Francisco Pizzaro’s 'City of Kings' is your launch pad to an epic encounter with the Amazon’s extraordinary biodiversity. On arrival in Lima, you’ll be escorted to your airport hotel and enjoy the day to explore the sights of this colonial capital on your terms.
This morning, we fly to Puerto Maldonado (internal flight included) and embark on a journey on the Madre de Rios River to our jungle lodge. where we meet our guides for the Inkaterra Field Station. Join a Local Specialist for insights into the forest, then keep a keen eye out for shy caiman during a pre-dinner boat expedition.
Climb the exhilarating Inkaterra Canopy Walkway for an unforgettable opportunity to observe the rainforest from its rooftop. Deep within the rain forest, we enjoy the company of mischievous monkeys cavorting among the trees of Monkey Island. A short boat ride takes us into the Tambopata National Reserve where we’ll hike through the thick jungle, admiring towering green walls of vegetation, the cacophony of birdcalls and the dappled light that filters through the canopy above. Arrive at Sandoval Lake, where you may spot a wide variety of birds, monkeys, giant river otters, black caimans and the elusive anaconda. The perfect end to our day sees us watch the sun set over the lake before heading back to our lodge for dinner.
Discover the Amazon’s otherworldly realm of aguajales rainforest swampland during your MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience and learn how vegetation has adapted to the exotic species that are drawn here as you Connect With Locals. Here you will also get a chance to visit our organic bio-orchard to discover many of the rainforest’s tropical plants up-close and learn of their healing capabilities. Boldly venture out at night to discover some of the strange species that come alive under deep darkness in the Amazon with our Local Specialist. Stroll quietly as your senses heighten to the mysterious nocturnal sounds of birds, mammals, insects and amphibians wondering close by.
This morning, embark on an excursion to a popular feeding area for multi-coloured parrots. After breakfast, we head back to Puerto Maldonado as your Amazon experience comes to an end. On arrival in Lima, you’ll be transferred to your hotel in the exclusive barrio of San Isidro where you’ll enjoy a Welcome Reception this evening to meet your Travel Director and travel companions.
Take your time this morning and embrace the warm welcome of the 'City of Kings'. We’ll meet a Local Specialist who will reveal the city’s highlights including Lima’s UNESCO-listed Historic Centre and the baroque-style Church of San Francisco. Descend into the city’s underground catacombs and admire the religious paintings, sculptures and books on display in its religious art museum and extensive library. Later, we’ll join our Travel Director for a guided walk through the barrio of Miraflores, also known as the Heroic City.
We board a morning flight to Cusco, the gateway to Peru's treasured Sacred Valley, where you'll enjoy a Peruvian lunch with sweeping views of the Sacred Valley. Then we'll Dive Into Culture and meet a Shaman who will perform a special ceremony welcoming you to Peru. Tonight, you'll check in at your Stays With Stories along the banks of the Vilcanota River, on the grounds of an old 17th-century colonial hacienda. It is great for morning birders and afternoon walks in the gardens.
Connect With Locals over a Be My Guest experience lunch, learn about the culture surrounding the production of Giant White Corn. Our hosts will demonstrate the differences between traditional farming techniques and the newer technologies used today. Revel in the romance of the local Marinera dance. This evening, meet Local Specialist, Peter Frost, a writer, photographer and independent scholar who has explored the Andes and Amazon for 47 years, locating and investigating the previously unknown Inca and pre-Inca site of Qoriwayrachina. He currently resides in Peru and works as an accompanying expert for National Geographic Expeditions.
Visit the mystical Incan stronghold of Ollantaytambo with a Local Specialist, en route to Machu Picchu, a village in the Sacred Valley, set on the Urubamba River amid majestic mountains. It's known for the Ollantaytambo ruins, a massive Inca fortress with large stone terraces on a hillside. Then, ascend to the Lost City in the Clouds aboard the Vistadome train (light snack included) travelling along the Inca Trail, where you can view hikers and porters along the way. Here you will delve into the mysteries of this once-great civilisation, joining your Local Specialist for an exploration of the temples, palaces and terraces whose construction defy imagination. Visit the iconic great Temple of the Sun, the House of the Priest, the Sacred Plaza and the intricately carved Intihuatana, most likely used as a sundial centuries ago. After returning to our hotel we will Connect With Locals and learn how to prepare an authentic Ceviche and pour the perfect Pisco sour.
The ruins of Machu Picchu beckon for your second visit as you enjoy one final opportunity to reconnect with its story, spending some time on our own to explore the hill-top fortress. Next, we'll journey back to the Sacred Valley by train, stopping en route to Cusco to Dive Into Culture and learn about the natural dyeing techniques used by native weavers. Visit the Pisac handicraft market followed by sampling the sweet flavours of chicha as we Dive Into Culture yet again, savouring the favourite drink of the Andes. Our Stays With Stories tonight is a what was once an old colonial Hacienda located in the historic centre of Cusco.
Begin your day at the ruins of the UNESCO-listed Sacsayhuaman fortress overlooking Cusco. Your Local Specialist will guide you through Cusco's colonial centre, including the nearby 13th-century Incan settlement of Qoriwayrachina. The afternoon is free.
Fly to Juliaca and meet a Local Specialist to learn about daily life on the Peruvian altiplano. After a special lunch just for you along Lake Umayo, we’ll visit Sillustani, a pre-Incan burial ground on the shores of Lake Umayo. Explore the towering chullpas (above ground tombs) before travelling to Puno along the shores of Lake Titicaca, the birthplace of the sun.
Connect With Locals as you cruise the deep blue waters of Lake Titicaca, passing floating islands constructed by the Uros Indians. Next, in the midst of South America’s largest lake lies Taquile Island, where we’ll Dive Into Culture and embark on a private tour to gain insights into the tradition of knitting and weaving for which the local villagers - men and women - are renowned. Enjoy a lunch here and learn more about the islanders’ unique way of life upon islets make of totora reeds, which grow in the lake, and are attached to sticks driven into the bottom of the lake. Tonight, we indulge in a Regional Dinner at our favourite local restaurant in Puno.
This morning we return to Lima, enjoying an afternoon at leisure after our flight. Enjoy time on your own to explore the capital of Peru, settled on the country's arid Pacific coast. We’ll join a Local Specialist and Dive Into Culture this evening, visiting one of Lima's most renowned museums after dark - the Larco Museum. Admire the pre-Columbian artefacts that reveal insights into the cultures of ancient Peru. Then, sit down to a gourmet Farewell Dinner filled with Peruvian flavours as you overlook the museum's beautiful gardens.
It’s time to say goodbye to your fellow travellers as your trip comes to an end. Head to Lima and fly to Santiago International Airport (flight not included in holiday price). Stay the night in Chile's vibrant capital of Santiago before heading on to your Easter Island extension tomorrow.
Fly to Easter Island (flight not included in holiday price) and connect with the legend and lore of one of the world’s most remote and remarkable islands, delving into the ancient culture of the Rapa Nui who once prospered on this land. Our first stop on this mystical adventure is Ahu Akivi, where we’ll enjoy a private guided excursion with our Local Specialist to view its seven Moai statues, facing the ocean. Learn about their astronomically precise location and how they were placed there to use their mana to protect the inhabitants of the nearby village. Continue to ancient Ahu Hanga Poukura to see the tumbled Moai statues that stand as a testament to ancient battles. Then, visit the Puna Pau quarry with its red scoria stone.
Embark on a privately guided excursion with our Local Specialist to the southern coast and witness the perfectly preserved ceremonial Ahu Vaihu in the bay of Hanga Te'e. Set out with your boxed picnic lunch and proceed to Rano Raraku, a quarry of almost 900 stone statues - 397 of them still located at the slopes of the Rano Kau volcano. Visit Ahu Tongariki, the largest ahu on the island, then continue to the eastern coast and visit Ahu Te Pito Kura with its Paro Maoi, the largest maoi statue ever erected. Afterward, visit scenic Anakena beach, where the king first set foot on the island.
Journey to the UNESCO-listed Rapa Nui National Park. Join a private excursion with our Local Specialist up the extinct Rano Kau volcano. Admire views of the island from its slopes, then drive to the village of Orongo, where you’ll view petroglyphs revealing the local culture. Later, catch a glimpse the three islets of Motu Nui, Motu Iti and Motu Kao Kao on the opposite coast. Then it’s on to Ahu Vinapu for further evidence of the pre-Incan architectural influence. Our final stop is at the Ana Kai Tangata to view the ornate cave paintings from its mouth. Return to your hotel this afternoon before being transferred to the airport. Airport arrival is at 12 p.m., please be aware when booking your flights.