Peru and Galapagos active holiday

“A thrilling combination of two bucket-list experiences: hiking the Inca Trail to the iconic ruins of Machu Picchu, then discovering the wildlife of the Galapagos Islands”

Highlights

Cusco | Inca Trail | Sacred Valley |Machu Picchu | Quito | 8 day Galapagos cruise on yacht | Isabela Island | Santa Cruz | Turtle Bay | North Plaza | Devilís Crown snorkel

Description of Peru and Galapagos active holiday

Hike to mountainous temple ruins - snorkel with sea lions - Machu Picchu in the afternoon light - spot unique wildlife as you cruise the islands - hike over fossilised lava flow

Combine two once-in-a-lifetime experiences at a balanced pace. Walk the one-day Royal Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with your own private guide, going at your own speed and avoiding the morning crowds. Explore colonial Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu with a knowledgeavle local guide, getting under the skin of the incedible history and culture of the high Andes.

And finally, spend eight relaxing days on a comfortable yacht cruise around the Galapagos Islands, maximising your wildlife experience with walks, snorkelling and kayaking.

Give us a call and we'll chat through it all.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Arrive in Cusco today, meet your guide for the week and acclimatise to the altitude with a gentle walking tour, exploring the Inca sites in and around Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Perhaps visit the market at Pisac, or a less well-known village well away from the tourist trail.
Day 2:Explore the rural culture of the high Andes, visiting markets and farming villages before a delicious lunch at an historic colonial hacienda stuffed with art and artefacts from the surrounding area.
Day 3:Hike to the ruins at Ollantaytambo, then on to a much lesser known but no less impressive ruin along centuries-old mule tracks. Take a circular route back to your start point, returning along the river through steep canyons and Inca terracing.
Day 4:Hike the Royal Inca Trail, arriving through the Sun Gate of Machu Picchu this afternoon when most people have gone. Wander amongst the ruins in relative peace before heading back to your comfortable hotel.
Day 5:After a leisurely morning in the village, enjoy a private guided tour of Machu Picchu this afternoon to really appreciate this incredible site.
Day 6:Visit the women's weaving co-operative to learn about this ancient and intricate craft, then walk through high grasslands, bird-filled lagoons and remote shepherd huts. Pass llamas, sheep and pigs being herded over the hills before settling in to your lovely hotel tucked into a quiet corner of Cusco.
Day 7:Head out to explore this incredible city with your guide, visiting the Temple of the Sun and the Cathedral, two of its most important and fascinating historic sites. Stop off at the market before heading out to experience the great dining scene, and perhaps nightlife, of Cusco.
Day 8:A final day to enjoy the museums, markets and scenery of Cusco - or to watch the world go by over a Pisco Sour.
Day 9:Travel to Ecuador. Fly to Quito today, where you are met for your private transfer to your comfortable hotel in the city's colonial centre. Settle in and relax after your journey before strolling out for a bite to eat.
Day 10:Your guide returns this morning to help you explore Quito, its history, culture and food, before an afternoon at leisure. Perhaps head up in the cable car to enjoy the views over Quito and the surprising birdlife.
Day 11:You are taken back to the airport this morning for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. Walk among wild giant tortoises in the highlands before boarding your comfortable yacht for an 8-day live-aboard cruise.
Day 12:Snorkel with sea lions off a red sandy beach and follow a trail through giant cacti to cliffs full of blue footed boobies. Explore the fragile lava tunnels of Sombrero Chino before dropping back into the water among penguins, pelicans, marine iguanas, flamingos and sea lions.
Day 13:Visit the small and remote town of Puerto Villamil, explore the bird-filled lagoons nearby and then hike the impressive Sierra Negra, the world's second-largest volcano, for incredible views across Isabela.
Day 14: Visit the penguins on the youngest stretch of land in the archipelago and explore the coastline by boat. Cruise through red mangrove trees by zodiac spotting sea lions, tortoises and innumerable birds, and snorkel with all manner of marine life.
Day 15:Spot iguanas and giant tortoises in the wild, snorkel with rays, sea turtles and sharks, then walk a trail through lava formations to a salt-water crater lake, via some wonderful views of the surrounding volcanoes. Finish the day with a visit to the pirate caves, to see graffiti dating back to the 1800's.
Day 16:Walk among marine iguanas sunning themselves on the lava, then cruise the dramatic coastline in zodiacs spotting incredible wildlife both above and below the water. When the waters are calm you should spot seahorses, sea turtles, stingrays, puffer fish and sunfish.
Day 17:See Galapagos fur seal basking in pools along the shoreline. Climb the steps to the top of Isla Bartolome for superb views over the eastern Galapagos before a snorkel around Pinnacle Rock.
Day 18:Sail to North Seymour, home to large colonies of blue-footed boobies and frigate birds. Watch the sea lions and marine iguanas surf the waves from a shore littered with birds' nests, before it's time to disembark your boat. Consider extending your stay with a land-based stay, or fly back to the mainland to head home or continue your adventure.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This trip can be booked to depart at a time to suit your requirements from Mar to Nov
Our top tip:
As with all holidays that include the Inca Trail, book early, as permits go like hot cakes. And bring plenty of cash for tips.
Trip type:
Tailor made.
Activity level:
Moderate, but tailor made to account for individual needs.
Accomm:
Mixture of tents, yacht and hotel.
Included:
Internal flights, accommodation, Inca Trail permits, camping equipment, porters and entrance fees, most meals, guides.
Solos:
Tricky, as prices depend on a group of min. 4 people for Inca Trail.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
We take longer to walk the Inca Trail, keeping you away from the overcrowded and environmentally depleted campsites. Instead you stay at peaceful campsites where numbers are very low and therefore environmental impact minimal. We are scrupulous about carrying everything out with us.

We work with a selection of boats in the Galapagos, carefully chosen for their sustainable credentials. In all cases we pay for you to become a benefactor of the Galapagos Conservation Trust for a full year. The GCT issues guidelines as to the sorts of tourist visits that have least impact on the sites - those guidelines are that small boats, owned and operated locally, are the best bet for the preservation of the Galapagos.

Most of our boats are SmartVoyager certified. Boats are only able to gain this accreditation by meeting a set of strict conservation standards for protecting the environment & wildlife. In general, the boat owners and most of the crew on our boats come from the islands, which makes the enterprise sustainable.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

We only run our own dedicated Inca Trail departures exclusively in conjunction with a small family business in Cusco. We have our own team of local guides and porters in place in Peru. We can be sure that we are only working with the best and most experienced guides. It also means that we work with a single community to provide portage services thus ensuring a stable and reliable source of income for local families.

Our porters come from the community of Chacllanca, about 45km from Cusco. Generally they are subsistence farmers who supplement their earnings by working on the Inca Trail. Our two head chefs, Virgilio and Herlin are in charge of getting the teams together and are therefore the bosses. Your team of porters is usually therefore made up of friends, family and neighbours who respect one another and work well together. Needless to say, we adhere strictly to the Porter Protection Policies in place on the Inca Trail.

Climate

4 Reviews of Peru and Galapagos active holiday

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 29 May 2015 by

It was the culmination of lifetime dream.......top of my 'bucket list'..... Definitely NOT to be missed......Fabulous !! Read full review

Reviewed on 30 Apr 2015 by

Very well structured between 3 South American countries and 3 very different experiences. Wherever possible our guides made sure any benefits went back to the local community. Read full review

Reviewed on 28 Jun 2014 by

It was truly the holiday of a lifetime with unique experiences that i will treasure. That was helped by a very well organised crew and an inspirational guide who was in love with his islands. Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Oct 2011 by

Fantastic -it was everything we expected. Sometimes reality does not meet expectations but not so this time and we are both fairly well travelled. Everything went like clock work. Read full review

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