You will be met upon arrival in Lima and escorted to the Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel, located adjacent to the terminal. Overnight, breakfast included.
Proceed on your own to the airport terminal. Check in for your flight to Puerto Maldonado, a bustling tropical frontier town situated at the confluence of the mighty Madre de Dios and Tambopata Rivers.
You will be met upon arrival taken on a brief survey of the town then depart on the 2-hour boat trip by motorized canoe to your remote Amazon lodge. During the voyage look out for bird species typical of the river or forest edge such as: Black Skimmer, Pied Lapwing, Capped Heron, Horned Screamer, Bat Falcon, and several species of kingfishers, swallows and flycatchers.
Recommended lodges: Posada Amazonas, Refugio Amazonas, Hacienda Concepcion, Reserva Amazonica, Manu Wildlife Lodge. Lodge packages will always include Puerto Maldonado transfers, all meals and a menu of daily guided activities and excursions.
The following are just a few activities and excursions available to guests of the lodge:
Oxbow Lake tour
Parrot Clay Lick
Ethnobotanical Walking Tours
Jungle Farm Visit
Jungle Night Walk
This morning you will return by boat to Puerto Maldonado, then transfer to the airport for your flight to Cusco.
You will be met at the airport in Cusco and driven to Urubamba, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Driving time around 90 minutes.
Overnight at a Sacred Valley hotel, daily breakfast included - 2 nights.
We can arrange for the following optional excursions from the Sacred Valley (not included in trip cost):
Pisac Ruins, Market & Ollantaytambo
Chinchero, Maras & Moray
Sacred Valley Day Hiking
Urubamba River Rafting
You will be met at your hotel and transferred to the Ollantaytambo Train Station. Depart on the scenic 2-hour Vistadome Train journey through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to Machu Picchu Station in Aguas Calientes.
Upon arrival you'll set off with your guide and depart on the 25-minute 'zig-zag' shuttle bus to Machu Picchu. Set off to explore the walls, stairways, temples and terraces of Machu Picchu. After a buffet lunch served at the Sanctuary Lodge, you'll be free to explore this enchanting place on your own. Lunch included. Bus tickets and entrance fee included for today.
Overnight at a hotel in Aguas Calientes or at the Belmond Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, located adjacent to the entrance of Machu Picchu. Dinner tonight and breakfast tomorrow are included.
This morning you can revisit Machu Picchu, hike up to the Sun Gate for sunrise, climb Huayna Picchu. Entrance to Machu Picchu not included. In addition to the option of visiting Machu Picchu a second time you may wish to explore Aguas Calientes where there are some small restaurants, a market and some hikes.
In due time, return to the Machu Picchu train station for departure. Depart on the Vistadome train for the return journey to Poroy Station, just outside Cusco. You will be met at the train station and transferred to your hotel.
Overnight at a Cusco hotel. Daily breakfast is included - 2 nights.
You will be met at your hotel by your private guide and set off on a half-day tour of Cusco and the nearby Inca ruins. Cusco, the oldest continuously inhabited city on the continent, was the capital of the Inca Empire and is considered by many Quechua peoples to be the spiritual center of the world. Much of colonial Cusco was built on Inca foundations, and your guide will point out Inca stonework along the many streets. Visit the main square, the Cathedral, Santo Domingo Church, as well as a first introduction to Inca stonework at the ruins of Puka-Pukara, Qenqo, Tambo Machay, and the renowned fortress of Sacsayhuaman overlooking Cusco and the surrounding valley.
Cusco Tourist Ticket is included in the tour cost and covers the entrance fees for museums, churches, cathedrals and ruins.
At the appropriate time you will be met at your hotel and transferred to the Cusco Airport for your flight to Lima. Connect with your evening int'l flight.
When's the best time to go?
December through March are the wettest months of the year, particularly in the Amazon rainforest. There can be around 14 months of rain during the months of January and February. June through August are relatively dry with less than 3 inches of rain a month. The Cusco and Sacred Valley are much drier, even in our winter months. January is the wettest month with an average of around 6 inches during the month. June and July are very dry with little rain at all. However, these are the busiest months when many hotels are fully-booked. The ideal months are the shoulder season months of April, May, September and October with fewer tourists and good weather.
Will altitude be a problem?
Cusco sits at over 11,000 feet above sea level. Flying from Lima, at around 500 feet, to Cusco in less than 2 hours can cause problems for some travelers. That's why we recommend continuing directly down to Urubamba in the Sacred Valley around 1,500 feet lower. Machu Picchu is lower still at around 7,900 feet. By the time you have spent several days and nights around Urubamba and Machu Picchu you should be well-acclimatized by the time you get to Cusco.
Peruvian Amazon - Lodge or Cruise?
This comes down to personal preferences. Some folks love to be on a boat; others prefer the space and flexibility of a lodge. Advantages to lodge-based programs include the self-standing bungalows and the varied menu of excursions offered by lodges, rather then the strict schedule required on a boat. There are no cruises from Puerto Maldonado since the rivers are too narrow and shallow. If you prefer cruising, there are several excellent cruises that depart from Iquitos in the northeast corner of Peru. We book a selection of cruises from Iquitos.
Can I make changes to the itinerary?
Certainly. This itinerary is only a suggestion. We do not mention specific hotels since we work with a wide selection of hotels in each city, from mid-range standard hotels to high-end luxury spa resorts. We also offer a menu of optional excursions in each city that you can choose from based on your personal preferences. Your trip can be organized around your travel dates. The number of days and nights can be extended.
Can we hike to Machu Picchu instead of taking the train?
Yes. We offer a full-day hike from Km. 104 to Machu Picchu along the last sections of the Inca Trail. With extra days we offer several multi-day treks along the legendary Inca Trail as well as other trails.
The price is based on 2 travelers. The published price may reduce with parties of 3 or more.