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South America – 14 days and counting down

September 6, 2015

Beep.  Beep.  Beep.

We interrupt this regularly scheduled Chicken Blog to bring you information on my upcoming trip to Peru and Ecuador.

I leave 2 weeks from today (YIKES!).  Does anyone know where my passport is???

We have signed up for a 21 day trip with G-Adventures.  This is a “budget” Adventure Travel company out of Australia and is also the company I used when I traveled to Kenya and Zanzibar in 2007.  They were great!  Very small groups, professional and knowledgeable guides/cooks/support staff, with an emphasis on mixing with the locals as much as possible.

My friend and I will fly into Lima 2 days early and I will stay in Quito 1-2 days after the trip ends.  Coleen will be staying in Ecuador for an additional 8 days or so; other than those extra days, our time will be spent following the Itinerary shown below.

Starting to get excited!

Map of the route for Click to enlarge

Day 1Lima

Arrive at any time.

Day 2Lima/Cusco(1B)

Hop on a flight to Cusco. Enjoy a free day of shopping and exploring the city. Opt for a city tour.

Day 3Cusco/Ollantaytambo(1B, 1L)

Enjoy a full-day guided tour of the Sacred Valley. Stop at the Planeterra-supported women’s weaving co-op before exploring the Pisac ruins. Break for lunch at the Planeterra-supported Parwa community restaurant in Huchuy Qosco. Finish the day exploring the Ollantaytambo ruins with a local guide.

Day 4Ollantaytambo/Wayllabamba Camp(1B, 1L, 1D)

Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the hike begins.

Day 5Wayllabamba Camp/Paqaymayo Camp(1B, 1L, 1D)

Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman’s Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax.

Day 6Paqaymayo Camp/Wiñaywayna(1B, 1L, 1D)

Cross two more passes and ruins along the way. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through cloud forest on the gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley.

At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the “Town Above the Clouds.” Camp here or go 1.5 hrs further along, near the Wiñay Wayna ruins (Forever Young) located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).

Day 7Wiñaywayna/Cusco(1B)

The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Wake up around 03:30 and walk to the checkpoint. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on a clear day. Hike down to Machu Picchu for a guided tour of the site and free time to explore. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge, if time allows.

Catch the bus to Aguas Calientes to meet the CEO and any non-hiking members of your group. Eat and relax before your train back to Cusco in the afternoon.

Day 8Cusco(1B)

Continue to explore Cusco on a free day in the city.

Day 9Cusco/Tambopata(1B, 1L, 1D)

Fly to Puerto Maldonado and continue by motorized boat to our comfortable and intimate G Lodge Amazon.

Day 10Tambopata(1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy guided excursions led by expert naturalists to spot wildlife at nearby oxbow lakes and clay licks. Spend some time relaxing in a hammock, enjoying the local swimming hole, or visiting a nearby plantation. Go on a caiman-spotting cruise after dinner.

Day 11Tambopata/Lima(1B)

Fly back to Lima for an optional final dinner and night out.

Day 12Lima/Quito(1B)

Fly to Quito. Flight is unescorted and included in the price of the tour.

Day 13Quito/Puerto Baquerizo Moreno(1B, 1L, 1D)

Fly to San Cristóbal Island. Meet the guide and transfer to the boat. Visit Isla Lobos in the afternoon.

Day 14North Seymour/Mosquera Island(1B, 1L, 1D)

Explore two tiny islands that are big on wildlife. North Seymour offers great views of nesting seabirds, including frigatebirds and Mosquera is home to large colonies of sea lions.

Day 15Isla Santiago/Isla Bartolomé(1B, 1L, 1D)

Visit Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island to witness the giant lava formations contrasting the white-coral sand beach. Continue to Bartolomé Island for a guided tour to see the dramatic volcanic features before hiking to a panoramic viewpoint.

Day 16Puerto Ayora(1B, 1L, 1D)

Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see the giant Galápagos tortoises and go on an excursion to the Santa Cruz Highlands. Free time for shopping or exploration of Puerto Ayora.

Day 17Isla Rábida/Bachas Beach(1B, 1L, 1D)

Land at Rábida Island for a visit to a saltwater lagoon and sea lion colony. Afternoon excursion to Bachas Beach for walks to observe the bird and wildlife as well as free time for swimming and snorkelling.

Day 18Floreana Island(1B, 1L, 1D)

Land at Punta Cormorant on Floreana Island. Guided walks to observe the bird and wildlife and learn about the natural history. Visit Post Office Bay in the afternoon. Snorkelling excusion at the Corona del Diablo.

Day 19Punta Suárez/Bahía Gardner(1B, 1L, 1D)

Visit Punta Suárez and Gardner Bay on Española Island. Enjoy guided walks to observe wildlife and free time for swimming or snorkelling.

Day 20Puerto Baquerizo Moreno/Quito(1B)

Visit the Interpretation Centre on San Cristóbal Island before flying back to Quito.

Day 21Quito(1B)

Depart at any time.

If you’d like to take a closer look at the boat we will be on in the Galapagos, you can click below.

Xavier III

Get an up-close look at your Galápagos ship, the comfy 16-passenger Xavier III.

Learn more

Cheers for now.
Alan AND Suzanne are coming over tomorrow morning to help with the Coop and to help place the Roof on the Run, so stay tuned for a Chicken update soon.
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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Lil Eubanks permalink
    September 6, 2015 4:52 pm

    Your trip sounds wonderful. I’m very excited for you. We really enjoyed our visit to Peru and the Galapagos Islands. If you have time while you’re in Quito, try to go the the real park on the Equator (It has shifted away from the original one, according to GPS studies.). They show you what happens when water goes down a drain when it is placed to the north of the equator, to the south and when it is right on the equator. In Lima you might enjoy visiting the tall cliffs overlooking the Pacific where people hang glide off the cliff. We hope you have a great trip. We look forward to seeing your pictures. Love, Lil
    PS Cuzco is great. Walk the streets and see the walls. Macchu Picchu will not disappoint, it is amazing!! I’m very impressed that you are hiking the Andes, hope you have been preparing yourself for the high altitude.

    • September 6, 2015 5:46 pm

      Thanks Lil! Great tips. Much appreciated. Counting the days now! Hopefully will be able to post while I’m away, if not, I’ll do a series when I get back.

  2. Jimmy permalink
    September 6, 2015 6:51 pm

    Looks like a Great Trip Merge. Enjoy and be Safe

  3. Marilyn permalink
    September 8, 2015 1:43 pm

    Margie, how very awesome! Be sure to rope up! could you text me Spanish numbers?

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