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 (4.96)
Program No. 18484RJ
Length
17 days
Starts at
7,199
Flights start at
795
49 Reviews
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4.96 Average
Joseph
(5)

This is an excellent program. It does require a good bit of walking and getting use to higher altitudes. Also if you get seasick bring some medications for the yacht.

John
(5)

Machu Picchu and Galapagos, two of the most interesting places to visit with enough time to see them properly.

Gail
(5)

Phenomenal time experiencing part of South America, plenty of time to see places and enough free time too. The food was terrific. Hotels great and varied. Loved seeing Machu Picchu and the pace was perfect as the timing in the afternoon. The Galapagos is fantastic even with some island changes from initial booking -- it's all amazing with the animals so nonplussed around people. Love those blue footed boobies!!! Staff are attentive and amazing. No big issues with altitude -- drinking that coca tea helped me! So happy I took this trip.

Sharon
(5)

Our first trip with Road Scholar featured Machu Pichu and the Galapagos. It was SPECTACULAR. Multiple activities every day, educational and engaging. The guides were knowledgeable, personable and thoughtful. We are already planning our next trip with Road Scholar!

Elizabeth
(5)

This trip to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos was 4+ active, and I was concerned it might be too much for me, but these spots were on my bucket list and I'm not getting any younger (almost 75). I am sooo glad I took the leap, as the entire program from food to sights to guides to accommodations was spectacular. On those days when I was sick or just utterly tired out, it was not a problem to grab some extra rest. Totally worth it!

Diane
(5)

If your resources make such a trip possible, Machu Picchu and the Galagapos are distinctive places that are a privilege to visit. RS does an excellent job guiding through these amazing sites.

Helen
(5)

By chance I got to visit Peru (Macchu Piccu) and the Galapagos. Are you prepared to see these sites? I realised that although I had seen documentaries on both places, nothing compared to the original. Our guide in Peru, Juan Carlos, (ably assisted by Robinson), (both) local to Cusco, was very knowledgeable and extremely helpful. It is easy to see why the tales of the Inca people can be fascinating and history can be made to come alive. Seeing the women prepare - dying and weaving the local wools - llama and alpaca - to make into shawls, hats and table runners etc. helps you realise that these arts are still used in our modern world. The Galapogos! Our guide (Lulu as she asked to be called) was an interesting raconteur. Knowlegable and providing assistance when necessary - she helped two of our group learn to snorkel. The island shorelines are ideal for this pastime. Sealions sunbathe on sunny beaches and swim in front of you when in the water. They may approach you and sniff to see what you smell like - DO NOT TOUCH OR MOVE - these are wild animals and could do serious damage. If you are lucky you may see sea turtles , sharks and rays. The Galapogos National Park is a diverse paradise - lush and green on some islands and dry and arid on others. Each of the creatures living on these islands has adapted to the conditions. As you meander through marked pathways (STICK TO THOSE PATHWAYS) you may pass an albatross, boobies, frigate birds, flamingos and pelicans. In addition you may see iguanas and lava lizards, not to mention the giant tortoise who walks in front of you. Sunsets are something else as evidenced by the one we saw at Kicker Rock. The evening sun made the whole rock look as though it was made of gold. Enjoy your holiday on this trip it was beyond all I thought it would be. It is National Park, let us keep it that way and respect what we have.

Vickie
(5)

What a wonderful adventure! I was not ready to come home. Being greeted by sea lions and turtles first thing in the morning is a wonderful way to start your day.

Cynthia
(5)

What a great trip!! All the leaders and instructors were great. Almost every aspect of this trip beat my expectations. Pay close attention to the details on the pace of this trip. We were on the go!

Beverley
(5)

The Machu Picchu/ Galapagos trip far exceeded our expectations. The food, accommodations, and transportation were excellent. We were always safe, pampered, with all needs met. I highly recommend this trip for anyone wanting an extraordinary adventure. Road Scholar does it in the best manner!

Jonelyn
(5)

Our first Road Scholar trip. Really appreciated how organized and well thought out the information was that was given us. Really felt taken care of..no worries.

August
(4)

Seeing the best of Machu Picchu and the other Inca ruins combined with experiencing the many wonders of the Galapagos Islands makes this a true "bucket list" experience.

Rick
(5)

This program exceeded my expectations. The sites, both man made and natural, were spectacular. I felt I was in the middle of a nature documentary. A trip of a lifetime that i will never forget!

Wendell
(5)

This is a two-fer for those wanting to check off both Machu Picchu and the Galapagos off your bucket list. The guides were fantastic, and the accommodations were superb. Prepare yourself for a great time but also prepare yourself for the altitude and the movement of the boat and the frequent plane and bus transfers. Bring along your camera and enthusiasm- Road Scholar packs a lot of value in this trip!

Deborah
(5)

Absolutely an amazing trip! Exceeded my expectations on every level. Thank you Road Scholar! I’ll be signing up for more trips!

Gerald
(5)

Amazing program with lots of variety for those who love history and nature.

Janet
(5)

A wonderful experience! Be prepared to hit the ground running though. There were 5 flights within the tour, two train rides, and lots of time spent on small tour busses. I found the altitude very challenging to deal with in spite of taking the medication, Diamox. At the highest elevation, we were at approximately 13,000 feet. About 2/3 of the group experienced breathing difficulties and/or GI issues. I had little to no appetite the whole time I was in Peru. Make sure you are prepared for this and bring along appropriate meds. The portion spent in the Galapagos was a stand-out. The facilities and crew on the Tip Top III and our Road Scholar tour guide did everything imaginable to make the week an unforgettable adventure! Being on the boat was a total delight. I couldn't wait to begin each day! It was a perfect combination of land adventures and daily snorkeling opportunities . This was my first Road Scholar trip but probably won't be my last. I was expecting the adventure of a lifetime, and this tour did not disappoint!

Richard
(5)

Peru landscapes in the sacred valley were breathtaking. Inca culture fully explained. Galapagos nature trails were spectacular. Snorkeling was a first time adventure. Swimming with schools of colorful fish and penguins was exciting.

Jaydene
(5)

This was an outstanding program from start to finish. Everything went like clockwork. Great guides, education, accommodations, food.

Teresina
(5)

If Machu Picchu and the Galapagos are on your Bucket List, this is the perfect program to see both! The group leaders, guides, and speakers were all wonderful. The field trips were outstanding, not only at the two main sites, but also in the cities of Cuzco, Lima, and Quito. The accommodations were not only mostly excellent, but in several instances added to the experience by being historical sites themselves. Be prepared for a tremendous amount of walking, though even the not so physically fit like myself were able to keep up or were accommodated. Altogether, everything that I had hoped this experience would be! Five stars all around!

Donald
(5)

Wonderful trip that checked off 2 items from my bucket list. Lima was far more interesting than I realized. We arrived a day early and it was time very well spent. The food was world class. The itenary was very well laid out and made the best use of our time. The tour leader in Peru, Paco, was exceptional and added a lot to the trip. The altitude in Cusco is a watch out. Most of our group was effected. Be prepared!!

Jacques
(5)

So far this has been the most memorable vacation of my life, and I have had a few good ones. Very well organized, educational, so much beauty. Wonderful guides. Great gruop of people. Excellent food. All in all... HIGHLY recommended!!!

Diana
(5)

This excellent program exceeded our expectations. While we were certainly kept busy (and we participated in all the activities) there was no pressure on those who wished to opt out of some of the more challenging parts. We really enjoyed the interaction with our fellow travelers.

Peter
(5)

I've had a super time on the two tours to Vietnam, Cambodia and to Peru and the Galapagos keeping busy learning and seeing many new and wonderful things.

David
(5)

An amazing trip!! It was all we hoped for and more. Outstanding, knowledgeable leaders/guides who have spent years in the areas working in the places we visited. This program was a delightful way to check two places off our bucket list.

Lorraine
(5)

This trip exceeded our expectations in every way! It's hard to imagine that we could have had a more knowledgeable tour guide than Elizabeth on the Galapagos portion of this trip! Snorkeling with a Galapagos penguin, foot large chocolate starfish and a colorful array of fishes, swimming with sea lions, standing on a cliff as blue footed boobies landed and took off, watching Nazca Boobies sitting on their nests and chicks, walking among the Galapagos Tortoises, and viewing the mating dances of the albatross and the frigate bird were just a few of the highlights! Then, on to Machu Picchu, with an experienced guide who shared with us from the viewpoints of Cusco resident, Inca trail guide, and experienced guide at the National Park. We are so glad we experienced these treasures, and many more very special speakers and places!

Jean
(5)

We participated in Road Scholar’s Machu Picchu and the Galapagos program. From the moment we walked through the airport door and saw the Road Scholar representative we were on the go for the trip of a lifetime. A lot of research and preparation has gone into making this program what it is, I feel that it is extremely good value for the cost of the program. We know we wouldn’t have had half the experiences we had if we had gone on our own. The educational aspect of the program sets it apart from others, and added a whole new level of understanding for us. We look forward to another Road Scholar program.

Karen
(5)

This trip was amazing! I have no idea how they provided so many opportunities for learning about other cultures while providing first class accomodations, meals, transfers, guides......at a cost that I found unbelievably low for the value we received. Our group agreed that we could never have planned a trip with all the attention to detail for our comfort. Road Scholar seemed to think of everything!

Steve
(5)

The Road Scholar website provides an clear description of the trip and what is entailed. There are very few instances where the actual itinerary varied from the website. All were understandable.

Linda
This reviewer did not give a star rating.

Was a trip of a lifetime. Loved going to on my own to Machu Picchu, book it well worth it. Many did a hike very early to get back by noon for lunch. The weather was much better than our guided tour. Galápagos was fantastic. Love LuLu our naturalist. The weather was cooler than expected. Water cold do to currents still coming from the south. We saw some amazing animals and even got to see the albatross mating dance. If you get montezumas revenge take Pepto Bismal as directed and probiotics twice a day. Tried pills and did not even touch it. Had a great group to travel with. Only complaint is too much food, but was very good.

Catherine
(5)

The group leaders working with Road Scholar are so amazing in all the knowledge they possess and the caring way they treated each and every one of us. And everyone of the people I met on the tour were welcoming, caring and funny. I truly enjoyed myself.

Christian
This reviewer did not give a star rating.

In general I really enjoyed this trip and the weather was wonderfully considerate. However, there were some grueling days. In Lima we spent hours on the bus just to get to the historic district and back. Also, having to get up at 3 am for flights is never fun. I have no idea whether these were the only possible flight times but we did the early rise three or four times including departure. The day we left Lima for Macchu Pichu seemed unduly long. After an early departure to get the flight to Cusco, we drove for several hours, passing the hotel where we would stay, to go on to another, somewhat mediocre place for a large lunch before heading on to visit a town. Then we turned around to come back an hour to the hotel we passed, a lovely place where we had another large meal but no time to enjoy the hotel. It would have been easier to stop at the hotel for lunch and drop off our stuff. Then we could have gone to the town and back with a light supper at the hotel. Or, we could have just stayed in the town, where we had to return in the morning for the train to MP. It just seems that the logistics might be improved. We spent a Sunday in MP, when it was much more crowded than the following Monday and might have been avoided by shuffling some of the destinations. Equador, at least while we were on the ship, was not so complicated, although there was an early rise to make the connections. Thankfully Equador followed Peru because the ship was a welcome respite from the trials of land and air travel. As I said, we were very happy with our guides, fellow travelers, accommodations, food, lectures, ship and all that we saw. I do wish you could streamline and improve the logistics.

William
(5)

If you want to really learn about the places your visiting and enjoy the company of other similarly interested people, this is the trip for you.

Leslie
(5)

This trip was fantastic. Both the Galapagos islands and the Andes highlands were extraordinary and breathtaking (for Peru quite literally). It was a trip to be remembered for a lifetime.

Sharon
(4)

Our overall trip was excellent! The group leaders and the educational programs were top notch. Our only issue was that it was very rough out on the water in the Tip Top III and it would have been very good to stress taking some seasick medication prior to getting on the ship. We were lucky to have had such a great bunch of fellow travelers as well. I highly recommend this trip. Sharon Hill

Charlene
(5)

I loved the Galapagos Islands. The small yacht with only 13 of us after one got injured and we had to forego part of the tour to get him to a hospital. Then there was the problem of 3 of us not having boarding passes to leave the islands. We were apart from our group for some time and it was quite distressing. Someone should have been responsible enough to make sure we all had passes. We missed a lovely dinner at our next spot, though we were able to catch our flight to Peru with our group. Machu Picchu was a bit disappointing due to the enormous amount of people everywhere. Nothing the tour could do about that.

John
(5)

The Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu combined tour was absolutely phenomenal. High caliber guides, lectures, great accommodations, excellent food, and terrific fellow participants. I highly recommend this trip for anyone with an inquisitive mind, adventurous spirit and reasonably good health.

Edward
(5)

We find ourselves talking over and over about our experiences on our trip to Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu. It was a wonderful trip.

Ronald
(5)

This trip crammed a lot of travel and education into 2 weeks, and the walking in the Galapagos and Machu Picchu along with the altitude definitely justifies a moderately challenging description. It was well run, the accommodations were more than adequate, and the guides and lecturers were uniformly excellent.

Kathryn
(5)

Don't hesitate to take this amazing trip. We had never been on a group tour, but the experience was fantastic. Well organized, wonderful accusations and food, delightful guides, new friends from around the US, and the adventure of a life time.

Mark
(5)

The program was amazing. It showed us places and things that were beyond my expectations. Food was wonderful and the activity level was high but perfect. I even lost a couple of pounds. What a surprise!

Wayne
(5)

www.roadscholar.org is a wealth of information travel available throughout the U.S. and the world. It guides the user in a multitude of ways to anything of interest.

Anthony
(5)

Great and well-organized trip with very knowledgeable guides.

Patricia
(5)

The trip to the Galapagos, and then Peru/Machu Picchu, is an amazing journey back in time and culture. Being among the animals on the islands is like a visit to the Garden of Eden - only more arid. The animals, who largely co-exist without predators, are unafraid of humans, and the encounters on land and sea are astonishing. This portion alone would have been enough, but to continue with an immersion in the ancient cultures of Quechua peoples and understand their confrontation with the Spanish is equally remarkable. Today's people still live in intelligent harmony with the earth, and have a lot to teach us about respecting both the land and its creatures. The Andes and Machu Picchu are spectacular, and the learning rich. This is a life-changing experience!

Marilyn
(5)

This was oerhaps the most memorable trip I have ever taken. It went beyond my high expectations with respect to fun, wonderful traveling companions, and educational content. The scenery was epic, the wildlife fascinating, the ruins stunning, the cultural activities engaging, the food wonderful, and the eduacational programs were rich in content. The guides were superb and very professional. I was worried about hiking at high altitude in Peru, but as it turned out, I experienced no difficulties. I prepared by hiking weekly for a couple of months and I took the altitude meds prescribed in advance by my physician. I'm fairly active at home, but live close to sea level. If you can do stairs, you can do this. I did, however, appreciate having walking sticks. I was a bit worried about getting seasick as well, and I brought seasick patches that were prescribed for me. I ended up giving them away because I was fine. Lastly, I was also not an experienced snorkeler (at least not in recent decades). I took a refresher lesson at a local pool before I left. I loved the snorkeling so much that I went 9 times (at every opportunity). My only caveat for this trip is to be aware of the number of hotel changes, packing and repacking, and early morning wake-up calls. If that is not your thing (or your partner's), it can make for exhausted days and a bit of crankiness. Fortunately, the fellow participants in my group were wonderful and a good sense of humor goes a long way!

Dot
(5)

So glad I allowed myself to spend the time & money on this trip. Awesome experience.

Michel
(5)

I would like to share my experience about the Machu Pichu visit. It was not possible on the day scheduled because the personel was on strike. Road Scholar was able to reshuffle the program on the fly allowing us to indeed do the visit. That involved changing flight tickets and reworking all the logistics. KudoS to Road Scholars,,,

Marilyn
(5)

Everyone on the trip agreed that the Machu Picchu and Galapagos trip was well worth the price and travel time. I particularly liked the time in the Galapagos.

Grant
(5)

If Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands are on your dream list of places to visit you won't be disappointed if you choose Road Scholar as your guide to these enchanting places. The experience is exceptionally well run. The accommodation and food are excellent. And, best of all, the guides are very knowledgeable and engaging. Oh, one last, but important point: Your fellow participants on the tour will be a pleasure to be with.






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