Geographic Expeditions - vacations and travel

Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands

Peru, South America, Galapagos

from $9,640* per person 15 Days Year-round
Luxury accommodations Exertion level: 4
Operator: Geographic Expeditions 18 people max
  • Lima airport, lima, peru
  • Active & Adventure trips
Boasting four World Heritage Sites, there is no other adventure in our roster of South American ramblings that packs in such a variance of epic highlights. Combining a trip to the Incan heartland of Peru with a week long voyage in the Galapagos Islands offers the richest combination of cultural and natural history imaginable.

After flying to Lima, we’re off to the old Incan capital of Cusco, “a little city of such supreme interest and historical symbolism, of such variety and punch,” Jan Morris has written, “that it combines the compulsions of Stonehenge, a small Barcelona, and a Kathmandu.” We’ll tour its ruins and wander its charmingly narrow streets, many of which are walled with the Incas’ exquisite, inexplicably exact rock-work. We’ll also take a day trip to the fabled Urubamba Valley, including the terraced ruins and colorful market of Pisac. Now by train up to Machu Picchu, the crown jewel of Incan civilization. “This is the most stupendous approach there has ever been,” Sacheverell Sitwell wrote, “to something which in its own right is perhaps the most startlingly dramatic archaeological site in either the New or Old World.” Back to Cusco for a final night in this energetic city, before heading to Ecuador to start phase two.

We’ll continue on to Guayaquil, Ecuador, before flying to the Galapagos and boarding La Pinta for 8 days. One of our travelers wrote that “As soon as I boarded ship and looked around a bit, I realized that even if we never visited land I was still in for a treat.” That’s because a voyage to the Galapagos is a nautical as well as a terrestrial event. Small enough to provide an intimate sense of being on the high seas, large enough to provide great comfort and a host of amenities, La Pinta has quickly assumed a starring role in the Galapagos experience.

Getting up early to watch a tropical sunrise from the bridge, having a sunny lunch on the deck after a morning snorkel, watching from the prow as the bottlenose dolphins frolic in the ship’s wake, enjoying sumptuous meals in the dining room, sipping a sundowner as we sail to yet another intriguing island, reveling in the vastness of the Pacific, are rare experiences, very much a part of the Galapagos’ splendor.

Locations visited/nearby

Peru, South America, Galapagos

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Special information

  • This is a custom departure, meaning this trip is offered on dates that you arrange privately with the provider. Additionally, you need to form your own private group for this trip. The itinerary and price here is just a sample. Contact the provider for detailed pricing, minimum group size, and scheduling information. For most providers, the larger the group you are traveling with, the lower the per-person cost will be.


Day 1: arrive in Lima •

Day 2: Lima to Cusco •

Day 3: Pisac and other Inca ruins •

Days 4 & 5: explore Machu Picchu •

Day 6: fly to Guayaquil •

Day 7: onward to the Galápagos •

Days 8 - 13: cruising the Galápagos •

Day 14: fly to Guayaquil •

Day 15: depart Guayaquil.

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