Explore The Two Faces of Peru
Holidays to Machu Picchu and the Amazon Rainforest for £2295pp
This two-week holiday to Machu Picchu and Peru's Amazon rainforest gives you the chance to explore these two contrasting sides of Peru, from the snow-capped peaks of the Andes, to the steamy Amazon basin.
You'll have plenty of time in the Inca heartland around the city of Cusco, including an overnight stay at Machu Picchu itself, before we fly you directly up to Iquitos and one of our favourite rainforest lodges on the edge of the fantastic Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, so you're guranteed to have a superb experience of the world's largest jungle.
- Day One: Arrival in Lima
- Day Two: Free day in Lima
- Day Three: Fly to Cusco
- Day Four: Walking tour of Cusco
- Day Five: Free day in Cusco
- Day Six: Tour of the Sacred Valley
- Day Seven: Guided tour of Machu Picchu
- Day Eight: Free day at Machu Picchu
- Day Nine: Fly to the Amazon rainforest
- Day Ten: Muyuna Lodge
- Day Eleven: Lake Explorations
- Day Twelve: Travel to Iquitos
- Day Thirteen: Fly back to Lima
- Day Fourteen: Overnight flight to the UK
Day One – Begin your holiday in Peru
We will be waiting at Lima airport to meet you as you arrive in the capital of Peru, the land of the Incas. You will be taken by private transfer to your hotel in the cosmopolitan Miraflores area. After you’ve checked in the rest of the day is yours to explore the area. There are numerous cafes and restaurants within a stone’s throw of your hotel all waiting to introduce you to Peru’s fine cuisine.
Day Two – Free Day in Lima
A full free day today to get into the holiday mode and relax into the Peruvian pace of life. We recommend taking a taxi to the colonial centre of Old Lima or walking a short distance to the beaches and cliffs for lunch with a sea view. (Breakfast included)
- Or how about asking us to organise a visit to the pre-Inca ruins of Pachacamac?
- Or for the gourmets, a cookery tour of Lima, including the chance to prepare your own meal with an expert chef?
Day Three – Travel to Cusco
After breakfast we will meet you at your hotel and take you by private transfer to the airport for your flight to the ancient Inca capital of Cusco. On arrival our local representative will be waiting for you and take you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to spend how you wish. It’s a good idea to have a wander around the town as you get used to the altitude. The central Plaza de Armas is very close to your hotel and there’s a host of restaurants to choose from. (B)
Day Four – Walking tour of Cusco
We’ve kept this morning free to give you chance for a leisurely breakfast and some time to introduce yourself to the city. In the afternoon, we’ll pick you up from your hotel and take you on a guided tour of Cusco. Your tour will be on foot to allow your guide to help you get your bearings and point out the more interesting quirky Inca features you pass by which you don’t get to see from the window of a coach. (B)
- Our walking tour concentrates on giving you plenty of time at our favourite sites, but it does mean that we don’t visit absolutely everywhere. If you’d prefer to change to a more conventional guided tour by coach then just let us know.
Day Five - Free Day in Cusco
A full free day today to relax in the Andes. The local markets are excellent for those all important souvenirs or the bohemian district of San Blas has an extensive choice of art and jewellery on offer if that’s more your thing. Or you could just sit back in one of Cusco’s many cafes, enjoy a coca tea and watch the world go by... (B)
- Or we could take you out of Cusco to visit the Maras Salt Pans or the Inca agricultural laboratory at Moray?
- Or for something more adventurous on your Machu Picchu holidays, how about some white-water rafting or mountain-biking?
Day Six - Tour of the Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley of the Urubamba awaits you today. We’ll journey further into the Andes for your full day tour of the peaceful scenic valley. You will visit many Inca sites today including the village of Pisac (and its famous market) and the stunning temple-fortress of Ollantaytambo. Your guide will be on hand with all the information you will need to start understanding the spirit of the Incas. After your tour you will be taken to your hotel in the valley for a peaceful night’s sleep in this tranquil setting. (B/L)
Day Seven – Tour of Machu Picchu
Today’s the one you’ve been waiting for..... You’ll catch a morning train from Ollantaytambo station to Aguas Calientes, the little town at the foot of Machu Picchu Mountain. Upon arrival, you’ll meet your local guide for a tour of the site, and then you’ll have the rest of the afternoon to explore the nooks and crannies yourself. Although you’ll never forget your day here or your first glimpse of the breathtaking lost Inca city make sure you remember your camera as we can guarantee you’ll want to show these photos off! When you’re ready, you’ll take the shuttle bus back down through the cloud forest to the foot of the mountain and head to your hotel for the night. (B)
- Fancy a spot of luxury after visiting Machu Picchu? Ask us about upgrading your hotel to the stunning Machu Picchu Pueblo and treat yourself to a massage or a nature walk through its grounds to meet the local wild spectacled bears...
Day Eight – Back to Cusco
You will have a free morning in Aguas Calientes today, so you can relax and enjoy the hot springs that give the town its name. Your train back to Cusco departs mid-afternoon to get you back to your hotel in time to head out for your last evening in the Inca capital. (B)
- If you’re not sure one day will be enough at Machu Picchu we can organise an extra ticket to Machu Picchu so you can experience sunrise from the sun-gate, or climb up to the Inca watch-tower on neighbouring Huayna Picchu for a new perspective on the site.
Day Nine – Into the Amazon Rainforest
This morning we’ll take you to the airport in Lima for your flight up to the north of Peru, to the jungle city of Iquitos. This noisy, chaotic city is famous for being the largest city in the world that is unreachable by road. Upon arrival at the airport you will be met by some staff from the Muyuna jungle lodge, who will take you to their office in the city centre for a quick briefing. You can leave the majority of your luggage in secure storage at the office, as you won’t be able to take large suitcases into the jungle. You’ll then be transferred to the port where you’ll board a boat and head into the deep Amazon jungle… The journey upriver takes just over 3 hours, and you’ll see the stilted cabins of the Muyuna Lodge as you approach. Upon arrival you’ll be helped to your room by the lodge staff and welcomed with a buffet lunch of traditional northern Amazonian cuisine.
This afternoon you’ll take a boat trip to Lake Sapote, where many different bird species can be observed, including a variety of parrots, jacanas, kingfishers, herons, panguanas, partridges, pigeons, cormorants, horned screamers and orneros. Of course, your knowledgeable guide will be on hand to help you identify these different birds! You’ll then continue into the Moena Lagoon, where you’ll hopefully be able to spot sloths and squirrel monkeys in the trees on the banks. As the sun sets you’ll head back to the lodge for an evening meal, surrounded by your noisy nocturnal animal neighbours! There is an optional night-time boat ride later, on the lookout for caimans, which you can join if you like. (Breakfast/Dinner/Lunch included)
Day Ten - Muyuna Lodge
After an early breakfast, it’s time to put on your walking boots as you head into the jungle with the lodge guides. The Leoncito Hike, as it’s known, gives you a great opportunity to learn a bit more about the diverse flora and fauna of the Amazon Rainforest. You’ll also be on the lookout for more mammals, including the pigmy marmoset and tamarin monkeys, who prefer the denser jungles. Lunch will be served back at the lodge, and then there’s another boat trip to the lakes of Purua and Corrientes, where you can try your hand at piranha fishing with the local rods. It’s not as easy as it looks, but don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of wildlife to watch as you’re waiting for a bite! This evening you’ll have dinner at the lodge again, before another nocturnal walk. (B/L/D)
Day Eleven - Lake Explorations
After another early breakfast you will head further into the dense jungle this morning, as you make your way to the remote Laguna Casha. Here, depending on the water levels, you will either walk or take a boat around the lagoon, which is home to many different species of birds and monkeys.
After lunch back at the lodge, you will return to the boats for an afternoon at Lake Juanachi, where you’ll then be able to spend a couple of hours in canoes. This allows you to get really close to the lake’s edges, where many small mammal and bird species can be found. Your guide will, of course, be on hand to point out any particularly interesting species, and to help you make the most of your time on the lake. (B/L/D)
Day Twelve - Back to Iquitos
This morning sadly marks the last day of your time in the Amazon. After breakfast you’ll take the small boats out back onto the Amazon River, where you can take a dip in the cool waters and hopefully be joined by some river dolphins! The pink species are the rarest, but they are more common here in the Iquitos region, so fingers crossed you’ll be able to see some. After a final lunch at the lodge you’ll return to Iquitos, we’re we’ll take you to your hotel for some well-earned rest! (B/L)
Day Thirteen - Return to Lima
Iquitos really is like no other place, you can only reach it by air or river and as a result it has a unique character which is pretty special. Bearing that in mind we'll leave you with a free day today to take in the bustle of city life right in the jungle. Then, in the evening we'll pick you up to take you for a flight back over the Andes to Lima for you to enjoy your last night in Peru! (B)
Day Fourteen - Last Day of Your Peru Holidays
We have left the last day of your holiday free to make sure we can accommodate any international flight time and get you to the airport in plenty of time for your journey home. If you don’t depart until the evening we can organise some extra sightseeing for you and we always make sure you keep your hotel room until you leave for the airport so you can leave your packing until the very last minute if you so desire! (B)
Our standard price for this Machu Picchu and Amazon rainforest holiday is £2295 per person, which is based on two sharing a double or twin room in our standard hotels and lodges.
That price includes all your accommodation, internal transport, transfers, tours, guides, equipment and entrance fees. It also includes all your meals in the jungle, and breakfast every day.
We don't have any "local payments" or sneaky charges: everything you have read about on this itinerary is included in that price. And because everything we do is tailor-made, we don't have fixed departure dates or minimum numbers for our trips. Outside of national holidays or other special events, this price is valid for the whole of 2020.
So with the exception of a few meals, everything on your holiday is included. What we don't include as standard is your international flights, because with these you have a huge range of options depending on the date you want to travel, the route you want to fly, and your preferred departure airport in the UK.
We aren't tied to any particular airline, and we will be delighted to discuss all options with you, or you can even book the flights yourself if you prefer: it's totally up to you.
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