Amazon Rain Forest, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Titicaca Lake & Lima

TOUR DURATION: 12days / 11 nights.
DEPARTURE: The whole year.
GROUPS SIZE: 2 paxs at least and 12 paxs maximum (customized service).

Day 1: International arrival, Collection from Lima airport, overnight in Lima

On arrival from your international flight, our English speaking transfer representative will be waiting to collect you and transfer you to downtown Lima. 
We include a night at a hotel in the Miraflores District of Lima. Close by you’ll find all the amenities you’ll need, plus many great restaurants. 
Today is designed as a day relaxation after your flight to Peru.

If you arrive into Lima late in the evening, we recommend a night at the Lima Airport Hotel, which is within a 1 minute’ walking distance of international arrivals.

Day 2: Fly to Amazon Jungle (Tambopata Research Center), afternoon jungle excursion

Today you will return to Lima Airport for a 2 hour flight to the Madre de Dios region, deep in Peru’s Amazon Rainforest. 
You will be met by your jungle guide and transferred by road and river to the jungle lodge, located on the edge of the Tambopata National Park. The park, which was created in 1990, is a huge swath of low level Amazon Rainforest that covers some 274,690 hectares (678,774 acres). As one of the most bio-diverse areas on the planet, the park is home to 165 species of tree, 90 amphibians, and over 100 mammals. You will be welcomed at the lodge with a freshly squeezed fruit juice, before checking in to your accommodations.

After lunch your guide will take you out on a nature trail close to the lodge. You’ll learn about the flora and fauna of the region, the significance of the rainforest to the world, and how the area has changed over the years with the interaction of mankind. At dusk you will navigate away from the lodge along the Madre de Dios River, learning about the jungles delicate eco-system, its creeks, oxbow lakes and its nocturnal animals.

After dinner, take some time to relax in the lodge, meet with fellow travelers and enjoy the unique atmosphere and sounds of Peru’s Amazon Jungle.

Day 3: Morning & afternoon jungle excursions

After breakfast, you’ll head out on foot for a 1 hour trek to the Lake Sandoval oxbow lake. Here you will understand why Madre de Dios is called the biodiversity capital of Peru. You’ll navigate across the lake by dugout canoe which is home to a family of giant river otters, black caiman, 
red howler money and blue and yellow macaw. On return to the lodge a lunch made from local jungle produce will be served. In the afternoon, you’ll navigate by boat for 20 minutes to the lodge’s interpretation centre, which is also the location of their impressive canopy walkway. After ascending a 30 meters (98 foot) tower, you’ll cross 7 hanging rope bridges located high up in the tree top canopy. Enjoy the breathtaking jungle views whilst looking for out for wildlife like white-throated toucan, woodpecker, trogon, squirrel monkey and the three-toed sloth. After descending from the canopy you’ll cross a 200-meter wooden bridge over swamps (aguajales), where you will learn about the fauna and flora of this flooded ecosystem.

After dark, your guide will take you out to show you the hidden nocturnal world of the Amazon. Learn about the intriguing behavioral patterns of the animals, and enhanced senses and adaptation mechanisms. Listen to nocturnal living nature sounds, and penetrate this secret world. The day will end with a pleasant dinner back at the lodge.

Day 4: Morning jungle excursion, fly to Cusco, overnight in the Sacred Valley

Today you will retrace your journey back to Puerto Maldonado Airport, where you will take a midday flight to the Imperial City of Cusco. Our local English speaking representatives will be ready to meet you and transfer you to your hotel in the Sacred Valley. The Sacred Valley is a rural area of the Cusco Region, and is some 500 meters (1,640 feet) lower than Cusco. This lower elevation will help you acclimatize better to the altitude of this region. You’ll have the late afternoon and evening free to relax at your hotel. Ask about the selection of hotels available in the Sacred Valley from one of our luxury Peru travel specialists.

Day 5: Tour of Ollantaytambo Ruins, Pisac Ruins & market

Lying about one hour north of Cusco, the Sacred Valley is a mountainous rural region of Peru, famous for its colorful quinoa fields and vast chacras of giant corn. It was also an important area for the Incas, not only for its fertile agricultural plains but also for its spiritual relevance and astronomical relation to the Milky Way. During the Inca times, many residential dwellings were built to house the local agricultural workers, along with many beautiful shrines and temple complexes. Today you will head out into the Sacred Valley to experience modern day Andean life, and also visit some of the best Inca ruins in the area.

You’ll start with a visit to Ollantaytambo, a 50 minutes’ drive from your hotel. Ollantaytambo is a large imposing structure, which was built to defend the western end of the Sacred Valley, possibly protecting the entrance to Machu Picchu. Its extra tall terraces and vertical walls served well to protect the Incas in the famous battle between Inca Manco Yupanqui, leader of the Inca resistance, and the advancing Spanish army. A beautiful temple complex stands at the very top of the ruin, where you will find finely crafted stone pieces such as the Enclosure of the Ten Niches, the Temple of the Sun and the Wall of the Six Monoliths.

After lunch (included) you will travel to the eastern end of the Sacred Valley and onto the Village and ruin of Pisac. Hidden from the valley floor below, the ruin at Pisac is one of the largest Inca settlements in the Sacred Valley, and encompasses three distinct sectors: the Inca Cemetery, the Temple Complex 
and the Urban Area. Due to the vast size of the site, this afternoon your guide will take you for a walk around the Inca Cemetery sector. Here you’ll find vast sweeping agricultural terrace (a good photo opportunity), the mountainside Inca Cemetery and a series of functioning ritual baths. After your visit to the ruins, you will descend by road to the famous artisanal market of Pisac. Here you will have some free time to browse the market stalls, or perhaps soak up the unique atmosphere whilst sipping on a coffee (or local brew) in the main plaza.

Day 6: Guided tour of Machu Picchu

Today you will travel to Machu Picchu, a breathtaking Inca citadel, located in the high jungle between the descending eastern slopes of the Andes and the start of the Amazon Jungle. Machu Picchu was one of the most important settlements in the Inca Empire. When news reached Machu Picchu that the citadel was under threat from the advancing Spanish army, the Incas deserted the site, destroying all access roads in the process. Machu Picchu was never found by the Spanish and lay dormant for over 500 years. Although some say that Machu Picchu was never lost, it was bought back to the world’s 
attention on July 24, 1911, with its scientific discovery by the American explorer and Yale University Lecturer – Hiram Bingham.

In the morning you will ride the train from the Sacred Valley to the town of Aguas Calientes (1h30m). Here our local representative and hotel concierge will meet you and assist you to your hotel for check-in (there are no roads). Later, after taking a 30 minutes scenic shuttle bus ride, you will arrive at Machu Picchu. Here our expert guide will meet you and take you for a privately guided tour of the citadel itself. 
After gently climbing a series of Inca steps you will arrive the view point of the ‘Caretaker’s Hut,’ a high vantage point overlooking the entire site of Machu Picchu. It is here you realize the enormous engineering feet achieved by the Inca’s, not only for the incredible craftsmanship employed in building the site, but also how they managed to construct something of this nature and size in such a remote location. You will tour Machu Picchu for about 2 hours, taking in all of the main attractions including: the Temple of the Three Windows, Intihuatana, the Sun Temple and the Sacred Plaza.

In the afternoon your will return to Aguas Calientes and onto your hotel for the evening.

Day 7: Re-visit Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu Mountain Trail

Due to the remote location of Machu Picchu and the travel time needed to get to the site, we recommend including a second day at Machu Picchu. Early morning risers will have the opportunity to get to Machu Picchu for the unrivalled spectacle of sunrise. Watch the early morning ubiquitous mist slowly give way to the first rays of sunlight; a magical moment that will stay with you for years to come. For the adventurous, we also include entrance tickets to Huayna Picchu Mountain Trail (or Machu Picchu Mountain), where you can ascend an original Inca Trail to a lofty view point overlooking the citadel.

In the afternoon you will travel to Cusco City. Arriving in the early evening, you will be taken your hotel for a well-deserved rest.

Day 8: Afternoon tour of Cusco City

Historians compare the greatness of Cusco during Inca times to cities such as Rome, Athens and Cairo. It was indeed an epic place, where the Sapa Inca ruled his mighty empire, an empire that stretched the South American coast line nearly 2,500 miles (4,000 km’s). Built around Huacaypata 
(the main square), Cusco’s streets were lined with beautiful temples, shrines and exquisite buildings. Ancient Spanish chronicles depict the gardens of Q’orikancha (the Temple of the Sun) as having llamas and their herders sculpted in sold gold, with trees and plants forged from silver. Today we include a half day tour of Cusco and surrounding areas. Your expert guide will take you on a trip through Inca history, rediscovering what was once one of the greatest cities in the world. The tour visits Saqsayhuman, Q’orikancha, Q’enko, the Plaza de Armas and Cusco Cathedral.

Day 9: Travel from Cusco to Puno

Today you will travel south from Cusco and onto Puno. There are several ways to make this journey including a bus ride (10 hours) that includes tourist stops at Andahuaylillas, Raqchi, Sicuani, La Raya and Pukara. The route can also be made with a short flight (50 minutes) from Cusco to Juliaca, where you then transfer the rest of the way by road (a further 45 minutes). If you are looking for the ultimate in luxury experiences, then the Belmond Andean Explorer Train (new in May 2017) is a superb option. Phone our luxury Peru travel team now and discuss which option works best for you.

Day 10: Lake Titicaca excursion (Uros & Taquile Islands)

Located on high altitude tundra plain (or altiplano), spanning an area of some 3,240 sq mi (8,392 sq km), Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest navigable lake. The Tiahuanaco Culture flourished in the region from around 200 B.C., fading out some 1000 years later with the expansion of the Inca Empire. Archeologists have recorded no less than 180 ancient monuments in the area, denoting just how important this region of Peru and Bolivia once was. Today you will take a full day boat ride on Lake Titicaca, visiting the floating Uros Islands and the island of Taquile.

Departing Puno’s main pier you will venture out into Lake Titicaca. Located in the bay of Puno, just 45 minutes from land, are the floating Uros Islands. Colorfully dressed Aymara speaking locals welcome you to their islands for a unique insight into life on the Lake. Made from totora reed found in abundance on the lake shores, the Uros islands are a group of about 50 islands tethered together to create a floating town. Houses, churches, schools and shops are to name a few of the intricate structures found on the islands. You’ll have a demonstration about how the islands are made, and how locals sustain life on the islands. Hop on one of the extravagant reed boats, for a short trip to another island.

Continuing further out into the Lake, you’ll head to the remote island of Taquile. Surrounded by deep blue colored waters, Taquile is a place lost in the patina of time. Steeped in years of tradition, life on the island continues as it has done for hundreds of years. There are no roads on the island, local farmers work the land without the use of machinery, and islanders go about their daily lives unhindered by the complications of the modern world. On arrival at Taquile, you’ll follow a fairly steep path ascending to the islands main plaza. From here the vistas across the lake are breathtakingly beautiful. Close to the plaza you’ll stop for a spot of lunch (included). Taquile is famous for its tradition of crafting intricate knitted products. However, on this island, the artisans aren’t the women, but actually the men. Boys as young as 4 or 5 show off their skills at knitting complicated patterns, whilst the elder men churn out precisely crafted garments whilst stood around in the sun chatting to one and other. Mid-afternoon you will head back to Puno and onto your hotel for the evening.

Day 11: Fly to Lima

Mid-morning you’ll be collected from your hotel and transferred to Juliaca Airport, 45 minutes away. From the small airport at Juliaca, you will take a short 1 hour flight to the capital – Lima. Our local Lima representatives will be waiting to meet you, and will take you in private transport to the Miraflores Hotel district of Lima.

In recent years the culinary scene in Lima has exploded. A handful of young and talented chefs (including the famous Gaston Acurio) have led the way in the food revolution, helping to put Lima firmly on the foodies map. Great food is a way of life in Lima, so you don’t need to dine at the most fancy of restaurants to have a great meal. However, if you want to sample the best, then Lima won’t disappoint. Ask a member of our luxury Peru vacations team for some insider tips on the best places to eat.

Day 12: Morning tour of Lima, transfer to Lima Airport

Peru’s capital has an amazing past that spans several millennia. In fact Caral-Supe, just north of the city is one of the oldest known archeological sites in South America, dating back to around 2,600 B.C. Within the city there are some 250 registered archaeological sites, which include many huacas (large adobe pyramids). When the Spanish officially founded the city in January 1535, they only added to the legacy of Lima’s immense history.

After breakfast, you’ll be collected from you hotel for a morning tour of Lima. The tour covers Lima’s colonial center featuring a visit to Plaza de Armas where you will see the Government Palace, Lima Cathedral and the Archbishops Palace. You’ll also take a guided tour of the Church and Convent of Santo Domingo where the Catholic Dominican Order was first founded in Peru. Later you’ll travel on to the wealthy business district of San Isidro where you’ll take a guided tour of the Temple of Huallamarca, one of the largest and best preserved huacas. You’ll return to Miraflores via the coastal road, stopping at El Parque del Amor (The Park of Love), famous for the sculpture ‘El Beso’ (The Kiss), created by Peru’s famous artist Victor Delfin.

In the evening you will take a private transfer to Lima Airport, where you can connect to your onward international flight home.



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