Active Ecuador & Peru with Machu Picchu 16 Days
Speed is the watchword for this high-adrenaline active tour around Ecuador and Peru. Across sixteen action-packed days, you’ll bike near Cotopaxi (an Andean stratovolcano), raft down rushing rivers, trek the iconic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and much, much more. Best of all, you’ll always travel with an experienced and passionate CEO who knows the quickest and most scenic routes to wherever you’re headed. Remember, you’re here for a great time, not a long time; slather on that sunscreen, strap on your helmet, and hit the road/trail/surf!
Please note: This is a demanding itinerary with high-altitude hikes and strenuous activities.
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Wildlife Guide & PhotographerAndy is a 6th generation Falkland Islander, with a passion for wildlife, plants and photography. Raised in the Falkland Islands, Andy developed a close affinity with the Islands natural environment at a young age. School holidays where spent in the ‘camp’ or countryside with friends and family. For more than 10 years, Andy had the privilege of spending a time on Sea Lion Island, visiting his mother who managed one of the Islands premier tourist destinations. Read more >
Photographer and founder of the Travel Photographer Of The Year awardsA fascination with natural light and a passion with nature, landscape and travel underpin Chris Coe's photography. His images often have a striking simplicity and graphic quality. More recent work has introduced a subtlety with experimentation with both movement and light.Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
Special Guest LecturerExclusive to this voyage, Doug Allan, a multi award winning polar photographer and cameraman, will be your special guest lecturer. Doug has been on over 20 expeditions to Svalbard to film its wildlife, and knows the wonders of this area more than most. Read more >
- Trek the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World
- Go whitewater rafting on the Jatunyaku River in the Amazon Jungle
- Discover the beautiful Llanganates National Park
- Enjoy a guided tour through the Sacred Valley
- Visit wonderfully historic cities including Quito, Cusco & Lima
- Spectacular scenery throughout including volcanoes, mountains and ancient ruins
- A true adventure experience
- 11 nights' accommodation in standard hotels as described in the itinerary
- 4 nights' camping
- 11 breakfasts, 7 lunches & 4 dinners
- The services of an experienced tour leader, drivers and local guides
- All transport between destinations and included activities
- Internal flights
- Treks and hikes as mentioned in itinerary
- Sacred Valley guided tour
- Whitewater rafting & mountain bike excursions
- Guided Inca Trail hike with cooks and porters
ITINERARY15 Nights 16 Days
- Day 1 | Quito
- Days 2 - 3 | Tena / Jatunyaku River
- Days 4 - 6 | Baños / Llanganates National Park
- Day 7 | Cotopaxi
- Day 8 | Cotopaxi - Quito
- Day 9 | Quito to Lima
- Day 10 | Lima to Cusco
- Day 11 | Ollantaytambo
- Days 12 - 14 | Inca Trail
- Days 15 - 16 | Machu Picchu - Cusco
Arrive independently to Quito and transfer to the hotel for your included overnight stay. Depending on your arrival time you may have time to explore some of this fascinating and historic city set high in the Andean foothills that is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. We can recommend an optional city and equator tour, or a ride on the sky tram up Volcán Pichincha.
In the evening your tour representative will meet you at the hotel for a briefing on what lies ahead and what to expect from your exciting tour.
One night's accommodation at Hotel Mercure, or similar.
Tena / Jatunyaku River
On day 2 you will travel by bus into the Amazon Basin and enjoy the incredible scenery en route to the jungle town of Tena. Watch as it changes from towering mountains to lush jungle, passing by waterfalls and deep river valleys. After your approximately 6 hour journey you will check in to your accommodation and enjoy an evening of relaxation before the adventure truly starts tomorrow.
Day 3 will see you navigate the wild Jatunyaku River in the surrounding lush cloud forest on your included Jatunyacu River Whitewater Rafting Excursion. Experience the thrill of white water rafting on this full-day excursion through a wide and relatively calm waterway, with some large waves. Take on Class 3+ rapids, which include a good balance of rapids and open water. Give it a try, even if new to the sport – this experience is accessible even for those without any previous rafting experience. And the cool water and air make this an excellent change from the tropical Amazon climate.
2 nights’ accommodation at Casa del Abuelo, or similar, with breakfast and 1 lunch included.
Baños / Llanganates National Park
Day 4 sees you travel by bus to Baños, a town surrounded by lush cloud forest. Enjoy a free afternoon for optional activities like canyoning, ziplining, visiting local waterfalls, or exploring the town on foot. The town is the perfect setting for outdoor pursuits, including horseback riding, hiking and rafting on the Patate River. Please note, no activities are included today but can be booked separately.
Accommodation on day 4 will be at Hotel La Floresta, or similar.
On day 5 you will transfer by private vehicle to the starting point of your exhilarating trek in Llanganates National Park, famous for its amazing landscapes and storied mystery. Legend has it that the Inca General Ruminahui has a large sum of gold hidden somewhere in the Tungurahua mountain range. Think you can find it? Your trek will start at 3,200m (10,498 ft) above sea level and travel upwards to 3,800m (12,467 ft) through lush cloud forest. See a variety of changes in vegetation while trekking to higher elevations and expect stunning views of the Tungurahua Volcano and the Sangay Volcano (if visibility is good).
On the evening of day 5 you will spend the night camping under the stars at a local trout farm in the National Park, enjoying nature at its best. There will be the opportunity to catch and prepare fresh trout. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included during your camping experience.
Rise early on Day 6 surrounded by incredible landscapes and continue trekking in Llanganates National Park, reaching the entrance on foot. Here you will meet your transfer back to the hotel in Baños where a delicious lunch will be waiting for you. For the rest of the day you may wish to simply relax in the hotel after your strenuous trek. Or you could choose to visit Baños’ famous hot springs and thermal baths at the base of Tungurahua Volcano to soak your weary muscles while surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery.
Accommodation on day 6 will be at Hotel La Floresta, or similar.
Enjoy a free morning in Baños to explore the area on foot or take on one of the many optional activities that the region has to offer. After lunch, travel by public bus through spectacular Andean scenery arriving at a hacienda near the base of Cotopaxi Volcano. Enjoy a choice between a biking excursion through Polilepys forest or horseback riding with views of the volcano. You will take in amazing views of one of the world's highest active volcanoes, whilst keeping an eye out for wildlife along the way.
1 night’s accommodation at Tierra del Volcan Hacienda, or similar.
Cotopaxi - Quito
First thing in the morning, travel by private van into the Cotopaxi National Park, home to Cotopaxi Volcano, to start the trek up to the refuge. The beautiful cone-shaped, snow-covered volcano is Ecuador’s second highest peak and the highest active volcano in the world. Keep an eye out for park wildlife, including condors, foxes, deer, spectacled bears, and more. Visit Limpiopungo lake for a boxed lunch. Enjoy lunch and catch your breath before transferring back to the capital city for a final night out on the town.
One night’s accommodation at Hotel Mercure, or similar.
Quito to Lima
Explore Quito before flying to Lima in the evening. Your transfer to the airport and your flight to Lima are included in this trip. Please note that this flight is unescorted and your transfer will be waiting for you at the Lima airport and will bring you to your hotel.
One night’s at Hotel Santa Cruz, or similar, with breakfast included.
Lima to Cusco
This morning take a transfer to the airport for your included flight to Cusco. Spend the rest of the day relaxing and exploring this fascinating city, and getting used to the altitude.
Optional activities available today for an additional fee include a Cusco city tour, museum visits and a highly recommended Cusco coking class where you will visit the market to source your ingredients before heading back to the kitchen for a hands-on lesson in Peruvian cooking.
1 night’s accommodation at Hotel Prisma, or similar, with breakfast included.
Enjoy a full-day guided tour of the Sacred Valley. Stop at the operator-supported women's weaving co-op before visiting a local pottery making community. Break for lunch at the operator-supported Parwa Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosco. After lunch, opt to head out on a hike to the Ollantaytambo storehouses and look out over the ruins. Or, wander around the cobblestone streets and visit a local Chicheria (corn beer bar).
1 night’s accommodation at Hotel Inka Paradise, or similar, with breakfast and lunch included.
On day 12 you will depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the Inca Trail begins. Ease into the adventure with a straightforward day of hiking the meandering streams, stunning Andean scenery, and ancient Incan ruins. Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata. On each evening of your 3-night trail your group will set up camp for a night under the canvas.
Day 13 will bring an early start as you set off to climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman’s Pass. With amazing views, this is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax.
On day 14 you will cross two more passes and ruins on today's trek. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through the cloud forest on a gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley. At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the "town above the clouds." Camp here or go another 1.5 hrs to the Wiñay Wayna ruins ("forever young") located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).
3 nights camping with breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Please note: A crew of local porters, cooks, and guides will take care of all the details for the duration of the hike. Porters carry the majority of the gear so you’ll only need to carry a small daypack with water, rain gear, snacks, a camera, etc.
Machu Picchu - Cusco
The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on a clear day. Hike down for a guided tour of these famous ruins and some free time to explore. Follow the local guide to learn about its history at and gain local insight into the Inti Mach’ay cave, Inti Watana, the Temple of the Water, the Temple of the Condor, and the Room of the Three Windows. Take time to sit and feel the energy of this 15th-century site, now both a UNESCO World Heritage site and voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
Later you will catch a train back to Cusco and enjoy some time to relax after your exhilarating and strenuous Inca Trail hike.
The following morning, after checkout, your Peru & Ecuador adventure will sadly come to an end and it will be time to bid farewell to your fellow travellers.
1 night’s accommodation at Hotel Prisma, or similar, with breakfast included.
What Our Customers
• Although we thoroughly enjoyed the Galapagos it was mainland Ecuador which really took us by surprise with such a diversity of landscape and wildlife and incredible hospitality everywhere we went. Our local guides were so knowledgeable and helpful and our driver Manuel had a terrific sense of humour. We had some fantastic birding at both Mashpi, Le Selva and of course our day trip to Paz de Las Aves Reserve where we were lucky enough to see both the ‘Cock of the Rock’ and the giant antipitta. The devil nose train journey was as thrilling as we hoped and we even got lucky with Cotopaxi and got some lovely clear photos so all in all couldn't ask for more.
• This was an excellent trip from start to finish. Bellavista Lodge was a particular favourite of ours, so tranquil and a superb base to watch birds and wildlife while experiencing real Ecuadorian hospitality. Our guide, really knew his stuff and was so passionate about his job ,in fact all the local guides were excellent. I have to say a special word about Juan, our driver, who was so charming and funny, he really added to the overall enjoyment of the trip. The number and variety of birds we saw was amazing and I would have no hesitation in recommending Ecuador to other keen bird watchers.
Fantastic holiday with more wildlife than I was expecting. The Napo Wildlife Centre was wonderful, we were looked after with such care and attention and our guides’ knowledge of the areas’ and flora and fauna was outstanding, what they didn’t know probably wasn’t worth knowing. The food was so varied and they coped amazingly with my food intolerances, better than most European restaurants!!! Waking up to the sound of the howler monkeys will always live with me as will seeing my first Kinkajou, something I’ve wanted to see for a long time. Thank you for an amazing two weeks.
We had an amazing time in the Galapagos, thank you.We really enjoyed ourselves and will certainly come back to you next year.
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