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Andes & Amazon Highlights (From November 2016)

Let the good times roll as you go deep into some of Peru’s ultimate spots on this 8 day adventure. Get your culture fix at Machu Picchu, with its unbeatable views & ancient Inca history. Feel an adrenalin rush in Cusco, with rafting & mountain biking at the ready, before heading to the mighty Amazon. Try fishing for piranha, spotting Amazonian Caiman & sleeping at a luscious lodge in the rainforest. You can choose to either trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, or take it easy and go by train.

Latin America

Duration: 8 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Physical rating: Easy
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 161142
Starts: Lima, Peru Finishes: Cusco, Peru
You will visit
  • Lima
  • Puerto Maldonado
  • Jungle Lodge
  • Cusco
  • Sacred Valley
  • Aguas Calientes

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Arrive Lima

Hola! Welcome to Lima and the start of an awesome South American adventure. On arrival into the city, check-in with your Trip Manager, then spend the day exploring the city with your fellow travellers on our included city tour. Made up of 43 different districts, almost all with their own flare and vibe, Lima is a bustling metropolis. The opulence of the Spanish colonial era is visible everywhere in the city, from the detailed wood-work of the historic centre’s balconies, doors and architecture to the lavishly decorated churches. We'll explore the Basillica Cathedral for a glimpse of the city’s former glory or, for something different you could head to the Iglesia de San Francisco (Church of San Francisco) and take a look at its famous catacombs. As the city's first cemetery, these underground tunnels (catacombs) contain the bones of over 70,000 people, many of which are set in cool geometric patterns. Then we make tracks to the Barranco district– its bohemian energy will make you feel right at home. Wander past the beautiful colonial mansions of the neighborhood, many of them recently restored. Take a walk on the beachside boardwalk, cross the Bridge of Sighs or just sit in one of the cafés that overlooks the ocean and spend the afternoon relaxing with a Pisco Sour, Peru’s national drink. Later we'll check out the city’s more modern aspects. If shopping, gourmet restaurants, great cafes and bars are what you’re after, this is the perfect spot. Tonight we head back to the hotel for a rest then we are off to our included dinner and show. Looking to check out Lima by night? There are loads of places to head to. From chilled-out lounges, to bars with live music, or dance clubs that run late into the night, just let your Trip Manager know what you feel like and they’ll give you some tips on where to head.

02

Day 2: Lima to Jungle Lodge

We’ll catch a flight the city of Puerto Maldonado in Peru’s southern jungle. We’ll have lunch on the river as we travel upstream by a traditional Peruvian boat to our Contiki Special Stay Rainforest Lodge in the mighty Amazon jungle, where we’ll try to spot toucans, macaws and capybaras along the way. Our lodge is a special experience in itself! Located in then luscious rainforest and made from wood and clay, its open walls leave you sleeping virtually amongst the rainforest! After you settle in, we’ll get a different take on the jungle as we take a hike to the canopy tower. After climbing the 100ft of stairs you will be provided with a birds-eye view of the rainforest! Home to monkeys, birds, bromeliads and other jungle life, this is the ultimate way to see the jungle. After dinner you can experience something really different, heading out to look for caiman, a member of the alligator family native to the Amazon. Scan the shores with flashlights and see if you can catch the red gleam of the light as it reflects off of the caiman’s eyes.

03

Day 3: Jungle Lodge

With another day at the jungle lodge, keep your eyes peeled for a wildlife like the giant otter.

04

Day 4: Jungle Lodge to Cusco

Spend today exploring the beautiful city of Cusco - wander the main plaza, visit the Tread Right support weaving centre or feed your sweet tooth with a visit to the chocolate museum. Then get into Cusco's amazing nightlife & join our Illary (Sunrise) Club!

05

Day 5: Cusco to Sacred Valley

Say farewell to Cusco this morning as we make our way to the Sacred Valley of the ancient Incas. The Sacred Valley was the heart of the Inca’s agricultural setting and an important ceremonial region, with the sacred sites of Cuzco at one end and Machu Picchu at the other and countless ceremonial sites in between. Our first stop is to one of these sites, Pisac. On our guided tour we will see two of the most important aspects of the Inca culture – terracing – a farming technique created by the Inca’s and their religion. We’ll take a walk before descending in the village below for a quick visit to the market. This will be great practice for those who have chosen the one-day hike to Machu Picchu tomorrow. Don’t miss the town’s huge wood-oven bakery! After a stop for lunch in Urubamba we’ll make our way to one of the oldest continuously inhabited towns of South America – Ollantaytambo. On our way, we can see the ‘salineras’ or salt mines of the area from a distance. For hundreds of years these pools, constructed by the Inca’s, have provided salt to the surrounding communities. We’ll also make a quick stop to try the local brew “Chicha de Jora” (traditional beverage made from fermented maize) and play a traditional Peruvia game of “Sapo” (Frog) if you’re up for it. We soon arrive to the town and archaeological site of the same name, Ollantaytambo, the last fully-functioning Inca town. We’ll wander around the site or visit the still inhabited Inca buildings before checking into the hotel.

06

Day 6: Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes

For those that have chosen the Inca Trail trek, well wake up this morning and take the train to KM104 to start your trek. Under the guidance of our professional Inca Trail Guide you’ll climb a gentle slope and experience the wildlife and cloudforest found here. You’ll pass a beautiful waterfall on your trek to Winayhuayna where we’ll stop for lunch at a trekker’s lodge. Explore the area if you’re up for it, to get you warmed up for Machu Picchu. After lunch begin the journey to our highlight, Machu Picchu. We’ll walk along the original Inca stonework path, past an altar to the Sun Gate where you’ll catch your first look at this awesome site. Another 45 minutes will take us to the Guardian’s House, where there’s the opportunity to take photos of the site at its best. After a wander around the site and some stunning photos to show off back home, we’ll take a bus back into town to meet up with the rest of the group where you can tell your stories from your day of hiking. If you haven’t chosen our Inca Trail Trek today, then the morning is free to explore Sacred Valley. If you’re up for it, rafting and horse-riding await you today. Or if relaxing is more your thing, visit the town’s spectacular square and have a wander through the local markets. This afternoon, we’ll catch a train through the lush and verdant mountains to Aguas Calientes the town at the base of the ruins. Tonight, soak up the atmosphere, wander through the market stalls, or visit the hot springs which gave the town its former name of Aguas Calientes. Later, we’ll meet up with those who chose to do the one-day hike into Machu Picchu and listen to the stories of their day! The chilled atmosphere and amazing setting makes for a great place to enjoy a couple of drinks on the patio with the group.

07

Day 7: Machu Picchu to Cusco

Wake up early and enter Machu Picchu for sunrise. Learn more about Machu Picchu on a tour, then explore before returning to base.

08

Day 8: Depart Cusco

Don’t forget to swap addresses with your mates and Tour Manager, as our South American adventure ends this morning after breakfast.

Inclusions:
      Accommodation
    • 7 nights accommodation: 5 nights twin-share hotels, 2 night Contiki Special Stay experience
    • 2 flights & transfers
    • Transport in a private air-conditioned coach, mini-coach or van
    • Sightseeing tours of all major areas
    • Local taxes & service charges
      Staff
    • An experienced & professional Trip Manager
    • English speaking local guides
      Food
    • 13 meals: 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches (or 3 for Machu Picchu Trekking option) & 4 dinners
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Tour Highlights:
  • See the Historic Centre, Barranco & Miraflores
  • Canopy hike for amazing jungle views
  • Special stay in our Amazon Rainforest Jungle Ecolodge
  • City tour
  • Entry into the Sacred Valley & a guided tour of the ancient ruins of Pisac & Ollantaytambo
  • Try some local Chicha de Jora