Aqua Nera Amazon Cruise & the Cradle of the Inca Empire
PE-011
11 Days
from USD 9,294
Customize this trip for me
Journey through the Pacaya Samiria Reserve, the largest in Peru, aboard the most luxurious river vessel in the South American region before heading to Cusco. Learn about the most important single-product in Peru as you journey through the Sacred Valley with the ‘Potato Whisperer’ Manuel Choqque and then end off your journey with a memorable train ride aboard the Sacred Valley Train to Machu Picchu.

Highlights

  • Navigate the blackwaters of the Pacay Samiria Reserve aboard the most luxurious river vessel in the South American region
  • Journey to Machu Picchu by rail inside the Sacred Valley Train, complete with a VIP lounge and included meals
  • Hike along the less common trails, away from the crowds, to Cusco's nearby ruins
  • Explore Peru's most important ingredient, the potato, with a true potato scientist
  • Discover the oldest colonial home in Lima before ending off with a stroll through bohemian Barranco and a craft beer
Welcome to Lima, the 'City of Kings'. Upon arrival, you will be met at the airport and privately escorted to your hotel.
At an appropriate time, transfer from your hotel to the airport for your flight to Iquitos.

Upon arrival from your morning flight, you will be picked up at Iquitos airport and taken to enjoy a delicious welcome lunch. Afterwards, you will embark the Aqua Nera and settle into your suite as you begin your exciting cruise adventure. Following an introduction by the expert naturalist guides onboard and a routine safety drill, you will enjoy your first gourmet Amazonian dinner, created by the world-renowned Peruvian chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino.

IMPORTANT
During High water season, you will also be introduced to the historic city of Iquitos and have the chance to visit an indigenous Amazon community before embarkation.
LOW WATER
Today you will enjoy early morning birdwatching along the Marañon River. Afterwards, you will canoe or kayak along the Yanayacu-Pucate River, keeping an eye out for the Amazon’s legendary pink river dolphins. In the afternoon you will visit an Amazonian village, where you will have the opportunity to interact with native Riberenos (people of the river) and visit local school children.

HIGH WATER
Today you will set sail to the Yarapa River where you will be able to spot tropical songbirds, black collared hawks, and sloths. You will have the chance to try line-fishing for the Amazon’s notoriously ferocious piranhas while the naturalist guides share stories of Lake Moringo. In the afternoon, you will sail to Lake Clavero where villagers rely on traditional dugout canoes to get around. Swim in the lake’s calm waters or visit the native residents of Amazonia who welcome you to their community with open arms
LOW WATER
Today, you will wake to a beautiful jungle sunrise, enjoying breakfast in the middle of the lush jungle while birdwatching along the Samiria River. Swimming and kayaking are some of the recommended activities in this part of the Reserve. In the evening, embark on a wildlife excursion on the blackwaters of Nauta Caño, and end the night with some extraordinary stargazing.

HIGH WATER
Today you will explore the blackwater tributaries of the Yanallpa River by skiff. You will have the chance to disembark and venture deep into the wildlife-rich Amazonian rainforest. In the afternoon you will board a skiff again to cruise along the El Dorado river in search of exotic nocturnal creatures.
This morning you will enjoy a guided visit to the local market where you will marvel at the regional produce of the Peruvian Amazon. Afterwards, you will return to Aqua Nera where you will enjoy a delicious breakfast before disembarking. En route to the airport, you will have the chance to visit the Manatee Rescue Center, where orphaned Amazonian manatees are rehabilitated before they are released back into the wild.

Your guide will assist you with the check-in at the airport in Iquitos for your flight back to Lima.

In Lima, you will be welcomed at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
At an appropriate time, transfer from your hotel to the airport in Lima for your early morning flight to the Inca capital of Cusco.

Upon arrival in Cusco, you will be transferred to your hotel in the Sacred Valley. En route, you make a stop in Pisaq. Originally, a place where people from remote communities used to barter their products, Pisaq has evolved into one of South America’s most famous souvenir markets. Be sure to sample some empanadas baked in traditional clay ovens.

The remainder of the afternoon is free to slowly acclimatize to the altitude.
Accommodation options
Today, immerse yourself in a 4-hour private gastronomic experience that showcases the centuries-old importance of a singular product which is essential to Peruvian cuisine, the potato. Together with the Peruvian acclaimed ‘potato whisperer’, Manuel Choqque, your tour combines a visit to the potato fields in the terraced Sacred Valley, a 3-course tasting menu featuring unique potato dishes set under a tent in the open air in the potato fields, a cooking class and even a tasting of potato-inspired wines. Manuel Choqque farms around 350 types of potatoes in these fields, many of which he has selectively cross-pollinated, from blue-black and gold to beet-colored varieties. By the end of your tour today, you will be left in awe by the complex dishes that can be created with such a simple ingredient.

Later, visit the salt mines of Maras. Its intense white shimmer appears on a sunny day - an impressive sight for any visitor. Salt was extracted from these mines during Inca times and the same method has still been used ever since. You head then to Moray that has circular terraces hidden among the hills, which are similar to a Greek amphitheater. Surrounded by an impressive backdrop of snow-covered mountains, Moray was used as an open-air agricultural lab for adapting crops to different environmental conditions.
Accommodation options
For today’s tour to the Machu Picchu, you will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the train station of Ollanta.

The train schedule today allows for an exploration of Machu Picchu without the crowds. The ‘Sacred Valley Train’ service, includes a 3-course lunch on board and allows for an arrival at Machu Picchu at a time where most tourists take a break for lunch. Differently from most connections, the PeruRail ‘Sacred Valley Train’ departs at 10:30 from Urubamba and briefly stops at the Belmond Rio Sagrado Hotel before it continues to Aguas Calientes. Enjoy the beautiful landscape along the journey while you sip your welcome drink and enjoy some snacks in the Observation Bar Car. After about 3 hours you will reach Aguas Calientes and start your Machu Picchu exploration.

Upon arrival, a small coach takes you up the steep roads to the entrance of the citadel. For centuries Machu Picchu remained undiscovered by the Spaniards and has only been found in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham. During a guided tour you will experience the uniqueness of the location and the genius that went into its construction, making this Inca site one of the seven new wonders of the world.

In the evening, return by train from Aguas Calientes with the ‘Sacred Valley Train’ service. On board enjoy a delicious 3-course dinner. After a short stop at the Belmond Rio Sagrado Hotel, you continue to the train station of Urubamba.
Accommodation options
Transfer from Sacred Valley to Cusco.

Today in Cusco, your comprehensive city tour includes the beautiful Koricancha or Sun Temple, the Cathedral as well as the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, a most remarkable Inca building and the amphitheater of Kenko. This is followed by a visit to Puca Pucara, a strategically located 'red fortress' that dominates the entire area before visiting Tambomachay, with its two distinctive aqueducts that to this day continue to provide clean water to the area.

Farewell dinner at Map Café (just across from your hotel). The restaurant’s owner Jorge Luis Ossio is one of Peru’s most renowned chefs. The sophisticated MAP Café is housed in a modernist glass box set in the courtyard of the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art (MAP).
At an appropriate time, transfer from your hotel in Cusco to the airport for your flight to Lima.

In the afternoon, explore Lima’s bohemian neighborhood of Barranco and Miraflores in a half-day tour. Start off with Miraflores, stopping at the Kennedy Park and the Park of Love with the sculpture ‘The Kiss’ and a stunning view over the bay of Lima. You then head to the bohemian neighborhood of Barranco to visit the ‘Bridge of Sighs', the legendary 'La Ermita' chapel and a lookout point for a view of the Pacific Ocean. Before going back to your hotel, you will have the chance to sample some Peruvian craft beer and a local snack at the Barranco Beer Company. This family-run brewery serves six flagship beers, as well as some specials and seasonal options.
Head downtown and explore the center of Lima and it´s impressive sights. As you wander through the Plaza de Armas and Plaza San Martin, it is hard not to be intrigued by its diverse architecture. Your guide will introduce you to the city's architectural heritage, before heading to Santo Domingo Monastery that boasts the oldest carved choir stalls in Lima. It was here that first university in South America, San Marcos University, was founded in 1551. Head to ‘Casa Aliaga’, the oldest colonial house in Latin America, which is owned by the Aliaga family and their descendants. Francisco Pizarro granted this ancient temple to one of his followers Jeronimo de Aliaga in 1535. It features a series of salons that represent life in Lima in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.

Afterwards, you will be transferred to the airport to take your international flight home.
Welcome to Lima, the 'City of Kings'. Upon arrival, you will be met at the airport and privately escorted to your hotel.
At an appropriate time, transfer from your hotel to the airport for your flight to Iquitos.

Upon arrival from your morning flight, you will be picked up at Iquitos airport and taken to enjoy a delicious welcome lunch. Afterwards, you will embark the Aqua Nera and settle into your suite as you begin your exciting cruise adventure. Following an introduction by the expert naturalist guides onboard and a routine safety drill, you will enjoy your first gourmet Amazonian dinner, created by the world-renowned Peruvian chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino.

IMPORTANT
During High water season, you will also be introduced to the historic city of Iquitos and have the chance to visit an indigenous Amazon community before embarkation.
LOW WATER
Today you will enjoy early morning birdwatching along the Marañon River. Afterwards, you will canoe or kayak along the Yanayacu-Pucate River, keeping an eye out for the Amazon’s legendary pink river dolphins. In the afternoon you will visit an Amazonian village, where you will have the opportunity to interact with native Riberenos (people of the river) and visit local school children.

HIGH WATER
Today you will set sail to the Yarapa River where you will be able to spot tropical songbirds, black collared hawks, and sloths. You will have the chance to try line-fishing for the Amazon’s notoriously ferocious piranhas while the naturalist guides share stories of Lake Moringo. In the afternoon, you will sail to Lake Clavero where villagers rely on traditional dugout canoes to get around. Swim in the lake’s calm waters or visit the native residents of Amazonia who welcome you to their community with open arms
LOW WATER
Today, you will wake to a beautiful jungle sunrise, enjoying breakfast in the middle of the lush jungle while birdwatching along the Samiria River. Swimming and kayaking are some of the recommended activities in this part of the Reserve. In the evening, embark on a wildlife excursion on the blackwaters of Nauta Caño, and end the night with some extraordinary stargazing.

HIGH WATER
Today you will explore the blackwater tributaries of the Yanallpa River by skiff. You will have the chance to disembark and venture deep into the wildlife-rich Amazonian rainforest. In the afternoon you will board a skiff again to cruise along the El Dorado river in search of exotic nocturnal creatures.
This morning you will enjoy a guided visit to the local market where you will marvel at the regional produce of the Peruvian Amazon. Afterwards, you will return to Aqua Nera where you will enjoy a delicious breakfast before disembarking. En route to the airport, you will have the chance to visit the Manatee Rescue Center, where orphaned Amazonian manatees are rehabilitated before they are released back into the wild.

Your guide will assist you with the check-in at the airport in Iquitos for your flight back to Lima.

In Lima, you will be welcomed at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
At an appropriate time, transfer from your hotel to the airport in Lima for your early morning flight to the Inca capital of Cusco.

Upon arrival in Cusco, you will be transferred to your hotel in the Sacred Valley. En route, you make a stop in Pisaq. Originally, a place where people from remote communities used to barter their products, Pisaq has evolved into one of South America’s most famous souvenir markets. Be sure to sample some empanadas baked in traditional clay ovens.

The remainder of the afternoon is free to slowly acclimatize to the altitude.
Accommodation options
Today, immerse yourself in a 4-hour private gastronomic experience that showcases the centuries-old importance of a singular product which is essential to Peruvian cuisine, the potato. Together with the Peruvian acclaimed ‘potato whisperer’, Manuel Choqque, your tour combines a visit to the potato fields in the terraced Sacred Valley, a 3-course tasting menu featuring unique potato dishes set under a tent in the open air in the potato fields, a cooking class and even a tasting of potato-inspired wines. Manuel Choqque farms around 350 types of potatoes in these fields, many of which he has selectively cross-pollinated, from blue-black and gold to beet-colored varieties. By the end of your tour today, you will be left in awe by the complex dishes that can be created with such a simple ingredient.

Later, visit the salt mines of Maras. Its intense white shimmer appears on a sunny day - an impressive sight for any visitor. Salt was extracted from these mines during Inca times and the same method has still been used ever since. You head then to Moray that has circular terraces hidden among the hills, which are similar to a Greek amphitheater. Surrounded by an impressive backdrop of snow-covered mountains, Moray was used as an open-air agricultural lab for adapting crops to different environmental conditions.
Accommodation options
For today’s tour to the Machu Picchu, you will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the train station of Ollanta.

The train schedule today allows for an exploration of Machu Picchu without the crowds. The ‘Sacred Valley Train’ service, includes a 3-course lunch on board and allows for an arrival at Machu Picchu at a time where most tourists take a break for lunch. Differently from most connections, the PeruRail ‘Sacred Valley Train’ departs at 10:30 from Urubamba and briefly stops at the Belmond Rio Sagrado Hotel before it continues to Aguas Calientes. Enjoy the beautiful landscape along the journey while you sip your welcome drink and enjoy some snacks in the Observation Bar Car. After about 3 hours you will reach Aguas Calientes and start your Machu Picchu exploration.

Upon arrival, a small coach takes you up the steep roads to the entrance of the citadel. For centuries Machu Picchu remained undiscovered by the Spaniards and has only been found in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham. During a guided tour you will experience the uniqueness of the location and the genius that went into its construction, making this Inca site one of the seven new wonders of the world.

In the evening, return by train from Aguas Calientes with the ‘Sacred Valley Train’ service. On board enjoy a delicious 3-course dinner. After a short stop at the Belmond Rio Sagrado Hotel, you continue to the train station of Urubamba.
Accommodation options
Transfer from Sacred Valley to Cusco.

Today in Cusco, your comprehensive city tour includes the beautiful Koricancha or Sun Temple, the Cathedral as well as the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, a most remarkable Inca building and the amphitheater of Kenko. This is followed by a visit to Puca Pucara, a strategically located 'red fortress' that dominates the entire area before visiting Tambomachay, with its two distinctive aqueducts that to this day continue to provide clean water to the area.

Farewell dinner at Map Café (just across from your hotel). The restaurant’s owner Jorge Luis Ossio is one of Peru’s most renowned chefs. The sophisticated MAP Café is housed in a modernist glass box set in the courtyard of the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art (MAP).
At an appropriate time, transfer from your hotel in Cusco to the airport for your flight to Lima.

In the afternoon, explore Lima’s bohemian neighborhood of Barranco and Miraflores in a half-day tour. Start off with Miraflores, stopping at the Kennedy Park and the Park of Love with the sculpture ‘The Kiss’ and a stunning view over the bay of Lima. You then head to the bohemian neighborhood of Barranco to visit the ‘Bridge of Sighs', the legendary 'La Ermita' chapel and a lookout point for a view of the Pacific Ocean. Before going back to your hotel, you will have the chance to sample some Peruvian craft beer and a local snack at the Barranco Beer Company. This family-run brewery serves six flagship beers, as well as some specials and seasonal options.
Head downtown and explore the center of Lima and it´s impressive sights. As you wander through the Plaza de Armas and Plaza San Martin, it is hard not to be intrigued by its diverse architecture. Your guide will introduce you to the city's architectural heritage, before heading to Santo Domingo Monastery that boasts the oldest carved choir stalls in Lima. It was here that first university in South America, San Marcos University, was founded in 1551. Head to ‘Casa Aliaga’, the oldest colonial house in Latin America, which is owned by the Aliaga family and their descendants. Francisco Pizarro granted this ancient temple to one of his followers Jeronimo de Aliaga in 1535. It features a series of salons that represent life in Lima in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.

Afterwards, you will be transferred to the airport to take your international flight home.

Based on two people sharing TWIN or double room (excluding international & domestic flights)

ALTERNATIVE 1 USD 9,294
B Arts Boutique, M/V Aqua Nera 4D/3N, Sol y Luna, La Casona Inkaterra

  • Transfers from/to the airport, bus or train station
  • Accommodation based on the selected hotel category
  • Private services with local English-speaking guides except for:
    • Excursions and transfers during the Amazon cruise that are shared with other travelers with local English/Spanish speaking guide)
  • Train ticket Urubamba – Machu Picchu – Urubamba in Sacred Valley Train
  • Entrance fees to the sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted (B: breakfast, L: lunch, BoxedL: boxed lunch, D: dinner)
  • One bottle still water daily
  • Tips for baggage porters at airports, stations and hotels
  • Permanent assistance by our Guest Experience Department
Aqua Nera
Aqua Nera Room
Aqua Nera Lobby
Potato Experience with Manuel Choqque
Potato Experience with Manuel Choqque
Pisaq Market
Maras Salt Ponds
Moray Terraces
Sacsayhuaman
MAP Cafe
Dessert at MAP Cafe

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