Luxury Amazon Cruise & Machu Picchu: First Class River Cruising and Machu Picchu
Days: 11 | From: $7,500/per person
Enjoy world class cuisine and museums in Lima, then cruise the mighty Amazon on a first class riverboat, enjoying guided excursions in the rainforest. Renew your sense of wonder exploring lost Incan cities and contemporary Peruvian culture, including time at the iconic Machu Picchu.
- Includes accommodations at first class hotels that reflect the best of local culture
- Includes excursions and tours with superb private guides
Talk to a Vaya Travel
We tailor itineraries to your dates and interests, adjusting hotels, excursions and length as desired.
We consistently receive 5 star reviews from our discerning clients.
At a glance
1 night: renowned cuisine and world class museums
3 nights: cruise the mighty river on a first class small ship
1 night: another night to enjoy the bustling capital city
- Sacred Valley
2 nights: Andean life and ancient ruins in this magnificent river valley
- Machu Picchu
1 night: time to explore this stunning icon in depth & at non-peak hours
2 nights: take in the captivating former Incan capital
All itineraries are fully customizable. We will send you a personalized variation that reflects your interests and travel dates at no extra cost. Call to discuss your travel plans with one of our Specialists who know this region firsthand.
Day by day itinerary
Welcome to Lima
Arrive to Lima, former capital of the Spanish empire in the Americas, and transfer to your first class hotel in Miraflores, Lima’s main cultural and commercial district. This is a great area for strolling around and is home to many of Lima’s best restaurants.
Private tours of Lima or visits to any of Lima’s museums can be arranged; we can also arrange culinary tours focusing on Peru’s increasingly renowned cuisine, or art tours for those with special interests.
Accommodations: Hotel de Autor
Located in the center of Miraflores, the 4-suite Hotel de Autor is a set in a beautiful private house. Each of the suites features either a private balcony or an old-fashioned clawfoot bathtub; the suites are large rooms with charming details and local artifacts. Definitely a unique experience, being in the Hotel de Autor is more like staying in a private home than a commercial hotel.Upgrades available: Hotel B, Miraflores Park Hotel, and others
Fly to the Jungle City of Iquitos
Fly north to Iquitos, in the Great Plains of the Amazon Basin. Your guide will meet you in the airport and take you to the riverside village of Nauta, where you will board the ship to start your cruise. Enjoy dinner aboard, meet the crew and your fellow passengers, then relax and enjoy the scenery as you get underway.
Accommodations: Delfin II
The Delfin II offers upscale Amazon River cruises as part of the Delfin Amazon Cruises fleet. The 120-foot ship has fourteen guest suites with a maximum capacity of 28 passengers. Like its sister ship the Delfin I, it offers an open observation deck, lounge and guest library, a bar, and a dining area featuring gourmet Peruvian cuisine. The Delfin II also offers a hammock sun deck where guests can relax and take in the beautiful scenery.*Includes: Breakfast, Dinner
Alternative lodging options: Delfin I,
Belluda Caño or Yanallpa / Dorado River
Take your first excursion in the Pacaya Simiria National Reserve. During the wet season (Dec – May) you will explore Belluda Stream by skiff, looking for parrots, macaws and monkeys. You may also see Morpho butterflies and various species of hawks, including the noisy “laughing falcon,” named for its loud falsetto call. During the dry season (Jun – Nov), you have the chance to do some hiking at Yanallpa, where you can explore two different kinds of ecosystems: “flooded forest” and “terra firme forest.” Here you may see snail kites, black-tailed ant birds, manikins, tanagers, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, nun birds, orioles, blackbirds, and pygmy marmosets. Your hike will take you to a lagoon filled with unique fresh water fish, where you will explore the waters in a dugout canoe.
Return to the Delfin II for lunch, then head to Dorado River in the skiffs, with a good chance of seeing gray and pink river dolphins and possibly swimming with them. You may also spot snail kites, festive parrots, endangered scarlet macaws, olive-spotted hummingbirds, Amazonian parrotlets, iguanas, squirrel monkeys, and wood creepers.
Accommodations: Delfin II
Rio Pacaya / Atun Poza Lake
Head into the heart of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve for further exploration of the largest protected wetland reserve in the world. The wildlife tends to be very active in the early morning, and you’ll be on the lookout for parrots, macaws, toucans, kingfishers, black collared hawks, southern swallows, white winged swallows, and manikins, plus troops of squirrel monkeys and small family groups of red howler monkeys. As the sun starts to heat up, continue along the shores of the Pacaya River, and breakfast will be served as you float along a favored dolphin feeding spot. After breakfast, you can jump in the water for a refreshing morning swim.
Enjoy lunch aboard Delfin II as the ship navigates down the Puinahua River toward Nauta. In the afternoon you will explore Atun Poza. During the wet season (Dec – May) explore Atun Poza by skiff, searching for egrets, herons, hawks, long-legged neo-tropical cormorants, and loud horned screamers. Discover the other black-water lagoons linked to this huge lake, where wattled jacanas can be found along with a variety of spiders, grasshoppers, dragonflies, butterflies, moths, and beetles living along the freshwater swamps and marshes. You may also see social spiders and observe how their webs embrace huge parts of a tree. During the dry Season (Jun – Nov) hike around Atun Poza, passing through tropical rainforest with emergent trees and canopy trees reaching up to 180 feet in height. You may see giant otters, and this is an excellent location for spotting birds such as the blue-fronted jacamar, collared trogons, and red-capped cardinals.
Accommodations: Delfin II
Puerto Miguel Community / Manatee Rescue Center / Lima
Head to the village of Puerto Miguel to meet local villagers and learn about their culture, traditions and folklore. Afterward explore the Yarapa River, looking for squirrel and capuchin monkeys, herons, egrets and green iguanas. Reach a beautiful lagoon called Uvos, named for the fruit that grows wild along its shores, and try to spot the pink river dolphins that ply its waters in search of fish. The forest also boasts abundant flora, including a variety of bromeliads and orchids, and monkeys frequently appear here.
After lunch back aboard the ship, disembark at Nauta for your journey back to Iquitos. En route you will stop at the Manatee Rescue Center for a brief visit before continuing on to the airport for your flight back to Lima.
Accommodations: Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores
Fly to the Sacred Valley of the Incas
Fly over the Andes to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire. Your local guide will meet you at the airport and take you to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a long, fertile river valley surrounded by snowcapped peaks that lies between Cusco and Machu Picchu.
Visit Chincheros, a traditional small town situated on a plateau overlooking the Sacred Valley. Explore a colonial church with remarkable paintings and frescoes, which was constructed over the ruins of an Incan temple and is surrounded by impressive Incan terracing. Chincheros is also home to several highly-regarded weaving cooperatives known for their high-quality textiles. Peru is known for its intricate traditional weavings, many of which use symbols to tell stories or depictions of daily life.
Afterward enjoy lunch at a great small restaurant founded by a renowned local chef. Your private guide will be there to help you make the most of the entire experience.
Accommodations: Hotel Sol y Luna
The Sol y Luna Lodge is located in Peru's Sacred Valley of the Incas, not far from the town of Urubamba. Peruvian art adorns each of the first class, comfortable adobe cottages, whose terraces offer spectacular views of the mountains. A place that does things the right way, this hotel has long been among our traveler favorites due to the superb accommodations, location, and service. The property offers two outstanding restaurants. There is also a stable with beautiful horses that can be taken out into the surrounding mountains on horseback riding excursions.*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch
Alternative lodging options: Albergue Ollantaytambo: for those who want to stay right in Ollantaytambo
Incan Sites and Ancient Villages: Moray, Maras, and Ollantaytambo
Spend the day exploring more of the Sacred Valley, seeing less-visited sites that will deepen your understanding of the local culture.
Discover the unique Incan site of Moray and the nearby town and ancient salt pans of Maras. After a scenic picnic lunch, visit Ollantaytambo, one of the few towns to survive in its current layout from Incan times.
Accommodations: Hotel Sol y Luna
Travel by train to Machu Picchu, one of South America’s most iconic sites.
Visit this remarkable site with a private guide, enjoy lunch at the famous Sanctuary Lodge, and then have the chance to explore the ruins on your own before returning to your hotel in Aguas Calientes.
Accommodations: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
This hotel sits on its own 12 secluded acres in Aguas Calientes, the town located at the base of Machu Picchu. The hotel is ideally located, a short walk to the train station and the shuttles that take visitors to the ruins. Guests follow stone pathways to their rooms, located in comfortable one- or two-story whitewashed casitas. This hotel is a part of its natural environment in the cloud forest, and it should be noted that you may experience some humidity in your room. The hotel offers a high level of service, great design, and a first-class restaurant with views of the rushing Vilcanota River.*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch
Machu Picchu and Cusco
Return to Machu Picchu in the early morning to observe the ruins on your own. This is a great way to experience the site at your own pace 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 Gate of the Sun). There is a lot to see in and around Machu Picchu.
After visiting the ruins, catch the afternoon train back to Cusco, where you’ll be dropped off at your hotel.
Accommodations: Inkaterra La Casona Cusco
A Relais & Chateaux property, La Casona is set in a restored 16th-century colonial manor house, which was built over an Inca complex and later occupied by the conquistadors of Peru. Its 11 suites surround an elegant courtyard, and the hotel offers a dining room, dining terrace, lounge and sitting area. La Casona graciously preserves the site's historic details while offering modern comfort and amenities. An exclusive boutique hotel experience, and one of the top options in Cusco.*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch
Upgrades and alternatives: Palacio Nazarenas, Palacio del Inka
Private Tour of Cusco: History, Culture, Architecture, and more
Get to know Cusco with your knowledgeable private guide, visiting the historical highlights of this fascinating city. Visit Sacsahuaman, the massive Incan fortress on the hills above the city, where you can enjoy views out over Cusco and the entire surrounding area. Afterward enjoy the afternoon to explore more of the city on your own.
Cusco is one of the highlights of a trip to Peru, an intriguing place built on the foundations of the former Incan capital. You can observe massive Incan walls along many of the streets of the city. The city has a vibrant atmosphere and many excellent restaurants.
Accommodations: Inkaterra La Casona Cusco
Depart for Home or Your Next Destination
Today you will say goodbye to your local guide and head to the airport for your flight home or to your next destination.
Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary
Take part in a Pachamanca, a traditional Andean cooking ceremony on the shores of Lake Piuray.
Add a few nights at Lake Titicaca, easily accessible from Cusco.
Add extra days in Lima or Cusco: Both are worth exploring on your own, and we can arrange a variety of activities, including city tours, culinary excursions, visits to ruins and historical sites, and active options such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
Hike to Machu Picchu: Get off the train at Kilometer 104 to walk the last four to six hours along the famous Inca trail. Or see our Inca Trail to Machu Picchu itinerary for information about hiking the whole trail over several days.
Why Travel with Vaya?
We're TRUE specialists
South America is the only place we do trips, and no one knows our destinations better. Our smart and engaging specialists are all current or former U.S. expatriates with years of experience in the region.
From the first phone call to after you get back, we’re here for you every step of the way. We listen, create, customize and advocate for you, and design experiences that go beyond the expected.
Thoughtful, respectful travel
Our discerning sensibility and good taste go beyond just choices in hotels and top guides; we have a walk the walk commitment to the environment and are genuine leaders in conservation efforts.