This trip can be customized to fit your individual travel dates and any specific requests you may have. Your travel consultant will prepare a customized itinerary for you. We offer a choice of 4-star, 5-star and deluxe hotels on this program. The Deluxe option includes a Master Suite accommodation on board the M/V Aqua and comes with the following Orient Express hotels: the Sanctuary Lodge in Machu Picchu, Monasterio in Cuzco and the Park Plaza in Lima. You may also choose to upgrade to the luxury Hiram Bingham train from Cuzco to Machu Picchu.
Optional excursions onboard the M/V Aqua include venturing into remote creeks to witness giant river otters nesting, an array of yellow-crowned brush-tailed bats, frogs, night monkeys, and more. Along the voyage you will also visit traditional Amazonian villages such as San Juan del Amazonas, where the Cocama Indians carry on their tribe’s traditions living in thatched stilt houses and earning their living by fishing.
This tour includes international airfare from Miami (US), on non-holiday dates. You do not need to fly via Miami; Kontiki will fly you the most direct way to your city of destination. Depending on your travel dates and proximity of travel, we will quote you the most economical surcharge from your city or country of origin.
Day 1, Thursday: Overnight flight to Lima.
Day 2, Friday: Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Afternoon city tour of Lima, always one of the most important cities in South America since its founding in 1535. Journey through the historic center of the city. Admire the beauty of San Martín and Major squares, the Cathedral, the Government Palace, and visit San Francisco Convent, religious building from the late 16th century, and its catacombs. Also drive through the residential districts of San Isidro and Miraflores.
Day 3, Saturday: Morning transfer to the airport to take the flight to Cuzco. Upon arrival in Cuzco, transfer to your hotel. Afternoon city tour of Cuzco, visit the Korikancha Temple or Temple of the Sun. Visits to the Cathedral and its Art Museum, the artisans' quarter of San Blas and San Blas church are also available. After your visits, you'll continue to the nearby water shrine of Tambomachay (the Inca Fountains), Puca Pucara (the Red Fortress), the amphitheater of Kenko and finally the Sacsahuaman Fortress. Return to your hotel.
Day 4, Sunday: Morning transfer to the train station. The train takes us through the Sacred Valley of the Incas up to the town of Aguas Calientes. From here, we will board a bus to Machu Picchu. We will then have a guided tour of the ruins. Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, was a flourishing ceremonial and agricultural site, probably the gateway to the jungle marshes of the Inca Empire. The central buildings were erected with the polished stone works of the Cuzco Imperial style, though the site was probably occupied well before the Incas started their expansion. It was associated with the earth cult revolving around the coca leaf, which was a privilege of the Inca royal family and priests. You will have time to enjoy a light lunch or snack and return to your hotel at your leisure. In the evening, we will enjoy a wonderful dinner at the hotel or in Aguas Calientes.
Day 5, Monday: Day at leisure. You may choose to return to Machu Picchu, hike Huayna Picchu or relax in the village of Aguas Calientes and its hot springs. In the afternoon, we will board the train to return to Cuzco. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel.
Day 6, Tuesday: Transfer to the Cuzco airport to take the flight to Lima where you will connect to your flight to Iquitos. Arrive in Iquitos in the late afternoon, and transfer to the M/V Aqua, your luxury home for the next five days, waiting for you near the village of Puerto Miguel Village.
Day 7, Wednesday: Today begins with an early morning journey via skiff along the remote Tapiche River, to search for the magnificent, 3 1/2-feet-long harpy eagles. Chances are good that you will also see umbrella birds, tanagers, stern looking chachalacas, puff birds, and more on this expedition into the deep wilderness. After breakfast, it's time for piranha fishing on the Tapiche. Other options: curl up with a good book in your spacious cabin or on the Observation Deck, or purchase some take-home treasures in the boutique.
As you sail along, you will catch wonderful glimpses of life along the river fishermen paddling along on canoes made from tree trunks children waving from riverside villages. Later, those who want to venture out into the night will be richly rewarded at El Sapote Creek (only available in the wet season), where it is possible to see night jars, night hawks, frogs, tarantulas, bats, falcons, porcupines, night monkeys, and more.
Day 8, Thursday: Today is devoted to a full-day excursion into the wildlife-rich Pacaya Samiria Reserve, so vast that it is the size of some Central American countries. Traveling into the reserve in small boats, you will enter the black water lakes collectively known as the Mirrored Forest, where you will view the almost magical reflection of the towering trees in the glistening water. In addition to the birds, caimans, monkeys, and dolphins of the Amazon jungle, you will also see a rich array of flowers in a riot of colors. In the wet season, as the water level rises, it is possible to travel deeper into the reserve, exploring its farthest reaches. In the dry season, you can spot turtles, and the massive jabirupink storks standing five feet tall, with nine-foot wingspans.
After dinner, those who choose to go out on the skiffs will have a chance to experience the nightlife along the river, an intimidating array of yellow-crowned brush-tailed bats, fishing bats, snakes, frogs, and tarantulas. Finally, spend a little end-of-day relaxation time in an over sized lounger on the Observation Deck, experiencing the deep darkness of the Amazon night and listening to the ever-changing sounds of the jungle. Then it's time to head off to your ultra- comfortable bed.
Day 9, Friday: The day begins with a cruise down the Ucayali and Amazon Rivers. We make a stop to visit the small, banana-growing village of Sapo Playa, where you will need items-shirts or school supplies to barter for purchases. These friendly people are eager hosts. You will have a delightful time with them and will get some great photographs. Later that day and early evening, we will visit "Jurassic Park," a prehistoric-looking swamp where the giant, six-foot in diameter lily pads grow. Here, during the wet season, you will also have the chance to visit lovely Chontilla Lake, rich with monkeys, birds, and dolphins. An optional night expedition lets you view the massive water lilies again, and gives you a good view of bats and night birds. Then it's back to the ship, which sails toward the Tahuyao River.
Day 10, Saturday: Wake up for an early morning excursion on the Tahuayo River, to capture your last sunrise photos. The morning light is a perfect time to snap pictures of the rare pink dolphins, terns, and parrots. You will also have another chance to see the famous, giant, six-foot-wide Victoria Regia lily pads. During the four-hour voyage to Iquitos, you will enjoy breakfast and can pick up some last minute souvenirs in the boutique.
Your afternoon in the remote city of Iquitos, accessible only by river or air, will not disappoint. This bustling town, complete with a house built by Gustave Eiffel, was once a rich center of the rubber industry. After lunch and a visit to a butterfly farm, you will tour Iquitos before being transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima, transfer to your hotel.
Day 11, Sunday: Transfer to the airport to take the flight back home, or overlap with the add-on of your choice. This program is designed with a 5-day cruise on the M/V Aqua which departs on Tuesdays. However, we can customize the itinerary to accommodate alternative travel dates by offering a 4-day cruise that departs on Saturdays or a full 8-day cruise (also departing on Saturdays) for those interested in a more extensive Amazon experience.
Note: Boat itineraries are subject to change due to weather conditions and time of year. River and tributary levels may vary, and thus navigation times and excursions may need to be modified at the captain’s discretion. Also, there is a 7 year age minimum on all departures.
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