WHY THIS TRIP
The EcoGalaxy Catamaran Galapagos Cruise and Machu Picchu trip allows you to choose between a 5 or 6 day naturalist cruise in the islands in combination with immersive culture tours in Peru. The EcoGalaxy offers spacious, stable and comfortable cruising with minimal environmental impact. Expect high quality service, delicious food, knowledgeable guides and professional crew. The Machu Picchu portion hits the highlights in Cusco, the Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu with enriching opportunities to delve into the musical, agricultural and culinary worlds of both contemporary & ancient Peru.
The EcoGalaxy is a 16-passenger first class catamaran that was ecologically built in 2014 to operate as efficiently as possible in the enchanted islands. In addition to low fuel consumption, energy efficiency and thoughtful waste & water management, the EcoGalaxy extends its care into the community by purchasing organic, locally sourced food and supporting local foundations & schools. The EcoGalaxy naturalist guides receive ongoing training to be up to date on the latest conservation and species information. Stand up paddle boards, sea kayaks and plenty of snorkeling allow you to explore the wildlife rich waters anyway you like.
Eight spacious cabins are equipped with air conditioning, windows and your own private bath with hot/cold water, biodegradable shampoo/conditioner, and hair dryer. The EcoGalaxy lets you travel the Galapagos in comfort and style all while knowing you’re going with one of the most eco-conscious options in the islands.
The Peru portion of this trip was crafted to give travelers unique opportunities to get to know Peru’s thriving culture beyond its world renown ruins. The trip starts with pick up from the Cusco airport. We immediately head to the Sacred Valley which is lower in elevation and typically allows for a more gentle introduction to southern Peru’s thin air. Our first stop are the Maras Salt Pans. Not only are the salt pans a spectacular site to see, but they offer a present day glimpse into pre-Incan harvesting techniques. From here it’s onwards to Urubamba to meet Maestro Almonacid. He has one of the largest private collections of ancient Peruvian instruments. Not only can he play every one of them but his passion extends into how each sound fits into the ancient myths and stories.
The following day we visit the Amaru community in the argricultural village of Huayllafara. The Amaru is designated a Globally Important Heritage System, providing some of the best examples (in the world) of adaptation and environmental knowledge that has been passed on and cultivated for more than 5000 years! There is much to learn here about both the present and ancient growing techniques and their insights bring to life many of the ancient ruins to come. In the afternoon after a delicious local lunch we stop at the craft market in Pisac before making our way to Ollantaytambo for the evening. You have the following morning free to explore Ollantaytambo. Check out the old Inca fortress, enjoy a leisurely breakfast in one of the town’s quaint cafes or wander the square on your own before catching the train to Machu Picchu for the evening.
By overnighting in Aguas Calientes the night before, you wake just a short bus ride up away to the ruins. You’ll have a 2-3 hour fully guided tour of the mysterious ruins and plenty of time wander and explore the complex on your own before taking a late afternoon train back to Cusco. Now fully acclimatized you can properly enjoy the city of Cusco. Your guide will take you on a walking tour of the city, leaving directly from your centrally located hotel and ending at the San Pedro market where you’ll meet a chef to take you through the market and purchase ingredients for a cooking class that afternoon. Free evening to explore Cusco’s incredible restaurants and nightlife. Be sure to ask the chef for their favorite recommendations!
LOCAL OPERATOR: GALAGENTS & APUMAYO EXPEDICIONES
Galagents owns and operates on four boats in the Galapagos: the Galaxy Yacht, the EcoGalaxy Catamaran, the Bonita Yacht, and the Alya Luxury Catamaran. They put a great deal of thought and care into their boats, guide and crew selection, and itineraries. As a consequence of their commitment with the environment in the Galapagos Islands to develop responsible tourism, and their work in the local community, they have been rewarded important local commendations: the Galapagos Quality and international award for Smart Voyager Certification.
Apumayo Expediciones specializes in adventure travel and non-conventional tourism with a strong environmental and social agenda. It offers activities and tours for people with disabilities and supports Andean community projects, maximizing the positive effect of local tourism. A local Peruvian company based in the City of Cusco, Apumayo Expediciones combines culture, education and natural history into its adventure trips.