Your travel consultant will prepare a customized itinerary for you. We offer a choice of 3, 4, 5-star and deluxe hotels. The Deluxe option is with the 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.
This tour includes international airfare from Miami (US), on non-holiday dates. You do not need to fly via Miami; Kon-Tiki 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: Overnight flight to Lima.
Day 2: Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Afternoon city tour of Lima. Lima has always been 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 Martin and Major squares, the Cathedral, the Government Palace and visit San Francisco Convent, religious building from the end of the XVI century and its catacombs. Also drive through the residential districts of San Isidro and Miraflores.
Day 3: Morning transfer to the airport to take the flight to Cuzco. Upon arrival in Cuzco, transfer to your hotel. Afternoon city tour of Cuzco, visiting the Korikancha temple or Temple of the Sun, the Cathedral and its Art Museum and the artisans quarter of San Blas and San Blas church. Continuing to the nearby water shrine of Tambomachay (the Inca Fountains), Puca Pucara (the Red Fortress), amphitheater of Kenko and finally the Sacsahuaman Fortress. Return to your hotel.
Day 4: We pick you up at your hotel in Cusco and drive to the airport for the 35 minute flight to a small airstrip cut into the rain forest at Boca Manu. On arrival at the airport you will be met by your rain forest guide. Our motorized dugout will take you on the two hour (approximative) trip down the Madre de Dios River to the Manu Wildlife Center, a strategically located lodge owned by Manu Expeditions and a local conservation group. On the river journey we will see our first Amazonian wildlife and riverside birds such as Skimmers, Terns, Herons, Egrets and Orinoco Geese. We should arrive at the lodge for lunch and meet some of the visiting biologists working here. In the afternoon we explore a trail that leads out to a lookout point high above the river to watch roosting flights of Parrots as the sun sets, and we may encounter a troop of monkeys in the forest. Those who wish can do a night walk with the guide in search of nocturnal inhabitants of the forest. Night at Manu Wildlife Center (Friday only).
Day 5: Early start to-day for the Macaw Clay Lick. This is truly one of the world's great wildlife spectacles as hundreds of Parrots and their larger relatives, the Macaws, congregate at this traditional locality to eat the mineral rich clay that is essential to their digestion. We'll use a blind (hide) to get close to the birds. The noise alone is incredible and the sight of these brightly colored birds at the lick is a sight not to be forgotten. As the lick slows down in midmorning we'll head for Cocha Blanco, an old, ox-bow Lake, in search of a family of Giant Otters that live there, and canoe around the lake on our floating platform looking for other wildlife. After a leisurely lunch at the lodge we'll explore other trails in search of Emperor and Saddleback Tamarins, and we have seen the rare Goeldi's Monkey repeatedly in this area. Night at the Manu Wildlife Center.
Day 6: Full day to explore the forest and trails around the lodge. We'll be on the lookout for Monk Saki - an uncommon and rarely seen monkey of the Tierra Firme forest that is occasionally seen here. We'll explore trails where groups of Manakins, perhaps the most enigmatic of neo-tropical birds, perform their strange mating dances and walk to one of our blinds at a large mammal lick where Guans and forest Parakeets and Parrotlets come for clay. Here too, groups of Black Spider Monkeys visit on occasions for clay to help their digestion. Those who wish will return with the guide to the lodge in the late afternoon; however there is an opportunity to stay at the lick after dark until midnight to see what nocturnal creatures come to the lick. Tapirs, the largest South American land mammal are frequent visitors with up to 12 animals visiting in one night. Other nocturnal creatures are always possible. Night at the Manu Wildlife Center.
Day 7: After breakfast we head upriver (about 2 hours) to the small airstrip at Boca Manu. Early morning flocks of birds pass over the boat, and we may see a Capybara, the world's largest rodent. Arriving at the airstrip we board our aircraft for the 35 minute flight over seemingly endless rainforest and then over the Andes, passing glaciers and snow peaks to the ancient Inca capital of Cusco where our staff will be waiting to take you to your hotel. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel.
Day 8: Morning transfer to the train station. 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 the Lost Citadel of 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 marches of the Inca Empire. The central buildings were erected with the polished stone works of the Cusco 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 the village of Aguas Calientes.
Day 9: 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 10: Transfer to the airport to take the flight to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima, transfer to your hotel. Afternoon shopping tour of Lima, taking you to the famous handicraft markets accompanied by our guides.
Day 11: Transfer to the airport to take the flight back home, or overlap with the add-on of your choice.
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South America Peru Nature & Wildlife Rainforest Cultural Journey
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