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10 Day itinerary in Peru, South America

Machu Picchu & Amazon Rainforest

Get ready to explore the lost city of Machu Picchu & connect with nature in one of the most biodiverse areas of the World on this 10-day adventure that starts in Cusco and ends in Puerto Maldonado. Visit the most impressive sites of the Sacred Valley, discover the Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain, travel t... Read More

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Nicholas

By Nicholas

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Overview

Physical Difficulty

Average
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Recommended Age

Everyone

Operated in

English, Spanish

GUIDANCE

On Some Day Trips

starting point

Cusco

trip type

Private

trip attributes

Cycling

Kayaking

Skiing/Snowboarding

Hiking

Rafting

Snorkeling/Diving

Visit markets

Meet local people

Rural home stays

Indigenous culture

Outdoors & Nature

Adventure

Culture & Arts

Start

End

Highlights

1

Visit some of the Sacred Valley's most impressive sites including Ollantaytambo and Maras & Moray

2

Discover Cusco like a local and explore the streets, plazas and markets

3

Get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the nocturnal wonders of the Amazon Rainforest

4

Explore the Tambopata Reserve, choosing from the available 23 excursions at the lodge

Itinerary

Mid-Range Accommodation expand_more

Day 1

place Welcome to Peru, Cusco & Journey to the Sacred Valley

Welcome to Peru! Upon landing at Cusco airport, our local representative will welcome you and take our private transport towards the Sacred Valley Incas. Because of its lower elevation (2,870 m or 9,415 ft) and its peaceful atmosphere, the Sacred Valley is the perfect place to enjoy your first days in Cusco. Once in our hotel, you can relax and enjoy its facilities for the rest of the day.

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: 3* Hotel
Day 2

place Explore Ollantaytambo & Andean Pachamanca

Today, we’ll visit Ollantaytambo; a charming village has not changed much since Inca times. Besides it, we have the Ollantantaytambo archaeological site, a place with impressive Inca stonework only seconded by Machu Picchu. For lunch today, we will enjoy traditional Peruvian food, Pachamanca, which in Quechua means Earth Pot. This ancient cooking technique has the food prepared underground using preheated stones and leaves to separate ingredients from the soil. The main components are Andean tubers such as potato, sweet potato, olluco, oca, mashua, as well as beef or lamb along with Andean aromatic Herbs for flavor. After lunch, and if you fancy a short hike, we can head up the Pinkulluna mountain viewpoint for great views of the surroundings.

Guide: Included for the day

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: 3* Hotel
Day 3

place Discovering Machu Picchu

Today, after enjoying an excellent breakfast, we'll head to Ollantaytambo station to board the train to Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Town. The train journey is a spectacle in itself. You will be able to appreciate the changing landscape from green fields and eucalyptus forests to lush jungle beside the meandering Urubamba River. Upon arriving, we'll head up to Machu Picchu on a 35-minutes bus up the steep zigzagging road to Machu Picchu Citadel, surrounded by an impressive mountain setting. On arrival, we'll take the first views of the fantastic site and start your guided tour through the citadel. The afternoon is a great time to make your guided tour, as many travelers should be leaving at this point. After the tour, you'll head down to the village to take your train back to Ollantaytambo, where your private transportation will be waiting to take you to your hotel. Notes: Be sure to be at the train station 30minutes before your train departure. Please don't forget to bring your passport with you since it will be required when entering Machu Picchu.

Guide: Included for the day

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: 3* Hotel
Day 4

place Moray Terraces, Maras Salt Mines & Iskay Maras Home

This morning, we'll set off on a tour to visit some of the Sacred Valley's most impressive sites. First, we reach Moray, a unique Inca site consisting of circular terraces built upon a natural depression. It seems to have been an agricultural experimental station used to adapt crops to different temperatures. Second, we will visit Maras, an impressive salt-extraction complex consisting of thousands of small terraces. Locals have been collecting and selling the salt at the markets of the region since before the Inca times. Finally, we'll drive to Iskay Maras Home, a boutique private home in the countryside with beautiful views of the Maras area and its impressive mountains. The owners and hosts will welcome you to their house and show you around before settling in for a delicious meal. After lunch, we continue to Cusco. Note: If you feel like it, we can easily incorporate some light hiking for this day. There is a lovely walking route from Moray to Maras Village and another from Maras Village towards the Salt flats.

Guide: Included for the day

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: LP Los Portales Hotel Cusco
Day 5

place Cusco at leisure

Cusco is one of the most interesting cities in Peru and South America. Today we'll have the entire day to explore the streets, plazas and markets of this UNESCO World Heritage City at our own pace. We recommend you visit the Cathedral, the Main Square San Blas neighborhood, Koricancha Temple and San Pedro Market.

Guide: Included for the day

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: LP Los Portales Hotel Cusco
Day 6

place Palccoyo, the less-known Rainbow Mountain

Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain is an extraordinary experience in the Vilcanota Mountain Range and a great alternative to the extremely popular Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain. Palccoyo offers just as stunning views as the more frequented Vinicunca, with the extra advantage to very few people come here. We will pick you up from your hotel in the morning and drive for about 3 hours to the starting point of our trek. Once here, we'll be able to see the spectacular striated mountains and the snow-capped peaks of Ausangate, as we hike along the area. The hike is short and flat; you must only walk about one kilometer to reach the mountain. This mini-adventure is perfect if you wish to see the colorful mountains without the extra effort of a high-altitude hike, or if you are traveling with kids. After enjoying some time here, we return to our transport to begin our journey back to Cusco.

Guide: Included for the day

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: LP Los Portales Hotel Cusco
Day 7

place Venturing into the Amazon Rainforest

Today, we'll go to the local airport to board our flight to Puerto Maldonado, the gateway to Peru's Southern Amazon and Tambopata National Reserve. On arrival, your jungle specialist guide will welcome you and drive to the local office to leave any excess luggage. Next, we'll continue our drive for an hour to the local port to board our motorboat to the lodge. The route will take us an hour to the buffer zone of the National Reserve along the Tambopata River. We will enjoy a tasty box-lunch on the way. Upon arrival, the manager will welcome and brief you on primary navigation and security tips. We'll have some free time to relax and, in the evening, we can join the Jungle Night Walk. This activity will give you a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the nocturnal wonders of the Amazon Rainforest. By night, you'll enjoy a delicious dinner in this comfortable refuge deep within the Rainforest. Moreover, your stay at the lodge is an essential contribution to the sustainable efforts to preserve and protect the buffer area of the Tambopata National Reserve. Note: We recommend booking flights arriving at Puerto Maldonado before 14:00 hrs. Refugio Amazonas offers a-la-carte activities to choose from according to your interests.

Guide: Included for the day

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: Refugio Amazonas
Day 8

place Oxbow Lake & Canopy

Today, we will prepare ourselves to choose between the 23 excursions available at Refugio Amazonas. You can do 3 or 4 activities per day, depending on the duration of the ones you select. For today, we recommend joining the Oxbow lake, Canopy tower, and ethnobotanical tour activities. After breakfast, go on a catamaran paddling excursion around an Oxbow lake looking for wildlife such as hoatzins, caimans, and horned screamers. Next, you can join the thirty-minute walk from the lodge to the 25-meter scaffolding canopy tower to have fantastic views of the treetops, and if lucky, observe canopy flocks, toucans, macaws, and raptors! In the afternoon, we suggest taking the ethnobotanical tour, where together with an Ese Eja native guide, you'll learn about the medicinal use of many plants and trees. This activity is an excellent opportunity to learn about the knowledge that passes from generation to generation. By night, if you still have the energy, you can go on a night walk to try and spot some wildlife!

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: Refugio Amazonas
Day 9

place Parrot & Mammal Clay lick

Today, we will continue exploring the Tambopata Reserve, choosing from the available 23 excursions at the lodge. For today, we recommend taking the Parrot and Mammal Clay Lick activities. This morning, we'll sail down the river and then walk for one hour to a clay lick used by parrots and parakeets. Here, we will try to spot the species that descend at this clay lick, such as Dusky headed and Cobalt winged Parakeet. After lunch, we head to an old-growth patch of Brazilian Nut Forest, where you will learn about the whole process of nut harvesting. We will be showing the entire process of the rainforest's only sustainably harvested product. Then, you can take a twenty-minute walk from the lodge to a peccary clay lick, where wild rain forest pigs eat clay. Here, the chances of spotting them are around 15%, but well worth the short hike. By night, you can decide to go for another hike looking for animals that are more active by night-time. Note: Refugio Amazonas offers a-la-carte activities to choose from according to your interests. This itinerary is just a suggestion, and you are free to modify it on-site.

Guide: Included for the day

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

  • Mid-Range Accommodation: Refugio Amazonas
Day 10

place Leaving the Amazon & Departing Peru

After breakfast, it's time to say goodbye to our Amazonian friends. This morning, we will board our boats back to Puerto Maldonado and drive to the airport. On route, we'll pass by the main office to collect any baggage you might have left before proceeding to the airport to board your flight to your next destination. Note: We recommend booking flights leaving Puerto Maldonado at around 13:00 hrs.

Meals: Breakfast

What’s Included

Accommodation expand_less

  • 3* Hotel
  • LP Los Portales Hotel Cusco
  • Refugio Amazonas

Meals expand_less

  • Breakfast (9)
  • Lunch (6)
  • Dinner (3)

Transport expand_less

  • Flight to Puerto Maldonado
  • Airport Transfers
  • Roundtrip train ticket Ollantaytambo - Aguascalientes
  • Roundtrip bus ticket to Machu Picchu
  • All transportation as per itinerary during the tours

Activities expand_less

  • Shared guided activities in the Amazon
  • Private guided tour to Ollantaytambo
  • Private guided tour in Machu Picchu
  • Private guided tour to Moray Terraces, Maras Salt Mines & Iskay Maras Home
  • Shared Premium Guided tour to Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain

About Nicholas

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