The world is speckled with incredible wonders, some of them man made, others a product of nature. It is easily fathomable why these points of interest are popular destinations. They contain links to the history of humanity and the general makeup of the world itself. Machu Picchu and Galapagos tours are a way to view history in the making.
The archipelago of the Galapagos consists of over 120 separate land masses. While 107 of these are rocks and islets, there are 15 major and 3 minor islands that comprise the volcanic land. The islands are quite young in terms of geology and only 14 of them have grown to a surface area that exceeds 1 kilometer. They are little more than 500 nautical miles off the coast of the country to which they belong, Ecuador.
The island network is unique largely because of it’s bird and animal population. Many of these species are endemic meaning they are unique to this geographical region, due in large part to its isolation. This makes for excellent research conditions and was popularized because Charles Darwin completed many of his evolutionary studies in the area. This has attracted many study groups and been a blessing in some cases as now most of the islands are protected in marine and wildlife preserves.
Touring the area can be a bit difficult as the protection has made some of the land hard to reach. Two airfields are stationed on separate islands but seeing them by boat is a popular way to make the vacation. Companies offer charters and tours in different types of vessels ranging from luxury yachts to cruise liners and sail boats. From the boat one may partake in an array of activities like diving and bird watching. These same activities are also available when booking through a hotel but there are less mobility options.
The nearby country of Peru plays host to one of the most ancient ruins in the Americas. Machu Picchu is one of the seven wonders of the world as of the year 2007. It is well preserved due in large part to its location at 7,970 feet above sea level. It was a settlement in the Incan empire until their fall at the hands of Spanish conquistadors.
Many believe that the city was in fact an estate for an ancient king. The area was abandoned only one hundred years after construction. This may have been due to Spanish invasion but other studies point merely to the population dying out from small pox and other diseases introduced by settlers. The latter theory is substantiated because of the lack of damage to many of the artifacts which is consistent with Spanish take over.
The buildings are some of the most incredibly preserved throughout the Incan empire. Restoration continues on the site today to give visitors an idea of how it appeared in ancient times. Its remote location along the Inca trail means it makes for an excellent guided tour. A native to this region can give educational information about the site as well as staying safe during the trek.
A journey to either of these areas can certainly be advanced by booking a tour. Many Machu Picchu and Galapagos tours start around $1,400 for a 4 night 5 day stay. These costs vary with company and level of luxury and activity involvement. Travelers may consider booking these two together as they are quite geographically close.