Machu Picchu & Galapagos

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Traveller ratings
4.7 / 5 from 15 reviews >
Trip code: 
APG
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Multi-country
Min age:
16
Group size:
2–16

Discover Peru's 'Lost City of the Incas' and Ecuador's 'Enchanted Isles'

This fascinating trip combines two truly outstanding places in South America. Flying into the Peruvian highlands, we encounter Cuzco, a city replete with Inca architecture and colonial charm. A beautiful train ride through mountains and cloud forest takes us to the extraordinary lost city of Machu Picchu. Ecuador's Galapagos archipelago is one of the world's leading ecological sites, with incredible fauna both on land and at sea as well as striking volcanic landscapes. We explore the islands from the comfort of our small sleep-on-board yacht, which grants us access to areas that larger boats cannot reach.

Highlights

  • Visit Machu Picchu to discover the incredible 'Lost City of the Incas'
  • Historic Cuzco, former capital of the vast Inca empire
  • Optional day walk on the Inca Trail, at no extra cost (please request at the time of booking)
  • Seven nights on board a small first-class motor-yacht in the Galapagos Islands
  • Galapagos wildlife and volcanic landscapes

Key information

  • 6 nights en suite hotels, 7 nights en suite air-conditioned twin cabins on board the Cachalote
  • Optional Inca Trail day walk: request on booking
  • Group normally 2 to 16 plus local leader/staff. Min. age 16 yrs
  • Spends time at altitude
  • Travel by flight, minibus, train and motor yacht

 

What's included

  • All accommodation 
  • All land/sea transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader in Peru and registered naturalist guide in the Galapagos
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Flights between Cuzco and Quito (if booking incl. flights)
  • Return flights from Quito to the Galapagos

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Compulsory Galapagos taxes approx. US$120 (paid locally)
  • Flights between Cuzco and Quito (if booking excl. flights)
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Sea Lions, Galapagos

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Depart London.

    We fly overnight to Cuzco, with stops in Madrid and Lima.

  • Day 2

    Arrive Cuzco (3400m); afternoon walking tour.

    The group flights arrive into Cuzco today. The Inca capital of Cuzco is among the most attractive cities in South America, with much of the centre comprising colonial-era buildings with Inca foundations, and it is full of interesting museums, churches and pre-Columbian sites. To help acclimatise, we have a relaxed walking tour this afternoon to discover its historic buildings and winding streets.

    It is recommended to take it easy upon arrival into Cuzco and to drink plenty of water to allow your body time to acclimatise to the altitude.

    Inkarri Hotel (or similar)

  • Day 3

    Free day in Cuzco; optional Sacred Valley tour.

    Today has been left free to explore the city in more detail. The Plaza de Armas is a fantastic spot for people watching, and the Koricancha Sun Temple, located in the Santo Domingo Church and monastery are worth a visit. The Mercado San Pedro is the place to try some local produce and there are many handicraft markets to shop for souvenirs such as alpaca jumpers and scarves.

    Outside the town are more Inca ruins, notably the fortress of Sacsayhuaman where the Inca armies made their last stand against the Conquistadores. Alternatively you may wish to take an optional visit to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the incredible ruins at Pisac. Various other optional activities can be arranged from Cuzco - your leader will have the details.

    Inkarri Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Train to Aguas Calientes; optional day walk along Inca Trail via Winay Wayna ruins.

    This morning we take the train to Aguas Calientes, a lively town in the valley below Machu Picchu. This afternoon and the rest of the day is free for visits to the hot springs or shopping in the large craft market. Our Machu Picchu entrance ticket is valid for tomorrow, however should you wish to visit the ruins today as well, you will need to purchase an extra ticket. Please inform your leader at the start of the holiday if you would like to purchase an extra entrance ticket to Machu Picchu.

    For those who wish to walk to Machu Picchu, there is an optional day walk along a section of the Inca Trail. The trail passes the ruins of Wiñay Wayna and ascends a stone staircase to the Sun Gate for the iconic view of Machu Picchu and its magnificent backdrop. Although this optional walk is available at no extra cost, it must be pre-booked since numbers are strictly limited (and a permit required). You should request this at the time of booking.

    A packed lunch is included today.

    Presidente Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Early morning tour of Machu Picchu; afternoon return to Cuzco.

    We wake early this morning and take the short bus ride (approx. thirty minutes) up the winding road to the greatest ruin in the world; Machu Picchu. At this hour the ruins are at their quietest and most evocative (before the day-trippers arrive from Cuzco). This is one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient world, in a mountain setting of staggering immensity. The Spaniards never found it and the Incas left no records behind, so Machu Picchu remains a great enigma, a city lost for centuries in the jungle until it was rediscovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. The site has since been cleared and its location atop a mountain makes it one of the most awe-inspiring sights in the world.

    Your leader will give you a two/three hour guided tour of the ruins and afterwards there will be free time to explore individually at your leisure. There are some spectacular walks around the site that you may wish to do, including following the path to the Inca Drawbridge or up to the Sun Gate for that iconic view of the ruins. Once you’ve had your fill, return to Aguas Calientes and board an afternoon train, following the steep-sided and winding Urubamba River Valley to Ollantaytambo (approx. one and a half hours), then continue by road back to Cuzco (approx. two hours).

    Inkarri Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Fly to Quito (2850m).

    Today we depart Cuzco on a flight to Quito via Lima. Quito has one of the best-preserved colonial centres in South America and plenty of vibrant markets to explore.

    Hotel Vieja Cuba (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Quito city tour.

    We have a half-day city tour of Quito, one of the smaller and more attractive of the capitals of South America - 2,850m high in the western cordillera of the Andes. Quito is the second highest capital in the world, and as always at altitude, it is a good idea not to do anything too strenuous at first!

    We explore the colonial centre with its narrow streets and hanging balconies. The tour usually includes the Independence Plaza, flanked by the Presidential and the Archbishop palaces as well as La Compañia Church with its impressive gold leaf decorations. A short drive brings us to El Panecillo Hill for a panoramic view of the city and to admire the 45m high statue of the ‘Virgen de Quito’, the only original Madonna with wings. Please note that entrance fees are not included.

    Hotel Vieja Cuba (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Fly to Galapagos; visit the Charles Darwin Centre; board boat.

    We return to Quito airport for the flight to Galapagos and the island of Baltra via Guayaquil. We will take a short ferry crossing to Santa Cruz Island, where we drive to the highlands to look for wild tortoises. We follow this with a visit to the Charles Darwin Centre, where we learn about the ecology of the islands and visit the centre's turtle hatchery. After this visit, we board the boat at Puerto Ayora, the island's main town. Please make sure that you bring your camera, sun cream and appropriate clothing: comfortable footwear for some short walks (possibly amongst grass), light clothes, a hat/cap and a light waterproof in case of a shower or mist.

    Cachalote 1 motor-yacht

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Galapagos cruise following itinerary A (Tower) or B (Fernandina) to discover the unique wildlife of these volcanic islands.

    Our Galapagos Cruise alternates between two itineraries. For the next seven days, your specific itinerary in the Galapagos depends on the departure date of the trip (please ask your Sales Consultant if unsure).

    Itinerary A (Tower): Walk on the tiny Plazas Islands to see a cactus forest, land iguanas and seabirds, then cruise to the white sand beaches of Santa Fe .

    Itinerary B (Fernandina): A short walk on the tiny island of Chinese Hat before snorkelling with sea lions (and penguins if lucky!); on to the dark red beach of Isla Rabida to walk amongst spatter cones, pelicans, Blue-footed and Nazca boobies.

    Cachalote 1 motor-yacht

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Galapagos Cruise

    Itinerary A (Tower): A day at San Cristobal Island: the white sand beach, Blue-footed boobys and old cone of Cerro Brujo, giant tortoise at Galapaguera and crystal clear waters around the striking spear of Kicker Rock.

    Itinerary B (Fernandina): We start three days exploring the largest island of Isabela with the chance for early morning exploration of the mangroves at Los Tintoreras and then walk to the huge 5-mile wide caldera on Sierra Negra volcano. Our scheduled visit to Las Tintoreras alloted by the Galapagos National Park is from 0600 to 0800 hrs, therefore should you wish to stay onboard and have a lie in instead that's not a problem.

    Cachalote 1 motor-yacht

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Galapagos Cruise

    Itinerary A (Tower): Swim with sea lions and marine iguanas at the paradisiacal beach at Gardener Bay on Espanola (Hood) Island. In the afternoon, walk amongst Nazca and Blue-footed booby birds and nesting Waved Albatross (in season) next to pounding surf at Punta Suarez.

    Itinerary B (Fernandina): Cruising round Isabela's west side, we're likely to see whales and dolphins. We land at Punta Moreno's swirling fresh lava flows and also explore the islets of Elizabeth Bay with the largest colony of penguins in the Galapagos.

    Cachalote 1 motor-yacht

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 12

    Galapagos Cruise

    Itinerary A (Tower): At Floreana Island snorkel in the spectacular sunken crater of Devil's Crown amongst thousands of fish. We wil then visit the lagoon at Punta Cormorant (often with flamingos) and Post Office Bay, the mailbox used by 18th Century whalers.

    Itinerary B (Fernandina): In 1954 Urbina Bay was uplifted 4 metres and we walk here amongst exposed coral heads, wandering giant tortoises and huge land iguanas. We'll then make an afternoon visit to Tagus Cove and Darwin Lake, directly opposite recently active Fernandina Volcano.

    Cachalote 1 motor-yacht

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    Galapagos Cruise

    Itinerary A (Tower): To Dragon Hill, a nesting site for land iguanas with a large lagoon; dramatic Sullivan Bay with a walk on a huge lava flow only 100 years old before swimming from the white-sand beach in crystal clear waters.

    Itinerary B (Fernandina): Land at Punta Espinosa on Fernandina in the midst of a huge colony of Marine iguanas; the sea life is very rich here and supports a large sea lion and fur seal colony. We then cross the straights and explore the cliffs of Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela.

    Cachalote 1 motor-yacht

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    Galapagos Cruise

    Itinerary A (Tower): Less-visited Genovesa (also called Tower) Island is home to an abundance of red-footed boobies, fur seals, storm petrels and Short-eared Owls. Here, we look for tropicbirds at Prince William Steps before snorkelling, whilst at Darwin Bay, Galapagos mockingbirds also await.

    Itinerary B (Fernandina): Excellent birding on Santiago (James) Island at Puerto Egas followed by an afternoon snorkel and a walk amongst incredible volcanic scenery up little Bartolome Island - cones, lava tubes and Pinnacle Rock.

    Cachalote 1 motor-yacht

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 15

    Galapagos cruise ends; disembark the Cachalote and fly to Guayaquil; depart Guayaquil.

    Itinerary A (Tower): We explore the mangroves of Turtle Cove at dawn watching marine turtles rising for air; rays and herons fishing from the trees.

    Itinerary B (Fernandina): An early morning walk on North Seymour amidst Palo Santo trees and blue-footed booby colonies.

    Both itineraries: After a late breakfast we disembark for the journey back to Baltra to transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Guayaquil. In Guayaquil you will need to collect your luggage and check it back in for your international flight to London. The group flights depart Guayaquil in the afternoon/evening.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 16

    Arrive London.

    The group flights arrive into London this evening.

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Combine this trip with

Extend Your Trip

Napo Wildlife Centre extension

Travel to the UNESCO Biosphere of Yasuni National Park and spend three nights staying at the Napo Wildlife Centre, a 100% community-owned lodge with 82 square miles of private reserve. This small, comfortable lodge is 100% community-owned and so net profits are fed directly to the Anangu community and the preservation of the pristine rainforest in which the lodge resides. Located inside Yasuni National Park, the Napo Wildlife Centre is perched on a hillside next to the small and picturesque Anangucocha Lake. Its small number of rooms and large private reserve means that visitors have excellent chances of spotting some of the many mammals living in the forest, everything from Jaguar to sloths have been spotted here. The lodge also has the two most accessible parrot and macaw clay licks in Ecuador within its reserve and as well as two spectacular canopy towers which provide a unique vantage point for viewing for viewing an ecosystem that few people get access to.

Essential Info

Visas

Peru

Visas are not required by UK citizens, Western European nationals, Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans and most other nationalities. If you are in any doubt please contact the nearest Peruvian Embassy.

Ecuador

British passport holders do not need a visa for Ecuador. Very few other nationalities need a visa for Ecuador, but if you are in any doubt you should contact the nearest Ecuadorian Embassy.
Please note that if flying via the US (even as a transit passenger) you must clear US immigration. Most UK citizens are eligible for visa-free travel, but you must register on the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), which costs USD14 and is valid for two years. Please go to http://www.exodus.co.uk/USvisa for more information.

Vaccinations

Peru

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in Peru. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

If you are travelling to the Tambopata reserve in the Amazon rainforest, the risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. We also strongly recommend that you obtain a Yellow Fever vaccination. Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in the Amazon region. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites: always apply insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers while in the rainforest to avoid being bitten.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up‐to‐date information.

Ecuador

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Typhoid and Hepatitis A.

If you will spend any time in the Amazon Rainforest we recommend a Yellow Fever vaccination. Please note that your certificate of vaccination may be inspected on arrival to this region.

Malaria is also a risk in some areas of the country (including the Amazon Rainforest) so we suggest you consult a doctor for more advice. 

Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in places visited on this trip. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Zika fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Eating and Drinking

On board Cachalote I, all meals are included and are served in a buffet style. There is a wide choice of food available, including vegetarian options.

For the rest of the trip, we visit a variety of cafes and restaurants for any meals which are not included in the itinerary. Hotel breakfasts are normally simple buffet-style affairs, usually including bread/toast and jam, cereal, sometimes eggs or a cooked dishes, sometimes fruit, tea/coffee and fruit juice. Regrettably we can not guarantee that wheat/gluten free products will be available for breakfast in all locations - if you have an intolerance you may wish to bring your own breakfast food. We provide a packed lunch on day 3, whether you are taking the train or doing the optional walk to Machu Picchu.

Weather

Peru's diverse geography results in a very varied climate. In Cuzco and the Andes, April to November is the dry season; during these months the sky is generally bright and clear with strong sunshine in the mornings, sometimes clouding over as the day progresses.

In the Andes, however, anything is possible at any time of year, including cloud rolling up from the Amazon basin, rain or even snow, and rapid and unexpected changes! During the dry season temperatures at night can dip to around the freezing mark (and sometimes below!). 

Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are in the Cloud Forest and as such attract large amounts of precipitation all year as clouds move up from the Amazon Basin. Rain here can be heavy, but is seldom prolonged.

In Quito and the highlands it should be warm by day and generally dry. Maximum daytime temperatures are almost constant throughout the year at 20ºC, nights 8ºC. Some rain can be expected in February to May and October to November but storms, though heavy, are generally short, and Quito is considered to have quite a pleasant climate.

It is possible to visit the Galapagos at any time of year, but seasonal variations do affect what you see and there are climatic changes to be aware of.  The weather is controlled by the two main ocean currents of the region, the Humboldt, bringing cold water from the Antarctic, and El Nino, which brings tropical water from the Gulf of Panama. How close to Galapagos they converge (which varies from year to year) is the key to the weather.

'Dry season'

Generally speaking, late May to early December is the cooler 'dry' season. In this period it is not necessarily dry, as there is a persistent light mist (garua) and often light drizzle, and the higher mountain slopes are covered in cloud and fog or rain. At this time the winds are in the southeast and are higher than at other times, so seas can sometimes be choppy and anyone worried about seasickness might be better advised to avoid it. Daytime maximum temperatures lie between 27ºC and 31ºC, the cooler months being July to November. In July and August the fairly strong winds introduce a chill factor, and it can feel quite cold at nights, though throughout the year the official night temperatures vary between 19ºC and 24ºC.

'Wet season'

Depending on how close the convergence of the two currents comes to Galapagos, there may or may not be a wet season from January to April or May. Approximately every seven years the El Nino current actually hits the islands and there will be heavy rains in these months. In other years rain usually falls sporadically from otherwise clear skies. The ocean temperatures are higher, with generally calm seas and strong sunshine: pleasant, but potentially very hot. Apart from an El Nino year, the weather is usually better from December/January to April/May than at other times even if there is some rain, and most people would regard these months as the best time to go.

There are plenty of wildlife highlights throughout the year:

January: Nesting land birds; Green sea turtles arrive to lay eggs on the islands beaches; land iguana’s start breeding on Isabela.

February: Nesting marine iguanas on Santa Cruz; Greater flamingos start nesting on Floreana.

March: The bright red throat pouches of frigatebirds are inflated during mating season on Genovesa and San Cristobal.

April: Huge numbers of Waved albatross on Española displaying courtship rituals; eggs of Green sea turtles begin to hatch; land iguana eggs hatch on Isabela.

May: Courtship of Blue-footed boobies begins on North Seymour; Waved albatross on Española start laying eggs.

June: Giant tortoises migrate to the lowlands and start nesting; migrating birds stop in the Galapagos to rest; migrating Humpback whales can often by seen around the western islands.

July: Dolphins and whales are more likely to be seen around the western islands; Blue-footed boobies on Española start breeding.

August: Nazca boobies nest on Genovesa Island; Sea lions start giving birth to pups.

September: Penguins seen in the water when snorkelling around Bartoleme.

October: Galapagos fur seals start mating; Blue-footed boobies start raising chicks.

November: Curious sea lion pups found in the water amongst snorkelers.

December: Mating Green sea turtles; Waved albatross chicks fledge.

 

Galapagos-Puerto-Vilami

Is this trip for you?

Seven nights are spent on board a small yacht (the Cachalote) in two berth cabins - single cabins are not available, and if you are travelling on your own you will be paired up in a cabin with a member of the same sex. There may be passengers on the boat who have not booked through Exodus, and occasionally this may include families with children below the minimum age of this trip.

The Cachalote operates different itineraries on alternate weeks: Itinerary A (Tower) and Itinerary B (Fernandina). Each itinerary follows a different path and visits a different set of islands in the Galapagos - please refer to the correct itinerary for your date within these Trip Notes. During the cruise we live aboard, visit a number of islands and sites and spend as much time as possible ashore watching the birds and animals. Due to local regulations, there is usually very little disruption to the schedule, but this can also mean little deviation in the event of poor weather or other circumstances. Exodus use only small Galapagos boats (8 to 16 passengers) as we believe this is the most satisfying and environmentally friendly way to see the islands. We do not use the large boats preferred by some of our competitors.

This trip spends considerable time at altitude, Cuzco itself lies at 3400m above sea level.

Please note that there are now extremely stringent booking procedures in place for the Inca Trail. If you would like to do the optional day walk to Machu Picchu on day 3 then it's essential that you let us know at the time of booking as a permit is required to do so. We will also need your full passport details or we will be unable to process your booking.

Inca Trail Regulations
Those who have opted to do the day walk along a section of the Inca Trail will require an Inca Trail permit. There are a number of important regulations regarding the Inca Trail that we would like to make you aware of:

  1. Spaces on the Inca Trail are on a first come, first served basis and we urge you to book as early as possible. 
  2. If you cancel your booking more than 8 weeks before departure and wish to transfer your deposit to another departure or another trip the transfer fee is £150 as we will lose the permit we have purchased. This is an amendment to our Booking Conditions. No transfers are possible within 8 weeks of departure. 
  3. Bookings can only be made if we are supplied with your full name, passport details, date of birth and nationality, exactly as per the passport you will be using to travel to Peru (this information is used to purchase your Inca Trail permit). If your passport details do not match those on your permit you will be refused entry to the Inca Trail by the local authorities. 
  4. Should the passport used to purchase your permit be lost, stolen or expire before your Inca Trail start date, you must purchase a new passport and notify Exodus immediately as we will need to apply to amend your Inca Trail permit. To do so, you must supply copies of both your old and new passports to Exodus in advance of travel and pay an administration fee of £25. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you make a copy of your passport at the time of booking.
  5. Please be aware that these regulations may change at any time, and Exodus is not responsible for the decisions made by Peruvian authorities.
  6. There is a possibility that the Peruvian authorities may increase the entrance fees to the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and other major sights at any time. If they do so, we will inform you of this increase and the extra amount will need to be paid locally in cash in Peru.

Please Note: If you have elected to do the optional day walk along a section of the Inca Trail, you should be aware that whilst your departure date may be 'Guaranteed', your Inca Trail permit itself will initially be 'On Request'. If travelling within the current year we will try to purchase your permit immediately upon receiving your booking. If travelling next year, we will apply for your permit as soon as they are released for sale. In either case, in the event that we are unable to get your permit we will contact you.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels and motor yacht

6 nights comfortable hotels, all en suite, 7 nights on Cachalote in twin cabins with en suite facilities.

The hotels normally used are indicated within the itinerary however accommodation may differ from those stated depending on your departure date. In Cuzco, Aguas Calientes and Quito, we stay in small, locally-owned hotels in central locations close to restaurants and shops. The hotels in Peru are simple local 3-star rated, whereas those in Ecuador are of a slightly higher standard.

Please note that central heating is very rare in Peru, even in good standard hotels. Most hotels provide plug in heaters and spare blankets. A railway line runs straight through the centre of Aguas Calientes and whilst we try to allocate rooms away from it whenever possible, the trains might be heard from some rooms.

Our Galapagos boat Cachalote I is a charming 96-foot schooner, rated as 'First Class'. Features include panoramic windows in the saloon and dining areas, air-conditioning in every cabin, and three spacious wooden decks. She is equipped with eight double occupancy cabins with en-suite WC and hot and cold showers, and the onboard service is excellent, with a wide variety of meals served for lunch and dinner. All nights in the Galapagos are spent on board the Cachalote I.

Single rooms can be arranged for a supplement (from £210) for the six hotel nights in Peru, subject to availability – please enquire at the time of booking. Unfortunately, we cannot offer single cabins on the Cachalote, and you will be paired up with another traveller of the same sex for the 7 nights on board.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed June 2016
    Michael Streatfeild

    Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands

    This truly was a holiday of a lifetime and we would have no hesitation in recommending anybody from 20's to resonably fit 70's to go on this holiday with Exodus. The age range of our group was 30 to 71 and we gelled together very well, p[robably partly because of the quality and variation of the tour, with many group activities but time for space if you needed it. Machu Picchu is amazing but then gets trumped by the Galapagos and being on the Cachalote, a schooner with only 16 births, was a huge bonus. Lovely crew, great boat and we went places that others sometimes didn't so had bays, snorkelling and some walks all to ourselves. The organisation was excellent, hotels comfortable with a good breakfast and the experience unforgetable. It was our first time with Exodus but hopefully not the last.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Impossible to say, there are too many, but our first glimpse of Machu Picchu, indescribable in its beauty, size and location surrounded by stunning mountains and deep valleys would be one. Isla Genovesa, with its frigate birds, boobies, short-eared owls and huge density of birds and other wildlife would be another, together with. swimming in various locations with turtles, sea lions and stunning fish. including three hammerhead sharks (optional!). Mention must also be made of the waved albatross on Espanola courting, sitting on nests or flying along the cliffs, amazing..

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had three, in Peru, Quito and the Galapagos. All did an excellent job. Wilmer was warm, welcoming, enthusiatic and helpful as well as patient. Gloria in Quito again welcomed us warmly, was very knowledgable on the excellent tour and terrific in helping when one of our party injured themselves. Similarly David in the Galapagos gave us a terrific tour. He is both very knowledgable and passionate about the islands and their unique wildlife. He ran efficiently to time without ever rushing us and worked well with the captain and crew of the Cahalote. When snorkelling, with the help of the Panga drivers, he guided us well and ensured our safety. Because we were with David for a week on the boat he wins the prize but we cannot find fault in any of our guides.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't be surpised by the altitude in Cusco. Just take things slowly. If you don't do the one day Inca trail walk and the weather is O.K., go up to Macchu Picchu that afternoon. Expensive but well worth it. It is quieter in the afternoon and it then gives you two sessions to enjoy this astonishing place at your own pace. The morning tour is excellent but only covers a small area. If you snorkel in a swimming costume (i.e. not wet suit) be sure to wear a tee shirt - I didn't the first day, big mistake! Mastercard works at ATM's almost always, debit and visa cards often don't, especially in the Galapagos. Preferably make sure you have plenty of dlooars for tips, drinks and small souvenirs, cards etc. before you leave Quito or even better, Peru.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you can, go. This tour is all you could hope for and more and the advantage of being a small group, even on the boat, massive.
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Julie Jackson

    Peru & Galapagos, with Amazon extension

    A fantastic trip and one I would seriously recommend to anyone wishing to combine Inca sites with wildlife and a completely different culture to the UK

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Viewing Machu Pichu from the Sun Gate. Swimming with turtles off Floriana. Getting so close to the wildlife on Genovesa. The peace and serenity of a canoe ride at Napo, with only the tropical noises to listen to.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack light! Reasonable toiletries provided in all hotels. There is very limited space in the Cachalote cabins (even less so for two single people sharing) so a small squashy bag is much better than a suitcase, Eco-friendly soap and shampoo are provided on board as are towels for use on the beach as well as on board. Take two items of footwear only for Galapagos - a pair of hiking boots for walks on the islands and a pair of sandals for beach or wet landings as we went either barefoot or wore socks on board. Take strong insect repellant for Napo if you are prone to bites (not really needed in the Galapagos though Espanola Island has a lot of very annoying flies which take no notice of any repellants!). Take Magicool and a loose hat if you are going to Napo - we had no rain during the day but it was very humid and hot. Wellingtons are provided by the lodge and they like you to wear these on all land trips, not your own hiking boots (which we took but didn't use so wasted space in the bag!). A pair of light sandals or trainers are ideal for wearing around the lodge or any of the trips where you stay in the canoe.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    All in all a superb experience and I would thoroughly recommend.
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Michael Streatfeild

    Machu Picchu & Galapagos

    It is hard to believe that we could have found a better way of visiting Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands than with Exodus. Our group of 15 ranged in age from 30 to 71 and would highly recommend this holday to anyone in that age range or a bit beyond. This truly is a holiday of a lifetime with everyday providing some new experience and excitement whilst still having time to relax in different situations. The organisation was good, the hotels comfortable and friendly with good breakfasts and the boat, the Cachalote, with only 16 berths plus a great 6 man crew and our guide, the perfect way in which to visit the Galapagos Islands. I cannot recommend this holiday highly enough.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many, almost impossible to say. One would have to be the very fist site of Machu Picchu, quite extraordinary, awe inspiring and no photo can do it justice. Despite this Galapagos was the highlight and the most inspirational moments probably the number and proximity of the birds on Genevosa, the Waved Albatrosses on Espanola and snorkelling with giant turtles, sea lions and the stunning fish.
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Kay Kelly

    A big tick off the bucket list!

    We researched options for visiting Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands on the same trip and found that the Exodus trip offered a great combination, allowing plenty of time in both locations and with good itineries. We appreciated the small size of the party (15) and the knowledgable and helpful local guides. The Vieja Cuba Hotel in Quito was quirky and lovely, with friendly staff, but I wouldn't have chosen the hotels in Cusco or Agua Calientes - they were a little too 'budget'. The crew of the Cachalote were fantastic, anticipating every need and providing a faultless service. The tiny cabin space was something of a challenge, with only a couple of small shelves for storage and the bunks are definitely not for the claustrophobic, but that's the price you pay for the privilege of sailing in a small boat.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The day trek along the Inca Trail from Km 104 to Machu Picchu was challenging but absolutely wonderful. Arriving at the Sun Gate and looking down on Machu Picchu as the crowds were leaving at the end of the day was one of the highlights in an altogether fantastic holiday.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Wilmer in Peru, Gloria in Ecuador and David in the Galapagos Islands were all knowledgable, professional and helpful. Both Gloria and David went out of their way to look after an injured member of our party, and David in particular went to a lot of trouble to ensure she was able to enjoy as many of the excursions as possible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a purely personal observation, but not being able to flush toilet paper on the boat, and having to put it into a bin with no lid was enough to stop up my metabolism for the week! The bin was only emptied once a day as well! The provision of bio-degradable nappy sacks for used toilet paper would have been more hygenic.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One of our party really struggled with the ascent on our Inca trail trek, slowing down the group to the extent that we only just made the time at Winay Wayna. Highlighting the difficulty of the walk when people book would give people chance to prepare or opt out.
  • Reviewed May 2016
    Linda Stead

    Machu Picchu/Galapagos trip 20th APR 2016

    We would rate this holiday with Exodus at or close to the top of all the holidays we have ever had. It ticks all of the right boxes for quality, knowledgeable guides, smooth transfers throughout, scenery, wildlife, culinary delights throughout the day (Galapagos Yacht), and with a small sociable peer group. All in all, I would recommend this particular holiday to anyone with a sense of adventure and a keen eye for the good things in life.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were two inspirational moments. The first was the moment on the Inca Trail when we walked through the Sun Gate and a truly splendid, totally unexpected, panoramic view of Machu Picchu came into sight for the first time. The second was watching a newly hatched turtle make its precarious way towards the sea in daylight with a Magnificent Frigate bird only a hundred metres away. Our group broke into spontaneous applause as it entered the sea while the bird missed out on an easy meal.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The Peruvian group leader was friendly, always available to impart his extensive knowledge of Inca culture and architecture, and was keen and unhurried in accompanying just three of us on the day walk up to the inca trail and the Sun Gate. The Galapagos group leader/naturalist was extremely enthusiastic and his knowledge of the wildlife and the geology of the islands was highly impressive. All day and every day he filled our time with walks and snorkeling to see every aspect of life on the islands and surrounding coastlines and at the end of the holiday copied all of his own videos and photos to each of the Group's memory sticks. This Group Leader was superb.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. Take a spare memory stick for the Galapagos if there is any chance that your group leader is as good as the one we had. 2. Only pack essential things into one bag for the yacht around the Galapagos. Leave the rest on mainland Ecuador. 3. If you are reasonably fit then you must do the optional day walk up to the Inca trail and the Sun Gate for maximum impact on seeing Machu Picchu for the first time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only nit pick we had was to do with the flight itineraries from the Galapagos back to the UK. Exodus needs to come up with a better flight plan of Galapagos-Guayaquil-night in Quito-Guayaquil-Madrid-UK. That mid section adds more than a day to the time taken to get back to the UK and for no extra gain to the value of the holiday.
  • Reviewed December 2015
    Sally Godsell

    Machu Picchu and Galapagos

    This was undoubtedly a trip of a lifetime. Every day was action packed and what we saw and experienced exceeded our expectations. We were fortunate to have a small group so our tours felt very personal and unique. Our guides were very gracious, well educated and enthusiastic . We came away from each tour feeling inspired and well informed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Galapogos trip was outstanding. I was impressed with how well coordinated the visitor tours were. We rarely saw other groups and the impact upon the wildlife seemed minimal.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had two group leaders. Cesar in Peru and William Lucinu in Galapogos. They were both outstanding . Their knowledge was amazing and they were very enthusiastic. Gloria in Quito was also terrific. I would highly recommend all of them.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would encourage the use of hiking poles with covered tips. We hiked over challenging terrain at times. On the trip to Sierra Negra volcano in Galapogos the path was very muddy , steep and slippery. It was raining. One of the women in our group slipped and fell and broke her arm. She had to be evacuated to Santa Cruz and could not continue on our trip. It was devastating for her and was a very preventable injury.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a trip worth saving up for. Exodus provided excellent service choosing charming hotels, seamless transfers to and from airports, outstanding guides and the best boat for seeing the Galapogos Islands. I am looking forward to the next trip with Exodus. We are Canadians. I found out about this company through my sister who lives in the UK. She went to Sri Lanka and Thiland with Exodus and really enjoyed both these trips.
  • Reviewed December 2015
    Paul Latimer

    Galapagos and Machu Picchu

    Our trip was fantastic. It exceeded our expectations. All connections and reservations went flawlessly. All guides were punctual, well informed and very helpful. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is really difficult to pick one moment. We enjoyed our group and our activities.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had two group leaders, one for Machu Picchu (Cesar) and one for Galapagos (William Lucin). Both were excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We had one unfortunate incident on Galapagos in which one of our group fell on a muddy trail and broke her arm. She had to be evacuated and missed most of the Galapagos trip. This might have been prevented if she had had hiking poles with her. In retrospect it might have been better to have cancelled that hike since the conditions were very poor.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We will use Exodus again.
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Lynn Barnard

    Peru, Ecuador and Galapagos

    Overall, I think that the trip was excellent. The Galapagos part of the trip was truly magnificent.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The island of Genovesa was like stepping into the garden of Eden, it was truly a tropical paradise. At one point there were four different species of bird in one tree co-existing happily with each other.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Darwin Alvarez was an excellent tour guide, not only was he very knowledgeable about his subject, he was passionate and proud about his country, and he did everything that he possibly could to make our stay and visit to the Galapagos memorable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The Cachalote boat is unbelievably "cosy" which is not really highlighted in any literature, so I would advise people to pack accordingly. Also, there was a disabled person on the tour and admirable though it is to not let your disability get in the way of what you want to do, it is definitely not the kind of tour for anyone with any disability.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The first hotel in Peru, the Inkarri Hotel is very below standard. The staff were unfriendly, the breakfast was very poor; they only allowed you to have "one" egg, my husband who has a good appetite asked for two but was told he could only have one ! There were bare wires hanging out of the wall in the bedroom and the heater did not work ( it goes chilly at night ). Also you had to pay for bottled water, whereas other hotels gave out complimentary water. The alcohol on the boat was very overpriced and I did not see anyone buy a spirit or cocktail, I heard that the crew take a profit from the sale of alcohol, which is fair enough, but if the prices had been more reasonable then they would have made more profit ! The flight home was a bit of a farce, we did not fly directly from Quito to Madrid, instead we went back on ourselves to Guayaquil ( which is where we had flown from our return from the Galapagos ) we had to get off the plane go through security etc., only to have to get back on the same plane and seat again ! This in turn caused us to miss our connecting flight In Madrid back to the U.K.
  • Reviewed November 2014
    Anonymous

    a split trip

    My trip to Machu Picchu was with one group and the Galapagos Islands was with another because of an error by the Exodus booking agent. The locations were wonderful and difficult at the same time. Altitude was hard to adjust to. Although I had difficult times on the trip, the locations were wonderful.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I was amazed to see that the Galapagos were as forbidding as they are.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I had 2 group leaders. The Peruvian one, Armando, was wishy-washy at best. He told us that he was quitting being a tour guide at the end of his time with us and it showed in his level of commitment and his attitude. My luggage was lost by the airline, Delta. I filed a report with the connecting airline, LAN, and that airline managed to trace it and bring it to Cuzco by Tuesday, but Armando delayed doing anything about it so I didn't get it until Sunday night. We left Cuzco on Monday morning. I had to pressure him often. His attitude was that I could get it on Monday at the airport when we were leaving!!! I hope he made good on his statement that he was quitting.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If your guide is like Armando, being polite is non-helpful. It was only when I was angry and pushy that I finally got my luggage back.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Galapagos guide, David, was wonderful.
  • Reviewed November 2013
    Anonymous

    MACHU PICCHU & GALAPAGOS

    Excellent trip, two of my must do list in one holiday. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Snorkelling with a playful sea lion who just enjoyed playing with the strange humans.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cesar in Cuzco was brilliant. Well versed, good humoured and totally professional, a credit to himself and a great ambassador for Exodus.Franklin in the Galapagos was very, very knowledgable, no need for any guide books!! 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book your own flights to return from Guayaquil, not Quito. It was 3 days of pretty much constant travel to get home, where you could easily save a day by going from GYE rather than flying to Quito, only to fly back to GYE the next day to fly back to Europe.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    What an amazing trip, do the optional Inca Trail day if you are fairly fit. Don't contemplate it if you are unable to get down from a 4 foot high train step, it's a good day out walking with 3 hours of pretty much uphill at the start but well worth it for the first view of Machu Pichu from the Sun Gate. Do your shopping in Cuzco.... it's much cheaper than Quito. The yacht is great, the food is amazing, the crew are wonderful. Lie down as soon as you feel sea sick because it does get rough but usually doesn't last too long. If the frigate birds are sitting on the rigging...... sit upwind on the deck. Keep an eye out for somersaulting Manta Rays, crazy.Take a big memory card and spare battery. Factor 50 sun screen, you are my friend.  

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: sal[email protected]

Optional Inca Trail daywalk: An Inca Trail permit is required for the optional daywalk along a section of the Inca Trail. These are strictly limited and are highly sought after, therefore we strongly recommend booking at least 6 months in advance to avoid disappointment. 2018 Inca Trail permits are now on sale so don’t delay! Whilst your departure date may be 'Guaranteed', your Inca Trail permit itself will initially be 'On Request'. Inca Trail permits are strictly limited and are only released one year at a time. We cannot reserve or pre-purchase them. If travelling within the current year we will try to purchase your permit immediately upon receiving your booking. If travelling next year, we will apply for your permit as soon as they are released for sale. In either case, in the event that we are unable to get your permit, we will contact you to discuss your options.

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