STANDARD TOUR PROGRAM #001
Amazon Expedition Cruise & Machu Picchu
14 Days / 13 Nights
Lima-Iquitos-Amazon Riverboat Cruise-Iquitos-Cuzco-Sacred Valley-Machu Picchu-Cuzco-Lima
Day 01, Saturday - Lima
Fly from the States to Lima. Evening arrival. Lodging at the Lima Airport Hotel: Costa del Sol Wyndham.
Day 02, Sunday - Lima/Iquitos/Nauta/Amazon Riverboat
Make your early morning flight from Lima to Iquitos. Greeting at the airport and transfer by private bus to our riverboat in Nauta, 100 kms south of Iquitos on the Marañón river, one of the two sources of the Amazon. Depart Nauta on the Clavero riverboat. Travel up the Marañón River towards the Samiria River, instructions on onboard safety and introduction to the staff will be given. Lunch. Introductory talk on the Amazon and the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. Afternoon tea. Sunset observations with drinks from the bar before dinner is served. (B,L,D)
Day 03, Monday - Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
Breakfast. We will arrive at the mouth of the Samiria River mid-morning. We check in at the reserve's ranger station and visitors' center. Travel up the Samiria River. Bird watching and wildlife observations. Lunch. Talk on wildlife of the Samiria and how to best observe wildlife. Bird watching and wildlife observations. Afternoon tea. We arrive at the field site. Dinner. Nighttime caiman observation using auxiliary boats. Optional night hike. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Days 04-06, Tuesday - Thursday - Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
Activities these days to include: Small boat excursions for river dolphin, macaw, monkey and other wildlife observation, rainforest hikes in search of wildlife, piranha fishing, nighttime caiman observation and night hikes in the forest. There is a lot of wildlife to observe and a lot of excellent photo opportunities. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 07, Friday - Pacaya Samiria National Reserve/Depart downriver on the Amazon
Breakfast. Morning visit to a local Cocama indigenous village. Lunch. Afternoon departure back downriver. Time permitting, we will see the union of the Ucayali and Marañón rivers, birthplace of the Amazon. Return back upriver to Nauta. Time permitting, an evening walk around Nauta. Dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 08, Saturday - Iquitos
After breakfast, transfer from Nauta back to Iquitos and the Hotel Victoria Regia. Morning Iquitos City & Market Tour. Meet your guide in the hotel lobby at 09:30 for a tour of approx. 3 hours. The tour will include the Artisan Market in San Juan (a great place to purchase handicrafts); a canoe tour of the Itaya River in Belen (the floating city) and a tour of the Belen Market. The Belem market is a cornucopia of exotic foods and jungle products. Here you will find an entire street of medicinal plant vendors, hot pepper vendors, and a host of other curiosities. The tour also includes a swing past famous Iquitos landmarks such as the Plaza de Armas, the Iron House, the Plaza 28th of July (with the railroad engine once used during rubber boom days), the Malecon (waterfront boulevard). Balance of day free. (Breakfast)
Day 09, Sunday - Iquitos/Lima/Cuzco
Transfer to Iquitos airport for flight from Iquitos to Lima with connection to Cuzco at 11,024 feet above sea level. Greeting upon arrival and transfer from the airport to the Hotel Casa Andina San Blas. This three-star hotel is within walking distance of historic churches, museums and the main plaza of Cuzco. Afternoon tour of Cuzco - The Plaza de Armas, which has been the center of solemn parades and great assemblies since Inca times; The Cathedral, built on the site where the palace of Inca Viracocha once stood, mixes Spanish Renaissance architecture with beautiful Inca stone-work.
Its construction began in 1580 and took approximately one century to complete. Among its many treasures are nearly 400 colonial paintings, including those of the "School of Cusco" a very particular style developed by the blending of Inca and Spanish cultures; The Museum of Religious Art, displaying a fine collection of colonial artifacts and paintings of the "School of Cusco" style. Just outside is the Twelve Angled Stone, an example of Inca architectural achievement that continues to amaze the world, the twelve corner-angles fit perfectly with all the surrounding stone blocks. The stones were positioned without the use of mortar and have withstood earthquakes of the centuries; The Koricancha Temple, known as the "temple of the supreme Sun God " that colonial chronicles described as having the inner walls covered with gold plates to reflect the sun's rays entering through windows specially positioned for that purpose; and the nearby ruins Sacsayhuaman, a massive fortress made of large stones, including one weighing 125 tons, arranged in a zig-zag shape in three platforms.
Sacsayhuaman presently serves as the location for the Inti Raymi Festival (Festival of the Sun) held every year on June 24 and; Kenko, or Quenco, (zig-zag) another great example of skilled Inca masonry work consisting of a large limestone slab covered with carvings, thought to have been used for ritual sacrifices. Here is also a mysterious cave with large niches, and an amphitheater facing north with 19 niches; Tambomachay, consisting of a beautiful ceremonial bath, popularly called "Bath of the Inca”, formed by four walls linked by stairs and adorned with crystalline waterfalls. Return to Hotel Casa Andina San Blas for overnight. (Breakfast)
Day 10, Monday - Cuzco
Free day for optional activities. Cuzco has many shops with colorful, diverse and creative handicrafts. These include textiles hand-made from alpaca wool, ceramics, religious imagery, dolls, gold and silver jewelry and more. Wandering around the colorful fruit and vegetable market is a photographer’s dream. There are many excellent restaurants where you can enjoy delicious regional cuisine. Overnight at Hotel Casa Andina San Blas. (Breakfast)
Day 11, Tuesday - Cuzco/Sacred Valley
Early morning pickup from your hotel for a full day tour of the Sacred Valley. Our first stop is Awanakancha, a beautiful Exhibition Center of Textiles and South American camelids such as llamas, vicuñas, and alpacas. Continue to the Urubamba Valley of the Incas, considered the historic heart of the Inca Empire. It was intensively cultivated with terraces increasing its harvest several fold. Small villages lined the valley floor, while the stone fortresses of Ollantaytambo and Pisac served the dual purpose of providing protection and serving as religious centers. We arrive to the colorful Pisac Indian Market, have sometime for free exploration. Lunch at Sonesta Posada del Inca Yucay hotel. Continue to Ollantaytambo for a tour of the ruins. The enormous step terraces protecting the fortress are spectacular. The bastion's walls were built with huge blocks of granite. This location was the site of a major battle during Manco Capac's Inca rebellion against the conquistadors. Overnight at Pakaritampu Hotel. The hotel was built in the architectural style of Cuzco and is surrounded by lawns and garden of local plants and flowers. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 12, Wednesday - Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu
Early morning transfer to the Ollantaytambo train station for the Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes. The Vistadome trains have beautiful panoramic windows offering unsurpassed scenic views and photographic opportunities. Entertainment on board, snacks and hot and cold refreshments are included on the journey. Aguas Calientes is renowned for its natural hot baths, which give the town its name ("hot waters" in Spanish). Upon arrival, transfer by bus to Machu Picchu. Full-day guided tour of the Inca citadel including park entrance fee, bus and lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge.
Machu Picchu is one of the world's most impressive archaeological sites. Built by the Incas on the summit of the mountain of Machu Picchu (Old Peak), it overlooks the deep canyon of the Urubamba River in a semi-tropical area at 8,000 feet above sea level. It was “re-discovered” in 1911 by the American professor Hiram Bingham, although locals knew of it’s existence all along. The building style is "late imperial Inca". It is thought to have been a sanctuary inhabited by high priests and the "Virgins of the Sun". No signs of post-conquest occupation were found. The original entrance to the complex is the Intipunko" (Sun Gate) on the southwestern side of the citadel at the end of the Inca Trail. You can easily take a short walk out from the main ruins to the Sun Gate. Overnight at Hotel of your choice. Overnight at Hotel Inkaterra Machu Picchu. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 13, Thursday - Machu Picchu/Cuzco
Morning return (on your own) to the citadel including bus and entrance fee. An early arrival will give you the opportunity to walk out to the Sun Gate to obtain the classic Machu Picchu photograph of the rays of the sun first illuminating the ruins. Your guide the previous day will brief you on what time to arrive to the gate. This morning is also a good opportunity to hike up Huayna Picchu, (Young Peak) (Permit Fee not included.), that is as much a part of the site as the buildings of the citadel. The towering granite peak overlooks Machu Picchu to the north with a steep, well-preserved original Inca path, well worth the one hour climb for an astounding view of the citadel and the entire valley. Note that this hike is not suited for those nervous about heights and sheer drop-offs. Afternoon Vistadome train back to Cuzco - Poroy Station, with private transfer to your Cuzco hotel, the Casa Andina San Blas. (Breakfast)
Day 14, Friday - Cuzco/Lima
An early afternoon transfer from your Cuzco hotel to the airport for your flight back to Lima. (Optional lodging at the Lima Airport Hotel, Costa del Sol Wyndham for the day or overnight.) Make your evening or next day flight from Lima to your home. (Breakfast)
|Amazon Cruise & Machu Picchu 2015
14 Days / 13 Nights
|Price varies depending upon number of travelers, Riverboat choice,
hotel substitutions, optional tours and services.
Options available of other Amazon Riverboats,
hotels in Iquitos, Cuzco and Sacred Valley.
This program is also available with
the optionof a shorter Amazon Cruise.
- Airport transfers.
- Amazon Riverboat Cruise.
- Guided sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary.
- Ground transportation (bus and train).
- Accommodation at selected hotels with breakfast.
- Meals according to the itinerary.
What’s Not Included:
- Meals not noted in itinerary.
- Optional tipping to guides and local staff.
- Airport departure taxes.
- Items of a personal nature (sodas, alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).