Introduce your family to the wonders of Peru, from the mysteries of the Inca to the amazing creatures of the Amazon. Venture into the colorful swirl of village markets and experience Andean traditions firsthand. Ride a train high into the mountains to explore the “lost” city of Machu Picchu, investigating its ancient ruins. Cap off the trip with a wild Amazon adventure, spying monkeys, sloths, butterflies, and toucans while staying at an eco-lodge nestled in the rainforest.
Arrive in time to meet your fellow travelers for a welcome gathering this evening. Your arrival transfer is included.
Board an early flight to Cusco, the gateway to Peru's Inca heartland. Take in spectacular Andean scenery as we drive north into Urubamba Valley—also known as the Sacred Valley of the Inca. Arrive at Piuray Lake, an azure oasis framed by snowcapped peaks. Enjoy a lakeside lunch and opt to go paddleboarding or kayaking, soaking up the mountain views. Continue to our hotel and settle in before dinner.
Begin the day with a visit to a G Adventures–supported women's weaving cooperative, where we'll observe traditional weaving and dying techniques and meet some of the weavers. Next, test your Spanish skills as you bargain with vendors at the famed Pisac Market—a wonderland of colorful Quechua handicrafts. Break for a farm-to-table lunch at the G Adventures–supported Parwa Community Restaurant, tasting Peruvian dishes while learning how this resident-run restaurant helps fund community projects. In the afternoon, opt to relax at our hotel or visit the Inca ruins of Moray and the salt pans of Maras.
Explore the former Inca stronghold of Ollantaytambo, stepping back in time amid ancient terraces, storehouses, and an enormous temple-fortress. Then hop aboard a train for the journey through the Urubamba Valley to the end of the line: Aguas Calientes, a frontier town nestled beneath Machu Picchu. The afternoon is free for optional excursions, including a waterfall hike and a visit to nearby hot springs.
Rise and shine! After a light breakfast, head to Machu Picchu to see the citadel in the early morning light, before the crowds arrive. Spend the morning exploring the ruins with our guides and pondering the mysteries of this “lost” city of the Inca, forgotten at the Spanish conquest and rediscovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham with support from National Geographic. Enjoy free time to explore on your own. This afternoon, return by train to Ollantaytambo and transfer to Cusco.
Set out to explore the beautiful streets and plazas of Cusco, once lavishly adorned with Inca gold that was stolen by the Spanish during the conquest. Visit the sprawling San Pedro Market, where you'll find everything from pickled snakes to savory tamales, and visit the Machu Picchu Museum to see an array of Inca artifacts that were discovered at Machu Picchu. Later, enjoy a star-filled evening at the Cusco Planetarium, learning about the importance of astronomy to the ancient Inca and peering at the glittering night sky through high-powered telescopes.
Today, we set out to discover a wilder side of Peru! Catch a morning flight to Puerto Maldonado, then continue by motorized canoe along the Tambopata River to our jungle lodge in the Amazon rainforest. Have lunch on board the boat and keep an eye out for wildlife and birds along the way. Upon arrival, settle into your thatched lodging, situated near Tambopata National Reserve—a biodiversity hotspot. In the afternoon, join a naturalist guide to seek out the wildlife of the rainforest—from colorful butterflies to huge spiders—and learn the uses for medicinal and other forest plant resources through traditional techniques.
En route, spot bird species typical of the local river and forest edge. The Tambopata Rainforest area holds the world record for the most bird sightings in one area.
Local community members make up the majority of lodge staff, including multilingual naturalist guides. Take the opportunity to learn about the area's rich flora and fauna and locals' extensive use of medicinal plants and other forest plant resources.
The lodge itself combines local architectural style and materials with low-impact, eco-friendly technology. Rooms are simple but comfortable, with mosquito netting for individual beds, flush toilets, and showers (with solar-heated hot water). Please bring a small battery powered lantern or flashlight.
Grab your binoculars and head out with naturalist guides to explore the rainforest's complex ecosystems. Search the forest canopy where colorful toucans, boisterous howler monkeys, and sloths may be spotted. Hike to an oxbow lake, and paddle dugout canoes to glimpse river otters, turtles, and, if we're lucky, an anaconda or two! This evening we'll venture out in a motorized canoe to spot the jungle's elusive nocturnal species. If we're lucky we'll spot caimans, the smaller cousins of alligators, hiding along the muddy banks.
Enjoy a final breakfast at our lodge, then board a motorized canoe and return upriver to Puerto Maldonado. Fly to Lima and check in to our hotel. This evening, celebrate our adventure at the farewell dinner.
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Trip Name: Peru Family Journey: Machu Picchu to the Amazon
Duration: 10 Days
From Price: $3,679
Supplier Tour ID: SPMNF/252878
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