THE LUX LIFE (RELAIS & CHATEAUX)

A Galapagos voyage with Machu Picchu, Cusco and Lima

AUTHOR The Ecoventura Team

There are few places on the planet as extraordinary to visit as the Galapagos Islands. The combination of stunning landscapes and beaches and bewildering array of wildlife, many of which is found nowhere else on the planet, leaves most visitors in awe.

And you don’t just need to take our word for it either – even legendary natural historian David Attenborough thinks so.

But there is one place that comes close.

Lost City of the Incas

The iconic Inca ruins of Machu Picchu – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is widely regarded as one of the most spectacular archaeological sites on Earth. Built by the Incas in the 15th Century, the citadel – hidden high on a ridge amongst forested mountains over 2,400 meters above sea level – was abandoned sometime after the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire, and wasn’t rediscovered again until 1911.

Combined with a visit to the old Inca capital Cusco, the mystical Sacred Valley, plus the vibrant, buzzing capital – and famous culinary destination – Lima, a trip to Machu Picchu is the perfect partner for an expedition to the Galapagos.

Let us show you the way

We have put together an incredible 6 night tour of Peru that can be combined with a voyage on one of our luxury expedition yachts. There are direct flights from Quito to Lima each Sunday evening ensuring a seamless connection; travelers will be breakfasting onboard our yachts on a Sunday morning, and be enjoying sundowners in Peru by the evening.

The itinerary we have designed showcases the best that Peru has to offer, with a selection of luxury, boutique Relais & Chateaux hotels such as the sustainably-minded Sol y Luna which supports a local school via hotel reservations.

After a night in Lima, guests fly to Cusco before transferring to the Sacred Valley. A couple of days acclimatizing to the altitude, visiting Andean communities, salt mines, and Inca ruins – all whilst staying at Sol y Luna – is sure to leave any guests feeling refreshed and relaxed after the flight.

From there, all aboard the First Class Incarail train for the breathtaking journey up the Urubamba valley – next stop, Machu Picchu!

After a private guided tour through the ruins, guests return by train to Ollantaytambo, with a gourmet dinner on board, before transferring to the Relais & Chateaux Inkaterra La Casona in Cusco.

A morning spent exploring this magnificent city, taking in the Plaza de Armas, the impressive Santo Domingo convent – built on top of the Incan Temple of the Sun, and the renowned Sacsayhuaman fortress overlooking the city is followed by an afternoon at leisure. Wander the narrow streets and squares of the old city, or soak up the atmosphere in the 16th Century La Casona itself.

Returning to Lima the following day, the last night is spent at Hotel B, a Belle Époque mansion in the trendy Barranco neighborhood, where art galleries, cafes, and boutique shops vie for your attention.

Take in the Cathedral and Plaza Mayor in the center of the city and visit the famous Larco museum, which exhibits over 5,000 years of Peruvian pre-Columbian history, from gold, silver and jewelry to the world’s largest collection of erotic ceramics.

And once you’ve worked up an appetite, there’s no better city to find yourself in – Lima is renowned for its food, from classic ceviches and lomo saltados to Asian fusion, all washed down with a refreshing pisco sour – the country’s national drink. There is a reason, after all, that Peru was voted the leading culinary destination in the world a record 8 years in a row by the World Travel Association.

In the year that Peru celebrates 200 years of independence from colonial rule, there’s no better time to visit this remarkable country. And when combined with a visit to the Galapagos Islands, it’s hard to imagine a more iconic pair of destinations for a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

For further details and inquiries about this itinerary, please contact our team who would love to help.