Ultimate Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Adventure

  • 13 Days
  • 14 People Max

    This trip has a maximum of 14 guests, plus one experienced Active Adventures guide and specialist local guides in select locations.

  • Activity Level 3
    • Activity Level 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation and love the feeling of relaxing after a busy day on the go. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.

    Read more about the Active Range

  • Trip Start: Cuzco
  • Trip End: Quito
Peru and Galapagos Explorer

In under two weeks, discover the highlights and hidden gems of two incredible countries on our Ultimate Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Adventure

There's no doubt you'll be mind blown by the contrasting landscapes, from the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu to crystal clear water of Isabela Island, on our 13-day Ultimate Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Adventure. Starting in Cuzco, you'll cycle into the Sacred Valley of the Incas, hike the Huchuy Qosqo Trail, experience Machu Picchu and explore Pisac market. And that's just Peru! Afterwards, take a short flight to Lima and then on to Quito, where you'll wander the colonial city unchanged from the colonial days. From here, it's just a hop over to the Galapagos Islands. The next 6-days will be yours to snorkel next to Kicker Rock, cycle the San Cristobal highlands, hike Sierra Negra Volcano, sea kayak near Isabela Island and get up close to all manner of wild creatures and relax on isolated beaches. If you're only likely to visit this part of South America once in your life, we'll make sure our Ultimate Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Adventure is an adventure you'll never forget.

Ultimate Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Adventure ~ Itinerary

Trip Start: Cuzco Trip End: Quito
  • Day 1Arrive in Cuzco, hike Sacsayhuamán fortress

  • Day 2Cycle Sacred Valley, visit Pisac market, hike Pisac ruins

  • Day 3Explore Chinchero, hike to Huchuy Qosqo

  • Day 4Visit Machu Picchu

  • Day 5Ollantaytambo archaeology tour, hike to Las Salineras

  • Day 6Free morning in Cuzco, afternoon flight to Lima

  • Day 7Fly to Quito and explore the Old Town

  • Day 8Fly to the Galapagos Islands

  • Day 9Visit Tortuga Bay, Charles Darwin Research Station

  • Day 10Hike Sierra Negra Volcano and sea kayak Isabela Island

  • Day 11Visit Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre, San Cristobal Island and visit la Loberia

  • Day 12Snorkel Kicker Rock and cycle San Cristobal highlands

  • Day 13Visit interpretation centre, fly to Quito, depart

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Cuzco, hike Sacsayhuamán fortress

    Our trip starts in Cuzco, the heart of the Inca empire. After lunch, we’ll set off for a walk around this amazing ancient city and up to Sacsayhuamán fortress overlooking the main Plaza and Cuzco Valley. The fortress is a magnificent archaeological site representing a set of jaguar’s teeth with massive, perfectly fitted stones weighing up to 130 tonnes each and was the place where the Incas made their final stand against the Spanish conquistadores. No one really knows what the Incas used Sacsayhuamán for – some say it was a sanctuary and temple of the sun, others say it was a granary, and yet another theory is that it was the place where the old Inca king would play football using the heads of his enemies! No matter who is right, you’ll have a lot of fun hearing all the stories this amazing area inspires. Later, we’ll take a walk through the colourful Cuzco street markets. If you prefer, you can take some time to soak in the vibrant atmosphere of Cuzco’s lively town square and meet up again later for an evening meal.
    Hotel Royal Inca I or Hotel San Agustin, Cuzco (Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking Distance: 2 kilometres (1.2 miles), 1-2 hours
    Elevation Gain: 
    200 metres (656 feet)
    Elevation Loss: 
    200 metres (656 feet)

  • Day 2

    Cycle Sacred Valley, visit Pisac market, hike Pisac ruins

    We’ll head into the fertile Sacred Valley of the Incas this morning, stopping just above Cuzco, where we’ll jump on our bikes and ride down through breath-taking scenery, dotted with local villages and surrounded by the massive green slopes of the Andes. We’ll finish our ride in the small town of Pisac, where we’ll have a chance to check out the colourful mercado artesanal. From here, we’ll begin a spectacular hike up to the Pisac ruins. It’s a heart-pumping walk up through ancient agricultural terraces – you’ll never forget the views of Pisac and the Urubamba Valley! After exploring the ancient complex, we’ll descend the original Inca stairways and head further into the Sacred Valley. Our home for the night is the small village of Yucay, in the heart of the Peruvian Andes.
    Sonesta Posada Del Inca, Yucay (All meals)

    Sacred Valley Biking Distance: 20 kilometres (12 miles), 2-4 hours (flexible)

    Pisac Ruins Hiking Distance: 7 kilometres (4.3 miles), 2-4 hours
    Elevation Gain:
    450 metres (1,476 feet)
    Elevation Loss:
    450 metres (1,476 feet)

  • Day 3

    Explore Chinchero, hike to Huchuy Qosqo

    We’ll set off early this morning and head to the remote market village of Chinchero. Said to be the birthplace of the rainbow, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time 500 years while we explore the cobbled alleyways and beautiful town square – still the main trading centre of the Incas from over half a century ago. From Chinchero, we’ll drive past the Piuray Lagoon and on to the Andean village of Tauca, where we’ll begin our hike to Huchuy Qosqo. The dramatic mountain views of the Urubamba range and deep valleys below are off the charts! As we make our way over the Pucajasa Mountain Pass, we’ll pass through high mountain meadows, lagoons and indigenous communities that have little contact with the outside world. Shortly before lunch we’ll arrive at the spectacular ruins of Huchuy Qosqo (Little Cuzco), thought to be the remnants of an Inca hideaway village. After lunch, we’ll hike down to Lamay village and drive a short distance to Ollantaytambo, where we’ll take an unforgettable train ride down to the sub-tropical village of Aguas Calientes. You’ll have a chance to wander around this colourful little town before dinner and relax after a full day of hiking!
    Aguas Calientes Hotel, Aguas Calientes (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 13.5 kilometres (8.4 miles), 5-7 hours
    Elevation Gain:
    579 metres (1,900 feet)
    Elevation Loss:
    1,524 metres (5,000 feet)

  • Day 4

    Visit Machu Picchu

    After an early breakfast, we’ll head up to the ancient city of Machu Picchu, where we’ll meet our local guide who will show us around this fascinating ancient city. Afterwards, you’ll have all morning to explore the many passageways and stone structures of this mysterious place on your own. We’ll also have the chance to hike to the Sun Gate for a unique perspective on these remote Inca ruins, set high on top of a mountain surrounded by lush peaks. After plenty of time to explore Machu Picchu, we’ll take a scenic train ride back to Ollantaytambo, known to the locals simply as ‘Ollanta’.
    Hotel Samanapaq, Ollantaytambo (All meals)

    Hiking Time: 1-3 hours
    Elevation Gain: 
    200 metres (656 feet)
    Elevation Loss: 
    200 metres (656 feet)

  • Day 5

    Ollantaytambo archaeology tour, hike to Las Salineras

    Ollanta is dominated by two large ruins and is the best surviving example of Inca city planning, with narrow cobblestone streets that have been inhabited since the 13th Century! The Ollantaytambo ruins offer a fascinating insight into Inca archaeology, so we’ll spend the morning with a local guide discovering the site, placing our travels into context. Later, we’ll take an incredible hike into the majestic Valle Sagrado de Los Incas. After a visit to the town of Maras, we’ll hike down to the salt pans of Las Salineras with the Rio Urubamba and the Sacred Valley below us. These unique salt terraces have been used since Inca times and provide a great opportunity to hone your camera skills. A hot spring at the top of the valley discharges a small stream of heavily salt-laden water that the Incas diverted into shallow pools to produce salt, and this is still done today.
    Hotel Royal Inca I or Hotel San Agustin, Cuzco (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 4 kilometres (2.5 miles), 1-3 hours
    Elevation Gain: 
    200 metres (656 feet)
    Elevation Loss: 
    200 metres (656 feet)

  • Day 6

    Free morning in Cuzco, afternoon flight to Lima

    Cuzco is the archaeological capital of the Americas and it’s a fabulous place to wander around and get a taste for an ancient city arriving in the 21st century! Walk along Cuzco’s central streets, lined with massive Inca-built stone walls that form the foundation of the city and blend into the colonial and modern architecture that has been added over the years. You can take some time this morning to explore Cuzco’s most popular temples, museums, churches and fortresses. There’s no shortage of great food and entertainment in Cuzco, with restaurants to suit any taste, cafés for coffee in the Plaza de Armas and great bars with local music. This afternoon we’ll take the short flight to Lima and arrive in time to have dinner together as a group.
    Hotel Allpa, Miraflores, Lima (Breakfast, Dinner)

    NOTE: The 6-day trip option ends today in Cusco.
  • Day 7

    Fly to Quito and explore the Old Town

    This morning we’ll take a flight from Lima up to Ecuador’s capital. Quito is a mesmerising city to visit, with its cobbled streets and towering cathedrals, nestled in a valley flanked by majestic mountains. On a clear day, several snow-capped volcanoes are visible from the capital. As well as being in a beautiful location, this colonial city is rich in history and much of the old town is well preserved, the buildings are unchanged and to walk down the narrow streets is to step into bygone eras. After lunch we’ll go and explore the Old Town, and then in the evening we’ll chat with our guides about the Galapagos journey that lies ahead.
    Hotel EB, Quito (All meals)

    NOTE: The 7-day trip option starts today in Quito.

  • Day 8

    Fly to the Galapagos Islands

    We’ll hop back on the plane for a short flight to Santa Cruz Island, in the heart of the Galapagos Archipelago. After settling in, we’ll take a short stroll into the amazing cloud forest highlands to explore - it’s hard to believe we were in the Peruvian Andes a few days ago! Once there, we’ll have a chance to see giant tortoises in their natural environment, along with intriguing birdlife like the vermillion flycatcher. Later, we’ll take a look inside the lava tunnels scattered throughout the highlands. These tunnels were formed by molten lava flowing beneath the surface, which left behind large tube-like caves, some almost a mile long!
    Posada del Mar Hotel, Santa Cruz Island (All meals)

  • Day 9

    Visit Tortuga Bay, Charles Darwin Research Station

    This morning we’ll hike to Tortuga Bay, one of the most stunning beaches in the Galapagos. Tortuga Bay is accessible only by foot and is home to hundreds of prehistoric-looking marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and pelicans. Later, we’ll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about the breeding programs that are saving vulnerable species of tortoises and land iguanas. Also, there will be a chance to see different types of carapace that help differentiate the tortoise species. This afternoon, we’ll head to Isabela Island - the largest and Western-most Island in the Galapagos.
    Hotel Albemarle, Isabela Island (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 6.5 kilometres (4 miles), 1-2 hours

  • Day 10

    Hike Sierra Negra Volcano and sea kayak Isabela Island

    Our hike today will take us towards the summit of Sierra Negra volcano, rising nearly a mile above the ocean. See the lowland vegetation change before your eyes as we ascend through a lunar-like landscape on our way towards the top. This is one of the largest volcanic calderas in the world, and one of the most active. As we hike, we might be lucky enough to see Galapagos hawks, short-eared owls, finches and fly-catchers that inhabit this region. We'll head back down to sea level in time for lunch and then for a kayaking trip in the calm waters of Isabela Bay. Here we’ll have the chance to see some of the island’s most amazing wildlife up close. Marine iguanas bask in the sun, blue-footed boobies sit in pairs on the rock tops and Sally Lightfoot crabs scurry out of our way along the water’s edge. In the clear waters below us, rays gracefully swim by and turtles pop up for a breath of air.
    Hotel Albemarle, Isabela Island (Breakfast, lunch)

    Hiking Distance: 8 kilometres (5 miles), 2-3 hours
    Elevation Gain:
    65 metres (213 feet)
    Elevation Loss:
    65 metres (213 feet)

    Kayaking Time: 1-2 hours

  • Day 11

    Visit Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre, San Cristobal Island and visit la Loberia

    This morning, we’ll head to a Galapagos giant tortoise breeding centre where we can meet these majestic prehistoric creatures and learn about the efforts being made to conserve the species. Later, we’ll take a short flight to San Cristobal Island and head to La Loberia - a beach that is home to a large sea lion colony and nursery. You’re not likely to see this many sea lions in one place anywhere else in the world! This evening, we’ll dine on local produce and fresh fish.
    Casa Blanca or Blue Marlin Hotel, San Cristobal (Breakfast, lunch)

  • Day 12

    Snorkel Kicker Rock and cycle San Cristobal highlands

    Today we’ll cruise to Kicker Rock off the coast of San Cristobal, where we’ll either snorkel or don wet suits, snorkels and masks (and tanks for the divers – diving option add US$250) and explore the around the remains of an underwater volcano with a rock face rising 150 metres (500 feet) above the surface of the water. Afterward we can visit one of three beaches - Manglecito, Puerto Grande and Cerro Brujo and enjoy lunch here. After lunch, we’ll head to the town of La Soledad to bike down through the lush highland cloud forest that blankets the top of the island.
    Casa Blanca or Blue Marlin Hotel, San Cristobal (All meals)

    Snorkel Isla Lobos & Kicker Rock: 2 snorkels, 30-45 minutes each
    OR
    Dive Isla Lobos & Kicker Rock: 2 dives, 30-45 minutes each

    Biking Distance: 14.5km (9 miles), flat, 2-3 hours

  • Day 13

    Visit interpretation centre, fly to Quito, depart

    This morning, you're free to visit San Cristobal Interpretation Centre to learn about the history and mystery of the archipelago, from its discovery and what makes it so special, to Charles Darwin’s visit and the present day efforts to protect this amazing World Heritage Site. Afterwards, we’ll take a short flight back to Quito on the mainland, and depart for home. We’ll make sure you return home relaxed and refreshed from all the great activities, fine food and friendly people you’ll have met while travelling with us in Peru and the Galapagos Islands.
    (Breakfast, Lunch)

Ultimate Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Adventure Departure Dates

  • Upcoming
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 1 year

This trip is also available in 6 and 7-day options. The 6-day option starts on Day 1 of the itinerary and ends on Day 6. The 7-day option starts on Day 7 of the itinerary and ends on Day 13. Contact us for more information and prices.

USD $8999/pp
5 Mar 2023
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Ultimate Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Adventure 3/5/2023-3/17/2023
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Ultimate Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Adventure 4/30/2023-5/12/2023
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Ultimate Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Adventure 6/22/2025-7/4/2025
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Interactive Trip Map: Click on the map icons to read details for each day

What Our Guests Say About the Ultimate Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Adventure

view all

- May 2022

Amazing trip with great guides

"I had a great time on the Jaguar trip - our guides were friendly, knowledgeable,… read more

"I had a great time on the Jaguar trip - our guides were friendly, knowledgeable, organized, and always helpful. Our porters and camp staff also were friendly and highly competent. The sites chosen by the guides for us to visit were always interesting, and the guides were able to provide great information about them. The information provided to us by Active Adventures was helpful and comprehensive - my only comments regarding the pre-trip information would be to update the materials to clarify that guests need a small day pack for biking and day hikes AND a 30L plus hiking bag for the Inca trail, and the pre-trip information could have included information about tipping for the porters and guides. While it is sensible that the company would not want to pressure guests into tipping a certain amount, everyone in my group had a wonderful time and genuinely wanted to show appreciation to our porters and guides. It would have been helpful to know how much cash we should have with us when departing on the trail to be able to tip each individual adequately, as well as information about when in the trip we would have an opportunity to tip both porters and guides. read less

5 Stars (2056 reviews)

Amy, United States

- May 2022

Bucket list trip for sure!!

"After having had my retirement bucket list trip snatched from under me in 2020, I… read more

"After having had my retirement bucket list trip snatched from under me in 2020, I was delighted to finally take it this April. Active Adventures deserves huge kudos for honouring its commitment to the trip. I travelled with two friends, and we were in a group of 15 on the trip - from the US and Canada. What a fantastic group of people! Best of all though, were our two tour guides from the Galapagos, Pepo and Paulo. They were the best ambassadors for the islands and Ecuador - very knowledgeable, professional, kind hearted - and just plain fun. They made us feel safe and relaxed throughout the trip. The islands are gorgeous - and the wildlife does not disappoint. I found deep ocean snorkelling a bit out of my comfort zone, and wished I had practiced a bit in a pool before I left. However, it is an essential part of the trip, and cannot be skipped. Learning about tectonic plates, volcanoes and the conservation efforts for the giant tortoises was food for thought. As for helpful tips, bring lots of sun screen, sun protective clothing, and bug spray. These items are not readily available on the islands, but they are absolutely essential. Also bring a reusable water bottle as recommended by AA, because although bottled water is available for purchase everywhere, it makes more sense to fill up from the large reusable containers provided and not create plastic waste. I would definitely recommend this beautiful active adventure - my first with this company, but not my last. read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Serena, Canada

- May 2022

Bucket List Trip

"We loved our trip to Galapagos! Our guides, Pepo and Paulo were so knowledgeable… read more

"We loved our trip to Galapagos! Our guides, Pepo and Paulo were so knowledgeable about the islands and loved sharing it all with us. The warm weather was so welcome after a winter in New England. All of the logistics were handled smoothly so that all we had to do was enjoy the varied land and marine wildlife. An amazing trip that I highly recommend! read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Claudia, United States

- May 2022

Somethings really do live up to the hype. This was AMAZING!!

"To be honest, I was a little leery traveling with a new company, with new… read more

"To be honest, I was a little leery traveling with a new company, with new people and well, Covid. But this was abso-fricking-lutely the BEST ADVENTURE TRIP! From our guide, Pepo (who completely hit it out of the park), to the places we saw, to the organization behind the scenes and those wonderful meals, this was amazing! If you want the best way to SEE the Galapagos Islands, this is it. I can't say enough great things about Galakiwi (Active's partner) and our guides. They made this trip unforgettable. Pepo and Paolo answered our flora/fauna questions (we had lots!) and happily shared us what makes this place so special. And man, Pepo can dance - and surf! We're already talking about our next Active Adventure - we can't wait! :) read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Lori, United States

Ultimate Patagonia & Chile Adventure - April 2022

Wonderful Patagonia

"Although initially disappointed that the border with Argentina remained closed, the Torres del Paine hiking… read more

"Although initially disappointed that the border with Argentina remained closed, the Torres del Paine hiking with Alvaro and Christian was compensation aplenty. read less

4 Stars (1175 reviews)

Nick, United Kingdom

Ultimate Patagonia & Chile Adventure - April 2022

Bucket List Trip!

"I finally made it to Patagonia! And I couldn't have done it with a better… read more

"I finally made it to Patagonia! And I couldn't have done it with a better company! This was my 5th tour with Active!
The landscape was even more breathtaking than I had imagined. And every guide was so much fun to hang out with and incredibly knowledgeable about the culture and the land. If you are planning a trip to Patagonia and you love being in the outdoors, this is the tour company for you! read less

5 Stars (1175 reviews)

Jolene, Canada

- April 2022

West Coast is a must visit

"This is our second Active Adventures trip and we weren't disappointed. The itinerary was excellent… read more

"This is our second Active Adventures trip and we weren't disappointed. The itinerary was excellent and food and accommodation of a high standard. We loved the West Coast scenery. The walks were amazing, particularly around Lake Matheson and Punakaiki. Kayaking on Okarito Lagoon, heli-hiking on Franz Joseph Glacier and the scenic flight over Mt Aspiring National Park out to Milford Sound were fantastic experiences. Our guide Clare was first class. Everything was organised to perfection and nothing was too much trouble. read less

5 Stars (2 reviews)

Robert, New Zealand

- April 2022

Fabulous trip!

"First “big” trip in 2 years due to the pandemic. Honestly, more anxiety than excitement… read more

"First “big” trip in 2 years due to the pandemic. Honestly, more anxiety than excitement prior to the trip but once I arrived in the Galapagos, the excitement hit and so glad my friend and I decided to go on the adventure together. AA tour made the trip really easy. I really like the balance of being “active” and some downtime of my own. The tour guides were friendly and very knowledgeable. The meals were all very good except for the first night dinner on San Cristobal Island…to me, it wasn’t good. I thought the fish weren’t well prepared and tasted too fishy. Another person ordered the same meal and I noticed she hardly touched hers. Later I found out hers was too salty. Another low light for me was the accommodations on Floreana Island. Apparently, very limited hotel selections on the island. Hotel Wittmer was ran down and we all had cold showers that night. I also found a smashed dead mosquito with blood on the wall! Isabela Island was fun and where we stayed was wonderful. I wish we had more time on Santa Cruz Island. All in all, I had a fantastic trip and would recommend this trip to my friends who enjoy the outdoor and animals! read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Hui-Chien, United States

- April 2022

Wonderful wildlife adventures

"The Tortuga trip was full of once in a lifetime experiences. Pablo, our guide was… read more

"The Tortuga trip was full of once in a lifetime experiences. Pablo, our guide was so passionate about the islands and knowledgeable about the wildlife and all aspects of our trip. We swam with sea turtles, rays, sea lions, and sharks!. The land tortoises were great to see in their natural habitat and in the breeding centers. I learned so much about the history of the islands, the environment, Darwin's studies and plans for the furture on the island. The snorkeling in Los Tunels was the highlight as well as the hike to the volcano lava fields. The Galapagos is truely a unique and fascinating place. read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Barb, United States

- April 2022

Great experience

"Well organised trip read more

"Well organised trip read less

5 Stars (863 reviews)

Adrian, New Zealand

Ultimate Patagonia & Chile Adventure - April 2022

Almost to Antarctica

"The Condor trip and the W Trek were wonderful. I was there in early February… read more

"The Condor trip and the W Trek were wonderful. I was there in early February and the weather was good; clouds mixed with sun, and surprisingly warm…but windy. The guides, as always, were special and took care of everything. The scenery is amazing, and constant for the entire 4+ days. The Argentina border was closed so the trip was modified to include the Chile Lake District, and I opted out of that portion of the trip because it was similar to the Active Adventures Puma trip which I did a couple years ago (also a great trip!). Even doing only the W Trek was great…and I hope to return for the whole trip! read less

5 Stars (1175 reviews)

Mark, United States

- April 2022

Great trip with Great people

"I could write pages about our Tortuga trip in April . Instead I will just… read more

"I could write pages about our Tortuga trip in April . Instead I will just say that we were so surprised how much we enjoyed traveling with Active Adventures. We are typically not "group travel" people but in the Galapagos it seems necessary...so many things to line up and local people and facilities to communicate with. AAdventures did this with amazing competency. Things flowed seamlessly. Our guide Pepo and his assistant Paolo were amazing. They seemed to do all this and yet still ENJOY being with us, answering questions and getting everyone excited for the next adventure. I will advise that this is an active trip, not intense but lots of exercise, sweating and moving every day. It is important to know that and be prepared or know that you might skip some of the longer things. I also want to add that the guides' English was beautiful and Pepo's knowledge about the area, the geography and the animals was impressive. To anyone who is worried about the "group" aspect but needs the logistics AAdventures can provide, be assured. They still respect your privacy, your right to skip something if its not for you and the small size makes it not feel chaotic. Food was also very good, fresh and simple but abundant and well prepared. I had dreamed of this trip since I was a little girl and read about the tortoises in National Geographic. I never thought the experience would live up to the dream, but it truly did and I think Active Adventures had a big part in that. read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Lynn, United States

Ecuador Volcano and Jungle Adventure - April 2022

Tapir with Alberto

"This was an excellent way to see more of mainland Ecuador. The scenery was… read more

"This was an excellent way to see more of mainland Ecuador. The scenery was breathtaking with waterfalls, rushing river and majestic mountains. Got to sample local cuisine with I enjoyed very much. read less

5 Stars (294 reviews)

Sandy, United States

- April 2022

Takahe trip 27 Mar-31 Mar 22

"This was a trip down memory lane for me revisiting old haunts & visiting new… read more

"This was a trip down memory lane for me revisiting old haunts & visiting new ones. I was thrilled with how it all went & with the experience of our guides & their enthusiasm. The weather was perfect & I achieved everything on my bucket list! read less

5 Stars (863 reviews)

Colleen, New Zealand

- April 2022

Our 4th trip with Active

"Another great guide. Beautiful diving, biking and hiking adventures. Great local food and accommodations. We… read more

"Another great guide. Beautiful diving, biking and hiking adventures. Great local food and accommodations. We have loved every single Active Adventure. As always though, the Active guides are what make the trip special. This time Pepo and Paulo were absolutely awesome with their knowledge and communication. The people in the group always seem to come together as great friends and we have the guides to thank for that! Can't wait for the next one! read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Paul, United States

- April 2022

Amazing trip

"We loved our Active Adventures trip. The guides were amazing, super organised and great company. read more

"We loved our Active Adventures trip. The guides were amazing, super organised and great company. read less

5 Stars (64 reviews)

Kate, New Zealand

Active Adventure Assurance

Our Active Adventures Assurance

If your plans change or you decide to travel to another destination, you can change your trip to any of our departures in any destination or request a refund (less deposit) up to 90 days out from your original trip start date.

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Useful Info

What's the maximum group size on this trip?

This trip has a maximum of 14 guests, plus one experienced Active Adventures guide and specialist local guides in select locations.

Where does the trip start?

On the first morning of the trip, our two pick-up locations are Cuzco airport (CUZ) (if your flight arrives by 11am) or you’ll meet your trip leader and your group in the lobby of Ramada Wyndham Costa del Sol at 12pm. You are welcome to stay at any hotel in Cuzco if you arrive before the first day, though you must make your own way to one of the two pick-up points at the pre-designated times.

Where does the trip end?

Your trip ends with a flight to Quito Airport (UIO) and transfer back to Hotel EB to pick up any other luggage. We can transport you back to Quito Airport in time for flights below.

What flights would you recommend?

Arrival: If you're flying in on the first day of the trip, we recommend arriving in Cusco by 10.30am.

Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Quito any time after 8pm for domestic and 9pm for international. If you are considering alternative flight times, please check with us.

NOTE: We recommend arriving in Cuzco a couple of days before your trip begins to get accustomed to the 3,300 metres (10,000 feet) elevation. If this isn’t possible that’s okay – your trip is designed to begin very gently and ease you into being active at altitude!

Tell me about the group leaders?

This trip is split into two very different sections, and we have three trip leaders who will run this with you.

For the first section your Peru trip leader will start in Cuzco and be with you all the way through to the Lima Airport – where they’ll check you in for your international flights on to Ecuador and say goodbye once you hop on your plane.

Our Quito-based representative – Mauro – will meet you once you arrive into Quito and transfer you to our Quito hotel for the evening. He’ll then transfer you back to the Quito airport the following morning and see you on your way out to the Islands.

We work in partnership with a local operator in the Galapagos Islands - Galakiwi. Depending on the size of your Active Adventures South America group, the local operator may have other clients joining the group for the island section of your ‘Tortuga’ trip.

While in the Galapagos you’ll be accompanied by your experienced Trip leader, who’s there to keep you informed about the Galapagos and make sure that everything runs smoothly; a qualified naturalist guide, who will provide additional local knowledge of the flora and fauna; and your local boat Captain and his crew!

How fit do I need to be for this trip?

As an Activity Level 3 trip, you’ll need a solid level of fitness. Typically, hikes on this trip range between three and six hours to complete. So get out there with a daypack on and train so you’ll be ready to join us! While you don’t have to be extremely fit, you should be in the habit of doing regular aerobic exercise, ideally involving some up hills and down hills and carrying a pack! With a little preparation before your trip begins, you’ll enjoy the active and outdoor nature of your trip all the more.

Please head to our Fitness Guide for great tips on how to prepare along with a workout plan!

What accommodations do we stay at on this trip?

The Galapagos Islands are located in a unique and remote part of the world, and to maintain an eco-friendly relationship with the environment, large modern hotels aren’t built. We prefer to stay in locally owned accommodation, which can be fairly rustic, to give you a better opportunity to meet the locals and gain a real understanding of life in the islands. We’re also lucky to be able to stay on land every night of the trip where as some operators aren’t permitted to do this.

We recommend bringing enough clothing to only have to do laundry once during your Iguana trip and the best time will be during our two night stay in Cuzco (during the free day).

How much luggage can I bring on this trip?

You’ll need one piece of luggage plus a sturdy daypack (25-30 litres/2000 cubic inches) for your days out hiking. Your main piece of luggage can be anything from a backpack, to a sports bag with wheels or a suitcase.

You’ll be given a 70 litres (4,000 cubic inches) duffle bag with sizing’s of around 80 x 30 x 30 centimetres (31 x 12 x 12 inches) once you arrive into Quito. This is if you want to pack light for your time on the Galapagos Islands to make the transfers via boat easier. Any excess luggage and gear will then be stored securely for you at your Quito hotel until you return there on the last night of the trip.

Please note: due to the remote nature of the Galapagos Islands, many products are either unavailable or considerably more expensive than home. If there are some things you simply can’t do without you might like to bring some from home (e.g. high-grade blister products and contact lens solution won’t be available).

How do we travel between the Galapagos Islands?

You’ll spend time journeying from island to island on board our boat, a 30 foot twin-decked launch with indoor and outdoor seating. We spend up to a few hours at a time on the boat, broken up by visits to smaller islands on a route chosen to make the most of each day’s ocean and weather conditions.
You’ll be able to enjoy the views and make unscheduled snorkelling stops to make the most of what’s out and about that day.

How flexible can this trip be?

The environmental impact of tourism in the Galapagos is under constant scrutiny from international bodies including UNESCO. This important issue sometimes results in park authorities bring in sudden bans on visiting certain areas or undertaking certain activities, leading to changes to our itinerary and as a responsible operator we must abide by the rules. We’ll always try and give you as much notice as possible of any changes – we simply ask for your understanding.

Tell me about the Optional Activities on this trip?

While we do lots of snorkelling during this trip, during our day at Kicker Rock you have the choice of the following two options:

Snorkelling the Galapagos
As much snorkelling as you like! You’ll be provided with 3mm short arm and leg wetsuits, mask, snorkel and fins.

Scuba Diving the Galapagos (extra fee applies)
Two dives including full dive briefings, a diver safety boat, 5mm full-length wetsuit, tank, BCD, regs, mask, snorkel and fins. Bring your diver certification card with you in order to dive!

Regardless of whether you snorkel or scuba dive, if you have your own mask, snorkel and fins we recommend bringing them with you - we do lots of snorkelling during this trip and it’s always nicer to use your own!

We provide 3mm wetsuits with short arms and legs for snorkellers and 5mm wetsuits with long arms and legs for scuba divers. Our wetsuit sizes are small to extra large – you’re welcome to bring your own if you would prefer. 

The surface temperature of the sea ranges from 18- 30ºC (65-85ºF) with February to April being the warmest months, and September to November being the coolest. The average is usually around 20ºC and you’ll be diving to a depth of 20 metres (65 feet) You’ll be provided with a wetsuit appropriate for your chosen activity and the conditions.

How experienced do I need to be to dive?

We only recommend the diving if you’ve done at least 10-15 dives and are a mid-level to advanced scuba diver. The diving in the Galapagos can be quite challenging, depending on the currents, so it’s only recommended if you’re a confident diver – if in doubt, please chat to us before making your selection.
If you’ve not previously experienced diving in open water, or it’s been two years or more since your last dive, then we highly recommend taking a refresher course prior to arriving too, to be better prepared.

Underwater visibility in the Galapagos is usually very good. You can often see from 15-25 metres (50-80 feet) ahead of you, sometimes up to 30 metres (100 feet) in most of the places. In some areas and in some seasons green waters are present, due to the richness of phytoplankton – this is normal.

You’ll probably dive in the Galápagos in medium to strong currents of between 1-4 knots/1-4 miles/2-6 kilometres per hour. In the Garúa season (from July to December) the Humboldt current coming from the southeast is present. In the warm season (from January to June) the Panamá current from the northeast arrives in the Galápagos.

The wildlife here is in such abundance and variety! Things that you might see where we go are: Tropical fish, Galapagos Shark, Batfish, Hammerhead Shark, Tagle and Goleen Rays, Moray Eels, Green Sea Turtles, Stingrays, Barracuda, Triggerfish, Boxfish, Frogfish and plenty more!

Is tipping expected in the Galapagos & Ecuador?

Most people do choose to tip their Active Adventures guides at the end of an awesome trip. US$100 per person per Trip Leader seems to be the norm, however less, more or not at all is also fine too. During your Active Adventures trip, your trip leader will take care of all included restaurants and service tips for you. For other restaurants or services during your time in Peru and Galapagos, 5-10% is a typical gratuity amount.

Is tipping expected in Peru?

Most people do choose to tip their Active Adventures guides at the end of an awesome trip. S/350 (US$100) per person per Trip Leader and S/100 (US$30) to be shared amongst your trekking crew (Classic Inca, Lares Inca guide and porters) seems to be the norm, however less, more or not at all is also fine too. During your Active Adventures trip, your trip leader will take care of all included restaurants and service tips for you. For other restaurants or services during your time in Peru, 5-10% is a typical gratuity amount.

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Our Local Guides

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You’ll be inspired and exhilarated, enjoying mind-blowing scenery on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike - all at your own pace. Get ready for the trip of a lifetime.

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We're proud of our Kiwi roots and you’ll love our professional, warm and relaxed style of hosting. Plus, we’re always here to help with planning, travel, bookings... even hiking boot recommendations!

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As soon as your trip starts, we've got everything covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport, superb accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

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Group travel for those who aren’t ‘group travellers’

With our small groups of typically no more than 14 (up to 18 max), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like. It’s all about going at your own pace.

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All our carefully selected guides are highly experienced and have deep personal connections to nature and culture. You’ll enjoy a special experience, authentic local knowledge and an adventure like no other.

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4.54 out of 5 from 17045 reviews. That’s pretty solid.

We could hang around all day telling you how wonderful our trips are... but the best people to hear it from are our guests themselves.

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Central & South America

Ultimate Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Adventure