When it comes to outdoor adventure, this 12-day Inca Trail and Amazon tour is one of the best to experience in South America. Hike and camp along the world famous Inca Trail, explore historical and archaeological sites, and immerse yourself deep in the Amazon Rainforest for an unforgettable experience.
Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas
After a rejuvenating overnight stay at Lima’s best airport hotel, you will catch the early morning flight to Cusco before traveling straight to the Sacred Valley of the Incas to avoid any altitude sickness. The Sacred Valley provides incredible experiences, including roaming through the historic cities of Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
You’ll have chances to admire ancient archaeological sites and learn about the local culture and traditions, and lace up your hiking shoes for a warm-up hike to better prepare you for your upcoming Inca Trail Amazon adventure. A highlight will be enjoying a delicious picnic lunch spread out below an ancient fortress.
In the evenings, you can rest and relax in your choice of Sacred Valley’s best 4-star, 5-star, and boutique hotels.
Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Next up is the time to tick off one of the world’s best treks from your bucket list – hiking the famous Inca Trail, including three nights of stress-free camping along the way. Walk in the ancient footsteps of the Incas as you make your way along the trail, enjoying breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains and lush terrain of the Amazon rainforest. According to historians, this pathway once served as a holy pilgrimage, preparing visitors before entering the spectacular Machu Picchu.
On the last day of the hike, you’ll break camp early so you can catch the magnificent sunrise at Machu Picchu, a sight only seen by those who dare to hike the Inca Trail all the way up to the great ruins. Your expert guides will take you on an impressive tour through the legendary archaeological site before you board a train, taking you down to the colonial city of Cusco for the night.
Embark on an Amazon Adventure
Your adventure continues as you arrive in Iquitos deep within the Amazon rainforest. Once here, you will board your floating accommodations, the Perla, for three incredible nights. The Perla is tailor-made for adventure and provides comfortable accommodations for each guest. Three air-conditioned cabin types, including Standard, Amazonian View, and Superior Cabin, are available to select from for your stay. Each contains a private bath and large windows for incredible views.
Bilingual naturalist guides cruise with you, sharing information and tips along the way about all the locations, activities, and sites. Join small boat excursions for birdwatching, discovering unique flora and fauna, and spotting the Amazonian wildlife. You’ll also have opportunities to visit a local village and fish for the ferocious piranhas.
Wrap up your Inca Trail and Amazon tour with a trip to see where biologists and volunteers care for orphaned and injured manatees before your flight back to Lima.
Itinerary & Prices
Arrival to Lima
Lima is a bustling, busy city and one of the most important in South America. Any trip to Peru will likely begin and end in the capital and visitors take advantage of the fact that Lima is widely regarded to be the culinary capital of the continent and home to many of the best restaurants in South America. Although this particular trip excludes time in Lima in order to visit other destinations, all of our programs are fully customizable so if you would like to visit an award-winning restaurant or museum, please ask us to include an additional day in the itinerary!
Otherwise, upon clearing customs you will find your way to the airport hotel. Simply cross the short bridge from the arrivals lounge to the Wyndham Airport hotel for a good nights rest before catching an early morning flight to your next destination, beginning your Peruvian adventure the next day.
Sacred Valley of the Inca
Today we rise early and transfer to the airport in Lima for our flight to Cusco. Upon arrival, we are met and transferred into the Sacred Valley. This is recommended as it is at lower elevation than Cusco, making for easier acclimatization to the altitude.
On our way to Pisac, we make a stop at Awanakancha, where you will have the opportunity to buy local handicrafts and visit the mini zoo which houses many of the animals native to the Andes. From there we head on to Pisac, where our expert local guide will show you around the Temple of the Sun, ancient baths, altars, fountains, and ceremonial platform. From there, we take a quick sojourn to the ever lively and colorful market of Pisac where many colorful crafts are available for purchase.
Lunch will be enjoyed at a local restaurant along the way, but in the evening you are free to relax and dine amid the stunning scenery of the Sacred Valley or the comforts of your chosen accommodations.
Meals (B, L)
An Archeological Warm-Up Hike
We pick you up from your hotel in the valley and head to the archaeological site of Pumamarca. These wonderful Inca ruins are a fantastic introductory guide to the characteristic society of the Incas, replete with typical agricultural terraces. Pumamarca is a testament to the extensive knowledge of agriculture in extremely complex conditions. Let’s not forget, Peru is the country that gave the world the potato and the tomato, in thousands of varieties, amongst other fruits and vegetables!
Afterwards, you will begin your walk towards Ollantaytambo, this ancient fortress served as an administrative center and went down in history as the only place where the Spanish conquistadores failed to impose their military advantage and suffered heavy losses in battle. At the end of the visit, we take a few moments to discuss and reflect on the morning’s visits and enjoy a delicious picnic lunch in the imposing yet beautiful shadows of this fantastic ruin.
This evening there will be an important pre-trek briefing. Our guides will go through the route, safety measures and overall itinerary of the classic 4-day Inca Trail you are about to undertake, and you get the chance to ask any questions you may have.
Meals: (B , L)
Entryway to the Inca Trail
You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to Ollantaytambo, where you will have time to do some last-minute shopping for energizing snacks and additional equipment you may like before starting your trek. You will then head to the Piscacucho community, at Km. 82, where you will step onto the famous Inca Trail for the first time.
Following the course of the Urubamba River, you’ll walk for about three hours enjoying the unparalleled of the landscapes and wildlife along the route, before arriving at the Willca Racay archaeological complex of Llaqtapata. Here you’ll have some time to enjoy and appreciate the ruins, have lunch and rest before hitting the trail once more, gradually ascending to the community of Huayllabamba where your first camp will be set up.
Meals (B, L, D)
Reaching the Highest Point
The second day is the most challenging day of the trail, and that means that not only are you reaching the highest point of the hike, but also one of the most rewarding. Although this may sound daunting, the overall climb is only about a thousand meters at a steady pace over the course of the day, and our expert guides are there to help you manage the pace at a sensible level.
After a healthy breakfast, you will begin to ascend towards the first and highest pass of the Warmiwañusca route (4215 meters above sea level) from where you will have a spectacular view of the Vilcabamba and Vilcanota mountain ranges. This ascent will take you almost all morning, with arrival at Lllulluchapata scheduled for around lunchtime. After having time to rest and eat, you will continue your walk to Pacaymayo, where the camp will be set up at 3600 meters above sea level.
Meals: (B, L, D)
Descending Into the Clouds
Today we put in a hefty 16 kilometers (10 miles) of trekking, but we are now over the peak of Warmiwañusca, and begin our descent. Despite the distance, this is not considered the hardest day of the trek and you will eat up the miles surrounded by beautiful scenery. Although we begin with an ascent to Runcuracay, (4000 meters above sea level) we soon begin to descend for a couple of hours to Phuyupatamarca, where we rest and have lunch in spectacular surroundings.
After lunch, we venture on to Wiñaywayna against a backdrop of snowy mountains and wild valleys. This day is also notable for the fact that we enter the cloud forest part of the trip so keep an eye out for the ever-changing environment, differing flora, and also the beginning of sights of smatterings of Inca ruins and settlements. We set up camp for the night upon arrival in Wiñaywayna.
Meals: (B, L, D)
Through the Sun Gate to Machu Picchu
Today is the last day of the trek, and the most important. We have a very early start – trust us, it’s worth it! – so we can access Machu Picchu at dawn and stand at the aptly named Sun Gate. Here we experience the sunrise over the mountains and the citadel before venturing on to the entrance of Machu Picchu Itself. The sight of the sun rising over Machu Picchu is equally as impressive as the sight of the surrounding mountains from within the citadel itself, and one exclusively available for those that venture off on the Inca Trail.
Machu Picchu is divided into two sectors, the urban and the agricultural. Our expert guide will take you through both and show you the key spots in the ancient citadel such as the Temple of the Sun and the Room, the Intihuatana Stone, and the Room of Three Windows. The residential buildings feature exquisite stonework with no cement or mortar and are characterized by small trapezoid windows that face the morning sun. Enjoy a roughly two-hour guided tour of the ruins before making our way to the train station for our ride back to Cusco, where we enjoy a very cozy bed for the evening.
Cusco Sites, then Off To The Jungle
Today, we pick you up at your hotel for your tour of Cusco and its most important archeological sites. Cusco, known as the Imperial City, and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is home to Inca structures with a smattering of colonial influence. You start your tour at the iconic San Pedro market, a local market where you can explore the myriad colors, flavors, textures, and traditions of modern Cusco.
The visit continues with the Koricancha Temple, an ancient Inca palace and cult center of the Sun God, above which the order of the Dominicans built a church. It remains standing to this day. Still standing to this day, this temple/church really is a remarkable building and an amalgamation of the two cultures. From there, we ascend to the Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, an impressive example of Inca military architecture. Afterwards, you will explore Q’enqo archeological site, where important Inca ceremonies took place before moving on to the Plaza de Armas, home to the Cathedral, and the centerpiece of the city.
Following your tour, you are taken to the airport for your flight to Iquitos, where, upon arrival, you are collected and transferred to your hotel for the evening.
AM: Enjoy breakfast in your hotel before meeting us mid-afternoon at the Hilton Iquitos DoubleTree hotel, where you will receive your first orientation talk about the adventure you are about to begin! Then, we will head in a private vehicle to the city of Nauta, the historical fluvial port where we board the ship.
Before we arrive at Nauta, we will explore Iquitos, a colorful and dynamic city with a captivating history. Here, you will appreciate the most emblematic local attractions and for those who wish, enjoy a snack.
PM: Once in Nauta, we will board the Perla cruise ship and our staff will accompany you to your cabin, equipped especially for you, with all the comfort you need for a pleasant trip. We initiate the trip and head towards the confluence of the rivers Marañon and Ucayali, the rainforest’s majestic location where the Amazon River is born. Next, our naturalist guides will present the travel plan, the programmed activities, and best of all – they will begin to introduce you to the extraordinary world of the Amazon’s wildlife. Pay attention to their advice and recommendations, and keep in mind that if you have any doubts or questions, our guides are here to help you.
Following the presentation aboard, we will have a welcome lunch, your first experience with the delights of regional cuisine. In the afternoon, we will start a boat outing in the direction of the Communal Reserve of Yanayacu de Yacapana to explore its amazing flora and fauna.
Towards the evening, we will go in search of animals that can only be seen when the night falls: caimans, bats, frogs, tarantulas, and other species found in our rainforest’s lush mounts. After this first immersion in the Peruvian Amazon’s universe, we will go back to the ship to enjoy dinner, get some rest, and recuperate energies.
Meals: (B, L, D)
Yanayacu de Yacapana, Yarapa Agua Negra, Ucayali River, Vista Alegre Village & Piranha Creek
AM: At dawn, we will take a boat to go back to the Communal Reserve of Yanayacu de Yacapana and observe the beautiful Amazon birds that fill the bushy treetops: parrots, macaws, among many others. We will also see sloths (lazy bears), iguanas, monkeys and, of course, the pink and red dolphins which have made this place so popular. A true natural scenery of color and life in the heart of the rainforest.
After this exciting outing and back on the ship, we will enjoy the delicious buffet breakfast which daily offers a selection of traditional dishes, Peruvian specialties, freshly baked home-made products, and a variety of fresh fruit juices prepared with exotic rainforest fruits which you can only taste in this region.
Having finished breakfast, we are ready to initiate a new boat outing, this time in the Yarapa River, in search of new impressive sceneries and more emblematic Amazon species. Next, we will visit the Vista Alegre village and learn about its local native community and their traditions having our guides as interpreters and translators. We will also have the opportunity to visit a butterfly farm.
PM: Back at the Perla, we will have lunch in the ship’s dining room. After taking some rest, our guides will offer a talk on the origin and the peculiarities of the Amazon River, the largest river by discharge of water volume in the world. In the afternoon, we will sail by boat along the Nauta Creek until we find the perfect place to fish piranhas, those famous river fish with razor-sharp teeth. To make the moment more special, we will use traditional equipment techniques, unique to the region.
Back on the ship, you will have time to relax with live music while we wait for dinner. After dinner, prepare yourself for our last outing of the day: a new walk to continue sightseeing nocturnal animals and delighting ourselves with the spectacular natural concert, only possible thanks to the amazing gift offered by our Amazon evenings.
Meals: (B, L, D)
Marañon River, Marayali, Pahuachiro & Casual
AM: The early morning hours have a special feeling to connect ourselves with the rainforest and are a unique opportunity to do some birdwatching. On this third morning, we have programmed for you a boat outing before breakfast. This time, our destination will be the Marayali river stream, a privileged area for birdwatching numerous endangered species. Back aboard, buffet breakfast will be served and will be followed by an exploration outing in the Pahuachiro area, another gem to appreciate Amazon biodiversity.
PM: At noon, lunch is served, then you will have some time to rest and prepare for our next adventure, a walk by the rainforest’s winding trails. Previous to this activity, our guides will offer a practical talk on geographical orientation techniques and resources for this type of territory. The walk will be in the beautiful area of Casual, inhabited by poisonous frogs and countless exotic species. In this area, we can also observe a variety of gigantic trees, known by the locals as “Avatar”.
Before returning to La Perla, still in the mount, we will enjoy the wonderful light and the unique colors that unfold in the sky of these latitudes during sunset. Back on the ship, we will relax with live music and a comforting and delicious dinner aboard.
Meals: (B, L, D)
AM: After breakfast, we begin to disembark. On the way to the airport, stop by the Amazon Rescue Center (CREA), where biologists and volunteers take care of manatees (an endangered species) rescued by the authorities. We’ll see how the manatees are cared for and prepped for reinsertion into their natural habitat. We also get to see other animals that have been rescued from attempts to turn them into pets and other dangerous situations.
Afterward, you will be transferred to Iquitos airport for your departure flight back to Lima.