Updated: Aug 10
If you are traveling to South America and are interested in the brilliance of the Incas, their culture and history, and observing incredible wildlife at Galapagos island, combining the two destinations and going on a trip to Galapagos and Machu Picchu can be a once-in-a-lifetime trip to South America.
Why Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu in South America?
With spellbinding scenery, perfect architecture, stonework, and memorable trekking trails, Machu Picchu in Peru, is one of the most unforgettable places in the world, deserving an honorable spot on every traveler’s must-visit list.
Learning about the history and the brilliance of the Incas culture is also one of the reasons to put Machu Picchu on your bucket list.
On the other hand, the Galapagos Islands are the perfect place to disconnect from everything, get in touch with nature and its beauty, and observe incredible wildlife. Tropical birds, giant tortoises, beautiful flamingoes, penguins, and iguanas. These are just a few examples of what you can see in this charming place.
If you’re interested in a trip to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos islands ( and the best way to Combine them!), enjoy our Luxurious Lifetime Exploration 10 days itinerary.
Go to Where you want to go
Travel to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos 2022-23 ( Our best Trip to Combine them!)
👉For more tips about traveling to South America and more itinerary ideas, make sure you Get Our FREE South America Travel Guide HERE.
How Much Time do I Need To Visit Both Destinations?
You will need at least ten days to visit Machu Picchu and the Galápagos islands and enjoy your trip. Five days in Peru and 5 in the Galapagos. Of course, if you have more days, we suggest extending your stay in the Galapagos or combining your trip with a visit to the jungle in Ecuador or the amazon rainforest in Peru.
YOUR ITINERARY DAY BY DAY - The best way to combine these destinations
OUR SUGGESTED 10 days The Luxurious Lifetime Exploration itinerary.
👉 Who is this trip for? We designed this Eco & Nature custom trip with foodies and Nature lovers in mind... (and Romantic souls, too..!)
👉 Top destinations on this itinerary include Lima, Cusco, Aguas Calientes, and Machu Picchu in Peru; Santa Cruz island, genovesa island, and Santiago Islands in Galapagos.
This Custom trip to Galapagos and Machu Picchu looks like this:
DAY 1 and 2: Arrive in Lima, the capital of Peru, and a foodie Paradise. Delight yourself with a gastronomic experience.
Peru has been recognized as one of the world's best culinary destinations, a perfect option for foodie lovers. Lima's vibrant food includes ingredients from all climates and regions.
Considered by many as the food capital of Latin America, it is home to the most prize-winning restaurants in the world. Visit the renowned “Surquillo” market, participate in a demonstration of Peruvian cooking class and learn how to prepare a Pisco Sour.
Enjoy the best local food & wines at our recommended top Restaurants.
DAY 3 Discover Cusco’s artisans & Tradition
Stroll Cusco’s streets and discover its main attractions. We stop for lunch at your picked Restaurant (from our selected list) and later visit one of the most prestigious and important artisans local artisans in Cusco. After learning some crafts in the workshop, walk along San Blas, the Craftsmen neighborhood, and visit the stone with twelve angles.
DAY 4 Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas & Machu Picchu tour
Explore the village and the market of Pisac, have lunch at the Alhambra restaurant in Urubamba, and continue to Ollantaytambo, the only Inca town that still preserves the pre-Hispanic architectural style. We will stay at the Inkaterra Sacred Valley, a contemporary hacienda-style hotel and the perfect base for our Machu Picchu adventures.
Board the luxurious Hiram Bingham Train to reach Aguas Calientes town and then reach Machu Picchu by bus. Explore the majestic lost city of the Incas, its ancient ruins, and history and after lunch, descend to Aguas Calientes and return to Cusco City.
DAY 5-7 from Cusco to Quito & Galapagos - Charles darwin research station
Fly from Cusco to Quito. Overnight in Quito and fly to San Cristobal Airport in Galapagos Island. Board your Luxury yacht to start your Galapagos Experience.
Your first stop During the afternoon is Charles Darwin Research Station - Santa Cruz Island Home to giant tortoises ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long.
DAY 8 El Barranco & Darwin Bay
Also known as Prince Phillip's Steps, El Barranco’s steep, rocky paths lead up to a high cliff face. A marvelous view can be appreciated from here. This site is also home to palo santo vegetation, half-milled-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves.
This white sand coral beach heads a half-mile trail (0.75km) that winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls can be spotted here. Further down the path are tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. At the end is a spectacular view off a cliff.
DAY 9 Snorkeling, swimming, and nature walks at Espumilla bay, Buccaneer Cove, and Egas Port - Santiago Island
Espumilla Beach is a popular place for marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Snorkeling is highly recommended for abundant marine life, including octopi, moray eels, and sharks.
Watch Seal lions bathe in the sun at Egas Port
DAY 10 Bachas Beach
Enjoy the last day of your Galapagos vacation at Las Bachas beach. Las Bachas is a swimming beach located on the north shore of Santa Cruz. You may see flamingos, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black-necked stilts, and whimbrels. Sea turtles also nest off the beach.
HOW TO PLAN YOUR trip to Galapagos and Machu PicchuWhen planning a custom trip, here are our recommendations.
- The order of destinations: Which Destination Should you Visit First?
You can start the trip in Peru or Galapagos. It doesn't matter very much which destination you begin with. When customizing your trip, the order will depend on weather conditions ( in some months, it may be better to start in Peru and the Galapagos or the other way around) and flight connections and availability at the moment of booking your trip.
- Flights for this trip: Your international flights would need to be like this if the itinerary is in the previous order.
International flight of Arrival: From your Home to lima, Peru
International flight of departure: Quito or Guayaquil, Ecuador, to your Home
You would also need to fly from Lima to Cusco; in Ecuador, you would fly from Quito/Guayaquil - Galapagos - Quito/Guayaquil. You will also need a connecting flight from Peru to Ecuador.
-Best time to make this trip
Taking this trip is possible all year round, but we really recommend avoiding the month of February, as that is the rainiest time in Peru and floods can wash out roads and make travel difficult. Having said that, considering only weather conditions, a trip to Galapagos and Machu Picchu is best from April to November so as to avoid the rainy season in Peru.
Learn more about the BEST TIME TO VISIT PERU here
WILDLIFE IN GALAPAGOS - Native species you will see during your trip
The Galapagos Islands are home to some of the most unique and biodiverse marine life worldwide, including many species that can be found nowhere else on Earth…
What makes Galapagos so unique is that the fauna in Galapagos are very naive. Because of the isolation of the island ( just in the middle of the wold!) there are no big predators on the islands, so the animals of the Galapagos are not afraid of humans….they do not feel fear…
The blue-footed boobies is One of our favorite birds to see in the Galapagos! A seabird named for its very distinctive bright blue feet and is undoubtedly one of the species that attract the most attention in the Galapagos Islands….
They are masters of seduction: Their unique courting ritual includes rocking side-to-side while lifting their eye-catching baby blue feet. A Booby mating dance.
It’s very easy to find on your visit to Galapagos, and you can get quite close to them.
Watch them dancing on this Instagram reel, This is real Big Wild Love 💙 and if you have any questions about this itinerary please feel free to message us on Instagram!
Some other iconic Species you will find in Galapagos are the Sean lions, the Galapagos giant tortoise, Galapagos penguins, land iguanas, fur seals
How tourist help preserve the natural environment when visiting The Galapagos?
More than 95% of the land area of the Galapagos archipelago is considered a protected area, and for this reason, so there some rules you need to follow to help preserve the ecosystem.
Read the rules that all visitors are expected to abide by while in the Islands: Galapagos National Park Rules
When you travel to the Galapagos, you will pay an entrance fee to the galápagos national park. This tax goes towards supporting a variety of organizations across the archipelago that collaborate with the conservation of the island....
So, by traveling in a respectfully way you will be helping in the preservation of the species in the islands.
Continue reading More about our suggested Itineraries, experiences, and tips to help you plan your trip on our FREE South America Travel Guide.
Do you want a Custom trip to South America?
These itinerary is a good starting point for designing your own South America custom trip. For a custom trip, consider booking your trip Consultation Call with us. We would love to organize your custom trip to South America!
Maria Barciela Founding Partner & Director Across South America
PS. If you have any questions regarding your trip to South America, our services, or how we work. Contact us here or send us a message on Instagram; we would love to know about your South America trip plans.
PSS Read Here about our traveler's testimonials and learn more about how we work 😉
SAVE THIS POST