WHY THIS TRIP
Explore both Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands on the same trip, while experiencing the best active adventures in each location. Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu on a 5-day trek that allows you to get away from the crowds and that allows more time to explore ruins both along the trail and at Machu Picchu than on the traditional 4-day trek. You will also explore Santa Cruz, Isabela, and San Cristobal Islands on your 6-day adventure trip in the Galapagos Islands. Explore the diverse islands and see the amazing wildlife by foot and snorkel (with optional kayaking, biking, surfing, boogie boarding, scuba diving, and/or stand up paddle boarding).
These two tours complement each perfectly in quality, activity level, and comfort — providing for a full-on adventure in these two world-class destinations.
The Galapagos tour is jam-packed with activities, visiting three of the inhabited islands of the Galapagos archipelago: Santa Cruz, Isabela, and San Cristobal. You will be snorkeling at Kicker Rock, hiking Sierra Negra Volcano and kayaking in a bay off the coast of Isabela Island. You can expect to be immersed in the wildlife each day, while having the chance to connect with the inhabitants of the islands during your free time exploring towns like Puerto Ayora and Puerto Villamil.
Lounging sea lions, gliding rays and plenty of tropical fish and sea turtles may greet you in the water, while the lava lizards and iguanas will entertain you on land. If you’re seeking a quick trip that offers a mix of adventure and culture, this is for you. Each island you visit has a historical site worth visiting to learn about the human history of the Galapagos and the importance of sustainable tourism in this fragile environment.The Interpretation Center on San Cristobal, the Breeding Center on Isabela and the Charles Darwin Station on Santa Cruz will help you gain a deeper understanding of some of the most unique Galapagos animals – giant tortoises!
Optimizing your time in the Galapagos, you’ll spend your first day on Santa Cruz before taking a boat to Isabela Island for the next two days. You can expect to visit a range of ecosystems from beachside mangroves to lush forests in the highlands. Your Galapagos land tour will finish on San Cristobal, just a short flight from Isabela.
As busy as this Galapagos tour is, you’ll still have enough free time for souvenir shopping and enjoying a few cold drinks by the beach. But if go-go-go is more your style then there are lots of option activities: kayaking, biking, surfing, boogie boarding, scuba diving, and/or stand up paddle boarding.
If you are looking for a top-quality Inca Trail trek, complete with acclimatization hikes to the best Inca ruins in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, this is the adventure for you. It is operated by one of the best outfitters in Peru, which specializes in top-quality guides and seamless logistics.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a fantastic journey on an ancient trail used by the Incas, passing numerous ruins and with fantastic mountain views. Entering Machu Picchu through the Gate of the Sun is something you will remember for life.
While the 26-mile Inca Trail is most commonly hiked in four days (with the last half-day spent at Machu Picchu), this is not the best way to do the trek. This five-day trek allows for a later start (more sleep!) on day one so you avoid starting your trek with the multitudes on the four-day trek, and then puts you on a different schedule so you are not walking and camping with all the trekkers on the four-day trip. This schedule also breaks up the trek so you only cross one high pass a day, making for a much more pleasant experience. You also have more time to stop and explore ruins along the way without feeling the need to rush onward to camp.
Finally, late on day four you arrive to Machu Picchu, entering through the Gate of the Sun. You have time to enjoy the views of the ruin before heading to your comfortable hotel in town, peaceful with the knowledge that you will return the next morning full of energy, and with plenty of time, to fully explore this sacred site.
A team of porters takes care of the work on this remote trek, carrying all the group gear and all your personal items except for those items you will carry in a small daypack i.e water, snacks, camera, raincoat, etc. When you arrive in camp your tent will already be set up and the cook staff will be hard at work preparing your 3- to 4-course meals, which you will enjoy sitting at a table in the dining tent.
The trip begins and ends in Cusco, the fascinating former capital of the Inca Empire. Upon arrival you’ll be met at the airport and given a short orientation walk around Cusco’s central square, the Plaza de Armas, for the latest on where to eat, where to find local markets, and about iconic city sites to check out. In the evening, you’ll meet your guide for a full briefing on the days to come. After the trek you’ll have a free day to explore Cusco on your own.
This trip can be combined with other highlight destinations like the Amazon, Colca Canyon, or Lake Titicaca.
LOCAL OPERATORS: Galakiwi & Amazonas Explorer
For more than three decades Amazonas Explorer has led high-quality trips and alternative adventures throughout South America. Based in Cusco, its professionally trained guides, cooks and support crew bring their passion and skills to the travelers they serve and, in turn, build rewarding careers for themselves. This talented staff of local experts is focused on providing you with safe and comfortable adventures, all centered on making your holiday as memorable as possible.
Galakiwi understands that visiting the Galapagos Islands is a once in a lifetime opportunity for most and they continually strive to make their trips a truly unforgettable experience. They offer trips that are not only fun, intriguing and challenging but also educational and intellectually stimulating. You will learn about the cultural and environmental uniqueness of the islands and understand what makes them more delicate than any other place on our planet. Galakiwi’s aim is to provide the highest standards of operational safety, program quality and service reliability possible. Their knowledge, experience, and commitment ensure that you will have an unforgettable experience from start to finish.