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Galápagos and Peru

    • 16-day journey with 8-day Galápagos voyage aboard the National Geographic Endeavour or National Geographic Islander
    • Explore the Galápagos, Machu Picchu, Cusco, and the Sacred Valley of the Inca

Expedition Details


Discover the natural wonders of the Galápagos and the magnificent cultural treasures of Peru. Explore the ancient Inca capital of Cusco, hike to ruins in the Urubamba Valley, examine pre-Columbian artifacts at Lima's renowned Larco Herrera Museum, and witness the sunrise on magical Machu Picchu.

Trip Highlights

    • Walk and snorkel among the abundant and fearless wildlife of the Galápagos Islands.
    • See day break over the ruins at Machu Picchu from the fabled Sun Gate.
    • Discover the monumental ancient fortresses of the Sacred Valley of the Inca.
    • Take in the splendor of Cusco's architecture, a rich mix of Inca and Spanish colonial styles.

Itinerary - 16 Days

Day 1 — U.S./Guayaquil, Ecuador

Depart for Guayaquil and upon arrival, transfer to our hotel.

Day 2 — Guayaquil/Galápagos

This morning, fly to the Galápagos Islands and board our comfortable expedition ship. During lunch, we begin our exploration of the islands.

Days 3 through 8 — Exploring Galápagos

In keeping with the nature of an expedition, our itinerary is flexible, allowing you to take advantage of this extraordinary wildlife sanctuary. You will have the opportunity to go on nature walks with local naturalists; swim; snorkel; or explore the waters by kayak, glass-bottom boat (Endeavour only), or Zodiac.
(B, L, D daily)

Listed below are some of the islands we may visit during our expeditions:*

Isla Bartolomé
Walk to the top of Bartolomé's volcanic cone for a stunning view of Pinnacle Rock and the surrounding white sand beaches. You may also have the opportunity to swim with Galápagos penguins.

Isla Santiago
Follow a path along a series of tide pools and underwater caverns in search of Galápagos fur seals, marine iguanas, sea lions, and Sally Lightfoot crabs.

Isla Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is home to the Charles Darwin Research Station, a breeding station for endangered native species. Learn about the Darwin Foundation and their giant Galápagos tortoise breeding program. Later, travel into the highlands where wild tortoises forage.

Isla Isabela
Spend the early morning on the lookout for dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and the unusual ocean sunfish, the Mola mola. Explore caves and hidden lagoons by Zodiac, and snorkel among sea turtles.

Isla Floreana
At Champion Islet, snorkel among sea lions, or peer into an underwater world in a glass-bottom boat (Endeavour only) while keeping an eye out for the endangered Floreana Mockingbird. Those interested can visit Post Office Bay—if you see a letter addressed to someone who lives near you, the tradition is to deliver it by hand.

Isla Fernandina
Discover the marine iguana haven of Punta Espinoza as we hike over lava flows. Galapagos hawks and sea lion nurseries are also found as we explore this island.

Isla Española
See Darwin's finches, boobies, and waved albatross on this birder's paradise. Walk among vivid green and red marine iguanas, and observe sea lions up close on a pristine white-sand beach.

Day 9 — Galápagos/Guayaquil/Lima, Peru

Depart Galápagos this morning and fly to Lima, Peru via Guayaquil, arriving in the early evening.
Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel (B,L)

Day 10 — Cusco/Sacred Valley of the Inca

Fly from Lima to Cusco this morning and drive to the Inca site of Moray, believed to have been an agricultural laboratory where priests would test soils and crops. Enjoy a traditional Peruvian lunch at the parador overlooking the ruins. Stop at a colorful local market before an optional visit to the pottery studio of Pablo Seminario, featuring ceramics made with ancient Peruvian techniques and designs.
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L,D)

Day 11 — Sacred Valley of the Inca

After breakfast, enjoy a talk by National Geographic grantee Peter Frost*, who has been exploring the Andes for 35 years. In 2001 and 2002, Peter led National Geographic Society-sponsored expeditions into the remote region of Vilcabamba, Peru, finding and exploring the previously unknown Inca and pre-Inca site of Qoriwayrachina (National Geographic magazine, February 2004). Travel further into the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo and explore the massive stone fortress where the Inca won their greatest victory against the conquistadores. Visit the family-owned hacienda Casa Orihuela for lunch, then see the family's private museum filled with colonial artwork, and witness the delicate dance of paso horses during a presentation of traditional horsemanship. Back at the lodge, meet National Geographic grantee Nilda Callanaupa, who has helped preserve and revive traditional Inca textiles. Learn about her ancient craft and watch a weaving demonstration. Gather for a captivating performance of folkloric stilt dancing tonight.
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L,D)

Day 12 — Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu

Travel to Machu Picchu this morning. Join a guide for an introduction to the site and then stay overnight at the historic Belmond Sanctuary Lodge—sharing Machu Picchu with only a handful of visitors.

Day 13 — Machu Picchu/Cusco

Before sunrise, hike up to the Sun Gate, the final checkpoint of the Inca Trail, and watch day break over the timeless ruins of Machu Picchu. Spend the rest of this morning wandering through the site on your own. After lunch, board the train back to the Sacred Valley, then head to Awanacancha, a farm where llamas and alpacas are bred. Continue to Cusco, a city of astonishing charm and beauty that was once the capital of the Inca Empire. Our home here is an exquisite 16th-century monastery just steps from the city square. Take a stroll in the elegant arcaded courtyard and admire the 16th-century antiques and paintings decorating the halls before a special dinner with opera singers in the vaulted dining room.

Day 14 — Cusco

Delve into the legacy of the Inca and the Spanish during a full day of exploration in Cusco. Examine the massive stone boulders that make up the 15th-century Sacsayhuaman fortress, site of one of the bloodiest battles in the Spanish conquest. See the Coricancha, a 17th-century cathedral and convent built atop the ruins of an opulent Inca temple. Then enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to stroll around this beautiful city or relax at our historic hotel.

Day 15 — Cusco/Lima

Return to Lima this morning. Browse pre-Columbian artifacts at the renowned Larco Herrera Museum, and wander across the Plaza Mayor. Following a traditional Peruvian lunch, the afternoon is free to enjoy the beautiful Belmond Miraflores Park Hotel and surrounding area.

Day 16 — Lima/U.S.

After breakfast, transfer to the Lima airport for your return flights.

Related Trips

Expedition Team

Accompanying each expedition is a diverse team of experts — from naturalists to regional specialists — who will share their knowledge and insights on the wildlife, landscapes, and local culture. See one of the members of our extraordinary team below.

Carlos Romero

Carlos RomeroNative Ecuadoran Carlos Romero has participated in scientific expeditions, published numerous papers on the wildlife of Galápagos and served as the illustrator for the Park Warden Manual used in all of Ecuador's National Parks since 1991. Carlos was featured on the National Geographic Channel retelling the tale of Darwin's visit to the archipelago in Darwin's Secret Notebooks.

Carlos will join the following departures:

Oct 07 - 22, 2016
Dec 16 - 31, 2016


  • Jul 01 - 16, 2016 [END]
  • Jul 09 - 24, 2016 [ISL]
  • Jul 15 - 30, 2016 [END]
  • Jul 23 - Aug 07, 2016 [ISL]
  • Jul 29 - Aug 13, 2016 [END]
  • Aug 05 - 20, 2016 [END]
  • Aug 12 - 27, 2016 [END]
  • Aug 20 - Sep 04, 2016 [ISL]
  • Sep 09 - 24, 2016 [END]
  • Sep 23 - Oct 08, 2016 [END]
  • Sep 30 - Oct 15, 2016 [END]
  • Oct 07 - 22, 2016 [END]
  • Oct 14 - 29, 2016 [END]
  • Oct 21 - Nov 05, 2016 [END]
  • Oct 29 - Nov 13, 2016 [ISL]
  • Nov 04 - 19, 2016 [END]
  • Nov 12 - 27, 2016 [ISL]
  • Nov 18 - Dec 03, 2016 [END]
  • Nov 26 - Dec 11, 2016 [ISL]
  • Dec 10 - 25, 2016 [ISL]
  • Dec 16 - 31, 2016 [END]
  • Dec 24 - Jan 08, 2016 [ISL]
  • Dec 30 - Jan 14, 2016 [END]
  • Jan 14 - 29, 2017 [ISL]
  • Jan 28 - Feb 12, 2017 [ISL]
  • Feb 11 - 26, 2017 [ISL]
  • Feb 25 - Mar 12, 2017 [ISL]
  • Mar 11 - 26, 2017 [ISL]
  • Mar 25 - Apr 09, 2017 [ISL]
  • Apr 08 - 23, 2017 [ISL]
  • Apr 22 - May 07, 2017 [ISL]
  • May 06 - 21, 2017 [ISL]
  • May 13 - 28, 2017 [ISL]
  • May 20 - Jun 04, 2017 [ISL]
  • May 27 - Jun 11, 2017 [ISL]
  • Jun 10 - 25, 2017 [ISL]
  • Jun 24 - Jul 09, 2017 [ISL]
  • Jul 08 - 23, 2017 [ISL]
  • Jul 22 - Aug 06, 2017 [ISL]
  • Aug 05 - 20, 2017 [ISL]
  • Aug 19 - Sep 03, 2017 [ISL]
  • Sep 02 - 17, 2017 [ISL]
  • Sep 16 - Oct 01, 2017 [ISL]
  • Oct 28 - Nov 12, 2017 [ISL]
  • Nov 11 - 26, 2017 [ISL]
  • Nov 25 - Dec 10, 2017 [ISL]
  • Dec 09 - 24, 2017 [ISL]
  • Dec 23 - Jan 07, 2017 [ISL]

[ISL] National Geographic Islander
[END] National Geographic Endeavour

* Please note: Itineraries vary subject to the Galápagos National Park regulations. Each itinerary will include Isla Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, and a selection of the other stops listed in the itinerary.

Expedition Cost

Endeavour Islander
Category 1 $12,080 $12,480
Category 2 $12,980 $13,380
Category 3 $13,480 $14,270
Category 4 $14,280 $14,780
Category 5 $16,380 $16,780

For a single cabin, add $3,050 in Category 1 and $3,270 in Category 2 on the Endeavour, and $4,890 in Category 1 and $5,340 in Category 2 on the Islander.

2016 Shoulder Season

December 10 and December 16, 2016 departures

Endeavour Islander
Category 1 $12,780 $13,180
Category 2 $13,680 $14,080
Category 3 $14,180 $14,970
Category 4 $14,980 $15,480
Category 5 $17,080 $17,480

For a single cabin, add $3,050 in Category 1 and $3,270 in Category 2 on the Endeavour, and $4,890 in Category 1 and $5,340 in Category 2 on the Islander.

2016 Holiday

December 24 and December 30, 2016 departures

Endeavour Islander
Category 1 $13,040 $13,480
Category 2 $13,940 $14,480
Category 3 $14,480 $15,270
Category 4 $15,380 $15,870
Category 5 $17,480 $17,490

For a single cabin, add $3,290 in Category 1 and $3,510 in Category 2 on the Endeavour, and $5,400 in Category 1 and $5,900 in Category 2 on the Islander.

Category 1 $13,020
Category 2 $13,980
Category 3 $14,860
Category 4 $15,440
Category 5 $17,550

For a single cabin, add $5,040 in Category 1 and $5,530 in Category 2 on the Islander

2017 Holiday

December 23, 2017 departure

Category 1 $14,810
Category 2 $15,860
Category 3 $16,690
Category 4 $17,320
Category 5 $19,490

For a single cabin, add $5,580 in Category 1 and $6,100in Category 2 on the Islander.

Prices are per person, double occupancy.

International airfare to/from Guayaquil and airfare between Ecuador and Peru is not included in the expedition cost. Group flights between Guayaquil/Galapagos/Guayaquil/Lima and Lima/Cusco/Lima is $1,370 (subject to change).

Third person rates are available in a limited number of Category 3 and Category 5 cabins at one half the double occupancy rate (ship portion only).