Experience some of South America’s incredible sites on a 16-day adventure that brings together the awe-inspiring landscapes of Ecuador and the vivid cultures of Peru. Explore the Amazon rainforest and sleep under its living, orchestral canopy during two days at our jungle lodge; follow in the footsteps of the Incas at iconic Machu Picchu; and feel at home among the people of the Sacred Valley. From the cacophony of the Amazon to the silent beauty of the Andes, echoes of this experience will resound long after the trip is over.

Trip highlights

Cusco Planetarium, Visit the Cusco Planetarium, which is surrounded by the natural beauty of the Llaullipata Ecological Reserve. Use telescopes to gaze up at the southern sky and see thousands of stars. Spot the constellations of the southern hemisphere, and learn about the ancient Incas’ relationship with the cosmos.

Otavalo Weaving Lesson, Visit the home and studio of Don Miguel Andrango, an indigenous artist who uses a traditional loom to make woven textiles as his ancestors did. Learn how he and his family are working to revive this ancient art one strand at a time.

Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley, Learn how the resident-run restaurant was kickstarted by G Adventures along with the Planeterra Foundation and the Multilateral Investment Fund, to become a successful farm-to-table program that boosts the local economy and several spin-off microenterprises.

Traditional Andean Experience, Exclusive to National Geographic Journeys travellers – and part of G Adventures for Good – visit the “Parque de la Papa” (“Potato Park”), a network of six rural agricultural communities in Peru’s Sacred Valley. Walk through this special community with a local guide for immersive time observing agricultural, weaving, and cultural traditions.

Visit the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park, Learn about the relationship between culture and botany in this lush park. Set out on the trails with an expert guide to learn how the indigenous Shuar and Waorani people use native plants in their daily lives – in cooking, medicine, and more.

Itinerary - 16 Days

Day 1 Quito

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.

Day 2 Quito/Otavalo (1B, 1L)

Drive to the highlands with a stop at the community of Peguche for a local lunch. Continue to Otavalo and visit the famous handicraft market. Stay the night at a historic highlands hacienda.

Day 3 Otavalo/Papallacta (1B)

Visit the home and studio of Don Miguel to learn how the Indigenous people of the Otavalo region have used the backstrap loom to create their woven goods. Continue to the Papallacta Hot Springs Resort for a dip in hot springs, optional spa treatments, and hiking excursions. There is plenty of time to soak, relax, and enjoy the mountain views.

Day 4 Papallacta/Tena (1B, 1L, 1D)

Visit the Guango private cloud forest reserve for a walk with your CEO to learn about the unique flora and fauna of the region. Enjoy a visit to Misahualli to visit the cheeky Capuchin monkeys who call this town home. Continue to Tena to catch our motorized canoe to the Amazon lodge. Settle in and receive a briefing from a local naturalist guide about the lodge and area. After, embark on a night walk with the naturalist guide to learn about the nocturnal creatures of the Amazon.

Day 5 Tena (1B, 1L, 1D)

Depart early by canoe to visit a parrot clay lick (Saladero). With our naturalist guide, view parrots and parakeets who gather to eat the mineral-rich clay which helps them digest fruit and seeds. Return to the lodge for breakfast then continue on to visit AmaZOOnico, an animal rescue centre that rehabilitates, reintroduces, and cares for animals who are victims of illegal trafficking. Later, enjoy a unique cultural experience at a local family’s home. Meet the family to learn about their traditions and what daily life is like in the Amazon.

Day 6 Tena/Baños (1B)

Depart the Amazon to Baños, a stunning town surrounded by volcanoes. Along the way, visit the Omaere Ethnobotanical Park and discover ethnobotany — the study of the relationship between cultures and the plants around them.

Day 7 Baños (1B)

Free day to explore Baños where there are numerous optional activities such as hiking, horseback riding, visits to hot springs, and mountain biking.

Day 8 Baños/Quito (1B)

Drive back to Quito along the scenic Avenue of Volcanoes with a visit to Cotopaxi National Park en route. Enjoy stunning views of the perfectly shaped volcano (it's one of the highest active volcanoes in the world).

Day 9 Quito/Lima (1B)

Catch a flight to Peru and transfer to our hotel in Lima.

Day 10 Lima/Urubamba (1B, 1D)

Board an early flight to Cusco then head to the Sacred Valley. Explore the pre-Inca salt pans of Las Salineras and tour the Maras and Moray ruins. Enjoy a traditional pachamanca-style meal of local specialties.

Day 11 Urubamba (1B, 1L)

Continue exploring the Sacred Valley with a visit to the “Parque de la Papa” (“Potato Park”). An exclusive experience for Journeys travellers and part of G Adventures for Good, you'll walk through this rural community with a local guide to learn about potato cultivation, weaving, and the importance of both to Andean culture. Also, explore the Ollantaytambo and Pisac ruins and visit the G Adventures-supported Sacred Valley Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosqo.

Day 12 Urubamba/Aguas Calientes (1B)

Catch an early transfer to Ollantaytambo station and board the scenic train to Aguas Calientes with the option to visit the market.

Day 13 Aguas Calientes/Cusco (1B)

Enjoy a guided tour of the Machu Picchu ruins. Get free time to explore on your own or take an optional visit to the Inca Bridge before returning to Cusco by train.

Day 14 Cusco (1B)

Explore historic Cusco with options to visit museums or go whitewater rafting, horseback riding, or mountain biking. This evening, take in a different view of the night sky at the Cusco Planetarium. Enjoy a presentation on the southern sky, contemporary astronomy, and the ancient Inca relationship with the cosmos. Check out the on-site museum and use their telescopes to admire the stars.

Day 15 Cusco/Lima (1B)

Fly back to Lima and spend an afternoon in Peru's bustling capital.

Day 16 Lima (1B)

Depart at any time.

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