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EXPERIENCE WITH TAUCK
Private Tauck Shore Excursions in the Galápagos Islands with expert naturalist guides – averaging two daily – for an up-close experience with some of the most unusual and intriguing species in the world
TAUCK VALUE INCLUDES
On-Tour Air (5 flights)
All gratuities to Tauck Director, guides, naturalists and ship staff
Exclusive 6-night Galápagos Cruise aboard the expedition ship, Isabela II – with no more than 40 Tauck guests
Active components such as hiking, bicycling and walking longer distances may be included, and hills and/or uneven terrain may be encountered on several days. Guests should be able to walk two to three miles and stand for long periods of time with no difficulty.
Moderately paced, and may include some early morning hotel departures, one or two on-tour flights, and extended motor coach travel.
Cultural journeys and expeditions
Naturalist Klaus Fielsch has spent 20+ years working with Metropolitan Touring, our partner in the Galápagos; he shares his years of experience and insights in an informative, charming 1:00 hour insideTauck video presentation. Learn about life in Ecuador and the Galápagos, as well as wildlife and natural habitats you might see on a cruise to the "Enchanted Islands" – and we've also included a selection of videos, documentaries and podcasts for additional information.
The abandoned Incan "city" of Machu Picchu in Peru's Andes Mountains is a mystery. No one knows for sure why it was built, some 500 years ago – or why it was deserted. In fact, this ancient citadel was hidden from the western world until Hiram Bingham, an archaeologist from Yale University who was searching for other ruins from the empire of the Incas, stumbled upon it by accident in 1911, and dubbed it the "Lost City of the Incas." Maybe you can figure it out as you explore this amazing maze of a place, with what experts guess was a palace, dungeons, and over 100 staircases.
The only hotel located at the entrance to Machu Picchu, Sanctuary Lodge, A Belmond Hotel, lets you beat the daily crowds that flock to Peru's centuries-old Inca citadel. Sitting in the shadows of the Lost City, this stylish retreat is an oasis of calm before or after a day exploring Machu Picchu. Unwind with a yoga session, take part in a traditional shaman ceremony in the garden, or sip muña tea in Tampu Bar. Tranquility, wonder and beauty are at the heart of the lodge's unique experience.
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Category A (Master Suite)
The below provides an overview of Tauck's requirements and those of the countries we visit, along with our supplier partners who have implemented their own Covid policies that may go beyond Tauck's requirements. The trip-specific guidelines are for U.S. travelers.
Up-to-date destination entry requirements will be posted 60 days prior to the first seasonal departure for each tour or cruise series. For journeys not yet posted below, please visit our Travel Requirements page. As entry requirement change frequently, please check often.
Tauck 2024 Covid Policy
For 2024 tours and cruises, Tauck has no remaining Covid requirements. There is no vaccination requirement or travel pledge to be signed. This 2024 policy could change if there is a surge in infection rates or other factors that could impact the safety of our guests and employees.
Tauck 2023 Covid Policy
To ensure the safety of your fellow travelers and the communities we visit, all guests must follow health and safety protocols when necessitated by local health guidance or our supplier partners. Your Tauck Director will keep you informed of these local requirements.
Although not required by Tauck, some countries may require a pre-travel Covid test. It is important that you carefully check the most recent entry requirements (listed below) for your tour or cruise.
Additional Destination Requirements
Your health and safety remain our number one priority while you are traveling with us on Peru and the Galápagos Islands. The below travel requirements are mandated by Peru, Ecuador, the Galápagos National Park, and our cruise partner Metropolitan Touring. They apply to all Tauck guests without exception:
For entry into Peru:
For entry into Ecuador:
Requirements for Galápagos National Park and Metropolitan Touring:
For return to the United States:
If you are a U.S. citizen, you will need a passport valid for six months beyond the completion of your Tauck journey for entry into Peru and Ecuador. You do not need a visa for this tour provided that you do not stay in Peru or Ecuador longer than 90 days.
If you are a citizen of another country, you should contact a consulate or embassy of Peru and of Ecuador to determine what travel documentation is required.
You will be issued a boarding card, which you must present before embarking the ship in each port. This security measure also ensures that only Tauck guests are permitted onboard.
We recommend that you make at least two photocopies of all the travel documents that you bring with you. Include copies of the photo page of your passport that contains the date of issuance, the date of expiration and your citizenship. Secure one set of copies in the safe in your room while traveling and leave one set behind with someone at home who will assist you in the event your documents are misplaced, lost or stolen.
To facilitate Travel Requirements, destinations are increasingly utilizing online forms that require digital proof that you've successfully completed your submission (via an email, QR code, etc.) To ensure smooth travels and peace of mind, we strongly recommend all guests carry a personal smart phone and sign up for international data plans before traveling overseas.
International maritime security guidelines require that your passport information be provided to us prior to your embarkation. You need to provide this information to us as soon as you book your cruise or boarding may be denied. Once you board the ship, your passport will be held by the purser until you disembark.
Note: For activities marked with an asterisk (*) in day-by-day descriptions, participation is at your own risk; a signed liability waiver will be required.
TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN AS A GUARDIAN: If you are traveling as the guardian of a child/children, we strongly suggest that you carry a letter from both parents of the child authorizing emergency treatment in the event of illness or accident. For travel abroad, many foreign countries have specific entry requirements for children under 21 who are traveling internationally without BOTH parents. (These requirements are in response to the increased incidence of children being abducted and taken abroad.) PLEASE NOTE THAT TAUCK IS NOT RESPONSIBLE for the disruption of travel caused by improper documentation for children traveling without both parents.
See your travel advisor, or call Tauck at 800-468-2825 to make a reservation.
At the time of booking, please have the following information ready for all members of your party:
* Required Fields
The deposit and the fees for the optional Protection Plan or Cancel Fee Waiver [CFW] coverage are due at time of booking.
The deposit amount is $1,500 per person
Final Payment is due to Tauck 60 days before departure for lands trips, and 120 days before departure for cruises and rail journeys. If your deposit was made by credit card, final payment will be automatic unless you opted out at time of booking. Bookings without full payment at this time may be subject to cancellation without notice. Failure to make payment will be a considered a cancellation by the guest and all applicable cancellation fees will apply.
Effective for plans purchased as of July 1, 2021:
Tauck's Cruise and Event Protection
Tauck's Cruise & Event Protection provides you with cancellation protection before your journey begins as well as insurance benefits while you are traveling. It must be purchased within 10 days of your initial deposit. Guest Protection includes the following:
Cancellation Waiver – Provided by Tauck:
Under Tauck's Cancellation Fee Waiver you can cancel your tour for ANY REASON and Tauck will reduce the regular cancellation fees outlined herein, provided we are notified of cancellation before your cruise departs. Certain terms and restrictions apply (see below*).
*Extreme Circumstances: In the event of an act of God, war (whether declared or undeclared), terrorism, accident, natural disaster, outbreak of disease, or other event or circumstance beyond our control that contributes to or results in cancellation rates above our historical cancellation rates in the absence of such event or occurrence, Tauck reserves the right to issue a credit to you in lieu of a money-back refund, applicable to a future Tauck journey. Travel Insurance Benefits – Underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company.
Worldwide Emergency Assistance Services – Provided by Carefree Travel Assistance; 24-hour emergency telephone assistance hotline for medical and travel related problems.
The cost of Tauck's Cruise and Event Protection is: $799 per person
This plan provides cancellation coverage for your trip and other insurance coverages that apply only during the covered trip. You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages. You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your existing life, health, home and automobile policies. If you have any questions about your current coverage, call your insurer, insurance agent or broker.
This optional Cruise and Event Protection must be requested at time of booking and fee must be included in initial payment. Details will be provided with written confirmation of your reservation. Cruise and Event Protection does not protect travel agent commissions. Reimbursements will be made according to original method of payment. The amount of any refund shall be reduced by any recoveries obtained by you from any third parties.
If you cancel within 10 days of initial deposit
Within the first 10 days after you place your initial deposit, you may cancel your reservation for any reason with no cancellation fees.
If you cancel more than 10 days after initial deposit
Regardless of reason, cancellations result in costly charges from our travel and hotel providers covering penalties and fees incurred by canceling confirmed bookings. These fees vary from tour to tour. Therefore, the following fees apply for this tour.
Cancellation Fees with Tauck's Cruise Protection Plan:
120 days or more before departure:
Loss of cost of Tauck's Cruise and Event Protection fee per person
119 – 60 days before departure:
Loss of 25% of the cost of the cruise, not including air (if applicable), plus loss of Cruise and Event Protection fee, per person
59 – 1 days before departure:
Loss of 50% of the cost of the cruise, not including air (if applicable), plus loss of Cruise and Event Protection fee, per person
Cancellation Fees without Tauck's Cruise Protection Plan:
120 days or more before departure:
$1500 per person
119 – 60 days before departure:
Loss of 50% of the cost of cruise, not including air (if applicable), per person
59 - 1 days before departure:
Loss of 100% of the cost of cruise, not including air (if applicable), per person
Time of cancellation will be when notice is received in our Wilton Woods, CT office.
Tour Interruption Fees
If you have to interrupt your tour en route, you may be entitled to a refund for the unused land portion if it exceeds 24 hours; certain restrictions apply. Such refunds are based upon the number of overnights missed less a fee of $40 per person per day for unused transportation and other fixed expenses.
Partial Room Cancellation
A person who cancels or leaves a tour while a roommate remains constitutes a cancellation of one type of accommodation and rebooking of another type of accommodation. The price charged to the remaining person is the new, higher price for the new accommodation.
In the event of an unforeseen circumstance beyond our control, Tauck reserves the right to amend the cancellation and transfer terms outlined herein.
Note: All Guests, regardless of residency, who book a Tauck journey have the option of purchasing the Cancellation Waiver provided by Tauck in the event they need to cancel their trip after making their reservations. Tauck's Cruise & Event Protection, which includes both the Cancellation Fee Waiver and the Travel Insurance Benefits and Assistance Services described above, is not available to residents of Puerto Rico.
Click here to find Tauck's Travel Terms & Conditions.
AIRFARE: Airfare to and from this destination is not included in the journey cost. If purchasing your air elsewhere, it is very important to provide us with your confirmed arriving and departing flight information no later than 3 weeks before your arrival date. Flight information can be submitted to Tauck (or verified, if you've already provided it) in the My Account section of Tauck.com.
TAUCK AIRPORT TRANSFERS are included at the start and end of the journey between the airport and the Tauck hotel. Airport transfers are available for any pre tour or post tour hotel stays immediately consecutive to the tour, providing flight information is received in the Tauck office no later than three weeks in advance. Details on locating your transfer upon arrival to the tour start city will be included in your final documents.
AIRLINES and CHECKED LUGGAGE: Due to space limitations during your Tauck journey, we ask that you please limit your checked luggage to one average-size suitcase per person. Besides complying with the Tauck restriction noted above, you should also be sure to research and comply with all airline baggage restrictions relating to your flights to and from your Tauck journey. Airlines have become much more strict in enforcing size and weight limits in recent years, and are free to revise luggage policies without notice. Researching and complying with airline luggage restrictions is the responsibility of the guest, and Tauck cannot be held responsible for any costs or disruptions to travel caused by the failure to research and comply with airline policies. PLEASE NOTE that if you are booked on a tour that includes on-tour flights, the checked luggage weight restrictions for these flights may be lower than the weight restrictions for your international flights.
Special Luggage Restrictions for this Tour
Due to space limitations aboard the motor coaches and local aircraft, we urge that only one piece of checked luggage be brought on this trip. Additionally, space constraints and weight limitations aboard the train to Machu Picchu require guests to carry limited personal belongings. Each passenger is restricted to no more than 50 lbs (23 kg) of luggage. Therefore, we will provide you with a duffel bag (roughly 1 ft by 1 ft by 2 ft in overall dimensions, or 30.5 cm by 30.5 cm by 60 cm) to carry your clothing and personal items for your one-night stay in Machu Picchu. Meanwhile, checked luggage will be stored, at the Belmond Monasterio in Cusco during the Machu Picchu excursion and, if desired, the Oro Verde Hotel, in Guayaquil during the cruise. Small carry-on bags are permitted, but Ecuadorian airlines will check large wheeled carry-on's, if desired with the larger luggage. If you reside in the Continental United States the duffel bag will be sent to your home and should arrive approximately two weeks prior to your departure for Peru. Guests residing in Alaska, Hawaii or outside of the U.S will receive their duffels upon arrival in Lima. Each guest is also restricted to one carry-on bag weighing no more than 17 lbs (8 kg).
Checked Luggage – General
Besides complying with the Tauck restriction noted above, you should also be sure to research and comply with all airline baggage restrictions relating to your flights to and from your Tauck journey. Airlines have become much more strict in enforcing size and weight limits in recent years, and luggage exceeding airline standards for size or weight may result in expensive overage fees or other consequences.
Airlines are free to revise luggage policies without notice, and certain airlines have different baggage allowances for different classes of service. Researching and complying with airline luggage restrictions is the responsibility of the guest, and Tauck cannot be held responsible for any costs or disruptions to travel caused by the failure to research and comply with airline policies.
Tauck luggage tags will be provided by your Tauck Director on Day 1 of your itinerary. Please do not attach a Tauck luggage tag to any carry-on items, as the Tauck tags designate luggage that is to be handled and transferred by ground operators and hotel staff during your journey.
Carry-on Luggage - General
Although oversize bags and wheeled, carry-on luggage are popular for airline travel, they are often not convenient or appropriate for motor coach travel or for many on-tour flights. Most modern sightseeing motor coaches offer limited space for numerous or larger items. Space under seats or in the overhead rack is typically small, and designed to accommodate items like coats, hats, purses, and small camera bags, etc. For your day-to-day travel while on tour, we recommend that you limit your hand luggage to a small, soft-sided carry-on piece, and that you bring only those items you need handy during the day such as make-up, medications, cameras, film, etc. Items too large to fit under the motor coach seat or on the overhead rack must be stored in the luggage bays beneath the motor coach, and may be inaccessible during daytime travel.
Tauck Care and Global Response
Keeping our guests safe and secure has always been of paramount importance at Tauck. While we cannot predict or prevent events outside of our control, we have learned to expect the unexpected. In fact, we've planned for it and have safeguards, protocols and teams in place to deal with any eventualities. You'll travel with a comprehensive, built-in support system that starts with the care and local knowledge of our Tauck Directors and extends to our network of partners around the world, including hoteliers and transportation companies.
Our Global Response Team stands ready to respond to situations around the world. Over the past two decades, they have successfully led us through a variety of challenges around the world, from weather events, high and low water on rivers, work stoppages and more. We are well prepared for Covid. We provide assurance and comfort in knowing that help is readily available if and when it's ever needed.
Enhanced Covid Protocols:
Tauck has worked closely with our supplier partners around the world to deliver the comfort and safety you expect. To learn more about the enhanced protocols we have put in place for Covid, please visit: tauck.com/travel-and-health/tauck-protocols.
To fully enjoy this tour's itinerary, participants must be in good health. This is a rigorous tour and you need to be in good physical condition with good balance as the terrain varies from sandy beaches to uneven lava and rocks. Proper walking shoes with ankle support are essential. You may want to bring a walking stick – there are a few available on board Isabela II for the Galápagos section of your journey. Walks range from 1 to 2 mi (3 to 6 km) in length and last from 1.5 to 2.5 hours.
You will spend several days touring at high altitudes in Peru [especially Cusco at 11,200 ft (3,414 m)]. At these altitudes some visitors may suffer varying degrees of altitude sickness, including nausea. We have found that some guests may be more affected by the altitude than others. Medications are available to prevent altitude sickness, and we urge you to speak with your physician prior to your departure from home to discuss prophylaxis for safe travel.
All ship-to-shore transfers use Zodiacs or Pangas (capacity 9 to 12 persons). Occasionally you will get wet with spray. Some wet landings require guests to wade through knee-high deep coastal water.
There are three decks on Isabela II; however, there is no elevator.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE ON SUPPLEMENTAL OXYGEN AND MOBILITY ISSUES: This Tauck itinerary cannot accommodate oxygen tanks, wheelchairs or motorized scooters. Oxygen tanks are strictly prohibited in many foreign countries on regional flights aboard small aircraft, such as those intra-tour flights featured on this Tauck journey. Likewise, the very limited cargo capacity on such flights prohibits the transport of wheelchairs or motorized scooters.
Guests should also bear in mind that the infrastructure in many foreign countries, particularly in developing countries, often presents severe and even insurmountable challenges for those with walking difficulties or other mobility issues. The responsibility of the Tauck Director is to ensure that the larger group enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing individual assistance to any one guest. Guests requiring such individualized assistance must be accompanied by an able-bodied companion who can provide it.
Isabela II does not have mechanical stabilizers because the water around the Galápagos Islands is very calm. However, the ship has a rounded hull that helps minimize rocking. We travel between the various islands so the areas in which we cruise are sheltered. If you are prone to seasickness, bring a non–drowsy, over-the-counter, anti-nausea medication. Anti-nausea wristbands are also a good idea. The anti-nausea patch is NOT recommended for use in the islands as it tends to impair vision in direct sunlight.
Bottled water is available throughout the trip, both in Peru and Ecuador, on board Isabela II and during onshore excursions.
Guests bringing a quantity of medication with them are advised to carry a doctor's certificate to avoid possible problems with customs officials.
Smoking is not permitted in any interior space on board Isabela II. Smoke and open fire will activate the smoke detectors. Smoking is allowed on Deck 2 forward the stern only, and there are ashtrays placed in specific exterior deck areas. Please do not throw your cigarettes overboard, as it is a violation of international maritime pollution laws and they can easily be blown back onto the ship. Please refrain from smoking on shore and in shore excursion vehicles and ship tenders. Smoking is also not permitted on the motor coaches. These regulations pertain to e-cigarettes as well.
The only islands with bathroom facilities are San Cristobal and Baltra, where there are visitor centers and airports. We will be returning back to the ship for lunch and dinner, and Zodiacs or Pangas will travel back and forth to the ship during shore excursions.
The infirmary on Isabela II is staffed by a licensed Ecuadorian doctor. If you avail yourself of his/her services, a charge will be posted to your personal shipboard account. Isabela II is registered in Ecuador. Please check with your insurer to determine if coverage applies while you are traveling, and purchase appropriate travel insurance if necessary.
If you are traveling as the guardian of a child or children, we strongly suggest you bring along a letter from both parents of the child authorizing any emergency treatment, as medical facilities may require permission from the child's parent or parents.
If you have a medical condition that might limit your participation in activities, please consult your physician for pre-departure health advice and notify us as soon as possible, if you have not already done so. We will advise your Tauck Director accordingly.
VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Visit our COVID-19 Travel Requirements page to learn about Tauck's universal vaccination requirement and destination-specific COVID policies.
Some of the countries visited on this itinerary may require travelers to provide proof of vaccination against certain diseases in order to enter the country. These requirements are subject to frequent change as outbreaks occur and subside in different areas, and it is therefore crucial that you obtain the very latest information on entry requirements as you prepare for your journey.
For the most current information, please consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by clicking here and the World Health Organization (WHO) by clicking here. You may also wish to visit the web sites for the embassies of the countries you will be visiting. Besides providing details on vaccination requirements, these sites can also provide information on vaccinations that may be recommended (but aren't required) and other potential health issues for which no vaccines are available.
Any decisions relating to your health, of course, should not be based solely on information provided by a web site. It is critically important that you consult with your personal physician prior to your journey to obtain any required vaccinations and to review any optional recommendations offered by the CDC or other sources.
Please be sure to discuss your journey with your physician at least four to six weeks in advance of your departure, as certain vaccinations take time to become fully effective. Also, be certain to ask your physician for proof of any vaccinations you receive, and to pack this proof along with your other travel documents in your carry-on luggage (not in your checked luggage).
Researching and complying with vaccination entry requirements for the countries visited on this itinerary is the responsibility of the traveler and not Tauck. Tauck is therefore not responsible for any expenses incurred or disruptions to travel caused by improper or incomplete vaccinations, or by the failure to provide proof of required vaccinations.
If you do not obtain the necessary vaccinations and proper documentation, you may be denied entry into one or more countries, or temporarily quarantined until the necessary vaccinations are administered, or until proper documentation is provided.
SPECIAL DIETARY REQUESTS
The restaurants, hotels, caterers and numerous other partners we work with all do their best to accommodate special dietary requests from Tauck guests. However, given the diverse nature of those food providers (from small wineries to grand hotels to world-famous restaurants in more than 70 countries worldwide), some of our partners are better able than others to accommodate such requests. We therefore cannot guarantee that all dietary requests can be accommodated at every meal. Also, please note that where dietary requests can be accommodated, choices will frequently be limited.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a guidance letter that requires airlines and travel agents to disclose to consumers countries that require the use of insecticides by airlines. Please click here for more information.
We have compiled a reading list of recommended books to give you more information about the destinations you will be traveling to on your upcoming journey!
You can view the reading list here.
The Peruvian coast is generally sunny and hardly ever receives any rain, but from April to November there is a heavy sea mist. The highlands have a wet season (October to April) and a dry season (May to September), when the days are clear and sunny but cold at night especially at higher altitudes.
The Galápagos Islands lie almost on the equator about 650 miles (1,046 kilometers) west of the coast of Ecuador. The islands have an unusual climate in view of their proximity to the equator; rainfall is low and temperatures are lower than would be expected. There are no extremes of heat or cold, and temperatures range from 75° to 86°F (24° to 30°C) year round. The weather is hot and sunny in the islands and sea temperatures average 67° to 72°F (19° to 22°C). For guests planning on swimming, most swimming takes place at midday hours. Although there is more rain on the larger islands which are hilly (such as Seymour Island), rainfall is low at sea level and comes during the months of January to April. Light drizzle and even fog, however, are not uncommon at other times of the year.
To read about current weather conditions, we suggest you log on to the Internet website, noaa.gov, by clicking here.
Bringing the right clothing for your trip is important – we've partnered with New Headings (Necessary Gear) who provide an "easy-to-use, one-stop shop" for your Tauck travel needs, specifically selected for this trip. Click here to visit their site.
This is a very casual tour. Dressy clothing is not required for the farewell dinner. You may, however, want to bring one dressy outfit for our dinner at a private home on Night 2. Most important are comfortable walking shoes with ankle support for walks over rocky, uneven terrain. You will also need reef shoes or aqua shoes for beach landings. Your feet will get wet. Bring a windbreaker, sweater or jacket for the cool nights at sea.
Bring a bathing suit for swimming and snorkeling (snorkeling equipment is provided or you can bring your own). If you use a prescription snorkeling mask, you will need to bring it with you. A wetsuit is recommended for snorkeling in September and October, as the water tends to be cooler. Shortie wet suits are provided on the ship for your convenience.
To assist in early morning wake-ups, we suggest bringing a compact, battery operated alarm clock. You can also arrange a wake-up call while on board.
A small backpack will be very useful during Galapagos shore excursions and our visit to Machu Picchu.
IMPORTANT: Sundries and toiletries are difficult to find in the Galapagos Islands. Provided for you in your stateroom are biodegradable shampoo, body wash and a bar of soap.
Consider packing a number of garment combinations you can mix and match over four or five days before needing to do laundry. There are no guest laundry facilities available aboard ship, only a clothes dryer to dry wet clothing.
Beyond your normal wardrobe and personal grooming items, we suggest you also bring along:
We recommend that you pack any prescription medicines (an adequate supply for your entire journey) along with your travel documents and a change of clothing in your carry-on bag, in order to minimize any inconvenience should your luggage be lost or delayed. We also recommend, for your peace of mind and personal security, that all expensive jewelry and other valuables be left at home.
The Tauck Experience
Book Today... And Travel Dreams Begin
Call us, or call your travel advisor, to book your preferred departure date today – and explore our beautiful brochures to find your inspiration for your next journey.
Book Today... And Travel Dreams Begin