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Amazon, Inca Trail & Titicaca | View photos »

Delve into the Amazon, stretch yourself to arrive at Machu Picchu on foot, and meet communities living on Lake Titicaca as you experience the beautiful diversity of southern Peru.

14 day trip described, guide price £2,758pp i

Call 01273 676 712 to talk to someone who knows this trip

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"Very special"

"Very special"

Jake (our guide) and the porters always found us wonderfully quiet spots to camp and Pura's method of taking plenty of time for the trail and not using the busy sites made the trail very special. Daniel B

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Sample itinerary

Travel to South America

Fly to Peru. Assuming a daytime flight to Lima, you will arrive late in the evening so we recommend you stay overnight at the comfortable airport hotel. Please note: transatlantic flights for this holiday are quoted separately.

Travel into the Amazon by boat

Check-in for your morning flight to the Amazon, then up the Tambopata River by boat. The boats are comfortable and the journey offers an ideal opportunity to look for wildlife along with your guides. Lunch is served on board, usually in a banana leaf. You should arrive at around dusk. There is actually no sign of the lodge from the river, just a set of wooden steps leading up from the water’s edge into the jungle.

Explore the Amazon, maybe on foot

Whilst here in the jungle you have a menu of excursions available to you throughout each day. All excursions are led by one of a dedicated team of lodge guides, many of whom are from the local communities based around the Tambopata River. Usually there is an early start as the best times of day to see wildlife are invariably sunrise, sunset and nighttime.

Explore the Amazon, perhaps by boat today

Another day, another early start, this time to see a parrot clay lick. If you would like to be more active, the lodge offers optional adventure activities such as climbing into the jungle canopy and mountain biking. Tonight you might like to take a nocturnal tour of the jungle - since only 35% of the animals here are diurnal, this could be your best chance to spot wildlife.

Enjoy a last jungle sunrise before flying to Cusco

Before you head downriver for your flight to Cusco, you should have time to climb the 25 metre canopy tower not too far from the lodge. You are met off the plane by your Pura Aventura guide who will be with you throughout your time here in Cusco and up to Machu Picchu. Remember that you are now at high altitude (3,326m) so you will take things easy this afternoon with a stroll through the picturesque colonial streets with your guide.

Explore Cusco and surrounds with your guide

You will still be acclimatising today so the pace will be fairly relaxed. Spend all day in the company of your guide exploring some of the Inca sites around Cusco and the Sacred Valley. You might also like to visit the colourful and lively market in the town of Pisac, renowned for its local weavings and hand-painted pottery.

Set off on the Inca Trail this afternoon

From Cusco drive into the Sacred Valley of the Incas, stopping to explore the Inca fortress at Ollantaytambo. Start your four day hike with a gentle afternoon walk that begins alongside the Urubamba River. The trail winds through green hills and passes tiny villages and Inca ruins, arriving at a campsite with lovely mountain views. You are at a lower altitude than Cusco for the first couple of days of hiking so you will be able to continue acclimatising. Enjoy delicious meals prepared for you by your cooks and sleep in comfortable tents.

Steady walk through trees to high altitude

Today's walk begins at a relatively low altitude (3,000m), heading uphill through a very pretty wooded landscape. As the day goes on you will be passing the tree line and start to get spectacular views of the valley behind you and the mountains beyond. By the end of the day you will be higher than you were in Cusco, camping in a lovely spot at around 3,800m.

The longest day, crossing high mountain passes

Today is the hardest day of the trail as you cross over two high passes, effectively hiking an ‘m’ shape. Spectacular mountain views accompany you throughout the morning, then the scenery changes as you descend from the second pass and enter the cloud forest. Look out for orchids and butterflies as the trail takes you past enigmatic Inca ruins high above the Aobamba valley. By the end of the day, you should feel a great sense of achievement. Your campsite tonight is at 3,700m on a bluff overlooking the mountains.

Walk all day to arrive at Machu Picchu

The final day of the trail is perhaps the most beautiful, starting with what can be the most stunning sunrise. There is a long downhill section of steps as you approach the Inca site of Winaywayna, and the evidence of Inca masonry is everywhere as the trail continues through the cloudforest. Lunch is served at the Inca ruins of Winaywayna before the final push to the Sun Gate and your first views of Machu Picchu, arriving in the quiet of the afternoon when the light is at its best.

Spend all day in Machu Picchu then back to Cusco

This morning if you are feeling energetic, you can catch one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu and head to a higher point to catch sunrise over the mountains. Enjoy a full guided tour of the site this morning. Afterwards you can continue to explore the extensive ruins on your own or climb the peaks of Machu Picchu or Huayna Picchu for a ‘condor’s-eye’ view of the city. In the afternoon, return to Cusco by train and arrive to your hotel some time after nightfall.

Cross the altiplano by luxury train

Today is a chance to sit back, relax and watch the scenery slip by as you board the very comfortable Orient Express-owned train from Cusco to Lake Titicaca. This classic train journey cuts across the formidable Peruvian Altiplano, its remote landscapes populated with tiny settlements and herds of llama. As you travel you will notice that the people change, from the Quechua of the Cusco region to the Aymara of southern Peru. Traditional dress becomes incredibly colourful at the same time as the skies become bluer and more expansive.

Guided day on Lake Titicaca

Set off by boat this morning to explore Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake. The floating reed islands of Uros are your first stop, a fascinating opportunity to see how people live on the edge of the vast lake. Travelling out into the main lake, you make another stop on the ‘weaver’s’ island of Taquile and visit the lesser known side of the island to learn about the history and culture of these charming people. While the women weave, the men knit.

Travel home

After a relaxed morning, transfer to the airport to catch your flight back to Lima, connecting through to your overnight flight back home. Again, we quote international flights separately on this holiday.

About this trip

Summary

Delve into the Amazon, stretch yourself to arrive at Machu Picchu on foot, and meet communities living on Lake Titicaca as you experience the beautiful diversity of southern Peru.

How adventurous?

Activity
1 2 3 4 5
Comfort
1 2 3 4 5
Culture
1 2 3 4 5

Best time to go i

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Level of activity

Your holiday starts with time in the Amazon rainforest. The lodge we use in the Amazon offers first-rate guiding and activities, including walks and boat rides that will get you as close as possible to the landscapes, wildlife and nature around you.

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu covers 26 miles over four days, a distance that in itself is not great, though the high altitude and steep ascents and descents mean that the going can be slow and fairly tough. In return for your exertions you get four days of walking through the beautiful surroundings of the Peruvian Andes and cloud forest, ending with the sense of exhilaration and satisfaction as you arrive at Machu Picchu on foot in the quiet of the afternoon.

With a daily intake of 500 people onto the Inca Trail, the majority of hikers move along together and sleep at the same campsites. We pace our Inca Trail differently so that you can walk in peace and stay at quiet campsites with few others in sight.

This pace gives you extra time to acclimatise, with the first two days of walking at altitudes lower than Cusco. With each day carefully planned to ensure you see few other people, there is time to rest, enjoy the views, and take in the beauty of your surroundings without any sense that you need to hurry.

After the Inca Trail, the physical aspect of your adventure takes a back seat as you relax and enjoy the wonderful landscapes and cultures of the Peruvian highlands during a very comfortable train ride from Cusco to Puno, and spend a day exploring less-visited areas of the Uros and Taquile islands by boat on Lake Titicaca.

In Peru the driest time of year is the winter, from April to October/November. In general you can expect daytime temperatures of somewhere between 10°-20° in Lima, Cusco and at Machu Picchu, though temperatures drop at night. On the Inca Trail, night-time temperatures are likely to fall below zero. The climate is similarly cold at night around Lake Titicaca during the dry season.

Level of comfort

This trip is based around comfortable accommodation where possible but we do not sacrifice your experience in search of comfort. The Amazon lodge we use is fairly simple, though very clean and comfortable with en suite facilities. The excursions and guiding staff are first rate and that’s what matters most.

The Inca Trail involves three nights camping out at altitude. Our team of porters will pitch the tents for you and we also carry our own toilet tent, set at a discreet distance from camp. Our chef does an amazing job creating meals that are substantial and remarkably elaborate given how far you are from a kitchen.

Full details of the accommodation we use are on our detailed itinerary. Call us for a copy.

Level of culture

This holiday offers an authentic insight into the cultural diversity of the Andes and the Amazon. It is very much a part of our development of this holiday that you should come away from Peru with a nuanced and clear sense of the country.

The people of the Amazon have a rich history and culture, and employment for locals is a key part of the story with the rainforest lodges we work with.

In Cusco and on the Inca Trail you are in the Andean heartland of the Incas, a region with an incredibly rich history and mythology. You have the same guide with you throughout your time in Cusco and on to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. This consistency of guiding means you have a seamless narrative to link each place together, rather than the repetition which is inevitable with the usual set-up of different guides in each place. It also gives you time to get to know your guide and find out more about different aspects of life in Peru, be that history or food, music, culture or politics.

Up on Lake Titicaca you move into the land of the Aymara people. We carefully choose which parts of Lake Titicaca to visit in order that you avoid the well-worn trails and can instead enjoy moments of genuine interaction with the people living around the world’s highest navigable lake.

Practicalities

Please give us a call on 01273 676 712 or email us at info@pura-aventura.com to see a detailed itinerary for this trip, in the form set out above. Every Pura holiday is tailor-made so, in order to send the most appropriate proposal to you, we really need to discuss things with you first to find out your interests, when you want to travel, how long you want to go for, etc.

For instance, if a four-day hike to Machu Picchu doesn't appeal to you, we can replace it with the one-day ‘Royal’ Inca Trail or you could take the train all the way. You might like to extend the trip to see the Colca Canyon and the 'white city' of Arequipa, or to one of South America’s great natural wonders, the Galapagos Islands.

In the form set out above, the holiday price includes flights within Peru, transport and transfers, accommodation in good quality small hotels, and all meals in the Amazon and on the Inca Trail. It also includes guided excursions as set out in the detailed itinerary, including a full-time Cusco and Inca Trail guide, permits and porters on the Inca Trail, and entrance tickets. On each and every one of our holidays, we include Pura’s expertise, local contacts, support and advice throughout, along with the reassurance of our financial protection and safety auditing.

Please note: pricing is based on two people travelling. However, we assume that you join at least two more Pura Aventura clients in Cusco and on the Inca Trail.

International flights are quoted separately for this holiday. The best flight routing is to fly in and out of Lima (airport code: LIM).

Next steps...

Contact us today to start planning your own personal adventure

01273 676712

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The described itinerary is just a taster of what this trip could involve. We would work with you to tailor your personal trip.

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