I have figured out the secret to get to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos for less than $2500 round-trip per person over Christmas break.

I have had the Galapagos on my bucket list for a long time. This wish was the impetus for booking our around-the-world trip (RTW) last April. Unfortunately,The Secret to Get to Machu Picchu and Galapagos for Less than $2500 Round-trip. we could not route to Quito and get to Europe as well, so last year we made the decision to delay South America for its own trip. Thus, with a 2-week break at the end of December, we set our eyes on a Galapagos trip.

When I start researching flights, I always start at my favorite conglomerate, Travelocity.

The Secret to Get to Machu Picchu and Galapagos for Less than $2500 Round-trip.Not only do they advertise on my favorite show, The Amazing Race, but I love their entire message of “Go and Smell the Roses.” It hits me in my ventured heart, so I always do some clicking through their site to get a feel for what the basic fares are for my routes. Travelocity is also good for pointing out who does and who does not fly my legs, too.

I had researched both on TripAdvisor and a few Galapagos-specific sites to discover that both Quito and Guayaquil deserve visits. Thus, I figured we’d fly into one and out the other to get the best of the experience. During this research, I also found that a trip to Macchu Pichu, just around the global corner, would only add about $1500 total to our three fares. How could I go that far south and not include Peru?

When I tried all of these open-jaw, multi-city options in Travelocity, I found out a few things.

No matter what I tried, trying to throw in GYE-GPS-UIO or UIO-GPS-GYE into the overall itinerary would blow up the fare structures. After trying multiple conglomerates, I discovered that no where could I book online. But then I noticed a sweet little item. Regardless of which airline I picked for the trans-America flight, LAN would always show up on at least one leg. American and United both code-shared with either LAN or TAME. I also discovered that the GPS leg was strictly on those carriers as well.

Between Travelocity, Kayak. aa.com, and united.com, I tried to book DEN-CUZ-GYE-GPS-UIO-DEN. Being unsuccessful in technically being able to actually make the SAABRE systems of the world work, I tried two itineraries of DEN-CUZ-GYE/UIO-DEN and then added GYE-GPS-UIO combos. The best I could do for a December 18-Jan 1 date infrastructure was about $2900 per person.

Despite many suggestions on various website to NOT do the following, I did the following.

I went to LAN’s website (www.lan.com) and attempted to book. It blew up. As a last resort, I called LAN. 30 minutes later and a $25 transaction fee, I had my entire itinerary booked exactly how I wanted with good connections for $2491.55 per person, including taxes and fees. Although it’s practically against my religion to pay a booking fee, I felt like it was worth the price for this adventure. Plus, I saved at least $500 by trying to do it myself in an online world that wouldn’t let me book all legs.

I can’t wait to leave.