Make it truly your own. Start with this TailorMade sample itinerary, then work with our Private Travel team to customize the tour. Ancient civilizations and incredible animal life come together on this Peru itinerary that you can tweak and craft to your liking. Spot boobies, pelicans, and sea lions at the Ballestas Islands (known as Peru’s Little Galápagos) then trek the challenging but rewarding Inca Trail to bask in the sight of Machu Picchu at sunrise.
Your Local Living Moment: Lake Titicaca Homestay Experience & Boat Tour, Puno
Your Discover Moment: Tambopata Jungle Lodge 3D/2N, Puerto Maldonado. Ballestas Islands Wildlife Tour. Nazca desert cemetery and potter’s studio guided tour. Flight over Nazca Lines. Arequipa City Tour & Santa Catalina Monastery. Colca Canyon Overnight. Floating islands of Uros visit. Lake Titicaca guided tour. Sacred Valley guided tour. Pottery making demonstration. Inca Trail guided hike with cooks and porters (4 days). Machu Picchu guided tour. Cusco Cooking Class. Amazon Jungle stay at the exclusive G Lodge Amazon (3 days). Guided excursions with naturalists. Rubber boot use. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
See birds and sea lions at the Ballestas Islands, Experience traditional life during a Lake Titicaca homestay, Choose your route to Machu Picchu
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1. Please note that these Trip Details are based on the sample itinerary that was used to create your customized tour, meaning that some things listed here may no longer apply, including the service level, physical grading, and inclusions. For the specifics related to your particular personalized tour please refer to your tour vouchers or consult with your Private Travel GCO or travel agent.
2. INCA TRAIL AND MACHU PICCHU REGULATIONS
The rules and regulations controlling the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu are continually changing. Before embarking on your adventure to Peru it is very important that you familiarize yourself with the Inca Trail booking policies and guidelines as described in a document available on our website, at the following URL address:
3. MACHU PICCHU BY TRAIN – OPTIONAL
Please advise at time of booking if you do not wish to hike the Inca Trail. Instead, you will have 2 nights in Cusco, travel by train for a night in Aguas Calientes, and join the hikers for the tour of Machu Picchu.
4. INCA TRAIL MAINTENANCE
Portions of the Inca Trail will be closed for general maintenance during the month of February each year. Also, closures may occur at various times throughout the year due to inclement weather or other conditions beyond our control. During these periods, any tour affected will hike the Lares Trek.
Looking to add to your experience? Check out our Extras! Specially designed for travellers with unique interests, Extras are optional add-ons to your G adventures trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Extras must be booked prior to departure, please see details in our optional activities field and ask you sales GCO.
6. In our continued effort to support the rights of the porters on the Inca Trail, we would like ensure that they never exceed the weight limit for their packs as set out by the Peruvian authorities. Porters are allowed to carry no more than 6kg of personal belongings per hiker (for all other Peru treks the limit is 8kg). That means that including your sleeping bag, toiletries, clothing, etc, you are allowed a total weight of 6kg for the hike which will be carried in a duffle bag provided by our local office. Any additional weight must then be carried by you in your day pack. To help achieve this goal we recommend that you carry travel sized toiletries, that you bring sport sandals that can be worn with socks (which are lighter than running/walking shoes) and that you limit electronics to those that you are willing to carry. Any additional baggage can be left in Cusco, but is advised that you bring anything of value (eg. money, passport, credit cards, camera, etc) with you on the trek.
If at the end of your trek you felt your trekking guide and support team did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline, we suggest each hiker contributes the following to a collective pool. We suggest a tipping amount of $40 per person for the Inca Trail and $35 per person for the Lares Trek.
7. All travellers are required to pay the tax on domestic flights in Peru. Foreign travellers are exempt form this, and proving you are indeed a foreign traveller can be done by providing us with your international ticket number (ITN). Travellers who do not submit international ticket numbers at least 30 days prior to Day 1 of their tour will be required to pay the domestic tax on all included flights.
16 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners
Eating is a big part of traveling. G Adventures understands the importance of breakfast to start your day, we strive to include a basic breakfast wherever possible. A typical breakfast may include toast, coffee and tea, however this may vary depending on the city. Should breakfast not be included, reception at your hotel may be able to suggest some local options.
Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. While trekking in remote regions etc. food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients.
For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Public bus, private van, plane, train, boat, canoe.
All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
Hotels/guesthouses (13 nts), G Lodge Amazon (2 nts), overnight bus (1 nt), homestay (1 nt), camping (3 nts).
Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Peru (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
On your TailorMade trip, you will be met by a G Adventures Representative on Day 1 with more information about your tour. They will also be able to answer any questions you may have. If you have an arrival transfer, please meet your transfer representative in the arrivals area; they will be holding a G Adventures sign.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel or refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Lima, Peru.
During office hours (Weekdays, 9-6pm Local Time): +51 1 241 1650 or 01 241 1650 (from mobile within Peru) or 241 1650 (from payphone within Peru)
After hours Emergency number: +51 99 758 2712,
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, but because of the higher altitude in the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night.
We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.
All other camping equipment for the Inca Trail hike is provided and included in the cost of the excursion. Porters carry the gear, so you will only be responsible for carrying your daypack. But please be aware there are weight limits on what the porters can carry, thus every passenger is limited to 6kg, including sleeping bags.
-Cash, credit and debit cards
-Vouchers and pre-departure information
-Required visas or vaccination certificates
-Sleeping bag (also available for rent)
-Fleece jacket or warm layer
-Hiking pants/track pants
-Hiking long sleeve shirt
-Loose-fitting, light coloured long-sleeved shirts
-Loose-fitting, light coloured hiking pants
- Small towel and swim wear
-Waterproof hiking boots
-Hiking boots/Sturdy walking shoes
-Sturdy walking shoes
-Watch and alarm clock
- Anti-inflammatory tablets (e.g. Ibuprofen)
-Camera with extra memory cards and batteries
-Waterproof backpack cover
-Reusable water bottle
-Walking poles (Optional, must be rubber-tipped)
Hiking equipment is available to rent locally if desired (prices subject to change):
-Walking pole 15 soles each (30 per pair)
-Sleeping bag 45 soles
-Air mattress 45 soles
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Visas and Entry Requirements
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol (PEN).
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank.
You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money, a combination of US dollar cash and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
We do not recommend bringing travellers cheques as they are very difficult to change in country.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service.
If at the end of your trek you felt your trekking guide and support team did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline, we suggest each hiker contributes the following to a collective pool.
Head guide: 10-25 USD
Assistant guide: 5-12 USD
Your trekking crew: 40 USD
Head guide: 10-25 USD
Assistant guide: 4-10 USD
Your trekking crew: 35 USD
- Lima Cooking Class (79USD per person)
- Magic Circuit of Water and Dinner Show (68USD per person)
- Lima City Tour (130-186PEN per person)
- Pachacamac and Paso Horse Show (69-98USD per person)
- Sand Buggies & Sand Boarding in Huacachina
- Juanita Museum (60PEN per person)
- Hot Springs (15PEN per person)
- Lake Titicaca Kayaking
- Inka Museum (10PEN per person)
- Cusco Tourist Ticket (130PEN per person)
- Ollantaytambo Storehouse Ruins and Hike
- Inca Bridge Visit (Free)
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves or others around them.
Please note your Adventure travels to high altitude. This is medically defined as anything over 8,000 feet (2,440 meters). Most people can travel to 8,000 feet with minimal effects. However, everyone reacts to altitude differently and altitude sickness can on set with some people irrespective of fitness and age. For details on how to best prepare and what to do in the unlikely event you are effected on your Adventure, please consult your physician.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time, we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety.
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
Care should be taken when wandering around on your own in central Lima, as some areas can be dangerous and pickpockets are daring.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts yourself and those around you at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we will send it on to you.
Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/
Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra’s monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, specialist Inca Trail CEO on hike, expert jungle guide in Amazon.
PRODUCT_LINE: PHPTTM, ID: 25119
Day 1: Lima
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.
Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Peru (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.
Lima Meet and Greet Assistance Services
Private Vehicle (0.25 hour(s))
Day 2: Lima/Paracas (1B)
Take the morning to explore more of Lima before journeying down the coast to Paracas. Walk the town’s lively peatonal (pedestrian avenue) and find a café to sample some Peruvian food, such as ceviche or papa a la huancaina (potatoes with a chili cheese sauce).
Try your first Pisco sour while staying in Pisco’s neighbour of Paracas.
Private Vehicle (3.70 hour(s))
Day 3: Paracas/Nazca
Visit the popular Ballestas Islands, an excellent chance to view a lively sea lion colony, pelicans, penguins, and other varieties of birdlife. Back on land, catch a bus south to Nazca. On the way, pass by the pleasant colonial town of Ica.
Ica enjoys a dry, sunny climate year-round and is known for its huge sand dunes. Located around the nearby oasis of Huacachina, the dunes are perfect subjects for photography and for a favourite local pastime: sandboarding. Apart from the dunes, Ica is famous for its wines and there are several wineries and distilleries in the area.
Ballestas Islands Wildlife Tour
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 180km)
Day 4: Nazca/Arequipa
Travel south to one of the world’s greatest archaeological mysteries, the Nazca Lines. The lines consist of patterns and pictures etched in the ground, crisscrossing a wide area of flat desert. From the ground we can make out very little, enjoy the best view from the air.
Remains of the Nazca culture are still visible during our included tour of the ancient Pre-Inca desert cemetery site of Chauchilla, with 2000-year-old mummies, bones, and pottery on the desert floor. The tour also includes a visit to an artisan’s workshop, where modern masters create Nazca style pottery.
Later, board a night bus to Arequipa.
Chauchilla Cemetery Tour
Flight over Nazca Lines
Private Vehicle (9.50 hour(s), 567km)
Day 5: Arequipa
Explore Arequipa, the ‘white city’ and visit the Santa Catalina Monastery on a city tour.
For those spicy food lovers, checking out one of the “Picanterías” is a must. Arequipa holds a variety of regional food— alpaca, shrimp, pork, lots of soups, and spicy sauces waiting for you to dig in.
Arequipa City Tour & Santa Catalina Monastery
Private Vehicle (0.25 hour(s))
Day 6: Arequipa/Colca Canyon (1B)
Travel to Chivay, a village near Colca Canyon, for an optional dip in the thermal baths. Continue on to nearby Colca Canyon for the day, take a guided tour to spot condors.
Colca Canyon – 2D/1N
Day 7: Colca Canyon/Puno
Climb over the mountains today, descending at Puno, which is on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Titicaca is also the largest lake in the world above 2000m, and the views from its Islands are stunning.
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s))
Day 8: Puno/Lake Titicaca (1B, 1D)
Head out by boat across Lake Titicaca. Visit the community on the Taquile Islands.
After, cruise to another village for an overnight homestay on the shores of the lake. This experience provides an opportunity to learn more about rural life in the Peruvian highlands and to participate in local traditions.
Lake Titicaca Homestay Experience & Boat Tour
Day 9: Lake Titicaca/Puno (1B, 1L)
Spend the morning with the homestay families, then depart after lunch. Visit the floating islands of Uros on the way back, and learn about the unique lifestyle of the locals. Meet residents and learn how they built the islands with totora reeds, which are also used to make their homes, boats, crafts (and are also edible!).
Day 10: Puno/Cusco (1B)
The trip from Puno to Cusco takes the better part of the day, with stark, beautiful scenery en route as you travel through the high Altiplano region. Check out a bit of Cusco, find a spot for dinner, or get prepared to head into the Sacred Valley.
Private Vehicle (6.00-6.50 hours, 386km)
Day 11: Cusco (1B)
Enjoy a half-day tour of Cusco’s main sights. Walk around the Plaza de Armas (main square) and explore this city steeped in one of the world’s most alluring and ancient cultures. Visit Qenqo, Koricancha, the Cathedral, Puca Pucara, Tambomachay, and the archaeological site of Sacsaywaman. After, enjoy a free afternoon.
Cusco City Tour
Day 12: Cusco/Ollantaytambo (1B, 1L)
Visit the Ccaccaccollo community centre see local weaving and dyeing techniques used to create garments and souvenirs, and learn how the Planeterra weaving co-operative has impacted the community. This includes the purchase of alpacas to provide a steady supply of wool, looms, and sewing machines as well as several training courses on production, sales and small business management. After, stop for lunch at the Parwa Community Restaurant. Learn how the resident-run restaurant was kickstarted by G Adventures and the Multilateral Investment Fund, to become a successful farm-to-table program that boosts the local economy and several spin-off microenterprises.
Tour the fascinating hilltop citadel of Pisac, an Incan ruin with plunging gorges, a ceremonial centre, and winding agriculture terracing that’s still in use today. Continue on to tour the town and fortress of Ollantaytambo with a local guide. Take a step back in time at this Inca archaeological site.
Sacred Valley Tour – Ccaccaccollo, Parwa Restaurant, Pisac & Ollantaytambo Ruins
Day 13: Inca Trail (1B, 1L, 1D)
Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the Inca Trail begins. Get your blood pumping on this first day of hiking the Inca trail. You’ll trek for 11 km (5-6 hours), this first day is fairly easy and serves as good training for the next few days. Pass rambling rivers and a small village, and enjoy scenic mountain views; it’s just a taste of what’s to come. End the day at Wayllabamba Camp and get ready for another day of trekking ahead.
A crew of local porters, cooks, and guides will take care of all the details for the duration of the hike. Porters carry the majority of the gear so you’ll only need to carry a small daypack with water, rain gear, snacks, a camera, etc.
Inca Trail 4D/3N
Day 14: Inca Trail (1B, 1L, 1D)
Trek over progressively spectacular and steeper terrain on your way to Warmiwañusca (aka Dead Woman’s Pass), the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769ft). Be prepared to face strong Andean weather (blazing sun or cold winds) around the pass. Take the hike slow as this is a 12 km day (6h–7h), and drink lots of water along the way – amazing views are waiting as a reward. Enjoy some ample time to rest and relax after reaching the Paqaymayo Camp; most campers arrive around early afternoon.
Day 15: Inca Trail (1B, 1L, 1D)
Cross two more passes and ruins on today’s 16km (9h) trek. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through the cloud forest on a gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley.
At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the “town above the clouds.” Camp here or go another 1.5 hrs to the Wiñay Wayna ruins (“forever young”) located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).
Day 16: Machu Picchu/Cusco (1B)
Wake around 03:30 to hike for 4km (1h30m) to reach the Sun Gate as early as possible. Head to the checkpoint and join the lineup to wait for the gate to open. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu (fingers crossed for a clear day). Hike down to Machu Picchu (about 45 mins) for a 1.5 hr guided tour of the site, and free time to explore. Gain local insight into the Inti Mach’ay cave, Inti Watana, the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Water, the Temple of the Condor, and the Room of the Three Windows. Take time to sit and feel the energy of this 15th-century site, now both a UNESCO World Heritage site and voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World (in a worldwide Internet poll). Opt to visit the Inca Bridge (a 15-min walk one way) for no additional charge, if time allows.
Catch the bus outside the Machu Picchu gate after your visit for a 25-min downhill ride to Aguas Calientes. Eat and relax before the train ride back to Cusco this evening.
Local train (1.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (73km)
Day 17: Cusco (1B)
Enjoy a free morning in Cusco before visiting a local market and learning about Peruvian cuisine in a cooking class.
Cusco Cooking Class
Day 18: Cusco/Tambopata (1B, 1L, 1D)
After a brief stop in Puerto Maldonado to store large luggage, drive to the pier and travel by covered motorized boat to the jungle lodge. En route, see birds typical of the river or forest edge. The Tambopata Rainforest holds the world record for the most bird sightings in one area.
Local community members make up the majority of the lodge staff, including multilingual naturalist guides. Here you have the opportunity to learn from them not only about the area’s rich flora and fauna, but also about their extensive practical uses for medicinal plants and other forest plant resources, through traditional techniques for building, fishing, and hunting.
Later on, get the lowdown on local flora and fauna, and grab a flashlight to discover what’s living around lodge grounds. Receive help from the talented, expert naturalist guide to locate heaps of hidden creatures! Keep an eye out for snakes, tarantulas, owls, and poison dart frogs, just to name a few.
The lodge itself combines native architectural style and materials with low-impact eco-friendly technology. Rooms are simple but comfortable, with mosquito netting for individual beds, flush toilets, showers (with solar-heated hot water), and candles for lighting (no electricity).
Tambopata Jungle Lodge 3D/2N
Private Vehicle (0.35 hour(s))
Day 19: Tambopata (1B, 1L, 1D)
Head out early to catch the jungle at its wildest (and coolest). Walk slowly through the forest searching for wildlife before heading out on an oxbow lake by canoe. Search for anaconda, the elusive giant river otter or black caiman. Even if you don’t spot these shy creatures, there are plenty of other birds, interesting plants and other animals to discover.
After dark head out by motorized canoe to search for caimans on the river banks. Enjoy a lesson on caimans from the expert guide. Take advantage of the keen eyes of the expert naturalist guides – they are truly spectacular at spotting these elusive smaller cousins of alligators hiding on the muddy banks.
Day 20: Tambopata/Lima (1B)
Have a final delicious Amazonian breakfast before heading back towards the airport by motorized boat and van. Fly to Lima and opt for a final night out for dinner or Pisco Sours.
Plane (1.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (0.25 hour(s))
Day 21: Lima (1B)
Depart at any time.