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Galapagos + Peru's Land of the Incas Aboard National Geographic Polaris

Galapagos + Peru's Land of the Incas Aboard M.S. Polaris 
,  Peru, Ecuador, South America

Contact provider for price 16 Days Year-round
Luxury accommodations Exertion level: 3
Operator: Lindblad Expeditions 24 people max
  • Guayaquil, ecuador
  • Active & Adventure trips
Thematically, one might ask, why connect a visit to Peru with an expedition to the Galápagos Islands? For that, we have two distinct answers: Firstly, as magnificent as the Galápagos Islands are for wildlife, so is Peru from an historical and archaeological perspective. Secondly, Peru’s capital city of Lima, is less than two hours away by air from Guayaquil. So, if you have the time, you’re almost there anyway!

There are a couple of key issues to point out following the expedition to Galápagos aboard National Geographic Polaris: We spend a full week in Peru. Even though for many the highlight of the trip is an overnight stay in Machu Picchu, the fact is that rushing from sea level through the high altitudes of Machu Picchu and back to sea level in only a few days is just not wise. It takes time to adjust. The main reason however is that there is just so much more to Peru, including Lima, The Sacred Valley of the Inca and the ancient Incan capital of Cusco, which you can read more about in the Day-by-Day itinerary.

So please, read on and we hope you become inspired to join us.

Locations visited/nearby

Galapagos + Peru's Land of the Incas Aboard M.S. Polaris , Peru, Ecuador, South America

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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.
  • May accommodate certain types of disabilities. Contact the operator for more information.


DAY 1 — U.S./Guayaquil, Ecuador
Depart U.S. and arrive Guayaquil by late evening. If you choose to take the non-stop group flight from Miami, we depart in the early evening with a flying time of approximately 4 hours. Upon arrival, it’s a short drive to the Hotel Hilton Colón.

DAY 2 — Guayaquil/Galápagos/Santa Cruz/Embark Ship
This morning fly to the Galápagos. Flying time is approximately 1½ hours; upon arrival immediately board ship. During lunch we’ll sail to Santa Cruz Island for a magnificent introduction to the wildlife. Spend the afternoon exploring mangrove-flanked channels and the shoreline of Cerro Dragon, looking for land iguanas, sea lions, a variety of birds and schools of golden rays. (B,L,D)

DAY 3 - 8 — Exploring the Galápagos Islands
While our exact routing depends on the National Park Service, we may visit the following islands:
- Bartolomé
- Santiago
- Santa Cruz
- Isabela
- Fernandina
- Floreana

DAY 9 — Galápagos/Guayaquil/Lima, Peru
Depart Galápagos this morning and fly to Lima, Peru. Overnight at Ramada Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel. (B,D)

DAY 10 — Lima/Cusco/Sacred Valley of the Inca
This morning fly from Lima to Cusco and drive to Awanacancha, a farm where South American camelidae are bred. Enjoy the scenery as we make our way to Pisac - Gateway to the Sacred Valley. Pisac has an “old town” and a “new town” from the Colonial era. We’ll visit the local food market before visiting its ruins. Later we check into our hotel, Sol y Luna. (B,L,D)

DAY 11 — Sacred Valley of the Inca
This morning visit the massive Inca stone fortress of Ollantaytambo, and is thought to be the only remaining example of pre-Columbian urban planning. After lunch at our hotel, the afternoon is at your leisure to explore on your own. Tonight is a very special night. Dinner is an outdoor event at our hotel complete with a campfire, BBQ and vibrant dances based on Peruvian folklore performed on stilts. There’ll also be a cooking demonstration that will take visitors through the steps of preparing specialties like Ceviche. (B,L,D)

DAY 12 — Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu
After breakfast we take a short ride to the train station for the 1½-hour ride to Machu Picchu (“Old Mountain”). At the citadel, “The Lost City of the Inca,” we’ll first have a guided walk but the real magic is that between 4:30 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. most visitors are gone. By staying over, you share Machu Picchu with only a handful of visitors. Overnight at Orient Express Sanctuary Lodge with only 31 rooms. (B,L,D)

DAY 13 — Machu Picchu
Breakfast at leisure. Enjoy a sunrise walk and hike to the Sun-Gate, the ancient final check point to Machu Picchu, an almost mystical experience for many. The morning is free to explore Machu Picchu and ponder the many mysteries of the Incas. After a train and bus ride, we arrive in Cusco in the late afternoon for two nights at the Orient Express Monasterio Hotel. (B,L,D)

DAY 14 — Cusco
This morning explore Cusco, the Inca Empire’s capital. We’ll also visit the vast Sacsayhuaman Fortress. After lunch at the MAP café in the Pre-Columbian Art Museum, the rest of the day is open to stroll around the Plaza de Armas. Relax shopping or visit the magnificent 17th-century cathedral built on Inca foundations, the Santo Domingo Convent — Koricancha. This evening choose amongst several options for an independent dinner. (B,L)

DAY 15 — Cusco/Lima
This morning return to Lima and explore Colonial Lima. Visit the Larco Herrera Museum and its private collection of pre-Columbian art. Stroll the Plaza Mayor. Lunch will follow the traditional Latin American style and be rather late and then you can have a light dinner on your own. (B,L)

DAY 16 — Lima/Miami
This morning fly home – or anywhere else you might have decided to go. (B)

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