Day 01: Lima
Arrival in Lima, reception and transfer to your hotel.
Day 02: Lima – Cusco
Flight to Cusco. We will have a guided visit of this so-called “Navel of the World” that will include visits to the Inca fortresses and religious sites of Sacsayhuaman, Tambomachay, Q’enqo and the Qoricancha (Santo Domingo Church). Dinner and traditional folkdance show at night. Overnight accommodations at a hotel of your choice.
Day 03: Cusco – Sacred Valley – Ollantaytambo
We will begin our tour to the Sacred Valley of the Incas by visiting the market at Pisac and the ruins perched high above the city. Then we will have lunch at the town of Urubamba and continue our journey to the living Inca city of Ollantaytambo. Overnight accommodation here.
Day 04: Ollantaytambo – Wayllabamba
Very early on, we will transfer to Chilca and meet our Quechua porters. Then we’ll cross the turbulent Vilcanota River while checking out the snowcapped Mt. Veronica (Wacay Willca) (5,900m / 19,356ft). Our first stop is at the beautiful archaeological site of Llactapata and later the village of Wayllabamba. We’ll have lunch near the river, then visit the Q’ente archaeological site, the Cusichaca Valley, and pass through magical Polylepsis forests. The walk lasts for 7 hours. Dinner and our campsite will be at a lofty 3,800 meters (12,467 feet) above sea level.
Day 05: Wayllabamba – Pacaymayu
After breakfast, we begin the hardest day of the trail. Awaiting us is a steep, lengthy ascent to the highest point of the trail: Warmiwañuska, the strangely named “Dead Woman’s Pass” (4,200m / 13,779ft). This exhausting ascent crosses three ecological zones: Yunga, Quechua and Puna. Yet there is pleasure in the pain: the view from the top reveals snowcapped mountains in all directions, including the towering crags of Salkantay, the icy claw of Pumasillo, and Huayanay of the Vilcabamba mountain range. We will stop for lunch, and afterwards descend 1000m to our campsite. Dinner and overnight camping near Pacaymayu.
Day 06: Pacaymayu – Wiñaywayna
After breakfast, we will walk through the Pacaymayu Valley until we reach the famous ruins of Runquraqay. Later, we will continue to Sayacmarka and stop to explore the restored Inca city here. Along today’s route, formations of white granite, mountain views and the dense Inca Trail vegetation roll by to satisfy our eyes and souls. Later, we will descend to Phuyupatamarca, where we will have lunch and relax, later continuing along the Inca Trail. To end the day, we will descend to Wiñaywayna and tour the ruins here. Dinner and overnight camping.
Day 07: Wiñaywayna – Machu Picchu – Cusco
We will have our breakfast at 4:30am and begin the last part of the Inca Trail. This day will be a special one because we will see from the Inti Punku lookout how the sun slowly lights up Machu Picchu at sunrise. After, we will descend through cloud forest into jungle, home to the orchids and hummingbirds common along this part of the Inca Trail. At Machu Picchu we will have a guided visit, with free time afterwards to explore the ruins at your leisure. In the afternoon we will take the return train to Ollantaytambo and then a bus back to Cusco.
Day 08: Cusco – Tambopata Jungle
We will transfer you to the Cusco airport to catch your flight to Puerto Maldonado, where you’ll be received and transfer to the Tambopata River port in Puerto Maldonado to begin your canoe journey to the lodge. We’ll have an informative session about the lodge before visiting its 35m-high scaffolding, a tower with a spectacular view of the river and forest, plus the opportunity to watch the many local birds: parrots, toucans and macaws. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight accommodation.
Day 09: Tambopata Jungle
We will get an early start to take a long canoe ride on the lake, looking for giant river otters, turtles, hoatin and waterfowl. We’ll return to the lodge before beginning the next step of our journey: a 5 hour boat ride down the Tambopata River into the heart of the reserve. After arriving at the Tambopata Research Center, we’ll have lunch and walk a route famous for its abundance of rare bird species. These are endemic to southern Peru and live exclusively in this habitat. This area is also home to howler monkeys, whom we will certainly hear if perhaps not see.
Day 10: Tambopata Investigation Center
We will begin very early to cross the river and watch the clay licks, where around 15 species of parrots and macaws gather every day to feed on the nutrient-rich clay. After breakfast, we will begin our trek along route that will show us the endemic plants and animals of the tropical jungle. Along this trek we will see the traces of several felines, especially of jaguars, ocelots and pumas. After returning to the Tambopata Research Center for lunch, we will walk 3 miles to a palm swamp where a nesting colony is located. Overnight accommodation.
Day 11: Puerto Maldonado – Lima
After breakfast, we will return to Puerto Maldonado to take our flight to Lima. We’ll transfer to your hotel and have a farewell dinner.
Day 12: Lima
Transfer to the Lima airport for your return flight