** Important note: The Peruvian government can cancel these activities should they feel there is a genuine safety risk to travellers, especially while there are heavy rains in the area.
Start off your trip with a Cuzco airport pick-up on Day 1. Take an exciting 4x4 motorbike tour on Day 2 to visit the great Inca ruins of Moray and the Pre-Inca salt pools of Maras. On Day 3, go on an unmissable day trip to the Sacred Valley. On Day 5, begin a 4-day trek to the magical site of Machu Picchu. Go on an exhilarating rafting adventure down the Vilcanota River through beautiful landscapes on Day 9. Take a night bus to Puerto Maldonado and begin your Amazon adventure on Day 10 with some activities in Puerto Maldonado and a boat transfer to your eco-lodge in the jungle. Walk through the jungle and visit the Taricaya Reserve on Day 11 to see incredible wildlife. Travel upriver on Day 12 to visit the Tambopata National Reserve and boat on pristine Lake Sandoval. Return to Puerto Maldonado on Day 13 to enjoy activities in town before returning to Cuzco on a night bus. Arrive on the morning of Day 14 and enjoy a free day before ending your trip with a Cuzco airport drop-off on Day 15.
Day by day Itinerary:
Day 1: Airport Pick-Up in Cuzco
You will be picked up at the airport in Cuzco and dropped off at your accommodation. Enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure to relax, explore, and get settled in.
Day 2: Maras & Moray 4x4 Motorbike Tour (B)
You will be picked up from your accommodation and head to Cruz Pata, a tiny village where the quad-bike adventure will begin. After a safety briefing, you will rev your engines and start off through the countryside to Moray, our first stop of the day. Look out over ancient Inca circular crop terraces and be amazed at the engineering developments of the ancient Inca. Connect with Mother Earth, (La Pachamama) and learn how the Andean culture lives in harmony with the nature that surrounds them. You will receive some explanations and then you will get free time to walk around. Continue your ride to the “Salineras”, salt mines for a quick visit to see how local people make a living off of the salt that is produced here. Get free time to shop for souvenirs if you would like. Hop back on your 4x4 quadbike once again and make the return trip to Cruz Pata where you will return your motorbike and equipment and then take a return transfer back to Cuzco.
Note: Return time is approximate. Afternoon tours may face delays due to traffic going back to Cuzco.
Day 3: Sacred Valley Day Trip (B)
Accommodation pick-up at 8:00 am to start off our day. We will travel out of Cuzco towards the Sacred Valley of the Incas and make our first stop at the village of Corao where we will visit a local artisan marketplace. Enjoy 30 minutes of free time to wander around buying handmade souvenirs for family and friends. Enjoy the scenic viewpoints along the panoramic highway that takes us over the mountains into the picturesque Urubamba river valley.
Upon arrival to the ancient Inca town of Pisaq, our guide will explain the unique architecture of this archaeological site and its magical vibes. Take about 45 minutes to explore the site and shop around in the local marketplace. Then we will continue to Urubamba and make our lunch break there for a taste of Peru’s finest traditional cuisine. After our break, the van will take us to Ollantaytambo, another mysterious archaeological site built into the steep mountainside. You will spend 45 minutes there, which will give you plenty of time to climb the steep steps of these ancient Inca ruins and contemplate life as you look out upon the valley.
Day 4: Free day in Cuzco (B)
Enjoy a free day in Cuzco.
Day 5: Start the Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu 4D/3N (L/D)
Inca Trail Trek: A spectacularly rich experience in the Andean Mountains awaits you! Immerse yourself in the Inca culture as you hike 50 kilometers through the heart of the beautiful Andes. This 4-day trek is the only one to take you along the original stone staircases of the Inca Trail, arriving early at Machu Picchu.
Today, you will be picked up at your accomodation between 5:00 and 6:00 am. One day before the trek, make sure you made all of the necessary preparations. Before starting the amazing trek adventure, you will be taken by bus to the town of Ollantaytambo, where you will have an hour to eat breakfast on you own and purchase last-minute snacks, water and walking sticks. Then you will hop back on the bus to Piscacucho where the famous Inca Trail journey will begin. Don't forget to bring your original passport, student card (if applicable) for the first Inca Trail checkpoint. Your guide will have your tickets for you.
Start hiking along rolling hills in the Vilcanota River Valley where you will spot at several small archaeological sites on the way. During half-way, you will enjoy a tasty lunch and you will have time to relax before reaching Wayllabamba camp (2,980m).
Trekking: 10 kilometers / 6 hours
Difficulty: Moderate trek along a rolling path gradually ascending from Piscacucho 82 km (2,570m) through the Urubamba river valley for 10 km to reach Wayllabamba Camp (2,980m).
Day 6: Trek to Pacaymayo Camp via Dead Woman's Pass (B/L/D)
Enjoy an early breakfast around 6:00 am before starting off on the most challenging day along the trail, with a vertical hike of 6 km (approx. 5 hours) to reach Dead Woman's Pass at 4,215m followed by a 3 km hike down stone steps to reach Pacaymayo camp at 3,600m (approx. 2 hours). You can take you time and rest as much as you need, as you will ascend more than 1,200 meters over the course of the morning.
Just after you reach Dead Woman's Pass you will be rewarded with spectacular views of nearby snow-capped mountain peaks and roaring waterfalls. Walk slowly down to Pacaymayo Camp (3,600m) to enjoy the view. You will stop for lunch and a well-deserved nap. Then you will have the rest of the afternoon to enjoy the camp before dinner and an early bedtime.
Trekking: 10 kilometers / 7 hours
Difficulty: Difficult trekking day starting at Wayllabamba Camp (2,980m) with a constant ascent of 6.4 km to Dead Woman's Pass (4,215m), an elevation gain of 1,200 vertical meters. Descend another 2.4 km along a stone staircase to reach Pacaymayo Camp (3,600m), a decrease in elevation of 800 vertical meters.
Day 7: Trek to Wiñayhuayna Camp via Runquracay Pass (B/L/D)
Today, hike for one hour uphill and discover the beautiful Pacaymayo archaeological site. Continue one hour to Runquracay Pass (3,950m) where you can summit the mountain for amazing views of surroundings peaks. You will have the chance to explore two more archaeological sites called Sayacmarca and Phuyupatamarca with your guide before having lunch along the way. By late afternoon you will reach Wiñayhuayna Camp (2,650m) set above a river valley in a high jungle climate.
Trekking: 15 kilometers / 9 hours
Difficulty: Moderate ups and downs along ancient Inca stairways for 15 km from Pacaymayo Camp (3,600m) crossing over Runquracay Pass (3,950m) ending at Wiñayhuayna Camp (2,650m) with breaks at scenic archaeological sites along the way.
Day 8: Explore Machu Picchu and return to Cuzco (B)
On day 8, the last day of your trek, you will explore Machu Picchu before returning to Cuzco. Get up early between 3:30 and 4:30 am to appreciate this magnificent city in the early morning light as the mist dissipates. You will head to the Wiñaywayna checkpoint and join the lineup to wait for the gate to open at 5:30 am. Once the gate opens, you will hike about an hour to reach the Sun Gate. We'll keep our fingers crossed for a clear day! Catch the first glimpses of light over the stunning ruins of Machu Picchu, a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. Then continue down the final length of the trail for 40 minutes to reach the Machu Picchu archaeological complex.
Visit this magical site on a 2-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu to see the most important sites and learn about the history of this incredible Inca citadel. Afterwards, you will have free time to explore on your own and take pictures at your leisure. If you're feeling adventurous, take an optional trek to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (must be booked in advance). We will then return to Aguas Calientes.
Visit the local marketplace next to the train station, where you can shop until the train whistle blows signaling your return to Ollantaytambo. From Ollantaytambo, you will take a bus back to Cuzco, arriving back around 20:00. You will be dropped off at the Plaza San Francisco. Please make your own way back to the accommodation of your choice.
Trekking: 7 kilometers / 2 hours
Difficulty: Follow an easy, flat and narrow 7 km path from Wiñayhuayna Camp (2,650m) to the Sun Gate (2,720m) and finally descend into the impressive archaeological site of Machu Picchu (2,400m).
Day 9: Full Day Rafting Experience, Bus Station Drop-Off & Night Bus to Puerto Maldonado (B)
Today you will head over to the Vilcanota River for an adrenaline-filled day. Splash through the Peruvian rapids and finish off with a thrilling zip-line ride!
After being picked up from your accommodation in Cuzco and a half-hour drive you will arrive to Oropesa, a tiny Andean town famous for its homemade bread. Here we will get some fresh bread for lunch before driving to the rafting starting point, where the adventure begins. You will get geared up and receive a safety briefing from your professional rafting guide. Head out into the water on the Vilcanota River, one of Peru's most important rivers for whitewater rafting. Surrounded by beautiful landscapes you will enjoy this super fun class III, III+ and IV rapids with new friends! After hours of thrilling adventure on the Vilcanota River, you will reach camp where you can change into dry clothes and have lunch. Then you will have the chance to go on an exciting zip-lining adventure. Relax on the drive back to Cuzco after an active day. At night you will be picked up at your accommodation and transferred to the bus station in time to take a night bus to the town of Puerto Maldonado on the edge of the Amazon Jungle.
(Note: There will be no tour leader to accompany you on the bus.)
Day 10: Puerto Maldonado Activity – Boat to Eco-Lodge (L/D)
Welcome and reception at the bus terminal around 7:00 am. You will get the opportunity to have a botanical tour in a tourism corridor created by a famous environmental activist Don Viktor Zambrano, who won the National Geographic conservation award for South America in 2019, and president of the Izuyama community. You will then head towards the office from where you will be transferred to the lodge.
Embark for a scenic boat ride (around 1 hour and 15 minutes) on the Madre de Dios River that will lead you to your accommodation and marvel at the incredible fauna and flora through the heart of the Amazon Jungle.
Arrive at your Eco-Lodge to have lunch and settle into your private bungalow. Take a short rest before meeting with your guide followed by an introduction walk around the lodge and its trails. Winding past giant Kapok trees, walking palms and strangler figs while being dazzled by the sounds of native birds. Return to your bungalow for a rest. Before dinner you may choose to take a walk with your guide and experience the jungle as it transforms from day into night, making way for nocturnal animals and birds especially adapted for the dark. Return to the dining hall with your guide for your first dinner in the rainforest and enjoy a typical meal from this region. After dinner you may return to your bungalow or meet with other travellers and share your stories and experiences.
Day 11: Jungle Walk – Taricaya Reserve (B/L/D)
After breakfast at 07:00 am, begin your adventure walking through the trails surrounded by trees of heights in access of 45 meters and over 300 years old while we identify the flora and fauna by sight and sound. We will arrive at our first platform (Avatar platform) located 15 and 25 meters high above a small collpa, in the branches of an old fig tree accessed by a suspension bridge while we explore the amazing structure of this tree and the wildlife that live in and around it. Continue your walk into the Taricaya reserve towards the Canopy platform, the highest tree platform in the Amazon rainforest. Located 45 meters high up in the crown of an ancient Kapok tree and connected by a 90-meter long suspension bridge. Catch a glimpse of flying Macaws, parrots Toucans or the infamous Harpy eagle; the views from this platform are truly unforgettable!
Continue into the reserve until we reach the animal rescue center where you will encounter many different wild animals including a jaguar, Puma, toucans, macaws, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, jaguarondi, bush dog, tapirs and more. These animals are in the process of rehabilitation before being released back into the wild. After lunch, get some rest before visiting the botanical garden with the diverse medicinal plants. Take a rest before we finish the day’s activities with a caiman search along the rivers edge in a motorboat under moonlight. Search for white caiman, black caiman and spectacle caiman as they lay along the rivers banks at night. Return to the lodge for dinner.
Day 12: Tambopata National Reserve - Lake Sandoval (B/L/D)
Have an early breakfast before traveling by boat upriver for 45 minutes to the entrance of the Tambopata National Reserve and begin the trek to Lake Sandoval. Paddle in a rowboat around the pristine mirror like lake and enjoy the beautiful scenery with the opportunity to observe a variety of wildlife such as the endangered giant river otter, howler monkeys, macaws and black caiman. Take a snack by the waters edge before continuing around the lake. Finishing with a walk back to the river where we board our motorboat and return to the lodge. Lunch and rest. Navigate the Madre de Dios River in your own inflatable boat with the opportunity to see turtles, monkeys, herons and other birds with a beautiful backdrop of the sunset over the river. End the day with a Farewell dinner, on the Ayahuasca theme. Your guide will show you demonstrations of this Ayahuasca plant and the famous brew made by the local shamans (there is no Ayahuasca taken during dinner). He will also explain to you the importance of this ceremony for the Amazonian people.
Day 13: Boat to Puerto Maldonado - Activities - Night Bus to Cuzco (B/L)
Enjoy an early breakfast at your lodge before your 8:00 am departure and a scenic return boat trip on the Madre de Dios River bringing us back to Puerto Maldonado around 9:30 am. Get picked up for the drop-off point where you will enjoy your last day. You will be offered many activities like mountain bike tour, swimming pool, fishing, football, fruit farm walks,... You will finally be picked up at 07:30 pm to the bus terminal where you will catch your overnight bus back to Cuzco. (Note: There will be no tour leader to accompany you on the bus.)
Day 14: Arrival to Cuzco & Free Day
Make your own way to your accommodation from the bus station. Enjoy a free day in Cuzco.
Day 15: Airport Drop-Off in Cuzco (B)
You will be picked up at your accommodation and dropped off at the airport in Cuzco, where your trip ends.
**Please note: Depending on the trek you choose and on availability, the day by day itinerary may change. The same activities will be included, but they may occur on different days.
**Please Note: Travellers who booked their trip using one passport, then renewed or replaced it afterward, must carry their old passport or a photocopy with them on the trip.
What to bring:
- For Maras & Moray 4x4 Motorbike Tour: Please wear old clothing and shoes that can get muddy. Bring an extra change of clothes and a warm jacket. Bring a rain poncho during the rainy months of January/February.
- For the 4-day Trek: You will be sleeping in tents during the trek. Bring or Rent in Cuzco: hiking poles, rain pants, rain poncho, trekking boots, sandals, warm socks, sweater, thermals, hat, gloves, sun hat, sun block, sun glasses, flashlight/torch, camera, extra batteries and memory card (there is limited to no electricity available during the trek), waterproof bags for your camera, hand sanitizer, personal first aid kit, water bottle.
- For the Rafting Trip: Please wear your bathing suit and bring a change of clothes. Bring sunblock for your face. You will be provided with a wetsuit, helmet and life jacket to wear while rafting. Boots are available for rent upon arrival.
- For the Amazon Tour: Repellent with a minimum of 15% deet, Binoculars, Camera with extra batteries, Flashlight with extra batteries, Sun lotion, Pocket money, Daypack, Water bottle, Sun hat, Sandals, Swimsuit & Towel, Toilet paper, Dark clothes.
- DON'T FORGET THE ESSENTIALS: Original passport, visa (if applicable), insurance card, personal medications.