Peru: Amazon to the Andes

Machu Pichu

A truly unique adventure – that travels from the Amazon River up into the High Andes - with several days in the Sacred Valley and includes a visit to the famed Inca ruins of Machu Picchu.  We begin our exploration in the headwaters of the Amazon on the Madre de Dios River that meanders through the Tambopata Reserve, where we may visit the famous clay lick where Macaws congregate in the hundreds.  From the headwaters of the mighty Amazon River we travel up to Cuzco and the Sacred Valley of the Inca, where we will visit the stunning site of Machu Picchu - the climax of our trip.

In keeping with the principles of responsible ecotourism:

We will make a donation to help the indigenous communities of the High Andes.

We will employ local people.

We will use locally owned and operated lodges and outfitters.

We will use local goods and services.

This is an ecotour that will make a difference to you and to the areas we visit.

Upcoming Dates
Saturday, February 2, 2019 to Sunday, February 10, 2019

Availability — Open to enrollment

Cost per person is $5,699
Single supplement is $998


Three-toed sloth, Amazon
Three-toed sloth, Amazon

Day 01: Flight to Lima

Depart home this morning and arrive at Jorge Chavez International Airport this evening and simply walk across the street from the airport to our hotel adjacent to the airport. Enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel this evening (if your flight timing allows).

Overnight in Wyndham Costa Del Sol Hotel (D)
Dusky titi monkey in Tambopata Reserve
Dusky titi monkey in Tambopata Reserve

Day 02: Lima to the Amazon River (Refugio Amazonas / Rio Tambopata)

We stroll back to the airport for our flight from Lima to Puerto Maldonado.

Begin to experience the enchantment of the rainforest, as you take a 45-minute boat ride along the Madre de Dios River to arrive at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica lodge. After a short briefing, settle into your beautiful cabaña and enjoy your lunch in the dining room.

This afternoon after gathering with your Inkaterra Explorer Guide, choose from the various excursions available at Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica. On your first day, we recommend a guided walk along the trail system, into the Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica natural area, where you will discover the Amazon Basin. This trail offers an excellent introduction to the jungle environment, winding past impressive trees such as the Shihuahuaco, and the strangely beautiful strangler fig, offering excellent opportunities for bird watching and observing exotic insects.

We also recommend on the first night our twilight river excursion — a guided afternoon boat ride on the Madre de Dios driver. Witness the transformation from a diurnal to a nocturnal world: animals and birds of the daytime give way to species specially adapted to the night. As you enjoy their paradise, you will learn about their habits, while you search for nightjars, owls, capybaras and big caimans. Enjoy the dinner, served in the main dining room from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. After dinner, you may retire early to your own cabaña, or join us to talk about your experience in the rainforest, as you listen to the intriguing sounds of the jungle at night.

Overnight at Reserva Amazonica Lodge (B,L,D)
Saki monkey, Amazon
Saki monkey, Amazon

Day 03: Tambopata Nature Reserve

Following a short motorboat ride from the lodge, this activity begins with a walk to Lake Sandoval. Be on the lookout for hoatzins, herons and ospreys as you glide across this mirror-like oxbow lake in a wooden canoe. Your excursion continues with a hike through the reserve to Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción. The surrounding vegetation will be roused on this trip, home to the paiche and black caimans, red howler, brown capuchin and squirrel monkeys; and the extremely rare and endangered giant river otter. Lunch at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción is followed by a guided visit to a garden containing more than 200 medicinal plants and the possibility to practice the native arch and arrow usage.

Overnight at Reserva Amazonica Lodge (B,L,D)
Giant Lily-Pads on the Amazon River
Giant Lily-Pads on the Amazon River

Day 04: Reserva Amazonicas to Cusco

We have the early morning to take a walk to one of the trails that extend approximately 7.3 kilometers in Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica Natural Reserve and you will discover the incredible realm of the Amazon rainforest.

The trails offer an excellent introduction to the environment of the jungle, as you walk past exotic rainforest trees, such as the kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra) and the beautiful ficus. Look down and spot the tiny lizards that rustle the leaves as they dart about on the forest floor. Gaze at the treetops and be amazed with the arena for bird watching. Observe the insect life and learn about the interpretation of the primary and secondary rainforest components, as well as the human impact and the relevance of the rainforests of the world.  Come back to the hotel for a late breakfast / brunch.

After brunch we take a boat back to Puerto Maldonado and a flight back to Cusco. Upon arrival to Cusco we will drive towards the Sacred Valley, on the way we stop to visit the Chapel of Andahuaylilllas, where the original decoration of wall paintings made in the 16th and 17th centuries, was followed by oil on canvas, the work of Indian painters enhanced by the magnificent baroque style wooden gilded frames of the 18th century, the quality of the work has made this church one of the best examples of Cusco Colonial art.

Finally, we proceed directly to the luxurious Sol y Luna Hotel where we can relax. Dinner is at the hotel this evening.

Overnight at Sol y Luna Hotel (B,D)
Weaving, Sacred Valley
Weaving, Sacred Valley

Day 05: Sacred Valley

After breakfast we spend the day exploring the Sacred Valley. 

We will visit the Maras Salt Mines - here the local people have been processing and harvesting salt for over 1300 years, the community of Maras is one of the area´s most representative destinations, its singular colonial church and colonial era door frames, with Castellan shields are authentic to the colony´s time period. Maras Salt Mines a compound of 3,000 salt pools are still exploited by 360 local families, with an annual production of 2,000 tons of salt.

Then we will enjoy a colorful lunch at Iskay Maras Restaurant, before continuing to visit Moray an area of depressions or natural gigantic holes in the surface of the area that were used to construct farming terraces. Impressively there is a 15°C difference in annual average temperature between the highest areas compared with the bottom of the depressions, even though the altitudinal difference is only 30 meters of depth. Moray, because of the unique climatic conditions and other characteristics, was an important center of domestication, acclimatization and hybridization.

Finally, if time permits we will stop in Urubamba to visit the pottery workshop at Seminario Ceramic, where we often find Pablo Seminario and Marilú Bejar still working in their workshops.

Overnight in Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L,D)
Llamas, Machu Pichu
Llamas, Machu Pichu

Day 06: Machu Pichu

After a hearty breakfast we will depart at 8:30am from the hotel to Ollantaytambo train station to board the Vistadome train to Machu Picchu. This rail journey is one of the most spectacular in the world.  The rail line follows the Urubamba River through the spectacular Canyon of Vilcanota to the Lost City of the Incas.  Upon arrival, our luggage will be transferred to the hotel and we will have a 25-minute drive to visit the Sacred Center.  Our expert guide will share with us the most current information and personal insights of Machu Picchu.  Dinner is at the hotel this evening.

Overnight in Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (B,D)
Machu Pichu
Machu Pichu

Day 07: Machu Picchu to Cusco

We can visit the ruins at sunrise to catch the early morning light, perhaps walk up to the Sun Gate for a different perspective.  We will head back down to town at 11:30am for lunch at a local restaurant and then we board the train back to Ollantaytambo and from here we transfer by road to Cusco.  Our destination this evening is the extremely intimate and comfortable La Casona Hotel.  We will enjoy dinner at a lively local restaurant this evening.

Overnight in La Casona Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 08: Cusco

In the morning we will visit Saqsayhuaman which literally translated means "Decorated head of the Puma”. This was the ruling palace of the Inca that contained a temple where the living God directed his people. It was called a fortress by the Europeans due the immense stone pieces that were used in its construction, oral Cusco tradition claims that around 70,000 people worked on the palace for 50 years. Then, we will visit Cusco´s traditional Central Market which is one of the oldest in the city´s Historical Center and is where local people still go to shop.

As we walk along the streets of Cusco´s Historical Center, we can marvel at the flawless Incan stonework, and picture a place and time when the Incas once had an immense empire, as we will follow the history of Cusco´s School of Art which was and still is a local way of expressing art, born from the combination of European motives and Andean aesthetics, influenced by its own time periods and master painters; all in a visit of several museums and collections. Finally we will walk around the colonial style Plaza de Armas (Main Square), visiting the Cathedral that contains one of the city’s greatest samples of 18th century mestizo paintings.

After lunch at the MAP Cafe restaurant we have a free afternoon for shopping and exploring on our own.

We will have our farewell dinner this evening at Limo restaurant overlooking the main square.

Overnight in La Casona Hotel (B,L,D)
Women in traditional dress, Cusco
Women in traditional dress, Cusco

Day 09: Cusco to home

This morning we will visit the Archbishop’s Private Religious Art Collection, and can see artifacts used for the Corpus Christi (Christ´s Body); a famous procession celebrated in Cusco.

Most flights headed to USA and Europe are in the evening from Lima, so you have until lunchtime to finish exploring the city, perhaps visit the San Blas neighborhood, a Bohemian neighborhood of art galleries, bistros and small shops. Afterwards transfer back to the Cusco airport at a convenient time to connect with your flights headed back home.


Travel Information

Thanks for choosing Peru with Terra Incognita Ecotours, Inc. It is our pleasure to help you plan for your upcoming ecotour. To ensure that your travel arrangements are made to your satisfaction, please take a few minutes to read through this information.

What you need to have with you on your trip:

Passport: If you are a U.S., U.K., Australian or Canadian citizen, you will need a passport, valid for six months from the date of completion of your trip.

It is always a good idea to make a photocopy of your airline tickets and of the pages of your passport that have the number, your photograph and other pertinent information. Keep the copies separate from the originals.

Visas: Please consult the Peruvian consulate or embassy nearest you for visa requirements to enter Peru. If a visa is required, you are responsible for obtaining it.

Documents for children under the age of 18, not traveling with both parents: The U.S. government is increasingly requiring that minors under 18 years of age traveling alone, with grandparents, or with one parent/legal guardian only, carry a notarized document signed by both parents or by the parent/legal guardian not traveling with the child. We suggest you obtain such a document (noting the age of the child, relationship to traveling adult(s), dates of travel, and destination) to avoid potential problems. For example, in the case of divorce, the parent with legal custody must sign the permit, and the accompanying adult must carry proof of this fact. In addition, if the child’s surname differs from that of either parent, you may want to carry the child’s birth certificate.

Emergency Contact number while on your ecotour:

Call COLLECT (813) 476-2810

Practical Information

Currency: The currency of Peru is the Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN). The exchange rate as of July 2017 was 1 US$ = 3.24 PEN. Major credit cards are generally accepted at hotels, restaurants and larger stores. U.S. dollars are accepted in Peru, so we suggest you carry U.S. currency in small denominations for smaller purchases such as taxis, refreshments or other miscellaneous expenses.

Health: All information we obtain regarding health precautions is received from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta at 404.332.4559 or

Please note that Terra Incognita Ecotours, Inc., as a travel company, is in no way authorized to prescribe any inoculations or medications. We recommend that you consult your personal physician for medical advice, showing him or her the brochure that indicates the places you will be visiting. Your physician is most familiar with your personal medical history and is best qualified to determine your particular needs. It is always advisable to have physical and dental check-ups before you leave.

At the present time, no specific immunizations are required for this ecotour, although the CDC recommends the following:

Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG). Transmission of hepatitis A virus can occur through direct person-to-person contact; through exposure to contaminated water, ice, or shellfish harvested in contaminated water; or from fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are eaten uncooked and that were contaminated during harvesting or subsequent handling.

Malaria: your risk of malaria may be high in certain areas of Peru. See your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug.

Typhoid vaccine. Typhoid fever can be contracted through contaminated drinking water or food, or by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by a person who is infected. Large outbreaks are most often related to fecal contamination of water supplies or foods sold by street vendors.

As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria, measles, and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults.

Please also note:

A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain countries in South America. For detailed information, see Yellow Fever Vaccine Requirements and Information on Malaria Risk and Prophylaxis, by Country. Also, find the nearest authorized U.S. yellow fever vaccine center. The normal "childhood" vaccines should be up to date: Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR Vaccine), Diphtheria, Tetanus, Perturssia (DTP Vaccine) and Polio vaccine.

Swimming: There are several opportunities to swim during the ecotour, and so you should bring a swimsuit.

We advocate the buddy system for everyone, at all times, and children less than 14 years of age should always be accompanied by an adult while swimming.

Time Difference: Peru is one hour behind Eastern Standard Time. 

Weather:  The climate of Peru is very diverse, with a large variety of climates and microclimates, including 28 of the 32 world climates. Such a diversity is chiefly conditioned by the presence of the Andes mountains and the cold Humboldt Current.  The climate on the coast is subtropical with very little rainfall. The Andes mountains observe a cool-to-cold climate with rainy summers and very dry winters. The eastern lowlands present an Equatorial climate with hot weather and rain distributed all year long.

We should plan on being exposed to tropical weather in the Amazon and cooler weather in the Andes.  Bring rain gear!

Please remember that the sun’s rays are more vertical than you may be used to, so you can sunburn more easily. Be careful of the midday sun.

Weaving, Sacred Valley Mother and son Llamas, Machu Pichu

Lodging Info

Wyndham Costa Del Sol Hotel, Lima Airport

Located within Jorge Chávez International Airport, the Wyndham Costa del Sol Hotel offers guests first class infrastructure and service that will make their stay in the capital a true pleasure.  Thanks to its strategic location, directly adjacent to the main terminal, you will be able to save time during your stay and optimize your rest and relaxation between flights.  The hotel also offers a complete spa facility - the Spa Express.

Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica Lodge

Pristine, remote, yet easily accessible!  Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica is adjacent to the lush Tambopata National Reserve, where the Madre de Dios river meanders through the rainforest, known as the Biodiversity Capital of Peru. A welcoming haven situated at the heart of a 42,000-acre private ecological reserve. Each of the high thatched roof wooden cabañas comprise a twin bedroom with canopy mosquito net, outfitted with 100% cotton sheets, hypoallergenic pillows and a ceiling fan. The open plan bathroom comes complete with a separate shower stall and toilet, hot water, large towels, and a complete set of ecologically friendly toiletries. An inviting screened siesta lounge area with hammocks, beckons one to rest and relax in the cabaña after a day’s jungle.

Hotel Sol y Luna

The hotel is located in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, at an altitude of 8850 feet, one hour’s drive from Cusco city or airport. The comfortable villas or casitas are born from elements of the Sacred Valley - trunks, beams, adobe bricks and stones – they fill with the light and colors of the valley as they provide shelter to guests. The lush and colorful grounds have a swimming pool, library, spa and so much more. With WiFi in the rooms, electricity, showers and this this is a wonderful haven in the heart of the Sacred Valley!

Machu Pichu Pueblo Hotel

The ultimate cloud forest vacation paradise, an intimate series of casitas in a sprawling Andean style village within the secluded 12 acres of exquisite forest beauty. Follow stone pathways along the terraced hills, melding with the sacred energy of the mountains. You can indulge in the spa services, wander the grounds viewing hummingbirds galore, or simply relax in the bar or on the terrace of the first-class restaurant that boasts stunning views of the rushing Vilcanota River.

La Casona Hotel, Cusco

This is the first Relais & Chateaux hotel in Peru (in 2010), an exquisite 16th century mansion meticulously restored. La Casona is a colonial manor house —perhaps the first Spanish construction in Cusco— centrally located on an Incan settlement near Cusco’s present-day main square, later occupied by the conquistadores of Peru and their descendants. Eleven elegant suites surround a sumptuous courtyard, where the patina of time is tastefully preserved. Contemporary amenities create the ambience of comfort and exclusivity enjoyed by residents in centuries past.