DAY 1 LIMA:
Pick up upon arrival at Lima’s airport and transportation to the hotel. Overnight (No meals)
DAY 2 PUERTO MALDONADO:
Early breakfast and pick up to go to the airport for your flight to Puerto Maldonado (airfare not included).
Transfer from Puerto Maldonado airport to the river port on the Madre de Dios River. A 25 minutes journey down the Madre de Dios River by motor canoe brings you to the riverside trailhead to Sandoval Lake Lodge. From here the trail takes you on a 2-miles (3,2-kilometers) walk through secondary forest, until we reach a small canal where we board canoes and are paddled 220 yards (201 meters) through a flooded forest of 100-foot (30-meters) tall Mauritia palms. As the canal opens onto the shimmering surface of the lake, we transfer to a catamaran and are leisurely paddled across half the lake to the lodge.
After lunch and a brief rest to avoid the early afternoon heat, we will learn about the history of the lodge and the philosophy of its founders. Then we once again board the catamaran and set off to explore the entire west end of the lake. Here, in the flooded palm forest we drift to the sounds of hundreds of Red-Bellied Macaws as they return to the palm forest for the night. This macaw species is found locally in parts of the Amazon, always living in flooded palm forests such as the beautiful palm stand at Sandoval Lake. At 500-800 birds, this flock of macaws at Sandoval Lake is currently the largest reported in the world for this highly-specialized macaw.
As night falls we will look for the large and extremely rare Black Caimans. If it is a clear starlit night, we will also be able to float in the middle of the lake to marvel at the brilliance of the sky and listen to the sounds of the forest.
We return to the lodge for a short video or slide presentation and dinner. At any point, you could step out from the bar to admire the wide variety of nocturnal moths, beetles and praying mantis attracted to our black light in the lodge clearing.
For those with lots of energy, our guide will take us on a short night-walk into the forest behind the lodge. (B, L,D).
DAY 3 SANDOVAL LAKE:
A pre-dawn wake-up call will enable us to be on the lake for sunrise and a hopeful encounter with the family of Giant Otters who frequent the lake and are most active at this time of day. Sandoval Lake offers abundant wildlife including over 40 species of birds resident to its lake margins, most of the fish-eating water birds around the lake actively fish in the early morning as well, and this outing should provide excellent views, of the prehistoric- looking Hoatzins, These are easy to observe and also photograph from the paddled canoes or catamarans.
After returning for a late breakfast we set off into the cool under story of the tall virgin forest near the lake to see some towering wild Brazil Nut trees and a demonstration of how our hosts collect, open and commercialize this important natural product.
After lunch and an hour or so to relax we once again board the catamaran to explore the eastern part of the lake, where we might see one or more of the five species of monkeys who live in the forest near the lake, such as the Brown Capuchin Monkey and Squirrel Monkey.
Before dinner we will again enjoy an informative natural history video or slide presentation. We will leave after dinner to try and spot some Black Caimans on the lake, or to go on a short night walk through the primary forest. (B,L,D)
DAY 4 RAINFOREST:
After a dawn breakfast, we will cross the lake by catamaran and take a short walk into the interior of the Mauritia palm forest to stand beneath and closely view the impressive morning congregations, this place has a very interesting concentration of parrots, parakeets and large and small macaws that can be observed using dead Mauritia palm trees, some of them are resident nesters (Yellow headed Parrot, Mealy Parrot, Blue headed Parrot, Scarlet Macaw, blue and Yellow Macaw, Red and Green Macaw, Chestnut fronted Macaw, Dusky headed Parakeet, Red bellied Macaw, Cobalt winged Parakeet, Tui Parakeet).
Returning from the macaw show we will cross the lake to explore a primary forest trail and admire the impressive ancient rainforest trees and lianas with our knowledgeable resident naturalist guide. As we walk, the forest will be brought to life as your guide explains the ecology of the rainforest and its diverse flora and fauna.
We return for lunch, and then there is an optional rest for those who would like to escape the early afternoon heat. For those still full of energy, there is an option to independently explore some of the forest trails using our trail map. You might stroll through our medicinal plant garden or watch hummingbirds visiting the nectar feeders, or the tanagers visiting our fruit feeders.
In the cooler late afternoon we will once again board the catamaran to explore the eastern end of the lake, and hopefully experience a spectacular sunset over the lake before returning to the lodge for dinner. For some people, an alternative afternoon activity would be to relax on benches inside the forest perched above a clear running stream in which a variety of bathing hummingbirds and forest birds visit.
After dinner, there is a final chance to look for Black Caiman on the lake, or to go on a short night hike through the forest. (B,L,D)
DAY 5 PUERTO MALDONADO - CUSCO:
After early breakfast we leave near dawn and we take a final, shorter paddle around the west end of the lake to try and glimpse the Giant Otters before returning by motor canoe for the 35 minutes return trip to the Puerto Maldonado Airport, taking advantage of valuable early morning wildlife activity along the river. From here you fly to Cusco (airfare not included). Upon arrival to Cusco Airport. Reception and transportation to the Hotel where you will receive an aromatic coca tea to stimulating for the height, will have the day to rest. Pick up and according time to go a Dinner Show in a tourist Restaurant then overnight (B, D).
DAY 6 CUSCO CITY TOUR:
Breakfast and morning free; in the afternoon we will depart on a guided city tour, where tourist have the opportunity to visit 6 places (entrance to the archaeological centers and museums including) we will visit the Main square, Cathedral, the Koricancha (temple of the sun) and in addition we will make a route bordering archaeological centers like Sacsayhuaman Fortress, Q'enko, Puka Pukara and Tambomachay, tour finishes 6:30pm approximately at the main square in order you can take dinner in one of the exquisite restaurants in the area, then overnight. (B)
INCA TRAIL 4DAYS 3 NIGHTS:
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is definitely one of the most requested tours for those who visit Peru looking for adventure. We will offer a walking adventure with unique style. You will enjoy from the beginning to the end, of amazing landscapes of the Andes and a great mix of highlands and jungle. There is no other natural place in our planet which could show you a constantly changing variety of ecological floors, surrounded by astonishing mountains and rivers, as well as a great variety of animals and plants. Architectonical art is perfectly harmonic with the natural environment and all of these natural wonders are added to the Inca buildings which worth the effort to visit and enjoy.
Important Note: We will buy your Inca Trail trek permit using the names & passport numbers that you send us with your trek booking application. You must bring these same passports with you to Cusco and take them on the Inca Trail. If the name or number in your passport is different from the name and number on the trek permit, the government authorities will not allow you to start the trek and you will not be entitled to a refund. If you plan to renew your passport between making the trek booking and actually starting the trek you will must bring the 2 passports (old and new). If you make a trek booking at the student price you must send us a copy of your ISIC card at the time you pay the trek deposit. If you fail to bring your ISIC card on the trek the government authorities will not allow you to start the trek. You will not be given the opportunity to pay the extra difference in price!
DAY 7 PISCACUCHO (Km.82)–HUAYLLABAMBA (The Easy day):
You will be picked up from your hotel at scheduled time, and transferred in our private car to KM 82. The route will go through the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas. After approximately one hour and a half, we will cross the little town of Ollantaytambo, where we will make a little stop to take some pictures of this fortress and have a little rest. We will continue our trip following a rural road that goes parallel to the railroad, which will lead us to the KM 82, where we will unpack and get prepared to the walking with our excursion team (cookers, assistants and porters). At this point, the passengers will have to show their passports to the security personnel of the Sanctuary and once these has been reviewed they will be able to cross a bridge that will take you to the other side of the river where they will start climbing in a parallel line to the Urubamba River, which goes from north to west across the Sacred Valley. In this first section of the Inca Trail, we will visit the Community of Miskay (2800 meters), where we will stop for meeting the natives and try the popular drink known as “chicha”, which is offered by the ladies of this place. Later we will start climbing through a little tableland where we will experience an amazing Andean landscape, and see in the base of the mountains a beautiful Inca building known as “Patallacta”, located at 2750 meters over sea level. At this point we will stop and our local guide will provide us information regarding this interesting Inca legacy. After that, we will continue walking for two hours along the Cusichaca River, going upwards until reaching a beautiful spot where we will stop for lunch and take a little break.
Shortly after that, we will continue walking through a zone full of vegetation, where is highly probable seeing the beautiful giant hummingbird native from this region. After a two hours walk we will arrive to our first camping, located in the zone of Wayllabamba at 3000 meters height.
You will be able to enjoy a marvelous Andean landscape and the majesty of Veronica Mountain, 5832 meters over sea level.
Camps will be assigned depending on the availability of entrants to the Inca Trail, seasons. (B, L, D)
NOTE: It is normal if the first day feels hot during the dry season (May to September). We strongly recommend bringing light and fresh clothing, as well as a good sunscreen and a hat to protect your face.
Maximum altitude: 3000 M
Minimum Altitude: 2650 M
Distance traveled: 12 km
Approximate time of walk: 5 to 6 hours.
DAY 8 HUAYLLABAMBA – PACAYMAYU (The challenge day):
In this second day of the Inca Trail we will wake up early, around 06:00 am. This will be necessary in order to get ready and have breakfast before starting the excursion. Later we will start walking through a narrow road covered by plants, across a little bridge that will take us towards a cloudy forest of a unique beauty. In this section of the trip you should climb many stairs, for which we recommend taking all the time that is needed and stopping for a break when necessary. Following the route, we will arrive to the Llulluchapampa sector, where we will make a quick stop just to rest and get prepared to climb to the highest point of our walk, the famous pass Warmyhuañuska, located at 4200 meters above the sea level. These sectors include about 2 kilometers of distance and are a bit steep, for which we will recommend going slowly and stopping for a break whenever needed. In this part of the trip we will face the most difficult part of the walk, as we will be over 4200 meter height; however this part is also known as one of the most beautiful landscapes of the world. Once we have reached the top of the mountain, we will be granted with a spectacular view of the Andean mountains. For this special day, we recommend bringing some chocolates, lemon candy, a lot of water and even some coca leaves. In the top we will be able to take the classic pictures of the Inca Trail. After that we will descend by a winding valley until the point where we will stop and have lunch. During this last part it is possible to watch diverse type of wild birds.
At last we will arrive to the camp of Pacaymayo (3600 meters above sea level) where we will spend a comfortable night. Pacaymayo is an official camp, and that is why it has baths and showers; however, we should be aware that the water in this part is really cold. (B, L, D)
Maximum altitude: 4200 M
Minimum Altitude: 3000 M
Distance traveled: 13 km
Approximate time of walk: 6 - 7 hours
DAY 9 PACAYMAYU – WIÑAYWAYNA (The unforgettable day):
A lot of visitors feel that this is one of the longest days of the excursion, but at the same time, one of the most beautiful due to the presence of marvelous Inca buildings along the road. This day we will get up at 06:00 hours. After a tasty breakfast we will start our walk climbing through a steep road. Soon we will arrive to Runkurakay ruins, a beautiful Inca oval building which is believed to be as a Inca watchtower. After hearing the historical explanation we will continue until Runkurakay pass, located at 3900 meters above sea level. During this trip we will find a little lake where sometimes you can watch Andean goose and other native bird species. After the pass, we will descend to a beautiful valley full of plants; here we will visit Sayacmarka ruins, located 3624 meters height. This is an interesting Inca construction, built over a steep slope, surrounded by marvelous mountains. After visiting Sayacmarka, we will continue descending to the cloudy forest, arriving to the Puyupatamarka ruins, composed of impressive fountains and water channels that are spectacular works of hydraulic engineering made by the Incas. At this stop we will have a good time, after which we will continue down to reach one of the most beautiful Inca buildings of the place: the ruins of Wiñaywayna. These are without any doubt one of the most beautiful of all the ruins after Machu Picchu. Wiñaywayna means "forever young" and it is said that acquired said name due to the abundance of an orchid that bears the same name. After exploring every corner of Wiñaywayna we head to our last camp, which is located a few meters away.
Máximum Altitude: 3900 M
Minimum Altitude: 2700 M
Distance traveled: 16 km
Approximate hiking time: 7 to 8 hours.
DAY 10 WIÑAYWAYNA – MACHUPICCHU (The special day):
On the last day we will wake up very early, at 04:00 hrs. After breakfast, we will quickly go and pass the control gate to enter the path that leads directly to Machu Picchu. It is advisable to bring a good flashlight, because this time it is normally dark here. After walking for about one hour and a half, we will arrive at Inti Punku or Sun Gate, a magnificent point from where you can see the city of Machu Picchu. At this point we can relax for a few minutes, take pictures of the group, and finally go down to reach the recognized as one of the seventh wonders of the world: Machu Picchu.
It was long thought that Machu Picchu was only part of a legend, until in 1911 the American explorer Hiram Bingham discovered it only after many expeditions in the area. Machu Picchu rises to a height of 2430 meters above sea level, in the middle of a tropical forest with an extraordinary location. It was without any doubt one of the most amazing urban creation in Inca times. Its massive walls, terraces and ramps seem to be continually cut in the rocky cliffs. Our guide will take you on a tour of the most impressive of this beautiful Inca city. This will take us about 2 hours, after which we have free time to explore each city on our own taste and preference. Then return by bus to the town of Aguas Calientes, to take the train that will take us back to the city. At the time indicated on the ticket of train our staff will be waiting at the station, from where we will transfer to your hotel. (B)
Maximum altitude: 2700 M
Minimum Altitude: 2400 M
Distance: 6 km
Approximate walking time: 3 to 4 hours.
DAY 11 TRANSFER OUT:
Breakfast and according time, transportation will be provided to go the airport (B).
END OF THE SERVICES
Machu Picchu : you decide if you visit Machu Picchu on the first day of arrival or the second day
All hotel and lodge accommodations based on double or single occupancy. All scheduled transportation. All transfers. All scheduled excursions with English-speaking guide services. All entrance fees. Meals as specified in the itinerary. B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner.
For a better service, the company informs you that it has autonomy to change the Hotels mentioned in the itinerary with another one of similar category if therefore sees it by advisable taking into account justifiable availability of spaces or other reasons, if this it is the case you will be notified ahead of time.
NOT INCLUDED IN THE FEE:
International and domestic airfares, airport departure taxes or visa fees, excess baggage charges, additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages or bottled water, snacks, insurance of any kind, laundry, phone calls, radio calls or messages, reconfirmation of international flights and items of personal nature.
The Hiram Bingham:
is the most luxurious way to journey between Cusco and Machu Picchu. For many visitors a trip to Machu Picchu is a once in a lifetime experience, and the Hiram Bingham assures a magical journey, never to be forgotten.
The carriages are painted a distinctive blue and gold and the interiors are luxurious, warm and inviting with elegant decoration in the style of the 1920's Pullman trains.
Each of the carriages has been furnished in polished wood and brass with large chairs and plenty of space to stretch out. As you board, the tables are exquisitely laid, ready for your meal, with gleaming crystal and polished cutlery.
On board you will be served by a team of dedicated waiters who will attend to your every need and make sure your journey is as comfortable and luxurious as you imagined.
connect your senses through a sophisticated and sensory travel experience; is the ideal train for those who want to be in contact with the environment and appreciate the wonderful journey to Machu Picchu.
Surrounded entirely by glass and wagons with large panoramic windows offering incomparable scenic views and innumerous opportunities to capture amazing pictures, Vistadome travelers feel connected and part of the impressive landscape of Peru.
The Vistadome also has air conditioning and heating, leather seats that adjust the body to provide comfort and relaxation during the entire trip and has a different service, which allows the visitor to be immersed and feel the Andean culture through its landscapes, music, dance and even food carefully prepared with local ingredients.
is a travel experience with all the quality and benefits at a lower cost. Is a service designed for the traveler’s comfort, with four passenger seats located in front of each other, so you can share your experience, and for the faithful backpack that is always with you we offer racks placed above the seats. Also, this train has panoramic windows, air conditioning and heating, and Andean music that creates a cheerful atmosphere.