Best Galapagos and Machu Picchu Tour
Best Galapagos and Machu Picchu Tour
Galapagos and Machu Picchu Tour, South America Tours & Experiences
Galapagos and Machu Picchu Tour, South America Tours—Travel from the islands to the Andes in this unforgettable absolute 18-day adventure through two of South America’s most renowned and iconic locations. When it comes to journey and adventure to South America, it’s impossible to go wrong with the Andes of Peru and the Galapagos Islands.
Embrace Machu Picchu in the peaceful early morning quiet, to grab some awesome pics from every angle as the sun rises above the mountain tops. A place among the greatest artistic and architectural achievements in the world and live your adventure from unimaginable to unforgettable. Galapagos Islands–framed by dramatic volcanic landscapes filled with unique wildlife that has no fear of humans. Imagine walking trails right among nesting seabirds and colonies of marine iguanas. Crystal clear waters teeming with schools of fish, and a living showcase of unusual animal and plant life. It’s an adventure unlike any other. A lodge-based Galapagos adventure, this program overnights at centrally located Santa Cruz as well as San Cristobal, the archipelago’s political capital. While many programs just get you along the sea line, this itinerary includes the lush interior highlands to see giant Galapagos tortoises roaming freely, many species of unusual birdlife, marine iguanas, harmless sharks, sea lions, and much more, plus a comprehensive view of the awesome geological history of this one-of-a-kind corner of the world. In addition, you get to see how the native inhabitants live in this awesome environment. There is also greater feasibility in tailoring your agenda to meet your specific needs and interests, just ask to customize this trip for you.
In Peru, start your adventure with an exploration of the city of the Kings–Lima. Head west and the Andes drop down to sultry flatlands stretching out to the Pacific, this is where you’ll find the Nasca Lines drawn on the desert floor. Next, make your adventure to Arequipa, Cusco, a small Peruvian nation sandwiched between Andes range, is home to virtually unspoiled natural beauty, with numerous festivals happening all throughout the year, there can never be a better time to visit Peru. The best of Peru on this adventure into the country’s ultimate hotspots. See the cultural-hub of Cusco, the Santa Catalina Monastery in Arequipa and our highlight–Machu Picchu. When you’re done, sit back & re-live the memories over a perfect Pisco Sour. This is the perfect trip that you were looking for. Galapagos and Machu Picchu Tour, South America Tours. Join us!
Join us for the adventure of a lifetime – give us a call at +51 984 464 391 or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more or book your spot today!
Think Green, Think Global for a Better Place for Everyone: Galapagos and Machu Picchu Tour
Traveling with us you are making a big difference in favor of the environment, our trips are rated as eco-friendly trips to ensure that fragile ecosystems are protected and maintained for future human generations, also maintain ecosystem and environment integrity through considering a sustainable and ethical business model. Making genuine and sustainable itineraries often translates to real costs, with a host of responsible travel practices that underpin our prices.
UPGRADED COMFORT: Premium or Comfort trips are led by Peru Summit Adventures experts, an experienced crew at your side, or top trip leaders/guides, and tap into private local experts' resources to allow for in-depth exploration and special access to unique sites that only the local leaders/guides know. Itineraries are carefully crafted and fully planned, with plenty of free time to roam. Camping gears are high-end and accommodations are high-end or best available. Ground transportation and most meals (especially in hikes) and activities are included in the trip price.
EASY: Designed for everyone. Light, Nothing too Challenging. Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.
Wildlife, Natural History, Photography & Cultural Adventures
While we expect the tour will run as the itinerary describes to Best Galapagos and Machu Picchu Tour. Participants should accept that there is the possibility of changes, being necessary liable to local conditions, eg, strikes, natural disasters, these changes might be at the discretion of your travel company.
Cozy and lovely lodges in La Paz, Uyuni, Cusco, and Machu Picchu.
Min 2 ppl, Max 8 ppl
Minimum of 02 people is needed to depart. Family groups, couple travelers, friends, or even if you’re a SOLO traveler, you are welcome to our trips. Price is per person, which is based on two people who might share a room/tent. The itinerary is described and based on shared services as well as semi-private service; however, if you are looking for a private service, that would be upon request.
YES. To protect MACHU PICCHU, the number of people allowed a day is limited to 4500 (spaces may vary depending on new regulations). That is why you should reserve your space as soon as possible. Spaces can be filled up three to four months in advance. Spaces fill more quickly in the high tourist season, from May to September.
DAY 1: Home - Quito/ Guayaquil Ecuador
Depart for Quito/ Guayaquil, upon arrival, transfer from airport to hotel.
- Wyndham Garden Quito.
- Wyndham Garden Guayaquil.
DAY 2: Quito or Guayaquil / San Cristóbal (Private)
Morning transfer from hotel to airport. Please be at the airport 2 hours before your flight. You will have to go through the special Galapagos security check before approaching the airline counter. Upon arrival at the airport in San Cristóbal, our naturalist guide will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. After lunch, visit the Interpretation Center where our guide will explain how the Galapagos Islands were formed, the evolution of species, the migration of animals, and the human settlements within the Galapagos. Then, we make our way up Frigate Hill, where many frigate birds fly around, hence its name. From the top, about 200 meters above sea level (20-30 minute hike), enjoy an expansive view of the ocean and the nearby islands, such as Kicker Rock. The vegetation includes native species such as the red mangrove and Opuntia cacti. Here you can also snorkel for colorful fish species, starfish, sea urchins, or simply enjoy the crystal-clear waters. Lastly, visit Carola Beach, with one of the largest sea lion colonies in Galapagos. Enjoy the beach before returning to the hotel. Breakfast and lunch included – Casa Opuntia Hotel.
DAY 3: Boat trip to Kicker Rock (Shared)
We depart the hotel between 8 and 9 am. First, we head to Sleeping Lion or Kicker Rock (travel time about 45 minutes), a rock formation located off the coast of San Cristóbal Island. It is a magnificent island in the middle of the sea, rising 500 feet from the ocean and shaped like a giant sleeping lion, hence its name. The rocks are remnants of a vertical formation of tuff stone – a favorite spot for many species of seabirds. These two vertical walls with a channel in the center provide a haven for sharks and other fish species, such as barracuda and rainbow fish. We will snorkel for an hour around Kicker Rock to encounter even more marine life, such as sea turtles, rays, sea lions, reef sharks, white-tip sharks, hammerheads and octopus. Then, we head for Manglesito (wet landing), comprised of mangroves and a lovely beach area. Travel time from Kicker Rock will be about 30 minutes to spend 1 hour walking and/or swimming, including lunch on board. The mangrove area is an ideal place for seeing aquatic birds, while the beach provides plenty of recreation, accented by sesuvium and button mangrove vegetation. There´s a gap among the mangroves to observe ducks, royal lapwings and curlews, including both native and endemic species. We will back in San Cristobal around 3 pm. Breakfast and lunch included – Casa Opuntia hotel.
DAY 4: Travel to Santa Cruz Island / Highlands (Private)
In the early morning, take the public speedboat to Santa Cruz Island, a journey of about 2 hours. Today, it’s Manzanillo or El Chato farm in the highlands of Santa Cruz for your first glimpse of a Galapagos Giant Tortoise in its natural habitat. These enormous creatures roam freely between the National Park and agricultural areas – an ideal opportunity to view these ancient creatures munching on lush green vegetation or wallowing in the mud of the seasonal pools that draw them from the lowlands during the dry winter season. At certain times in the year, migratory shore birds can also be seen. This guided tour includes a walk through open fields and forest. A basic cafeteria and clean toilets are available at these farms and some offer rubber boots in case of muddy terrain. You’ll also visit one of the lava tunnels found in this area. Before returning to Puerto Ayora, visit The Twins, similar to craters, but formed by a collapse of the earth underneath due to lava flows that passed below it. Also, walk through the scalesia forest to encounter Galapagos fly-catchers and other endemic birds. The afternoon is free for you to explore on your own, e.g. Tortuga Bay or Charles Darwin Research Station. Breakfast and Lunch included – Hotel Déjà vu Galapagos
DAY 5: Day trip to an uninhabited Island (Shared)
Full-day excursion to one of the uninhabited islands of the archipelago, easily accessible from Santa Cruz. The boat ride takes 1 to 2 hours each way, depending on the destination. Lunch is served on board. The boats hold 16 to 20 passengers and have a bathroom, sun deck and a purified water dispenser. Each of the islands has something interesting to offer in terms of wildlife and landscape. Based on availability, you’ll visit one of the following: Santa Fe, South Plazas, North Seymour or Bartholomew. Breakfast and lunch included – Hotel Déjà vu Galapagos
DAY 6: Day trip to an uninhabited Island (Shared)
Another full-day excursion to one of the uninhabited islands of the archipelago, easily accessible from Santa Cruz. The boat ride takes 1 to 2 hours each way, depending on the destination. Lunch is served on board. The boats hold 16 to 20 passengers and have a bathroom, sun deck and a purified water dispenser. Each of the islands has something interesting to offer in terms of wildlife and landscape. Based on availability, you’ll visit one of the following: Santa Fe, South Plazas, North Seymour or Bartholomew. Breakfast and lunch included – Hotel Déjà vu Galapagos
Island day trip options from Santa Cruz:
You will be picked up from your hotel after breakfast; the exact time will be confirmed the night before. We depart to the Itabaca Channel (breakfast served on board). This fantastic day-long tour offers spectacular volcanic landscapes and great snorkeling. The journey aboard our vessel takes almost two hours, while there’s a chance of seeing dolphins and even whales during the crossing. We stop at Daphne Island, a volcanic tuff cone formation, for sea lions and various sea birds that inhabit it. Bartholomew Island itself is famous for its emblematic ‘Pinnacle Rock’ – probably the most photographed volcanic formation in Galapagos. Climb up a long wooden staircase comprising over 360 steps to the viewpoint that offers unobstructed views of nearly all the central islands in the archipelago (optional activity). Then, a short dinghy ride brings us real close to photograph Galapagos Penguins that live along the coastline. Lunch is served with one of the most amazing volcanic backdrops found anywhere in the archipelago. Please bring walking shoes, sun hat, sun block and beachwear.
You will be picked up from your hotel after breakfast; the exact time will be confirmed the night before. We start our journey to the Itabaca Channel (40-minute ride) and board our boat to South Plazas Island (navigation time about 1h40). Formed by uplifted lava-fault blocks, this island is inhabited by land iguanas, Audubon’s shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, pelicans, sea lions, swallow-tailed gulls and more, framed by a vegetation of opuntia cacti growing over low patches of sesuvium, a striking red succulent. Towards the far end of the island lives a ‘bachelor colony’ of male sea lions. Lunch is served anchored close to the rocky seashore. After lunch, a short boat ride to Punta Carrion offers easy snorkeling and swimming around a shallow and protected cove. Please bring walking shoes, sun hat, sun block and beachwear.
You will be picked up from your hotel after breakfast; the exact time will be confirmed the night before. We depart to the Itabaca Channel to board our boat and navigate to North Seymour Island. Located just north of Baltra, this island’s submarine lava formation features an array of magnificent frigate birds, nesting blue-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls. We head out by boat to explore this rather flat island, uplifted by a magma build-up underneath. Within its bushes, feast your eyes on one of the largest colonies of magnificent frigate birds, as well as land iguanas. Blue-footed boobies with their unusual courtship dance might be seen, depending on the season of year. We then backtrack to Santa Cruz to anchor in the still waters at Bachas Beach for a leisurely lunch. Next on the agenda are sea turtle nests, shorebirds, diving boobies, plus striking flamingos! Afterwards cool off by trying out your snorkeling skills or just take an easy swim right from the beach. Don’t forget your most comfortable walking shoes, sun hat, sun block and beachwear.
We drive to the pier in Puerto Ayora to board the boat and navigate to Santa Fe Island, which is located south of Santa Cruz. A walk around this dry and rugged island offers the chance of spotting the Santa Fe land iguana that is only found here. Anchored in the crystal-clear waters of this beautiful protected bay, you can snorkel with sea lions or be greeting by them upon landing on the sandy beach. A short circular trail takes you along the cliff edge to spot iguanas, as well as many lava lizards and even the elusive Galapagos hawk. The trail brings you back round onto a second beach that is also inhabited by sea lions and blue-footed boobies sitting on the rocks. Snorkel in the bay and admire the many species of tropical reef fish and occasionally sea turtles and rays. Lunch is served on board whilst anchored in the bay. Please bring walking shoes, sun hat, sun block and beachwear.
DAY 7: Baltra - Guayaquil or Quito Ecuador – Lima
After breakfast, transfer to Baltra Airport to return to Guayaquil or Quito, and take an international flight to Lima. Upon your arrival at the airport of Lima, transfer at hotel. Only breakfast included.
DAY 8: Lima City Tour
Today, you will explore the magnificence of Lima. A knowledgeable private guide and driver will lead you on your journey during this sightseeing tour. You will visit the Government Palace, City Hall, the Cathedral at the Plaza Mayor (closed for tourism on Sunday mornings), and the 17th century San Francisco Convent. Afterward, you will enjoy a short tour of the modern districts of San Isidro and Miraflores for a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. Only breakfast included. Hotel Tierra Viva Miraflores Larco
DAY 9: Nazca Lines - Ballestas Paracas Islands - Pisco Tasting
Early in the morning, pick up from your hotel in Lima, then we will leave to Paracas, at our arrival, we’ll take the excursion on a boat to Ballestas and Paracas islands, on the way we’ll a candelabra figure that was drawn on the hillside of Paracas Bay, nobody knows or has any idea about this figure, only some theories have some references that the pirates may have drawn to have an orientation point. Our trip continues to Ballestas Islands very rich in sea fauna, we’ll explore the isles, passing through the big caves, natural formation rocks that are home for pelicans, Humbolt penguins, seals, dolphins, etc. We’ll then explore the National Reserve of Paracas, a natural sea area protected by the national government. After visiting this national park, we’ll drive to Ica a perfect place to visit the artisanal winery centers, where we’ll learn about the pisco’s production process and we’ll taste different sort of piscos and wines (Pisco is the Peru’s national alcoholic drink). Our next adventure is, take a small hike to the dunes of Huacachina an ideal place to drive the buggies and practice the sandboard which are optional activities. Later on, we’ll leave to the city of Nazca which is famous for its gigantic design drawing on the desert which are dated from 2,000 years, and you can only see from the air. Upon our arrival hotel check-in. Only brekafast included. Hotel Casa Andina Standard Nasca.
DAY 10: Flight Over The Nazca Lines – Lima
Early in the morning after breakfast, we’ll drive to the airport to take the flight upon the Nazca Lines. Upon our arrival at the airport, we will get a video informative about the Nazca Lines that way to familiarize with the lines and have a better idea of these archaeological remains that we’ll see from the air. The type of airplane we’ll use for this excursion is a small airplane, with a capacity of 3 to 6 people, with seats to the window to see the figures properly, the flight is for about 30 – 45 minutes. During the flight, you will be able to see perfect representations of giants animals and birds; such as, condor, hummingbird, pelican, macaw, tarantula, monkey, whale, caiman, etc. Apart from these lines, you’ll also see many other huge geometric figures that reach whole the desert and look like a big landing strip. After enjoying the Nazca Lines, we’ll drive to the famous aqueducts of Cantalloc which were a system of underground aqueduct to supply of water the valleys that did not have water thus the peoples of Nazca Culture could defeat the long drought and the famine, we’ll then drive back to Lima, on the way we will stop for lunch. Only breakfast included. Hotel Tierra Viva Miraflores Larco.
DAY 11: Lima – Arequipa – City Tour in Arequipa
Early transfer to airport. Fly from Lima to Arequipa direct on Latam Peru Airlines. The flight duration is approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel, Hotel check-in, and you’ll be ready for another great adventure day. Today, we’ll set out on a private guided city tour in Arequipa city, including a visit to the Santa Catalina Monastery “a city within a city” founded at the end of XVII century and only opened to the public a few years ago. The boldly painted walls of this massive 215,000 square-foot complex are still home to some 25 nuns of the Dominican Second Order. Another highlight of your tour will be a visit to see the incredibly well-preserved frozen body of 15th-century Incan girl for others Incan princess, known as Mummy Juanita (Momia Juanita). Time Magazine classified the discovery of her body in 1995, as one of the world’s 10 greatest discoveries. Your Tour Leader will also bring you to the Plaza de Armas (main square), the Cathedral, the Jesuit Cloister, the residential areas of Cayma, and Yanahuara before finishing the tour at the “Mirador de Yanahuara” a lookout point, for a superb view of the volcanoes in farther direction. After having a great exploration of the city, we’ll drive back to the hotel. Only breakfast included.
DAY 12: Arequipa – Chivay, Colca Canyon
Today, we’ll travel from Arequipa to Chivay in Colca Canyon. Along the way, we’ll enjoy a tour offering beautiful sceneries, as well as the history of the ancient Andean cultures and the Catholic church influence and introduction through the Spanish people. People living in the valley today are a testimony to this history, and the cultures of Collaguas and Cabanas settling there. En route we will pass Yura, Pampa de Arrieros, Pampa Cañahuas (where we’ll find the Vicuña National Reserve of Aguada Blanca), Vizcachani and Tojra (a great place to spot migratory birds resting in so-called “bofedales” a sort of peat bog). The trip is with impressive landscapes, with several snow-capped volcanoes, you’ll see a lot of small stone towers called “apachetas” in Quechua, which have been assembled this way by the locals as an offering to the “Apus” the mountains, according to old Andean religion. Upon entering in Colca Canyon we’ll arrive at the most canyon’s hub, Chivay, where we can pause to enjoy a typical lunch. Afterward, explore Chivay with your Tour Leader, a town known for high-quality locally-produced handicrafts. Conclude, your day with a drop-off at your Colca Canyon hotel. Only breakfast included. Hotel Casa Andina Standard Colca.
DAY 13: Cruz del Condor - Arequipa
Early wake up, we’ll set out from our hotel on our private transportation and Tour Leader to what is known as Cruz del Condor. The site is an incredible lookout point with sweeping views of the Canyon and opportunities to spot the Andean Condor, often spotted here, gliding and soaring through the skies above. These birds are most active before the heat of the day sets in, hence the early morning start to our tour. Our drive will contain some opportunities to see the many agricultural terraces, which add color and contrast to the amazing canyon below. Remnants of an agrarian society, which blossomed in this isolated area many centuries ago, these same terraces still remain in use by the modern day local inhabitants of the Colca Canyon who in the spirit of their ancestors, remain very tied to the land. Spend a good time or longer time at the Condor lookout point, scanning the skies and taking in the majestic beauty of the Canyon scenery, we will then drive back to Arequipa. Breakfast and packed lunch included. Tierra Viva Arequipa Plaza.
DAY 14: Depart for Cusco - Sacsayhuaman – Llama & Alpaca Farm Visit – Pisac
This morning we’ll check out from our hotel after breakfast, and meet our private transportation for a transfer to airport to take our direct flight to Cusco. Upon our arrival in Cusco, we’ll be transferred to engage in a full day tour of iconic sites Cusco, and part of Sacred Valley. You will have the opportunity to enjoy a pleasant stroll at Incan temple of Sacsayhuaman and Pisac with a stop at the llama and alpaca farm en route. At Sacsayhuaman we’ll witness the breath-taking Incan architecture, 29 ft high limestone blocks were used to make massive walls employing only the manpower, which was built for Andean Gods as a great temple. Our next place to visit is Pisac, en route, we’ll visit a center where South American camelids, such as llamas and alpacas, are bred. Learn about the valuable wool created from their fiber and feed these iconic Andean animals. After a break stop, we continue to the exceptionally well-preserved ruins in Pisac, which provide an opportunity for us to take a short warm up hike as we explore the site’s numerous structures and terraces before making our way down to the Pisac town to visit its bustling craft market. Pisac ruins are like an open air museum of Incan artistry with well preserved temples, dwellings, water channels, and stone walls showcasing meticulous masonry. We eventually drive to the hotel in Urubamba. Only breakfast included. Hotel Tierra Viva Valle Sagrado Urubamba.
DAY 15: Moray – Maras Incan Salt Mines – Ollantaytambo
Today we head out on a full day exploration of the western side of Urubamba Valley–the enchanting “Sacred Valley of the Incas”. We’ll travel to the Inca ruins of Moray, the circular terraces of Moray were used as an agricultural research laboratory for the Incas, who studied and tested temperature variation from one terrace to another in order to develop different crops varieties. We’ll continue to the small town of Maras and the quaint salt mines, originally used by the Pre-Incas culture and Incan culture. Villagers from surrounding communities still mine salt by hand from the spring-fed terraced pools. After exploring this quaint place, out trip continues to Ollantaytambo, famous for its temple of the sun whose construction 50-ton rocks were brought from 5 miles away, and we’ll explore the authentic Incan streets in the town of the same name. Only breakfast included. Tierra Viva Valle Sagrado Urubamba
DAY 16: Quechua Indigenous Community Visit--Our Peru Summit Philanthropy Social Project – Machu Picchu Town.
Today, we’ll visit a community located in the remote highlands of the Sacred Valley of the Incas at the same time the Peru Summit Philanthropy Socal Project, where Peru Summit has been supporting the Women’s Weaving Co-op. This indigenous community still maintains a traditional way of life and is dedicated mainly to agricultural activities, raising llama and alpacas, and weaving activities as their clothes are made by themselves. Here we’ll meet the women and learn about all the stages of the weaving process like hand-spinning the wool, dying the wool using natural dyes and participating in a weaving demonstration, also we’ll learn about the local’s farming labor. We’ll also given the opportunity to purchase high-quality textiles and souvenirs directly from these women who made them. After having a great time, we’ll drive to the train station of Ollantaytambo to continue with our journey on a panoramic window Vistadome train to Machu Picchu. Breakfast and lunch included. Rupa Wasi Lodge Machu Picchu.
DAY 17: Exploration of Machu Picchu Incan City
Today is one of the most important days. We have an early breakfast at hotel and head up to the Incan city to experience the peace and solitude of this magical place while the sun rises from behind the tall mountains. Our knowledgeable local expert leads us through explaining the significance of the numerous structures, the theories behind Machu Picchu’s purpose, and construction methods and techniques. After a great exploration of the heritage site, We’ll come back to the town to catch the afternoon train to Ollantaytambo and from there take the bus back to Cusco. Only breakfast included. Hotel Rumi Punku Cusco.
DAY 18: Morning Free in Cusco – Optional City Walking Tour - Depart for Home
The whole morning is free, which is used to relax at hotel or go to any cafe bar to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee while reliving the great adventure lived so far. Optional tour in the city by walking, where you will explore the typical streets of Cusco and some bohemian neighborhoods as the San Blas. In the afternoon transfer from hotel to airport in Cusco to take the flight to Lima. Upon your arrival, you’ll connect your flight at home. Only breakfast incñuded. End of the Adventure.
Note on Itinerary
Although we do our very best possible to adhere to the schedule above, this itinerary is subject to change for several reasons beyond our control, including strikes, weather, natural disasters, and terrain conditions. On some occasions, these conditions may demand us to deviate from our original schedule, in which case we will provide the best available alternative options. And we’ll make a great experience of it!
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Suggested Reading List
We have created a custom comprehensive listing of Best Galapagos and Machu Picchu Tour, Machu Picchu and Peru, Machu Picchu, and Peru travel books for this trip. Our reading list Peru is custom-designed to complement specific Peru Summit destinations. We feature a handpicked selection of travel guides, maps, literature, books on art, cuisine, nature, and culture, designed to help you get more out of your travels to Machu Picchu & Peru.