12 DAYS | from $0
DAY 1: PUNO ARRIVAL AND TOUR OF CHULLPAS OF SILLUSTANI
Once you have arrived in Puno, you can catch a scheduled ride to Chullpas of Sillustani. These are funerary towers which date pre-Incan, meaning they have been standing for thousands of years.
After this tour, you will be 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 2: 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 3: 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 4: 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 5: INCA TRAIL (DAY 1)
In the morning, a GOTOPERU rep will pick you up from Cusco and take you through a beautiful, unique two-hour drive through the Sacred Valley’s landscape en route to Ollantaytambo. Don’t fill up on snacks, however; a delicious breakfast will be waiting for you when you arrive.
After eating, you will receive food and equipment for the beginning of your journey. You will then meet up with your trek team, which includes experts on the terrain and the culture, and then it’s off via bus to the start of your journey, Piscacucho.
The first leg of your journey will take you over the Urubamba River, where after you will begin to hike up the scenic landscape until reaching the small Miskay village. Take a break, soak up the scenery, and then it’s off to a plateau, where you will be able to look down and see the majestic Inca ruins of Patallacta – the Village in the Heights.
Located on the left back of the Cusicancha mountain basin, this village is perhaps the most picturesque destination in all of Peru, with deep, rich greens and a perfect sunlit backdrop that provides professional-quality photo opportunities for everyone. Enjoy your lunch as you look out upon and learn about the many tambos (the traveler’s rest stops).
After lunch, it’s a two-hour push to the Wayllabama campsite. From this high location, you get a bird’s eye view of the Vilcanota ridge, and you can even see the snowy-peaked Mount Veronica as clear as day. Rest up; day two takes you even further along this historic trail.
DAY 6: INCA TRAIL (DAY 2)
This leg of the excursion is where your mettle will be tested. It is only for those who appreciate hiking, and those who are healthy enough to participate in such activities. It isn’t overly strenuous, but the path is steep – its name is very apt: Dead Woman’s Pass (Abra de Warmiwanusca). It is 16,000 feet above sea level, and you will experience the atmospheric change as you climb higher. The temperatures go from sticky and humid to dry and cool.
Although this might sound refreshing, it can actually sap your energy. So remember to pace yourself along this journey, stopping frequently to soak up the surroundings. But, before you know it, you will arrive at your second campsite: Llulluchapampa.
This campsite is bordered by two clear, pristine mountain streams that are unadulterated by outside influence. Though this is only a rest stop for the weary traveler; you can use the bathroom, drink some pure water, and catch your breath. Check out the many indigenous varieties of birds, and you might even be lucky enough to see the golden-eyed Andean bears before you start marching toward your overnight campsite: Pacaymayo Valley.
Once arriving at your overnight campsite, you will get to choose from a wide variety of food to reenergize yourself after a full day’s excursion. You won’t have to be reminded to rest. The sounds of the environment and the hard day’s work will lull you right to sleep.
DAY 7: INCA TRAIL (DAY 3)
Continuing on the Inca Trail after a hearty breakfast, you will pass many smaller archeologically-significant areas en route to Runkurakay Pass. Your guide will fill you in on your surroundings; your job is to enjoy the scenery and savor the journey. Because, in the seeming blink of an eye, you will be atop the pass and looking down at the Pacaymayo Valley and the “Hidden River.”
Take some time to appreciate your surroundings and get ready to experience the hike up the steep and ancient Incan steps – painstakingly carved pathways that are thousands of years old.
Along your climb, you will see breathtaking mountain ranges like Pumasillo and Vilcabama, and also huge mountain lakes like Yanacocha and Sayacmarca. The latter of which is a lake named after a town that many believe to be inaccessible. Sayacmarca is an eclectic mix of ancient ruins that are as diverse as the Incan culture itself. And it’s not only the ground that will keep you captivated. All around the valley, you can vividly see the snow-covered hills.
Pumasillo and the valley of Aobamba are beautiful sites, but visiting Sayacmarca’s ruins is the highlight of the day. The ruins present a fun and complex labyrinth of various tunnels and corridors. You’ll have to climb the steep stone steps to reach them, but it is well worth the effort. Once exiting the ruins, it feels like you’re entering a different world. From stone grey to a wide and wild assortment of flowers like orchids and lichens, these ruins present destinations inside of destinations.
Continuing along the pass after the excitement is over, you get the privilege of being amongst the first people to step foot in the newly discovered Conchamarca ruins, before continuing up a narrow, stone-stepped path that leads you to the final mountain pass of the journey. Once at the pass of Abra de Phuyupatamarca, you will start to go downhill toward the Towns in the Cloud, which itself is a famous archeological site of the area.
From here, it’s on to the Wiñaywayna ruins, where it’s time to soak up the sights and sounds of this famous area before having dinner and making camp. You will notice that various agricultural trenches used to produce crops for the entire region. This location was economical and very spiritual, bringing in travelers, traders, and even those who worshipped water.
Wiñaywayna offers you a superb restaurant to dine in, and also a hot bath house, which goes perfectly with the ice-cold beer you can opt for. One-of-a-kind sites, world-class local cuisine, a steaming hot bath, and a cold brew. This is the perfect way to say goodbye to the Incan Trail. And also the perfect way to prepare for your next day, because the journey is far from over.
Note: The team at Wiñaywayna works hard to provide a unique experience for tired and hungry travelers, and they exist on tips. Tips will be divided amongst the tour guide, the porters, and the cook, and a tip from $10/$40 per person is greatly appreciated, although not mandatory.
DAY 8: INCA TRAIL (DAY 4)
The fourth day of your trip starts with a pre-dawn breakfast at 4:30 a.m.; after which, you will head straight to the famous and historic Sun Gate entrance at Machu Picchu. After arriving and walking a slim trail to reach the gate, you will witness what was considered literally godly by the ancient Incans: A sunrise over the Sun Gate. Watch in awe as the fog suddenly lifts like a CGI effect and the sunlight drenches over the entire area, until completely covering Machu Picchu in an orange blanket.
The vision of such a sunrise will instantly make you aware of why so many ancient peoples worshipped the sun. And just as your cold chills are subsiding, the journey will continue with a two-hour tour through the downhill areas of Machu Picchu, which includes the amazing and sophisticated “mortarless stones” – megaton stones that were carved and dragged manually and stacked with extreme precision using nothing to bind them.
You will cover three separate zones of this ancient stone city: The agricultural, adjacent, and urban zones. Along the way, you will see:
After the tour has concluded, you are allowed to go back through many of the city’s areas on your own, truly experiencing the wonder of Machu Picchu in the silence that enables you to grasp the wonder of the ruins. After your city experience is over, you have two options:
You can choose to take a hike to Huayna Picchu, which is very steep and rugged, but more than rewarding. Once you reach the overlook atop the pass, you will get to witness an overhead view of the city that only a handful of people in history have ever seen – past or present.
You can choose to spend the rest of your morning exploring the town and village in and around Machu Picchu. You guide can tell you about different hotspots you can check out, just make sure you catch the afternoon train back to your Cusco Hotel.
DAY 9: 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 10: POSADA AMAZONAS TOUR (DAY 1)
The first day of your trip starts out like most trips. You arrive at your destination via airport. However, immediately after arriving, you will begin to realize that GOTOPERU has lined up a very unique experience for you, starting with our expert tour guides. Our guides are members of the community here, they are real biologists, and they are tourism professionals. You will be assigned a guide at a 10:1 ratio, so your party may be merged with another. Though if you’re not keen on that idea and instead want a private guide, just make arrangements with us beforehand. We will set you up with a private guide for your tour.
Once these arrangements have been taken of and you are greeted by our professionals, it’s time to transfer to Puerto Maldonado Headquarters, which only takes a quick 10 minutes. After this, you will get your first taste of the Amazon via our amazing natural gardens.
When it’s time to head out, you will be asked to leave your nonessentials behind in a safe deposit box. This is due to the boat travel you’re about to embark on; it’s important to keep the vessels as light as possible. From here, it’s a scenic ride to the Tambopata River Port.
During this 20km trip, you will be entering the native community of Infierno, which operates as a port communal business. This gives you a true sense of how life in such a region operates. It’s a very community-driven atmosphere, with no real hierarchy to speak of. After you learn a little about this community and mingle with residents, it’s time for a boxed lunch before catching your last transfer to Posada Amazonas.
This is a relatively short boat trip, taking between 30 minutes to an hour, and you will pass directly through the Primary Forest Private Reserve, which is teeming with unique and active wildlife.
When you arrive at the lodge, you will be greeted by the manager and subsequently get a few minutes to settle in, and then it’s time for an orientation. The staff works very hard to create entertaining presentations, but keep in mind that these are supposed to be educational. You will be going over essential navigation and safety tips. This is the rainforest, and getting separated or lost might not make for a pleasant time.
As soon as your orientation is over, it’s time for the fun to begin. Put on your hiking books and make sure you have a camera handy.
About a 20-minute walk from the Posada lodge takes you to a manmade scaffolding structure that’s built high atop a ridge on the trail. All in all, this scaffolding stands around 30-meters high but gives you a vantage point of nearly triple that. The sturdy platform places you in the perfect position to view the many different canopy flocks, parrot species, raptors, macaws, and much more. You will also get a great view of the Tambopata River, as it cuts through the land below. This gives you an idea of the sheer size and scale of this vast reserve – and it also puts things into perspective, as you’re only looking out at a fraction of the entire rainforest.
When you’re through viewing the amazing scenery, it’s time to enjoy a hearty, tasty dinner.
Before the night ends, you will be treated to a very entertaining lecture on ecotourism inside the lodge. This gives you a new perspective on tourism in the region and the efforts underway to preserve as much of this natural land as possible. This lecture is optional and will be available every night, if you so choose to participate, but you can spend your time doing something else if you would rather skip it.
Enjoy a restful night’s sleep and get ready for the second day of your journey.
DAY 11: POSADA AMAZONAS TOUR (DAY 2)
Enjoy a filling breakfast when you wake up, and pack up your gear and prepare for a full day of excitement.
Oxbow lakes are beautiful u-shaped sstructures that form when a wide meander in a river is cut off and the river takes a new course. These standalone lakes become unique ecosystems which support a wide variety of wildlife. The Tres Chimbadas lake is a 30-minute ride by boat, or a 45-minute hike by foot. Paddle out to the lake in a catamaran and start searching for the wide range of life that thrives here. You may see a large family of giant river otters, the frightening-looking caiman, horned screamers, hoatzin, and much more.
A clay lick is essentially a sodium-rich river bank, and birds fly for miles to eat this nutrient-rich clay. You will hike about 25-minutes from the lodge to a blind directly adjacent the clay lick. From this vantage point, you will see dozens of different parakeets and parrots descend on the lick to get their clay fix.
Beautiful species like the blue-headed parrot, the dusky-headed parakeet, and the yellow-headed Amazon show up to eat on clear mornings. The bright, vivid colors of these birds in flocks will amaze everyone.
Enjoy a light, energizing lunch after viewing these birds.
This particular part of your tour takes you up a manmade trail after a 20-minute boat ride. It was created by the Centro Nape staff, which is a communal organization in the area, and it features a host of medicinal plants, indigenous plants, and much more. Most of the plants along this trail are actually used for the patients in the clinic, and the tour guide will explain the different plants and their medicinal properties, and why it’s so important to sustain this type of life in the Amazon. After learning about the plants, enjoy a delicious dinner.
If you’re so inclined after the sun goes down on the Amazon, you can go out on a night walk and see many of the forest’s animals that you will never see during the day. Granted, it’s tough to actually see them in the pitch of night, but you will certainly hear them rustling around in the bush. This is where a light comes in handy, as you will encounter many types of arboreal mammals and frogs.
When this walk is over, it’s time to rest up for your departure in the morning.
DAY 12: POSADA AMAZONAS TOUR (DAY 3)
Although you will heading out after you eat breakfast, the vacation is not over by any stretch. You still have a lot of traveling to do, and you will be going back through the heart of the natural reserve, wherein you will experience all types of wildlife in its natural habitat.
The morning travel starts with a boat ride transfer to the Tambopata River Port. Immediately after, you’ll be heading back to the Puerto Maldonado Headquarters, where you will then ride back to the airport.
For most people, this means they’re heading back home. For you, however, it might just be the start of your vacation. If you’re so inclined, check out other parts of the Peruvian region, like Lima or Cusco. We can arrange anything you want in the region, so you can extend your vacation to include some truly historic sites in this region.
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