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Amazon, Inca Trail and Machu Picchu
12 days from CAD8,365pp
Take a guided tour of Machu Picchu, the fabled lost city of the Incas.
Hike the Inca Trail, see remote ruins, and approach Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate.
Explore the wildlife and plant life of the southern Amazon rainforest.
Take a private guided tour of Cuzco, an intriguing colonial city built on Inca foundations.
- Puerto Maldonado
- Hacienda Concepcion
- Puerto Maldonado
- Sacred Valley
- Machu Picchu
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Day 1 Hacienda Concepcion
Lima , Puerto Maldonado , Hacienda Concepcion
On arriving in Lima, take a connecting flight to Puerto Maldonado, the gateway to the Southern Amazon. The flight lasts just over an hour and a half. You'll be met at the airport by a representative from your lodge and board a motorised canoe with a few fellow guests. Travel for approximately half an hour by river to reach your lodge. You may wish to rest and relax on arrival at the lodge, but if there's time, you may start on the lodge's programme of activities that evening.
Day 2 Hacienda Concepcion
Today take part in different activities with your lodge guides. You may explore one of the trails through the rainforest, seeing a cacao plantation, bread fruit trees, and rubber trees. After lunch back at the lodge and some time spent relaxing, at dusk you take a canoe trip on the river, learning about its ecosystems and the local nocturnal wildlife.
Day 3 Hacienda Concepcion
This morning might see you visiting the oxbow Sandoval Lake, canoeing around it while your guide explains about its formation, the water palms and other vegetation that grows there, and the animals that live there. Keep an eye out for giant river otters and black caiman. In the afternoon, you may explore the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway, climbing towers into the canopy and crossing hanging bridges connecting the treetops.
Day 4 Cuzco
Hacienda Concepcion , Puerto Maldonado , Cuzco
Take a shared transfer by motorised canoe and road back to the airport at Puerto Maldonado in time to catch your onward flight to Cuzco. After the 50 minute flight you're met at the airport by your private guide and taken to your hotel by private transfer. Spend the rest of the day relaxing and getting accustomed to the altitude.
Day 5 Cuzco
Enjoy a half day guided tour of Cuzco's historic central district and some nearby Inca ruins. Your private guide and driver pick you up at your hotel and your tour likely includes the following sites (although order may vary): Koricancha, an Inca Temple of the Sun turned conquistador church; the cathedral on Plaza de Armas; the ruins of the Inca ceremonial area in the hills surrounding the city, and Tambo Machay, an Inca fountain and bathing place. You have the afternoon at leisure: we suggest asking your driver to drop you in the arty San Blas district so you can browse its galleries.
Day 6 Sacred Valley
Embark on a full day group guided trip into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Leaving your hotel early, your first stop may be the terraces and market of Pisac. Visit the sturdy ruins of Ollantaytambo, a former important administrative hub for the Incas, and look across the valley to see a carved face on the mountain opposite - believed to be a messenger from the gods. You stay in a hotel in the Sacred Valley tonight.
Day 7 Sacred Valley
Today you start the Inca Trail. You're collected from your hotel and taken to the trailhead where you're given a briefing before starting the trek. Today is relatively gentle and should ease you into the trek. The trail follows the river through the valley before developing into an undulating path. You will be camping for the next three nights, but when you arrive into camp everything is ready and set up for you by your porters.
Day 8 Sacred Valley
Today is often considered the hardest day on the trail: much of the day is spent climbing. But the views and the terrain is exciting. After traversing woodland and a small plateau, you reach treeless grasslands. As you climb to Dead Woman's Pass, the highest point on the trail at 4,200m (13,779 ft), you can look across to the snow-covered peaks of the Huayanay Massif. Camp tonight in a clearing in the Pacaymayo Valley.
Day 9 Sacred Valley
You third full day on the Inca Trail brings more thrilling views today, and you also pass several small ruins as you walk down Inca staircases and through Inca tunnels. There's a fair amount of downhill today, which some people find harder than the climbs. You camp near Wiñay Wayna, a complex with numerous terraces. Sleep for the last time in your tent tonight.
Day 10 Machu Picchu
The final day of the Inca trail. After an (extremely) early morning wake-up call, you climb to the Sun Gate and hike along a trail of flat paving before arriving at Machu Picchu. You then tour the ruins with the group and your guide. You have entrance tickets included for tomorrow, too, so you may wish to spend the afternoon relaxing in your hotel after the trek.
Day 11 Cuzco
Today you have a free morning to further explore Machu Picchu at your own pace. Included are entrance tickets to hike Huayna Picchu, the mountain shaped like a witch's hat that overlooks the citadel. Alternatively, you could take a short walk to visit the Inca Bridge. This afternoon, take the train back to Cuzco where you're met by your private guide and driver and transferred to your hotel.
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