Grade

Moderate

From Lima to Arequipa & Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, Machu Picchu and the Amazon Jungle, this 17-day itinerary takes you to Peru’s major highlights, it’s a true Peru adventure.

Arriving into the metropolitan city of Lima before heading out to explore the colonial city of Arequipa. Next, discover Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest canyons, then moving onto Lake Titicaca – a place rich with history, culture, and natural beauty. Arriving to the Inca capital of Cusco and explore colorful textile markets and small towns of the Sacred Valley tour, and hike the short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Ending the expedition in style by visiting the incredible environment of the Amazon Jungle, for Peru Amazon tours in the Tambopata Reserve.

Day 1
Arrival - International flight into Lima, Peru
Arrival & landing day into Lima, an evening to relax and prepare for your Peru adventure that lays ahead!
Day 2
Arequipa & the Colca Canyon
Domestic Flight from Lima to Arequipa - (All domestic flight timings & Carriers to be confirmed) Discover the dramatic beauty of the Colca Canyon, over the next few days, on an exciting two-day excursion from Arequipa. Explore a fascinating natural formation twice as deep as the USA’s Grand Canyon with an experienced guide; visit an intriguing wildlife reserve to encounter diverse species; and admire the beautiful colonial architecture of two highland villages. Walk on the base of a colossal volcano and admire spectacular views of Peru’s stunning scenery during this enriching experience.
Day 3
Arequipa - Colca Valley
After hotel pickup in Arequipa, climb aboard your comfortable, air-conditioned transport and relax during the scenic journey to the colossal Colca Valley. Gaze out of the window at volcanic borders and impossibly green hills as you venture closer to the visionary valley.  Pass through the picturesque Pampa Canahuas Vicuna Reserve to see wild vicunas grazing on the vivid highlands then venture to a traditional Peruvian town to enjoy a delicious lunch inspired by regional recipes. Explore the town independently for the remainder of the day, visiting the steaming baths nearby (own expense) or wandering amid authentic Incan architecture.  
Day 4
Colca Valley - Arequipa
Emerge early after a refreshing rest and venture to the fantastic viewpoint at the Condor Cross to view the canyon at a height of 3,960 feet (1,200 meters) above sea level. Gaze at the enormously deep crevices of the colossal canyon, scanning the sky for swooping condors as you admire. Gain insight into the fascinating Andean creatures alongside your knowledgeable guide, then venture to the provincial villages of Maca (Achoma) and Yanque.  Admire the perfectly preserved colonial churches and artisan stalls of the picturesque pueblos, then enjoy a flavorsome and fulfilling lunch in a rustic restaurant. Relax during the return journey to Arequipa, where the tour concludes.
Day 5
Explore Lake Titicaca
Domestic Flight from Arequipa to Juliaca
Day 6
Uros Islands & Amantani
Between 7.40am and 8am Transfer from the hotel to the port and by motor boat we take you to one of the legendary Uros Islands where you can observe the lives of the Uros people who live on floating reed islands, some only 20 meters in length. After a beautiful 3hr boat ride we reach Amantani Island where we will break into smaller groups to stay with the local families. You have the opportunity to trek to the top of the mountain (4150 m.a.s.l) to see the Temples of the Pachamama and Pachatata and enjoy the traditional customs of the island people. Food and authentic music prepared and performed by your designated family meals’ lunch, dinner with  
  • Accommodation: Rustic accommodation with family.
  • Maximum Altitude: 4150 m.a.s.l.
Day 7
Taquile Island - Puno
After breakfast we take a short boat ride to the neighboring Taquile Island, where we will tour around the ruins and visit these beautiful people, world famous for their intricate and fascinating weavings, after lunch we take the return trip to Puno. Arrival in the afternoon and transfer back to your hotel approx 4 pm.
Day 8
Cusco & the Sacred Valley
Domestic Flight from Juliaca to Cusco Tour of the Sacred Valley: Cusco - Pisac - Ollantaytambo We'll leave Cusco on your arrival for our drive into the Sacred Valley en route to Pisac, a village known for its traditional market and immense Inca fortress. During our visit, we will have plenty of opportunities to stop for photos as we pass terraces, irrigation canals, and picturesque mountain views. In the afternoon, we will depart for the town of Ollantaytambo, which contains some of the best-preserved Inca architecture in the entire Sacred Valley. Roam the winding alleys and vast plazas and gaze upon a marvelous llama-shaped ruin before heading to a local hotel for the night.
  • Overnight: Ollantaytambo - El Albergue
  • Meals included: Breakfast
Day 9
Maras & Moray Tour & Train to Aguas Calientes
This morning, you'll depart from your hotel in Ollantaytambo for your journey to Moray. Along the way, you will see the snow-capped peaks of the Andes, lush yellow fields of wheat, and some villages. Upon arrival in moray, you'll see the three famous amphitheater-like terraces made by the Incas. These terraces are carved deep into the earth in the shape of a bowl. It is believed that the Incas once used these terraces as agricultural laboratories to determine the optimal conditions for growing crops. When you are done exploring moray, you will head about two miles away, to the salt mines of Maras. This village is known as a former salt-producing center and is thought to date back to pre-Incan times. There are over 3,000 salt pools carved into the mountainside, that are filled daily by a stream of water. Once you are done with the visit, you will head back to Ollantaytambo in time to catch your train to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town).
  • Overnight: Aguas Calientes - Sumaq Hotel
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Boxed Lunch
Day 10
Machu Picchu Travel: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco
Get an early start to beat the crowds and get the best views of the ancient ruins. From Aguas Calientes, it's an easy 25-minute bus ride up to the Machu Picchu ruins. This 15th-century Inca citadel is located at 7,970ft (2,430 m) and is a masterpiece of engineering that served as a sanctuary and retreat for the Incan Emperor Pachacutec and his royal court. Machu Picchu, which means "Old Mountain," is considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Built as a seasonal residence for the Inca family, Machu Picchu was rarely home to more than 800 people, and during the royals' absence, a mere 100 servants would remain at the site to maintain the grounds. Machu Picchu was abandoned 100 years after construction due to the Spanish conquest and remained largely hidden to the outside world until the early 20th century. Your guide will lead you around the site and explain the different buildings and curious corners of the building complex. Approximately one-third of the site has been reconstructed into its original structure, giving visitors a sense for the grandeur and artistry of the original citadel. After the tour, take the bus back to Aguas Calientes for lunch and then board the train to Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival in Ollantaytambo, meet your driver for your transfer back to Cusco.
  • Overnight: Cusco - JW Marriott
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 11
Free Day in Cusco to explore
Take a walk through the plaza — if the weather is beautiful, it's a perfect place to sit on a balcony and have a cup of coca tea while adjusting to the elevation. Suggested activities include:
  • Visit the Coricancha, also known as "The Temple of the Sun." The temple was built by the Incan Emperor Pachacutec (1438 1572), and after the arrival of the Spaniards became the basis for the construction of the Santo Domingo Convent.
  • See the Cathedral, the most imposing monument in the central Plaza de Armas and a repository for Cusco's colonial art. Its construction lasted for almost 100 years, beginning in 1560 and ending in 1654.
  • Walk to Sacsayhuamán and next-door Quenqo, both archaeological complexes used mostly for religious and agricultural rituals, located 2.5 miles (4 km) from the city of Cusco. Built by the Killke people, Sacsayhuamán is a marvel of ancient architecture, a monolithic fortress built from giant blocks of stone, the origins and assembly of which remain a mystery.
  • Discover the elaborate Puca Pucara ruins—an architectural complex of alleged military use with multiple plazas, baths, aqueducts, walls, and towers. It is believed that the entourage of the Incan emperor used it while he stayed at Tambomachay, the elaborate estate and baths nearby.
  • Explore San Blas, an old bohemian quarter famous for its picturesque white walls, blue doors, and creative artisan community.
  • Experience the legendary Mercado Central de San Pedro, a large and diverse market famous for its mouth-watering fruit juices, home-style meals, medicinal herb stalls, and rows of various meats, breads, vegetables, and other necessities.
  • Eat lunch at a local Peruvian restaurant and sample local flavors and cooking techniques—crackling pork, pickled vegetables, seasonal flavors, bread baked in earthen ovens, roasted vegetables, and sweet donuts make for a delicious and filling meal.
  • Overnight: Cusco - JW Marriott
Day 12
Lake Humantay
Get an early start to your morning with a 5:30 AM pickup from your hotel in Cusco. Leave the city behind as your head towards the small town of Mollepata, located in the lush valley of the Apurimac River. Enjoy breakfast in a local cafe before continuing for 1 hour to the small town Soraypampa, where you will start your hike to Humantay lake. The trail is steep but gorgeous, with views of snow-capped mountains and deep glacial lakes along the way. The hike is shadowed by Salkantay Peak, one of Peru’s most sacred mountains, towering at 20,600 ft (6,280 m), with a spectacular sheer and snowy face. It is matched by the equally impressive Humantay Peak, rising 19,412 ft, (5,916) m. Shamans will often give a blessing when safely reaching the crystal-clear waters of Humantay Lake, located at 14,100 ft (4,300 m). Once you reach the lakeshore, relax, enjoy a snack, go for a swim (if you are brave!) or give thanks to Pachamama (Mother Earth). When you are ready to hike back down, descend to Soraypampa and have lunch while enjoying the breathtaking panoramic views of the snowy peaks. Drive back to Cusco and spend the evening relaxing in the hotel.
  • Drive time: 3.5 hours Hiking time: 3-4 hours
  • Overnight: Cusco - JW Marriott
  • Meals included: Breakfast snack, Boxed Lunch
Day 13
The Amazon Jungle
Domestic Flight from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado REFUGIO AMAZONAS 4D3N – With Chuncho Clay Lick DAY 1 - Arrival & Reception by Guide Our guides are tourism professionals, or community members. Unless noted otherwise, our guides speak English. We assign guides at 10:1 ratio in Refugio Amazonas. This means groups smaller than 10 people will be merged with other groups under one guide. If you would like a private guide or a guide in a language other than English please let us know. Transfer Airport to Puerto Maldonado Headquarters Upon arrival from Lima or Cusco, we will welcome you at the airport and  drive you ten minutes to our Puerto Maldonado headquarters. While enjoying your first taste of the forest in our gardens we will ask you to pack only the necessary gear for your next few days, and leave the rest at our safe deposit. This helps us keep the boats and cargo light.     Transfer Pto Maldonado Headquarters to Tambopata River Port Skirting Puerto Maldonado, we drive 20 kilometers to the Tambopata River Port, entering the Native Community of Infierno.  The port is a communal business. Transfer Boat - Tambopata River Port to Refugio Amazonas The two and a half hour boat ride from the Tambopata Port to Refugio Amazonas will take us past the Community of Infierno and the Tambopata National Reserve´s checkpoint and into the buffer zone of this 1.3 million hectare conservation unit.   Boxed Lunch Orientation Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips. Dinner Caiman Search We will be out at the river’s edge at night, scanning the shores with headlamps and flashlights to catch the red gleams of reflection from caiman eyes.
  • Classic Room at Refugio Amazonas - Overnight
Day 14
Refugio Amazonas - Tambopata Jungle
Breakfast Oxbow Lake Visit We will paddle around the lake on a canoe or a catamaran, looking for lakeside wildlife such as hoatzin, caiman and hornerd screamers, hoping to see the otters which are infrequently seen here. You will also be rewarded with overhead sightings of macaws. Canopy Tower A thirty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas leads to the 25 meter scaffolding canopy tower. A banisterred staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. The tower has been built upon high ground, therefore increasing your horizon of the continuous primary forest extending out towards the Tambopata National Reserve.  From here views of mixed species canopy flocks as well as toucans, macaws and raptors are likely. Lunch Farm Visit Five minutes downriver from the lodge lies a farm owned and managed by charismatic Don Manuel from the neighbouring community of Condenado. He grows a variety of popular and unknown Amazon crops - just about every plant and tree you see serves a purpose. Ethnobotanical Tour Along this trail we will find a variety of plants and trees that are used by the local population with at least the same variety of purposes. We will learn about the medicinal (and other) uses of Ajo-Sacha, Yuca de Venado, Uña de Gato, Charcot-Sacha, Para-Para, among several others. Dinner Tambopata National Reserve Lectures Nightly lectures prepared by the staff of Refugio Amazonas cover conservation threats, opportunities and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve.
  • Classic Room at Refugio Amazonas - Overnight
Day 15
Refugio Amazonas - Tambopata Jungle
Breakfast Transfer Boat - Refugio Amazonas - Chuncho Clay Lick - Two hours from Refugio Amazonas, deep in the Tambopata National Reserve we will stop at the Chuncho claylick. After a brief walk (~5 minutes) we will have the chance to see dozens of large macaws feeding on the special sodium rich clays of the riverbank. The Chuncho claylick probably attracts more large macaws than any other claylick in the world and the sight of dozens of macaws taking flight is truly unforgettable. The details of our stopover will depend on the weather and the amount of macaw activity, as the birds don’t visit the clay lick when it is raining. Transfer Boat - Chuncho Clay Lick - Refugio Amazonas Lunch Brazil Nut Trail and Camp A few minutes hike from the lodge is a beautiful old growth patch of Brazil Nut forest that has been harvested for decades (if not centuries) where the precarious remains of a camp used two months a year by Brazil Nut gatherers can still be experienced. We will be demonstrating the whole process of the rain forest's only sustainably harvested product from collection through transportation to drying. Mammal Clay Lick Twenty minutes walking from Refugio Amazonas is a peccary clay lick. These wild rain forest pigs show up in herds of five to twenty individuals to eat clay in the late morning. Chances of spotting them are around 15%, but well worth the short hike. Other wildlife also shows up including deer, guan and parakeets. Dinner Night walk You will have the option of hiking out at night, when most of the mammals are active but difficult to see. Easier to find are frogs with shapes and sounds as bizarre as their natural histories.
  • Classic Room at Refugio Amazonas - Overnight
Day 16
Refugio Amazonas - Tambopata Jungle
Breakfast Transfer Boat - Refugio Amazonas to Tambopata River Port Transfer Tambopata River Port to Pto Maldonado Headquarters Transfer Puerto Maldonado Headquarters to Airport We retrace our river and road journey back to Puerto Maldonado, our office and the airport. Depending on airline schedules, this may require dawn departures.  
  • NOTES - for the Jungle
  • Included Programmes based on double occupancy. Includes all meal, accommodations, and services, all river transportation, and transfer from and to the airport of Puerto Maldonado.
  • Not Included Additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations, alcoholic beverages or bottled water, snacks, insurance of any kind, laundry, phone calls or messages, reconfirmation of flights and items of personal nature.
  • Boat Transportation Rainforest Expeditions boats are 20-foot long, roofed canoes. Outboard boat engine are 60hp 4 cycle, eco-friendly, low emission motors.
  • Transfer-in (From Puerto Maldonado to Lodge): we have two departures daily at 13:00 and 14:30
  • Transfer-out (Lodge to Puerto Maldonado): Two daily departures at 07:00 and 08:00 We reserve the right to change the order of activities. Domestic Flight from Puerto Maldonado to Lima
  • Overnight Lima - Ramada Wyndham Costa del Sol
Day 17
International Flight out of Lima.
Arrival to the airport for your onward international flight out. It's never goodbye, until next time!
Included
  • Professional bilingual guide for all activities outlined in the program
  • Private air-conditioned transport
  • All meals as outlined in program
  • All Accommodation as outlined in the program
  • All domestic flights as outlined in the program & airport transfers
  • Professional, English speaking-Spanish guide for all activities
  • Collection from your hotel in the morning of trips departure.
  • Admission ticket to the Islands on Lake Titicaca
  • Motor boat-driver
  • Speedy boat (Jumbo Class services)
  • 01 Night Home stays with the Families (Amantani).
 
Not Included
  • International airfares
  • Tips for guides & crew
  • Additional extras required
  • Any type of travel insurance
  • Evacuation or medical costs incurred as part of program
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