Custom Reading List
Kuoda Travel has created a custom comprehensive listing of books and maps to support your personalized Peru and Galapagos tour.
DAY 1: Welcome to Peru!
You will find us waiting for you when your international flight arrives in Lima. Look for the Kuoda sign with your name and the smile. We will escort you to your hotel adjacent to the airport, check you in, and help you get settled. You’ll then be able to rinse away the feeling of a long flight and enjoy a good night’s rest!
DAY 2: Over the Andes to the Sacred Valley
You will wake up refreshed and enjoy a complimentary breakfast in your hotel before we escort you back to the airport for your morning flight to Cusco. Watch the windows as the desert coast rises into the snow-capped peaks of the Andes! We will be waiting for you when touch down at our Andean airport and will bring you to the historic city center of Cusco for a delicious lunch. Then, before you can feel the altitude, we’ll whisk you into the Sacred Valley.
Just 45 minutes outside of Cusco, true Peruvian countryside will stretch away on either side of you, cows and sheep grazing tranquilly road-side. Impossibly steep peaks rise in the distance. Your journey will take you first to the Awanakancha Living Museum, where you will see traditional weavers at work and come face to face with llamas, alpacas and other Andean camelids.
Next, you’ll stop at the vibrant market in the pueblo of Pisac, where locals come from miles around to sell their wares. Upon conclusion of your market visit we’ll bring you to your hotel in the heart of the Sacred Valley.
Remember, your Kuoda guide and driver are at your disposal today – please feel free to stop for photos, stretch your legs and breathe in the clear mountain air!
DAY 3: Uncovering Ollantaytambo´s Secrets
Today’s journey through the Sacred Valley of the Incas will start with a drive through the breathtaking Patacancha Valley. At the ruins of Pumamarca we’ll begin our hike down a pre-Columbian trail, following irrigation canals that line terraced fields still in use today
After approximately two hours of hiking, we’ll find ourselves in the Incan town of Ollantaytambo, one of the few remaining places in Peru that retains its original Incan urban planning. You’ll note still-functioning street canals, multi-family houses with secret interior courtyards and iconic Incan trapezoidal doors! Here we’ll visit the Incan fortress perched on the mountainside overlooking the sleepy pueblo, and learn about nearby stone quarries and the pivotal Incan battle fought here.
We hope you worked up an appetite while hiking, because next on the schedule is a true Peruvian feast: the traditional Pachamanca! The centuries-old Pachamanca tradition involves marinating lamb, pork, chicken, and potatoes in a variety of Andean ingredients and cooking them to perfection in an underground oven. You’ll witness each step of the process: how the oven is prepared, how white-hot stones are layered, and how the feast materializes before your eyes! While waiting for your feast to roast, make sure to wander through the grounds’ organic garden, smell the fresh-roasted coffee produced by the farm’s head roaster, and sample some of the varieties of cañazo (a local Andean spirit) that are produced on-site at the one-of-a-kind distillery.
Upon completion of your tour, we will bring you back to your hotel for an evening spent at leisure.
DAY 4: The Agricultural Past & Present
Today you will weave through the Sacred Valley’s most fertile agricultural lands and experience an unforgettable blend of the past, present, and future.
Your first stop of the day will be revisiting centuries past at the ancient Inca ruins at Moray. Some experts still believe these concentric circles served as an agricultural laboratory, though nobody has yet been able to confirm their true purpose. Form your own hypothesis as you peer deep into these beautiful feats of engineering and stonemasonry. We will then transport ourselves to the present and continue through the small town of Maras before arriving at iconic salt pans carved into the mountainside. In use to this day, each of thousands of flat white pools terracing the hillside has been passed down through generations since pre-Incan times, providing sustenance and income. The intricate network of waterways and white evaporation pools seem like a work of modern art. We will then pause for a locally-prepared lunch enjoyed with panoramic views.
After lunch, we will take you to visit our friends in a small village and glimpse the promising future that awaits the rural Sacred Valley. Surrounded by towering mountains and hugging the shore of the breathtakingly blue Lake Piuray, agriculture dominates life in this close-knit place. The women of the village are weaving masters that use Incan techniques, materials, and patterns, and have formed a weaving association providing community development through sales and teachings. You might also meet some of the local children who attend Kuoda’s after-school program, which provides a much needed haven of extra school supplies, homework help, and perhaps most importantly, encouragement to stay in school. The kids love to show off their drawings and computer skills!
This town is far off the beaten-track, so you won’t see other travellers here. You will get to meet some of the friendliest people in Peru and witness how a more traditional way of life is adapting to the passage of time. Finally, after experiencing first-hand the past, present, and future of the Sacred Valley, we will bring you to your hotel for the evening in the Valley.
DAY 5: In the Footseps of the Inca
Today, prepare to walk in the footsteps of the Inca and arrive proudly on-foot to Machu Picchu! We’ll collect you from your hotel bright and early this morning and drive through the picturesque Sacred Valley to the train station in Ollantaytambo, where we’ll board the Vistadome train.
You and your guide will disembark the train at the Inca Trail trailhead found at Kilometer 104, and from here you will walk the lovely uphill path to the ruins of Wiñaywayna. As you walk, your guide will point out orchids and other jungle plants, the Urubamba River will rush below you, and you’ll marvel at the Inca’s strength and ingenuity. When you reach the ruins of Wiñaywayna, you’ll rest up, explore, and enjoy a delicious al fresco lunch. Then you’ll hit the trail once again! A walk of approximately two hours brings you to Inti Punku, the famous Sun Gate.
You’ll approach this stone construction up one last flight of stairs, catch your breath, and then lose it again as you see Machu Picchu, nestled and hidden between steep peaks below you.
Descend triumphantly over ancient paving stones to the lost citadel, and relish in the audacity of a construction of this caliber in this stunning location before catching the bus to Aguas Calientes and checking in to your hotel. Your guide will then leave you to rest, refresh, and enjoy a delicious and well-earned dinner on-site at your hotel.
DAY 6: The Ancient Citadel
This is your day to relax and enjoy a private tour of Machu Picchu. In the morning after breakfast in your hotel, you and your guide will board the bus to the entrance of the ruins. You will then ascend stone steps, through heavy tree cover to finally emerge at the top of the world – Machu Picchu! Your expert guide will give you a private tour of the ancient city, introducing you to the history of this spectacular citadel and showing you the most important temples and ceremonial sites.
The adventurous can either hike Huayna Picchu or the Machu Picchu Mountain trail to reach the highest point in the park (depending on availability, these are limited-entry and require advance notice).
Lunch will be on-site at the Sanctuary Lodge, and at the appropriate time in the afternoon you will descend to Aguas Calientes for your return Vistadome train. We will be waiting to collect you in the Ollantaytambo train station and will bring you to your hotel in Cusco.
DAY 7: Walking Through the Centuries in the Imperial City
This morning you will experience the lay of the land as only true world travelers know how: traversing hidden alleyways, historic plazas, and local treasures. After breakfast on your own, your private guide will proceed to illuminate Cusco’s rich tapestry woven by its inviting cobblestone streets, charming neighborhoods, and astounding landmarks.
Your first stop of the day will be to the Santo Domingo monastery, perched atop the most sacred of Incan sites, the Qoricancha temple of the sun. Once bathed in 24-karat gold long-since pilfered by Spanish conquistadors, this temple is now an astounding blend of Incan stonemasonry and colonial architecture. From there you’ll stop in at the colonial Cathedral in the Plaza de Armas, then climb up to the bohemian neighborhood of San Blas, known for its whitewashed adobe buildings and quaint blue balconies, home to generations of renowned Cusco artisans. Top off your tour with a visit to a local indigenous market brimming with a rainbow of local fruits and traditional remedies, and make sure to pause to marvel at the incomparable Incan foundations supporting each building in the area, in particular at the 12-angled stone nestled in a wall that has withstood the test of time (as well as a couple of earth-shattering earthquakes!).
From there, you’ll be met by your private vehicle and chauffered to the Sacsayhuaman Incan ruins above the city!
This evening your private vehicle will take you up into the hills near Sacsayhuaman, away from the city lights. You’ll have a private, guided visit to Cusco’s one-of-a-kind planetarium. Learn about Andean astronomy and Incan astrology from a short video presentation projected onto a domed theatre, and then look to the stars! Enjoy delicious hot chocolate and piping teas as you and your guide use telescopes to search for the famous Southern Cross and Andean constellations. Contrary to constellations in the Western world, the Incan constellations are based on dark space found in between the stars. Keep an eye out for the llama and the frog, two of the most prominent Incan constellations.
DAY 8: Over to Ecuador
Today we will escort you to the airport for your route to Ecuador.
Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is one of the most beautiful cities of Ecuador. It is divided into the old or colonial city and the modern city. The Colonial Quito is still reminiscent of how it was 450 years ago, even though it is a small island surrounded on all sides by a fast-growing modern city. In colonial Quito are narrow cobblestone streets lined with whitewashed walls over which the steeples and cupolas of historic churches and a cathedral sites. The integrity of colonial Quito was assured in 1978 when the United Nations declared the city a World Cultural Heritage Site.
You will find us waiting for you when your international flight arrives in Quito. We will escort you to your hotel, check you in and help you get settled. You’ll then be able to rinse away the feeling of a long flight and enjoy a good night’s rest!
DAY 9: To the Galapagos Islands!
The Galapagos Islands are among the most amazing natural places in the world, and this group of 13 major islands and dozens of smaller islets and rocks, all the result of volcanic activity, certainly appears to be out of this world. The islands are in fact, an unpredictable wilderness, a living laboratory of evolution filled with an extraordinary population of unique species, which have developed apart from human influence. For nature lovers, the perfection is even greater, birds and more birds, playful sea lions, exotic plant life, volcanoes and haunting land seascape.
Early this morning we will escort you to the national airport in order to board flight to the wondrous Galapagos Islands (approximately 2.5 hours). Upon your arrival you will be required to pay the Galapagos National Park entrance fee (US$ 100 cash per person), after which a member of the team will welcome you and accompany you to your yacht: The Sea Star Journey.
One of the main features on the San Cristobal Island is the Tortoise Breeding Center, where you will see enormous Galapagos tortoises, as well as iguanas. As the natural population of tortoises from San Cristóbal Island is seriously threatened by animals introduced onto the island by humans – mainly wild goats, cats and rats – the center is attempting to increase the number of tortoises as well as eradicate threatening species. Close to the center is an easy trail that covers a distance of 900 meters; along this trail you will see different species of native and endemic plants of the Galapagos, like cat’s claw, manzanillo, romerillo, and acacia. Be careful not to touch or eat the manzanillo fruits as these are toxic. San Cristobal Island is also one of the few islands where you can see the plant calandrinia galapagosa, which is in danger of extinction.
DAY 10: Galapagos Islands
Española is the southernmost, oldest and one of the most bio-diverse islands of the Galapagos archipelago. Its English name is “Hood Island,” in honor of the British admiral Samuel Hood. Because of its isolated position, there is much endemic wildlife to be explored here – in addition to great snorkeling from Española’s remarkably beautiful beaches.
On Española Island’s eastern shore, Gardner Bay is noted for its turquoise-colored waters and its magnificent beach, which we will visit in the afternoon. Around the bay’s small nearby islets, snorkelers will find an abundance of fish, as well as the occasional sea turtle and benign sharks. The bay is also frequented by a transient colony of Galapagos sea lions who love to swim with people. Birds, like the endemic Española mockingbird and different species of Darwin finches, are omnipresent.
DAY 11: Galapagos Islands
Today we will visit Floreana Island, considered to be one of the most exotic in the Galapagos archipelago. Countless legends are part of the history of this island, as pirates and buccaneers were drawn to here in search of for food and water. Later the island was colonized by Norwegians, Brits, Germans and others who were in search of ways to make money from what they hoped to discover here. The name Floreana is in honor of Juan Jose Flores, Ecuador’s first president. This morning’s excursion is to the Cormorant Point visitor site. After a wet landing on the beach, we will go down a 100-meter-long path to a mangrove lagoon that is home to Galapagos ducks, black herons, oystercatchers and plovers. With a little bit of luck, you might also see flamingos. Another path leads to a small beach that is an important nesting site for sea turtles. In the shallow water there, one can often find stingrays and Whitetip reef sharks.
Next, after lunch, we will visit the lookout point where the controversial “Baroness” Eloisa de Wagner, one of the first human inhabitants in the Galapagos Islands, would spent several hours daily observing whales and dolphins. Later we will visit Post Office Bay, where the legendary post barrel that whalers historically used to put their mail in is still kept. After a wet landing, you can walk just off the beach to leave a letter here in hopes that it will make to its destination via another tourist…so don’t forget to bring postcards along. Snorkelers can take a dip on the main beach among the playful sea lions and green sea turtles.
DAY 12: Galapagos Islands
Today we will visit Santa Fe Island, a tiny rocky island covered in small Palo Santo trees and six-meter-high opuntia cactuses. The island is inhabited mainly by large yellow land iguanas, Galapagos buzzards, Blue-footed boobies and pelicans. While snorkeling in the wonderful blue-green bay in which the ship anchors, you can observe the many inhabitants of this underwater world, including countless tropical fish, rays, sea turtles and playful sea lions.
Today we will explore South Plaza Island, located just east of Santa Cruz Island. After a dry landing on the northern part of this life-filled islet, you will encounter colonies of sea lions and land iguanas. While on the steep banks, you can see numbers of birds – like nesting Tropic birds and Fork-tailed seagulls – but most of all, you will enjoy the beautiful views from either atop the steep banks or while strolling along the base of the cliff. Opuntia cactuses grow on this island and the vegetation changes color throughout the year.
DAY 13: Galapagos Islands
After a dry landing onto North Seymour Island, we will take a short walk along its coast, where you will encounter Swallow-tailed gulls, sea lions and Cliff crabs. This part of Seymour Island is also known for being a major nesting site for Blue-footed boobies and one of the largest colonies of Magnificent frigatebirds (a species different from the Great frigatebird) As you enjoy this relaxing hike around various nesting sites, you can also spot both of the endemic species of iguanas: marine iguanas and land iguanas.
This afternoon we will arrive on the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island, where we will visit the long and sandy Bachas Beach, one of the most important nesting beaches for sea turtles. Here you can also find flamingos, Black-winged stilts, sea lions, herons, marine iguanas, and — with a little bit of luck — tiny Galapagos penguins. In addition, this beach is one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles in the Galapagos. A female can lay eggs 3 or 4 times with an average of 70 eggs each, but they then spend 3 to 5 years without breeding. At this paradisiacal site, we will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago; these were once property of the United States Navy when they operated an airbase on Baltra Island during World War II. In fact, the beach got its name because the English word “barges” was hard to pronounce for the local people – hence “Bachas” Beach. You will also have the opportunity to swim on this soft white sand beach or explore the fascinating underwater by snorkeling.
DAY 13: From the Galapagos and Homeward Bound
Today we will anchor off Mosquera Island, which is located near Itabaca Channel and in between the Baltra and Seymour islands. The island consists of a long narrow stretch of white sand, rocks, and small lagoons with large populations of sea lions (in fact, this is one of the best places to take photos of these aquatic mammals). After a wet landing, a stroll down the beach will also permit views of Brown pelicans and Blue-footed boobies.
Concluding this amazing experience in the Galapagos Islands, you will be transferred to the Baltra Island airport for your return flight to the Ecuadorian mainland. Enjoy your last look back at the “enchanted islands,” a unique paradise with inspiring natural wonders, before checking in for your flights back to the continent.
Back in Quito you will be met and assisted as you take your international flight for your journey home. Thank you for traveling with Kuoda Travel, and buen viaje!
- Visit indigenous communities and learn about local ways of life from the people who know it best: the locals themselves!
- Find your way around the South American kitchen during cooking classes with acclaimed local chefs.
- Take the reins of a Peruvian Paso for a horse trek through the Sacred Valley.
- Sit down with a shaman for a private meditation ceremony.
- Observe local weavers at work during private demonstrations.
- Hone your kitchen skills during Peruvian cooking classes with celebrated chefs.
- Join a local Peruvian family for a home-cooked meal in their residence.
- Take a day hike along part of the famed Inca Trail and arrive in Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate entrance that afternoon.
- Revel in the gorgeous views as you tuck into lavish picnics that come complete with glassware, crockery and even a professional waiter to serve you.
- Amp up the adrenaline with exhilarating adventure activities, such as riding the fast-flowing rapids of the Vilcanota River or zooming along zip lines in the Andes.
- Learn about time-honored Andean weaving techniques and admire the impeccable leather crafts of the region.
- Ride horses, hike, fish or go paragliding around the dramatic mountain terrain of the Avenue of Volcanoes.
- Make the most of Ecuador’s striking scenery with deluxe, gourmet picnics where glassware, proper table settings, a professional waiter and delicious local dishes come as standard.
- Explore the flora-and-fauna-packed surrounds of the majestic Cuicocha lagoon, one of Ecuador’s most emblematic destinations.
- Personalized itinerary planning: Work with a Kuoda Travel Designer to create the Peru and Galapagos tour of your dreams.
- Kuoda hosts take the hassle out of traveling. They’ll be there to assist you – whether with luggage, check in, transport or translating – at every destination during your private Peru and Galapagos tour.
- Got a question or query? Kuoda operate a 24-hour, seven day a week customer service operation and can provide updates and assistance whenever you need it.
- With Kuoda, you’ll never be bundled in with big groups; each visit, activity, tour and experience will be completely private and conducted by your very own expert, English-speaking guide.
- Our Peru and Galapagos tours are fully flexible, which means we can modify them to suit your travel mood. So if you want to cut an activity or add on a new one, just say the word!
- All necessary adventure and trekking equipment will be provided so all you need bring is yourself.
- Receive a customized Kuoda Travel kit upon arrival.
Our staff handpicks the best hotels in Bolivia to ensure you get ultimate comfort and character during your stay.
Talk to a Kuoda Travel expert and learn more about the type of accommodations that will suit best during your custom Bolivia luxury tour.
Sacred ValleySOL Y LUNA LODGE & SPA
Machu PicchuMACHU PICCHU PUEBLO HOTEL
EcuadorPATIO ANDALUZ HOTEL
EcuadorGALAPAGOS SEA STAR
An exemplary way for any adventure seeking traveler to experience the best of the Andes! This sample Peru and Galapagos tour is just the way for you to get inspired.
Please know you can change or modify these tours however you deem necessary as all Kuoda itineraries are crafted just for you, to suit your individual interests and schedules. Interest in getting this trip completely customized?
Price: $ 9,968 Per person.
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The price is customized based on final accommodation choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.
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Most vacation memories quickly dissipate in the face of routine, but remarkable travel experiences hover in the back of the mind forever. With Kuoda’s private tours to Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru, we create meaningful memories that stick…
Yachay: Kuoda's Blog
Whether traveling on your own or with family and friends, a trip with Kuoda will never come short of being 100% personalized. Here you’ll find useful tips, travel news and experiences to get the most out as you discover this region.