WHY THIS TRIP
Hike the best trails around Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and then enter Machu Picchu on foot via the Gate of the Sun on the 1-Day Inca Trail Trek, even when permits for the full Inca Trail trek are sold out, while staying in comfortable lodges at night. Then explore three islands in the Galapagos by kayak, Stand Up Paddleboard, snorkel, and hiking on a 5-day, 3-island land-based adventure.
- Arrive to Machu Picchu on foot via the Gate of the Sun, even if permits are sold out for the full Inca Trail trek
- Full Day exploration of Machu Picchu
- Hike on Inca trails to explore popular and lesser know Inca sites with your knowledgeable local guide
- Relax each night at a comfortable hotel in Peru
- Explore 3 different islands in the Galapagos
- Overnight in remote, unique lodging in a private tortoise reserve and on a secluded beach
Starting in Peru you will get off the beaten path to explore the most interesting Inca sites and local villages on an itinerary set up to keep you away from the main tourist crowds. Your days will be filled with adventurous hikes but your nights will be very comfortable, as you will sleep in local lodges rather than tents.
You will explore the central plaza in Cusco, then hike the hills above town to the impressive site of Sacsayhuaman where huge stone walls surround a beautiful grass amphitheater and the Inca water temple of Tambo Mackay and the Temple of the Moon. You will also hike to the circular ruins of Moray, where there are concentric circular terraces that were used as an experimental agricultural center by the Inca.
You will visit the market in Chichero , where you can see some of the finest traditional clothing in the entire region and can even watch a weaving demonstration, and then can explore the ruins of Pisac. After walking a pristine section of Inca Trail downhill to the Sacred Valley, you will head to the town of Pisac to explore easy trails through this ancient citadel.
Next you catch the train towards Machu Picchu, where you get off at Kilometer 104 to begin the final stretch of the trek along the world famous Inca Trail, passing restored ruins and eventually arriving at the entrance to Machu Picchu at the Gate of the Sun. On day 6 you will explore the pinnacle of Inca engineering – Machu Picchu.
You will arrive early, allowing you to explore the ruins in the company of your guide, before they get too busy. The guided tour takes around two hours leaving you a few hours free to wander amongst the old Inca walls and just sit and take in the scale of the place on your own. For those who want to walk a bit more, you could hike to visit the Inca Bridge which once spanned a sheer cliff face. Later you return via train and bus to Cusco along the spectacular Urubamba River.
The Galapagos Guardians Land, Sea, and Underwater Adventure is designed to give you best of land-based adventure trips and yacht trips, all combined together into a unique short itinerary. You will stay in remote, unique lodging — two nights at the Galapagos Magic Tented Camp in a private tortoise reserve on Santa Cruz Island, and 2 nights in a rustic cabin on a secluded bay on Floreana Island.
Immediately after getting off the plane in the Galapagos you start your adventures, with a kayaking and snorkeling excursion along the Itabaca Canal. From there you head to your home for the next two nights in a private tortoise reserve in the Santa Cruz highlands, where you can see tortoises wandering around right outside your door. Day 2 brings an excursion to a remote island by boat to see the wildlife and experience the peace and tranquility of the remote Galapagos.
Day 3 takes you to Floreana Island, the first settled of the Galapagos’ Islands, but the one with the smallest population today. Here you see more giant tortoises, learn the mysterious history of the early settlers, and kayak, Stand Up Paddleboard, and snorkel to see sea turtles, rays, and fish. Finally you transfer back to Santa Cruz by boat, then go overland to Baltra for your flight back to mainland Ecuador.
It’s easy to add on a visit to the Amazon Basin or a mountain lodge near Cotopaxi Volcano to complete your vacation.
LOCAL PERU OPERATOR: AMAZONAS EXPLORER
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.
LOCAL OPERATOR: TROPIC, JOURNEYS IN NATURE
Tropic Journeys in Nature creates trips with cultural interaction that are beneficial to both locals and travelers. Clients can expect great service from Tropic Journeys in Nature while enjoying an authentic, specialized, and active eco-tourism adventure with memorable cultural interactions across Ecuador’s Andean region, the Pacific coast region and the Galapagos Islands. The entire staff and its highly qualified guides are focused on safety and committed to providing top-quality personal service and a mind-expanding array of meaningful trips.