Celebrity Flora

The Celebrity Flora is one of our preferred luxury yachts for cruising the galapagos

galapagos-icon Celebrity Flora

The Celebrity Flora Galapagos yacht offers a unique, luxurious and ethical way of exploring the wondrous Galapagos Island Archipelago, a boat that allows you to experience the height of onboard comforts while also traveling guilt-free. This extraordinary all-suite vessel has been constructed and designed solely with the Galapagos in mind, aiming to minimize any footprint left by each and every voyage. In addition to the glamorous onboard restaurant and bar, observation deck, library, Jacuzzi and sumptuous balconied-suites, the Celebrity Flora also boasts anchor-less technology to protect the seabed, a solar paneled energy supply, plus ingenious purifiers that turn sea water and even air-conditioning condensation into perfect drinking water.

ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY LUXURY GALAPAGOS YACHT

Cruising the Galapagos Islands is an unforgettable travel experience, one which is made even sweeter by the environmentally conscious technology aboard the Celebrity Flora. From energy-supplying solar panels to reusing waste water, improved fuel economy and a state-of-the-art system that means the vessel never has to drop anchor onto the delicate seabed below–they really have thought of everything! The end result is a stunningly stylish luxury Galapagos yacht that lets you cruise between islands, enjoy on-land excursions and take in all of the Galapagos highlights, safe in the knowledge that your presence here is causing the minimal environmental impact possible.

MODERN DESIGN AND COMFORT IN MIND

There are many reasons to book a cabin on the Celebrity Flora Galapagos. If you’re wowed by cutting-edge technology, the kind of style and decor usually reserved for boutique design hotels and every possible comfort having been carefully considered, then this is the luxury Galapagos boat for you. The interior design of each space is both modern and minimalist: think glossy lightwood, sleek curved sofas and occasional Art Deco touches. The story continues out on deck where shell-shaped daybeds and a glitzy bar area would not be out of place in any five-star beachside resort. The suites are also larger than most and, depending on which category you choose, can include a king-size bed, spa bath, furnished veranda and even a separate lounge area–all styled to the same irresistible standard as the rest of Celebrity Flora, of course.

Galapagos Glamping Experience

Aside from the luxurious amenities and atmosphere of Celebrity Flora, this wonderful cruise ship offers unique experiences for all ages as well. They created the “Galaapgos Glamping experience” and bring it to life on this new-era cruise through the Galapagos. A first for the Galapagos Islands, this ship includes two lavish cabanas (one for sleeping and one for dining) where one can make s’mores underneath the seemingly endless stars of the Galapagos sky. Adults can choose from locally-inspired cocktails and sip South American wines while soaking in the sounds of Galapagueño wildlife and the ocean swiftly moving along the ship. Nature experiences like this combined with unrivaled service make the Celebrity Flora an experience you do not want to miss out on.

Ideal forCouples and anyone seeking a mixture of pure comfort and sustainability.

Celebrity Flora is one of our preferred luxury yachts for cruises in the galapagos

galapagos-icon Celebrity Flora

discover all of our galapagos journeys

2019 Per Person USD Rates
8D / 7N From $7,399

Additional rates available along with holiday rates and single supplement; contact us for details. Prices are subject to change at time of booking.

Capacity:
100
Number of Cabins:
50
Facilities:
Lounge bar and restaurant, observation and sundeck with loungers and daybeds, a Jacuzzi and plunge pool, library, spa treatments, Wi-Fi, snorkeling and scuba diving equipment plus Zodiac boats.
Length:
333 ft
Speed:
10-12 knots
All cabins feature:
Panoramic windows and a balcony, en suite bathrooms with rain shower, large deluxe beds, a TV, and some suites also come with separate lounge areas and spa bathtub
Food Serving Style:
All-Inclusive with World-Class Chefs
Dietary Accomodations Served on Board:
n/a
Drinks:
All non-alcoholic drinks included
Single Cabin Supplement:
no
Children Discount:
no
Guide Languages:
English

Celebrity Xpedition

The Celebrity Xpedition is one of our preferred luxury yachts for cruising the galapagos

galapagos-icon Celebrity Xpedition

The Galapagos vessel of renowned cruise group Celebrity was always going to be an impressive, luxurious ship, and as such the Celebrity Xpedition boat certainly does not disappoint. Although small compared to the group’s other cruises around the world, the Xpedition is one of the Galapagos’ larger vessels. With capacity for up to 100 guests, multiple drinking and dining haunts, a sundeck with Jacuzzi and even a gym and massage room, there are plenty of distractions when you’re not out exploring the archipelago on exciting excursions in style.

TWICE-DAILY ACTIVITIES IN THE GALAPAGOS

Celebrity Xpedition prides itself on providing fantastic tours of the Galapagos, taking place twice a day and always in the presence of an expert naturalist guide. To ensure that there is something to suit everyone’s tastes and abilities, excursions range from relaxed strolls to more challenging treks, gentle Zodiac rides to enthralling snorkeling experiences. There’s always an opportunity to catch sight (and even get up close to) some of the islands’ most extraordinary wildlife, leaving each and every visitor captivated by this special place. What’s more, naturalist seminars are held daily to keep you informed about the wildlife and changing environment of the Galapagos.

ALL-INCLUSIVE, HASSLE-FREE

For peace of mind, the Celebrity Xpedition offers a convenient all-inclusive policy. This means that meals and drinks can be enjoyed throughout the day and evening at either the Darwin Restaurant, Blue Finch Bar, Discover Lounge or Beagle Grill; even room service is complimentary. All your excursions are included as part of the package, along with necessary equipment, and so are the tips, national park entrance fees and onboard Wi-Fi. This ensures that your Galapagos cruise is hassle-free, leaving you to think about nothing else but the wildlife encounters and luxurious experiences to be had on such a special special trip.

Ideal forCouples, solo travelers and those who want everything included

Celebrity Xpedition is one of our preferred luxury yachts for cruises in the galapagos

galapagos-icon Celebrity Xpedition

discover all of our galapagos journeys

2019 Per Person USD Rates
8D / 7N From $5,299

Additional rates available along with holiday rates and single supplement; contact us for details. Prices are subject to change at time of booking.

Capacity:
100
Number of Cabins:
49
Facilities:
Gym, Wi-Fi, massage room, indoor and outdoor restaurants, lounge, bar, sundeck, hot tub, gift shop, library, internet cafe
Length:
296 ft
Speed:
15 kts
All cabins feature:
En suite bathroom, workstation, Wi-Fi, closet, queen or twin beds, flat-screen TV with DVD player, direct-dial telephone, safe, air conditioning, refrigerator, MP3 docking station, hairdryer, bathrobes and binoculars
Food Serving Style:
All-Inclusive with World-Class Chefs
Dietary Accomodations Served on Board:
n/a
Drinks:
Complimentary beer, wine, spirits, soft drinks, coffee, teas and bottled water
Single Cabin Supplement:
no
Children Discount:
no
Guide Languages:
English

Travel to Central America and Mexico with Latin Excursions

For the past 15 years, we at Latin Excursions have been providing exceptional travel services in South America. First, beginning in the Galapagos, then expanding throughout all of South America and into Panama. Although these destinations have been our primary offerings, we in fact have stellar programs throughout Central America and Mexico too!

Costa Rica Travel Experts

One of our Travel Designers, Susan, is based in Costa Rica and has lived there over ten years and traveled extensively though Central America. Our Travel Visionary, Gordon, lives there and gains inspiration from the beautiful country to help fuel our company with creativity. Finally, because of our new product launch, we even moved part of our internal ops team to Costa Rica. This allows us to provide in-country service and 24×7 assistance for your journey. Check out the video below to get a glimpse of what you can expect to see in Costa Rica with Latin Excursions.

Brand New Quick Escapes to Central America and Mexico

Our Quick Escapes in Latin America are specifically designed for those seeking an authentic adventure experience with family and friends, but simply don’t have to the time to spend a week or more traveling. These programs are typically no more than 6 Days / 5 Nights long and include one destination easily accessible from most major airports in the United States and South America. Even though these are “quick escapes” we recommend contacting us at least 3 months in advance to book as the best villas and entry permits to remote ruins can sell out fast.

We selectively pre-design each of these itineraries to highlight the most unique accommodations, tours and experiences that these destinations have to offer within the timeframe. Keep in mind that each of these journeys are customizable if you reach out to us by email or phone. At that point one of our expert trip designers will help create a special itinerary catered to the experiences of your preference.

Explore Guatemala

A great destination full of rich Mayan culture, freshwater lakes, mountains, historic ruins, and of course, jungle experiences. Recently, we sent an experienced world traveler and his wife on an extraordinary journey to Guatemala. Here is what he had to say about their experience.

“We had a great trip! Thanks for everything… The Tikal tour was excellent. Our guide, Eduardo, was very knowledgeable and personable. We liked La Lancha very much. Not easy to reach by land (easier by boat from Flores), but well worth it. Great rooms with a beautiful view across the lake. Excellent meals and beverages. We had a great hike at Ixpanpahu… Blancaneaux was beautiful, very nice room with a deck beside the river. Here, we also took advantage of tubing down the river, which was a fun mini adventure.”

AliKaukas_4767 Travel to Central America and Mexico with Latin Excursions

Better Belize It!

Are you a lover of the ocean, but also want to visit remote Mayan ruins in the jungle? If so, there is no better destination better to immerse in than Belize in Central America. Scuba diving and snorkeling here are absolutely world class and the country has done great efforts to protect the marine wildlife. The Great Blue Hole is located off of the coast here, which in fact is a difficult dive, but there are so many other great areas to explore if you are a beginner/intermediate diver such as Ambergis Caye,Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Half Moon Caye, The Elbow, Glover’s Reef Atoll, and Gladden Split! At Gladden Split, Whale Sharks are present during the full moon week of April, May and June to feed. Give us a call to book your Belize experience today.

TI_10_2014-7898_OCT-h Travel to Central America and Mexico with Latin Excursions

Luxury Travel in Mexico

Mexico is a huge country and planning where to visit can be difficult. Give us a call and allow our trip designers to provide you with our exclusive experiences offered in the Yucatan Peninsula, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico City, and beyond. In the Yucatan, spend your morning swimming in a private cenote, or exploring Maya ruins without the crowds. In the afternoon, enjoy a candlelit dinner beneath the Mexico sky with the sound of waves crashing the sand in the background. Your experience in Mexico is our passion, contact us today to start planning your dream journey!

private-cenote-Xocempich-1-2 Travel to Central America and Mexico with Latin Excursions

Galapagos: By Land, Boat, or Both? – The “Great Debate”

17 Years of Custom Trip Planning to the Galapagos

There are many truths and myths about this controversy that can be found on the internet. The information cited below is compiled from more than 17 years designing custom trips to the Galapagos. I use the term, “custom” because travelers can actually create their own fully-personalized trip to the Galapagos when planning with Latin Excursions. Although some companies offer trips that sound “cookie cutter” in design, there are various ways to personalize your trip in order to maximize your excursion around your interests.

Here are a few questions one should ask when considering between different types of trips to the Galapagos:

galapagos-penguins-latin-excursions-2-1-1-2 Galapagos: By Land, Boat, or Both?  - The “Great Debate”

  • Do you want to incorporate some relaxation on your adventure?

    – For example, would you enjoy having a long walk on the beach and being surprised by how close animals approach you? Every animal in the Galapagos thinks you are their best friend! This is one reason that makes staying on land quite the unique experience.

  • How much time do you see yourself in the water?

    – Galapagos is world-famous for swimming up close with sea lions, penguins, turtles and more! Watch our Marketing and Sales Specialist, Turney Maurer, snorkel with a sea lion gracefully along Isla Daphne Minor.

Galapagos Tour: Snorkel with Sea Lions and Dolphins from Latin Excursions on Vimeo.

  • How active would you like this trip to be?

    – This is a big question one must take in consideration, if you would like to remain more land-based. Most Small Ships definitely have more relaxed day-by-day itineraries.

  • Are you or anyone in your party prone to motion sickness?

    – This is important to consider when entertaining large amounts of time on the water.

What month can you travel?

– This determines which islands you should consider or if you’re better off choosing a land-based stay or extension.


Boat Options: Pros & Cons

Pros:

More exposure and viewing of islands, better snorkeling opportunities, and the fact that you travel to new islands while you are asleep.

Cons:

Costlier in general and less exclusive unless opting for private yacht charter. It can feel regimented with strict National Park rules on the timings of the itineraries. Also, dependent on the time of year, if prone to motion sickness, boats can be more challenging than other months of the year.

Celebrity FLORA from Latin Excursions on Vimeo.

Island Options: Pros & Cons

Pros:

More flexibility with active adventure, more space and privacy, and depending on selected island, you can stay an unlimited amount of time exploring without being limited, compared to a boat itinerary.

Cons:

Less areas covered and less diversity of nature if you have little time

Galapagos-SUP-Scuba Galapagos: By Land, Boat, or Both?  - The “Great Debate”

Pro-Tips from Latin Excursions to Maximize Your Galapagos Experience

Boat/Island Combination:

If you want a good mix of the two, the combination is arguably the most thorough way to visit to get the full bodied experience of the island to fully sense all it has to offer.

Private Villas:

Ideal for multi-gen families wanting privacy and time together. Villas we partner with come equipped with speedboats, fishing experiences, a chef and the ability to select from a variety of tours depending on the activity and age level. This option can also be added as an amazing downtime ending if coming off a boat option.

Make sure to check our Private Villas and contact us for inside access to specific ones in the Galapagos that we exclusively work with.

villa-amarilla-exterior-latin-excursions Galapagos: By Land, Boat, or Both?  - The “Great Debate”


Private Yachts:

Lastly, this option offers full privacy and exclusivity to the consumer and their guests. Although not inexpensive, if the group size is right (12 passengers or more) the cost can ultimately be less than being on a larger vessel . We provide our years of guide expertise in matching the right guide with the right traveling group to make for one of the most unforgettable experiences.

petrel-ship-exteriorb Galapagos: By Land, Boat, or Both?  - The “Great Debate”

No Visa Required, Come to Brazil!

No Visa? No Problem!

Brazil is a unique and extraordinary place offering a staggering array of exotic, colorful and sensual experiences that range from the fascinating natural sanctuaries to the contagious rhythms of Bahia and sprawling sophistication of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Unfortunately, for the last decade travelers from the United States and other certain countries have had to obtain a Visa in order to visit Brazil.

Today, for the first time since 2008, Brazil has officially announced the waiver of Visa requirements for citizens of the United States, Australia, Canada, and Japan which will go into effect on June 17, 2019.

Brazil Tourism on the Rise

day08-rio-soccer-lesson-latin-excursions No Visa Required, Come to Brazil!

The decision to waive visas is due to the success of an electronic visa pilot program launched on January 25, 2018. The results of this move by the Brazilian government were astonishing. There has been a 35.23% increase of overall visa’s emitted, while the World Travel Organization projected 25% of potential visits to arise from this decision. The impact on Brazil’s economy was huge too, bringing in over 1 billion USD from completed travelers who were visa recipients. Now, the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism hopes to reach a goal of 12 million foreign visitors by 2022, in contrary to the 6 million they had originally planned with the electronic Visas.

Visitors from the group of countries listed above are now eligible to stay in Brazil up to 90 days, extendable for an equal period provided such visit doesn’t exceed 180 days in a year, with days counted from the first entry in Brazil. If limits are exceeded penalties will apply. The benefit extends to current visitors in transit with valid passports for trips for leisure and business tourism, artistic or sporting activities or in exceptional situations for national interest.

Visit Brazil with Latin Excursions

vista_del_cristo_redentor_en_rio_de_janeiro__1092_622x466 No Visa Required, Come to Brazil!

For 15 years Latin Excursions has been creating unique travel experiences for adventurers looking to discover beautiful Brazil. We are excited to represent quality tourism to Brazil for citizens of the United States and Canada. There are plenty of great tour operators in Australia and Japan who can help get their citizens to Brazil as well. Overall this is a grand move in terms of global tourism. Advances in technology have made it possible for companies like us to find some of the most unique areas with reputable companies who provide quality assurance with their services for hotels, guides, drivers, adventure equipment, culinary, culture, and of course, safety.

Our Founder Was Born in Brazil

Did I mention Latin Excursions CEO/Founder, Eric Sheets, was born in the Brazil? In the first capital of Brazil to be exact – the city of Salvador in the state of Bahia. He recently took his wife and children to the region to explore the remote beaches of Trancoso, but also further north to the State of Maranhao to explore the white-sand beaches and dunes of Lençóis Maranhenses National Park to teach his family a little bit more about the unique area he grew up in and to also see how it has changed. He was pleased with what he saw to say the least and understands there is a need for tourism in these ecologically-rich coastal areas. Get a glimpse of these wild dunes in the video below (Eric took the drone footage himself)!

Lencois National Park, Brazil from Latin Excursions on Vimeo.

Below is another video of Eric and his family exploring the unique region of Trancoso, in the State of Bahia that I mentioned previously. Miles of remote beach and crystal-clear water for as far as the eye can see! This region can be discovered on our Journey to Brazil tour with international flights arriving in Rio de Janeiro, then domestic round-trip flights to Salvador. Our itineraries online are all examples of what we recommend, but please keep in mind that we are able to customize any tour to your preferences!

Trancoso, Brazil with Latin Excursions from Latin Excursions on Vimeo.

Custom Brazil Journeys with Latin Excursions: Learn More

To learn more about our offerings in Brazil, check out our destination page by clicking the link: https://latinexcursions.com/destinations/brazil/

Now that the United States doesn’t need a visa to enter the country, it’s easy to combine destinations such as our Extraordinary Journey to Brazil & Argentina! On this journey you will discover Iguazu Falls which lies on the border of the two magnificent countries.

Of course, if you are looking to explore the rainforest of Brazil, make sure to check out our Journey to the Brazilian Amazon or reach out to us for a multi-day small ship excursion of the Amazon. Whether you are considering a visit to Brazil and don’t know where to start, or have a bucket list destination in the country you have long wanted to visit, don’t hesitate to Contact Us to learn more and begin your dream journey today! The gates have opened, so allow us to get you there. The time is now!

Iguazu-Waterfalls-Awasi-Iguazu-PH-Miguel-Cesar No Visa Required, Come to Brazil!

Top 8 Treks to Machu Picchu

Hike or Take the Train

If you are not taking the train to Machu Picchu, understand that your only other option is hiking. There are no roads that lead to Machu Picchu; the entry hub to the Seventh Wonder of the world is Ollantaytambo. Whether you are taking the train, the single day hike to Machu Picchu, or a multi-day trek, every person must have a permit to enter Machu Picchu and you will not be granted entry without one; that goes for each trail system too. One cannot simply arrive in Peru and start walking a trail to the ancient citadel; it must be planned prior, and for most, it must be planned up to a year in advance.

Deciding which route to take can be a difficult process to begin- as there are many options to choose from, so planning can become confusing fast. That’s why we at Latin Excursions offer prospective travelers a free consultation with one of our Travel Designers to help alleviate the stress and create the perfect trip for you. Aside from taking the train to Aguas Calientes and doing the many different options of day hikes from there, hiking is the only other option to arrive at Machu Picchu. Therefore, we have broken down the eight best options of hiking to the Seventh Wonder of the World for you.

Top 8 Hikes to Machu Picchu

1) Km 82 Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

AdobeStock-Inca-Trail-Camping Top 8 Treks to Machu Picchu

Coming in at number one, this classic four day, three night trekking journey from Km 82 is truly astonishing. Considering this trail was actually the original route for the Inca Royalty to arrive at Machu Picchu, you can expect to discover a variety of ancient ruins from outposts to storage houses, and unfortunately, many tourists and campers. Due to the rising popularity of travelers wanting to mark this off of their bucket list, the trail has become increasingly more difficult to experience in peace year after year. Because of that, the Peruvian government has limited the selling of permits for this particular hike, and they sell out almost more than a year in advance from the departure date and have a strict deadline for when travel companies are able to purchase them.

That being said, this can cause overbookings and chaos with shared excursions. At Latin Excursions, we specialize in private travel for this very reason. We will take you and your group along the Inca Trail unbothered so that you can fully soak in the spirit of the Inca and not be distracted by the outer chaos. Specifically for this Peruvian journey, we highly recommend reaching out to us more than a year in advance with a full head count for your party. By doing so, we are able to book private campsites away from the mass crowds, offer private chefs, portable bathrooms, a masseuse, extra guides, elevated beds and upgraded tents, along with peace-of-mind knowing that we have secured your permits and can remain unbothered by outside travelers joining your journey.

*Plenty of Other Trekking Options Available*

Don’t get me wrong, the Inca Trail is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but if you aren’t able to plan a year in advance, don’t like camping, or would like a more adventurous route, there are plenty of alternatives to choose from!

Inca-Trail-Campsites Top 8 Treks to Machu Picchu

 

2) Km 104 Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

A personal favorite, this route is certainly the way-to-go if you are seeking a thrill of an entry to the Seventh Wonder of the World, but still prefer the comfort of sleeping in a bed with a roof over your head, opposed to a tent for the evening. From the beginning of the trail, you will begin an immediate ascent as the view of the Urubamba River flowing to Machu Picchu below becomes smaller and smaller. After about 2 hours of steep hiking, the trail planes out for about 1 hour until reaching the ruins of Wiñay Wayna – a station for Inca soldiers to manage who enters the royal Machu Picchu ruins. From there, you will make one final climb before entering the cloud forest region.

winay-huayna-km82-inca-trail Top 8 Treks to Machu Picchu

Once in the cloud forest, you will experience a cool breeze and a final descent to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) for your first glimpse of the magical Machu Picchu. Separate from the main crowds that enter by bus, the Sun Gate allows travelers to truly soak in the remoteness of this ancient kingdom.

View-from-the-SunGate-AdobeStock Top 8 Treks to Machu Picchu

3) Choquequirao

Choquequirao is a sublime archaeological site in its own right, tucked away in the Apurimac River Valley of the Willkapamba Mountains some 60 miles from Cusco. Translating to ‘Cradle of God’, this lesser-known Inca ruin dates back to the 15th century though it was only re-discovered around 50 years ago; to this day, much of the site still remains unexcavated. Hiking to Choquequirao rewards trekkers with access to a beautifully secluded, ancient Inca city that few others get to experience (the only way to reach it is by hiking from Cachora). You can either embark on a four-day trek to Choquequirao, or opt for a longer hike that incorporates Machu Picchu as well. This nine-day adventure begins with a drive from Cusco to Cachora, then walking to Chiquisca and onward to Choquequirao the following day. After soaking up this mystical ruin, the remaining five days are spent trekking to Aguas Calientes, finishing up at the one and only Machu Picchu.

AdobeStock-Choquequirao Top 8 Treks to Machu Picchu

4) Salkantay Lodge-to-Lodge Trek

The seven-day Salkantay Trek is a little different to other Machu Picchu hikes as, instead of camping each night, adventurers stopover in boutique mountain lodges along the way, with opportunities for extra activities too. This means that your hard work can be rewarded each evening with a peaceful night’s sleep in comfortable beds, delicious cuisine and even dips in bubbling hot tubs. The trek itself varies each day, starting with an easy/moderate hike to the Salkantay Lodge, a circular route to Lake Humantay on the second day, with the option to enjoy a horseback ride in the afternoon as well. Day three sees you hiking the Salkantay Pass–a challenging trek taking around seven hours, with views of the majestic Salkantay Mountain. Stay at Wayra Lodge before continuing on day four through the cloud forest to Colpa Lodge, then on day five pick from a mix of activity options: visit a coffee plantation, go zip-lining or try a biking adventure, finishing up at Lucma Lodge. You reach Machu Picchu on day seven, where you can soak up the magical citadel on a guided tour before taking the train back to Cusco.

Salktantay-Lodge-to-Lodge Top 8 Treks to Machu Picchu

5) Inca Jungle Trek: For Adrenaline Junkies

Love the sound of the Inca Trail but want to inject a big dose of adrenaline into your experience? Then the Inca Jungle Trek is just the ticket! This four-day hike to Machu Picchu incorporates thrilling activities like mountain biking, white-water rafting and zip-lining, all enjoyed en route to the Lost City of the Incas. From Cusco, adrenaline junkies are driven to the Abra Malaga Pass (at an altitude of 4,316m) where an all down-hill, hair-raising bike ride of 60km awaits, with the option to go white-water rafting in the afternoon. Having stayed overnight in Santa Maria, the second day involves a 15km trek through low-lying jungle towards the hot springs of Cocalmayo, and onwards to Santa Teresa. Day three offers the chance to try some zip-lining, soaring up to 150m above the ground, before carrying on to Aguas Calientes on foot or by train, depending on your energy levels! Afterwards, your fourth and final day is dedicated to exploring Machu Picchu itself, with plenty more exhilarating activities here to also take advantage of.

AdobeStock-Abra-Malagra Top 8 Treks to Machu Picchu

6) Vilcabamba Trek

For a more rigorous Peruvian hike, strap on your walking boots and make way for the Vilcabamba Trek. This five-day route to Machu Picchu is certainly not for the fainthearted and does require a good level of fitness. Efforts are compensated by remote trails, isolated viewpoints, and little-known archaeological sites that are rarely visited by those in Peru to walk the Inca Trail. Even day one has its physical challenges- trekkers begin from Ollantaytambo in a varied–albeit relatively short–afternoon of hiking. Early ancient sites come at Rosaspata o Vitcos and Ñusta Hispana, before a lengthy uphill climb of five straight hours on day two, reaching 3,915m above sea level at the Asuntina Pass, and fantastic valley views as a result. Adventurers hike through quaint villages and rural pastures on the Vilcabamba Trek, as well as witnessing Yanococha Lake and the Tullu Tacanca Pass, a full 4,500m above sea level. Finally, having conquered four full days of extreme undulations and varied terrain, passing dilapidated ruins and small settlements, ‘journey’s end’ comes on arrival at Aguas Calientes, and a visit to Machu Picchu the following day.

Machu-Picchu-2 Top 8 Treks to Machu Picchu

7) Lares Trek

The Lares Trek is one of the more versatile hiking routes to Machu Picchu, still relatively popular though drawing in far fewer visitors than the Classic Inca Trail. There are in fact several different hiking options that each takes alternative directions. All routes are accompanied by their own memorable highlights, striking views, ruins and remote regions. Importantly though, your end point is always the same: finishing up at the Sacred Valley’s Lost City itself. Depending on exactly which Lares route you choose, this wondrous trail will see you trek for up to six hours per day over a three or four-day itinerary. You get the chance to take a dip in thermal springs, stop at the traditional weaving community of Huacahuasi, reach passes such as Ipsaycocha that sit upwards of 4,400m above sea level, perhaps the scenic sights of Ipsaycocha Lake or elevated views from the Huilquijasa Pass. Along the way, there is a real sense of isolation while savoring the Lares trek, though you do come across more than one traditional settlement which certainly helps keep things interesting, before concluding the adventure at Machu Picchu, of course.

AdobeStock-Lares-Trail Top 8 Treks to Machu Picchu

8) Ausangate Trek: The Rainbow Mountains

The Lares Trek is one of the more versatile hiking routes to Machu Picchu, still relatively popular though drawing in far fewer visitors than the Classic Inca Trail. There are in fact several different hiking options that each takes alternative directions. All routes are accompanied by their own memorable highlights, striking views, ruins and remote regions. Importantly though, your end point is always the same: finishing up at the Sacred Valley’s Lost City itself. Depending on exactly which Lares route you choose, this wondrous trail will see you trek for up to six hours per day over a three or four-day itinerary. You get the chance to take a dip in thermal springs, stop at the traditional weaving community of Huacahuasi, reach passes such as Ipsaycocha that sit upwards of 4,400m above sea level, perhaps the scenic sights of Ipsaycocha Lake or elevated views from the Huilquijasa Pass. Along the way, there is a real sense of isolation while savoring the Lares trek, though you do come across more than one traditional settlement which certainly helps keep things interesting, before concluding the adventure at Machu Picchu, of course.

AdobeStock-rainbow-mountain-peru Top 8 Treks to Machu Picchu

Hopefully now you have a better idea of what to expect when planning a hike to Machu Picchu! The options are far and wide, but there is definitely something for everyone. To begin planning your dream journey, fill out the this form and schedule a free consultation with one of our trip designers. We look forward to meeting you there!

Where to plan travel in South America?

Start Planning Now

Waiting until the last minute to plan a South America journey will certainly put you in a bind due to slim availability for the best lodgings, guides, trekking permits, National Parks, and UNESCO Heritage sites being booked months/years in advance. Allow us to breakdown which destinations, experiences and hotels you should consider booking now in order to get the best specials, excursions, guides, and accommodations!

Top 7 South America Holiday Experiences:

Best Time to Explore Patagonia

awasi-patagonia-villa-exterior-latin-excursions-300x225 Where to plan travel in South America?

Patagonia is located at the southern tip of the continent and is split between Chile and Argentina. Needless to say, it is a huge area of land to cover, making the logistics of traveling rather difficult. We at Latin Excursions are South America travel experts and truly care about your experience with us. When visiting Patagonia, you are traveling to the ends of the earth where weather can at times be extremely cold with high-speed winds.

Therefore, the best views of Torres del Paine, Perito Moreno Glacier, and El Fitz Roy are offered in the Summer months from November – April. Although, if you wait until May or even sooner to begin planning with us, then we may find ourselves out of luck regarding availability at the best lodges. Take note that the high season is during Christmas and New Years Eve, all the way into February.

Patagonia Planning Process: The One Year Rule

Here is the equation: if you want to visit Patagonia, its best to plan 10 months out or more. You can also plan now for a trip in 2020 Below are a few of our recommended custom-journeys for Argentina, Chile, and Patagonia:

Land of Fire & Ice: Journey to Chilean Patagonia

Combine two of Chile’s most spectacular regions – the stark beauty of the Atacama Desert mixed with the glaciers and imposing peaks of Torres del Paine in Patagonia – into one spectacular trip filled with adventurous excursions and luxurious accommodations to relax in after days of exploring, then you get the Fire & Ice journey to Chilean Patagonia by Latin Excursions.

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Argentina & Chile’s Patagonia

In a unique fusion of culture and wilderness, this 12-day journey through Argentina and Chile sweeps you off your feet into a world of enchantment and luxury. Travel through Patagonia, an area known to be one of the most rugged and beautiful landscapes on Earth, while also visiting distinctly charming cities full of culture, performing arts, cobblestone streets and artist ateliers.

New Years Eve & Other Festivals in Rio! No Visa Necessary!

Rio de Janeiro offers a New Year’s party that rivals Carnival in scale and splendor. The fireworks display at Copacabana is the main event, and millions of locals and tourists combined gather on the beach to watch the midnight show and revel until the early hours of the morning. Many Brazilians light candles for the Afro-American goddess of the sea, Yemanja, and place them in the sand, as they make wishes for the coming year. Also, learn more about how the Brazilian Government is now allowing U.S., Canada, Australia, and Japan citizens to now visit without a Visa!

A rooftop New Year’s Eve celebration at Fasano Rio is one of the most elegant atmosphere’s you can find in all of Rio for the evening. After appetizers and drinks in the lobby, you will have dinner at Fasano Al Mare then proceed to the rooftop for a champagne toast and midnight kiss to bring in the new year! I mean, just imagine watching fireworks overlooking Copacabana from this poolside balcony…

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Plan a Family Reunion in a Galapagos Private Villa

When considering an excursion to South America, don’t forget about the Galápagos Islands! For a truly private experience unlike anywhere else in the world, bring your family to Villa Amarilla, a charming seaside villa with the character, comfort and class reminiscent of a European home in Tuscany. An in-home chef, maid and caretaker are included with your stay at Villa Amarilla. Alejandro and Mariana will make you feel at home and share an authentic experience of local specialties. 

Villa Amarilla – Galapagos Private Home from Latin Excursions on Vimeo.

Charter a Yacht in the Galapagos

Do you want to get away with your family for the holidays, but don’t want to stay in a hotel or resort? Then perhaps consider bringing the family aboard the exclusive 9-room motor yacht Grace, which happened to be the private yacht of Princess Grace–but now she can be for the entire family or crew for an 8-day cruise. Due to her smaller size, MV Grace can access certain Galapagos island sites that larger ships cannot! Enjoy fine dining al fresco, a sun deck, jacuzzi, sea kayaks and daily adventures. Go snorkeling with sea lions, linger with Blue-footed Boobies on a sand beach and watch Frigate birds soar overhead. There will be time spent with the Giant Tortoises and iguanas as well as penguins too.

If you decide that chartering the Grace, or any small ship in Galapagos, make sure to contact us at least one year in advance. The boat owners must create a gap in their monthly departures to guarantee the availability for your group. Even if you aren’t chartering a boat in Galapagos, it is wise to book your room far in advance. Unlike many cruises around the world, in the Galapagos there are only small ship vessels, so the best ones fill up quickly especially during the holiday time of year. There are also a plethora to choose from, so it may take time to decide which one is right for you (our trip designers will help find the perfect fit)!

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Belmond Cataratas Hotel, Iguazu Falls Hotel

Iguazu (or Iguassu) Falls is a hot destination for Brazil and Argentina, families from all over the Americas come to see this beaut. Being located in such a confined area for tourism, there are only a few hotels to choose from. Belmond Cataratas Hotel is an excellent choice for anyone seeking a private experience in this region. If you book your Iguazu adventure plenty time in advance, our travel designers will have a much greater chance of reserving the perfect waterfall view room and finding private experiences such as a helicopter flyover featuring panoramic views of Iguazu Falls, led by expert naturalist guides.

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We also work with the new Awasi Lodge, Awasi Iguazu on the Argentine side of these magnificent waterfalls. They provide opportunities for the locals to share experiences beyond Iguazu, since the region has such an amazing portfolio of tours to offer with its unique environment. Enjoy the video from our Vimeo page!

Awasi Iguazu Experience with Latin Excursions from Latin Excursions on Vimeo.

Visit Punta del Este / Jose Ignacio 

Looking for an exclusive, relaxing beachside vacation in Uruguay? Doesn’t sound bad if you ask me! Unlike Cartagena and Rio, where there are ample festivities for the masses, Punta del Este is highly exclusive, and many of the soirees are invitation-only. It’s a place to see and be seen, popular with the rich and famous from Buenos Aires and Brazil, and frequently compared to the Hamptons of New York.

Stay away from the tireless 24-hour casinos and party scene of La Barra, instead, allow us to set you up at Playa VIK Jose Ignacio, a strikingly contemporary property nearby Playa Mansa. For Christmas or New Years Eve, we can arrange a private transfer to Punta del Este (40 mins drive), for an elegant celebration, champagne toast, and fireworks. Return to Playa VIK that evening and wake up the next morning only to begin the new year by wind-surfing, horseback riding, sailing, surfing, or playing golf.

Celebrities migrate to Punta del Este for Christmas and New Year’s, and lavish private homes and trendy clubs are the places to be on December 31st. Playa VIK is one of Uruguay’s finest properties, so it typically is at capacity sometimes up to a year in advance for holiday dates.

playa-vik-jose-ignacio-pool-01-latin-excursions-300x225 Where to plan travel in South America?

Someone once said, “your journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” We encourage you to take the first step by reviewing our collection of itineraries, hotels, villas, and ships to choose from here at Latin Excursions. Then, give us a call for your free, no obligation, trip assessment and to learn why travel experts like Wendy Perrin, Travel+Leisure and others recommend our services for private Latin America travel.

Travel to Colombia with Latin Excursions

Wendy Perrin WOW List of Trusted Travel Experts for Colombia

Our founder, Eric Sheets, is on Wendy’s WOW List of Trusted Travel Experts for his expertise and connections in Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama. At Latin Excursions, we arrange everything from custom itineraries that highlight Colombia’s different local cultures to family reunions, exotic honeymoons, and even villa vacations.

When you travel to Colombia with us, we treat you to insider-access experiences you won’t find anywhere else. Eric’s Insider Guide to Colombia by Wendy Perrin will provide perspective on hidden gems and touristy areas where you will want to avoid. We hope this Colombia travel guide will help you plan your next trip this wonderful country! See reviews from travelers who booked us through Wendy Perrin previously: Latin Excursions Colombia Reviews

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Top 7 Colombia Travel Tips:

What You Need To Know About Colombia

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At Latin Excursions we always like to showcase the very best travel destinations in South America, its famous sites, iconic cities and many natural wonders, as well as some of the countless lesser-known spots and handful of hidden gems too.

On the face of it, Colombia hasn’t exactly been hidden from view for the past few centuries, with prominent pre-Columbian ancient cultures, 16th century Spanish Conquistadores and infamous 1970-90s cartels among its noteworthy residents. Yet the country has not necessarily been a go-to tourist spot over the years, Colombia’s current emergence as the up-and-coming place to visit in Latin America is something we certainly embrace.

Today, your private tour of Colombia with Latin Excursions will be one of picturesque plantations in the country’s western coffee region, the lively cosmopolitan spirit and party atmosphere of Medellin and one of the best-preserved colonial towns in the Americas, Cartagena, found further up the coast.

There are heavenly beaches here, idyllic islands hosting five-star resorts, fantastic scuba-diving, boat tours and the ever-enchanting Tayrona National Park with its wildlife, watersports, eco-lodges and hidden ancient ruins. When it comes to people, you’ll soon discover that Colombia’s turbulent past is truly confined to the history books, as locals will welcome you with open arms, proud to show off their beloved, long-overlooked country.

Explore Our Insider’s Tour of Colombia: Cartagena + Colonial Gem

Best Times To Visit Colombia

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There are two seasons in Colombia that divide the year, the hot and dry season generally runs from December to January and again between July and August. The wetter seasons are in April and May, October and November.

Colombia sees its biggest tourist numbers between December and March because–across the country as a whole–it tends to rain less during these months

In between these peaks the climate is spring-like, milder and less humid. The climate does then change as you move around the country, with the coffee region tending to be warmer thanks to its surrounding hills, and high-altitude Bogotá being cold at night. In truth, many see this as a year-round destination, simply one that has slightly changeable climate conditions between its varying landscapes and altitudes.

Visiting With Your Family

The country’s problems may have been immortalized in countless films and television series, though they really are a thing of the past, as 21st-century Colombia is today one of the ultimate South American travel destinations. It’s perfect for anyone seeking an authentic cultural experience–whether in the rural areas or vibrant cities–plus main attractions that are still relatively unaffected by huge groups of tourists.

There are far-flung paradise islands in Colombia such as San Andres, Isla de Providencia and Baru, boutique hotels and slick resorts that honeymooners will simply love and no shortage of outdoor adventure sports too.

That said, although Colombia is perfectly family-friendly, the country’s infrastructure is generally not as polished as their neighbors in Peru. Just ask our friend Clark Kotula and his son about their adventure to Hacienda Bambusa, Colombia’s finest adventure coffee-lodge!

How To Get There

From the USA, popular direct flight routes include departures from Atlanta, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, New York, Miami, and Orlando almost always into the capital Bogotá and often Medellín or Cartagena as well. When it comes to your personal private tour of Colombia with Latin Excursions, the country is easily explored by road though one or two domestic flights linking the coastal regions with Bogotá is always advisable; the southern Amazonian areas still not being entirely set up and ready for large tourist numbers.

The Best Way To Explore Colombia

Once here, further flights will be needed if traveling to many of Colombia’s remote island getaways, though no matter where your Colombian itinerary takes you there is a fantastic range of design hotels in the cities, authentic rural retreats in the countryside, boutique properties and eco-lodges to stay in along the way. To see all sides of Colombia a 10-day or two-week trip is advisable, as this will allow the opportunity to explore the country, its cities and more remote areas while also finding time for the beach.

Of course, any journey with Latin Excursions is tailor-made to suit your personal preferences, though unmissable highlights of Colombia include colonial Cartagena, the coffee region, Tayrona National Park and the islands, if possible. Comfortable clothing and sports shoes are suitable for walking tours and swimwear for time on the beach, though it can get cold in Bogotá so we always advise packing at least a couple of warm layers, plus hiking boots if looking to delve into Tayrona or any of the country’s more remote areas.

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The Geography of Colombia

The main tourist regions in Colombia begin in the capital Bogotá, a sprawling metropolis of busy streets, bohemian neighborhoods and no shortage of entertaining nightspots. The country’s history can be glimpsed in some of Bogotá’s best museums such as Museo del Oro, as well as the grand Plaza Bolívar with its colonial buildings and monuments. The Cathedral and Botanical Gardens of Bogotá are also well worth a visit if needing to escape the city’s hustle and bustle, though sanctuary can also be found by heading west to Colombia’s famed coffee region.

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Here the pace of life could not be more different, as the rolling hills of Caldas, Risaralda and Quindio Provinces are home to authentic villages, small farms and coffee plantations; some of the best in the world. The countryside here is beautiful and makes for some of Colombia’s most picturesque walking trails, while further north lies an altogether more upbeat experience in Medellin, once a haven for Pablo Escobar though today an intoxicating city of street art, commerce and restaurant culture.

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Then there’s Cartagena, an absolute must for anyone visiting South America for its preserved colonial architecture. These colorful cobbled streets have not changed in hundreds of years, with their atmospheric alleyways, flower laden balconies and horse-drawn carts showing lucky tourists the town’s main sites.

Off the coast of Cartagena, you also have the Rosario Islands, where boat tours and beach BBQs are the best addition to an afternoon of scuba diving and snorkeling here, while further around Colombia’s northern coast lies Tayrona National Park. Eco-lodges overlooking the bay, day-long treks to long-lost ancient ruins through the forest and deserted stretches of sand, rolling on for mile after glorious mile, characterize this iconic Colombian highlight.

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Scuba Diving In Colombia

Unbeknownst to most people, scuba diving in Cartagena and along Colombia’s Caribbean Coast is some of the best in all of South America. Believe it or not, the coral reefs along this coastline and its nearby islands are still healthy, yet, in danger of becoming dredged for new shipping channels.

When scuba diving with Latin Excursions, you are going with companies who are involved in helping the island communities become involved in coral reef restoration and studies. Depending on where you dive, some of our diving operators provide the option for travelers to donate gear, or pitch in a few extra dollars to allow a local volunteer or two to tag along for the day and practice his/hers diving skills. It’s truly a special experience to dive in Colombia and see the efforts they are putting forward to preserve its marine environment. The people care and make the experience one you will never forget.

Beyond coral reefs, be prepared to see hundreds of tropical fish, moray eels, starfish, underwater architecture (artificial reefs), and ancient shipwrecks. The video below provides an insider’s view on exploring a shipwreck about .5 miles off the shore of Baru Island:

Scuba Diving Cartagena, Colombia – Baru Islands from Latin Excursions on Vimeo.

Someone once said, “your journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” We encourage you to take the first step by reviewing our collection of itineraries, hotels, villas, and ships to choose from here at Latin Excursions. Then, give us a call for your free, no obligation, trip assessment and to learn why travel experts like Wendy Perrin, Travel+Leisure and others recommend our services for private Latin America travel.

Spring Break/Summer Trip Ideas for 2019

Exciting Travel Opportunities with Latin Excursions

With the holidays coming to an end, it’s time to begin making those New Year’s resolutions. Take a second to reflect on this year and what it meant to you. Maybe you wanted to be more active, perhaps you wanted to spend more time with family, or who knows maybe you accomplished all of your hopes and dreams. Either way, we at Latin Excursions believe 2019 is going to be an exciting time to explore the best luxury adventure travel experiences on the market. From beachfront bungalows in Panama to treehouses among giant turtles in Galapagos, we have you covered. Our goal is to allow each one of our travelers to have a unique travel experience that makes you feel connected to a new country and culture for life.

Our Latin Excursions’ trip specialists have come up with a handful of different destinations and accommodations that we recommend visiting for Spring Break or Summer in 2019. Enjoy!

Isla Palenque, Panama

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A few months ago, Latin Excursions owner Eric Sheets visited Costa Rica to attend Remote Latin America travel show. One of the guest speakers was Hans Pfister, owner of the Cayuga Collection which Isla Palenque Hotel happens to be a part of. Hans advocated for everyone to make at least one change in our daily lives to make our world more sustainable. It’s easier said than done, but I’m confident that a visit to this amazing island-jungle lodge can change your perspective…

Only 5% of the island has been carefully & sustainably developed so guests at Isla Palenque will find plenty of serenity and seclusion. Accommodations include just eight gorgeous beachfront casitas and a six-bedroom villa perfect for families or groups of friends.

Galapagos Magic Camp

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What if I told you that Latin Excursions could provide you with the opportunity to stay in a treehouse, in the Galapagos Islands, with giant Galapagos turtles awaiting your arrival? You probably would think I was crazy, but I would tell you to pack your bags because it’s time to go. This property on Santa Cruz Island is a true gem for travelers looking to discover Galapagos off the beaten path.

If you plan to visit Machu Picchu in a hurry, or find yourself on Ecuador’s mainland, a stay at the Galapagos Magic Camp can enable a quick, but truly meaningful journey to Santa Cruz Island without breaking the bank. The owners manage a private yacht only available to guests of the camp, so opportunities to snorkel and visit nearby islands are possible.

This lodge fits best with our Galapagos Magic Camp Explorer itinerary and combines well with a Coral I or II Cruise.

Galapagos Cruise – Evolution

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One of our favorite spring break or summer options is to board the 32-passenger Galapagos Evolution luxury yacht. Starting from either San Cristobal Island or Baltra Island, this 8 day/7-night cruise is the perfect way for families or couples to get a firsthand, private glimpse of Darwin’s brilliant theory or natural selection by snorkeling, hiking, kayaking or simply wildlife watching from the deck, daily.

From the outside, Galapagos Evolution is instantly recognizable with its tall sail masts, vintage-style wooden balconies and dramatic narrowing hull, while within, the cabin décor is decidedly contemporary, lounge areas are comfortable and an outdoor sundeck with Jacuzzi will surely keep you coming back for more. All of this, plus plenty of onboard excursion equipment, kayaks, dinghies and guides, help the Evolution stand out among the more unique luxury Galapagos cruise vessels.

Route and Itinerary from Isla San Cristobal
Route and Itinerary from Isla Baltra

Alto Atacama – Desert Lodge & Spa in the Chilean Altiplano 

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For a more bizarre land-based luxury adventure tour in South America, consider heading south to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile and leave the world for a while. The Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa combines luxury with traditional design in charming terracotta that blends seamlessly with the deep red rock of the surrounding landscape. At this desert lodge, it’s inevitable but to notice the drifting silent sands of the Atacama Desert while they reveal ancient remains of lost indigenous civilizations.

It may be a challenge to tear yourself away from the Alto Atacama with its natural thermal pools and several swimming pools nestled in beautifully landscapes gardens, but it is worth it! Enjoy the company of other travelers for daily excursions in the breathtaking Atacama Desert, where high altitude mountain lakes and otherworldly landscapes leave you in awe. Highlights include the Tatio geysers, the highest and third largest geothermal field in the world, as well as the eerie Moon Valley, the Atacama Salt Lake, fascinating archaeological sites and quaint adobe villages. We recommend visiting our Pre-designed Journey to Chile itinerary to learn more about visiting the Atacama Desert with Latin Excursions!

If you haven’t already, take a look at our Atacama Desert Experience

Peru Adventure Tour: Journey to Machu Picchu and the Peruvian Amazon

day08-10-inkaterra-canopy-walk-latin-excursions Spring Break/Summer Trip Ideas for 2019

The mystical country of Peru stretches from the northwestern coast of South America over the spine of the Andes and into the dense tropical jungle of the Amazon basin. From its eternal coastal deserts to the highest navigable lake in the world, Peru’s landscapes are as diverse as they are spectacular. We recommend this itinerary particularly for the months of March and April for a few particular reasons.

March and early April are in the shoulder season for Peru’s climate and it seemingly intertwines with the number of travelers that visit as well. During this time, it’s expected that you will experience occasional rainstorms at Machu Picchu and in the Amazon, but it is soon followed by sunshine and cool winds depending on your location and altitude.

This journey is custom-tailored for travelers looking to experience Machu Picchu and the Amazon all in one trip. The terrain of Peru is wild, and this itinerary is designed to give you a taste of its many different microclimates. Don’t worry, the food follows along with the microclimates and you can find fusion cuisine in nearly every city you visit. Over the span of nine days, you will be overlooking the Pacific Ocean from the shore in Lima, descending into the Sacred Valley of the Incas from 12,000 ft. in Cusco’s Andes, discovering the Seventh Wonder of the World, and entering the world’s largest rainforest!

For a day-by-day itinerary and more information, visit The Peru Adventure Tour.

lima Spring Break/Summer Trip Ideas for 2019

Someone once said, “your journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” We encourage you to take the first step by reviewing our collection of itineraries, hotels, villas, and ships to choose from here at Latin Excursions. Then, give us a call for your free, no obligation, trip assessment and to learn why travel experts like Wendy Perrin, Travel+Leisure and others recommend our services for private Latin America travel.

We Made the Wendy Perrin 2019 WOW List of Trusted Travel Experts!

What is Wendy’s WOW List?

We have great news to share with you: We’ve been named to Wendy Perrin’s 2019 WOW List of Trusted Travel Experts in Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama for the 5th year in a row!

Many of our travelers found us because of Wendy Perrin, whose annual WOW List remains a uniquely useful resource for sophisticated travelers seeking the world’s best trip-planning specialists. Wendy calls us “the most well-connected travel fixers and custom itinerary designers in the world.” When you’re looking for somebody like us, only for a destination we don’t operate in, you’ll find that somebody on The WOW List.

Insider Access Traveling

You know how passionate we are about maximizing each traveler’s experience, and Wendy shares that vision. If you’re not sure who is the right fixer for a trip you have in mind, or you’re not even sure what is the right destination for you, we suggest you write to  Ask Wendy. We also recommend signing up for her weekly newsletter to stay up-to-date on travel news and solutions.

Thanks Wendy Perrin

We look forward to working with Wendy and helping you plan your next trip to Panama, Colombia, or Ecuador. Our team has years of experience designing the best travel programs in Latin America and we are happy to answer any of your questions. To see what travelers who found us through Wendy Perrin have to say, check out her Trusted Reviews of Latin Excursions Founder, Eric Sheets.

wendy-perrin-eric-sheets-collage-300x300 We Made the Wendy Perrin 2019 WOW List of Trusted Travel Experts!

Someone once said, “your journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” We encourage you to take the first step by reviewing our collection of itineraries, hotels, villas, and ships to choose from here at Latin Excursions. Then, give us a call for your free, no obligation, trip assessment and to learn why travel experts like Wendy Perrin, Travel+Leisure and others recommend our services for private Latin America travel.

New Luxury Eco Lodge in Bolivia

“Glamping” Now Available in Bolivia

Glamping seems to be an up and coming trend in the travel industry recently, extraordinary lodges such as Galapagos Safari Camp in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island and Corocora Tented Camp in Colombia are popping up left and right. This is because well-traveled adventurers are beginning to realize the unique experience that each of these properties offer. Most of these ‘glamping’ destinations don’t have wi-fi and encourage their guests to detach from technology and reconnect with nature. They are all strategically placed to benefit the surrounding environment and provide the best views possible. Overall, the goal of these new-age lodging options are to preserve some of Earth’s most precious ecosystems, and Kachi Lodge is fully prepared to do just that.

Kachi Lodge Opening February 2019

We at Latin Excursions are excited to announce that Kachi Lodge, a new addition to the Amazing Escapes Luxury Camping Experience collection, will be opening for business in February 2019 at the mysterious Uyuni Salt Flats. Whether you plan on spending time in La Paz, Bolivia and are craving a quick visit to the world’s largest salt flat, or want to spend a month on a luxury South America adventure tour, we can accommodate your travel needs and get you to this new space age, out of this world lodge in Bolivia.

Tour the Uyuni Salt Flats

Set on the very Salar, Dome camp is somewhat of a Mad Max Adventure. From a distance, the white pods look like a space station designed by extraterrestials. The dome camp also has something of an observatory, or a folly built for a passionate astrophysicist. We will be cruising down south on easy wide dirt roads across never ending plains surrounded by volcanoes. Along the way, you’ll discover the first lagunas and their famous residents, the pink flamingos. On the last part, you’ll spot the giant cactus which can grow up to 10 meters high!

Its extreme geographical variations and culture can all be appreciated as part of a tailor-made luxury-travel journey in Bolivia. Take part in an adventurous journey through one of the wildest and most incredible lands on the planet, the surreal Uyuni Salt Flats. Experience our first-class services at exclusive spots in La Paz & Uyuni. Stay in luxury glamping domes with full camping equipment and private operation in Uyuni Salt Flat region, ending in La Paz, the highest capital on the planet. 

Someone once said, “your journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” We encourage you to take the first step by reviewing our collection of itineraries, hotels, villas, and ships to choose from here at Latin Excursions. Then, give us a call for your free, no obligation, trip assessment and to learn why travel experts like Wendy Perrin, Travel+Leisure and others recommend our services for private Latin America travel.

Corocora Camp

Corocora Camp one of our preferred hotels when traveling in Colombia

Circle_Icon_Colombia Corocora Camp

discover all of our colombia journeys

Situated in the surrounding plains of Colombia’s lush Orinoco River basin, Corocora Camp in Llanos Orientales offers a rare glimpse into the country’s cowboy culture and traditions, plus so much more during your stay. This is as exclusive and remote as it gets, with just four deluxe tents available, no Wi-Fi or mod-cons and very little phone coverage, though there is a great restaurant and bar, serviced by a friendly team of staff and guides. Instead, you have access to authentic ranch culture and cattle herding, horseback riding, birdwatching and photo safaris, as well as Corocora Camp’s very own conservation projects. So, for something truly different while staying in Colombia, a wildlife experience to remember and sense of blissful isolation while here, booking your stay at Corocora Tented Camp is the answer.

Real-life ranch in Colombia

Corocora is the real deal when it comes to experiencing authentic cowboy life in Colombia, with the chance to spend time with local llaneros (cowboys of the Orientales Region), learn the tricks of cattle herding, lassoing and of course, the all-important ranch BBQ! The history and traditions of this rural Colombian culture extends not only to the exciting cowboy pursuits themselves, but also a love of the land and wildlife within it, as can be seen while riding out into the countryside on one of Corocora’s well-trained and much-loved horses.

Exclusive wildlife experience

The available sleeping tents at Corocora Camp, plus a social tent full of books, sofas and games, feel every bit the safari wildlife lodge, with their simple though comfortable décor, vintage-style travel chests and hammocks outside; ideal for enjoying each picturesque sunset. When it comes to the surrounding wildlife then, whether being enjoyed on a nature trail, birdwatching walk or horse ride, there’s plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself into the action. Vast marshlands and Orinoco River estuaries here hide everything from White-tailed Deer to Jaguars, Monkeys, Pumas, Anacondas and even Pink River Dolphins! With numerous bird species, owls and herons to spot too, the daily sunrise walks, afternoon wildlife tours and nocturnal discoveries of Corocora Tented Camp are simply a must for nature-lovers visiting Colombia.

Ideal for Couples seeking a remote wildlife experience in Colombia, authentic cowboy culture and plenty of excursions, as well as a truly exclusive and authentic, rustic accommodation.

Corocora Camp is one of our preferred hotels when traveling in colombia

Circle_Icon_Colombia Corocora Camp

discover all of our colombia journeys

highlights

  • Authentic cowboy lifestyle
  • Abundant wildlife excursions and birdwatching walks
  • Exclusive tented accommodation
  • Sunset on your own private veranda, relaxing in a hammock

rooms

  • Sleeping Tent: The four exclusive sleeping tents at Corocora Camp are spacious and comfortable, pleasantly furnished with safari-inspired travel chests and comfortable deck chairs, king-size beds and hammocks outside. Each is also equipped with an en suite bathroom and shower, binoculars and lamps, completing the ‘outback’ feel of these appealing private spaces.

services

  • Restaurant + bar
  • Communal social tent with sofas, board games, yoga mats and Bose speakers
  • Outdoor relaxation areas with hammocks
  • Lawn games including badminton and croquet
  • Extensive list of excursions, wildlife safaris, birdwatching walks and photo tours
  • Al fresco patio/observation deck and firepits
  • Satellite radio communications available

Galapagos Evolution

Evolution is one of our preferred luxury yachts for Galapagos cruises

galapagos-icon Galapagos Evolution

discover all of our galapagos journeys

Both elegant and beautifully adorned, the 32-guest Galapagos Evolution Yacht fuses a nostalgic appearance similar to turn of the century steamboats with a modern, 21st century interior. From the outside, Galapagos Evolution is instantly recognizable with its tall sail masts, vintage-style wooden balconies and dramatic narrowing hull, while within, the cabin décor is decidedly contemporary, lounge areas are comfortable and an outdoor sundeck with Jacuzzi will surely keep you coming back for more. All of this, plus plenty of onboard excursion equipment, kayaks, dinghies and guides, help the Evolution stand out among the more unique luxury Galapagos cruise vessels.

Exclusive Galapagos Experience

With space for just 32 passengers, Evolution is certainly a boutique Galapagos yacht, a fact which enhances your experience of the archipelago no end. It means that there is a crew member for every two passengers, plus guides, so the service is always personal and excursions are intimate–there are no big group outings here! Then, between your Galapagos wildlife walks and snorkeling adventures, you also have plenty of space to unwind, either taking in the view from either of two sundecks, that irresistible Jacuzzi or the lounge bar; making for a gentler pace of life onboard the Galapagos Evolution Yacht.

Family-friendly Galapagos Boat

With slightly larger than average cabins available, comfortably fitting up to three or four people, the Galapagos Evolution is a good family-friendly option if travelling with the kids. Little ones will also love the games console room and tailored menu, plus certain excursions can be geared up towards sharing them with children, such as the two-person kayaks, child-friendly guides, special stargazing lessons and Explorers Kids Club too. What’s more, if traveling as a large or extended group, the entire Galapagos Evolution can be chartered privately, for something extra special.

Ideal forcouples and families

Evolution is one of our preferred luxury yachts for cruising in the galapagos

galapagos-icon Galapagos Evolution

discover all of our galapagos journeys

2019 Per Person USD Rates Master Suite: A1 Suites: A2 & A3 Premium Saterooms: C1-C3 & C5-C9 Premium Stateroom: C4 Deluxe Staterooms: D1-D4 CHARTER - All Cabins (Max 32 guests)
8D / 7N Sat $7,950 $7,550 $6,600 $6,200 $6,200 $203,000

Prices are subject to change at time of booking.

Single Supplement: 75% for suites, 50% for all other cabins. 100% Single Supplement applies in all cabins and no discounts for children in Christmas and New Year's cruises.
Child Rates: 15% discount off regular cruise rates for children 15 years old and younger. Maximum of 3 children discounts per family, per booking (no exceptions)
An additional $500-$700 per person holiday surcharge applies for FIT (individual passengers) for Christmas and New Years cruises. Private charter surcharges apply for Christmas and New Years cruises. Please inquire for details.

Category:
Luxury
Capacity:
12
Number of Cabins:
6
Facilities:
Panoramic Sky Lounge and Bar, Dining Room, Sun Decks for Al Fresco Dining, Secluded Sun Deck with Jacuzzi
Length:
159 ft
Speed:
10 knots
All cabins feature:
Own private bathroom with bathtub, air condition, hair dryers, usb charger
Food Serving Style:
Al fresco dining
Dietary Accomodations Served on Board:
Vegetarian, Vegan
Drinks:
Water, Coffee, Tea, Natural Juices; not included alcoholic and bottled beverages
Single Cabin Supplement:
yes
Children Discount:
yes
Guide Languages:
Spanish, English - with supplement - German, French & Italian

Itineraries

Luxury Havana Escape

Legal Travel to Cuba


Nowhere else evokes the same infectious energy as Havana, and no two tours of Cuba’s capital are ever the same. Escape to this Caribbean gem for a short escape packed with exciting experiences from touchdown to take-off, incorporating tours that go behind-the-scenes of artist studios, musicians’ homes, cigar establishments, vintage car workshops and so much more. Dine at authentic paradores (local restaurants), sip daiquiris at iconic bars and dance shoulder-to-shoulder with locals in Jazz clubs. The famous highlights of Havana await. Then, in terms of where to stay on your short Havana break, we recommend one of two options: a boutique apartment complete with al fresco terrace, or 5* luxury hotel. If you have the opportunity to extend your journey in Cuba, our Insider’s Tour: Santiago de Cuba is perfect to combine!

Visiting a vintage car workshop

Meeting one of Cuba’s most talented musicians at her home and learning the origins of Cuban rhythms

Exploring a typical food market and savoring delicious Cuban fare

Learning the secrets behind the art of cigar-rolling

Sipping cocktails at Hotel Nacional, an iconic site in Havana

Circle_Icon_Cuba Luxury Havana Escape

Visit our Cuba Page
to learn a bit about Cuba

Itinerary

Day1

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Day1

ARRIVE / HAVANA

Touch down in Havana and enjoy VIP assistance through customs before meeting your private guide and driver, who take you into the city by vintage car; beginning your Cuba vacation in style. A private concierge then greets you at your luxury hotel or boutique apartment to go through the itinerary and ensure you have everything you need.

After settling in, step out for a guided city tour of Old Havana and get your first introduction to this extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage Site, over the course of two insightful hours. Then, spend the rest of your first day in Havana however you please; maybe sipping drinks at the boho El Dandy bar in the Old Town, sampling creole cuisine at Doña Eutimia, or perhaps catching a dazzling cabaret show at the Tropicana—a quintessential Cuban experience.

Overnight luxury hotel or boutique apartment

Meals None

Day2

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Day2

ARTIST STUDIOS / E-BIKE TOUR

This morning, glimpse the artistic side of Havana by exploring two local studios, going behind the scenes with the artists themselves. Whether you’re most interested in photography, painting or sculpture, established or new artists, this experience is tailored to your tastes and is then followed by a visit to the Fine Art Museum.

In the afternoon, a cycling tour packs in many of Havana’s highlights as you pedal through the city with a guide. Best of all, the e-bikes help you along the way; particularly up any hills! Later, a perfect way to conclude the day is by savoring cocktails at the iconic Hotel Nacional, before dinner at another excellent restaurant such as La Guarida. Relish a meal in this classic parador then do as the locals do and join a Jazz night in town—Havana has plenty to choose from.

Overnight luxury hotel or boutique apartment

Meals B

Day3

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Day3

CIGAR ROLLING / FOOD TOUR / VINTAGE CAR TOUR

Cuba is renowned for its cigar industry, so this morning take a closer look at how they are rolled at one of the Casas de Habanos in Old Town. Learn from the masters when it comes to forming the perfect cigar, then head on for a guided foodie tour of Havana. Browse the colorful produce on display at a local market, then stop by a typical store to glimpse the daily routines of everyday Cubans.

Sit down for lunch at Grados, choosing from a menu filled with family favorites of the owner and chef, Raulito, who talks warmly with his patrons while whipping up dishes like slow-cooked lamb and ‘farm-style eggs’ with corn. Fully sated, it’s then time to let your vintage car take the strain while you sit back and admire more Havana highlights during the drive, including the Havana Almendares Forest, Cristobal Colon Cemetery, Hotel Nacional and Riviera, to name a few. Later on, dine at another fantastic restaurant such as Tierra in the Cuban Art Factory, then stay for music and dancing—perhaps a film or art exhibition—in the same location.

Overnight luxury hotel or boutique apartment

Meals B, L

Day4

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Day4

VINTAGE CAR WORKSHOP / CUBAN MUSIC

As the cars of Cuba are so old—dating back to the mid-20th century—maintaining them is crucial. Today, see how the experts restore these vintage vehicles at a private workshop, perhaps picking up a few tips along the way!

In the afternoon, delve deeper into the music scene of Havana by visiting a famous local artist, Brenda, who welcomes you into her home. Take a seat on the leafy terrace as Brenda demonstrates how to play one of Cuba’s most distinctive musical instruments, the Bata, and also how best to dance to it! Following this music-filled afternoon, enjoy your last dinner in Havana at a celebrated seafood restaurant, Cinco Sentidos, and maybe finish up at a local bar for more dancing (now you known the moves) before heading home tomorrow.

Overnight luxury hotel or boutique apartment

Meals B

Day5

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Day5

HAVANA / FLIGHT HOME

After breakfast, your driver transfers you to the airport by vintage car, in plenty of time for your flight home or onward to your next destination, we recommend combining this itinerary with our Insider’s Tour: Santiago de Cuba program!

Meals B

NOTE: The above itinerary reflects an intended program, however, it should be read purely as a guide. This is because weather conditions, wildlife encounters, and any unforeseen circumstances beyond the operator’s control on the day may affect the eventual itinerary, and route. This itinerary is completely customizable, contact us and we will walk you through the different options to tailor it perfectly to your preferences!

Insider’s Tour of Colombia: Cartagena + Colonial Gem

Captivating colonial towns, exotic Caribbean islands and tantalizing cuisine; a luxury cultural tour of Colombia promises to be a feast for all the senses. There’s no end of cultural hotspots to discover across the country, but this sample itinerary focuses on two hubs in northern Colombia so you can really get under the skin of each region. First, spend five nights based in the famous Walled City on the Caribbean Coast, Cartagena, a stunning place that’s awash with brightly colored facades and cobbled streets, where flowers tumble from centuries-old balconies and romance lingers in the air. As well as discovering the city itself, head out on a day trip to the Rosario Islands in the Caribbean Sea and meet fishing communities at La Boquilla, before flying south to the Santander province and using Barichara, a picturesque colonial village, as your base. Here, gentle hikes, coffee tasting, a canyon tour and cookery class await, as well as plenty of downtime in this relaxed corner of culturally-rich Colombia.

Circle_Icon_Colombia Insider's Tour of Colombia: Cartagena + Colonial Gem

Visit our Colombia Page
to learn a bit about Colombia

Itinerary

Day1

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Day1

Arrival in Cartagena; Begin Cultural Colombia Tour

Touchdown in Cartagena where your cultural Colombian tour begins. A private transfer will be waiting to take you to the Hotel Charleston Santa Teresa for check-in, before you set off on a private walking tour of Cartagena’s Old Town in the afternoon.

Kaleidoscopic streets painted in a rainbow of colors await in Cartagena’s carefully preserved Walled City, where colonial buildings stand side-by-side down cobblestone streets, just a stone’s throw from the Caribbean Sea. Listen to your guide as they regale you with stories of pirates, conquistadors and battles over 500 tumultuous years, detailing a complex past that can be witnessed through the Old Town’s fortresses, Inquisition Palace and Gold Museum.

Overnight Hotel Charleston Santa Teresa

Meals None

Day2

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Day2

Visit the Bazurto Market

After breakfast this morning, savor the sights, sounds, aromas and flavors of Cartagena’s renowned Bazurto Market; an unmissable experience that few tourists even know about. This hidden gem of a place is buzzing with activity, as market stalls wind their way through a warren of alleys brimming with all manner of wares: from fruit and vegetables to fish and meat, even clothes and artwork. With a private guide by your side, navigate this brilliant bazaar and have your senses aroused by all the bustle of such a traditional, authentic market.

In the afternoon, enjoy time at leisure to either explore more of Cartagena or unwind in your boutique hotel. There’s a host of fine dining restaurants to try out, as well as street food vendors where you can sample local snacks while roaming the city’s beautiful streets.

Overnight Hotel Charleston Santa Teresa

Meals B

Day3

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Day3

Cartagena Island Tours

Having been introduced to beautiful Cartagena, day three of your Colombia culture tour offers something a little different, taking a break from urban delights and immersing you into the splendor of the Caribbean. Step aboard a private motorboat and speed off to the Rosario Archipelago, a cluster of picturesque islands strewn along turquoise Caribbean waters, where swimming, sunbathing and drinking in the exotic scenery is order of the day.

This full-day tour offers the chance to see a few of the Rosario Islands, with a picnic lunch whipped up by your private chef too. Sip cocktails, snack on tropical fruit and finger food–when you’re not snorkeling the coral reef or relaxing on pristine beaches, that is. Later in the afternoon, make the return journey to Cartagena and your city hotel, having relished a slice of the blissful Caribbean.

Overnight Hotel Charleston Santa Teresa

Meals B,L

Day4

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Day4

Visit a Fishing Community in La Boquilla

Day four of this fascinating Colombia trip brings more opportunity to see an alternative face of Cartagena, this time at La Boquilla which, although just a short drive from the city center, is a world away from the grand colonial architecture and urban sprawl of town. La Boquilla is an authentic fishing community found amidst the mangroves and swamps east of Cartagena, and you can witness the fishermen’s way of life here by gliding over the waters in a small canoe, even having a go at catching something for yourself! A guide will act as an interpreter between you and the locals, as they explain how to use the fishing line and nets to best capture awaiting shrimp and crawfish. Along the way, learn more about the fishermen’s culture and traditions, which have remained the same for many generations.

After 2-3 hours, hopefully having been lucky enough to make a catch, return to Cartagena and spend the afternoon at leisure.

Overnight Hotel Charleston Santa Teresa

Meals B

Day5

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Day5

Explore Cartagena

Today is yours to enjoy as you please, so why not make time to enjoy the hotel’s spa and rooftop pool? Take a dip while soaking up the sweeping panoramas of Cartagena’s rooftops, while staff bring you fruit and ice cream to help keep you cool under the hot Colombian sun. Stop for lunch at Charleston Santa Teresa’s restaurant, where an open-air terrace invites you to linger over a delectable meal, or take your pick from one of the many eateries found right on your doorstep.

Overnight Hotel Charleston Santa Teresa

Meals B

Day6

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Day6

Bucaramanga / Hacienda El Roble / Chicamocha Canyon / Barichara

This morning, a private vehicle transfers you to Cartagena Airport for a short flight to Bucaramanga in the province of Santander, one hour 20 minutes south of the Colombian coast. From Bucaramanga Airport another transfer and private guide will be waiting to collect you, beginning the next chapter of your cultural Colombian tour.

The first stop is made at Hacienda El Roble in Mesa de Los Santos, where you can see (and taste) first-hand why Colombian coffee is so revered around the world. This picturesque estate is home to a coffee plantation, sprawling for 300 hectares and much-loved by local birdlife, so be sure to take a relaxing stroll and drink it all in. Sit down for a typical local lunch, then bid farewell and hot-foot it to your next destination of the day: Chicamocha Canyon. The best way to view this staggering 2,000m-deep gorge is from the air, so float up in a cable car and lap up the sweeping panoramas as you glide over it; spectacular.

Overnight Casa Barichara

Meals B,L

Day7

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Day7

Tour of Barichara and Guane

Wake up in your delightful boutique hotel, Casa Barichara, and tuck into breakfast on their terrace while looking out over the beautiful surrounding valley. Fueled up, it’s then time to embark on a hike to the little village of Guane, by taking the 9km-long Camino Real (‘Royal Road’) from Barichara through pretty countryside. The route–which was carved out in the 19th century as part of a wider network connecting villages in Santander–affords views of the surrounding valley, as well as Spanish moss hanging from trees and cacti lining the path. You might pass the odd local farmer or two, before reaching Guane itself after a couple of hours, where time can be spent feasting on lunch and enjoying the somnolent atmosphere all around.

Then, return to Barichara in a tuk-tuk (a typical means of transport here) and explore the village further on a walking tour. Discover the cobblestone streets, wood-beamed houses and monuments dotted across town; Barichara is a beautiful gem of a place in Colombia, with art and a laidback ambience at the heart of everything.

Overnight Casa Barichara

Meals B,L

Day8

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Day8

Cooking Class in Barichara

This morning, treat your senses to a private cookery class at Casa Barichara, as there’s no better way to delve into local culture than with a taste of traditional cuisine. First, explore Barichara’s food market with a guide, observing the conversations and exchanges between traders and customers while also perusing the tempting produce on display. Then, return to the hotel kitchen and pull on an apron, ready to learn the chef’s secret recipes for traditional local dishes, before savoring each creation at the end; a just reward for your efforts!

After lunch, take the rest of the day at leisure to explore Barichara or unwind at your hotel. There’s a tempting pool to cool off in here, as well as hammocks on the terrace that are perfect for lazing with a book, and perhaps a cup of freshly brewed coffee in-hand.

Overnight Casa Barichara

Meals B,L

Day9

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Day9

Bucaramanga / Flight Home

Having relished your last few hours in this charming boutique hotel, at the appropriate time bid farewell to Barichara and head to the airport at Bucaramanga via private transfer, for your flight home.

Meals B

NOTE: The above itinerary reflects an intended program, however, it should be read purely as a guide. This is because weather conditions, wildlife encounters, and any unforeseen circumstances beyond the operator’s control on the day may affect the eventual itinerary, and route.

Combined Ecuador and the Galapagos; Best of Land and Sea

Combining the best of Ecuador’s mainland with a land-based tour of the Galapagos Islands is a unique and memorable alternative to the traditional Galapagos cruise options. This combined Ecuador and Galapagos itinerary will first explore the highlights of Quito including its Old Town and equatorial line museum, followed by the pristine Mindo Cloud Forest. Here you can enjoy nature walks, birdwatching trails and elevated viewpoints aplenty as a scenic introduction to what comes next, a land-based Galapagos adventure. Visiting Santa Cruz Island and its closest neighbors North Seymour and Bartolome Island, time will be spent admiring pristine beaches, observing Sea Lion colonies, families of Blue-footed Boobies, Herons and countless other native Galapagos species as well as the depleted volcanic craters, nature reserves and the Charles Darwin Research Center. Then you head back to Mainland Ecuador and the dramatic High-Andean wilderness to meet local communities, visit traditional villages and craft markets, explore stunning valleys and even enjoy the chance to see Giant Andean Condors close-up, before returning to Quito and home.

Circle_Icon_Ecuador Combined Ecuador and the Galapagos; Best of Land and Sea

Visit our Ecuador Page
to learn a bit about Ecuador

galapagos-icon Combined Ecuador and the Galapagos; Best of Land and Sea

Visit our Galapagos Page
to learn a bit about Galapagos

Itinerary

Day1

Hotel-Patio-Andaluz Combined Ecuador and the Galapagos; Best of Land and Sea

Day1

Arrive Quito, Ecuador

Having been greeted at Quito Airport by your guide on touchdown, a private transfer will take you straight to your hotel in Quito Old Town for check-in; a fitting start to this combined Ecuador and Galapagos vacation. Once here, you are ideally placed to explore the atmospheric streets, bars and restaurants of Old Quito this evening, as well as already being onsite for tomorrow’s walking tour.

Overnight Hotel Patio Andaluz or similar

Day2

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Day2

Walking Tour of Quito

Spend the early morning at leisure, starting with a wholesome breakfast at your hotel before a private walking tour of Quito’s Old Town, which provides a fascinating introduction to Ecuador’s capital. The city’s historical center has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978, and it’s not hard to see why, with its exquisite colonial architecture comprising sublime churches, the Cathedral, Presidential Palace and Municipal Building. All of this stands proudly alongside cobblestone streets and the grand Independence Square, making Quito Old Town a marvel to behold.

After lunch, a further delve into Ecuadorian life comes this afternoon at the Intiñan Solar Museum. This fun-filled Quito attraction is located on the line of the equator and exhibits artefacts from various cultures and tribes around the country, as well as hands-on science experiments and a planetarium. Here you can also visit the Mitad del Mundo (‘Middle of the World’) Monument and gardens, located on the very spot where a French explorer calculated the equatorial line’s location back in 1736!

Overnight Hotel Patio Andaluz or similar

Meals B

Day3

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Day3

Mindo Cloud Forest

Day three of this combined Ecuador and Galapagos tour takes you to the ethereal Mindo Cloud Forest, a biodiverse haven that’s brimming with birdlife, abundant plant species and fun activities too. The drive to Mindo takes roughly one hour 30 minutes, though it’s a gentle journey along country roads with scenic lookout points along the way.

On arrival, you are treated to one of Ecuador’s natural highlights, a unique ecosystem covering nearly 50,000 subtropical acres that are home to around 400 different bird species, lush trees, orchids and waterfalls. You can visit them all with a guided tour plus time at leisure to explore Mindo’s many nature trails, butterfly gardens, treetop cable cars and, for those brave enough, an adrenaline-packed zip-line adventure.

Overnight Hotel Patio Andaluz or similar

Meals B,L

Day4

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Day4

Santa Cruz Island

Next up, your Galapagos land adventure package begins, as you fly from Guayaquil on Ecuador’s western coast to Baltra Island Airport, where our guides assist with any luggage, before crossing the crystalline Itabaca Channel to Santa Cruz Island. Your destination is Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel, a homely Galapagos eco-retreat big on yoga, conservation, and exploring the best of the archipelago.

This afternoon is spent at leisure, maybe unwinding on the lawn, strolling along one of the nearby nature trails or trying a spot of yoga. Why not pay a visit to the harborfront streets of Puerto Ayora and the all-important Charles Darwin Research Center? Here, exciting exhibits and interactive displays go together with real-life conservation projects, including Giant Tortoise breeding programs. A suitable start as you witness the legacy left on the Galapagos Islands by Darwin himself.

Overnight Semilla Verde

Meals B

Day5

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Day5

Santa Cruz Island

The Santa Cruz Highlands are a pleasure to explore, with their endemic wildlife, roaming Giant Galapagos Tortoises and, of course, the Los Gemelos craters; two colossal sinkholes which must be seen to be believed. This all makes for a highlight of your Galapagos land-based vacation and provides a great snapshot of the wider archipelago, so is the focus of this morning’s tour. First a pleasant wildlife walk; keep an eye out for Santa Cruz Highlands’ many bird species and varied plant-life. On arrival at Los Gemelos, gaze out over lush foliage filling each of the two huge caverns–one stretching nearly 1,300ft across and 2,300ft deep.

Time can then be spent exploring an eerie world of underground lava tunnels here, or seeking out more of those Giant Galapagos Tortoises for one perfectly captured photograph to take home. After lunch your Santa Cruz tour continues by heading east. First enjoy the verdant Cerro Mesa Nature Reserve where the scenic viewpoints are as impressive as the variety of flora that fills this once active volcanic crater, and later to Garrapatero Beach, where mangroves and coastal vegetation open up onto bright white beaches and crystalline seas.

Overnight Semilla Verde

Meals B,L,D

Day6

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Day6

Santa Cruz Island / Bartolome Island

Today’s Galapagos wildlife tour focuses on Bartolome Island; its lookout spots and rugged coastline. First, moor up at a wooden walkway and begin your ascent to one of the best viewpoints in the Galapagos. The reason is that although Bartolome itself is relatively barren, all volcanic rock and petrified lava flows, from this angle you get a 360-degree panoramic look at the wider archipelago; a completely different perspective on the formation of these islands.

This then makes a Zodiac boat ride–the next part of your excursion–all the more enjoyable, as you glide past families of Galapagos Penguins, Herons and Hawks, before the golden beaches and Sea Lion colony of Pinnacle Rock. The waters which border these sands teem with marine life, making them perfect for snorkeling just off the adjacent ancient lava fields of Sullivan Bay; a real-life Galapagos highlight.

Overnight Semilla Verde

Meals B,L,D

Days7

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Day7

North Seymour Island / Bachas Beach

Swap land for sea as you board the Sea Finch vessel once more. First up is North Seymour Island, where you can hike through a forest of Palo Santo trees–a favorite nesting place for Blue-footed Boobies–and follow coastal trails that provide a privileged view of Brown Pelicans, Frigate Birds and Yellow Land Iguanas. Then, swim with an astonishing array of marine life, such as Rays, White-tipped Reef Sharks and King Angelfish.

The final stop is at Las Bachas, a pair of impeccable beaches with white coral sands. Watch Blue-footed Boobies patrolling the shore, or Pink Flamingos, Great Blue Herons and White-cheeked Pintails wading the waters of a nearby lagoon. After swimming in warm seas, sail back to the Itabaca Channel and return to Semilla Verde for your penultimate night at this luxury Galapagos lodge.

Overnight Semilla Verde

Meals B,L,D

Days8

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Day8

Santa Cruz Island

The final day of your Galapagos adventure takes you to the lesser-visited hidden coves and dramatic coastline of Santa Cruz Island, alive as they are with wildlife and easily accessed from Semilla Verde. Begin with the picturesque islets of Daphne Major and Minor. Among other things, these small islands are well-known for their abundance of native bird species including Galapagos Martins, Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Short-eared Owls and Red-billed Tropic Birds.

You can explore the shoreline and coastal nature trails here, keeping an eye out for Sea Lions and Reef sharks in the water, before lunch either onboard the boat or beach, and a final stop at Bahia Borrero, a pristine stretch of chalk-white sands and one of the ultimate places to finish this exciting Galapagos tour.

Overnight Semilla Verde

Meals B,L,D

Days9

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Day9

Ecuadorian Andes

The diverse landscapes, ecosystems and environments of Ecuador keep coming today, as you first fly back to the mainland before driving towards the serene Ecuadorian Andes in the company of your private guide. On arrival at your rural Hacienda, check-in and enjoy a first afternoon of crisp mountain air in this timeless, beautifully scenic region.

Overnight Hacienda Cusin or Similar

Meals B,L,D

Days10

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Day10

Ecuadorian Andes

Day ten of your combined Ecuador and Galapagos land package provides an unforgettable opportunity to admire picturesque, pristine scenery here in the Ecuadorian Andes, as well as visiting some of its traditional highland communities. Driving between stops is a joy in itself, such is the splendor of this mountainous region of towering peaks and sweeping valleys, as can be seen on the way to San Antonio de Ibarra, the provincial capital famous for its incredibly ornate woodworking and tradition of sculpture.

From here, it’s on to Peguche where more local culture and an authentic High-Andean way of life can be glimpsed, such as the town’s markets, traditional weaving, music and dance performances as well as a love for celebratory festivals! Picturesque Peguche is also surrounded by stunning scenery, hidden waterfalls and verdant valleys which, time permitting, can also feature as part of your Andean day trip.

Overnight Hacienda Cusin or similar

Meals B,L,D

Days11

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Day11

Condor Park / La Esperanza

A further exploration of the Ecuadorian Andes continues today, as you venture deeper into the landscape to meet some native wildlife as well as the rural communities who dwell here. Begin at Parque del Condor (‘Condor Park’), where not only Giant Andean Condors but Hawks, Owls, Eagles and Falcons are protected and cared for in a semi-natural environment, some of which have been rehabilitated from their perilous position in the wild.

Having seen these impressive native birds first-hand, and witnessed a live flight demonstration too, the next stop on day eleven of your Mainland Ecuador adventure is a visit to the indigenous San Clemente Community in nearby La Esperanza. Here there’s the chance to meet locals and share lunch together, learn the community’s traditions and customs as well as enjoying an informative nature walk with them, to see what life is like living among such wilderness. Finally, make your way back to the hotel for one last evening with your Ecuadorian hosts.

Overnight Hacienda Cusin or similar

Meals B,L,D

Days12

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Day12

Cuicocha Crater Lake / Otavalo Market

As your combined Ecuador and Galapagos land tour draws to a close, there is still time to see one or two more Andean highlights before traveling back to Quito, depending on the exact time of your departing flight. First, some last-minute souvenirs can be picked up from the small town of Cotacachi, a village particularly famous for its fine leatherwork and crafts. Then, a last-minute nature walk through the forests to Cuicocha Crater Lake, a stunning site, the main attraction of the Ecuadorian Andes and well worthy finale to your tour.

Finally, the world-famous Otavalo Market. Otavalo is known across South America for its craftwork, such as weaving and musical instruments, though its most prized asset is their colorful market that has attracted local artisans, buyers and sellers for centuries. It’s a vibrant scene of locals wearing traditional outfits, and stalls topped high with rainbows of fruit, vegetables and textiles. Time permitting, you can pick up some treasures and enjoy lunch here before being driven back to Quito International Airport and home.

Meals B,L

IMPORTANT: We reserve the right to omit any part of this itinerary, to change the order of the places visited, or to alter reservations without prior notice due to weather conditions or road closures, safety concerns, national park policies, or other outside forces that may necessitate revisions to the itinerary. These decisions are based on the traveler’s welfare or are made in the interest of conservation. Please travel with an open mind and a willingness to embrace the spontaneity of your adventure.

Overnight The Singular Santiago

Meals B

Galapagos Cruise – Evolution from San Cristobal Island

Travel aboard the

Evolution

Refreshingly elegant and well-equipped too, the 32-passenger Galapagos Evolution is a real standout cruise vessel, both for its nostalgic appearance and the quality of itineraries it offers, with this particular route beginning from San Cristobal Island being no different. The Evolution itself boasts two sundecks, a Jacuzzi, lounge bar and modern interiors in addition to its expert crew and guides; plus, throughout this Galapagos tour you’ll also be treated to some truly iconic sights. Beginning at Isla Lobos, an early taste of Galapagos wildlife comes with this small island’s large Sea Lion population, though Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies are also popular here. Time will be spent exploring the dramatic rocky outcrops of South Plazas Island and Carrion Point, both known for their local birdlife such as Red-billed Tropicbirds and Swallow-tailed Gulls, as well as some fantastic snorkeling opportunities. With James Bay, lesser-visited Genovesa Island, wildlife-rich North Seymour, Santa Fe, Floreana and Santa Cruz Islands also featuring–each with their own species, viewpoints, beaches and volcanoes to admire–this is a truly versatile Galapagos itinerary offered by the Evolution.

galapagos-icon Galapagos Cruise - Evolution from San Cristobal Island

Visit our Galapagos page
to learn a bit about Galapagos

Itinerary

Day1

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Day1

ARRIVE SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND / ISLA LOBOS

Following a two-hour flight from Quito, land on San Cristobal Island. This is a fitting place to begin your Galapagos luxury cruise with the Evolution, following in the footsteps of Charles Darwin who stepped ashore here on his infamous voyage to the archipelago in 1835.

The ever-elegant Galapagos Evolution sets sail, traveling north of San Cristobal to reach a tiny islet, Isla Lobos, named after its raucous residents: Sea Lions, who are as playful as they are loud! Snorkel around these friendly creatures, before encountering more native species on a hike along milky-white sands and meandering walking trails on-land, searching for endemic Galapagos shorebirds like Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies. After your exploration of Lobos Island, settle into your luxe cabin back onboard and enjoy your first evening with the Evolution crew.

Day2

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Day2

SOUTH PLAZAS ISLAND / PUNTA CARRION / MOSQUERA ISLET

Day two of your Galapagos Evolution cruise begins by sailing to South Plazas, a rocky, volcanic island that is instantly recognizable thanks to the abundance of scarlet-hued sesuvium plants, and a healthy population of cacti. Local birdlife such as Red-billed Tropicbirds and Swallow-tailed Gulls can also be seen nesting on the cliffs as you approach, while Land Iguanas are easily admired during a fun wildlife walk, having anchored just offshore.

Next up is Punta Carrion, a place of tranquil blue waters hosting all manner of marine life including Sharks and Rays, making it an ideal place to swim and snorkel. Today is rounded off in truly iconic fashion at the soft sands of Mosquera Islet. This enchanting stretch of beach, peppered with occasional volcanic rocks, is best known for its families of Sea Lions and Sally Lightfoot Crabs, as can be seen while wandering the bay or snorkeling around its shoreline.

Day3

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Day3

SANTIAGO ISLAND / JAMES BAY

Another day, another island, as you explore the highlights of Santiago with its mix of history, wildlife and natural formations. First, enjoy a visit to so-called ‘Chinese Hat’ for a chance to see Galapagos Penguins and Sea Lions, which you can swim and snorkel with or admire the marine life: Octopus, Moray Eels and Galapagos Sharks among them.

More of Santiago Island’s delights come this afternoon on the black beaches of James Bay. From these black sandy shores you’ll hike along a gentle trail joined by Galapagos Hawks, Lava Lizards, Finches and Oystercatchers, though this is also one of the best Galapagos spots to witness Seal and Marine Iguanas in their favored habitat too. A relaxing afternoon here can also include more swimming and snorkeling if you wish, before heading back to the Evolution.

Day4

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Day4

GENOVESA ISLAND / DARWIN BAY / PRINCE PHILIP’S STEPS

Lesser-visited Genovesa Island is as dramatic and intriguing as any island in the Galapagos archipelago, a place of steep cliffs sheltering volcanic craters and home to countless nesting seabirds. It all makes for quite a sight, and one of the more memorable experiences due to the entirely untamed look of the landscape here. Of the many unusual native bird species that can be found on Genovesa, they include Puffball–chicks, Yellow–crowned and Lava Herons and Red-footed Boobies, so boat rides around the coast and intrepid nature walks on-land are always in order, during an entire day exploring the island.

In the afternoon, climb the famous Prince Philip’s Steps. So-called after the British monarch’s visit here in the 1960’s, the path leads up to an open plateau that provides fantastic views of Darwin Bay, which itself can then be enjoyed as Sea Lions lounge on these chalk-white shores. Finally, return to the Evolution for an evening at leisure up on deck.

Day5

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Day5

NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND / SANTA FE ISLAND

Having enjoyed another memorable evening aboard the Galapagos Evolution, first up on day five is North Seymour Island, where you can hike through a forest of Palo Santo trees–a favorite nesting place for Blue-footed Boobies–and follow coastal trails that provide a privileged view of Brown Pelicans, Frigate Birds and Yellow Land Iguanas. Then, swim with an astonishing array of marine life, such as Rays, White-tipped Reef Sharks and King Angelfish.

This afternoon, visit Santa Fe Island, a sandy haven of iconic coastline, turquoise seas and lounging Sea Lions. Having anchored nearby and disembarked, there’s plenty of walking trails and wildlife observation spots to enjoy here. Every walking route here is a joy, so be sure to make the most of them, as well as spending time on the beach, kayaking, snorkeling or simply admiring the views.

Day6

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Day6

FLOREANA ISLAND / CORMORANT POINT

Today’s Galapagos adventures begin at Post Office Bay, once a pirate’s hangout and home to an 18th century whalers post office, where you can still pop a postcard in the rum barrel box and it will find its way home to this day! Next, the Floreana Highlands and Asilo de la Paz or ‘Peace Haven’, a scenic spot surrounded by Scalesia Trees and Giant Galapagos Tortoises, Frigate Birds and an endemic snail population.

After lunch comes Cormorant Point on Floreana Island, south of Santa Cruz. There are two contrasting beaches here: Papakolea which appears green in color due to its composition of volcanic olivine crystals, and Flour Beach, so-called for its powdery white sands. Keep an eye out for the Flamingos, Pintails, Stilts and other wading birds here, before snorkeling at the foot of Devil’s Crown and Champion Islet, swimming with reef fish, Giant Mantas and Dolphins.

Day7

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Day7

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND / CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH CENTRE

Your final full day on this versatile Galapagos itinerary begins, quite rightly, with a visit to the all-important Charles Darwin Research Center at Puerto Ayora. Here, exciting exhibits and interactive displays go together with real-life conservation projects, including Giant Tortoise breeding and rehabilitation programs, allowing you to witness the legacy of Charles Darwin first-hand.

Learn more about these gentle creatures in the Wild Tortoise Reserve up in the highlands of Santa Cruz, a place of dense, green forests awash with moss and lichen. Then, after a nature hike through subterranean lava tunnels and a Scalesia forest frequented by Darwin’s Finches, spend the rest of the day at leisure. As one of the most diverse of all the Galapagos Islands there are many highlights of Santa Cruz to explore, so take a stroll along the paradise-like Tortuga Bay, or maybe a bicycle tour in Puerto Ayora, if you’re feeling active.

Day8

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Day8

BLACK TURTLE COVER / FLIGHT HOME

Your last day in the Galapagos brings one final opportunity to marvel at fascinating flora and fauna, this time at Black Turtle Cove, found on the northern shores of Santa Cruz Island. A tangle of dense mangroves, this cove unfolds for nearly a mile inland and is a stomping ground for Sea Turtles, Rays, Brown Pelicans and Herons, which can be spotted from your panga.

Afterwards, it’s farewell to the Galapagos as your guides escort you to the airport and assist with any luggage, in plenty of time for your onward flight.

NOTE: The above itinerary reflects an intended program, however, it should be read purely as a guide. This is because weather conditions, wildlife encounters, and any unforeseen circumstances beyond the operator’s control on the day may affect the eventual itinerary, and route.

Galapagos Cruise – Evolution from Baltra Island

Travel aboard the

Evolution

Refreshingly elegant and well-equipped too, the 32-passenger Galapagos Evolution is a real standout cruise vessel, both for its nostalgic appearance and the quality of itineraries it offers, with this particular route beginning from Baltra Island being no different. The Evolution itself boasts two sundecks, a Jacuzzi, lounge bar and modern interiors in addition to its expert crew and guides; plus, throughout this Galapagos tour you’ll also be treated to some truly iconic sights. From Baltra Island and sunset around the Daphne Major Islet on day one, early Galapagos highlights then come in the form of Vicente Roca Point off Isabela Island and abundant wildlife on Fernandina Island. Both of these are known for their populations of Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies, Pelicans and Penguins, then Iguanas and Flightless Cormorants once you reach Fernandina. Panoramic views, snorkeling and plenty of marine life come with voyages between Bartolome, Santiago and Santa Cruz Islands, finishing up on the pristine sandy shores of Gardner Bay on Espanola Island; a classic Galapagos itinerary.

galapagos-icon Galapagos Cruise - Evolution from Baltra Island

Visit our Galapagos page
to learn a bit about Galapagos

Itinerary

Day1

baltra-Ithabaca-canal-copy-372x372 Galapagos Cruise - Evolution from Baltra Island

Day1

BALTRA ISLAND / DAPHNE MAJOR ISLET

Having flown in from either Quito or Guayaquil, touchdown on Baltra Island where your guide is waiting at the airport to assist with any belongings and whisk you off to the dock and awaiting Galapagos Evolution cruise vessel. Once aboard, settle into your cabin and prepare for an early introduction to this Galapagos adventure, as the Evolution makes way for the picturesque islets of Daphne Major and Minor. Among other things, these small islands are well-known for their abundance of native bird species including Galapagos Martins, Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Short-eared Owls and Red-billed Tropic Birds.

Day2

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Day2

ISABELA ISLAND / FERNANDINA ISLAND

Snorkeling these crystalline waters is a truly iconic experience, and some of the best in the Galapagos comes at Vicente Roca Point in the Bolivar Channel, Isabela Island. Day two of your Galapagos Evolution cruise begins by traversing the coastline on your way there, on the lookout for nesting seabirds, Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies, Pelicans and Penguins, before entering the ancient volcanic coves of Vicente Roca Point itself. Once here you can swim and snorkel admiring the colorful marine life, tropical fish and Sea Lions as you go.

Next, think Iguanas, Iguanas, and more Iguanas–both of the Land and Marine variety–as you moor up at Espinoza Point on Fernandina Island, a relatively recent volcanic outcrop to the Galapagos Archipelago’s far west, for this afternoon’s nature walk. Despite its barren and dramatic appearance, life does exist here, not only the native Iguana population but also Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Penguins and Hawks, with a peppering of sturdy cacti and occasional mangroves too; Galapagos wilderness at its primitive best.

Day3

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Day3

ISABELA ISLAND / URBINA BAY / TAGUS COVE

Visiting Isabela Island is often a highlight of any Galapagos tour, awash with varied species and its fair share of natural wonders, rich biodiversity and distinctive, dramatic scenery. This is characterized by its great craters such as Sierra Negra, Volcan Chico, and the charred shores of Urbina Bay which lie in the shadow of Alcedo Volcano, your first stop of the day. A dramatic stretch of dark sand coastline buffeted by volcanic rock and foliage, Urbina Bay is also heavily populated with Land Iguanas and, at certain times of the year, Giant Galapagos Tortoises, which all makes for quite a sight.

From here, head to one of the most atmospheric and iconic Galapagos spots: Tagus Cove, a former pirate hangout which was visited by Charles Darwin, though for very different reasons. Today, Tagus Cove is a great location to hike and snorkel, thanks to an abundance of Flightless Cormorants, Penguins, Finches and Yellow Warblers above ground; Sea Turtles and innumerable tropical fish below it.

Day4

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Day4

BARTOLOME ISLAND / SANTIAGO ISLAND / SULLIVAN BAY

Start today at Bartolome Island, navigating wooden walkways to ascend to one of the best lookout points in the Galapagos. From this angle you get a 360-degree panoramic view of the wider archipelago, offering a visual perspective on how these islands were originally formed–particularly Santiago Island, Sullivan Bay and Pinnacle Rock.

This afternoon, the Evolution ventures north to Santiago Island and anchors in Sullivan Bay, an extraordinary place sheltering unusual wildlife and a distinctive Galapagos icon: Pinnacle Rock. Spend the afternoon exploring jet-black lava fields in search of kaleidoscopic Locusts and Lava Lizards, mollugo and cacti plants, before jumping aboard the pangas for a boat safari through waters where Penguins, Eagle Rays and Sea Turtles are commonly sighted. Finally, return to the Galapagos Evolution vessel for another evening under the stars.

Day5

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Day5

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND / RABIDA ISLAND

Having enjoyed another memorable evening aboard the Galapagos Evolution, first up on day five is Santa Cruz Island and Las Bachas, a pair of impeccable beaches with white coral sands found to the north of the island. In this paradise-like backdrop, all manner of creatures thrive, from Blue-footed Boobies patrolling the shore to Pink Flamingos, Great Blue Herons and White-cheeked Pintails wading the waters of a nearby lagoon.

The afternoon takes you to Rabida Island, awash as it is with flaming red sands populated by Blue-footed Boobies, Sea Lions and Starfish. Take a short walk inland to spot more Pink Flamingos gracing the shores of a yellow lagoon and Brown Pelicans nesting, as well as panoramas of the surrounding crimson cliffs. Afterwards, paddle around Rabida’s eastern peninsula by kayak, seeking Sea Turtles, Striped Salemas, Galapagos Sharks and Yellowtail Surgeon Fish.

Day6

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Day6

SANTA CRUZ ISLAND / CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH CENTRE

Your final full day on this versatile Galapagos itinerary begins, quite rightly, with a visit to the all-important Charles Darwin Research Center at Puerto Ayora. Here, exciting exhibits and interactive displays go together with real-life conservation projects, including Giant Tortoise breeding and rehabilitation programs, allowing you to witness the legacy of Charles Darwin first-hand.

Learn more about these gentle creatures in the Wild Tortoise Reserve up in the highlands of Santa Cruz, a place of dense, green forests awash with moss and lichen. Then, after a nature hike through subterranean lava tunnels and a Scalesia forest frequented by Darwin’s Finches, spend the rest of the day at leisure. As one of the most diverse of all the Galapagos Islands there are many highlights of Santa Cruz to explore, so take stroll along the paradise-like Tortuga Bay, or maybe a bicycle tour in Puerto Ayora, if you’re feeling active.

Day7

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Day7

Espanola Island

Your voyage on the Galapagos Evolution continues in fine fashion today, courtesy of the many nature and wildlife highlights that await you on Espanola Island, beginning at Punta Suarez. Look out for Sea Lions frolicking in the water, Marine Iguanas gripping the rocks, and intriguing bird species such as Masked and Nazca Boobies, Lava Herons, Waved Albatrosses and Swallow-tailed Gulls. The vast array of birdlife here gives Espanola a reputation for extraordinary biodiversity.

This afternoon, the Espanola experience continues at Gardner Bay, a pristine stretch of ivory-white beach. Armed with a snorkel or kayak, swim or paddle through the bay’s blue waters to see tropical fish like Yellow-tailed Surgeon and King Angelfish; larger marine life such as White-tipped Reef Sharks, Turtles and Sea Lions are also known to inhabit the bay. This is one of the most enchanting days of Galapagos wildlife encounters during your Galapagos cruise tour.

Day8

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Day8

SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND / FLIGHT HOME

Your last day in the Galapagos with Evolution involves a visit to San Cristobal Island and the informative Interpretation Center nearby. Then, a hike up Cerro Tijeretas, or ‘Frigate Bird Hill’; a popular nesting site for both the Great and Magnificent species of Frigate.

Afterwards, it’s farewell to the Galapagos as your guides escort you to the airport and assist with any luggage, in plenty of time for your onward flight.

NOTE: The above itinerary reflects an intended program, however, it should be read purely as a guide. This is because weather conditions, wildlife encounters, and any unforeseen circumstances beyond the operator’s control on the day may affect the eventual itinerary, and route.

Galapagos Magic Camp

galapagos magic camp is one of our preferred hotels when traveling in galapagos

galapagos-icon-2 Galapagos Magic Camp

discover all of our Galapagos journeys

Stay at the family-friendly Magic Galapagos Tented Camp for some of the best Santa Cruz Highlands’ views, authentic eco-lodge accommodation and easy access to the archipelago’s many wildlife excursions. Dotted around the grassy plains of a private reserve on Santa Cruz Island, and home to a healthy population of Giant Galapagos Tortoises who happily roam the grounds, this laidback retreat is just what you need for a real slice of both excitement and adventure. You’ll find a charming restaurant onsite serving local favorites–surrounded by wooden beams and soft lighting, fully functioning bathrooms connected to each tent, Wi-Fi, an infinity pool, and the ‘Lava Lounge’, where cocktails are savored amidst the petrified remains of ancient lava caves; a true Galapagos experience in itself.

AN AUTHENTIC ECO-EXPERIENCE

For an all-encompassing Galapagos wildlife tour, the Magic Tented Camp is hard to beat. It’s keen environmental ethos, unbeatable watchtower views of the national park, educational guides and excursions, abundance of species such as the resident Tortoises found onsite, and the accommodation itself all serve its purpose to reconnect you right back with nature. Nights here are spent under a canopy of stars or huddled around the fireplace, before waking up each morning surrounded by the pristine Santa Cruz Highlands, native birdlife and ever-popular Galapagos Tortoises simply roaming free. There is truly nowhere like it in the world!

EXCLUSIVE GALAPAGOS ACCOMMODATION

With only nine comfortable tents available, some raised on stilts and others a fully-fledged treehouse, plus a three-bedroom suite for families, the Magic Galapagos Tented Camp is about as intimate as it gets. This works in harmony with the camp’s all-natural setting, as with so few fellow guests the evenings are calm and cozy, excursions feel personal and you know the wildlife is not being disturbed. For each tent, an en suite bathroom (in most), furnished terrace and comfortable bed add a touch of luxury, though generally the earthier approach here is all part of the appeal.

Ideal forFamilies, couples, and small groups.

Galapagos Magic Camp is one of our preferred hotels when traveling in Galapagos

galapagos-icon-2 Galapagos Magic Camp

discover all of our galapagos journeys

highlights

  • Onsite wildlife including Galapagos Tortoises
  • Easy access to the national park and Pacific Ocean
  • Exclusive accommodation, an inviting infinity pool and cozy restaurant
  • Excellent onsite guides and excursions

rooms

  • Luxury Safari Tents: En suite bathroom for most tents (some with private bathroom but shared shower facilities); roll-up canvas windows; furnished terrace; seating area; double or twin beds and a natural décor scheme of canvases and locally produced ornaments. (six raised tents, four unique elevated treehouses).
  • Family Suite: Finished to the same standard as the Luxury Safari Tent, though much larger with multiple bedrooms; a playroom; and expansive terrace.

services

  • Infinity Pool
  • Sundeck and Loungers
  • Observation tower
  • Onsite farm and birding area/li>
  • Kids club
  • Bar + restaurant/li>
  • Communal fireplace and lounge
  • Wi-Fi