Discover Peru – The Amazon & Machu Picchu

Trip Length 9 Days
Group Size 4–14
Activity level
Starting from
$4,249 for REI Members
$4,849 for non-members

Departure dates will be announced soon.

We can let you know as soon as they are.

Combine two amazing adventures into one life changing trip as you immerse yourself in the Amazon jungle and the heart of the Andes.

Peru is a destination of many landscapes: sea, deserts, mountains, alpine lakes and rainforests. This trip combines two of Peru’s most mystical regions, the Amazon and the Andes, into one adventure filled with exotic wildlife, ancient tradition and breathtaking hikes.

Venture into the steamy Amazon where you’ll explore the jungle by foot, boat, and bike from your lodge. Watch macaws flock to a clay lick in the early morning light, keep a sharp eye out for capybara on the oxbow lake, and ascend an observation tower to view the life of the upper canopy. Traveling from the Amazon to the Andes you’ll see a completely different side of Peru. In the Sacred Valley of the Incas you hike though the Maras salt mines, wander the cobblestone streets of Ollantaytambo and explore Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Our expert, local guides lead us through it all. This journey is a wonderful way to see Peru’s rich natural beauty while discovering the history that make this area such a bucket list destination.

This is a great trip for adults and fit, older teens. If you're traveling with younger children, check out our Machu Picchu Family Adventure.

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Trip Highlights

  • Visit one of the most biodiverse areas of the entire Amazon rainforest
  • Uncover the mysteries of the Incas at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary
  • Explore the archaeological sites of the Sacred Valley
  • Lear​n to cook authentic Peruvian food like a local

Activities

This trip is rated Easy/Active [2]. Participants should enjoy hiking/walking and arrive in good physical condition. Incan ruins include climbing steep steps at high elevations. The varied weather conditions, changing elevations and remote locations are a combined physical stress and can make exploring the villages, climbing Incan steps, biking and walking short trails in the jungle more challenging than they normally would be.

We highly recommend a conditioning regimen consisting of activities such as hiking, jogging, stair-climbing or cycling, beginning several months prior to departure to get in shape for the adventure. The better shape you are in, the more you will enjoy all this trip has to offer!

  • Cycling
  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing

What's Included

Hotel accommodations with private bath, based on double occupancy; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; English speaking guides; transfers within country; all sightseeing excursions and activities as noted, including admission to Machu Picchu.

Accommodations

Hotels, 5 nights; Jungle Lodge, 3 nights​

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to the Amazon!

Welcome to Lima. Be ready for a morning take-off to Puerto Maldonado. Upon arrival to Puerto Maldonado, you will be greeted by your guide. From here, our adventure begins in the Amazon basin of Peru. Our trip down the river provides our first sightings of macaws, heron, caiman and capybara. After checking in to your rooms, enjoy a nice siesta or participate in a guided walk near the lodge. Tonight before dinner, our guide will brief us on tomorrow’s activities. Lunch and dinner included.

Day 2

Macaw clay lick and jungle exploration by foot or bike.

Rise and shine for an early morning visit to the Macaw clay lick. Located deep in the Tambopata National Reserve, dozens of brightly colored macaws alight on the lick each morning to feed on the rich clays of the riverbank. The macaw clay lick is one of the most stunning wildlife spectacles in the world and sure to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen—or heard—before. Return by boat to the lodge, keeping an eye along the riverbank for capybara, caiman, toucans and even jaguar! After lunch, choose to hike or bike around the lodge trails with your guides. All meals included.

Biking: 1.5 hours.

Day 3

Watch tropical birds in flight from an Amazon jungle canopy tower.

After breakfast, we make our way to the canopy tower. Most of the life in the rainforest occurs in its highest reaches, the tree canopy. From this viewpoint, we’re provided fantastic and close views into the crowns of huge Brazil nut trees and others in the forest. We also look for monkeys, toucans, parrots and other canopy dwellers. The tower is an excellent place to see flocks of parrots and parakeets that fly by at eye level. After getting up close with the canopy it’s time to explore another part of the jungle—the oxbow lakes. These lakes are an important and distinct habitat found in the Amazon basin. Formed when a bend in an Amazonian river gets cut off from its main channel, their waters are much calmer and clearer than the river and provide the perfect habitat for a host of interesting animals. Finish your day with a sunset cruise down a portion of the Tambopata River where we can see local farms near the edge of the forest. We might see toucans, a caiman or two, river turtles and other wildlife. We finish off the day with a stop on a sandy, riverside beach and watch the sun set over the jungle. All meals included.

Walking: 2 hours.

Day 4

Travel from the Amazon to Cusco.

Enjoy a full breakfast before our early morning departure. We return by boat on the Madre de Dios River and continue to the Puerto Maldonado airport. Our guide accompanies us to Cusco. Settle in to your hotel and have the afternoon free to explore the ancient center of the vast Inca Empire. Cusco is located high in the Andes and served as the flourishing capital of the Inca Empire for almost 400 years. Its narrow cobblestone streets are lined with handicraft stores, restaurants and world class museums. Breakfast and box lunch included.

Day 5

Cusco City Tour and Cooking Class.

In the morning, we depart on a walking tour of the city's most intriguing sites, including the bustling Plaza de Armas and the imposing hilltop ruins of the monolithic Sacsayhuaman fortress. Considered by many to be one of the greatest examples of stone masonry in human history, the 60-ton limestone boulders used in the construction of the fortress walls fit together so perfectly without mortar that even a blade of grass can't be inserted between them. Our expert guide will regale you with tales of Incan culture, the Spanish invasion, and help to color in the rich history of this fascinating city. Lunch will be enjoyed in our private cooking class where we learn hands-on how to cook authentic Peruvian dishes from a local chef. Our multi-course meal will be accompanied by the classic Pisco Sour cocktail. The rest of the day is free to explore. Breakfast and lunch included.

Walking: 3 hours.

Day 6

Visit Maras, Moray and Ollantaytambo.

Today we travel to the Sacred Valley to explore the unique archeological remains of the Incas. We'll start by hiking through the Maras salt mines down to the valley floor and then visit the Inca experimental agricultural terraces of Moray. After lunch, we stroll through the town of Ollantaytambo, a classic example of urban planning by the Incas. Originally built as a royal estate for an Incan emperor, this archaeological complex remains impressive to all who see it. This "fortress" and town provided rest and lodging for the Incas making their pilgrimage to Machu Picchu—as it now serves many who begin their trek on the classic Inca trail. It is without doubt one of the most monumental works of the empire. After the tour, we check in to our hotel to rest before dinner. All meals included.

Walking: 2 hours; Hiking: 2 hours downhill.

Day 7

Arrive at Machu Picchu and explore the Citadel.

Today we set out for the long-awaited visit to Machu Picchu. In the morning we board a train and wind along the Urubamba river to Aguas Calientes, the small town at the base of the citadel. After checking into our hotel, we take the bus up to the gates of the Citadel to have our first views of Machu Picchu. Our guide will point out many interesting features within the site, a masterpiece of engineering and architecture and a sanctuary and retreat for one of the most important and powerful emperors of the Incas. Machu Picchu, which means "Old Mountain", is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is considered one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. We descend back to Aguas Calientes for some free time before dinner. All meals included.

Walking: 2–3 hours

Day 8

Machu Picchu and farewell dinner in Cusco.

Head back to Machu Picchu this morning to catch the sun coming up over the iconic site. Some of us may choose to do one of the optional hikes for a new perspective within the site. After lunch, we board the train to Ollantaytambo, connecting there with our private van to Cusco, arriving in early evening. Our last meal is shared together in the main plaza of Cusco as we recap the amazing journey we have just experienced. All meals included

Walking: 2–3 hours. Optional hike at Machu Picchu. All meals included.

Day 9

Depart for home.

Following breakfast, your REI Adventures trip in Peru concludes. Transfers are included to the Cusco airport. Breakfast included.

Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering.  To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection.  This gear list has been created to help you in choosing your equipment for the trip.  Try to bring only what is necessary as this will help you and the field staff.

What to pack

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.