1-(800)-342-1796
More Info

Peru Wildlife & Culture Adventure: Manu Biosphere Reserve and Cultural Highlights

Days: 15 | From: $6,370/per person

Enjoy world class cuisine and museums in Lima, then explore the Manu Biosphere Reserve, one of the world’s most biodiverse places. Renew your sense of wonder exploring lost Incan cities and contemporary Peruvian culture, including a one-day hike on the legendary Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This trip encompasses the classic highlights of Peru while also getting off the beaten path.

  • Includes accommodations at first class hotels that reflect the best of local culture
  • Includes excursions and tours with superb private guides
Inquire about this trip

Talk to a Vaya Travel
Specialist

(800) 342-1796

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.

5 stars
View testimonials

At a glance

  • Lima
    1 night: renowned cuisine and world class museums
  • Sacred Valley
    1 night: Andean life and ancient ruins in this magnificent river valley
  • Manu Biosphere Reserve
    1 night: head to one of the premier wildlife viewing reserves in South America
  • Manu Learning Center
    3 nights: journey deeper into lowland rainforest
  • Cusco
    1 night: enjoy a scenic drive through the Andes to Cusco
  • Sacred Valley
    4 nights: 2 nights of spectacular camping and 2 nights in fascinating Ollantaytambo
  • Machu Picchu
    1 night: time to explore this stunning icon in depth & at non-peak hours
  • Cusco
    2 nights: time to explore this 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.

Customize this trip
(800) 342-1796

Day by day itinerary

Day 1:

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: Casa Inca Boutique Hotel

This hotel is a rarity: a high-quality, genuine boutique hotel in the popular Miraflores district. It enjoys an excellent location just off the Malecón de la Reserva seafront sidewalk. Larcomar, Parque Kennedy, and Huaca Pucllana are nearby. The hotel was built out of a renovated villa that once housed Julio C. Tello, known as the father of Peruvian archaeology. A great option in Lima if you prefer small boutique hotels to larger, more modern city hotels.

Day 2:

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 remarkable Incan sites and small towns at Pisac, and do some hiking down from the ruins. Afterward you will stop for a 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 La Casa del Conde

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3:

Travel to the Manu Biosphere

Take a scenic drive to one of the premier wildlife viewing reserves in South America and one of the most biodiverse places on earth. Leaving Cusco in the morning, you will travel through traditional Quechua communities and the spectacular eastern ranges of the Andes to the village of Paucartambo, passing snow-peaks and small Andean farmsteads. You will have time to look around this picturesque village before beginning the ascent to the last pass overlooking the Amazon Basin. You will then begin the breathtaking descent to the Manu Cloud Forest, passing cascading waterfalls and multicolored birds along the way. In the late afternoon you will arrive to your lodge, which is basic but very comfortable, a top option in the area and a great base for seeing the local wildlife, including the extremely rare Cock of the Rock bird.

Accommodations: Cock of the Rock Lodge

The Cock of the Rock Lodge sits on a 12,500 foot cloud forest reserve in Manu, Peru. Named after the Andean bright red Cock of the Rock Bird, this 10-bungalow hideaway provides a perfect refuge for wildlife lovers. A mountain stream flows past the lodge.

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4:

Journey to Manu Learning Center

Visit a blind in search of the Cock of the Rock in its native habitat, a spectacular sight. Do some wildlife spotting, then travel by vehicle and boat to Manu Learning Center, located in lowland rainforest at an elevation of approximately 1,500 feet. The lodge has a spectacular location, and on a clear day you can see to the top of Mount Ausangate, almost 20,000 feet above you.

Accommodations: Manu Learning Center

The Manu Learning Center sits within the Manu Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest protected area in Peru. This geographically diverse region houses an incredible variety of flora and fauna. The facility is primarily a research and education center, and guests can hike the scenic trails within its 650-hectare reserve. The rustic but comfortable accommodations place you in the heart of the rainforest.

*Includes: Breakfast

Days 5-6:

Exploring from Manu Learning Center

Explore the Manu rainforest and learn about the life it supports. Excursions vary depending on the weather and the time of year, but you will be able to hike and explore, search for wildlife at blinds, and if interested, assist with research projects being carried out by researchers and volunteers. There is also a variety of innovative projects that the lodge is involved with in expanding awareness of sustainable forestry and best practices among local settlers in this area.

Accommodations: Manu Learning Center

The Manu Learning Center sits within the Manu Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest protected area in Peru. This geographically diverse region houses an incredible variety of flora and fauna. The facility is primarily a research and education center, and guests can hike the scenic trails within its 650-hectare reserve. The rustic but comfortable accommodations place you in the heart of the rainforest.

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 7:

Scenic Drive to Cusco

Enjoy a scenic journey to Cusco by boat and vehicle, stopping along the way to spot wildlife and take in the spectacular views. The transition from the high Andes to the rainforest is spectacular in both directions. This beautiful and fascinating drive will get you to Cusco in the evening with time to eat dinner at one of the city’s great restaurants.

Accommodations: Hotel Rumi Punku

Hotel Rumi Punku sits just 300 metres from Plaza de Armas square. Inca stonework frames the entrance of this elegant complex of colonial dwellings. Its rooftop terraces overlook quaint garden filled courtyards and its dining area boasts views of the San Blas.

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 8:

Chinchero Weavers Cooperative / First Class Camping at Piuray Lake

Visit the Chincheros archaeological site, above the Sacred Valley of the Incas, to explore the ruins and see a weaving demonstration at a local cooperative known for their high-quality textiles. Peru is known for its intricate traditional weavings, many of which use symbols to tell stories or depict daily life.

Afterward head over to Lake Piuray, just a few minutes from town. Your camp will be awaiting you, and you can enjoy the balance of the day kayaking on the lake, walking around the water, spotting birds (many species can be found at the lake), or just relaxing. In the afternoon, enjoy a traditional Pachamanca at the campsite (organic local ingredients baked in the ground on hot stones), organized by the owner of the most respected restaurant in the area.

Accommodations: Camp at Piuray Outdoor Center

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9:

Hike to Huchuyqosqo

Hike to the less visited Incan site of Huchuyqosqo, with spectacular views of the Andes on un-trafficked trails, finishing at your prepared campsite next to the ruins.

Accommodations: Camp at Huchuyqosqo

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10:

Hike to Lamay / Ollantaytambo

Walk the last hour down to the floor of the Sacred Valley and the town of Lamay. Continue to the town and ruins of Ollantaytambo, one of the few towns to survive in its current layout from Incan times. Stop en route for lunch at a great local restaurant.

Accommodations: Albergue Ollantaytambo

This historic small hotel is located in the Ollantaytambo train station, where most of our travelers catch the train to Machu Picchu. The Albergue is a simple but charming place, a very short walk into the town of Ollantaytambo and its streets lined with Incan walls. Hummingbirds are abundant in the hotel's pleasant garden, where fuchsia, passionflower, and peach and avocado trees grow in abundance, and where you have views of the surrounding mountains and Incan ruins. The hotel also has a very nice small restaurant, probaby the best in town.

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 11:

Explore the Sacred Valley

Enjoy a day at leisure to relax or explore the area on your own.

Accommodations: Albergue Ollantaytambo

This historic small hotel is located in the Ollantaytambo train station, where most of our travelers catch the train to Machu Picchu. The Albergue is a simple but charming place, a very short walk into the town of Ollantaytambo and its streets lined with Incan walls. Hummingbirds are abundant in the hotel's pleasant garden, where fuchsia, passionflower, and peach and avocado trees grow in abundance, and where you have views of the surrounding mountains and Incan ruins. The hotel also has a very nice small restaurant, probaby the best in town.

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 12:

Hike the Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu

Catch the morning train toward Machu Picchu, but disembark at Kilometer 104 to start your 5-6 hour hike to Machu Picchu along the last part of the Inca Trail (6-7 miles in total).

Hike upward at a gentle grade for a few hours, passing the large Incan site of Winay Wayna. After about 2 more hours of hiking along the classic Inca Trail, you will find yourself at Intipunku, the Gate of the Sun, with a magnificent view of Machu Picchu.

After descending to the ruins along the final stretch of the Inca Trail, catch a shuttle down to the town of Aguas Calientes for the night.

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, Dinner

Day 13:

Machu Picchu and Cusco

Return to Machu Picchu with your private guide in the early morning to explore 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 (about 2 hours round trip).

After visiting the ruins, catch the afternoon train back to Cusco, where you’ll be dropped off at your hotel.

Accommodations: Hotel Rumi Punku

Hotel Rumi Punku sits just 300 metres from Plaza de Armas square. Inca stonework frames the entrance of this elegant complex of colonial dwellings. Its rooftop terraces overlook quaint garden filled courtyards and its dining area boasts views of the San Blas.

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 14:

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: Hotel Rumi Punku

Hotel Rumi Punku sits just 300 metres from Plaza de Armas square. Inca stonework frames the entrance of this elegant complex of colonial dwellings. Its rooftop terraces overlook quaint garden filled courtyards and its dining area boasts views of the San Blas.

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 15:

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.

*Includes: Breakfast

Call us to start planning your journey today:

1-(800)-342-1796

Request More Information

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.

Uplifting service

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.