Our guided Machu Picchu Galapagos Tour combines the natural splendors of the Galapagos Islands and its unique biodiversity, with the ancient Inca sites of Peru including the famous Machu Picchu. Other highlights of this tour include the “rainbow mountain” and the city of Cusco, which offers travelers an incredible variety of culturally rich museums, cathedrals, and markets that make this city an excellent addition to any itinerary.
Upon your arrival in Quito, you will be welcomed by one of our drivers who will be holding a sign with your name. In the case of delay or any other issues please contact our agents. You will find their details at the end of the information.
Our guide will pick you up from your hotel and you will begin your day by exploring the historic center of Quito, a colonial city declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978 as it has the best-preserved historic center in the Americas.
The Machu Picchu Galapagos tour visits highlights such as La Plaza de la Independencia, La Iglesia de San Francisco, and the impressive Basilica de Voto Nacional. Here, you will learn of Quito’s turbulent history and take in the sights and sounds of daily Ecuadorian life.
Afterward, you will travel to the Tumbaco neighborhood and begin your nature bike adventure at El Chaquiñan.
A Spanish speaking driver will meet you when you arrive at Baltra airport. From here you drive to Puerto Ayora where you will catch the public speed boat from Puerto Ayora to Isabela Island. From Santa Cruz pier to the Speed boat, you will have to pay the water taxi ($0.50pp). In Isabela, you will have to pay the water taxi ($1.00pp) from the Speed boat to Isabela’s pier and on your arrival, you will pay $10pp entrance fee (Isabela local tax). From here, a Spanish speaking driver will take you to explore the Flamingos Lagoon before returning to your hotel.
On day 4 of our guided Machu Picchu Galapagos Tour, you will visit the Sierra Negra Volcano. Climbing the Sierra Negra volcanic crater is simply not to be missed for geology lovers and adventure seekers. Since its last eruption in 2005, the geographically unique Sierra Negra Volcano is home to incredible lava paths adorned with local plant and animal life. On the way to Sierra Negra Volcano, there is an evident change of scenery as you get closer to the highlands, from volcanic dryness with black soil and little vegetation to a humid forest with local and foreign plants introduced into the environment. Sierra Negra is an excellent place for bird watching (Finches and “Curracas” among many others). There are two paths to take, depending on the stamina of each person; one is a circuit which goes until the Sierra Negra Volcano lookout.
By yourself, you will go to Concha de Perla (meaning Pearl Shell) which is an ideal location for sports such as swimming or snorkeling. It is a bay with shallow, calm and clear water where you will be able to observe the fascinating Galapagos marine fauna, including sea lions and Galapagos penguins for example.
This is the most spectacular site for snorkeling in Isabela Island. The water is shallow, calm and very clear – a sea sanctuary. A series of lava-flows have produced unique geological formations, a series of arcs and tunnels underneath and above the water – an ideal habitat for many local Galapagos Species.
The entrance to the site is shallow and the waves can be strong, for this reason, the access can be complicated. It is an exciting boat adventure to a very unique geological site, a snorkeling paradise and home to various species of the incomparable enchanted islands. There is an extension of 800 meters and an average temperature between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius.
On the banks, you will find large quantities of seabirds, such as Albatros, Flamingos, Blue Footed Boobies, and the magnificent frigate bird, as well as many distinct species such as the tortoises, iguanas, sea lions, manta rays, penguins, lobsters, and sea snakes.
By Afternoon, you will visit The wetlands on bikes, They are a complex of trails that lead you to: El Cerro Orquilla (sightseeing point), El Estero (mangroves and majagual forests, penal colony), La Poza Escondida (rock and wood trail), Poza Redonda (lava tube), El Túnel del Estero (lava tunnel, marine landscape), La Playa del Amor (coral and sand beach), Mirador de Los Tunos y Pozas Verdes (trails with sightseeing points) and La Playita (beach). The cemetery is also on the way to and from Puerto Villamil.
Keep in mind that you will not visit all these sites; it depends on your local guide and tour itinerary.
“Las Tintoreras,” is a chain of small islets full of coves and hidden beaches. The islet of Tintoreras is situated in the south of Puerto Villamil. It has a bay where it is possible to see sea lions, marine turtle, iguanas, manta rays, etc.
This bay is connected by a superficial crack with crystalline water which is closed off during low tide. In this crack, it is possible to see the sharks from Blanca Point swimming with the rest of the tropical fish and sea lions. It is necessary to travel in a boat to get to Tintoreras, and the access and routes are easy. It takes about 10 minutes from the dock of Villamil Port to get to Las Tintoreras. There, you will find the local Galapagos penguin, as well as reef sharks, marine turtles, and sea lions.
THIS TOUR TO TINTORERAS COULD BE WITH KAYAK OPTION, CONSIDERING THAT YOU WILL NOT STOP AT THE ISLET, JUST LOOK AROUND THE PLACE AND THE BAY.
At 14:30 please be at the pier to check in on the speed boat. From Isabela pier to the Speed boat, you will have to pay the water taxi ($1.00pp). Once arriving in Santa Cruz you will have to pay the water taxi ($0.50pp) from Speed boat to Santa Cruz’s pier. Finally, you can take a taxi ($1pp) to get to your hotel.
Today you will have your transfer out from hotel to airport with a Spanish speaking driver. On the way, you will visit the Highlands and finally to Puerto Ayora.
The highlands of Santa Cruz are a deep green, contrasting beautifully with much of the dry, lower islands. The dominant vegetation in the highlands is the Scalesia trees, creating the lush green color.
After, we will take a short ride to a 600-acre private reserve where the giant Galapagos tortoises freely roam, graze, and sleep. Walking among the tortoises in the wild will be one of the most treasured moments of your Machu Picchu Galapagos Tour. After visiting these prehistoric creatures in their natural habitat, we’ll take a 5-minute ride to the entrance of a 450-meter (1350 feet) illuminated lava tunnel with a ceiling nearly 20 feet high in most places.
At your arrival in Quito, you will take the hotel’s shuttle transfer to your hotel.
Arrival to Lima, reception & transfer to your hotel.
Flight to Lima (Not Included)
Breakfast at your hotel.
At a coordinated time, transfer to Lima airport.
Flight to Cusco (Not Included)
Arrival to Cusco, reception & transfer to your hotel.
PM CUSCO CITY TOUR + 4 NEARBY RUINS: Afternoon pick up from your hotel and city tour visiting the Main Square, known in Inca times as Huacaypata or “The Warriors Square”. This was the scene for many key events in Cuzco’s history. The Cathedral, built between 1560 and 1664 with large stones of red granite taken from the Inca Fortress of Sacsayhuaman. The Cathedral is one of the most imposing structures in the city.
It also houses one of the most important collections of gold and silver work of the colonial period, elaborately engraved wooden altars and a beautiful collection of oil on canvas paintings from the Escuela Cusqueña. Koricancha and the Santo Domingo Convent. The Convent was built on the spectacular Koricancha (site of gold), the most important temple dedicated to the worship of the Sun and whose walls were plated with sheets of gold. As well as, the convent was built above a foundation of smoothened stone structures, the most finely crafted in Cusco, taken from the Inca Sanctuary.
Then, we will continue to the nearby ruins: Kenko, where you will see its underground galleries and its semicircular amphitheater. Tambomachay complex of walls connected by stairways, having water springs which fed a well via channels in which the Inca bathed. Puca Pucara; the red fortress that is located on a hill, possibly to defend Tambomachay and Sacsayhuaman Fortress, an imposing example of Inca military architecture, this fortress was built using large slabs of granite to safeguard the city from Antis attacks or invading forces from the east.
The Rainbow Mountain of Peru, also known as Vinicunca, is stunning and can be seen on the spectacular Ausangate Trek. Ausangate Mountain itself is considered a holy mountain (or mountain spirit) by local Peruvians and is the deity of Cusco. Since pre-Inca times the mountain has been a place of worship and offerings and this tradition continues today.
On this trek, you will see quaint villages, beautiful adobe style houses, herds of llamas and alpacas and you will have magnificent views of the Ausangate Glacier (6,385 m / 20,945 ft), the highest mountain in the Cusco region.
We leave around 4 am from Cusco. To start, our trip heads towards Puno, and we travel on an asphalt road section of the altiplano through the fertile Vilcanota Valley. We will turn off after 2 hours and 30 minutes onto an unpaved road, stopping at the picturesque village of Checacupe.
We arrive at Pitumarka town for a brief stop: we can buy some basic refreshments here before continuing through to the village at Kairahuiri. We’ll have an early breakfast and then begin a walk of about two and a half hours towards Vinicunca Pass. At this point, our breathing will become more and more labored as we gain altitude. Once we arrive at the top of the pass, there may be some cold gusts of wind so please ensure that you are wrapped up warm and that your head is covered with a woolly hat.
You will be rewarded for your efforts when you finally see the amazing Vinicunca, with its colorful layers of rock sediment: turquoise, orange, brown, and red! In addition to the great views of the colored mountain itself, you will have impressive views of the snow-capped Apu Ausangate, when the day is clear.
The return hike downhill will be a lot quicker than the ascent and should take around 2 hours. There will be plenty of beautiful scenery to feast our eyes upon along the way.
We’ll have a lunch back at Kairahuiri, say good-bye to our local crew, and then head back to Cusco in our private transport.
We will embark on the 3-hour drive back to Cusco and drop you off at your Cusco hotel. Approximate arrival time is between 5 and 6 pm.
Full support guiding trip. Off-road circuits through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, agriculture fields, Andean terraces, and villages. There is an opportunity to watch the local Andean people in their daily work.
After picking you up from your hotel we will transfer you to Cruzpata on Maras’s plateau. Here, we will start our mountain bike adventure enjoying lovely views of impressive Andean peaks, many cactus plants, and Andean villagers on their daily activities. Optional visit of the Inca experimental agricultural terraces of Moray.
A picnic lunch will be provided here. Then we will proceed on a dirt road to Maras, where we will stop and visit the Salt mines. Return to the hotel.
On day 12 of your Machu Picchu Galapagos tour, you will visit the typical Pisac Market where you will have the opportunity to bargain with the vendors. Lunch is included at Sacred Valley Local Restaurant. After lunch, you will visit Ollantaytambo Fortress. A typical Inca community located at 21 Km. from Urubamba at 2,800 masl, named in honor of the chief Ollanta, who was famous for courting an Inca princess, daughter of Pachacutec.
Early in the morning, you go to Ollantaytambo train station to board the train to Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, a small bus will be waiting for you to take you to Machu Picchu ruins. You will receive a shared tour of the ruins discovered in 1911 by the explorer Hiram Bingham. This citadel is considered to be one of the most extraordinary examples of landscape architecture in the world.
Located in an enclave on the saddle of a mountain overlooking the deep canyon of the Urubamba River, in an area of lush tropical forest, it served as a place of worship, a site for star-gazing and a private hacienda of the family of the Inca Pachacutec. It consists of two main areas, one agricultural, formed mainly by mountains and food stores, and the other urban, which is noted for its sacred zone with its temples, squares and royal tombs. The stairways and canals carved out of stone are recurrent throughout this remarkable archaeological site.
In the afternoon, you will take Train back to Ollanta or Poroy. Transfer to your hotel in Cusco.
At a coordinated time, pick up from your hotel & transfer to Cusco airport.
Flight to Lima (Not included)
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Gulliver Expeditions is a tour operator that offers unique Ecuador and Peru tours. Specialized in adventure travel such as climbing, mountain biking and horseback riding. We offer both pre-planned packages as well as tailor-made tours that can include the Amazon rainforest, once-in-a-lifetime Galapagos cruises and expeditions to Machu Picchu.
On all Gulliver Multi-Day