The Amazon River and Machu Picchu

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LIMA - IQUITOS - AMAZON RIVER - LIMA - CUSCO - URUBAMBA VALLEY - AGUAS CALIENTES - MACHU PICCHU - LIMA

Peru is a veritable treasure of multiple riches. Lima, its capital, is a city full of rich flavors, unique experiences, and the magical union of the past and the present. You’ll cruise through the heart of the Amazon Jungle, the largest tropical rainforest in the world, and spend 7 days discovering the region's amazing biodiversity. From Cusco to Machu Picchu, come learn about the remarkable history of this exotic land.

The 3-day Lake Titicaca extended tour will take you to the highest lake in the world. Situated at over 12,000 feet above sea level, it is a sacred Inca place and an unforgettable experience for any visitor.

 

DAY 1: LIMA

Arrival in Lima, where you’ll meet your guide and be transferred to a 4-star hotel. We’ll have dinner and spend the night at the hotel.

DAY 2: LIMA

After breakfast, discover the country’s sprawling mega-capital and its historic center, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll visit the Basilica Cathedral and the ghostly Monastery of San Francisco, home to creepy and macabre catacombs, the Plaza Mayor, Plaza Saint-Martin and the Central Market. We’ll have lunch in the city. In the afternoon, we’ll visit the National Museum of the Archaeology, Anthropology, and History of Peru or the Museo Larco. We’ll have dinner in the city, and spend the night at the hotel.

DAY 3: LIMA - IQUITOS

After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to the airport to catch a flight to Iquitos, and upon arrival you’ll board our ship. Linked to the outside world only by air or river, Iquitos is the world’s largest city that cannot be reached by road. After comfortably settling into your cabins, we’ll introduce our new crew at a welcome cocktail. We’ll have lunch on board and then set out on a panoramic tour of the city, including Italian-style palaces, the bustling market, and the Iron House, a famous residence designed by Gustave Eiffel that was built from metal sheets carried by hundreds of men through the jungle. We’ll also visit a manatee rescue center. Once we return on board, we’ll cast off on our cruise to discover the "Lungs of the World" on the Itaya River. We’ll have dinner and spend the night on board.

DAY 4: MONKEY ISLAND – MOMON RIVER

Enjoy breakfast while listening to the sounds of the jungle. Afterwards, we’ll take a small boat to Monkey Island. This small area is home to eight species of monkeys who roam in perfect freedom. We’ll return on board for lunch. Our ship will continue to cruise on the Momon and we’ll visit a native Bora community. The Bora are predominantly animists who believe that there is no difference between the spiritual and physical world. They have gone to great lengths to maintain their culture and language by ensuring it is passed down to their children. Bora ceremonies feature dancing and six-foot batons decorated with shells pounded in unison on the ground. We’ll be able to watch a ceremonial show in the village. We’ll also see the large range of crafts produced by the inhabitants. We’ll have dinner and spend the night on board.

DAY 5: TAHUAYO RIVER – YARAPA RIVER

After breakfast, we’ll leave early for the Tahuayo River to discover the boto, a freshwater river dolphin, also known as the pink river or Amazon River dolphin. We’ll return on board for lunch and continue to cruise towards the Yarapa. We’ll enjoy a walk through the forest with a local ranger to look at the tropical epiphytes, including mosses and orchids. This will also be the occasion to catch a glimpse of the monkeys, birds, butterflies and iguanas that call the Amazon jungle their home. We’ll have dinner and spend the night on board.

DAY 6: PIRANHA CANO – SAN FRANCISCO COMMUNITY

We’ll set out early in the morning to explore the Piranha Cano on board small boats. This is the best time to observe the wildlife in the rain forest. We'll travel along the historic confluence between the Ucayali and Marañón Rivers, which forms the Amazon River. We’ll return on board after our tour and cruise to the picturesque community of San Francisco. We'll be greeted by native Shipibo children, and you’ll have the opportunity to visit some of the tribal homes. Interpreters will help us share and communicate with these wonderful people. They’ll also present their vast variety of traditional crafts using embroidery and beads. We’ll return on board for lunch. The afternoon will be spent hiking through the forest with a guide who will explain the use of rare medicinal plants. We’ll also be able to watch for exotic birds. We’ll have dinner and spend the night on board.

DAY 7: YANAYACU RIVER BASIN - NAUTA CANO – NIGHTTIME SAFARI

Have breakfast on board before leaving on a small boat excursion on the pure waters of the Yanayacu River Basin in the Pacaya-Samaria National Reserve. It’s the largest reserve in South America and home to 527 bird species, 102 mammal species (among them the pink dolphin), 69 species of reptiles, 58 species of amphibians, 269 fish species, and 1024 species of wild and cultivated plants. We’ll have lunch on board and continue cruising to Nauta Cano. We’ll take a walk through the Nauta Cano Nature Area, filled with birds and water lilies. At nightfall, the jungle comes alive with noise. We’ll take small boats with powerful spotlights for an evening safari to observe the nocturnal animals. We’ll return on board for dinner. Enjoy looking at the stars this evening with onboard telescopes.

Day 8: SANTA ANA - IQUITOS

After breakfast, we’ll cruise to the village of Santa Ana and meet the indigenous people to learn about their beliefs and traditions. We’ll return on board for lunch. The afternoon will be spent cruising to Iquitos. We’ll enjoy dinner in a local restaurant in Iquitos and spend the night on board.

Day 9: IQUITOS – LIMA – CUSCO – AWANAKANCHA – PISAC- YUCAY

After breakfast, you'll disembark from our ship and return to the airport to fly to Cusco via Lima.
You’ll be greeted by your guide and leave by coach for the Sacred Valley of the Incas, containing the many famous and beautiful Inca ruins. We’ll first stop at Awanakancha, a small camelid farm dedicated to these animals and intricate textiles produced from their wool. The items the farm produces and sells are unique and very different from the standard souvenirs you find elsewhere. We’ll continue on the winding roads through the Urubamba Valley and stop at Pisac, where we’ll enjoy a panoramic tour. Afterwards, we’ll continue on to the small village of Yucay at the heart of the valley. This evening we’ll have dinner and spend the night at a hotel in Yucay.

DAY 10: YUCAY - CHINCHERO –MARAS SALT PONDS - OLLANTAYTAMBO - YUCAY

After breakfast, our day will begin by visiting a pre-school in Yucay and meeting the village students and teachers. We’ll then head to Chinchero, a small Andean Indian village located high up on the windswept plains of Anta. Enjoy some free time discovering the village and strolling through the local market. Our next stop will be the Maras salt ponds. Used since Inca times, these thousands of uneven, square-shaped ponds collect water for harvesting salt. We’ll then travel to Ollantaytambo, dominated by two massive Inca ruins and the best surviving example of Inca city planning. This evening we’ll have dinner and spend the night at a hotel in Yucay.

Day 11: YUCAY - OLLANTAYTAMBO - AGUAS CALIENTES

Breakfast will be served at the hotel. You’ll then be transferred to the Ollantaytambo train station to board a panoramic train for Aguas Calientes. The Vistadone train will take you to the foot of Machu Picchu by crossing through stunning landscapes. We’ll have lunch in Aguas Calientes. Afterwards, we’ll leave for Machu Picchu. Seven thousand feet above sea level, the Inca-built structure was unknown until its relatively recent discovery in 1911. At the end of our visit, we'll watch the sun set over the magnificent mountainscapes and return to Aguas Calientes by bus. We’ll have dinner and spend the night at a hotel in Aguas Calientes.

DAY 12: AGUAS CALIENTES - CUSCO

Breakfast will be served at the hotel this morning and then you'll be transferred to the Aguas Calientes train station to travel through the Urubamba Valley. After arriving in Ollantaytambo, we’ll have lunch in a local restaurant. We’ll continue on our way and visit the intricate lithic complex of Qenko and the impressive fortress of Saksaywaman. After our tours, we’ll arrive in Cusco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th into the 16th century until the Spanish conquest. In 1983, Cusco was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and the city welcomes nearly 2 million visitors a year. We’ll have dinner and spend the night at a hotel in Cusco.

DAY 13: CUSCO

After breakfast, we’ll begin our visit with a walk through the San Pedro Market and the famous Plaza de Armas with the Cathedral Basilica. We’ll then continue on to the Koricancha, the most important temple in the Inca Empire, dedicated primarily to Inti, the Sun God. We’ll have lunch in town. Enjoy some free time this afternoon in San Blas, Cusco's most atmospheric and picturesque neighborhood lined with artists’ studios and crafts workshops. Tonight will be our farewell dinner. We’ll spend the night at a hotel in Cusco.

DAY 14: CUSCO – PUNO – LAKE TITICACA

You’ll enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning before leaving for Puno. We’ll travel through amazing Andean landscapes along the Altiplano. We’ll first visit Andahuaylillas, a small town featuring a historical church described as the "Sistine Chapel of America." Built by the Jesuits, it’s simple on the outside but extremely dramatic and decorative on the inside. We’ll then continue on to the Raqch'I archeological site, dedicated to the Inca creator of the world: the god Wiracocha. We’ll have lunch on the road before discovering Sicuani and its colorful market. Then we’ll head for Puno, a port city at an altitude of over 12,000 feet on the shores of Lake Titicaca. You’ll check into a 4-star hotel and enjoy dinner and the night in Puno.

Day 15: LAKE TITICACA - UROS FLOATING ISLANDS

Breakfast will be served at the hotel. Afterwards, we leave by boat for a full-day excursion on Lake Titicaca. We’ll visit the Uros, who live on islands made of living reeds that float around the lake. They have been living on the lake for hundreds of years and were forced to take up residence on the floating islands when the Incas expanded onto their land. We’ll boat around the islands and meet several families. Lunch will be served to us in a native home. After our trip, we’ll return to Puno by boat. Enjoy a bit a free time before dinner by taking in the splendid views of the snowcapped mountains from the hotel patio. We’ll have dinner and spend the night at the hotel.

Day 16: PUNO- SILLUSTANI - JULIACA – LIMA

Breakfast will be served at the hotel. As we are traveling to the airport in Juliaca, we’ll stop off for a quick visit of Sillustani, pre-Inca burial ground on the shores of Lake Umayo. The creators of the imposing burial towers, known as the Kolla people, occupied the area before the Inca domination. Strategically positioned on the top of a peninsula surrounded by the beautiful Umayo Lagoon, visitors can enjoy stunning highland landscapes and imposing ancient architecture. We'll then head to the airport and have a late lunch before catching an overnight flight from Lima to your destination.

 

PLEASE NOTE:

• The AMAZON DISCOVERY tour itinerary can be modified at any time by the captain according to the river and weather conditions.
• We cannot guarantee the presence or observation of wildlife in the Pacaya-Samaria National Reserve.
• Depending on the on-site conditions, the visits and tours can be reorganized or modified.

This cruise and tour are not recommended for persons with reduced mobility nor for people who experience problems because of high altitudes.

More info

PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR PERU

Health
Being vaccinated against yellow fever is strongly recommended. An antimalarial treatment is also recommended for the trip to the Amazon. Please consult your doctor before your travels about these two treatments. It is also advisable to be up to date with the following vaccinations: tetanus, polio, hepatitis A and B, diphtheria and typhoid fever. It is important you take any regular medications and basic first-aid supplies with you (aspirin, anti-diarrheal, vitamin C, disinfectants, adhesive bandages, sunscreen, personal medications, etc.), as well as a mosquito repellant.

This tour is not recommended for persons with reduced mobility nor for people who experience problems because of high altitudes.

Money-exchange rate:
For the current exchange rates, please consult websites such as www.xe.com or www.onada.com/currency/converter.
ATMs accepting Visa, MasterCard and American Express can be found in all cities. You will be able to get cash at the official daily exchange rate, but you will be charged bank fees.
The currency accepted on board the Amazon Discovery is the US dollar. Payments can be made in cash, or by Visa or MasterCard. There is no currency exchange service on board.

Weather:
On the coast, December to February are the hottest months (77°- 86° F), while June to August are the coldest months (59° - 68° F).
In the Andes, the rainy season is from December to April (68 – 77° F). The dry season is from June to October. In general, days are hot and sunny, and nights are chilly to cold.
In the Amazon, humidity varies according to the season. The December to April rainy season can experience brief, but violent, thunderstorms. The dry season is from June to August (86 – 95° F).
Time difference:
You can consult www.worldtimezone.com to see the time difference between your home and your destination. -

Tips:
Tips are expected for tour guides, drivers and porters, etc.
Tips are included for the crew on the ship for the entire cruise.

Electricity:
220 volts — please bring the appropriate adapters and converters.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Our itinerary will bring you to altitudes of up to 10,800 feet (12,400 feet for the extended stay).
Cusco 10,859 feet
Machu Picchu 7,972 feet
Lake Titicaca 12,549 feet
Altitude sickness, or soroche, can cause adaptation problems for people suffering from cardiac or respiratory problems. We have organized the trip so that you can acclimate yourself in steps; nevertheless, altitude sickness can happen at any time. It can include headaches, nausea, and loss of appetite. Please see your doctor for a checkup before your departure.
In the Andes, the evenings and nights can be cool, even cold. We advise bringing a warm sweater and a windbreaker.