This holiday combines a fascinating Peruvian Amazon cruise with a visit to Machu Picchu for a trip that’s rich in both wildlife and culture.
Fly into Lima and then on to Iquitos, you’ll board a luxury, full-board small-ship cruise, recognised by National Geographic Adventure Magazine as one of the 25 greatest adventures in the world! The 31-passenger Amazon Star offers unrivalled comfort and service, including certified naturalist guides who’ll accompany you on excursions on the river and into the jungle and local villages.
After the cruise, fly to Cusco to discover this striking city of colonial and Incan heritage. Make the journey to Machu Picchu where we’ve included a guided tour and some free time, to be sure you get the most from your visit.
Staying in beautiful hotels that remember Peru’s colonial past, this itinerary is a comfortable and exhilarating way to experience two of Peru’s most iconic destinations in one holiday.
This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.
Depart the UK from your chosen airport.
When you land in Lima, you’ll be met by your guide and driver who will drive you to your hotel in the city, and explain a little about Lima as you drive. You’ll have the rest of the day at leisure to rest or explore a little of this city.
After breakfast, you’ll be driven to the airport to catch your flight to Iquitos, the capital of the Peruvian Amazon. On arrival, you’ll be met and driven by a private car to the Explorama port to board the Amazon Star.
On board, you’ll get a welcome drink and hear an orientation and safety briefing; then you’ll set sail along the Amazon - the longest river in the world. Tonight you’ll have a welcome dinner buffet and a briefing about what’s going on tomorrow.
Early this morning, you can choose to go to the bar deck for some bird watching. As a country, Peru has the second highest number of bird species in the world, and the Amazon is home to most of them!
After breakfast, you’ll go on a guided skiff exploration to see the jungle, some local villages and to look out for wildlife. After lunch, there will be another skiff exploration of the black water Yarapa River; a natural reserve that’s protected by a local community. Look out for monkeys, bats, and sloths who make their home on the banks and in the trees. Tonight you’ll have dinner and hear the next day´s briefing.
Begin your day with an optional bird watching activity from the Bar Deck. Today you will visit Yanallpa, a beautiful creek near the Ucayali River. You’ll visit a village and a school to learn about the culture and everyday life in the Amazon. You can also buy beautiful handicrafts and help the sustainability of the community.
After lunch, a naturalist guide will talk to you about the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve and spend some time exploring. Tonight, there’s a night safari on the Dorado Creek where you can look out for birds including the Common Potoo, Great Potoo, nightjars and night herons, as well as other nocturnal wildlife. Later, you’ll have dinner and hear the next day´s briefing.
There’s an early start this morning with a 6 am wake-up call, so you can have breakfast and then jump into a boat exploration along the Pacaya River to look for red howler and spider monkeys that live here. After lunch, there’s an expert talk from a naturalist guide about the source of the Amazon River, followed by a skiff exploration to Yuracocha Lake where you can see some spectacular giant water Lilies. Later, you’ll have dinner and participate in the next day´s briefing.
After an early breakfast, you’ll go for a skiff exploration to the Supay Creek on the lookout for the Pigmy Marmoset, the world’s smallest monkey who lives in the canopy and loves to snack on tree sap.
Before lunch, you’ll hear another talk on tales from the Amazon; then you’ll visit a village. You’ll meet a shaman at San Jose de Paranpura Village who will explain his traditional healing techniques, some medicinal plants and the spiritual practices. The shaman will perform a traditional blessing for those who are interested in taking part.
Returning to the ship, you’ll get to witness an Amazon sunset over the confluence of the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers before dinner is served. Get a good night’s sleep before tomorrow’s early disembarkation.
Breakfast is served very early this morning so you can disembark the ship at Nauta City by 5 am. You’ll be driven to the airport for your flight to Cusco, where you’ll be met and driven to your hotel.
Your day starts with a guided city tour of Cusco. You’ll visit the colonial centre of this beautiful city and take in the main sights including the cathedral dominating the grand Plaza de Armas and the Santo Domingo Convent. Your guide will also take you to the Inca ruins that are situated just outside the city, including the Sacsayhuaman fortress.
After the tour, you’ll be driven back to your hotel and the rest of the day will be at leisure.
In the morning you’ll be driven to the train station to catch a train to Aguas Calientes, a small village that’s the gateway to Machu Picchu. Your guide will meet you and accompany you on the short bus ride to Machu Picchu.
Here you’ll have a privately guided tour but also have some time to visit the ruins at your own pace.
After the tour, you’ll hop back on the bus to Aguas Calientes, where lunch is included in a local restaurant, with the afternoon will be free for you to spend as you wish.
This morning you have the option to return to Machu Picchu and explore at your leisure (please ask us for a second entrance ticket if you choose this). Alternatively, you’ll have a morning at leisure in Aguas Calientes. In the afternoon, make your way to the train station and board the train back to Cusco, where you’ll be met and driven back to your hotel.
Today you’ll be collected and driven to the airport for your flight home.
Land back in the UK.
Why not add in a stopover?
Machu Picchu can be visited all year round and the Amazon best time to travel is between June and October which is the drier season.
This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.
10 nights in 5* standard accommodation.
Hotels in this category include: