Day 1 Lima Arrive in Lima at any time. A representative from Adventures to Peru will greet you at the airport and private transfer to your hotel. There are no planned activities today so check-in and enjoy the city. This afternoon you are free to explore colonial and modern Lima, with visits to the Government Palace, cathedral, Plaza de Armas and the Archaeological Museum. Or hang around the bustling commercial districts of and Miraflores and Barranco.
Day 2 Arequipa (B) A midday flight takes us to ‘The White City. Vying with Lima as Peru’s most important city Arequipa’s city centre can be visited on foot. Free afternoon sightseeing at you leisure. Plazas, markets, and churches are all found in Arequipa’s remarkable historic center. Also popular is the extraordinary Santa Catalina convent, which is built from white volcanic lava and dates from the 16th century, along with the best-preserved mummy in South America, Juanita the ‘Ice Maiden’. Optional city tours, countryside tours, rafting etc. are also available depending on individual taste.
Then at dusk we will seriously indulge in some of Peru’s richest spice and flavor, as Arequipa has some of the finest cuisine in the country.
Day 3 Colca Canyon (B) After an early breakfast, we’ll set out on an overland drive to the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest in the world – 3182m. After a scenic 5 hours we’ll reach Chivay, the capital of the province of Colca. During our venture we’ll climb through the National Reserve of Pampa de Cañahuas at approximately 3,800m. With some luck we’ll get glimpses of Andean Ducks, Geese, Viscachas (Andean rabbit), Alpacas, Llamas and Vicuñas. The area is known as Ring of Fire or Valley of the Volcanoes due to the numerous volcanoes in the region, many of which can be appreciated form short distances.
Our highest pass will be an astounding 4900m(16,000ft) above sea level, but just for a quick panorama. Then we’ll continue down to the Colca Valley. Accommodation at the fabulous the Mamayachi near the village of Corporaque, set in the Colca Valley itself. We’ll have the opportunity to soak in the natural hot springs, hike to the surrounding villages or simply relax in the fabulous surroundings of the Canyon.
Focus: discussion on Pre-Inca customs & agricultural techniques.
Day 4 Colca Canyon (B) Today we are off to Cruz del Condor. With some luck, here you will be able to appreciate the famous Andean Condors in magical flight as they soar well above the depths of the mighty canyon. Then an optional hike takes us along the rim of the canyon, in search of local wildlife including the Andean Cara-Cara or (a local Raptor), Viscachas (Andean rabbits) and much more.
We will spend the day in and around the valley before arriving to Cabanaconde, a local village found deep in the canyon. In many ways Colca Canyon was left untouched, even after the Spanish Conquest. Its isolation and distance from Arequipa allowed local indigenous customs and traditions in Colca Canyon to survive in peace more so than in other parts of Peru. This will be evident as we, together with our local guide, spends 3 days and 2 nights examining just how these people live.
Day 5 Arequipa (B) Today we return to Arequipa. We climb out of the Colca Canyon retracing our trail through the ‘Valley of the Volcanoes’ back to Arequipa. The evening is free to spend at your leisure.
Day 6 Cusco (B) Have a couple free hours in Arequipa before our mid-day flight to Cusco, also high in the Andes Mountains. Afternoon to discover Cusco’s enchanting network of narrow streets and white wash mud-brick walls, all built atop Incan stone foundations. A true amalgamation of cultures! Explore the many markets, churches, museums, plazas and first-rate restaurants, all at your fingertips while exploring the city center on foot. Or, visit nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman and Tambomachay on horseback. More active options include river rafting, motorcycle tours and mountain biking.
Day 7 Ollantaytambo (B) One of the most spectacular days of the tour takes us through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Once an important source of food for the Inca, the Sacred Valley is a lush agricultural region that continues to supply the city of Cusco with much of its produce. As it is 600m lower than Cusco, temperatures are on average 5 degrees Cº higher in the Sacred Valley.
Our travels will bring us through the major archaeological sites of Pisac and Ollantaytambo. At Pisac, an optional two hour or 5km hike will allow us to fully appreciate the Incan city nestled high in the Andean range. Later, the colorful artesian market at Pisac will no doubt be a highlight for those in search of unique souvenirs.
The day trip finishes in the picturesque village of Ollantaytambo, location of another large Inca site. This major ruin is known as the best surviving example of Inca urban planning and engineering. But more than that, Ollantaytambo is a living breathing Inca City. Here we catch our breath and prepare for our train voyage to Machu Picchu.
Focus today: Inca stone working techniques, 3 Peruvian blessings: Coca leaf, Andean Maca, Potato
Day 8 Aguas Calientes (B) This morning we’ll make our way to the train station in Ollantaytambo and board the train to Aguas Calientes traveling northeast through the lush Sacred Valley of the Incas. Arrive at Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu village, check into your hotel and enjoy the atmosphere. Aguas Calientes is about 30 minutes from Machu Picchu, which you’ll visit tomorrow morning. Today you’ll have free time to soak in the hot springs, hike, shop and explore the village.
Day 9 Machu Picchu / Cusco (B) A pre-dawn start from takes us by local shuttle to Machu Picchu. Enjoy the ruins in virtual solitude for the first hour until sunrise. Make the hour-long hike up to the ‘Intipunku’ or Sun Gate. See Machu Picchu in all its glory and discover Machu Picchu on an expert 2-hour private guided tour. Then, free time at site to explore, rest, meditate or simply chill out in the ruins.
Climb Wayna Picchu (Young Peak 2 hrs, not included), hike to the Moon Temple (2 1/2 hrs), or venture to the Inca Draw Bridge! There is no shortage of things so see and do in Machu Picchu. Generally we’ll have lunch in Aguas Calientes although it is your choice, afternoon train to Ollantaytambo and transfer to your hotel in Cusco.
Day 10 Cusco (B) Today you’ll have a full free day to really soak up Cusco’s ethnically brilliant atmosphere. Relax in the main ‘Plaza de Armas”, or stop by the Incan Archaeological Museum located just around the corner from your hotel. Then, time permitting, visit the recently opened ‘Casa Concha’, which houses hundreds of pieces removed from Machu Picchu by Hiram Bingham in 1912 and recently returned in 2011 (Centennial Anniversary of Machu Picchu’s scientific discovery) to Peru by Yale University in the United States.
Also worth a visit is the colorful local market at San Pedro and the bohemian neighborhood of San Blas, full of artists, craftsmen and street vendors, both only minutes from the hotel. Or, visit nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman and Tambomachay on horseback. More active options include river rafting, motorcycle tours and mountain biking.
Day 11 Amazon Jungle (B,L,D) An early morning flight takes us to Puerto Maldonado, deep in the lowlands of the Amazon jungle. Travel by motorized canoe to our isolated lodge in the Tambopata Candamo Rainforest Area, which holds the world record for the most bird sightings in one area.
Listen for howler monkeys in the tropical forest canopy above and spot macaws perched high on the riverbanks. After we arrive at a small portage, we’ll hike through the jungle to our own Amazon Jungle lodge. The lodge itself combines native architectural style and materials with low-impact eco-friendly technology. Rooms are simple but comfortable, with mosquito netting for individual beds, flush toilets, showers (no hot water), and kerosene lamps for lighting (no electricity in bungalows). Local community members make up the majority the lodge staff, including multilingual Naturalist Guides. Here you have the opportunity to learn from them not only about the area’s rich flora and fauna, but also about their extensive practical uses for medicinal plants and other forest plant resources, through traditional techniques for building, fishing, and hunting.
After lunch, we’ll head out on a rainforest trail in search of macaws and other rainforest dwellers that come out in search of food in the late afternoon. Then, later that night, we’ll venture out on an Amazon night walk, probing the forest for the nocturnal creatures we normally hear but don’t see.
Day 12 Amazon Jungle (B,L,D) A pre-dawn departure will get us up and into the forest at the crack of dawn. Our local nature guide will show the way to one of the Oxbow lakes in the vicinity. This area is teeming with life – we’ll look for giant otters, capuchin monkeys, caiman, snakes, spiders and many other jungle animals on our boat trip and various hikes around the area. During our voyage you will have the chance to see bird species typical of the river or forest edge such as Black Skimmers, Pied Lapwings, Capped Herons, Jabiru Storks, Roadside The area is renowned for its diverse plant and animal populations and include over 1,300 bird species (including 32 parrot species – 10% of the world’s total), 200 mammal species including 4 species of primates, 90 frog species, 1,200 butterfly species and 10,000 species of higher plants—all protected within the reserve. Some of the more famous residents are the Harpy Eagle, the prehistoric looking Hoatzin, tapir, peccary, jaguar, ocelot and playful river otters who live in the area’s oxbow lakes. Additionally, we can see hawks and several species of kingfishers, swallows, and flycatchers.
Focus: Medicinal plants, endemic animals, indigenous tribes, hunting, deforestation, locally sponsored preservation projects.
Day 13 Lima (B) Fly to Lima for the final stop on our journey. Finish up last minute shopping at the Indian market and enjoy one last evening in the capital.
Day 14 Departure Day Lima (B) Adios amigos! Adventures to Peru services end today. Adventures to Peru will reconfirm your outgoing international flight and transfer to airport international flight out of Peru. We can arrange a later flight date out of the Amazon or additional post tour accommodation in Lima upon client request. Contact Us if additional planning is necessary.