Lima - Puerto Maldonado - Machu Picchu
A representative from Andean Exclusive Tours will be waiting for you at Lima Airport with a sign bearing your name. Once you meet the representative, they will take you to your hotel for check-in, for which you will only need to present your passport, as all hotel reservations will be confirmed prior to your arrival. Our representative will provide you with a briefing of your trip and will answer any questions you may have.
On this day, we will take the connecting flight from Lima to Puerto Maldonado. Upon arrival, our representative will take you to board a 45-minute boat journey along the Madre de Dios River, offering you the opportunity to witness the Peruvian Amazon. We will arrive at the Inka Terra Amazonica lodge, where you will spend the night. Once settled into the lodge, relax and enjoy your lunch in the dining area. In the afternoon, you can choose from 14 different excursions, and for your first day, we recommend:
In the jungle, nocturnal animals differ from those of the daytime, and on this excursion, we can revel in a nocturnal paradise during a boat ride on the Madre de Dios River. We will learn about their habits and observe nightjars, owls, capybaras, and caimans.
Following your return from your excursion, enjoy dinner, served in the main dining room from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. After dinner, you may retire early to your own cabaña, or join in on a talk about the experience of life in the rainforest, as you listen to the intriguing sounds of the jungle at night.
This day begins with a delicious treat offered by the lodge starting at 5:30 am. After a rest, we will head to Lake Sandoval in the Tambopata National Reserve, from where we will embark on a canoe to admire the beautiful mirror-like lake and appreciate the wildlife. We may see howler monkeys, giant river otters, macaws, anacondas, turtles, and caimans.
After lunch, we will ascend the Canopy Tower, which is a network of towers and bridges reaching a height of 29 meters, allowing you to be at the treetop level and walk literally among the rainforest canopy. This expedition lasts approximately 1 hour on average. You can observe toucans, woodpeckers, trogons, solitary birds, and long-tailed birds.
We then continue with the Anaconda Walk, which is a 200-meter-long wooden bridge over water swamps. In this abundant ecosystem, you can observe species of amphibians, birds, mammals, and snakes.
Once our excursion is completed, we return to the lodge where we had the opportunity to attend a presentation offered by the Eco Center, followed by a performance.
Start your day with a hearty breakfast before embarking on a 45-minute private boat journey along the Madre de Dios River to reach Puerto Maldonado. In Puerto Maldonado, you'll have the opportunity to visit the Butterfly House, showcasing Peru's rich diversity of butterflies, which includes an astounding 3,700 known species. This exhibit highlights the remarkable variety, beauty, and adaptability of these captivating insects. Afterward, you'll be transferred to the airport for your flight.
Take a flight from Puerto Maldonado to Cusco, where you'll be greeted by a representative at the airport. Your private guide and driver, who will be accompanying you during your time in Cusco, will be introduced to you. You'll then travel in a private vehicle to Pisac, an essential Inca site in the Urubamba Valley. Along the way, you'll make several stops.
En route to Pisac, you'll have the opportunity to encounter Andean camelids such as llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and guanacos. Alpacas provide thick wool used for textiles, while vicuñas are smaller and possess delicate fur regarded as the finest in the world.
Upon leaving the Llama & Alpaca Ranch, proceed to Pisac, where you can explore the renowned market filled with various handcrafted items and fresh produce. Later, venture to the Pisac ruins. These ruins showcase Inca masonry of exceptional quality, with breathtaking terraces following the mountain's contours and providing a superior view of the valley. You'll have the opportunity to explore this marvelous setting at your own pace.
Today, you'll explore Ollantaytambo town and its ruins, a place that has preserved its original Inca layout, with people residing in traditional cancha enclosures once used by the Inca elite. The archaeological site here is both spectacular and historically significant. It was the site of one of the most important battles during the Spanish Conquest, and one of the rare instances where the Incas emerged victorious. After your visit, you'll proceed to the next part of your excursion.
In the afternoon, you'll visit Maras, home to the remarkable and unusual Salinas, located in the heart of the Sacred Valley near Urubamba. The Salinas is a vast network of terraced pools that collect salt through the evaporation of saline waters from an underground stream. These terraces are constructed similarly to agricultural terraces seen throughout the Andes and have been in use since pre-Columbian times. The gleaming, salt-encrusted terraces create an extraordinary visual spectacle. Nearby, you'll discover the enigmatic Inca terraces of Moray. This unique site, likely used for agricultural experiments, features several gigantic circular terraced depressions. Following your visit, you'll be transferred back to your hotel.
Embark on an authentic journey through the Sacred Valley, a hidden gem often missed by travelers. Your day begins with a morning pickup from your hotel, and your guide and driver will lead you to Chinchero (3,800m/12,500ft), a town with a rich history and spectacular views of the Cordillera Vilcabamba mountain range. Chinchero was once the home of the Inca emperor Tupac Yupanqui. Here, you'll explore the town and its ruins, and you can also visit a renowned weaving center in the area.
Next, you'll start a moderately graded hike, taking you into the high-altitude Andean landscape. As you leave Chinchero, friendly llamas and their caretakers will join you on this adventure. You'll gradually ascend for about 1.5-2 hours through fields of potatoes, flowers, and Andean grains, with few other travelers in sight. The locals accompanying you will provide insights into regional plants and the vital role of llamas in their community. They are eager to share their culture and answer any questions, allowing you to get to know them before visiting their village.
After the ascent, you'll reach a beautiful mountain plateau where you can take a break, enjoy a snack, and capture stunning photographs. Continuing on, you'll descend for about an hour until you arrive at the less-visited Incan ruins of Machucollca. Along the way, you'll be treated to panoramic views of the mountains and valleys. You might even have the chance to lead the llamas, guided by your expert guide.
Your guide will provide insights into the ancient purpose of the ruins as food-storage facilities before you travel an additional 20 minutes to the local community of Rajchi. There, you'll be welcomed by a warm local family who will host you for a carefully prepared lunch, featuring locally grown vegetables, potatoes, corn, meat, and homemade sauces, with the menu tailored to the season.
Following lunch, you'll visit their outdoor weaving area, where you'll witness a demonstration of their impressive textile artistry. You'll learn about their process of spinning, dyeing, and weaving wool or fur from their animals. Then, you can try your hand at plowing or simply observe their daily farming tasks.
After this day filled with cultural immersion and trekking, you'll return to your hotel, having gained a new perspective on the region.
Traveling from your hotel, a private vehicle will take you to the Ollantaytambo train station, which is approximately a 20-minute journey. This marks the beginning of your adventure to Machu Picchu.
You'll board a train that boasts stunning panoramic windows, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the breathtaking views throughout your journey. This mid-range option provided by PeruRail comprises five cars, providing both comfort and quality, complete with snacks and soft drinks. The train's design focuses on captivating guests with the ever-changing and awe-inspiring natural surroundings, offering excellent opportunities for capturing spectacular photos. The trip from Ollantaytambo to KM 104 takes approximately one hour.
For this service, you are allowed to bring hand luggage with a maximum weight of 5 kg (11 pounds) and dimensions not exceeding 157 cm (62 inches) in length, height, and width. If you have larger suitcases, our representatives will arrange secure storage at your hotel until you return from Machu Picchu.
For those seeking a less crowded and more adventurous route to Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail is the ideal choice. Disembarking from the train just before reaching Aguas Calientes (the station serving Machu Picchu), you'll cross a suspension bridge to explore the intriguing Inca archaeological complex of Cachabamba. Following a brief visit to this site, a three to four-hour uphill hike will lead you to the remarkable Inca ruins of Wiñay Wayna, accessible solely on foot. From there, you'll continue for approximately 2 hours along the primary Inca Trail to Inti Punku, also known as the Gate of the Sun. Here, you'll witness Machu Picchu for the first time, with most of the hike consisting of uphill terrain, cliffs, and stunning views of the Vilcanota River. Upon your arrival at Machu Picchu.
This morning, after taking a bus back to Machu Picchu, enjoy a day filled with activities exploring the ruins. Depending on your interests, various excursions are available, and your guide will provide explanations about the different sections of the site. Lunch is not included. After your visit to Machu Picchu, take a bus to the village of Aguas Calientes and board the train back to Cusco.
Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo offers a mid-range option with panoramic windows to capture breathtaking views throughout the journey. The trip from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo takes about 1.5 hours, and the baggage allowance for this service is hand luggage with a maximum weight of 5 kg/11 pounds and a maximum size of 157 cm/62 inches (length + height + width).
Upon arriving at Ollantaytambo train station, an Andean Exclusive representative will meet you and transfer you approximately 2 hours to your Cusco hotel..
Cusco (3400 m/11,155 ft) is undoubtedly one of Peru's most beautiful cities, and possibly one of South America's. It was considered the navel of the earth and served as the capital of the Inca Empire, which once extended from southern Colombia to northern Chile and Argentina, and eastward into the Amazon basin. Your visit starts at the Plaza de Armas in the city center, where you will explore the city while learning about its rich history and the significant events that occurred on these streets and within these buildings. Highlights of your tour include the Renaissance-style cathedral, one of the city's most imposing structures, and the meticulously crafted masonry of Koricancha, also known as the Temple of the Sun. You will also have the opportunity to explore various Inca archaeological sites around Cusco, choosing based on your prior explorations. The main attraction is the temple-fortress of Sacsayhuaman, which offers an awe-inspiring view of the city. This is the only known Inca site featuring megalithic architecture, with its remarkable zigzag terrace walls made of the world's largest carved stones. Depending on your preferences, you can opt to visit other nearby archaeological sites, including Tambomachay, a spring water source believed to be sacred to the Incas, Qenqo, a stone maze, and Puca Pucara, a tower within the Sacsayhuaman complex.
On the way out from Cusco, a representative will pick you up from your hotel 2 hours and 15 minutes earlier to your flight and take you to the airport. The representative has already your boarding pass to get inside the airport and would help you with check-in process and be there if you need something in the counter. Then will escort you to the entrance of departures launge to say goodbye.