Galapagos Islands with Machu Picchu
September 13, 2024 thru September 26, 2024
Embark on a breathtaking 14-day adventure that begins in the vibrant heart of Quito, Ecuador, and sweeps you across the magical Galapagos Islands, culminating in the mystical wonders of Peru. This journey promises an unforgettable blend of nature and culture: from observing the unique wildlife and conservation efforts in the Galapagos, including the iconic giant tortoises at the Charles Darwin Station, to exploring the rich historical tapestry of Peru, including the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu and the ancient streets of Cusco. Each day brings new discoveries, be it snorkeling with sea turtles in the Galapagos or savoring a exploring the traditions in the Sacred Valley of Peru. This trip isn’t just a holiday; it’s a journey through some of the most enchanting landscapes and cultures on the planet, offering an unparalleled experience that will linger in your memory long after you return home. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime adventure!
Roundtrip Air Transportation
5 nights on board the EcoGalaxy Catamaran!
14 days, 13 nights
26 meals (12 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners) included
Available (Limited to 16 Passengers)
- Local guide and translators
- First Class Catamaran EcoGalaxy – Built for the Galapagos Island’s while preserving it’s fragile ecosystem
- Delicious Ecuadorian cuisine on board the catamaran
- Charles Darwin Station
- Wildlife at Moreno Point and Elizabeth Bay including penguins, flamingoes, and marine iguanas
- Urbina Bay’s uplifted coastline
- Tagus Cove’s rich marine life
- Espinoza Point and Vicente Roca Point with sea lions and diverse bird species
- Rabida’s red lava rocks
- Egas Port wildlife including fur seals and land iguanas
- Black Turtle Cove’s green sea turtles
- Ollantaytambo’s Incan ruins
- Peruvian artist’s workshop
- Moray agricultural site
- Maras, Peru’s salt pans and village
- Mingle with locals
- Machu Picchu
- Cusco city tour with Sacsayhuaman ruins, the San Blas neighborhood, and the Qoricancha temple
- Lima city tour
- Roundtrip air transportation from Albuquerque to Ecuador
- Roundtrip air transportation Quito to Galapagos Islands
- Air transportation to Lima
- Air transportation Quito to Cusco
- Transfers and motorcoach transportation in Ecuador
- 6 day Galapagos Islands Cruise
- 5 nights aboard the EcoGalaxy Catamaran
- 7 nights lodging at excellent hotels
- Admissions and excursions as described
- 26 meals (12 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners)
- All excursions within itinerary
- Professional bilingual (English/Spanish speaking) Tour Director
- SUN TOURS Escort (with 14 passengers)
- Accommodations in selected accommodation
- Gratuities and taxes for included items
CRUISE ECO GALAXY
- Transportation and fuel surcharge in the Marine reserve of Galapagos
- Accommodation in double or triple cabin according to you booking
- Bilingual naturalist guide (English, Spanish)
- Personalized crew service
- All meals during the cruise, from lunch on the first day to breakfast on the last day
- One snack after each activity (except last day)
- Welcome cocktail
- Unlimited purified water, coffee and tea
- All visits, excursions & activities according to the itinerary
- Snorkeling gear (Mask, tube, and fins)
- Use of kayaks and paddle boards in authorized places
- Shampoo, hair conditioner, and soap for daily use
- Beach towels
- Hair dryer in the cabins
- Clothes/Towel dryer
DAY 1 - Fly to Quito
Depart from Albuquerque and fly to the Mariscal Sucre airport in Quito, Ecuador. Our local guide takes us to the hotel where we lodge for the night in Quito. On our way to the hotel, our guide tells us about the wonderful country of Ecuador (in regards to issues such as the continental weather, history of the country, and places to visit, etc.).
DAY 2 - Fly to Galapagos & Charles Darwin Station
We depart Quito and fly to Baltra Airport in the Galapagos Islands, where our naturalist guide of the National Park will be waiting for us. We transfer to our home for the next five nights, the Catamaran EcoGalaxy.
The Charles Darwin Station is a nonprofit organization which has been working for decades together with the Galapagos National Park to preserve the biodiversity of these unique islands. During this visit we will learn about the projects that both institutions carry together to protect the native species and eradicate the invasive ones which are threatening the Galapagos environment. One of the most important and emblematic projects has been reproducing giant tortoises in captivity. The visit is mostly outdoors in a beautiful dry native forest with giant cactus and many other interesting native plants. It is also a fantastic place to find several endemic Darwin finches, as well as flycatchers and mockingbirds.
Meals included: B, L, D
DAY 3 - Moreno Point & Elizabeth Bay
Moreno Point is a magical place with extensive lava fields which look lifeless at first sight. Once inland, scattered brackish lagoons form an oasis of life where you can find flamingoes, gallinules, ducks and herons. Along the shore we will look for penguins, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, oystercatchers and other shore birds. We will snorkel to see sea turtles, cormorants and many species of fish. Look carefully in the long seaweeds and you might find a seahorse.
Elizabeth Bay is a beautiful, sheltered bay surrounded by large mangroves and barren lava fields. There is no trail here so we will take a dinghy tour to explore many channels, pools and coves teeming with life. This is one of the best locations in the islands to see Galapagos penguins, but don’t expect to see thousands of them, as the entire population of the islands is only about 3,000 of them. Flightless cormorants also nest in the area and blue-footed boobies and pelicans often fish in these shallow and rich waters. Rays and sea turtles are also very abundant.
Meals included: B, L, D
DAY 4 - Urbina Bay & Tagus Cove
Urbina Bay is known for the dramatic uplifting that happened here during the 1950’s. A large portion of the coast was pushed up, exposing many hectares of previously submerged land. Look carefully along the trail and you will find small shells and corals, a proof that the area was underwater more than sixty years ago. The trail will give the opportunity to see land iguanas and, during certain seasons, giant tortoises. Galapagos hawks nest in the area and are often seen flying or perched on the trees. We can snorkel from the beach to see sea turtles, cormorants and penguins. Fish are also abundant in the area.
Tagus Cove is one of the places Charles Darwin visited during his exploration of the Galapagos islands. A trail will take us through a dry Palo Santo forests where you can see Darwin finches and mockingbirds. We will get great views of Darwin’s lake and the large volcanos of northern Isabela. A boat tour along the shore will give us chances to see penguins, cormorants, marine iguanas and a very unique species: the Galapagos martin, a small endemic bird which is one of the most endangered species on the island. The nutrient-rich waters around Tagus Cove attracts a lot of sea turtles and a great diversity of fish, but also penguins, who feast on large schools of anchovies. It is common to see cormorants underwater as they chase fish through the reef.
Meals included: B, L, D
DAY 5 - Espinoza Point & Vicente Roca Point
Espinoza Point is located at the base of an imposing volcano (the most active in the Galapagos islands). This site is one of the jewels of the Galapagos National Park. As soon as we disembark we will be surrounded by hundreds of marine iguanas, as this is the largest colony for the species. Sea lions bask in the beaches while their pups play in tide pools. Along the shore we will see flightless cormorants, which are restricted to the western areas of the archipelago. Surrounded by cold plankton-rich waters, Punta Espinosa is home for an array of species, including herons, pelicans, oystercatchers, sea turtles, shorebird and many more. Look up in the mangroves as Galapagos hawks often perch to look for their prey. The nutrient-rich waters around Punta Espinosa attracts great numbers and diversity of fish and sea turtles. Seaweeds are also abundant, making this place the best for seeing marine iguanas feeding underwater. Following a cormorant underwater as it chases fish through the reef is one on the most amazing snorkel experiences we may have on our trip.
Surrounded by some of the tallest cliffs in the Galapagos, Vicente Roca Point is a great location to observe spectacular landscapes and interesting volcanic features. There is no trail here but you will take a dinghy tour along the shore to get a closer view of pelicans, flightless cormorants, sea turtles, boobies, Galapagos fur seal and marine iguanas. The area is also known to be a good location for whales and dolphins. Snorkel in the cove to look for sea turtles, penguins, sea lions, cormorants, rays and many different species of fish. Look for fan corals, sponges and other invertebrates growing on the walls.
Meals included: B, L, D
DAY 6 - Egas Port & Rabida
Despite its name, there is no “port” at Puerto Egas, but you might see a few remains of the last attempts to colonize the island during the 60’s. The trail goes along the coastline which is rich in wildlife, with marine iguanas basking in the sun everywhere, Galapagos sea lions, herons, oystercatchers and many shorebirds. At the end of the trail an area called “the grottos” is home for a small colony of the endemic Galapagos fur seal, much more difficult to see at close range than its cousin. As recently as 2019, land iguanas where re-introduced to the area, so look around for these impressive reptiles which where extinct from Santiago for over a century. We can snorkel from the beach and explore an area of rocky bottoms which is excellent for fish, turtles and reef sharks. Often, sea lions are also present and are happy to interact with divers.
Rabida is a small island famous for its reddish lava rocks (rich in iron) which gives it a unique look. The beach is also red and hosts a small colony of sea lions. There is a small salt water lagoon where we will see ducks and stilts and sometimes flamingoes. The trail will take you inland to get beautiful views of the beach and the lagoon. Look for Darwin finches, flycatchers and mockingbirds. In the cliffs along the coast you can find Nazca & blue-footed boobies, brown noddy, herons and the two species of sea lions: Galapagos and fur seals. We can snorkel from the beach and explore a sheltered rocky area, which is excellent for fish, sea lions and reef sharks. Look at the high diversity of small invertebrates attached to the vertical walls.
Meals included: B, L, D
DAY 7 - Black Turtle Cove & Fly to Quito
Black Turtle Cove gets its name from the abundance of green see turtles, locally known as: “tortugas negras”. There is no landing here so you will be doing a boat tour on the dinghies, exploring shallow channels and small coves surrounded by beautiful mangrove forests. Reef sharks, sea turtles and several species rays inhabit this beautiful area which is considered an important mating area for turtles and a nursery for several species of sharks. Herons, pelicans and boobies are also common here as they prey in schools of anchovies.
In the afternoon, we will transfer to the airport and fly back to Quito, Ecuador and lodge for the night.
Meals included: B
DAY 8 - Flight from Quito to Cusco
We will fly from Quito to Cusco, Peru. Our guide will be waiting for us and we will transfer to the hotel to get settled.
Meals included: B
DAY 9 - Over the Andes to the Sacred Valley
Today’s journey through the Sacred Valley of the Incas will start with a drive through the breathtaking Patacancha Valley. At the ruins of Pumamarca, we begin our hike down a pre-Columbian trail, fallowing irrigation canals that line terraced fields still in use today.
After approximately two hours of easy hiking, we find ourselves in the Incan town of Ollantaytambo, where the centuries-old influence of the Incas is still very much visible: water from the mountains trickles down the the Inca-built street canals, while original Inca walls and trapezoidal doors are still found here.
With your guide by your side, ascend beyond the stepped, slop-side terraces to the ruins of a centuries-old fortress above town, where the Incans secured an important victory over the Spanish conquistadors. Inspect the intricately hewn stone constructions and have your guide show you the distant quarries from there the Incans sourced these huge stone blocks. This site also affords fabulous views od the valley and the Urubamba River that meanders through it.
Meals included: B, L
DAY 10 - Strolling the Heart of the Sacred Valley
After breakfast, we are taken to the ancient agricultural site of Moray. Experts today believe these grassy amphitheaters served as a farming laboratory, with the varying temperatures and soils of the ascending terraces providing different growing environments. We pass through the town of Maras – known for its beautiful colonial doorways – before arriving at the town’s still in use salt pans. The small white evaporation pools that cover the hillside are still harvested by locals in a traditional manner. We pause for a delicious local lunch, where we are able to sample some regional fares.
Post lunch, we have a chance to mingle with the locals during a visit to an off-the-beaten-track highland village on the shore of the icy blue Lake Piuray. This rural community subsists on agriculture and many of the women are master weavers, creating exquisite textiles using generations-old techniques. We will have the opportunity to communicate with the residents, visit their houses and fields, and experience what day-to-day life is like in the Andean highlands. We may also get to meet some of the local children who attend Kuoda’s after-school program (Monday-Friday) – they love sharing their art with visitors.
Meals included: B, L
DAY 11 - The Lost City of the Incas - Machu Picchu
Prepare for a climactic day! In the morning, we board the train in Ollantaytambo for our journey to Machu Picchu. After a bus ride to the gates of this wonder of the world, we fortify ourselves with a savory lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge.
We then ascend stone steps, through heavy tree cover to finally emerge at the top of the world – Machu Picchu! The incredible Inca stone construction will be spread below, alternately hidden and revealed by clouds. Your expert guide will give you a private tour of the ancient city.
Upon conclusion of the tour, we descend down the mountain by bus to Aguas Calientes for lunch and return by train to Ollantaytambo. We then return to our hotel in Cusco.
Meals included: B, L
DAY 12 - Exploring the Imperial City of Cusco
Today we take a private tour of the city of Cusco! Begin by chauffeured vehicle to the Sacsayhuaman Incan ruins above the city, then back into the city with the bohemian neighborhood of San Blas, known for its whitewashed adobe buildings and quaint blue balconies, home to generations of renowned Cusco artisans.
From there we stop in at the colonial Cathedral in the Plaza de Armas, then down to the Santo Domingo monastery, perched atop the most sacred of Incan sites, the Qoricancha temple of the sun. Once bathed in 24-karat gold long-since pilfered by Spanish conquistadors, this temple is now an astounding blend of Incan stonemasonry and colonial architecture.
Make sure to pause along the way to marvel at the incomparable Incan foundations supporting each building in the area, in particular at the 12-angled stone nestled in a wall that has withstood the test of time (as well as a couple of earth-shattering earthquakes!). Afterwards, have time to explore the Capital of Inca Empire.
Meals included: B, D
DAYS 13 & 14 - Buen Viaje!
This morning, we’ll transfer to the airport of Cusco and board our flight to Lima. We will enjoy a city tour of Lima! From there, we will continue on our international flight home.
Meals included: B
Itinerary is subject to change it. Quito is at 9350 ft in elevation. Passport required.
The islands are perhaps most famous for their influence on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. Darwin visited the islands in 1835, and his observations of the variations among species, particularly finches, in different islands, significantly contributed to his groundbreaking work, "On the Origin of Species."
The islands are volcanic in origin and are considered one of the most active volcanic regions in the world. The archipelago consists of 18 main islands, 3 smaller islands, and 107 rocks and islets.
The Galapagos Islands are famous for their unique biodiversity, including many species found nowhere else in the world. This includes the giant Galapagos tortoises, marine iguanas, and various bird species like the blue-footed booby.
Sacred Valley Hotel
Ocean View Cabin
*Price per person, including air from ABQ, double occupancy
Single occupancy upon request, limited availability
Final Payment Due:
May 9, 2024
• Roundtrip air transportation from Albuquerque to Ecuador
• Roundtrip air transportation Quito to Galapagos Islands
• Roundtrip air transpiration Lima to Cusco
• Roundtrip air transportation Quito to Cusco
• Transfers and motorcoach transportation in Ecuador
• 6 day Galapagos Islands Cruise
• 5 nights aboard the EcoGalaxy Catamaran
• 7 nights lodging at excellent hotels
• Admissions and excursions as described
• 26 meals (12 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners)
• All excursions within itinerary
• Train: Vistadome first-class train tickets: Ollantaytambo – Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo
• Professional bilingual (English/Spanish speaking) Tour Director
• SUN TOURS Escort (with 15+ passengers)
• Accommodations in selected accommodation
• Gratuities and taxes for included items
CRUISE ECO GALAXY
• Transportation and fuel surcharge in the Marine reserve of Galapagos
• Accommodation in double or triple cabin according to your booking
• Bilingual naturalist guide (English, Spanish)
• Personalized crew service
• All meals during the cruise, from lunch on the first day to breakfast on the last day
• One snack after each activity (except last day)
• Welcome cocktail
• Unlimited purified water, coffee and tea
• All visits, excursions & activities according to the itinerary
• Snorkeling gear (Mask, tube, and fins)
• Use of kayaks and paddle boards in authorized places
• Shampoo, hair conditioner, and soap for daily use
• Beach towels
• Hair dryer in the cabins
• Clothes/Towel dryer
FINAL PAYMENT DUE: May 9, 2024
- $1,025 until May 9, 2024
- 50% – May 10 – June 11, 2024
- 100% after June 11, 2024
For your reference, we send to you a detailed itinerary approximately 3-4 weeks prior to the scheduled tour departure. This has day-by-day times and events, hotel information where you can be reached in case of an emergency, and airline information.
The times listed on the itinerary are all approximate. We cannot be held responsible for schedule changes due to unforeseen circumstances with the weather, transportation agents, highway conditions, hotels or contracting agents.
You will be issued your boarding pass the morning of our departure, after your arrival at the Albuquerque International Sunport. If you have an American Airlines frequent flyer number, or a TSA number, please call our office at least 3 days prior to the tour to ensure we can note these in your reservation.
If you are joining the tour from locations other than Albuquerque, we make other arrangements for you to join the tour. Please call our office for more details.
Do not forget to bring your government issued picture ID to show at the airport. A Driver’s License or Passport is preferred. If you do not have the proper ID, the airline will turn you away.
We have arranged for handling for one piece of luggage per person regarding the skycaps (where available) and hotels. If you check through luggage note that the maximum weight for the checked piece of luggage is 50 pounds and maximum size is 62 inches (length + width + height). If your bag weighs over 50 pounds the airlines will levy an extra fee that you will be responsible to pay. If you feel the need to lock your checked through luggage and your bag is searched, your lock could be damaged in the process. You can purchase a TSA (Transportation Security Administration) accepted and recognized lock at any luggage store. Make sure you ask for a TSA approved lock. These locks are the kind that TSA screeners can open by using a special tool without breaking. Passengers can carry-on 1 bag (dimensions are limited to 10x16x24 inches), plus a personal type bag, like a purse. We advise that you pack your carry-on lightly. There are restrictions regarding your carryon baggage and contents due to enhanced security measures. If you have further concerns, please visit the TSA's Web-site at www.tsa.gov. There is room inside the motorcoach for your hand carried bag.
CHECKED BAGGAGE FEES
On our airline for this tour, passengers are assessed a fee per checked in bag, by the Airlines, upon checking in for the flight.
It is always a good idea to carry on your person a list of medications that you are taking and an emergency contact phone number while you are traveling. And we suggest making a copy of the itinerary and provide it to a friend or family member.
GRATUITIES/ITEMS INCLUDED IN PRICE
The traditional end-of-tour gratuity is included on this tour. All hotel porterage and airport skycap (when available) fees are included. We also include the gratuities for the coach drivers. Hotel housekeeping tips are not included. Tips for guides/services on optional excursions or individual on-ship services are not included.
If you would like to request special accommodations at the hotel(s) where we are lodging, please call us as soon as possible and we will forward these requests for you. The phone numbers of the hotel(s) where we are staying are listed on the itinerary.
Many hotels around the country have instituted a "reconditioning fee" of $300 or more that is levied upon a guest that smokes in a non-smoking room. If this occurs during our tour you will be responsible for paying this fee to the hotel prior to check-out.
We pay close attention to your requests but please realize that these are merely requests and cannot be guaranteed.
SUN TOURS acts solely as an agent in arranging hotels, transportation, sightseeing, baggage-handling, and other services and does not assume any liability for injury, damage, loss or delay due to any act or default of any company or person. We, along with our subcontractors, reserve the right to make changes to an itinerary if it is necessary for the proper handling of a tour.
WEATHER AND CLOTHING/MISC. SUGGESTIONS
Temperature: September in the Galapagos Islands typically experiences cooler temperatures compared to other months. Daytime temperatures average around 22°C (72°F), while nighttime temperatures can drop a bit lower.
Water Temperature: The water is cooler in September, averaging around 21°C (70°F). This cooler water temperature is due to the Humboldt Current, which brings nutrient-rich, colder water to the islands. While this may be slightly chilly for swimming and snorkeling, it's an excellent time for diving as the cooler waters attract a diversity of marine life.
Climate Conditions: The climate is generally dry in September, although occasional drizzles can occur. The skies are often overcast, but this doesn't significantly detract from the wildlife viewing opportunities.
Wildlife Activity: The cooler water temperatures lead to increased marine activity, making it an ideal time for observing marine life. September is a great month for spotting sea lions, penguins, and various bird species. The breeding season for blue-footed boobies is also underway, and the waved albatrosses are particularly active.
Temperature: Daytime temperatures in Cusco during September typically range from 19°C to 21°C (66°F to 70°F). At night, temperatures can drop, often reaching lows around 5°C to 7°C (41°F to 45°F). The temperature variation between day and night can be quite significant due to the high altitude.
Precipitation: September is considered part of the dry season in Cusco, so rainfall is generally minimal. This makes it a good time for outdoor activities and exploring the nearby ruins, including Machu Picchu.
Sunshine: There's a good amount of sunshine during this month, with clear, blue skies being common. This makes sightseeing and photography particularly enjoyable.
Altitude Consideration: Cusco is located at a high altitude (about 3,400 meters or 11,200 feet above sea level). The thin air at this altitude can cause some visitors to experience altitude sickness. It's important to acclimatize properly and stay hydrated.
Clothing Recommendations: Given the range in temperatures, it's advisable to dress in layers. Warm clothing for the evenings and early mornings is recommended, along with lighter attire for the daytime. Sun protection, such as hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen, is also important due to the high UV index at altitude.
Inquire About This Tour
Submit your inquiry for more information about a tour. We will get back to you with a (human) response as soon as possible. During the week that’s usually within a couple of hours. Evenings and weekends may take us a little bit longer. Please note that this is an inquiry for tour bookings only and does not constitute or confirm a reservation on a tour.
Call 505.889.8888 to Book Today!
If you aren't ready to inquire by email or would rather call and speak to a team member, we look forward to hearing from you.
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