Salkantay Lodge to Lodge Trek - Machu Picchu & Amazon Cruise
15 days / 14 nights.
As you arrive into Lima airport and exit customs and baggage, you will be warmly welcomed by our guide Monica. You will be assisted with your luggage before escorted to your hotel in a private vehicle. Your hotel in Lima will be the 5 star deluxe Miraflores Park Hotel complete with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. At check-in you will receive a welcome drink before being shown to your room. Free evening.Day 2. LIMA (All meals)
After a delicious breakfast at the observatory restaurant with spectacular views of both Lima and the Pacific Ocean, you will be met again by your guide Monica as you start your private visit of colonial and modern Lima, starting in the centre of this vibrant, metropolis. The tour will include a visit of the cathedral, dating from 1654 which still houses the remains of the conquistador Pizarro in the foyer; the Main Square, with the original bronze fountain built in 1650, the Government Palace where the President has his official residence and the San Francisco Convent, with its famous catacombs.
Lima, known as the city of the kings, was founded in 1535 by Pizarro and after several devastating earthquakes was rebuilt in 1991; the same year that UNESCO declared Lima a world heritage site. One of the very few South American cities that preserve the colonial past, Lima was home to the Spanish viceroy during the time of the Spanish colonial power. The tour will continue with a visit to the residential areas of San Isidro and Miraflores, before stopping at La Rosa Nautica for a delicious lunch. This seafood restaurant is popular with affluent Limenos as well as international visitors but may be substituted for any other restaurant of your choice. After lunch, you shall enjoy a private visit to the Larco Herrera Museum, one of the finest private museums in Peru. With a fabulous collection of artefacts of the northern cultures particularly of the Mochica culture. The museum was founded in 1926 in Trujillo but was transferred in the 1950's to Lima. There is a room of mummies, textiles (including a Paracas cloak over 2000 years old), and several gold and silver vaults. Return to your hotel. Tonight, you will enjoy dinner at Astrid and Gaston, the flagship restaurant of one of the best chefs in Latin America. Alternatively, we can arrange dinner at the spectacular Huaca Pucllana restaurant located adjacent to a pre-Inca pyramid.
Meals: All mealsDay 3. LIMA - CUZCO (All meals)
After breakfast, with boarding passes in hand, you will be driven to the airport for your quick-check-in and brief one hour flight to Cuzco, the ancient Inca capital of the Incas. In Cuzco, you will be warmly welcomed and assisted with your luggage before your short private drive to the exclusive deluxe five star Monasterio Hotel or its sister hotel the Palacio Nazarenas located just around the corner in an idyllic plaza at the top of Cuzco centre.
Welcome drink and check-in to your room which will be oxygenated to help you relax and sleep more comfortably in the high altitude setting of Cuzco (11,600ft above sea level).
Some time to relax before a recommended light lunch in the hotel restaurant.
In the early afternoon, you will be met by our leading tour guide of Cuzco, Jaime Vasquez who with over 20 years of experience will guide you on an incredible tour of Cuzco including the Qoricancha temple or temple of the Sun, the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman overlooking Cuzco city, Qenko, Tambomachay and Puka Pukara. Your private driver will be with you at all times as you visit each part of this fascinating and ancient city. Return to the hotel in the evening. For dinner, we have suggested the marvelous Gourmet MapCafe restaurant a short walk from your hotel.
After breakfast at your hotel, Jaime your guide will again meet with you for the start of a full-day's excursion to the beautiful Urubamba, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, situated between Pisac and Ollantaytambo. It is an exceptionally fertile valley that was and remains the larder of Cuzco. You will visit the village of Pisac, founded during colonial times, and set at the foot of a hill crowned by the remains of an ancient Inca city. On Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, you will witness Indians bartering their products in the main square and artisans from around the area sell their woven alpaca wool blankets and ponchos, engraved gourds, antique reproductions, jewellery, etc. Lunch will be at the splendid Huayoccari Hacienda, overlooking the Sacred Valley and which dates back to the seventeenth century. The hacienda is owned by one of the most prominent landowners in the Sacred Valley and is home to beautiful gardens producing native ingredients that are used in the restaurant's kitchen. These include corn, quinoa, fruit and aromatic herbs. Enjoy a set meal in this marvellous country residence before continuing your trip to Ollantaytambo, the only Inca town that was not defeated by the Spanish with an opportunity to explore the ruins which tower above. You will then return to Cuzco after this full day with wonderful memories of the heart of the Inca land. Arrival to your hotel for dinner and accommodation.
Meals: All mealsDay 5. CUZCO - MOLLEPATA - SORAYPAMPA (All meals)
Early pick-up from your hotel as you head towards the Inca ruins of Tarawasi near the town of Limatambo (approx. 1.5 hrs from Cuzco).
These ruins were formally an Inca Temple and were an important resting place for Inca travellers heading from the coast to Cusco. After leaving Limatambo, we pass through the mountain village of Mollepata where there will be a short coffee break, before ascending a winding mountain road and continue onto Soraypampa.
Soraypampa is located in between two sacred Inca Mountains, as you hike along you pass from a river valley into a glacier valley and you will be able to look across the valley and see the ancient Inca irrigation channels cut into the side of the mountain. You will also see an ancient forest of polylepis trees (queunas) native to this region. Your lodge tonight is designed to resemble an Inca Palace with all the luxury and elegance that this period of history evokes. After a warm welcome by our friendly staff, guests will be shown to their rooms and have time to freshen-up. The first afternoon is spent at leisure to adjust to the altitude, taking advantage of the outdoor jacuzzi or just walking in the beautiful surroundings. An evening briefing by the fireplace is followed by aperitifs and dinner.
Meals: All mealsDay 6. SORAYPAMPA (All meals)
Today you trek is for three hours in the surrounding area of Soraypampa to visit the Humantay Lake which is fed by the glacier far above on the slopes of Humantay Mountain. The Inca's considered these glacial lakes to be the 'eyes' of the mountain and to show respect to the mountain Gods they would build apachetas (stone piles) and today walkers carry on with this tradition. A short walk of about thirty minutes is necessary in order to reach the lake, but the view is well worth it and those brave enough can even go for a swim. We return to the lodge for lunch, after which there is the option to ride out again for around two hours in the surrounding area, or guests may choose to trade the glacial swim for a relaxing soak in the outdoor jacuzzi. We spend the night at the Salkantay Lodge with gourmet food and warm, comfortable beds. In the evening, the guide will brief the party on gear and the itinerary for the next four days.
Meals: All mealsDay 7. SORAYPAMPA - WAYRA (All meals)
Today we continue our trek (about five hours) towards Machu Picchu, riding up the Salkantay River and passing between Salkantay and Humantay Mountains. The mountain pass is 4800 metres (14,800 ft) above sea level and this is the highest you will be during the trip. Today you will have the opportunity to make your own offering to the mountain. Your cultural guide will instruct you in the manner that you should make your offering (of coca leaves) and as you let your leaves fly into the wind you can ask the mountain for a wish. Throughout the ride keep your eyes open for Andean condors, common to this area. From the pass you can see our destination of the second lodge but before we reach the lodge lunch will be served in a spectacular glacial valley with an amazing view of Vilcabamba Snow Mountain Range. The Lodge has been built to resemble an Inca religious shelter. The decoration inside the lodge is representative of the Inca's religious beliefs. You will find pictures and artifacts relating to ancient pilgrimages and Chaman rituals. Dinner and overnight at the Lodge.
Meals: All mealsDay 8. WAYRA - COLLPA (All meals)
Today we leave the high pampas and head for the river valley that is known as the cloud forest. The scenery changes dramatically as the temperature rises becoming hot and humid. Bamboo trees, orchids and hummingbirds appear in the increasingly verdant scenery. You will pass through small family communities who eek out their living by farming and fishing. Inquisitive children come to see you and are happy to wave you on your way. The walk today is three hours long, you may need to get off and walk in some areas as the trail can be quite narrow. Upon arrival at our next lodge we are greeted with a Pachamanca (traditional underground stone cooking).This traditional meal is famous for its cooking method which consists of layering meat with hot stones and then covering the whole thing up with earth to bake. After observing the uncovering of the Pachamanca, which consists of a variety of meats (chicken, lamb, beef, pork) and vegetables (potatoes,sweet potatoes and yuca) we enjoy our meal. The Lodge is built at the conjunction of three rivers, one of which flows to Machu Picchu. As with all the lodges it is built in a unique style, this time to commemorate the art and music of both the Inca and the colonial times. Brightly coloured masks and traditional hand woven ponchos adorn the walls. The outdoor jacuzzi has panoramic views of the lush green mountains. We spend the afternoon relaxing or walking in the surrounding area. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Meals: All mealsDay 9. COLLPA- LLACTAPATA (All meals)
Today we head down the Santa Teresa river valley, through banana and passion fruit orchards and coffee plantations. This area is rich in minerals and hot springs bubble up from deep underground. Flocks of paraqueets squawk noisily in the tree canopy that rises up from the mountain side. The coffee grown here is said to be one of the best organic coffees in the world. You will also notice a change in the appearance of the local people as you ride closer to the jungle. Along the way we stop for lunch, the chef from the lodges will appear as if by magic to prepare food to the usual excellent standard. Afterwards, we continue our trek (a total of around five hours) to the beginning of the Llactapata Inca Trail, the second most famous Inca Trail. A short thirty-minute walk through an avocado orchard brings us to our Lodge. The Lodge celebrates the nature of the area, inside there are many plants and beautiful pictures of butterflies and orchids which you will have seen at first hand along the route today.
Meals: All mealsDay 10. LLACTAPATA - AGUAS CALIENTES (All meals)
Today our destination is the bustling town of Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu town. Those who wish to can hike this distance but others may catch a bus instead. The hikers will leave the lodge after breakfast and head uphill for around two hours towards Llactapata pass (2600 metres/8500 feet). After heading downhill for about ten minutes you will come upon the recently restored Llactapata Ruins from where you will catch your first glimpse of Machu Picchu across the river valley. This perspective is one that few tourists get to enjoy. We walk another ten minutes or so to our lunch spot where we enjoy a picnic lunch with the same view of Machu Picchu. After lunch we will then descend to the Vilcanota River through bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations, a descent of between two and three hours. Aguas Calientes, the town of Machu Picchu, is a short train ride away and here we check into the beautiful Inkaterra Hotel for dinner and a well-earned rest. The whole group spends the night together in Aguas Calientes.Day 11. AGUAS CALIENTES - MACHU PICCHU - CUZCO (Breakfast)
Today there will be an early start in order to make the thirty-minute bus ride up to Machu Picchu to arrive before sunrise. You will then enjoy a private guided tour of the city, followed by several hours in which you are free to explore the ruins by yourselves. Afterwards you will return to Aguas Calientes by bus for lunch (not included) and then take the afternoon Vistadome train to Ollantaytambo (about an hour and a half), where you are transferred by car to Cusco (about one hour) and your hotel.
Meals: BDay 12. CUZCO - LIMA - IQUITOS (Breakfast & dinner)
After early breakfast, we bid farewell to Cuzco and take a short drive in a private car to the
airport in time for your return flight to Lima and your connecting flight to Iquitos.
Arrival at approximately 5PM, collect your luggage, welcome and board the air conditioned bus for a scenic one and a half hour drive to the small village of Nauta, where your luxury vessel, the M/V Aqua lies at anchor. You will settle into your over-sized cabin. This fully air-conditioned cabin comes complete with panoramic glass windows. Open the curtain at the foot of your California king-sized (or separate singles) bed at night and count the constellations in a sky filled with brilliant stars. Your cabin also comes complete with a private bath, shower, 24 hour hot water, a hairdryer, and a basket of luxury toiletries. The fine Peruvian linens, with a high thread count will help you sleep very soundly after each day's excursion.
All meals are prepared by Executive chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, one of Lima's culinary stars who has created a menu that draws on both Peruvian and European influence. Wine is included with meals, giving you the opportunity to experience a range of the finest South American vintages. Over the next few days, you will sail along in total comfort over several tributaries of the Amazon River, as well as on the mighty river itself. A safety drill and briefing on the top deck, before the journey begins and you settle down to some fine dining on the Amazon River.
Meals: B & DDay 13. UCAYALI RIVER - YANALLPA (All meals) - itinerary subject to change due to weather
After a delicious breakfast, a jungle walk to the Yanallpa Lake in search of the "hoatzins", prehistoric birds which live in huge colonies. As we embark on the gentle hike, your guides will teach you orientation techniques used in the deep jungle. Return to the cruiser to enjoy a light lunch.
In the afternoon you will cruise the majestic Ucayali River, offering a chance to see and meet native balseros, or fishermen, who will demonstrate their skill and let you see their catch-including a type of "armored" catfish with a shell-like skin which they are taking to the market in the small village of Requena. We will also find a "banana balsero" raft, loaded with hundreds of clusters of bananas, drifting down the river to the market.
Dinner is followed by a trip to the Sapote River where your guides will show you several types of caiman, members of the alligator family, along the fish-rich Sapote River. Chances are good that we will surprise other night-dwelling creatures as well. Retire for the night as the cruiser sails upstream on the Puinahua River.
Meals: All mealsDay 14. PUINAHUA RIVER/HATUM POSA LAKE AND PACAYA RIVER (All meals)
After breakfast, a jungle walk near to the Hatum Posa Village.
On this walk, your guides will introduce you to the native people involved in subsistence farming, and will tell you how they learned to cultivate wild plants and trees to earn farm income. Deep in the primary forest, your guides will also show you the wealth of fruit trees and medicinal plants hidden in the undergrowth. Return for lunch before the expedition continues onto the Pacaya River and Yanayacu Lake.
In the late afternoon, we will take a journey along the Pacaya River, journeying from Ranger Station No. 1 towards Yanayacu Lake, where you can view the abundant life that is hidden in the deep rainforest. You may see saki monkeys, capuchin monkeys, and the easy-to-spot heavy howler monkeys. As the sun sets, you will hear the loud, ferocious sounding warning signals made by howler monkeys marking their territories. When night falls, you will hear the more of the rainforest sounds as nocturnal animals send their shrill calls across the tree tops. Return for dinner aboard the cruiser.
Meals: All mealsDay 15. YANAYACU LAKE - IQUITOS - LIMA (Breakfast & lunch)
Early breakfast before your guides will show you parrots, macaws, toucans, and many different types of monkeys in the area. We will also go to the dolphin feeding spots along Yanayacu Lake. We will then start our journey homeward sailing towards Iquitos whilst enjoying a light lunch. Your luggage will be collected from your cabins for transference to the bus, before disembarking at 12:40 and returning to the airport. En route, we shall visit this fascinating city, accessible only by air and river which comes complete with its famous house built by Gustave Eiffel, as Iquitos was once a rich center of the rubber industry. After the city tour, arrival to Iquitos airport, where we will assist with your check-in until your flight departure at 5.30pm, arrival to Lima at 7.30pm in time for your connecting flight home.
Meals: B & LEnd of our services.
Salkantay Lodge to Lodge Trek - Machu Picchu & Amazon Cruise
Lima - Cuzco - Iquitos
15 days / 14 nights.
7 day Luxury 5 star
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Incl. Miraflores Park, Monasterio & Sanctuary Lodge Hotels, all trains, all private tours, finest service guaranteed
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Good morning. I wanted to thank you again for all your help in planning my recent trip to Peru. Read More
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