PERU The Amazon, Cusco and Puerto Maldonado
DAY 1: INTERNATIONAL ARRIVAL TO LIMA
Assistance on your arrival to Lima “Jorge Chavez” Airport and transfer to the Hotel.
DAY 2: LIMA/ CUSCO – CITY TOUR AND NEARBY INCA SITES
Early in the morning, transfer to the Airport to take the flight to Cusco.
Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. After arrival we suggest some rest in the hotel in order to avoid altitude sickness and have lunch there. In the afternoon, we will have a guided city tour of Cusco visiting the Main Square, the Temple of the Sun or Korikancha Then, we drive out of the city to visit the Inca sites of Kenko, Tambomachay, Puca Pucara and the impressive fortress of Sacsayhuaman, strategically built on a hill overlooking Cusco and famous for its enormous carved stones, some of them standing over 9m / 30ft high and weighing over 350 tons. Return to the hotel.
DAY 3: CUSCO: SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS (L)
Excursion to the “Sacred Valley of the Incas”, a succession of picturesque towns, agricultural terraces and archaeological sites. we´ll have the opportunity to bargain with vendors or stroll at the Pisac’s typical Indian market, with a catholic mass service on Sunday (celebrated in Quechua, the native language). Lunch at a local restaurant in the Sacred Valley.
In the afternoon pass through Calca and Urubamba towns to arrive to the Inca Fortress and Citadel of Ollantaytambo, which was built to guard the entry of this part of the valley and protect it from enemies of the lower jungles; consisting in a series of superimposed terraces of carved stones accessed by long staircases. We will have the opportunity to walk through the quaint streets of the nearby town, religious and agricultural centre during the Inca Empire, and get a clear idea of the military strategy against possible invasions. On our way back to Cusco we will visit the picturesque Andean village of Chinchero where the remains of what was the royal hacienda of Tupac Inca Yupanqui lies. Admire its well preserved Inca Wall at the Main Square, visit the beautiful colonial temple built on Inca foundations, with interesting frescoes on the portico. Back to Cusco in the afternoon.
DÍA 4: CUSCO: MACHUPICCHU (L)
The day starts with an early morning rise to transfer to Cusco train station for a 4 hour train journey to the famous Inca Citadel of Machupicchu, also known as “The Lost City of the Incas”. Arrive at Aguas Calientes station followed by a 30-minute bus drive, climbing 6km of winding road, to the incredible Machupicchu.
Upon arrival, we´ll participate in a guided tour of the Citadel, visiting the Main Plaza, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Sun Dial, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows and various burial grounds. After the tour you will have time to stroll around the archaeological site at your leisure. Lunch in a restaurant at Aguas Calientes town.
In the afternoon, back to Cusco by train, and transfer to the Hotel.
DAY 5: FLIGHT TO PUERTO MALDONADO, AND JOURNEY TO THE LODGE (L) (D)
Following your early morning flight to Puerto Maldonado from Lima or Cusco, you will be met at the airport by your naturalist guide and transferred to a dugout canoe for the trip up the Tambopata River to the lodge. On the journey the vegetation changes from colonized deforested areas to virgin rain forest. A box-lunch is provided on board. On arrival you’ll have a welcome drink and meet the rest of the staff. In the late afternoon you set off for an introductory walk into the “terra firme” forest behind the lodge (Trail 2), dominated by giant Brazil-nut and Dipteryx trees. Frequently seen mammals on this trail are Saddle-back Tamarinds, Brown Capuchins, Agoutis, Pacas, Blue-Morpho butterflies, Trogons, Toucans and many other species of birds.After dinner a night walk to find nocturnal animals or insects by the eye-shine a specialization for increasing the light and see better, about 50% of the animals are nocturnal in the rainforest.
DAY 6: HIKE TO LAKE CONDENADO (B) (L) (D)
After an early breakfast you and your nature guide will board the motorized canoe once again for the short journey to the trail head to begin a morning’s exploration by foot and paddle canoe of the lake system of Condenado, rich in bird and aquatic life. A family of Giant Otters live in the vicinity of the lake and are often observed. Birds abound especially Rufescent Tiger-herons, Great Egrets, Wattled Jacanas, Hoatzin, the noisy Donacobius and many others. Remember to bring your hat and sun cream for there is no shade out on the water. You will return to the lodge in time for lunch. The afternoon is for exploring the forest close to the lodge (with or without your guide), relaxing and bathing in the Gallucunca, a cool clear stream beside the lodge or visit our tree platforms, going up with ropes and harnesses for a bird’s eye view of the forest and for close-ups of arboreal orchids and the many other species of plants and animals that are never seen near the ground (extra cost). After dark you will go searching for caiman (alligators) and other nocturnal animals by motorized canoe along the Tambopata River.
DAY 7: HIKE TO LAKE SACHAVACAYOC (TAPIR LAKE) (B) (L) (D)
After an early breakfast you will take a short boat ride down river to the trail head. Here you embark on a longer trail which leads to a spectacular hidden lake, requiring the crossing of streams and swampy ground, past the giant Lupuna trees (kings of the jungle) which abound in this part of the forest. On the walk you are introduced to more aspects of the forest and its animals. At the lake itself it is possible to spot the elusive Black Caiman and Giant Otters. We return for lunch. The afternoon is free for relaxation and bathing.
DAY 8: PUERTO MALDONADO / LIMA (B)
A dawn start is required for the canoe trip back to Puerto Maldonado giving memorable views of the sun rise over the river. Lookout for the early morning wildlife which is particularly active at this time. Howler monkeys are frequently heard, as they stakeout their territories. Your guide will take care of you on arrival in Puerto Maldonado and will deal with all the necessities at the airport prior to you departure. (Departure to Lima by plane). Ince in Lima you can wait at the Airport for your international connection.