Build beautiful memories together as you indulge in this 11-day Machu Picchu Family Adventure tour. Your family will experience the many wonders of Peru, from the Andean Highlands and legendary Machu Picchu to the exciting Amazon rainforest.
Explore by day and rest at night in your choice of 4-star, 5-star, or Boutique hotels before boarding your 3-night Amazon cruise for one of the most memorable family adventures imaginable.
Andean Highlands Immersion
Begin your tour with a short stay in Lima, a perfect introduction to Peruvian culture. From there, you and your family will travel to the beautiful Sacred Valley, also known as the Valley of the Incas, to experience historical sites, mesmerizing archaeological wonders, and the natural beauty of your surroundings.
You’ll learn about Incan history and traditions, and enjoy an authentic gathering with a local community for a truly one-of-a-kind cultural exchange. Your family will also have the unique opportunity to participate in a traditional artisanal ceramics workshop with an internationally recognized artist.
Machu Picchu Exploration
Everyone will have fun boarding a train for a thrilling ride through the mountains to the base of the spectacular Machu Picchu. Serving as a royal home to Inca rulers before being abandoned and then rediscovered, Machu Picchu will delight and awe each of you in its own way. Your guide will take you through this incredible site, explaining the various spots along the way.
After enjoying a rare second visit the next day, which allows for extra time to go at your own pace and experience even more of this legendary archaeological site, you’ll spend the following day discovering the secrets of Cusco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its own right, roaming its colorful markets and cobbled alleyways before heading into the Amazon.
Leaving the historical city of Cusco behind, you’ll head deep into the Amazon for an exciting rainforest cruise. Here you will board the Spondias, your floating accommodations for the duration of your Amazon adventure. With just four cozy cabins for up to eight guests, your family’s exploration of this mystical realm will be more intimate and rewarding than you could possibly imagine, receiving exceptional service from the moment you come aboard from the friendly, professional, and attentive crew.
You’ll have opportunities to see the biodiversity of this unique eco-system, from exotic plants and birds to lively nocturnal animals. Fish for the ferocious piranha, kayak scenic waterways, and learn about the traditions of the indigenous people, including meeting a distinguished shaman during your time here. Each exciting day ends with returning to the ship, where you can enjoy refreshing hot showers in your air-conditioned suite before coming together in the dining area for exquisite gourmet meals.
At the end of your cruise, you’ll fly back to Lima, taking many new memories with you.
Itinerary & Prices
Welcome 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. Home of the ceviche and the Pisco Sour it is a city where the past and present mix beautifully, from the colonial center to modern Miraflores, through to the ancient Incan and pre-Incan culture which can be seen in Lima’s various museums.
A city of almost 11 million people, it is nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains. This unique location means it enjoys a microclimate of zero rainfall and is spread along the coast atop cliffs that offer beautiful sunset views and peaceful “malecóns”, even a short trip is guaranteed to be richly rewarding and a perfect introduction to Peru and its culture.
Community of Misminay
Welcome to Cusco! Upon arrival, we take you to the beautiful and peaceful Valley of the Incas, the Sacred Valley. Over the next few days, you will learn about this special place and its importance in the ancient Incan community. To give you a broad idea of the expanse and layout of the valley we take you to the Raqchi viewpoint, one of the best vantage points of the valley itself. Then, you will visit the Misminay community, where the residents will give you a warm welcome with music and typical dances. We work closely with the community and there is no better way to get an authentic experience as the people of the community have maintained the ancient traditions of their forefathers.
There, you will participate in one of the community’s traditional activities along with some residents. Afterwards, you will enjoy a delicious lunch prepared with local products. After your meal, you can take part in another activity with the people of Misminay. These activities are chosen from a varied selection and there is sure to be something to suit all ages for an unforgettable cultural exchange experience. Finally, you will continue to your hotel in the Sacred Valley.
Meals: (B, L)
Paddling, Maras & Moray
After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel to head towards the Piuray Lagoon. Upon arrival, you will be greeted with a welcome drink and will take part in a brief safety and informative talk prior to today’s activity. All equipment is included, and you have the choice between a kayak or stand-up paddleboard. After a short warm-up, you are set free to explore the lake and enjoy the sprawling landscapes of the valley, with snowcapped mountain caps as a backdrop, as you paddle your way around the lagoon. After your excursion, enjoy a few snacks and a warm drink, before heading back to your hotel. Lunch on your own at the hotel and some downtime before the afternoon’s activity.
Our afternoon excursion takes us to the Maras salt mines, which were an important part of the economy of the Inca culture. In fact, they remain so to this day, and the salt produced in these mines, recognizable by its pinkish hue, is amongst the most sought-after and expensive in the world. From there, we take you to the picturesque archaeological site of Moray which is a huge expanse of concentric terraces which the Incas used as a botanical laboratory. Some theorize it was where the Inca adapted crops to the various microclimates of the Andes.
Native Potatoes and Tuber Wine Experience
Located in Chinchero, halfway between Cusco city and the Sacred Valley of the Incas, agricultural engineer Manuel Choqque researches and experiments with native potatoes and tubers to produce the wildest colored varieties, also seeking to improve their nutritional composition. Mr. Choqque has been recognized as Producer of the Year 2018 by Summum for this important work. Your host will welcome you to his home, explain his work and present you with a sample of the over 370 varieties of potatoes he holds in his repository. You will also get to taste some of these with a traditional “uchucuta” sauce, made out of Peruvian hot peppers. Manuel also is innovating with his Andean tuber wines (made out of ocas and mashwas) and native potato distillates (vodka). A tasting of these will seal off the experience. From here, you will continue towards your hotel in the Sacred Valley.
Meals: (B, L)
The Citadel of Machu Picchu
Today is the big day! Get ready to tick one of the New Seven Wonders of the World off your list as we head to Machu Picchu Citadel. Leaving the Sacred Valley by train, we enjoy a peaceful snake through the mountains, uphill to Aguas Calientes, situated at the foot of Machu Picchu. The views on the way to Machu Picchu itself are an intrinsic part of the trip itself and worth savoring. Built in the mid 1400’s it acted as a royal estate to two different Inca rulers, Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui and Tupac Inca Yupanqui. After 80 years of occupancy, it was abandoned, possibly due to Spanish infiltration in other parts of Peru, and remained abandoned until the early last century when efforts Hiram Bingham brought its existence to world attention.
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. After our extensive tour, return to your hotel for a restful evening.
Meals: (B, L)
A Second Visit & Return to Cusco
After an early breakfast, we set off for a second self-guided visit to the famous citadel of Machu Picchu. A second trip means you get to experience Machu Picchu from another angle. With your special second-day pass, you can climb Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu’s smaller cousin, or hike Machu Picchu Mountain for a slightly softer option (Suitable for those that suffer from vertigo). Machu Picchu is a far larger site than just the classic tour option, and a second visit comes highly recommended for those with time.
Those doing the 3.5-hour hike to Huayna Picchu are granted extra time to complete a second visit to the ruin so whichever of the two you choose; you won’t miss out on the astonishing extra sights such as the Inca Bridge and the Temple of the Moon.
Getting in nice and early to Machu Picchu is an option only feasible if you spend the night in Aguas Calientes. By doing this you can enjoy the sunrise over this incredible old citadel, a sight only the privileged few get to experience. As this is a largely visual experience you will not need a guide, just remember to take your time, and a camera as the views of Machu Picchu and the valley and river below are truly breathtaking. We finish with a comfortable ride back to Cusco or the Sacred Valley. For those riding back aboard the Luxury Hiram Bingham train, enjoy a cocktail and a delicious 4-course gourmet meal.
City Tour & 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 and a morning at leisure before meeting us to begin your Amazon Cruise experience.
PM: Transfer by private car (approx. 2 hours) to the town of Nauta and board the Spondias. A welcome drink will be provided as soon as you board the ship, then the Naturalist guide will show you to your cabin and explain all facilities of the ship and programs for the upcoming days.
We start to navigate upstream on the Marañon river. We will explore the national reserve until the sun sets. Later in the evening we sit down for our first gourmet dinner, expertly prepared by the talented onboard chef.
Meals: (B, D)
Piranha Fishing & Nighttime Wildlife Excursion
AM: Wake up call. We start early today and set out to explore the impressive biodiversity of the area’s unusual ecosystem. Look for a quiet spot to enjoy a picnic breakfast. Head out on a fishing trip like no other! Cast your line to see if you can catch “the most ferocious fish in the world” – the piranha. They are a dietary staple for many of the Amazon rainforest’s indigenous people and are widely considered one of the best fish to eat in South America. Return to the ship.
PM: Lunch. Explore Supay creek riding our Kayaks in this interesting natural scenic area spotting birds, huge trees, monkeys, and river people while you paddle, a unique opportunity to be in touch directly with the rain forest by yourself.
We will sail this afternoon with the daylight into the National Reserve exploring this interesting area, explore riding our Kayaks in this interesting natural scenic area spotting birds, huge trees, monkeys, and river people while you paddle, a unique opportunity to be in touch directly with the rainforest by yourself.
Enjoy a boat ride in the wild, and watch the forest become a different domain at night. Be on the lookout for bats, night birds, frogs, caimans, poison frogs, and a vast number of other species. See if our flashlights will reflect the ‘red eyeshine’ of the caiman which will be caught by our naturalist. Return to the ship for dinner.
Meals: (B, L, D)
Shaman Village Visit & Jungle Walk
AM: After breakfast, our Naturalist guide will do an introductory discussion about shamanism to help understand the traditions of the people living in the rainforest. Get in touch with your spirit realm with a visit to a local shaman. Shamanism is practiced around the globe and is universally distinguished by a trance state called shamanic ecstasy. In these “out of body” travels, the shaman enlists the spirit world to help him with a variety of duties, from healing the sick to assisting a deceased person’s soul into the afterworld — all the while, the shaman remains conscious. Gain rare insight into the complexities of this phenomenon when you meet an actual practicing shaman in a river village. He’ll introduce the group to his spiritual healing craft and talk about rainforest plants that indigenous peoples have been using for centuries.
PM: Return to the ship for lunch on board. This afternoon you will pack your personal things as we will keep exploring this interesting area by motorized skiff. In the waters of this important tributary, you will see the wonders of the rainforest. Keep an eye out for monkeys, sloths, and a variety of birds while exploring. At night, experience a jungle walk in the dark. Look for night animals: poison frogs, insects, bats, and many other species of the jungle. We invite you to have this unique experience. Dinner will be served in the jungle as a picnic.
Meals: (B, L, D)
AM: Breakfast on board. Then we will navigate to the confluence of the Marañon and Ucayali rivers which is known as the beginning of the main Amazon river, in this area we will observe interesting animals: gray and pink river Dolphin. The naturalist guide will present lectures about the Amazon on everything from the history and culture of the region to the Amazon’s flora and fauna. Explore the Amazon River or return to the airport to catch your return flight. Return to the boat.
PM: Lunch and Disembarkation. Transfer back to Iquitos airport.