Day 1 Lima
As guests arrive at the airport in Lima, Peru, they will be met by a tour representative and transferred to the local hotel. They will then have the reminded of the day free to spend at their own leisure.
Day 2 Lima
Today, we will begin the portion of our journey that takes place in Peru! In the morning, we will begin with a tour of Lima, learning about its 2000 years of history. We will begin at the colonial center of the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to see the historic buildings that surround the splendid Plaza Mayor: the impressive Palace of the Archbishop, the opulent Government Palace, the Official Residence of the President, and the Cathedral of Lima. Then, we will continue to the Monasterio de San Francisco complex. We will then be able to spend the remainder of the day at our own leisure, though we will also have the option to tour the Larco Herrara Museum. In the afternoon, guests will be briefed on the fascinating journey through Peru that waits. In the evening, we will enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the city's world-class restaurants known for its fusion cuisine.
Day 3 Lima - Cusco - Sacred Valley of the Incas (612 km)
In the morning, we will depart from Lima by plane to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. When we arrive, we will take a scenic drive through the rugged mountainous region and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. En route, we will stop in Chinchero to see a weaving demonstration and, if time permits, to take a walk through the traditional market that offers alpaca wool clothing and other local treasures. Afterwards, we will enjoy a typical Peruvian lunch before resuming our journey. After we check into our hotel, we will enjoy dinner and music at a lovely restaurant in Urubamba.
Day 4 Sacred Valley of the Incas
We will be able to enjoy the morning at our own leisure in the Sacred Valley and explore some of the ruins independently. Alternatively, we will also have the option to tour Moray, a remarkable agricultural center that demonstrates the Incas' mastery of high-altitude crop growing, and Maras, known for its nearby salt evaporation ponds. This afternoon, we will visit the impressive fortress of Ollantaytambo. In the evening, we will go to the countryside home of a local Peruvian family for a traditional dinner.
Day 5 Machu Picchu (123 km)
Early in the morning, we will transfer to the Sacred Valley's Ollanta Station to board a train that travels through the misty peaks to the astonishing ancient citadel of Machu Picchu, designated by UNESCO as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. We will spend the afternoon exploring this unforgettable location, seeing the Temple of the Sun, the House of the Priest, the Sacred Plaza, and the intricately carved sundial. In the evening, we will return to the Sacred Valley and transfer back to a hotel in Cusco for the night.
Day 6 Cusco
We will spend our day today discovering the imperial city of Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire. In this lively city, we will see the influence of both Incan and Spanish cultures. We will take the time to explore and shop for the finest handicrafts and textiles in all of Peru. We will go on a "Behind the Scenes" tour of the city, visiting a local market to try some fresh-baked chuta bread and shop for ingredients to use in this afternoon's cooking lesson. We will stop at the Cuzco Cemetery to learn about Andean life and death and meet with a local shaman (holy man). Then, we will take a cooking lesson and get to eat our delicious creations when they are ready. In the afternoon, we will go on an optional excursion to see the highlights of Cusco, like the Colonial Cathedral, the Temple of the Sun, and the fortress of Sacsayhuaman. Tonight, we will savor the culinary delights of Andean cuisine at a local restaurant.
Day 7 Cusco - Raqchi - Puno (363 km)
Today, we will go on a long drive that will eventually reward us greatly. Very early in the morning, we will depart Cusco in the early morning, enjoying the spectacular scenery as we drive through the Andes mountains and plains to Puno, located on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca. In this area, we will be able to see llamas and alpacas graze on the immense plateaus and plains. On the way, we will visit the Temple of Wiracocha, the largest Inca temple ever discovered. In the modern day, Raqchi remains home to many farmers, ranchers, artisans. Then, we will arrive at the pristine Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. We will enjoy a boxed lunch on the drive. If time permits, we will be able to meet the children at a local school before arriving in Puno for the night.
Day 8 Uros Islands & Lake Titicaca
In the morning, we will take a boat excursion from Puno to the fascinating Floating Uros Islands, where the Uros, the indigenous people of the island, live. When we return to Puno, we will have the remainder of the day to spend at our own leisure. Alternatively, we will be able to tour the Sillustani Tombs, a pre-Incan burial ground on the shores of Lake Umayo. When we return to Puno, we will be able to spend the evening at leisure.
Day 9 Puno - Lima (874 km)
We will depart Puno by flying to Lima, where we will spend the rest of the day at our own leisure. In the evening, we will have one last farewell dinner with the group, enjoying more Peruvian specialties.
Day 10 Lima - Iquitos
Today, we will depart from Lima by flying to Iquitos, the capital of the Peruvian Amazon. Upon arrival, we will transfer by boat to our lodge on the Amazon River, which provides us with amazing scenery. Once we've settled into our rustic lodging, we will begin our exploration of the Amazon by taking a walk led by a naturalist guide through the rain forest, hiking under a sweeping canopy of towering trees blanketed with moss, orchids, and ferns. We'll enjoy dinner at the lodge.
Day 11 Iquitos - Amazon River - Yagua Village - Iquitos
After a hearty breakfast, we will try our hands at fishing for piranhas, the omnivorous fish known for their sharp teeth and voracious appetites. On this excursion, we will enjoy the breathtaking sights and sounds of the Amazon, and we may even spot the unique pinks and gray river dolphins found only in these waters. Then, we will continue by boat to a remote village that is home to Yagua Indians, where we will learn about their culture and traditions that are closely linked to the rainforest. Our guide will also tell us how these peaceful people were affected by the arrival of Europeans and the passing of time. We will have the opportunity to purchase or trade for local crafts and watch a blowgun demonstration. We will return to the lodge by boat.
Day 12 Iquitos - Timicuro - Mazan - Indiana - Iquitos / Canopy Walk
Today, we will travel to Timicuro and board a motorcar to the village of Mazan on the banks of the Napo River. Afterwards, we will travel to the town of Indiana, originally a Franciscan mission that has since become a thriving river community. Throughout the day, we will have ample opportunities to meet the local people who call this magical place home. Alternatively, we also have the option to spend the day on a Canopy Walkway Excursion, where we will be amazed as we walk 115 feet above the rainforest floor. After a buffet lunch at the lodge, we will continue to the ReNuPeRu Ethnobotanical Gardens, a facility which cultivates over 240 species of medicinal and other useful rainforest plans, tended to by a local shaman. Then, we will return to the lodge for dinner before taking an evening walk through the rainforest.
Day 13 Iquitos - Fundo Neisser - Iquitos - Lima
We will begin the day with a boat ride to Fundo Neisser, a private reserve where more than five species of tropical primates are protected. Here, a preservationist will introduce us to some of the primates, an anaconda, a mata mata turtle, coati, and parrots. After lunch, we will return to Iquitosto prepare for our flight back to Lima. This evening, we should be sure to try some local Peruvian cuisine in Lima.
Day 14 Lima
Today, guests will transfer from the hotel in Lima for their departure flights.