Amazon & Inca Adventure
Lima is shrouded in history with glorious Spanish colonial buildings and grand museums dotted throughout this grand capital. The Amazon Basin contains the biggest river by volume and the largest tropical rainforest in the world. We discover the incredibly rich biodiversity of this environment on a journey by boat and on foot before returning to Lima. From Lima we fly to the former Inca stronghold of Cusco, where we have plenty of time to soak up the colourful local life. After catching a train to the town of Aguas Calientes, we visit the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu – the lost city of the Incas. A spectacular bus journey then takes us further inland to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca, home to the fascinating floating reed islands of the Uros Indians. Before we arrive in Bolivia’s capital of La Paz we discover the ruins of ancient Tiahuanaco. La Paz is the highest capital city in the world and combines a modern cosmopolitan city with ancient traditions, creating a vibrant finale to our adventure.
Why we love it:
- Lima is shrouded in history with glorious Spanish colonial buildings and grand museums dotted throughout this grand capital.
- The Amazon Basin contains the biggest river by volume and the largest tropical rainforest in the world.
- We discover the incredibly rich biodiversity of this environment on a journey by boat and on foot before returning to Lima.
- From Lima we fly to the former Inca stronghold of Cusco, where you have plenty of time to soak up the colourful local life.
- After catching a train to the town of Aguas Calientes, you visit the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu – the lost city of the Incas.
- A spectacular bus journey then takes you further inland to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca, home to the fascinating floating reed islands of the Uros Indians.
- Before you arrive in Bolivia’s capital of La Paz you'll discover the ruins of ancient Tiahuanaco.
- La Paz is the highest capital city in the world and combines a modern cosmopolitan city with ancient traditions, creating a vibrant finale to our adventure.
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1: Lima
Accommodation: Antigua Mira Flores or Similar, Lima
- On arrival at Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport you will be transferred to your hotel in the well-known coastal suburb of Miraflores. Today you have a pre-departure meeting at 2pm.
- Founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador, Francisco Pizarro, it was from Lima that all Spanish territories in South America were governed. Few cities at that time could rival Lima’s power, wealth and opulence. However its glory days ended in 1746 when the city was virtually destroyed by an earthquake. Many of the colonial buildings were rebuilt and you will get a first-hand look at several of them on the tour. The striking Plaza Mayor (Plaza de Armas), flanked by some of the most important buildings in town such as the cathedral, the huge Government Palace and the Archbishop’s Palace, constitutes the heart of the city.
- You will visit the nearby San Francisco Monastery, with its catacombs containing some 70,000 human remains.
- Next we will visit the Central market where we will take a walking tour. The market has a huge variety of fresh produce on offer including fruits, vegetables and even Guinea pigs. You will have the opportunity to try some local Peruvian fruits and street food.
- Next we will visit China town which is close to the Market.
- The tour will finish in Lima main square, with the option to go for dinner in Down Town or back to Miraflores.
- In your spare time you might enjoy wandering around around Miraflores, visiting Parque del Amor (Love's Park) where you can enjoy a view aross Lima's beaches, or catching a taxi to visit the Gold Museum or the Larco Museum, which is renowned for its ancient pottery collection. Please remember that you must agree on a fare with the driver before catching a taxi, as the taxis here do not have meters. (Miraflores-Downtown approximately 10-15 soles). You may also want to visit the impressive National Museum of Anthropology, Archaeology and History of Peru, which is home to a wonderful collection of cultural exhibits tracing the history, arts and accomplishments of the people of Peru, ranging from the original inhabitants of the land through to the Inca Empire and the Spanish conquerors.
- There are a number of restaurants and cafes to choose from for dinner. Lima has some of the most superb cuisine in South America and is especially renowned for its exceptional seafood. During your time here, you may wish to try ceviche, Peru’s national dish, which is raw fish marinated in lime juice and often served with hot peppers. This culinary delight is a must for all seafood lovers!
Day 2-3: Puerto Maldonado- Amazon Jungle
Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
Accommodation: Posada Amazonas lodge or similar, Puerto Maldonado
- Fly from Lima to Puerto Maldonado (approx 2 hrs).
- Upon arrival, the lodge staff will take us to their office in town where you'll leave most of your luggage in a safe storage and continue travelling with a small pack with just the necessary items for our next two nights in the jungle. Then take a motorized canoe up river to our jungle lodge in the Madre de Dios area.
- Head into the jungle with your local, multilingual guides and encounter magnificent fauna and flora in their natural habitat. You may spot everything from macaws and monkeys to peccary, jabirus, otters and thousands of butterflies. The guides can also teach you about the medicinal properties and practical uses of the plants.
- After exploring the wilds, it's time to jump back in the canoe and return to Puerto Maldonado.
- The lodge is eco-friendly and combines low-impact architecture with traditional native style. Rooms are simple, but comfortable with flush toilets (en suite), showers (cold water only), mosquito nets and kerosene lamps for light.
Day 4-5: Cusco
Meals included: 2 breakfasts
Accommodation: Eco inn or Similar, Cusco
- Fly to Cusco, the heart and soul of Peru. The city itself is the continent's oldest continuously inhabited city and was the home of the Incas for two centuries before the Spanish built their first capital here. Today Cusco is a fascinating combination of both cultures. Inca-built walls line the central streets and many of the elegant colonial buildings are built on or around Inca foundations. This is a city steeped in history, tradition and legend and is a perfect base for explorations into the Inca world or to enjoy a range of outdoor activities.
- Your leader will take you on a walking tour including a visit to the Coca Musuem - where you can learn more about this infamous plant which has been an essential part of life in the Andes for centuries - and the local San Pedro market.
- The Boleto Turistico (Tourism Ticket) is a good option if you to visit the many musems in Cuzco. This ticket also includes the archaeological around Cuzco such as Q'enqo, Pica Pakara, Pisac and Ollantaytambo. Some museums in town, like Contemporary Art Meseum, Regional History Museum and Qosqo Native Art Museum can only be accessed by purchasing the Boleto Turistico.
Day 6: Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch
Accommodation: Samanapaq hotel or similar
- Travel by private bus through the Sacred Valley, known as Wilcamayo by the Incas, the lush, fertile valley has long been the main source of food for the high Andes. Maize crops can be seen surrounding the river and covering the terraces carved high into the valley walls.
- At the Sacred Valley you will visit the stone fortress of Sacsayhuaman where massive stone blocks that form the walls of this site give you an awesome picture of how highly developed Inca engineering was. Looking over the city from its hilltop position, the fortress is built out of massive stone blocks and is the ultimate example of the Inca's military strength.
- You will visit a local community en route to Ollantaytambo,
- The town of Ollantaytambo was built over an ancient Inca town, which is a magnificent example of Inca urban planning. This is one of the few places where the Incas defeated the Spanish.
- Ollantaytambo's archaeological site is located to the east of the Plaza de Armas. The upper terraces of this site offer great photo opportunities of the squared grid town below.
Day 7: Aguas Calientes
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner
Accommodation: Andina hotel or similar
- Nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu, your destination today will be Aguas Calientas. You will travel by train for 90 minutes through the winding Urubamba Valley to reach town, where you can spend some free time exploring the natural hot springs after which the town was named
Day 8-9: Machu Picchu- Cusco
Meals included: 2 breakfasts
Accommodation: Eco inn or Similar, Cusco
- Take a very early (5:30am) bus along the winding road to Machu Picchu (approx. 30 minutes) where you will be joined by a guide who will take you through the ruins. Looking at Machu Picchu for the first time, as it sits against a backdrop of forested mountains, is a truly breathtaking experience. No matter how many photos you've seen, it is hard to prepare for its awesome beauty.
- MACHU PICCHU: While it's thought Machu Picchu was built around 1440 as a country retreat for Incan nobility, there is evidence this had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Another school of thought is that this was an astronomical observatory. There's plenty of time for you to decide for yourself as you wander around the many temples, palaces and living quarters. You will have a guided visit (approx 1.5-2 hrs) with plenty of free time afterwards. After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to return to Cuzco for a well deserved shower and a pisco sour.
- WAYNA PICCHU: Due to Peregrine's internal safety policy our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity.
- The rest of today and tomorrow will be free for you to continue exploring Cuzco. Your included "full boleto turistico" will give you access to the archaeological sites of Qenqo and Tambomachay, in the outskirts of Cuzco.
Day 10-12: Puno- Lake Titicaca - Puno
Meals included: 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
Accommodation: Taypikala hotel or similar, Puno
- We travel by bus to Puno (this is a full day journey)
- This scheduled tourist service will take you on good roads through some spectacular mountain scenery and you will stop at several sites along the way, including Inca adobe ruins.
- Lunch will be included on a stop in the small town of Sicuani. Along the way you will also make a short roadside stop at La Raya, which at 4335 metres is the highest point on your journey. You will also drive through the large sprawling town of Juliaca on your way to Puno, which is a colourful and lively place renowned for its traditional street dancing, often performed in celebration of Catholic festive days in February each year.
- Located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Puno is a melting pot of Aymara and Quechuan Indian culture and traditional Andean customs are still strongly represented here. The town is known as the folklore capital of Peru and is famous for its traditional dances. Many festivals are celebrated here, so if you're lucky your visit might coincide with one of the colourful evening parades, when the streets fill with costumed dancers and musicians. The night of day 10 you will stay in a Puno hotel.
- Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, sitting at 3,820 m above sea level. From the shoreline, the water stretches out almost as far as the eye can see, its expanses just waiting to be explored.
- Take a tour of the lake by slow motor boat, stopping off to visit the Uros floating islands. The Uros originally built their islands to isolate themselves from rival tribes. The islands are built from many layers of totora reeds that grow in the shallows of the lake. As the reeds closest to the water begin to rot, more layers are added on top. These reeds are used for making everything on the islands, including the boats which can last up to 12 months.
- To get a closer look at daily life in the Lake Titicaca region, you'll be welcomed into local homes for an overnight stay on day 11 in a local community. Make the most of your visit by helping your host family with their daily activities or trying to chat in the local language, Quechua. A game of soccer is also a great way to make local friends.
- Your home-stay will be in a mud-brick house. Rooms have beds and many blankets, there are shared drop toilets but no showers.
- Transfer back to Puno by boat (approx 3 hrs) where you will spend stay in a hotel (day 12)
Day 13: Puno- Tiahuanaco- La Paz
Meals included: 1 breakfast
Accommodation: Rosario Hotel or similar
- Travel by minivan to Desaguadero, where you'll cross the border into Bolivia. The first stop is the Peruvian migration office where you'll be asked to leave the bus and proceed through Peruvian migration. Then walk via a bridge to the Bolivian side, submit your passport at the Bolivian migration office and reboard the bus, which will continue to La Paz. About 30 minutes after crossing the border there's another stop where the army will again check your documents. Bolivia is one to two hours ahead of Peru.
- On your way to La Paz, you will stop at Tiwanaku for a guided visit.
- Tiwanaku archaeological site was where the Incas learned about building systems and agricultural practices.
- This was the base of a great civilisation that began around 500 BC before mysteriously 'disappearing' around 1200 AD. It is believed that the ceremonial complex date back to the 8th century AD and was once at the centre of a powerful and self-sustaining empire based in the southern Central Andes. The sprawling ruins comprise of temples, courtyards, terraced pyramids, monolithic stone statues and gateways. The most famous structure is the Puerta del Sol (Gateway of the Sun).
- From the ruins it is less than a two-hour drive to La Paz, where you'll spend the night. You will enjoy spectacular views of the city on your approach, due to its unique location in the middle of a vast volcanic crater that resembles a bowl.
- At around 3,600 metres, La Paz feels like the top of the world. It's not far from it and vies with Tibet for the title of highest capital in the world. Although Sucre is the official capital of Bolivia, La Paz is the centre of commerce, finance and industry. Despite the abundance of colonial architecture, La Paz's indigenous roots run deep, and the atmosphere in the market-filled streets is both modern and traditional.
- There are no activities planned for the final day and you will be able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
Day 14: La Paz
Meals included: 1 breakfast
Accommodation: Rosario Hotel or similar
- Trip ends this morning after breakfast in La Paz
- The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local tour throughout the tour, and professional local guides at some sites.
- Local flights from Lima to Puerto Maldonado return and Lima to Cusco.
- Jungle Excusions
- Sightseeing where mentioned in the trip notes.
- Train and bus to Machu Picchu (non-trekking trip) with a guided tour of Machu Picchu.
- Boat cruise on the highest navigable lake in the world - Lake Titicaca including the floating reed islands of the Uros people.
- Arrival transfer to Peregrine joining hotel.
- Accomodation: 12 nights comfortable hotel, 2 nights amazon jungle lodge
- Meals: 13 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners.
- Overnight bus
- International flights
- Airport departure tax
- Visas where required
- Meals not included in the itinerary
- Any optional tours or activities during free time
- Items of a personal nature
- Daily budget
We have chosen a selection of some great optional activities to enhance your travel experience. You will need to cover any additional costs yourself. The below list is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed below have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
- Aguas Calientes- Hot Springs
- Archaeological Museum -Lima
- Cusco Cathedral
- Cusco- Chocolate Museum (Learn how to make chocolate)
- Cusco- Inka Museum
- Cusco- Qurikancha Temple
- La Paz- Full Museum ticket
- La Paz- Museum of Musical Instruments
- La Paz- The Moon Valley Entrance
- Lima Coast Biking tour
- Lima Gastronomic Experience
Approx USD 42
- Lima Gold Museum
What to know
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region. We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.
Visas and Permits
Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.
Americans currently require a visa for Bolivia. Australians, British, Canadians and New Zealanders currently do not require a visa for Bolivia. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent.
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself.
Australians, Americans, Canadians, British and New Zealanders do not currently require a visa for Peru. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent.
You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.
Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Customs and Culture
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.
Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in. Your leader will also help steer you though the complexities of local cultural norms.
Pre Departure Information
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.
A Traveller’s Guide to El Dorado & the Inca Empire-L Meisch Backpacking and Trekking in Peru & Bolivia-H Bradt
Cut Stones and Crossroads - R Wright Exploring Cusco - P Frost The Incas and Their Ancestors - M Moseley
On this trip you may link up with travellers on another of our tours.
Public Holiday Inconveniences
Please be prepared for the inconvenience of sights such as museums and churches being closed to tourists on public holidays (ie. Christmas Day and New Years Day). Throughout Latin America, quite a few museums are closed on Mondays.
Partner organisations on the ground: Peregrine works with partner organisations in each country we visit. This ensures we provide employment opportunities within local communities, including our experienced local leaders. We minimise the negative impacts of travel and maximise the benefits to the regions we travel, through working with our ethical services providers. For assistance whilst you are travelling, please contact the local numbers listed on this document or your travel itinerary, as your call will be received in the same time zone. Alternatively, if you have already joined your tour, please direct your enquiries to your local tour leader. For any assistance prior to travel, please contact your travel agent.
Local Emergency contact numbers:
Peak Adventure Travel
+51 99605 5559
+51 97009 4823
High altitudes may be experienced during this trip. Please refer to our Altitude Sickness document for more info.
About this Information
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
8 August 2014
General Contact Details
Web: Visit Peregrine