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.
Depart for Guayaquil and upon arrival, transfer to our hotel.
This morning, fly to the Galápagos Islands and board our comfortable expedition ship. During lunch, we begin our exploration of the islands.
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:*
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,D)
This morning, fly from Lima to Cusco and drive to Awanacancha, a farm where South American llamas and alpacas are bred. Visit Pisac, the gateway to the Sacred Valley, and walk through the local food market before visiting nearby ruins.
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L,D)
Venture into the massive Inca stone fortress of Ollantaytambo. In the afternoon, attend a traditional weaving demonstration and enjoy an outdoor lunch with a Paso horse demonstration. Later, go for a hike in the nearby countryside, visit a local pottery studio or indulge in a spa treatment. Enjoy a barbecue dinner around the campfire, and take in a vibrant folkloric dance performance.
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.
Before sunrise, hike to the Sun Gate, once the final checkpoint on the road to Machu Picchu. Watch day break over the quiet ruins. The morning is free to explore the site at your own pace. After a train and bus ride, we arrive in Cusco in the late afternoon for two nights at the elegant Belmond Hotel Monasterio.
Explore the Inca Empire's capital city of Cusco, and visit the vast Sacsayhuamán fortress. The afternoon is at your leisure to relax or stroll around the city, stopping in at one of the museums of the magnificent 17th-century cathedral and convent of Koricancha. In the evening, experience the music of the Andes at a presentation of indigenous instruments.
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.
After breakfast, transfer to the Lima airport for your return flights.
Book by June 30, 2015 and receive complimentary international airfare between Miami and the Galapagos/Lima on select departures from August 20 to December 15, 2015. Offer applies to new bookings only.
National Geographic Islander
National Geographic Endeavour
* Please note: Itineraries will vary slightly from week to week subject to the Galápagos National Park regulations. Each itinerary will include Isla Santa Cruz and a selection of the other stops listed in the itinerary.
For a single room, add $2,870 in Category 1 and $3,040 in Category 2 on the Endeavour, and $4,680 in Category 1 and $5,100 in Category 2 on the Islander.
December 18 and December 26, 2015 departures
For a single room, add $3,120 in Category 1 and $3,300 in Category 2 on the Endeavour and $5,130 in Category 1 and $5,580 in Category 2 on the Islander.
For a single room, 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.
December 24 and December 30, 2016 departures
For a single room, 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.
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).