Discover Peru ? The Amazon & Machu Picchu

Trip Length 10 Days
Group Size 4-14
Difficulty
Starting from
$4,950 for REI Members
$5,550 for non-members
Departures Mar 2020-Dec 2020
Mon���Fri 7am���5pm PT

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 cycle along dirt tracks through the Maras salt mines, learn ancient weaving techniques, and hike the Inca Trail to visit 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.

Limited trekking permits?reserve your trip early
The Peruvian Government issues a limited number of permits per day to access the Inca Trail at KM 104. Due to the popularity of this route, permits generally sell out months in advance. Reserve your spot now and leave the rest to REI Adventures!

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
  • Hike the final section of the Inca Trail, entering by the Sun Gate
  • Extend your stay with a trip to Lake Titicaca

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Participants should enjoy hiking/walking and arrive in good physical condition. The Inca Trail portion and Incan ruins include climbing steep steps at high elevations. The varied weather conditions, changing elevations and remote locations are a combined stress physically 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, 6 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.

In the morning, we depart on a walking tour of the city's most intriguing sites including the bustling Plaza de Armas, the Santo Domingo Church (built atop the great Inca temple Koricancha), 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. Return to the center of the city where we?ll have lunch. Afternoon is free. Breakfast and lunch included.

Walking: 3 hours.

Day 6

Visit the towns and ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo.

Today we travel to the Sacred Valley where we spend out next two nights. We start with a visit to the archaeological remains of Pisac, which are the largest complex of terraces in the area. The Pisac ruins are on top of a hill at the entrance to the Sacred Valley. 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?3 hours.

Day 7

Maras and Moray by bike.

This morning we drive up to the community of Chinchero where we?ll be fitted for our mountain bikes. Chinchero sits on a high plateau above the Sacred Valley, offering epic vistas of snow-capped mountains and the terraced valley below. It also offers us a fun downhill bike ride along wide, dirt roads along alpine lagoons, through local communities, and past the sites of Maras and Moray. We?ll cycle to visit the Inca experimental agricultural terraces of Moray as well as the terraced salt mines of Maras before arriving at the floor of the valley. Picnic lunch included enroute. All meals included.

Biking: 2-3 hours (option to hike also available).

Day 8

Hike to Machu Picchu.

Today we?ll have the chance to hike the final leg of the famous Inca Trail, arriving at Machu Picchu on foot as the ancient Incas did. Drive to the train station and ride the rails to km 104 where we will disembark and start off on our hike. After crossing the Urubamba River by suspension bridge we follow the stone steps of the Inca Trail through the valley and past ruins to arrive at 'Inti Punku' (the Sun Gate). From the sun gate, we get out first dramatic view of Machu Picchu in all its glory. After spending time at the lookout point, we descend to the ruins and briefly explore some areas close to the trail before arriving in Aguas Calientes. Check into the hotel and have the evening free.

Walking: 7.5 miles, 1,800 ft elevation gain. Approx 6 hours (option to take train to Machu Picchu Pueblo also available). All meals included.

Day 9

Machu Picchu.

Head back to Machu Picchu this morning. Our guide will point out many interesting sights within Machu Picchu, a masterpiece of engineering and architecture. Machu Picchu provided 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. After lunch this afternoon, we travel by train back to the town of Ollantaytambo. From here we will transfer by van to our hotel in Cusco city. All meals included.

Walking: 2?3 hours.

Day 10

Depart for home or continue on our Lake Titicaca Extension.

Following breakfast, your REI Adventures trip in Peru concludes. Transfers are included to the Cusco airport. Or, continue your time in Peru by joining us for a four-day Lake Titicaca ? Southern Peru Extension! 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.