Peru Traces Travel & Tours

the amazon and the inca empire

THE AMAZON AND THE INCA EMPIRE

10 DAYS: LIMA, IQUITOS, CUSCO & MACHU PICCHU

Day 01 LIMA

Arrive in Lima. Reception and transfer to hotel. Afternoon visit to Colonial and Modern Lima. Guided tour through the historic center of the city. Admire the beauty of San Martin and Major squares, the Cathedral, the Government Palace and visit the Convent of San Francisco and its catacombs, religious building from the end of the XVI century. Drive through the residential districts of San Isidro and Miraflores.

Day 02 LIMA – IQUITOS – HELICONIA LODGE

Note: This 4 days-3 nights program can be also provided at the “Muyuna Lodge” or “Pacaya Samiria Amazon Lodge”. You can choose one of the lodges of your preference, depending of availability.

Transfer to the airport in time for the flight to Iquitos. Upon arrival ttransfer to Iquitos Office. Then transfer to the Iquitos Port, where you will board one of our speedboats to take you to the Heliconia Amazon River Lodge along the Amazon River. During the boat ride observe the convergence of the brown turbid waters of the Amazon River with the dark waters of the Nanay River. Enjoy the impressive jungle landscapes with the rustic small houses of the riverside towns. Then have a short stopover in Monkey Island, a family social enterprise focused on conserving and protecting endangered monkey species in the Northern Amazon. The goal is to enlighten rainforest guests on the effort to reintegrate monkeys and their survival in the wild. See the monkeys free in this reserve, not in cages, their temporary stay here depends on their capability to adapt back to its jungle habitat. After a 90 minute boat ride arrive at the Lodge where the staff will welcome you with an exotic jungle drink. Next check-in and settling in your room, at your leisure, taste your first Amazonia cuisine lunch. In the afternoon, begin your first excursion: set out to a jungle hike into the Yanamono primary rainforest reserve, for approximately two hours accompanied by our expert guides. They will show you identify several flora species such as heliconia flowers, medicinal plants and giant trees. You will also have the chance to sight several birds species such as the Turkey Vulture (Cathartes Aura), Black Fronted Nanbird (Monasa-Atia), and with a little luck you will be able to view a family of small monkeys such as marmosets (Saguinus fusicollis), the Titi (Callicebus Mollock Mollock) and the Squirrel monkey (Saimiri Boliviense). Return to the lodge for rest and relaxation and be enthralled by your first, must-not-miss Amazon Sunset. As the evening comes around, during high tide, take a boat ride along one of the Amazon River’s tributaries for an exciting evening in the jungle, with no lights, perhaps just some jungle flora and fauna sparkling in the dark. You will have to trust your expert boat guide to take you where you can appreciate and listen to the magical sounds of the jungle. If it is a clear night, you will see the bright magnificent moonlight, as well as observe the stars and constellations. With some luck you can also see some falling stars which are quite common in the area. Shortly, go back to the Lodge to rest and relax for an early wake up the next day. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 03 HELICONIA LODGE

Rise early for the morning bird watching. In order to see the birds flocked together during their morning feeding time, you will start very early going by boat to one of the several streams (best on high tide) to look out for a number of variety of birds. You will be looking out for birds such as the Tuki(Jacana Jacana), Ringed Kingfisher(Ceryle-Torquata), Black-Collared Hawk (Busarellusnigricollis),among others. Thereafter, you will return to the lodge, for a scrumptious and energizing breakfast. Take a little rest and then you will set off to a Native Fishing expedition unto one of the small tributaries of the Amazon River. Learn the local techniques of fishing and for the most daring you can try to fish for Piranhas. During this excursion you can also have the opportunity to look out for the Pink River Dolphin (Inia Geoffrensis). If you are lucky you have your catch cooked for lunch, when you return to the Lodge. After lunch, you will board the boat towards a lake in Yanamono island (best on high tide) where you will be able to glimpse the Giant Water Lily, the Victoria Regia, the “Queen of water lilies”. Now renamed Victoria Amazonica, these native flora in the shallow waters of the Amazon River basin are mostly found in oxbow lakes and bayous. You may see some flowers that are white as they bloom on the first night some that have turned pink on the second night after blooming. They can grow to 40 cm in diameter, and are pollinated by scarab beetles. Victoria Amazonica is well known for its huge circular leaves, which are often pictured with a small child sitting at the center of its leaf to display their size and strength. Then consider the Nature Night Hike. Go on an enchanting evening trek within the secure periphery of the Lodge and you will witness the entrancing transformation from daytime to a night atmosphere. As you adjust to the dark environment you will appreciate the rainforest takes on a very different character and be aware of the existence and habits of nocturnal jungle animals. It’s the best time to see stunning tree frogs, shy snakes, and other rainforest creatures that only come out at night. Discern a range of completely distinctive fauna from the day as you listen to magical sounds of insects, birds, jungle cats and night owls. Back to the Lodge for Dinner. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 04 HELICONIA LODGE- NATIVE COMMUNITY IMMERSION IN A RIVERSIDE TOWN

Wake up late or rise early — the choice is yours. Breakfast begins at 8:00 a.m., for those who want to avoid the heat, and enjoy nature at its fullest. After breakfast, we will visit a riverside town to see an indigenous tribe of the Yaguas community where you will have the opportunity to learn and see their way of life in the Amazon River. See their homes, school, church, shops and interact with the people, learn their techniques of fishing and farming. Observe their customs and tradition and get enlightened by their unaffected and austere way of living. Once at the lodge, you may rest and relax or enjoy a sunset cocktail at the bar (on your personal account). Dinner starts at 7:30 p.m. and a restful overnight at the Lodge. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 05 HELICONIA LODGE – IQUITOS-LIMA

Enjoy a full breakfast before departure. Take a ten-minute boat ride on the Amazon River to a family farm for a Trapiche Treatin a rustic sugar cane distillery located along the river. Watch how the locals process sugar cane extracts using horses and ferment sugar juice in wooden casks for some time to turn to liquor production. Get a taste of the varied exotic beverages made from the sugar cane liquor andsugar by-products such as molasses. You may want to buy some to take home for yourself or as present. Return to the Lodge for lunch and check-out. Transfer to the airport for the flight to Lima. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel. (Breakfast, lunch).

Day 06 LIMA – CUSCO

Transfer to the airport for the flight to Cusco. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel. Balance of the morning at leisure to adjust to the high altitude (11,000 feet). Afternoon city tour and nearby ruins. Visit Main Square, the Cathedral and its religious Art Museum, the Church of Santo Domingo or Koricancha. Includes visits to Sacsayhuaman and Puca Pucara fortresses, the temple and amphitheater of Kenko and the water shrine of Tambomachay. (Breakfast).

Day 07 CUSCO – MACHU PICCHU

Transfer to the station for a morning train ride to the unparalleled, Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas”. Machu Picchu was a flourishing ceremonial and agricultural site, probably the gateway to the jungle marches of the Inca Empire. The central buildings were erected with the polished stonework of the Cusco Imperial style, though the site was probably occupied well before the Incas started their expansion. Machu Picchu was associated with the earth cult revolving around the Coca leaf, which was a privilege restricted to the Inca Royal family and priests. Guided tour. You will have time to enjoy a light lunch or snack and return to your hotel at your leisure. In the evening, we will enjoy a wonderful dinner at the hotel or in Machu Picchu Pueblo. Overnight at one of the hotels in the area.
(Breakfast – Dinner).

Day 08 MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO

Note: Entrance tickets to Machu Picchu on this day are not included. Please advise if you go back to the ruins or hike the Huayna Picchu at time of booking (subject to availability)

Morning at leisure. You may choose to return to Machu Picchu, hike Huayna Picchu or relax in the village of Aguas Calientes and its hot springs. Mid afternoon departure by train to Cusco. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel. (Breakfast).

Day 09 CUSCO – LIMA

Transfer to the airport in time to take the flight to Lima. Transfer to your hotel. Guided shopping tour taking you to the famous handicraft markets. (Breakfast).

Day 10 LIMA – HOME

Transfer to the airport for your international departure flight or continue on the extension of your choice. (Breakfast).

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