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 Ceiba Tops Lodge
Discover the culture and history of the Incas in Machu Picchu, and explore the Peruvian Amazon in this amazing itinerary. The tour includes Lima, Cusco, and an overnight stay in Machu Picchu, and continues on to Ceiba Tops Lodge, near Iquitos, Peru’s largest jungle city. You will observe plants and animals from atop the canopy walkway, visit with native Yagua Indians, and learn about the medicinal properties of rain forest plants from a local shaman.
Lodging and Meals: This tour includes accommodations for 10 nights (3 nights in Lima, 3 nights in Cusco, 1 night in Machu Picchu, and 3 nights at Ceiba Tops Lodge), and 19 meals (10 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 4 dinners).
Best Time to Go: April-October.
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)
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 the flight to Iquitos. Reception at the airport, brief city orientation and transfer to the Explorama dock. Twenty-five mile journey down the Amazon River to Ceiba Tops where private rooms with air conditioning and hot water provide all of the comforts of home. Afternoon hike in the beautiful primary rainforest reserve surrounding Ceiba Tops which includes many huge trees festooned with epiphytes. After dinner there may be local flute or guitar music at the El Toucan Bar or the guides are always ready to relate some of the many legends of the Amazon forest. Overnight Ceiba Tops. (B,L,D)
Morning boat ride, spotting for dolphins, to visit a small village of Yagua Indians where your guide will explain the Yagua Indian culture and how it was affected by the arrival of Europeans and the passing of time. There will also be an opportunity to see some of the local crafts and for a demonstration of the blowgun which some of the Yagua elders still use for hunting. Afternoon walking excursion to the neighboring town of Indiana. Originally a Franciscan mission, Indiana has grown into a large river community with its own market, high school and small hospital. Overnight at Ceiba Tops Lodge. (B,L,D)
Early morning departure from Ceiba Tops by boat to the narrow motorcar crossing connecting the Amazon and Napo Rivers to continue by boat to ExplorNapo Lodge for breakfast. Hike to the spectacular Canopy Walkway spanning over 500 meters (one-third of a mile), connected by tree platforms, and reaching a height of over 35 meters (115 feet) but accessible without any type of climbing skill or equipment. After lunch, visit the “ReNuPeRu” Ethnobotanical Garden where over 240 medicinal plants are cultivated by a local shaman who will explain the nature of Amazonian natural healing and the uses of some of the plants. Return to Ceiba Tops in time to enjoy the pool or hammocks before dinner. Overnight at Ceiba Tops Lodge. (B,L,D)
Your choice of a morning walking or boating excursion to further enjoy the rainforest and Amazon River or time to relax by the pool until departure time. Afternoon transfer to Iquitos for your return flight to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima, 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.
- Hotel accommodations including taxes and service charges.
- 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.
- 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 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 at Ceiba Tops Lodge 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 $500 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.