A compact 10-day trip that combines Andean culture, the most famous Inca archaeological sites and Peru’s largest Amazon Reserve ‘Pacaya Samiria’, two radically different regions of Peru. We have opted for charming hotels and a boutique riverboat for your Amazon expedition. The Delfin I vessel is perfect for exploring the wondrous diversity of the Amazon rainforest with a small group. Some meals in nice restaurants complement our itinerary and introduce you to the yet popular Peruvian cuisine, recognized as the most important in Latin America.
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 – IQUITOS – AMAZON RIVER (B,D) (only on MON)
After arriving at Iquitos airport, you will be transferred by bus, escorted by a guide for about 1 ½ hours, heading northwest towards Nauta. The newly refurbished river cruiser, Delfin I, awaits you there to start your journey to the remote Pacaya Samiria Reserve, a flooded forest with roughly the size of a small Central American country.
Enjoy your first dinner on board in the cozy dining room. The Delfin I offers a unique culinary experience, offering the best of Amazonian-Peruvian cuisine in a cosmopolitan gourmet setting.
Before relaxing with after dinner drinks your guide holds a short briefing outlining details of your journey.
DAY 3 SAN ISIDRO FLOODED FOREST HICK - YANAYACU - PUCATE RIVER (B,L,D)
Early in the morning bird watching before breakfast, for those who get up at sunrise.
Alarm clock will be set at 5:30 am.
After having enjoyed the generous breakfast buffet with freshly squeezed juices, you go on a hike through the rain forest of San Isidro. This flooded, pristine and unique ecosystem is one of the biologically richest habitats on earth and contains most types of plants and animals per unit area. During the hike you will discover local medicinal plants and the huge ceiba or kapok trees that reach a height of 50 meters (164 feet). It is also a very good place for spotting birds such as the bluish-fronted jacamar seen in pairs in the middle and lower parts of forest edges. Also other birds such as collared trogons and red capped cardinals can be seen. Lunch is served on board the Delfin I.
After lunch you will have the opportunity to explore one of the main arteries of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Nature nowhere seems to be more beautiful and richer than in the tropics. On board our excursion boats, you have the opportunity to penetrate deep into the rainforest and its amazing diversity of flora and fauna. Furthermore, you can see some of the many species of birds, watch colorful butterflies and other various insects, noisy monkeys and hordes of pink and grey river dolphins. Enjoy and explore this mysterious dark water.
After dinner you can watch the stars and enjoy the wonderful symphony of the jungle, far away from civilization.
DAY 4 CANOPY WALK - PRIMARY FOREST HICK - TAWAMPA LAKE - NAUTA CAÑO EXPLORATION (B,L,D)
After breakfast you have the unique opportunity to get to one of the longest canopy walks over the treetops of the rainforest. With an altitude of about 25 meters (85 feet), the long suspension bridge extends over 500 meters (1640 feet) and offers a fantastic view from the treetops over the rainforest, the best point for observing flora and fauna in the Amazon. To hike the canopy walk, no special skills or equipment are required. We go back by canoe over the Tawampa lake where you, while slowly rowing, might see the giant arapaima (the largest freshwater fish in the world). Back on Delfin I, lunch will be served while we continue our journey towards the forming region of the Amazon River.
In the afternoon you will experience the species diversity which inhabits the river. The boats glide quietly through the water along the coast, exploring river swamps and bayous. Our boat trip brings us to Tawampa lake, where we are trying to catch piranhas. There are 25 different species of piranhas in the Amazon basin, including black, white and red bellied.
Once it gets dark, you can enjoy the sound of the jungle. Equipped with powerful searchlights, we will start our night safari in search of night herons, spectacled owls, fish bats and a dozen other species on the river bank. Also spectacled and black caimans can be observed in the pristine waters. Stargazing at this time is unique, while the fireflies light up the jungle around us.
DAY 5 AMAZON HEADWATERS & CAÑO PIRAÑA / SAN FRANCISCO - NAUTA – IQUITOS - LIMA (B,L)
We wake up in the birthplace of the Amazon, where the rivers Ucayali and Marañon once united. Here we will see the very rare pink river dolphins. This is a popular feeding place of the dolphins. When we visit the village of San Francisco, we will be welcomed by many children already at the bank, who lead us to their school to show us their art and crafts.
In the early afternoon we reach the port of Nauta where we disembark the Delfin I to take the bus to Iquitos. On our way to the airport of Iquitos, we visit the Rescue and Rehabilitation center of river mammals, where you will have the opportunity to see baby manatees and learn more about these wonderful creatures and why they are listed as endangered species. Afterwards you will be transferred to the airport of Iquitos. Our guides will help you with the check-in.
On arrival in Lima you will be met at the airport and be transferred to your hotel.
DAY 6 LIMA – CUSCO (B)
Flight to Cusco. Your comprehensive afternoon tour includes the major sites of interest in Cusco. The tour starts with Sacsayhuaman, a hilltop fortress that overlooks the city of Cusco. The largest stones used in its construction are nearly 8.5 m (28 ft) high and weigh 360 tons, fitting so perfectly together that a single piece of paper would not fit between two stones. Then we are driven to Kenko, the temple dedicated to Mother Earth. Before we head back to Cusco we stop at Puka Pukara (the red fortress) and Tambomachay (the resting place of the Inca). Once in the city we visit the Koricancha or Temple of the Sun, a fine example of the fusion of Inca and colonial architecture. Just within walking distance we will enter the cathedral with its magnificently carved woodwork, ornate altar and many hundreds of canvases from the 17th-century 'Cusco Painting School'.
DAY 7 CUSCO – SACRED VALLEY (B,L)
This morning we drive to the valley of the Urubamba River the so called Sacred Valley of the Inca. 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 America’s most famous souvenir markets. Make sure to sample some ‘empanadas’ baked in traditional clay ovens.
Lunch will be served in Wayra Ranch. This new countryside restaurant is managed by the hotel Sol y Luna. Wayra provides high-quality Cusqueno-style barbecue for lunch. Try the local ‘choclo’ or ‘Andean corn’, Cusqueno bread, different sorts of potatoes grown in the Sacred Valley and the popular maize beer or ‘chicha’. Guests can dine either in the tastefully appointed dining room or in the terrace with typical Cusqueno brick ovens and the surrounding snow-capped Andes. Lunch is also accompanied by Peruvian Paso horse from the hotel’s own stables.
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 8 SACRED VALLEY – MACHU PICCHU (B,D)
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 takes 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 Aguas Calientes to spend the night. Dinner at the hotel´s restaurant.
DAY 9 MACHU PICCHU – SACRED VALLEY – CUSCO (B)
After breakfast you have the remainder of the morning free to roam around the majestic site of Machu Picchu, climb the Huayna Picchu (at 3000 m) and get panoramic pictures from Machu Picchu. (If you like to climb Huayna Picchu we recommend to buy your combination entrance card with anticipation).
In the afternoon you will board the train back to Ollanta, where you will be gathered to be transferred by coach to your hotel in Cusco.
DAY 10 CUSCO – LIMA – … (B;L)
Flight back to Lima.
After arrival you will enjoy your city tour in Lima. Lima has always been one of the most important cities in South America since it was founded by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535. Your sightseeing tour explores the historic quarter and modern districts of the city. Opportunity to take pictures from the Government Palace, the City Hall, the Palace of the Archbishop and the Cathedral as you walk in Limas historic main square. After an introduction to Limas colonial past you will be driven to the residential district of Miraflores. Your tour ends with a visit to Huaca Pucllana an impressing archaeological site standing out among the modern constructions of Miraflores. The sacred pyramid, made from small handmade bricks, was built by the original inhabitants of Lima (Lima culture) in 5th century. You will visit its ceremonial and administrative areas as well as its small museum. Enjoy a panoramic view of downtown Lima from the 22 meter (72 feet) high pyramid's top.
Enjoy your farewell lunch at the Huaca Pucllana restaurant. This restaurant is set in the archaeological complex Huaca Pucllana. La Huaca is definitely a unique place to taste the most popular specialties of Peruvian cuisine. The main dining room, featuring a mix of rustic colonial and minimalist décor, is a cozy place to dine. Still, the best spot for superb views of the illuminated pyramid is surely the covered terrace
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
Domestic flights (net price per person in USD)
Lima – Iquitos – Lima
Lima – Cusco – Lima
* Air fares subject to change according availability
Itinerary may vary based on wildlife sightings, water levels, navigability and air schedules.
The Amazon is tropical, hot and humid with an average temperature of 28ºC (80°F). The average humidity ranges from 60% to 80%, and rainfall occurs approximately 250 days out of the year. Most showers occur in late afternoon or evening and are short in duration. The ‘low water’ period lasts from June to November and the ‘high water’ period from December to May. During the high water period, river levels increase due to the melting of snow and ice during the Andean summer as well as from an increase in precipitation in the high jungles.
WHAT TO BRING
Good binoculars and camera (we recommend a camera with an 18x wide zoom lens)
T-shirts and long pants
Absorbent cotton socks
Rain suit or long poncho (100% waterproof)
Long-sleeved cotton shirts
Sunscreen lotion (high factor)
Sunglasses and a hat
Insect repellent with DEET (diethyl-metatoluamide)
Cash for your drinks at the bar or tips
If you would like to share something with local villagers you can bring pens, color pencils, crayons, drawing books, t-shirts, etc. Everything is really appreciated by them