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Future Vacation: Expedition to Galápagos Islands w/ smart people

January 16, 2010 Leisure, Living, World No Comments

Linblad Expeditions and National Geographic partnered to provide pretty cool expeditions all around the world. You can check the link at the bottom to see the destinations.

Since a kid, I’ve been fascinated with nature and animals. It was a treat when I studied about Chuck Darwin and his Galápagos Islands. In any case, the point of this post is to bookmark this future vacation.

I’m highlighting their 16-day package, which includes a week in Peru and the rest of the time cruising Galápagos aboard the National Geographic Endeavor. Price ranges from about $8K to $12K, includes food, accommodations for 2 to 3 people. Not bad.

Here is a Copy + Paste of the Itinerary:

U.S./Guayaquil, Ecuador
DAY 1 — U.S./Guayaquil, Ecuador
Depart U.S. and arrive Guayaquil by late evening. If you choose to take the non-stop group flight from Miami, we depart in the early evening with a flying time of approximately 4 hours. Upon arrival, it’s a short drive to the Hotel Hilton Colón.
Guayaquil/Galápagos/Santa Cruz/Embark Ship
DAY 2 — Guayaquil/Galápagos/Santa Cruz/Embark Ship
This morning fly to the Galápagos. Flying time is approximately 1½ hours; upon arrival immediately board ship. During lunch we’ll sail to Santa Cruz Island for a magnificent introduction to the wildlife. Spend the afternoon exploring mangrove-flanked channels and the shoreline of Cerro Dragon, looking for land iguanas, sea lions, a variety of birds and schools of golden rays. (B,L,D)
Exploring the Galápagos Islands
DAY 3-8 — Exploring the Galápagos Islands
While our exact routing depends on the National Park Service, we may visit the following islands: – Bartolomé – Santiago – Santa Cruz – Isabela – Fernandina – Floreana
Galápagos/Guayaquil/Lima, Peru
DAY 9 — Galápagos/Guayaquil/Lima, Peru
Depart Galápagos this morning and fly to Lima, Peru. Overnight at the Ramada Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel. (B,D)
Lima/Cusco/Sacred Valley of the Inca
DAY 10 — Lima/Cusco/Sacred Valley of the Inca
This morning fly from Lima to Cusco and drive to Awanacancha, a farm where South American camelidae are bred. Enjoy the scenery as we make our way to Pisac – Gateway to the Sacred Valley. Pisac has an “old town” and a “new town” from the Colonial era. We’ll visit the local food market before visiting its ruins. Later we check into our hotel, Sol y Luna. (B,L,D)
Sacred Valley of the Inca
DAY 11 — Sacred Valley of the Inca
This morning visit the massive Inca stone fortress of Ollantaytambo, and is thought to be the only remaining example of pre-Columbian urban planning. After lunch at our hotel, the afternoon is at your leisure to explore on your own. Tonight is a very special night. Dinner is an outdoor event at our hotel complete with a campfire, BBQ and vibrant dances based on Peruvian folklore performed on stilts. There’ll also be a cooking demonstration that will take visitors through the steps of preparing specialties like Ceviche. (B,L,D)
Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu
DAY 12 — Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu
After breakfast we take a short ride to the train station for the 1½-hour ride to Machu Picchu (“Old Mountain”). At the citadel, “The Lost City of the Inca,” we’ll first have a guided walk but the real magic is that between 4:30 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. most visitors are gone. By staying over, you share Machu Picchu with only a handful of visitors. Overnight at Orient Express Sanctuary Lodge with only 31 rooms. (B,L,D)
Machu Picchu
DAY 13 — Machu Picchu
Breakfast at leisure. Enjoy a sunrise walk and hike to the Sun-Gate, the ancient final check point to Machu Picchu, an almost mystical experience for many. The morning is free to explore Machu Picchu and ponder the many mysteries of the Incas. After a train and bus ride, we arrive in Cusco in the late afternoon for two nights at the Orient Express Monasterio Hotel. (B,L,D)
DAY 14 — Cusco
This morning explore Cusco, the Inca Empire’s capital. We’ll also visit the vast Sacsayhuaman Fortress. After lunch at the MAP café in the Pre-Columbian Art Museum, the rest of the day is open to stroll around the Plaza de Armas. Relax shopping or visit the magnificent 17th-century cathedral built on Inca foundations, the Santo Domingo Convent — Koricancha. This evening choose amongst several options for an independent dinner. (B,L)
DAY 15 — Cusco/Lima
This morning return to Lima and explore Colonial Lima. Visit the Larco Herrera Museum and its private collection of pre-Columbian art. Stroll the Plaza Mayor. Lunch will follow the traditional Latin American style and be rather late and then you can have a light dinner on your own. (B,L)
DAY 16 — Lima/Miami
This morning fly home – or anywhere else you might have decided to go. (B)

Link: Linblad Expeditions

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