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 Inkaterra Canopy Walkway comprised of seven hanging bridges, eight treetop platforms, and two observation towers.
- Go 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.
Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1: Arrival in Lima – Welcome to Peru!
Day 2: Lima to Tambopata – Fly to Puerto Maldonado and travel by boat to the Amazon jungle!
Day 3: Tambopata Jungle – Paddle a canoe amongst giant river otters and get a bird’s-eye view of the jungle canopy!
Day 4: Tambopata Jungle – Enjoy a dark-water creek walk and night-time jungle excursion!
Day 5: Tambopata Jungle to Cusco – Fly to Cusco and tour the Awanakancha Living Museum and Sacred Valley.
Day 6: Exploring the Sacred Valley – Take in some ingenious Incan engineering today at the ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. ruins and visit the vibrant Pisac Market.
Day 7: The Lost city of the Incas – Arrive to Aguas Calientes by train and spend the afternoon with your private guide visiting the World Wonder, Machu Picchu!
Day 8: Machu Picchu on your terms – Hike the legendary Huayna Picchu, and then enjoy a scenic train ride back to the Sacred Valley.
Day 9: Cusco – Enjoy a tour of “The Navel of the Universe” and former capital of the Incan Empire with your private guide.
Day 10: Cusco to Lima and home – Fly to Lima and embark on a private tour of bohemian Barranco before your international flight home.
DAY 1: Arrive at your hotel in Lima after your international flight from your home country!
Lima is a metropolitan city known for its colonial architecture and mouthwatering seafood and ceviche!
When your international flight arrives in Lima, look for your Kuoda host holding a sign with your name on it! We know you’ll most likely be a little tired after your long flight, so we’ll save you the stress of trying to navigate and bring you straight to your hotel adjacent to the airport where you can shake off that icky flight feeling with a shower and a sleep. Relax into the evening and enjoy a good night’s rest before your flight to Puerto Maldonado early in the morning!
Day 2: Fly to Puerto Maldonado and onto your Amazon Jungle Adventure!
The Tambopata jungle is home to a plethora of unique animals and great variety of plant life!
Your Kuoda host will take you to the airport early in the morning for your flight to Puerto Maldonado. Once you touch down there, the Inkaterra team will be waiting for you and transport you by boat to the Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica lodge in Tambopata for an Amazon luxury travel experience. A delicious lunch companied by chilled juices will be served when you arrive at the lodge.
Get settled in before a guided jungle walk along the Reserva Amazonica natural area, where you will find Shihuahuaco trees that can slowly grow to the heights of 50 meters (164 feet) and a truck diameter of 1 meter (3.3 feet) over the course of 700 years. Learn about the strangler fig trees, or matapalos (literally “killer stick) and spot exotic jungle birds and insects.
As the sun set, take a ride on the Twilight River excursion – a guided boat ride downriver from the Inkaterra lodge. Here you will have the opportunity to witness the transformation of the Amazon jungle from a diurnal to a nocturnal world. You will enter a world inhabited with animals, amphibians, reptiles, and insects that have adapted to the life in the darkness.
Tonight, fall asleep to a symphony of jungle sounds!
Day 3: A day enjoying jungle excursions, river otters, and canopy views!
Lake Sandoval is home to the endangered Giant River Otter as well as other jungle creatures!
Early this morning after breakfast, visit Lake Sandoval. Glide in a wooden canoe, across a beautiful mirror-like oxbow lake, which is home to the endangered river otter, as well as red howler monkeys, red-bellied macaws, anacondas, sick-neck turtles, and more!
Walk off lunch by exploring Inkaterra Canopy Walkway. The center consists of eight observation platforms, located 30 meters up in the jungle canopy and linked by suspension bridges. Be on a look-out for toucans, woodpeckers, trogons, monkeys and the three-toed sloth. After your descent from the Canopy, stroll along the Anaconda Walk and observe various species of amphibians, birds, mammals, and abundant flora and trees of this seasonal flooded marshland.
Day 4: Dark-Water Creek walk and nighttime jungle excursion!
The Gamitana creek is home to many birds, turtles, caiman, and piranha.
It is an early wake up again today, as you hop back in the boat to explore the Gamitana creek. For one and half hour, you will explore the rainforest along the banks of a winding dark-water creek that is home to piranha, caiman, turtles, and birds. Afterwards, visit Gamitana Model Farm and learn about an Amazon model farm and get the chance to make your own plaintain flour used to make bread for breakfast at the lodge.
After lunch, it is a 35 minute boat ride upstream to the Hacienda Concepcion – an extraordinary botanical garden with over 200 different species of the rainforest plants. Return to the lodge, this evening, experience the Rainforest by Night through the Inkaterra Ecological Reserve. During this two hour exploration, venture into the forest and spot creatures that only come out to play at night.
Day 5: Fly to Cusco, visit a wonderful local project that promotes sustainable weaving practices, and relax into the breathtaking Andean countryside.
The Sacred Valley, lower in altitude than Cusco, offers gorgeous landscapes and a serene atmosphere.
After breaktast this morning, bid the Amazon rainforest goodbye as your boat takes you back to Puerto Maldonado. You will have time to visit the city’s Butterfly Farm, before the Inkaterra Team brings you to the airport for your flight to Cusco.
From Cusco, a guide will accompany you to the stunning Sacred Valley, whose bucolic farming and weaving towns – a few thousand feet lower in elevation than Cusco – are ideal for acclimatizing. On the way out there, stop at Awanakancha Living Museum. At this “living museum,” you’ll come face-to-face with some of South America’s most endearing inhabitants, including alpacas, llamas, vicuñas and guanacos, as well as learning about traditional weaving.
Day 6: Hike to Ollantaytambo’s iconic ruins and enjoy a traditional Peruvian feast!
Ollantaytambo is a lovely Incan town known for its original urban planning and iconic ruins
Today, your customized tour of Peru will take you into the Sacred Valley to the time-warp town of Ollantaytambo, where original Inca town planning – including the street canals – remains in place. Climb up past the fertile agricultural terraces, where locals tend to crops such as corn, potato and quinoa. Soon, you’ll reach the remains of the Inca Temple of the Sun, whose elevated position provides stellar valley views. A guide will show you around the rest of the ruins pointing out the storehouses where the Incas would have kept their crops as well as the quarries from where the giant stones were procured for the construction of this very complex.
Return to the valley to the small town of Pisac where you will visit the village and its vibrant artisan market. Here, stalls are stacked with all kinds of interesting items, from curious vegetables and plant-based dyes to artful textiles and ceramics. After shopping in the market, make your way up to the ruins which sit on a ridge overlooking the town. Admire the stonework and gaze over the terraces where the Incas themselves developed many of the thousands of potato species which Peru now famously produces.
Upon completion of your tour, we will bring you back to your hotel for an evening spent at leisure.
Day 7: Take a morning train through the cloud forest and visit the Machu Picchu Citadel!
Machu Picchu will take your breath away with its enigmatic and historical atmosphere.
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: Hike one of the coveted, limited-entry hikes, Huayna Picchu!
Huayna Picchu, a not to miss experience while exploring Machu Picchu!
Today you have the option to hike two different trails – Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, so it’s completely up to you on how you would like to culminate your Machu Picchu luxury tour. Feeling adventurous? Consider hiking the steep slope of neighboring Huayna Picchu, which offers unrivalled views over Machu Picchu. Please note that only a limited amount of hikers are allowed to climb Huayna Picchu each day and tickets will need to be purchased in advance along with your Machu Picchu entrance.
In the afternoon, reconvene in Aguas Calientes and board the return train to Ollantaytambo. Your Kuoda host will meet you at the station and bring you to your hotel for a well-deserved good night’s rest.
Day 9: Explore the inviting cobblestone streets of historical Cusco on a private city tour!
Tucked into the Andes Mountains, the city of Cusco lies at 11,150ft (3,300m) above sea level!
It’s time to get acquainted with Cusco, a gorgeous city that wins the heart of most every traveler that passes through it. Get to know the real Cusco during a private tour. After breakfast, meet your guide and wander among the archaeological remains of Sacsayhuaman, where the Incas staged a great battle against the conquistadors. Return to the city and roam the atmospheric streets of the bohemian neighborhood of San Blas, which is known for its free-spirited scene. Explore Qoricancha and the Santo Domingo monastery (a colonial structure built on top of the ancient Inca temple of the sun); see where the locals make their grocery runs at the open-air San Pedro market and pass the famous 12-angled stone, whose image appears on the bottle of the local Cusqueña beer.
At the end of the tour, your guide will suggest places to visit for lunch
Day 10: Tour the inspired streets of bohemian Barranco and bid farewell to Peru!
The Limeñan district of Barranco is home to Peru’s most influential artists, musicians, and cultural commentators.
Going home is the worst part of any private Peru vacation, but at Kuoda, we’ll do our best to make it as smooth and hassle-free as possible. First, we’ll bring you to Cusco airport for your return flight to Lima. In Lima, a Kuoda host will meet you and take you to the seaside bohemian district of Barranco. See the streets of Barranco come alive as you visit a number of local art galleries and shops that support local artisans. Finally, enjoy a first-class gourmet meal featuring world-renowned Peruvian flavors in a restaurant of your choosing before returning to the airport for your journey home! Buen viaje!
Like the sound of this Amazon and Machu Picchu private tour? Get in touch with Kuoda and we’ll start crafting your very own customized private travel experience to Peru!
Notes: There are many other activities that can be added to the Amazon and Machu Picchu private tour, as our tours are entirely customized to your interests, hobbies, and expectations! Please note that Huayna Picchu has a limited entry quota per day and needs to be booked months in advance.
- 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.
- Have a question or query? Kuoda operates 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.
Feel free to browse our recommendations and let us know if you’d like to incorporate a specific property in your customized journey!
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.