On this journey you will experience the amazing nature, history and culture of Peru, a country where the Incas built the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. You will explore the jungle at Tambopata reserve then enter the world of the Inca Empire while you visit Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu and finally navigate a Totora boat around Lake Titicaca.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Lima International airport|
|DEPARTURE TIME||Please arrive at least 3 hours before the flight.|
Arrival, meet and transfer to your hotel. begin a tour of the city’s main avenues, boulevards, and squares. The tour will begin with an exploration of Colonial Lima. First, we will stop off at the Main Square, to get a chance to explore the square on foot and admire the exteriors of the Government Palace, the Cathedral of Lima, and the City Hall, all examples of Lima’s still-present colonial architectural opulence.
We will visit the Cathedral of Lima; as walking through the Cathedral’s numerous chapels, we’ll travel to the past and discover various architectural styles (from Renaissance to Neo-Classical), and learn about the religious history of Peru. Our tour continues with the visit to San Francisco Convent built in the 17th century, and its “Catacombs” ancient underground cemetery of Lima. Afterwards, we will head to the Pueblo Libre District and visit the Larco Museum, an eighteenth-century Viceregal mansion that houses more than 3,000 years of Peru’s pre-Columbian history. The museum boasts a supremely fine collection of gold and silver jewelry and worship paraphernalia that demonstrates the superb skill of ancient Peruvian gold and silversmiths. Overnight in Lima. (-/-/-)
Breakfast & transfer to Lima’s airport.
Upon arrival from Lima, 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.
Skirting Puerto Maldonado, we drive 20 kilometers to the Tambopata River Port, entering the Native Community of Infierno. The port is a communal business.
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.
Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips.
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.
Refugio Amazonas – Overnight (B/L/D) (Note: box lunch is included if the flight arrives at noon)
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.
Then A thirty-minute walk from Refugio Amazonas leads to the 25 meter scaffolding canopy tower. A 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.
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.
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.
Back at Tambopata you Will enjoy
Nightly lectures prepared by the staff of Refugio Amazonas cover conservation threats, opportunities and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve. Overnight (B/L/D)
After breakfast enjoy a fifteen-minute boat ride and sixty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas is a clay lick used both by parrots and parakeets. From a blind you will see parrots and parakeets descend on most clear days to ingest the clay on a bank. Species such as Dusky headed and Cobalt winged Parakeet descend at this clay lick. With luck we will also see some or all of the following species in the early morning rush: Mealy and Yellow-crowned Amazons, Blue-headed Pionus, Severe macaw and Orange-cheeled (Barraband`s) Parrot. We visit the lick at dawn, when parrots are most active or in midmorning or early afternoon, when they are active.
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.
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. Overnight (B/L/D)
Breakfast.Transfer Boat – Refugio Amazonas to Tambopata River Port Transfer to Puerto Maldonado’s airport. Flight to Cusco Arrival, meet and transfer to your hotel. Overnight (B/-/-)
Breakfast and we will pick you up from the hotel to begin the exploration to the nearby ruins: the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, a colossal structure of enormous stones, carved and fitted together with incredible precision; Qenqo, the religious center; we will enjoy a panoramic view of Puca-Pucara, the red fortress and then we will visit Tambomachay with their water fountains.
Afterwards, our tour continues in the Imperial City, we will stroll through the Main Square, where we will discover the Cathedral and admire its exquisite vestibules and priceless paintings from the Cusco School of the 17th and 18th centuries.
We will continue with a visit to one of the most impressive buildings of Incan Cusco: the Qoricancha (the Golden Temple) – a temple dedicated to the worship of the Sun God, whose interior walls were said to have been covered in gold. Afternoon at Leisure. Overnight (B/-/-)
Breakfast. This morning, we will continue or trip towards the Sacred Valley, you will soon reach the must-see stop of Awanacancha. Here, you will learn about the various types of camelids (Llamas, Alpacas, Vicuñas, and Guanacos) that live in the Andes region. Additionally, the local villagers will teach you about the ancestral methods and techniques used to produce their textile art.
A few miles farther along, you will reach Pisac, a beautiful place where Incan and Colonial influences have reached a perfect balance and created the unique way of life of the local inhabitants. We will get a chance to explore this quaint town, famous for its artisan markets where we can find extraordinarily fine jewelry and ceramic and textile craftwork. Overnight (B/L/-)
Breakfast. This morning, we will continue the trip toward the archaeological site of Moray. Used as an agricultural testing ground, the site’s system of circular terraces descends 490 feet (150m) from where we will stand, serving as a perfect testament to the level of advancement achieved by the Incas, who excelled at building masterful constructions in harmony with nature.
The journey will continue on until we reach the Salt Pans of Maras. The sight of this still-operating salt mine, in use since Incan times, will amaze you the stark white of the steeply descending salt pans juxtaposed against the green of the surrounding mountain slopes.
Finally, we will visit one of the last remaining Incan towns, Ollantaytambo, which was once fiercely guarded by a massive fortress. We will discover the large archaeological complex of what used to serve as a wayside inn for royal delegations on long journeys. Surviving structures here include multiple walls and towers that were used to protect the citadel from possible invasions. Overnight (B/-/-)
Breakfast.Visit to the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu & lunch at Tinkuy restaurant
This day, you will visit the Santuario Histórico de Machu Picchu (Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu). Aboard a comfortable train Expedition, you will depart to the Aguas Calientes train Station enjoying a spectacular view along the way. Upon arrival, you will board a bus that will take you to the entrance gate of the Machu Picchu citadel.
Rediscovered by Hiram Bingham more than a century ago, Machu Picchu is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Its architectural beauty, spectacular natural landscapes and the energy held in its enigmatic structures will take your breath away.
Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Incas as you explore this magical citadel along with the tour guide.
Lunch at Tinkuy restaurant – Sanctuary Lodge
Return to the town of Aguas Calientes.Overnight in Machu Picchu Overnight (B/-/-)
Breakfast. Morning free
At the scheduled time, you will be assisted to take the return train (Expedition service). Upon the arrival at the station just outside of Cusco, your private transfer service will be waiting to take you back to your hotel. Overnight (B/-/-)
Early in the morning we will depart from Cusco to Puno on board a comfortable vehicle, as we enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the Andes. During our trip, we will make a brief stop at Andahuaylillas, a friendly, warm-weather town which is home to one of the most unique churches in the Andes, known as Peru’s Sistine Chapel.
Buffet lunch at a country-style restaurant, where we will enjoy the regional cuisine.
You will be dazzled by the beautifully decorated murals and frescoes covering walls, baseboards, ceilings and façades. Our following stop is Racchi, one of the most important constructions of the Inca Empire, known for its extraordinary architecture. We will then cross the La Raya Pass, which lies at 14,222 feet (4,335 meters) above sea level. There we will see herds of vicuñas and llamas. Our last stop will be the town of Pucará, known as the place where the Toritos (little bulls) of Pucará are made. The famous torito is believed to have magical and religious qualities among the inhabitants of the Andes as a symbol of procreation for the flocks, for happiness in marriage, fertility at home and as protection for the house. Arrival, meet and transfer to your hotel. Overnight (B/L/-)
You will enjoy an extraordinary journey across the world’s highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca. Travel to legendary places where time seems to have stood still. Your first stop will be the Uros floating islands. These are a peculiar grouping of around 40 small islands made totally of totora, a natural reed that grows around the lake. The cheerful inhabitants will invite you to get to know their traditional lifestyle and customs.
You will continue your voyage across the placid waters of the lake (shared boa)t. until you come to the picturesque island of Taquile, a peaceful place where old Quechua traditions live in perfect balance with modernity. Discover a landscape distinct from the other islands thanks to the Incan terraces filled with local flowers and crops. The rich colors of the clothing worn by the local inhabitants will amaze you; admire their beautiful hand-made fabrics. Most importantly, enjoy the unbelievable hospitality of the islanders, known as Taquileños, who will make your visit to the island a memorable one.
Before making your way back to Puno, you will have lunch at a local home. Overnight (B/L/-)
Transfer to Puno’s airport. On the way, you will visit the archeological complex of Sillustani, an amazing pre-Incan cemetery where more than 90 Chullpa or funerary towers some of them up to 40 feet (12 m) high, rise up imposingly around Lake Umayo. Flight to Lima end of services (B-/-)