Peru & Ecuador World Heritage

Discover the best that Peru and Ecuador have to offer when it comes to rich culture and local heritage.

In Peru, we’ll roam and explore the fascinating UNESCO World Heritage cities of Lima and Cuzco. In the former, you can admire the archaic colonial buildings and visit several cultural points of interest including the beautiful San Francisco Monastery and the prestigious Rafael Larco Herrera Archaeological Museum.

From the ancient city of Cuzco that sits in the Peruvian Andes, we’ll embark on an adventure of a lifetime to the world famous stone Inca complex site of Machu Picchu. The iconic spot is renowned as one of the most impressive and well preserved ruins in the world. You’ll be taken on a guided tour of Machu Picchu, and you’ll also have the chance to spend a second day exploring the ancient stone city at your leisure.

From Lima you’ll fly to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Quito, Ecuador’s capital. Spend two days exploring the city and its mix of ageing architecture and modern designs. A visit to the Equatorial Line Monument is a must. You’ll have the opportunity to straddle the equatorial line and be ‘in two places at once’ – both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

After the tour, many visitors decide to make the most of their trip and travel onwards to the Galapagos Islands. The exotic archipelago is renowned as one of the best spots in the world to observe wildlife and nature at its very best.

Guaranteed Departure Dates in 2020:

16th Jan, 6th Feb, 5th Mar, 16th Apr, 21st May, 11th Jun, 9th Jul, 13th Aug, 27th Aug, 24th Sep, 15th Oct, 12th Nov, 26th Nov

Some tours are available with Galapagos Islands cruise add on, including Isabela II, Santa Cruz II and Galapagos Legend. 

Duration
12 days
Options
Private or Group basis, Escorted
Start your journey
Machu Picchu

Trip highlights

  • Tour one of the world’s most famous stone ruin sites, the mysterious Machu Picchu
  • Explore the old colonial buildings of the UNESCO World Heritage city of Lima
  • Discover the ageing architecture of the UNESCO World Heritage city of Cuzco in the Andes
  • Straddle the Northern and Southern hemispheres simultaneously at the Equatorial Line Monument in Quito

Once you arrive at Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima, you’ll be greeted by an English-speaking representative. 

Then, you’ll be taken to your hotel, where you can check in and spend the rest of your day as you please. Consider exploring Lima’s Old Town, where you can admire the city’s beautiful colonial buildings.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores
Santo Domingo Monastery

This morning you’ll have the chance to discover the capital city of Lima in depth with a sightseeing tour. Discover archaic buildings including the Plaza de Armas, the Palace of the Archbishop and the city cathedral.

Tour the stunning San Francisco Monastery before roaming the more modern city regions of San Isidro and Miraflores. You’ll soon reach the coastline, where you can admire vistas of the glittering ocean.

Next, enjoy a guided tour of Lima’s most renowned museum, the Rafael Larco Herrera Archaeological Museum. The centre is home to the world’s biggest collection of private Peruvian pre-Columbian artworks and is a treasure chest for art lovers.

Once you head back to your hotel, you’ll have the rest of the day to spend as you please. Consider an optional excursion, such as a trip to the Parque de la Exposicion, one of the biggest city waterparks in the world.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores
a view of a canyon

Today you’ll head back to Lima’s airport to catch your flight to Cuzco. 

Once you arrive in Cuzco, you’ll be transferred to your hotel within the Urubamba Valley. Otherwise known as the Sacred Valley, you can admire the famous Urubamba River as it rushes through.

On route to the Sacred Valley, you’ll stop off at the Cochahuasi wildlife sanctuary where you can observe native animals, including pumas, condors and aras. 

 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness or similar
attraction in Ollantaytambo

In Yucay, we’ll head to the ‘Mercado de Urubamba’. Watch the lively bartering at this local market and remember to prepare your skills to nab the best bargains. 

Then, we’ll travel to Ollantaytambo, a local Inca community town. 

The rest of the day is yours to spend as you like, though we recommend a trekking trip to the nearby terraces of Yucay. The one hour walk is simple and stress free, offering you the chance to spend some leisurely time in the surrounding natural scenery. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness
a blue and yellow train stopped at a bus stop

On day five, we’ll hop on the bus to reach the train station of Ollantaytambo. Then, travel through the landscapes of the scenic Urubamba Valley by train to reach the tiny town of Aguas Calientes.

From Aguas Calientes, we’ll embark on another bus trip that navigates the looming mountain to reach the world famous ruin stone complex town of Machu Picchu. Renowned as the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ the cultural site is globally known as one of the most impressive ancient stone city spots in the world.

You’ll discover a sacred stone site featuring impeccably crafted stone formations that are still incredibly well preserved. Your knowledgeable guide will give you an insight into the history and landscapes. 

Afterwards, head back to Aguas Calientes via shuttle bus.

 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Sumaq or similar
Machu Picchu

The morning is yours to spend as you please. Many take the opportunity to visit the sacred site of Machu Picchu once again, this time without the help of a guide. A second trip offers the chance to explore the mysterious spot at your leisure, often providing a completely different experience to the previous day.

In the afternoon, we’ll travel back to Ollantaytambo by train before heading onwards to Cuzco.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Aranwa Cuzco Boutique or similar

Today we’ll explore the UNESCO World Heritage city of Cuzco on a half day tour. You’ll discover the centre of the ancient Incan Empire, the fascinating Plaza de Arms. Here there is a cathedral that lies on the remnants of the Inca Palace of the Uros Indians.

Next, we’ll travel to Sacsayhuaman, which is another ruin complex only three kilometres from the city centre of Cuzco. Here you can enjoy sprawling vistas of Cuzco City before exploring the site’s surrounding ruins. Then, spend the rest of the afternoon at your leisure.

 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Aranwa Cuzco Boutique or similar

From your hotel, you’ll be taken to Cuzco airport to catch your flight to Lima. Once you arrive in Lima, you’ll be taken to your hotel and will have the chance to spend the rest of the day as you please.

If you want to enjoy a local excursion, take a Gastronomic tour of the area. On your visit, you’ll indulge in scrumptious local foods including fresh fruit and vegetables from Lima’s city market, to traditional Peruvian fare at an authentic restaurant.

Alternatively, take a tour of Barranco, which is known as the free spirited, bohemian district of Lima. This is where lots of Peru’s renowned artists reside and work. As you amble the area’s streets, admire the lovely Bridge of Sighs and the archaic houses and sparkling coastline. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores or similar

Today will be a travel day. In the morning, take a transfer from your hotel to the airport where you’ll catch a flight to Ecuador’s capital of Quito. When you arrive, you’ll be taken to your hotel where you’ll stay for the next three nights.

 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Hilton Colon or similar
Quito-Ecuador

You’ll spend the day on a sightseeing tour of Quito. Roam the historic centre of the city and discover the fascinating past of the capital city. You’ll visit the La Compania Church, which features a beautifully intricate and expertly crafted frontage and interior. Then, you’ll observe the Independence Square, which is home to the Government Palace and the city Cathedral. 

Afterwards, you’ll have the opportunity to ‘be in two places at once’ as you straddle both the Northern and Southern hemispheres at the same time at the Equatorial Line Monument.

 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Hilton Colon or similar
a store filled with lots of fresh produce sitting on top of a table

You’ll have another day to spend in Quito and the city’s surroundings, but this time at your leisure. 

Optional excursions include a full day trip to the buzzy Otavalo Indian Market. Alternatively, head to the Mino Cloud Forest and hike through the verdant jungle and keep an eye out for tropical bird species.

 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Hilton Colon or similar

On day twelve it’s time to wave goodbye to our Peru and Ecuador World Heritage tour.

Following breakfast, you’ll be taken to Quito Airport for your onward flight. Many people then take the opportunity to visit the Galapagos Islands, which are relatively nearby. Discover the unique landscapes and rich abundance of incredible wildlife the archipelago offers.

 

Included

  • Cost of accommodation (double room based on two people sharing) for a total of 11 nights (alternative but similar accommodation may be used at certain times of the year)
  • Meals included as detailed. Breakfast is usually a Western style buffet in your hotel, while most other meals are taken in local restaurants.
  • 1 bottle of mineral water per person per day
  • Private/small group (air-conditioned) transport / transfers
  • Assistance and porterage: meeting and assistance on arrival/departure at airports and hotels
  • English-speaking local guides for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees (excluding video camera fee) for monuments and palaces and entertainment, and park fees for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
  • Taxes

Not included

  • International flights and airfare taxes
  • Visa arrangements and fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses, such as alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, spa and business facilities in the hotel
  • Video and professional still camera fees during excursions
  • Gratuities for drivers, tour directors, local guides, naturalists and hotel staff
  • Meals (unless specified)
  • Optional attractions and excursions (unless specified)