South America Spotlight

Colca Canyon

Created by a vast geological fault, the Colca Canyon is thought to be the deepest canyon in the world measuring ...

Puerto Maldonado and the Amazon Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTH AMERICA 255

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Day 1: Cuzco

Bienviendos a Peru! Welcome to Peru and the start of your journey through the land of the Incas. Upon arrival into Cuzco Airport you will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to your hotel. After check in spend some time with our rep discussing your up-coming trip. The remainder of the day is free for you to enjoy at leisure your luxurious hotel.

Day 2: Cuzco

Explore the Sacred Valley area today on a full day group excursion. Explore the archaeological complex of Pisac, formed of a collection of remains of Incan dwellings, temples and terracing. Enjoy a spot of shopping and practise your bartering skills at the local market before stopping for lunch. The day of touring concludes with a visit to the impressive fortress and citadel of Ollantaytambo. This evening you will attend the Inca Trail Briefing.

Day 3: Cuzco - Inca Trail

You are collected early from their hotels (4-5am) and travel by bus on the 3½ hour scenic trip to kilometer 82 (the start of the trail). Hikers cross the Vilcanota River and follow the trail to the right as it climbs steeply up from the river. After passing through a small village, the ruins of the Inca hillfort of Huillca Raccay come into view high above the mouth of the river Cusichaca ('happy bridge'). For a further 7 km the path follows the left bank of the river up to the village of Wayllabamba (3,000m). The name in Quechua means 'grassy plain'.

Day 4: Inca Trail

Climbing up from Wayllabamba for about 3 hours through steepening woods and increasingly spectacular terrain brings you to the tree line and a meadow known as Llulluchapampa (3,680m). It is another 1½ hours climb to the first and highest pass of the trail at 4,200m. During this part of the trail hikers are exposed to the Andean elements. Once at the top hikers can celebrate having completed the most difficult section of the trail. The decent from the pass is steep although not difficult, following the trail on the left side of the valley to the valley floor and to the 2nd night's campsite at Pacamayo (3,600m). There are toilet facilities here.

Day 5: Inca Trail

Today on the trek we pass the ruins of Runkurakay, Sayacmarca and Phuyupatamarca, walking approximately 15 kilometres in seven hours and spending the night in Winay-Wayna.

Day 6: Inca Trail - Cuzco

The trail this morning to Machu Picchu is clearly marked and takes about 1½ hours. Most people attempt to wake up at 4.30am so that they can leave Winay Wayna by 5.30am to get to Machu Picchu before sunrise. The sky starts getting light by 6am and the first rays of the sun reach Machu Picchu at about 7am. Enjoy a guided tour of the ruins, before catching the afternoon Vistadome train back to Cusco arriving in the evening.

Day 7: Cuzco - Puerto Maldonado and the Amazon

Early this morning board a flight to the remote jungle settlement of Puerto Maldonado - the starting point for a scheduled excursion into the Amazon Jungle. A boat ride along the Madre de Dios River brings you to your jungle lodge where you will spend the next three nights in a beautiful cabaña. Enjoy the first of your included excursions today which is usually a trip to a nearby island and boat trip in the dark to spot caimans.

Day 8: Puerto Maldonado and the Amazon

A wide variety of excursions are on offer from guided walks through the jungle to twilight river cruises. Sail in small wooden canoes or test your vertigo on a canopy walkway. You will learn much about the Amazonian wildlife and its most colourful characters with excursions available to the Tambopata National Reserve, Gamitana Creek and the Inkaterra Ecological Reserve.

Day 9: Puerto Maldonado and the Amazon

Bidding farewell to the jungle head back to Puerto Maldonado by boat for your flight to Lima. If there is time be sure to visit the Inkaterra Butterfly House located close to the airport. Peru boasts the greatest variety of butterflies in the world, many of which can be seen at the Butterfly House. Upon arrival at Puerto Maldonado Airport you arrangements with On the Go come to a finish.