Machu Picchu and the Galapagos | insightCuba

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Machu Picchu and Galapagos

14 Days / 13 Nights

    • Lima
    • Cuzco
    • Machu Pichu
    • Quito, Ecuador
    • Otavalo
    • Galapagos Islands

Second Sunrise Visit to the Lost City | Discover the Colonial Majestry of Quito | Visit Andean Markets | Frolic through a Rose Farm | Shop at a Farmer's Market | Explore the Galapagos with our Expert Naturalist | 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Map of Peru and Ecuador.400x300
Wonders of the world truly come alive when you combine a Machu Picchu and Galapagos getaway. Imagine a complete Machu Picchu experience — with a second sunrise visit to this archeological wonder and all of the artifacts discovered by Hiram Bingham. Visit the Galapagos aboard luxury yacht La Pinta that takes you to the shores of Ecuador’s most unique landscapes, complete with an upper deck stateroom and floor-to-ceiling windows that bring the beauty of the islands onboard.
Our expert native guide will give you a unique insider's perspective throughout your journey, and make the wonders of these captivating destinations come to life. 
 
 
 
Accomodations and Deck Plan for La Pinta:
 

La Pinta Galapagos yacht cruise luxury
Cathedral de San Francisco_Lima_Peru_400x300
Lima
Day 1

On arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to the 5-star JW Marriott Hotel, overlooking the Pacific from a striking cliff-top setting in the vibrant city-center district of Miraflores. Settle in to your oceanview room and take the rest of this day to relax and enjoy as you wish.

 

Colonial Lima, Peru.400x300
Lima
Day 2

Today your engaging guide will be waiting to show you the Colonial-era landmarks, colorful neighborhoods and vibrant city life of the capital. Just outside your hotel’s front door, the inviting district of Miraflores is popular with city residents who come here to enjoy the shops, restaurants and fine views over the Pacific. In the afternoon, you’ll discover the splendid Colonial architecture of downtown Lima. Stand in Plaza Mayor and admire the Cathedral; built in the 18th century, this handsome landmark is the oldest on the Square. Right next door, the Archbishop’s Palace is easily recognized by its grand wooden balcony. Just a few blocks away, the historic Church and Convent of San Francisco is perhaps the most impressive of Lima’s Colonial monuments. Behind its striking yellow and white façade, you’ll find a beautifully decorated interior with glazed ceramic tiles from Spain and carved ceilings that show a strong Moorish influence. 

Next up is a guided stroll through Barranco, a charming city neighborhood that has attracted writers and artists since the early 20th century. Today, it remains a vibrant cultural enclave with thriving studios, galleries and cafes.  Then visit the highly regarded Larco Museum; its superb collection of pre-Columbian artifacts is a great introduction to the many ancient sites you’ll explore in the coming days. Our visit is capped with a special privately-arranged welcome dinner here at the museum, set in an historic 18th-century landmark.  

Meals | Breakfast, Dinner

Cuzco Streets Peru
Cuzco
Day 3

After an early breakfast, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your included flight to Cuzco, the ancient capital of the Inca. On arrival, you’ll begin your exploration of the city with the handsome Colonial landmarks that surround the Plaza de Armas - including the Cathedral and the equally impressive Church of La Compania de Jesus, a splendid Colonial Baroque landmark built by the Jesuits in the 17th century. 

The day’s sightseeing is highlighted by a visit to the new Casa Concha Museum. Here in a Colonial mansion built on the foundations of an ancient Inca Palace, you’ll be enthralled by meticulously presented exhibits - including the many artifacts excavated at Machu Picchu by Hiram Bingham; after having spent the last hundred years at Yale University, this vast collection was just repatriated to Peru in 2011. Enjoy an overnight at the 5-star JW Marriott Hotel, set on the grounds of a historic 16th-century Spanish convent just steps away from the Plaza de Armas. Your specially oxygenated room will help to ensure your comfort at this high-mountain elevation. 

Meals | Breakfast

Machu Picchu with guests, Peru.400x300
Sacred Valley / Machu Picchu
Day 4

A two-day visit to Machu Picchu begins with an unforgettable rail journey through the Urubamba River Valley, a timeless region of snow-capped Andean peaks, quiet villages and terraced fields that have been cultivated for centuries. 

On arrival in the beguiling town of Aguas Calientes, you’ll board a coach for the 20-minute ride up the switchback mountain road that brings you to the entrance to Machu Picchu. The fabled Lost City of the Inca is certainly the single greatest landmark in Peru – and perhaps all of South America. Indeed, little can be written here that would do justice to the breathtaking grandeur of its mountain setting, the enigmatic aura that permeate this ancient citadel, and the unforgettable experience of standing among these ancient stones. And accompanied by our expert’s illuminating insight, your visit will bring to life the ancient civilization that built Machu Picchu. 

Tonight, you’ll be one of the privileged few to stay at the singular Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel here on the mountaintop adjacent to the Lost City of the Inca. 

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Machu Picchu_400x300
Machu Picchu / Cuzco
Day 5
You’ll want to arise early today to take advantage of our lodge’s one-of-a-kind setting. As the only hotel next to Machu Picchu, you’ll be among the first to enter the site this morning. At this early hour, the day-visitors from Cuzco and the Sacred Valley have yet to arrive and even those who spent the night in the town below will still be making the 20-minute ascent. With fewer people and the softer light of morning just breaking over the mountain peaks, this early-morning visit to Machu Picchu is one of the most memorable travel experiences you will ever have.
 
In the afternoon, you’ll make the return rail journey through the Sacred Valley back to Cuzco. On arrival, you’ll be escorted once again to the 5-star JW Marriott where your specially oxygenated room awaits. 

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch

Quechua women in Peru.400x300
Cuzco
Day 6

This morning, you’ll ascend with our expert Andean guide into the mountain peaks outside of town. Perched here overlooking the terra cotta roofs of Cuzco are the magnificent ruins of Sacsayhuaman. Built in the 1400’s by the Inca Emperor Pachacútec, the massive limestone blocks of this venerated complex were cut with such precision that they fit together without mortar like the interlocking pieces of a jigsaw puzzle! With some individual stones towering more than 10 feet tall and weighing several hundreds of tons, Sacsayhuaman is a monumental achievement of architecture and masonry.

Back in town, your sightseeing continues at the Temple of the Sun and Convent of Santo Domingo. Regarded as one of South America’s most architecturally fascinating sites, it also demonstrates the fascinating layers of history here in Cuzco - where a sacred structure of one culture, the Convent, literally sits atop and practically encloses another, the Inca-built Temple of the Sun! This afternoon, you’ll also visit the San Pedro Market and Almudena Cemetery; here at these seemingly quotidian sites, your native-born guide will offer fascinating cultural perspectives and personal insights into how ancient traditions – many dating back to Inca times – still endure in the life of local citizens. 

Meals | Breakfast

Colonial Quito, Ecuador.400x300
Quito
Day 7

After breakfast, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your included international flight to Ecuador. Upon arrival in the capital, you’ll be met and escorted to the Plaza Grande. With only 15 suites, our luxury boutique hotel boasts elegant Colonial style in the historic heart of this World Heritage city.  

This evening, you’ll dine here at the hotel at Belle Époque, a sophisticated restaurant overlooking Plaza de la Independencia and celebrated for its fine Continental cuisine – prepared with the freshest locally-sourced Ecuadorean products.  

Meals | Breakfast, Dinner

Otavalo Peru spice market.400x300
Otavalo
Day 8

Today’s full-day excursion starts with a magnificent morning drive along the Avenue of Volcanoes, a route that takes you north of Quito into a stunning region of towering snow-capped mountains, including the perfectly cone-shaped silhouette of Cotopaxi, an active volcano, and the equally impressive, slightly more rugged peak of Cayambe. At the Quitsato Sundial, set on the equator, you can stand with one foot in the Northern Hemisphere and the other one firmly planted in the Southern Hemisphere.

Your journey continues to the beguiling Andean town of Otavalo. In the main square, you’ll join other visitors, local residents, and indigenous peoples who come from the surrounding mountain villages to sell, barter and shop in one of South America’s most celebrated markets. Many are dressed in traditional Andean garb and the variety of products for sale is astounding – local farm produce, woven rugs, jewelry, clothing, stone carvings, paintings, musical instruments, household products, leather goods and pottery are among the many items you’ll find! 

Also today, you’ll spend time on a family-run rose farm, to see and learn how the region’s mountain climate, so close to the equator, has proven ideal for the cultivation of numerous varieties of roses and hybrids. Indeed, Ecuador is one of the world’s leading exporters of roses and other cut flowers. Before making the return journey to Quito, you’ll stop at an authentic high-mountain hacienda for a delightful lunch of traditional Ecuadorean fare.  

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch

Quito with Cotopaxi in the background_400x300
Quito
Day 9
Today’s expertly guided sightseeing tour through the city’s finely preserved Old Town includes the Metropolitan Cathedral that was built over the course of nearly 300 years between 1562 and the early 19th century. Nearby stands the Church and Convent of San Francisco; considered to be one of the oldest churches in Latin America, built just one month after the arrival of the Spanish, it stands upon the foundations of an ancient Inca temple. Inside you will admire a uniquely ornamented ceiling with Moorish design elements and a beautiful Baroque altar.
 
With unique and personal insight from our engaging resident guide, your city tour will also illuminate fascinating facets of the local culture. At a local millinery, you’ll meet the owners and learn how generations of their family have been producing fine Panama hats that are sold around the world, At Chez Tiff, a boutique chocolate shop, you’ll have a chance to sample fine and unusual confections made from local cocoa, herbs, fruits and even ingredients sustainably sourced from the Ecuadorean rainforest. 

Meals | Breakfast

Giant tortoise Santa Cruz the Galapagos
Galapagos
Day 10
You’ll be escorted to the airport this morning for your included flight to Baltra Island in the center of the archipelago. On arrival, cross the narrow Itabaca Channel by ferry to Santa Cruz Island and sit down to lunch at a local restaurant. Then join our expert naturalist for an exciting excursion into the Santa Cruz Highlands. Observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat, learn about the unique ecosystem of this pristine nature reserve, and discover its unusual lava tube formations.
 
Then travel to Puerto Ayora to board our Galapagos vessel, the intimate La Pinta. You’ll have time to settle in to your Upper Deck outside stateroom before joining fellow passengers for dinner. This evening’s briefing with our expert shipboard naturalists offers an entertaining and informative introduction to your upcoming voyage. 

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Blue footed boobies, Galapagos, Ecuador.400x300
Eden Islet / Chinese Hat Islet
Day 11

Today’s excursions explore the diversity of two small and uninhabited isles. In the morning, a guided expedition in our maneuverable panga boats takes you along the shores of Eden Islet, where you might observe Nazca and blue footed boobies diving into the sea for food, reef sharks and frigatebirds. Conditions permitting, this is also a great place to take advantage of our free snorkeling gear and glass bottom boat. With its cinder cones, tuff cones and semi-eroded lava flows, Eden Islet also offers a chance to learn more about the volcanic origins of the Galapagos Islands. 

After lunch, a guided nature walk on Chinese Hat Islet offers a chance to espy marine iguanas, Galapagos hawks, sea lions and Galapagos penguins. There’s also terrific snorkeling here amongst white-tipped reef sharks and penguins, or you might choose to explore these waters by sea kayak, glass-bottom boat or panga. 

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Bartolome Island Sullivan Bay Pinnacle Rock Galapagos nature
Bartolomé / Santiago Islands
Day 12
After breakfast, join our naturalists ashore for an invigorating walk to the summit of Bartolomé Island. A network of wooden stairs and boardwalks protects the fragile environment, including small lava lizards and a species of cactus found only in the Galapagos. Once at the top, you’ll be rewarded with one of the most picturesque and memorable vistas of your Galapagos adventure! Later, a panga boat excursion around Pinnacle Rock offers a great opportunity to photograph this iconic natural formation. Before returning to La Pinta for lunch, you’ll have time to relax on the beach, snorkel or ride in the glass-bottom boat.
 
In the afternoon, you’ll step ashore at Sullivan Bay on the southeastern coast of Santiago Island. There was a major eruption here only 100 years ago, and the sinuous Pāhoehoe lava formations look almost like still-flowing molten lava. There may not be much wildlife here, but the barren, other-worldly landscape makes for remarkable photography, and this is a great place to observe and experience the volcanic origins of the Galapagos archipelago.  In addition, the lovely coral sand beach of Sullivan Bay is ideal for swimming and snorkeling. 

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Red footed Boobie, Galapagos Islands.400x300
Genovesa
Day 13

Genovesa is celebrated for its remarkable birdlife including magnificent frigatebirds, red-footed boobies, swallow-tailed and lava gulls, and yellow-crowned herons. This morning, you’ll step ashore with our naturalists at Darwin Bay. From the small sand and coral beach, an easy trail winds its way along a tidal lagoon, offering myriad opportunities to observe and learn about the island’s birdlife. After your guided walk, you can hike along a more challenging lava trail to a look-out point, go for a swim or snorkel in the bay. The more adventurous can paddle or snorkel along the cliffs at the edge of the bay. 

After lunch back onboard, you’ll explore Prince Philip’s Steps - named for Prince Philip who visited the Galapagos in 1964 aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia. As you approach the lava cliffs in our panga boats, keep your eyes peeled for animals using the crevices for shelter and for red-billed tropicbirds flying overhead. You’ll make landing at the base of a staircase that leads to the top of the cliffs where a mile-long path will take us to the other side of this small island. Along the way, you’ll have a chance to espy large colonies of Nazca boobies, frigatebirds, storm petrels and the elusive short-eared owl. 

Meals | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

View from Bartolome Island, Galapagos, Ecuador.400x300
Adios Ecuador
Day 14

Disembark for your included flight to Guayaquil or Quito where you'll connect to your homeward flight.

Meals | Breakfast

Activities in this itinerary should be considered a sample only. Final itineraries are sent to guests one to two weeks prior to departure.

JW Marriott Hotel Lima

Standing upon the grand cliffs in the Miraflores district, the JW Marriott Hotel Lima offers sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean from every room. Its prime location, spectacular view and personalized service make this hotel magnificently suited for all travelers. The hotel offers 300 elegant guest rooms and is home to some of the city's most stylish dining.

JW Marriott Hotel Cuzco

Located in the city’s historical center, the luxurious JW Marriott Hotel Cuzco combines the design elements of an architecturally stunning archaeological site with modern comfort. Built around the excavated ruins of an Inca village, history-seekers will find Peruvian cultural artifacts in the hotel’s two exhibition halls. Its 160 rooms are equipped with Wi-Fi, LCD cable TVs, and an oxygen system (in select room categories).  The hotel features resort-like amenities including a Cusco restaurant with excellent Peruvian cuisine, a bar and a full-service spa offering a relaxation heated pool, sauna, steam room and treatments inspired by ancient techniques.

Belmond Sanctuary Lodge - Machu Picchu

Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is the only hotel located adjacent to the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. It offers its guests exceptionally easy access from early morning to late afternoon, when most of the day visitors and buses have left. Sit out on a terrace and savour Peruvian cuisine based on produce grown on the Lodge’s own plot: this delightful hideaway is the perfect place to relax and unwind in the shadow of the Lost City.

Plaza Grande Hotel Quito

The Hotel Plaza Grande rises above Quito's central square, known as the Plaza de la Independencia. It was one of the first hotels ever constructed in the capital, and has been extensively renovated and remodeled to become the finest boutique hotel in the city. It is the ideal place from which to explore the wonders of this timeless city.

La Pinta

The stylish 24-cabin La Pinta is a deluxe and intimate yacht-style cruiser, the only Galapagos vessel with floor-to-ceiling windows in every stateroom! Enjoy wonderful meals with your fellow guests in the congenial single-seating dining room, an inviting lounge with panoramic windows and a fitness room. The ship also offers complimentary wifi and snorkeling gear, and comes with its own sea kayaks and a glass-bottom boat.

Oro Verde Hotel - Guayaquil, Ecuador

Complimentary wireless Internet access and a full-service spa are just some of the great things you'll find at Hotel Oro Verde Guayaquil. Staying here, you will be near Malecon 2000, Banco Pichincha Monumental Stadium and Centennial Park. Moreover, Simon Bolivar Statue and Guayaquil Metropolitan Cathedral are close to the hotel.

  • Exclusively escorted sightseeing

  • Expert native guides

  • Naturalist guided shore excursions

  • 4-nights in an outside stateroom with floor-to-ceiling windows aboard our deluxe expedition ship, the 24-cabin La Pinta

  • 9 nights in our 5-star hotels and resorts including oxygenated rooms in Cuzco

  •  28 meals, including 14 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners

  • Small group size, never more than 16 guests

  • All on-tour transportation including all airport tranfsers and 5 internal flights

  • Port charges, National Park fee and the required Galapagos Transit Control Card

  • Luggage handling, all hotel taxes and service charges, and all airline fees for your 5 included flights

  • 24-hour emergency customer service hotline

*Trip-cancellation coverage available for an additional fee through Allianz.

DateDouble Occupancy
(per person)
Single Occupancy
Jan 26 – Feb 8, 2019$9,999$14,699  
Feb 23 – Mar 8, 2019$9,999$14,699  
Mar 23 – Apr 5, 2019$9,999$14,699  
May 4 – May 17, 2019$9,999$14,699  
May 18 – May 31, 2019$9,999$14,699  
Jun 29 – Jul 12, 2019$9,999$14,699  
Jul 27 – Aug 9, 2019$9,999$14,699  
Aug 10 – Aug 23, 2019$9,999$14,699  
Sep 7 – Sep 20, 2019$9,999$14,699  
SOLD OUT
Sep 21 – Oct 4, 2019$9,999$14,699  
Oct 5 – Oct 18, 2019$9,999$14,699  
Oct 19 – Nov 1, 2019$9,999$14,699  
Nov 2 – Nov 15, 2019$9,999$14,699  

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: For single-occupancy pricing for 2018 departure dates, add $4000. For single-occupancy pricing for 2019 departure dates, add $4700.

SAVE $1000 per couple + $500 solo on this tour when you pay-in-full at the time of booking.

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