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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Spot wildlife at the exclusive G Lodge Amazon, explore the Incan city of Cusco, conquer the Inca Trail or enjoy the scenic train to Machu Picchu, meet local people at a G Adventures-supported community restaurant, explore the Cusco Planetarium

  1. Day 1
    Lima
    Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.
    Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
    Activity: The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you're back in time to meet the group. Check for the meeting time on the welcome note at the hotel. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.
    Accommodation: Hotel Antigua Miraflores (or similar)
  2. Day 2
    Lima/Tambopata
    Fly to Puerto Maldonado and continue by motorized canoe to our comfortable lodge, situated near the Tambopata National Reserve in the Amazon rainforest. Spot local bird species along the lush shores of the Tambopata River en route to the lodge, and set off on an evening walk with a naturalist guide before dinner, keeping an eye out for some of the rainforest's nocturnal creatures.
    Transport: Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.
    Transport: Head by private vehicle to the lodge's office in Puerto Maldonado to store large luggage. From there, travel about 1 hr to reach the boat landing.
    Activity: Get the lowdown on local flora and fauna, and grab a flashlight to discover what's living around lodge grounds. Receive help from the talented, expert naturalist guide to locate heaps of hidden creatures! Keep an eye out for snakes, tarantulas, owls, and poison dart frogs, just to name a few.
    Accommodation: Tambopata G Lodge (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  3. Day 3
    Tambopata
    Spend the day exploring the thriving ecosystems of the rainforest with our lodge's naturalist guides. Scan the treetops for toucans, howler monkeys, and sloths, and glide along oxbow lakes on canoes for a chance to glimpse river otters, turtles, and, if we're lucky, anacondas. After dinner, embark on a river tour by motorized canoe on the lookout for caimans, the smaller cousins of alligators, which are often found hiding near the muddy banks.
    Activity: Enjoy visits to oxbow lakes to learn about the jungle and its inhabitants. Be introduced to the area's rich flora and fauna by expert naturalist guides, who can teach extensive uses for medicinal and other forest plant resources through traditional techniques. Be prepared to go early morning or evening to avoid the heat of midday. Enjoy a leisurely pace - the trip requires some walking, but nothing too strenuous.
    Free Time: Spend time around the lodge or go further afield. Free time is yours to explore any way you want!
    Activity: Head out after dark by motorized canoe to search for caimans on the river banks. Enjoy a lesson on caimans from the expert guide. Take advantage of the keen eyes of the expert naturalist guides - they are truly spectacular at spotting these elusive smaller cousins of alligators hiding on the muddy banks.
    Accommodation: Tambopata G Lodge (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  4. Day 4
    Tambopata/Cusco
    Travel out of the jungle by boat and catch a flight from Puerto Maldonado to Cusco, soaring above the Andes into Peru's Inca heartland. This evening, visit the Cusco Planetarium for a presentation on the skies of the Southern Hemisphere, and learn about the vital role that astronomy played in the lives of the ancient Inca. Weather permitting, peer through the planetarium's telescopes for a dazzling look at the stars.
    Transport: Climb in and move swiftly through the water to the next stop.
    Transport: Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.
    Free Time: Take it easy this afternoon and acclimatize to the higher altitude.
    Activity: Look to the night sky for a different view of the city. Explore the Cusco Planetarium surrounded by the serene nature of the Llaullipata Ecological Reserve. Enjoy a presentation on the southern sky, contemporary astronomy, and the ancient Incas' relationship with the cosmos. Check out the on-site museum and use the telescopes to admire the stars (weather-permitting).
    Accommodation: Taypikala Hotel Cusco (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast
  5. Day 5
    Cusco/Urubamba
    Drive to the scenic Sacred Valley for a full day of exploration with a local guide. Tour the G Adventures-supported Parque de la Papa, or Potato Park, a rural Andean community working to preserve hundreds of varieties of native potato. During this exclusive experience, you'll walk through the park to learn about potato cultivation, traditional weaving, and the importance of both these practices to Andean culture. We'll also visit the fascinating Inca ruins of Ollantaytambo and Pisac, and enjoy a meal at the G Adventures-supported Parwa Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosqo.
    Transport: Times includes all stops and visits enroute through the Sacred Valley.
    Activity: In Peru's Sacred Valley of the Inca, six communities of approximately 6000 indigenous people are working together to preserve over 700 species of potato - a cornerstone of life here. As part of an experience exclusive to National Geographic Journeys travellers - and part of our G Adventures for Good program - visit this area, named "Parque de la Papa" ("Potato Park"), to learn about life in an Andean agricultural community. Walk through the park here with a local guide, dropping by the seed bank (which has direct ties to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway) and then head out to the fields to watch the planting or harvesting process, depending on the season. After, enjoy some of the delicious varieties of potato and visit the small stone hut where traditional weaving takes place. Learn about the natural dyeing process and witness alpaca wool strands being transformed into beautiful textiles through a centuries-old backstrap weaving style. Your visit to this special community means this local enterprise can continue earning an income that supports their development and conservation goals.
    Activity: Parque de la Papa (meaning "Potato Park") serves two important purposes for the community of Pampallacta: the preservation of agricultural biodiversity and economic opportunity. National Geographic Journeys travellers visit the park to learn about life in a rural agricultural Andean community and take a tour of the seed conservation program, which is preserving heritage potato species. They also learn about traditional planting, harvesting and indigenous weaving practices. With G Adventures' support, the community is able to create jobs in the area and invest in local businesses, which helps the community preserve their culture.
    Activity: Contribute to sustainable tourism in Huchuy Qosqo, a small village of 65 families in the Sacred Valley, by eating at the Parwa Community Restaurant. Learn how the resident-run restaurant was kickstarted by G Adventures and the Multilateral Investment Fund, to become a successful farm-to-table program that boosts the local economy and several spin-off microenterprises.
    Activity: Tour the fascinating hilltop citadel of Pisac, an Incan ruin with plunging gorges, a ceremonial centre, and winding agriculture terracing that's still in use today. Be captivated by this truly amazing site sitting amid sweeping green valleys and mountain peaks. Explore the back of the site to see a pocketed cliff across Kitamayo Gorge, which once contained hundreds of Inca tombs.
    Activity: Tour the town and fortress of Ollantaytambo with a local guide. Take a step back in time at this Inca archaeological site; it still shows signs of its former glory, including agricultural terraces, a Temple Hill, and storehouses. Learn how the area, overlooking the Urubamba River Valley, was an important stronghold during warfare between the Spanish and Incas.
    Accommodation: Villa Urubamba (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  6. Day 6
    Inca Trail
    Set out on the iconic Inca Trail, departing Urubamba by van to the starting point of the trek. Immerse yourself in the enchanting Andean countryside, hiking along meandering streams and crossing remote mountain villages and ancient ruins as we get warmed up for the more challenging days ahead.
    Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
    Activity: Get your blood pumping on this first day of hiking the Inca trail. The trekking is fairly easy and serves as good training for the next few days. Pass rambling rivers and a small village, and enjoy scenic mountain views; it's just a taste of what's to come.
    Activity: Enjoy G Adventures-supported handmade biodegradable soap products, for use on our treks. This G Adventures for Good project empowered local Cusqueña women to start their own business in order to reduce the environmental impact of treks in the region. Planeterra provided $10,000 of seed funding for two young entrepreneurs to register their biodegradable products in order to sell them to the tourism industry. "Esencia Andina" is now a successful business that produces biodegradable soaps, detergents, and natural products for travellers, guides, porters, and cooks on our treks.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  7. Day 7
    Inca Trail
    Today, we ascend the long, steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman's Pass—the highest point on the Inca Trail, at 4,198 meters (13,769 feet). Enjoy stunning views of the Sacred Valley as you make your way up the rugged terrain, and aim to reach our camp by early afternoon. Rest and relax at camp the remainder of the day.
    Activity: Trek over progressively spectacular and steeper terrain on your way to Warmiwañusca (aka Dead Woman's Pass), the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769ft). Be prepared to face strong Andean weather (blazing sun or cold winds) around the pass. Take the hike slow, and drink lots of water along the way - amazing views are waiting as a reward. Enjoy some ample time to rest and relax after reaching the camp; most campers arrive around early afternoon.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  8. Day 8
    Inca Trail
    Today we'll cross two spectacular passes. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, one can catch a glimpse of the snowcapped peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba. Continue through cloud forest on a gentle climb to the second pass, and arrive at the misty Inca ruins of Phuyupatamarca at 3,650 meters (11,972 feet), known as "the city above the clouds." We will either camp here or settle at a further spot, near the beautiful terraces of the Wiñay Wayna ruins, at 2,650 meters (8,694 feet).
    Activity: Cross two passes and more ruins along the Inca Trail on the last full day of hiking. Traverse Runquraway at 3,950m (13,113 ft), and then reach the second pass at 3,700m (12,136 ft). Spot the gorgeous Cordillera Vilcabamba and the Urubamba Valley in the distance on a clear day. Camp at either the Phuyupatamarca ruins or the Wiñay Wayna ruins.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  9. Day 9
    Machu Picchu/Cusco
    The final day of our hike begins before dawn. Reach the Sun Gate—the last checkpoint on the Inca Trail—in time to witness daybreak over Machu Picchu. This 15th-century Inca citadel was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911 and excavated with support from National Geographic. Hike down for a guided tour through the temples and terraces of this breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage site before catching a bus to the frontier town of Aguas Calientes, where we'll have free time for lunch. Continue by train to Cusco.
    Activity: Wake around 03:30 to reach the Sun Gate as early as possible. Head to the checkpoint and join the lineup to wait for the gate to open. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu (fingers crossed for a clear day). Hike down to Machu Picchu (about 45 mins) for a 1.5 hr guided tour of the site, and free time to explore. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge (a 15-min walk one way) for no additional charge, if time allows. Catch the bus outside the Machu Picchu gate after your visit for a 25-min downhill ride to Aguas Calientes. Eat and relax before the train ride back to Cusco this evening.
    Activity: Rise and shine - the best time to see the Lost City of the Incas is in the early morning light. Follow the local guide to Machu Picchu to learn about its history at a leisurely pace. Gain local insight into the Inti Mach'ay cave, Inti Watana, the Temple of the Water, the Temple of the Condor, and the Room of the Three Windows. Take time to sit and feel the energy of this 15th-century site, now both a UNESCO World Heritage site and voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World (in a worldwide Internet poll).
    Transport: Climb aboard, take a seat, and enjoy the ride.
    Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
    Accommodation: Taypikala Hotel Cusco (or similar)

    Meals: Breakfast
  10. Day 10
    Cusco
    Depart at any time.
    Activity: Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

    Meals: Breakfast
Countries Visited

Peru

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Inclusions

Meals:
9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners

Transportation:
Private van, plane, train, boat, canoe, hiking, walking.

Inclusions
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Cusco Planetarium, Cusco Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Traditional Andean Experience, Urubamba Your G for Good Moment: Parque de la Papa (Potato Park), Pisac Your G for Good Moment: Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley, Lamay Your G for Good Moment: Handmade Biodegradable Soap Products. Arrival transfer. Three-day (2 nts) excursion to the G Adventures exclusive rainforest lodge. Sacred Valley tour. Choice of four-day Inca Trail hike with local guide, cook, and porters or Cusco/Aguas Calientes stay with scenic train. Guided tour of Machu Picchu. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

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Accommodations

Hotels (4 nts), G Lodge Amazon (2 nts), Inca Trail camping or Cusco-stay hotel (3 nts).

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

National Geographic Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.2
Accommodations
3.6
Itinerary
4.4
Professional Staff
4.8
Repeat with Operator
4.2
Value for Money
3.9

Ratings based off 42 reviews about National Geographic Tours - currently showing 2 reviews with comments only

Outstanding trip and tours with plenty of opportunities for planned and unplanned adventures. Knowledgeable, friendly, and capable guides who kept us moving while allowing adequate free time for exploring on one's own.

Affordable Tours was helpful, answered all questions, booked tour and all flights for us. Great experience! We will definitely book through AT again.


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