Remarkable Journey: Peru & The Galapagos
Let this trip inspire you, so together we can design your own Remarkable Journey.
For four centuries the Inca reached for the sun from a peak 2,000 feet above the rainforests of South America. They enshrined their fascination and affection for their gods in the temples of Peru’s Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Peru is also the basin for the mighty Amazon, teeming with wildlife and birding that is only surpassed by your final destination, the incredible Galapagos Islands. Board your cruise, unpack your camera and binoculars…the science lab of your life has begun!
- Discover Peru’s Sacred Valley, the wonders of Cusco and the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu, “The Lost City of the Incas”.
- Trek the Inca Trail.
- Ride the rails through the Urubamba Valley to the Incan cities of the past.
- Fly over the mysterious Nazca Lines on your way to spectacular Colca Canyon.
- Cruise the unique floating islands of the Uros Indians of Lake Titicaca.
- Cruise the Galapagos in search of tortoises, sea lions, Blue-footed boobies and elusive octopuses.
- Hike, swim, snorkel or photograph the islands that inspired Darwin and his theories.
Upon arrival in Lima, you will be privately transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay. Visit the UNESCO heritage site of old colonial Lima, the ancient “City of Kings”. On the following day you will depart for your flight to Cusco.
Upon arrival in Cusco, join your private guide for a half-day tour of the storied capital of the Inca Empire. Cusco is one of the undisputed highlights of South America. It’s stately and historic, with stone streets and building foundations laid by the Incas more than five centuries ago. The city was also the empire’s holy city and epicenter of the legendary Inca network where roads connected all points of the empire.
In the evening, enjoy and eclectic dinner in the artsy San Blas neighborhood and look for the many murals lining the cobbled streets.
Drive to Urubamba, a secluded village in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The Sacred Valley is an incomparably beautiful stretch of small villages and ancient ruins spread across broad, plain and rugged mountain slopes. Highlights include the colorful markets of Pisac village and the Ollantaytambo ruins with its mazy and narrow byways which are the best surviving example of Incan city planning from the 13th century.
Today choose from a variety of active options that Remarkable Journeys can offer you. Try horseback riding across the small communities of Palcaraqui, Rumichaca, San Jose de Media Luna, and Chichubamba. During your ride see the rural lifestyle of villagers as they cook, socialize, herd cattle and tend to their fields.
An alternative may be a full-day of river rafting down the Urabamba River with I-III grade rapids. A heart-pounding activity which combines the excitement of the river with beautiful landscapes and a rustic picnic lunch on the riverbed.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Rise early and board a train to Machu Picchu. Upon arrival in Aguas Caliente, explore the markets and varied hiking trails, then have an early lunch on your own. After lunch, board the bus and arrive at Machu Picchu where you will meet your private guide. Machu Picchu is one of the most dramatic places on earth that holds a mystical appeal for many Peruvians and visitors alike. Tour the ruins with your private guide, and take in the history of the magical place that retains its mystery, allure, and spectacular beauty.
This morning is at your leisure. Head back up to Machu Picchu for a quiet visit to the ruins on your own and savor your final moments of the breathtaking setting. Or hike the ultra-steep Huayna Picchu—the towering mountain behind the actual Machu Picchu site.
Later, take the afternoon train to Poroy station where you will be met by your private transfer back to Cusco.
Leave Cusco early and fly to the city of Quito, Ecuador where you will spend the night to prepare for your journey to the Galapagos Islands the following day.
Enjoy the evening on your own time, exploring the New and Old Town stopping at Plaza Foch for a meal and a taste of local nightlife culture.
Fly early out of Quito to the Galapagos Islands, and arrive at Baltra Airport and be transferred to the Itabaca Channel. A small ferry will take you across the Channel to the north shore of Santa Cruz Island where you will join a local guide and learn about the highlands and the unique montane ecosystem and biodiversity of the island.
A highlight of the day will be El Chato Reserve, one of the best places in the archipelago to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. In the early evening, transfer to your yacht to begin traveling around the islands.
Disembark at a beautiful Olivine beach with land birds and beautiful views of the northwest side of Santa Cruz Island. Several activities are possible such as snorkeling or a panga ride along the shoreline.
Sail on to South Plaza Island, one of the smallest yet richest islands in the archipelago. The island is known for its diverse and lush flora. One of the main attractions here are the yellow Land Iguanas. There are several trails that go up onto the cliffs looking out on the ocean and the lounging sea lion colonies that lie below.
Today stop off at tiny island lying just off the southeastern tip of San Salvador. This islet, formed fairly recently, has beautiful crescent-shaped white sandy beaches and several species of Shorebirds, Marine iguanas, Lava Lizards, Galapagos Penguins and Sally Lightfoot Crabs. The cove offers excellent swimming and snorkeling opportunities with Whitetip reef sharks and tropical fish.
Disembark at Bartolome Island for a hike to the summit with exceptional island views along the way. Following the walk, take a dinghy ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock followed by some beach time with Galapagos Penguins.
After lunch, board the panga for the short ride to Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago Island. Walk over lava that flowed here less than 100 years ago. This is the perfect place to see and feel the volcanic origin of the Galapagos.
At Genovesa Island see thousands of birds, mainly Frigatebirds, Red-footed and Masked boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds. Walk beside sharp lava and through uneven terrain for dramatic views of the island, or else return to the beach to enjoy swimming and snorkeling at this beautiful natural harbor. The more adventurous can snorkel along the cliffs or paddle sea kayaks in the waters close to the shore observing the nesting birds and sea life below.
Fernandina is the youngest and westernmost island in the Galapagos. Visit Punta Espinosa, a narrow split of land in the northeast corner of the island and spot the dolphins and whales swimming in the waters. If interested, board a sea kayak and paddle along with these sea mammals. If you’re lucky, you might spot the elusive Sperm whale!
After breakfast, depart for the port and airport for your flight back to the mainland, to Guayaquil. Upon arrival in Guayaquil, you will check in for your flight to Lima, Peru. From there either spend an extra day exploring Lima or fly directly back to the United States.
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