Amazon, Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls & Rio de Janeiro

Itinerary in Brief:  Combine Four South American Highlights

  • Spend 3 nights in the lush, exotic Amazon Jungle
  • Explore Cusco, the former Incan capital, and the Sacred Valley of the Incas
  • Visit Machu Picchu, one of the most iconic sites in South America
  • Hike the trails overlooking magnificent Iguazu Falls
  • End your trip on the beaches of Rio, a sparkling coastal gem
  • Top quality boutique hotels, truly outstanding local English-speaking private guides
  • All of our itineraries can be customized to your interests, dates, and budget!

Day by Day Itinerary

Included meals are indicated in parentheses: (B,L,D)

Day 1       Lima

Arrive to Lima, former capital of the Spanish empire in the Americas, and transfer to your first class hotel ideally located in the Miraflores district, Lima’s main cultural and commercial district. This is the best area of town for strolling around and is home to many of Lima’s best restaurants. (If you are interested and time permits, private tours of Lima or visits to any of Lima’s museums can be arranged upon request.)
Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores (upgrades available to Hotel B, Miraflores Park Hotel, and others)

Day 2       Fly to the Amazon

You have a morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon rainforest. After arriving in Puerto Maldonado you will be met by a representative from Posada Amazonas and taken to the boarding dock to start your 45 minute boat ride up the Tambopata river to the lodge. You will spend the next three nights at Posada Amazonas, with daily excursions to view the plant and animal life that surrounds you. Posada Amazonas is part of a pioneering ecotourism project that has been supported in its work by Conservation International, and it’s a great base from which to explore the surrounding rainforest. The exact itinerary can vary, but you will make a series of excursions into the rainforest and to nearby lakes to spot wildlife, with chances to see several species of monkeys, a wide variety of birdlife, and an incredible variety of other flora and fauna.
(Other Amazon Lodge options are available, such as Reserva Amazonica and Refugio Amazonas. Luxury Amazon cruises are also an option, such as the Delfin I or the Aqua Amazon.)
Posada Amazonas (B,L,D)

Day 3       Amazon

Today you will make a visit to Chimbadas Oxbow Lake, where you will have the opportunity to paddle around in search of the resident family of Giant River Otters and other animals that make their home here. Other wildlife commonly seen around the lake includes caiman, hoatzin, and horned screamers. You will also have the opportunity to take night excursions out into the rainforest, to explore at a time when mammals are more active.
Posada Amazonas (B,L,D)

Day 4       Amazon

Today you can make your way to a nearby salt lick that attracts dozens of parrots and parakeets. You will also go on some more extended hikes into the forest, and visit a local farm to learn more about how local plants are cultivated for food and medicinal purposes.
Posada Amazonas (B,L,D)

Day 5       Cusco / Sacred Valley of the Incas

In the morning you will be transferred back down the Tambopata River to Puerto Maldonado, where you will board your plane to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire. When you land in Cusco you will be met at the airport by a local representative who will transport you to your hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas (8,500 feet elevation), a long, fertile river valley surrounded by snow-capped peaks that lies between Cusco (11,000 feet elevation) and Machu Picchu. Starting here helps you adjust to the high altitude of the Andes and is a great way to see how the local people continue to live in the traditional Andean manner. You’ll make a visit to the Pisac ruins and town en route to your hotel (if you are feeling up for it you can walk down from the ruins to the town; ask your guide about this option). You’ll stop for lunch at a great small restaurant serving creative modern variations on traditional Andean dishes.
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L)

Day 6       Sacred Valley (Maras / Moray / Ollantaytambo)

Today you have a full day of exploring more of the Sacred Valley, seeing less-visited sites that will deepen your understanding of the local culture.  First you will make a visit to the unique Incan site of Moray, and the nearby town and ancient salt pans of Maras. After your picnic lunch, you´ll visit Ollantaytambo, one of the few towns to survive in its current layout from Incan times.
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L)

Day 7       Machu Picchu

Today you start a 2 day/1 night trip to Machu Picchu, giving you plenty of time to see the area. In the morning you will be picked up at your hotel for transfer to the train station, where you catch the train to Machu Picchu. You will visit Machu Picchu with a private guide, enjoy lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge, and then have the chance to explore the ruins on your own before returning to your hotel in Aguas Calientes (the ruins close at 5 pm and the last shuttle down is at 5:15 pm).
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 8       Machu Picchu

Today you make an unguided return visit to Machu Picchu in the early morning to observe the ruins. This is a great way to experience the site when there are far fewer people around. You’ll also have the chance to hike to the top of Huayna Picchu, the mountain that towers above Machu Picchu, or hike back along the Inca Trail to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate). Lunch is provided again today at the Sanctuary Lodge. After visiting the ruins, you will make your way down to the train station for your afternoon train back to Cusco and be dropped off at your hotel.
Hotel Libertador Cusco (B,L) (upgrade to Palacio Nazarenas is available)

Day 9       Cusco / Sacsahuaman

Today you’ll have a privately-guided exploration of Cusco, including a visit to Sacsahuaman, the massive Incan fortress on the hills above the city, where you will enjoy views of the surrounding area. Cusco is a fascinating city, with many colonial buildings constructed on top of the remains of Incan palaces. You can observe massive Incan walls along many streets of the city. Enjoy dinner out at one of Cusco’s excellent restaurants. 
Hotel Libertador Cusco (B)

Day 10       Fly to Iguazu

In the morning you will be met at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima, where you will connect to Iguazu, Brazil. After dropping your luggage off at the hotel, you will be able to explore the Brazilian side of the falls. Hotel das Cataratas is the only hotel within Brazil’s Iguassu National Park, and sits just a two-minute walk to the Iguazu Falls. In the evening it gives exclusive access to the falls after the park closes and all other visitors have to leave.
Hotel das Cataratas (B)

Day 11     Visit the Argentine Side of the Falls

Today you will be picked up from your hotel for your privately-guided excursion to the Argentine side of the falls, where you can gain a fuller appreciation of the scale and grandeur of this magnificent natural site. The majority of trails and walkways are on the Argentine side of the falls, and most boat tours that take you up close to the falls also start on the Argentine side.
Hotel das Cataratas (B)

Day 12       Fly to Rio de Janeiro

Today you head to Rio, a coastal metropolis that. Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel, located on Ipanema Beach, the best location in Rio for exploring what the city has to offer. The beachfront is one of the most beautiful in the world, and the area is a great place to spend time on the beach and to stroll through the streets. Many of Rio’s best restaurants, boutiques, and cafes are located in Ipanema and neighboring Leblon.
Marina All Suites Hotel (an alternative hotel is the Copacabana Palace) (B)

Day 13       The Best View in Rio and Historic Santa Teresa

Explore beautiful Rio with your private local guide. You will head to the top of Corcovado Mountain to the iconic Cristo Redentor statue, where you can take in one of the best views in the world. Afterward, you’ll drive through the historic Santa Teresa neighborhood, filled with mansions dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and get a chance to see Rio’s bustling downtown. You have the end of the day free to explore on your own and experience Rio’s nightlife. We’ll recommend some top options for seeing some great local music!
Marina All Suites Hotel (B)

Day 14       Free day in Rio

Today you have a free day in Rio de Janeiro. You might be interested in visiting Sugar Loaf Mountain and taking the gondola up to the top, bike riding along Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, or simply relaxing at the beach. We can also arrange a hike to the top of Tijuca Mountain, to get a less seen and extraordinary view out over the area. Many options for privately guided hikes and active excursions, as well as special interest tours in architecture, art, samba, and cuisine, can be arranged.
Marina All Suites Hotel (B)

Day 15       Depart for Home

Today your South American journey comes to an end. You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your international flight home.(B)


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