This eco tour takes you high into the Peruvian Highlands and deep into the Amazon rainforest including iconic sites such as the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Machu Picchu and the world's largest clay lick in the Amazon rainforest. Travellers who want a breathtaking holiday, but who are also interested in giving back to local communities, will be attracted to this eco friendly tour. The trip benefits many local communities with the support of our local agents and uses hotels that have a lower impact on the environment. You will have the opportunity to learn about ecotourism projects and will leave Peru knowing that you have given back to the country. This wonderful combination of culture, iconic Machu Picchu and the diverse wildlife is ideal for older children.
Day 1 Depart the UK for your flight to Lima. On arrival you will be transferred to the Casa Andina Select, one of the newest hotels from this popular Peruvian chain. Situated in the upmarket area of Miraflores there are ample shops and restaurants nearby.
Day 2 Take the opportunity to visit downtown colonial Lima. Around the Main Square you will find the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Metropolitan City Hall. Visit the modern area of San Isidro and the upmarket area of Miraflores for fantastic views over the Pacific Ocean from the Parque del Amor (Park of Love). You may also with to visit the Larco Herrera Museum for an overview of more than five thousand years of Peruvian history.
Day 3 Morning flight to the Peruvian Highlands and the colonial city of Cuzco. At 3400m altitude you are likely to feel the effects of the thin mountain air so today is at leisure to relax and acclimatise. Inkaterra La Casona is a small boutique hotel and very intimate with just 11 suites and well located on the peaceful Plaza Las Nazarenas. Only a few minutes walk to the main attractions, but far enough to retain an atmosphere of calm within this vibrant city.
Day 4 Explore the city of Cuzco and nearby ruins. Sacsayhuaman Fortress, an important religious temple from the Inca era overlooks the city of Cuzco. Perhaps enjoy a horse ride to Qenqo. As you meander through the beautiful landscape take in the magnificent mountain scenery. You could also Puca Pucará and Tambomachay ruins before returning to the city. The city of Cuzco can easily be explored by foot. Visiting Koricancha (Temple of the Sun), the Main Square (Plaza de Armas) and the Cathedral. For a different perspective visit he quirky, artisan area of San Blas with its cobblestone streets and colonial white-washed houses with red tile roofs and wooden balconies.
Day 5 Full day visit to the Andean Community of Misminay, where the locals live in a traditional way. Their village, located at 3700m, has a fantastic scenic view of the Sacred Valley and snow-covered mountains. Houses are made from adobe and they raise guinea pigs (cuy), cattle and sheep. Depending on the season you will be able to plow or harvest the soil and enjoy a traditional lunch cooked by the villagers of Misminay with home grown ingredients. You can also watch the ladies making handicrafts – spinning, wool dyeing and tapestry. With the support of our local agent in Peru the 150 families in Misminay now benefit from clean drinking water provided through the filtration of rainwater. After the tour transfer to your lodge in the Sacred Valley, Sol y Luna.
Day 6 There is lots to explore in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You could visit the colourful Pisac market with the colours and traditions of the local people and Ollantaytambo’s narrow roads and Fortress. Further afield are the salt mines of Maras, operated since Incan times, and the semi circular terraces near Moray built in the natural landscape facing the Urubamba Valley.
Day 7 Transfer to Ollantaytambo train station for the Vistadome service to Aguas Calientes. As part of a group embark the bus for the switchback ride to the mountain and citadel of Machu Picchu, one of the most renowned examples of Inca architecture, surrounded by lush cloud forest. Afternoon transfer to Aguas Calientes and overnight at the luxurious Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo hotel set in 12 acres of tropical gardens.
Day 8 Free morning to return to the citadel of Machu Picchu (entrance fee not included). Buses operate from 6am. There is also the opportunity to climb Huanay Picchu the mountain overlooking the site. Afternoon transfer to the train station for the Vistadome train to Ollantaytambo or Poroy and transfer to Cuzco staying overnight at La Casona, as before.
Day 9 Take the short flight to Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon for your rainforest experience. Although Posada Amazonas is only a 45 minute trip from the town there is a huge variety of wildlife. Three nights is an ideal introduction to this unique environment whilst staying at a very comfortable base. All rooms have mosquito nets, private bathrooms with hot water and are constructed from natural, local materials. There is even a wellness centre where you can enjoy a massage. In the afternoon visit the 30 metre high canopy tower approximately 20 minutes from the lodge. From the platform you have spectacular views of the forest which is dissected by the Tambopata River. You may be able to view toucans, parrots or macaws flying nearby. After dinner, learn about the Infierno ecotourism project.
Day 10 Morning visit to Tres Chimbadas Oxbow located around thirty minutes by boat and a forty five minute hike from Posada Amazonas lodge. At the lake you will paddle around in a catamaram searching for the resident family of giant river otters along with other species such as caiman, hoatzin and horned screamers. Afternoon Ethnobotanical tour. Take a twenty minute boat trip downriver to the start of the Centro Ñape trail, a communal organization that produces medicine from forest plants. Walk the trail to learn more about the different medicinal uses. After dinner, there is an optional evening hike. A lot of animals are active at night but rarely seen. Surround yourself with the cacophony from the jungle inhabitants.
Day 11 Visit the clay lick, twenty minutes from the lodge. From around twenty metres away you can view dozens of parrots and parakeets who descend on clear mornings to ingest the river bank clay. The clay lick is most active at dawn where you can see species such as Mealy and Yellow- headed Amazon, Blue-headed Parrot and Dusky headed Parakeet. Later in the morning follow the Ceiba Trail for two hours to see the largest tree in the area – a giant ceiba tree. During the hike you will learn about the natural history of the area. Afternoon farm visit to the community of Infierno, around thirty minutes downriver from the lodge. In the garden, almost every plant and tree has a purpose and use.
Day 12 Return to the airport at Puerto Maldonado for the flight to Lima and overnight at the Casa Andina Select, as before. Perhaps spent the last night of your trip at La Rosa Nautica restaurant located on the pier with fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean.
Day 13 Free day in Lima for some final sightseeing or shopping before transferring to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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