15 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: PARACAS ARRIVAL
As soon as you touch down in beautiful, sunny Paracas, 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.
DAY 4: BALLESTAS ISLANDS AND PARACAS RESERVE TOUR
On this particular tour, you will be picked up from your hotel in Lima and given a tour of the Ballestas Islands.
You will be transferred via a very short ride from your hotel to the harbor, where you will board a boat. The boat is relatively large and comfortable, full of safety jackets and other gear you may need while sailing around the bay.
One of the most amazing things you may notice about these islands is that they share the same type of climate as the Nazca Desert, which means wind and rain rarely touch these pristine pieces of land. This seems quite amazing once you lay eyes on El Candelabro – a very large geoglyph that’s carved into the sand, similar to the Nazca Lines, that has served as a beacon for mariners for hundreds of years. Shaped like a candelabra, this mysterious glyph was carved into the sand at around 200BC, and still it remains in immaculate shape, untarnished by the elements.
While the islands themselves aren’t getting much wind, understand that the open water does. You may want to put on a wind jacket to cut down on the sting. Though, the odds are good that you won’t even notice the wind blowing as you view the many different amazing structures of the Ballestas Islands.
There are more photo opportunities out here than even the best digital device can hold, so choose wisely. After the trip is over, you will go to your Nazca hotel.
DAY 5: RETURN TO LIMA AND PUNO ARRIVAL
After waking up and enjoying a hearty breakfast in your hotel, it’s time for a GOTOPERU rep to pick you up and take you to the bus terminal, where you will hitch a ride back to Lima.
After arriving at Lima, you will be taken to your hotel and are subsequently free to travel and explore the area as you see fit.
Once you have arrived in Puno, whether through the toured scenic route or via airplane, you will transfer to your selected hotel and then have the entire night to see the sights and hear the sounds of the area. Grab some great food, visit one of the many shops, or just make it a night in while enjoying your comfortable accommodations.
DAY 6: TOUR OF LAKE TITICACA
Trip highlights include:
• Tour of the Uros Islands to experience the simple life of the local people.
• Visit to Taquile Island to get a rare glimpse into Peruvian indigenous culture.
• Lunch in the town of Luquina.
A boat will take you back to Puno in the afternoon where you can use the rest of the day to shop, tour or rest.
DAY 7: SUN ROAD TOUR PUNO TO CUSCO
Your GOTOPERU representative will come to your hotel and offer you a private transfer to embark on your journey to Cusco.
Trip highlights include:
• Visit to San Pedro de Andahuaylillas, Sistine Chapel of America.
• A tour of Raqchi, an archaeological site with public baths, a large aqua duct system and stone terraces.
• A buffet style lunch break in Sicuani Village.
• A chance to explore La Raya, the border town between Cusco and Puno.
• Tour the Pukara Archaeological Site featuring a large pyramid and museum.
You will end your day at a hotel in Cusco.
DAY 8: CUSCO CITY TOUR
When you awake, your vacation starts anew. Now it’s our turn to show you exactly what Cusco, Peru is all about.
Start your day off with a yummy breakfast of local favorites in your hotel, and take a while to get yourself tour-ready. The evening guided tour will include many great stop-offs, but don’t forget to branch out on your own to see the sights and sounds, explore locations like San Pedro Market, and soak up as much culture as your heart desires.
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 9: 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 10: MACHU PICCHU TOUR
Tour of Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca site with captivating architecture, scenic views and stone structures that defy modern engineering.
A 2.5-3 hours history lesson of Machu Picchu given by a regional expert who will focus on major historic sites including the Sun Temple, Sun Stone and Room of the Three Windows.
After your tour, you have the option to explore more of MachuPicchu on your own with once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities to capture you in one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Free time to enjoy the natural hot springs of Aguas Calientes known for its healing powers.
A late afternoon train will take you back to your hotel in Cusco.
DAY 11: 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 12: 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 13: 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 14: 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 15: 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.
After enjoying a local breakfast, make sure you’re all packed up and ready to go – including your pictures. Don’t forget those! Shortly after you eat, a GOTOPERU representative will arrive to pick you up. You will be escorted to the airport.
Catch your flight back home and start telling your jealous friends and family the stories of your adventures, or keep your adventure going by selecting another great travel package with GOTOPERU.
ennifer Powers & Family New York - USAView all testimonials
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