Combine two amazing adventures in one unforgettable 11-day trip that takes in the wonder of Machu Picchu and the mystical Amazon River. Ride the scenic train to the famous Inca ruins, then venture deep into the rainforest on a riverboat, spotting wildlife along the way. From the pinnacle of a fascinating civilization to the depths of pristine wilderness, this journey will ignite your passion for adventure.
Cusco Planetarium, Visit the Cusco Planetarium, which is surrounded by the natural beauty of the Llaullipata Ecological Reserve. Use telescopes to gaze up at the southern sky and see thousands of stars. Spot the constellations of the southern hemisphere, and learn about the ancient Incas’ relationship with the cosmos.
Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley, Learn how the resident-run restaurant was kickstarted by G Adventures along with the Planeterra Foundation and the Multilateral Investment Fund, to become a successful farm-to-table program that boosts the local economy and several spin-off microenterprises.
Traditional Andean Experience, Exclusive to National Geographic Journeys travellers – and part of G Adventures for Good – visit the “Parque de la Papa” (“Potato Park”), a network of six rural agricultural communities in Peru’s Sacred Valley. Walk through this special community with a local guide for immersive time observing agricultural, weaving, and cultural traditions.
Itinerary - 11 Days
Day 1 Lima
Get ready for a very busy tour exploring the best of Peru in a week. We recommend booking a pre-night in Lima (in particular if your flight arrives into Lima in the evening) to recover from international flights and rest up before the excitement.
Please note that if you booked the Lima Cooking Class it does not include extra time in Lima and we highly recommend booking pre-trip accommodation. You will be picked up from your hotel at approx 10:00 am (10:30 from Aug-Dec) and taken to a local market and restaurant to prepare and enjoy a traditional Peruvian meal. You will return to your hotel around 13:00.
Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Peru (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Private Vehicle (0.75-1.00 hours)
Day 2 Lima/Urubamba (1B, 1D)
Board an early flight to Cusco then head to the Sacred Valley. Explore the pre-Inca salt pans of Las Salineras and tour the Maras and Moray ruins. Enjoy a traditional pachamanca-style meal of local specialties.
There are some very early morning starts on this trip to make the best use of our time and see as much as we can of Peru in a week.
Moray Ruins Guided Tour
Las Salineras Pre-Incan Salt Pans Guided Tour
Traditional Pachamanca Dinner
Plane (1.00-1.50 hours)
Times includes all stops and visits enroute through the Sacred Valley.
Private Vehicle (6.00-8.00 hours, 95km)
Day 3 Urubamba (1B, 1L)
Continue exploring the Sacred Valley with a visit to the “Parque de la Papa” (“Potato Park”). An exclusive experience for Journeys travellers and part of G Adventures for Good, you'll walk through this rural community with a local guide to learn about potato cultivation, weaving, and the importance of both to Andean culture. Also, explore the Ollantaytambo and Pisac ruins and visit the G Adventures-supported Sacred Valley Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosqo.
Traditional Andean Experience
Parque de la Papa (Potato Park)
Pisac Ruins Guided Tour
Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley
Ollantaytambo Ruins Guided Tour
Times includes all stops and visits enroute through the Sacred Valley.
Private Vehicle (7.00-8.00 hours)
Day 4 Urubamba/Aguas Calientes (1B)
For serious archaeology buffs, there is time for an optional independent visit to Machu Picchu before the guided tour the following morning.
Please bear in mind that the town has several amenities, but is also geographically remote meaning services are sometimes more basic than one would assume. As the only option for travellers visiting Machu Picchu, the development of infrastructure has happened quite quickly, much without proper planning, and the focus on providing quality service may not be up to the standards experienced in other parts of the country.
Those who have chosen the option in advance to hike the "1-day Inca Trail" will disembark the train at km 104 to begin the trek. The trail rises steeply up into the mountains and will take hikers past the archaeological sites of Wiñay Wayna and Inti Pata, where the local guide will provide insights into the fascinating culture of the Incas en route to the trek's culmination at the Sun Gate. Enjoy a packed lunch along the way and reach the Sun Gate in the late afternoon with a chance for a preliminary exploration of Machu Picchu before the guided tour on Day 5. Transfer by bus from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes to rejoin the group and spend the night in a hotel. If time permits, take an optional visit to the nearby hot springs to soak your sore muscles.
1-day Inca Trail option:
Approximate Distance: 11 km
Estimated hiking Time: 5-6 hours
Private Vehicle (1.00-2.00 hours)
Train (1.50 hour(s))
Day 5 Aguas Calientes/Cusco (1B)
Enjoy a guided tour of the Machu Picchu ruins. Get free time to explore on your own or take an optional visit to the Inca Bridge before returning to Cusco by train.
Machu Picchu Guided Tour
Local bus (0.25 hour(s))
Train (2.00-3.00 hours, 118km)
Private Vehicle (2.00-2.50 hours, 95km)
Day 6 Cusco (1B)
Please remember that star gazing is completely weather dependent and sometimes there can be cloudy skies.
Please note that if you pre-book the Peru Culinary Bundle, on day 6 you will be picked up from your hotel at approx 12:30 and taken to a local market and restaurant to prepare and enjoy a traditional Peruvian meal. You will return back to your hotel around 16:00.
Day 7 Cusco/Iquitos (1B, 1L)
Feel free to bring your bathing suit to the restaurant as they have a pool to cool off in.
There are no direct flights to Iquitos, you will have to change planes in Lima.
With a stopover in Lima.
Day 8 Iquitos (1B, 1L, 1D)
Relax and soak in the natural beauty of the wild rainforest onboard the Amazon Riverboat. Step out on deck to watch the riverbanks go by, and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as grey and pink dolphins.
Naturalist guides will lead jungle excursions by skiff and on foot, give lectures, and point out unique species of bird and marine life as you explore the smaller tributaries of the river.
Please note that embarkation points, excursions, and activities while on the riverboat are dependent on fluctuating water levels and are subject to change.
Wildlife Rescue Centre and Butterfly Farm
Boat Excursion on the Amazon River
Night Time Boat Excursion
Day 9 Pacaya Samiria National Reserve (1B, 1L, 1D)
Head out into the Pacaya Samiria Reserve on a boat excursion and search for monkeys, sloths, and macaws. In the afternoon, take a walk through the jungle and visit a local community to learn about their traditions. After dinner, opt to go on a night excursion to Piranha Creek.
Pacaya Samiria Reserve Birdwatching Excursion
Pacaya Samiria Reserve Wildlife Excursion
Pacaya Samiria Reserve Land Excursion
Day 10 Pacaya Samiria National Reserve/Lima (1B)
In the early morning explore the shoreline by boat, keeping your eyes peeled for wildlife. Leave the peacefulness of the river behind and visit a manatee rescue centre on the way to catching your flight back to Lima. Enjoy the evening in the city.
Amazon River Excursion
Amazonian Manatee Rescue Centre Visit
Private Vehicle (1.50 hour(s))
Plane (3.00 hour(s))
Day 11 Lima (1B)
Depart at any time.