Cusco-Amazon Rainforest (EA 114)
Travel Cusco, Sacred Valley of the Incas, Machu Picchu and Tambopata National Reserve—this route is outstanding for Amazon wildlife, intact rain forests and great opportunities for photography.
Available all year
- Day 1: Cusco
- Upon arrival in the ancient capital of the Incas, Cusco, we will be transferred to the hotel and be welcomed with a hot cup of coca tea to help with acclimatization at 3,400 meters. In the afternoon, we will have a walking tour starting by visiting the main Plaza, on the way we will have a greater picture of how was this place in the Inca time: Inca palaces, streets, and how it was distributed -- what little is left of this.
- Day 2: Cusco - Sacred Valley - Ollantaytambo
- After breakfast we start the excursion to the Valle Sagrado de los Incas (Sacred Valley of the Incas), famous for its rural landscape and lovely weather. The drive will descend until Pisaq (2,800 m)--a small town aside the Vilcanota River-- to visit the famous Archaeological Site and the typical Indian market. Here we can observe men, women, and indigenous authorities displaying beautiful and elegant traditional dressing. The market still shows ancient trading traditions among people who come from other distant small villages. Lunch in Urubamba, and in the afternoon, we travel to Ollantaytambo, a former agricultural, military, and religious center, where Inca architecture is one of the finest. This center was built to protect the valley against possible invaders, and is presently considered the best preserved and the only living Inca town today. (B, L)
- Day 3: Ollantaytambo- Machu Picchu-Cusco.
- Early breakfast and transfer to the train station. The railway journey to Machu Picchu will take 2 hrs, when we reach Aguas Calientes, located below 2,000 m, we will take a 20 minute bus ride up to the Machu Picchu citadel, perched 500 mts above the Urubamba River. Our guide will explain the history and myths of this archaeological wonder built aside a cloaked granite peak, the Huayna Picchu that towers the site. We will learn why Machu Picchu is one of the most magical and mysterious places on Earth. This landscape shows very steep forests hills frequently shrouded in misty clouds and downhill views of the roaring Urubamba River. Later bus back to Aguas Calientes, where we can enjoy a good lunch (not included) and then the train back to Ollantaytambo. Once we arrive in Ollantaytambo, a car will take us back to Cusco (B)
- Day 4: Cusco-Puerto Maldonado- Tambopata National Reserve.
- Transfer to the Airport and flight to Puerto Maldonado. Immediate to arrival there will be a transfer to the small port at the Tambopata River to travel up the Tambopata River until the Sachavacayoc Lodge. As we travel this rainforest river we will pass large tracks of successional forests, beaches and terra firme cliffs. Great opportunity to see spectacular species of the Amazon such as the White-throated Toucan, Chestnut-eared Aracari, several species of parakeets, parrots and large macaws including the Mealy Parrot, Yellow-headed Macaw, Blue-headed Parrot, Chestnut-fronted Macaw, Red-bellied Macaw, Capped Heron, Sand-colored Nightjar, Black Caracara, flycatcher, Orinoco Goose, Pied Lapwing, Road-side Hawk, Black and Yellow-headed vultures, Black Skimmer, and other species along river beaches, banks and forests. At Sachavacayoc Lodge, the forest is more pristine and high canopies show Piping y Spix´s Guans, several colorful frugivores like Paradise Tanager, Sayaca Tanager, Green-and-Gold Tanager, Black-faced Dacnis, and other canopy specialists. The towering rainforest also show many species of wood creepers, woodpeckers and antbirds very active in the lower forest levels. Besides birds we will see some monkey species as well and there is always a chance to spot some rainforest mammals along beaches and river banks. We will be birding until sunset and after our dinner we will visit some trails to see and hear nocturnal birds such as Great and Common Potoo, Tawny Screech Owl, Horned Owl, Spectacled Owl, and many other. Night at the new Finca Sachavacayoc. (B, L, D)
- Day 5: Tambopata National Reserve – Macaw Clay Lick –Condenado Oxbow Lake.
- Early departure to the Chuncho Macaw Claylick inside the Tambopata National Reserve. This clay lick in the Chuncho River allows views of several species of small and medium parrots and large macaws. Large numbers of Mealy and Yellow Parrots, Red-bellied Macaw, Chestnut-fronted Macaw, Red-and-Green Macaw, Blue-and-Yellow Macaw and Scarlet Macaw could be observed and photographed. Breakfast will be served while you observe this active clay lick that offers a unique and unforgettable nature spectacle. Later river trip down the Tambopata River and hike to Condenado Oxbow Lake to see more river side species and also more birds from primary rainforest and an oxbow lake. Among the species to be found are the White-necked Heron, Jabiru Stork, Roseate Spatula, Horned Screamer, Muscovy Duck, Amazon Kingfisher, Ringed Kingfisher, Grey-necked Wood-Rail, Yellow-rumped Oriole, Purus Jacamar, Collared Hawk, Great Black Hawk, King Condor, Bat Falcon, Russet-backed Oropendolas, Purple and Violaceous Jays, and more. Back to Finca Sacavacayoc. More owling after dinner. (B, L, D)
- Day 6: Sachavacayoq – Puerto Maldonado – Flight to Cusco/Lima.
- Breakfast while enjoying roaring distant calls of Red-howler Monkeys and also close calls of tinamues, motmots and other frenzy morning bird calls. We leave the Tambopata River as we return to Puerto Maldonado to get our bus transfer to the international airport. Flight to Cusco/Lima. (B)
- Flight ticket Cusco – Puerto Maldonado
- Private transport
- Natural history guide
- Entrance fees
- Accommodation: 02 nights in Cusco, 01 night in Ollantaytambo (hotels 3***) and 02 nights in Finca Sachavacayoq
- Meals described in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, Box Lunch and D=dinner)
- Transfers in/out
- Flight Puerto Maldonado – Cusco/Lima
- Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu US$ 25
- Medical insurance
- Alcoholic drinks
- Phone calls
- Meals not mentioned
- Personal expenses