principal tourist places: Prince Philips Steps and Darwin Bay, this is one of the most famous places to watch animals like: fragate birds, mask boobies, red footed boobies, sea lions and seals. When you practice snorkelling and diving the sea lions and hammerhead sharks will swim beside you. The Prince Philips Steps is an rock with the shape of steps, this place was called of this way because the prince Phillips visited the island genovesa in the 60´s.

(Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 4: Bartolome - Santiago
Bartolome offers an explosive volcanic landscape. Get ready to climb above 270 feet to admire the dramatic spatter cones and the view of Pinnacle Rock that everyone wants. Later, take a walk on magical golden beaches where sea turtle nest (December to March). Don’t forget to make time to swim near penguins, sharks and lava tubes

Santiago, on the eastern coast of James Island is Sullivan Bay. There you can admire a large area of fresh pahoehoe (ropey) lava flows dating from an eruption in 1897. A walk over this glazed black rock gives the impression of the still-molten lava, as every ripple, swirl, and bubble in its surface has been preserved. Tiny fragile Mollugi plants can be spotted growing out of fissures as they begin to colonize the arid terrain.

(Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 5: Daphne - Santa Cruz
Daphne is one of the central islands, north of Santa Cruz. There is a Daphne Major and Minor both are located north of Santa Cruz. Daphne Minor is closed to the public and visits of Daphne Major are limited by the Galapagos National Park Service to less than 12 people per group. You also see masked boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, brown noddies and swallow-tailed gulls

Santa Cruz: A panga ride to Black Turtle Cove and through mangrove inlets, these lagoons provide refuge to rays, sharks, and sea turtles that will be clearly viewable from the boat.

At Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill) a trail takes you through Palo Santo forests, a brackish salt-water lagoon and Opuntia cacti woodland, where we will be hoping to spot land iguanas and feeding flamingos.

(Included meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner) 

Day 6: Galapagos - Guayaquil - Lima
After breakfast we sail to Santa Cruz Island, where we visit the world-famous Charles Darwin Station, a non-profit institution that dedicates itself to studying and protecting Galapaganean flora and fauna.In the late afternoon we return to town. The visit to Charles Darwin Station will complete your Galapagos adventure. From the station we will take a bus to the airport for departure.

Upon arrival in Guayaquil airport board the flight to Lima where there will be a transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Lima.

(Included meals: breakfast) 

Day 7: Lima - Cusco (city tour)
Transfer to the airport for departure flight to Cusco. Upon arrival in Cusco, assistance at the airport and transfer to the hotel.

In the afternoon, at aprox. 1PM half day city tour of Cuzco - View of the main plaza in the eveningCusco, including the Santo Domingo convent monastery. This former Colonial monastery was previously the Korikancha temple, one of the most important temples devoted to the worship of the sun. According to the chronicles, it was covered in gold Leaf and filled with golden representations of nature. Visit also the Cathedral, the most important temple of the city which houses the headquarters of the Diocese. After touring the most interesting sites of the city, you will be driven to the countryside outside Cusco to visit some of the remarkable Inca ruins in the area. Included are the cult centre of Sacsayhuaman, the temple and amphitheatre of Kenko, and the Red Fortress of Puca Pucara. At the end of the tour, transfer to the hotel. Overnight Cusco.

(Included meals: breakfast)

Day 8: Cusco - Sacred Valley
Take a trip to Urubamba, the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You will begin your tour visiting Awanakancha, where South American camelidae are bred. Learn about the llamas;, alpacas and vicuñas; superb fibres, as well as the ancient weaving techniques which are still in use. Proceed to Pisac where you will have the opportunity to bargain with vendors at its local handicrafts market. Enjoy lunch at a pleasant hostelry in the countryside and continue to the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo. The site was built just as the Spaniards arrived and evidence of how it was is still visible. Overnight in the Sacred Valley

(Included meals: breakfast, lunch)

Day 9: Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu
Transfer to Ollanta station to board the train to Machu PiccMachu Picchu - View towards the urban zonehu. Upon arrival to Aguas Calientes you will take a 25-minute motorcoach ride to "The Lost City of the Incas", which was discovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911. Located on the left bank of the Vilcanota river lies the wonderful old city of Machu Picchu, which in quechua means "Old Mountain". According to research, Machu Picchu would have been one of the vacation residences of Pachacutec, the first Inca emperor between 1438 and 1470. However, some of its finest buildings and the evident ceremonial purpose of the main access road to the village, prove that it was used as a religious shrine. Machu Picchu is considered both a masterpiece of architecture and engineering because of its unique architectural and landscaping features. Prominent constructions among its buildings are the Main Square, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Circular Towers, the Sacred Sun Dial and the Burial Grounds, among others of singular architecture and importance. Your guide will narrate and explain all about this splendid citadel, which is a truly amazing experience. Lunch at cafe Inkaterra. Overnight in Aguas Calientes.

(Included meals : Breakfast, Lunch).

Day 10: Machu Picchu - Cusco
We strongly recommend that you wake up early to see the sunrise over Machu Picchu. This is a once-in-a-lifetime sight. Optional: For hiking enthusiasts, we suggest a walk up to the peak of Huayna Picchu.In the afternoon return by train to Ollantaytambo train station then car or van transfer to the Hotel in Cusco. Overnight in Cusco. 

(Included meals : Breakfast)

Day 11: Cuzco -  Lima - Rio de Janeiro
Transfer from the hotel to Cusco airport to board your flight to Lima. Arrival in Rio and private transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Rio.

(Included meals : breakfast)

Day 12: Rio de Janeiro (Sugar & Corcovado)
Today you will enjoy a full day tour to Corcovado + Sugar Loaf. Depart from the hotel after breakfast to visit the most famous landmarks of the city and see the natural beauty of Rio de Janeiro from up above. OveRio de Janeiro - View of Sugar Loaf mountain, Rio de Janeiro, Brazilr a million tourists each year visit the world famous ‘Pão de Açúcar’, (Sugar Loaf Mountain), which has become an iconic symbol of the city of Rio de Janeiro. Rising up from a small peninsula at the entrance of Guanabara Bay, its name is said to refer to its resemblance to the traditional shape of a concentrated, refined sugar loaf. The journey to the top is made in glass cable-cars. The first cable-car takes passengers to the top of Urca Hill, which rises 215 meters above sea level and offers spectacular views of the entire bay and its surrounding islands. From Urca Hill, passengers continue in a second cable-car to the top of Sugar Loaf which rises 395 meters above sea level and offers a 360 degree view of the entire city including Botafogo and Copacabana Beaches, Corcovado Mountain and downtown Rio de Janeiro. Afterwards, descend the mountain and stop for a delicious lunch. From there passengers will be taken to the bottom of the Corcovado Hill. Embark on a comfortable train that ascends the mountain, where the statue of Christ the Redeemer is located 2,300 ft above sea level. The Christ statue, known as the “wonder of Rio”, was recently elected one of the 7 "New Wonders of the World". Upon arrival at the top, guests can use the panoramic elevators or escalators to arrive at the foot of the statute. There, passengers can enjoy a panoramic view of Rio de Janeiro and discover why it is called the "Marvelous City". Duration: approximately 8 hours. Return to the hotel. Overnight in Rio.

(Included meals : breakfast)

Day 13: Rio de Janeiro (free day)
Day at leisure. Overnight in Rio.

(Included meals : breakfast)

Day 14: Rio - Iguazu (Brazil falls)
Morning private transfer to the airport. Arrival in Iguazu and transfer to the hotel. Later today you will enjoy a half day tour to the Brazil side of the falls (entrance). The trip begins at the Iguaçu National Park in Brazil. En route to the falls, we will drive through the lush, subtropical vegetation of the park. After arrival, we will take a descending trail of the canyon, from where we can enjoy panoramic views of more than 240 falls. We will board a glass elevator, which takes us to a platform where more exquisite views will be revealed. Along with its “sister” park in Argentina, The Iguassu National Park forms the most significant remaining rainforest in the southern cone of South America, which along with the waterfalls have Iguazu Falls - been declared a National Heritage Site by UNESCO. For passengers staying at Hotel Das Cataratas, the tour departs from the hotel. We will end the tour with a visit to the artisans fair. Duration: approximately 3 hours. Return to the hotel. Overnight in Iguazu.

(Included meals : breakfast)

Day 15: Iguazu (Argentina falls) - Buenos Aires
We will cross the Tancredo Neves Bridge, heading towards the Iguaçu National Park in Argentina A tour through the National Park in the parks own sightseeing train. Two stops will be made. We will walk to the highest point of the falls and, among the abundant nature filled with orchids, colorful birds and other wildlife, enjoy the spectacularly unique views of the ‘Cataratas’. The highlight of the tour is a visit to the suspended platform at the very brink of the ‘Garganta do Diabo’ (Devil’s Throat) waterfall - the largest fall in the park. Then continue to the airport for your scheduled flight to Buenos Aires. Arrival in Buenos Aires airport and transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Buenos Aires.

(Included meals : breakfast)

Day 16: Buenos Aires (city tour)
Today you will visit the most interesting places in the city of Buenos Aires in a half day tour: the Casa Rosada, the Cabildo and the MetrBuenos Aires - Church at San Telmo neighborhoodopolitan Cathedral and the Colón Theatre. Then you will continue towards San Telmo, a charming old quarter of cobbled streets, with its traditional Dorrego Square and the picturesque neighborhood of La Boca. Finally visit Palermo, the Planetarium and La Recoleta. Return to the hotel. Overnight in Buenos Aires.

(Included meals: breakfast)

Day 17: Buenos Aires (free day)
Day at leisure. Learn more about the country and its people through experiences such as culinary tours, soccer tour or take a cooking practice or a tango class and enjoy a must of Buenos Aires. Overnight in Buenos Aires.

(Included meals: breakfast)

Day 18: Fly out from Buenos Aires
Transfer to the local airport to board the scheduled flight to Calafate (spanish speaking driver).

(Included meals: breakfast)

Guide speaking English / Spanish
Quality Hotels Double Single Sup
Superior Mercure Quito (Quito)
Novotel Lima (Lima)
Novotel Cuzco (Cuzco)
Casa Andina Private Collection Sacred Valley (Urubamba)
Hatuchay Tower (Machu Picchu)
Atlantis Copacabana (Rio de Janeiro)
Taroba Express Hotel (Iguazu Falls)
Intersur Recoleta (Buenos Aires)
$4,836 $2,352

Valid 1-Jan-14 to 20-Dec-14
Shared service unless indicated otherwise
Prices per person in USD $, subject to change without notice

Includes: Transfers, tours, lodging with daily breakfast at hotels, ground transportation as indicated on itinerary, excursions with English speaking local guides on regular shared basis (except when mentioned).

Not included:
International airfares. Domestic Air fares (subject to change) for Lima-Cuzco-Lima ($450), Quito -Galapagos-Quito ($580 pp), Lima-Rio-Iguazu-BuenosAires ($1200pp). International and domestic airport departure taxes. Galapagos entrance fee ($100pp), TCT/Ingala tax ($10 pp), snorkeling equipment/wetsuit, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, gratuities to cruise guides and crew, bar, gifts, travel insurance. Early check in/ late check out at hotels, Meals not mentioned in the itinerary. Personal expenses (laundry, beverages, communications, etc)

Notes:
- Prices per person in US dollars.
- This program may be altered depending on the airline`s schedule.
- Services are subject to the availability/rates at the moment of the reservation.
- Specific properties may be replaced for others of same quality.
- Prices do not apply on Easter, Christmas, New Year ´s Eve  and  Carnival weeks
- This program is quoted with Aida Maria: Itinerary C. You can of course select any other yacht and even cruise length, and we will send you the revised itinerary and prices by email.
- Galapagos Cruise itineraries are subject to change by the authorities of the Galapagos National Park or acts of providence.
- For all those guests wanting to hike Huyna Picchu located inside the Machu Picchu site, it is important that you advise us so we can purchase the entrance prior to your hike. The cost of the entrance is $15pp.
- In some cities like Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Sao Paulo etc the hotels charge a Tourism City Tax (per room and per night), on behalf of the Conventions Bureau. Prices vary depending on hotel category, from USD$2 to $7). These taxes are not included on hotel rates and may change without previous notice. (Hotels charge this tax directly).
- We recommend you check well in advance with the Consulates near your country, to find out if there are any special requirements that you will need to enter these countries.