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Through the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu
In 1911 American explorer Hiram Bingham discovered the stone terraces of Machu Picchu on an expedition sponsored by Yale University and the National Geographic Society. Follow in his footsteps. Explore this archaeological wonder for yourself. See daybreak from the Sun Gate. Descend into the city to walk through the ruins. And discover so much more in the land of the Inca: Ollantaytambo, the vast Sacsayhuamán Fortress, and Cusco, the oldest inhabited city in the Americas, with a rich heritage of Pre-Inca, Inca, colonial, and Republican cultures.
Book by June 30, 2023, for Free Air from Miami—or from $249 and $349 from select U.S. cities—on select 2023 departures and Free Air from Miami, New York, Houston, Dallas, and Los Angeles—or from $249 and $349 from select U.S. cities—on select 2024 departures. All offers are valid for new bookings only, must be ticketed by Lindblad Expeditions and are subject to availability at time of booking.
Free Round-Trip Air from Miami—or from select U.S. cities from $249/pp or $349/pp—to Galápagos on select Wild Galápagos Escape and Wild Galápagos and Peru Escape 2023 departures. Upgrade to business class from $750/pp. Book by June 30, 2023. New bookings and subject to availability.
FREE AIR IN 2024
Free Round-Trip Air from Miami, New York, Houston, Dallas, and Los Angeles—or from select U.S. cities from $249/pp or $349/pp—to Galápagos on all Wild Galápagos and Peru Escape 2024 departures. Upgrade to business class from $750/pp. Book by June 30, 2023. New bookings and subject to availability.
Embark on a sweeping adventure that encapsulates all the wildness of Galápagos balanced with the cultural and historic experiences of Machu Picchu & Peru's Land of the Inca. Explore Galápagos in depth aboard the 96-guest National Geographic Endeavour II, then discover the culture and history of Peru and the iconic ruins of Machu Picchu.
Cusco: Ancient City, Living Culture
Cusco, the former capital of the Inca empire, thrives today, firmly rooted in the architectural and cultural vestiges of it proud and storied past.
Venture to the Sun Gate, the final checkpoint on the way to the archeological wonder, and watch daybreak before descending into the mountaintop city—a peak travel experience. It is the culmination of a perfectly paced week. You’ll explore an extraordinary melting pot of Peruvian history and culture, firmly rooted in Amerindian and Spanish traditions, with influences from Africa, Asia, and Europe as well. See the architectural achievements of the Incan empire. And the decorative arts: pottery, textiles, jewelry, and sculpture that reveal the sophistication of their artisans. Discover firsthand how the past echoes through contemporary life. Expert guides are personable, engaging travel companions. They introduce you to the art, music, and cuisine of this remarkable country. And each night your active days end at a succession of gracious and elegant hotels.
See, do, and learn more by going with engaging experts who have been exploring this region for decades.
Your expedition leader is the orchestrator of your experience. They have achieved expedition leader status because they possess the skills, experience, and the depth of knowledge necessary to continually craft the best expedition possible for our guests.
Our local guides have deep knowledge of the places we explore. They’ll share the stories and theories and put the lives of the people and places we explore into context. Their colorful personalities and passion for history, from the minutiae to the big picture, make them engaging travel tour guides and companions.
Today we woke up at Genovesa Island, a small island also known as Tower Island located on the northeastern side of the Galápagos. Genovesa is a protected area and access is restricted to authorized tour operators. The island’s unique birdlife and geology make it a popular destination for ecotourism, and efforts are being made to protect the island’s fragile ecosystem from the impact of visitors. Genovesa Island is a relatively young island in geological terms, having formed less than one million years ago. The island is the remnant of a volcanic caldera, which collapsed and created a horseshoe-shaped bay. The island’s terrain is characterized by steep cliffs, rocky outcrops, and sandy beaches. It is popular due to its unique birdlife, geology, and human history. We started our day visiting Prince Phillip’s Steps, where we encountered two kinds of boobies, Nazca and red-footed. The island is home to the largest population of red-footed boobies in the Galápagos. These birds are known for their bright red feet, which are used to attract mates during the breeding season. Nazca boobies, on the other hand, are known for their distinctive white plumage and black masks. In addition to the boobies, Genovesa is also home to the swallow-tailed gull, lava gull, storm petrel, and the red-billed tropicbird. The island’s unique ecosystem and lack of predators has allowed these birds to thrive and adapt in unique ways. As a fitting finale to the expedition, we also snorkeled with sea lions, kayaked in the caldera, swam at the beach, and enjoyed a sunset cocktail. A wonderful day!
This morning we started our activities with a pre-breakfast kayaking outing to explore the incredible landscape and wildlife at Chinese Hat Islet. After breakfast we took our guests for a Zodiac ride where we spotted Galapagos penguins. This species is unique to the Galapagos archipelago and the only one in the world to live north of the Equator. Afterward we enjoyed one of the best snorkeling sites in the islands, where we encountered plenty of fish and even several penguins. The afternoon offered a relaxing time at Sullivan Bay’s little beach, or a slow-paced snorkel with sea lions in the area. That wasn’t all. Later in the afternoon, we put on hiking shoes to explore Sullivan Bay’s young pahoehoe lava field. What a day!
On our first
full day of the expedition, we explored South Plaza and Santa Fe islands.
During the morning we hiked on South Plaza Island and for the afternoon, we
snorkeled and hiked at Santa Fe Island. South Plaza
Island is home to several iconic species of Galapagos fauna, including
Galapagos land iguanas, swallowed-tailed gulls, and Galapagos sea lions. One of
the most prominent species we encountered on the island was the Galapagos land iguana.
These reptiles are endemic to the Galapagos Islands and during the dry season
primarily feed on cactus pads and prickly pears. At this time of the year, the
island is green and the Galapagos land iguanas feed on yellow flowers. We also
observed them basking in the sun to regulate their body temperature, a common
behavior among reptiles. Another species we encountered on the island was the swallowed-tailed
gull. These birds are easily recognizable by their long forked tail, the red-ringed
eye, and striking black and white plumage. They are seabirds that breed on the
rocky cliffs of South Plaza Island, and we saw them in large numbers perched on
the cliffs and soaring overhead. Although small, Santa
Fe Island is home to a wealth of unique and fascinating wildlife, including the
Santa Fe land iguana, the Galapagos hawk, and Galapagos sea lion. After landing,
we had the pleasure of encountering Galapagos sea lions on the sandy beach.
These charismatic mammals are known for their friendly and curious behavior. We
saw them lounging on the beach and rocks, vocalizing with each other, and
occasionally approaching us to investigate. We also observed a group of sea
lion pups playing and frolicking in the water, displaying their agility and
acrobatic skills. Overall, our excursion
to South Plaza and Santa Fe islands was an unforgettable experience. The
opportunity to see these rare and beautiful creatures in their natural habitat
was truly a privilege. It also highlighted the importance of conservation
efforts to protect the unique and fragile ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands.
Located at the northeastern end of the Galapagos, Genovesa Island hosts the largest seabird colony of the Galapagos. Today we explored the two visitor sites on the island, Darwin Bay and Prince Phillip´s Steps. The highlights of the day were the many red-footed boobies and great frigate birds that we encountered along the trails.