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Machu Picchu and Galapagos Itineraries

Zicasso’s unique process connects you to the best travel specialists around the world. When you plan your dream vacation to Peru & Ecuador with Zicasso you will make discoveries that will last a lifetime.

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Machu Picchu and Galapagos Itineraries

Machu Picchu & Galapagos at a Glance

When you travel to South America, beautiful landscapes and remnants of storied histories abound. A visit to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands ensures an action-packed South American adventure.

Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands offer an unparalleled exploration of South America's natural wildlife. You should bring your binoculars along so that you can keep watch for some of the region's most stunning animals, including marine iguanas, penguins, and giant tortoises. You'll also uncover the beautiful landscapes of seemingly uncharted territory, such as white-sand beaches and rocky cliff sides. Meanwhile, you can take part in diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and hiking.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is considered to be the prized gem of the Inca Empire. This ancient citadel provides insight into how the Inca people lived hundreds of years ago. Its isolation offered the ruins anonymity for hundreds of years. Today, although millions of tourists flock to the UNESCO World Heritage Site each year, it has maintained its beauty and mystique.

Best Time to Visit Galapagos & Machu Picchu

Updated: February 11, 2020

Below, we offer our recommendations on when you should consider traveling to the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu to make the most of your trip and sightseeing opportunities.

Galapagos

June, July, and August are the best times to travel to the Galapagos Islands for most visitors. This is the dry season and the busiest season for visits. During this time of the year, it's also more likely that you will see whale sharks at the Darwin Islands. These months are also considered to be the ideal travel time for deep-sea divers.

It's also great to travel to the islands between December and May. This is known as the hot and rainy season. Although mornings may be rainy, mid-day often brings sunshine and warm temperatures in the mid-80s Fahrenheit. These months are the best for hiking and water sports.

Machu Picchu

The best time to visit Machu Picchu is between May and October, which is once the rainy season has passed. Especially from June to September, the days are dry, and the temperatures are mild, offering optimal sightseeing opportunities. While crowds are more significant between June and September, the idyllic weather conditions make up for it.

When possible, travelers should spend multiple days at the ruins so that multiple ascents are possible in the case of inclement weather.

How to get to Galapagos & Machu Picchu

Getting to each of these secluded oases is part of the adventure. You should familiarize yourself with these recommendations to ease your travel to and from each destination.

In order to get to the Galapagos Islands, you must first fly into Ecuador's major airports in either Quito or Guayaquil. Most tourists will then fly to Baltra Island before transferring to other tourist hubs in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island.

The best way to get to Machu Picchu is to take a regional flight from Lima to the Andean city of Cusco. From there, travelers can choose to hike the Inca Trail (typically a 2 to 4-day expedition) or travel via luxury train through the Sacred Valley. Most travelers will spend the night in the base town of Aguas Calientes before boarding a shuttle bus to the summit of the UNESCO ruins the following morning.

Essential Experiences in Galapagos & Machu Picchu

Galapagos

Hiking: You can step foot on some of the island's most stunning terrain as you trek over dried lava, pass massive craters, and volcanoes.

Snorkeling/Surfing/Kayaking: Water sports are integral to exploration when visiting the Galapagos Islands. You should consider participating in these water adventures in addition to diving for breathtaking views of the island's marine wildlife.

Volunteering: For those who are looking for a more hands-on approach, you can choose to volunteer with several government agencies, most of which are geared toward land preservation and animal conservation.

Machu Picchu

UNESCO Ruins: The ruins of Machu Picchu offer unparalleled insight into the ways that the great Inca Empire functioned hundreds of years ago. You can explore the ruins on your own or travel alongside an expert guide for an up-close look at the Sacred Rock, Principal Plaza, and Temple of Three Windows.

Huayna Picchu: Huayna Picchu is the magnificent peak that sits at Machu Picchu's rear and if often photographed alongside the ruins. You can choose to marvel at the peak from afar or climb to the top alongside your guide for breathtaking views of the ruins and Andes Mountains.

Aguas Calientes: In the evening, after a full day of hiking and sightseeing at the UNESCO ruins, you can settle into the sleepy mountain town at the ruins' base. Here, you can indulge in a three-course meal of Peru's very best cuisine before bask in the medicinal hot spring for which the town gets its name.

Travel Considerations

A trip to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands are best enjoyed when travelers take the following precautions into account.

Weather

While temperatures are mostly mild at Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands, traveling during the rainy season can pose some additional challenges. Ideally, travelers will arrive between the months of May and October. Although the crowds are larger than at other times of the year, sightseeing, water sports, hiking, and other outdoor activities are at a premium. In the case of inclement weather, your Zicasso trip specialist will arrange exciting alternatives for you.

Transportation

You can travel to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands via plane and luxury train travel. For adventurous travelers, trekking to Machu on foot via the Inca Trail is also possible. Last year, Machu Picchu became accessible to all travelers, including those with mobility challenges. In the case of any mobility concerns, your Zicasso trip specialist will make sure that any of your needs are accommodated.

Packing

Although stunningly beautiful, the terrain at Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands is somewhat uneven. Travelers should consider bringing a backpack instead of a roller bag.

Weather Considerations

You should consider bringing hiking boots that can withstand uneven terrain and heavy rain. Travelers who visit during the rainy season should pack a small poncho or umbrella.

Electrical Considerations

Peru operates at 220 volts, 60 hertz, and Ecuador operates at 110, 60-cycle volts, which is the same as the US. Plugs are two-pronged with flat or rounded ends. Travelers should bring plug converters. In rare cases, USB plugs may be available, but it is not wise to count on this as being an option.

Pharmaceutical Considerations

Pharmacies are readily available in most cities throughout Peru; however, travelers should plan to bring all prescribed medications with them.

Cultural Considerations

Public bathrooms are free and readily available. Travelers may choose to bring toiletries along because they are not always provided.

Travel Insurance

You’ve booked your dream vacation, now protect it with travel insurance. A wide range of factors can leave your vacation in limbo. Medical emergencies, inclement weather, and unexpected cancellations can cause turmoil for your trip, so in the unlikely event of a disaster, get the travel insurance coverage that provides peace of mind. To get a quote, visit our travel insurance page.

Flights Via Zicasso

Zicasso Air Desk is an international air ticketing service that eliminates the stress of finding and booking the right flights for your upcoming vacation by employing the same personalized service you can expect from planning a trip with Zicasso. Our competitive flight pricing, 24X7 Service & Support, and Complimentary Consultation of Routing vs. Pricing with an Expert Flight Specialist make finding the perfect flight for your trip effortless.

Travel Documents

Making sure that you carry the appropriate travel documents is essential when visiting Peru. For this reason, you should be sure to pack the proper paperwork to ensure the most pleasant and problem-free travel experience. Listed below are some of the most important documents to have on you while traveling in Peru:

  • Personal medical information
  • Pertinent information regarding any condition(s) from your doctor, especially any medication that you are currently taking
  • Emergency contact information
  • Passport
  • Visa, if necessary
  • Proof of airline tickets and reservations
  • Customs forms and documents
  • Hotel or accommodation reservations
  • Travel and medical insurance (see above section regarding this)

Your Zicasso travel specialist will be able to provide requirements that are specific to your trip, although responsibility always lies with the traveler to ensure that all is in order. Travel requirements can and do change with little to no notice, so all are wise to stay updated as your trip nears.

Finances & Tipping

ATMs are available in large cities and heavily populated areas throughout Peru. Small shops and restaurants may only accept cash, so it's a good idea to travel with a small amount of cash at all times. Tipping is not common in Peru, but bartering at outdoor markets is; however, it is not customary to barter at reputable retailers. For any questions related to tipping and bartering during your Peruvian journey, you can consult with your Zicasso trip specialist.

Safety and Accessibility of Resources

You should be aware of basic safety and health recommendations that are listed below into consideration.

Traveling to Peru and Ecuador is safe. In large cities or areas that are highly frequented by tourists, travelers should be wary of petty thefts, such as pickpocketing. Healthwise, travelers should avoid tap water and street food. Altitude is another health risk when traveling to locations like Machu Picchu. Oxygen masks and supplies are available at local hotels in the event of altitude sickness.

Crime Rate

Crime in Peru and Ecuador is at a moderate level. Travelers should be aware of their surroundings and avoid traveling alone or at night.

Things to look out for

Travelers should keep their belongings close when traveling on public transportation or gathering in crowded areas. It's recommended that travelers carry valuables in a money pouch or an inner jacket pocket. Travelers should avoid street food and should avoid fresh produce because it has likely been washed in local tap water.

Medical & First Aid

In the case of an emergency, medical assistance is available in large Peruvian cities and areas that are highly frequented by tourists, such as Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands. For local hospital and doctor recommendations, you can consult with your Zicasso trip specialist. It is recommended that all international travelers consult with a primary care physician prior to travel. The above information is not intended as a substitute for personalized guidance from a doctor.

Water & Food Safety

Tap water should not be consumed. Travelers can drink bottled or water that has been boiled. Street food should be avoided as well because produce at these stalls is typically rinsed with tap water. At high altitudes, travelers should eat their largest meal around the middle of the day with a smaller dinner because digestion is slowed at higher altitudes.

Travel with Zicasso

Make your plans with Zicasso for an unforgettable experience without the added hassle of planning a trip yourself.

When planning a luxury vacation, every detail matters, which is why our approach is different. We will match you with leading travel specialists who are the most qualified to make your dream trip happen. They know their country better than anyone, and each travel specialist in Zicasso’s network is among the finest travel agents and tour operators, comprising the top tier of the industry.  Experience the wonder of an exceptional itinerary crafted just for you.

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