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Galapagos Solaris + A Taste of Ecuador + Peru Extension

Solaris Yacht, The Galapagos
Triple Cabin, Solaris
Cusco, Peru
Sacsayhuaman, Cusco
Sacsayhuaman, Cusco, Peru
Cathedral of Lima, Peru
Plaza San Martin, Lima, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
Bartolome, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Flightless cormorant, Galapagos Islands
Sea lions, Galapagos Islands
Machu Picchu, Peru
Incl flights, accommodation & transfers
From   £7268 £6768
21 days

Holiday highlights

  • Discover the Galapagos Islands, an exceptional wildlife destination.
  • Take an 8-day cruise aboard the 16-berth Galapagos Solaris motor yacht.
  • Explore Quito, the beautiful Ecuadorian capital high in the Andes.
  • Visit Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city in the sultry tropical lowlands.
  • Visit beautiful Cusco in Peru and explore the ancient Inca ruins at Machu Picchu.
  • Click here to see all 5 Solaris holidays.

View this Itinerary in Photos

This boat offers different cruise itineraries. Select your cruise itinerary here to see the correct holiday details.

Holiday version:  
  • Fly from UK to Quito, the elegant capital of Ecuador situated high in the Andes at 2,800m, close to the famous ‘middle of the world’ equatorial line. You are met at the airport and escorted to your hotel.

    Meals included: Meal included on the transatlantic flight.

  • Spend the day getting to know Quito. See the best of this fascinating city on our half-day optional Colonial Quito excursion, which takes you from the summit of Panecillo Hill, where there are magnificent views of the city, to the iconic main square and Plaza San Francisco. Also visit the church of La Compañia, with its ornate gold-leaf interior.

    Read our blog to find out what to expect on the Colonial Quito excursion.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Further explore Quito or leave the city behind on a choice of excursions into the picturesque Ecuadorian countryside.

    Our optional full-day Otavalo excursion takes you two hours north of Quito, past volcanoes, lakes and mountains, to the old market town of Otavalo, where you can shop for crafts in the colourful market. The excursion also includes a visit to a bird sanctuary, where you can see condors and different species of birds of prey, and to a workshop in Peguche where traditional Andean instruments are made. Return to Quito in the late afternoon.

    If you are more interested in nature and wildlife then the optional full-day Bellavista Cloud Forest excursion is for you. The day begins with an early two-hour drive from Quito to the Bellavista Lodge, stunningly located high in the lush Ecuadorian cloud forest. Spend the day exploring the trails around the lodge, where you can see waterfalls and hummingbirds. Arrive back in Quito in the late afternoon. The Bellavista Cloud Forest excursion can be extended to 2 days, allowing you more time to explore the area.

    For a more luxurious cloud forest option, choose the two-day Mashpi Lodge excursion, with all meals and activities included. 

    Alternatively, take the optional two-day Quilotoa Volcano Hike excursion, for a chance to discover Cotopaxi Volcano, have lunch in a fantastic hacienda with original Inca walls, and hike for 10 kilometres around the rim of the turquoise Quilotoa lake, before visiting a traditional community en route back to Quito.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel, lunch is included on the Otavalo and Bellavista excursions. All meals are included on the two-day excursions.*

    *To do any of the two-day excursions, you may need to extend the length of your holiday.

  • Spend a further day taking in the delights of Quito, or venture out into the beautiful countryside on our optional Bellavista Cloud Forest excursion. The full-day excursion begins with an early two-hour drive from Quito to the Bellavista Lodge, stunningly located high in the lush Ecuadorian cloud forest. Spend the day exploring the trails around the lodge, where you can see waterfalls and hummingbirds. Arrive back in Quito in the late afternoon. The Bellavista Cloud Forest excursion can be extended to two days, allowing you more time to explore the area.

    For a more luxurious cloud forest option, choose the two-day Mashpi Lodge excursion, with all meals and activities included. 

    Alternatively, take the optional two-day Quilotoa Volcano Hike excursion, for a chance to discover Cotopaxi Volcano, have lunch in a fantastic hacienda with original Inca walls, and hike for 10 kilometres around the rim of the turquoise Quilotoa lake, before visiting a traditional community en route back to Quito. 

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch is included on the Bellavista excursion. All meals are included on the two-day excursions.* 

    *To do any of the two-day excursions, you may need to extend the length of your holiday. 

  • Fly to the Galapagos Islands, famous as inspiration for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. This archipelago off Ecuador’s west coast is home to some of the most unique wildlife in the world, as your cruise will help you discover. Board the Galapagos Solaris motor yacht, your home for the next seven nights. In the afternoon, set out for your first excursion to the beautiful Bachas Beach. The sand is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, making it a favourite nesting site for sea turtles. You can sometimes swim off the beach here.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel. All meals are included during the Galapagos cruise.

  • Start the morning with a visit to the Tintoreras, a group of small islands in front of Puerto Villamil, the capital of Isabela Island. Galapagos penguins and sea lions can often be seen on the shore and white-tipped reef sharks are common in the area. After lunch, explore the wetlands close to Puerto Villamil, known for swamps and mangroves which support migrant bird populations. End the day at the giant tortoise breeding centre in Puerto Villamil.

    Meals included: All meals are included during the Galapagos cruise.

  • Explore Punta Moreno, a desolate and pristine landscape of impressive black lava flows with great views of Alcedo and Sierra Azul volcanoes. You can sometimes swim and snorkel here. This area is home to Darwin’s finches, Galapagos doves, penguins, blue-footed boobies and mockingbirds and there is a lagoon with flamingos. In the afternoon, take a tour by zodiac along the cliffs at Tagus Cove, an old pirate hideaway where flightless cormorants and other sea birds are often present, before walking up to a spectacular viewpoint overlooking Darwin Lake and several volcanoes.

    Meals included: All meals are included during the Galapagos cruise.

  • Fernandina is the third largest island in the archipelago and Espinoza Point is located at the northeastern tip of the island. As you disembark on the dried lava, be careful not to step on the marine iguanas piled up together to retain body heat. This area is rich in wildlife with sea lions, flightless cormorants, penguins, herons and Sally Lightfoot crabs living side by side. After lunch, return to Isabela Island and take a panga ride to Punta Vicente Roca, during which you will see impressive geological formations including a large cave and volcanic tuff cones. The cliffs are home to a variety of nesting birds, including blue-footed and Nazca boobies, gulls, storm petrels, and noddy terns. The calmer waters near the cave are a popular area for sea turtles so this is a great place for snorkelling.

    Meals included: All meals are included during the Galapagos cruise.

  • Visit Espumilla Beach, home to a palo santo forest and a popular site for nesting marine turtles. There is also a large population of Sally Lightfoot crabs, which attract hunting herons. There is a great place for snorkelling nearby with an abundance of marine life including octopuses, moray eels, and sharks. After lunch, continue to Puerto Egas, a long, flat, black shoreline where eroded shapes form caves, lava pools and inlets which are home to a large variety of wildlife. It is a great place to see colonies of basking marine iguanas and fur sea lions can often be seen in the inlets.

    Meals included: All meals are included during the Galapagos cruise.

  • Start the day with a visit to Rabida, a unique island with red rocks and sand. The beach is often full with sea lions, and there are good snorkelling opportunities. Follow a trail to a coastal lagoon which is home to a colony of flamingos. For your afternoon excursion, navigate to Chinese Hat, a little island shaped, as its name implies, like a Chinese hat with fascinating lava tunnels and flows. Sea lions, marine iguanas and Galapagos penguins make their home here.

    Meals included: All meals are included during the Galapagos cruise.

  • Morning visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora, the largest town in the Galapagos, to see the work done in the conservation of the islands. A series of walkways takes you through the captive breeding program where you will see juvenile and adult tortoises from different islands and also the final resting place of the late Lonesome George, the very last of his species. Land Iguanas are also bred here. Continue to the highlands of Santa Cruz, driving across the island past beautiful scenery of rolling hills, extinct volcanoes and lush greenery. Visit the Gemelos Craters and a ranch where giant tortoises are found in their natural habitat.

    Meals included: All meals are included during the Galapagos cruise.

  • Make the most of your last day in the magical isles with a visit to North Seymour, an unusually flat and boulder-strewn island that is home to a large colony of magnificent frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, noddy terns and land and marine iguanas, who can regularly be found lazing in the sun. Then transfer to the airport for your flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city located in tropical lowlands.

    Meals included: Breakfast on the Galapagos Solaris.

  • Take a flight from Guayaquil in Ecuador to Lima in Peru. You will be met at the airport and taken to your hotel. 

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel. 

  • Take a morning flight to Cusco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire nestled in the Andes at 3,400 metres above sea level. Cusco is the continent’s oldest continuously-inhabited city and is known for its many wonderful churches and courtyards and of course the magnificent Inca ruins.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Spend the day getting to know Cusco and acclimatising to the altitude. Discover the city’s fascinating Inca heritage on our half-day Inca Cusco excursion, which takes you to several Inca sites in and around Cusco, including the fortress of Sacsayhuaman and Qoricancha, one of the most important temples in the Inca Empire, and to the fascinating San Pedro Market.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • A visit to the Machu Picchu is the highlight of many peoples’ trip to Peru. We offer various ways of experiencing the iconic lost city of the Incas.

    You can take our optional Machu Picchu excursion, which starts with a magical train ride, followed by a guided visit to the ruins. After a good buffet lunch, you have some free time to further explore the ruins independently. Board the mid-afternoon train to Cusco, arriving in the evening. If you would like more time at Machu Picchu, you can also take an optional Night at Machu Picchu, where you check into your hotel, with the option of returning to the ruins on the following day.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch is included on the Machu Picchu excursion. Some hotels in Machu Picchu also include dinner.

  • If you spent a Night at Machu Picchu after the Machu Picchu excursion, you can either spend a relaxing day in the valley or buy an entrance ticket to enter Machu Picchu again. Perhaps walk up to the Sun Gate above the ruins, with fantastic views of the surrounding area and the ruins themselves, climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain (tickets must be purchased in advance, please ask us for details) or visit the Inca drawbridge. Return to Cusco in the evening.

    Alternatively, spend a free day in Cusco and get to know the city better; explore some of the Inca sites or try one of the many adventure sports on offer.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Spend a further day exploring Cusco, or leave the city behind on our optional full-day Sacred Valley excursion, which takes you about 15km north of Cusco, as the condor flies, to the traditional village and archaeological site at Chincheros, above the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas. Then descend into the Sacred Valley and enjoy a good lunch in a country restaurant before continuing to the fascinating ‘living Inca town’ of Ollantaytambo, where you explore some of the most important Inca ruins of the empire. Return to Cusco in the late afternoon. 

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel, lunch is included if you take the Sacred Valley excursion.

  • Your flight touches down in the morning, leaving the afternoon free for you to make the most of a second chance to explore the ‘City of Kings’. Go shopping in the fashionable district of Miraflores, perhaps visiting Larcomar on the cliff tops above the Pacific Ocean. Lima today is home to some of the finest cuisine in all of Latin America, and the city has some excellent seafood restaurants, with ceviche being the most famous dish.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Enjoy your final day in magical Peru. End your trip with the optional Peru on a Plate excursion, where you'll learn about the vast array of produce grown in the country, from exotic Amazonian fruits to the staggering array of potatoes on offer. Then try your hand at cooking up a 3 course meal of  traditional Peruvian dishes, under expert guidance. Alternatively, squeeze in some shopping in the fashionable district of Miraflores, perhaps visiting Larcomar on the cliff tops above the Pacific Ocean, or dine in one of the many excellent seafood restaurants. Later, transfer to the airport for your flight.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel, meal on the transatlantic flight.

  • Your flight arrives back in the UK.

Accommodation

This boat offers different cruise itineraries. Select your cruise itinerary here to see the correct holiday details.

Holiday version:  

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from £159
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Accommodation in Quito

Reina Isabel

Included
Facade, Reina Isabel, Quito, Ecuador
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Overall
77%
77%
Service
80%
80%
Location
64%
64%

Standard Hotel: This 100-room hotel is located in the Mariscal district of Quito, with many restaurants and bars nearby. There is a restaurant, a bar, a small gym and sauna. The rooms are spacious with good en-suite bathrooms and free WiFi.

Why stay here: This hotel is a good base from which to explore Quito, close to lots of restaurants. The rooms are large and attractive.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There is a restaurant, a bar/lounge area, gym and full spa service.

• The hotel offers room service, a 24-hour front desk, a tour information desk, luggage storage and laundry facilities.

About the room

All rooms have free WiFi, air conditioning/heating, a TV, a telephone, a coffee maker (on request), a safety deposit box, a minibar, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available

Standard room

Casona de la Ronda

£160
(£120 Single Supplement)
Facade, Casona de la Ronda, Quito, Ecuador
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Overall
89%
89%
Service
90%
90%
Location
88%
88%
Llama favourite accommodation

Boutique Hotel: This 22-room hotel is well located on the pedestrian La Ronda street in the historic centre. The hotel is located in an old colonial house, with a good restuarant and great views of the old town. The rooms are comfortable with good en-suite bathrooms.

Why stay here: This is a very well-restored colonial house, with a lovely wooden central patio. The rooms are beautiful and, unusually for colonial buildings, the rooms are outward facing rather than into the central patio, so are bright. The location of the La Ronda street is great as there is often lots going on.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There is a restaurant and a bar, an outdoor terrace area and a cosy lobby with a fireplace.

• The hotel offers room service, a 24-hour front desk, luggage storage, shops on site and laundry facilities.

About the room

All rooms have air conditioning, WiFi, a TV, a telephone, a coffee/tea maker, a mini bar, a safety deposit box, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available

Swiss Business Advantage room
 

Swissotel

£100
(£100 Single Supplement)
Exterior, Swissotel, Quito, Ecuador
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Overall
89%
89%
Service
89%
89%
Location
78%
78%

Superior Hotel: This 250-room hotel is one of the top hotels in Quito, with five restaurants, a spa, indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools, a fitness centre and 13 treatment rooms. The large, comfortable rooms are well appointed with good en-suite bathrooms and WiFi is available for a fee. The hotel is located in one of Quito’s most prestigious areas with excellent shopping nearby.

Why stay here? This is an excellent hotel with all the comfort you would expect from a top city hotel.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas for a fee.

• There are two bar and lounge areas, five different restaurants serving a wide range of cuisines, an indoor and outdoor pool, tennis courts, a gym, a full working spa with a steam bath and jacuzzi.

• The hotel offers room service, a 24-hour front desk, luggage storage, laundry facilities and dry cleaning. There is also an ATM/cash machine on site.

About the room

All rooms have air conditioning, WiFi, a TV, a telephone, a coffee/tea maker, a mini bar, a safety deposit box, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available

Standard room

Accommodation in Guayaquil

Hotel Unipark

Included
Facade, Hotel Unipark, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Overall
77%
77%
Service
74%
74%
Location
87%
87%

Standard Hotel: This well-located hotel looks onto a park, and is one block from the cathedral and 3 blocks from the promenade on the river. There are eateries in the hotel, a gym and the comfortable rooms have air conditioning and en-suite bathrooms.

Why stay here? This hotel has a great location and very comfortable rooms, making it a perfect base for exploring Guayaquil.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There is a restaurant, cafe and sushi bar, and a gym.

• The hotel offers room service and laundry facilities.

About the room

All rooms have free WiFi, air conditioning, a TV, a safety deposit box, a mini bar, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available

Standard room

Wyndham Hotel Guayaquil

£35
(£35 Single Supplement)
Wyndham Hotel, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Overall
75%
75%
Service
76%
76%
Location
84%
84%

Superior Hotel: Situated minutes from the Santa Ana Hill and the Malecon 2000 promenade, this modern high rise hotel overlooks the River Guayas. Accommodation is modern and spacious, and all rooms are en-suite with wifi, digital safes.

Why upgrade: This hotel boasts extremely comfortable rooms in a modern style. There are complimentary perks and the location is very convenient.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available free of charge

• Restaurant and a bar

• 24 hour front desk with bilingual staff

• Rooftop pool, as well as a spa and fitness center on site

About the room

All rooms are ensuite with free wifi, digital safes, mini-bars and satellite television. Most rooms have river views.

Room types available

Deluxe room

Accommodation in Lima

Casa Andina Select Miraflores

Included
Exterior, Casa Andina Select Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Overall
81%
81%
Service
85%
85%
Location
82%
82%

Standard Hotel: The Casa Andina Select hotel boasts a great location in Lima's Miraflores neighbourhood. It has a modern, functional decor and the rooms are light and comfortable. 

Why stay here: The hotel offers great efficient service and many convenient amenities. Live entertainment is often held in the lobby area.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi access.

• There is a restaurant and a bar.

• There is a gym, sauna, jacuzzi and salon.

About the room

All rooms have ensuite bathrooms, tea and coffee and are light and spacious.

Room types available

Superior room.

AC Miraflores by Marriott

£70
(£70 Single Supplement)
Llama favourite accommodation

***SPECIAL OFFER: Passengers travelling in 2022 have a free upgrade to an Ocean View Room***

Superior Hotel: This 139-room hotel in Miraflores has ocean views and excellent facilities including a European-style bar, rooftop restaurant, cocktail lounge and café. Rooms are stylish and well appointed, featuring luxury bedding and elegant bathrooms. The hotel has a good location in Miraflores, next to the upscale Larcomar shopping centre and nearby several attractions including Kennedy Park, Costa Verde and the Bridge of Sighs. There is a 24-hour fitness centre and high-speed WiFi throughout the hotel.   

Why stay here? This elegant hotel offers a range of great dining options including Lima’s only rooftop restaurant that overlooks the ocean ​​and boasts leadership by one of Peru’s best chefs.

Hotel facilities

  • Free WiFi is available in all areas.

  • There is a European and Peruvian fusion restaurant, rooftop restaurant, cocktail lounge, cafe and deli.

  • 24-hour fitness centre

  • The hotel offers room service, 24-hour front desk, luggage storage, express check-in and shops.

About the room

All rooms have air-conditioning, soundproof windows, WiFi, a TV, a telephone, a coffee/tea maker, a mini bar, a safety deposit box, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room type

Deluxe City View Room*

*NB. Passengers travelling in 2022 have a free upgrade to an Ocean View Room.

Accommodation in Cusco

Los Portales

Included
Exterior, Los Portales, Cusco, Peru
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Overall
69%
69%
Service
81%
81%
Location
85%
85%

Standard Hotel: Located opposite the Inca Temple of the Sun, this comfortable hotel has a restaurant and bar. The rooms are simple but comfortable, with en-suite bathrooms.

Why stay here? This hotel boasts simple but stylish décor and a good location in the historic centre of Cusco.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There is a restaurant and a bar

• The hotel offers room service, a 24-hour front desk, a tour information desk, luggage storage, a gift shop and laundry facilities.

About the room

All rooms have free WiFi, air conditioning, a TV, a telephone, a safety deposit box, a minibar, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available

Superior room

Casa Andina Premium Cusco

£125
(£125 Single Supplement)
Entrance, Casa Andina Premium Cusco, Peru
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Overall
90%
90%
Service
91%
91%
Location
96%
96%

Superior Hotel: This 94-room hotel is located three blocks from the main square. The beautifully restored colonial mansion has lovely public areas and a good restaurant. The comfortable rooms are around the three interior patios.

Why stay here?  This hotel is a lovely colonial building with attractive courtyards where you can get away from the city bustle. The rooms are comfortable, and many of them have colonial features.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There is a restaurant and a bar and an outdoor terrace area.

• The hotel offers room service, a 24-hour front desk, luggage storage, shops on site, laundry facilities and dry cleaning. There is also an ATM/cash machine on site.

About the room

All rooms have air conditioning, WiFi is available for a fee, a TV, a telephone, a coffee/tea maker, a mini bar, a safety deposit box, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available
Superior rooms, Imperial suite

Hotel Aranwa

£200
(£200 Single Supplement)
Courtyard, Hotel Aranwa, Cusco, Peru
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Overall
88%
88%
Service
89%
89%
Location
95%
95%
Llama favourite accommodation

Boutique Hotel: This 43-room hotel is built in an elegant 16th century colonial house with a beautiful central patio. The hotel has a good restaurant and bar. The rooms are very comfortable, and well appointed with oxygen systems and underfloor heating in the bathrooms. 

Why stay here? This hotel is a very beautiful colonial house which makes excellent use of the central courtyard. The rooms are extremely comfortable.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There is a restaurant, bar and outdoor terrace area.

• The hotel offers room service, a 24-hour front desk, a tour information desk, luggage storage, shops on site, laundry facilities and dry cleaning.

About the room

All rooms have free WiFi, a telephone, a mini bar, a safety deposit box, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available

Deluxe room
Classic room

Accommodation in Bellavista cloud forest (optional excursion)

Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge

Optional Excursion
Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve & Lodge, Ecuador
Llama Travel Customer Ratings
Overall
85%
85%
Service
94%
94%
Location
94%
94%

Standard Lodge: The 21-room Bellavista Lodge is located high in the cloud forest at 2,200 metres, from where there are amazing views. The lodge is in the Tandayapa Valley, where over 330 species of birds have been identified. Accommodation is in either the dome or in one of the attractive adjacent buildings. Rooms are simple, but have electricity and hot showers. All meals from lunch on the first day to lunch on the second day are included at the lodge.

Why stay here? The cloud forest is beautifully atmospheric and a great place for bird and nature enthusiasts. Spending a night here allows you to explore more of the trails surrounding the lodge, which range from easy to challenging. You also have a better opportunity to spot the 16 species of hummingbird which visit the lodge and can be seen at close range at the feeders.

Read our customer's blog to find out what to expect at Bellavista

Lodge facilities

• Meals are served in the lodge restaurant, which has panoramic windows.

• Drinking water is provided.

• The lodge offers a laundry service.

About the room

Heaters and extra blankets are available and rooms have en-suite bathrooms with hot showers.

Room types available

Standard room

Upgrading to a suite room is possible for an extra cost

Accommodation in Mashpi Lodge (optional excursion)

Mashpi Lodge

Optional Excursion
Exterior, Mashpi Lodge
Llama Travel Customer Ratings
Overall
86%
86%
Service
93%
93%
Location
90%
90%

Superior Lodge: The Mashpi Lodge is a sleek, modern hotel designed to make you feel like you are one with the tropical cloud forest surroundings. En-suite rooms all boast floor to ceiling windows, with views of the cloud forest and mountains. There is WiFi, and all meals and soft drinks are included at the on-site fine dining restaurant, and tasteful lounge and bar areas, as well as a spa. There are also numerous activities available at the lodge, from the intriguing sky bike, where you pedal your way across the top of the forest on a cable, to the dragonfly, a relaxing cable system that allows you to enjoy the forest from above.   

Why stay here?  The setting here is second-to-none, with the lodge immersed in the tropical cloud forest, and rooms boasting great views. Furthermore there are so many ways to get to know the forest from the guided nature walks to the unique sky bike.

Hotel facilities

• All meals and soft drinks included

• Fine dining restaurant

• Spa

• WiFi

• Observation tower

• Sky bike & Dragonfly open-top cable car

About the room

All rooms boast fantastic picture windows, en-suite bathrooms with luxury amenities, WiFi and safe deposit boxes.

Room types available

Wayra room

Upgrading to a Yaku Suite is also possible for an extra cost

Accommodation in Machu Picchu (optional excursion)

El Mapi

Optional Excursion
Entrance, El MaPi, Aguas Calientes, Peru
Llama Travel Customer Ratings
Overall
74%
74%
Service
71%
71%
Location
89%
89%

Standard Hotel: A good 90-room hotel, located on the main street of Aguas Calientes. The hotel reception is constructed from recycled materials. There is a restaurant, bar, a small garden and a spa. Rooms are comfortable with en-suite bathrooms and free WiFi.

Why stay here?  This is a very good standard hotel, with clean and simple rooms, and it is a great base for visiting Machu Picchu.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge

• There is a restaurant, a bar and a spa

• The hotel offers room service, a 24-hour front desk, a tour information desk, luggage storage, laundry facilities, wake up calls and binoculars are available for rent

About the room

Rooms are simply yet comfortably decorated, in a smart modern style. All rooms have free WiFi, a telephone, air-conditioning, a TV, a safety deposit box, a minibar, a hair dryer (on request) and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available

Standard room

Machu Picchu Pueblo Inkaterra

Optional Excursion
Eco Center, Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo, Aguas Calientes, Peru
Llama Travel Customer Ratings
Overall
83%
83%
Service
91%
91%
Location
88%
88%
Llama favourite accommodation

Superior Hotel: A beautiful, rustic-style hotel set in five hectares of tropical gardens and orchid trails. The 85 rooms are located in small clusters in the hotel grounds and have en-suite bathrooms. There is a small outdoor pool, spa and free WiFi in the common areas. The price includes a good dinner and a guided nature tour.

Why stay here?  This is our favourite hotel at Machu Picchu, with large attractive rooms. It is worth spending time exploring the beautiful gardens or taking one of the included nature tours. A unique offering is the sanctuary for the endangered spectacled bear, endemic to  the Andes region. 

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There is a cafe, restaurant, bar and garden. There is also a spa and sauna offering various treatments including massages, hot stone treatments and body wraps.

• The hotel offers room service, a 24-hour front desk, a tour information desk, a gift shop, luggage storage, laundry facilities and binoculars are available for rent.

About the room

All rooms are spacious with air-conditioning, separate seating areas, a telephone and en-suite bathrooms. Some rooms also have WiFi and fireplaces.

Room types available

Superior room

Sanctuary Lodge

Optional Excursion
Entrance, Sanctuary Lodge, Machu Picchu
Llama Travel Customer Ratings
Overall
91%
91%
Service
91%
91%
Location
99%
99%

Superior Hotel: This 31-room hotel, located just outside the ruins, is the closest hotel to Machu Picchu. There is a small garden and the views of the surrounding mountains are wonderful. The rooms are comfortable with en-suite bathrooms, and free WiFi. Mountain view rooms are available for a supplement. All meals are included.

Why stay here? The reason to stay here is the amazing location, but the excellent service and attractive gardens mean that a stay here is special in any case. 

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There are two restaurants, including the Tampu, an eatery exclusive to hotel guests, and a bar/lounge area. There is also a spa offering a range of massages and aromatherapy treatments. There are also beautiful gardens with landscape views.

• The hotel offers room service, a 24-hour front desk, a tour information desk, luggage storage, a gift shop and laundry facilities.

About the room

Rooms are comfortable and well equipped. Rooms with views are available for a supplement. All rooms have air-conditioning, free WiFi, a TV, a telephone, a mini bar, a safety deposit box, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available

Standard room
Standard patio room
Superior Terrace room
Deluxe room (with mountain view)
Deluxe Terrace room (with mountain view)

Excursions

This boat offers different cruise itineraries. Select your cruise itinerary here to see the correct holiday details.

Holiday version:  

Excursions Package

Cusco Excursion Package Save £91

Take the Inca Cusco, Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu excursions together for a discounted price.

from £499
Ecuador Bellavista Cloud Forest 3 Excursion Package Save £36

Take the Colonial Quito, Otavalo and Bellavista Cloud Forest excursions together for a discounted price.

from £359

Colonial Quito

£95
La Ronda, Quito, Ecuador
Llama Travel Customer Rating
83%
83%

Discover Quito's colonial heritage on this half day excursion through the city’s most historic sites. Stroll through the Plaza San Francisco, admire the gold leaf interior of La Compañia church and stand alongside the famous statue of the virgin atop Panecillo hill, and take in the wonderful views of the city and surrounding volcanoes.

Read our blog for a first-hand account of what to expect on the Colonial Quito excursion. 

Full Description:

This half-day guided excursion begins in the morning with a trip to the 3,016 metre-high Panecillo hill (little sugarloaf), which offers fantastic views of Quito stretched out below, gloriously bordered by rising volcanoes. Then descend into the city and visit Quito’s main square, where you can admire the cathedral with its striking sugar white tower, the former archbishop’s palace and the historic arcade of the working presidential Carondelet palace, with the Ecuadorian tricolour proudly waving on top. After exploring the square, the tour moves to the church of La Compañia; Quito’s most impressive church with an overwhelmingly ornate gold-leaf interior and an elaborate façade carved out of volcanic rock. This church is the first and best example of Latin American baroque architecture. Next visit Plaza San Francisco, another landmark of Quito, which has been a regional market since pre-Columbian times; nowadays it houses flocks of city pigeons. The square takes its name from the Church and Convent of St. Francis, one of Quito’s most iconic buildings. Moving from a former market to a current one, visit La Ronda, perhaps the most authentic and representative street of the historic centre. In this narrow pedestrian street with its galleries, bars and local flavour you can find a selection of traditional market stalls and visit artisanal workshops.
 
Please note on Sundays, this excursion takes place in the afternoon.

Otavalo

£160
Otavalo Market, Ecuador
Llama Travel Customer Rating
77%
77%

Visit a traditional crafts market and learn more about Ecuadorian life away from the city on this full-day excursion from Quito. Buy souvenirs in the market town of Otavalo amidst beautiful countryside, see behind the scenes at a local workshop which makes Andean instruments and visit a bird sanctuary home to condors and birds of prey.

Full Description:

The tour begins with a drive north from Quito, making a brief stop as you cross the equator, and continuing to a bird sanctuary, where you can see majestic condors and various raptor birds. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant in Peguche before visiting  an artisan project in the town which provides an insight into the culture of the Otavalo people. Otavalo is known for its tapestries and here you can learn about the weaving process from start to finish, as well as seeing a typical indigenous house, complete with a medicinal plant garden. The next stop is the Andean instrument workshop, followed by a drive to the Otavalo market, commonly known as the best indigenous market in all of Ecuador. Officially known as the Plaza Poncho daily crafts market, you can pick up souvenirs like pan flutes and the iconic, traditionally woven textiles. The town of Otavalo is not particularly attractive in terms of its architecture, but it is set in beautiful countryside close to San Pablo Lake and overlooked by the Imbabura volcano, which is affectionately known as ‘Taita’ ('Holy Father mountain') by the indigenous people, and plays an important role in many local legends. After exploring the market and browsing for souvenirs, you take a 90 minute journey back to Quito, arriving in the evening.

Bellavista Cloud Forest

£140
Birdlife, Bellavista Cloud Forest, Ecuador
Llama Travel Customer Rating
85%
85%

The spectacular private reserve of Bellavista Cloud Forest protects several hundred hectares of mysterious fairy-tale cloud forest; full of ferns, lichens, bromeliads, orchids, waterfalls and hundreds of species of birds. Hike through the myriad nature trails and watch as tiny hummingbirds gather at the feeders and flutter through the landscape on this beautiful full-day excursion.

Read our customer's blog to find out what to expect at Bellavista

Full Description:

You leave Quito early and are driven through spectacular scenery. After two hours, you arrive at the Bellavista Lodge, high in the cloud forest at 2,200 metres, from where there are amazing views. After breakfast, take a guided walk to explore the forest and look for birdlife. You then have the rest of the day free to explore at your own pace. Enjoy the area around the lodge, where the feeders attract up to 16 varieties of hummingbirds, which can be seen at close range. Alternatively, follow the self-guided trails, which offer the chance to get to know the ecology and birds of the cloud forest. You leave Bellavista in the afternoon, getting back to Quito in the late afternoon. This excursion includes breakfast and lunch at the lodge. Note: heavy rain is not unusual and the paths around the lodge can be slippery. The last part of the drive to Bellavista is on a bumpy, unmade road.

Bellavista Cloud Forest (Two Days)

£260
(£30 Single Supplement)
Toucan Barbets, Bellavista Cloud Forest, Ecuador
Llama Travel Customer Rating
85%
85%

Spend an unforgettable night at the Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve on this two-day excursion, staying in a rustic lodge at the very edge of the cloud forest. Hike through the nature trails that crisscross the reserve and watch the sunrise and the mist lift from the valley below as the magical forest comes to life. You are in the cloud forest at dawn and dusk, the best times for bird watching.

Read our customer's blog to find out what to expect at Bellavista

Full Description:

If you would like to explore the cloud forest further, our two-day excursion includes a night at the Bellavista Lodge. You leave Quito after breakfast, getting to Bellavista mid-morning. As you have almost two full days at the lodge, you have more time to explore some of the longer, more adventurous trails, perhaps visiting one of the four beautiful waterfalls at Bellavista. One guided walk is included on each day, and you can then follow the self-guided trails from the lodge. Horse riding in the area is also available for an extra cost.

You return to Quito in the evening of your second day at Bellavista. All meals from breakfast on the first day to lunch on the second day are included at the lodge. You will check out of your hotel in Quito for this night. On some occasions, this excursion will extend your itinerary in Ecuador: an extra cost will apply in this case.

 

Quilotoa Volcano Hike (Two Days)

£349
(£50 Single Supplement)
Quilotoa Lake, Ecuador

Spend two days getting to know Ecuador’s volcanoes, volcanic crater lakes and Andean communities. From Quito, visit the snow-capped Cotopaxi Volcano, standing proudly at a height of 5,897 metres. Have lunch in San Agustin Hacienda, built on the site of an Inca fortress with well-preserved original Inca walls, then continue to the iconic Quilotoa Crater to settle into your hotel and watch the sunset over the lake in the enormous caldera. The following day, hike all the way around the lake, then visit the indigenous community of Tigua to discover their handmade masks and paintings, before returning to Quito in the evening.

Full Description:

In the morning, get picked up from your hotel in Quito and drive for two hours along the Avenue of the Volcanoes to Cotopaxi National Park. The symmetrical and glaciated cone of Cotopaxi Volcano makes it one of the most prominent peaks in the entire Andean range. After admiring the beautiful views that Cotopaxi has to offer, continue to the historical San Agustin de Callo Hacienda for a delicious local lunch, with views of the surrounding peaks. Nestled in the foothills of Cotopaxi on the site of an Inca fortress, relics of the hacienda's history still remain, including the original Inca walls which have been preserved and carefully blended with the more recent architecture. The central courtyard showcases the Inca and colonial Spanish styles side by side, and entire rooms from the original palace still exist, including what is now a chapel and the main dining room. Then, continue to Quilotoa to settle into a local hotel. Like all accommodation in Quilotoa, the hotel is basic, but well situated for spending a night before a trek around the lake. Climb to the viewpoint and watch the ever-changing colours of the water of the lake in the giant crater, which stretches across three kilometres, as the sun sets over the lake, then have dinner at the hotel.

The next morning, have an early breakfast then begin your 10-kilometre hike around the crater, with incredible views of the surrounding countryside and the different hues of the turquoise lake several hundreds of metres below you. Pass locals on the trail walking home and perhaps hear villagers playing drums in the valleys. A packed lunch is included for you to eat when enjoying the views of the lake. En route back to Quito, stop to visit Tigua, a traditional village where the indigenous community create beautiful paintings and masks which you can buy as a souvenir. You arrive back in Quito in the late evening.

The trek is of moderate difficulty, but due to the high altitude and sun, a good level of fitness is required. If you would like to take the excursion alongside other excursions from Quito (e.g. the Bellavista Cloud Forest or Mashpi Lodge), you may need to spend an extra night or two in Quito.

Mashpi Lodge (Two days)

£799
(£500 Single Supplement)
Hummingbird, Mashpi Lodge, Choco Cloud Forest, Ecuador
Llama Travel Customer Rating
86%
86%

This Mashpi Lodge excursion provides a luxurious alternative to the two day Bellavista Cloud Forest excursion and takes you deeper into the cloud forest. Located on the Mashpi Reserve, 110 kilometres north of Quito, the Mashpi Lodge is nestled amongst tropical rainforest. During your stay all meals, guided activities, like birdwatching, nature walks and rain gear are included. Spend one night and two days getting to know the forest and its inhabitants.

Full Description:

Set off on a transfer from your hotel in Quito in the morning, and travel approximately 3 hours north to the 1300 hectare Mashpi Reserve. Once there, settle into the incredible lodge surroundings and explore the forest.

Mashpi allows you to aquaint yourself with the tropical cloud forest at all levels. The observation tower provides a magnificent bird's eye view of the reserve, while the unique sky bike gives you the oppportunity to pedal your way along a cable suspended above the trees. There is also the option to take a ride on the Dragonfly open air cable car, an experience which is available at an extra cost. Getting to know the cloud forest at ground level is just as intriguing as it is from above, and guided nature walks will introduce you to the life forms which call the forest home.  There are also lectures - particularly interesting as Mashpi is a conservation research organisation too. At the end of a hard day exploring, enjoy a meal of Ecuadorian influenced cuisine, in the chic on-site fine dining resaurant. 

Situated at an altitude of nearly 930 metres, the tropical cloud forest bursts with spectacular flora. Bromeliads, ferns and endangered orchid species are found in abundance, and with them a host of birds and animals. The reserve is home to over 400 bird species, 35 of which are endemic, as well as plenty of amphibian, reptile, and monkey species. 

Certain activities are included during your time at Mashpi, and all meals, served at the on-site fine dining restaurant, are also included. 

On your second day, you have an early start from the lodge to observe the different species of birds that flock close to the hotel in the early morning light. Enjoy a walk down the road looking out for the fascinating mixed-species feeding flocks, sometimes in a single flock you can see over 20 different species. After breakfast, perhaps take a hike to the 50-metre-high Copal waterfall on a beautiful trail surrounded by moss-covered trees, bromeliads and orchids. The walk takes 2 hours, after which you return to the lodge. You depart the lodge at approximately 11.30am and return to Quito, arriving mid-afternoon. A packed lunch is provided. 

It is possible to extend your stay to a 3 or 4 day programme, please ask us for details.

Inca Cusco

£90
Sacsayhuamán, Cusco, Peru
Llama Travel Customer Rating
85%
85%

Start by discovering modern-day Cusco with a visit to the bustling San Pedro Market, a local market where you can sample exotic fruit and soak up the colours, flavours, smells and traditions of Cusco, then step back in time for a guided tour of Cusco’s most interesting ancient Inca sites. Visit Qorikancha, the Inca temple of the sun and explore the incredible citadel and fortress of Sacsayhuaman, which stands above the city and was the location for a vital battle between the Incas and the Conquistadors.

Full Description:

The half-day tour begins with a visit to the San Pedro Market, where you can find traditionally-dressed vendors selling everything from fresh fruit and meats to pachamama dolls, souvenir knick-knacks and coca leaves, thought to help with altitude sickness. Get lost in the labyrinth-like market, where all your sense will come into play. If you’re feeling brave, try haggling for a snack as the local ‘caseritas’ compete with each other to get you to their stall. Continue to Qorikancha Temple, an Inca palace in the heart of the city, dedicated to the worship of the sun god Inti and the most sacred building in the empire. Admire the fine Inca stonework before entering the church of Santo Domingo, which was built on the site of the Inca temple by Francisco Pizzaro after the Conquistadors raided and melted down the gold from the original temple. Continue ascending to the epic Sacsayhuaman fortress, site of an infamous battle between the Incas and Conquistadors, strategically located at the top of a hill with glorious views overlooking the city. When you can tear yourself away from the panorama, take a moment to appreciate the fantastic masonry of the fortress, which is built from enormous stone blocks, some weighing up to 150 tonnes, which the Incas expertly shaped. The tour finishes at the Plaza de Armas, where you have time to take photos of the impressive main square before returning to your hotel.

The Inca Cusco excursion includes the Cusco tourist ticket, which gives you access to many additional sites in and around the city.

Sacred Valley

£90
Chinchero ruins, Sacred Valley
Llama Travel Customer Rating
94%
94%

Discover the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a Peruvian paradise where the bubbling Urubamba River weaves its way between terraced slopes, Inca ruins and dreamy villages with the snowcapped Andes towering above. On this full-day excursion, visit the colonial village of Chincheros and the superb Inca ruins of Ollantaytambo.

Full Description:

The full-day tour of the Sacred Valley departs Cusco in the morning, visiting Chincheros, a small village located high up on the windswept Andean plains. Attend a demonstration where the townsfolk show how to spin, weave, thread and dye fabrics using traditional Andean techniques. Chincheros was believed to be the mythical birthplace of the rainbow, and with the bright bunting strewn across the streets and the colorful attire of the villagers, this will probably be one of the most colourful places you will see in Peru. Perhaps try your hand at weaving the cloth yourself before exploring the archeological ruins in the area and the charming local village. Descend into the Sacred Valley for lunch in a country restaurant, and then travel to the fascinating town of Ollantaytambo, an Inca military, religious, and agricultural hub. Ollantaytambo is now a ‘living Inca town’ and the best surviving example of Inca town planning, with narrow cobblestone streets that have been continuously inhabited since the 13th century. Ollantaytambo is also well known as the site of many fascinating Inca ruins, including the Ollantaytambo fortress on the outskirts of the settlement, where the Incas successfully, albeit briefly, held off the Conquistadors, and the semi complete, but no less impressive, temples of the sun and moon. Explore the superb ruins and old-world town before returning to Cusco in the evening. 

If you would like to spend more time in the Sacred Valley, you can extend your stay by  taking the Two Nights in the Sacred Valley excursion; see below for more details. If you need help deciding,  you can see our blog post Should I take the One or Two Day Excursion Option? 

Machu Picchu

£410
Machu Picchu, Peru
Llama Travel Customer Rating
96%
96%

Rediscovered in 1911, the Inca site of Machu Picchu is one of the great wonders of the world. The archaeological ruins combine perfectly with the incredible mountain scenery to present an unforgettable sight. The Spanish never found and looted the site which explains its excellent state of conservation. Explore the iconic lost city on a day trip to the ruins, returning to Cusco in the evening. You can also spend a night near the ruins to extend your stay.

Full Description:

On the full-day excursion to Machu Picchu, you depart early in the morning, taking a bus and then the Vistadome train, with wonderful views of snowy peaks of the Andes as the train descends the beautiful Urubamba Valley. The vegetation becomes increasingly tropical as you approach the cloud forest below Machu Picchu.

The journey from Cusco to Machu Picchu normally takes around four hours, arriving at around 10am. Then take a shuttle bus for the 20-minute journey up the switch-back road to the entrance of Machu Picchu. You have an early buffet lunch next to the ruins, before entering the site at around midday. You are immediately confronted by a combination of stunning mountain scenery and well-preserved Inca ruins, making this one of the wonders of the world. These were only rediscovered in 1911 after lying abandoned for centuries.

Take a fascinating guided tour of the site, visiting the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Three Windows and the Intihuatana, which the Incas used to ‘tie’ the sun to the earth at the winter solstice. 

You board the late-afternoon train to Cusco, arriving in the late evening. Alternatively, spend a night at Machu Picchu to give yourself more time to get to know the area.

Night at Machu Picchu

£45
(£40 Single Supplement)
Machu Picchu, Peru

After taking the Machu Picchu excursion, spend a night in the shadow of one of the wonders of the world in a choice of three hotels: the cosy El Mapi; the enchanting Machu Picchu Pueblo; and the sophisticated Sanctuary Lodge, which is sensationally located just outside the ruins. Staying overnight gives you the opportunity to re-enter and further explore Machu Picchu the following day.

Full Description:

By spending a night near the ruins, you have more time to explore the site in the afternoon, which is often the best time, with fewer people present. Then descend to the valley below and check in to your hotel. Llama Travel offers a choice of three hotels you can stay in:

The El Mapi, a comfortable hotel situated on the main street of Aguas Calientes, is included in the excursion price. A stylish and contemporary hotel set among pleasant landscaped gardens, the El Mapi has simple, yet comfortable, rooms which are well furnished and decorated. There is also a restaurant, bar and a small garden and the hotel is also conveniently located close to buses that depart for the ruins. The price includes dinner in the hotel.

For a supplement* you can stay in the Machu Picchu Pueblo, a lovely colonial-style hotel set amongst 12 acres of tropical gardens filled with hummingbirds, butterflies and orchids. Rooms are in small clusters in the grounds and are comfortable, spacious and all unique, with lovely views of the forested gardens and a homely touch added by alpaca blankets and comfortable seating areas. There are small outdoor hot tubs and Andean saunas, and the price also includes a good dinner at the restaurant. Guided nature tours of the orchid trails and bird watching tours are also included in the price.

For a supplement* you can upgrade further to the Sanctuary Lodge, sensationally located just outside the Inca ruins, granting easier access to Machu Picchu. Rooms are comfortable and well furnished, there is a small interior garden with a variety of flowers and orchids and stunning panoramic views of the mountains. There are also two restaurants and a bar, and all meals are included during your stay.

After a relaxing night in the valley, you can also purchase a ticket for a second entrance to Machu Picchu, so you are free to make the most of another day in the ruins. Perhaps stroll to the Sun Gate or to the Inca Drawbridge, or – for the more adventurous – climb to the summits of either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain for spectacular views across the lost city.

*Please ask us for details regarding hotel upgrade prices at Machu Picchu

This boat offers different cruise itineraries. Select your cruise itinerary here to see the correct holiday details.

Holiday version:  

2022

Prices include

Return flights from the UK; any internal flights; accommodation (bed and breakfast except where indicated); transfers; service of guides and local reps, UK airport taxes.

Prices do not include

Any optional excursions, travel insurance, tips.

Holidays without international flights

The above prices include return international flights from the UK. If you wish to arrange your own flights, we will reduce our prices accordingly. The reduction depends on when you travel, please call us for details.

Departure Airport

Flights are scheduled to be from London. Other airports may be possible, although a supplement sometimes applies.

Holiday Information

All the practical information you need regarding your trip is found here. From how to prepare before you leave and travelling to your destination, to advice on travelling within your country of choice.

About Your Holiday

  • Prices listed are per person and based on two persons sharing a room and include all flights from the UK and within destination, service of guides and reps (please note that tips are not included), accommodation and all transfers and excursions listed in the itinerary. Where applicable, entrance fees, taxes and charges are included in our prices at the rates advised to us at the time of preparation. An adjustment will be made to your price if any of these change before your holiday. UK airport taxes are included.

  • All the flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

  • In many cases, the best way to describe our holidays is flexible tours, so you can choose where to visit by combining different extensions and excursions, and which hotels to stay in. In most cases, you will be with other Llama Travellers, but not necessarily the same people throughout. This allows you to get to know like-minded people, but not have to spend all your time with the same group. If we don't have anyone else taking a particular part of a holiday, we will normally operate this just for you.

    In some cases, we operate more traditional tours, with the same Llama Travel group travelling together for the majority of the holiday, which allows land travel from one location to another. This is particularly the case for our European tours, and in this case we may have a minimum number of travellers required to operate the group.

    Excursions are usually taken together with other Llama Travel customers in groups of no more than 18 people. If we have more than 18 booked, we operate two groups. These will usually be in English, although in some places, especially on wildlife excursions, the excursions may be operated by one of our local partners, so you may be with people other than Llama Travel customers and the group may be a mix of English and other languages. In these cases, group sizes can sometimes be larger. If you would like to know the likely situation for your holiday, please ask us and we will be able to check. Transfers may be with more than 18 people.

    We get a wide range of people taking our holidays, with probably the largest group being couples aged in their forties to sixties, or even older. However, we also have a large number of customers in their twenties and thirties, especially for some of the more active holidays. What unites everyone is a sense of curiosity and a desire to discover new cultures, landscapes and wildlife. Although most of our customers travel with friends or family, we also have quite a few single travellers who are happy to mix and match as described above.

    Group Size
    Most holidays can operate with a minimum of 2 passengers, but some holidays have a higher minimum group size. If we have fewer than the minimum number of passengers, we will let you know two months before departure. In this case, we will refund you any monies paid or offer you an alternative option. It may be possible to operate the trip for fewer than 4 passengers for an additional cost.

    All holidays in Europe have a minimum group size of 4 passengers, except Iceland which has a minimum group size of 6passengers.
    All holidays in Namibia or South Africa have a minimum group size of 6 passengers.
    All holidays in Kenya have a minimum group size of 6 passengers.
    All holidays in Costa Rica and Mexico have a minimum group size of 4 passengers.

Booking Conditions

How To Book

  • To book a holiday or discuss your requirements, please call us on 020 7263 3000. We can usually confirm availability immediately, but may need to check with a supplier first.

  • You can pay your deposit by bank transfer, cheque, standard UK debit card or non-premium UK personal Visa / MasterCard credit card. Balance payments can be made by bank transfer or cheque. We do not accept cards for balance payments. We are unable to accept cash.

Before You Go

  • To issue some tickets, we require passport details and ages when you book. If you subsequently change your passport, please let us know as soon as possible.

    Latin America

    Visas are not required in advance for British citizens for any Llama Travel Latin American destination. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the appropriate consulate: Peru (020 7838 9223); Ecuador (020 7451 0040); Argentina (020 7318 1340); Chile (020 7222 2361); Brazil (020 7747 4500); Colombia (020 7589 5037); Bolivia (020 7235 4248); Costa Rica (020 7706 8844); Guatemala (020 7351 3042); Mexico (020 7499 8586), Panama (020 7409 2255).

    If you are flying via another country, especially the US, you need to comply with the appropriate immigration requirements. Please ask us for details.

    You need a full 10 year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum period needed if you are transiting in Europe.

    There is an entry fee to enter Chile for citizens of Australia, the US, Canada and some other countries which must be paid upon arrival. There is also an entry fee for US and Canadian citizens visiting Argentina, which must be paid in advance online.

    If children are not travelling with both parents, some countries require a letter of consent to enter or depart. Please consult the appropriate consulate.

    Africa

    British nationals can enter Morocco, South Africa, Namibia and Botswana for a visit of up to 90 days without a visa. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the appropriate consulate: Morocco (020 7724 0624); South Africa (020 7451 7299); Namibia (020 7636 6244); Botswana (020 7499 0031). You need a passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. For South Africa, you need a passport with two blank pages.

    For Zimbabwe, British nationals will be granted with a KAZA Univisa (valid for travel between Zimbabwe and Zambia and day trips into Botswana) visa, for a fee (US$ 50 per person, paid in cash). This is easiest to obtain upon arrival at the airport or border post, rather than via an agency in the UK. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask Zimbabwe consulate (020 7836 7755). You need a passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK.

    For Kenya, British nationals require a visa, which must be obtained online in advance. You can apply for single entry and transit visas on the evisas website. For more information, see the website of the Kenya High Commission. Children aged 16 and below do not require a visa to enter Kenya. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the Kenya consulate (020 7636 2371). You need a passport with two blank pages, valid for six months after your return to the UK.

    If children are not travelling with both parents, some countries require a letter of consent to enter or depart. Please consult the appropriate consulate. In South Africa and Namibia, children under 18 must also carry an unabridged birth certificate.

    You need a full 10 year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum period needed if you are transiting in Europe.

    To issue some tickets, we require passport details and ages when you book. If you subsequently change your passport, please let us know as soon as possible.

    Europe

    You need a full 10 year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum period needed.

    Jordan

    You need a full 10 year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. You will need a visa to enter Jordan. The Jordan visa is included in the price of your holiday. On arrival in Amman our representatives will meet you prior to immigration and this will be provided to you free of charge. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the Jordanian consulate (020 7937 3685).

  • In many destinations, you can arrange adventure activities, either through Llama Travel or through Llama Travel. If you are interested in taking any of these, please make sure you are covered by your travel insurance.

  • Some countries have strict regulations regarding the entry and exit of children under 18 when not travelling with both parents, or if the child has nationality of the country you are visiting. If you are travelling with children who are not entering or leaving the country with both parents, or if the child has nationality of the country you are visiting, please contact the consulate of the country you are visiting to check requirements.

    Countries in Africa have particularly strict requirements regarding children travelling, and in both South Africa and Namibia, children need to carry an unabridged birth certificate. Additionally, in Namibia, adults travelling with children where they are not the biological or legal guardians of those children, should be in possession of an affidavit statement from the child’s parents giving consent for their travel.

    Such requirements do change from time to time, and although we try to keep abreast of such changes and update this information, if you are travelling with children, we suggest you check current requirements carefully.

  • You will receive tickets approximately 10 days before departure, along with information on accommodation, transfers and excursions. Our agents in destination will give you final details for hotel and excursions when you arrive. Please check airline tickets carefully in case timings have changed after we issued your confirmation.

  • Cards are widely accepted in most hotel and restaurants, and cash machines are common in most destinations. However, when travelling to remote areas, it is advisable to take cash, as it is difficult to withdraw or change money. Travellers cheques are no longer widely used, so it may be inconvenient to take these.

    It is always recommended to inform your bank that you are travelling abroad and to which countries. This will allow them to authorise money withdrawals from your account when you are away. Some banks say that this is not necessary, however we would still recommend contact with your bank as in some cases people have had difficulty in withdrawing currency.

    More information on the situation regarding money, budgeting and tipping in specific countries is in the country information below.

  • Adequate travel insurance is essential. We do not sell or recommend any specific policy, but good medical insurance should cover medical evacuation and repatriation. If you are going to be taking part in any activity, please ensure your policy covers you for this, especially if this involves high-altitude trekking, such as the Inca Trail.

When Your Are Travelling

  • Most people who travel to the countries where Llama Travel operates experience no problems on holiday. However, as is the case anywhere in the world, crime can be a problem, especially in large cities. Tourists can appear attractive targets to criminals. To minimise the risk, use common sense. Do not display signs of wealth, such as expensive looking jewellery or cameras. Avoid empty streets, especially on your own. Take a taxi after dark. By taking sensible precautions, you should have a trouble-free holiday.

    Each country has its own standards for health and safety, but these are often not as good as in the UK. We take this into account when selecting hotels and request that they comply with all local regulations, but cannot guarantee that these are equivalent to British standards. Please take reasonable precautions to protect yourselves whilst on holiday, e.g. by locating fire exit routes.

    Please also check the Foreign Office travel advice for the countries you are visiting at www.fco.gov.uk.

  • Attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travellers around the world can be very different from those in the UK.

    In Latin America and Europe, attitudes can sometimes be more conservative than in the UK, but there are not usually problems.

    In some African countries, including Zimbabwe and Kenya, same sex relationships are illegal and conservative attitudes prevail. However, hotels and lodges do not discriminate and LGBT couples can share rooms. In much of Africa, public displays of affection may attract negative attention, especially with LGBT couples, although the majority of people are friendly to visitors, irrespective of gender and sexual orientation. In South Africa, the authorities have introduced legislation which bans any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

    The UK Foreign Office has information LGBT travel on their travel advice for individual countries, found at www.fco.gov.uk.

  • For all wildlife excursions, please always follow the instructions of your guide, both for the animals’ welfare and for your safety. Staff are experienced at dealing with wildlife, but by their nature, excursions involving exposure to wild animals will always carry some risk.

    If you take a safari in Africa, you will be with an experienced guide at all times, who is usually unarmed. All of the game drives run according to schedule, although unexpected delays can occur, which the guide will deal with as quickly and safely as possible. Being in the wilderness means that the environment is unpredictable, so the unexpected can happen. For any excursions taken on foot, there will be a safety briefing to inform you of the possible dangers.

Health & Fitness

  • Please consult your GP or a travel clinic about health and vaccination requirements. Advice for travellers is available at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk.

    When travelling, stomach illnesses are not uncommon due to changes in diet. We suggest you only drink bottled water and avoid ice in drinks. If you are unsure if salads and fruit have been washed in purified water, it is best to avoid them.

    If you suffer from a disability or condition and are worried whether this will affect the enjoyment of a holiday, please call us. We will do our best to help. We recommend that you bring any medicines you require from the UK.

    If you have any health problems on holiday, please speak to our local agents or hotel staff. They will arrange for a doctor or hospital if necessary. If you do experience any problems, please seek appropriate medical attention.

    Outside of major cities, medical facilities can be basic, meaning a lengthy transfer if hospital attention is required.

    Latin America

    Yellow fever and / or malaria precautions are recommended for visiting the jungle, Iguazu Falls and some parts of Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador. Yellow Fever certificates are sometimes required if you have recently visited a country with an infected area. Children under 6 require proof of vaccination against polio to enter Brazil. Some GPs do not recommend yellow fever vaccinations for travellers over 60 years old. If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, please speak to your GP about zika. Please seek medical advice before you travel.

    Parts of South America are at high altitude. Most visitors do not suffer major problems. However, shortness of breath is common and we advise you to take things calmly during your first day at altitude. If you suffer from a heart or lung condition, or think that you may suffer due to the altitude, please consult your GP.

    Africa

    Malaria precautions are highly recommended when visiting the Kruger National Park in South Africa, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, the north of Namibia, including Etosha, Botswana and Kenya. Yellow Fever vaccination is highly recommended for Kenya. Travellers entering many African countries, including South Africa and Kenya Africa, coming from a yellow fever zone must have a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate. Some GPs do not recommend yellow fever vaccinations for travellers over 60 years old.

  • For most of our holidays, age is not a concern. However, a reasonable level of fitness is required, as most holidays require some walking, sometimes on uneven ground. Even relatively mild activities can be strenuous at altitude. High altitude trekking is more strenuous than an equivalent length walk at low altitude.

Getting There

  • Depending on the route and the airline, if you would like to break your journey to or from your final destination, and add a stopover to your holiday, this may be possible. Please ask us for information.

  • If you are interested in arranging your own international flights, this is sometimes possible. Please ask us for details of this and any discount we can arrange for removing international flights. Please do not book your flights until we have reconfirmed all services with our suppliers and you have checked the confirmation invoice.

  • All people transiting in a third country need to make sure they comply with any immigration requirements for that country.

    This is especially the case when in transit in the UK when flying to Latin America. In this case, you must comply with US immigration requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with these requirements before you travel. Failure to do so may result in you being denied boarding on your flight to the US and, at best, a last-minute and probably expensive re-routing avoiding the US. It is important, therefore, that you follow these procedures carefully.

    If your flight to Latin America involves a stop in the US, you will be subject to US immigration control upon entry to the US. If you qualify for the US Visa Waiver Program, you are able to avoid the need to apply for a visa, but still need to enter your details online on the US State Department website. If you do not qualify for the US Visa Waiver Program, you must apply in person at a US embassy for a US visa. Please make sure that you do this in good time.

    If you are a UK citizen and have a UK passport, you may qualify for visa-free travel. You will require a machine readable passport to qualify for the ESTA Visa Waiver Program (so you do not require a visa to enter the US). A machine readable passport has the holder's personal details (name, date of birth, nationality and passport number) contained in two lines of text at the bottom of the photo page. This appears as two lines of letters, numbers and chevrons (">>>>>") printed across the long edge of the photo page. It must be also include an integrated circuit chip capable of storing the biographic information from the data page, a digitized photograph and other biometric information.

    Please note, holders of passports indicating that the bearer is a British Subject, a British Dependent Territories Citizen, British Overseas Citizen, British National (Overseas) Citizen or British Protected Person do not qualify for travel without a visa. A passport which states that the holder has Right of Abode or indefinite leave to remain in the UK does not quality for visa-free travel.

    If you have been arrested, even if the arrest did not result in a criminal conviction, or if you have a criminal record, you will need a visa.

    If you have any doubts about whether you qualify for the Visa Waiver Program, please check with the US embassy. Full details can be found on the US embassy’s UK website at: http://london.usembassy.gov/vwp3.html

    Many European, Australian and New Zealand passport holders also qualify for the Visa Waiver Program as long as the passport is machine readable and complies with the relevant criteria. Please see the US embassy website for a list of countries which qualify for the Visa Waiver Program. It is important that you check the website of the US Embassy in the country of passport nationality for any further changes before you travel.

    Details of the ESTA Visa Waiver Program can be found on the US State Department website at

    https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov.

    In addition to the Visa Waiver Programme, the US Transportation Security Authority requires anybody flying through the United Sates to supply specific passenger information prior to their international flight.

  • A holiday in Latin America or Africa inevitably means long haul flights, and usually at least one overnight sector. Air fares vary from date to date and between airlines. Our holidays are scheduled to use the most advantageous air fare. You can choose which airline you prefer, we will let you know if a supplement is payable. Levels of onboard service and facilities, such as entertainment, vary by airline and route. Please ask us for details. Flights are sometimes operated by another airline in the appropriate airline alliance.

  • Many airlines offer the option of flying from regional airports in the UK, avoiding the need to make your own way to London. Due to the timing of flights, in some cases this may involve an overnight stop in London or another intermediate airport. There is usually a supplement for regional departures. Please note that most of our flights depart from London.

  • You can upgrade to business class or premium economy on most airlines. Prices start from £199 each way for Premium Economy and £699 each way for Business Class, although sometimes airlines have special offers and prices may be lower. Call us for prices for the route and airline you are interested in.

    Premium Economy

    Some airlines offer Premium Economy cabins, which provide more comfortable seats which recline further and have more legroom. There are better meals and a bar service.

    Other airlines offer standard economy class seats with extra legroom for additional cost.

    Business Class

    Many airlines have long haul business class cabins with seats which convert into full flat beds and often have a privacy screen.

    Business Class within Europe is often similar to economy class seating, but with better meals and middle seats are often left empty.

  • Most scheduled airlines have a baggage allowance of 23kg per passenger for international flights, but internal flight allowances can be less. Exact limits can be found on airline webpages. Please bear this in mind when packing, as carrying excess baggage will normally incur an expensive additional cost payable at check in. Additionally, certain excursions have a limited baggage allowance. Where this is the case, we will advise you in advance. Llama Travel accepts no responsibility for the delay, loss or damage of luggage.

    There may be additional luggage restrictions for specific countries. In this case, details of this will be in the country information below.

  • Many airlines now charge a fee to select your seat prior to checking in for your flight, even when travelling in premium economy or business class. Alternatively, you may choose your preferred seat free of charge when online check-in opens 24 hours prior to departure or at the airport. Please ask us about the options available at time of booking.

    We all want a comfortable journey, particularly on long haul flights. If you would like a seat with some extra leg room or a larger recline please let us know. Airlines have introduced a range of “economy comfort” seats that may be purchased in advance. In some cases, these seats may only be purchased online directly with the airline once Llama Travel has issued your ticket approximately 30 days prior to departure.

    For internal flights, and for connecting flights in Europe, it is usually only possible to select seats when you check-in online or at the airport.

                        

    It may not be possible to always use online check-in systems, especially when using a codeshare flight. On occasion, your preferred seat may be changed by the airline for operational reasons such as a change of aircraft or to facilitate a disabled passenger on the day you fly and as such, Llama Travel cannot guarantee specific seats.

Peru

Travelling in Peru

  • The currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol (approximate exchange rate: S/.3 = US$1). Most items in Peru are priced in Nuevo Soles, but the US dollar is used in some cases. Travellers should take US dollars and not UK sterling, which is not widely accepted in any form. Credit and debit cards can be used in many shops and restaurants, and can also be used to withdraw money from cash machines. These dispense both Nuevo Soles and US dollars. Please note that it can be difficult to use US dollar notes which have even the smallest tear. When changing US dollars into Nuevo Soles, always use a reputable place to change: banks, hotels or exchange shops. Do not change money on the street if you can avoid it.

    When travelling to some of the more remote areas (e.g. the jungle, Machu Picchu, Colca Canyon), it is advisable to take cash, as it is difficult to withdraw or change money or change travellers cheques. If taking travellers cheques, a high commission may be charged, especially if changing directly into dollars (this is often less if changing into Nuevo Soles). Some hotels do not change travellers cheques so you may need to change them in a bank or exchange shop, therefore, please bear in mind opening hours.

    It is always recommended to inform your bank that you are travelling abroad and to which countries. This will allow them to authorise money withdrawals on your account when you are away. Some banks say that this is not necessary, however we would still recommend contact with your bank as in some cases people have had difficulty in withdrawing currency.

  • If you receive good service, you may want to leave a tip. This is completely at your discretion. For general excursions, if you want to tip guides, US$2 – 3 per person per day is usual if you are in a group. Approximately US$1 is usual for drivers or transfer staff. As tipping is not necessarily normal in restaurants, please give any tips directly to the person you would like to tip to ensure that they get it.

    For the four-day Inca Trail, tipping is normal as the guides, porters and cooks usually provide an excellent service. We recommend tipping around US$40 -60 per trekker for the whole trail, depending on the size of the group. For small groups (fewer than 6 trekkers), tipping per trekker is usually higher than for larger groups (more than 10 trekkers), as the number of support staff per trekker is higher.

    For the Short Inca Trail, around US$15-20 is normal for the two-day excursion.

    If you would like to tip your guide in the jungle, approximately US$10 per person per day is recommended.

  • Lima is the culinary capital of Peru, and possibly of all South America, and the city is full of good places to eat, ranging from the cheap and cheerful, to among the best, and most expensive, in all the Americas. Many serve traditional Peruvian food, as well as the standard international restaurants. Seafood is among the best choices. There are many restaurants serving good value set lunches, especially around Parque Kennedy in Miraflores. Most of the best restaurants are in Miraflores, San Isidro and Barranco.

    Most of the restaurants in the centre of Cusco offer a range of international and Peruvian food, and cater for tourists as well as locals. Many local dishes are based on highland crops, such as potatoes and quinoa, and there are many excellent soups. You may want to try an ancient Inca delicacy – guinea pig! This is usually served in picanterias, which are restaurants specializing in local dishes. Prices in restaurants aimed at tourists generally range from around $10 - $20, although even upmarket restaurants often have good value set lunches.

    The hotels on the shore of Lake Titicaca offer a good selection of highland and international food. Additionally, there is a wide range of restaurants in the city of Puno, especially on Jr. Lima near the main square.

    Arequipa has a strong culinary tradition, and there is a wide variety of local dishes available. Soups are particularly popular. Additionally, Rocoto Relleno (stuffed spicy pepper) is another local favourite well worth trying, although make sure you specify if you do not want it too spicy. Most picanterías (restaurants serving traditional Arequipeño food) are outside of the centre, and a taxi should be taken. There are several restaurants on the balconies in the Plaza de Armas giving fine views of the Plaza.

  • All hotels include breakfast, and other meals are included on some tours and excursions. However, generally, you will need to arrange your own lunches and dinners. We recommend budgeting approximately US$15 – 20 for a meal, although many restaurants have excellent value set lunches for less than this. Hotel restaurants, especially in superior hotels, can be more expensive. Additionally, there are many upmarket restaurants, particularly in Lima and Cusco, where you should expect to pay up to US$50 per person, or possibly more. However, these still offer excellent value for money compared to equivalent restaurants in the UK, and we find that many of our customers treat themselves to a special meal in Lima at the end of their holiday.

    Bar prices are similar to the UK and a small bottle of beer usually costs around US$2-3 in a hotel bar. Wine, particularly imported wine, can be quite expensive.

    We find that many people take advantage of the excellent crafts markets in and around Cusco, so please allow for this if you are likely to buy such items. The prices vary significantly depending on the quality of the items, and detailed crafts can be expensive.

    There are also many excellent shopping opportunities in the cities, with excellent alpaca clothing and jewellery shops. These generally take credit cards, although a discount is sometimes possible for cash payments.

  • In Cusco and the highlands of Peru, daytime temperatures tend to be around 20 degrees centigrade. However, night time temperatures drop rapidly, sometimes to below freezing. The coast can be warmer, although night temperatures can be cool, especially between May and September. The jungle is usually hot and humid, although between May and September there are sometimes cold fronts, and temperatures can drop to 5 degrees. Therefore, a variety of clothing, suitable for warm and cold weather is advisable. Rain is possible throughout the year, so waterproofs are also recommended. Lip balm is recommended and insect repellent is advisable, especially for jungle areas and around Machu Picchu.

    Electricity in Peru is 220V, and plugs are of the flat two-pin type.

    It is a legal requirement to carry identity documentation when in Peru. Therefore, having a copy of your passport with you at all times is recommended.

    Please bring any medication you may require from the UK.

    You require your passport when visiting Machu Picchu. Please make sure you bring this, otherwise you may not be able to enter the site.

    If you are walking the Inca Trail or the Short Inca Trail, please take the passport that you had when you initially booked if this has changed since booking. Otherwise you will not be permitted to start the trail.

Galapagos & Ecuador

Travelling in Galapagos & Ecuador

  • All hotels include breakfast, and other meals are included on some tours and excursions. However, generally, you will need to arrange your own lunches and dinners. We recommend budgeting approximately US$15 – 20 for a meal, although many restaurants have excellent value set lunches for less than this. Hotel restaurants, especially in superior hotels, can be more expensive, as can meals in restaurants on the Galapagos Islands. Additionally, there are some upmarket restaurants in cities where you should expect to pay up to US$50 per person, or possibly more. However, these still offer excellent value for money compared to equivalent restaurants in the UK.

    Bar prices on the mainland are similar to the UK, or slightly cheaper, and a small bottle of beer usually costs around US$2-3 in a hotel bar. Wine, particularly imported wine, can be quite expensive. On Galapagos boats, bar prices are usually higher than on the mainland, particularly for wine.

    We find that many people take advantage of the excellent crafts markets in and around Quito, so please allow for this if you are likely to buy such items. The prices vary significantly depending on the quality of the items, and detailed crafts can be expensive.

  • Quito has many good restaurants with a wide range of national and international cuisine. Many of the best restaurants are located in the new town. Ingredients from the jungle, the Andes and the coast allow for an interesting mix of dishes. Sometimes, traditional restaurants are only open from noon to 3pm.

    Although it does not have as many options as Quito, Cuenca has a good variety of restaurants and cafes serving both local and international cuisine. The locals are fond of sweet food, particularly ice cream, and there are many good cafes near the main square catering for this market. There are also a number of restaurants in central Guayaquil and on the promenade, although many of the best restaurants are located in the malls and entertainment centres away from the centre.

  • In Quito, daytime temperatures tend to be around 20°C and night time temperatures around 10°C. The weather in the Avenue of the Volcanoes, Riobamba and Cuenca is similar to Quito. Temperatures in the jungle and Guayaquil tend to be hot and humid year round, although cold snaps are also possible. Therefore, a variety of clothing, suitable for warm and cooler weather is advisable. Rain is possible throughout the year, so waterproofs are also recommended. Insect repellent is advisable, especially for the jungle, the Bellavista cloud forest and for the Galapagos Islands.

    Sturdy footwear is advisable for the Galapagos Islands, as some paths can be rocky and uneven. If you are visiting the Bellavista cloud forest, the trails can be muddy and sometimes they are slippery. Therefore, please take appropriate footwear.

    The hottest months in the Galapagos Islands are usually December – May, when temperatures can rise above 30°C, although it tends to be wettest then. Sea temperatures are also at their warmest, around 25°C (although the temperature can vary significantly between different islands). From June – December, temperatures are usually cooler (around 25°C), but it rains less. It is often misty at this time of year. Sea temperatures also tend to be cooler, around 20°C. Dress on board the cruise boats is informal, so formal dress is not required.

    Electricity in Ecuador is 110V, and plugs are of the flat two-pin type.

    Having a copy of your passport with you at all times is recommended.

    Please bring any medication you may require from the UK.

  • The official currency in Ecuador is the US dollar. Travellers should take US dollars and not UK sterling, which is not widely accepted in any form. Credit and debit cards (both Visa and MasterCard are generally accepted) can be used in many shops and restaurants, and can be used to withdraw money from cash machines. It can be difficult to use dollar notes which have even the smallest tear. Some places do not accept US$100 bills, so it is best to take smaller denomination notes. When travelling to some of the more remote areas (e.g, the jungle), it is advisable to take cash, as it is difficult to withdraw or change money. If taking travellers cheques, a high commission may be charged. Some hotels do not change travellers cheques so you may need to change them in a bank or exchange shop, therefore, please bear in mind opening hours.

    It is always recommended to inform your bank that you are travelling abroad and to which countries. This will allow them to authorise money withdrawals on your account when you are away. Some banks say that this is not necessary; however, we would still recommend contact with your bank as in some cases people have had difficulty in withdrawing currency.

    On most small boats in the Galapagos, you can only pay in cash. Some larger boats also take credit cards.

  • If you receive good service, you may want to leave a tip. This is completely at your discretion. For general excursions, if you want to tip guides, US$2 – 3 per person per day is usual if you are in a group. Approximately US$1 is usual for drivers or transfer staff. As tipping is not necessarily normal in restaurants, please give any tips directly to the person you would like to tip to ensure that they get it.

    Tipping your Galapagos boat crew and guides on board is expected and is usually well deserved. For yachts up to 16 passengers, and the Hotel Finch Bay tours, approximately US$15 – 20 per person per day is recommended. For larger yachts, US$23-25 is normal.

    If you would like to tip your guide in the jungle, approximately US$10 per person per day is recommended. This is divided between the guides and the staff.

About the Galapagos

  • The Galapagos Islands are in the Pacific Ocean 1,000km west of Ecuador. Flights to and from Quito take 3 hours, with a brief stop in Guayaquil.

  • The Galapagos can be visited year round and wildlife can be seen all year. Between January to May the weather is hotter, but wetter, and the sea temperature tends to be warmer. During this time the average daytime temperate is between 27-31°C and the sea temperature is around 25°C. June to December is drier, but cooler. The average daytime temperature ranges between 21-26°C and the sea temperature is around 21°C. It is often overcast at this time of the year, especially in July and August. The seas around the Galapagos tend to be fairly calm all year around, however the choppiest time to visit is around September. Some birds are only present at certain times of the year; if you would like to see a specific bird, please ask us for details.

  • •Lightweight clothing, including shorts and t-shirts. Long-sleeved shirts and trousers are useful on board as there is air conditioning.

    •Swimming costume.

    •Sandals and trainers.

    •Prescription snorkelling mask if required.

    •A sun hat.

    •Waterproofs (a plastic poncho is often the best thing).

    •Sunglasses.

    •Binoculars/camera gear.

    •Water bottle.

    •Sun cream and insect repellent.

    •Day pack for island excursions.

    •Ear plugs for night-time sailing.

    •Biodegradable soap and shampoo are provided. If you would like to use your own, please ensure this is also biodegradable.

    Read our blog to find out what to pack for the Galapagos. 

  • The Galapagos National Park entrance fee of US$100 and the transit tax of US$20 are included in all our holidays. 

  • All boats Llama Travel works with have excursions carried out in small groups (maximum 16 passengers) led by a naturalist guide.

    Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the dining area, and drinking water, tea and coffee are provided. There is also a bar service available.

    Electricity onboard is 110V and plugs are of the flat two-pin type. There are small safes in each cabin or in the captain’s cabin. There are no hairdryers in cabins on most boats.

    Smoking is not permitted inside the boats and is only permitted on deck.

    Dress on board is informal on all boats.

  • Itineraries are fixed by the Galapagos authorities and usually cannot be varied. However, these are subject to change by the park authorities at short notice and can be affected by local conditions, airport closures or other factors. The activities at each site specified in the itineraries may vary and will be determined by the guide. Some longer cruise itineraries are made up of 2 shorter cruises, and so some guests may start or end their cruise on these changeover days. On all cruise itineraries, you visit a range of different islands, allowing you to see the land and marine animals and birdlife. The Finch Bay itinerary includes visits to several visitor sites in the central islands.

  • All guides in the Galapagos Islands are registered with the National Park. All Llama Travel holidays include experienced naturalist guides who speak English.

  • For many people, the highlight of the visit to the Galapagos is snorkelling among the sea life, including sea lions, turtles, penguins, rays and sharks. Snorkelling equipment is available for rent,
    or you can take your own. If you need a mask with prescription lenses, it is best to get this before you leave. Wetsuits are also available for hire. Please ask us if you are interested in hiring a wetsuit. If you do not want to snorkel, it is sometimes possible to remain on the beach on the island. However, at some sites visited on cruises this is not possible, in which case you will stay on board your boat.

  • You explore the visitor sites, seeing the wildlife, flora and geology at very close quarters. Most excursions require some walking, often on rocky and uneven surfaces, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. To reach the islands it is necessary to go from your boat in a panga, a small dinghy. On a dry landing, you will step out of the panga onto rock. On a wet landing, you will step out of the panga into about a foot of water, from where you will wade to land.

  • Sailing between the islands is usually done in the early morning or late evening. However, for some of the longer distances, the journey can be made at night. In this case, there is usually more movement and the noise of the motor can be heard.

  • On the smaller yachts, you can only pay in cash. On the larger boats, you can usually pay by cash or credit card. Travellers cheques are not widely accepted on any of the boats. There are banks and cash machines in both Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal.

  • Tipping the boat crew and guides on board is usually well deserved, and expected. If you feel you have received good service, the following are the suggested tipping levels per passenger per day: San Jose and Galapagos Beagle, approximately $15 - 19. MV Santa Cruz II and La Pinta, approximately $25. Galapagos Odyssey, approximately $20 - $22. Hotel Finch Bay, approximately $19.

  • There is a small boutique shop on board the larger ships and there is also the chance to shop at Puerto Ayora or Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. However, it is best to buy anything that you will need before visiting the islands.

  • Entertainment on board is quite limited, although the larger ships have bars and may have music at times. It is sometimes possible to disembark in Puerto Ayora or Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, where there are restaurants and bars.

  • Airport transfers are included to your Galapagos cruise. If you are landing at Baltra airport, an excursion to the Santa Cruz highlands is often included. This is usually prior to boarding your boat, so we recommend having appropriate footwear and clothing handy for this excursion, as your main luggage will usually be taken straight to your boat.

    Transfers are also included for hotel stays in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz. These are with a driver only, usually with limited English.

    It is sometimes possible to get a Galapagos stamp in your passport when you arrive at the Galapagos airport, so please ask for this if you would like this.

  • No specific vaccinations further to those required for Ecuador are required for visiting the Galapagos Islands. However, please consult your GP or a travel clinic for up-to-date medical advice. As you may feel the movement of the boat, we recommend you bring any sea sickness medication you will require. We recommend bringing any painkillers or medication for upset stomachs and rehydration sachets in case you have a problem on board, as these can be hard to get in the Galapagos Islands.

    Although the excursions are not physically demanding, they do require walking on uneven surfaces, and this can be under the hot sun. Therefore, a reasonable level of fitness is required.

    Larger ships (48 passengers and up) usually have a medical officer on board, although facilities and treatments are quite simple. Smaller boats have basic first aid. If you require more serious medical attention, there are hospitals on the islands of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal.