Peru: Amazon & Lares Trek

Travel to the Edge of the World

Peru: Amazon & Lares Trek

from

$2,450.00

The ultimate Peru adventure combining wildlife viewing in the Amazon along with a spectacular trek through the Lares Valley to the world famous Machu Picchu! This journey offers an intriguing combination of natural wonders and local cultures. Peru is a vibrant country, rich in history, that provides the traveller with stunning panoramic views around every corner. Ramble, eat, paddle, engage, and explore this fascinating part of South America with us! This is the once-in-a-lifetime adventure for you!

Pick a date that works for you whether you are a couple, a school group or a group of 18 people, we can arrange this trip for you any time you’d like! Contact us for details info@finisterra.ca

Description

Peru: Lima, Cusco, Lares Trek, Machu Picchu, Amazon

Highlights Include:

  • Washing back the world’s best ceviche with a pisco sour in Lima
  • Discovering the colonial splendours of Lima and Cusco
  • Trekking 3 days through the stunning Lares Valley
  • Taking a glimpse into real Andean life in the Sacred Valley
  • Paddling along rivers searching for wildlife in the Amazon
  • Relaxing on a terrace above the Incan jewel of Machu Picchu
  • Learning about the diversity of the flora and fauna in the Amazon Jungle
Day 1 – Arrival Day, Lima

Welcome to Lima – the City of Kings and the bustling gateway to Peru! Lima is an ethnic melting pot, featuring pre-Hispanic, colonial and modern elements. Lima was inhabited by pre-Columbian groups centuries before it was founded by Spanish Conqueror Francisco Pizarro in 1535 on the day of the Three Kings (Epiphany). Limeños (Lima’s residents) are friendly, and the city is filled with excellent restaurants; seafood lovers in particular should be sure to try a ceviche, for which Lima is well known.

As today is arrival day, there are no pre-arranged activities.

 

Overnight: Miraflores Hotel

Meals: Dinner (if necessary)

Day 2 – Lima’s Colonial Splendour

Today we will have a half day guided sightseeing tour of the highlights of colonial Lima and the incredible Larco Herrera Museum. We will begin our tour with a visit the heart of colonial Lima, the colourful Plaza de Armas. From the plaza, we will admire the Government Palace, and visit both the Cathedral, and Santo Domingo Convent. After time for photos of the beautiful colonial architecture, we will continue on to the Larco Museum which is located in a vice-royal mansion of the 18th century built over a 7th century pre-Columbian pyramid in Pueblo Libre. The Larco Museum features the finest gold and silver collection from Ancient Peru, the famous erotic archaeological collection, worldwide icons of Pre-Columbian art, after being exhibited in the world’s leading museums.

The afternoon is free to explore Lima. You may choose to go paragliding, visit a pre-Columbian pyramid, take a Spanish class, or explore the seaside cliffs of Miraflores.

 

Overnight: Miraflores Hotel

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 3 – Lima to Cusco and the Sacred Valley

Early morning we fly over the Andes from Lima to Cusco – the heart of the Incan Empire. Cusco is the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city, and the hub of the South American travel network. It is a colonial as well as an archaeological gem and at an elevation of 3400m (11 150 ft), Cusco will literally take your breath away. It is for this reason that after arriving in Cusco we continue to a more comfortable elevation of 2800m (9 186 ft) of the Sacred Valley of the Incas (Urubamba Valley).

On our way to the Sacred Valley, we will visit the archaeological complex of Moray which is an unusual Incan site consisting of several enormous terraced circular depressions, the largest of which is about 30 m deep. The purpose of these depressions is uncertain, but their depth and orientation with respect to wind and sun creates a temperature difference of as much as 15 °C (59 °F) between the top and bottom. It is possible that Moray was an Inca agricultural experiment station where they studied climatic conditions on a wide variety of crops.

 

From Moray we will visit the near-by photogenic salt pans of Maras* where since pre-Inca times, salt has been obtained from subterranean springs.

 

*Road conditions permitting

Overnight: Yucay Hacienda-Style Hotel

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 4 – Sacred Valley of the Incas

Today we further explore the spectacular Sacred Valley of the Incas. Chinchero, known as the birthplace of the rainbow, is famous for its traditionally dressed villagers, Incan terraces, and colourful Sunday indigenous market. We have time to explore and perhaps see women weaving their intricate textile designs.

We continue along the Urubamba river to the “Living City of the Incas” and archaeological complex of Ollantaytambo. Ollantaytambo is an impressive fortress which enjoys the rare honour of being the setting for one of the only defeats inflicted on the Spanish conquistadors by the Incas, when Hernando Pizarro was forced to flee back to Cusco after failing to breach the citadel in 1536. From the village below, one gains a true appreciation of Inca urban planning from dating back 500 years.

 

Overnight: Yucay Hacienda-Style Hotel

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 5 – Lares Trek: Yucay – Calca – Quiswarani – Cuncani

For travellers wanting to get off the beaten path and escape to a part of Peru that has changed little over the last 500 years, then this trek through the spectacular scenery of the Lares Valley is a must. We choose the Lares Trek as an alternate route to Machu Picchu (instead of the traditional “Inca Trail”) as it offers the traveller a far more authentic experience of Andean culture, while lessening impact on the already fragile ecosystem.

This remote and rarely visited region offers trekkers an insight into the real lives of the Andean families. You will have the opportunity to see traditional stone houses surrounded by herds of llamas and alpacas, along with amazing landscapes and refreshing hot springs.

 

Please note: The trek itself is rated moderate; however there are two passes over 4 500m (14 760 ft) above sea level.

 

Today we travel from the hotel by bus to the village of Calca to pick up last minute supplies then continue to the Quiswarani village, where we will meet our porters, cooks and horses to begin the trek. Our trek today takes us up to the beautiful Queuña Qocha lagoon and then the highest point of the day, Huillcapunku Pass (4400 m/14 435 ft). After the pass we enjoy our lunch while soaking up the spectacular scenery. In the afternoon we continue the hike until our first campsite in the Cuncani Village.

 

Distance Quiswani – Cuncani: 14 km/8.7 mi

Estimated Walking Time: 6 hours

Highest Point: 4400m/14 435 ft (Hualkakasa Pass)

Overnight: *Cuncani Campsite 3900m/12 795 ft

*Campsites are subject to change according to our guide’s criteria

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6 – Lares Trek: Cuncani – Mantanay

Today is the most challenging yet gratifying day of the trek where we will transverse beautiful landscapes amid herds of llamas and alpacas. We rise early for breakfast and begin trekking for around 4 hours until we reach the small settlement of Chaqchapata. Here we’ll have our lunch and gather our energy before continuing to the Aruray Pass at 4450 m/14 600 ft, the highest point on our trek. From here we will have stunning views of the surrounding snowcapped peaks and lakes. We then begin to descend through a polylepsis forest passing two lagoons along the way. There is an incredible change in scenery for the next 2 hours before arriving at our beautiful campsite in Mantanay.

Distance Cuncani – Mantanay: 16 km/10 mi

Estimated walking time: 8 hours

Highest Point: 4450 m/14 600 ft (Aruray Pass)

Overnight: *Mantanay Campsite 3900m/12 795 ft

*Campsites are subject to change according to our guide’s criteria

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7 – Lares Trek: Mantanay – Yanahuara – Aguas Calientes

This morning we descend on foot to lower altitudes until Yanahuara village that is part of the Sacred Valley. We’ll have our lunch here then continue by bus to Ollantaytambo train station where we’ll travel by train to Aguas Calientes located at the base of Machu Picchu. You’ll have some leisure time to visit the hot springs or treat yourself to a massage. Tonight we’ll enjoy dinner in a typical restaurant and spend the night in a comfortable lodging.

Distance from Mantanay- Yanahuara Valley: 12 km/7.5 mi

Walking time: 4 hours

Overnight: Aguas Calientes Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 8 – Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

To take advantage of the morning light, we rise early and travel by bus up the snaking road to the ‘Lost City of the Incas’. The archaeological site of Machu Picchu dates to the 15th century and first received international attention in 1911 when it was visited by the american historian Hiram Bingham. Ever since, Machu Picchu has received visitors from around the world being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and more recently voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.

Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Intihuatana (Hitching post of the Sun), the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. These are located in what is known by archaeologists as the Sacred District of Machu Picchu. We have a guided tour of the most important structures, including the Sacred District, of Machu Picchu before having free time for independent exploration of the site.

 

In the afternoon we travel by train back to Poroy then by bus to Cusco.

 

Overnight: Cusco Hotel

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 9 – Cusco and Surroundings

Cusco is “The Archaeological Capital of the Americas” and most visited tourist attraction in Peru. Cusco (Qosqo in Quechua) was the capital of the mighty Inca Empire from the 13th century until 1532 when the Spanish conquistadors arrived. The Inca had incredible foresight in regards to city planning and Cusco beautifully exemplifies this. Cusco was planned as an effigy in the shape of a puma, the Inca god of lightning.

This morning we explore some of Cusco’s colonial highlights with a guided tour of the Cathedral and Koricancha Temple (Temple of the Sun). We continue our tour in the afternoon as we visit the nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Puca Pucara, and Tambomachay.

 

Tonight is free for you to enjoy the vibrant Cusco nightlife!

 

Overnight: Cusco Hotel

Meals: Breakfast

Day 10 – Cusco: Free Day

Today is a free day for you to enjoy Cusco. With so many sites to visit and activities to participate in, your only problem may be narrowing down your options. Your tour leader can help you set up your ideal day by arranging activities such as a Peruvian cooking class, salsa lesson, or horseback riding to name a few (own expense).

Overnight: Cusco Hotel

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 11: Cusco to Puerto Maldonaldo
This morning we fly to Puerto Maldonado, deep in the lowlands of the Amazon jungle. Puerto Maldonado is the region’s principal city and is serviced by air from the capital and from Cusco. The town is situated at the confluence of the Madre de Dios and Tambopata Rivers, and is a bustling, booming tropical frontier town. Its principal activities are gold mining, Brazil nut collecting, timber extraction, agriculture and ecotourismWe make a brief stop at our Puerto Maldonado headquarters. While enjoying your first taste of the forest in our lush gardens we will ask you to pack only the necessary gear for your next few days, and leave the rest in our safe deposit boxes. This helps us keep the boats and cargo light.

We drive 20 kilometers to the Tambopata River Port, entering the indigenous Community of Infierno where we have our boxed lunch. This area holds the world record for the most bird sightings in one area.

Here we travel by motorized canoe to our lodge in the Tambopata Rainforest Area. The forty five minute boat ride from the Tambopata Port to Posada Amazonas will take us into the Community´s Primary Forest Private Reserve. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife! Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips. Posada Amazonas is owned by the indigenous Ese-Eja community of Infierno and is located within the Ese-Eja’s communal reserve, next to the Tambopata National Reserve.

Canopy Tower, a twenty minute walk from Posada Amazonas leads to the 30 meter scaffolding canopy tower. A bannistered staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms high above. From atop you obtain spectacular views of the vast expanses of standing forest cut by the Tambopata River winding through the middle. Occasionally toucans, parrots or macaws are seen flying against the horizon, or mixed species canopy flocks land in the treetop next to you.

Tonight bring your flashlights for a canoe ride to scan the riverbanks for red gleaming caiman eyes!

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
Overnight: Posada Amazonas

 

Day 12 – Amazon Lodge Activities
During our voyage you will have the chance to see bird species typical of the river or forest edge such as Black Skimmers, Pied Lapwings, Capped Herons, Jabiru Storks, Roadside Hawks and several species of kingfishers, swallows, and flycatchers. The Tambopata area includes habitats ranging from the Andean highlands around the rivers’ headwaters through some of the last remaining intact cloud forests to the lowland rain forests of the Amazon basin.The area is renowned for its diverse plant and animal populations and include over 1,300 bird species, 200 mammal species including 4 species of primates, 90 frog species, 1,200 butterfly species and 10,000 species of higher plants—all protected within the reserve. Some of the more famous residents are the Harpy Eagle, Hoatzin, tapir, peccary, jaguar, ocelot and playful river otters who live in the area’s oxbow lakes.

Tres Chimbadas is thirty minutes by boat and forty five minutes hiking from Posada Amazonas. Once there you will paddle around the lake in a catamaran, searching for the resident family of nine giant river otters (seen by 60% of our lake visitors) and other lakeside wildlife such as caiman, hoatzin and horned screamers.

After lunch we take a boat drive downriver to a trail designed by the staff of the Centro Ñape. The Centro Ñape is a communal organization that produces medicine out of forest plants and administers them to patients who choose their little clinic. They have produced a trail which explains the different medicinal (and other) uses of selected plants.

After dinner you will have the option of a night walk, when most of the mammals are active but rarely seen. You will be astonished by the cacophony of sounds.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
Overnight: Posada Amazonas

 

Day 13 – Amazon Lodge Activities

A popular parrot clay lick is located only a twenty minute walk from Posada Amazonas. From a blind located about twenty meters away, you will see dozens of parrots and parakeets descend on most clear mornings to ingest the clay on a river bank. Species such as Mealy and Yellow-headed Amazon, Blue-headed Parrot and Dusky-headed Parakeet descend upon this clay lick. The clay lick is active at dawn, during the late mornings and mid-afternoons.After visiting the clay lick, we embark on a two hour hike crowned by the largest tree in the vicinity: a giant ceiba tree. During the hike we will focus on the natural history of the rain forest and its principal taxonomic groups.

Later today we enjoy a thirty minute boat drive downriver takes us to the most complete farm in the community of Infierno. The owner grows a diverse variety of popular as well as lesser known Amazon crops. In his garden, just about every plant and tree serves a purpose.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
Overnight: Posada Amazonas

Day 14 – Departure Day

Early this morning we retrace our steps as we journey back to Puerto Maldonado. Depending on airline schedules, this may require dawn departures. From Lima you will connect with your international flights.*Please note that most flights depart from Lima late in the evening. Please confirm your international flight departs after 5pm in the evening when booking this trip.

 

~OR~

 

Options to extend to Lake Titicaca and Bolivia.

Meals: Breakfast

 

Thank you for travelling with FINISTERRA!

Peru:

Lima: Casa Andina Select Lima

Cusco: Tierra Viva Plaza

Sacred Valley: La Casona de Yucay

Machu Picchu: El Mapi
Amazon Jungle (Puerto Maldonaldo): Posada Amazonas

Tour Inclusions:

  • 11 nights hotel/lodge accommodation based on double occupancy
  • 2 nights camping (all camping equipment including, porters, mules, cook, chairs, tables, sleeping bags and mattress, oxygen tank, dining tent, etc)
  • Meals as specified (12 breakfast, 7 lunches, 6 dinners)
  • Tour leader (Depends on group size)
  • Services of a Peruvian guide for all sites
  • Entrance fees to all the sites mentioned in the program
  • All transportation as per itinerary including train from Machu Picchu
  • Internal flights (Lima to Cusco, Cusco to Pto Maldonaldo, Pto Maldonaldo to Lima)
  • All applicable taxes

 

Tour Exclusions:

  • International flights
  • Services not specified, meals not specified
  • Tips for local guides, restaurant staff at included meals, porters, drivers
  • Mandatory travel insurance
  • Optional trip cancellation insurance
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Personal items
  • Departure taxes (domestic and international if applicable)
  • Airport transfers for international flights

Date: AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

PRICES FROM $2450* USD per participant Double / Twin
*Please note that pricing depends on number of participants and hotels chosen. This itinerary is fully customizable.

A 20% non-refundable deposit is required at time of booking to reserve your place. Please contact info@finisterra.ca for more booking information.
Cheque: Please make cheque payable to Finisterra Travel LTD with “Finisterra – PERU LARES & AMAZON” in the notes and mail it tour our office.
Address:

Finisterra Travel LTD
106-550 E 6th Ave
Vancouver, BC, V5T 4H2
Canada

Final Payment

Full payment is due 60 prior to departure.

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