If you had to pick just two places to visit in South America, there’s no doubt that a tour of Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands should be top of your list.
These two destinations are not only unique to South America, but in the entire world. With the Galapagos featuring wildlife found nowhere else on Earth, and the marvel that is Machu Picchu perched atop a forest-clad mountain, together they hold the promise of a life-changing vacation.
All our Machu Picchu and Galapagos tours are fully customizable and can be personalized to fit your own needs and trip duration. The following Machu Picchu and Galapagos tour itinerary suggests a nine-day vacation, but this can be extended as needed.
The tour, in addition to Machu Picchu, includes Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire as well as the nearby Sacred Valley of the Incas. In the Galapagos, the minimum cruise duration is 4 days, but this can be extended to 5 or 8 days.
Tip: Each cruise ship visits different islands so if you have somewhere in particular on your Galapagos Islands bucket list, be sure to let us know!
Day 1: Lima, Peru
We know that you'll be tired from traveling, so we'll meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel.
Day 2: Cusco and the Sacred Valley
Today, you fly from Lima over the Andes to arrive at the Inca capital of Cusco – 11,000 feet above sea level.
Upon arrival, we'll pick you up and take you to the Sacred Valley, located at a lower and more manageable altitude to acclimatize. Along the way, we'll visit some of the spectacular Inca ruins near Cusco including Sacsayhuaman, one of the most sacred Inca sites. Afterwards we’ll explore the colorful market at Pisac, before heading to Ollantaytambo where yo'll have a free afternoon exploring this ancient village, still laid out as it was in Inca times.
Day 3: Machu Picchu by train
You'll catch a train to Machu Picchu, arriving in plenty of time to explore this staggering archeological and engineering masterpiece. After a guided tour you’ll have some time to enjoy the site at your leisure – walking to the Inca Bridge or the Sun Gate, taking more photos, or simply sitting in quiet contemplation. In the afternoon, you'll catch a train back to Cusco.
Option: You can choose to spend an extra night in nearby Aguas Calientes, visiting Machu Picchu again the following day, or to climb the peak of Huayna Picchu.
Day 4: Cusco – Lima
In the morning, you'll have some free time in Cusco to visit the Cathedral or Qoricancha (the Sun Temple). In the afternoon, we’ll take you to the airport for your flight to Lima.
Day 5: Lima – Guayaquil
You fly to Guayaquil, Ecuador for the second part of your unforgettable journey – the Galapagos Islands!
Day 6-9: Galapagos Islands Cruise
After a short flight, you arrive in the Galapagos Islands, whose legendary status in natural history needs little introduction.
You'll be met and transferred to your ship to begin your next adventure – a 4 day cruise of the Galapagos Islands (can be extended to 5 or 8 days). You can choose between larger, more stable vessels that hold 90-100 passengers or smaller, more intimate yachts (16-20 passengers). We’ll help you choose the ship that suits your preferred traveling style.
Whatever your choice, you'll have a comfortable cabin, excellent food throughout and, most importantly, a knowledgeable naturalist guide who will fascinate you with the Galapagos incredible history. Itineraries vary depending on the cruise ship but every day you’ll have two excursions – boarding a panga (motorized raft) to go ashore and walk with your guide through mangrove, cactus forest and beaches.
Typical cruises include:
Day 9: Final Day Galapagos – Home
After a morning excursion, you head back to the airport to fly to mainland Ecuador and then on to your connection home.
All our tours are customized and leave on any day. Please contact us for your own personalized tour program.
Alan and Judy, Peru & Ecuador
Dave, Peru & Galapagos
Brian S, Peru & Galapagos
The Dietrichs, Ecuador & Galapagos
Darin, Peru & Galapagos
Linda, Costa Rica
Jane and Sue, Peru
Col. Ed Scholl, Peru
Ralstons & Pruesses, Peru
Peru, Eid-Heberle Family
Jake and Alyssa
Ralston Family, California
Lewis Family, Pennsylvania
Sonny & Amanda Punzalan, California
Sue Clark & Family, Washington
Peru & Ecuador, Dec 2012
Mark Stout & Family, Pennsylvania
Machu Picchu & Galapagos, Dec 2012
Bruce Thaler, Philadelphia
Machu Picchu & Galapagos, November 2012
Howard Silberstein, Miami
Galapagos & Ecuador, November 2012
Yau Ru Chen, Los Angeles
Machu Picchu Galapagos, October 2012
Janet Whiteside, Florida
Peru, July 2012
Machu Picchu, Iguazu & Rio, March 2012
Victor Limlingan, Travel Agent – The Philippines
Ecuador, Galapagos & Panama, June 2012
Jennafer Bonello – Washington DC
Peru, June 2012
Hamila Atefi – Washington DC
Peru and Galapagos, May 2012
Chris Leggat – New York
Galapagos & Machu Picchu, June 2012
Rick Velategui – USA
Peru, Galapagos, Oct 2011
Mike & Carol Lipischak
Peru, November 2011