If you’re looking for a dynamic South America travel combination, Galapagos and Machu Picchu tours cannot be beat. A vacation package that combines these two destinations mixes the best of what South America has to offer. You get the wonderful wildlife of the Galapagos Islands and the ancient mystery of Inca ruins at Machu Picchu. Both sites are stunningly beautiful in their own way. The Galapagos Islands offer varied landscapes on each island, though they are dominantly volcanic rock. Machu Picchu is located in semitropical jungle mountains, and clings to the green cliffs.
One of the reasons to combine these two destinations into one trip is that you’ll save on planning and international airfare. Why come back to South America twice when you can hit two of the highlights at once? You can book both places with one company that you trust, giving you the security and peace of mind knowing that one person is looking out for all aspects of your vacation.
When you visit the Galapagos, you’ll have to spend a night on mainland Ecuador due to flight connections. If you have the time, you can extend this into a longer vacation to see some of the sites in Ecuador. This is recommended because this lovely country has many things to offer in addition to the Galapagos Islands. From either Quito or Guayaquil you’ll fly to the Galapagos Islands to begin your tour.
You can take a Galapagos cruise, do an island hopping tour, or stay at one of the hotels and try to arrange day excursions by yourself. The latter is probably the least expensive, but also the most inconvenient and most inefficient way to see wildlife, and seeing wildlife is probably why you’re visiting in the first place. A cruise is a lovely option, but make sure you look at the different cruise itineraries ahead of time, because not all of them visit the same places. For example, if you really want to see the Galapagos tortoises, you should double-check that your cruise ship visits islands where these animals live.
If you’re visiting Machu Picchu after the Galapagos Islands you’ll fly into Lima. From here you can decide if you want to spend a night or two in this capital city or head directly to Cuzco by air. Once in Cuzco it is recommended that you take it easy the first day because you’ll have gone from sea level to a very high altitude. Make sure you schedule time to properly tour Cuzco and the surrounding Sacred Valley in addition to the Machu Picchu citadel. A day for each will be sufficient.