Venture deep into the Amazon. Trek among glaciers and alpine lakes; experience the diverse ecosystems of the Andes, from ice-clad, high-alpine slopes to lush cloud forests and tropical plantations. Then Visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Finally explore the Lake Titicaca with its floating islands.
Day 1: Arrive Lima City Tour
DAY 2: Lima / Sandoval Lake Lodge
Day 3: Jungle Exploration
Day 4: Sandoval Lake Lodge / Cusco
Day 5: Sacred Valley Tour
Day 6: Start the Salkantay Trek: Mollepata - Soraypampa (Camping).
Day 7: Salkantay Trek Soraypampa - Chaullay (Camping).
Day 8: Salkantay Trek Chaullay - La Playa (Camping).
Day 9: Llactpata - Aguas Calientes
Day 10: Machu Picchu – Cusco
Day 11: Cusco – Free Day
Day 12: Bus ride Cusco to Puno(full day)
Day 13: Visit the beautiful island of Uros and Amantani on Lake Titicaca
Day 14: Island Visits - Taquile – Puno
Day 15: Transfer Hotel to Airport (End of the Service)
Note: Walking and journey times are approximate
DAY 1: Lima - City tour
Arrive in Lima at any time. Our representative will greet you at the airport and private transfer to your hotel. There are no planned activities today so check-in and enjoy the city, although there is an optional walking tour or city tour in a van. This afternoon you are free to explore colonial and modern Lima, with visits to the Government Palace, cathedral, Plaza de Armas and the Archaeological Museum. Or hang around the bustling commercial districts of and Miraflores and Barranco.
DAY 2: Lima / Sandoval Lake Lodge
Upon arrival from Lima or Cusco, our representative will welcome you at the airport and transfer ten minutes to our Puerto Maldonado headquarters office. While enjoying your first taste of the forest in our gardens we will ask you to pack only the necessary gear for your next few days, and leave the rest at our safe deposit. This helps us keep the boats and cargo light.We’ll then transfer to Madre de Dios River port. We’ll board our motorized canoe for a 45-minute journey down the Madre de Dios River arriving at the riverside trailhead to Sandoval Lake Lodge. From here the trail takes you on a 2-mile (3,2-kilometers) walk through secondary forest, until we reach a small canal where we board canoes and are paddled about 200 meters through a flooded Mauritia Palm forest. As the canal opens onto the shimmering surface of the lake, we transfer to a catamaran and are leisurely paddled across half the lake to the lodge.
After lunch and a short siesta to avoid the early afternoon heat, we will learn about the history of the lodge and the philosophy of its founders. In the afternoon, we’ll again board the catamaran and set off to explore the entire west end of the lake. Here, again in the flooded palm forest we drift to the sounds of hundreds of Red-Bellied Macaws as they return to the palm forest for the night. This macaw species is found locally in parts of the Amazon, always living in flooded palm forests like what we find at Sandoval Lake. At 500-800 birds, this flock of Macaws at Sandoval Lake is currently the largest reported in the world for this highly specialized macaw.
As night falls we’ll board canoes in search of the large and extremely rare Black Caimans. If it is a clear starlit night, we will also be able to float in the middle of the lake to marvel at the intensity of the sky and listen in on the sounds of the forest. We return to the lodge for a short video or slide presentation and dinner. At any point, you may perhaps step out from the bar to marvel at the wide variety of nocturnal moths, beetles and praying mantis attracted to our black light in the lodge clearing. For those with excess of energy, our guide will take us on a short night-walk into the forest surrounding the lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 3: Sandoval Lake Lodge
A pre-dawn wake-up call will enable us to be on the lake for sunrise and a hopeful encounter with the family of Giant Otters who frequent the lake and are most active at this time of day. Sandoval Lake offers abundant wildlife including over 40 species of birds resident to its lake borders, most of the fish-eating water birds around the lake actively fish in the early morning as well, and this outing should provide excellent views of the prehistoric looking Hoatzins, which are easy to observe and photograph at close distance from the canoe or catamaran.
After returning for a late breakfast we’ll set off into the cool under story of the tall virgin forest near the lake to see some towering wild Brazil Nut trees and a demonstration of how our hosts collect, open and commercialize this important natural product.
After lunch and an hour or so to relax we once again board the catamaran to explore the eastern part of the lake, where we might see one or more of the five species of monkeys who live in the forest near the lake, such as the Brown Capuchin Monkey and Squirrel Monkey. Before dinner we will again enjoy an informative natural history video or slide presentation. We will leave after dinner to try and spot some Black Caimans on the lake, or to go on a short night walk through the primary forest. (B, L, D)
Day 4: Sandoval Lake Lodge / Cusco
Today is departure day. After breakfast we’ll make the short paddle around the west end of the lake to try and glimpse the Giant Otters before crossing the Lake to our footpath, short hike and motor canoe back to our Puerto Maldonado Headquarters. We’ll make a quick stop by the office to pick up your personal belongings and large luggage before continuing on to the Puerto Maldonado airport. Adventures to Peru services end upon arrival at the Puerto Maldonado airport. Please note that the program may vary slightly so as to maximize your wildlife sightings, depending on the reports of our researchers and experienced naturalist guides based at the lodge. (B)
DAY 5: Sacred Valley Tour
Travel through the Sacred Valley and visit the towns and Inca ruins of Pisaq and Ollantaytambo. Get a chance to learn a little about the local people, their way of life and their traditional weaving techniques.and after we go to chincheros where explore the last place of the sacred valley of the incas and then back to cusco. (B)
DAY 6: Start of Trekking: Cusco - Soraypampa
Early in the morning) we pick you up from your hotel and then we drive to Mollepata (2900 masl). A 3 hour walk will take us to Cruzpata where we will have lunch with panoramic views of beautiful snow-capped mountains (Humantay; 4120m/13500ft and Salkantay; 6271m/20575ft) – just the start! Later in the in the afternoon we will arrive to our campsite Soraypamapa, our first campsite (3800 m/11750ft; the highest and coldest campsite of the trip) (B, L, D)
DAY 7: Soraypampa - Salkantay Pass - Chaullay
Today we’ll rise early to set out on our 2nd day of the trek to the legendary citadel of Machu Picchu. Follow the Río Blanco valley, hiking the girth of Humantay, a snowy peak across from Salkantay. We’ll reach the highest point of our trip at (4650m/15200 ft.) and pause a moment to admire a vista of snowcapped peaks. From here, descend to our lunch spot. From here the hike takes us out of the stark high-alpine region and into increasingly lush vegetation, as we head down into the Collpapampa Valley. Our 2nd campsite Chawllay (3000m/9800ft) (B, L, D)
DAY 8: Chaullay - La Playa
Continue downhill through the Santa Teresa River Valley, a verdant area that is home to local farms and villages. Hike past coffee plantations and tropical fruit plantations as well as dazzling wildflowers of all colors. The surrounding cloud forest harbors wild orchids and butterflies as well as remarkable birdlife. (B, L, D)
DAY 9: La Playa - Aguas Calientes
The final day of our trek kicks off early with a hearty breakfast. The trail winds uphill toward Llactapata Pass at 8,974 feet, where we’ll catch our first glimpse of Machu Picchu far in the distance. Explore the ruins of Llactapata, a sacred site for the Inca that has been recently restored. After lunch at an observation point overlooking Machu Picchu, follow the path down to the Urubamba River, hiking through thick bamboo stands, orchards, and coffee plantations. Later in the afternoon the hike takes us to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu, there is an optional short, scenic train ride to get to Aguas Calientes. (B, L, D)
DAY 10: Machu Picchu - Cusco
Today, you will be able to choose between walking up to Machu Picchu or taking a bus to Machu Picchu. Once you get there you will have a guided tour after that you are free to explore city on your own, take pictures, or take any of the extra hikes, e.g. Huaynapicchu (depending on availability)
The 15th-century Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, stacked up a hillside in terraces amid soaring Andean peaks. We spend an entire day with our guide exploring its breathtaking temples, sanctuaries, and homes. Learn about the Inca’s sophisticated culture and technology, and discovering the secrets of this royal city lost to the wider world for some 500 years. Later in the afternoon we’ll take the train back to Ollantaytambo station and a bus to Cusco. (B)
DAY 11: Cusco – Day at Leisure
Today is a free day in the Incan Imperial Capital. We’ll do our best to discover Cusco’s enchanting network of narrow streets and white wash mud-brick walls, all built atop Incan stone foundations. A true amalgamation of cultures! Explore the many markets, churches, museums, plazas and first-rate restaurants, all at your fingertips while exploring the city center on foot. Or, visit nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman and Tambomachay on horseback. More active options include river rafting, motorcycle tours and mountain biking.
Also recommended is stop by the Incan Archaeological Museum located a block from the Plaza de Armas. Then, time permitting, visit the recently opened ‘Casa Concha’, which houses hundreds of pieces removed from Machu Picchu by Hiram Bingham in 1912 and recently returned in 2011 (Centennial Anniversary of Machu Picchu’s scientific discovery) to Peru by Yale University in the United States.
Also worth a visit is the colorful local market at San Pedro and the bohemian neighborhood of San Blas, full of artists, craftsmen and street vendors, both only minutes from the hotel. (B)
DAY 12: Bus ride: Cusco - Puno
After breakfast our journey continues through the high plateau to Puno. Our full day overland journey through the majestic Andes will astound you. We’ll cover close to 400km (250 mi), go over mountain passes at 4,334m (14,222ft) above sea level, visit some of our favorite sites on the way which is shown below. Approximate arrival in Puno is 5:00pm.
ANDAHUAYLILLAS: It is named the "Sixtine Chapel of America" and in some sense the comparison examples of the Andean popular religious art. The church of Andahuayliaas is a jewerly of the mestizo baroque architecture that developed in Cusco. Its nave presents profuse decoration, especially in the celling decorated with carved panels which is a recover with pan de oro (type of gold decoration).
RAQCHI (Temple of Wiracocha God): To 121 Km of Cusco, it was an Inca church of monumental dimensions: 100 meters of length by 26 meters of wide and 14 meters of height; the temple is divided in two naves and each nave shows basics of 11 giant columns. The bases of the church are bulit perfectly carving stones continued with adobe. It is aprpreciated besides qolqas or granary places of military order, religious, Inka between others.
LA RAYA: Media point in the rout of Cusco - Puno. It is the highest part, it has 4335 meters above sea level, we can appreciate beautiful landscapes, llamas and vivuÃ±as, geographic union between two cultures quechua and aymara, we can see the Altiplano arid and dry union with the quechua zone with rivers and valleys.
PUKARA: It is the most important and oldest ceremonial center of the Altiplano, preceding to tiahunaco, characterized by a series oh echelon platforms ceremonial center. It's also possible to appreciate interesting litosculptures, trails or tomb stone of intriguing personage that seems to show evidence of a brave civilization. Here is where it was discovered the origins of the Andean culture in the Altiplano.
Puno, a city of 150,000 inhabitants, is considered by local populations to be a linguistic, cultural and political border. To the south toward Bolivia the Aymara people and language are dominant. To the north, the better-known Quechua is the dominant tongue. Fortunately, you will see both. (B, L)
DAY 13: Amantani Island / Lake Titicaca
After breakfast, our local guide will take us to the floating reed islands of the Uros and then on to Amantani Island by motor boat. The Uros people are a specific cultural group apart from the Incas. They are more sensitive and protective. We ask that visitors always proceed with respect. Please ask before snapping pictures, as some of the older generation will object
The locals are very friendly and produce souvenirs representing life on the Lake. You can support them by buying a souvenir if you choose.
After the Uros, we will take a step back in time as we arrive to Amantani. The island culture offers a glimpse into their ancient traditions and customs. A rural home stay will open your eyes to the true beauty of this place and the people that have inhabited the lake for thousands of years. All local food and beverages included. (B, L, D)
DAY 14: Puno / Lake Titicaca
We’ll start with an early wake up call to enjoy a spectacular sunrise over Lake Titicaca before visiting the neighboring island of Taquile. Famous for textiles and weavings, Taquile is a cultural treasure chest. We’ll spend an hour hiking to the summit of Taquile Island before enjoying lunch overlooking the Lake Titicaca. Our lunch will include local favorites, trout or kingfish, before heading back to Puno. (B, L)
DAY 15: Juliaca – Lima
We have a short drive to the Juliaca airport before a flight to Lima. Our services end today after a quick flight back to Lima and transfer to the airport for your ongoing international connection. We can arrange an additional post tour accommodation in Lima or Cusco upon client request. (B)
End of our services
Add on this Trip: Nazca Lines, Colca Canyon, and other extension tours.
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What’s Not Included