Summary : Make the most of your travel time—link your ship-based Galapagos adventure to an exploration of the archaeological wonders of Machu Picchu and the cultural wonders of Inca Peru, historic and modern.
All departures will have a certified photo instructor onboard.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Diving, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Snorkeling, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Upon arrival in Guayaquil, transfer to your hotel.
This morning, fly to the Galapagos Islands and board Endeavour II. After lunch, begin your exploration of the islands and their remarkable wildlife.
While your exact routing depends on the National Park Service, you visit may include the following islands: Bartolomé, Santiago, Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina, Floreana, and/or Española.
Depart Galapagos this morning and fly to Lima, Peru. Overnight at your included hotel.
This morning board your flight over the Andes to Cusco. Upon arrival, drive through the fabled and fertile Urubamba Valley to Moray—a visually stunning Inca site known for its agricultural terraces. After lunch and an opportunity to experience a local market, check-in at your hotel: Sol y Luna (2020) or Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba (2021).
Spend the day exploring the archaeological sites and culture of the Sacred Valley in the company of National Geographic expert Peter Frost, who has lived and worked in Peru for decades. He (or occasionally a colleague, if he is in the field) joins the group for a talk at the hotel and continues with you to Ollantaytambo, where massive stone walls stand sentry over a thriving Inca community. Lunch is nearby at a working, family-owned hacienda. Here you are also treated to a show of Peruvian Paso horses, and National Geographic grantee Nilda Callañaupa, founder of El Centro de Textiles Tradicionales de Cusco, joins the group to demonstrate Inca weaving traditions. Dinner tonight is at the hotel.
This morning marvel at the tropical Andean scenery and life along the river from the panoramic windows on the train to Machu Picchu—the Inca royal retreat famously introduced to the world by Hiram Bingham in the April 1913 issue of National Geographic magazine. Set at less than 8,000 feet, the sanctuary is set in tropical mountain forest with diverse birds and orchids. Check-in at the historic 31-room Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, adjacent to the World Heritage Site, with the leisure to explore over the two days in the company of your hand-picked tour director and local guides. Linger after day-visitors are gone. Lunch and dinner is at the Hotel's private Tampu Restaurant.
Awaken this morning at Machu Picchu, where your options include an early hike to the Sun Gate, the ancient final checkpoint to Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail. After lunch, return through the valley to Cusco, center of the Inca universe and a burgeoning Andean cultural capital. Check-in at the Belmond Hotel Monasterio for two nights in the ancient heart of Cusco. Like many colonial-era buildings, your hotel—founded as a monastery in 1592—stands atop a fountain in the Inca-carved stone.
Explore the magnificently ornate 17th-century cathedral and Plaza de Armas, the sacred Inca Temple of the Sun and other treasures of Cusco this morning. Visit nearby Sacsayhuaman, where impressive terrace walls, some of the finest stonework you've seen yet, command views over the city. Relax, shop, or visit Cusco's many churches and museums this afternoon. Dinner is on your own tonight.
Return to vibrant, coastal Lima this morning, where on a tour you'll stroll the Plaza Mayor and delight in a private farewell lunch with a special musical presentation at Casa Aliaga—in the same family for 17 generations. After a visit to the extraordinary Larco Museum, dedicated to pre-Columbian art, check in at your hotel. Dinner is on your own.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home or continue on to other adventures.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
National Geographic Global Explorers:
Kids and teens will develop the mindset of an explorer through a range of cool activities: recording wildlife, plant, and undersea sightings in their Field Notebook, using photos, video, drawing and more to tell a story about the wonders they'll encounter, snorkeling with sea lions, and earning their Zodiac "driver's license!" Plus, National Geographic certified field educators—a brand-new addition to our expedition team—will help optimize Galápagos' daily learning opportunities.
Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor:
On all departures, a certified photo instructor will be at your side and at your service to inspire and assist you. Take advantage of talks, presentations, slideshows and “laptop gallery” sharing events. All skill and interest levels are welcome; the instructors can meet you wherever you are on your journey. All you need to participate is a camera— point-and-shoot, smartphone, DSLR, whatever—and a sense of adventure. And you’re sure to return home with amazing photos.
Optional Diving Program:
You need to be an intermediate to advanced diver and have at least 15 to 50 dives logged with experience in cold water and drift and wall diving. The Tuesday dive site, Gordon Rocks, requires a minimum of 30 logged dives. Dive sites: Floreana (Mondays) and Santa Cruz (Tuesdays) on the San Cristobal to Balta itinerary aboard National Geographic Endeavour II. Space on these trips is limited. Divers will be required to do a “buoyancy test” or “check-out” dive before their first dive, ensuring familiarity with equipment and wetsuits.The cost of each of the two dive options (2 dives each day) is from $250. Payment is made directly with Scuba Iguana by credit card through their online portal. No refunds for cancellations within 30 days. It is strongly recommended that divers purchase Divers Alert Network (DAN) Insurance, which has aerial evacuation and hyperbaric treatment. All divers must have an open water certification by an internationally recognized dive association (i.e. PADI, NAUI) and have proof of certification with them in Galápagos. If you have not logged a dive within the last three years, a refresher course is mandatory: Scuba Iguana cannot and will not risk taking divers in without it. We also recommend that all divers make at least a couple of dives in the year prior to Galápagos to get the most out of your experience. If you are over 55 or have any of the health problems detailed in the SCUBA Diving Form, and have not dived within the last six months, please provide the dive operator with a medical certificate. Liability release forms provided by dive company onsite must be completed before diving. A parent or guardian mist sign the liability release for divers under 18. Please inquire for more details.
One pre-cruise hotel night and one post-cruise hotel night in Guayaquil; transfer between airport/hotel/ship if booked on recommended flights; Galapagos National Park entry fee; Galapagos Transit Card; shipboard accommodations; certified photo instructor; kayaking, snorkeling, stand up paddleboarding; one hour of Wi-Fi per person/per day onboard ship; gear on loan (snorkeling gear, wetsuit); video chronicle of your trip; meals as per the itinerary; most beverages onboard ship; gratuities to local guides, drivers and tour escort in Peru only (excludes ship's crew). Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; meals not indicated as included; optional extensions; diving; passport and visa expenses; travel insurance; items of a personal nature, such as laundry, premium alcoholic beverages and Internet/Wi-Fi beyond what is mentioned as included; gratuities to ship's crew; fuel surcharge may apply.
Airfare between Guayaquil and the Galapagos Islands:
The flights between mainland Ecuador (Guayaquil) and the Galapagos Islands are an additional cost. For your cruise security, ExpeditionTrips must reserve these flights for you at the time of cruise booking. Approximate cost (including service fee): $500-$700 per adult; $350-$450 per child under 12 (copy of passport required).
Photos ©: Lori Gifford (Peruvian Woman); Ralph Lee Hopkins (Machu Picchu, Sally Lightfoot Crab); Sven-Olof Lindblad (Tortoises, Flamingo); Lindblad Expeditions (Frigatebird); Cindy Manning (Boys Snorkeling with Turtle); Michael S. Nolan (Sea Lion, Snorkel with Penguin); Amelia Tockston (Llama)