Machu Picchu & The Galapagos Wonders
Lima, Cuzco, Sacred Valley Of The Incas, Sacred Valley of the Incas, Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu, Quito, Santa Cruz Island, Genovesa Island, Marchena Island, Santiago Island, Bartolome Island
Journey from the Land of the Incas to the Galápagos archipelago, enjoying a 4-night cruise aboard a personal yacht. Delve deep into ancient cultures at Machu Picchu – the fabled lost city. Explore UNESCO-designated Spanish colonial cities and stand between two hemispheres at the Equatorial Line. Experience the best of the Galápagos archipelago, where an abundance of natural wildlife recalls Darwin's theories in a pristine world that's virtually unspoiled. You'll encounter hidden wonders in Peru, the "Middle of the World" in Ecuador, and see ethereal wildlife on a cruise along Eden-like islands.
Day 1 - Lima, Peru - Tour Begins
Touch down in Lima, the "City of Kings." Across ancient lands and earthly legends, experience the mysticism of the Peruvian Andes.
Day 2 - Lima
Become fascinated by Lima's history on a tour through the historic center, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, where the elegant Cathedral at Plaza de Armas stands out among the colonial architecture. Visit the former home of a conquistador and feel the surge of colonial and republican life. Get to know new friends over a menu of artful Peruvian dishes at a welcome dinner. Today breakfast and dinner will be included.
Day 3 - Lima - Cuzco - Sacred Valley Of The Incas
Fly over the Andes on your way to Cuzco – the heart of the Inca civilization. Follow the trails of this Andean paradise with a local guide to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Learn about centuries-old methods of traditional textiles at Awana Kancha – known as the "palace of weaving." Stop in Pisac village and browse a handicraft market full of vibrant colors. Discover why Peru has consistently been named the world's top food travel destination during a fun-filled interactive cooking class where you will learn how to master ceviche and pisco sours. Settle in to your hotel nestled in the heart of the Sacred Valley and relax in the calming surround of the Andes. Today breakfast and dinner will be included.
Day 4 - Sacred Valley Of The Incas - Ollantaytambo - Sacred Valley Of The Incas
Visit the terraced ruins of Ollantaytambo, the only Incan settlement that has remained continually inhabited since its inception. At the ceramic studio of artist Pablo Seminario, see how he utilizes the intricate techniques inspired by ancient Peruvian cultures. Mix with a nearby community and delve deep into the cultures of modern Andean people. Learn traditional methods of growing, harvesting and weaving, listen to their music and learn their dances before enjoying a farm-to-table meal of local specialties. Today breakfast and lunch will be included.
Day 5 - Sacred Valley Of The Incas - Machu Picchu
Hop aboard the Machu Picchu Vistadome train, where views of the Andes astound through domed windows as you climb toward the "Lost City of the Incas." Uncover the mysteries of this "Lost City" at the meeting point between the Peruvian Andes and the Amazon Basin. Wrapped inside a semi-tropical jungle and hidden by mountains, Machu Picchu or La Ciudadela, (the Citadel), is one of the world's most spectacular archaeological sites. Today breakfast will be included.
Day 6 - Machu Picchu - Cuzco
Enjoy some leisure time this morning. You may choose an optional excursion to Machu Picchu at sunrise, or maybe you'll explore the local markets before boarding the Vistadome back to the Sacred Valley. Continue to Cuzco and feel the local culture at a special community dining experience. Today breakfast and dinner will be included.
Day 7 - Cuzco
Start your morning with a local guide on your tour of Cuzco, visiting the San Pedro Market, the Koricancha Temple, the central Plaza de Armas, and the Cuzco Cathedral. Later, it's your choice! Travel above the city to discover the Incan ruins of Sacsayhuaman Fortress -OR- embark on a walking tour of San Blas, the traditional old quarter of Cuzco, lined with restaurants and artisan shops. The rest of the afternoon is yours. This evening, it's Diner's Choice! Choose from restaurants featuring the local flavors of Cuzco. Today breakfast and dinner will be included.
Day 8 - Cuzco - Quito, Ecuador
This morning, fly to Ecuador's stunning capital city – Quito, your home for the next two nights.* An intersection of mountains and colonial architecture, this city is a UNESCO World Heritage site full of lively culture and vibrant history. Today breakfast will be included.
*At the Mercure Hotel Alameda, Quito, our guests will be staying in the Deluxe room category.
Day 9 - Quito
Visit the Children International community center, supported by the Collette Foundation. Meet some of the children who are thriving here, thanks to the center's healthy cooking and nutrition education. In Quito's colonial center, tour the Presidential Palace. After lunch, stand at the "Middle of the World," situated between two hemispheres, at the Equatorial Line Monument and Museum. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. Today breakfast and lunch will be included.
Day 10 - Quito - Santa Cruz, Galápagos - Embark Ship
Fly to the gateway of the Galápagos, Santa Cruz. Launch your eco-adventure aboard the M/Y Passion,** an exclusive 14-person yacht that serves as your home for the next four nights. After lunch, set sail toward Black Turtle Cove, a lagoon where rays and turtles swim under the shadow of the mangrove trees. Spot pelicans and herons diving into the water, grabbing fish for an afternoon snack. Today breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included.
**While cruising the Galapagos, our ship's program is subject to change due to weather conditions or national park directives, as well as seasonality, which may influence animal behaviors. The captain may deviate from the published itinerary for any reason he deems advisable.
Day 11 - Genovesa Island
Make your way to Genovesa Island and anchor in Darwin Bay, named for the famous researcher that frequented these islands. Keep your eyes peeled for red-footed boobies trotting around the prickly pear cacti. Considered to be a haven for birds, you can easily lose track of how many different pairs of wings flutter by. The afternoon brings you to El Barranco where lava cliffs shelter tropical birds and low-lying rocks offer the perfect sunbathing bed for a colony of seals. Hike along a trail to the edge of a cliff before trekking further inland, pausing aside wildlife. Today breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included.
Day 12 - Marchena Island - Santiago Island
Grab your snorkel and jump into the water at Punta Espejo, a marine hotspot off Marchena Island. Home to pods of dolphins, hammerhead sharks, and bright coral, this is the perfect spot to enjoy two morning snorkeling excursions. After drying off, join an expert-led discussion to learn how the ocean currents affect the nature found on the Galápagos Islands. Continue to Santiago Island and walk across a hardened lava flow in Sullivan Bay. Look for ethereal bubbles, where crystallized minerals poke out among the plant fossils. Along the coast you might find some Galápagos penguins waddling around, dipping into the water for some tasty fish. Today breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included.
Day 13 - Bartolome Island - Santa Cruz Island
Start the day at Bartolome, named after one of Darwin's friends and fellow researchers. Ascend the wooden stairs to the island's summit, providing an incomparable vista spread out before you. Climb back down to the white sand beach frequented by nesting sea turtles. Don your snorkel and float in the clear water, keeping your eyes peeled for diving penguins. After lunch, continue on to the island of Santa Cruz. Head toward Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill) and spend time in its saltwater lagoon, where flamingoes and black-necked stilts wade through the water. Venture further onto the island and discover an iguana nesting site. Today breakfast, lunch and dinner will be included.
Day 14 - Santa Cruz Highlands - Disembark Ship - Quito - Tour Ends
After breakfast, disembark your yacht in Puerto Ayora. Continue on toward the Santa Cruz Highlands, where you will visit a ranch that hosts giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Bid the Galápagos goodbye and return to Quito, where a day room will be available close to the airport before your flight home. Today breakfast will be included.
Pricing is per person, double occupancy, land, cruise and on-tour flights only, based on May 3, 2021 travel date. Single supplement from $4,000.
All this makes it AAA Vacations®
AAA Complimentary Inclusion: $75 per person credit toward an optional excursion
Member Benefit: $50 per person savings
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