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Adventures Afloat: The Best of the Galápagos and Peru: From Enchanted Islands to Machu Picchu

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Road Scholar
Program #18484RJ
17 Days | 16 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
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Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
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EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Discussion Board

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Wanda Stephens Jul 14, 2014 at 01:34 AM

Read the comments about opting out on the second day at MP. Can I hear from someone who did go back? Any thoughts?
Alan Weinstein Jul 14, 2014 at 06:55 AM

We did it and we were very happy we did. We got up early, saw Mach Pichu in a different light and when it was quiet and returned in easy time to meet the rest of our group on the last part of their tour, the church, before heading to the restaurant for lunch. Most of the rest of the group thought that we made the best choice. Although we had tickets to climb to Hwna Pichui, we did not feel confortable making that trek, so we lost a total of $20. I say go for it based on our experience!
Jan Bandrofchak Jul 14, 2014 at 05:10 PM

we enjoyed our second day as well. Alan mentioned the light, which was fantastic, and very different from our clouldy first day. Since this was probably a one-time experience, I wanted as much time there as possible.
Jan Yarnot Jul 15, 2014 at 07:40 PM

I too enjoyed the second day. It was cloudier and no chance of seeing the sunrise, but very mysterious and quiet.
Wanda Stephens Jul 19, 2014 at 07:37 PM

Thanks for your insight. It's much appreciated.

Jennifer Galovich Jul 10, 2014 at 06:25 PM

Cell phone and internet exist in Peru at all the hotels but usually VERY slow -- we gave up on pix. No cell or internet on the Galapagos boat.
Laundry -- we took enough pants and washed shirts, etc. in the hotels. Take something that will work as a clothesline..Plan ahead so you don't have to do much washing on the boat, as that is strongly discouraged
Carol King Jul 10, 2014 at 06:36 PM

Thanks, Jennifer. No surprises but good confirmation of what I thought.

Carol King Jul 10, 2014 at 04:12 PM

Hi again. Great comments. Very helpful although I'm still not sure I'll go for the second day of Machu Picchu. Also what about laundry facilities? And up what about cell phone / Internet service? I've just discovered Viber and would love to send texts and pix to friends and family. Thanks, Carol
Jo Anne Kusudo Jul 10, 2014 at 04:51 PM

I didn't go for the 2nd day; by that time, I wanted to sleep a little more and have breakfast without feeling rushed. During the trip, I did some hand laundry when possible; this was not easy on the "Galivan" in the Galapagos! I and many others slipped on a muddy trail hiking up to a volcano crater, and my long-sleeved "hoodie" had to be washed. I tied the sleeves together on the railing, and it eventually dried. At one of the hotels, I paid to have a few pieces cleaned. There was no time to wash and air dry. But they were efficient: pick-up in the AM, returned by about 5 PM - all happened while we were on an outing. There didn't seem to be any self-serve machines.
Lillian Oberjohn Jul 10, 2014 at 05:02 PM

For those needing laundry services, our group leader for the Peru portion of our trip arranged to have a pick up at the hotel in Cusco. It was less expensive than the hotel's laundry service and the turnaround time was quick. The hotels we stayed at had wi-fi and also computers available in their business centers. But for the Galapagos portion of the trip, no wi-fi, cell phone service, or laundry facilities on the Tip Top III..

Linda Pratt Jul 10, 2014 at 07:58 AM

Hello all, I just signed up for the November 20 departure and am looking forward to meeting everyone. Is anyone planning on going a day early? I am a solo traveler on the "share a room" plan. Thanks for all the suggestions/comments. Linda

Jennifer Galovich Jun 22, 2014 at 04:07 PM

To todd and anyone else considering a second day:
We had a pretty full morning guided tour -- about 2 hours, then lunch, then on our own till the place closed and took bus back to Aquas Calientes. It was plenty of time, though a second morning would have been nice. We were not sure that the extra expense would be worth it, so we stayed in Aguas Calientes and went to the small but very well curated museum about 20 minutes walk from town, which also has a botanical garden.

The train we took left shortly after lunch -- 1 or 1:30 if memory serves. If you were going to spend the extra time in the morning, the busses back to Aguas Calientes run very frequently and takes about 15 minutes. Then you could meet your group and go to Cuzco with them. We had no real regrets re not spending the extra time and the extra money was significant. Others may and do disagree. In the afternoon we went up to the Caretaker's Hut and then the Inca Bridge, and a little more time in the main site. If I had it to do over again, I would do the Caretaker's Hut and more time in the main site and maybe a longer hike, The Inca bridge hike was not so interesting as hoped. Boards over a longish gap in the trail, used historically as a defense (take away the boards and it's a way long drop). You can only see it from a distance -- closed some years ago after an unfortunate accident.

Carol Zemaier Jun 22, 2014 at 02:49 PM

I did not go the second day but I'm over seventy. Some of the group went to the Inca bridge but the trail is uneven with a steep drop off. How's your energy level and fear of heights? Great trip

Todd Betterton Jun 22, 2014 at 12:37 PM

Hello all...We have an option of a second day (morning) at Machu Picchu on our own...Has anyone done this? Is it worth the extra expense and what time is the "early afternoon train" back to Cusco?
Jan Bandrofchak Jun 22, 2014 at 01:54 PM

I completely agree. Get there as early as you can stand to wake up!
Graham Loynd Jun 22, 2014 at 02:40 PM

Hmm. Different opinion here, perhaps because this was my 3rd visit to MP. Our group visit to MP actually got a pretty good early start at MP--we were in and touring by 10am, then did lunch, then had free time at MP in the afternoon. We'd pretty much seen everything by then, and for me there was no benefit to going back the next morning. The exception: if you can/wish to climb Huayna Picchu, you could do that the next morning. In any case, the returning trains are typically about 1pm to 2:30pm or so.
Lillian Oberjohn Jun 22, 2014 at 03:45 PM

Graham, I think your group had pretty much the same schedule as ours. We also had plenty of time to visit and revisit MP wthin the same day. No one in our group opted to go back the following morning.
Todd Betterton Jun 22, 2014 at 11:38 PM

Thanks to all for comments and suggestions!
Ellen Marks Jun 25, 2014 at 05:45 PM

Todd, what did your group decide to do? And what is the cost of MP for Day 2?
Todd Betterton Jun 26, 2014 at 10:40 PM

Half of our 8 have decided to NOT pay for a second day ($70 online on my own/$95 thru Holbrook) and haven't yet talked to the others...Talked to the gals at Holbrooke and decided we will have enough time to get to the Sun Gate on our own in the afternoon after the guided part ends, and even if we bought the 2nd day, we would not have time to climb Huayana Picchu, which is really why we would go back

Ellen Marks Jun 21, 2014 at 10:13 PM

For footwear, I am planning to take sneakers, Crocs Mary Janes, and flip flops. Any need for 'nicer' shoes or true hiking boots? Thank you!
Lillian Oberjohn Jun 22, 2014 at 06:35 AM

I used my Keen waterproof hiking shoes for the more challenging hikes and my Keen sandals for wet landings. No need to bring nicer shoes, just shoes with good traction and support. A collapsible trekking pole/walking stick would also be very helpful. One is all you need.
Jan Bandrofchak Jun 22, 2014 at 01:56 PM

I have a bad knee and liked the support of light hikers, poles were helpful as we'll.
Ellen Marks Jun 25, 2014 at 05:42 PM

ok, i bought adidas mesh sneakers with heavy treads on the bottom. will not take regular sneakers, just Crocs and flips. Thanks to all for information.
Ellen Marks Jun 25, 2014 at 05:44 PM

Also, am brining a lightweight handmade walking stick; will have a rubber tip affixed before leaving, and it will travel in a cut-open foam 'noodle' in my duffle bag. Anyone see a problem with this? Thanks.

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16 nights of accommodations
42 meals: 16 breakfasts, 15 lunches, 11 dinners
11 Expert-led lectures
26 Field trips
4 Flights during the program


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