ABOUT THE PACKAGE
This unique tour will have you trekking along the legendary Inca Trail and sleeping in comfortable tents surrounded by Peru’s famous “nevados”. Once in Machu Picchu, your reward is an inviting room at a lovely hotel and a sumptuous dinner. You will also spend time in the stunning Sacred Valley, bargaining your way in colorful markets, visiting Inca fortresses, horseback riding and staying at cozy lodges. Wrap it up with a stay in the mighty Amazon jungle, where you will partake of interesting hikes in the forest, night outings in search for nocturnal creatures, canopy tours and boat excursions.
1 Arrival in Peru’s capital city (Lima)
After clearing customs and immigration, proceed to the reception area, where our local representative will be holding a board with your name on it. You will be greeted with a “Bienvenidos a Lima” and transferred to your hotel. The Miraflores and San Isidro districts offer excellent restaurants and nightlife options.
2 The Sacred Valley of the Incas (Sacred Valley)
We get up early to catch a morning flight to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. Upon arrival, a representative will be waiting to drive us to our hotel in the Sacred Valley. We will be greeted with a welcome coca tea (excellent for acclimation) and showed to our room. This afternoon, in the company of a local guide, we jump on our horses and set off to discover the secrets of this incredible valley of harvest terraces, majestic mountains and Inca villages steeped in ancient traditions. We will return in the early evening, full of fresh stories and anecdotes compiled during our explorations. At night trade stories with other guests at the hotel’s cozy lounge, take a stroll around the village, or relax in the hotel gardens and marvel at the starry sky.
3 Indigenous Markets and Inca Fortresses (Sacred Valley)
In the heart of the Sacred Valley, there is an ancient Inca town where locals have been gathering for centuries to barter their products in the central plaza: Pisac. We will spend two hours visiting the market, bargaining for Peruvian handicrafts and jewelry and watching the locals barter beans and corn and other produce in their native Quechua language. Then we take a short break to sip an Inca Cola with the natives in a bar and immediately depart for Ollantaytambo, a huge fortress strategically located at the entrance of the valley, where the Inca Ollanta was able to stop the Spanish conquistadores in a celebrated battle. As many other Inca remains, Ollanta is both magical and mysterious with its legends and converging energies floating in the air. After touring the ancient village and fortress, we return to our cozy hotel.
4 In search of the Lost City: First stop Yunkachimpa (Camping)
We are transferred by private bus to the small Andean town of Chilca and on to the trailhead at Piscacucho. Here we will meet our porters and camp staff. As our porters load the heavy gear, we head off down river alongside the rushing Vilcanota River, through pretty cactus gardens with magnificent views of the Wakay-wilca snow-peak, to our right. After lunch in Miskay, we start our trek toward the first campsite. We will pass through the Inca town of Llactapata and spend some time exploring this site before continuing up to Yunkachimpa where we camp for the night.
5 Warm up with Warmiwanusca…at 11,800 feet (Camping)
Today we face the first of the two big challenges on the trail. Our objective is the pass of Warmiwanusca, situated at 11,800 ft. The pass renders spectacular views of the Huayanay snow-capped peaks (nevados). Once we reach the summit we start our descent to the tree line in the Pacasmayo Valley, where we camp for the night.
6 Today we conquer Runkurakay (Camping)
The most demanding day of the treck starts with a steady one to two hour climb that takes us over the second pass where we pick up out first real signs of paved Inca road–an impressive carved stairway that leads to the minor ruins of Runkurakay. Continuing up this Inca stairway we cross the pass and drop down to the major and spectacular ruins of Sayacmarca, a perfect spot for lunch. After an impromptu lecture on the secrets of Inca architecture and way of life, courtesy of our guide, we continue hiking along an exquisite paved Inca road, until we arrive at our camp: Phuyupatamarca. The views of the Urubamba River and the “nevados” of Veronica and Salkantay make this place one of the most unforgettable along the trail.
7 And finally…Machu Picchu (Machu Picchu)
From Phuyupatamarca the trail descends through some of the finest, intact paved Inca road known. We walk through moss and orchid laden mature cloud forest down a steep Inca stairway to the ruins of Winay-wayna. This site was only discovered in the 1940’s and rivals Machu Picchu both in beauty and splendor. After a short break to visit the site and take in the breathtaking scenery, we resume our trek through a fern laden cloud forest until we reach Intipunku, the Gate of the Sun, from where we get our first and awe-inspiring view of the citadel. This afternoon, we wander around Machu Picchu and learn about its secrets with our knowledgeable guide. Tonight we stay at the beautiful El Pueblo Hotel.
8 Savor Machu Picchu. Then return to Cusco by train. (Cusco)
We have a free morning to enjoy the site on our own. Our guide suggests climbing up Huaynu Picchu (the other mountain), visit the Temple of the Moon and the fabulous Inca Bridge or relaxing in the thermal baths in Aguas Calientes. In the afternoon we board the train back to Cusco.
9 At leisure (Cusco)
Your last day in the ancient Inca capital is totally at your discretion. If you still have some stamina, we recommend you take a mountain bike tour to the salt mines of Maras or a rafting tour in the Urubamba River. You may also spend your day visiting the surrounding ruins, rambling around Cuzco, hunting for traditional souvenirs, or rubbing elbows with the locals around a pisco sour in one of the traditional picanterias.
10 On to the jungle (Puerto Maldonado)
This morning you will be flying over an infinite jungle crisscrossed by rivers that meander their way through thick vegetation. Your destination is Puerto Maldonado, a sleepy frontier town located on the banks of the Madre de Dios River. Upon arrival, you will visit the city market, where you can buy Brazil nuts, aguajes, pacays, coconas, cashew nuts, and star apples, as well as other typical tropical forest fruits and nuts and local handicrafts made with seeds from the Amazon region. Continue to the pier to board a motorized canoe for the 45-minute ride to the Tambopata Reserve. The trip will render views of caimans sunning on the river banks, tropical birds screeching from the treetops and monkeys jumping from line to line as they follow the boat with increased curiosity. You will arrive at the lodge in time for a tropical cocktail and lunch. In the afternoon, after a short siesta in your cabin or at the hammock area by the river, depart for a two-hour guided hike along the Botanical Trail, situated behind the lodge. Later head for Monkey Island, where you will be able to observe up to five species of monkeys. This evening, after dinner, enjoy a night stroll along the riverbank to observe alligators and other nocturnal animals.
11-12 Exploring Tambopata (Puerto Maldonado)
Reserva Amazonica has carefully developed a comprehensive menu of explorations and outings. Each day you can choose from different excursions, which have been selected according to weather conditions, season, guests’ preferences, duration and degree of difficulty. Tours range from hiking and trekking expeditions to boat rides, excursions to Monkey Island and Lake Sandoval, visits to indigenous communities and research centers and much more. All explorations are led by expert, bilingual guides, include all necessary equipment and are reduced to a maximum of 10 people per guide.
13 Free day in Lima (Lima)
This morming fly back to Lima, where our guide is waiting to drive you to your hotel. The day is free for you to enjoy the City of Kings on your own. Or you can take and Optional tours include walking tours of the Colonial District, guided city tours, and visits to Lima’s world class museums.
14 Depart Peru
At the appointed time you will transfer back to the airport in time for your international departure flight. We wish you a pleasant trip back home and hope to enjoy your company in another exciting adventure very soon.