Day 1 - Arrival in Lima
Direct flight to Lima on a Friday, arriving the same day in the evening, and staying for 2 nights.
Day 2 - Tour of Lima
Afternoon tour of the city including the historic centre. Visit the Presidential Palace, Plaza San Martín and the Larco Herrera Museum, with a fabulous collection of ancient artefacts from all over Peru.
Day 3 - Lima at leisure
One day at leisure to enjoy the art galleries, parks and excellent local restaurants.
Day 4 - Flight to Iquitos
Transfer to the airport for a flight to Iquitos, an area in the Amazon Basin only accessible by air. Transfer to the Aria luxury riverboat, and embark on a four night journey exploring the rainforest along the river, with daily excursions with expert naturalist guides.
Built in 2011 and fully renovated in 2015, the Aria Amazon exceeds the expectations of today’s most sophisticated travellers. Generous dining and lounging areas include an outdoor river facing jacuzzi, bar and dining room. Floor-to-ceiling windows give amazing views over the river from all of the 16 air-conditioned suites, each with a sitting area and en-suite bathroom. Beds can be made up as twins or double. Four of the cabins have interconnecting doors for families. The ship also has an observation deck and massage room. The 27 crew include a paramedic and four English speaking naturalist guides.
Day 5 - Yarapa River
Venture to the Yarapa River by skiff to spot tropical birds and sloths, and perhaps try some piranha fishing. Dusk wildlife excursion on Nauta Caño.
Day 6 - Pacaya & Ucayali Rivers
Up early this morning as we explore the Pacaya River and admire the vastness of the surrounding rainforest. After lunch, we venture out on skiffs on the Ucayali River to the port of Requena. Possibility to observe pink river dolphins from the boat.
Day 7 - Amazon Community
Today you can choose a jungle walk, canoeing or swimming in the Yarapa River. We visit a remote Amazonia village in the afternoon.
Day 8 - Amazon Market & Manatee Rescue Centre
Explore the Bellavista Nanay morning market, where we sample exotic snacks like ‘Suri’ - Amazon caterpillars. Disembark the Aria Amazon and visit the Manatee Rescue Centre, then continue to the airport for flight to Cusco via Lima. Transfer to your hotel in the Sacred Valley, staying for three nights.
Days 9-10 Exploring Sacred Valley of the Incas
Two days of excursions in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, visiting the Inca village of Ollantaytambo with its hillside fortress, Pisac ruins and the colourful market where local farmers trade their produce and shops offer local weavings in soft alpaca wool. Next day visit the local market and weavers collective at Chinchero, the concentric circular Inca crop laboratory at Moray and the Ancient salt pans at Maras, with a leisurely walk down into the valley.
Day 11 - Machu Picchu
Depart on the Vistadome train along bank of the Urubamba River, leading to Machu Picchu, dubbed the Lost City of the Incas when it was re-discovered in 1911. Guided tour of the archaeological site, a city of aqueducts with crystal clear waters, of liturgical fountains and of walkways once home to priests, craftsmen, peasants and servants. Lunch and afternoon to explore.
Day 12 - Free time at Machu Picchu
Overnight at a hotel in town. The morning is free to explore. You may wish to climb Huayna Picchu, a steep climb but well worth it for the fantastic views of the valley and a different perspective of Machu Picchu. Alternatively, there is a gentle climb, back along the Inca Trail, to Intipunku: the Gate of the Sun, and the first sight one has of the complex if walking the Inca Trail. In the afternoon, take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes and then return on the Vistadome train to Cusco, staying for three nights.
Day 13 - Cusco's Inca & Colonial heritage
The former Inca capital Cusco is a treasure trove of ancient history, where Inca and colonial heritage converge to create a unique city. We visit the Spanish-era Cathedral, and Qorikancha (Temple of the Sun), once the most important temple in the whole Inca empire, it was then symbolically built over by the Conquistadors, with only a small part of the original structure remaining. Continue to the nearby Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman, where huge pieces of stone fit together with such precision that no cement is required.
Day 14 - Free time in Cusco
Today you have some free time to wander around the city and perhaps visit some wonderful museums.
Days 15-16 - Return home via Lima
Afternoon flight to Lima, connecting with your return flight home, arriving on Day 16
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website