Cusco & Machu Picchu, Galapagos Cruise - 11 Days
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- Day 1: Arrival in Lima
- Day 2: Transfer to Cusco
- Day 3: Cusco Tour
- Day 4: Sacred Valley Tour
- Day 5: Machu Picchu Tour
- Day 6: Arrival in Quito
- Day 7: Begin Galapagos Cruise
- Day 8: Galapagos Cruise
- Day 9: Galapagos Cruise
- Day 10: Galapagos Cruise
- Day 11: Departure from the Galapagos
Dig into South America’s most inspiring destinations on this tour to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands.
Peru marks the first stop on this extraordinary adventure. In Cusco and the Sacred Valley, you’ll explore the places where South America’s most powerful civilization took root and flourished. You’ll visit a series of Inca ruins, each more stunning than the last, arriving finally in Machu Picchu, the most awe-inspiring of them all.
Ecuador is the second stop. You’ll land in Quito for a night, and then depart to the Galapagos Islands, where you’ll board a cruise to discover the archipelago’s natural wonders and remarkable wildlife. From grunting tortoises to fantastic lava formations, the Galapagos will engage all your senses as you take in the strange and marvelous sights of this unique destination.
Day 1: Arrival in Lima
Arrival at Lima airport. Meet our representative for a transfer to your Lima airport hotel.
Day 2: Transfer to Cusco
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flights from Arequipa to Lima to Cusco. Upon arrival, meet our representative for a transfer to your Cusco hotel.
Be sure to take it easy on this first day at higher altitude. Visit a museum, people-watch on the Plaza de Armas, or find a cafe where you can relax. In the evening, choose among Cusco’s many options for casual or fine dining.
Day 3: Cusco Tour
This morning you’ll have time to explore Cusco on your own. Visit the Pre-Columbian Art Museum (MAP) or Casa Concha (Machu Picchu Museum). You can also explore the vendor stalls at San Pedro Market or browse artisan workshops and art galleries in the San Blas neighborhood.
After lunch, meet your guide for an afternoon tour of Cusco’s must see sights. You’ll start on the Plaza de Armas, where your guide will begin to tell you about the history of South America’s oldest continuously inhabited city. You’ll enter into the Cusco Cathedral, formerly the site of a temple to the Inca creator deity Viracocha and today a treasure trove for religious art produced by native artisans in the years after the Spanish Conquest. You’ll continue to Santo Domingo Monastery, which was also constructed on the site of an Inca temple, Qoricancha or the Temple of the Sun. The building of the church atop the ruins ironically preserved parts of the Inca structures, which were revealed intact after a devastating earthquake in 1950 crumbled the Spanish construction. Next, you’ll visit the Inca ruins outside of Cusco, beginning at the fortress of Sacsayhuaman (site of an important battle between Inca and Spanish troops), and wrapping up the day with stops at Q’enko, Puka Pukara, and Tambomachay.
At the end of the tour, you’ll be returned to your hotel in Cusco. Hit the town to see Cusco by night or enjoy a quiet evening in.
Day 4: Sacred Valley Tour
After breakfast, meet your guide for a tour of the Sacred Valley, which in Inca times was littered with royal palaces and temples and today is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes. Your first stop is Pisac town, with its famous market and impressive hilltop ruins. At the market, your guide will point out local products like potatoes, giant corn, and natural dyes, and you’ll have a chance to browse the souvenir stalls for one-of-a-kind gifts. Next, you’ll drive up the hill to the Pisac ruins, which sprawl across a narrow mountain ridge and most likely protected the southern entrance to the Sacred Valley. You’ll continue down the road to Urubamba and stop for lunch (not included) at a buffet restaurant serving Peruvian specialties. The final stop is in Ollantaytambo, where you’ll climb to the top of the fortress ruins for panoramic views across the former Inca heartland.
At the end of the tour, you’ll be dropped of at your hotel in Sacred Valley.
Day 5: Machu Picchu Tour
Take an early train to Machu Picchu, traveling for 2 hours along a path that follows the banks of the Urubamba River and descends dramatically from the Andean highlands to the cloud forest. On clear days, you can glimpse the glacier-capped peaks that rise over the valley. Upon arrival at the train station, meet our representative for a transfer to the bus stop and the 25-min shuttle ride to the ruins.
Meet your guide at the ruins entrance for a 2-hour tour of Machu Picchu. You’ll visit the primary temples and palaces of the Inca citadel and then you’ll have time to explore the ruins on your own. Take an optional hike to the Sun Gate (entrance from the Inca Trail) or to the Inca Bridge.
In the late afternoon, return to the train station for the trip back to Cusco.
Day 6: Arrival in Quito
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flights from Cusco to Lima to Quito. Upon arrival in Quito, meet our representative for a transfer to your hotel.
Explore Quito at your leisure. The colonial-era city center is particularly well-preserved and, in in 1978, became one of the first UNESCO-recognized heritage sites. In the evening, meet our representative at your hotel for a briefing on your Galapagos Cruise.
Day 7: Begin Galapagos Cruise
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands, located 1,000 km off the coast of Ecuador. Meet our representative on arrival for a transfer to your cruise ship. Settle in to your cabin and then meet your naturalist guide for an explanation of your cruise itinerary for the next few days.
Day 8: Galapagos Cruise
Your exact itinerary will depend on the boat you’ve chosen, but you’re guaranteed to enjoy exceptional wildlife viewing both on land and in the water.
Day 9: Galapagos Cruise
If you’re interested in activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving, be sure to inquire before booking a ship.
Day 10: Galapagos Cruise
The volcanic archipelago that inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution showcases unusual wildlife including giant tortoises, marine iguanas, lava lizards, blue-footed boobies, and Galapagos penguins, not to mention an incredible concentration of species that live in the sea.
Day 11: Departure from the Galapagos
Enjoy a final breakfast aboard your ship. Upon arrival at the port, disembark and meet your transfer to the airport to begin your journey back home or on to your next destination.
|3 Star||4 Star||5 Star|
|$ 5449||$ 6399||$ 7309|
|3 Star||4 Star||5 Star|
|$ 8969||$ 10199||$ 11909|
- 1 night in Lima airport hotel, 3 nights in Cusco, 1 night in the Sacred Valley, 1 night in Quito and 4 nights on Galapagos cruise ship
- All tours stated in the itinerary with English-speaking guides
- Ground transportation and entrance fees
- Breakfast at all hotels
- Trains: Ollantaytambo - Machu Picchu - Cusco (Vistadome Train for 5-star and 4-star packages / Expedition Train for 3-star packages)
- All meals on the Galapagos cruise
- Budget tours are designed to offer the best value and comfort possible, and have some variations compared to our 3, 4, and 5-star packages.
- Call or email us to learn more about our Budget tours.
- Lunches and dinners (unless otherwise specified)
- Airport taxes
- Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee ($110)
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Packages start at USD$1,239 for our 4-day Cusco & Machu Picchu package (with domestic flights included.)
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