Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.
Fly to Puerto Maldonado and continue by motorized canoe to our comfortable lodge, situated near the Tambopata National Reserve in the Amazon rainforest. Spot local bird species along the lush shores of the Tambopata River en route to the lodge, and set off on an evening walk with a naturalist guide before dinner, keeping an eye out for some of the rainforest's nocturnal creatures. After a brief stop in town to store large luggage, drive to the pier and travel by covered motorized boat to the jungle lodge.
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 through traditional techniques for building, fishing, and hunting.
Enjoy a welcome drink and orientation. Before dinner, head out for a night walk around the lodge grounds.
Spend the day exploring the thriving ecosystems of the rainforest with our lodge's naturalist guides. Scan the treetops for toucans, howler monkeys, and sloths, and glide along oxbow lakes on canoes for a chance to glimpse river otters, turtles, and, if we're lucky, anacondas. After dinner, embark on a river tour by motorized canoe on the lookout for caimans, the smaller cousins of alligators, which are often found hiding near the muddy banks. Head out early to catch the jungle at its wildest (and coolest). Walk slowly through the forest searching for wildlife before heading out on an oxbow lake by canoe.
Search for anaconda, the elusive giant river otter, or black caiman. Even if you don't spot these shy creatures, there are plenty of birds, interesting plants, and other animals about.
Travel out of the jungle by boat and catch a flight from Puerto Maldonado to Cusco, soaring above the Andes into Peru's Inca heartland. This evening, visit the Cusco Planetarium for a presentation on the skies of the Southern Hemisphere, and learn about the vital role that astronomy played in the lives of the ancient Inca. Weather permitting, peer through the planetarium's telescopes for a dazzling look at the stars. Afternoon arrival into the Inca capital. Time for strolling around the plazas and markets. Admire the cobblestones streets, and visit some museums and Cathedral.
Drive to the scenic Sacred Valley for a full day of exploration with a local guide. Tour the G Adventures–supported Parque de la Papa, or Potato Park, a rural Andean community working to preserve hundreds of varieties of native potato. During this exclusive experience, you'll walk through the park to learn about potato cultivation, traditional weaving, and the importance of both these practices to Andean culture. We'll also visit the fascinating Inca ruins of Ollantaytambo and Pisac, and enjoy a meal at the G Adventures–supported Parwa Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosqo.
Continue exploring the Sacred Valley. Visit the terraced salt pans of Maras, which have been used for salt extraction since pre-Inca times, and tour the Inca site of Moray??believed to have been an agricultural laboratory where priests would test soils and crops. Then set off on a scenic drive through the lush Andean countryside, dotted with peaceful villages. Stop for a picnic lunch at the mountain-ringed Piuray Lagoon, where you can opt to go kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding. Return to Cusco for the evening. Leave the hikers to start their trek and head out to explore Moray and Maras ancient Incan ruins. Enjoy a scenic drive through Andean farmland on the way to Piuray Lagoon.
Enjoy a free day to explore charming Cusco. Opt to visit Plaza de Armas, the historic main square; the 15th-century Sacsayhuaman fortress; or some of the city's ornate churches, such as the Iglesia de Santo Domingo and La Catedral, which fuse pre-Columbian and colonial design. You may also visit the Inca Museum, which houses a fascinating collection of Inca jewelry, metalware, pottery, textiles, mummies, and more.
Travel by van to Ollantaytambo, and hop on a train for a journey following the Urubamba River Valley to Aguas Calientes, a frontier town nestled beneath Machu Picchu. The afternoon is free for optional excursions, including a visit to the nearby hot springs.
This morning, embark on a guided tour of Machu Picchu??the 15th-century Inca citadel famously introduced to the world by archaeologist Hiram Bingham in the April 1913 issue of National Geographic magazine. After being taken through the temples and terraces of this awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage site, return to Cusco by train Rise early to catch the first bus up to Machu Picchu with the guide. Enjoy a guided visit of the ruins followed by free time to explore. When ready, head back down by bus to Aguas Calientes to meet up with the rest of the group and take a train back to Cusco.