PERU: CUZCO, MACHU PICCHU AND AMAZON

October 2018

Peru Woman With Llama Peru Moray Peru Macaws At Salt Lick Peru Salineras Salt Mines Peru Cuzco Cathedral Peru Machu Picchu

Peru is a beautiful and fascinating mix of Inca and Spanish culture. The Inca were the most advanced civilization in the New World when they encountered the Spanish, the most advanced in the Old World. The culture of Peru today a magnificent hybrid of old and new, indigenous and European, and this can be seen and experienced in its people, food, music, art and architecture. The Inca built astonishing structures centuries ago, which appear in near pristine shape today. The Spanish overlay makes for compelling sights, it's certainly not the norm to find so many interesting and beautiful man made attractions in one country, and then add to this the vast multitude of jaw dropping natural sights, and the result is a sheer feast for all your senses. Yes, Peru dazzles and we are happy to show you this splendor.

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Meet at Lima airport for 1.5 hour flight to Cuzco. Upon arrival we will be met by our guide and taken to hotel. Cuzco was the capital of the Inca Empire and the Spanish then used Cuzco as their administrative center, thus the city is built on Inca foundations with Spanish architecture atop these massive Inca walls. The fusion of the 2 make this a most fascinating city. Its relatively small scale make it a pleasant city to explore on foot. Many of the significant attractions are just minutes from our hotel. We'll have lunch and then a walking tour of central Cuzco. Welcome dinner in the evening.

Overnight at Palacio Del Inka.

(LUNCH, DINNER)

While one could just absorb the history, scenery and vibe of Cuzco by remaining at the hotel, we have a day planned to take you to the most major sites near town. We drive short distances to visit the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, built from massive stones carved and fitted together with impeccable precision, and still in exquisite condition all these centuries later. We visit the equally impressive sites of Puka Pukara, Qenko, and Tambomachay, returning to Cuzco for late lunch. Afternoon and evening free. 

Overnight at Hotel Palacio del Inka.

(BREAKFAST, LUNCH)

Morning drive to Pisac in the Sacred Valley. In Pisac we visit the Pisac ruins, considered to be some of the most impressive, with their variety of Inca architectural styles. The local market famed for handicrafts and items of local interest is also on our agenda. We continue on to Urubamba where we stop for lunch, and then continue to our destination, Ollantaytambo where we spend the night. 

Overnight at Hotel El Albergue.

(B,L)

Ollantaytambo is a charming small town (considered the best preserved Inca town), with its narrow streets of massive Inca stone foundations and Spanish structures atop these. We explore Ollantaytambo on foot, and then make a short hike to the Inca temple and fortress that towers above town. Late afternoon to relax. 

Overnight at Hotel El Albergue.

(B)

We board the train to Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of the mountain where Machu Picchu is located. The 2-hour ride is along the racing river as the gorge narrows, with dramatic scenery everywhere. Arrive and transfer to hotel. Lunch followed by exploration of hotel grounds and gardens and the opportunity to either relax or wander the streets of Aguas Calientes. 

Overnight at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.

(B,D)

A short 20-minute drive brings us to the mountain top citadel of Machu Picchu, considered one of the wonders of the world. Its exact purpose is unknown, but it is often thought to have been a winter retreat for the Inca nobility, and it was most certainly a holy city as well, as evidenced by the number of shrines. It is an architectural masterpiece in every sense of the word, from its aesthetics to its engineering, to its ability to seemingly float within the existing landscape. We have the day to explore and learn about its history, and soak up the ambience of this one of a kind site. 

Overnight at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.

(B,D)

Mid-morning train back to Ollantaytambo, where we stop for lunch, and then drive to the salt mines of Salineras, in use since Inca times, and the nearby Inca agricultural site of Moray. While both sites have their utilitarian uses, both are also very beautiful and fascinating. Late afternoon arrival in Cuzco. 

Overnight at Palacio del Inka.

(B)

The Paru Paru Elementary School educates local students in both Spanish and Quechua provides a unique experience with these students and a glimpse into the world of education in this region. Our guide has excellent relations with the school and the visit is certain to be memorable. Free afternoon in Cuzco. 

Overnight at Palacio del Inka.

(B)

This morning we fly 60-minutes to Puerto Maldonado, gateway to Amazon region and rain forest. Our destination is the forest, wildlife and scenery rich area of Manu. A 2-hour drive brings us to the village of Santa Rosa where we board a boat to cross the river, where another waiting vehicle takes us on 45-minute drive to Boca Colorado to journey upstream 2.5-hours on the Madre de Dios River.  We'll have lunch along the way as we observe the river and forest and some unusual wildlife. We arrive at our destination; Tambo Blanquillo Private Reserve, located in pristine forest adjacent to Manu National Park. Afternoon stroll to nearby lake where you can kayak on your own or board a paddle catamaran and have guides row you across the water. 

Overnight at Tambo Blanquillo Private Reserve.

(B,L,D)

We awaken early to be transported to one of the most important macaw clay licks in the world. Macaws are large colorful parrots, they consume clay to regulate their PH balance. We await the arrival of hundreds of macaws and other parrots in a comfortable blind, enjoying picnic breakfast while the birds swarm just a short distance away. Lunch at the lodge, then we travel to a mammal clay lick in the afternoon, where we are likely to view monkeys, tapirs and perhaps even a jaguar, as we recline in comfort to await the parade of wildlife. 

Overnight at Tambo Blanquillo Private Reserve.

(B,L,D)

Morning visit to one of the most wildlife rich oxbow lake in the reserve, we will enjoy a ride via paddle catamaran and see families of giant otters (almost extinct in Peru, but plentiful here), and a great variety of bird life. Lunch at the lodge, afternoon visit to the Camungo Observation Tower, the largest observation tower in Peru, 50 meters above the forest floor, expect sightings of monkeys, macaws, and more unusual birds. 

Overnight at Tambo Blanquillo Private Reserve.

(B,L,D)

Today we visit another beautiful lake, the Blanco Oxbow Lake, en route we are likely to see peccaries, jaguars, and other mammals and birds, and once arrived at the lake another ride by paddle catamaran provides views of more giant river otters, caimans (alligators), monkeys and birds. The region around this lake is home to more than 600 species of birds. Lunch again at the lodge, and afternoon walk into the rain forest. Farewell dinner at the lodge. 

Overnight at Tambo Blanquillo Private Reserve.

(B,L,D)

Early morning 2.5 hour boat ride along the Madre De Dios River. Picnic breakfast in the boat as we look for more wildlife from the boat. Local indigenous settlements appear along the river bank as we draw closer to civilization. Disembark at Boca Colorado, where awaiting vehicle takes us to Puerto Carlos to cross river and then another 2-hour drive to Puerto Maldonado. In Puerto Maldonado we catch flight to Lima and then to onward to home or other destinations.

(B)

prices & registration information

(Inclusive of food and beverages where indicated; bottled water in vehicle; accommodations in 4 and 5 star hotels/lodges; ground transportation; entrance fees; services of licensed Peruvian guide and driver; services of USA-based trip leader.)

$6200. (Based on double occupancy)

$7500. (Based on single occupancy)

NOTE: Internal airfare, for 3 flights: Lima to Cuzco, Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado, Puerto Maldonado to Lima not included in above price. Price of $330 is subject to change.

NOTE: Gratuities, alcoholic beverages, meals not listed on itinerary, laundry, souvenirs, items of a personal nature, international and domestic airfare and travel insurance are NOT included.

General Information

This journey involves travel to the Peruvian capital of Lima. There are many routes and prices for this trip from USA or point of origin and participants are required to book their tickets with enough time so as to arrive in Lima in time for a flight on Friday October 26 from Lima to Cuzco. This will likely involve an overnight in Lima, there is airport and city center hotels. We can assist with hotel information.

This 13 day trip involves 3 domestic Peru flights, from Lima to Cuzco, Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado and Puerto Maldonado to Lima. Cost of these flight varies, but is approximately $330 for all 3 flights. We can assist with booking these flights