Machu Picchu Tour and Galapagos Cruise — Day by Day
Arrive in Lima, Peru
Fly from your home city to Lima, Perú. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel for check-in and overnight.
Hotel: Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima
Lima to Cusco to Urubamba Valley
A quick flight over the snow-covered Andes brings us to the legendary city of gold—Cusco (alt. 11,200 feet)—the Center of the Inca Universe. Inca means "ruler," or "king" - an equivalent to the Roman Caesars.
Upon arrival in Cusco, you will be met by your guide and enjoy a scenic ride into the breathtaking Urubamba Valley. You will stop at the traditional weaving village of Awanacancha and visit the hillside Incan ruins of Pisac fortress. Time permitting, you will also stop at the Pisac village market.
In the late afternoon, drive along the Urubamba River en route to a night stay in Urubamba. After check-in, you will be treated to a delicious contemporary Peruvian dinner at the hotel restaurant.
Hotel: Hacienda Urubamba or Tambo del Inka, BLD
Train to Machu Picchu, hike to Machu Picchu Mountain
This morning you will visit the fortress of Ollantaytambo above the river and train station. Afterwards, you will enjoy one of the most breathtaking rail journeys in the world. The rail line follows the river down the impressive Canyon of the Vilcanota to Machu Picchu Pueblo, the town located at the foot of Machu Picchu.
Upon arrival in Machu Picchu town, transfer to a bus for an exhilarating 20-minute dash up the mountainside to Machu Picchu. After lunch at Sanctuary Lodge, located just outside of the ruins, you have the rest of the day to explore Machu Picchu, accompanied by your expert guide. In the late afternoon, you will make your way to Machu Picchu Pueblo hotel for dinner and relaxation.
Hotel: Machu Picchu Pueblo, BLD
After breakfast, you will explore Machu Picchu once more.
You have the option for a morning hike up Machu Picchu or Huayna Picchu Mountains for spectacular views of the ruins and river below.
After lunch, you will transfer to the train station to catch the Vistadome train to Ollantaytambo and connect to Cusco.
Hotel: El Monasterio del Cusco or La Casona, BL
Today you will explore the streets the Incas built. First, you will visit San Pedro traditional market. Afterwards, you will visit the immense Inca ceremonial grounds of Sacsayhuaman above Cusco, used by the Incas for major celebrations, and where you will have a private shaman ceremony.
After lunch, you will visit Coricancha, the partially restored Temple of the Sun at the center of the Inca Universe, and try to envision its walls sheathed in gold foil. On the Plaza de Armas you will visit the Cathedral, one of the city’s greatest repositories of colonial art.
Hotel: El Monasterio del Cusco or La Casona, BLD
Cuzco to Ecuador
Fly from Cusco to Lima and then on to Ecuador. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel for check-in and overnight.
Hotel: Wyndham Quito Airport or Hotel Oro Verde Guayaquil, B
To the Galapagos—Santa Cruz Island
Transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Baltra, Galapagos. We transfer to the Island of Santa Cruz where we travel with our naturalist in a spacious air conditioned vehicle up into the highland rainforest.
We'll have lunch then explore the Santa Cruz highlands to view endemic Galapagos plant species and visit lava tubes and sinkholes. We'll hike through tall grasses among the grazing tortoises.
Depending on the season, we will be staying in the highlands or along the coast at either Royal Palm Resort, Galapagos Safari Camp, Finch Bay Eco Hotel, or Angermyer Waterfront Inn.
Hotel: Santa Cruz Hotel, BLD
Puerto Ayora, Darwin Station, board our yacht
We stroll through the town of Puerto Ayora to the Charles Darwin Research Station, where we learn about conservation issues and the tortoise and iguana hatching and rearing programs. We'll even get to view some of the tiny hatchlings. Afterwards we lunch in Puerto Ayora. We board Integrity or Reina Silvia mid to late afternoon in Academy Bay.
Yacht: Integrity or Reina Silvia, BLD
Exploring the Galapagos Islands
We live aboard the spacious Integrity for a week, spending as much time ashore as the Park rules permit. With our licensed, INCA selected Class III naturalist, we learn about the birds and animals, geology, marine life and oceanic systems of the Galapagos Islands. We swim and snorkel with tropical fish, sea lions and sometimes with penguins!
Detailed cruising routes can be found on each yacht's page.
Yacht: Integrity or Reina Silvia, BLD
Galapagos to Quito to home or onward adventures
From our anchorage in the Baltra harbor, we say "adios" to the yacht and its dedicated crew, and adjourn to the Baltra airport to await our mid-morning flight to the Ecuador mainland and Quito. On arrival, we transfer to the Wyndham Quito Airport hotel to relax and freshen up before your transfer back to the terminal for check-in to your homeward bound flight. Dinner is on your own tonight.