Depart to Lima. After passing through immigration and customs, proceed to the reception area, where our inbound services representative will be holding a sign with your name on it. You will be greeted and then transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Lima.
Classic Machu Picchu and 4 Day Aria Amazon Cruise
Appreciate the biodiversity and cultural richness of Peru on this captivating tour. Starting in Iquitos, you will have a four day Amazon cruise aboard the luxurious Aria Amazon that features exploration of the Pacaya Samiria Reserve. Highlights include the observation of monkeys, freshwater dolphins, and other wildlife, and interaction with native villagers. Following the cruise, you will visit Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Lodging and Meals: This tour includes accommodations for 11 nights (4 nights in Lima, 3 nights aboard the MV Aria Amazon, 3 nights in Cusco, and 1 night in Machu Picchu), and 21 meals (11 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 4 dinners).
Best Time to Go: June-November.
In the afternoon, you will have a city tour of Lima. You will visit downtown Lima and see several examples of the Spanish architecture of the colonial period including the Plaza de Armas, the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, and the Church of San Francisco and Catacombs. After that, you will see Huaca Huallamarca, a restored adobe pyramid dating from the pre-Inca period located in San Isidro. You will tour the upscale residential and commercial district of Miraflores and see the Parque del Amor, a seaside park with a huge statue of a kissing couple, before returning to your hotel. Overnight in Lima. (B)
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Iquitos. You will be met at Iquitos International Airport then journey by air-conditioned vehicle through the Peruvian countryside to arrive at the Nauta Lounge in time for lunch, or for a box lunch en route depending on the flight arrival time.
In the afternoon, you will set off on your first skiff excursion to visit the birthplace of the Amazon. At 6:00pm, you will board the Aria Amazon. Settle into your generously proportioned suite as you begin one of life’s greatest adventures. Following a routine safety drill and introduction to your naturalist guides, you gather for innovative Amazonian cuisine created by the Executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, whose restaurant, Malabar, is the one of Lima’s top ranked dining experiences. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
You commence today’s adventures near the main entrance of Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, cruising along Yanayacu Pucate in the comfort of a state-of-the-art skiff. Kayak, canoe and swim in these unspoiled black waters, keeping eyes peeled for the Amazon’s legendary pink dolphins. In the afternoon, you will visit a remote village along the Marañon River to learn about traditional customs. Focus our hi-tech telescope on the night sky to identify the planets and constellations. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
You set off by skiff for an excursion along the Samiria River with optional fishing. Listen carefully to the after-lunch flora and fauna lecture, then venture out for a singularly thrilling jungle walk across suspended bridges deep into the high Amazon rainforest. On your return in the evening, enjoy the jungle symphony and extraordinary stargazing on local boats along the “Enchanted Lake”. This evening before dinner, you will gather to introduce you to some of the crewmembers whom you may not have met, working “behind the scenes” to ensure your countless exceptional experiences aboard the ship. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
This morning, you will visit the local fresh market with your guides who can identify the day’s catch by the fishermen of Amazonia and the region’s exotic fruits. Return to the ship for breakfast and to pack up. Before saying goodbye, you visit the Manatee Rescue Center, a kind of animal orphanage for Amazonian manatees to rescue, rehabilitate and release them back into the wild. You will also visit San Juan craft market on route to the airport for your flight back to Lima. Lunch or box lunch will be provided, depending on the exact departure flight time, which may vary. Other local activities may be included as well, according to the flight schedule. Upon arrival in Lima, you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Lima. (B,L)
Early morning transfer to the airport for the flight to Cusco. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. Because of the high altitude (10,912 feet above sea level), we recommend that you rest for a short period. In the afternoon, you will have a city tour that includes a walk-through of the Cathedral, the Koricancha (‘site of gold’), typical streets, and the four ruins that surround the city: the Sacsayhuaman Fortress, Kenko, Puca Pucara, and Tampumachay. Overnight in Cusco. (B)
Today you will have a full-day excursion to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The tour begins at Awanakancha, a living museum of the Peruvian Andes, where you can observe traditional textile dyeing and weaving techniques and the four types of camelids that are native to the region. You will also visit the Indian artisan market in Pisac and have lunch at a local restaurant (included). The last stop is the impressive Inca ruins of Ollantaytambo that served as both a fortress and ceremonial center, and is the site of a short-lived victory by the Incas over the Spanish. Overnight in Cusco. (B,L)
Note: The Indian market is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from October to March, and daily from April to September. On the days of the week that the market is not open, you will be taken to the Inca ruins above the village.
Early morning transfer to the train station for the ride to Machu Picchu, ‘the Lost City of the Incas’ (7,900 feet). This mountaintop citadel, which served as both a center of worship and an astronomic observatory, is located in the middle of the cloud forest overlooking the Urubamba River. There are both agricultural and urban areas constructed with the precision stonework that the Incas are known for. The agricultural area consists of terraces and food storehouses, and the urban area contains temples, squares, and royal tombs. Guided tour followed by lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge. In the afternoon, you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Aguas Calientes. (B,L)
This is a free day to explore Machu Picchu on your own. You may want to hike Huayna Picchu or enjoy another activity. Mid-afternoon, you will depart from Machu Picchu by train to Poroy Station in the Sacred Valley, and then be taken to your hotel in Cusco. Overnight in Cusco. (B)
Note: Hiking Huayna Picchu requires a permit. To ensure availability, we recommend purchasing the permit at the time of booking.
Morning transfer to the airport for your flight back to Lima. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. In the evening, you will enjoy a Folkloric Dinner Show at La Dama Juana Restaurant. Overnight in Lima. (B,D)
Check out at noon. Transfer to the airport for your return flight to your final destination. (B)
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
A Note About Your Free Day in Machu Picchu
On your free day, you will be on your own. If you choose to revisit Machu Picchu, you will need to purchase a second entrance ticket, which currently costs $74 per person. If you are staying in Aguas Calientes, you will also need to purchase a round-trip bus ticket ($28 per person) for transportation to the site. The first bus departs at 5:30 AM. As an alternative to visiting Machu Picchu again, you can hike Huayna Picchu (a +/- 60 minute hike), or partake in another activity. The cost for hiking Huayna Picchu is $13 (in addition to the second entrance ticket). At the end of the day (mid-late afternoon), you will walk to the train station for the return ride to Poroy train station, where our local representative will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel in Cusco.
- South American Vacations’ expert pre-departure planning services and documentation.
- Airport/hotel transfers including baggage handling.
- Group transfers to/from the vehicle when arriving and departing on recommended flights.
- Hotel accommodations including taxes and service charges.
- Accommodations on board the M/V Aria Amazon.
- Excursion to Machu Picchu including overnight stay and transportation via Vistadome train.
- Other excursions as indicated on the itinerary including all applicable entrance fees.
- Meals as indicated on the itinerary.
- Beverages on the cruise (non-alcoholic, select premium wines, sparkling wine, and national beer).
- Use of bicycles (on the cruise).
- Pacaya Samiria entrance fee.
- Local, English-speaking tour guides.
Price Does Not Include
- International airfare.
- Domestic airfare.
- Meals not indicated on the itinerary.
- Gratuities to tour guides, drivers, and hotel staff.
- Gifts and personal items.
- Travel insurance.
We will be happy to quote the cost of international airfare and travel insurance and to make these arrangements for you.
Group Private: All transfers (except in Iquitos) are private, and the city tours of Lima and Cusco, Sacred Valley of the Incas excursion, and Machu Picchu guided tour are group tours for single passengers and 3 Star accommodations, and private for 4 Star, 5 Star, and Deluxe accommodations. All services in Iquitos and the Amazon are operated on a group basis.
Elevations: Cusco is 10,912 feet (above sea level), the Sacred Valley of the Incas is 8,944 feet, and Machu Picchu is 7,900 feet.
Acclimatization: In order to acclimatize to the higher altitude of Cusco, we suggest that you travel first to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. If you are interested in this option, which would add one day to your tour, please ask your travel counselor to provide you with an itinerary.
Passport/Visa: U.S., Australian, Canadian, and EU citizens require a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry and return ticket for stays of up to 90 days. Citizens of other countries are advised to contact the Peruvian embassy in their country before traveling.
Travel Insurance: In order to protect your travel investment from unforeseen circumstances that may arise before or during your trip, we strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. We offer Allianz Travel Insurance’s Classic and other plans. The Benefits and Coverage Limits are summarized on our Travel Insurance page. Call your travel counselor if you have any questions or to purchase a plan.
To Book This Trip: We require a non-refundable deposit of $900 per person plus the cost of airfare (if we make the arrangements for you). The balance of the trip cost is due 60 days prior to departure.