WHY THIS TRIP
The Angelito I Galapagos Cruise and Machu Picchu trip offers the best of each destination: great wildlife viewing in the Galapagos, and amazing culture and history in Peru. The Angelito I Galapagos Cruise is a perfect trip for travelers seeking a quality Galapagos cruise experience — good guides, service and wildlife-rich itineraries — without the high end prices for fancy accommodations. The owners take great pride in the attention to detail, and you probably will find yourself on board with the owners themselves. In Peru, you will see the most impressive Inca ruins, charming Andean villages, and stunning Peruvian countryside on a tour that captures all the area’s must-see sites.
The Angelito is a charming 16-passenger tourist-superior yacht that has been operating in the Galapagos since 1992. Among the many choices travelers have for a tourist-superior cruise, the Angelito is quite distinct and offers quite a bit more than an average cruise. The Angelito cruise should suit any traveler looking for a first-rate, personalized experience in the Galapagos.
Perhaps the most unique advantage of the Angelito is that she’s a family-owned yacht and has been meticulously cared for over her years in the Galapagos. Oftentimes, one of the owners is your naturalist guide who has more than 20 years guiding experience. Each of the Angelito’s guides seem to be a traveler favorite and the operator prides itself on the high quality of the naturalist guides. Each guide is certified by the National Park and has extensive experience in the Galapagos, bringing the Islands to life for many travelers over the years. Previous travelers also usually always comment on the professionalism and helpfulness of the entire crew.
The Angelito offers two different 8-day itineraries on alternating weeks, each of which has its own advantages in terms of wiLdlife and scenery. The “A” itinerary visits Espanola, Bartolome, North Seymour, and Genovesa Islands, all of which are highlight Islands for wildlife viewing. This itinerary includes opportunities to snorkel with penguins, walk among hundreds of Red-Footed, Blue-Footed, and Nazca boobies; and witness the mating dance of the elusive Waved Albatross. If you don’t have much time, you can either do the first 5 days or last 4 days of the “A” itinerary and still get in a fun Galapagos experience. While it may seem like it’s a bird-intensive itinerary, there are also loads of Giant tortoises, sea lions, massive land iguanas, and green sea turtles that you’re likely to see. The “B” itinerary stays in the western part of the archipelago to explore Fernandina and the many diverse sites of Isabela, without missing snorkeling at Floreana or exploring the white-sand beaches of Santa Cruz. While you visit many sites on Isabela, that Island is actually the largest (by far) in the Galapagos and contains 60 percent of the archipelago’s land wildlife, and the snorkeling here is considered some of the best since you have so many chances to swim alongside green sea turtles, penguins, flightless cormorants, and sharks. Additionally, the many volcanoes on Isabela have created barriers for wildlife to migrate which have made some species evolve distinctly (like the many distinct species of Giant tortoises on the Island) and the feel is that you are visiting several different Islands, even though they are just several sites on one huge Island. Depending on the season, you may also see pods of dolphins or migrating whales.
If you want to get more out of the Galapagos than a typical 8-day cruise, these two itineraries can be combined to do 11-, 12-, and 15-day cruises so you get a more comprehensive experience. These longer itineraries don’t include any repeat visits and will feel adequately diverse as you explore very different parts of the Islands.
For six months in 2013, the Angelito underwent an extensive renovation which has improved all of the cabins as well as the interior and exterior communal areas. Each of the double cabins is now above deck and has a picture window; of course, each also has a private bathroom, shower, and air-conditioning. The Angelito’s updates have made the already very comfortable and cozy boat more modern and equipped for today’s Galapagos traveler.
The impressive scale, location, and mystery of Machu Picchu makes it a destination worthy of anyone’s must-see list. However, far too many travelers fly to Cusco and race up to Machu Picchu, leaving within just a couple days and missing the other amazing Incan ruins and vibrant Andean culture in the nearby area. On the Inca Highlights tour, you won’t miss any of the spectacular sites. You go deep into the Andes for a much more memorable and rich experience.
Your adventure begins when you land in Cusco, once the capitol of the Inca empire and now a bustling city that has seamlessly incorporated its historic roots with modern life. Here, you will join your guide for a walking tour of Cusco’s cobblestone streets, narrow alleyways, and local markets, taking note of the Incan stonework still present in most of these picturesque buildings. At the end of you entire trip, you will return to Cusco to relax on your own and visit the most important ruin sites nestled in the nearby countryside.
You then travel to the Sacred Valley where traditional villages and farms are flanked by breathtakingly steep mountains, dotted with Inca ruins throughout. In Pisac, you discover ruins left from the height of Inca stone masonry, perched on a hilltop overlooking the valley. In the village below, you can wander through the famed indigenous market where craftspeople from the countryside gather to sell their colorful weaving and intricate wood statues. You also have time to explore the Incan fortress and town of Ollantaytambo; the buildings built by the Incas are still used in Ollantaytambo, which gives you a look into the past as you wander past stone waterways and see locals wearing traditional, bright clothing.
Of course, no journey would be complete without exploring the world-famous Machu Picchu ruins. The site is as awe-inspiring today as it was to the inspired Incans who dreamed up this royal retreat more than 500 years ago. With your guide, you will see the site in the early morning light, before the crowds arrive so you can enjoy the site’s stillness and majestic setting. After your tour, you have time to discover the site on your own, whether that’s walking to the Sun Gate or hiking up the steep stairs to the top of Huayna Picchu Peak.
LOCAL ECUADOR OPERATOR: COMETA TRAVEL
Cometa Travel is well known for doing a conscientious job as representatives of the Yacht Angelito I, as well as for its careful planning and organization of the travel packages it offers. Additionally, it takes serious responsibility for the selection and monitoring of its service providers, keeping always high standards of honesty and ethics.
LOCAL PERU OPERATOR: APUMAYO EXPEDICIONES
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, natural history, and adventure into its trips.