- Wake up in your eco-bungalow to the soundtrack of the Amazon rainforest.
- Volunteer with Amazon Shelter to help give rehabilitated animals a second chance to live in their natural habitat.
- Take part in a traditional textile-weaving lesson with a native Quechua woman from the local community.
- Climb the Via Ferrata route to witness the unsurpassed scenery of the Sacred Valley and the Urubamba River.
- Hike to Machu Picchu for incomparable views of the sanctuary and it’s awe-inspiring scenery.
- Visit a unique working farm where you can learn about the giant Inca corn and other crops grown in the region, with a delicious farm to table lunch.
DAY 1: ARRIVE INTO LIMA
COSTA DEL SOL WYDHAM
Arrive into Lima late at night, where a representative will be waiting for you outside of customs. They’ll accompany you to your airport hotel across the street and assist you with check-in.
The Costa del Sol Wyndham Lima Airport is the perfect place to sleep after a long flight. Directly across the way from the International Airport, you can be at your hotel in less than three minutes.
DAY 2: Arrive into Puerto Maldonado
Wasai Lodge Puerto Maldonado
After treating yourself to a peaceful sleep in, start the day with a delicious buffet breakfast at the hotel. In the afternoon a representative will meet you in the hotel lobby to walk you to the airport and assist with check-in for your Puerto Maldonado flight.
Once you arrive into Puerto Maldonado, after the 1-hour-and-40-minute flight, your guide and driver will be waiting at the airport.
Enjoy your short flight, and once you land at the Puerto Moldonado airport, you will be brought to the historical capital city of the Madre de Dios region to check into the nature-inspired Wasai Lodge.
While it’s primarily a kick-off point to Peru’s Amazon jungle destinations, Puerto Maldonado’s laid back atmosphere, vibrant nightlife, and unique flavor make the town an increasingly popular tourist hub.
If time permits in the afternoon, take a wonderful stroll through the Tambopata Butterfly Farm, home to hundreds of Amazonian butterflies. Here you can learn about various species and admire the gardens, which are fantastic to experience in themselves. Observe the garden’s variety of flowers, as well as medicinal and ornamental plants.
After exploring the gardens, return to the Lodge for a relaxing evening. The eco-friendly Wasai Lodge is built in the local architectural style, and the individual bungalows blend in with their natural surroundings.
Wasai Puerto Maldonado is a natural refuge for wildlife, creating a habitat for different species of birds, sloths, monkeys, and other mammals, which are often seen in the lodge. From the balcony of your bungalow, marvel at the astonishing sunrise views over the Madre de Dios River.
DAYS 3-4: Volunteer with Amazon Shelter
Wasi Lodge Puerto Maldonado
Amazon Shelter was created to rehabilitate local wildlife affected by the destruction of the tropical forest, hunting, and illegal trafficking, giving these animals a second chance to live in their natural habitat.
Currently, Amazon Shelter aims to raise environmental awareness in the local community through education and outreach programs, focusing on the importance of ecosystem conservation. They support the sustainable management of natural areas and also cooperate with state and private institutions that work to reduce deforestation and the illicit trafficking of species.
You family will have two days with the organization to join in various volunteer and educational activities.
After an introduction and orientation, you will help this amazing organization by getting involved with meal preparation for the animals, cleaning enclosures, assisting with the creation of enrichment toys, and other tasks.
DAY 4: Amazon Rainforest – Tambopata
Begin the day with breakfast at Wasai Lodge before a big day exploring the Tambopata region of the Amazon. The Tambopata National Reserve is an incredible place to experience the Amazon rainforest with activities to suit everyone. Here you will have the chance to see even more wildlife such as jaguars, toucans, and monkeys, all in their natural habitat.
While at the lodge, there are a variety of activities to choose from:
Moonlighting as an Amazon Scientist
In the dark of night, be guided out to the jungle to see a variety of insects. Draw them in with the beams of a flashlight flickering on a bright white sheet. Study the unusual insects closely, noting their shapes and patterns before they flutter away.
Parrot Clay Lick
Clay licks are exposed areas of clay where animals gather to eat or lick clay to obtain salt needed for their diet. Around 20 different tropical bird species visit the clay lick, including vocal macaws and playful parrots. Visit a hidden spot across from the clay lick to see these brilliant birds up close without disturbing their pristine habitat.
Climb higher and higher until you reach the top of the canopy tower where suddenly your view stretches as far as the eye can see.
Oxbow Lake Visit
Due to their calm waters and plentiful food supplies, local lakes are full of wildlife. They’re essential to many rainforest animals and serve as important sources of food for human communities. You’re likely to spot a huge variety of animals. If you wish, take some time to explore by paddleboard.
For thousands of years, indigenous people in the Amazon have used jungle plants to adorn themselves. A paste is prepared from huito, a local fruit, along with achiote and other natural dyes, to help create “tattoos.” Take this opportunity to learn about the rich cultural heritage of the Amazon, and be painted in colorful patterns that will last for a day or two.
Visit a Local Farm
At the jungle farm, you’ll find out how your favorite tropical foods are grown. Farmers will explain how and why they organically grow a variety of crops.
Tambopata National Reserve
Spanning vast areas of savannah and rainforest, the Tambopata National Reserve rests in the Amazon Basin of southeast Peru and is known for its spectacular displays of wildlife and variety of fun outdoor activities. The area is home to more species of birds and butterflies than any place of similar size on earth. You’ll also likely see monkeys, otters, jaguars, and tapirs as the rainforest provides the ultimate adventure for animal lovers.
Refugio Amazonas is situated in a 200-hectare private reserve within the buffer zone of the Tambopata National Reserve.
The lodge is ideal for family adventurers as it has a rainforest trail designed especially for children.
DAY 5: Tambopata Reserve
Enjoy a full day in the jungle where you can choose two activities per day.
DAY 7: Sacred Valley of the Incas
Sol Y Luna
After breakfast at your hotel, a representative will meet you in the lobby to transfer you back out by boat to connect you to the airport. The representative will also assist with check-in for your Cusco flight. At the end of the 50-minute flight, you will have a guide waiting at Cusco airport.
From here, you will be driven into historical Cusco for a snack before making your way to the Sacred Valley. En route, get a feel for the local culture as you surround yourself in beautiful textiles at the local market of Chinchero. The charming Chinchero Village is also known for its picturesque colonial church and nearby archaeological sites.
Also known as Urabamba Valley, the Sacred Valley of the Incas is located in the Peruvian Andes, beneath the world famous site of Machu Picchu and not far from Cusco. This fertile valley is fed by a network of waterways and encompasses a wealth of archaeological sites, including Ollantaytambo, renowned for its extensive Inca ruins; Maras Moray, which features ancient agricultural terracing and the salt mines; and Pisac, with its ancient vestiges and colorful weekly market.
Surrounded by mountains and a short distance from Machu Picchu, Sol y Luna gathers both the cultural and natural diversity of the country in an exquisite experience of contrast. Each casita faces the Andes Mountains and is surrounded by gardens filled with flora native to the Sacred Valley.
DAY 8: Sacred Valley and Village Visit
Sol Y Luna
After breakfast, depart for the unique Ancasmarca and be guided by llamas to hike along a virtually undiscovered trail through a breathtaking canyon. Once you arrive, take part in a traditional textile-weaving lesson with a native Quechua woman from the local community.
Far from a touristic experience, this is a typical house and a real experience with a local who will teach you how she creates textiles. Some of these communities rarely see travelers, let alone interact with them. This is a really special exchange between your family and a family in the Andes.
Following a box lunch, take an easy bike ride along the Urubamba River to see indigenous Quechua communities and farmers tending to their fields, all with a scenic backdrop of the stunning Sacred Valley.
After a full day in the Sacred Valley, return to Cusco to enjoy dinner at one of the many excellent local restaurants.
DAY 9: Via Ferrata and Zip Line
Sol Y Luna
Today is full of adventure! Go climbing with your guide up the Via Ferrata route to appreciate the most impressive views of the area. Take a few rest stops to marvel at the valley 1000 feet below and the snow-capped mountains in the distance. To make the experience even more exhilarating, your way down is via five zip lines.
Following four hours of excitement, satisfy your appetite with a nourishing lunch at El Albergue, made from fresh ingredients picked from their farm.
The afternoon will be spent touring the old ruins of Ollantaytambo. Walk the streets, and see the same walkways and irrigation systems used by the Incas. In this “living Inca town” — where people maintain ancient customs and traditions — you’ll have the opportunity to visit a local Incan home.
After your visit, return to the lodge to relax, shower, eat dinner, and rest.
DAY 10: Machu Picchu
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
This morning, wait for your guide and driver to collect you from the hotel.
They’ll bring you on a 30-minute drive to the town of Ollantaytambo where you will board the mid-morning train. Once you arrive into the small town of Aguas Calientes, have lunch, and check into Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel before taking the bus to the incredible Machu Picchu.
Once you arrive inside Machu Picchu, explore the site with your guide, and decide if you would like to make the three-hour round trip hike to the stunning Sun Gate for views of the preserved Inca site.
Located more than 6,000 feet above sea level in Peru’s forested mountain peaks, Machu Picchu is one of the world’s most impressive archaeological sites and a site of extraordinary beauty. The complex reflects the Inca Empire at its height, with giant walls, terraces, and ramps that appear to have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments. The phenomenal technological skills of the Incan engineers can be seen in multiple aspects of the site.
As the crowds leave for the day, take a quiet moment admiring Machu Picchu just before it closes, then take the last bus back to town. From there it’s just a short walk to your hotel where you can have a hot shower, a cold beverage, and dinner.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is an intimate Andean-village-style accommodation with terraced hills, waterfalls, stone pathways, and whitewashed adobe casitas tucked away in the cloud forest.
DAY 11: Hike Machu Picchu
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
Set out early this morning, and take the bus back to Machu Picchu. Start at the trailhead with your guide, and climb Machu Picchu taking in the unparalleled views of the famous Inca sanctuary and panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountain scenery. After an inspiring three-hour hike and lunch, visit any sights that interest you with your informative guide before returning to town.
For lunch, take a seat at Indio Feliz — a fantastic local restaurant. Savor the Incan flavors, and contemplate if you would like to spend your afternoon resting, participating in an activity through the accommodation, or visiting Mandor Waterfall with your guide.
In the evening, return to your hotel, unwind, and take in the views of the cloud forest.
Day 12: Aguas Calientes back to Cusco
After an early breakfast, board your morning train from Aguas Calientes back to Ollantaytambo where your driver will be waiting.
Take the scenic route back to Cusco via the town of Pisaq to admire its Inca terraces and gorgeous mountain views. En route to Cusco, stop at Hacienda Sarapampa — a unique, working farm where you can learn about the giant Inca corn and other crops grown in the region. Enjoy a nice, fresh farm lunch before driving back to Cusco.
Once in Cusco, if there is time, do a bit of shopping and looking around. In the evening, your driver and guide will take you to the Cusco Airport to connect with your evening flight to Lima where you will catch your flight home.
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