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Northern Peru

Ancient fortresses and mysterious sarcophagi of the Chachapoya culture combined with the Amazon.

Itinerary & Prices

10 Day / 9 Night - Northern Peru
itinerary map

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.

Meals: (x)

Red building near bridge barranco
Location
Lima
Day
1 / 10

From Coastal to Northern Peru

After a good night’s rest, you take the short flight from Lima to the city of Jaén. Upon arrival, we transfer you to the Gocta Andes Lodge. A secluded lodge uniquely located to enjoy privileged views of the famed Gocta falls, one of the largest in the world. The drive is a beautiful route through lush valleys alongside the Marañón River, one of the main tributaries of the Amazon river.

From there, we continue through the provinces of Utcubamba and Bagua, past paddy fields that produce the nation’s rice, and continue on to the Utcubamba Canyon, named after the river, that it houses until we reach the Cocachimba community and the Gocta Lodge. The journey takes approximately 3 hours.

Meals: (B)

Gocta Lodge sunset Peru
Location
Lima to Chachapoyas
Day
2 / 10

A Hike to Gocta Falls!

We enjoy an early breakfast (7:15 am) and head off on our journey at 8 am. Our hike is some 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) in length and takes around 5 hours round trip. The early part of our walk takes us through an agricultural area where pineapples, sugar cane is grown. Passing through this area we arrive at lush cloud forest as we approach the Andes and the waterfall itself. Here we are in the habitat of various species of hummingbird, the Andean cock-of-the-rock, the emerald toucanet, and the yellow-tailed wooly monkey (known in Peru as the yellow-tailed thieving monkey!)

All our hard work is rewarded as we emerge at the base of the secondary waterfall and a truly spectacular view. Take a rest and drink in the serenity of your surroundings as our guide gives you some fascinating information on the waterfalls and the history of the area. Although not unknown to the local people, the Gocta waterfall has only begun receiving visitors this century and as such you are one of a relatively small number of people to have seen one of the tallest waterfalls in the world – depending on which expert you consult, it is somewhere between the third and tenth highest, but none of that matters when faced with its awesome power in the flesh!

Meals: (B)

Gocta Waterfall Northern Peru
Location
Chachapoyas
Day
3 / 10

Historical and Monumental Kuelap

We leave the city of Chachapoyas at 8 am in the direction of the Nuevo Tingo community. On the journey there we make a stop at the archaeological ruins of Macro, located in the Utcumbamba valley. Here we can see the remains of a pre-Incan settlement complete with burial chambers and housing built into the side of a mountain. After a short visit, we continue on to our final destination of the fortress city of Kuelap.

We arrive at the base of the archeological site which is home to Kuelap and await our cable car to take us the short ride to Malca. From there we walk the final part thirty minutes of our journey to the citadel proper which dates from the 6th Century AD. Here our guide will take you through the astonishingly preserved remains and explain the relevance of this great city in the history of Peru. After an extensive visit, we return to the city of Chachapoyas in the early evening.

Meals: (B, L)

Kuelap Stone Fortress Northern Peru
Location
Chachapoyas
Day
4 / 10

Revash and Leymebamba Museum

Once we finish a sumptuous breakfast, we set off on an 8 am departure. Upon arrival at Revash, we enjoy a short walk of around an hour to visit the astounding mausoleums, which date from the 13th Century. Set into the calcareous rock formations at an altitude of 2,800 meters above sea level, the complex is a small “village” of individual lots, each of which contains several sarcophagi of the wealthy and noted local citizens of the time.
Remaining in the area we visit the Leymembamba museum where we continue the study of the mysterious sarcophagi. The museum houses more than 200 mummies and gives further insight into the culture and customs of the time, all of which are explained in great depth by our expert guide. In a separate exhibition, we have access to over 2,500 ceramics, textiles and wood carvings, all of which were used as offerings to the legendary Chachapoya. Once we finish we head to the eponymous city of said God for a comfortable evening at our hotel.

Meals: (B, L)

Revash Burial Site Northern Peru
Location
Chachapoyas
Day
5 / 10

From Highlands to Lowlands

After Breakfast, we take the journey back through the beautiful valleys and past the tributaries of the Amazon River to Jaén airport for our flight back to Lima.

Today is a transit day, and as such we will overnight at the Lima airport, or if possible with available flights, schedules continue to Iquitos directly and overnight there. Your riverboat adventure in the Amazon Rainforest is about to begin!

Meals: (B)

Cock of the Rock Bird
Location
Leaving Chachapoyas
Day
6 / 10

Embarkation

AM: After breakfast, at the scheduled time, you will be picked up from your hotel and privately transferred to Lima airport (should you be staying there), ready to board your departure flight to Iquitos! If already in Iquitos, enjoy a morning at leisure.

PM: Aboard Delfin at 15:00, you will be served by our qualified staff who will introduce you to your exquisite and cozy suite, specially equipped with all the amenities for the experienced traveler like yourself. Orthopedic beds, pure cotton sheets, pillows of 100% pure natural latex, cotton bathrobes, air conditioning, and a private bathroom with Spanish-style hot water showers, (all framed with a spacious private terrace), guarantee you will enjoy your experience to the fullest.

While the Delfin begins its initial navigation, you will enjoy the most fantastic panoramic views from the elegantly outfitted observation area located on our third deck. Your naturalist guide will give you an overview of your journey’s schedule, activities, route, highlights, wildlife, and vegetation to keep your eye out for, geographical and historical background, and other useful details.

Meals: (B, L, D)

Amazon Cruise Iquitos Peru
Location
Lima to Iquitos
Day
7 / 10

Las Palmas, Amazon Natural Park & Yachay

AM: On your first morning with us, we recommend getting up early to appreciate one of the most important zones of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, Las Palmas. Never does nature seem more bountiful than in the tropics, and early rising is always rewarding since wildlife is most abundant and active with the rising of the sun. The early morning hours are the best time of day to watch birds, observe their special displays, and listen to their songs. We will jump on the skiffs and head to this area with large trees and old palm trees as well, these components favor the presence of several parrot species. This particular spot also has a great number of other birds of different species. We will look for the famous hoatzins nesting a few feet above the water, and perhaps a sloth or two of the three-toed kind.

You will have the opportunity to have a nature walk to learn about medicinal plants. The Peruvian Amazon region is considered the largest pharmaceutical reserve in the world with 965 species of wild plants and 59 cultivated plant species that local people use to cure and to prevent many illnesses. You will see that the “Terra Firma” forest of a local ribereño is eye-opening to how far we have come in this day and age and a reflection of how simple yet rewarding life is for others.

PM: The village of Yachay is a flyspeck that receives few outside visitors, and even fewer come to seek out the Shaman, Carola. Carola is known far and wide in the rainforest, leading a normal village life with her wood carver husband, while at the same time acting as spiritual caretaker and healer to hundreds of jungle dwellers spread over many roadless miles. Her prestige and position are beyond reproach. The role of the shaman is often misunderstood in the west, associated with black magic, and spells. While these things all have their place, the actual practitioners are as varied as in any profession. Carola is known as a “White” shaman, a healer, and a spiritual guide.

Meals: (B, L, D)

Skiff Exploration Amazon River
Location
Delfin III Amazon Cruise
Day
8 / 10

Yanayaquillo & Piranha Caño

AM: You will start cruising through the creeks of Yanayaquillo, peeking into different creeks and lagoons. This is one of the best-preserved and protected zones of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Your guide will use his expert eye to pinpoint all the biodiversity of this region. This is also a popular dolphin feeding spot so we won ́t be the only ones enjoying our happy meal here. We will also try piranha fishing.

PM: We head down into the Marañon River to a location known as Piraña Caño. We had the option to explore the creek either by kayak or by skiff, and they were both fantastic choices! This lovely creek which leads to a lagoon is an ideal place to spend some time in search of birds and playful monkeys. As your naturalist guide spots various creatures for you, also try to pinpoint some yourself now that you’ve been in the jungle for a few days and have trained your eye a bit! Kayakers will endure the feeling of paddling down the river with only the noises of the forest as your companion. As for the skiff riders, the encounters with wildlife are abundant. The landscape adorned by the usual colors of the sun ́s reflections by whichever mode of transportation is stunning. So sit back and enjoy the beauty of the Amazon forest!

After Breakfast, we take the journey back through the beautiful valleys and past the tributaries of the Amazon River to Jaén airport for our flight back to Lima.

Today is a transit day, and as such we will overnight at the Lima airport, or if possible with available flights, schedules continue to Iquitos directly and overnight there. Your riverboat adventure in the Amazon Rainforest is about to begin!

Meals: (B, L, D)

Kingfisher Bird on perch
Location
Delfin III Amazon Cruise
Day
9 / 10

Disembarkation

AM: With heavy hearts, at 8:00 the staff will wish you farewell as you begin your departure. At the port of Nauta, our ground crew will be waiting to take you by our private vehicle back to the city of Iquitos, about 95 kilometers journey by paved road.

On our way from Nauta back to Iquitos airport, you will visit the Rescue & Rehabilitation Center of River Mammals (ACOBIA). Here you will have the chance to meet baby manatees and learn about these wonderful and docile creatures and why they are on the endangered species list. There are also some other animals cared for by the center that have been rescued from capture. We welcome you to donate to this ambitious organization and education center as you wish. Our land personnel will wait for you at the airport and give you your boarding passes and help you check-in.

Our staff will be on hand to help you with your luggage and check-in. The return flight will take you directly to the city of Lima, the capital of Peru. At the security gate, your guide and Delfin crew will say goodbye. We truly hope that you enjoyed your stay and Amazon travel experience with us!

Meals: (B)

People feeding baby manatee
Location
Return Home
Day
10 / 10
1 / 10

Accommodations

Hotel Options

4 Star

Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport

Lima
5 Star

Gocta Andes Lodge

Chachapoyas
4 Star

Victoria Regia

Iquitos
victoria regia exterior iquitos
5 Star

Double Tree Iquitos

Iquitos