The Taste of the Adventure tour gathers the ideal locations for intrepid travelers in the highlands of Cusco and the Amazonian natural reserve of Tambopata, one of the major reserves of wild life in the region. Peru Travel Now offers an intense visit to the most appealing landscapes of both regions. Feast your eyes on the enormous mountains, steep trek routes, valleys, rivers and wild life. Hiking, sailing, bicycling and horseback riding are all part of the experience. So adventure, as well as direct contact with nature, is assured. The base of operations is at a campsite on the Inca Trail, where all trekkers will spend the nights and regain their energy for next day's journey.
|Operating Seasons||:||Dry Season (From May till Mid-December)|
Subject to Inca Trail entrance availability. Please check with us.
|PER PERSON SHARING
A DOUBLE ROOM
Day 1: Lima Arrival to Lima and welcoming reception. Overnight stay in Lima. Day 2: Lima/Cusco - (Breakfast Included) Transfer to the airport and flight to Cusco. On arrival, welcoming reception and transfer to hotel. In the afternoon, we will visit the highlights of the magnificent Cusco Downtown, a mélange of cultures and styles from the Spanish and Inca cultures. Our first stop will be the Santo Domingo or Koricancha (Temple of Gold) a beautiful convent built over an Inca palace. We will continue to the Cathedral to delight ourserlves with awe-inspiring paintings from the Cusco School. Continuing our immersion in the city, we will visit Sacsayhuaman, a huge and impressive fortress of colossal constructions and surrounded by beautiful views blending together perfectly. Our adventure continues at the Inca Shrine Qenqo, to see the sacrificial altar embedded inside a rock cave. Finally we will arrive to the Puca Pucara viewpoint and Tambomachay, monument of impressive architectonic knowledge considered as one of the pillars of Andean Cosmo vision. Overnight stay in Cusco. Day 3: Cusco/Sacred Valley - (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included) We will drive to the Ferrata Route location near Pachar in the Sacred Valley. Here we will meet our specialized guides and will be given a safety briefing before receiving our equipment. Ascending will take about 1 hour while descending will take about 3 hours. Boxed lunch included. We will pick you up after lunch and go with direction to Paucarbamba bridge. Here we will receive a safety briefing and will adjust our bikes for the ride. We will go through a trail following the Urubamba river, the Sacred River of the Incas, until we reach the town of Pachar. From here we will take an easy descend through an ancient Inca Trail that passes through farming fields and Inca terraces until we reach Inca bridge and Ollantaytambo, where we finish this awesome ride. Return to the hotel. Dinner and overnight stay in Sacred Valley. Day 4: Sacred Valley - (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included) Passengers will be met by their guide at their hotel and will direct them to their private vehicle that will transfer them to Pachar, our river put in where we will start our river rafting adventure in the Sacred river of the Incas. Here passengers will receive their river rafting equipment and a proper safety briefing. (Toilet facilities are available) After a brief practice on the flat parts of the river, we will start our journey on easy waters, while we admire the spectacular views of the mountains and archaeological remains, continuing towards Ollantaytambo and its amazing Inca terraces, at the time we experience class II and III rapids, to finish with “El Resbaladero” (The Slide), a strong class III rapid that includes waves and small whirlpools. We will then have lunch in a traditional restaurant located on the riverside, owned by the local community family. This is a great chance to enjoy the Andean cuisine while supporting community projects. Optional: Passengers may be part of a tree planting, at the local reforestation project, located just 5 minutes walking from Cachiccata restaurant. After lunch, passengers will meet their Paso Fino Horses and muleteers, who will be waiting for them at the restaurant gardens. Their guide will give them a short safety briefing before mounting their horses. The Paso Fino Horse was bride for almost 400 years in the old haciendas of the Peruvian coast, where they learned to walk in a unique way due to the sand at the desert coast line of Peru. These horses are now a day’s known as one of the finest horses in the world. We will start our horseback ride adventure, following a trail that goes along the left margin of the Urubamba river. We will pass small villages, farms and Andean terraces along the way. Our ride will last for about two hours before reaching the end of our adventure, from where our private transport will be waiting for us to transfer passengers to Ollantaytambo fortress where you will have a guided tour. Finally return to the hotel. Overnight stay in Sacred Valley. Day 5: Sacred Valley/Piscacucho/Huayllabamba - (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included) Transfer from the hotel to Km. 82, where we will meet our porters and equipment. We start our trek escorted by the porters, going through semi-arid terrain along the Urubamba river with magnificent views of snow-capped mountains, until we arrive to Llactapata. Here we leave the Urubamba valley and set off up the Kusichaca River to our first camp site in Huayllabamba (around 3000 m.a.s.l - 9842 f.a.s.l).
KM 82 - Llactapata: 5 KM / 3 hours approx.
Km 82 to Huayllabamba: 11 km / 6 hours approx. Day 6: Huayllabamba/Llulluchapampa/Warmiwañusca/Pacaymayo - (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included) After a healthy breakfast we begin to walk to the Warmihuañusca pass (4200 mts - 13860 ft. approximately). After a short time, we will reach the top of the pass. From this place, it is possible to see the other side of the way leading to Runkurakay ruins. At the end of a gorge, we will stop at a place called Pacaymayo (3600 mts. - 11181 ft.), our second camp.
Huayllabamba-Pacaymayo: 7km / 7 hours approx. Day 7: Runcuracay/Sayacmarca/Phuyupatamarca/Wiñaywayna - (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included) We depart from Pacaymayo and a while later a zigzagging but short ascent will take us to the Runkurakay circular ruins. There is no sign of human life, only great forests and abrupt hills. After a good rest, we will start our way down and then we can clearly notice that the Inca Trail is well preserved from this point. In a short while we will get the steps which go up to Sayacmarca ruins (3620 mts - 11946 ft approximately). From Sayacmarca the stone road begins to go into the jungle, continuing our trek towards Phuyupatamarca ruins. The trail crosses the “ Lago Seco” and for brief moments we will go up and down. We will then cross "The Tunnel", a natural cavity produced by a landslide but adapted by the Incas. The Inca Trail well-traced borders continuous on the hills full of moss and fern. After crossing a small pass, we will see some steep steps and under these the Ceremonial Center of Phuyupatamarca ruins (3650 mts - 12045 ft approximately), where we will set our camp.
Pacaymayo - Phuyupatamarca: 7 km / 6 hours approximately Day 8: Wiñaywayna/Intipunku/Machu Picchu - (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included) We start early in the morning going down the trail, from where we can see the Urubamba valley and the river. The path goes down to Wiñay Wayna ruins (2650 mts - 8745 ft approximately), the most important ruins after Machu Picchu, heading then towards Inti Punku (2740 mts - 9042 ft approximately), the Gate of the Sun, our last pass. From this place, Machu Picchu (2450 mts - 8085 ft approximately) looks unreal and beautiful. We have the rest of the day to visit the entire citadel.
Phuyupatamarca - Wiñaywayna: 4 Km / 3 hours approximately
Wiñaywayna - Machupicchu: 5 km /4hours approximately Day 9: Machu Picchu/Cusco - (Breakfast and Lunch Included) We start our visit to the Sanctuary early in the morning in order to have a full day of exploring. Guided tour through the citadel. In the afternoon, the train to Cusco will leave from the Aguas Calientes station. Arrival and transfer to your hotel. Overnight stay in Cusco. Day 10: Cusco/Puerto Maldonado/Tambopata - (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included) Transfer to the airport and flight to Puerto Maldonado.
Arrival & Reception by Guide
Our guides are biologists, tourism professionals, or community members. Unless noted otherwise, our guides speak English. We assign guides at 10:1 ratio in Refugio Amazonas. This means groups smaller than 10 people will be merged with other groups under one guide. If you would like a private guide or a guide in a language other than English please let us know.
Transfer Airport to Puerto Maldonado Headquarters
Upon arrival from Lima or Cusco, we will welcome you at the airport and drive you ten minutes to our Puerto Maldonado headquarters. While enjoying your first taste of the forest in our gardens we will ask you to pack only the necessary gear for your next few days, and leave the rest at our safe deposit. This helps us keep the boats and cargo light.
Transfer Puerto Maldonado Headquarters to Tambopata River Port
Skirting Puerto Maldonado, we drive 20 kilometers to the Tambopata River Port, entering the Native Community of Infierno. The port is a communal business.
Transfer Boat - Tambopata River Port to Refugio Amazonas
The two and a half hour boat ride from the Tambopata Port to Refugio Amazonas will take us past the Community of Infierno and the Tambopata National Reserve’s checkpoint and into the buffer zone of this 1.3 million hectare conservation unit.
Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips.
We will be out at the river’s edge at night, scanning the shores with headlamps and flashlights to catch the red gleams of reflection from caiman eyes.
Overnight at Refugio Amazonas Day 11: Tambopata - (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included) Breakfast
Oxbow Lake Visit:
We will paddle around the lake on a canoe or a catamaran, looking for lakeside wildlife such as hoatzin, caiman and hornerd screamers, hoping to see the otters which are infrequently seen here. You will also be rewarded with overhead sightings of macaws.
Replicating the daily work of macaw researchers, we will climb a 30 meter tree with a rope, harness and jumar. From this vantage point we will have a macaws eye view of the forest. This demanding exercise is perfectly safe and requires no previous experience.
Brazil Nut Trail and Camp:
A few minutes hike from the lodge is a beautiful old growth patch of Brazil Nut forest that has been harvested for decades (if not centuries) where the precarious remains of a camp used two months a year by Brazil Nut gatherers can still be experienced. We will be demonstrating the whole process of the rain forest’s only sustainably harvested product from collection through transportation to drying.
A thirty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas leads to the 25 meter scaffolding canopy tower. A bannistered staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. The tower has been built upon high ground, therefore increasing your horizon of the continuous primary forest extending out towards the Tambopata National Reserve. From here views of mixed species canopy flocks as well as toucans, macaws and raptors are likely.
You will have the option of hiking out at night, when most of the mammals are active but difficult to see. Easier to find are frogs with shapes and sounds as bizarre as their natural histories.
Overnight at Refugio Amazonas Day 12: Tambopata - (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included) Parrot Clay Lick
A fifteen minute boat ride and sixty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas is a clay lick used both by parrots and parakeets. From a blind you will see parrots and parakeets descend on most clear days to ingest the clay on a bank. Species such as Dusky headed and Cobalt winged Parakeet descend at this clay lick. With luck we will also see some or all of the following species in the early morning rush: Mealy and Yellow-crowned Amazons, Blue-headed Pionus, Severe macaw and Orange-cheeled (Barraband’s) Parrot. We visit the lick at dawn, when parrots are most active or in midmorning or early afternoon, when they are active.
Mammal Clay Lick
Twenty minutes walking from Refugio Amazonas is a peccary clay lick. These wild rain forest pigs show up in herds of five to twenty individuals to eat clay in the late morning. Chances of spotting them are around 15%, but well worth the short hike. Other wildlife also shows up including deer, guan and parakeets.
Sea-Kayaking the Tambopata River
No previous experience is required. A boat will bring us upriver and then we will paddle down a portion of the Tambopata River with some rapids, although most of the progress presents low difficulty. At the shores we will observe fragmented parts of the forest and come across with locals that work at the few farms in the region. To finish our experience, we’ll stop on a sandy beach and take a well deserved bath. No experience required, only swimming knowledge.
Tambopata National Reserve Lectures
Nightly lectures prepared by the staff of Refugio Amazonas cover conservation threats, opportunities and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve.
Overnight at Refugio Amazonas Day 13: Puerto Maldonado/Lima - (Breakfast Included) Breakfast
Transfer Boat - Refugio Amazonas to Tambopata River Port.
Transfer Tambopata River Port to Puerto Maldonado Headquarters.
Transfer Puerto Maldonado Headquarters to Airport.
We retrace our river and road journey back to Puerto Maldonado, our office and the airport. Depending on airline schedules, this may require dawn departures.