DESCRIPTIVE ITINERARY

EXPLORING PERU # 3     12 Days / 11 Nights
Lima, Amazon Adventure at Posada Amazonas, Cusco, Maras Salt Pools and Authentic Quechua Village,
Pisac Indian Market and Ollantaytambo Fortress, Machu Picchu
 


Departures: Weekly. Itineraries are flexible.

Day 1 - Arrival in Lima
Upon arrival at the airport a host will meet and assist you in transferring to the hotel and help you in registering.

Day 2 Lima
Breakfast at your hotel. In the afternoon City Tour of Lima and Larco Museum - This half day tour visits both the colonial and modern sections of this "City of Kings." Colonial sites include the lovely Plaza de Armas with its cathedral and palace, and the exquisite Torre Tagle Palace modern day seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In modern Lima, drive along the exclusive residential areas of Miraflores and San Isidro. Continue to the Larco Museum, founded in 1926, it showcases remarkable chronological galleries providing an excellent overview on 3000 years of development of Peruvian pre-Columbian history. Located in a unique vice-royal mansion of the 18th century built over a 7th century pre-Columbian pyramid, is surrounded by beautiful gardens. Features the finest gold and silver collection from Ancient Peru and the famous erotic archaeological collection, one of the most visited Peruvian tourist attractions.(B)

Day 3 Lima / Puerto Maldonado / Posada Amazonas
Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Puerto Maldonado.
Upon arrival from Lima, we will welcome you at the airport and drive you ten minutes to our Puerto Maldonado headquarters. While enjoying your first taste of the forest in our gardens we will ask you to pack only the necessary gear for your next few days, and leave the rest at our safe deposit. This helps us keep the boats and cargo light. Puerto Maldonado to Tambopata River Port. Skirting Puerto Maldonado, we drive 20 kilometers to the Tambopata River Port, entering the Native Community of Infierno. The port is a communal business. Boxed Lunch.
Tambopata River Port to Posada Amazonas. The forty five minute boat ride from the Tambopata Port to Posada Amazonas will take us into the Community´s Primary Forest Private Reserve.
Orientation. Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips.
A twenty minute walk from Posada Amazonas leads to the 30 meter scaffolding canopy tower. A bannistered staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. From atop you obtain spectacular views of the vast expanses of standing forest cut by the Tambopata River winding through the middle. Now and then toucans, parrots or macaws are seen flying against the horizon, or mixed species canopy flocks land in the treetop next to you. Dinner. Ecotourism Lecture. A daily presentation on the Infierno ecotourism project is available every night from a staff member. Overnight in Posada Amazonas.
(B,L,D)

Day 4 Posada Amazonas
Breakfast. Tres Chimbadas Oxbow Lake: Tres Chimbadas is thirty minutes by boat and forty five minutes hiking from Posada Amazonas. Once there you will paddle around the lake in a catamaran, searching for the resident family of nine giant river otters (seen by 60% of our lake visitors) and other lakeside wildlife such as caiman, hoatzin and horned screamers.
Parrot clay lick: This clay lick is only a twenty minute walk from Posada Amazonas. From a blind located about twenty meters away you will see dozens of parrots and parakeets descend on most clear mornings to ingest the clay on a river bank. Species such as Mealy and Yellow- headed Amazon, Blue-headed Parrot and Dusky headed Parakeet descend at this clay lick. The clay lick is most active at dawn and during the late mornings and mid-afternoons. Lunch.
Ethnobotanical Tour: A twenty minute boat drive downriver leads you to a trail designed by the staff of the Centro Ñape. The Centro Ñape is a communal organization that produces medicines out of forest plants and administers them to patients who choose their little clinic. They have produced a trail which explains the different medicinal (and other) uses of selected plants.
Dinner. Night walk. You will have the option of hiking out at night, when most of the mammals are active but rarely seen. Much easier to find are frogs with shapes and sounds as bizarre as their natural histories. Overnight in Posada Amazonas
. (B,L,D)

Day 5 Posada Amazonas / Puerto Maldonado / Cusco
Breakfast. Transfer Boat - Posada Amazonas to Tambopata River Port. Transfer Tambopata River Port to Pto Maldonado Headquarters. Transfer Pto Maldonado Headquarters - Airport. We retrace our river and road journey back to Puerto Maldonado for our flight to Cusco. Upon arrival at the airport a host will meet and assist you in transferring to the hotel and help you in registering. (B)

Day 6 Cusco
Breakfast at your hotel. Tour of Cusco and its Ruins - This afternoon's tour of the oldest continuously inhabited city in the western hemisphere includes important landmarks of enchanting Cusco and also the nearby ruins of Kenko, Puca-pucara, Tambomachay as well as the Sacsayhuaman fortress. Once the center of the Inca civilization, modern Cusco is a delightful combination of Inca and colonial architecture. During the tour, you will visit Cusco's Cathedral, Santo Domingo Church and the Plaza de Armas. (B)

Day 7 - Cusco / Sacred Valley
Breakfast at your hotel. Full Day Excursion to Moray, Maras and Quechuas (Daily) Pass through unspoiled and picturesque Andean communities on your way to the Incan agricultural experimental center of Moray, famous for its sunken amphitheater, made up of four circular terraces, which appear to fade away into the earth like an artificial crater. The site was apparently an Inca agricultural research station filled with fertile earth and watered by complex irrigation systems, designed for experimenting with crops at various altitudes (some of which run down to depths of 100 meters).
Continue to the impressive Maras salt pools formed by water emerging from a lake inside a mountain in the Urubamba Valley. An amazing view of evaporating ponds for the extraction of salt. Learn about ancestral techniques, which are still used, in agricultural, irrigation and salt-recollection tasks, as well as in Andean festivals and rites. After lunch, visit an authentic Quechua Village to feel the way of life of the Inca's ancestors. The Inca himself was a noble Quechua. They live off the land and are always wearing their colorful ponchos, see Quechua children scamper about while woman are weaving their family's clothes. A meaningful experience! (B,L).

Day 8 - Sacred Valley
Breakfast at your hotel. Full Day Excursion to the Pisac Indian Market and the Ollantaytambo Fortress (Daily) -Morning departure for a drive through the fertile countryside to the colonial village of Pisac. During your visit to the bustling marketplace you will have the opportunity to bargain with the natives for many different types of Peruvian handicrafts and jewelry. After lunch the tour continues to the village of Ollantaytambo for a visit to its impressive Inca fortress.(B,L)

Day 9 Sacred Valley / Machu Picchu
Breakfast at your hotel. Excursion to Machu Picchu with overnight stay - Early wake up for a train ride through the sacred valley of Urubamba to the "Lost City of the Incas," Machu Picchu. Perched 8,200 feet above the valley, it was hidden by mountains and semi-tropical jungles for 400 years until discovered by Hiram Bingham of Yale University in 1911. Archaeologists believe that the Inca "Virgins of the Sun" took refuge from the Spanish Conquistadors here. Guided tour of the ruins and lunch are included. (B,L).

Day 10 Machu Picchu / Cusco
Breakfast at your hotel. Free morning to enjoy one of the most incredible sights on earth, the ruins of Machu Picchu. Take as much time as you need to study the mysterious ruins, hike Huayna Picchu, stroll to the Inca Bridge or walk toward the Inca Trail to find the legendary Sun Gate. Afternoon shuttle bus to the train station for your return trip to Cusco. Upon arrival transfer frm rail station to hotel. (B)

Day 11 Cusco
Breakfast at your hotel. Free day in Cusco for independent activities - Wandering through this lovely city, exploring the astonishing narrow streets of this tile roof colonial town will be your unforgettable experience. Great buys are the traditional Peruvian handicrafts, alpaca-wool sweaters and rugs, ponchos, pottery, gold and silver jewelry, leather goods, etc. Because there is such a variety of products, we strongly suggest that when you like any particular item, you should buy it - you may not find the same item in other store. (B)

Day 12 Cusco / Lima / Home
Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer from hotel to the airport for your flight to Lima and then take your connecting flight to home. (B)

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Departures: Weekly. Itineraries are flexible.
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