Explore Cusco, the political, economic and religious center of the Inca Empire. This tour offers you the opportunity to see impressive architectural monuments, taking us back to the ancient capital of the Incas. Visit amazing Inca ruins, vibrant markets, stunning landscapes, enchanted villages of the breathtaking Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. See first-hand the great legacy of the Incas in the streets of Cusco, and the vibrant atmosphere of the surrounding ruins. A unique experience awaits you also at the Urubamba Valley, known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The Lost City of the Incas, one of the wonders of South America, stands majestically in the midst of forest mountains. Enjoy the best wildlife and nature experience on the planet with this Inca Marvels and Nature tour, only provided by Peru Travel Now.
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Day 1: Lima Arrival to Lima and welcoming reception. In the afternoon we will have a tour through Lima’s streets and plazas. Starting at the Love Park in Miraflores, with a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, and then heading to the Huaca Pucllana, ceremonial center of the Lima culture. Later we will go to San Isidro, financial center of the city to visit de Huaca Huallamarca, ancient pre-Incan shrine. After this, we go on to the Main Square where the Government Palace and the Town Hall are located. We will visit the Cathedral and explore the San Francisco convent, built in the seventeenth century, to discover the mystery of its catacombs. Stay in Lima. Day 2: Cusco - (Breakfast Included) Transfer to the airport and flight to Cusco. On arrival, welcoming reception and transfer to hotel. In the afternoon the Imperial Cusco city tour starts at the Main Square to visit the Cathedral and its valuable and beautiful colonial masterpieces such as The Cross which arrived along with the first conquistadores. Then it is time to visit the Korikancha temple, Inti God shrine, on which the Santo Domingo church was built. According to the chronicles, this temple was completely covered in gold in Inca times. After this we will visit the Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park to explore Q'enqo, the Puma shrine, and see the sacrificial altar embedded inside a rock cave; Tambomachay and its sacred fountains of life; Puca Pucará viewpoint and watchtower which guarded the city entrance and Sacsayhuaman, an impressive fortress of colossal dimensions with rocks that are up to 4 meters tall and surrounded by beautiful views blending together perfectly. Stay in Cusco. Day 3: Cusco/Sacred Valley - (Breakfast and Lunch Included) The Sacred Valley of the Incas is waiting for you. On the way we will stop at Awanacancha, small complex to admire Andean camelids such as alpacas and llamas and learn from local inhabitants about traditional dyeing and knitting techniques. Later we will explore the Pisac Market with enough free time to go around and buy handcrafts and if you feel like tasting something traditional, stop by the wood ovens for a delicious empanada or a piece of bread.
Lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, our tour continues to Ollantaytambo, a small town full of local color and inhabited since Inca times in which we will visit the main temple used as a fortress during the Inca resistance. Breathtaking views for amazing pictures. Stay at the Sacred Valley. Day 4: Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu - (Breakfast and Lunch Included) A train trip away to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We arrive at the Aguas Calientes station where our staff will assist us on boarding the bus to go up the winding road to Machu Picchu, amid a spectacular view of the Urubamba River and its canyon. The Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu, will astonish us with its terraces, ceremonial shrines, steps and urban areas. Energy is all around us. After a guided visit, we will have time to explore the fortress and have lunch at one of the restaurants in the area. Overnight stay at one of the hotels in Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu. Day 5: Machu Picchu/Cusco - (Breakfast Included) Free morning. Do as you please with your free time: enjoy once more the energy and mystique offered by the fortress or do some hiking like going up Intipunku or Door of the Sun, entrance to Machu Picchu coming from the Inca Trail or climb the Huayna Picchu, mountain overlooking Machu Picchu and home to the temple of the Moon. At the arranged time, we will return to Cusco by bus and will be transferred to our hotel. Overnight stay in Cusco. Day 6: Cusco/Puerto Maldonado - (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included) Transfer to the airport and flight to Cusco. Upon arrival 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 Pto 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 7: Puerto Maldonado - (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included) Canopy Tower
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.
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.
Transfer Boat - Refugio Amazonas to TRC
Four and half hours by boat from Refugio Amazonas, in the pristine heart of the reserve, lies the Tambopata Research Center. One and half hours into our boat journey, as we cross the confluence with the Malinowski River, we will leave the final traces of human habitation behind. Within the 700,000 hectare uninhabited nucleus of the reserve, sightings of capybara, caiman, geese, macaws and other large species will become more frequent.
Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips.
A three to five kilometer hike will lead us to overlooks commanding magnificent views of the Tambopata winding its way into the lowlands. The forest on this trail, regenerating on old bamboo forest, is good for Howler Monkey and Dusky Titi Monkey.
Macaw Project Lectures
After dinner scientists will provide an in depth look at the biology of macaws, their feeding habits, the theories for clay lick use, their breeding and feeding ecology, population fluctuations and the threats to their conservation.
Overnight at Tambopata Research Center
Day 8: Puerto Maldonado - (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included) Macaw Clay Lick
On most clear mornings of the year dozens of large macaws and hundreds of parrots congregate on this large river bank in a raucous and colorful spectacle which inspired a National Geographic cover story. Discretely located fifty meters from the cliff, we will observe Green-winged, Scarlet and Blue-and-gold Macaws and several species of smaller parrots descend to ingest clay. Outings are at dawn when the lick is most active.
This five kilometer trail covers the prototypical rain forest with immense trees criss-crossed by creeks and ponds. Amongst the figs, ceibas and shihuahuacos we will look for Squirrel, Brown Capuchin, and Spider Monkeys as well as peccaries. TRC is located within this habitat.
Ten minutes upriver from the lodge is a tiny pond with a platform in the middle. It is a great place to spot waterfowl such as Muscovy duck, sunbittern and hoatzin along with the woodpeckers, oropendolas, flycatchers and parakeets that call this pond their home.
You will have the option of hiking out at night, when most of the mammals are active but rarely seen. Much easier to find are frogs with shapes and sounds as bizarre as their natural histories.
Overnight at Tambopata Research Center
Day 9: Puerto Maldonado - (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included) Time - off
Time off to relax and enjoy the lodge surroundings, try out a new trail, or repeat your favorite activity.
Transfer Boat - TRC to Refugio Amazonas
A three and a half hour boat ride brings us to Refugio Amazonas.
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.
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 10: Puerto Maldonado - (Breakfast Included) Breakfast
Transfer Boat - Refugio Amazonas to Tambopata River Port
Transfer Tambopata River Port to Pto 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.
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