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Ultimate Peru Experience

11 Days FROM AUD 7,898

Overview

Explore the world’s largest tropical forest on board the new luxury Delfin III Amazon Vessel on a 3 night itinerary that combines natural wonders, dramatic scenery and indigenous culture.  Spend a night in Chimu’s own boutique hotel in Lima, Casa Republica located in the upcoming district of El Barranco before you embark on daily hikes through the seldom travelled Lares Region through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to Machu Picchu.  Stay in mountain lodges run in partnership with local communities and meet local weavers and farmers and get a glimpse of the distant past. 

Trip Code: PETSUPEX

Location: Peru

ITINERARY INSPIRATION

On arrival into Iquitos Airport you will be met by a crew member from Delfin III for the group transfer by private vehicle to Nauta. Before departing Iquitos there will be a panoramic tour of this bustling river city, the largest city in the Peruvian Rainforest. During the 20th century, the city attracted many Europeans immigrants who contributed to a period of great wealth, commercial and social development. Enjoy a box lunch enroute.

Nauta is a small riverside town on the banks of the Marañon River, approximately 95 kilometres from Iquitos and was the first city founded in the department of Loreto. On arrival at Nauta, board the Delfin III at a private port on the shores of the Marañon River. After a VIP welcome, you will be shown to your suite with time to settle in.

While the Delfin begins its initial navigation, you will enjoy the most fantastic panoramic views from the elegantly outfitted observation area located on the third deck, whilst sipping an exotic cocktail made with regional fruits and pisco, the beloved national brandy liquor of Peru. Your naturalist guide will give you an overview of your journey’s schedule, activities, route, highlights, wildlife and vegetation, geographical and historical background, and other useful details.

The third deck features an entertainment centre which offers use for film presentations, as well as extensive literature about the area (fauna, flora, etc.) There is also a completely equipped bar so you can test any combination of regional and international liquors and aromas that the bartender will be happy to provide for you to enjoy under the spell of the beautiful Amazonian afternoons and night, and the sweet breeze of the rainforest. Moreover, should you have any doubts or questions, your guides are always fully at your service.

Welcome to Iquitos

This morning, board the skiffs to explore the Samiria River. The skiffs skim the Samiria River and its tributaries, where an abundance of wildlife hides in the deep rainforest, such as blue and yellow macaws, scarlet macaws, toucans, umbrella birds, monkeys, and river others, capybaras and more. Your naturalists and his expert eye pinpoint all the biodiversity of this region. This is also a popular dolphin feeding spot so you won´t be the only one enjoying the plethora of fish below.

Return to the Delfin III for lunch.

This afternoon, start cruising through the Yanayacu and Pucate Rivers, peeking into different creeks and lagoons. This is one of the best preserved and protected zones of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Your guide will use his expert eye to pinpoint all the biodiversity of this region. You will even have the opportunity to swim in the jungle river along with the famous pink dolphins!

Cruising

Morning walk at Fundo Casual jungle trail that will take you deep into the rainforest on “Terra Firma” (non flooded forest) where your guide will point out the dynamic creatures and vegetation of the Amazon. Be sure to keep an attentive eye open for spotting surprises!

Return to the Delfin III for lunch.

This afternoon visit the community of San Francisco. Take a short skiff ride and jungle walk to meet local villagers who have called Amazonia their home for generations. Visit a market featuring amazing arts and crafts from the local women. Go for a jungle walk with your guide to search for nocturnal creatures.

After a delicious dinner, visit Nauta Caño Creek. Go fishing for the famous piranha, a delightful and challenging experience you won’t forget! As night approaches, your guide will take you on a night safari in search of caiman and nocturnal birds.

Cruising

Disembarking at the port of Nauta, Delfin’s ground crew will be waiting to take you by private vehicle back to the city of Iquitos. On the way, visit the Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre of River Mammals (ACOBIA) where you will have the chance to meet and feed baby manatees and learn about these wonderful and docile creatures and why they are on the endangered species list. Other animals that have been rescued from capture for the intention of being turned into pets and other threatening conditions are also cared for at the centre. At Iquitos Airport staff will be on hand to give you your boarding passes and assist with check in ready for your return flight to Lima.

On arrival in Lima you will be met by a representative of Chimu Adventures and transferred to your hotel.

Lima, the capital of Peru, sits on the country's arid Pacific coast. Founded in 1535, its colonial centre is well preserved, but today Lima is a bustling metropolis and one of South America’s largest cities. The city is home to the various museums including the Museo Larco that houses a collection of pre-Columbian art and the Museo de la Nación, tracing the history of Peru’s ancient civilizations. Lima is known as the “gastronomical capital of the Americas”, encompassing specialties from ceviche and traditional coastal cooking to refined global fare. It even boasts several of the top restaurants in the world.

Iquitos – Lima

Breakfast at the hotel.

This morning you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the airport in time for your onward flight to Cusco.

On arrival in Cusco, you will be met by a representative of Chimu Adventures and transferred to your hotel.

Cusco, set at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Peruvian Andes, was once the capital of the Inca Empire. It is known for its Spanish colonial architecture and Incan remains. Narrow, cobble-stoned streets lined by Inca walls stretch out from the main plaza in every direction. Many of the colonial buildings were built on top of Incan foundations and the stonework is unparalleled in its precision and beauty.

This evening at 1800 hours, an important information meeting regarding the Lares Adventure will be held at your hotel. Meet your Mountain Lodges of Peru Lares Adventure guides and other travellers.

Lima – Cusco

Today begin the 5-day Lares Adventures to Machu Picchu, which offers a perfect combination of traditional adventure travel and cultural immersion.

Your experience on our 5 day lodge-to-lodge journey will alternate between an exploration of the astounding natural scenery of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and an intimate look at Andean culture, both in busy towns and in the most-remote of mountain hamlets.

Daily expeditions will lead you along seldom-travelled highland trails surrounded by exquisite snow-capped peaks, past roving herds of llamas and alpacas, around impossibly hued turquoise lakes, and through graceful waterfalls. Your destinations will include fascinating archaeological sites, thought-provoking agricultural and commercial Andean cooperatives, as well as bustling towns and markets showcasing the flavours of the region and the wares of its skilled artisans. Most importantly, you will travel to hidden communities unchanged for centuries for a unique up-close visit with the local people.

Expert guides tailor the experience with an offer of à la carte activities and daily cultural encounters. At each day’s sunset, settle into deluxe mountain lodges run in partnership with local communities, to prepare for a new day of multi-activity adventure and exploration.

Each day on The Lares Adventure you will have the opportunity to tailor your trip from a choice of varied activities designed to offer both adventure and cultural education. Design your own adventure!

The town square is often the centre of activity throughout this region, but so too is the town market, and none is more alive than the famous market at Pisaq. A morning visit to check out its unique array of products will inspire you with a small taste of the rich culture yet to be explored on your journey. Travellers seeking inspiration in nature can opt for an invigorating morning hike surrounded by amazing views of the Andes Mountains that guard this magnificent valley.

Later, enjoy exclusive access to the isolated community of Viacha, where you will learn about its artisanal potato farming practices and enjoy a traditional “Pachamanca” meal, cooked under hot stones. After lunch you will visit the archaeological complex at Pisaq, an afternoon excursion that offers a unique opportunity to explore the complex free of crowds, with the sun setting behind the peaks.

Group Activity: Group lunch at the local community of Viacha. In the afternoon, the whole group visits the Pisaq archaeological site together, before heading to the lodge.

Activity Menu (morning to noon):

1st option - Cultural Activity: Visit Awanakancha (an Andean camelid exhibition and traditional textile centre), the town of Pisaq and local market, and experience an encounter with members of the local community of Viacha.

2nd option - Hike: From the local community of Amaru to the local community of Viacha / Duration 2.5-3 hrs. / Moderate / Mountain pass at an elevation of 14,200´ - 4,328m.

Cusco – Sacred Valley

Now that you have gotten a glimpse of the rich Andean tapestry, today you will have the opportunity to go even deeper with an exploration into the heart of the Lares Valley. A scenic drive into the mountains, along the celebrated “Inca Weaver’s Trail”, allows you to visit the unique and uncrowded archeological site of Ancasmarca along the hub-town of Lares.

After lunch, you can choose between visiting the traditional and ancient weavers’ village of Choquecancha, or opt for hiking amidst turquoise blue lakes and towering peaks to the remote village of Huacahuasi, where we all meet to spend the night. This lodge, which is run in joint venture with the local community and aims to protect the cultural heritage and the environment, provides an interesting insight into the evolving role of the original Andean people in both the culture and commerce of modern-day Cusco.

Group Activity (morning to noon):

• In the morning, briefly explore the town of Lamay and visit the archaeological site of Ancasmarca.
• Group lunch at the town of Lares.

Activity Menu (afternoon, after the group visit):

1st option - Cultural Activity: Visit the town of Choquecancha, meet with local weavers and visit the old church.

2nd option - Hike: From Quelquena to Huacahuasi / Duration 2-2.5 hrs. / Easy to moderate / Mountain pass at an elevation of 12,595´- 3,839 m.

3rd option - Hike: From Cuncani to Huacahuasi / Duration 3.5-4 hrs. / Moderate / Mountain pass at an elevation of 13,838´- 4,219m.

Lares Region - Inca Sites & Villages

We spend some time in the morning learning more about the heritage and day-to-day activities of the Huacahuasi community. Then, you can choose to embark on a spectacular hike through varied terrain and over a high pass, to the adjacent valley leading to the ancient town of Ollantaytambo, the oldest living city in Latin America. If you prefer to see more of the Sacred Valley, you can drive back for a visit to an ethnographic museum featuring the history of Peru’s rich civilizations of the past or choose to explore the valley on mountain bike.

Enjoy lunch in the Urubamba River countryside on your way to Ollantaytambo, where you can spend time meandering through its charming maze-like streets.

Activity Menu (all day):

1st option - Cultural Activity: Drive back to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, visit a local farmer’s market and a Pre-Inca and Inca cultural museum. Enjoy lunch at a countryside restaurant and in the afternoon explore the town of Ollantaytambo.

2nd option - Optional Bike Excursion: Drive back and explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas on mountain bike (2 hrs.). Enjoy lunch at a countryside restaurant and in the afternoon explore the town of Ollantaytambo.

3rd option - Hike: From Huacahuasi to Patacancha / Duration 7 hrs. / Moderate to challenging / Mountain pass at an elevation of 14,646’ - 4,464m. Lunch en route at Ipsaycocha Lake. Afternoon arrival in Ollantaytambo.

4th option – Inca Trail Hike: Beautiful hike from Lares pass to the village of Totora / Duration 3 hrs. / Easy to moderate. Enjoy a Barbeque lunch at a Kuychi Rumi.

Note: Guests that opt for the cultural activity and guests that opt for the Inca trail hike excursion will meet for lunch in Urubamba at a countryside restaurant and visit the town of Ollantaytambo together in the afternoon. Guests that opt for the hike will meet up with the rest of the group late in the afternoon at the hotel in The Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Overnight at Hotel in Ollantaytambo town .

Sacred Valley - Expedition to Ollantaytambo

From its beginnings as the royal estate of Inca-Emperor Pachacutec, to a stronghold against the Spanish conquistadors for Manco Inca Yupanqui, the temple at Ollantaytambo was regarded by the Incas as one of their most important ceremonial centres. Today, an optional and short early morning hike to Inca storage structures high above Ollantaytambo will give you a magnificent view of the town as well as of the main archaeological site across the valley. Afterwards, as your guide leads you on a morning tour of the temple and explains its strategic architectural planning, you will also get a sense of its mystical history…a perfect introduction to the wonders of Machu Picchu. Around noon we embark on a scenic train ride along the famous Urubamba River to Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu, whose charm lies in a history that began as a small railway stop and evolved into a bustling town still bisected by the train tracks.

Activity Menu (early morning, before the group activity):

1st option - Hike: Lower Pinkuylluna Mountain above Ollantaytambo / Duration 1-1.5 hrs. / Moderate.

2nd option - Hike: Higher Pinkuylluna Mountain above Ollantaytambo / Duration 2-2.5 hrs. / Moderate to challenging.

Group Activity: In the morning, after the optional early morning activities, explore the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo, before boarding the train to the town of Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes).

Overnight at Hotel in Aguas Calientes town.

Sacred Valley - Discovering Ollantaytambo

At dawn, we begin our journey to Machu Picchu with a short uphill bus ride. As you enter the “Sanctuary” (as locals refer to it), the morning sun rises over the iconic Sun Gate and washes the structures and terraces with resplendent light. Prepare to be awed by the imposing and skilful architecture of the Watchtower, the Temple of the Sun and the royal Inca residences, among many others. Take a moment to quietly sit and listen to the wind…or to meditate and absorb the mystical energy that envelops you. Your imagination will soar as you contemplate the history of Machu Picchu and its mysterious origins.

Some may even choose a hike to Huayna Picchu, the iconic towering mountain often seen in photographs, for dramatic views that stretch from the Urubamba River valley to the edge of the Amazon Jungle. Either way, you will be touched by a feeling of peace and rejuvenation which will linger even as you journey back to the city lights, and hustle and bustle of Cusco.

Group Activity: Early in the morning visit the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

Activity Menu (late morning, after the group activity):

1st option - Cultural Activity: Free time to explore the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu (elevation 7,872´ - 2,400m.).

2nd option - Hike: Guided hike of Huayna Picchu Mountain / Duration 2-2.5 hrs. / Moderate to challenging / Mountain pass at an elevation of 8,924´ - 2,720m.

Visit Machu Picchu Sanctuary

Transfer from your hotel in Cusco to the airport for your onward journey.

Depart from Cusco
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Important Information

  • Inclusions:

    • Airport transfers and transportation as detailed on the itinerary

    • Twin-share accommodation according to the itinerary
    • Breakfast daily and other meals as stated
    • Guided tours and entrance fees as stated on the itinerary
    • Domestic flights as per the itinerary
    Exclusions:
    • International flights
    • Meals not listed
    • Any personal expenses or consumptions
    • International travel insurance
    • Tips to drivers, guides and hotels

  • Available upon request

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Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.

2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.

3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.
4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.

5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.

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