Day 1 – Arrive Lima
Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for check-in. Overnight in Lima.
Day 2 – Lima
Today you will have a free day to explore Lima. Overnight in Lima.
Day 3 – Lima / Arequipa
After breakfast, transfer to Lima airport for a domestic flight to Arequipa. After checking in to your hotel, you will begin a tour of Arequipa at the city’s main square. The first stop on the tour is the Iglesia de La Compañia de Jesús, a Jesuit church with a beautiful Baroque façade and chapel. Then you will move on to the traditional districts of Carmen Alto and Yanahuara. From here you will have spectacular views of Mount Misti, Mount Chachani, and Mount Pichu-Pichu, as well as of the city itself. Next, you will visit the Santa Catalina convent, a large complex with charming streets and small plazas that haven’t changed in over 500 years. Finally, you will visit the Andean Sanctuary Museum, which displays the mummified remains of Juanita; the Lady of Ampato, a teenage Incan girl sacrificed to the Apus whose body was found by Johan Reinhard on Mount Ampato after resting underneath layers of snow for nearly 500 years. Overnight in Arequipa.
Day 4 – Arequipa / Colca
Today you will begin the journey through the town of Yura and the National Reserve of Aguada Blanca and Pampa Cañahuas, stopping in Patahuasi for a break, before continuing onto the village of Chivay for lunch. In the afternoon, you can go to the Calera to enjoy an invigorating dip in the thermal pools. Overnight in Colca.
Day 5 – Colca / Puno
Leaving early, you will travel towards “Cruz Del Condor”, the best location to admire the Colca Canyon and the flight of the majestic condors (weather permitting). You will then visit the native towns of Maca, Yanque and Chivay. Overnight in Puno.
Day 6 – Puno / Taquile Island / Uros Islands / Puno
After breakfast, head out of the city of Puno towards Taquile Island. The culture of this island dates back to pre-Incan times and the islanders still live according to the traditions and beliefs of their ancestors. They are world renowned for their lovely outfits and incredible textiles. Whilst on the island, you will visit the community of Huayllano, where you will be shown artistic handicrafts and farming activities. After this, enjoy a traditional lunch before sailing over to the famous Uros Islands, a set of man-made floating islands in the middle of the Lake Titicaca National Reserve. Here you will meet islanders, hunters, and gatherers, who are descendants of the first altiplano inhabitants. Overnight in Puno.
Day 7 – Puno / Cusco
Take in the beautiful scenery as you are driven by bus to Cusco. On the way, you will visit Andahuaylillas, a town with a 17th century church which boasts an amazing organ, decorated with angels and cherubs. You will also visit the Racchi Ruins, known as “The Temple of God Wiracocha”. There will be excellent photo opportunities when you stop at La Raya, the highest point on the road between Puno and Cusco. Overnight in Cusco – make sure you get a good nights sleep ready for the first day of your Machu Picchu tour.
Day 8 – Cusco / Inca Trail
An early morning bus ride will take you from Cusco to the head of the trail to begin your Machu Picchu tour. From here you will continue along the Urubamba River to the first archaeological site, Llaqtapata. Here you will enjoy lunch in a beautiful setting. Next, you will begin gaining altitude until you reach the village of Huayllambamba, where you will camp for the night. Max Altitude: 9694ft Min Altitude: 8761ft Distance Travelled: 12km Approx. Walking Time: 5-6 hours
Day 9 – Inca Trail
After breakfast, begin the climb to the first pass, Warmiwañusca. The climb will take most of the morning. From here, you will descend for about 2 hours into the valley of Pacaymayo, where you will camp for the night. Max Altitude: 13866ft Min Altitude: 9694ft Distance Travelled: 11km Approx. Walking Time: 6-7 hours
Day 10 – Inca Trail
Today is the most diverse day. You will start with the ascent of the second pass, Runcuracay, and descend on the other side for about 2 hours until you reach the beautiful archaeological site of Sayamarca. After exploring this unique place, you will continue on the original stone path of the Incas, through semi-tropical cloud forest and onto the third pass, Phuyupatamarca. In good weather, you will have spectacular views of the surrounding snow peaks and the valley below. From here, it is all downhill to Wiñaywayna, where you will camp for the night. Max Altitude: 13039ft Min Altitude: 8954ft Distance Travelled: 16km Approx. Walking Time: 8 hours
Day 11 – Inca Trail
Today will be the highlight of your Machu Picchu tour. After breakfast, you will hike for 2 hours through cloud forest to reach the famous sun gate, Intipunku, from where you will have the first breath-taking panoramic views of the mysterious Machu Picchu. A short walk will bring you down to the site itself, where you will have a 2-hour guided tour of the Lost City of the Incas. After lunch you will be taken by train to Ollantaytambo and transferred by bus back to Cusco. Max Altitude: 8964ft Machu Picchu Altitude: 7872ft Distance Travelled: 4km Approx. Walking Time: 2 hours
Day 12 – Cusco / Puerto Maldonado
After breakfast, transfer to Cusco airport for a domestic flight to Puerto Maldonado. For the next few days you will be asked to pack only necessary gear, leaving the rest at our safe deposit, as this will help keep the boats and cargo light. You will then be transferred to Tambopata River Port for a 2.5-hour boat ride to Refugio Amazonas, taking you past the Native Community of Infierno and the Tambopata National Reserve checkpoint, into the buffer zone of this 1.3-million-hectare conservation unit. Boxed Lunch provided. Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome and brief you with important navigation and security tips. Dinner provided. After dinner you will be out at the river’s edge, scanning the shores with headlamps and flashlights for red gleams of reflection from the Caiman’s eyes.
Day 13 – Puerto Maldonado
Breakfast. Sachavacayoc Oxbow Lake: A two hour hike takes you to Sachavacayoc Lake. You will then paddle around the lake in a catamaran, searching for the resident family of five giant river otters (seen by about 30% of lake visitors) and other lakeside wildlife such as caiman, hoatzin and horned screamers. We hike out at dawn, when the otters are active. Don’t forget the two hour return hike! For those who do not want to take the long hike, Condenado Lake, thirty minutes from the lodge, is an option. Farm Visit and Ethnobotanical Garden: 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. He has also identified and cultivated many of the medicinal plants used in the region in a little backyard garden. Brazil nut trail and camp: A few minutes hike from the lodge is a beautiful Brazil Nut forest that has been harvested for decades, 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 to transportation and drying. Night walk. You will have the option of hiking out at night, when most of the mammals are active but rarely seen. Much easier to find are frogs with shapes and sounds as bizarre as their natural histories. Parakeet clay lick: A fifteen minute boat ride and sixty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas is a parakeet clay lick. From a blind you will see 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. We visit the lick at dawn, when parrots are most active or in midmorning or early afternoon, when they are active. 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 which sometimes show up include deer, guan and parakeets. Canopy tower: A thirty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas leads to the 25 meter scaffolding canopy tower. A bannistered staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. The tower has been built upon high ground, increasing your horizon of the forest which extends out towards the Tambopata National Reserve. From here you can expect to see a variety of canopy dwelling birds such as toucans, macaws and raptors. Tambopata National Reserve Lecture. Nightly lectures prepared by the staff of Refugio Amazonas cover conservation threats, opportunities and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve.
Day 14 – Puerto Maldonado
Today will be the last full day of your Peru, Amazon & Machu Picchu tour. After breakfast, you will be transferred by boat to Tambopata River Port and back to Puerto Maldonado Headquarters to retrieve your luggage. From here you will be transferred back to Puerto Maldonado airport (depending on airline schedules, this may require dawn departures).
Day 15 – Puerto Maldonado / Lima
Transfer to Puerto Maldonado airport for your flight to Lima to connect with international flights.