Machu Picchu & Galapagos Tour
This 15-day tour explores Peru’s Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas, and the unique wildlife of the Galapagos Islands.
Machu Picchu & Galapagos
15 days from £5,235 pp
(includes £540 pp worth of free domestic flights. See below)
(exc. international flights)
If you were to choose just two places to visit in South America, it would probably be these: the original ‘lost city’ of Machu Picchu and the Galápagos Islands, central to Charles Darwin’s theory of the origin of species. This tailor-made tour combines archaeological sites and natural wonders to rival anything on the planet, adventure on land and sea, expert guiding and quality accommodation.
Your Machu Picchu and Galapagos adventure starts high in the Andes in Cusco, Peru. This was the capital of the Inca empire and is now a thriving modern city and world-class tourist destination. Your visit includes a guided tour of some of the most famous sites. Next stop – Machu Picchu!
After a train ride along the Sacred Valley, your first glimpse of the mysterious Inca ruins will take your breath away, we promise. A guided tour will fill you in on the history of this intriguing and atmospheric sanctuary and then you will have two further opportunities to explore on your own. As archaeological sites go, Machu Picchu is undoubtedly among the world’s finest and if you were to choose a destination to top it, what better way than a complete change of scene – the magical Galápagos Islands and their outstanding wildlife.
The birds, reptiles, marine mammals and scenery of this stunning archipelago are unlike anywhere else on the planet. Where else could you wander among sea lions and get up close to blue-footed boobies in the same day! Your yacht for this trip is spacious and comfortable with an experienced crew and guiding team. What better way for visiting these beautiful islands!
Machu Picchu and Galapagos Tour summary
Machu Picchu and Galapagos holiday includes:
- Lima – 1 night
- Cusco – 2 nights with tour of Cusco
- Machu Picchu – 1 night with private guided tour
- Cusco – 1 night
- Quito – 2 nights with tour of Quito
- Galapagos cruise on the Beluga – 7 nights
- Excursions in the Galapagos with naturalist guide
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DAY 1: FRIDAY
Your Machu Picchu and Galapagos holiday starts in Lima. You’ll be met at the airport and taken the short distance to the airport hotel. The rest of the day is free so you can relax after your flight and enjoy the hotel’s facilities which include an indoor pool, spa, restaurant and bar.
DAY 2: SATURDAY
Having had breakfast you’ll board a morning flight to Cusco, where you’ll be greeted and transferred to your city centre hotel. You can take it easy this afternoon as you adjust to the altitude – Cusco is at 3,300 metres above sea level. The hotel is near a number of cafes where you can sit and people watch as you enjoy a refreshing drink. Breakfast
DAY 3: SUNDAY
You’ll be collected from the hotel after breakfast by your guide who will show you some of the main sites of the city and give you information about its long and interesting history. The tour takes in the Inca site of Sacsayhuaman on the northern fringes of the modern city, whetting your appetite for Machu Picchu. You’ll be dropped off back at the hotel and can chose how you spend the afternoon. Breakfast
DAY 4: MONDAY
This morning you’ll take the Vistadome train to Machu Picchu, watching the changing scenery through the picture windows in air conditioned comfort. After 3 hours you’ll arrive at the station and board the bus for the ride up to the citadel. You’ll have a comprehensive guided tour of the site with plenty of time to admire the views and take photographs. Lunch will be served at Sanctuary Lodge, and this evening you’ll stay at a hotel at the bottom of the hill. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
DAY 5: TUESDAY
You’ll have the chance to go back to Machu Picchu this morning, to explore for yourself and experience the special atmosphere and sense of history. Strolling among the ruins is a great way to get a feel for the place and let your imagination help you picture the site in its heyday. In the afternoon you’ll take the train back to Cusco and a guide will take you to your hotel. Breakfast
DAY 6: WEDNESDAY
You’ve seen Machu Picchu and Galapagos is your next destination. Today you’ll be transferred to the airport for the flight to Quito, where you’ll be met and escorted to your hotel. La Casona de la Ronda is a beautifully renovated 18th century house in the old town. The rest of the day is at leisure, so you enjoy a drink in the cosy lounge re relax in the courtyard with its innovative vertical garden. Breakfast
DAY 7: THURSDAY
Your guide will call for you after breakfast, to take you on a tour of this UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. You’ll visit both old and new towns exploring some of the fine churches, monasteries and palaces. The tour usually concludes at El Panecillo, the top of a hill where you’ll enjoy sweeping views back towards the valley and city. This afternoon you can look round some of the shops and galleries, stopping for refreshment at one of the many cafes. Breakfast
DAY 8: FRIDAY
Having breakfasted you’ll be transferred to the airport for the 4 hour flight to Baltra. A guide from Beluga will be waiting to greet you and conduct you to the yacht. Having met the crew you’ll sit down to lunch as Beluga heads to Santa Cruz. This afternoon you’ll visit Cerro Dragon to look for land iguanas, once again flourishing after the removal of feral dogs. If you’re feeling energetic you can climb the hill to take in views of the island, bay and ocean. Full board
DAY 9: SATURDAY
On Santa Fe you’ll be able to watch sea lions and go swimming and snorkelling. There’s a walking trail past prickly pear cacti, a favourite food of the island’s endemic land iguanas. Darwin’s finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, frigatebirds and pelicans are all frequently seen here. You’ll have lunch on board, followed by an excursion to South Plaza, with its rich vegetation, sea lion colony and many species of birds. Full board
DAY 10: SUNDAY
Landing on the north coast of San Cristobal you’ll visit the pretty crescent-shaped beach below Cerro Brujo for a chance to swim and snorkel, maybe being joined by turtles and rays. You’ll have a great view of the dramatic Kicker Rock from here, too. In the afternoon you’ll see large numbers of birds at El Junco Lagoon, the only freshwater lake in the Galapagos, and you’ll be able to visit Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the archipelago. Full board
DAY 11: MONDAY
Today’s your chance to explore Espanola. Gardner Bay, a long sandy beach, is known for its colony of sea lions often seen dozing in the sun. This is also a favourite location for turtles. After lunch you’ll land at Punta Suarez. During the months between May and December you’ll see waved albatrosses performing their unusual courtship dance, while year round inhabitants include Nazca and blue-footed boobies, doves, finches, Galapagos hawks, Espanola mockingbirds and marine iguanas.
DAY 12: TUESDAY
At the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz you’ll learn about the islands’ geology and history and the important conservation projects being carried out. Possibly the most popular part of the station is the giant tortoise raising centre, where you’ll see these endearing creatures from hatchling to full grown adults. You’ll also visit the Highlands, where the main attraction is the giant tortoise reserve, where animals roam in their natural environment. Full board
DAY 13: WEDNESDAY
Sombrero Chino, an island shaped like a conical Chinese hat, offers great opportunities for swimming and snorkelling today, where you may encounter penguins and white-tipped reef sharks (harmless!). Later you’ll visit Sullivan Bay on Santiago, where you can see a lava flow formed about 100 years ago, whose swirling ripples look almost fluid. Full board
DAY 14: THURSDAY
A nature trail from Darwin Bay on Genovesa leads to a tidal lagoon where you can expect to see a variety of birds, and to a viewpoint looking out over the bay. Keep your eyes open for great frigatebirds and red-footed boobies as you follow the path back to the shore. Later you’ll land at the base of a series of steps, named after Prince Philip who visited in the 1960s, which ascend the cliff to a plateau where you should see storm petrels among the many birds, and if you’re lucky you may catch sight of a short-eared owl. Full board
DAY 15: FRIDAY
Your Machu Picchu and Galapagos holiday is drawing to a close. Your final visit is to Black Turtle Cove, where you’ll have a panga ride. Once the boat’s engine has been switched off there’s a good chance you’ll see turtles surfacing as they come up for air, and rays swimming in the clear water. Afterwards you’ll say goodbye to the crew ahead to the airport for the flight back to the mainland. Breakfast
2020 Price from (pp sharing): was
£5,805 now from £5,235 (ex. international flights)
(The above price includes a current special offer of FREE return domestic flights to the Galapagos Islands from mainland Ecuador worth £540 pp. Subject to availability, and only available to new bookings).
Includes: Meet & greet at Lima airport, airport transfers in Cusco and Quito, 14 nights twin share accommodation (7 in hotels and 7 on board Beluga), meals as shown, private guided tours of Cusco, Machu Picchu and Quito, entrance fees on tours, including second entrance fee to Machu Picchu, Vistadome train to Machu Picchu, train back from Machu Picchu to Cusco, Galapagos island excursions with a bilingual naturalist guide as offered by Beluga, snorkelling equipment on cruise, return flights to the Galapagos Islands from the Ecuadorian mainland.
Excludes: International flights and taxes, domestic flights within Peru (we can book these for you with your international flights), visas (not currently required by British passport holders), meals not shown as included, drinks, Galapagos National Park Fee, currently US$100 to be paid locally in US$, tips, items of a personal nature.
Getting there: This Machu Picchu and Galapagos holiday starts in Lima and ends in Quito. International return flights from the UK and the necessary domestic flights will cost from around £1000 per person, subject to season and availability. We normally book these for you.
Departure dates: This Machu Picchu and Galapagos itinerary is a tailor-made holiday that can begin on the day of your choice, though the Galapagos cruise departs on a specific day of the week, so this precise itinerary, using Beluga itinerary ‘A’, begins in Lima on a Friday. Beluga offers an alternative itinerary, ‘B’, which can be used for this holiday. Click here for information. NOTE: You can use a different cruise vessel if you prefer, in which case a different departure day might be required and the price will alter according to the vessel chosen. For instance, using Grace rather than Beluga, this holiday will begin on a Saturday, and the price will be from £7,520 pp (ex. international flights). Please click here for the full collection of Galapagos yachts. Galapagos Specialists is brought to you by Tribes Travel
This airport hotel offers a full range of services, many available around the clock. The various eateries offer 24-hour service to fit in with your travel plans. There’s free Wi-Fi. Take advantage of the spa which offers massages, a jacuzzi and steam room, all helping you de-stress after your journey. There’s an indoor pool, and a hot tub for a relaxing soak. Rooms feature comfy beds, minibars, Wi-Fi and en-suite facilities. If you plump for a top-of-the-range suite you’ll have your very own jacuzzi, too.
Casa Andina Koricancha
Casa Andina Koricancha offers comfortable accommodation centred around two attractive courtyards just a few streets from Cusco’s main square. Rooms are simply furnished featuring colourful textiles and interesting artwork. All have heating, TV, safe and an en-suite bathroom stocked with toiletries. There’s a buffet breakfast each morning, Wi-Fi, and an ATM on site. When not out sightseeing you’ll be able to relax in the courtyards and lobby, enjoying the society of fellow guests.
El MaPi is in the centre of Machu Picchu town. It’s just a short way from the lost city of the Incas, allowing you easy access to the site. Rooms are comfortably furnished and have flatscreen TVs and en-suite bathrooms. Blackout curtains ensure a good night’s sleep. A generous buffet breakfast is served each morning. La Cafeteria restaurant is also open for lunch and dinner and serves salads, sandwiches, pastries and Peruvian specialities. There is a lounge bar where you can unwind and socialise after a busy day sightseeing. A range of tasty snacks and tapas is available here.
La Casona de la Ronda is a charming colonial house in the heart of historic Quito. The en-suite rooms are a blend of traditional features and modern comforts. The restaurant, Cafe La Ronda, serves local and international cuisines. You can take coffee, tea, soft drinks or wine in the cosy lounge by the open fire. There is a lovely central courtyard and an unusual vertical garden. This has more than 150 species of plants including many orchids native to Ecuador. This hotel is an excellent base for exploring the city of Quito.
The Beluga is an elegant, comfortable motor yacht. She accommodates a maximum of 16 guests in 8 double cabins. All have a private bathroom with hot water shower. The yacht is fully air-conditioned. Beluga has lots of inside and outside space and different deck areas for relaxing These include a sundeck and a shaded seating area on the upper deck. There is a pleasant lounge, with large panoramic windows and a separate dining room. The food is excellent, and the yacht crew offer a great service.
Grace is named after her glamorous one-time owner, Princess Grace of Monaco and has an impeccable pedigree. Accommodation is a mix of suites and staterooms. All are beautifully furnished and have ample storage space for clothes and luggage. You’ll have a private bathroom with a range of toiletries and the very best amenities. Meals are served in the elegant dining room or outside on deck. The main salon is ideal for unwinding between visits to the islands. And the library has a wide variety of books as well as board games to help you pass the time. Sun lovers will spend happy hours on the sun deck. There’s also an open deck area at the bow with seating and a jacuzzi.
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We know and love the Galapagos Islands, and would delighted to help you plan your perfect Galapagos holiday.
Call 01473 599082 and speak to one of our Galapagos travel specialists today.