14 DAYS | from $0
DAY 1: LIMA ARRIVAL
A GOTOPERU representative will be waiting to greet you as soon as you arrive in Lima. We’re ready to offer world-class treatment for what is bound to be a vacation of a lifetime. Get introduced to the city and then enjoy accommodations on our private shuttle, en route to your hotel.
DAY 2: LIMA CITY TOUR
You will get to view the Pre-Colombian era, Colonial Lima, and modern-day Lima. Get ready, because this two-pronged tour starts rather early.
DAY 3: CUSCO ARRIVAL AND CITY TOUR
As soon as you touch down in beautiful, sunny Cusco, you will be immediately greeted by a professional, polite representative and whisked away in style to any of the local hotel’s you have chosen to host your stay.
Once the evening rolls around, your guided tour will begin. A GOTOPERU rep will pick you up at your hotel and thus your guided adventure starts.
Here are a few of the guided tour spots for day two of your journey:
After this guided tour is over, you will be taken back to your hotel, where you’re free to enjoy the rest of your night. We recommend taking in more of the local culture by visiting some nearby shops, or mingling with the locals. However, you may want to rest up well.
DAY 4: SACRED VALLEY EXPERIENCE
Get ready to witness the majestic Sacred Valley! After breakfast in your hotel, a GOTOPERU representative will greet you and pick you up for a scenic bus ride through the Andean landscape to the Sacred Valley (El Valle Sagrado).
Trip highlights include:
• Tour through Pisac, a small town rich with Incan architecture and culture. Be sure to stop by the artisan market to view and purchase unique souvenirs.
• Visit to Ollantaytambo, a town and Incan archaeological site that once was the estate of Emperor Pachacutec. During the Spanish Conquest, it served as a fortress for Manco Inca Yupanqui.
A: Train and Overnight to Machu Picchu ( Included in the Price ) After your tour to Ollantaytambo fortress you will have a couple of hours extra to enjoy this small inca town before taking a 1.5hrs train to MachuPicchu Town where a representative will welcome you and transfer you to your confirmed hotel.
B: Overnight at Sacred Valley : you will be transfer to your comfortable hotel surrounded by spectacular landscapes in the Sacred Valley.
C: Return to Cusco : After Ollantaytambo you will enjoy a tour through Chinchero, an Andean village with Incan ruins and a colonial church that produces extraordinary textiles, woven with ancestral tools. After a visit to the Textile Market you will be transfer to your hotel in Cusco later in the afternoon.
DAY 5: INCA TRAIL (DAY 1)
The first day of this trip starts early in the morning, directly after a GOTOPERU rep picks you up from your Cusco hotel. You will be taken to the Ollantaytambo station and subsequently take the train to KM 104, where the real journey begins.
The first thing you’ll notice upon arriving at your destination is an old-fashioned suspension bride. This is the start of the trail. We will begin trekking over the Urubamba River en route to some very old, small and intriguing Inca ruins on the Chachabama historic site. Make sure you get plenty of pictures and plenty of water, because then begins a four-hour hike to the Wiñaywayna enclosure, which is well over a mile above sea level (8,858 feet to be exact). The air up here is crisp and clean, however light, but the journey upward is actually rather gentle.
This location is an important spiritual site of the Incan people. With large stone structures carved into the mountain, Wiñaywayna looks like an outdoor stadium for giants and is one of the most well preserved (naturally so) Incan sites in the region.
Make sure to keep your head on a swivel as you cross this monument and onto the main Inca Trail. The river valleys and peaks of the lush, green expanse will leave you speechless for the entire journey. The goal is to cut through the ridge above Machu Picchu and to descend on this historic location.
After a short hike, you will reach Intipunku (modern day Puerta del Sol), where you will head down the 40-minute trail to the town of Aguas Calientes. Here, you will get a great meal and have access to the hotel. Sleep tight, because day two is right around the corner.
DAY 6: INCA TRAIL (DAY 2)
You won’t have to walk nearly as much on day two; this is all about soaking up the historic site of Machu Picchu. You will receive a guided tour of what experts refer to as the world’s most ancient—and perhaps most sophisticated—city. Machu Picchu is an entire city, built by the Inca Pachacuteq, and it features many houses, storage areas, temples, a large central gathering area, and even roadways and hundreds of steps – all carved out of stone by the ancient Incans.
After getting a personal tour of the city from an expert historian tour guide, you will get to enjoy the rest of your day before returning back to your Cusco hotel.
DAY 7: HUAYNA PICCHU TOUR
Once GOTOPERU stops by and picks you up from your hotel, it’s right back in the direction of Machu Picchu. Only today, we’re going to be focusing on the beautiful mountain behind the monument – Huayna Picchu. This location will be tough to see on your own, as they only allow a limited number of visitors per day. However, as part of our travel party, you will have full access to the entire mountain.
From a distance, Huayna Picchu appears to reach straight up, impossible to climb, much less to actually build on. Though once you’re directly on the mountain, you will witness something that is truly majestic. The plush green covering of the mountain’s peak is actually quite easy to climb; it’s not even very steep when staying on the trail. The brilliant, bright green creates an optical illusion from afar. Once you begin walking up the mountain, you will see that some areas tower above you like vertical skyscrapers and are really impossible to climb. Yet, you will see manmade fixtures all over the most rugged parts of the mountain.
The higher you climb, the more of these structures you will be able to see. It is really an experience that will take your breath away. The sheer scope of the site is awe inspiring.
Once your mountain journey is complete, you will return to town in the late afternoon, where you will catch a train back to Cusco. Enjoy the shopping and dining, and get ready for the next leg of your journey.
DAY 8: FREE DAY IN CUSCO
You will welcome a day of rest and relaxation. Sleep in, go shopping or visit some of the local museums. If you wish to embark on an adventure, please notify a GOTOPERU agent and we will help you arrange horseback riding, hiking, biking, ATV trips, river rafting and more.
DAY 9: RIVER RAFTING
Choosing the river rafting adventure gives you all the fun with none of the legwork. You will be picked up at your hotel by a GOTOPERU representative and taken the few mile journey to the shores of the Upper Urubamba River via Cusipata River Camp – a private campground of ours. Thereafter, you will meet up with professional rating guides who will give you a quick safety course, supply you with the right equipment, and get you started on your adventure. The goal is to float down the river for two and a half hours, going over some serious rapids (class II and III) along the way. (However, note that rapids can reach class IV and above during the winter season.)
After reaching your campsite destination, you will be treated to a hot sauna or showers, a huge lunch, and plenty of mountain scenery to keep your mind occupied. If you’re so inclined, you can keep your adventure going by using the zip-line across the river!
At around 5:00 p.m. you will be taken back to Cusco, where you’ll undoubtedly be busy sorting through your trip pictures.
DAY 10: TAMBOPATA TOUR (DAY 1)
When you touch down at the local airport or station, you will be greeted and picked up by a professional, English-speaking guide. Not just some youngster working as a guide to earn a paycheck, our guides are actual biologists who work in dual capacity as tourism experts. They’re also part of the immediate community, so you’re seeing the area like no one else can show it to you.
You will meet up (yourself and whoever is in your party) with other vacationers, inside of the Tambopata Research Center. This is where you will be paired with a guide, typically one guide for every six individuals. However, private guides for solo excursions or private parties are certainly available; just let us know about your wishes in advance.
After this, the tour officially begins with an initial airport transfer and a fast drive to the Puerto Maldonado Headquarters. This is where you will be briefed on your coming excursion, much like a mission, and our professional guides will tell you what to pack, what to leave behind, and what to watch out for over the course of the next few days. Due to the boat travel, there are weight limits.
After everything is situated, you will be transferred to the Tambopata River Port, which is a scenic, 20-minute drive to the native village of Infierno. From here, you will transfer via boat to Refugio Amazonas. The boat ride is lengthy, but you are going right through the buffer zone of the incredibly large conversation unit (1.3 million hectares), so you will get to see some truly unique and beautiful sights.
Now that the initial traveling is over, it’s time to really get started. It’s been a long journey with a few transfers, and you are probably very hungry at this point. You will be served a boxed lunch, full of fresh food from the area, and then will meet up with the lodge manager to have a formal orientation for the coming adventure. After receiving some navigation and safety tips, you will eat a fantastic dinner before setting out to the edge of the river at night.
This is the caiman search portion of the trip. A caiman is a type of alligator that can best be described as an alligator-crocodile blend (though they’re actually their own species within the genus). It’s pitch black on the Tambopata at this point, and you can hear the crazy sounds of the jungle.
With only headlamps and flashlights from the boat, you will search for the red, piercing eyes of the ferocious-looking caiman. Don’t worry though; they’re quite tame in comparison to others in the species. Hopefully spotting some of these creatures, you will return to the Refugio Amazonas to rest. Day one was long, filled with a lot of travel and instruction. Day two onward is all about the actual adventure. So sleep tight.
DAY 11: TAMBOPATA TOUR (DAY 2)
Upon waking, you will be served a fantastic local breakfast that will fill you up and give you plenty of energy for the trip to come. First stop: Canopy tower.
Make sure you have your walking boots ready because it’s time to take a 30-minute hike through the refuge to canopy tower. This is actually a manmade structure that was developed to give tourists a great vantage point. It is a 25-meter-high scaffolding structure that has a sturdy, safe staircase. What’s so cool about this tower is that it’s built on top of the highest ground of the area, so climbing up here gives you a true bird’s eye view of the entire area. You will be able to see for miles into the Tambopata reserve, and you will see the varied flocks of canopy, the beautiful toucans, and even the bright blue macaws.
After a little bit of bird-watching, it’s time to visit Oxbow Lake. The idea here is to view the wildlife in a very personable fashion, so you will paddle out to the lake in a canoe, or ride out in a catamaran, and keep your eyes peeled for caiman, horned screamers, and hoatzin. If you’re lucky, you might just see the illusive otter, which is actually dwindling in population and is thus very hard to spot.
Remember the research center? We’ll be heading back there by boat, and it is a scenic ride that will last roughly four and a half hours. Along the way, you will see plenty of nature and wildlife to keep you occupied because you’ll be riding directly through the heart of the nature reserve. After travelling for roughly an hour, you will come upon the Malinowski River, and you can say goodbye to the natives and villages. From this point on, people have no stake on this land; it’s only the wildlife.
En route to the research center, and far removed from civilization, you will see nature how nature intended: Unadulterated by outside influence. This area of the reserve has plenty of macaws, flocks of geese, lurking caiman, capybara, and many more unique and beautiful animals that you will see with increasing frequency as the trip continues.
After traveling three hours into the reserve, it’s time for a stop at the Chuncho clay lick. Clay licks are natural attractions for macaws of the area, and you will see macaws covering every color of the rainbow, from blue and yellow and teal and green to red and purple, and much more. It’s only a quick 5-minute walk once stopping here, and you will get to observe flocks of these gorgeous birds as they swoop in and fly away without a care in the world. You might want to practice your photography skills here; there are plenty of opportunities. A quick note: The macaws won’t show up if it’s raining.
After your visit to the large clay lick, it’s time to enjoy a boxed lunch. After which, you will head back to the lodge to go through another brief orientation, which basically serves as a reminder for the trip to come, emphasizing safety and navigation tips. Then it’s right back off again.
Upon leaving the lodge, you will hike for roughly 3 to 5 kilometers up a trail which has a few different overlooks to take advantage of. The longer you hike, the higher up you get and the more impressive the view will be. The panoramic view of the entire Tambopata reserve from this vantage point is nothing less than majestic. You can see the river as it winds through the lowlands below, and you might even see some howler monkeys and dusky titi monkeys along the way, swinging through the new-growth bamboo.
After hiking up the trail and taking in some wonderful views, it’s time for a great dinner and some downtime.
Rather than going out again for a hike, you will listen to a lecture after dinner, wherein scientists will give you a highly detailed look at the macaw, including their biology, feeding habits, population information and why it fluctuates, and even info about the mysterious clay licks and why the birds are so drawn to them.
After the lecture is over, the rest of the night is yours. You’ll be staying overnight in the Tambopata Research Center, in preparation for day three.
DAY 12: TAMBOPATA TOUR (DAY 3)
If you’re so inclined, you can visit a large clay lick just before dawn. This is when the birds are most active. It will give you a front-row seat to a wide range of macaws coming in and eating clay. As long as the morning is clear and it isn’t raining outside, you should be able to see dozens of different macaws swopping in. Green, scarlet, blue and gold, and every other colored macaw will pay this clay lick a visit before their day begins. You’ll also see other species of parrots descend on the lick. They come in such large numbers and variety that National Geographic once covered the event.
After the sun rises and the heat of the day starts, the macaws leave and it’s time for breakfast.
This trail is quintessential rainforest in every sense of the word. For five long and winding kilometers, this trail is absolutely packed with trees, brush, vines and everything else that wildlife love. Zigzagging through the landscape, you will also find various streams and small feeder ponds. After walking through the assortment of foliage, which includes figs and ceibas, make sure you keep your eyes peeled for squirrels, brown capuchin, and those feisty spider monkeys. After hopefully seeing plenty of tree-dwelling wildlife, it’s time for a nutritious, energizing lunch.
After lunch, you will take a quick hike upriver, right past the lodge, to visit a small pond that has a deck directly in the middle. This is more or less like a blind, in that you will sit here and watch the Muscovy duck stroll around, as well as hoatzin and sunbittern, woodpeckers, flycatchers, and many more species of animal who all call this pond home. The diversity within this ecosystem is amazing.
After viewing life on the jungle pond, it’s time once again to refuel with a hearty dinner.
After eating dinner, you can choose to stay inside, browse over your photos, contact your friends and family, or any other personal activities you would like to partake in. Or, you can opt for the night walk, which is a hike through the reserve to spot those animals that are illusive during the day but plentiful at night. This isn’t only about seeing the animals; it is a total sensory experience. The atmosphere is completely different at night, and you will hear those strange, spooky jungle sounds.
Your night ends with an overnight stay at the research center.
DAY 13: TAMBOPATA TOUR (DAY 4)
Remember, the option for the Macaw Clay Lick is open to all before the sun fully rises. But if you’d rather skip this, sleep in, or prep for other portions of your trip, it’s up to you.
Day four of your journey is a more laid-back experience, at least in terms of traveling. You will visit the Palm Swamp Trail and get to know much more about the area with the help of your expert guide. The actual palms are growing in what is now a swamp – the muddy remnants of a once proud and deep oxbow lake. The plant life that grows in this swamp provides arboreal and terrestrial mammals alike with plenty of fruit throughout the year. There is no down season in the swamp, and thus the animals are always around.
These aguaje palms are actually one of the rainforest’s most important sources of food. However, the habitats are also under constant threat when not part of nature reserves. Fruits are in high demand with people, and the swamp makes for a great rice paddy.
After viewing the habitat, it’s time for dinner and a good night’s sleep. The last day of your adventure is just ahead.
DAY 14: TAMBOPATA TOUR (DAY 5) AND CHECKOUT TIME
The trails are behind you, the overlooks are gone, and it’s time to start the journey back to base. Though being such a long journey, you will actually see a lot more on the way back that you didn’t even notice on the way to the reserve. Your day begins with breakfast and then a transfer boat to the Tambopata River Port.
Once at the port, it’s on to the Puerto Maldonado Headquarters, and then to the airport. Whatever your specific arrangements, a GOTOPERU representative will help you get everything straightened out accordingly.
When your vacation is all said and done, regardless of the package you have chosen, you will still be seen off like royalty. After you eat a hearty regional breakfast, we will deliver you in style to the airport, where your flight awaits.
We’ll offer assistance with whatever you need: Check-ins, tickets, luggage, etc.
Just remember to come back and vacation with us again. You can never see too much of Perú.
ennifer Powers & Family New York - USAView all testimonials
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