Galapagos and Machu Picchu in August 2012

Old Dec 21st, 2011, 05:12 PM
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Galapagos and Machu Picchu in August 2012

Hello. My wife and I are planning to travel to the Galapagos and Machu Picchu in August 2012. We are in our 30s and 40s, and very active. I was hoping to learn about interesting places to visit and things to do at and around both locations (i.e. mailing a letter from the Galapagos, a must see location, etc..). Is there anything I should plan for as it comes to weather? Never been to this area before and was looking for any help you would like to share. Thanks!
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Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 03:45 AM
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www.smartours.com BBB.org A rated best safest packages.
Easiest for the newbie probably what I would do.
If booking carefully yourself you can save I have.For
MP incalandadventures.com Flavio for me $300 for Galapagos
www.guanguiltagua.com [email protected] galavengalapagos.com others from $600 wit him.Good personal
experience for me last year.

Do beware the many scammers here andthere Tripadvertizer is
the worst where "expert" middlmen will scam you out of thoudands for a hundred dollarcruise very sad.Always pay with
CC never wire money.

weather2travel.com May is great for Peru ok for Galapagos
Sept/Oct my second choice after MP crowds leave. insuremytip.com wise Spirit.com cheapest air into Lima
$239 RT for me last.

Happy Planning!
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Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 04:29 PM
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I've been to both places. With advance planning, I recommend hiking the Inca Trail. You'll need a minimum of 7 days after you arrive in Cusco including 2 days to acclimatize. And a permit, which is acquired by the operator. There's plenty to see & do in Cusco. Start with a walking tour of the city to get familiar with it. Then do a driving tour to Tambomachay, Pukapukara & Sacsayhuaman. After the tour, you can choose optional hike back to Cusco city center. On to the Sacred Valley to Pisac, Maras, Moray & where the Inca Trail hike starts. If you can squeeze in a trip to the weaver's village in Chinchero AND the very cool authentic market, do it!
If you can't do the 4 day hike, consider the 1-day hike to Machu Picchu. No camping. Overnight in hotel.
It takes one day to travel between Peru/Ecuador.
5-6 days are plenty of time in the islands. I did a land-based tour and slept in comfy lodges/small hotels and did a mix of marine activities and hiking/land-based activities. One of the highlights was Floreana Island (where the mail drop that everyone reads about is) but I liked the remote factor. I really felt like I was far away from civilization. The other highlight was strolling the town of Puerto Ayora in the evening and dining on Kioska street (restaurants bring their tables/chairs into the street in the evening & cars are prohibited) You get a sense of being someplace exotic and you mingle with the locals.
Good luck and have fun.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2011, 12:49 PM
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We were in the archipelago in Sept., 2009, which was a pretty typical Sept. The waters probably will begin to get a bit rougher in August, especially if you're traveling later in the month. (Sept. is the month of the liveliest waters, due to the changing currents.) But even in Sept., with some pretty lively waters on one open-water crossing, it was a great time to be there--moderate temps (mid-70s), low humidity, little rain. The waters will be cooling off. So if you're sensitive to cool-ish waters, consider a wet suit for snorkeling.

I personally didn't find Post Office Bay (on Floreana, where you drop off and pick up a postcard) all that fascinating. But our priority was wildlife rather than human history. The 4 most dramatic (and distant) islands are Española (where the magnificent Waved Albatrosses will still be raising their young), Genovesa (amazing experience of wandering eye-to-eye with nestling and adult sea birds such as the 3 species of boobies and Great Frigatebirds through their breeding colony), Isabela and Fernandina (youngest islands with the wildest scenery). As of Feb. 1, 2012, you can't get to all 4 on a 7-night cruise, though--you'll need an 11-night or longer cruise, most likely. But any itinerary that hits at least 2 of those 4 will be great.

Tina
trip report at http://galapagos2009.wordpress.com/
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Old Dec 29th, 2011, 02:17 PM
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You didn't say how much time you have for your trip. I did Ecuador and Peru on a combined 12 day trip a few years back, and in hindsight, I think each merits a separate trip.

I agree with most of what jwhitt said, but I took a 5 day Galapagos cruise and wished I'd booked a longer one. The islands and wildlife are fascinating, and truly unique.

White water rafting on the Urubamba River was a fun excursion from Cusco. The Cusco market was also fun.

It can get very cold in the high elevations in the morning and evening, so bring something warm, and dress in layers.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 11:59 AM
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Awesome information. Thank you very much!
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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 04:25 PM
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I lived in Galapagos for many years, and was fortunate enough to also travel to Peru and Machu PIcchu twice in an 8 year time period!
I would recommend at least a week for Galapagos, and a week for MP/Cusco/Scared Valley. (10 days if you will do the whole inca trail on foot). Both times in MP I took the train and things worked out pretty well, except that every leg of our journey between Lima and MP was extremely early....the second time I went I was on a super tight time limit, and found 5 days for all this just not nearly enough!
As for Galapagos, you might want to see what is of most interest to you: a type of animal, birds, social history, "city living" ? Then base your itineraries on your decisions.
At the end of the day, in my opinion, there are just too many highlights of Galapagos to list!!!
Have a blast
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Old Feb 23rd, 2012, 10:30 AM
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I agree with panecott, you need at least a week in each place, anything less wouldn't be worth it. We were in Peru for 10 days last April and looked at the Galapagos too, but decided to keep that for a separate trip. But both are amazing destinations, enjoy...
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