18484
Galápagos Islands/Ecuador/Peru

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

The Galápagos and Machu Picchu are two of Latin America’s most renowned icons. Come see for yourself as you discover the unique wildlife and preserved ruins of these two sacred places.
Rating (4.97)
Program No. 18484RJ
Length
18 days
Starts at
7,199
Flights start at
800

At a Glance

Few other places inspire such wonder and awe as the Galápagos Islands and the Incan Lost City of Machu Picchu. Experience both of these destinations, as well as the UNESCO World Heritage site of Quito in an intimate group setting that allows for optimal time to learn from Road Scholar's acclaimed experts.
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Elevations of 11,000 feet. Ascending and descending many steps without handrails at archaeological ruins. Wet and dry landings by small Zodiac boat. Island activities require 3-5 hours of physical activity per day. Daily walks on sharp volcanic rocks and loose stones add another level of difficulty. Please view the Galápagos video "Galapagos Fitness Information - What to Expect" in preparation for your program activities: www.youtube.com/watch?v=U93d0TxTOQA&feature=youtu.be
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Swim and snorkel in search of sea turtles, sea lions, rays and a variety of colorful fish.
  • Learn about the biology of the Galapagos giant tortoise and local conservation efforts.
  • Discuss the spiritual significance of Machu Picchu and spend the evening in Aguas Calientes for a longer, more relaxed visit to the site.

General Notes

Cruise itinerary and islands visited are assigned by the Galapágos National Park and can be changed without prior notice. The park carefully monitors and controls the number of visitors to each site in order to minimize damage to local wildlife and habitats. Some dates of the program run in the reverse, starting in Lima and ending in Quito. Please refer to the date-specific detailed itinerary on the Road Scholar website to check on the vessel and visitor sites included in your program. The expedition-style Galápagos vessels hold 16 passengers in comfortable cabins. Due to the remote nature of the islands, listening devices are not available for the Galapagos Islands portion of the program.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Gustavo "Tito" Leon
A native of Cusco, Gustavo "Tito" Leon found himself fascinated with the music of the Andean highlands. This affinity led him to devote his life to the research and preservation of Peru's Andean music. His research has focused on the origins of Andean music, its different forms, influences and instruments. Gustavo is a talented musician and an expert on native Andean woodwind, percussion, and string instruments. His interactive style will get your toes tapping as he performs the various song styles and instruments of the Andes.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Maywa Blanco
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Eliacin Palomino
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Fernando Icaza
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Gustavo "Tito" Leon
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Lost City of the Incas
by Hiram Bingham
This first-rate adventure story by the man who brought Machu Picchu to the attention of the world is not just a gripping tale of exploration and archaeology, it also sets the scene for any visitor to the site.
Understanding Galapagos: What You'll See and What it Means
by Sehoya Cotner, Randy Moore
An excellent introduction to the flora and fauna of the Galapagos and a stellar overview of evolutionary biography on the islands. Accessible for readers from all backgrounds.
Insight Guide Peru
by Insight Guides
Panoramic in scope, this illustrated overview brings Peru to life in color photographs and vivid essays on history, archaeology and culture.
Peru, Travellers' Wildlife Guides
by David L. Pearson, Les Beletsky
Featuring 500 illustrations of the birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and insects of the Amazon, Andes and Pacific Coast.
Machu Picchu, Unveiling the Mystery of the Incas
by Richard L. Burger (Editor), Lucy C. Salazar (Editor)
Burger and Salazar vividly evoke the art, architecture, culture and society of Machu Picchu in this illustrated, up-to-date survey. With Hiram Bingham's original report, archival and modern photographs and excellent chapters on recent archaeology at the site.
Satan Came to Eden
by Dore Strauch
The original memoir of Dore Strauch, early settler to the Galapagos and participant in the fascinating unsolved mystery known as The Galapagos Affair, the subject of a new documentary. First published in 1936, it's back in print after 80 years.
Moon Spotlight Quito
by Ben Westwood
A slim, authoritative guide to Quito and the Ecuadorian Andes. What Moon guides lack in flash, they more than make up for in personable, clear writing, expert recommendations and advice. The text is interspersed with color photographs and maps.
Galapagos, World's End
by William Beebe
This wry, wonderfully evocative account of a 1924 scientific expedition includes an excellent chapter on the human history of the Galapagos.
Voyage of the Beagle
by Charles Darwin
The wide-eyed tale of a young man on a five-year voyage that changed his life -- and our way of thinking about the world. First published in 1839, it's still a marvelous introduction to the wildlife, nature and allure of South America.
Galapagos Islands Map
by ITMB
This full-color map of the Galapagos at a scale of 1:420,000, printed on water and tear-resistant paper, shows in detail major features, topography and visitor sites. With a large city plan of Quito on the reverse.
The Inca Trail, Cuzco & Machu Picchu
by Alexander Stewart
An excellent overview of local culture and history, including chapters on exploring Cuzco, the Sacred Valley and Lima. Fifth edition.
Galapagos Wildlife
by Pocket Naturalist
A fold-up, laminated card featuring color drawings and short descriptions of commonly encountered birds, mammals and reptiles of the Galapagos.
Galapagos Wildlife, A Visitor's Guide
by David Horwell, Pete Oxford
With chapters on visitor sites, history, conservation and habitats, this compact photographic guide introduces birds, reptiles, marine and other life of the archipelago.
Galapagos, A Novel
by Kurt Vonnegut
In this madcap classic, Vonnegut's narrator lives in a future where the human race has been wiped out -- all except for a small group who boarded the "nature cruise of the century" only to get stranded in the Galapagos.
Art of the Andes, from Chavin to Inca
by Rebecca Stone-Miller
This authoritative and concise illustrated survey of Andean art and architecture covers not only Machu Picchu and additional Inca monuments, but also Chan Chan, Nasca and other archaeological sites and cultures.
Stone Offerings
by Mike Torrey
Torrey captures the dramatic setting, solitude and intricate construction of the Inca site of Machu Picchu in 100 striking color photographs taken over a few days at summer and winter solstice.
Galapagos, Islands Born of Fire
by Tui De Roy
A stunning celebration of the landscapes, wildlife and habitats of the Galapagos by a photographer who was raised in the archipelago. Tenth anniversary edition.
Galapagos, A Natural History
by Michael Jackson
This comprehensive guide to the natural history of the Galapagos is practically mandatory reading -- the single best introduction to the geology and climate, habitats, plants, birds, animals, ecology and evolution.
Inca Trail: Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Cusco Map
by Lima 2000
This fact-filled map shows the whole of the Sacred Valley, from Cusco to Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu, on one side, and, on the reverse, the area surrounding the sanctuary in splendid, topographic detail (1:50,000). It's the best map for those making the trek from kilometer 88 to the site and an excellent choice for those exploring by bus or train.
The Heights of Macchu Picchu
by Pablo Neruda
An indispensable contribution to 20th-century poetry, Neruda’s ode to Machu Picchu celebrates the Incan civilization while abhorring that the ancient estate was built by slave labor.
The Incas
by Carmen Bernard
Featuring archival drawings and photographs, a chronology and chapters on Atahualpa, the Conquistadors and Hiram Bingham, this handy book (previously published as People of the Sun) illuminates the daily life, monuments and history of the Incas.





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