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Inca Trail and The Amazon


     

Travel from the heady heights of the Andes to the exotic lowlands of the Amazon on this journey through the best of Peru. Get acquainted with the charm and grace of historic towns before hiking along ancient pathways to Machu Picchu and discovering the heart and soul of the Inca Empire. Then eyeball exotic plant and wildlife in the world's most remarkable jungle. From vibrant cities to glorious natural wonders, this trip shows you all corners of Peru.

 

 

Our Opinion

 

Combine the breathtaking views across the world-famous ruins of Machu Picchu after hiking through the Inca Trail, with a 2 night camping experience in the Amazon rainforest; as well as exploring some fascinating cities as well. This really is a trip you will never forget.

 

 

 

Tour Highlights

 

Experience Cuzco's Inca culture

Be amazed by the Ollantaytambo ruins

Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Explore the mysterious rainforest of the Amazon

Wander the markets of Lima

 

 

Itinerary in Brief

 

Lima - 1 night

Cuzco - 1 night

Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo - 1 night

Inca Trail - 4 nights

Cuzco - 1 night

Amazon Jungle - 2 nights

Lima - 1 night

 

 

Full Itinerary

 

Day 1: Lima - Welcome to Peru. Please ensure you arrive in time for the important welcome meeting at 2pm. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where this important meeting will take place. Please ask a member of reception for this information. This will be followed by a walking tour of downtown Lima and an optional group dinner: a great time to try the local specialties. While Peru's capital officially began life in 1535, when Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city on the Day of the Three Kings, settlements had been scattered through the valley since before the Incas. The city was built on top of an existing palace and temples that belonged to the local chief who had little choice but to move on. Lima was in its prime during the Spanish colonial days and much of the city's attraction now lies in its well-preserved historical centre. If you arrive early, we recommend you take a walk around Miraflores. Go from Central Park (Parque Kennedy) to LarcoMar via Larco Avenue. Alternatively go to Parque del Amor (Love's Park) for a nice view of Lima's beaches. Other things to see and do include a tour to Pachacamac (approx 30 km from downtown Lima), the Museo de la Nacion and the Gold Museum. Limenos (Lima's residents) are friendly and there are plenty of great restaurants and cafes to sample ceviche, a local seafood speciality.

 

 

Day 2: Cuzco - You'll say goodbye to the Lima Leader today. Take an included fight to Cuzco. This flight will be unescorted, however you will be met at Cuzco airport by your local leader. Welcome to Cuzco, Peru. You'll have a meeting at 2 pm. Here you may meet other travellers that are starting this trip in Cuzco. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. Spend a little time acclimatising to the high altitude (3,450 m) and then head out on an orientation walk with your tour leader. You'll visit the facade of Qoricancha temple, the local San Pedro market, the main square, past the 12 Angled Stone, Regocijo Square and San Blas Square. Finally you'll visit the Chocolate museum where there will be an opportunity to sample a hot chocolate made from local cacao beans. This might be a good opportunity to purchase some gifts or souvenirs. There's a small store where you'll find various handicrafts and a variety of artisanal chocolate products. You might feel overwhelmed by all there is to see in Cuzco, but there will be more time for you to go exploring at the end of the trip.

 

Day 3: Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo - Travel by private bus through the Sacred Valley for about two hours. Known as Wilcamayo to the Incas, the valley has been a source of livelihood to the locals for hundreds of years. You'll see maize crops covering the terraced valley walls and the sacred river beneath. For lunch, visit a community that live in the valley and learn about the local lifestyle and language. If it's market day, you may have the opportunity to browse the local handicrafts such as beads and ponchos. Continue your journey to the town of Ollantaytambo where you'll spend the night. If there's time you may like to see the town's archaeological site, which includes remnants of an Inca city and soaring views over the present-day settlement.

 

 

Day 4: Inca Trail, Inca Quarry Trail or Train Option - Depending on the travel arrangements you made before the trip, during the next four days you'll be doing one of the following: hiking the Classic Inca Trail, hiking the Inca Quarry Trail or staying in Cuzco for another two days before taking the train to Aguas Calientes. While away from Cuzco, the bulk of your luggage will be stored at your hotel. If you're hiking the Inca Trail or the Inca Quarry Trail, the evening before you leave Cuzco you'll receive a small duffle bag to carry your clothes in for the next four days (5 kg maximum). Your team of porters will carry these bags for you, together with the food and equipment for the trail.

 

We are just outlining Route 1, which is the classic Inca Trail. For information on the other two journeys over the next few days, please contact our team.

 

Route 1 Classic Inca Trail: Today travel by minivan to the 82 kilometre marker and meet your crew of local porters, cook and guide. The first day includes uphill trekking to the campsite, which is at 3,100 metres above sea level. On the way you'll see the Inca sites of Ollantaytambo, Huillca Raccay and Llactapata, as well as incredible views of snow-capped Veronica Peak. In the evening, unwind at the campsite with a nourishing meal.

 

 

Day 5: Inca Trail, Inca Quarry Trail or Train Option - This is the most challenging day of the trek as you ascend a long steep path (approximately five hours) to reach the highest point of the trail.

 

Day 6: Inca Trail, Inca Quarry Trail or Train Option - Start the day with a climb through the Pacaymayo Valley to Runkuracay pass (3,980 metres). Enjoy views of the snow-capped mountain of Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending for around two to three hours to the ruins of Sayacmarca. Continue over the trail's third pass to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3,850 metres), also known as 'Town Above the Clouds'. Start the two-hour descent down the Inca steps to the final night's campsite by the Winay Wayna archaeological site.

 

 

Day 7: Inca Trail, Inca Quarry Trail or Train Option (Machu Picchu) - This is the final and most spectacular leg of the trek to Machu Picchu. The day starts before dawn with breakfast at 4.30 am. Say farewell to the porters as they descend to the train station and begin hiking by 5.30 am. The walk to Intipunku (the Sun Gate) takes around two-and-a-half hours. Weather permitting, enjoy unforgettable views over Machu Picchu 'Lost City of the Incas' as the sun rises (and before it's crawling with tourists).

 

For all trails - after taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to return to Cuzco for a well-deserved shower and a pisco sour. Your evening is then free for the last night of your adventure.

 

Day 8: Cuzco - Enjoy free time to relax, shop and explore more of Cuzco's sights. Rest weary legs at a cafe on Plaza de Armas. For those who can't get enough active adventure, why not try mountain biking in the hills that surround Cuzco.

 

 

Days 9-10: Amazon Jungle - Say goodbye to your Cuzco leader. This morning you will take an unescorted flight to Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon Jungle, where you'll be staying for two nights. Upon your arrival, the lodge staff will take you to their office in town. Here you can leave most of your luggage in safe storage and continue travelling with a small pack with just the necessary items for your next two nights in the jungle. You'll then take a motorised canoe upriver to your jungle lodge in the Madre de Dios area. There will be time to unpack and unwind once you get there. The next two days are packed with activities. Your full day in the jungle includes a trek which lasts approximately half a day. At times the paths can get quite muddy and some people can find the trek a little exhausting. Along the way there will be regular stops, and you'll encounter magnificent fauna and flora in their natural habitat. You might spot everything from macaws and monkeys to peccaries, jabirus, otters and thousands of butterflies. The guides can also teach you about the medicinal properties and practical uses of the plants. For lunch you will return to the lodge. For your night-time excursion, you will venture out in the dark on a night jungle walk!

 

Day 11: Lima - Travel back to Puerto Maldonado before taking a short flight to Lima (approx 2 hrs). In Lima you will be met at the airport by one of our local representatives who will accompany you back to the hotel in Lima. There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.

 

Day 12: Lima - There are no planned activities today. Flights can be booked to depart at any time.

 

 

 

Extensions

 

Popular add-ons to this trip include spending some time on the Galapagos Islands, other tours around South America or maybe some relaxing beach time in Central America or the Caribbean. If this is something of interest, please contact one of our expert team who can help tailor the trip to your requirements.

 

 

 

Need to Know

 

- This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the 'Health' section of the trip notes for more important information on this.

 

- This trip involves a lot of walking to see the sites, and if you do the trek option, there'll be strenuous hiking. The trip is recommended for those with a moderate level of fitness but there are also a few different trail options to suit your interests and physical capabilities. Please bring durable footwear suitable to hiking.

 

- For those who do the Inca trail or Inca Quarry trail, you'll be camping with basic facilities. It's not exactly the Hilton Hotel, but the rewards of the trek are great.

 

- The Amazon Jungle can be very hot and humid, so it's important to drink plenty of water and wear light cotton clothing. Make sure you also bring tropical-strength insect repellant.

 

- This trip includes a full day's walk in the jungle. Even though the paths are well defined, this still requires a reasonable level of fitness, and sturdy walking shoes or light hiking boots are essential.

 

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