Experience two South American bucket-list adventures in one on this expertly crafted 10-day adventure. Blending the cultural wonders of Peru's Sacred Valley with the magical endemic wildlife of Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, you'll enjoy a fascinating medley of enchanting UNESCO World Heritage Sites. From the cobblestone streets of Cusco, find yourself immersed in a land of Inca legend with visits to Ollantaytambo and iconic Machu Picchu. Then follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin as you cruise the Galapagos, a "living museum," aboard your deluxe yacht - all in the company of expert naturalist guides. Elevate your adventure with MT Sobek!
Explore two South America wonders in one: enigmatic Machu Picchu and the enchanting Galapagos
Discover rich Andean culture in historic Cusco and the mystical Sacred Valley
Take a wildlife journey of wonder through the Galápagos, a showcase of evolution
Arrive in Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. Meet your trip leader at the airport and transfer to the city's main square. Take a walking tour that introduces you to the history of the Inca civilization and its former capital with its ornate cathedrals, adobe walls, carved balconies, hidden courtyards, and cobblestone streets. After lunch, tour the Sachsayhuamán complex, a masterpiece of Inca architecture located in the outskirts of Cusco. Continue on to the Sacred Valley, check-in to your hotel, and enjoy a welcome dinner with the group.
After breakfast depart for a full-day tour of the Sacred Valley, beginning at the famous salt ponds of Maras. Next, head to nearby Moray, a unique archaeological site known for its enormous irrigated farming terraces. In the afternoon, travel to the village of Ollantaytambo, showcasing ingenious Inca stonework, cobbled streets and an extensive, ancient communal water system that is still in use to this day. Visit its Inca fortress sitting pretty with hilltop domination of the surrounding valley and magnificent vista views to soak up before returning to your hotel in Urubamba. Dinner tonight is on your own.
After an early breakfast, transfer to Ollantaytambo station for a train journey down the narrowing gorge of the Urubamba River. Arrive at Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo, and start your ascent to the lost citadel of Machu Picchu, an unforgettable experience. Explore the enigmatic ruins - a fascinating complex of houses, terraces, baths, temples, and stairways. Learn about the importance of these structures in the lives of the Incas during a tour. Then return to the hotel, explore the gardens, and enjoy dinner in the hotel's dining room.
Return to Machu Picchu this morning for an immersive second visit and (optional) climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain with your guide. Experience incredible views from the top! After lunch, board an afternoon Executive 64 train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and then transfer to Cusco by private van. Enjoy a "farewell to Peru" meal tonight.
After breakfast, Transfer to the Cusco airport in time to check-in for your outbound flight and bid farewell to your Peru guide. Change planes in Lima and board your next flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador. You'll be greeted at the Guayaquil airport by an MT Sobek representative and transferred to your nearby hotel. Dinner tonight is on your own.
After breakfast, fly from Guayaquil to San Cristóbal Island in the Galapagos. Meet your Galapagos naturalist guide upon arrival and transfer to the small town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, where you will board the luxurious Galaxy I. Enjoy lunch before cruising to nearby Isla Lobos — separated from San Cristóbal by a narrow channel, providing opportunities to snorkel with sea lions, sea turtles, and tropical fish. There is also a short trail great for viewing blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds, sea lions, and the picturesque León Dormido — a huge volcanic monolith located offshore.
Wake to swim, snorkel, sun bathe or take a jog in the company of sea lions on the beautiful, white-sand beach at Gardner Bay — considered one of the best in the islands. After lunch you can experience incredible birdlife at Punta Suarez, including the endangered waved albatross (from April to December) and the Nazca booby. In fact birds are everywhere — underfoot, on the trail, overhead, diving into the sea, taking off from cliffs, sitting on eggs, and engaging in ritual mating dances. A great tangle of marine iguanas is usually present nearing our landing site.
This morning, visit historic Post Office Bay for a chance to leave your mail at the famous post office barrel and pick up mail to hand deliver, as was the custom centuries ago. After lunch head out for a walk on Punta Cormorant, a sandy beach with green olivine crystals. Spot flamingos, sea lions and blue-footed boobies, and learn about the beach's importance for sea turtle nesting. Next, take a short Zodiac ride (small, motorized inflatable boats) to Devil's Crown. Here the current funnels plankton through the small eroded crater, attracting large schools of tropical fish — creating a perfect place to snorkel.
Rise and explore the beautiful bay and turquoise waters of Santa Fé Island. Here you can snorkel and swim with tropical fish, sea lions and turtles, and see a large colony of sea lions basking on the beach. Along the rocky trail, you will find endemic land iguanas, seeking shade under prickly-pear cactus, and many birds — from Galapagos hawks to Darwin finches. Next it's on to South Plaza Island, home to a colony of sea lions and a large population of Galapagos land Iguanas. The southern part of the trail follows the cliff, where you will see many sea birds nesting or flying, including frigatebirds, boobies, and shearwaters. Back on the boat tonight, enjoy a festive farewell cocktail hour and a group dinner with the captain.
After an early breakfast, disembark the Galaxy and transfer to the lush highlands of Santa Cruz Island for a special opportunity to see Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild. Then head to the Baltra airport for your return flight to Guayaquil. An MT Sobek representative will greet you at Guayaquil airport and provide assistance to your nearby hotel. You can use your hotel room as a dayroom with extended check-out and depart on a late evening flight home, or you can use your room as an overnight room and depart the next morning. You will be transferred to the airport in time to check-in for your outbound flight.
MT Sobek was one of the first North American companies to bring visitors to the Galápagos Islands, with an inaugural charter for the Sierra Club in 1970.
This adventure expertly blends two of South America's most enchanting treasures: enigmatic Machu Picchu and the wildlife-rich Galapagos.
Guests love our adventures because we work with expert local guides who fully immerse travelers in the cultural and natural wonders of the destinations we visit.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Cultural touring of ancient ruins in Peru and island cruising by deluxe yacht in the Galapagos. Hike, snorkel, kayak, and swim among unique endemic wildlife.
Luxury boutique hotels in Peru and a deluxe yacht with a full crew to cater to your every need in the Galapagos.
Mild climate year-round. December - May has daytime temperatures 76-86F and water temperatures of 70-75°F. June - November has daytime temperatures of 67-77°F and water temperatures of 65-72°F.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
We had an excellent and memorable trip. Our guides were knowledgeable and personable, making the experience both educational and fun.
MT Sobek Guest, Explore Machu Picchu & Cruise the Galapagos
This trip was well planned and organized; small and intimate supported by extremely knowledgeable guides.
MT Sobek Guest, Explore Machu Picchu & Cruise the Galapagos