|Welcome to the modern city of Lima!Upon arrival, you will be met by your Globus representative. (B)
|Legendary LimaThis afternoon, your Local Guide focuses on the city's colonial heritage during a walking tour. Start at the Plaza de Armas to see the Government Palace and the cathedral. From here, stroll to the venerable San Francisco Monastery with its splendid 17th-century cloister murals. For a special treat, [LF] stop at a local food market to get a real taste of life for the local people. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at one of Lima's Peruvian restaurants with your fellow travel companions. (B,D) LOCAL FAVORITELOCAL TASTES Stop for a real taste of Peru at a local market. Sample some of the local fruits and vegetable that aren't found in other parts of the world. You can also find spices, meats, seafood, and even a souvenir or two. And, you'll definitely want to take some photos of the beautiful, brightly hued displays.
|Empire of the AndesFly to Cusco, the impressive Andean city that was once the capital of the Inca Empire. Head into the Sacred Valley of the Incas and visit the semi-circular Kenko Amphitheater with its stone altars and labyrinth of passages and see the ancient site of Puca Pucara. Also, in the Sacred Valley, experience an [LF] El Pago a la Tierra, or Mother Earth Ceremony, performed by a local shaman. Visit Awanakancha to meet local families who preserve the ancient technique of Pre-Columbian weaving using South American camelid fleece. This is your chance to get up close to the various camelids, including alpaca, llama, guanaco, and vicuna, indigenous to the region. Continue to Pisac, an old mountain village, where you will have free time to shop for local wares, such as alpaca sweaters and blankets, jewelry, or hand-painted ornamental dishes and vases at its famous market. Stay in the Sacred Valley tonight, with dinner at the hotel. (B,L,D)LOCAL FAVORITECULTURE & TRADITION Feel the earth, smell the coca leaves, and taste the chicha today as you make payment to Mother Earth. Participate in an [LF] El Pago a la Tierra, an ancient ceremony led by a shaman thanking Mother Earth and asking for good health, wealth, and safe travels. These mystical ceremonies have been practiced in Peru since before the arrival of the Incas.
|Mystery on the MountainThis morning, visit the Inca Fortress of Ollantaytambo, followed by [LF] a visit to a local home, meet some of the area's families, and experience their way of life in the Sacred Valley. Then, board the Vistadome train for a scenic journey through the lush Urubamba Valley. Upon arrival, ascend the mountainside to legendary Machu Picchu, the 'Lost City of the Incas.' Your Local Guide will introduce this intact fortress with its temple remains, holy houses, and mile-long aqueduct, and will bring you closer to the mysteries still hidden in these amazing structures. Tonight, learn how to make the perfect Pisco Sour at a Peruvian cooking demonstration before your included dinner. (B,D)LOCAL FAVORITE TIMELESS TRADITIONS Today, you are invited into a local family's home in the Sacred Valley. Learn about their traditions like weaving that has been passed down for centuries from ancestors. See how they cook, live, sleep, work, and maybe ask about the cuy (Guinea pigs) they keep in their house.
|Here Comes the SunA morning at leisure in Machu Picchu allows you to wake up early to see the sunrise over Machu Picchu with your second included entrance to the ruins. After lunch, return to the Sacred Valley by train and continue to Cusco. (B,L)TOUR HIGHLIGHTHISTORY & MYSTERY Staying overnight in Machu Picchu allows you to get up early and experience the ruins at their most pristine before the crowds arrive. Watch as the mist slowly burns off and the sun rays illuminate the ruins. While you are there, you may even want to try and get a selfie with one of the local llamas or alpacas!
|Sun Worship & Spanish Conquests On your guided sightseeing tour of Cusco today, learn more about the Inca and Spanish influence. Begin at the heart of Cusco in the Plaza de Armas (main square), with a visit to the imposing Cathedral, where construction began in 1550 and was finally completed 100 years later. Join a traditional [LF] Pasacalle through the streets of Cusco before continuing to Koricancha and the Santo Domingo Monastery and see how the two sites have become one. The Temple of the Sun at Koricancha was once the most important Inca site, dedicated to the worship of the Sun. The walls, altars, and decorations were all said to be covered in gold-until the Spaniards looted the temple and then built the contrasting Baroque Santo Domingo Monastery on top of the temple's foundations. Also visit the Temple of Sacsayhuaman, perched on a hillside overlooking Cusco. It remains unfathomable how and when this fortress of gigantic stones-with some blocks weighing more than 350 tons-was built. This evening, your Tour Director hosts a festive farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)LOCAL FAVORITE CULTURE & TRADITION A special treat is in store for you when you are greeted by a group of Andean musicians dressed in vibrant Inca textiles. They will escort you on a Pasacalle (Andean Parade) through Cusco while playing traditional music and performing ancient dances-an experience you won't soon forget!
|Welcome to Ecuador!Fly to Quito where you will be met by a Globus representative. Free time this evening. (B)TOUR HIGHLIGHTACCOMMODATION SPOTLIGHT Centrally located across from the nightly craft market in El Ejido Park and near the Casa de la Cultura Museum, the Hilton Colon Quito is the ideal spot for your time in Quito. Amenities include a fitness facility, spa, pool, 3 restaurants and bars.
|Quintessential Quito On an included city tour, see Independence Square with its Cathedral and San Francisco Plaza Church, and the Basilica. (B)TOUR HIGHLIGHTART & ARCHITECTURE Ecuador's capital city of San Francisco de Quito stands on the ruins of an Inca city as one of the largest and best-preserved historic landmarks in the Americas. Here, a monument marks "Mitad del Mundo" (the middle of the world) - very fitting as Ecuador is Spanish for equator. You'll be in the middle of it all in Independence Square, called Plaza Grande by the locals, in the historic city reaching an altitude of 2,850m in the foothills of the Andes.
|Expedition Extraordinaire Fly to Baltra and visit the highlands of Santa Cruz, marked by extinct volcanoes, lava tubes, and astonishing plant life. Here, witness giant tortoises in a natural reserve and learn about efforts to conserve these ancient creatures. Continue to the port where you will board the Galapagos Legend. (B,L,D)TOUR HIGHLIGHT SHIP SPOTLIGHT The M/V Galapagos Legend, with a capacity for 100 guests, has the charm of The Enchanted Islands. With her three different decks, the Galapagos Legend offers a great variety of comfortable and spacious social areas without losing its sense of intimacy. The boat features a restaurant serving fresh international and local cuisine, outdoor BBQ area, a lounge with full bar, 24-hour snack and coffee station, a pool bar, Jacuzzi, pool, boutique, science corner, fitness facility, auditorium, library, glass bottom boat, kayaks, and doctor's office. On top of the numerous amenities, the Galapagos Legend has the top Naturalists in the archipelago who will lead you on every excursion and bring the islands to life!
|Cruising: Genovesa Island
|For the Birds Your Naturalist guided tour take you up Prince Philip's Steps, where you will see large nesting colonies of Nazca and red-footed boobies, as well as many other fascinating feathered locals. After lunch on board, visit Darwin Bay to observe frigatebirds, red-footed boobies, herons, lava gulls, and many other bird species. At the tidal lagoon you may also see the rarest gull in the world, the endemic lava gull. (B,L,D)TOUR HIGHLIGHTNATURAL WONDERS In addition to the Nazca and red-footed boobies found nesting on Genovesa Island, you'll have the happy chance to view the antics of wedge-rumped storm-petrels above the lava fields. Keep your head swivel to catch a glimpse of the short-eared owl who wisely calls the island home.
|CRUISING: SOUTH PLAZA & SANTA FE
|Natural Selections On South Plaza Island, take a walk through an impressive cactus forest populated with land and marine iguanas. Due to the proximity of land iguanas and marine iguanas here, this is the only place on Earth where you will find the Galapagos hybrid iguana. From the summit, watch for tropicbirds, Nazca and blue-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls. On Santa Fe, a large sea lion colony greets you on its white-sand beach. Walk through a cactus forest in search of the endemic Santa Fe land iguana, the largest in the islands. This island is home to a number of endemic species, including the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snake, a variety of finches, and one of the four species of Galapagos mockingbirds. You also have time to snorkel in the turquoise waters with sea lions, turtles, reef sharks and spotted eagle rays. (B,L,D)TOUR HIGHLIGHTNATURAL WONDERS A true rock star of South Plaza Island is undoubtedly the hybrid iguana which is found nowhere else on earth. The island is the breeding ground for both marine iguanas and land iguanas. The breeding season happens to be simultaneous for both species thereby creating this unique population of hybrid iguanas.
|Beach Beauties Your final visit takes you to Bachas Beach named for some wrecked World War II barges whose ribs are still visible in the sand. This site offers great swimming, a lovely walk along the shore, and a visit to a lagoon with wading birds, marine iguanas, and sometimes flamingos. The area is also a frequent nesting site for green turtles. Later, disembark and fly to Guayaquil. (B)TOUR HIGHLIGHTPICTURE PERFECT Warm, gentle waves lap against the glistening sand of Bachas Beach, where life truly is a walk on the beach. Named Bachas as an attempt of locals to pronounce 'barges,' the island was once the site of US ships during WWII. Nearby ponds provide a paradise for pink flamingos and coastal birds, including Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and gulls - along with marine iguanas amid the mangrove trees.
|Safe travels until we meet again!Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)