Trips to the rainforest in Puerto Maldonado are mostly offered as an optional extension. This itinerary though has it embedded to show Peru’s diversity as it best including Cusco the ancient culture of the Inca Empire.
DAY 1 … - LIMA
Welcome to Lima, the 'City of Kings'. You will be met at the airport and privately escorted to your hotel.
DAY 2 LIMA (B)
Your sightseeing tour explores the modern districts of Lima and its historic center, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. As you wander the main plaza and Plaza San Martin it is hard not to wonder about its diverse architecture. Your guide will introduce you to the city’s architectural heritage. We then proceed to Santo Domingo Monastery boasting fine carved choir stalls, the oldest of Lima. It was here that San Marcos University, the first in South America, was founded in 1551.
DAY 3 LIMA - CUSCO (B)
Flight to Cusco. This afternoon we walk through the major sites of interest in Cusco. We visit the famed Cathedral with its magnificently carved woodwork, ornate altar and many hundreds of canvases from the 17th-century ‘Cusco Painting School’. We continue exploring the cultural wealth of Cusco at the Temple of the Sun where we witness the incredible masonry of the Incas, an engineering feat that remains an enigma. Afterwards we walk along Hatunrumiyoc Street which is named for the 12-angled stone clearly visible in the remaining walls of what was Inca Roca's palace. We make a last stop in San Blas artisan quarter. Its steeped cobblestone alleys not only offer spectacular views of the city but are lined with workshops and galleries, a great way to soak in Cusco's artistic atmosphere.
DAY 4 CUSCO – SACRED VALLEY (B,L)
This morning we drive to the Pisaq market in the Sacred Valley. Originally a place where people from remote communities used to barter their products, Pisaq has evolved to one of South Americas most famous souvenir markets. Make sure to sample some empanadas baked in traditional clay ovens. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Afternoon visit to Ollantaytambo Fortress where the Temple of the Sun (formed of six gigantic monoliths, whose total weight exceeds 50 tons) and the Terrace of the Ten Niches stand out.
DAY 5 SACRED VALLEY – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO (B,L)
Morning transfer to Ollanta train station. The 1 ½ -hour train ride train takes you through the Sacred Valley of the Incas up to Machu Picchu. On arrival a small coach take you up the steep roads to the entrance of the citadel. Machu Picchu remained for centuries undiscovered by the Spaniards, only to be found in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. The uniqueness of its location and the genius that went into its construction make this Inca archaeological site truly one of the great wonders of the world. After the guided excursion you will return to Ollanta train station, where you will be met and transferred by coach to Cusco.
DAY 6 CUSCO – PUERTO MALDONADO – POSADA AMAZONAS (B,L,D)
Upon arrival from Cusco (ideal around noon), you will be welcomed at the airport and driven ten minutes to the lodge’s office in Puerto Maldonado. While enjoying your first taste of the forest in the gardens you will be asked to pack only the necessary gear for the next days, and leave the rest at the safe deposit. Skirting Puerto Maldonado, you drive 20 kilometers to the Tambopata River Port, entering the Native Community of Infierno. The port is a communal business. The 45-minute boat ride from Tambopata Port to Posada Amazonas will take you into the community’s primary forest private reserve. Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome and brief you with important navigation and security tips. A twenty minute walk from Posada Amazonas leads to the 30 meter scaffolding canopy tower. A banistered staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. From atop you will obtain spectacular views of the vast expanses of standing forest cut by the Tambopata River winding through the middle. Now and then toucans, parrots or macaws are seen flying against the horizon, or mixed species canopy flocks land in the treetop next to you. A video about the forest of Tambopata will be displayed after dinner.
DAY 7 POSADA AMAZONAS (B,L,D)
Tres Chimbadas is thirty minutes by boat and forty five minutes hiking from Posada Amazonas. Once there you will paddle around the lake in a catamaran, searching for the resident family of nine giant river otters (seen by 60% of the lake visitors) and other lakeside wildlife such as caiman, hoatzin and horned screamers. Otters are most active from dawn to eight or nine in the morning. This clay lick is only a twenty minute walk from Posada Amazonas. From a blind located about twenty meters away you will see dozens of parrots and parakeets descend on most clear mornings to ingest the clay on a river bank. Species such as Mealy and Yellow-headed Amazon, Blue-headed Parrot and Dusky-headed Parakeet descend at this clay lick. The clay lick is most active at dawn and during the late mornings and mid-afternoons. A 20-minute boat drive downriver leads to a trail designed by the staff of the Centro Ñape. The Centro Ñape is a communal organization that produces medicines out of forest plants and administers them to patients who choose their little clinic. They have produced a trail which explains the different medicinal (and other) uses of selected plants. You will have the option of hiking out at night, when most of the mammals are active but rarely seen. Much easier to find are frogs with shapes and sounds as bizarre as their natural histories.
DAY 8 POSADA AMAZONAS – PUERTO MALDONADO – LIMA (B)
Retracing the river and road you head back to Puerto Maldonado airport. Depending on airline schedules, this may require dawn departures. Upon arrival in Lima transfer to your hotel.
DAY 9 LIMA - … (B)
At proper time you will be transferred to the airport for your international flight.
Price per person in USD sharing TWIN Prices valid through December 23rd 2013
* min. 2 persons
Domestic flights (net price per person in USD)
Lima – Cusco / Cusco - PEM / PEM - Lima
* Air fares subject to change according availability
WHAT TO BRING
Good binoculars and camera (we recommend a camera with an 18x wide zoom lens)
T-shirts and long and short pants
Pairs of absorbent cotton socks
Rain suit or long poncho (100% waterproof)
Long-sleeved cotton shirts
Sunscreen lotion (high factor)
A bottle or canteen to carry water on outings
One pair of shorts
A pair of sneakers or hiking boats (with good gripping soles) and sandals
A large, bright flashlight
Personal toiletries and medications
Cash for drinks at the bar, airport taxes and personal expenses