Moai Lined up Easter Island
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Galapagos, Easter Island & Machu Picchu

An epic tour of South America to see the Galapagos, Easter Island and Machu Picchu all in one trip.

Overview

Join an epic tour of the incredible sights of South America with this 16-day Galapagos, Easter Island, & Machu Picchu adventure. From the mysterious statues of Easter Island to the Incan heartland to the enchanted Galapagos Islands, adventure never looked so good! Stay in your choice of the best 4-star, 5-star, or Boutique hotels, then relax aboard a luxury yacht for your island adventure.

Chile and Easter Island

Your epic tour begins in Chile as you arrive in the exciting city of Santiago for a night to relax and ready yourself for the adventures ahead. The next day a flight takes you to the famous Easter Island to explore its archaeological mysteries and extreme beauty altogether.

While here, you’ll be staying in the secluded Explora Rapa Nui lodge, which provides you with exceptional views of the Pacific Ocean.

Design your own itinerary with the expert guidance of the lodge’s naturalist guides, electing from many half-day explorations, including a hike or bike ride to see Moai statues all over the island, or the unmissable full-day tour to Rano Kau Volcano and Orongo, an ancient ceremonial village. Still more options abound, including a snorkeling adventure and a trip to see the island’s wetland biodiversity.

As your adventure turns now to Peru and Easter Island tours become a beautiful memory, you’ll take with you incredible memories on your flight back to the mainland.

Peru’s Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu

From Santiago, you’ll fly into Lima, the capital city of neighboring Peru, and be transferred to the Sacred Valley of the Inca. While here, you’ll explore the charming towns, numerous ancient ruins, and learn about the cultural traditions of the area and its people. A highlight will be a tour of the ancient city of Cusco, once capital of the Incan Empire, and its remarkable colonial structures, Inca ruins, and colorful local market.

Another highlight is a trip up to the grandeur of the legendary Machu Picchu. Your private guide will take you around this majestic archaeological site, sharing its fascinating history and insightful information to make this visit one you’ll long remember and cherish.

Once your Easter Island and Machu Picchu tours are behind you, it’s time to head to your next adventure, the enchanted isles of Galapagos.

Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

Flying into Quito, you’ll get a glimpse of the beauty Ecuador has to offer before heading off on your next adventure out in the wild Pacific Ocean – the Galapagos Islands!

Arriving on Baltra Island, you’ll board the luxury catamaran Petrel. Settle into your choice of either a Standard Cabin or Premium Suite, each with its own hot shower bathroom and private balcony. Spend time on the panoramic deck, soak in the Jacuzzi, and enjoy a cocktail as you sail to distant islands. The open plan indoor lounge and dining area is another perfect place to gather or relax with a book and enjoy some quiet time, and enjoyed both Ecuadorian and international dishes to fuel your adventures.

Daily island visits show you what is so spectacular and unique about this wondrous archipelago, including its volcanic landscapes and exotic wildlife. Spend time on land hiking volcanic rims and discovering lava formations. Follow the well-marked nature trails and marvel at the islands’ scenery and secrets as they reveal themselves before you. Stroll white powdery sand beaches, and take a moment to sit and take in the wonder of it all.

You’ll feel as if you’re on safari, seeing various animals, including flamingos, sea lions, sea turtles, red-footed boobies, short-eared owls, land iguanas, and so much more. It’s also a birdlovers’ paradise you have to see to believe. Both Galapagos and Easter Island tours give travelers the chance to experience the best of South America’s marine environments, full of vibrant fish, rays, and even sharks.

Indeed, no trip to Galapagos and Easter Island is complete without donning a wetsuit and taking to the incredible waters surrounding these islands of the Pacific Ocean. Swim or snorkel the clear, turquoise waters of sheltered bays and offshore sites, popular nursing sites and aquatic playgrounds for sea lion pups, Galapagos penguins, sea turtles, and more. It truly is an unforgettable experience!

All too soon, it’s time for your flight back to the mainland. While your Easter Island-Machu Picchu-Galapagos combination tour may be over, the memories you make will last a lifetime.

Itinerary & Prices

16 Day - Galapagos, Easter Island & Machu Picchu
itinerary map

Welcome to Chile!

Welcome to Santiago, the capital and largest city of Chile as well as one of the largest cities in the Americas. Situated smack bang in the center of Chile’s most densely populated region, Santiago Metropolitan, whose total population is 7 million. Located entirely in the country’s central valley, most of the city lies between 500–650 m (1,600–2,100 ft) above sea level. Founded in 1541 by the Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia, Santiago is rare among South American capital cities in that it has served as the capital city since the colonial occupation.

Downtown and central Santiago is largely made-up of 19th-century neoclassical architecture and winding side-streets, but has smatterings of art-deco and neo-gothic architecture, amongst others. Like many cities in along the Western confines of the continent, Santiago is surrounded by hills as the Andes begin to build behind it. The main river in the city is the fast-flowing Mapocho River, and Santiago is known in South America for being modern, organized, and very safe, as well as a clean, prosperous city with important financial and industrial clout in South America.

Meals (x)

Santiago Chile Skyscraper
Location
Santiago
Day
1 / 16

Welcome to Easter Island!

Today you will begin your day with a  transfer to the airport for your flight to Easter Island! The journey to Easter Island from Chile will take approximately 5 hours, so pack an interesting book! Upon arrival at Mata Veri airport, you will be met by the warm staff of Explora, and transferred to your hotel. We recommend you try and arrive by mid-day so that you can take advantage of an afternoon excursion.

Located 3,700 km ( 2,300 miles) from the continent, surrounded by the intense blue sea and under the watch of its gigantic Moai, Easter Island is a place that contains mysteries that are waiting to be revealed by explorers of all times, and where we take our travelers to discover all its corners. Explora boasts over 30 unique experiences for its guests. The normal procedure is to meet with your guide, and custom design your own adventure which can include hiking, biking, archeology, beaches, snorkeling, Scuba, and much more!

Meals (B, L)

Flying into Rapa Nui
Location
Santiago to Explora Rapa Nui
Day
2 / 16

Hiking and Biking the Moai

Today is a sample itinerary that includes two of the more popular half-day explorations on offer. This day is completely customizable.

Ara Moai hike: We start our hike in Rano Raraku, the moai quarry, among huge statues in different carving stages. After visiting the crater, we continue hiking through one of the old moai transportation routes until we reach a group of abandoned moai. Half-Day ~ 3 hours (Easy). After the excursion, we return to the hotel for lunch.

Akivi bike ride: We leave Explora on our bikes following inland routes, go up a gentle slope, riding by traditional Rapa Nui crop fields. We arrive at Ahu Akivi, the place where seven moai are facing the ocean. Half-Day ~2 hours (Moderate). Afterward, we return to the hotel by van.

This evening, enjoy free time and a sumptuous dinner at the lodge.

Meals (B, L, D)

Location
Explora Rapa Nui
Day
3 / 16

Rano Kau Volcano

Today is a sample itinerary that includes an advanced, full-day excursion, which is a combination of hiking and biking. This day is completely customizable.

Rano Kau Hike & Bike: We start in Ahu Tahira, a construction platform with perfectly overlapping rock structures, from where we begin hiking to the crater of the Rano Kau Volcano and Orongo. Orongo is the ancient ceremonial village where Birdman competitions used to take place. We head down south by bike and ride along the coast visiting several archaeological sites until we reach Explora. Full-Day ~6 hours (Advanced)

Meals (B, L, D)

A View of Explora Rapa Nui Easter Island
Location
Explora Rapa Nui
Day
4 / 16

Bird Islands & Bird Cult

Today is a sample itinerary that includes an aquatic activity and an afternoon cultural excursion. This day is completely customizable.

Snorkeling Bird Islets: Van tour from the hotel to Hanga Roa’s cove, where we take a boat to sea caves with views to the cliffs, the Rano Kau crater, and Motus, the famous islets due to the Birdman competition. We can snorkel around the Motus due to unbeatable clear water conditions. Half-Day ~ 1.5 hours (Moderate).  Return to Explora for lunch.

Bird Cult: We take a van towards Vinapu, where we find Ahu Tahira, a construction platform with perfectly overlapping rock structures that are often compared with Inca buildings. Afterwards, we head by van to Rano Kau, the island’s largest crater. We hike around part of the crater where we watch the biodiversity of the wetland within it and continue to the ceremonial town of Orongo, known for the Birdman competition. Then we visit the area of Mataveri with its unique volcanic landscape and its connection with Orongo. Half-Day ~3.5 hours (easy).

Meals (B, L, D)

 

Easter Island Snorkeling Excursion
Location
Explora Rapa Nui
Day
5 / 16

Back to the Mainland

Bid farewell to Easter Island as you enjoy your final breakfast before being transferred to the airport for your return flight to Santiago.  Upon arrival, you will be collected and transferred to the conveniently located airport hotel, for a good night’s rest before your adventure continues.

Meals (B)

Day tour to visit the Moai
Location
Explora Rapa Nui to Santiago
Day
6 / 16

Welcome to the Land of the Incas

Today is largely a transit day, in which you will fly from Chile to Lima, and then connect to the Sacred Valley. Be sure to get plenty of rest and to stay hydrated, because you will be traveling from Santiago into the Andes of Peru.

Your first flight takes you to Lima, where you will clear customs and immigration. Schedules permitting, you will then catch a connecting flight to Cusco, where you are met and transferred to the Sacred Valley for the evening.

Meals (B)

 

Traveling to Sacred Valley from Chile, Andean Fruits
Location
Santiago to Cusco's Sacred Valley
Day
7 / 16

Maras, Moray and Chinchero

The Maras salt mines were an important part of the economy of the Inca culture and to this day the salt produced in these mines, recognizable by its pinkish hue, is amongst the most sought-after and expensive in the world. From there, we take you to the picturesque archaeological site of Moray which is a huge expanse of concentric terraces which the Incas used a botanical laboratory. Once finished with this leg of the tour, we enjoy a typical Andean lunch at the Casa de Barro restaurant.

Our next stop is at the PARWA Center in Chinchero, where you can learn about the centuries-old traditional textile making so important to the Andean people. You will have the chance here to buy traditional textiles and other souvenirs for your loved ones back home. Remaining in Chinchero we take in the 17th Century church built by the Spanish invaders and then the surrounding ruins, aqueducts, and agricultural terraces that sustained the local people hundreds of years ago.

Meals (B, L)

Maras Salt Mines
Location
Sacred Valley
Day
8 / 16

The Grandeur of Machu Picchu

Today is the big day! Get ready to tick one of the New Seven Wonders of the World off your list as we head to Machu Picchu Citadel. Leaving the Sacred Valley by train, we enjoy a peaceful snake through the mountains, uphill to Aguas Calientes, situated at the foot of Machu Picchu. The views on the way to Machu Picchu itself are an intrinsic part of the trip itself and worth savoring. Built in the mid 1400’s it acted as a royal estate to two different Inca rulers, Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui and Tupac Inca Yupanqui. After 80 years of occupancy, it was abandoned, possibly due to Spanish infiltration in other parts of Peru, and remained abandoned until the early last century when efforts Hiram Bingham brought its existence to world attention.

Machu Picchu is divided into two sectors, the urban and the agricultural. Our expert guide will take you through both and show you the key spots in the ancient citadel such as the Temple of the Sun and the Room, the Intihuatana Stone, and the Room of Three Windows. The residential buildings feature exquisite stonework with no cement or mortar and are characterized by small trapezoid windows that face the morning sun. After our extensive tour, we put you back on the train to your hotel in either Cusco or the Sacred Valley.

Meals (B, L)

Machu Picchu Terraces
Location
Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu
Day
9 / 16

Ancient Inca Capital City

Today, we pick you up at your hotel for your tour of Cusco and its most important archeological sites. Cusco, known as the Imperial City, and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is home to Inca structures with a smattering of colonial influence. You start your tour at the iconic San Pedro market, a local market where you can explore the myriad colors, flavors, textures and traditions of modern Cusco.

The visit continues with the Koricancha Temple, an ancient Inca palace and cult center of the Sun God, above which the order of the Dominicans built a church. It remains standing to this day. Still standing to this day, this temple/church really is a remarkable building and an amalgamation of the two cultures. From there, we ascend to the Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, an impressive example of Inca military architecture. Afterwards, you will explore Q’enqo archeological site, where important Inca ceremonies took place before moving on to the Plaza de Armas, home to the Cathedral, and the centerpiece of the city.

Meals (B)

Sacsayhuaman Cusco Incan Ruins
Location
Cusco
Day
10 / 16

Welcome to Ecuador!

After breakfast, at the scheduled time, you will be picked up from your hotel and privately transferred to Cusco airport, ready to board your departure flight to Quito! You will take two flights connected via Lima,  re-boarding here for your flight to Ecuador.

Arriving in Quito, you can take the evening to rejuvenate and re-charge before your trip to the islands the following morning! Your Galapagos cruise awaits…

Meals (B)

Quito Colonial Housing
Location
Cusco to Quito
Day
11 / 16

Departing Quito & Cruise Embarkation

Your day starts with an early flight to the Galapagos Islands!

AM: This morning you will arrive at Baltra airport where our crew will meet you for your transfer to Santa Cruz. Here you will visit the highlands before boarding the ship. We ask that you dress appropriately for a hike!

PM: At the Highlands of Santa Cruz, you can walk along a path, observing the hills, ferns, volcanoes, and rich wildlife. This area is home to giant tortoises, forest, mockingbirds, Bahama ducklings, White-cheeked Pintail ducklings, Darwin finches, and many other species. Highlights include wild turtles and the tortoises breeding center.

Meals (B, L, D)

Petrel Cruise Navigation
Location
Quito to Petrel Galapagos Cruise
Day
12 / 16

Sullivan Bay & Pinnacle Rock

AM: Located southeast of Santiago Island, Sullivan Bay is of great geological interest. The area is covered by Pahoehoe lava flows combined with lava. It was very active 200 years ago. This flow is geologically very young. The magma formed is flat, but the movement of underground lava, the rapid cooling, and other eruptions led to the breakage in many places. Pahoehoe lava flows, which have hardened in an accordion-like formation. Small glass-like bubbles of lava can be found, called “hornitos”. Swimming with sea lions and other wildlife from the shore is a lovely way to finish off the tour.

PM: Home of the famous Pinnacle Rock, Bartolome consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black, and even green volcanic formations. A trail of stairs leads to the summit of the volcano, boasting one of the best views of the islands. The beach is perfect for snorkeling and possible sightings of the Galapagos Penguin. Highlights include panoramic views, moonlike landscape, penguins, pioneer plants, snorkeling with penguins, reef sharks, rays, and great colorful fish.

Meals (B, L, D)

Beach and blue waters
Location
Petrel Galapagos Cruise
Day
13 / 16

Darwin Bay & Prince Phillip’s Steps

AM: Darwin Bay’s white-sand coral beach heads a half-mile trail that winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls can be spotted here. Further down the path are tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. At the end is a spectacular view off a cliff. Highlights include Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, mangroves, coral pebbles beach, snorkeling: rays, colorful reef fish, and hammerhead sharks.

PM: Also known as El Barranco, Prince Phillip’s Steps’ steep, rocky paths lead up to a high cliff-face. A marvelous view can be appreciated from here. This site is also home to Palo Santo vegetation as well as red-footed boobies, short-eared Lava Owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves.

Meals (B, L, D)

Blue Footed Booby
Location
Petrel Galapagos Cruise
Day
14 / 16

Egas Port, Espumilla Beach & Buccaneer Cove

AM: Also known as James Bay, Egas Port is home to the curious Galapagos hawks and quick-footed Galapagos Lava Lizards. The trail leads to a coastline with gorgeous tide pools and grottos full of fauna. Here the Galapagos Fur Sea Lions bathe in the sun. This is also a great snorkeling site. Highlights include fur sea lions, Galapagos sea lions, tidal pools and “grottos”, Galapagos Hawk, oystercatchers, marine iguanas, finches; snorkeling: reef sharks, turtles, rays, and nice underwater formations.

PM: Espumilla Beach is a popular place for marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot Crabs. The crabs attract the hunting herons, performing the dance of predator and prey. With an abundance of marine life including octopi, moray eel, and shark, snorkeling is highly recommended. A highlight is snorkeling.

Years ago Buccaneer Cove was a haven where pirates in the 1600 and 1700s would stake out on the Northwestern side of Santiago Island. Sea turtles now take the pirates’ place and dig their nests for their eggs near the Mangrove trees. It is a great location for snorkeling and many marine birds and sea lions can be found here. Highlights include rock formations, tropical fish, turtles, and sting-rays while snorkeling.

Meals (B, L, D)

Sea lion emerging from water
Location
Petrel Galapagos Cruise
Day
15 / 16

Disembarkation

AM: Carrion Point creates a sheltered lagoon with beautiful turquoise water. During this visit, you can snorkel and see a variety of fish, rays, and perhaps the harmless white-tip reef sharks. The point is on the north coast of Santa Cruz Island at the entrance of the Channel of Itabaca. Highlights include snorkeling with colorful fish, rays, and white-tip reef sharks.

After your morning excursion, you will be assisted to Baltra airport for your flight to the mainland.

Meals (B)

Person snorkeling by a large rock formation in Galapagos
Location
Return Home
Day
16 / 16
1 / 16

Accommodations

Cruises & Lodges

Petrel

Stylish, luxury cruising aboard a chic catamaran designed to sail the waters of the Galapagos.
16 Guests
9 Cabins
View

Explora Rapa Nui

Stunning secluded lodge with privileged Pacific Ocean views echoing the essence of Easter Island.
54 Guests
27 Cabins
View

Hotel Options

Boutique

Holiday Inn Santiago Airport

Santiago
4 Star

Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado

Sacred Valley
4 Star

El Mercado

Cusco
5 Star

Wyndham Quito

Quito
Boutique

Singular

Santiago
5 Star

Tambo del Inka

Sacred Valley
5 Star

Belmond Monasterio

Cusco
4 Star

Hacienda Urubamba

Sacred Valley
Boutique

El Retablo

Cusco