In just 10 days, you’ll see the very best of the Peru’s Andes and Amazon, visiting the Sacred Valley, Chinchero market, Inca sites & ruins, plus a one-day trek on the famous Inca Trail, the spectacular Royal Inca Highway, culminating with a Machu Picchu tour. End your exploration with a 3-day stay in the Amazon at the Tambopata Eco Lodge. Choose your own date on this custom itinerary.
Imagine trekking for one day on the ancient Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, passing isolated Inca ruins along the spectacular Royal Inca Highway until you reach the Gate of the Sun, where Machu Picchu suddenly appears!
Explore ridge-top Inca temple sites high above the beautiful scenery of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, such as Saqsayhuaman, Ollantaytambo, and Pisaq, with their perfect stone architecture.
Enjoy the local Quechuan culture at Chinchero market. Then discover the astonishing beauty of the Amazon rainforest at Tambopata Eco Lodge.
On this trip you’ll experience all these thrills, the remarkable Inca sites of Cuzco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas, plus intriguing museums and excellent shopping in Lima. You stay in superior hotels and lodges throughout the program–there is no camping.
Day 1 – (Friday) Travel to Lima: We meet your flight and transfer you to a comfortable hotel for overnight. Daily breakfasts are included; other meals included are designated BL (Box Lunch), L (Lunch), D (Dinner).
Day 2 – Cuzco: Morning flight to Cuzco (3,310 rn/10,857′). After resting for several hours to adjust to the altitude, we tour the Inca palaces, colonial temples, and fascinating streets of the former capital of the Inca Empire. We also visit Saqsayhuaman, the enormous Inca fortified ceremonial centre overlooking the city. 0/N in Hotel Taypikala or similar.
Day 3 – Chinchero/Moray: The Sunday market transforms the normally quiet highland town of Chinchero into a vivid multi-cultural gathering. In the market plaza, farmers barter their homegrown produce, while in the square adjacent to the church townspeople offer a colorful selection of weavings and traditional crafts. Wander into the church with its 17th century murals, investigate the carved boulders on the Inca terraces, shop for souvenirs, or simply relax in the sun on an Inca wall overlooking the bustling scene. After a very full morning amid the sights and sounds, we depart across a highland plain to explore the beautiful and mysterious Moray ruins. In late afternoon we descend into the Sacred Valley of the Incas for overnight in a country inn. LD
Day 4 – Ollantaytambo/ Pisaq: We spend the morning In the town of Ollantaytambo, where many buildings display original Inca stone foundations. The adjacent Sun temple offers some of the finest stone construction we’ll see on the trip. After lunch we explore the fortified ridgetop temple site at Pisaq. Return to our country inn. LD.
Day 5 – Machu Picchu: We board the train for the dramatic 90-minute ride down the rugged Vilcanota River gorge toward Machu Picchu. Descending opposite the ruins of Chachapampa, we cross the river on a suspension bridge, and follow a moderate trail past waterfalls leading up to Winya Wayna, a dramatic Inca site overlooking the river. Winya Wayna has an exquisite semi-circular temple and a cascade of ceremonial baths flanked by an extensive terraced agricultural site. After picnic lunch, we traverse through cloud forest to emerge at the Gate of the Sun for our first view of Machu Picchu (2,430m/ 7,970′) from high above the city. Stroll down the royal road for a suitably regal entrance to the Lost City of the Incas. Total walking distance is approximately 7 miles, and typical walking time is 6 hours. Tonight we are in comfortable hotel accommodation at the Inti Inn in Aguas Calientes. LD
Day 6 – Machu Picchu: We enter the ruins early to explore this unforgettable site. You have ample time to photograph the main city site in addition to exploring some of the peripheral trails. An exciting option today is the steep climb to the summit of Huayna Picchu, overlooking the main site. Return to Cuzco by train in late afternoon. Overnight in Hotel Taypikala or similar. L
Day 7 – Amazon: We fly to the bustling Amazon town of Puerto Maldonado, and travel some 3½ hours upriver by motorized canoe with sunroof and comfortable seats to the Tambopata Eco Lodge. After settling in to our cabaña suites, we take a short introductory nature hike in the forest. We also take an after-dinner hike to discover the sights and sounds of the forest by night. LD
Day 8 – Amazon: We have a long, rewarding morning excursion through varied terrain from upland terra firma to seasonally flooded forest. After two hours we reach an oxbow lake called Condenado. You spend part of the morning hiking and part in canoes, exploring the margins of the lake. A family of Giant otters, an endangered species elsewhere in the Amazon, may be seen from time to time in this lake. LD
Day 9 – Lima: We return down river to Puerto Maldonado and fly to Lima, arriving in mid-afternoon. After checking into our hotel, you’ll have some time for last-minute shopping and to enjoy sunset over the Pacific from the cafes on the Miraflores boardwalk.
Day 10 – (Sunday) Home: Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Comfortable superior class hotels (shared twin basis; single accommodation is available at extra cost); daily breakfast; (budget US$60-70 for other meals); airport transfers on scheduled arrival and departure days; tips for baggage handling; Machu Picchu Trekking permit fee (billed separately, to be prepaid with trek); Cuzco multi-site entrance ticket plus entrance to Cathedral and Santo Domingo/ Koricancha church; reconfirmation of flights.
International and domestic airfare, airport departure taxes; lunches & dinners not included on itinerary budget $60-70); Tambopata Candamo Reserved Zone fee (currently $10.00, subject to change); gratuities for tour staff, immunizations, insurance, laundry, telephone, other personal items.
Please Note: We will attempt to adhere to this itinerary but reserve the right to make minor changes where necessary for the safety and comfort of tour participants. Where changes result in increased costs, such costs will be the responsibility of the tour participant.
Does this trip require permit for the Inca Trail?
Yes, the one-day Machu Picchu tour along the Inca Trail does require a trail permit. These are in limited supply, and usually sell out 6 months in advance of the trip departure. Once trail permits are sold out, you cannot trek to Machu Picchu, so you arrive at Machu Picchu via the conventional route of train and shuttle bus. Please be sure to book your trip early in insure a trek permit.
For additional detail on the trek permit, please read this article.
Do I need any immunizations?
You should schedule a visit to a local travelers’ health clinic to update your protection against Yellow fever and malaria.