CUSCO & AMAZON
You will get to know the best of Cusco and the Peruvian Amazon through a route specially designed with you in mind, which will add a subtle hint of adventure to your trip. At Cusco, we visit ruins and the most beautiful natural scenery, hiking through local communities and visiting the extraordinary ruins of Machu Picchu. At the Amazon we explore Tambopata, one of the largest natural reserves of Peru, having the opportunity to get up close to many animals of the region and learn more about the habitat that surrounds them. A fascinating and comprehensive experience around the most privileged scenarios; from the mountains to the rainforest of Peru.
Duration: 12 days
Activity level: Moderate to hard
Season: All year
Day 1: LIMA - CUSCO - CITY TOUR
Cusco is a one hour flight away from Lima city. At Cusco airport you meet your tour guide and will be transferred to your hotel. The rest of the morning is free to rest and let your body acclimatise to Cusco city which lies 3000 meters over sea level. On the afternoon we visit the most important ruins at Cusco city, first Sacsayhuaman ceremonial center built with impressive stone blocks, Q’enqo, ancient ceremonial and ritual center, Tambomachay and Pukapukara.
You have to buy an entrance ticket (BOLETO TURISTICO) for the city tour and sacred valley. 40 US dollars.
Day 2: CUSCO - SACRED VALLEY - CUSCO
Full-day excursion to the sacred valley of the Inkas - here, the cities were built to ease the administration of the empire and you can find impressive remains of cultivating terraces, fortresses, palaces and cemetaries. The towns lie next to inka trails that follow the Vilcanota river to Machu Picchu. According to archeoastronomy the layout of the constructions in the Sacred Valley mirrors the constellations of the Milky Way. We will visit the ancient Inca city Pisaq and the colourful market of Pisac, then have lunch in Urubamba. We then continue to Ollantaytambo, a lovely town in its self, with picturesque narrow streets and channels of running water from the inka's time and Chinchero.
DAY 3: SALKANTAY TREK ------- CUSCO - SORAYPAMPA
You will be picked up from the hostel between 4:30-5:00am and driven to Mollepata (2H30m) where there will be a stop for breakfast (not included) and then it's time for a full day of hiking, mostly uphill. During the morning we are spoiled with beautiful views of the valley and by lunchtime in Cruzpata (3100m), with a little luck, we will already be able to see the snowy peak of Mount Salkantay. After lunch we continue for another 3-4 hours while the scenery changes into rougher hills and rushing streams cascading between them. By the time we reach the campsite we are at an altitude of a little over 4000 meters above sea level and have already hiked 13km. Needless to say, mostly everyone will be sound asleep in their tents shortly after a good meal prepared by the cook and served by your guide.
DAY 4: SORAYPAMPA - CHAULLAY.
This is the day! Wake up call and “room service” is delivered by your guide - a coca tea served at the door of your tent - to start this long day of trekking. After breakfast, with the help of the weather gods, you’ll see the massive Mount Salkantay smiling down at you. Step by step we will climb higher until reaching Soyroccocha where we take a short rest and try to catch our breath. We keep on smiling and climbing higher and higher with the views becoming increasingly spectacular as the Salkantay mountain approaches. Later in the morning you will reach the highest point of the trek at an impressive 4608 meters. Here, the guide will explain a little bit about the history of Salkantay Mountain and the Andean people. This little history break is an excellent excuse for you to catch your breath, recover from the climb and eat some well-deserved snacks. After taking a break at the highest point of the trek it’s time to leave the altitude as we begin the descent, walking for about 2 hrs until we see the kitchen tent. Here we’ll crash down and fill ourselves up with a tasty lunch and some tea or coffee. The day is not over yet as we continue hiking down to lower altitudes and into greener and greener scenery until we reach the second campsite, Chaullay. This campsite is lovely and with surrounding green hill scenery, you will agree.
DAY 5: CHAULLAY - SANTA TERESA.
Wake up with beautiful mountain scenery and a good morning tea. We will start the trek at 7:00 a.m. We will walk for an easy 4 hours, where we will be introduced to a high jungle niche called "Ceja de Selva". We will see different kinds of plants, fruits, flowers, birds ect. Here, the banana trees, coffee plants, and others can be observed then at the end of the day we will see passion fruit fields. The campsite is in the community named "La Playa "(2400 masl). From here we will take a small car approximately 45 minutes to Santa Teresa village where the hot spring (optional hot spring bath) is located and where we will spend the night.
DAY 6: SANTA TERESA - AGUAS CALIENTES. (ZIP LINE)
After of our delicious breakfast we will go to do the zip line and continue by car to Hydroelectric for our lunch. Walking along the railroad tracks, this is also a place we can observe the back of Machu Picchu Sanctuary, where we will have the final lunch with all of the group and staff. From here we will continue walking until we arrive in Aguas Calientes around 4:30p.m. We will stay in a hotel for the last night.
Day 7: AGUAS CALIENTES - MACHU PICCHU – AGUAS CALIENTES - OLLANTAYTAMBO – CUSCO
Today is the day you have been waiting for! We will get up very early in the morning, have a light breakfast and wait for the bus to take us up to the main gate of Machu Picchu. The bus ride takes 25 minutes and we will try to be first in line when the gates open at 6am. For around two hours, one of our passionate guides will show you around the city of Machu Picchu and talk about it's fascinating history and cultural significance. After the tour you have time to explore Machu Picchu at your own leisure before returning to Aguas Calientes by bus. From here you will take the train to Ollantaytambo where a bus to Cusco will be waiting for you.
Day 8: FREE DAY (OVER NIGHT BUS TO PUERTO MALDONADO)
Today can be spent however you like, relax after your action packed trek or keep on exploring the beautiful city of Cusco.
Day 9: CUSCO – PUERTO MALDONADO – RAINFOREST (BY BUS)
Arrival at the airport or bus station and transfer to the office of Monte Amazoníco Lodge. In case you have heavy luggage, we suggest repacking to store the unnecessary items and carry just the basics needed for the trip. Do not worry we will advise you what you will need to take!0 We include a transfer in a 4X4 to our destination, it takes 2 hours to reach the banks of the Tambopata River by land, as by river it would take more than 6 hours! From here we will take a boat to the lodge "Monte Amazoníco - Tambopata." We will enjoy a welcome meal, either breakfast or lunch depending on the arrival time. In the afternoon we make an introductory walk into the rainforest where we will have the opportunity to see animals in their natural habitat including amphibians, mammals, reptiles and wonderful insects. If you would prefer to arrive to Puerto Maldonado by plane please let us know and we can assist with the airline booking arrangements.
We awake early around 4:30am, to leave for t world's largest macaw clay lick; the CHUNCHO, a journey of about 1hr 30 by boat, on the way we will have the incredible opportunity to see species such as capybara- the world's largest rodent, tapirs and you may even see the most beautiful South American feline; the jaguar! Many of our clients are witnesses and have captured fantastic photographs of their encounters with these beautiful mammals. After arrival to the macaw clay lick we see hundreds of different species of parrots that come to eat clay adjacent to the river wall. We will accommodate us in our saddles to wait to begin one of the most beautiful natural sights of birds in the world. On a good day of activity you will see hundreds of these wonderful animals flying over you. An experience you will keep with you for life. After breakfast, our boat takes us back to Puerto Maldonado and we transfer to the port where we will take the boat for an hour until our lodge welcome with a refreshing fruit juice of our region . Accommodation is included. After lunch, we visit the "Monkey Island", located in front of our lodge across the Madre de Dios River where we find different species of monkeys living on the island, species such as the brown capuchin, squirrel monkey and saddle back tamarin. We then return to the Lodge. In the evening we will go in search of caiman, these white alligators are typically found on sand banks in the Madre de Dios River, you will need to bring a flashlight for this. Also, we may see some capybara too. After our evening search we head back to the lodge for dinner and a much needed rest.
After breakfast we walk 3 km. In the midst of the dense rain forest and head to Lake Sandoval - piranha habitat! It is one of the largest in the Tambopata National Reserve. Relaxing in a rowing boat we will appreciate many different species of birds such as shansho cormorant jacanas and puma heron, alongside other native animals like buzzards, howler monkey, brown capuchin monkey, tamarins and sloths. Maybe we will meet a family of giant river otters (almost two meters long) which are in danger of extinction. Afterwards we return to the lodge to enjoy a typical jungle lunch. In the evening we will have one more opportunity to walk where we can appreciate the diversity of species of insects, amphibians, reptiles and other nocturnal animals. Dinner and rest.
We start at 5.30a.m. with a short walk to our canopy walk-way, about 30 meters high, allowing us to appreciate nature from as high as possible, we will also have a panoramic view of the Madre de Dios river. From platforms we can discreetly observe different species of birds, including toucans, macaws, tanagers, orioles, for sure it will be a wonderful experience. Breakfast and return to the city, airport transfer and/or bus station.
This package is an outline of how one tour may be like. Of course we can customize this tour to match your specific needs. We are flexible during the tour, so that we may make changes to the itinerary along the way if that suits you better. Contact us for more detailed information on options and we will work together on creating the perfect experience for you!