Iquitos and Machu Picchu: Wonders of Peru

Duration: 10 days

Highlights: Lima, Sacred Valley, Cusco, Iquitos

This program visits many of the country's highlights including Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Iquitos and Machu Picchu.

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Day 1 - Welcome to Lima!

On arrival at the International Airport of Lima, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

* Meals today are under your own arrangements.

Lima, the Capital of Peru was founded on 18th January 1535, by Spanish Conquistador Francisco Pizarro, and quickly became known as the City of the Kings. Within 70 years it was the most important city in the Spanish-American Empire and was the focal point for European trade and cultural activity in the region. It is a city of rare fascination and unexpected pleasures. Lima has decaying colonial splendor and the teeming vitality of an oriental bazaar; melancholy cloudy winters and warm breezy summers; impoverished urban sprawl and quiet elegant corners among ancient buildings where the night air is scented with jasmine.

Overnight: Belmond Miraflores Park

Meal Plan:

Day 2 - Explore the “City of the Kings”

This morning, visit the “City of the Kings”, starting in Plaza Mayor, the original site upon which Lima was founded. You will visit the historic Cathedral which is an architectural masterpiece. Leaving here you will pass the presidential Palace with its excellent photo opportunities and go on to Santo Domingo Convent.

After you have finished in the historic center, you will be driven across Lima to the Larco Museum where the extensive private collection of pre-Inca ceramics is considered to be the largest of its kind in the world. It showcases remarkable chronological galleries providing an excellent overview of 3,000 years of development of Peruvian Pre-Columbian History. For an unforgettable experience, Larco is one of the few museums in the world where visitors can also choose to enter the storage area with its 45,000 classified archaeological objects.

Lunch and dinner are under your own arrangements.

The afternoon will be for you to explore the City of the Kings, on your own.

Overnight: Belmond Miraflores Park

Meal Plan: B

Day 3 - Welcome to Cusco!

This morning, you are transferred to the airport where you embark on your flight to Cusco.

Upon arrival in Cusco, Andean community and former ancient capital of the Inca Empire, you are met and transferred to your hotel in The Sacred Valley of the Incas.

En route, you visit Manaos de la Comunidad, a center where South American Camelids (members of the camel family); Llamas, Alpacas, Guanacos, and Vicunas are all bred. You learn about the renowned fibers created from their coats, as well as the ancient weaving techniques which are still used.

Lunch and dinner are under your own arrangements.

Overnight in The Sacred Valley

Overnight: Belmond Rio Sagrado

Meal Plan: B

Day 4 - The Paso Horses

Meet Quechua-speaking farmers and weavers on an inspiring half-day visit to an Andean highland community in the Sacred Valley near the well-known market town and former Inca royal palace of Chinchero. This personal encounter reveals the unique lifestyle and traditions of descendants from the mighty Inca Empire. Explore their village, see and taste the typical food of the area, understand their ancient medical remedies, watch weavers at work, wander into the fields to learn about local agricultural practices and join in a traditional Andean blessing. Drive through the valley to the salt pans of Maras (Salineras de Maras) to appreciate a method of salt extraction used since Inca times. From the village of Maras, continue to Moray, a fascinating archaeological site comprising a series of concentric agricultural terraces, some as deep as 150 meters (492 feet), while enjoying the magnificent views this part of the Sacred Valley offers. This is followed by lunch at Rancho Wayra, where you will witness a spectacular equestrian exhibition. The Paso horses will amaze you with their graceful gait and impress you with their elegant look, prancing to the rhythm of live Marinera music, played and danced by a group of first-rate artists.

Overnight in The Sacred Valley.

Overnight: Belmond Rio Sagrado

Meal Plan: B,L

Day 5 - Vistadome Train to Machu Picchu

This morning you board the Vistadome train to Machu Picchu.

Accompanied by your guide, explore the city’s ruins, and feel its pulse as you visualize the lives of the priests, craftsmen, and servants who inhabited this seemingly uninhabitable citadel. Excavations at the site have revealed skeletons, artifacts and woolen clothing, but no gold. The same precision of assembled stones exists here as in other Incan sites.

Enjoy a buffet lunch at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge.

Then, you will be returning to Aguas Calientes to board the Vistadome train to Cusco city.

Arrival, reception, and transfer to your local hotel.

Dinner is under your own arrangements

Overnight: Belmond Monasterio Hotel

Meal Plan: B,L

Day 6 - City Tour Around Cusco

Morning at leisure to explore the city on your own.

Your city tour this afternoon includes the city’s cathedral, dubbed as one the most beautiful churches in the Americas. Its construction was influenced by the great Spanish cathedrals of the era, reflecting Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles. Another beautiful church is Santo Domingo, a 16th-century Dominican church and convent built on the foundations of the Koricancha (“Place of Gold”). This site was the principal Incan religious structure dedicated to the worship of the sun and an astronomical observatory. Just outside of Cusco, you find the ruins of Sacsayhuamán, an impressive example of Incan military architecture, with stones weighing up to 125 tons, and a testimonial to Incan architectural skills. You are challenged to try to slip a piece of paper between the cracks of these blocks, which were cut and fit together with incredible precision. This ancient fortress, where the greatest battle between the Spanish and Incas took place, overlooks the red-tiled roofs of Cusco and the spectacular lush countryside.
Lunch and dinner are under your own arrangements.

Overnight: Belmond Monasterio Hotel

Meal Plan: B

Day 7 - Welcome to the Amazon City of Iquitos!

Transfer to the airport to board your domestic flight to Lima Arrival and assistance at the airport to board your domestic flight to Iquitos Arrive to the Amazon city of Iquitos and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. The afternoon continues with an introduction to the historic city of Iquitos and the opportunity to visit an indigenous Amazon community.

In the early evening, embark on the Aqua Nera and settle into your generously-sized suite as you begin one of life’s greatest adventures. Following an introduction to our naturalist guides and a routine safety drill, gather at the restaurant for the first of many Amazonian cuisine experiences created by Aqua Nera consulting chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, whose restaurant, is one of Peru’s most renowned dining establishments.

Overnight: Aqua Nera

Meal Plan: B,BXL,D

Day 8 - Sail on to Lake Clavero and Yarapa River

Aboard our comfortable skiffs, set sail from the Amazon River to the Yarapa River. Ready your binoculars to spot tropical songbirds, black-collared hawks, and sloths. Line-fish for Amazon’s notoriously ferocious piranhas while our naturalist guides share stories of Lake Moringo.

In the afternoon, cruise on Lake Clavero where villagers rely on traditional dugout canoes to get around. Swim in the lake’s calm waters or visit native residents of Amazonia who welcome you to their community with open arms.

Overnight: Aqua Nera

Meal Plan: B,L,D

Day 9 - Yanallpa River

You will explore the black water tributaries of the Yanallpa River by skiff, disembarking to walk deep into the wildlife-rich Amazonian rainforest. Later, board the skiffs again to cruise along the El Dorado River for a dusk excursion in search of exotic nocturnal creatures.

Overnight: Aqua Nera

Meal Plan: B,L,D

Day 10 - Visit the Manatee Rescue Center

In the morning, take a guided visit to the local market and marvel at the regional produce of the Peruvian Amazon, and sample exotic snacks if you wish.
Return to the Aqua Nera for breakfast before disembarkation. En route to the airport, visit the Manatee Rescue Center, where orphaned Amazonian manatees rehabilitate before they are released back into the wild.


Meal Plan: B

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