- View the Amazon from a canopy tower
- Stay at a lodge only accessible by boat
- Enjoy a privately guided Machu Picchu tour
- Explore the charming city of Cusco
Travel deep into the Amazon rain forest for incredible wildlife viewing, and then journey high into the Andes to Machu Picchu’s ancient ruins.
This trip offers excellent birding opportunities, see our other birding trips here.
- TRIP LENGTH9 days
- PACKAGE PRICEFrom $2,790 per person
- INTERNAL FLIGHTSFrom $590 per person (aprox)
- Semi-private tour:
- Private tour with professional Andean Discovery guide(s)
- Accommodations based on double occupancy
- All activities, transfers, and entrance fees as per itinerary
- Most meals
- International round-trip airfare to Lima
- Fees for passport and travel insurance
Upon arriving in Lima this evening, a member of our staff will transfer you to your hotel, just steps away from the airport.
Overnight: Lima Airport Wyndham Hotel
Note: The listed hotels are 4/5 star. Please contact us for information on 3 star options.
The capital of the Inca Empire awaits! This morning, Andean Discovery staff will assist with your check-in for the spectacular one-hour flight over the Andes Mountains to Cusco. Upon arrival, you’ll be met by your local Andean Discovery guide and driver and begin the journey toward the Sacred Valley. Extending from Cusco to the intriguing 15th-century city of Machu Picchu and surrounded by the Andes, the Sacred Valley is home to archeological sites and small towns alike. Prepare to experience this balance of what was and what is—ancient civilization and modern life.
The first stop is Sacsayhuaman, featuring some of the largest and most impressive stonework of the Incas. Marvel at the massive limestone boulders and ponder how the Incas transported, carved, and meticulously positioned the stones so that not even a sheet of paper fit between them. Next, visit a Quechua community and participate in a ceremonial offering to Mother Earth. Learn about the important role of weaving in Peruvian culture before continuing your descent into the Sacred Valley. Enjoy a traditional lunch in a private estate and peruse its fine collection of Inca and colonial artifacts. Later this afternoon, you’ll check in to your room at an Andean paradise with fragrant gardens and mountain views.
Overnight: Sol y Luna Lodge and Spa (B, L, D)
This morning continue down the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo, home to the royal estate of the ninth Inca, Pachacuti, one of the most important Inca rulers because of his role in expanding the empire throughout South America. Today, Ollantaytambo is thought to be the only remaining example of pre-Colombian urban planning. It still retains the original street plan and foundations designed by the Incas. Later this morning, experience one of the world’s great train rides as you embark on the journey to Machu Picchu. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the views as the mighty Urubamba River carves its way through the Andean peaks outside your window. Descend into the cloud forest and arrive in Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. Our staff will assist you to your boutique eco-lodge, Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, situated in 13 acres of cloud forest garden along the Urubamba River. This afternoon is free to spend as you desire, with opportunities to visit thermal hot springs, a natural sweat lodge sauna, and a serene orchid pavilion. For those who just can’t wait, an optional visit to Machu Picchu can also be scheduled during this time. (Additional cost for extra Machu Picchu visit today and must be booked at least 30 days in advance.
Overnight: Sumaq Lodge Machu Picchu (B, L, D)
Take a short bus ride through tropical mountain forests to reach Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas. Flanked by steep Andean peaks on all sides and the mighty Urubamba River gorge below, it’s no wonder the Spanish were never able to find this secret Incan hideaway. Journey back in time with a walking tour through the complex and learn about the mysterious origins of this other-worldly citadel, which once served as a private retreat for Inca royals and their families. Marvel at the intricate and sophisticated stonework of its dwellings, sculptures, terraces and waterways, all of which make Machu Picchu one of the greatest architectural achievements of all time. Visit the Temple of the Three Windows, the Sacred Plaza, and the famous Intihuatana stone, a sacred stone carved by the Inca to mark the solstice and determine the beginning and end of each agricultural year. After exploring Machu Picchu, relax and watch the clouds of mist roll in over the mountains or opt for an exhilarating hike up to the summit of Wayna Picchu for an unparalleled aerial view of the ruins. Return to Cusco this evening. Dinner on your own.
Overnight: Palacio del Inka (B, L)
This morning you will be met by Andean Discovery staff and transferred to the airport in time for your morning flight to Puerto Maldonado. Upon arrival in Puerto Maldonado, you will be met by staff from Refugio Amazonas and transfer to the Refugio’s headquarters in Puerto Maldonado, a 10-minute drive. Here there will be a safe place to leave any gear that you do not want to take into the jungle. Continue on to the Tambopata River Port located approximately 20 kilometers from Refugio Amazonas headquarters near the native community of Infierno. You will load up in 20-foot long roofed canoes with outboard motors and ride 2.5 hours to Refugio Amazonas, your cozy rainforest accommodations built on a 200-hectare private reserve of primary forest on the buffer zone of the Tambopata National Reserve. This evening explore along the river’s edge with your with headlamps and flashlights in search of black Caiman, which can grow up to 20-feet in length.
Overnight: Refugio Amazonas (B, L)
A morning hike takes you to one of the surrounding oxbow lakes where you will paddle around in a catamaran searching for the resident family of five giant river otters (seen by about 30% of lake visitors), and other lakeside wildlife such as caiman, hoatzin and horned screamers. Later this morning, a 30-minute walk from Refugio Amazonas leads to the 25-meter scaffolding canopy tower. A banister staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. The tower has been built upon high ground, therefore increasing your view of the continuous primary forest extending out towards the Tambopata National Reserve. The tower allows you access to the rare plant and animal species of the delicate treetop ecosystem. From here it is possible to observe toucans, macaws, and raptors among other species.
After lunch, travel 5-minutes downriver to visit a local Farm and Ethnobotanical Garden. The farm is owned and managed Don Manuel, a charismatic man from the neighboring community of Condenado. He grows a variety of popular and unknown Amazon crops – just about every plant and tree you see serve a purpose. He has also identified and cultivated many of the medicinal plants used in the region in a little backyard garden. Dinner at the lodge. Nightly lectures prepared by the staff of Refugio Amazonas cover conservation threats, opportunities, and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve.
Overnight: Refugio Amazonas (B, L, D)
After breakfast, you will take a 2-hour boat ride to the Chuncho Clay Lick for a chance to witness dozens of large macaws feeding on the special sodium rich clays of the riverbank. The Chuncho Clay Lick probably attracts more large macaws than any other clay lick in the world and the sight of dozens of macaws taking flight is truly unforgettable. The details of your stopover will depend on the weather and the amount of macaw activity, as the birds don’t visit the clay lick when it is raining. Later this morning return to the lodge for lunch. This afternoon you will explore the Brazil nut trail and camp located a few minutes hike from the lodge. This beautiful old growth patch of Brazil Nut forest has been harvested for decades (if not centuries) and as proof, you will find the precarious remains of a camp used two months a year by Brazil Nut gatherers. There will be a demonstration of the whole process of the rain forest’s only sustainably harvested product, from collection through transportation to drying. Dinner at the lodge.
Overnight: Refugio Amazonas (B, L, D)
Early this morning, retrace your river and road journey back to Puerto Maldonado and the Refugio Amazonas office to pick up any belongings. Transfer to the airport in Puerto Maldonado in time for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima, you will be greeted by Andean Discovery staff that will assist you with your check-in for your international flight.
Ideally located within Jorge Chavez International Airport, the Lima Airport Wyndham Hotel offers guests first class comfort and service.
A lodge tucked away in the rain forest and lighted by candles and kerosene lamps.
Los Portales Cusco Hotel is located in front of the Temple of the Sun 'Koricancha' and just four blocks from the Main Squar
El MaPi is the perfect base from which to explore Machu Picchu. The hotel's open design brings together a blend of classic, modern, restored, and recycled materials.
Fly over the mysterious Nazca Lines and explore Paracas National Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Natural Site. A boat trip to the Ballestas Islands offers great perspective of the desert coastline and up-close viewing of coastal birds, sea lions, and fur seals.
Hike on the Inca Trail to the lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu, on this epic one-day journey. Sleep in eco-lodges instead of camping.