15 Days - Andean Highlights - Best of Peru an Machu Picchu + Amazon Extension
Peru is vast territory and due its diverse geography, you will encounter a different microclimates, on its different regions. During the 15 days in Peru, you will be touring in Lima and colonial past which is in the Pacific line coast and after travel down south to Cusco. The magnificent Inca capital, will indulge you with its stone streets, superb valleys and the amazing Machu Picchu claimed by travellers as one of new seven Wonders of the World. The Andean highlights will continue with a journey even more down south East to Puno (a Folkloric Capital of the Aymara people), the Lake Titicaca and its artificial floating islands of Uros, Amantani & one island main terrain of Taquile. To complete this tour the Amazon extension will get you to stay in one of the most beautiful peruvian regions, the Amazon Rainforest. Named out of female greek warriors, the Amazon is a paradise place that will get captivate all your senses during your travel to Peru.
Price per person
Itinerary at a Glance
From your country to Lima, Peru (In-Flight Meals).
Lima City Tour
Arrive in Cusco
Open day at leisure
Grand citadel Machu Picchu! (B)
Cusco - Puno
Floating Uros and Taquile Islands.
Luquina Island - Puno (B)
Puno - Cusco (B)
Fly from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado (B, BL, D)
Oxbow Lake Visit (B, L, D)
Parrot Clay Lick
Transfer to Puerto Maldonado airport, fly to Lima (B)
Depart from Lima
Welcome to Lima, and to the Andean Highlights and Amazon Extension tour. Upon your arrival into Lima airport a representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel in Miraflores. You will relax most of this day on new surroundings, in fact Miraflores is a cosmopolitan town so you will encounter people from different nationalities.
We will pass in a private transport and collect you from your hotel after breakfast time. Your Andean Highlights and Amazon Extension tour will begin in Lima and cover the most representative districts. Starting in Miraflores, we will visiting an open archaeological site museum dated before the Inca times. This archeological complex called Pucllana, it will give you an understanding of the first settlers who were living in what we know these days as Lima. Afterwards, we will be heading to the old downtown to visit its some of its buildings dated from colonial times.
The city tour where you will show you key sites of Lima, such as:
- Huaca Pucllana (magnificent ceremonial and archaeological centre)
- The historic centre of Lima
- Colonial buildings (Plaza Mayor, the Government Palace, the Archbishop's Palace, the Cathedral, the City Hall)
- The Central bank Museum
- San Francisco
- The modern Lima
Once we have finished touring city of Lima, we will go back to your hotel and allow you to have a free time before embarking to the Capital of the Incas next morning.
Welcome to our Andean Highlights and Amazon Extension tour.
As soon as you arrive to the local Cusco airport, a Valencia Cusco representative will take care of you and transfer you to your hotel in the city centre.
At this stage, either you can enjoy the Inca city and colonial heritage on your own and provide you some tips to eat at some local restaurants. Or you might want to rest and wait until later on in the evening, when Cusco city shows off its night live. At night time, there is several places to have a delightful night and eat too.
This day is for you to explore Cusco at your own pace and know more about the Inca city. There is also an option available for this Andean Highlights and Amazon Extension tour. You can visit the Sacred Valley to an extra cost.
The Andean Highlights and Amazon Extension tour, has considered to show you the Sacred valley because is one of the most representative and beautiful landscapes of Cusco. As you know The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the most famous routes worldwide and begins at some point within this Sacred Valley.
We need to leave Cusco during the morning time at around 08:00 am and head towards Pisac village. We have choose this location as part of our Andean Highlights and Amazon Extension tour, because Pisac offers you a fantastic artisans market and a well preserved Inca architecture of the same name as the village. The artisans market is worthy to visit as all the hand made products are using organic materials, very well made and designed too.
After been in Pisac market, the Inca ruins in this valley of Pisac is awaiting our visit. We will head up on a private transport and to have also a panoramic view of this impressive and beautiful Sacred valley.
If visiting Pisac did charm you, then Ollantaytambo will not be less. We are leaving Pisac in direccion to Urubamba towards Ollantaytambo but before getting to our final destination, we will have a lunch break (not included) on the way.
Our Andean Highlights and Amazon Extension tour, to Ollantaytambo Inca site, shows you the magnificent temple of the sun. This Inca tour shows you also the enormous blocks of rock perfectly carved and polished, stone water fountains, stairs and terraces similar in a way to Machu Picchu.
Looking at the people of Ollantaytambo, you will notice, their pride in keeping their traditions reflected in their beautifully wearing of typical dresses. This village is surrounded by their local sacred mountains and Valleys.
Finished our journey to Ollantaytambo, we will be visiting Chinchero market and then return to Cusco at about 18:30-19:00 hours.
The night will be free to eat in a restaurant of your choice. Please ask the tour guide for restaurant suggestions for you should you require them.
Due its altitude, Cusco most of the times welcome us with its refreshing mornings so today it will not an exception. On early morning ( time to be confirmed) we leave Cusco to carry on with the part of our Andean Highlights and Amazon Extension tour. This time we are heading to the train station, to embark ourselves in an wonderful train journey.
The train journey will long last three and half of unforgettable hours in which you will surrounded by the panoramic andean valleys views. Once we have finished our train ride, the Andean Highlights and Amazon Extension tour will takes us to Aguas Calientes town.
Aguas Calientes is a town that has grew lately due its proximity to Machu Picchu and it has cafes, restaurants to choose from. The surroundings of this town are in the middle of a deep and green valley crossed by a river. If you decide to try the local natural hot springs can do so as you will not visit Machu Picchu until the following day.
We also suggest to do the following in Aguas Calientes:
Visit the Machu Picchu 'Manuel Chávez Ballón' museum and orchid exhibition. This is open from 9am to 4.30pm, and is a 35 minute walk down the road from Aguas Calientes to Puente Ruinas. It is a very illustrative museum that gives you an interesting introduction to Machu Picchu.
The Inca, the son of 'Inti' (The Sun) was allow to enter to the glory and enjoyment of his royal house, Machu Picchu. Today you will trace his steps and complete the whole Andean Highlights and Amazon Extension tour.
After taking your breakfast at 05:45 am we leave this town and get the first bus to Machu Picchu. The ride will take us around 20 minutes to get to the top of the hill. Our aim is to get to the ancient citadele when the sunrise over the city.
The first impression of Macchu Picchu is its fantastic location which mix very well with the whole nature around it. Very far away at the back the Andean mountains and snow peaks. The whole view it will just take your breath away that is for sure.
Our guide will give you a 2 hour guided over this Inca tour and after this you can explore the mysterious city by yourself.
If you have done the arrangements during your Andean Highlights and Amazon Extension tour, you will know that in order to climb the mountain of Huayna Picchu at 2.720m/8,890ft above the sea level, you will need a permit. To climb the Huayna Picchu mountain which is the one facing the ancient city, It takes around 45 minutes to reach the top.
Once you finish exploring the city or part of it, your guide will meet you in Aguas Calientes to have lunch and to receive your train tickets back to Cusco. The return to Cusco takes about four hours with a bus transfer in Ollantaytambo to Cusco.
Please note: allocations or Itineraries are subject to change depending on time of bookings and campsites provided by INC (National Culture Institute that runs the Inca Trail).
Today our journey of our Andean Highlights and Amazon Extension tour, will be at Puno. This morning we will pick you up from your hotel and drop off you to the bus station.
Puno a southeastern town of Peru, located on the shore of Titicaca lake, helds the legend of Manco Cápac and Mama Ocllo. The legend describe a couple who emerged from the waters of Titicaca lake wearing sophisticated gold, silver ornaments and vestments. Wiracocha send them to educate the local people on farming, textile, and ceramic. Eventually Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo left Puno in their next mission, to find a suitable and rich ground valleys to start their Empire, the Inca Empire.
The trip to Puno we will stopping at different locations, until we get to Puno city. Some of the locations are:
- Andahuaylillas: Sistine chapel of South America: this church is one of the most beautiful examples of Andean popular religious art.
- Raqchi (Wiracocha God Temple): This was an Inca church of monumental dimensions; 100 meters long, 26 meters wide and 14 meters high. The temple is divided in two naves and each nave shows 11 giant columns -
- La Raya: This is the halfway point between Cusco and Puno and also the highest point (4,335 meters above sea level). The landscapes here are stunning and typical Andean animals like the llama, alpaca and vicuña are common. It is also the geographic border between the two cultures - Quechua and Aymara.
- Pukara: This is the most important and oldest ceremonial center of the altiplano. There are interesting lite-sculptures and tombs.
At Punto town, we will pass the overnight in Puno.
Today, we have an early day to get on our Andean Highlights and Amazon Extension tour, as soon as you finish your early breakfast, we will collect you from the hotel and get to Titicaca lake port between 07:40 am and 08:00 am. At the Titicaca lake port, we will board a boat and sailing to the legendary Uros Islands.
At the moment you are sailing the lake, you will realise the enormous size of it which at some point it will play your judgment of the Titicaca lake source.
The Urus people do live in a traditional way, living from fishing, and handmade crafts, you will observe on this handmade floating reed islands. The Urus will show you around the floating village and also their hand made boats which are been used as their way of transporting their goods to main land or visiting nearby islands.
Finished our visit at the Uros island, we will continue our Andean Highlights and Amazon Extension tour, in a beautiful 3hr boat ride and reach Taquile Island. At Taquile island, we will split into smaller groups to share some time with the local families. They will offer us lunch and will entertain us with a traditional performance for the occasion of your visit.
There is also the opportunity to trek to the top of the island local mountain (4,150 m.a.s.l) to see the Temples of the Pachamama and Pachatata.
Later in the afternoon we will farewell the local families and back to the Island port and sailing to the peninsula Chucuito until we get to Luquina Karina island another local community. The local families will welcome us to their homes to spend the night with food and authentic music prepared by them. Karina community has the white sand beach of Lake Titicaca which means activities like fishing, farming can be experienced and shared with us.
Overnight: Luquina Island
It has been an amazing experience on this side of the Andean highlights of this tour, sharing some time with the Karian community and learn their ways of living. After having our breakfast, we will give a farewell to the local families and take our boat towards the port of Puno. We will be sailing for approximately two hours until we arrive to mainland and back to your hotel after 5:00pm.It has been an amazing experience on this side of the Andean highlights of this tour, sharing some time with the Karian community and learn their ways of living. After having our breakfast, we will give a farewell to the local families and take our boat towards the port of Puno. We will be sailing for approximately two hours until we arrive to mainland and back to your hotel after 5:00pm.
This is our last day in Puno an unique place, people, landscapes, food and traditions that we have enjoyed so far within this Andean highlights route.
Finished your breakfast, we will transfer you from the hotel to the bus station to return to Cusco. Once you arrive to the Inca city a Valencia representative will lead you to your Hotel.
This time our Andean Highlights and Amazon Extension tour will take to one side of the peruvian jungle. You will get transfer to the local airport and fly to Puerto Maldonado.
At your arrival to Puerto Maldonado airport one of our representatives will welcome you and drive you to our headquarters. We will organise your travel boat trip to our lodge in the jungle but before that you need to take the necessary stuff with you and travel light. You can leave any luggage in our safe deposit and collect this in at your return. This helps us keep the boats and cargo light.
Once we are ready, we will leave our office and skirting Puerto Maldonado, and drive 20 kilometers to the Tambopata River Port. We will be entering the Native Community of Infierno and before sailing we will get here some snack.
At soon we leave the river port a sensation of excitement will surround us because we are finally getting in our Amazon extension tour. We will be exploring a fraction of this amazing territory, which are the lungs of the planet. We will be travelling for around forty five minute on a boat ride from the Tambopata Port to Posada Amazonas which is one the community´s primary forest private reserve.
Upon arrival to Posada Amazonas, the lodge manager, will welcome you and take care of you with important information security tips during your staying in the jungle of this Amazon extension tour.
Most of the staff working at the Amazon lodge are biologists, tourism professionals in conservation, or local community members experts on keeping the forest clean. We assign one guide, (all of them are speaking English, unless otherwise requested other language) for a group of ten people and unless is smaller than ten people will be merged with other groups to reach the total. If you would like a private guide with specific requirements please let us know.
To begin our Amazon extension tour, we can visit a canopy tower which is a twenty minute walk from Posada Amazonas. We will find the tower that leads to the 30 meter scaffolding and a banister staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. From the top, you get a spectacular views of the vast standing forest cut by the Tambopata River winding through the middle. We will see and hear toucans, parrots or macaws flying against the horizon or flocks of mixed species land in the treetop next to you.
At night time, our Amazon extension tour, is about searching for caimans at the river edge with headlamps so we notice their red gleams of reflection from the caiman eyes. We will not disturb the animals, we are aiming to have an idea of their behaviour and share this natural experience.
Dinner will be included during your staying at the lodge.
After Breakfast, our Amazon extension tour will be at the ‘Oxbow Lake’ to watch some wildlife animals. The lake, is thirty minutes by boat and forty five minutes hiking from Posada Amazonas.
Once we get to the Oxbow Lake, some safety measures will be given and there you go, you will get onto a paddle boat. You will be paddling 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. Otters are most active from dawn to 8 or 9 AM.
Another activities on your Amazon extension tour, to do near the lodge in this day are visiting the Canopy tower, or visit nearby a local farm. The local farm is owned and managed by charismatic Don Manuel from the neighbouring community of Condenado. He grows a variety of plants, trees and unknown Amazon crops thats serves a unique curative purpose.
On our Amazon extension tour, we can also experience the 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. We will learn about some medicinal plants such as: Ajo-Sacha, Yuca de Venado, Uña de Gato (cancer curative), Charcot-Sacha, Para-Para, among several others. The staff will be kind in explaining us the different medicinal uses of selected plants.
The nightly lectures prepared by the staff of Refugio Amazonas cover conservation threats, opportunities and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve.
Today we will carry on with a numerous of activities of our Amazon extension tour.
We leave Posada Amazonas for a boat ride, to a blind located spot. At 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. A huge variety of species such as Mealy and Yellow- headed Amazon, Blue-headed Parrot and Dusky headed Parakeet descend at this clay lick. The clay lick is active at dawn during the late mornings and mid-afternoons.
During The Amazon extension tour there will be a hiking activity to get more views of the rainforest. The lodge excellent location, allow us to do a hiking nearby and get to see a beautiful old growth patch of Brazil Nut forest. The Brazil nut, has been harvested for decades (if not centuries), where the precarious remains of a camp used two months out of the year by Brazil Nut gatherers can still be experienced. We will be demonstrating the whole process of the rainforests only sustainably harvested product from collection, transportation to drying.
Our next activity for this the Amazon extension tour, will be the Mammal Clay Lick. Close by the Refugio Amazonas, is a peccary clay lick. These wild rain forest pigs show up in herds of five to twenty individuals to eat clay during the late morning. Chances of spotting them are around 15% but well worth the short hike. Other wildlife also show up including deer, guan and parakeets.
Finally, our Amazon extension tour, will give us the option of hiking out at night, when most of the mammals are active but difficult to see. Easier to find are frogs with shapes and sounds as bizarre as their natural tales.
It was fantastic time to share our Amazon extension tour, with you and pass now this experiences to your friends and family. Finished your breakfast, you will get transfer by boat from our Refugio Amazonas to Tambopata River Port and after to Puerto Maldonado Headquarters to collect any of your belongings.
Once you get to Puerto Maldonado Headquarters a staff member will escort you to the local airport for you to get on your flight back to Lima (according to your airline schedule). Once in Lima, you can spend most the evening time at your leisure.
End of services.
The remaining of the mid-morning is your leisure time.
After breakfast a representative will collect you from your hotel and take you back to the airport for you to take your international flight. End of our services.
- All ground and River transportation
- Domestic flights (Lima- Cusco / Cusco - Puerto Maldonado / Puerto Maldonado-Lima)
- All accommodations (10 night room at 3 star hotels, 1 night at the Home Stay and 3 nights at Refugio Amazonas Lodge)
- Meals: (As described in the above itinerary)
- City tour in Lima
- Home stay on Titicaca Lake
- 4 Day trip to Puerto Maldonado + Entrance fees
- Guided tour in Machu Picchu
- Round trip train tickets to Machu Picchu with Inca Rail Company
- Round trip bus tickets from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
- Tour leader during whole trip.more details.
Price Not Includes
- International airfares
- Additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations
- Single supplement 630 for the entire trip (for solo travelers or the odd numbered person in your group).
- Extra: Departure transfer USD 50 per person in Lima or Puno to Juliaca
- Meals where not otherwise stated
- Entrance fee to the hot springs (US$ 5 each)
- Optional tours: Sacred valley (USD 45), Maras Moray (USD 40) + entrance fees (USD 25)
- Optional: Climb up the Wayna Picchu Mountain at Machu Picchu (US$45).