The Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu feature on almost every travel Bucket List, but did you know that you can combine both of these iconic holiday destinations on a single trip? Well, you can, and if you are looking to book your holiday of a lifetime in 2019, this duo of delights could be the perfect combo for your South American adventure!
Image rights: Deborah Huth-Price
Visiting the Galapagos Islands
Magical, mysterious and in the middle of nowhere, the Galapagos Islands really are the jewels of Ecuador. A volcanic archipelago nestling in the Pacific Ocean, these remote islands are quite unlike anywhere else on earth, and with their untouched landscapes, fascinating wildlife, and remarkable ecosystems, they make for the most enchanting travel experience.
The Galapagos Islands are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and as such, they are fiercely protected by the committee. That said, responsible travellers are still welcomed with open arms, and while there is no such thing as a cheap trip to these exotic islands, there are a huge selection of tours available to suit almost every budget.
There are Galapagos Cruises, Island Hopping Adventures, or you could simply base yourself somewhere like the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel on Santa Cruz Island, from where you can enjoy a selection of land and water-based activities such as yacht explorations, scuba diving, guided wildlife walks, and visiting the Giant Tortoise Reserve.
Machu Picchu: Hike the Inca Trail or Take a Day Trip
Like the Galapagos Islands, the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu is a dream holiday destination for many. Surrounded in mystery, this magnificent 15th century structure was discovered over 100 years ago, yet archaeologists have still to uncover its true purpose. Different tour guides have different theories, but I don’t think we’ll ever solve the mystery of this Peruvian City.
The most authentic way to visit Machu Picchu is by hiking the Inca Trail on a four or five-day adventure. It is only after walking these magnificent trails built by the Inca’s so many years ago that you truly understand the scale of their achievement and viewing Machu Picchu for the first time from the Sun Gate is a life-changing (and very emotional) experience!
If you have neither the time nor the energy to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you could take a day trip from Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes) or even from Cusco on the Vistadome Train. There are many different tour options available, but you should be prepared for a crowded experience – you have been warned!
The Galapagos & Machu Picchu
So how are these two magnificent destinations combined? Well, surprisingly easy. After leaving the Galapagos, you’ll overnight in Quito before flying to Cusco the next day (via Lima). You can then start your Peruvian adventure with a day or two exploring the area before joining your Inca Trail Tour or Day Trip. From Cusco, you can fly home, or continue to other parts of Peru such as Arequipa, Lake Titicaca, or even neighbouring Bolivia.
Any experienced tailor-made travel specialist can pull this together for you with ease, so don’t take in just one Natural World Wonder in 2019, take in two, and do so on a superb Galapagos & Machu Picchu holiday of a lifetime.