Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Tour

Tour two of South America’s most spectacular sights in one trip

Itinerary at a Glance


  • Lima, 1 night – World class cuisine, superb museums
  • Sacred Valley, 1 night – Explore Andean life and ancient Incan ruins
  • Machu Picchu, 1 night – Make an in-depth visit to this stunning icon
  • Cusco, 2 nights – Spend time in the cosmopolitan former Incan capital
  • Quito, 2 nights – Walk the streets of this colonial city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Galapagos, 7 nights – Take a small ship expedition cruise through the Enchanted Isles
  • Top quality boutique hotels, truly outstanding local English speaking guides
  • All of our itineraries can be customized to your interests, dates and budget!

Day by Day Itinerary


(Included meals as indicated in parentheses: B,L,D)

Day 1

Lima

Miraflores District

Arrive to Lima, former capital of the Spanish empire in the Americas, and transfer to your first class hotel in the Miraflores district, Lima’s main cultural and commercial district. This is a great area for strolling around and is home to many of Lima’s best restaurants.

If you are interested and time permits, private tours of Lima or visits to any of Lima’s museums can be arranged; we can also arrange culinary tours focusing on Peru’s increasingly renowned cuisine or art tours for those with special interests.

Accommodations:
Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores
(upgrades available to Hotel B, Miraflores Park Hotel, and others)

Day 2

Sacred Valley of the Incas / Chincheros / Ollantaytambo

Sol y Luna hotel

Fly over the Andes to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire. When you land in Cusco you will be met at the airport by a local representative who will transport you to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a long fertile river valley surrounded by snowcapped peaks that lies between Cusco and Machu Picchu.

You will stop at the Chincheros archaeological site to visit the ruins, and will have a short weaving demonstration at a local cooperative known for their high-quality textiles. Peru is known for its intricate traditional weavings, many of which use symbols to tell stories or depictions of daily life. Afterward you will have lunch at a great small restaurant founded by a renowned local chef. You will also visit Ollantaytambo, one of the only towns that has maintained the same layout since Incan times. Your private guide will be there to help you make the most of the entire experience.

Accommodations:
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L)

Day 3

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Today you travel to Machu Picchu. In the morning you will be picked up at your hotel for transfer to the train station, where you catch the train to Machu Picchu.

You will visit this remarkable site with a private guide, enjoy lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge, and then have the chance to explore the ruins on your own before returning to your hotel in Aguas Calientes. (Your hotel in Aguas Calientes is one of the most highly regarded in South America; dinner is included at the hotel.)

Accommodations:
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 4

Machu Picchu / Cusco

Machu Picchu view

Today you make an unguided return visit to Machu Picchu in the early morning to observe the ruins. This is a great way to experience the site when there are far fewer people around. If you take the earliest shuttle up to the site, you can be at Machu Picchu at dawn.

You’ll also have the chance to hike to the top of Huayna Picchu, the mountain that towers above Machu Picchu, or hike back along the Inca Trail to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate).

After visiting the ruins, you will make your way down to the train station for your afternoon train back to Cusco, where you’ll be dropped off at your hotel.

Accommodations:
Palacio del Inka (B)
(upgrade to Palacio Nazarenas is available)

Day 5

Cusco / Sacsahuaman

Sacsahuaman

Today you’ll have a privately guided exploration of Cusco, visiting the historical highlights. Your excursion includes a visit to Sacsahuaman, the massive Incan fortress on the hills above the city, where you enjoy views out over Cusco and the entire surrounding area. You have the afternoon free to explore some more of the city on your own.

Cusco is another of the highlights of a trip to Peru, a fascinating city built on the foundations of the former Incan capital. You can observe massive Incan walls along many of the streets of the city. The city has a vibrant atmosphere and many excellent restaurants.

Accommodations:
Palacio del Inka (B)

Day 6

Depart for Ecuador

San Francisco Church in Quito

In the morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima, where you will have assistance in making your connecting flight to Quito, Ecuador.

In Quito you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel, located in the picturesque historic center of the city.

Accommodations:
Casa San Marcos (B)
(upgrade to Casa Gangotena is available)

 

Day 7

Quito

Plaza Grande in Quito

Today you will be picked up from your hotel for a privately-guided tour of historic Quito, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

You will visit some of the highlights of the colonial “Centro Historico,” and go up to a lookout point on the Panecillo for a great view of the entire city. Afterward you’ll head into the new town to visit the Fundación Guayasamin, which houses the art collection of Oswaldo Guayasamin, Ecuador’s most famous 20th century artist.

Seeing both parts of the city gives you a great overview of some of the different neighborhoods in this diverse Andean metropolis.

Accommodations:
Casa San Marcos (B)

Day 8

Fly to the Galapagos

Kicker Rock

Today you fly out of Quito, about 600 miles out over the Pacific Ocean to arrive at the Galapagos Islands. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your vessel.

Visiting the Galapagos Islands is a unique experience, a combination of sheer natural beauty, amazing wildlife, beautiful vessels, and fascinating natural history.

Accommodations:
On your yacht (B,L,D)

Days 9-14

In the Galapagos Islands

Sea Lions in Galapagos

The exact itinerary varies from vessel to vessel, but you will spend these days exploring the islands in depth. Your boat will travel between several different islands, so that you can experience a wide variety of the unique wildlife and environments that the Galapagos offers.

Each island presents a unique experience, and often there are species found nowhere else in the world but on that island. The giant Galapagos Tortoise, the marine iguana, the waved albatross, the Galapagos penguin, and flightless cormorants are just a few of the species you can come across.

There will also be daily opportunities to snorkel, where you can see what’s below the surface: giant sea turtles, rays, and sea lions, to name just a few. Each day you will enjoy excellent cuisine, and the company of an expert bilingual naturalist guide.

Accommodations:
On your yacht (B,L,D)

Day 15

Return to Quito / Fly home

Today you will enjoy a final morning in the islands before flying out from the Galapagos back to Quito, where you will connect with your international flight home or continue your trip in mainland Ecuador.

If you have a long layover before your flight, we can set up a visit to nearby hot springs or transfer you to a nearby hotel to relax and have dinner before transferring back to the airport.
(B)

 

Some Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary:


  • Add a few nights in the Peruvian Amazon, easily accessible from Cusco, or the Ecuadorian Amazon, a short flight from Quito.

  • Add extra days in Lima, Cusco, or Quito: All three are worth exploring on your own, and we can arrange a variety of activities, including city tours, culinary excursions, visits to ruins and historical sites, and active options such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

  • Visit some of the highlights of mainland Ecuador, including local markets, volcanoes, the cloud forest, and historic haciendas.

  • Take part in a Pachamanca, a traditional Andean cooking ceremony on the shores of Peru’s Lake Piuray.

  • Hike to Machu Picchu: Get off the train at Kilometer 104 to walk the last four to six hours along the famous Inca trail. Or see our Inca Trail to Machu Picchu itinerary for information about hiking the whole trail over several days.

  • Contact us to learn about more options for designing and customizing your trip.

 



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