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Food

  • Breakfast: hotel breakfasts are normally buffet-style; on trek they are more substantial and include a cooked dish. Lunch: while trekking, lunches generally include a hot main course. Lunches in the rainforest are either buffet lunches or picnics depending on the day's activities. Dinner: evening meals on trek are always cooked, and usually consist of soup or starter, a main course and dessert. Buffet dinners are provided in the rainforest. Water: while on the trek, you will be given drinking water (boiled and filtered) in the morning and at lunch to refill your water bottles.

Activities

  • Accom: camping
  • Accom: hotel/lodge
  • Adult group
  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Mixed-activity
  • Solo departures
  • Trek: point-to-point
  • Walking & Trekking
  • Guided Group
  • Food

    • All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 6 dinners are included in the price of the tour (one additional lunch is included on 2016 departures). Breakfast: hotel breakfasts are normally continental buffet-style; on trek they are more substantial and include a cooked dish such as porridge, omelette or pancakes. Lunch and dinner: on trek good quality three course cooked lunches and dinners are provided, and usually consist of soup or a starter, a main course with meat/fish and some form of carbohydrates, followed by a dessert. In the rainforest main meals are usually buffet style although some lunches may be picnics, depending on the day's activities. Drinks and water: drinking water (boiled and filtered) is provided in the mornings and at lunch during the trek so that you can refill your bottles. Bed tea/coffee is brought to your tent each morning and juice or hot drinks are provided with all meals during the trek.
    • All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 6 dinners are included in the price of the tour. Breakfast: hotel breakfasts are normally continental buffet-style; on trek they are more substantial and include a cooked dish such as porridge, omelette or pancakes. Lunch and dinner: on trek good quality three course cooked lunches and dinners are provided, and usually consist of soup or a starter, a main course with meat/fish and some form of carbohydrates, followed by a dessert. In the rainforest main meals are usually buffet style although some lunches may be picnics, depending on the day's activities. Drinks and water: drinking water (boiled and filtered) is provided in the mornings and at lunch during the trek so that you can refill your bottles. Bed tea/coffee is brought to your tent each morning and juice or hot drinks are provided with all meals during the trek.
    • All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 6 dinners are included in the price of the tour. Breakfast: hotel breakfasts are normally continental buffet-style; on trek they are more substantial and include a cooked dish such as porridge, omelette or pancakes. Lunch and dinner: on trek good quality three course cooked lunches and dinners are provided, and usually consist of soup or a starter, a main course with meat/fish and some form of carbohydrates, followed by a dessert. In the rainforest main meals are usually buffet style although some lunches may be picnics, depending on the day's activities. Drinks and water: drinking water (boiled and filtered) is provided in the mornings and at lunch during the trek so that you can refill your bottles. Bed tea/coffee is brought to your tent each morning and juice or hot drinks are provided with all meals during the trek.

    Activities

    • Small Adult Group
  • 1

    Start Lima; free afternoon.

    The trip starts in Lima this morning. Check-in at our hotel is in the early afternoon, and the morning is free for you to explore the local area, change money or visit Lima's many museums until the rooms become available.

  • 2

    Fly to Puerto Maldonado; boat journey into Tambopata Reserve; guided jungle walks.

    An early start today for the flight via Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado, a small jungle town, where we take a boat to our jungle lodge in the Tambopata Reserve (generally between 1½ and 3 hours depending on the lodge used). On the way we may see caimans (alligators), river turtles and a wide variety of bird life.

  • 3

    Jungle exploration.

    The next two days are spent exploring the forest, rivers and lakes surrounding the lodge, on foot and in both motorised and paddle canoes. Although a lot of the wildlife tends to hide in the dense foliage, we should expect to see a wide variety of birds, including herons and egrets, jacanas, macaws and the almost prehistoric-looking hoatzin, as well as several species of monkey, reptiles and insects, and with luck the giant otters which live in the rivers of the Amazon basin.

  • 4

    Jungle exploration.

    A further day of jungle exploration.

  • 5

    Fly to Cuzco (3400m); free time to explore the ancient capital.

    A dawn start is required for the boat trip back to Puerto Maldonado, giving memorable views of the sunrise over the river. Look out for the early morning wildlife, which is particularly active at this time. Howler monkeys are frequently heard, as they stake out their territories. After our flight to Cuzco, there is usually time for an afternoon tour of the city. At 3400m Cuzco is an extremely high city and you may find yourself short of breath on arrival.

  • 6

    Free day; optional excursion to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

    We have a free day in Cuzco today. The Inca Capital is among the most attractive cities in South America, with many interesting buildings, museums and sites. To help acclimatise, take an optional walking tour of the Inca capital and the nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman and Qenco, which overlook the city. Alternatively there is the opportunity for an optional full day tour of the Sacred Valley including the fortresses of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, or, for the more adventurous, there is a chance to try paddleboarding on a lake close to Cuzco, with magnificent views of the high Andes.

  • 7

    Start Inca Trail trek from km82; walk along Urubamba River, climb to Huayllabamba.

    Today is the start of the Inca Trail trek. Transfer by bus to trailhead at Piscacucho, on the Vilcanota River. Hike along the Vilcanota River beneath the impressive snow-capped Nevado Veronica through cactus gardens and fields of corn to the enormous Inca ruins of Llactapata, then continue up a side valley to camp in the hamlet of Huayllabamba. On all departures, the classic Inca Trail can be substituted with the remote and beautiful Moonstone Trek - see Trip Notes for more details.

  • 8

    Cross Dead Woman's Pass (4200m), then descend to Pacaymayu.

    This is the longest and most strenuous day, with over a 1000m of ascent. A long climb takes us first through an area of cloud forest to the meadows of Llulluchapampa, and then over the Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman) pass, at 4215m the highest point on the trek. After quite a long, steep descent we camp in the scenic valley of the Pacamayo river (3600m).

  • 9

    Over Runcuray Pass (3800m) to ruins of Sayajmarca and Phuyupatamarca.

    Another easier climb, past the ruins of Runcuracay, takes us over the Runcuracay Pass (3950m). From now on the Inca Trail becomes a clearly defined path made of flat boulders. We pass the ruins of Sayajmarca and suddenly enter rainforest; the Trail passes at one point through an Inca tunnel. We camp in a spectacular setting on the ridge above the Inca site of Phuyupatamarca (3650m) to enjoy the views of sunset and sunrise.

  • 10

    Walk down Inca steps to Wiñay Wayna and Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate.

    From the ridge we embark on the infamous Inca steps: a two kilometre stone staircase taking us rapidly downhill amid a panorama of overwhelming immensity, with the peaks of the Vilcabamba range above, and the river thousands of metres below. After visiting the attractive ruins of Wiñay Wayna, we have an undulating walk through cloud forest high above the river to Inti Punku, the Inca Sun Gate. From here we get our sudden first full sight of Machu Picchu itself, with Huayna Picchu rising behind. Passing around the edge of the ruins, we exit the site and descend to Aguas Calientes for a well-earned rest, a shower and a comfortable bed for the night.

  • 11

    Early morning tour of Machu Picchu; return to Cuzco by train and by road.

    We return early for a tour of the ruins at their quietest and most evocative (before the day trippers arrive from Cuzco). After free time to explore individually, we board the train in the afternoon (though timings are somewhat erratic and the journey will probably be partly in the dark). The ride follows the rapids of the Urubamba River and takes us as far as Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley, from where we continue by minibus to Cuzco.

  • 12

    Drive across altiplano to Puno (3800m), on the shores of Lake Titicaca, stopping at the most interesting Inca and pre-Inca sites en route.

    Today we take a bus ride across the altiplano, the high plains separating the Andes from the jungles. Although it is quite a long drive (10 hours including stops), it is interesting and the views are spectacular. There are scheduled stops along the route to visit some of the most interesting sites which helps break up the day and we get a feel for the immensity of the Andean landscapes. We arrive in the evening at Puno, a high, chilly town on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

  • 13

    Boat to Amantani Island for village homestay.

    We explore Lake Titicaca, visiting the descendants of the Uros Indians, who live on islands of floating reeds and produce some fine textiles. Though the altitude here (3850m) is tiring, the air is very clear and the lakeside views can be magnificent, with the snow-capped peaks of the Andes towering in the background. We spend the night on Amantani Island where we experience a homestay with the local villagers - this really allows us to see what life is like for the people in an isolated island community.

  • 14

    Morning travel to mainland; evening flight to Lima.

    We take a boat to Chifron Bay, and spend some time exploring the peninsula before flying back to Lima (from nearby Juliaca airport). Depending on the flight taken, we may have some time free for shopping and sightseeing, including an optional visit to the Gold Museum. Flight times do vary and some groups will not arrive into Lima until late afternoon or early evening.

  • 15

    End Lima.

    The trip ends after breakfast today. Those on group flights will be transferred to the airport in the morning for the overnight flight to London via Madrid.

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