The tour continues with a visit to the ruins of Kenko, Pucapucara, Tambomachay and the Sacsayhuaman Fortress. An imposing example of Inca military architecture, this fortress was built using large slabs of granite to safeguard the city from attacks and invading forces from the east. The largest stone in this ceremonial complex weighs about 140 metric tons; the same mass as a small blue whale. After the excursion return to your hotel to relax for the next day's adventures.
Day 2: It's time to discover the breathtaking Peruvian countryside. In the morning a bus will pick you up at your hotel in Cuzco and drive you to the magical Sacred Valley. First stop will be the lively town of Pisac, to visit the famous Indian Market and buy local handicrafts such as textiles and ceramic goods, plates, jewelery, replicas of pre-Hispanic pottery, or even ceremonial goblets called "Q'eros." The Pisac market is a major highlight, it attracts thousands of visitors each year who come to see the locals dressed in their colorful, traditional attire and to purchase unique hand crafted gifts.
Following lunch we'll head to the Ollantaytambo Ruins, named Ollantaytambo in honor of chief Ollanta, who was famous for courting the Inca Princess daughter of Pachacutec. One of its best preserved areas, know as Hanan Hucaypata, lies north of the main square and contains 15 estates built with elegantly crafted stone walks. We will then return to Cuzco, this evening is free to enjoy Cuzco's nightlife and world-class cuisine.
Day 3: This morning, get ready for one of the most memorable train rides in the world, the Andean Train. Your guide will pick you up from the hotel around 6 am for the transfer to the train station where we will journey through lush mountain tops winding alongside the Urubamba river. You will pass by beautiful scenery, including breathtaking rock cliffs of the Andes Mountains to accompany you all the way until reaching the town of Aguas Calientes.
You will have the afternoon free to explore Aguas Calientes, where you can take a stroll through the lush vegetation of Mandor Gardens, or just unwind in the thermal baths before heading out to Machu Picchu early the next morning.
Day 4: Today’s the big one: Machu Picchu. After a hearty breakfast, you'll jump on the first bus towards the ruined city, where your expert guide will introduce you to the city’s long and varied history, including the conflicting theories about its origins. You will also have a chance to walk around and discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site for yourself, or get the chance to hike the famous Huayna Picchu.
After you finish discovering this wonderful and magical place, you will meet with your guide at the train station in Aguas Calientes, where you will depart on your return journey to Cuzco.
Huayna Picchu is limited to 450 people a day and must be booked in advance. Please contact us for further details and pricing.
Day 5: Upon arrival from Cuzco, we will welcome you at the airport and drive you ten minutes to our Puerto Maldonado headquarters. Skirting Puerto Maldonado, we drive to the Tambopata River Port, and from there we will take a boat ride to the beautiful, Eco-friendly lodge, where you will get your first taste of the Amazon’s natural wonders.
A short walk from our lodge leads to the 30 meter scaffolding Canopy Tower. From atop you 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 all displaying a breathtaking array of colors. Witness the wonders of the Amazon jungle from an bird's eye view.
At night we will go out to the river’s edge, scanning the shores with headlamps and flashlights to catch the red gleams of reflection from caiman eyes.
A daily presentation on the Infierno ecotourism project is available every night from a staff member.
Day 6: Today we will visit the incredible oxbow lake, Tres Chimbadas. Once there we will paddle around the lake in a catamaran, searching for the resident family of nine giant river otters and other lakeside wildlife such as alligators, turtles, hoatzin and horned screamers. To experience Tres Chimbadas is to experience one of nature's greatest gifts, getting the chance to witness how the Amazonian ecosystem interacts and coexists.
We'll paddle downriver and take a short hike through the jungle on a trail designed by the staff of the Centro Ñape where we'll see and learn first hand about the various plants and other natural resources they use to make their traditional medicines.
Tonight you can take a night hike through the jungle, not for the timid you will really hear all the strange sounds of the jungle creatures as they come to life at night.
Day 7: Today we will visit the Parrot Clay Lick, where where the jungle can be seen literally coming to life. Beautiful and rare parrots, parakeets, and other jungle animals can be seen here enjoying the clay lick.
Afterwards we will embark on the two hour Ceiba Trail Hike crowned by the largest tree in the vicinity: a giant Ceiba tree. During the hike we are accompanied by an Ese'eja who will teach us how the Amazon provides their tribe with food, medicine, construction materials, etc.
A few minutes hike from our lodge we find a beautiful old growth patch of Brazil Nut Forest that has been harvested for decades (if not centuries) and traces of a camp used two months a year by Brazilian Nut gatherers.
Day 8: In the morning we will take a boat from our lodge back to Tambopata River Port, and from there drive to our Puerto Maldonado Headquarters. From our headquarters we will transfer you to the airport where you will catch your international flight back home, or continue your journey elsewhere.
Price includes all domestic flights, but excludes international flights.
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South America Peru Local Culture Cultural Journey Rainforest