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Galápagos Islands/Ecuador/Peru

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

Program No. 18484RJ
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.

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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 13 to 24 participants.

What You'll Learn

  • Swim and snorkel in search of sea turtles, sea lions and rays.
  • Learn about the biology of the Galápagos giant tortoise.
  • 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 trip 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.

Profile Image of Gustavo "Tito" Leon
Gustavo "Tito" Leon View biography
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.
Profile Image of Enrique Castillo
Enrique Castillo View biography
An appreciation for wildlife led Enrique Castillo to work for a zoo in Peru for 12 years. Born in Lima, he earned degrees in both zoology and business administration prior to beginning his career. He enjoys sharing his expertise in Peru’s flora, fauna and culture with Road Scholar participants and other travelers. Enrique’s own travels have taken him to various regions of Peru, other South American countries, the U.S.A. and Europe. He is an avid birdwatcher and likes to collect field guides.
Profile Image of Veronica De La Rosa
Veronica De La Rosa View biography
After graduating from Quito’s Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial, Veronica De la Rosa spent time in Ottawa, Canada, perfecting her English. As a student, she also traveled throughout North, Central and South America. She has been interested in history, art and culture since she was a child, and now as an experienced Group Leader she enjoys sharing her knowledge of all these aspects of Ecuador with Road Scholar participants. Veronica likes to spend her free time with her husband and daughter.
Profile Image of Holger "Paco" Mayorca
Holger "Paco" Mayorca View biography
As a child growing up in Cusco, Holger Mayorca became aware of Peru’s rich history and the beauty of the Andean landscape early in life. He earned a degree from the National University of San Antonio Abad and went to work as an assistant to the director of the Machu Picchu National Park. Studying further with the park’s archaeologist and biologist deepened Holger’s knowledge, and he has led many visitors of all ages around the Peruvian highlands and his beloved hometown of Cusco.
Profile Image of Maywa Blanco
Maywa Blanco View biography
A lifelong resident of Cusco, Maywa Blanco is a university professor who teaches courses in genetics, the biodiversity of Andean crops and agricultural research. She attended the National University of Saint Anthony the Abbot in Peru and studied English at the Peruvian-North American Cultural Institute. She received a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Michigan State University, earned a master’s degree, and then returned to Cusco to work helping impoverished communities. In her free time, Maywa enjoys cooking, soccer and spending time with her family.
Profile Image of Eliacin Palomino
Eliacin Palomino View biography
A native of Peru, Eliacin Palomino decided to become a travel professional in Cusco in order to achieve his goal of being a cultural ambassador for his country. Leading programs in the Amazonian Jungle, he developed a deep knowledge and appreciation for the ecology of the Amazon and interconnectivity of humans and their natural surrounding. Eliacin possesses a wealth of information regarding the history and culture of Cusco and Peru in general. He likes to share his country's customs, beliefs, and food with groups.
Profile Image of Jorge Carrera
Jorge Carrera View biography
Jorge "George" Carrera is an accomplished Ecuadorian group leader and a veteran with decades of field experience. He recalls as a child, being drawn to studies focused on history, geography and politics. Later, while studying for a degree in the travel industry, he also developed a passion for art, archaeology, ethnic studies and cultural anthropology. Jorge has traveled extensively throughout Ecuador and spent time in some stunningly beautiful locations, ranging from Andean landscapes to lowland forests and coastal beaches.
Profile Image of Lourdes Pesantes
Lourdes Pesantes View biography
Lourdes "Lulu" Pesantes' love of the Galapagos Islands began while growing up on Santa Cruz, where she attended school and volunteered at the Charles Darwin Research Station and the Galapagos National Park. She attended college in Quito then returned to work at the Galapagos National Park. She saw the fulfillment of a lifelong dream when she qualified as a Galapagos naturalist leader and began leading field trips and teaching about local plants, animals and geology. Lourdes' favorite pastimes include snorkeling, wildlife observation and photography.
Profile Image of Diego Barahona
Diego Barahona View biography
Diego Barahona is a certified Galápagos Islands National Park naturalist and a chemist. He is a native Galápageño with a passion for science and travel. Diego studied abroad on scholarships and completed his B.S. in chemistry and M.S. in fundamental and applied chemistry at the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia. After working for Petroamazonas and Ecuador’s food and drug administration, he gave in to the pull of his beloved islands and became a naturalist in 2017. Diego enjoys scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, and playing soccer.
Profile Image of Patricia Stucki
Patricia Stucki View biography
Patricia "Pati" Stucki is a veteran expedition leader, divemaster, and certified naturalist for the Galápagos Islands National Park. She grew up in eastern Switzerland, just a stone's throw from Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein. Before training as a naturalist and settling down in Ecuador in the 1990s, she traveled extensively throughout Central America and Asia as a journalist for a Swiss news agency. Pati is fluent in German, Spanish, English, and French.
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