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Take delight in the magic of Lake Titicaca staying on Taquile island
Travel in luxury on the Andean Explorer (Travel upto 30th April 2017) after which the train is replaced by a flight back to Cusco.
Canoe the Tambopata River and stay in an EcoLodge
Guided tour of Machu Picchu 'The Lost City of the Incas'
Trek through the Sacred Valley untouched for centuries
Walk in the rainforest and see the incredible wildlife
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13 days

A delightful combination of culture, wildlife and history, our Best of Peru package offers something for everyone!

The tour begins at Lake Titicaca, one of the most fascinating lakes in the world. It is the world's highest navigable lake at over 3800 meters and is a sacred place for the Inca civilization, as their mythology says that the first Inca king, Manco Capac, was born here. We stay on Taquile island where you can enjoy a  'homestay' which will be a memorable experience before travelling to Cuzco on the luxurious Andean Explorer where you will be spoilt by outstanding views & incredible service. Note:- Andean Explorer will cease to operate after 30th April 2017. After that date it is replaced by a flight to Cuzco. 

At the heart of the once mighty Inca empire, Cuzco is an experience to enjoy in itself before setting off for a 3 day trek to Machu Picchu. The trail starts from the Sacred Valley, so called because of its incredible fertility, and crosses two 4000 metre passes as well as visiting the relaxing hot springs in Lares before finishing at Aguas Calientes and your tour of Machu Picchu.

rainforest alliance tambopata eco lodgeFlying to Puerto Maldonado, we take a motorised canoe up the Tambopata River to the Tambopata Ecolodge. In Peru it is tourism that has made it possible to create national reserves and save the forests of the Amazon basin from destruction. By working to encourage travellers to visit the rainforest, we are ensuring it will be around for future generations to appreciate. Pioneering projects like Tambopata Ecolodge, established in 1991, provide the model that teaches local people the importance of conserving our natural heritage, by showing them that forests are worth more to us all when they are left to flourish, instead of being exploited. The Tambopata Ecolodge is verified by the Rainforest Alliance.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1Arrive at Juliaca Airport, transfer to hotel in Puno

You will be met at Juliaca Airport and transferred to your hotel in Puno. The rest of the day will be free time in Puno.

Day 2Boat to Islands of Uros. Boat to Taquile Island for homestay

Your guide will pick you up from your hotel at 07.30 hours to be transferred to the port of Puno where you will board a motor boat and travel across the lake for about 40 minutes to visit the floating islands of Uros. Here a family will welcome you, invite you into their homes and explain about their customs and way of life. You will then have time to make a short tour on the reed boats (Totora) around the islands. You then continue across the lake and after a 3-hour journey arrive at Taquile Island. There, a long gradually ascending path will take you to the village. It takes approximately 50 minutes to walk up to the village to visit the communal cooperative, where you can watch the islanders making traditional textiles and clothing. You have lunch at one of the local restaurants with magnificent views of the surrounding area. After some free time in the afternoon, your guide will take you for a hike to the highest point of the island to watch the sunset.

Day 3Taquile Island and return to Puno

After breakfast you leave your host family and hike for around 2 hours to the far end of the island, passing through local communities and with some great views across the lake. Your trek will end at a quiet beach, where you have time to relax, and if you're feeling brave, can take a swim in this famous lake. Lunch is taken at a restaurant overlooking the beach. You leave the island to return to Puno, a 3-hour return journey, at about 13.00 hours. Upon arrival at Puno, at approximately 16.00 hours you are transferred to your hotel.

Day 4Fly to Cuzco, Transfer to hotel

We will collect you from the hotel for a private transfer to Juliaca airport where you will catch your flight to Cuzco. It takes around an hour to fly to Cuzco, with some great views of the Andes below. On arrival in Cuzco, you will be met by your Kandoo guide and transferred to your hotel.

Day 5City tour of Cuzco

Today we tour the Andean city of Cuzco, once the foremost city of the Inca empire and the continent's oldest continuously inhabited city. Firstly we visit the Plaza de Armas followed by a trip to Sacsayhuaman, a huge, stunning ruin of both religious and military significance. The most striking part of the site is the magnificent three-tiered zigzag fortifications. Some stones weigh more than 360 tons but were carefully cut to fit together tightly without mortar. We also see Q'enqo - also known as the Labyrinth, this temple dedicated to Mother Earth is a unique centre of celebrations and astronomical studies and has numerous ceremonial carvings, holes and zigzagging channels cut into the rock. Q'enqo is thought to have been used for ritual sacrifices – letting the blood flow and determining whether they were intended for heaven or hell depending on which direction it flowed. Next up is Puca Pucara, or the Red Fort. This is a smaller Inca site, thought to have been used as a resting place for guards. The complex contains several rooms, inner plazas, aqueducts, and has some great views over the surrounding jungle. Moving on to the archaeological site of Tambomachay which is thought to have filled an important altar function linked to water and the regeneration of the land and closely linked with Pucapucara. The site consists of large terraces, canals, and aqueducts which carry water – presumed to be from an underground spring further up the mountain.

Day 6Drive from Cuzco to Qiswarani, trek to Cuncani

We leave Cuzco early in the morning by private bus and travel through the Sacred Valley, stopping in Calca for a break before continuing for 3 more hours to Qiswarani (3700m). There we will meet our arrieros (horsemen) and start our trek. We begin by going up gradually to 4200m where we will rest at a nice lagoon. From there we continue to the first pass, Hualcacassa (4425m), where there are great views of snowy peaks and below the seven lagoons to which we descend for lunch. In the afternoon we head off to the second pass, Qolqecasa (4200m), and descend down to the village of Cuncani (3800m), where we will camp tonight, and whose inhabitants still speak in the local Quechua language.

  • Elevation: from 3400 metres to 3800 metres
  • Highest point: 4425 metres (Hualcacassa Pass)
Day 7Trek from Cuncani to Mantanay

After breakfast, we start today by ascending gradually up to 3900m to follow the undulating trail to reach the Huachahuasi Valley. We then start to climb up to the Auroracassa Pass. At 4600m, the pass is the highest point in our trek. We then descend to our second campsite at Mantanay (3850m).

  • Elevation: from 3800 metres to 3850 metres
  • Highest point: 4600 metres (Auroracassa Pass)
Day 8Trek from Mantanay to Yanuara, drive to Ollantaytambo, train to Aguas Calientes

This will be our last day of hiking and the easiest. We descend through a Qeuñas bush valley with plantations of potatoes, corn and vegetables before we arrive in Yanuara, where we will have our last camping lunch. Here we will say goodbye to the staff (cook, horsemen) as we now continue by road to Ollantaytambo. Situated in a fertile river valley and sheltered by mammoth mountains, this ancient Inca village is considered one of the most important living museums in the world. We take the train from here to Aguas Calientes and spend the night there in a hotel.

  • Elevation: from 3850 metres to 2050 metres
Day 9Machu Picchu Tour - Train Ollantaytambo - Transfer Cuzco

Today, you will be given a guided tour of the Lost City of the Incas and then have time to explore the ancient ruins for yourself. There is an option to climb Huayna Picchu, the famous mountain behind the ruins. In the afternoon, we will catch the train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, where you will be met by our driver who will transfer you to your hotel in Cuzco.

Day 10Fly to Puerto Maldonado. Transfer by boat to lodge

We will collect you from your hotel and transfer you to Cuzco airport for your flight to Puerto Maldonado. On arrival, you will be met by your naturalist guide and transferred to a dugout canoe for the trip up the Tambopata River to the Tambopata Eco Lodge. On the journey the vegetation changes from colonized deforested areas to virgin rainforest. A box-lunch is provided on board. On arrival you'll have a welcome drink and meet the rest of the staff. In the late afternoon you set off for an introductory walk into the "terra firma" forest behind the lodge, dominated by giant Brazil-nut and Dipteryx trees. After dinner there will be a night walk to find nocturnal animals, as about 50% of the animals in the rainforest are nocturnal.

Day 11Canoe and hike to Lake Condenado

After an early breakfast you and your guide will board the motorized canoe once again for the short journey to the trail head to begin a morning's exploration by foot and paddle canoe of the lake system of Condenado. This whole area is rich in bird and aquatic life and a family of giant otters lives in the vicinity of the lake. The afternoon is for exploring the forest close to the lodge (with or without your guide), relaxing and bathing in the Gallucunca, a cool clear stream beside the lodge. An option bookable locally it to visit the tree platforms, going up with ropes and harnesses for a bird's eye view of the forest and for close-ups of arboreal orchids and the many other species of plants and animals that are never seen near the ground. After dark you will go searching for caiman (alligators) and other nocturnal animals by motorized canoe along the Tambopata River.

Day 12 Hike to Lake Sachavacayoc

After an early breakfast you will take a short boat ride down river to the trail head. Here you embark on a longer trail which leads to a spectacular hidden lake, requiring the crossing of streams and swampy ground, past the giant Lupuna trees (kings of the jungle) which abound in this part of the forest. On the walk you are introduced to more aspects of the forest and its animals. At the lake itself it is possible to spot the elusive Black Caiman and Giant Otters. You return to the lodge for lunch and the afternoon is free for relaxation.

Day 13Transfer to Puerto Maldonado airport by boat

A dawn start is required for the canoe trip back to Puerto Maldonado, giving memorable views of the sunrise over the river. This gives you a last chance to look out for wildlife that are particularly active at this time. Howler monkeys are frequently heard, as they stakeout their territories. From the airport at Puerto Maldonado you can fly to your next destination in Peru, or back to Lima for your international connection.

  • Meet and greet on arrival at Juliaca airport and transfer to your hotel
  • Hotel accommodation in Puno for two nights on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Boat transportation on Lake Titicaca for two days
  • Service of our qualified guide
  • Overnight stay on Taquile Island on a full board basis
  • Transfer to Puno train station
  • Andean Explorer train from Puno to Cuzco (For travel upto 30th April 2017)
    After which the train is replaced by a flight to Cuzco.
  • Meet and greet on arrival at Cuzco station and transfer to your hotel
  • Hotel accommodation in Cuzco for two nights before and one night after your trek, on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Half day guided tour of Cuzco
  • Transfers from your hotel to and from the trek start point
  • All Machu Picchu trekking permits
  • Sleeping tents, mess tent and private toilet tent
  • Service of our qualified guides, cooks and horsemen
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on the trek
  • Hotel accommodation in Aguas Calientes for one night on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Transfer to Cuzco airport
  • Internal flight from Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado
  • Return group transfer by boat from Puerto Maldonado to your lodge
  • Lodge accommodation at the Tambopata Eco Lodge on a full board basis
  • Hikes and excursions as per itinerary
Not Included
  • International airfares and departure taxes
  • Meals and drinks not specified
  • Deviation from the itinerary provided
  • Tips and gratuities for guides, trekking crew and hotel staff
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Personal travel insurance, to include trekking to 4500m
  • Personal hiking/trekking gear
  • Snacks or personal medicine
  • Entry fee for Tambopata National Reserve (US$25 per person, payable locally)
  • Tree climbing with harnesses at Tambopata Eco Lodge


Last Updated April 14 2017
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