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First Class 8 day Galapagos cruise & Machu Picchu Christmas Tour

Quito - Santa Cruz - Bartolome Island - Cuzco - Machu Picchu
13 days / 12 nights.
First Class 8 day Galapagos cruise & Machu Picchu Christmas Tour
December 15th. QUITO

Arrival to Quito. Reception and transfer to your hotel, the 5* Marriott Hotel.

Marriott Hotel


After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight to Baltra on the Galapagos Islands. You will be met at the airport for the start of your Galapagos tour aboard the first class Millennium yacht. A visit to the second largest island in the Galapagos, Santa Cruz. With six different zones of vegetation: Coastal, Arid, Transition, Scalesia, Miconia, and Pampa Zones. The Charles Darwin Research Station and the Galapagos National Park offices are also based here. The station is also a tortoise breeding centre, where tortoises of different species are prepared for reintroduction to their natural habitats. The most famous inhabitant is probably Lonesome George, the only survivor of this specific turtle species. The lush green scenery of the Santa Cruz highlands is a welcome contrast to the aridity of the lower islands.

Meals: B


Today, a visit to Puerto Egas on Santiago begins with a wet landing on the dark sand beaches of James Bay. The visit begins with a walk along the rocky coast giving visitors the opportunity to view some of the Galapagos Island's best tidal pools. Sponges, snails, hermit crabs, barnacles and fish including the endemic four-eyed blenny can be seen. The walk also presents visitors with a variety of shore birds, marine iguanas, sally light foot crabs and sea lions. In the afternoon, a trip to the beach of the small volcanic island of Rabida. A small path will lead to a small lagoon populated with flamingos.

December 18th. TAGUS - VINCENTE ROCA

A visit to Tagus Cove located off the west coast of Isabela Island. After a dry landing we can climb up the trail to oversee Darwin 's Lake. This is below the slopes of Darwin Volcano and is, surprisingly, a salt water lake above sea level. It is said that the salt water is drawn up from below by adsorption through the porous volcanic rock of which this part of the island is formed. The trail also has a monument to a sailor who was lost at sea and there is a large amount of graffiti carved into the rock sides of the cove. The steep cliffs of Tagus Cove bare the names of many of the whaling ships, which hunted in these waters. To the west point of the northern tip of Isabela, lies Punta Vicente Roca, the remnants of an ancient volcano which has formed two turquoise coves with a bay protected from the ocean swells.

The spot is a popular anchorage from which to take a panga ride along the cliff that are the remains of the volcano or explore a partially sunken cave at the water's edge. Masked and blue-footed boobies sit perched along the point and the sheer cliffs, while flightless cormorants inhabit the shoreline. The upwelling of coldwater currents in this part of the Galapagos, give rise to an abundance of marine life which, in combination with the protection of the coves, make Punta Vicente Roca one of the archipelago's sough after dive spots. One cove is only accessible from the sea by way of an underwater passage. The passage opens to calm waters of the hidden cove where sea lions like to laze on the beach having traveled along the underwater route. The entire area of Punta Vicente Roca lies on the flank of the 2600 foot Volcano Ecuador. This is the Galapagos Island's sixth largest volcano. Half of Volcano Ecuador slid into the ocean leaving a spectacular cutaway view of the volcanic caldera.


Before breakfast, we disembark at Bartolome Island for a hike to the summit and a spectacular panoramic view. Later there will be a chance to snorkel with Galapagos Penguins. Continue on to Sullivan Bay, a white coral sand beach and begin your walk over lava that flowed less than 100 years ago. This is the perfect place to see and feel the volcanic origin of the Galapagos. Return to the yacht and head towards North Seymour, an uplifted island which used to be on the ocean floor. Afternoon trip to North Seymour observing bird colonies of blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, and also sea lions and marine iguanas.

Meals: B


A visit to Leon Dormido, the jagged remains of an old tuff cone whose flanks are covered with seabirds.

We shall also arrive at San Cristobal to visit the Interpretation Centre at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. After, we shall then visit the highlands of San Cristobal before going onto Isla Lobos, where a large population of sea lions make their home. This island is also a great place for snorkeling opportunities as well as to view blue-footed boobies.


A visit to the isolated Española Island where there is a high percentage of endemic fauna. Gardner Bay, on the eastern shore has a magnificent beach. The beach is frequented by sea lions, and is a major nesting site for marine turtles. Around the small islets nearby, snorkelers will come across many species of fish, turtles and perhaps even sharks. On a trail leading to the western part of the island, several nesting sites of the waved albatros will be encountered. These huge birds nest here from April to December. Finally at Punta Suarez, along with many nesting seabirds there are mockingbirds, Galapagos doves and Galapagos hawks. Several types of reptile, including the marine iguana and the lava lizard, are also inhabitants of the island. Here you may also see a spectacular blowhole, which shoots spray 30 metres into the air.


Santa Fe is home to one of the most beautiful coves in all the Galapagos, and is located in the southeastern part of the Galapagos, some 2 1/2 hours from Santa Cruz and 3 hours from San Cristobal. Santa Fe is home to a number of endemic species, which have bounced back from near extinction including the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snake, rice rats, a variety of finches and the Galapagos mockingbird.

Visits to Santa Fe begin with a panga ride across the lovely turquoise lagoon. Once ashore there are two trails starting from the same point, offering very different experiences. The first is a short hike leading to a forest of prickly pear cactus. The trail leads out along the coast into the Opuntia forest. A member of the cactus family their name comes from the pear shaped fruit the plant produces. Santa Fe's trees are the largest in the Galapagos. Continue onto South Plaza, one of the smallest islands and only 130 metres wide and just 800 metres long. Here there is a large colony of sea lions, with over 1,000 occupying the smooth rocks. The small cactus forest is populated by land iguanas, where they can be seen sunning themselves or feeding on Opuntia pads and fruits. Along the cliff edge you may see nesting swallow-tailed gulls as the predominant seabirds, along with tropic birds.


The last day, we arrive back to Baltra for the transfer to the airport and return to the Ecuador mainland. Connecting flight to Lima Peru. Arrival in Lima and transfer to the hotel, the 5* Miraflores Park Hotel.

Miraflores Park

December 24th. LIMA - CUZCO - MACHU PICCHU

An early flight to Cuzco at 6AM. Arrival and transfer to the railway station at Poroy for the 9AM Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu. This Orient Express train is the most exclusive way to visit Machu Picchu and includes a hearty brunch aboard the train. Guides will also be available to answer any questions. Arrival to Aguas Calientes, assistance with your luggage and check in to the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel before boarding of the bus for the short ride up to Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca citadel. Shortly after, a guided tour of Machu Picchu, the most spectacular ancient city in the world.

Built by the Inca Pachacutec, and comprising stone blocks fitted with masterful precision, Machu Picchu harmoniously blends into the mountain landscape. There are many theories as to the origins behind Machu Picchu but three of the most popular ideas include a temple to the sun, a fortress against the jungle inhabitants or a sanctuary for the Incas. This fabulous city has houses, temples, warehouses, a large central square, all connected by narrow roads and steps, and is surrounded by terraces cut into the mountain side which were used for agriculture. Return down to Aguas Calientes for dinner and accommodation at the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.

Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel   |   Meals: D

December 25th. MACHU PICCHU - CUZCO

Early opportunity to return to the site and enjoy a wonderful sunrise over Machu Picchu. Today no guide is provided as we feel that Machu Picchu requires a certain amount of self discovery to be fully understood. Take any of the several paths around various parts of the site (we will provide a map to help you), trek up to Wayna Picchu or walk down to the Inca's bridge. Let Machu Picchu unfold all its mysteries for you, take in the breathtaking cloud forests and jagged mountains, or marvel at the extraordinary Masonic precision of the ancient Incas. Either way, your day of self discovery will be a day never to be forgotten. Lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge hotel before returning back down to Aguas Calientes by bus. Some free time to visit the colourful town before boarding the Hiram Bingham train in the early evening. Return in style, converse with your fellow passengers and guides and enjoy cocktails followed by a four course dinner. Reception and transfer to the Monasterio hotel.

Sanctuary Lodge Hotel   |   Meals: L & D

December 26th. MACHU PICCHU - CUZCO

Free morning. Afternoon guided visit of the four ruins nearby; the Sacsayhuaman Fortress overlooking the city of Cuzco, a pre Inca architectural masterpiece; Kenko, a rock sanctuary whose main attraction is the monolithic altar representing a puma, the red Fortress of Puca-Pucara and Tambomachay, a beautiful fountain fed by a spring forming a series of basins continue to the city of Cuzco; the Main Square, the Cathedral and the Koricancha or Temple of the Sun. Farewell dinner and folkloric show in the evening. Accommodation at the Monasterio Hotel.

Monasterio Hotel   |   Meals: D

December 27th. CUZCO - LIMA

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the return flight to Lima. (If an early flight home, you will connect with your international flight). If an afternoon/evening flight then start of your city tour of modern and colonial Lima, declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1991. The tour includes a visit to the Cathedral, Main Square, San Francisco Convent and its Catacombs, and the residential areas of San Isidro and Miraflores. Transfer to the airport at a convenient hour. For those having a late night flight, we will provide the comfort of a hotel day - in use facility at a 5* hotel.

Meals: B

End of our services.
First Class 8 day Galapagos cruise & Machu Picchu Christmas Tour Itinerary Overview:
December 15th. Quito
December 16th. Quito - Santa cruz - Charles Station - Highlands
December 17th. Santiago Island - Puerto Egas - Rabida
December 18th. Tagus - Vicente Roca
December 19th. Bartolome Island - North Seymour
December 20th. Leon Dormido - Interpretation Centre - La Loberia
December 21st. Española - Gardner Bay - Punta Suarez
December 23rd. San cristobal - Quito - Lima
December 24th. Lima - Cuzco - Machu Picchu
December 25th. Machu Picchu - Cuzco
December 26th. Machu Picchu - Cuzco
December 27th. Cuzco - LIma
End of our services.
Credit Cards Welcome: American  Visa  Master Card
Our Price Includes:
  • Accommodation in first class hotels and aboard the first class Millennium Galapagos yacht complete with private balcony.
  • All meals on board the yacht except breakfast on the first day and lunch and dinner on the last day.
  • Level III naturalist guide on the yacht.
  • Land transfers, tours and excursions as per itinerary based on private service with English speaking guides.
  • Flight tickets - Quito - Galapagos - Quito, Quito - Lima, Lima - Cuzco - Lima.
  • Luxury Hiram Bingham train tickets.
  • All entrance fees and tips not including the Galapagos National Park Tax (US$100 per person).
Our price does not include:
  • International flight to South America and associated airport taxes.
  • All domestic flights require a US$5.00 charge (airport tax).
  • Personal expenses such as telephone bills, laundry expenses, beverages, etc.
  • Insurance against theft, loss, illness and/or accident etc
  • Baggage porterage and other extras not specified.
  • Entrance into the Galapagos National Park. US$100.00 per person payable in cash.
For current availability contact us at and we will send you the relevant trip dossier along with a 90 day fixed quote, terms and conditions. Please bear in mind that significant price reductions are available for groups. All our Luxury Tours are fully private and depart daily. Contact us for more information regarding the above tour, or to begin customizing your own itinerary.
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