The Experience

Experience the Galapagos Islands in the company of a Children’s Activity Coordinator, who tailors this journey for young adventurers with wildlife photography, scavenger hunts and art-making sessions, and then journey to Peru to marvel at the massive stone walls of Sacsayhuaman and board a vistadome train to Machu Picchu and explore its magnificent ruins with your family. Day 1: Arrive Guayaquil, Ecuador Arrive in Guayaquil to begin your Galapagos adventure. Settle into your hotel and relax. Hilton Colon Guayaquil Day 2: Guayaquil/The Galapagos | On Board ,˜Eclipse” After a private welcome breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos. Upon arrival, you are met by your naturalist guides and escorted to a vehicle that whisks you to the pier to board ,˜Eclipse” your home for the seven-night cruise at the heart of your itinerary. Nimble enough to access the Galapagos Islands, yet large and stable enough for safety, it is a vessel built for adventure, offering a stylish and relaxed atmosphere. ,˜Eclipse” is ecologically sound as well and has been awarded the Smart Voyager, seal of approval by the Rainforest Alliance, certifying it as eco-friendly and socially responsible. After settling in, attend an introductory briefing and a fitting for your wetsuit and snorkeling gear. ‘Eclipse’ | Meals: B L D Days 3-8: The Galapagos | Spectacularly Diverse Wildlife Lying about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are a haven for some of the world’s most varied wildlife. It was this diversity that first led naturalist Charles Darwin to propose that species evolved in response to their environment. Darwin’s work also helped to alert the world to the need urgent even in his own day to preserve these islands from degradation by humans. Today, tourism to the Galapagos is closely managed, and your visit adheres to the strictest standards of environmental responsibility. Because weather, water and wildlife conditions are subject to constant change, your islands itinerary is not fixed, but two daily excursions are planned to the main sites and islands. Explore landmarks such as Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island, El Barranco on Genovesa Island, Pinnacle Rock on Bartolome Island and the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island. Each cruise day begins with an early breakfast, perhaps taken al fresco on ,˜Eclipse” spacious deck. You then board a sturdy rubber raft called a panga for the morning shore excursion. As soon as your feet touch terra firma, expect to spot flora and fauna (all different depending on the island), take photographs and confer with your naturalist guide. See sunbathing sea lions; skittering Sally Lightfoot crabs; tangles of marine iguanas; penguins, finches, terns and blue-footed boobies overhead and underfoot; even a century-old tortoise diligently trudging over the sand. Return to ,˜Eclipse” for a refreshing lunch, followed by time at leisure to nap or socialize on deck. Keep your binoculars close by for a possible sighting of whales or seabirds. In the afternoon, return to the pangas for the second excursion of the day, perhaps with an opportunity to swim, kayak or snorkel. You may well come face to face with a water-dwelling inhabitant, such as a curious dolphin or sea lion stopping by to inspect the visitors to its equatorial home. Back on board ,˜Eclipse” for the evening, there is time to shower and relax before gathering in the dining room for another wonderful meal. In the evening, your time is your own: attend a lecture on board by one of your affable guides, recapping the day’s sights and gaining a sneak peek at tomorrow’s itinerary; explore the mysteries of the night sky with a fascinating astronomy lecture on deck; peruse the ship’s excellent library; or gather for cocktails in the lounge to cap a day of extraordinary discoveries. ‘Eclipse’ | Meals: B L D Day 9: Guayaquil | Relax, Explore and Prepare Disembark today and fly to Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador and the nation’s largest port, to spend the rest of your day at leisure. You may wish to explore the city on your own, visiting such highlights as Parque Bolivar, with its ornamental garden, cathedral, Museo Municipal and resident land iguanas. Or choose from a wide variety of other inviting parks, museums and restaurants in this vibrant urban landscape. Tonight at dinner with your family, recount your Galapagos adventures and look forward to the amazing journey still ahead. Hilton Colon Guayaquil | Meals: B D Day 10: Cusco | Andean Outpost Depart Guayaquil for Cusco, a city perched nearly two miles above sea level in the Andes Mountains, and your gateway to the treasures of the Incas. Transfer to your hotel upon arrival and spend the rest of your day relaxing and adjusting to the altitude. Your hotel tonight was built in 1595 as an Incan palace and later, under Spanish rule, became a seminary. Enjoy its Baroque decorations and cloistered courtyard. Hotel Monasterio | Meals: B Day 11: Cusco | Mysteries of Sacsahuaman Explore the well-preserved ruins of Sacsayhuaman, a testament to Incan architectural skill. Compiled of massive stones, the largest of which may weigh as much as 200 tons, the walls were cut and placed together with incredible precision and without a single drop of mortar to hold them in place. See for yourself whether a single sheet of paper will slip between the ponderous blocks of stone. This ancient fortress, which witnessed the greatest battle between the Spanish and the Incas, overlooks the red-tiled roofs of Cusco. Hotel Monasterio | Meals: B Day 12: Machu Picchu | Exploring the Lost City Journey deep into the Andes toward Machu Picchu on board the glass-topped Vistadome train, passing through the spectacular Peruvian countryside along the way. Arrive in Machu Picchu to begin exploring this breathtaking Incan city. Overlooking the raging Urubamba River and discovered in a hidden tangle of trees atop a mountain by American historian Hiram Bingham in 1911, Machu Picchu forever holds the secret of its passing its inhabitants left no written records of its purpose. Built in the 15th century at the height of the Inca empire, it may have been a religious center or the estate of an emperor. This evening, rest easy in luxurious accommodations. Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel | Meals: B L D Day 13: Machu Picchu | Choice of Hiking Options Today, continue to explore the ruins on your own or opt for a hike to Inti Punku (Sun Gate), the entry point to the ruins from the Inca Trail, or a trek up to Huayna Picchu, the high mountain that forms the backbone of the ruins, to enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding area. After your explorations, bid adieu to this Lost City of the Incas, and return to Cusco aboard the Vistadome train, savoring incomparable views of the mountain scenery that surrounds you. Hotel Monasterio | Meals: B L Day 14: Depart Lima Fly to Lima and visit the historic Plaza Mayor and Cathedral, Presidential Palace and Larco Herrera Museum. Fly to Lima to explore Peru’s capital, visiting the Plaza Mayor, which is the birthplace of the city of Lima, and the beautiful Cathedral, built in the 16th century. Spend time exploring the Larco Herrera Museum, one of the city’s best museums for pre-Columbian artifacts. This evening, depart. Miraflores Park Hotel (dayroom) | Meals: B

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