From the Inca and colonial magnificence of the city of Cusco, we journey to the Sacred Valley of the Incas - with its incomparable Andean scenery, archaeological treasures and traditional village communities - and on to Machu Picchu. This timeless city lost for more than four centuries in the dense, fauna-rich forest that surrounds it still is undoubtedly the most emblematic attraction in the Americas.
Leaving the realm of the Incas, we travel into the Amazon basin, to the Tambopata National Reserve, one of the most biologically diverse regions on the planet and the setting for our Ecolodge.
We will pick you up from the airport, and we will transfer to your hotel in Lima.
Cusco, the oldest continuously inhabited city on the continent, lies in exceptionally beautiful Andean countryside and its legacy as the hub of the Inca Empire is readily apparent: most of the city streets are lined with Inca-built stone walls and crowded with Quechua-speaking descendants of the Incas.
At the colorful markets of the valley you will be able to buy Peruvian crafts, jewelry and textiles, and see the traditional produce market where local people trade. Pisaq market is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and Chinchero market is open on Sundays.
Ollantaytambo is the only surviving example of Inca urban planning. Our tour will include a visit to the agricultural areas around the village, the irrigation system, granaries and the fortress-temple.
Machu Picchu remains intact because it was never discovered by the invading Spanish. Constructed on a high, forested mountain overlooking the Urubamba River, Machu Picchu was lost in time and dense foliage until it was rediscovered in 1911. Our guides will carefully explain the history of this unique place and guide us around its terraces, temples, palaces and watercourses.
Day 5: Machu Picchu Free day
This is an opportunity to explore the ruins independently, before returning to Cusco by train in the afternoon.
The Amazon rainforest produces 20% of the world's oxygen and 10% of the world's freshwater flows along its river systems and into the Atlantic Ocean. Of the species that exist in the Amazon more than 25,000 plants have been identified, as well as 4,300 species of birds and 20,000 animals.
The Tambopata National Reserve (TNR) covers an area of 274,690 hectares and borders the the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park, forming a protected area of 1091416 hectares.
The many studies of the fauna and flora along the Tambopata River reveal an incredible abundance of life forms. The ecosystems of this part of southeastern Peru are the most diverse on the planet, and within the territory of our Ecolodge we are able to offer our guests endless opportunities for the observation of the rainforest's diverse fauna and flora.
The Tambopata Ecolodge is situated on the banks of the Tambopata River in the heart of the Tambopata National Reserve (TNR). The remoteness and tranquility of our lodge make for a richly rewarding visit to the rainforest. But, with a location just four hours from Cusco (a thirty-minute commercial flight, transfer to the river port and a three-hour boat ride to the lodge), our Ecolodge is one of the most accessible rainforest destinations in Latin America.
Flight to Puerto Maldonado and journey to the lodge:
You will be met at the airport by your naturalist guide and transferred to a dugout canoe for the trip up the Tambopata River to the lodge. The Tambopata Ecolodge is situated in the heart of the Tambopata National Reserve. The remoteness and tranquility of our lodge make for a richly rewarding visit to the rainforest. In the late afternoon you will set off for an introductory walk into the forest behind the lodge. Frequently seen mammals on this trail are saddle-back tamarinds, brown capuchins and agoutis.
A family of giant otters lives in the vicinity of the lake and are often observed. Birds abound, especially rufescent tiger-herons, great egrets, wattled jacanas, hoatzin, the noisy donacobius and many others. The afternoon is for exploring the forest close to the lodge (with or without your guide), relaxing and bathing in the cool stream beside the lodge, or visiting our tree platforms.
A dawn start is required for the canoe trip back to Puerto Maldonado. Look out for the early morning wildlife, which is particularly active at this time. Your guide will deal with all the formalities at the airport prior to your departure.
Return flight to Lima. End of services.