Equador & Peru Study Tour

This tour has already taken place and is now here as an archive
James McDonaugh

This is no ordinary trip to South America, but one designed exclusively for The Course. While most tours devote themselves to Peru, we will also visit Ecuador, one of the continent's most unusual, scintillatingly beautiful and historically important countries.

The variety of experiences will be breathtaking: landscapes from 'The Lost World'; Inca remains at Machu Picchu; wonderful gardens; stunning 16th and 17th century European architecture in both Ecuador and Peru; textile markets of the Indians; exciting cuisine and indigenous artefacts of enormous beauty lost to the canon of art history. The odyssey will be a revelation for both first time and regular visitors.

We will travel in comfort and stay at the best hotels available.

We are limiting numbers to approximately 15 participants.

The expertise we have is second to none. The trip is designed by one of Britain's leading specialists on tourism in South America, Georgina Marten-Cruz. We will of course be accompanied by the best English speaking guides and specialists for the sites and museums.

James McDonaugh will give daily lectures, whose aim will be to set the local art in context and draw out wider links with European art and culture. His lectures will cover history, art, sculpture, architecture, literature, theology and archaeology. He has been a regular visitor to South America for over 15 years.

Hacienda Zuleka, Angochagua, Equador

Your lecturer

James McDonaugh is an art history lecturer who has led tours for academic bodies in the UK and America including the Art Fund, The Courtauld Institute and Historic New England. Combining a deep knowledge of art, literature, history and theology, his aim is 'to bring to life some of the most beautiful objects and places of interest'. James has an MA in Philosophy and Theology from Oxford, and a diploma in Art History and an MA in Architectural History from the Courtauld Institute. He runs his own business, ArtTours, for private clients and led a hugely successful tour of Istanbul for us in 2009.

Your tour manager

Georgina Marten-Cruz has run a tourism business in Ecuador for over 30 years since moving there from England in the 1970s. She has arranged many VIP visits from Britain, including the recent visit of Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall to Ecuador. She has unparalleled access in both countries. In addition to designing our tour, we are very lucky to have her as our tour manager so that we benefit daily from her passion and expertise.

Your Hotels

Swissotel, 5* Quito view website »

Located in the centre of Quito and overlooking Cotopaxi and Pichincha volcanoes, this luxurious hotel has oversized guest rooms with anti-allergic pillows, audio systems in the bathrooms, 29" cable tvs, CD players, in-room high speed internet access and many other facilities. It has its own spa, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and many fine restaurants.

Hacienda Zuleta, 5* Angochagua view website »

Two hours north of Quito, in the spectacular Andean mountain range and 9,600ft above sea level, Zuleta is a colonial working farm of 4,000 acres belonging to Galo Plaza Iasso, a former president of Ecuador. It was chosen as one of the world's "Top Ten Finds" by Outside magazine. The hacienda has 15 bedrooms each with its own fireplace. Home cooking and regional cuisine is offered daily, prepared with organic vegetables, trout and dairy products produced on the Hacienda.

The Country Club Hotel, 5* Lima view website »

Located in San Isidro, the exclusive residential and commercial district of Lima, 15 minutes from the city centre, The Country Club Lima Hotel built in 1927 was completely remodelled in 2008 and is considered Lima's finest hotel. It has more than 300 pieces of original artwork and colonial furniture on loan from the Pedro de Osma Museum. The 83 rooms and suite accommodation combine unbelievable modern luxury and traditional Peruvian design.

Sol y Luna Hotel, 4* Sacred Valley of the Incas view website »

Only 1 km from the town of Urumbamba in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the 28 bungalows which make up this hotel are enclosed in a red-walled courtyard surrounded by tall eucalyptus trees and beautiful gardens. It has a fine restaurant and luxurious spa.

La Casona Inkaterra, 5* Cusco view website »

Cusco's first boutique hotel is a converted 16th century conquistador's house and has been carefully restored to retain its historical heritage capturing the sense of privacy and privilege of those who once lived here. Surrounding an inner courtyard, the eleven suites have real fires in the bedrooms and colossal bathrooms.

The price includes:

  • Lecturing by James McDonaugh
  • The services of tour manager
  • The services of English speaking local guides
  • 9 lunches and 4 dinners
  • International Flights on Iberia Economy Class
  • International flights on Taca airlines
  • All ground transport
  • All domestic flights
  • All museum and site entrance costs
  • All hotels
  • All Airport taxes, local taxes and tips

The price does not include:

  • Early check-in / late check-out services
  • Personal expenses
  • Drinks during meals, hotel extras

This visit is arranged through ArtTours who are responsible for all the travel arrangements. Please refer to ArtTours Booking Terms And Conditions. In relation to any flights booked as part of the tour, ArtTours works with Lupus Travel Limited to ensure that all participants receive proper financial protection for flights booked as part of a tour. Lupus Travel Limited has an ATOL number of 2551 and is a member of ABTA with membership numbers E3558 and V4886.

This programme is subject to change should local conditions or unexpected restrictions occur.

Book your place

This course has already taken place and is here as an archive. If you are interested in taking part in a future study tour, please get in touch:

Mary Bromley
020 7266 7815
E Mail:

Equador & Peru tour outline

Day 1 / Tuesday 29 March

London - Madrid - Quito

5.30 am
Check-in at London Heathrow
7.25 am
Flight IB3161
10.45 am
Flight arrives Madrid (HS1)Spain
12.15 pm
Flight IB 6463 departs Madrid
4.20 pm
Flight arrives in Quito, Ecuador

Georgina Marten and the local guide will meet the group

5.30 pm
Depart the airport

Overnight at Swissotel

Day 2 / Wednesday 30 March

Quito - Old City

9.00 am
Walking tour of the Old City

Quito has the best preserved old colonial city centre in Latin South America, and it can be comfortably covered on foot in a day. Highlights will include stunning baroque churches of the 16th and 17th centuries - San Francisco (and its museum) La Compania and La Merced - and the great city squares including the Plaza de la Independencia laid out in 1534.

1.00 pm
Lunch sampling typical Ecuadorian food
3.00 pm
Return to the hotel to rest

Overnight at Swissotel

Day 3 / Thursday 31 March

Quito / Zuleta

9.00 am
Depart the hotel
9.30 am
Visit the Museum of Archaeology

This is one of the finest archaeological and gold artefact collections in the Americas, and part of the vast collection owned by the Central Bank of Ecuador. There are over 1800 pieces arranged in chronological order.

1.30 pm
Lunch at 'Zazu' restaurant
3.00 pm
Drive to Hacienda Zuleta

Our own private lodge, 2 hours outside the city of Quito in a lush valley in the heart of the most beautiful Ecuadorian countryside. The lodge is one of the finest colonial farms in Ecuador, owned by an ex Ecuadorian President. There are Inca ruins close by.

5.30 pm
Arrival in the afternoon and free time to rest and relax

Overnight at Hacienda Zuleta

Day 4 / Friday 1 April

Zuleta / Otavalo

8.30 am
Depart hotel

We will drive north along the Pan-American Highway through dramatic mountain scenery to the textile market of Otavalo, South America's most famous Indian fair, where we will enjoy the many stalls full of ponchos, scarves, blankets, wall hangings, woven belts (fajas), hats, handbags and much more. Then, proceed to Peguche, an Indian village very near Otavalo that is home to the artisans who do the weaving in their homes; guests can learn about their culture and everyday life.

1.30 pm
Lunch on the shores of Lake San Pablo
3.30 pm
Return to Hacienda Zuleta

Where we tour the hacienda and learn about colonial hacienda life. Possible visit to the Condor project: an amazing programme to save the largest bird in the world.

Overnight at Hacienda Zuleta

Day 5 / Saturday 2 April

Quito / Lima

9.00 am
Depart for Quito
10.30 am
Coffee stop en route
12.00 pm
Visit the Museo Nacional de Arte Colonial for religious art masterpieces and time depending visit the Museo de la Ciudad
2.00 pm
Lunch at 'La Choza'
4.45 pm
Check-in for Taca International flight

Flight departs from Quito

8.50 pm
Flight arrives in Lima

Overnight at The Country Club hotel

Day 6 / Sunday 3 April

Lima - Old City

9.00 am
Tour the Old City of Lima

Highlights will include Lima's Historical Center, Plaza San Martin, Plaza Mayor, the Government Palace, the City Hall, the Cathedral and its Religious Art Museum.

1.00 pm
Lunch at Rosa Nautica

Continue visit in the Old Town with the Larco Herrera Museum 18th century colonial-style museum houses the largest and most impressive ceramic collection in the world, with about 55,000 pre-Colombian clay pots on display. The collection concentrates on the refined ceramics of the Moche Dynasty, the people who lived along the northern coast of Peru between 200 and 700 AD. The Moche culture is recognized as accomplishing one of the greatest imaginative languages of ancient Peru through the use of creative pottery, providing clues to all aspects of their civilization without the use of the written word.

Overnight at The Country Club hotel

Day 7 / Monday 4 April Lima / Cuzco / Sacred Valley

Check-in for local flight

Flight departs for Cuzco

10.20 am
Flight arrives

On arrival we transfer to the stunningly beautifulUrubamba Valley, part of the larger Sacred Valley. The drive down here is one of the most beautiful in South America.

1.00 pm
Lunch at '3 Keros'

PM Visit Awanacancha, an Andean textile centre whose principal objective is to keep the wealth of Incan textile art alive. Here we will learn about the dyeing techniques and instruments used for hundreds of years in the weaving of these famous textiles.

Overnight at the Sol y Luna Hotel

Day 8 / Tuesday 5 April

Sacred Valley / Machu Picchu / Sacred Valley

We will take an early train to Aguas Calientes

We will take an early train (to avoid large crowds) to Aguas Calientes. Along the way we will enjoy the changing landscape as we travel from Andean highlands to the beginnings of the jungle. From here we will board the bus that will take us to the citadel of Machu Picchu, or Lost City of the Incas, which sits upon the summit bearing the same name, and is one of the most representative and recognized examples of Incan architecture.

1.00 pm
Lunch at Hotel Sanctuary Lodge
Walk through the different areas of the city

The agriculture and urban zone, featuring temples and dwellings; and the Intihuatana, or sun dial, finely carved out of stone.

Return to the town of Aguas Calientes to the take the train to Ollantaytambo station.

Overnight at the Sol y Luna Hotel

Day 9 / Wednesday 6 April

Sacred Valley / Cusco

Transfer to Cusco. Arrival and transfer to the hotel.

Visit the Marras Garden: a beautiful sunken garden where we will learn how they grow corn at such heights.

1.00 pm
Lunch at 'Casa di Barro'
Walking tour along the enchanting old stone streets of Cusco

Visit the Temple of Koricancha, the Cathedral that stands in front of the city's Main Plaza, one of the wonders of South American architecture.

Overnight at La Casona Inkaterra hotel

Day 10 / Thursday 7 April


Full day to enjoy sightseeing in this vast and wonderful city

Highlights will include monasteries, churches and other historic buildings. We chart Mestizi architecture at Koricancha (Temple of the sun), the Incan street Loreto, and Ahuajpinta street along which lie remains of impressive Incan palaces and old colonial buildings.

1.00 pm
Lunch at the 'Map Cafe'
Continue Cusco sightseeing

visits will include the Pre-Columbian Museum, and Inca Museum.

Overnight at La Casona Inkaterra hotel

Day 11 / Friday 8 April


Head to the city outskirts

To visit archaeological gems such as Sacsayhuaman, featuring impressively carved stones that have been masterly assembled and Qenqo for its impressive subterranean galleries; Tambomachay and its collection of terraces and water canals still in use today; and finishing in Puca Pucara, or the Red Fortress, a name given to it due to the red colour of the rock at sunset, and was a strategic point along the Inca Trail.

Lunch (at leisure)

Afternoon at leisure for some shopping

Overnight at La Casona Inkaterra hotel

Day 12 / Saturday 9 April

Cuzco / Lima / London

Transfer to the airport to begin the journey home
11.30 am
Check-in for flight
1.30 pm
Flight departs Cuzco
2.45 pm
Flight arrives in Lima
5.55 pm
Check-in for flight
7.55 pm
Flight IB6650 departs Lima for Madrid

Day 13 / Sunday 10 April

2.25 pm
Flight arrives in Madrid
4.30 pm
Flight departs Madrid for London
5.50 pm
Flight arrives at Heathrow