Try the local coca tea if you are feeling a little affected by the high altitude whilst in Peru - it works wonders.
Bring plenty of spare dollars with you as the boat may stop at research stations and these are the perfect places to pick up the most remote souvenirs in the world.
In the pretty coastal city of Mérida there is a strong cultural programme, which means that most nights you can find a live band or dancing in one of the city’s many plazas.
On The Galapagos Islands
A good pair of fast-drying trekking sandals is a great way to deal with your wet landings and tough lava landscapes when on your Galapagos cruise.
Cuzco is a haven for jewellery, with many shops selling earrings inlaid with semi-precious stones. But don't forget to barter a little on the price!
Otavalo market is the best place in Ecuador to try out your haggling skills and pick up some beautifully soft alpaca blankets along the way.
Cuenca is the place to pick up a top quality authentic Panama hat and, if you can't fit it in your suitcase, you can get it boxed up and sent home for a very reasonable price.
In Oaxaca I like nothing better than to indulge in a bit of people watching in the shady main plaza, cooling down with a delicious ice cream.
On The Galapagos Islands
Consider taking a pair of polarised sunglasses with you on your Galapagos cruise, as these help to cut out the glare on the water and give you a better view of any underwater life.
Wear a swimsuit under your clothes when visiting the waterfalls surrounding Canaima lagoon, as the water is refreshingly cool on a hot and humid day.
If you're feeling adventurous, try some of the spicy termite sauce sold by the local Pemon people at Canaima airport.
If the local delicacy of cuy (guinea pig) is not to your taste, then try alpaca, which tastes like a good fillet steak.
On The Galapagos Islands
It is well worth investing in a good underwater camera to capture the wonderful wildlife you might encounter while snorkelling in the Galapagos.
When passing through the Colca Canyon, keep an eye out for the roaming herds of wild vicuña, whose wool is harvested biennially to produce the most expensive fabric in the world.
Decent waterproof trousers are a must as this allows you to sit or lie on the snow to capture interesting angles and see life from a penguin’s perspective.
Try to avoid wearing your best clothes when on safari in Los Llanos. It is a working cattle ranch with dirt roads and can get very dusty.
After eight years studying Spanish Lizzie arrived in Latin America for the first time, where she spent a year teaching English in Mexico. This sparked her passion for Latin America and, after graduating with a First Class degree, she returned to travel extensively throughout both Central and South America, where she particularly enjoyed visiting local markets and honing her haggling skills, and fell in love with Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. Since joining Audley Lizzie has recently returned to Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela where she enjoyed visiting and staying in our range of selected hotels and Galapagos cruise boats. Highlights included soaking under the stars in the hot springs of Colca Lodge in the Colca Canyon of Peru and paddling her feet at the base of the astonishing Angel Falls in Venezuela.
My Most Memorable Experience
"From all my travels throughout Latin America, my most memorable experience would certainly be my cruise in the Galapagos Islands. However, there were so many good bits it's hard to pick just one.
I could rave about snorkelling with playful sea lion pups who nibbled my fins and inspected my underwater camera with great curiosity, but that would be neglecting the Galapagos penguins who shot through the water like bullets, fishing for dinner.
Then back on land I marvelled at iguanas who sat nonchalently nibbling cacti on the footpath while we stepped over and around them. There was no stepping over the giant tortoises; which you could occasionally spot in fields, like huge living boulders chomping slowly away on the grass. It truly was the experience of a lifetime!"
My Favourite Destination
After eight years studying Spanish Lizzie arrived in Latin America for the first time, where she spent a year teaching English in Mexico. This sparked her passion for Latin America and, after graduating with a First Class degree, she returned to travel extensively throughout both Central and South America, where she particularly enjoyed visiting local markets and honing her haggling skills and fell in love with Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.
Since joining Audley Lizzie has returned to Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela where she enjoyed visiting and staying in our range of selected hotels and Galapagos cruise boats. Highlights included soaking under the stars in the hot springs in the Colca Canyon of Peru and paddling her feet at the base of the astonishing Angel Falls in Venezuela.
She has also since revisited Mexico where she thoroughly enjoyed exploring the huge diversity of archaeological sites.
My Favourite Accommodation
"On my recent trip to Peru with Audley I stayed in Colca Lodge in the Colca Canyon. Although the rooms are fairly simple, the setting at the base of the canyon overlooking Colca River is beautiful, even if the narrow and windy access road to the Lodge is a bit nerve-wracking for those with a fear of heights like myself!
Colca Lodge offers a number of great outdoor activities from hiking to biking to horse-riding, as well as being conveniently located for a visit to Condors Cross where these enormous birds soar right over your head. After a busy day you can be thoroughly pampered in their excellent spa.
For me, the best part of Colca Lodge are the steaming hot springs. Relaxing in the balmy waters with only the stars for light was incredibly special."