Four days to discover the best Cusco has to offer and four days for the best of nature. Visit the main attractions of downtown Cusco, Sacsayhuaman and surrounding archaeological sites; the less explored yet impressive South Valley; the always colorful Sacred Valley; and the spectacular Machu Picchu. Discover the valley and its typical towns with their particular environment. Watch the llamas, alpacas, vicunas living in their natural habitat, and learn about the traditional handcrafting in the markets surrounding the Sacred Valley. The Culture and Nature Tour, by Peru Travel Now, will continue with a visit to the rainforest through Puerto Maldonado and the Native Community of Infierno. There you will be witness of a myriad of colors and sounds in the very heart of tropical wildlife.
|Operating Seasons||:||all year|
Day 1: Cusco On arrival, welcoming reception and transfer to hotel. In the afternoon our exclusive city tour starts with a visit to the San Cristobal Plaza to enjoy its panoramic view of the city. Then, we will visit the San Pedro Market to soak in its local flavors and to learn about more of the products grown in the area which supply the whole city. After this, the Korikancha temple will welcome us in all his magnificence; this temple, whose Quechua name means “Gold Enclosure” still bedazzles us with the thought of its gold covered walls. Then it is the turn to visit the Santo Domingo Church. We will walk from San Blas, the artisans’ neighborhood, to the Hatun Rumiyoc street, stopping at the Inca Roca Palace, nowadays home to the Archbishop’s Palace and also at the famous Twelve Angle Stone. We will continue our walk to the Main Square to visit the Cathedral and its valuable and beautiful colonial masterpieces. Day 2: Cusco/South Valley/Cusco - (Breakfast Included) In the morning we will distance from the crowds and 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.
This exclusive adventure will take us to the picturesque and less explored Cusco’s South Valley. In Quispicanchis lies the impressive archaeological complex of Tipon, once an important worship center to water which flows in canals, terraces and beautiful waterfalls and which was one of the sacred natural elements in the Andean cosmo vision. Then we will visit the small yet attractive town of Huaro to see the fantastic 16th Century church and the breathtaking murals by artist Tadeo Escalante. Before heading back we will stop for a short visit at the Sacred Stones Museum. 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/Cusco - (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. At the arranged time, we will take the train back to Cusco to be transferred to the hotel. Day 5: Cusco/Puerto Maldonado - (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included) 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 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.
Orientation Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips.
Caiman Search 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 6: Puerto Maldonado - (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included)
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.
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.
Farm Visit Five minutes downriver from the lodge lies a farm owned and managed by charismatic Don Manuel from the neighbouring community of Condenado. He grows a variety of popular and unknown Amazon crops - just about every plant and tree you see serves a purpose.
Ethnobotanical Tour Along this trail we will find a variety of plants and trees that are used by the local population with at least the same variety of purposes. We will learn about the medicinal (and other) uses of Ajo-Sacha, Yuca de Venado, Uña de Gato, Charcot-Sacha, Para-Para, among several others.
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 7: Puerto Maldonado - (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.
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.
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.
Night walk 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 8: Puerto Maldonado/ Lima - (Breakfast included)
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.
Our program include all entrance fees and local English speaking guides on all excursions:
PUERTO MALDONADO (TAMBOPATA)
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