Machu Picchu to the Galápagos

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DETAILS

Machu Picchu’s enigmatic ruins and the fascinating Galápagos Islands rank among South America’s greatest
treasures; experience both on a small group tour. Begin with Lima’s highlights then traverse the magnificent
Sacred Valley, overnighting at astounding Machu Picchu and absorbing its mystery on two tours. Encounter Cuzco and Quito—both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spend four nights on beautiful Santa Cruz Island, cruising by private yacht with an expert naturalist guide to the nearby Galápagos Islands to observe their unique wildlife.

Pricing from
$8,993
Trip Type
Group Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages, International Ocean & Sea Voyages
Departure Dates
Aug 15, 2023 - Aug 30, 2023

EXTENSIONS

A pre-tour extension to discover the Amazon is also planned.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

Cancellations and Refunds
You will receive a full refund for any cancellations made up to 95 days before departure (155 days for Burgundy Barging). If you must cancel your tour, the effective date of can­cellation will be upon our receipt of your notification.

TOUR MAP

Machu Galapagos map

ITINERARY

  • day 1

    Depart U.S. for Lima, Peru

    We depart today for the Peruvian capital. Upon arrival tonight we transfer directly to our hotel.

  • day 2

    Lima

    This morning we visit a prominent art museum in Lima. Then we encounter colonial Lima on an afternoon tour, followed by a welcome dinner at our hotel.

  • day 3

    Lima/Cuzco/Sacred Valley

    Arriving in Cuzco today, we stop at the important Incan site of Koricancha, dedicated to the Sun God. Then we continue on to Sacred Valley, a region of Inca sites and indigenous villages. We visit the colorful Indian market at Pisac before reaching our hotel late afternoon.

  • day 4

    Sacred Valley

    Today we explore Ollantaytambo, both a living town and site of massive Incan ruins that still inspire wonder. Then we visit the Incan farming town of Chinchero, where residents live much as their ancestors did and where we see a traditional weaving demonstration. Before dinner at our hotel tonight, we attend a native “Offering to the Earth” ceremony.

  • day 5

    Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu

    This morning we board a train for the 1½-hour journey to Aguas Calientes, where we transfer by shuttle bus to our hotel for lunch. Then we embark on our first guided visit of the stunning ruins at Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas.” Thanks to the small size of our group, we will be able to move nimbly through the ruins and have the leisure to absorb both the beauty and the mystery of this impressive site. With an over-night stay here, we have the rare privilege of seeing the ruins after the tourists have departed.

  • day 6

    Machu Picchu/Cuzco

    This morning before the day trippers arrive, we enjoy our second guided tour of this UNESCO site. Following lunch at our lodge, we return to Aguas Calientes with some free time before our mid-afternoon train to Cuzco.

  • day 7

    Cuzco

    Known for its Incan and Spanish colonial heritage, Cuzco is the archaeological “hub” of the Americas and the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city. This morning we tour this UNESCO site then stop at the ruins of Sacsayhuaman fortress, a masterpiece of Incan architecture. We enjoy lunch today at a local restaurant.

  • day 8

    Lima

    We fly back to Lima today, arriving mid-day. After lunch on our own, we visit the Larco Herrera Museum of pre-Columbian art and artifacts revealing 3,000 years of Peruvian history. Dinner tonight is on our own.

  • day 9

    Lima/Quito

    Today we fly to the Ecuadorian capital of Quito, arriving late afternoon. After checking in at our hotel, we attend a briefing about our Galapagos adventure then enjoy dinner together.

  • day 10

    Quito/Baltra/Santa Cruz Island

    Today we fly to the island of Baltra then transfer to Santa Cruz, our island-based home for our Galapagos exploration. We reach our beautiful hotel set on 370 lush, unspoiled, and secluded acres in the highlands adjacent to Galapagos National Park in time for lunch. Then we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see and learn about the giant Galapagos tortoises.

  • day 11

    North Seymour Island/Bachas Beach

    This morning we embark on our first excursion aboard the Santa Fe, our privately chartered yacht. We set out for North Seymour, a flat, low-lying island with ample opportunities for close encounters with the wildlife on our naturalist-led walk. After lunch, we head back to Santa Cruz island for a nature walk.

  • day 12

    South Plaza Island/Punta Carrion

    Today’s destination is the small in size but rich in flora and fauna island of South Plaza. Boasting abundant wildlife and colorful flora, and surrounded by turquoise waters, South Plaza ranks as one of the most popular (and colorful) of the Galapagos islands. During our nature walk, we are on the lookout for such local residents as land and marine iguanas, bright orange Sally Lightfoot crabs, red-billed tropic birds, Nazca and blue-footed boobies, and a male colony of sea lions (“the bachelors”). Then we cruise to Punta Carrion, where we have the opportunity to snorkel in the calm waters of a shallow cove.

  • day 13

    Santa Cruz Island

    Today we explore Santa Cruz itself, the second largest of the Galapagos islands. We see the giant Galapagos tortoises in their natural habitat; the huge twin craters of Los Gemelos; and Garrapatero, a secluded white-sand beach where we see an abundance of marine and terrestrial wildlife.

  • day 14

    Santa Cruz Island/Baltra/Quito

    This morning we transfer to Baltra for the flight to Quito, arriving mid-afternoon. Tonight we celebrate our adventure at a farewell dinner in a local restaurant.

  • day 15

    Quito/Depart for U.S

    Nestled in Andes foothills, Quito boasts a well-preserved historic center, as we see on today’s city tour that includes the Middle of the World Monument. Then we return to our hotel for time at leisure before tonight’s transfer to the airport for our overnight flight to the U.S.

  • day 16

    Arrive U.S.

    We arrive in the U.S. this morning and connect with our return flights home.

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