Cruising the Galapagos Islands

This week we’re treated to a fantastic trip report by our member Milboo, who recently travelled to South America. The incredible sights of the Galapagos Islands and Peru’s Machu Picchu awaited!

A surprise upgrade on the Qantas flight to Santiago made for a great start to what looks to have been a fantastic trip! The first stop was the Galapagos Islands, where our member embarked on a week’s worth of cruising, sightseeing and snorkelling.

The Galapagos Islands are made up of 19 islands in the Pacific Ocean, around 1,000km off the coast of South America. Although the islands’ isolation makes them a difficult (and potentially expensive) place to get to, they are home to unique creatures and micro-climates that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. Dozens of unique animals were to be found scattered throughout the islands, from iguanas to penguins.

We went for a panga ride around Eden Rock – seeing sea lion, marine iguana, Sally Lightfoot crabs, pelicans, blue footed boobies, sea turtles, Nazcar boobie and other bird life.

Our member seems to have thoroughly enjoyed the cruise, but regrets being stuck in a noisy cabin next to the engine. Booking early and carefully choosing a cabin is recommended. Other advice includes checking the facilities offered on the boat (e.g. snorkelling gear and kayaks) and to choose a boat that holds fewer passengers.

After a fantastic time cruising the Galapagos Islands our member returned to mainland South America and onwards to the Peruvian capital of Lima. After a quick stopover in Lima it was time to head to Machu Picchu!

Reaching Machu Picchu necessitates a flight into Cusco Airport. Numerous airlines fly to Cusco from Lima daily. A window seat is a must-have for this flight as scenery on approach is nothing short of spectacular.

Tip is to make sure you get a window seat for the flight into Cusco as it is spectacular. And you understand why the pilots are some of LAN’s most experienced as it is a landing that comes over the mountains and banks around.

Adventurous travellers can hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, but daily train services provide a quicker alternative for those with limited time. The train takes travellers to the small tourist town of Aguas Calientes, where buses complete the trip to the Wonder of the World that is Machu Picchu.

It’s not hard to see why Machu Picchu attracts tourists from around the world. The ruins are a sight to be beheld.

MP was phenomenal in person. Only once you’re there can you appreciate the enormity of the task the Incas took on.

Milboo’s trip report is packed with photos, commentary and tips for would-be travellers to South America. So why not pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee, put your feet up and come along for the journey HERE.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]