DAY 1: LIMA
From 7 p.m., join the 4-star LS hotel for diner. Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 2: LIMA
Lima was founded by Pizarro on January 5, 1535, the evening before the feast of Epiphany. Its original name was "Ciudad de los Reyes” (City of the Kings). You will discover the country’s capital, which includes a historic center, many museums, and numerous colonial structures. It has a very rich architectural heritage. Its historic center was even classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll visit the cathedral and the Monastery of San Francisco, a jewel of colonial Lima. The highlights of the city’s historic heart are the Government Palace done in a French baroque style, the Archbishop's Palace, the town hall, and the Club de la Unión. We’ll have lunch in the city before taking a stroll through Lima's center to see the Plaza Mayor, Plaza Saint-Martin, and the Central Market. After our tour, we’ll return to the hotel for dinner and the night.
DAY 3: LIMA - TRUJILLO
At Plaza Bolivar, you will visit the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History. This is one of the most fascinating museums in all of South America due to its extraordinary collection of ceramics, fabrics, and goldsmith work from Incan and Peruvian cultures. There are also examples of colorful Nazca pottery and objects in gold and silver from the Chimú period. We’ll then visit the Larco Museum, which houses a collection of 45,000 ceramic pieces, mostly from the Moche culture. Archaeologist Don Rafael Larco Hoyle put this collection together. We’ll enjoy lunch in the top-notch museum restaurant. You’ll then be transferred to the airport to fly to Trujillo. Once you arrive at the end of the afternoon, you’ll check into a 4-star LS hotel and have dinner.
DAY 4: TRUJILLO
We’ll leave for a tour of the Huaca del Sol and the Huaca de la Luna, both built by the Moche people. Moche society was a sophisticated, agriculturally based culture which flourished in northern Peru from about 100 AD to 800 AD. The Huaca sites have yielded immense archaeological information about this civilization. The stunning Huaca del Sol (Temple of the Sun) is the largest adobe structure in South America and easily the most impressive of the many pyramids on the Peruvian coast. The smaller Huaca de la Luna (Temple of the Moon) is more complex and brilliantly frescoed. We’ll enjoy lunch before visiting Chan Chan, the largest Pre-Columbian city in South America and the capital of the ancient Chimor Empire from 900 AD to 1470 AD until it was defeated and incorporated into the Inca Empire. The capital consisted of 10 walled citadels, housed an estimated 60,000 inhabitants and contained a vast wealth of gold, silver and ceramics. After our tour, we’ll return to the hotel for dinner and the night.
DAY 5: TRUJILLO - CHICLAYO
We’ll take the Pan-American Highway along the Pacific Coast towards Chiclayo. Our first stop will be the El Brujo Archaeological Complex. Although it might not look like much from the outside, these ruins house historical archaeological treasures. The complex contains the famous Cao Viejo and Huaca Cortada pyramids. The discovery of the Lady of Cao, a female Moche mummy, had the biggest impact on the El Brujo complex. Visitors can tour both the burial chamber and the museum, where the Cao mummy is displayed along with the many precious artifacts that were found buried with it. We’ll enjoy lunch at a seaside restaurant before spending the afternoon at the Royal Tombs of Sipán Museum. Considered to be one of the most important archaeological discoveries in South America in the last 30 years, the main tomb of the Lord of Sipán was found intact and untouched by thieves. The museum contains most of the important artifacts found at Huaca Rajada, including the Lord of Sipán and his entourage. We’ll have dinner and spend the night at a 4-star LS hotel.
DAY 6: CHICLAYO - TUCUME
We’ll begin the day with a visit to the Chiclayo market, full of esoteric products. It’s a fascinating window into life in this part of the world, and the herbalist shops sell everything from herbs and charms to whale bones and hallucinogenic cacti. We’ll then cross the once-colonial city of Lambayeque before arriving in Ferreñafe for a visit to the Sican National Museum. We’ll have lunch and explore Tucume in the afternoon. There are at least 26 pyramids, along with enclosures and mounds, in the 540 acres of the area. Local shaman healers invoke power of Tucume and La Raya Mountain in their rituals, and local people fear these sites. Although once a major regional center, the area is now referred to as Purgatorio (purgatory) by Peruvians. We’ll have dinner and spend the night at the hotel.
DAY 7: CHICLAYO - IQUITOS
This morning, you’ll be transferred to the airport to catch a flight to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima, we’ll set out to discover the port of El Callao located in a peculiar district with ancient houses and a decidedly vibrant and faraway feel. We’ll visit the Real Felipe Fortress and enjoy a lunch of seafood before flying from Lima to Iquitos. You’ll be transferred to the port to board the ZAFIRO 5-star ship LS (or similar ship) and settle comfortably in your cabins. We’ll have dinner and spend the night on board.
DAY 8: MARANON RIVER - PACAYA-SAMIRIA National Reserve
The morning will start with an excursion in small boats on the Amazon River. You’ll have your first glimpse of the wildlife and exuberant nature that makes its home between the Ucayali and Maranon Rivers, which come together to form the Amazon River. We’ll have lunch on board. In the afternoon, we’ll cruise to the heart of the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. The reserve is the second biggest protected natural area in Peru, and one of the best spots for nature tourism lovers. We’ll have dinner and spend the night on board.
DAY 9: YANAYACU and PUCATE RIVERS - SAN JACINTO
This morning, we’ll leave for a trip on the Yanayacu and Pucate Rivers to a protected natural reserve. Our guide will show us the tremendous biodiversity in this bird-filled area. If we’re lucky, we’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the boto, a freshwater river dolphin. We’ll have lunch on board. This afternoon, we’ll walk to the Laguna San Jacinto, known in the area for its vast diversity of plants—especially medicinal ones. Here, you'll learn how traditional medicine healing has been passed down from generation to generation. We’ll then return on board to cruise through some of the most magnificent scenery in the world. At nightfall, you’ll find yourself in the heart of an evening cacophony as the jungle noises begin to emerge. Join us for a nighttime boat ride to observe the jungle in the dark. With a bit of luck, we’ll spot one of the caimans that populate this incredible forest or maybe a huge tarantula web. We’ll have dinner and spend the night on board.
DAY 10: SAMIRIA RIVER - SAN MARTIN
This morning, we’ll explore the Samiria River and its tributaries in small boats. We’ll be able to observe kingfishers and toucans as we glide through the marshes, brooks and abandoned channels. We’ll also certainly run across fishing boats busily carrying out their daily activities. After our tour, we’ll have lunch on board. This afternoon we’ll visit San Martin, one of the many provinces in the Amazon rainforest. This will be a great opportunity to meet the native population and learn about their way of life. We’ll have dinner and spend the night on board.
DAY 11: NAUTA - IQUITOS - LIMA
Breakfast. Disembark and be transferred to the airport for your return flight to Lima. At Lima airport, end of our services.