South & Central America Bucket list experiences

Visit the Galápagos and Peru's Land of the Inca

Embark on a sweeping adventure that encapsulates all the wildness of Galápagos travel balanced with cultural and historic experiences of Machu Picchu & the Land of the Inca.

You’ll explore Galápagos in depth aboard the 48-guest National Geographic Islander, an intimately-scaled vessel. And you’ll journey to contemporary Lima, and historic Cusco, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Plus, overnight at Machu Picchu and watch the sunrise over this fabled city.

  • Have up close encounters with incredible wildlife
  • Experience the Galápagos undersea, too
  • Benefit from 40+ years of experience and relationships in Galápagos to see all you came for and more.
  • See daybreak over the ruins at Machu Picchu from the fabled Sun Gate, with only a handful of visitors
  • Discover Cusco’s array of cultural influences and explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas
  • Explore the massive stone Inca stone fortress of Ollantaytambo

Encounter abundant wildlife in Galápagos

Blue-footed boobies. Flightless cormorants. Darwin’s finches. Pink flamingos. Sea lions on beaches or gamboling underwater. Giant tortoises grazing in the highlands. The wildlife of Galápagos is legendary for its uniqueness and lack of fear, allowing you the rare experience of being treated as an equal in the wild world. Each island contains endemic species, and you’ll have the opportunity to see a panoply of Galápagos’ creatures in their native habitats—on land and in the sea.

See day break of Machu Picchu, plus experience Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Inca

Walk amongst 3000-year-old cities built by the Incan empire and explore the most stunning archaeological sites in the Peru. This week-long exploration is carefully planned to allow you to acclimate on the trip from sea level to the peaks of Machu Picchu. Your expedition team of local experts and historians will also open you to the colonial and contemporary Peru that lies alongside the Incan wonders. You’ll visit the massive Inca stone fortress of Ollantaytambo before relaxing in the luxurious 31-room Orient Express Sanctuary Lodge. Before sunrise, you’ll hike to the Sun Gate, the ancient final checkpoint to Machu Picchu. See dawn break over the quiet ruins and then descend into this fabled city with only a handful of visitors.

Itinerary

DAY 1: 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 del Parque.

DAY 2: Guayaquil / Galápagos / Embark Ship

After the 1 1⁄2-hour flight to the Galápagos, we’ll immediately board the ship. Over the course of the week, our exact routing depends on the National Park Service. (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 - Española (B, L, D)

DAY 9: Galápagos/Guayaquil/Lima, Peru

Depart Galápagos this morning and fly to Lima, Peru. Overnight at the conveniently located Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel. (B,L)

DAY 10: Lima/Cusco/Sacred Valley of the Inca

This morning, fly to Cusco then drive to Moray, a visually stunning Inca site believed to have been an agricultural laboratory where Incan priests would test soils and crops. Dine on Peruvian cuisine for lunch at Parador Moray, overlooking the ruins. En route to the hotel, walk through a colorful, typical local market before an optional visit to the pottery studio Pablo Seminario, featuring ceramics made with ancient Peruvian techniques and designs. Check into Sol y Luna Hotel, a Relaix & Chateau property. (B,L,D)

DAY 11: Sacred Valley of the Inca

After breakfast, learn about Peru’s history from National Geographic expert Peter Frost. Visit the massive Inca stone fortress of Ollantaytambo. Visit Casa Orihuela for lunch—a working, family-owned hacienda, then see the family’s private museum filled with colonial artwork and enjoy a demonstration of Peruvian Paso horses accompanied by Marinera dancers and live music. Watch a traditional weaving demonstration by National Geographic grantee Nilda Callañaupa. After dinner at the hotel, watch a folkloric dance performance. (B,L,D)

DAY 12: Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu

Enjoy the views from the valley to Machu Picchu via train with large picture windows. Spend the day exploring Machu Picchu’s different structures with your guide—ceremonial religious, astronomical, and agricultural. Overnight at the historic 31-room Belmond Sanctuary Lodge (formerly the Orient-Express Sanctuary Lodge) with views of the Andes. (B,L,D)

DAY 13: Machu Picchu/Cusco

Hike to the Sun Gate this morning, the ancient final checkpoint to Machu Picchu, and watch daybreak over the sacred ruins. The morning is free to explore Machu Picchu on your own or with your guide. After a train and bus ride, visit Awanacancha, where llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas are bred. En route to Cusco, we’ll stop at Plaza San Cristobal for photos, offering sweeping views of the colonial part of Cusco.  Check into the Belmond Monasterio Hotel for two nights (formerly the Orient-Express Monasterio Hotel). (B,L,D)

DAY 14: Cusco

Explore the Inca Empire’s capital city of Cusco and visit the magnificent 17th-century cathedral and convent of Koricancha, and the vast Sacsayhuaman fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore Cusco at your leisure this afternoon. Relax, shop, or visit one of the many churches and museums. Dinner is on your own tonight. (B,L)

DAY 15: Cusco/Lima

Return to Lima and visit the Larco Herrera Museum and stroll the Plaza Mayor. Lunch is in traditional Latin American style. Experience the music of the Andes at a presentation of indigenous instruments. Dinner is on your own. Overnight at the Belmond (formerly Orient-Express) Miraflores Park Hotel. (B,L)

Note: Flexibility is a hallmark of Lindblad-National Geographic expeditions, so the day-to-day itinerary may change plans to take advantage of conditions or wildlife activity, or photographers may decide to linger through the golden hour of light.

Explore with an exceptional team

Explore Galápagos under the sure guidance of an expedition leader, three handpicked naturalists, including a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor and an undersea specialist, plus a wellness specialist. In Peru you’ll explore with a veteran Peruvian tour plus several veteran local guides that join us along the way in the Sacred Valley of the Inca, Machu Picchu, and Cusco. Your team’s knowledge and passion for the region is the key to your once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Start your journey

Duration: 16 Days

Expeditions: Year Round

Maximum: 48 Guests aboard NG Islander

From AU$16,270 to AU$27,450

$500 SPECIAL SAVINGS & FREE FLIGHT

Select 2017 Galápagos departures on National Geographic Endeavour II and National Geographic Islander, plus select departures on both ships through May 2018. 

Call us on 1800 047 047

*$500 special savings per guest plus complimentary flight between Guayaquil and Galápagos. New bookings only. Subject to availability.

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