The Amazon and Machu Picchu
Experience a compelling blend of wild, unspoiled nature and fascinating historic reminders of vanished civilizations during this sample Machu Picchu and Amazon tour of Peru. Start in Peru’s Amazon jungle, where the biological diversity is simply unparalleled – one in ten of the world’s known species live here! After exploring the depths of the rain forest, move onward to the heartland of the Inca Empire. Meet skilled local craftspeople and cuddly camelids in the peaceful and pastoral Sacred Valley, see stupendous views of the looming needle-like Andean peaks, and marvel at the precarious setting of the ancient kingdom of Machu Picchu. Finish up your customized tour of Peru in history-layered Cusco, where the Inca, colonial, and modern worlds intersect.
- Stroll through the treetops on suspended bridges hanging amid the Amazon’s canopy.
- Go piranha fishing, search for nocturnal creepy-crawlies, and take part in other thrilling jungle excursions.
- Immerse yourself in local life with visits to remote Andean villages that are, for most travelers, uncharted territory
- Visit the characteristic Sacred Valley towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
- Embark on a private city tour of Cusco, whose fascinating streets feature a unique concoction of Inca ruins and colonial constructions.
- Scale the ancient stone stairway up Machu Picchu’s iconic peak, Huayna Picchu.
- Tour Machu Picchu with your very own expert guide to explain the history, architecture, and theories surrounding the site, before wandering independently among the magnificent ruins the following day.
- Discover the delights of Peruvian cuisine at the country’s finest dining establishments.
- Enjoy enriching experiences with local artists at their workshops.
- Relax in hand-picked luxury accommodations throughout your personalized trip of Peru.
Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1: Arrival in Lima – Welcome to Peru!
Day 2: Lima to Tambopata Jungle – Welcome to Tambopata!
Day 3: Tambopata Jungle – Day of Jungle Activities
Day 4: Tambopata Jungle – Day of Jungle Activities
Day 5: Tambopata to Cusco – Private Transfer to the Sacred Valley / Living Museum of Awanakancha
Day 6: Exploring the Sacred Valley – Pisac Archaeological Complex and Market
Day 7: Machu Picchu – Train Journey to Aguas Calientes / Private Visit of the Sanctuary
Day 8: Machu Picchu – Free Day in Machu Picchu
Day 9: Cusco – Private Walking Tour of Cusco
Day 10: Cusco to Lima and Home – Return Home
DAY 1: Arrival in Lima
Welcome to Peru!
Once you touch down in Lima, you’ll be met at the airport by an English-speaking representative who will accompany you to the Wyndham Costa Del Sol Hotel at Lima’s airport. Since most flights from the U.S. arrive late in the evening and your next flight to Puerto Maldonado departs the next morning, it makes sense to stay nearby. This way, you can get a good night’s sleep and wake up rested and ready for Amazon exploring.
DAY 2: Lima to Tambopata Jungle
Welcome to Tambopata
In the morning we’ll escort you from your hotel back to the airport, where you will board your domestic flight to Puerto Maldonado.
DAY 3: Tambopata Jungle
Day of Jungle Activities
Begin the day with a five-minute boat ride to the Inkaterra Canopy Interpretation Center, where you can walk among the treetops. Stroll along the canopy-level bridges, which link together eight observation platforms. From a height of almost 100 feet, you’ll have the chance to look down upon the jungle and perhaps even see some of the canopy-dwelling creatures, including monkeys, woodpeckers, toucans and sloths, at eye-level.
After lunch, continue with a personalized tour to Peru’s palm-rimmed Sandoval Lake, one of the most serene and wildlife-rich lakes in the reserve. Try to spot giant river otters, prehistoric-looking hoatzin birds, kingfishers and herons, and perhaps even cool off with a refreshing swim.
DAY 4: Tambopata Jungle
Day of Jungle Activities
Take a 10-minute boat ride to the botanical garden at Concepción, where more than 200 different species of plants are grown.
After lunch, you’ll step back on board the boat and sail across to Rolin Island, where rescued primates – including the brown capuchin, white capuchin and squirrel monkeys – now make their home. Spend an hour or so exploring the island and learning about its ecosystems as well as its monkey inhabitants.
DAY 5: Tambopata to Cusco
Private Transfer to the Sacred Valley / Living Museum of Awanakancha
This morning, you’ll be transferred to the jungle city of Puerto Maldonado, stopping at the city’s butterfly farm to admire the 3,800-stong collection of colorful butterflies and moths.
After marveling at their bright, patterned wings, you’ll be chauffeured to the airport for your direct flight to Cusco. Upon arrival in Cusco, you’ll be met by a host who will take you to the Sacred Valley of the Urubamba River. Just 45 minutes from Cusco, this tranquil, idyllic valley is a pastoral wonderland bestrewn with Inca ruins and peaceful villages. It’s also a few thousand feet lower than Cusco, making it an ideal spot to acclimatize.
En route to the valley, stop at the Living Museum of Awana Kancha, which makes a compelling destination for Peru family trips. Here, you can pet and feed llamas, alpacas, guanacos and vicuñas; watch weaving and dying demonstrations; and perhaps pick up a colorful garment or two for yourself.
DAY 6: Exploring the Sacred Valley
Pisac Archaeological Complex and Market
Today, you’ll explore the village of Pisac and its Inca archaeological complex. Start at the old Inca citadel, which sits high up on a mountain spur, some 1,900 feet above the town. Wander around the site and look for the Sun Temple in the Intihuatana Zone, which contains a “hitching post” believed to be symbolically tied to the sun, ensuring the world’s source of light doesn’t go rogue as it journeys across the sky. Also of note are the Inca crosses, whose design has a special significance: the three “steps” of the cross are said to represent the three worlds of the Quechua people as well as the values that they live their lives by.
Amble around the ancient sites and admire the views over the agricultural terraces, which wrap gracefully around the slopes. Afterward, you’ll have ample time to wander around the village too. Though usually sleepy, the town springs to life on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays when a market pulls in crowds. Browse the bright geometric textiles and handmade crafts (ceramics, silver, tapestries, costume jewelry etc.) and buy them directly from the artisans who created them.
DAY 7: The Lost City of the Incas – Machu Picchu
Morning Train through the Cloud Forest, Private Afternoon Tour of Machu Picchu
Prepare for a climactic day! In the morning, we will board the train in Ollantaytambo for our journey to Machu Picchu. Watch the cloud jungle pass by through the large glass windows! Upon arrival to Aguas Calientes, we’ll tuck in to an early lunch in order to refuel before ascending to Peru’s lost citadel.
After a bus ride to the gates of this wonder of the world, you will pass through the main gates with your private guide to finally emerge at the top of the world – Machu Picchu. The incredible Inca stone construction will be spread below, alternately hidden and revealed by clouds. Your expert guide will give you a private tour of the ancient city.
Upon conclusion of your tour, return for an evening in Aguas Calientes. Enjoy an excellent dinner on-site at your hotel and fall into bed, lulled to sleep by the sound of the cloud forest around you.
DAY 8: Machu Picchu
Free Day in Machu Picchu
Today is yours to enjoy Machu Picchu at your leisure. Having spent the evening nearby, you’ll beat the crowds of Cusco day-trippers to the site so you can enjoy it while it’s still relatively quiet. If you want something a little more high-energy, consider embarking on one of the numerous short hikes in the area. Among the most popular treks here is Huayna Picchu, the pyramidal peak that sits behind Machu Picchu. If you want to tackle this route, you’ll have to decide in advance as entry is ticketed and will need to be purchased along with the Machu Picchu entrance. Only 400 people are allowed access each day, half of whom begin the climb at 7 a.m. and the other half at 10 a.m. Otherwise, you can simply carve a path of your own and find a serene spot to reflect on the majesty of this mountaintop citadel.
In the afternoon, ride the scenic Vistadome train back to Cusco. Alight at Poroy station, where you’ll be met by a host and taken to your hotel of choice.
DAY 9: Cusco
Private Walking Tour of Cusco
For the Incas, Cusco was the “navel of the world” and the capital of their entire empire. Nowadays, it is probably Peru’s most attractive and storied city, and it’s fascinating blend of ancient and colonial history mixed with a dynamic, contemporary culture leaves most visitors smitten.
A guide will pick you up from your hotel at a pre-arranged time and you’ll set off on a fully private walking tour of Peru’s treasured city. Examine the exhibits of the Pre-Columbian Art Museum, which will help you understand Peruvian culture, before soaking up the laid-back atmosphere of the bohemian San Blas neighborhood – a gathering spot for Cusco’s artistic community. During your guided city tour, you’ll also enter the Church of San Blas, whose simple adobe shell hides an intricate, cedar wood pulpit, created by Quechua carver Juan Tomas Tuyro Tupaq more than four centuries ago.
Afterwards, follow you guide down Hatun Rumiyoc passageway where you can inspect the impressively put-together walls, whose mortarless stones slot together perfectly. From here, follow your guide to Qorikancha, also known as the Temple of the Sun, the main religious center of the Inca sun cult. The temple was destroyed by the Spanish who built an elaborate colonial convent on the site, but the original foundations remain, and are some of the best Inca stonework in the city. Next, enjoy a spot of shopping at the local San Pedro market. After that, you’ll have a free afternoon to explore Cusco at your leisure, before retiring to your stylish hotel.
DAY 10: Cusco to Lima and Home
This morning, you’ll be brought to the airport for an internal flight to Lima. In Lima, make the most of your free time by exploring the park-filled Miraflores district, before being transferred to Jorge Chavez Airport for your international flight back home.
Like the sound of this Amazon and Machu Picchu tour? Get in touch with Kuoda and we’ll start devising your very own customized Peru private travel experience.
The Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica Lodge mentioned in this itinerary is one of several jungle lodges in the Tambopata area that we can offer. The exact itinerary will vary depending on the lodge chosen and time of year.
- Take the reins of a Peruvian Paso for a trail ride through the Sacred Valley.
- Sit down with a shaman for a private meditation ceremony.
- Observe local weavers at work during private demonstrations.
- Hone your kitchen skills during Peruvian cooking classes with celebrated chefs.
- Join a local Peruvian family for a home-cooked meal in their residence.
- Admire views of the Andes from your luxury, vintage-style carriage on the Belmond Hiram Bingham Train.
- Take a day hike along part of the famed Inca Trail and arrive in Machu Picchu via the iconic Sun Gate.
- Revel in the gorgeous views as you tuck into lavish picnics that come complete with glassware, crockery, and even a professional waiter to serve you.
- Amp up the adrenaline with exhilarating adventure activities such as riding the fast-flowing rapids of the Vilcanota River, or zooming along zip lines among towering Andean peaks.
- Personalized itinerary planning: Work with a Kuoda Travel Designer to create the trip of your dreams.
- Kuoda hosts take the hassle out of traveling. They’ll be there to assist you – whether with luggage, check in, transport or translating – at every destination during your private tour of Peru.
- Got a question or query? Kuoda operate a 24-hour, seven day a week customer service operation and can provide updates and assistance whenever you need it.
- With Kuoda, you’ll never be bundled in with big groups; each visit, activity, tour and experience will be completely private and conducted by your very own expert, English-speaking guide.
- Our private tours of Peru are fully flexible, which means we can modify them to suit your travel mood. So if you want to cut an activity or add on a new one, just say the word!
- All necessary adventure and trekking equipment will be provided so all you need bring is yourself.
- Receive a customized Kuoda Travel kit upon arrival.
Our staff hand picks the best hotels in the country to ensure you experience utmost comfort and character.
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This sample itinerary is an exemplary way for any adventure-seeking traveler to experience the best of the Andes! This Amazon & Machu Picchu itinerary will serve as the perfect inspiration.
Please know we will work with you to change or modify these tours however you deem necessary – all Kuoda itineraries are crafted just for you, built to suit your individual interests and schedules. Interested in customizing this particular itinerary?
The price will be based on final accommodation choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.