WHY THIS TRIP
Combining two of the best trips to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands, the Essential Galapagos Multisport and Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu is the perfect trip for adventurous travelers.
While the Inca Trail is the classic, bucket-list trek in Peru, and it is the only way to arrive in Machu Picchu on foot, the traditional 4-day trek is not the best way to do it. On this 5-day trek you begin the trek after the hordes have departed on the traditional 4-day trek, allowing them to clear out so you can hike and camp in relative solitude away from the masses of other trekkers. This schedule also gives you more time to explore ruins along the way and at Machu Picchu. The trip begins with acclimatizing hikes to impressive ruins in Cusco and the Sacred Valley to help get you ready for the altitude of the Inca Trail, but also because these sites shouldn’t be missed! The guides are world class, the food is inspiring, and the equipment is first rate.
The Essential Galapagos Multisport a great trip for seasoned travelers and/or those looking to keep costs down. With your own private guide (from one of National Geographic’s Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth) on each island, you’ll join onto shared tours each day. This helps cut down on the cost of logistics, without skimping on a quality of your guides. You’ll hike, sea kayak, bike and snorkel your way through the Galapagos. With evenings free and suggested self-guided excursions you gain access to the park through your guided excursions while still keeping your autonomy to enjoy and explore the islands on your own.
If you are looking for a top-quality Inca Trail trek, complete with acclimitazion hikes to the best Inca ruins in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, this is the adventure for you. It is operated by one of the best outfitters in Peru, which specializes in top-quality guides and seamless logistics.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a fantastic journey on an ancient trail used by the Incas, passing numerous ruins and with fantastic mountain views. Entering Machu Picchu through the Gate of the Sun is something you will remember for life.
While the 26-mile Inca Trail is most commonly hiked in four days (with the last half-day spent at Machu Picchu), this is not the best way to do the trek. This five-day trek allows for a later start (more sleep!) on day one so you avoid starting your trek with the multitudes on the four-day trek, and then puts you on a different schedule so you are not walking and camping with all the trekkers on the four-day trip. This schedule also breaks up the trek so you only cross one high pass a day, making for a much more pleasant experience. You also have more time to stop and explore ruins along the way without feeling the need to rush onward to camp.
Finally, late on day four you arrive to Machu Picchu, entering through the Gate of the Sun. You have time to enjoy the views of the ruin before heading to your comfortable hotel in town, peaceful with the knowledge that you will return the next morning full of energy, and with plenty of time, to fully explore this sacred site.
A team of porters takes care of the work on this remote trek, carrying all the group gear and all your personal items except for those items you will carry in a small daypack i.e water, snacks, camera, raincoat, etc. When you arrive in camp your tent will already be set up and the cook staff will be hard at work preparing your 3- to 4-course meals, which you will enjoy sitting at a table in the dining tent.
The trip begins and ends in Cusco, the fascinating former capital of the Inca Empire. Upon arrival you’ll be met at the airport and given a short orientation walk around Cusco’s central square, the Plaza de Armas, for the latest on where to eat, where to find local markets, and about iconic city sites to check out. In the evening, you’ll meet your guide for a full briefing on the days to come. After the trek you’ll have a free day to explore Cusco on your own.
The Essential Galapagos Multisport Adventure is the perfect choice for those wanting to explore the amazing flora and fauna of the Galapagos, but who don’t want to be cooped up on a boat, and want more action than just slow-paced naturalist walks. On this Galapagos Multisport, you will be hiking, sea kayaking, snorkeling, and mountain biking alongside the world famous wildlife of the Galapagos, spending more time out in nature recreating than on any naturalist cruise.
You will discover the incredible wildlife of the Islands with top naturalist and adventure guides. Each guide specialized in running active, challenging tours and to do it safely. These guides are trained as both naturalist guides (certified by the National Park) and as adventure experts, so you get both interpretation of the Islands’ natural wonders and the expertise to run a truly thrilling tour.
By overnighting on three different Islands in local lodges, you get a bit of time to yourself and a feel for each Island’s particular culture. Since you don’t travel to new Islands every day, you spend more time visiting sites and less time traveling. But you also travel enough to really get a sense for the diversity between the Islands to see how the animal and plant life evolved independently. You’ll be active all day and in the evenings, you have time to explore small port towns, or just kick-back in quality, choice hotels.
LOCAL OPERATORS: Amazonas Explorer & Ecuador Adventure
For more than three decades Amazonas Explorer has led high-quality trips and alternative adventures throughout South America. Based in Cusco, its professionally trained guides, cooks and support crew bring their passion and skills to the travelers they serve and, in turn, build rewarding careers for themselves. This talented staff of local experts is focused on providing you with safe and comfortable adventures, all centered on making your holiday as memorable as possible.
A pioneer of the multi-sport experience in the Galapagos, Quito-based Ecuador Adventure provides meaningful, fun and safe eco-adventure experiences reflecting the company’s strong commitment to sustainable eco-tourism in Ecuador.
We loved this trip! Great mix of mountains and beach. We’re glad we did the Machu Pichu hike first: it’s physically demanding and it was nice to have the “gentler” pace of the Galapagos to have afterwards. The guides were excellent, had good English and amazing stories and history of their countries. Detour travel did a first rate job of scheduling flights, guides, and transportation. All connections were made without any difficulty and the hand offs between guides from island to island was seamless.
What moment or experience do you think you will remember most one year from now? So many but our 2 favorites are waking up and stepping out of our tents on the Machu Pichu hike to the most beautiful mountain views we ever had! The llamas roaming around our camp with us were an awesome addition! Our second favorite was snorkeling with the sea turtles. Watching these beautiful animals feed and swim on the reefs was incredible.