Machu Picchu & Galapagos Tours

Our Machu Picchu & Galapagos Tours take you to two of South America’s most iconic destinations. In Peru, you will learn about the colonial history of Lima, and discover the cultural heritage of the Incas in Cusco and the Sacred Valley. You will then travel by train for a guided tour of Machu Picchu, the awe-inspiring mountain top site. In the Galapagos, you can explore the islands by ship or on a land-based tour. Naturalist guides will introduce you to the fascinating endemic and native species including giant tortoises, sea lions, and penguins, and and explain the volcanic origins of the archipelago.

Machu Picchu & Galapagos Tours

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Macaw Clay Lick, Amazon, Peru

Galapagos, Machu Picchu, and the Amazon

16 Days/15 Nights from $5,569

Galapagos, Machu Picchu, and the Peruvian Amazon are three of the most popular destinations in South America. Your tour will begin in Quito, which has…

Useful Machu Picchu & Galapagos Information

When is the best time to travel to Peru & Machu Picchu?

The weather along Peru’s desert coast is decidedly moderate, with little rain and temperatures between 50 and 85 degrees year round. In summer (December to March), there are warm days with several hours of morning sunshine, but in the winter a coastal fog called la garúa sets in and makes everything gray. The best months to visit cities like Lima and Trujillo are October, November, and April, when conditions are mild and the humidity is tolerable.

Weather in Peru’s sierra consists of wet and dry seasons; the former runs from November to March, the latter from May to September. The best time to go is from April to October, which coincides with several local festivities and peak tourist crowds. Even then, expect cool nights and occasional afternoon downpours.

The Amazon region also has wet and dry seasons, with strong heat and humidity all year. To maximize wildlife-viewing opportunities, go between June and September, since in other months the sudden onset of heavy rains can foil even the best-laid plans. See all Peru FAQ.

When is the best time to travel to the Galapagos?

It is always a good time to travel to a destination as unique and fascinating as the Galapagos. There are two seasons, the rainy season and the dry season. The rainy season runs from December to June, with higher daytime temperatures (80’s F) and humidity, and occasional rain showers. The ocean temperature is also higher (77 degrees F), making swimming and snorkeling more appealing. This is also the breeding season for land birds and sea lions, and nesting season for sea turtles.

The dry season runs from June to December. During this season, the weather and ocean temperature are cooled by the Humboldt Current, which brings cold water, nutrients, and plankton from the southern part of the South America. Temperatures average in the 70’s (F) during the day and lower at night. It is also windier, and the ocean is rougher. The nutrient rich waters attract fish, seabirds, and penguins. This is also mating season of the blue-footed boobies. See all Galapagos FAQ.

How To Plan A Galapagos Vacation

Planning a Galapagos vacation can seem like a daunting task when you are just starting out, but answering the following (basic) questions will make it easier for us to help you plan your trip…

  • What is your budget per person not including international airfare?
  • How many days do you have for your Galapagos vacation?
  • When do you want to visit?
  • Do you want a Galapagos Cruise or Galapagos Land Based Tour?
  • What activities do you want to participate in?
  • What type of wildlife do you want to see?
  • What other destinations do you want to combine with the Galapagos Islands?

Contact one of our travel experts for help in planning your trip.

The Main Galapagos Islands and Visitor Sites

Marine iguanas that skitter up to you on seaside rocks, eyes darting. Frigatebirds, their crimson pouches inflating as they roost in bushes. Whitetip reef sharks, gliding past you as you snorkel in calm waters. Sound inspiring? It was to Charles Darwin, whose awe at the boldness of the Galapagos Islands’ wildlife was what set him on the path to his theory of natural selection. His 1831 voyage put this remote archipelago on the map, and ever since, the Galapagos’ fascination has continued to grow. Today, the natural marvels on this protected refuge are so abundant that choosing which of the main Galapagos islands to visit can be a challenge—even for the most serious eco-travelers…

Baltra Island / Bartolomé Island / Chinese Hat Islet / Eden Islet / Española Island / Fernandina Island / Floreana Island / Genovesa Island / Isabela Island / Mosquera Islet / North Seymour Island / Rábida Island / San Cristóbal Island / Santa Cruz Island / Santa Fe Island / Santiago Island / South Plaza Island

Top Galapagos Activities by Land or by Sea

So: you’ve deplaned at Baltra Island’s airport, been carted down to the docks on your shuttle, and just stepped off the barge onto Santa Cruz Island, the Galapagos’ main tourist hub. Congratulations—but don’t flop back in your hammock just yet. With 18 main islands, 107 islets, and 116 authorized visitor sites to choose from…

Galapagos Wildlife: 15 Iconic Species

American Flamingo / Blue-Footed Booby / Flightless Cormorant / Frigatebirds: Great and Magnificent / Galapagos Fur Seal / Galapagos Giant Tortoise / Galapagos Hawk / Galapagos Penguin / Galapagos Sea Lion / Land Iguana / Marine Iguana / Nazca Booby / Red-Footed Booby / Santa Fe Land Iguana / Waved Albatross

Galapagos Wildlife Calendar

In the Galapagos Islands, wildlife is the main attraction. Below is a Galapagos Wildlife Calendar indicating what you can expect to see during each month of the year while on a Galapagos Cruise or Galapagos Land-Based Tour

Galapagos Packing List: What To Bring On Your Trip

From wildlife-spotting cruises to climbing an active volcano, or snorkeling amid a rainbow of tropical fish—a visit to the Galapagos is always an adventure. But with its unique climate, remote location, and abundance of land and sea activities, it can be hard to know what to pack. Don’t worry; our Galapagos packing list…

Galapagos Cruise Ships

Galapagos Legend / Santa Cruz II / La Pinta / Isabela II / Coral I & II / Galapagos Sea Star Journey / Infinity / Natural Paradise / Horizon / Petrel / Treasure of Galapagos / Galapagos Seaman Journey / EcoGalaxy

Machu Picchu & Galapagos Travel Articles

Machu Picchu

A Guide To The Main Structures Of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu isn’t just an archaeological wonder: It’s also an architectural masterpiece. With more than 200 buildings that we know of, intelligently divided into urban and agricultural sectors and an upper town and lower town, there are no finer examples of Inca planning and construction…

Hiram Bingham And The Discovery Of Machu Picchu

On July 24, 1911, a Yale lecturer of South American history stumbled through the dense jungle on the saddle of a steep-sided mountaintop in Peru. Cutting through the undergrowth, he began to see signs of a former settlement. Walls and archways, paths and structures, and monumental architecture…

Day Two At Machu Picchu: Four Top Options

So you’ve finally done it. You’ve bought your PeruRail tickets, your entrance pass, and your chuyo, and you’re on your way to Machu Picchu. Mission accomplished—at least the first stage. By now your envious friends are blowing up your Facebook page with “OMG! How exciting!” posts and asking…


Pirates, Captains And Castaways: The First Visitors To The Galapagos

Charles Darwin is the man most associated with the Galapagos Islands, but he certainly wasn’t the first person to reach this remote and endlessly fascinating archipelago. Whether by accident or objective, other seafarers had reached the islands before Darwin and the voyage of the HMS Beagle in 1835, with widely…

How Darwin’s Findings in Galapagos Contributed to His Theory of Natural Selection

In 1835, not long before arriving at the Galapagos Islands, Charles Darwin wrote a letter to his friend and mentor John Stevens Henslow. “In a few days’ time,” he wrote, “the Beagle will sail for the Galapagos Islands. I look forward with joy and interest to this, both as being somewhat nearer to England and for the sake…

The Best Places For Snorkeling In The Galapagos

The Galapagos Marine Reserve is the second largest marine reserve in the world, and the largest in a developing country. Due to its protected status, many areas of the marine reserve are off-limits to snorkelers and divers. But there are plenty of sites open to visitors, where with just some basic snorkeling equipment…

Galapagos Giant Tortoise: 23 Interesting Facts

When it comes to wildlife-watching opportunities, the Galapagos Islands are second to none. Blue-footed boobies waddle along the shores, marine iguanas lounge on the rocks, and Galapagos penguins splash around in the waters, not to mention sea lions, fur seals, and sea turtles everywhere you turn. However…

Encountering Giant Tortoises On Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos

Santa Cruz, the most populated and commercially developed island in the Galapagos, is also the most visited. Near the international airport some 650 miles west of mainland Ecuador, Santa Cruz is the site of the Charles Darwin Research Station and Galapagos National Park, which lead conservation programs…

Land, Sea, And Air: The Varied Wildlife Of San Cristobal Island, Galapagos

San Cristobal, the farthest east and second most populated of all the Galapagos Islands, is also the site of one of the two main airports serving the Ecuadorian mainland, some 600 miles away. But it would be a shame to simply fly in and head straight for other islands, because San Cristóbal offers some of the best…

Top Wildlife Viewing On Isabela Island, Galapagos

Isabela Island, by far the largest island in the Galapagos, is also one of the richest in wildlife. Home to more wild tortoises than all the other Galapagos Islands combined, it’s also the best place to spot penguins in the archipelago, which harbors the most northerly penguin colony on earth. (Isabela lies directly on…

The Fascinating Wildlife Of Fernandina Island, Galapagos

Lying across a narrow channel from the much larger Isabela Island, Fernandina Island is best known for its abundance of marine iguanas: reptiles that the revered Charles Darwin himself called “hideous-looking” and “imps of darkness” — and, indeed, they have a prehistoric look that only a mother could love…

Genovesa Island, Galapagos: Prime Territory For Birds

To reach little Genovesa, the most northeastern island of the Galapagos, cruise vessels must sail up to eight hours from other more visited islands. Large cruise ships have to bypass Genovesa – also called Tower Island – because the reef makes it risky for them to enter into and anchor at Darwin Bay, where passengers…

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