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Incas and Amazon

Take in Peru’s absolute highlights on this time-efficient, 13-day holiday of contrasts. After a brief foray in bustling Lima, meet friendly communities in the peaceful Sacred Valley and visit ancient Inca terraces, fortresses, and colourful markets. Hop on a bike to see fabulous archaeological sites and views, and take a short, one-day hike to spellbinding Inca citadel Machu Picchu.

Enjoy three culture-rich nights in the laid-back city of Cusco followed by complete jungle immersion during an adventurous stay in a remote rainforest lodge in the Amazon’s wildlife-packed Tambopata Reserve.

Tailor-made Classic 13 days

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $1,371 per person economy class from London

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Itinerary

Overview


  • Witness the best of Peru during this 13-day guided adventure comprising cultural city capers, Andean mountain adventures and a wonderfully remote, immersive rainforest experience

  • Perfect for individuals or couples with limited time and a modest budget keen to discover Peru’s top highlights

  • Explore bustling Lima, before heading to the peaceful Sacred Valley to spend time with locals, visit traditional markets, and cycle through the mountains to explore some fascinating archaeological sites

  • Head out on a magical one-day trek to majestic Machu Picchu, the remarkably well-preserved ancient Inca capital, with time the following day to explore the site both with a guide and independently

  • Rest up in culture-rich Cusco where ancient Inca and Spanish Colonial history meet modern day life

  • Enjoy a fabulous, wildlife-packed ‘grand finale’ in a remote jungle lodge in the Amazon’s Tambopata Reserve, complete with monkey-clad tree canopy vistas, fish-filled lakes and clay-licks packed with colourful parrots and macaws

Day-by-day

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN LIMA
Upon arrival in Lima you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel where you will have a chance to freshen up and rest. Villa Barranco is a characterful boutique hotel with fabulous roof-top views.
Accommodation: Villa Barranco

DAY 2: DISCOVER LIMA
The best way to get to know Lima is to take a tour of the central area first, followed by some free time afterwards to potter independently around the neighbourhoods of Miraflores or Barranca. So, this morning, enjoy a guided tour around both modern and colonial Lima, starting in the districts of Miraflores and San Isidro, and come away with a good overview of the impressive archaeological site of Huaca Huallamarca. Next, head to the historic centre which comprises the World Heritage Site of Santo Domingo Convent and the Main Square which is surrounded by the Presidential Palace, the Archbishop's Palace, the Municipality of Lima and the Cathedral. Afterwards, sample a ‘pisco sour’ - a traditional Peruvian tipple - and the tour then culminates in a visit to the Larco Museum, an incomparable private collection of treasures from ancient Peru which encapsulates more than five thousand years of Peruvian history. The afternoon is then free to spend at leisure.
Accommodation: Villa Barranco

DAY 3: LIMA TO SACRED VALLEY
This morning you’ll be transferred to your hotel for the next three nights, Sol Y Luna, and you can spend the rest of this relaxed day at leisure in the charming Sacred Valley where ancient traditions continue to this day.
Accommodation: Sol Y Luna

DAY 4: SACRED VALLEY - PISAC MARKET, OLLANTAYTAMBO FORTRESS & CHINCHERO
The town of Chinchero, surrounded by a stunningly beautiful landscape and standing over the foundations of an important Inca hub dating back to the late 1400s, is an absolute delight to visit. Colourfully dressed, the local inhabitants gather in the main square to exchange food and offer up regional handicrafts to visitors. Afterwards, continue on to Ollantaytambo, once the military, religious and agricultural centre of the Inca Empire. The impressive and well-preserved ruins of the fortress at Ollantaytambo are located on top of the mountain, a superb viewing point from where Incas of old would look out for potential invaders in order to protect the whole valley. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant followed by a visit to colourful Pisac market and a wander around the ancient Incan architecture and characterful colonial buildings to be found here.
Accommodation: Sol Y Luna

DAY 5: SACRED VALLEY - CYCLING, MISMINAY & MORAY
Explore more of the Sacred Valley today with a private guide. First, visit the Misminay community. You will receive a warm welcome from the locals and witness typical traditional dance and music. This is also a wonderful opportunity to see Andean families at home and share in their daily tasks. There are various activities you can choose to get involved in, from working on the land and learning about local agriculture, to spinning and dying wool to produce beautiful textiles using ancestral techniques. In the afternoon, enjoy a superb mountain bike adventure which begins with a descent to the Moray archaeological complex comprising several concentric terraces that were used by the Incas as a farming laboratory. Then on to Maras, enjoying the open road and impressive views of the surrounding mountains, followed by a climb to the Maras salt mines, where salt has been extracted for thousands of years. One you’ve completed the cycling route, you’ll be transported back to your hotel for a well-earned rest.
Accommodation: Sol Y Luna

DAY 6: SHORT ONE-DAY TREK TO MACHU PICCHU SUN GATE
Early this morning, join the Inca Trail at ‘Kilometre 104’ for the short trek to the Machu Picchu. En route, visit the archaeological complex at Chachabamba and, depending on the weather, make the ascent up to the magnificent waterfall. In the afternoon, hike up to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku), a wonderful vantage point from where views of the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu open out. Once you’ve had a chance to soak up the spectacular scenery, return to the village of Aguas Calientes where you will stay overnight in a hotel.
Accommodation: El Mapi

DAY 7: EXPLORE MACHU PICCHU
Wake at about 5.30am today to catch a train and bus back to Machu Picchu. You will be accompanied by a guide who will then give you a private tour of this mind-blowing ancient archaeological site. The private tour takes about 2 hours and then the rest of the time is free to spend at your leisure. In the afternoon, travel to Cusco where you will spend the next three nights.
Accommodation: El Mercado

DAY 8: PRIVATE GUIDED TOUR OF CUSCO
Explore the once Inca capital, Cusco, with a private guide. The tour begins at Koricancha Temple, an ancient Inca palace and centre of worship of the sun god, on the site of which the Dominicans built a church which survives to this day. Then on to the Main Square, where you will visit the cathedral, the most important religious building in the city. The climb then continues to Sacsayhuamán fortress, an impressive example of Inca military architecture followed by a visit to Kenko, where the sun, moon and stars were once worshipped. Next, there’s the chance to explore Puca-Pucara, which is thought to have once been a "tambo", or rest and lodging place, for the ancient Inca people. Finally, a visit to the Inkas Expression art workshop, where you will be able to see Andean art being created by artists working in silver, paint and wood.
Accommodation: El Mercado

DAY 9: EXPLORE CUSCO AT LEISURE
Spend today independently exploring bustling Cusco, the breathtakingly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site, at your own pace. Spend some time in one of the many cafes at the Plaza de Armas and visit the chocolate museum and a whole host of ancient Inca palaces, temples and Spanish Colonial buildings at your own pace.
Accommodation: El Mercado

DAY 10: FLY FROM CUSCO TO PUERTO MALDONADO AND BOAT TRANSFER TO REFUGIO AMAZONAS
Today, make the short flight to Puerto Maldonado and your final destination, Refugio Amazonas, for the grand finale of the holiday, a 3-day, fully immersive Amazon rainforest experience.
Accommodation: Refugio Amazonas

DAY 11: REFUGIO AMAZONAS
Highlights of the activities include visits to the Canopy Tower, Clay lick and Oxbow Lake. The Canopy Tower takes you high above the dense vegetation, and from the top you will see miles of pristine forest stretching in every direction. Because animals are at their most active up in the tree canopy, you’ll also enjoy incredible opportunities to see the local wildlife. The Oxbow Lake visit reveals the most important and distinct habitats in the Amazon. These lakes form when a river bend gets cut off from its main channel, creating calm, fish-filled lakes. After a quick boat trip from the lodge, you hike a short distance inland to the lake where you’ll enjoy pleasant catamaran ride around the lake with your guide to spot wildlife. Due to the lake’s biodiversity and rich abundance of fish, there’s a good chance of spotting the Hoatzin - a bizarre, dinosaur-like bird - along with troops of Squirrel Monkeys, rare Giant Otters, huge Caiman, and majestic Macaws flying overhead. Moreover, if you visit the Oxbow Lake at the Posada Amazonas lodge, you might even get to see the fascinating and much-feared Piranha.
Accommodation: Refugio Amazonas

DAY 12: REFUGIO AMAZONAS
For one of the best tropical bird experiences in the whole of the Amazon, a visit the Chuncho Macaw Clay Lick is a must. Due to particularly rich nutrients, most likely salt, found in the cliff soil, the Clay Lick attracts dozens of species of colourful birds; from huge Red and Green Macaws to Mealy Parrots, the birds flock here to munch on the nutritious clay. The macaws are the largest — and certainly the loudest — of the bunch and the humid jungle air fills with their screeches as they settle into trees above the bluffs, swooping down to feed on the clay. The Chuncho Macaw Clay Lick is one of the most stunning wildlife spectacles in the world, making it a must-see for any nature lover. In addition to the above-mentioned activities, there are several different guided hikes on offer, plus local farm visits, opportunities to take part in scientific research and beautiful sunset cruises on the Tambopata River.
Accommodation: Refugio Amazonas

DAY 13: TRANSFER FROM REFUGIO AMAZONAS TO AIRPORT FOR ONWARD FLIGHT
This morning, you'll be transferred by boat back to Puerto Maldonado airport to catch your onward flight.

Accommodation


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Characterful boutique hotel
- Rooftop terrace with excellent views
- Pretty gardens
- Well located for exploring Barranco

Sol Y Luna

Sacred Valley

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Luxury base in stunning Sacred Valley
- 43 charming stone 'casitas' with views
- Spa, pool, gym, biking, kayaking, riding
- Horse shows, pottery workshops

El Mapi

Machu Picchu & Inca Trail

Our rating

6/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Large, reliable hotel in Aguas Calientes
- Unbeatable location for Machu Picchu
- Facilities include spa and restaurant
- Good value for money, lively and relaxed

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Historic property with contemporary touches
- Excellent central Cusco location
- Near main square, museums, markets, cafes
- Excursions further afield available

Refugio Amazonas

Amazon Basin

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Immersive Amazon experience
- Best for adventurous travellers
- Activities for all ages, great for families
- Mountain biking, cruises, jungle walks

Details

Getting there

BEX TO RE-WRITE LATER - WILL DO ALL THE 'GETTING THERES' AT ONCE FOR ALL ITINERARIES AT END OF PROCESS. Flights are not included in the price, but we can arrange them for you. You will need return flights to Lima and domestic flights to Cusco and Puerto Maldonado. You can't fly direct to Peru from the UK, you will need to stop over in the USA, Madrid, Paris or Amsterdam.

Price includes

Price includes domestic flights, all accommodation (bed and breakfast basis in Cusco, Sacred Valley, Lima and Aguas Calientes, all meals in Amazon), transfers and tours as mentioned in the itinerary. Short Inca Trail trek includes permits and meals.

When is best?

Peru’s peak tourist season is June - August when the main tourist sites will be at their busiest. The weather at this time of year is lovely, with little rain and clear, sunny days. Nights, however, are cold. The rainy season generally lasts from October - March, with the wettest months being January & February. It is naturally much quieter in the sites at this time of year - although note that the Inca Trail closes in February for maintenance.

The Amazon is an area of tropical rainforest which is always humid, and it can rain at any time of the year. There isn’t a huge amount of climate variation from season to season – although the rainy season lasts from October to April and the wettest months overall tend to be January and February, with sometimes 5 or 6 hours of rain per day. The main advantage of going in the rainy months is that you’ll see more parrots and macaws on the clay licks, since they’re nesting and therefore particularly active – although do be prepared for more mosquitoes at this time of year. In short, the best times to visit the jungle are either April/May or October/November.

Is it for me?

This succinct holiday is aimed at those with an adventurous spirit looking for an active holiday covering all of Peru's main highlights within a compact period of time.

The adventure includes a one-day trek which covers a short distance at the end of the classic Inca Trail to reach the 'Sun Gate' from where wonderful views of Machu Picchu can be seen. You'll then stay overnight in a hotel in Aguas Calientes and the following day, you'll catch a train and a bus back to Machu Picchu for a private guided tour of the awe-inspiring ancient citadel, plus there'll be time to explore independently. Thus this itinerary has been tailored to anyone looking to witness the key highlights of the magical Machu Picchu experience without participating in the full 3-day Inca Trail hike.

A visit to the rainforest is best suited to adventurous, outdoorsy travellers who have a keen interest in wildlife. There are of course plenty of insects, wild animals and changeable weather patterns. Make sure you are vaccinated against any jungle diseases and that you are fully medically prepared for your trip - anti-malarials are normally advised. Waterproof clothing and good footwear are a must for a visit at any time of year. We politely remind all rainforest visitors to respect the natural environment by leaving no rubbish behind, adhering to trails and listening to the safety advice given by guides.

Safety

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 506 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • 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!

    MissingJenny H reviewing Incas and Amazon on 03 November 2011

  • We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
    We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
    Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
    Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
    Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
    Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
    Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
    Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
    Level of service, quality of food throughout

    MissingCatherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019

  • We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!

    The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).

    A few points:
    Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.

    Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
    They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.

    Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!

    The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!

    MissingKatrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019

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Alternative Itineraries

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

10 day Peru holiday including the Inca Trail, Cusco, The Sacred Valley and Lima.

Tailor-made Adventure 11 days

Adults from $1,892 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $848 per person economy class from London

An 8 day private guided tour of Cusco, the Sacred Valley & the jewel in Peru's crown, Machu Pichhu.

Tailor-made Classic 1 week

Adults from $1,633 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $998 per person economy class from London

Get away from life as you know it. Trek the Inca Trail in Peru and then explore South America's highest lake.

Tailor-made Adventure 2 weeks

Adults from $1,891 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $1,247 per person economy class from London

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