Classic Machu Picchu, One Day Inca Trail, and Reserva Amazonica
12 Days/11 Nights
From $2,889 per person
(Dbl. Occupancy, Not Incl. Airfare)
Peru offers a rich cultural history and amazing biodiversity in its Amazon basin. On this tour, you will begin in Lima, the capital city, and continue on to Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and Machu Picchu. You will then continue on to Reserva Amazonica, adjacent to Tambopata National Reserve. Ascend to the top of the canopy walkway for a walk through the tree tops, observe the giant river otters on Lake Sandoval, and enjoy a long walk to Gamitana Creek.
Lodging and Meals: This tour includes accommodations for 11 nights (3 nights in Lima, 3 nights in Cusco, 2 nights in Machu Picchu, and 3 nights in Reserva Amazonica), and 21 meals (11 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 4 dinners).
Best Time to Go: April-October.
Destinations: South America and Peru.
Interests: Adventure, Culture & History, Hiking & Trekking, and Wildlife Viewing.
Places Visited: Lima, Cusco, The Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and Puerto Maldonado & the Southern Amazon.
Day 1: Lima.
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.
Day 2: Lima-City Tour.
In the afternoon, you will have a city tour of Lima. The tour begins in Miraflores with a stop at the Parque del Amor, a seaside park with a huge statue of a kissing couple and continues with a drive by of the Huaca Huallamarca, a restored adobe pyramid dating from the pre-Inca period located in San Isidro. The next stop is the Plaza de Armas in downtown Lima, where you will visit City Hall (Palacio Municipal), the Government Palace (Palacio de Gobierno), and the Cathedral of Lima. The last stop is the Convent of Santo Domingo. Following the tour, you will be returned to your hotel. Overnight in Lima. (B)
Day 3: Lima-Cusco-City Tour.
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)
Day 4: Cusco-Sacred Valley-Awanakancha-Pisac Market-Ollantaytambo.
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.
Day 5: Cusco-Inca Trail-Wiñayhuayna-Inti Punku-Machu Picchu.
Early morning transfer to the train station for the ride to km. 104. Upon arrival, you will hike for about three hours to the Wiñayhuayna ruins (8,694 feet), known for its agricultural terraces. Box lunch. You will continue hiking to Inti Punku for about two hours, before descending to Machu Picchu ‘the Lost City of the Incas’. Descend by bus to Aguas Calientes and your hotel. Overnight in Aguas Calientes. (B,L)
Day 6: Machu Picchu-Guided Tour.
Morning bus 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)
Day 7: Machu Picchu-Cusco.
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.
Day 8: Cusco-Puerto Maldonado-Reserva Amazonica-Trail System-Twilight River.
(Early) Morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Puerto Maldonado. Upon arrival, you will be taken to the Butterfly House welcome/information center to register for your Amazon adventure. You will then be taken to the boarding wharf for a 45 minute boat ride to Reserva Amazonica. On this day, you will enjoy the Trail System adventure and the Twilight River excursion.
Trail System. Walk on one of the trails that extend 7.3 kilometers (4.5 miles) in Reserva Amazonica Natural Reserve and you will discover the incredible realm of the Amazon rainforest. The trails offer an excellent introduction to the environment of the jungle, as you walk past exotic rainforest trees, such as the lupuna tree and the beautiful ficus. Look down and spot the tiny lizards that rustle the leaves as they dart about on the forest floor. Gaze at the treetops and be amazed with the arena for bird watching. Observe the insect life – iridescent beetles and interpret the primary and secondary rain forest components, as well as human impact, and the relevance of the rainforests of the world.
Twilight River. On this guided afternoon boat ride, you will witness the enchanting transformation from a diurnal to a nocturnal environment, as animals and birds of the daytime are replaced by species specially adapted to the night. As you enjoy their paradise, you will learn about their habits while searching for nightjars, owls, capybaras and caimans. In addition, on a clear night the southern hemisphere stars can be appreciated. Dinner at the main dining room. Overnight at Reserva Amazonica. (B,L,D)
Day 9: Reserva Amazonica-Lake Sandoval-Canopy Walkway and Anaconda Walk.
Today you will enjoy an excursion to Lake Sandoval and the Canopy Walkway and Anaconda Walk.
Lake Sandoval. A 30-minute boat ride takes you to the Tambopata National Reserve, where wildlife surrounds you as you enjoy the one and a half hour walk along three kilometers of trails to reach Lake Sandoval. Glide in a wooden canoe, across a beautiful, mirror-like oxbow lake that is home to the endangered giant river otter, as well as red howler monkeys, macaws, prehistoric hoatzins, also called “shanshos”, anacondas, point-tailed palm creepers, and side-neck turtles. You will spend two hours on the lake, looking at all it has to offer. (This excursion is only available from April to November. During the rest of the year, you can choose another alternative.)
Canopy Walkway and Anaconda Walk. A five-minute boat ride takes you to the Canopy Interpretation Center. After ascending the first tower, at 29 meters above the forest floor, you will literally walk through the treetops for one-and-a-half hours along suspension bridges that link eight observation platforms. Enjoy landscapes and vistas that would be unimaginable from below, while on the look-out for giant strangler fig trees, orchids, toucans, woodpeckers, trogons and – with luck – monkeys or sloths. After your descent from the Canopy, experience the Anaconda Walk for about 30 minutes along the 200-meter wooden bridge over the Aguajales swamps. In this lush eco system, you may observe the various species of amphibians, serpents, birds, mammals and abundant flora and trees of this flooded marshland. The walk finishes by returning to the lodge. Dinner at the main dining room. Overnight at Reserva Amazonica. (B,L,D)
Day 10: Reserva Amazonica-Gamitana Creek.
In the morning, you will have a morning excursion to Gamitana Creek. In the afternoon, you can enjoy an optional treatment at the lodge’s ENA Spa.
Gamitana Creek. You will have a long walk to the magic world of Gamitana Creek. The sights, scents and sounds of the jungle will surround you as you walk for two and a half hours, rambling through the rain forest along the banks of this winding, dark-water creek that is home to piranha, caimans, turtles and an abundance of brightly colored birds. When you reach the embarkation point, you will board a canoe and navigate a two hour ride downstream to the Gamitana Model Farm, appreciating the rich plant and animal life along the way. You will have a short guided tour to learn about an Amazon farm. Dinner at the main dining room. Overnight at Reserva Amazonica. (B,L,D)
Day 11: Puerto Maldonado-Butterfly House-Lima-Folkloric Dinner Show.
After breakfast, you will return to Puerto Maldonado by boat for your return flight to Lima. On the way to the airport, you will visit the Butterfly House.
Butterfly House. This one-hour-long excursion provides you with an introduction to the amazing world of butterflies at the Butterfly House in Puerto Maldonado, near the airport. The Tambopata National Reserve and Peru hold various records in butterfly species numbers. Enjoy a personalized excursion accompanied by an interpreter who will explain the diverse characteristics of this wonderful species. There are 3,800 species in Peru, and many of these can be found at the Butterfly House, which showcases the varied beauty and adaptability of these colorful insects.
Upon arrival in Lima, you will be transferred to your hotel. In the evening, you will enjoy a Folkloric Dinner Show at Dpaso Restaurant. Overnight in Lima. (B,D)
Day 12: Lima.
Check out at noon. Transfer to the airport for your return flight to your final destination. (B)
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
About the Inca Trail
The Incas built a vast network of roads to communicate with the four regions of their vast empire. The network was called Qapaq Ñan (the sovereign’s highway) or Inca Road, and was made up of stone paths suitable for two or three people with trains of llamas. Rivers were crossed by hanging bridges and the steep slopes were mastered with steps and ramps. There are remains of the Qhapaq Ñan throughout Peru that are still used to this day by local villagers and farmers. One of the most impressive and best preserved roads is the trail that links Cusco and Machu Picchu. Today, hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu allows the visitor to step back in time and walk through a variety of eco-systems and dazzling scenery. The length of the 39 kilometers (24 miles) includes unforgettable views, archaeological remains; 400 different species of orchids and begonias, exotic trees like the pisonay, the queñual and innumerable species of fauna in their natural habitat, such as the cock-of-the-rocks, llamas and vicuñas, the white-tailed deer, the vizcacha and, if visitors are lucky, the endangered and vegetarian spectacled bear. The Inca Trail is one of the world’s leading trekking and camping routes. (Source: PromPeru)
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.
- Inca Trail and other excursions as indicated on the itinerary including all applicable entrance fees.
- Meals as indicated on the itinerary.
- First aid kit/oxygen.
- 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 Reserva Amazonica services are operated in small groups.
Elevations: Cusco is 10,912 feet (above sea level), the Sacred Valley of the Incas is 8,944 feet, Wiñayhuayna ruins is 8,694 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 $800 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.
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