Overview

Explore a trio of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in this Machu Picchu and Galapagos tour package! Your journey to Ecuador and the Galapagos begins in Quito, home to the Middle of the World, and one of the best-preserved Historic Quarters in South America. Afterward, fly on over to the Galapagos Islands – a biodiversity hotspot teeming with fearless and extraordinary wildlife – for a cruise-based expedition like no other. Following that, head to Peru and delve deep into ancient Inca cultures as you venture across the Sacred Valley, before topping it all off with enigmatic and sublime Machu Picchu!

We also recommend: How much time should I spend in the Galapagos Islands?

What you get

  • Airport Transfers
  • 2 nights at Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel in Quito
  • scenic tour quitoHalf-day Quito's Old Town + Middle of the World Private Tour
  • Roundtrip Domestic Airfare (Quito-Galapagos-Guayaquil)
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee
  • INGALA Transit Control Card
  • 5-day Galapagos Islands Itinerary aboard any of our expedition vessels
  • 2 nights of accommodation in Lima
  • 1 night of accommodation in Cuzco
  • 1 night of accommodation in the Sacred Valley
  • 1 night of accommodation in Machu Picchu Town (Aguas Calientes)

A Sneak Peek

Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel
Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel - Luxury Double
Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel - Luxury Double
Cuzco City
Cuzco City
Cuzco City - Overview
Lima City
Lima City
Lima City - Miraflores Neighborhood
Sacred Valley
Sacred Valley
Sacred Valley - Overview
Yacht Isabela ll
Kayaking on the turquoise waters of Galapagos
Yacht Isabela II - Galapagos Islands
previous arrow
next arrow

Highlights

A professionally guided tour of:

Quito:

  • Quito’s Historic Quarter
  • Middle of the World Monument

Galapagos Islands:

  • Unique endemic species
  • Wonderful uninhabited islands in the National Park
  • Multi-guided expeditions
  • Small groups per guide
  • Greatest Expedition Vessels in the Galapagos Islands

Peru:

  • Half-day Cultural Tour of Lima
  • Half-day Walking Tour of Cuzco
  • Full-day excursion of Machu Picchu
  • Tour of the Sacred Valley:
    • Pisac Market and Ruins
    • Awanacancha Textile Center
    • Chinchero
    • Maras Salt Pans
    • Ollantaytambo Fortress

and…

The following aboard Yacht Isabela II*:

  • Accommodation in a Classic Twin double cabin
  • All meals (We cater for all diets: vegetarian, vegan, celiac, gluten-free, etc.)
  • FREE unlimited soft drinks package
  • Island sightseeing with a Naturalist Guide
  • Snorkeling
  • FREE use of wetsuits
  • Glass-bottom Boat
  • Kayaks
  • Paddleboards
  • Onboard Medical Officer

*Please note that this is a sample vessel and itinerary.
Ask your Destination Expert about our fleet and our 5-day itineraries!

Day by Day

Day 1: Arrive in Quito / Transfer to Hotel

San Francisco Plaza part of our Machu Picchu and Galapagos islands tour

Welcome to Quito, Ecuador! You will be greeted at the airport by a member of our staff who will assist you with your luggage. You’ll take a transfer to your hotel in Quito – Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel. During the ride, you will receive a brief introduction to Quito and Ecuador along with valuable information regarding your stay in the country.

Day 2: Quito + Middle of the World Tour

Middle of the World part of our Machu Picchu & Galapagos islands tour

Quito’s Historic Center – the largest and best-preserved Colonial Quarter in South America – is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On this day, we will take a stroll through the Independence Plaza, which itself is flanked by the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Municipal Building and the Archbishop’s Palace.

After that, we will visit the La Compañia de Jesús Church and admire its gilded interior before continuing onwards to the San Francisco Church and Convent – one of the largest architectural structures within a historic center in the Americas. Its impressive façade and atrium lead into its equally impressive Baroque interior. Afterward, you’ll head to the Middle of the World and get to place both feet on each side of our planet’s equator!

At the end of the tour you’ll be taken back to Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel. Overnight in Quito.

Day 3: Arrive in Galapagos / Transfer to Boat / Santa Cruz Island

Machu Picchu & Galapagos islands: Dragon hill

On this morning, you’ll be transferred to Quito’s airport to board your flight to the Galapagos Islands!

Please note that the following Northern Galapagos Islands Itinerary aboard Yacht Isabela II is one of the many options you can choose for your Galapagos adventure. Ask our Destination Experts about our fleet and available itineraries.

Baltra Airport and Santa Cruz Island     

After landing at Baltra Airport, we drive to the Itabaca Channel to take a ferry across to Santa Cruz Island. A 30-minute bus ride takes us up to the fascinating, more humid Highlands of the island where we’ll learn about its unique ecosystems and biodiversity. Lunch is served at a local restaurant.

Highlands of Santa Cruz Island 

After lunch, we drive to a nearby reserve that is one of the best places in the archipelago to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. The tortoises are easy to spot, lumbering around, munching on grass and leaves and wallowing in small pools. There are several lava tunnels to explore in the reserve, too. A short bus ride takes us down to Puerto Ayora to board Yacht Isabela II.

Day 4: Santiago Island & Chinese Hat Islet

Buccaneer Cove in the Galapagos Islands

Puerto Egas (Santiago Island)

Following a wet landing on a black, sandy beach, our trail takes us to enjoy close-up encounters with recently reintroduced land iguanas, plus land and marine birds amid a landscape of tuff-stone layers, craggy rocks, and lava flows. At low tide, marine iguanas graze upon the algae beds. We can also observe a colony of fur seals, usually dozing in the shade of some rocks.

Chinese Hat Islet

This islet, formed only fairly recently, makes for a beautiful afternoon visit as we explore the wildlife along its 1,312 ft-long (400 m-long) trail, which begins at a crescent-shaped, white sandy beach. The cove offers excellent swimming and snorkeling opportunities amid white-tipped reef sharks and Galapagos penguins.

Day 5: Genovesa Island

Darwin Bay at Genovesa Island

Prince Philip’s Steps (Genovesa Island)

We start off with a scenic ride along the cliffs of “Bird Island” as Genovesa is known, followed by a walk up a stone staircase that takes us into the island proper. From here, the trail winds its way through large colonies of Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, great frigatebirds, and storm petrels. This is a bird watcher’s paradise! Those who do not wish to disembark and walk within the island can enjoy a longer panga ride along the cliffs, or enjoy some snorkeling and kayaking.

Darwin Bay (Genovesa Island)

We land after lunch at the white beach of stately Darwin Bay. We can enjoy a leisurely walk through the winding path and gaze at the resident birds, which include frigatebirds, red-footed and Nazca boobies, as well as gulls, herons, finches, and mockingbirds.

Day 6: Santa Fe & South Plaza Islands

Santa Fe land iguana Galapagos

Santa Fe Island

We take the dinghy over to this idyllic sandy-white beach populated by colonies of sea lions. Galapagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The Santa Fe land iguana may be spotted during our exploration. Following the walk, we can snorkel and swim along a natural wave barrier or ride the glass-bottom boat.

South Plaza Island

Following lunch and a rest, we disembark (dry landing) in this channel, whose turquoise waters contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. Beyond, a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus. Yellow-grey land iguanas sit beneath these, waiting patiently for pears to drop. Along the coastline we find sea lion colonies, while frigates, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters glide, playing with the thermals.

Day 7: Transfer to Airport / Arrive in Lima / Transfer to Hotel

Machu Picchu & Galapagos islands: Guayaquil

Baltra Island

Disembark at Baltra Island, transfer to the airport, and fly over to the mainland.

Guayaquil

Once you arrive in Guayaquil’s Jose Joaquin de Olmedo Airport, you’ll have a brief layover before catching your flight to Lima.

Lima

Upon arriving at Lima International Airport, our representative will meet you and you’ll take a transfer to your hotel*, where they will assist you with check-in and provide you with all the information and vouchers you will need for your time in Peru. Overnight in Lima.

*Double Tree El Pardo Hotel or similar.

Day 8: Lima City Tour

Machu Picchu & Galapagos islands: Plaza Mayor, Peru

On this day, you’ll experience a half-day tour of Lima’s historic center: Plaza San Martin, Plaza Mayor, Government Palace, the Santo Domingo Convent, and the Museum of the Central Reserve Bank, which displays various eras of Peruvian art.

The tour continues over at the Larco Herrera Museum and Hacienda, where you’ll get to admire one of the best collections of pre-Columbian art in the country. You’ll also get to walk around the hacienda itself, which was built over a sacred pre-Incan site that is located in the Pueblo Libre District. Afterward, you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch at the museum’s café.

At the end of the tour you’ll be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Lima.

Day 9: Sacred Valley Tour

Machu Picchu & Galapagos islands: Awanacancha Textile Center

Our representative will meet you in the hotel lobby and it’s off to the airport to catch your flight to Cuzco. Once you arrive in Cuzco, you’ll begin your tour of the Sacred Valley.

Today we visit an Andean textile center. Here, you’ll learn about the dyeing techniques and instruments that have been used for hundreds of years. Next, we’ll head to the Sacred Valley’s Pisac Market, where regional artisans gather to exchange, buy, and sell products. You’ll have plenty of time to explore and barter for all the typical handicrafts from this area.

Our last stop is Pablo Seminario’s Ceramic Workshop, where you can observe the ceramics process and perhaps meet artist Pablo Seminario, as this is his year-round studio.

Lunch at Hacienda Huayoccari 

Opens its doors in a unique and privileged place in the Sacred Valley, surrounded by green areas and beautiful gardens with vegetables, flowers, and trees. It has an admirable collection of Peruvian art, housed in different rooms according to era: pre-Incan, Incan, Viceregal, and Republican, which you will be able to appreciate before lunch.

After the tour we will go to the hotel.

Overnight in the Sacred Valley

Day 10: Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu & Galapagos islands: Machu Picchu tour

We pick you up from your hotel in the morning and take you to the train station, where we will take the train to the town of Aguas Calientes. Along the way, we’ll enjoy the changing landscape as we travel from the Andean highlands to the beginning of the jungle before finally reaching the town of Aguas Calientes.

There, you’ll hop aboard a bus that will take you on a 20-minute ride to Machu Picchu (3,400masl/11,15ft), or Lost City of the Incas. Here, we take a guided tour of the Citadel, probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire, with its giant walls, terraces, and ramps, which appear as though they have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments.

Lunch Buffet at Tinkuy Restaurant – Belmond Sanctuary Lodge

Experience a truly unique dining experience and spoil your senses in Tinkuy Restaurant located at the entrance of Machu Picchu.

After lunch, take the shuttle bus to Aguas Calientes and arrive at the Ollantaytambo Train Station to board your return train. Upon arrival at the train station, you will be met by our representative and a private driver who will transfer you to the hotel.

Overnight in the Sacred Valley.

Day 11: Sacred Valley Tour

Maras Salt Pans in the Sacred Valley of Peru

Visit Ollantaytambo Fortress, Chinchero Village, Maras Saltpans & Moray Terraces (Private)

Today we will visit the Inca fortress and citadel of Ollantaytambo. This site was built just as the Spaniards arrived and evidence of how it was constructed is still visible. This fortress was believed to be constructed to guard the entrance to this part of the valley and protect it from possible invasions of tribes from the jungle lowlands.

Afterwards, we will visit the town of Chinchero Town, an authentic Andean village with lots of character, where we will find the colonial church that houses a large collection of painting from the Cusqueñan School of Art. Here, you’ll get to amaze yourself with the picturesque views that surround this authentic slice of the Andes Mountains. On weekends, the main plaza of the town becomes a hub for artisans to gather and sell their wares.

Following that, we’ll head to the Maras Salt Pans. This impressive site offers visitors breathtaking views that consist of countless terraces where salt (which is extracted from nearby springs) is produced. It takes about a month for the terraces to produce thick, crystalized salt that varies in color.

We continue our excursion to admire the Moray terraces. It is thought that Moray was used for plant adaptation to new climatic environments thanks to its circular terraces in immense cone-shaped depressions that resemble giant fingerprints. These create a series of microclimates at the different heights of the terraces, which enabled the Incas to experimentally improve a great variety of crops.

Lunch at Rancho Wayra with Peruvian Paso Horse Demonstration – Hotel Sol y Luna (set menu)

Lunch will be served at a local ranch that will include a Peruvian Paso Horse demonstration; with its elegance and noble spirit, the Peruvian Paso Horse symbolizes a centuries-old tradition of cultural and folkloric fusion that defines and enriches Peru. In this presentation, the Paso horses from the ranch’s stables demonstrate their fluid gait and elegant movement to the ‘la marinara’ rhythm.

After the experience, we will drive to your hotel in Cusco.

Overnight in Cusco

Day 12: Cuzco City Tour / Transfer to Airport / Farewell!

Machu Picchu & Galapagos islands: Cuzco city tour

Cusco City tour, main surrounding ruins & San Blas Artisan Neighbourhood (Private Service) 

Today, we will visit Cusco City’s surrounding ruins. The Sacsayhuaman Fortress is a ceremonial compound and a magnificent example of Inca military power that boasts a panoramic view of the city. We also visit the Qenqo Amphitheatre, a ritualistic site with subterranean galleries that form an underground maze. Then, we continue to the Red Fortress of Puca Pucara and the Inca Baths of Tambomachay, consisting of aqueducts, canals, and waterfalls running through the terraced rocks that seem frozen in time. 

Then, head to the city of Cusco, the Imperial City and archaeological capital of South America, where we will be able to admire the finest examples of Inca history and architecture. Visit the city’s most important historical monuments that reveal the influence of different cultures: The Main Square, the Cathedral, and the Santo Domingo church built upon the foundations of the Inca temple Koricancha, dedicated to worshiping the Sun God. From this point, we head to the district of San Blas, which has winding streets, whitewashed houses, and blue balconies. This bohemian neighborhood is full of artisan workshops where we can find everything from ceramics and sculptures to textiles. 

After the visit, we will return to the hotel or your preferred restaurant for lunch.

Transfer Hotel / Cusco Airport (Private)

At the appropriate time, our representative will meet you in the hotel lobby and transfer you to Cusco Airport to board your next flight.  Our representative will assist you with check-in procedures and all departure formalities.

Safe travels!

Conditions

  • Subject to availability
  • Published rates don’t apply on Christmas & New Year’s departures.
  • Listed prices are based on double occupancy. For child rates and single supplements please contact your destination expert.
  • A minimal deposit of 15% per person is required to confirm your reservation.
  • Credit card payments are exempt from additional fees.
  • Breakfasts and taxes are included for Quito Hotel.
  • Galapagos Itineraries are subject to change due to weather, logistical, operational reasons, and Galapagos National Park restrictions (temporary or otherwise).
  • All entrance fees are subject to change without prior notice.
  • Restrictions may apply.
  • Please be aware that you can combine this Package with any of our Galapagos Cruise itineraries. Our Destination Experts will customize the package based on your request and send you a quote.

Not Included

  • International flights to Quito (Ecuador), to Lima (Peru), and from Cuzco (Peru)
  • Domestic flights in Peru (Lima-Cuzco-Lima)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tips
  • Wi-Fi (due to the Galapagos’ remote location, internet connection is intermittent and low-bandwidth. The cost for accessing Wi-Fi is $40 + taxes/per device).
  • Personal expenses (late checkout, laundry, gifts, etc)
  • Meals not described in the program
  • Fuel Surcharge*

 

*ETICA Empresa Turistica Internacional C.A. reserves the right to charge a fuel supplement without prior notice should the closing price of West Texas Intermediate Fuel increase above $70 per barrel on the NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange Index). In the event a fuel supplement is charged, ETICA Empresa Turistica Internacional C.A. will have sole discretion to apply the supplementary charge to both existing and new bookings, regardless of whether such bookings have been paid in full. Such supplementary charges are not included in the cruise fare. The fuel supplement charge will not exceed $25.00 per passenger per day.

Testimonial

“I just experienced an amazing trip on the Santa Cruz II. The staff is exceptional… it’s all top-notch. For our first cruise experience, it feels like we started at the top… so many amazing memories. This is a 5-star experience.” ~Noeau Kamakani