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Explore the Inca terraces in the Sacred Valley, go white water rafting on the Urubamba River, Trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and then relax in a rainforest lodge in the Amazon on this action-packed 2 week holiday in Peru.
After a chance to visit Lima, you will be based in the charming city of Cusco where your first priority will be to acclimatise and get used to the change in altitude. After resting up, you will head out for a day white water rafting in the Sacred Valley. Set against a backdrop of stunning mountain scenery, this is a fantastic trip to clear away the jet lag. The next day, you will head again into the Sacred Valley for a private guided tour of the ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo and to visit a colourful market. The next day, you will begin the 4 day trek to Machu Picchu. A challenging trek, but the scenery, views and interesting ruins make up for the pain and, of course, the amazing feeling of accomplishment when you finally reach the famed Sun Gate to watch the sunrise over Machu Pichhu!
Staying in the rainforest is one of those once in a lifetime experiences and after having just trekked the Inca Trail, the hammocks in the lodge will be a very welcome sight. While you are staying, all of your meals and activities are included in the price. You will have a guide assigned to you who will lead your excursions. These include spotting parrots at a clay lick, climbing a canopy tower to see the upper layers of the rainforest, a visit to a local farm and night time jungle walks. There is plenty of time to relax between activities and optional extras such as yoga are also available.
This holiday is aimed at those with an adventurous spirit looking for an active holiday. You do need to be in good shape to trek the Inca trail and it is recommended that you do some regular exercise in the month before you depart. That said, you don’t have to be a fitness freak; children as young as 7 and adults of 68 have completed the trail. You will be hiking at altitude, so it is essential that you take it slowly and at your own pace.
It has become very popular to trek the Inca trail in Peru and to that end, the government has now limited places on the trail by issuing an allocation of 500 permits per day. This includes all porters, guides and cooks, so it fills up quickly. The high season on the trail is from May – September so you will need to book quite a way in advance – we recommend at least 5 to 6 months in advance. If you want to trek in quieter times, you may want to consider dates outside of the high season.
The maximum group size is 16 people. The guide to walkers ration is 1 : 9. Don’t worry about being rushed along too fast, there will be plenty of time for comfort breaks and chances to admire the views along the way. The guide will always walk at the back with the last person in the group, so you really don’t need to be concerned about taking too long. This is a cultural journey, not a running race!
This trek is organized by a professional and licensed tour operator who has been operating in the region for the past 12 years. They know what they’re doing and treat their porters well, ensuring that they are well equipped and fairly paid.
In the jungle lodge, you can expect a good level of comfort with good beds and en-suite rooms. Please be aware, however, that there is no electricity or hot water. You will have a mosquito net around your bed, but one of the walls is open to the jungle.
Please be aware that in the rainforest there are insects, wild animals and changeable weather patterns. Make sure you are vaccinated against any jungle diseases and that you are medically prepared for your trip - antimalarials are normally advised. Remember you will need waterproof clothing and good footwear. This trip is for people who respect the rainforest and will behave accordingly (leaving no rubbish, adhering to trails and listening to the safety advice of your guides).
Trekking to Machu Pichu has long been a dream of mine and this was a wonderful way to do it. The guides and porters on our trek took great care of us… reassuring us about the effects of altitude and encouraging us all to walk at our own pace. We were in a group of 12, a good size…large enough to have some interesting chat at dinner but it we never felt crowded when we were walking. The food was fantastic and could easily stand alone as a selling point for the trek. The weather in June was clear although chilly at night…gloves should be high on the kit list.
The trip up the Tambopata river into the jungle is in complete contrast to the heights of the Andes and quite magical. Before we had even got to the lodge the guides had pointed out caiman, capybaras and vultures along the riverbank. The accommodation itself was very comfortable, with a large bar, dining area and very clean comfortable bedrooms. I had been a little nervous about the prospect of sleeping in a room open to the jungle but am now a complete convert, the noises and views into the vegetation were fascinating and best enjoyed from the comfort of a hammock!
jenny reviewing Cusco, the Sacred Valley, the Inca Trail & Amazon Jungle