Ecuador, Galapagos & Peru Kosher Group Tour Feb 29-March 16, 2016, June 27-Jul 13, 2016 or Oct 31- Nov 16, 2016

Discover Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands & Peru. Ecuador is the smallest country in the Andes Mountains and one of the most fascinating tourist attractions in South America. Thanks to the diversity of the native cultures, the well-kept colonial architecture, the volcanic scenery and the lush forests, this country has more points of interest within its borders than those of a country twice its size. Ecuador ranks as one of the richest countries in the world when it comes to its variety of animals and flora. Ecuador‘s tropical climate allows for tourism any time of the year, and the fact that it lies on the equator keeps the weather stable all year long.

Jewish Travel Agency invites you to discover Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands & Peru. Ecuador is the smallest country in the Andes Mountains and one of the most fascinating tourist attractions in South America. Thanks to the diversity of the native cultures, the well-kept colonial architecture, the volcanic scenery and the lush forests, this country has more points of interest within its borders than those of a country twice its size. Ecuador ranks as one of the richest countries in the world when it comes to its variety of animals and flora. Ecuador‘s tropical climate allows for tourism any time of the year as the equator keeps the weather stable all year around.

Exotic Peru is rich in some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Latin America. The mountains are home to millions of Indians who still speak the ancient Cachua language and maintain their traditional lifestyle. The green Amazon basin which spreads over half the area of Peru is one of the ten most populated wildlife regions in the world – the rain forests are so full of different types of animals and birds that trying to count them all will make your head spin. During this tour we’ll visit Cusco – capital of the Inca kingdom; Machu Picchu – the mysterious city high above the jungle and the most popular tourist site in Peru; and Lima, the Peruvian capital. These all combine to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will excite all your senses.

Day 1: Tel Aviv: Quito

We’ll be transferred to our hotel for a group dinner and orientation. Quito is without a doubt the prettiest city in South America. It’s located at 2850 meters above sea level, 22 Kilometers from the equator, and enjoys a great spring climate and a magnificent view all around. The scenery is ruled by mountains and a number of snowy volcanoes that can be seen from a distance. The city itself lies at the feet of Mt. Roca Pichincha, which rises to a lofty 4,700 meters. Architecturally, Quito holds vast colonial treasures, and construction in the modern city is under strict supervision ever since 1978, when UNESCO placed Quito on the list of World Heritage Sites. After Arrival, transfer to hotel. Overnight at Dann Carlton Hotel or similar

Day 2 & Day 3: Amazonia

The day starts with a canoe ride inside the Amazonian rainforest, along the Napo River. Arrive in Misahualli. Follow this with a second canoe ride on the Arajuno. Visit “AmaZoonico”, an animal rescue center in which numerous species are tended to, including toucans, a variety of colorful parrots, monkeys, jaguars, capybaras and much more. Enjoy a picnic on the riverbank and visit a Kichwa family to learn their ancient customs.

Overnight at La Casa Del Suizo Hotel or similar

Day 4: Amazonia- Baños

Drive to Baños, a small and friendly town/thermal resort nestled amidst mountains and found midway between the Andes and the Amazon

Early in the morning after breakfast, we walk in the primary forest. With an experienced native guide, you will be able to learn many interesting subjects about plant uses, insect variety, bird watching, and the species that lives in this unique forest. Drive to Etnobotanico Omaere Parck, located on the Puyo-Tena road. Omaere is a reserve of medicinal and useful plants, and it is also a site to learn about the indigenous cultures of the Amazon.

We head down into the Pastaza river canyon to the so called “Avenue of the Waterfalls” where we find Cascada de la Virgen, Maria Inés, the Bride’s Shroud, Path of Machay, Pailón del Diablo, all of which lie along the riverbed of the Pastaza and surrounded by green lush vegetation. The tallest waterfall, Pailón del Diablo (the Devil’s Cauldron) can be observed from a breathtaking suspension bridge.

Overnight at Samari Spa Resort Hotel or similar

Day 5: Baños-Quito

An exciting day awaits you visiting the Indian Community of Salasaca. The people live as in the past and weave beautiful carpets. It is a special experience not easily forgotten.

Through the Avenue of the Volcanoes, you will also be able to observe the Cotopaxi volcano -a spectacular sight- Cotopaxi is the highest active volcano in the world. Despite the altitude, the Park is home to numerous birds and varied plant life. Arrive Quito and transfer to the Dann Carlton hotel. Arrive Quito and transfer to the hotel and prepare for Shabbat. Tfilot and Shabbat dinner.

Overnight at Dann Carlton Hotel or similar

Day 6: Quito Day at leisure

After Tefilla and breakfast, we take a walking tour of Quito.

Today you will visit the Central Bank Museum, which has permanent collections of archaeological, ethnographic, colonial and republican art, as well as old photographs.The art covers pre-Columbian and Inca art all the way to contemporary works. You will be able to view gold artifacts, sculptures, paintings, utensils and three dimensional models of life in Ecuador. In the evening, you will enjoy the Chiva Quiteña night City tour.

Overnight at Dann Carlton Hotel or similar

Day 7: Quito Colonial & Mitad del Mundo

Colonial city tour: Explore the bustling streets and plazas in the largest colonial town of the Americas and first Unesco’s World Heritage Site. Enjoy a super eclectic architecture ranging from the modern quarters to impressive colonial facades on churches and private residences decorated with beautiful balconies; a superb sample of the architecture of the last five centuries including parks like El Ejido and Alameda, the monument of Simon Bolivar, the gothic Basilica of the Heart of Jesús, Independence Square flanked by the Presidential ant the Archbishop’s palaces, the Metropolitan Cathedral and unique churches such as La Compañía de Jesús, El Sagrario or San Francisco, which display a rich sample of artistic and cultural heritage.

Overnight at Dan Carlton Hotel or similar

Day 8-11: GALAPAGOS ISLANDS CRUISE 4D/3N IN THE GALAPAGOS LEGEND LUXURY BOAT

Morning Flight to the Islands Quito – Galapagos Islands – Quito Today we fly out to the Galapagos Islands for a fascinating cruise around the Islands. This is a volcanic group of Islands that rose from the ocean approx 4-10 million years ago. Man discovered the islands in the year 1535, and just like any other place, started destroying his surroundings. The animals, that weren’t yet familiar with humans, didn’t run away, and the sailors massacred them mercilessly, both for food and for pleasure. In addition, they also unleashed goats, cats and dogs that destroyed the area. The sailors took the giant tortoises back with them on the ships as a supply of fresh meat. Later they butchered the tortoises too for their fat. For these reasons and others, dozens of unique species became extinct.

DETAILED CRUISE ITINERARY

Baltra Airport Departure from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra (2 ½ hours flight). Passengers are picked up at the airport by our naturalist guides and taken on a ten minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/V Galapagos Legend.

Afternoon – Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz)

Wet landing on the north side of Santa Cruz; behind the beach lie two small flamingo ponds with iguanas, coastal birds, Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and gulls, as well as interesting native and endemic vegetation, red and black mangroves, salt bushes, and much more. This beach is one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles in the Galapagos. A female can lay eggs 3 or 4 times with an average of 70 eggs each, but then spend 3 or 5 years without breeding. At this paradisiacal site we will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago, once property of the United States Navy when they operated an airbase on Baltra Island during World War II. That is why the beach is called “Bachas” because the word “barges” in English was hard to pronounce for the local people.

Nextday – South Plaza (Plazas Island)

Dry landing on the northern part of the Islet. The walk begins with an impressive cactus forest surrounded by land and marine iguanas; as we reach its highest point, be on the lookout for tropicbirds and a bachelor sea lion colony.

In South Plaza there is a large colony of the smaller sized land iguanas. The population is approximately 300 individuals. They feed on all kinds of vegetation, but during the dry season survive on the fruits and flowers of Opuntia cacti. Due to their proximity with marine iguanas, this is the only place on Earth where we will find the Galapagos hybrid iguana.

Afternoon – Santa Fe Wet landing on a white sand beach surrounded by a sea lion colony; we continue walking through an endemic cactus forest as we search for the endemic Santa Fe land iguana, the largest in the islands and distinctively paler. This island is home to a number of endemic species including Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos Snake, rice rats, a variety of finches and one of the four species of Galapagos mockingbirds.

Nextday – Pitt Point / Pitt Islet (San Cristóbal)

Wet landing followed by a high intensity hike on rocky terrain. The trail includes an olivine beach of 90 meters long and a path that climbs to the top of a volcanic tuff, through several magnificent viewpoints. This is probably the only site where the three booby species of the Galapagos can be seen together: Nazca, Blue-footed, and Red-footed; as well as two species of frigate birds and a sea lion colony; it is also excellent for dinghy rides and snorkeling, where a good range of sea birds can be observed.

Afternoon – Cerro Brujo (San Cristóbal)

Wet landing. Cerro Brujo is an eroding tuff cone that at several locations is composed of AA lava formations, and a beautiful white sand beach, great for snorkeling and sunbathing. We visit a lagoon where migratory bird species can be seen: Black-necked Stilts, Ruddy Turnstones, Whimbrels, other sandpiper species and White-cheeked Pintails. Cerro Brujo offers beautiful views of Kicker Rock, the southern part of San Cristobal and the adjacent coast.

Nextday – Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve (San Cristóbal)

Dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Passengers visit the San Cristóbal giant tortoise Breeding Center to learn about the National Park’s conservation programs. Passengers will also have the opportunity to visit the port village, have a drink or shop for arts and crafts and other souvenirs.Transfer to San Cristóbal airport for your return flight.

Day 11 – Quito – Lima

Transfer to the airport of Baltra (SB) and flight to Quito Arrival Quito and transfer to The Jewish Community for an early dinner & a short visit.

Transfer to the airport and flight to Lima (Peru) – Evening arrival and transfer to the hotel

Overnight at Melia Hotel or similar

Day 12: Lima

After breakfast we will have a city tour begins with the visit to the Plaza the Armas, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Running along two sides are arcades with shops: Portal de Escribanos and Portal de Botoneros.

In the center of the Plaza is a bronze fountain dating from 1560. Located in the Plaza is the Cathedral, note the splendidly carved stalls, the silver covered altars surrounded by fine woodwork, mosaic covered walls bearing the coats of arms of Lima and Pizarro. Next to the Cathedral is the Archbishop’s Palace. Then you’ll visit the XVII century Monastery of San Francisco, this is famous for the Sevillian tile work and paneled ceiling in the cloisters, the catacombs under the church and part of the monastery are well worth seeing,

You’ll visit the old colonial streets in the centre of the city, and the modern Lima with the district of San Isidro and Miraflores. We will also visit the Peruvian Gold Museum, this excellent collection includes pre-Columbian gold, silver and bronze, ceramics, weavings, mummies, etc. Upstairs is a remarkable arms collections with an impressive exhibition from Spanish colonial times.

Transfer back to your hotel and prepare for Shabbat.Dinner at the Chabad Center.

Overnight at Melia Hotel or similar

Day 13: Lima

After Shabbat Tefilla and lunch we’ll take a walking tour of the area near the hotel.

Day at leisure. Late lunch at the Chabad Center.

After Shabbat we drive to Parque de la Reserva for a visit of the Magical Circuit of the Water

Day 14: Lima-Cusco-Urubamba Valley

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Cusco. Upon arrival will have a full-day excursion to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The tour begins at Awanakancha, a living museum of the Peruvian Andes, where you can observe traditional textile dyeing and weaving techniques and the four types of camelids that are native to the region. Transfer to hotel via Cinchero market.

Overnight at Aranwa Hotel or similar

Day 15: Urubamba-Machu Picchu-Urubamba

Early breakfast and transfer to the train station for the ride to Machu Picchu, ‘the Lost City of the Incas’ (7,900ft). This mountaintop citadel, which served as both a center of worship and an astronomic observatory, is located in the middle of the cloud forest overlooking the Urubamba River. There are both agricultural and urban areas constructed with the precision stonework that the Incas are known for. The agricultural area consists of terraces and food storehouses, and the urban area contains temples, squares, and royal tombs. After the tour return to Ollanta station.

Transfer to your hotel for dinner and overnight

Day 16: Urubamba-Cusco – Lima – Home Gateway

Morning visit of the village of Pisac. Upon our return to Cusco we will have a city tour of the village of Pisac. Upon our return to Cusco we have a city tour that includes a walk through of the Cathedral, the Koricancha (‘site of gold’), typical streets, and the four ruins that surround the city: the Sacsayhuaman Fortress, Kenko, Puca Pucara, and Tampumachay.

Day 17: Cusco –Lima – flight back home Morning sightseeing in Cusco. After lunch in Cusco transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima connecting with your homebound flight…..Passengers departing to Israel via Europe Arrive Tel Aviv on day 19