Visit two big Peru highlights in one trip – the Inca city of Machu Picchu and the Amazon rainforest.
Arriving in Cusco, you’ll head straight into the mystical Sacred Valley to explore this region that was at heart of the Incan Empire. After a city tour of Cusco itself, you’ll take the train to Aguas Calientes – the gateway to Machu Picchu, where your local guide will meet you and take you for an amazing tour!
Next, you’ll fly north from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado to explore a completely different side of Peru – the Amazon rainforest. Spend three nights in a lodge deep into the jungle, with expertly-guided excursions that will introduce you to the birds, creatures and plants of the rainforest and help you see what Amazonian life is like. Adventure by day, and by night enjoy unwinding at one of the Amazon’s best lodges – discovery and relaxation all in one!
When you land in Cusco you’ll be picked up by your guide and driven into the Sacred Valley. Along the way, you’ll visit several sights of interest including a stop at Pisac market, full of colourful stalls selling produce and locally-made crafts including alpaca textiles, musical instruments, paintings, carvings, necklaces and Incan replica pieces.
After lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll visit Ollantaytambo, one of the most remarkable complexes of the Inca Empire and whose present-day residents still live according to old traditions. At the end of the day after your tour, you’ll be dropped off at your hotel in the Sacred Valley.
This morning you’ll be collected and driven to Ollanta train station for the 2-hour train ride to the village of Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu, also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo.
Here, a local guide will meet you and accompany you on the short bus ride to Machu Picchu - Peru’s most important archaeological site. You’ll have a guided tour of the citadel to help you understand its history and meaning, and you’ll also have some spare time to explore on your own. Why not walk to the Sun Gate or add a trek to Wayna Picchu?
After Machu Picchu, you’ll hop back on the bus and have lunch at a local restaurant in Aguas Calientes, with the afternoon free for you to relax or explore. Tonight you will stay at a hotel in the village.
Today you can opt to make a second, independent visit to Machu Picchu for a second visit – if so, we recommend an early start so you can see the sunrise over the citadel and avoid the crowds arriving later in the morning.
Alternatively, why not explore Aguas Calientes and visit the butterfly park? In the afternoon, make your way to the train station to catch the train back to Cusco, where you’ll be met and driven to your hotel.
After breakfast today, we’ve included a Cusco city tour to visit the main sights including the Santo Domingo Convent and the majestic Cathedral dominating Plaza de Armas square. Just outside the city, you’ll also tour the magnificent fortress of Sacsayhuaman where on 24 June every year, they re-enact an important Inca ceremony called the Inti Raymi Sun Festival. It is the second largest festival in South America and brings visitors from all over the world to take part in this week-long celebration. You’ll also visit the interesting archaeological sites at Quenqo and Puka Pukara before going back to your hotel, with the rest of the day at leisure.
This morning you’ll be picked up from your hotel and driven to the airport for your flight from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon. On arrival, you’ll be met by the staff of your Amazon Lodge and taken to their offices to check in, before taking a motorised canoe along the river to your lodge.
Once you get to the lodge, you’ll check in, meet your naturalist guides and have lunch, before choosing an excursion for this afternoon.
You have two full days at the lodge to explore the Amazon rainforest. The lodges offer a selection of activities including canopy walks, river explorations by canoe and night safaris so you can listen to and look out for nocturnal life.
When you’re back at the lodge, you’ll have plenty of time to relax, and you’ll be served three delicious meals per day.
After breakfast today, you’ll take the boat back to Puerto Maldonado, where you can visit a Butterfly House before catching your next flight.
This itinerary can be enjoyed all year round. However, the best season with the chance of better weather is from May to October for both Machu Picchu and the Amazon. Better to avoid the month of August if possible as the crowds at Machu Picchu will be at their peak. June is a month of celebrations in Cusco so it would be a nice experience to see the city’s festive spirit during its main festival of the year.
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.
6 nights in 3* standard accommodation.
Hotels in this category include: