Machu Picchu and Galapagos – Vacation Facts to Wet Your Appetite.
October 1, 2012
Are you thinking about travelling to South America for your next vacation but can’t quite decide where to go? Well there are many options to consider, after all this is a big continent comprising of 12 counties and a plethora of great things to see and do. Machu Picchu and Galapagos are two popular attractions, and are both naturally located in the north of the continent, together making an incredible combination vacation that you might want to consider.
In the past South America has been considered to be somewhere that is quite dangerous for tourists, and with the added difficultly of the language barrier it is probably not the first choice for most peoples dream vacations. However, in the last 10 years South America has changed considerably and nowadays there is actually very little danger for foreigners – probably no more than heading to a big city in your home country. Both Ecuador and Peru are particularly safe counties and every year they both receive hundreds of thousands of international visitors looking to indulge in rich cultures, eat amazing food and visit some of the world’s finest attractions. For safe travel in Peru and mainland Ecuador, we recommend using Peru Hop and Ecuador Hop, both of which allow travelers to see a number of hidden gems with flexible and fully-customizable itineraries.
Here are 20 great facts about Machu Picchu and Galapagos islands to whet your appetite:
1) The Galapagos Islands straddle the equatorial line and are considered to be in the northern and southern hemisphere.
2) Machu Picchu was lost to the world for hundreds of years after the demise of the Inca’s, and was brought to the world’s attention in 1911 by the famous explorer Hiram Bingham.
3) The Galapagos Islands are officially known as Archipiélago de Colón and belong to Ecuador.
4) Machu Picchu was not the most important city in the Inca Empire (it was actually Cusco / Cuzco) but it is one of the best examples of an Inca citadel anywhere in the world.
5) The Galapagos was the inspiration of the famous book ‘The Origin of Species’ written by Charles Darwin, and formed ground-breaking theories that changed the way scientists looked at the world as we know it.
6) Machu Picchu is situated in a remote area of the Vilcanota Jungle, and can only be reached by train or by walking the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
7) Machu Picchu and Galapagos are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
8) The Galapagos chain of islands sit directly above a volcanic hot-spot and are constantly moving at a rate of about 50 mm (2 inches) per year eastwards towards mainland Ecuador.
9) The Sanctuary Lodge Hotel (Orient Express) is the only hotel actually located at the site of Machu Picchu, and prices start at around USD 1,100 per night.
ENTERTAINMENT TIP: If looking for fun at night, or to watch sports during the day, or even a taste of home, visit the Wild Rover Hostel Cusco for great food, sports and beer! Entrance to their bar is free even for non-guests
10) To enter the Galapagos you are required to purchase an INGALA card, which is used to monitor immigration to and from the islands. (USD 10 per person, purchased at Quito or Guayaquil Airports).
11) The stones used to create Machu Picchu where taken from a quarry located towards the rear of the citadel.
12) The Galapagos sits at the convergence of 4 major ocean currents, which is responsible for creating a mix of warm and cold ocean currents and an abundance of rich marine and land animals found in the region.
13) Huayna Picchu (meaning young mountain) is located in-front of Machu Picchu, and there is a 40 minute hike up a narrow trail which takes you to an incredible vantage point overlooking the Inca village.
14) There are two airports in the Galapagos Baltra and San Cristobal, so you could arrive into one airport and depart from another.
15) Machu Picchu means Old Mountain.
16) There Galapagos Islands have a population of more than 40,000 inhabitants, which mainly live in the town of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz, and on the islands of San Cristobal and Isabela.
17) The native language of the people who lived at Machu Picchu was Quechua.
18) The Galapagos Islands are thought to be over 3.5 million years old.
19) Spanish is the native language of residents of Machu Picchu and Galapagos.
20) The Galapagos Islands are home to several species of endemic animals which are not found anywhere else in the world.
We hope that you too will enjoy an amazing continent and get to know both of these epic destinations. Contact the Machu Picchu and Galapagos travel Experts today and start planning your next vacation. Also much more useful Peru travel information can be found by browsing this site.