Day 1: Monday, June 20-City Lima International Airport Arrival
Arrival at Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima and transfer to hotel. No meal today since most flights don’t arrive from the USA until after dinner time. Overnight in Casa Andina Select Hotel, Lima. T +51 (1) 416-7500
Day 2: Tuesday, June 21–City tour Lima / Dinner – Show at Dama Juana
Breakfast at the hotel (Every Morning). Depart hotel for city tour at 9:00A.M. The excursion usually begins with a stop along the Malecón in Miraflores and the Antoni Gaudí-inspired Parque del Amor and the famous sculpture by Victor Delfín of the lover’s embrace. On our way to the historic city center, we’ll make a quick stop by the Huaca Pucllana, a massive adobe brick pyramid built by the Lima Culture between 200 and 600 C.E. (Common Era). We will do a walking tour of the Lima center, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, and visit the San Francisco Church, including its famous catacombs. Finally, we will have a guided tour of the Gold Museum, with its magnificent collection of Pre-Columbian gold artifacts, textiles and Conquest-era weapons. Afternoon free to have lunch on your own and rest. Dinner and dance show in the evening at the Dama Juana Restaurant. Overnight in Lima. (B) (D)
Day 3: Wednesday, June 22–Lima/Cusco – Sacred Valley
7:30 departure from hotel to transfer to the airport in time for 10:25A flight (LA2021) to Cuzco. Upon arrival at 11:55A, we will drive to the famous Andean market town of Pisac and find lunch (independent) in one of the many restaurants. After lunch, we will visit the sprawling Inca ruins of Pisac perched on the mountain above. After the visit, transfer to our hotel, the Sonesta Posadas del Inca-Sacred Valley-Yucay. (2,870 m 9,416 ft) Dinner and overnight in the Sacred Valley. (B) (D) T +184.108.40.2067
Day 4: Thursday, June 23–Maras, Moray & Chinchero
After breakfast, we will depart at 9:00A.M and head to the Maras salt pans, a stunning ancient patchwork of terraced pools filled with mineral-rich water that cascades down the side of the Qaqawiñay Mountain. Since before the advent of the Inca Empire, the local inhabitants here have tended the Maras salterns, producing salt by evaporation. You can climb down, treading along the crystalline-encrusting ridges of the pools while receiving a detailed explanation of the ancient salt production process.
From Maras it is a short drive to Quechuyuc Muyu, the central Inca terraced monument of Moray. Inca civil engineers constructed the geometric landscape masterpiece from giant natural sink holes during the 15th and early 16th centuries. Covering 92 acres, the four terraced amphitheaters — known as Muyus — range from 130 to nearly 400 feet in diameter. The agricultural terraces were fed by a complex drip irrigation system, the remains of which are clearly visible today. Small holding reservoirs, hydraulic channels and carved stone “paqcha” conduits controlled the flow of natural spring water to a mathematically precise trickle. Prevailing scientific theory holds that the Inca tested their crop varieties on Moray’s ancient terraces, which today are known locally as “the greenhouse of the Inca.”
Then we visit the traditional Andean village of Chinchero located in the highlands of Anta. Chinchero is built around one of Cusco’s best preserved Inca archaeological sites, with a classic colonial church, and a colorful market in which locals continue age-old tradition of “bartering” goods. Since lunch stops are fairly sparse, we will be given a box lunch during the excursion. Dinner and overnight in the Sacred Valley. (B) (BL) (D)
Day 5: Friday, June 24–Ollantaytambo Fortress / El Albergue Restaurant / Aguas Calientes
Today at 9:00 A.M. we will set off to Ollantaytambo, one of the longest continually inhabited towns in the Americas, constructed at the foot of a spectacular Inca ruins. Our guide will take us up its 17 agricultural terraces that lead steeply up the side of a hill to a massive stone Sun Temple. The ruins are referred to as a fortress, garden citadel. It’s construction is attributed to the 9th Sapa Inca Pachacutec, who conquered the territory and then built the town and temple as one of his royal estates. The name of the town and the archaeological area is owed to Cacique Ollanta, who, according to legend, was Inca Pachacutec’s greatest general until he fell out of favor for falling in love with one of the ruler’s daughters.
Lunch today features a traditional Pachamanca celebration at the Ollantay Albergue’s farm. Similar to a Hawaiian luau, Pachamanca comes from the Quechua words “Pacha” (meaning earth) and Manca, (meaning “pot”). It ties together the spiritual connection that Andean people have to the land and their food. It is also a delicious feast.
After lunch we will take the train to Aguas Calientes. Late afternoon arrival at the train station in Aguas Calientes and transfer to the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel. Afternoon and evening free to explore the town markets and to find dinner (independent). Overnight in Aguas Calientes and the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel. (B) (L) T +51 1 610 0400
Day 6: Saturday, June 25–Machu Picchu
This morning we will leave the hotel at 8:00A.M to take one of the shuttle buses to Machu Picchu (2430 m, 7972 ft.), the Lost City of the Inca, ascending up a series of switchbacks to reach the iconic ruins. The excursion includes the tour of the citadel, visiting the main plaza, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Sundial, the royal quarters and the Temple of the Three Windows. After the tour, you have the rest of the day free to walk around the complex at your own pace and/or climb one of the mountains for a better view. Also included is a buffet lunch in the Sanctuary Lodge’s restaurant, adjacent to the Inca sanctuary. Independent return to Aguas Calientes on one of the shuttle buses. Overnight in Aguas Calientes and the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel. (B) (L)
Day 7: Sunday, June 26–Aguas Calientes / Cuzco
9:55 departure from hotel to take the 10:55 train to Cuzco (3400 m, 11,200 ft.). Upon arrival, transfer and check into Costa del Sol Hotel. Afternoon, excursion to tour the megalithic ruins on the outskirts of the city, stopping at the Inca ritual site of Quenqo, the water temple of Tambomachay, the customs house of Puca Pucara and the impressive temple fortress of Sacsayhuaman, built strategically above the city of Cuzco. It’s famous for its enormous stone blocks, fitted with incredible precision to form the three-tiered zig-zagging external walls of the complex. Some of the stones stand 9 meters high and weigh more than 350 tons. Some free time in the late afternoon, dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Cuzco and the Costa del Sol Hotel. (B) (D) T +51 084 252330
Day 8: Monday, June 27–Cusco
9:00A.M. departure for morning exploration of the city of Cuzco and witness the vestiges our Inca culture and the vast changes that took place after the Spanish Conquest. We will visit the main plaza, the Cathedral, and the Temple of the Sun or Koricancha. Afternoon free to explore the city on your own, shop or just relax. In the evening, we will convene for a group dinner at a highly rated local restaurant. Overnight in Cuzco and the Costa del Sol Hotel. (B) (D)
Day 9: Tuesday, June 28–Cusco-Puno
8:30A.M. departure for transfer to the city of Puno (3,860 m, 12,074 ft). During the journey we pass the Lake of Wacarpay, offering spectacular views of snow capped mountains reflected in its tranquil waters.
Near the lake we visit the Pre-Inca citadel of Pikillacta, Quechua for “City of the Thumbs.” It’s one of the most impressive sites built by the Wari culture, consisting of more than 700 structures, with walls almost 12 meters high. We continue to the picaresque town of Andahuaylillas, where we visit the temple of Saint Peter of Andahuaylillas, also known as the Sistine Chapel of the Americas for its rich colonial artworks and painted murals that cover the walls, arches, entranceways and ceilings.
Further on we stop at Archí, where we visit the spectacular sanctuary built by the Inca Pachacútec, dedicated to the sun god Wiracocha. It has a grand central stone wall, with other walls built from adobe bricks. Around the temple you’ll find a multitude of ancient buildings that were used as houses or storerooms. About 70 kilometers later we reach the pass of La Raya, the highest point of the journey at 4400 meters above sea level, where you can spot herds of vicuñas and llamas.
We then travel along the Collao plateau, stopping at the town of Ayaviri, an important cattle and textile center, where we visit the temple of Kalasaya, belonging to the ancient Pucara culture. We stop for a buffet lunch in a rustic rural setting where we can sample the culinary delights of the region. We arrive in Puno in the afternoon, and then you’re transferred to Casa Andina Hotel. Overnight in Puno and the Casa Andina Hotel. (B) (L) T +51 (51) 363-992
Day 10: Wednesday, June 29, Puno / Floating Islands of Uros / Island of Taquile
Departure from hotel at 7:35A.M At 8:00A.M. we will embark on a boat tour of the islands on the world’s highest navigable lake. The first stop is the Floating Islands of Los Uros. Since pre-Inca times, the Andean inhabitants have lived in their man-made floating communities, fashioned from Scirpus Totora reeds, stacked dozens of meters deep. They also use the reeds to build their houses and boats. We will continue to Taquile, inhabited by Quechua speakers who have developed, generation after generation, an efficient and original social system, and their own magnificent textile techniques. After lunch at a local tavern on Taquile we will explore the hillsides and archaeological sites. In the evening we return you to Puno. Overnight in Puno and the Casa Andina Hotel. (B) (L)
Day 11: Thursday, June 30–Puno / Sillustani / Lima / Nasca
8:30 A.M.transfer to Lima. On the way to the airport in Juliaca we will make a quick detour to visit the burial towers of Sillustani. The famous cylindrical stone structures were first built by the Aymara people to entomb their high priests, and were then used by the Inca to bury their nobles. Umayo Lake, in front of the “chullpas” only adds to the beauty of the site. Depart Juliana Airport at 13:20, (LA2096)arrive Lima at 15:00. In the airport, a coach will be waiting to transfer us to Nasca city; we will have dinner en route in Chincha city. Arrival and overnight in Casa Andina Classic Nasca Hotel. (B) (D) T +51 (56) 523-563 (B) (D).
Day 12: Friday, July 1–Nasca / Nasca Lines / Paracas
9:00 A.M. departure from hotel. First we will fly over the enigmatic Nazca Lines, etched into the Pampas of San Jose e Ingenio. These huge Figures represent animals and other geometric figures. The Nazca culture developed ingenuous irrigation techniques, not only with river water but also using underground water through subterranean canals or aqueducts. After flight, lunch in Nasca. After lunch, transfer to the hotel in Paracas city. Overnight in La Hacienda Bahia Paracas (B) (L) T +511 2131010.
Day 13: Saturday, July 2–Paracas / Paracas Natural Reserve / Lima, End of Tour Options
7:40AM Transfer to the Tourist Marina Dock for a 08:00AM tour to Ballestas Islands, followed by a delicious sea food lunch at Wayra Restaurant Paracas. Then, you will have a tour to Paracas Natural Reserve; these islands are rocky formations that shelter sea lions, Humboldt Penguins, dolphins and a wide variety of resident and migratory birds. It has a rich biodiversity, including 160 fish species, 216 bird species and 25 types of dolphins and whales. At 16:00PM we continue our return to Lima arriving in the early evening either at the airport for your late night return flight to the US or to the Casa Andina Select Hotel, if staying for the Amazon Rain Forest Excursion. (B) (L)
Day 14: Sunday, July 3–Amazon Rain Forest Option / Puerto Maldonado
After breakfast, 7:00A.M. transfer to the airport in time for flight to Puerto Maldonado. Depart Lima Airport at 9:40 AM, arrive Puerto Maldonado at 12:40 PM (LA2075)
Upon arrival from Lima we will be welcomed at the airport and driven ten minutes to the Puerto Maldonado headquarters. While enjoying our first taste of the forest in the gardens we will be asked to pack only the necessary gear for the next few days, and leaving the rest at a safe deposit. This helps keep the boats and cargo light.
Transfer Puerto Maldonado Headquarters 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.
Transfer Boat – Tambopata River Port to Refugio Amazonas: The two and a half hour boat ride from the Tambopata Port to Refugio Amazonas will take us past the Community of Infierno and the Tambopata National Reserve´s checkpoint and into the buffer zone of this 1.3 million hectare conservation unit. Boxed Lunch
Orientation: Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips.
After Dinner we will be out at the river’s edge at night, scanning the shores with headlamps and flashlights to catch the red gleams of reflection from caiman eyes.
Overnight at Refugio Amazons (B) (D)
Day 15: Monday, July 4–Puerto Maldonado
After breakfast, Oxbow Lake Visit: We will paddle around the lake on a canoe or a catamaran, looking for lakeside wildlife such as hoatzin, caiman and hornerd screamers, hoping to see the otters which are infrequently seen here. You will also be rewarded with overhead sightings of macaws.
Canopy Tower: A thirty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas leads to the 25 meter scaffolding canopy tower. A bannistered staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. The tower has been built upon high ground, therefore increasing your horizon of the continuous primary forest extending out towards the Tambopata National Reserve. From here views of mixed species canopy flocks as well as toucans, macaws and raptors are likely. Lunch
Farm Visit: Five minutes downriver from the lodge lies a farm owned and managed by charismatic Don Manuel from the neighbouring community of Condenado. He grows a variety of popular and unknown Amazon crops – just about every plant and tree you see serves a purpose.
Ethnobotanical Tour: Along this trail we will find a variety of plants and trees that are used by the local population with at least the same variety of purposes. We will learn about the medicinal (and other) uses of Ajo-Sacha, Yuca de Venado, Uña de Gato, Charcot-Sacha, Para-Para, among several others. Dinner
Tambopata National Reserve Lectures: Nightly lectures prepared by the staff of Refugio Amazonas cover conservation threats, opportunities and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve.
Overnight at Refugio Amazons (B) (L) (D)
Day 16: Tuesday, July 5–Puerto Maldonado
After breakfast, visit Parrot Clay Lick: A fifteen minute boat ride and sixty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas is a clay lick used both by parrots and parakeets. From a blind you will see parrots and parakeets descend on most clear days to ingest the clay on a bank. Species such as Dusky headed and Cobalt winged Parakeet descend at this clay lick. With luck we will also see some or all of the following species in the early morning rush: Mealy and Yellow-crowned Amazons, Blue-headed Pionus, Severe macaw and Orange-cheeled (Barraband`s) Parrot. We visit the lick at dawn, when parrots are most active or in midmorning or early afternoon, when they are active. Lunch
Brazil Nut Trail and Camp: A few minutes hike from the lodge is a beautiful old growth patch of Brazil Nut forest that has been harvested for decades (if not centuries) where the precarious remains of a camp used two months a year by Brazil Nut gatherers can still be experienced. We will be demonstrating the whole process of the rain forest’s only sustainably harvested product from collection through transportation to drying.
Mammal Clay Lick: Twenty minutes walking from Refugio Amazonas is a peccary clay lick. These wild rain forest pigs show up in herds of five to twenty individuals to eat clay in the late morning. Chances of spotting them are around 15%, but well worth the short hike. Other wildlife also shows up including deer, guan and parakeets. Dinner
Night walk: You will have 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 histories.
Overnight at Refugio Amazons (B) (L) (D)
Day 17: Wednesday, July 6–Puerto Maldonado / Lima Airport
After breakfast, take 8:00AM transfer boat fom Refugio Amazonas to Tambopata River Port, then to Puerto Maldonado Headquarters and finally to the airport
Depart Puerto Maldonado at 16:20, arrive Lima at 18:00. (LA2080) Return to USA on late night flights. (B)
End of tour
|Laurence Barker||Tour & Nasca Lines, Amazon||6/20, UA854, 11:05P (IAH)||7/7, UA855, 12:35A (IAH)|
|Evelyn Rogers, Laura Varner & Sue Rogers||Tour & Nasca Lines, Amazon (Sue)||6/20, AA 980, 05:14A (DFW)||7/2, AA 988, 12:03A (DFW) 7/7 (Sue)|
|Carrol Smith & Rebecca Marti||Tour & Nasca Lines, Amazon (Carrol)||6/20, AA 980, 05:14A (DFW) (C) 6/20, DL 151, 11:10P (Atlanta) (R)||7/7, AA 988, 12:03A (DFW) (C) 7/3, DL 150, 12:45A (ATL) (R)|
|Sara & Charlie Lewis||Tour & Nasca Lines Amazon (Charlie)||6/20, AA 980, 05:14A (DFW)||7/7, AA 988, 12:03A (DFW)|
|Richard & Ann Adams,||Tour & Nasca Lines,||6/20, UA854, 11:05P (IAH)||7/3, UA855, 12:35A (IAH)|
|Sara & JP Patterson||Tour & Nasca Lines, Amazon||6/18, AA 980, 05:31A (DFW)||7/6, AA 918, 10:05P (MIA)|
|Scott & Merri Plummer||Tour & Nasca Lines, Amazon||6/20, UA854, 11:05P (IAH)||7/7, UA855, 12:35A (IAH)|
|Robert & Luisa Price||Tour & Nasca Lines, Amazon||6/20, AA972, 8:03P (Miami)||7/7, AA988, 12:03A (DFW)|
|Jeanne McCann & Pam Bainbridge||Tour & Nasca Lines, Amazon||6/20, DL 151, 11:40P (Atlanta)||7/7, DL 150, 1:10A (ATL)|
|Jeanine & Marc Johnson||Tour & Nasca Lines, Amazon||6/19, JB 1825, 10:35P (Ft. Lauderdale)||7/6, JB 1824, 11:35P (Ft. Lauderdale)|
|Joyce Kennamer & Gail Jarratt||Tour & Nasca Lines (J & G) Amazon (G)||6/20, AA 980, 05:14A (DFW) (G) 6/20, UA854, 11:05P (IAH) (J)||7/7, AA 988, 12:03A (DFW) (G) 7/3, UA855, 12:35A (IAH) (J)|
|Jack & Jean Tinnea||Tour & Nasca Lines, Amazon (Jack)||6/20, AV 25. 4:09P||7/7, AA 988, 12:03A (DFW)|