Galapagos, Machu Picchu, and Nazca Lines
15 Days/14 Nights
From $5,089 per person
(Dbl. Occupancy, Not Incl. Airfare)
Combining the Galapagos with Machu Picchu and the Nazca Lines is an excellent way to experience the best of Ecuador and Peru. You will begin in Quito and then travel to the Galapagos Islands for a four day cruise aboard the Galapagos Legend, where you will observe plant and animal species found nowhere else on Earth. In Peru, you will visit Lima, the Nazca Lines, and Ballestas Islands before finishing in Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and Machu Picchu.
Lodging and Meals: This tour includes accommodations for 14 nights (2 nights in Quito, 3 nights on the Galapagos Legend, 4 nights in Lima, 1 night in Paracas, 3 nights in Cusco, and 1 night in Machu Picchu) and 23 meals (14 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 4 dinners).
Best Time to Go: April-October.
Places Visited: Quito, the Galapagos Islands, Baltra Island, Bartolomé Island, North Seymour Island, San Cristóbal Island, South Plaza Island, Guayaquil, Lima, Ica & the Nazca Lines, Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu.
Note: The route and program may vary according to National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety reasons and wildlife encounters.
Dry Landing: Guests step from the dinghy directly onto rocks or a dock.
Wet Landing: As the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, guests step into knee-deep water and wade ashore.
Day 1 (Sat): Quito.
Day 2 (Sun): City Tour of Quito-Middle of the World.
Following the city tour, you will be driven to the “Middle of the World City” complex, which is located 11 miles north of Quito. Here, you will see the monument of the equatorial line, a 98 ft high stone trapezoidal monument with a brass globe on top. The monument forms the focal point of a park and leisure area with gift shops and restaurants. Overnight in Quito. (B)
Day 3 (Mon): Quito-Baltra Airport-Bartolome.
Bartolome (dry or wet landing). You discover a fascinating landscape formed by different volcanic parasitic cones – lava bombs, spatter, cinder cones – that resemble the moon. Going up to the summit there will be impressive views of the surrounding islands, including the eroded tuff cone Pinnacle Rock. You also encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards, and blue-footed boobies.
Beach time is a great opportunity to do snorkeling and see the famous Galapagos Penguins, sea turtles and White-tipped Reef Sharks among a great variety of colorful fish. For many visitors, this may turn out to be the best snorkeling experience. Crystal clear water is the perfect spot to appreciate the incredible marine life it has to offer. Due to its geographical location, the lack of vegetation is immediately noticeable however, there are pioneer plants including the endemic Tiquilia nesiotica and Chamaesyce (known as sand mat or spurge in English), lava cactus, and Scalesia bushes. (Duration: 1.5 hour walk/one hour snorkeling). Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 4 (Tue): South Plaza Islet-North Seymour.
North Seymour Island (dry landing). Off of Baltra Island and not far from Santa Cruz, North Seymour is located. This landmass was formed by a series of underwater volcanic eruptions, which deposited layers of lava on the ocean floor. You will have an approximately two-hour walk amidst large nesting colonies of blue-footed boobies, magnificent and great frigate birds, and swallow-tailed gulls for an in depth encounter with sea bird breeding cycles and sea lions. You will also encounter land iguanas, and on a lucky day, you might even come across the endemic Galapagos Snake. (Duration: 2 hour walk, 30 minute snorkeling). Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 5 (Wed): Pitt Point & Islet-Cerro Brujo (San Cristobal).
Cerro Brujo (wet landing). Cerro Brujo is an eroding tuff cone that at several locations is composed of AA lava formations and a beautiful white sandy beach, great for snorkeling and sunbathing. There is a lagoon visit where migratory bird species can be seen: Black-necked Stilts, Ruddy Turnstones, Whimbrels, other sandpiper species and White-cheeked Pintails. Cerro Brujo offers beautiful views of Kicker Rock, the southern part of San Cristobal and the adjacent coast. (Duration: one hour walk/one hour snorkeling). Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 6 (Thu): Puerto Baquerizo Moreno-Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve (San Cristobal)-San Cristobal Airport-Guayaquil.
After the visit you will go to San Cristobal Airport for your flight to Guayaquil. You will be greeted and then transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Guayaquil. (B)
Day 7 (Fri): Guayaquil-Lima-City Tour.
In the afternoon, you will have a city tour of Lima. The tour begins in Miraflores with a stop at the Parque del Amor, a seaside park with a huge statue of a kissing couple and continues with a drive by of the Huaca Huallamarca, a restored adobe pyramid dating from the pre-Inca period located in San Isidro. The next stop is the Plaza de Armas in downtown Lima, where you will visit City Hall (Palacio Municipal), the Government Palace (Palacio de Gobierno), and the Cathedral of Lima. The last stop is the Convent of Santo Domingo. Following the tour, you will be returned to your hotel. Overnight in Lima. (B)
Day 8 (Sat): Lima-Pisco-Nazca Lines-Paracas.
Day 9 (Sun): Paracas-Candelabra-Ballestas Islands-Lima.
Day 10 (Mon): Lima-Cusco-City Tour.
Day 11 (Tue): Cusco-Sacred Valley-Awanakancha-Pisac Market-Ollantaytambo.
Note: The Indian market is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from October to March, and daily from April to September. On the days of the week that the market is not open, you will be taken to the Inca ruins above the village.
Day 12 (Wed): Cusco-Machu Picchu.
Day 13 (Thu): Machu Picchu-Cusco.
Day 14 (Fri): Cusco-Lima-Larco Museum-Folkloric Dinner Show.
Day 15 (Sat): Lima.
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
A Note About Your Free Day in Machu Picchu
On your free day, you will be on your own. If you choose to revisit Machu Picchu, you will need to purchase a second entrance ticket, which currently costs $74 per person. If you are staying in Aguas Calientes, you will also need to purchase a round-trip bus ticket ($28 per person) for transportation to the site. The first bus departs at 5:30 AM. As an alternative to visiting Machu Picchu again, you can hike Huayna Picchu (a +/- 60 minute hike), or partake in another activity. The cost for hiking Huayna Picchu is $13 (in addition to the second entrance ticket). At the end of the day (mid-late afternoon), you will walk to the train station for the return ride to Poroy train station, where our local representative will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel in Cusco.
- South American Vacations’ expert pre-departure planning services and documentation.
- Airport/hotel transfers including baggage handling.
- Hotel accommodations including service fees and taxes.
- Round-trip transportation from Lima to Paracas.
- Accommodations on board the M/V Galapagos Legend.
- All meals scheduled on board and others as indicated on the itinerary.
- Daily excursions to the islands conducted by English-speaking naturalist guides.
- Use of snorkeling equipment.
- Evening briefings and lectures.
- Excursion to Machu Picchu including overnight stay and transportation via Vistadome train.
Price Does Not Include
- International airfare.
- Domestic airfare.
- Fuel surcharge for the ship ($50).
- Galapagos National Park entrance fee ($100).
- Transit control card ($20).
- Meals not indicated on the itinerary.
- Gratuities to ship crew and guides.
- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Gifts and personal items.
- Travel insurance.
We will be happy to quote the cost of airfare and travel insurance, and to make these arrangements for you.
Quito & Galapagos
Group Private: All services included in Quito and Galapagos are operated on a group basis. In Peru, all transfers (except on the Nazca Lines excursion) are private, and the city tour of Lima, city tour of Cusco, Sacred Valley of the Incas excursion, and Machu Picchu guided tour are group tours for single passengers and 3 Star accommodations, and private for 4 Star, 5 Star, and Deluxe accommodations. The Nazca Lines overflight and Ballestas Islands boat tour are group tours. The Larco Museum visit is private.
Elevations: Quito is 9,350 feet above sea level, Cusco is 10,912 feet, the Sacred Valley of the Incas is 8,944 feet, and Machu Picchu is 7,900 feet.
IGTOA’S Galapagos Traveler Conservation Fund: South American Vacations is an active member of IGTOA (International Galapagos Tour Operators Association). In support of IGTOA’s Galapagos Traveler Conservation Fund, we contribute $20 for each passenger that we send to the Galapagos Islands. You’ll travel knowing that you support the lasting protection of Galapagos Islands.
Sixty percent of the funding of this program goes directly to the Charles Darwin Foundation for science, conservation, and education. Their work, carried out through the Charles Darwin Research Station and Galapagos National Park, is vital to the preservation of the islands. You can visit their web site to learn more www.darwinfoundation.org. The remainder goes toward IGTOA’s mission of creating a model of responsible and sustainable tourism.
Passport/Visa: For Ecuador, U.S., Australian, Canadian, and EU citizens require a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry and return ticket for stays of up to 90 days. Citizens of other countries are advised to contact the Ecuadorian embassy in their country before traveling. For Peru, U.S., Australian, Canadian, and EU citizens require a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry and return ticket for stays of up to 90 days. Citizens of other countries are advised to contact the Peruvian embassy in their country before traveling.
Travel Insurance: In order to protect your travel investment from unforeseen circumstances that may arise before or during your trip, we strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. We offer Allianz Global Assistance’s Classic Comprehensive and other plans. The Benefits and Coverage Limits are summarized on our Travel Insurance page. Call your travel counselor if you have any questions or to purchase a plan.
To Book This Trip: We require a non-refundable deposit of $1,000 per person plus the cost of the airfare (if we make the arrangements for you). The balance of the trip cost is due 60 days prior to departure.
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