Andes & Amazon Highlights (reversed)

Tour Length
8 days
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8 days
3 World Heritage Sites visited.
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You will visit: Peru, including Cusco, Sacred Valley, Macchu Picchu & Puerto Maldonado

Let the good times roll as you go deep into some of Peru’s ultimate spots on this 8 day adventure. Head to the mighty Amazon, try fishing for piranha, spot Amazonian Caiman & sleep at a luscious rainforest lodge. Feel an adrenalin rush in Cusco, with rafting & mountain biking at the ready, before the ultimate Inca experience at Machu Picchu, with its unbeatable views & ancient Inca history. You can choose to either trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, or take it easy & go by train.

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Itinerary + Backstage Pass & ME Time Optionals

ME Time Optionals

ME Time optionals will take your trip to a whole new level with unforgettable experiences unique to the places you visit. See more, do more, live more & go home completely regret-free. Costs for these aren’t included in your tour cost & are payable to your Tour Manager in local currency.

Backstage Pass

Your Backstage Pass gives you incredible exclusive experiences you’ll only get with Contiki. From food to accommodation to exclusive access to the best sights, your Backstage Pass gives you unbeatable value & a completely unique travel experience.

1 Arrive Lima

Hola! Welcome to Lima and the start of an awesome South American adventure. On arrival into the city, check-in to the hotel, then spend the day exploring the city.

Made up of 43 different districts, almost all with their own flare and vibe, Lima is a bustling metropolis. The opulence of the Spanish colonial era is visible everywhere in the city, from the detailed wood-work of the historic centre’s balconies, doors and architecture to the the lavishly decorated churches. Ideas of places to explore include a visit to the Basillica Cathedral for a glimpse of the city’s former glory or, for something different you could head to the Iglesia de San Francisco (Church of San Francisco) and take a look at its famous catacombs. As the city's first cemetery, these underground tunnels (catacombs) contain the bones of over 70,000 people, many of which are set in cool geometric patterns.

If you’re into art, then make tracks to the Barranco district– its bohemian energy will make you feel right at home. Wander past the beautiful colonial mansions of the neighborhood, many of them recently restored. Take a walk on the beachside boardwalk, cross the Lima’s Bridge of Sighs or just sit in one of the cafés that overlooks the ocean and spend the afternoon relaxing with a Pisco Sour, Peru’s national drink.

If you want to check out the city’s more modern aspects, the Miraflores district is the place for you. If shopping, gourmet restaurants, great cafes and bars is what you’re after (or spending the day looking out over the ocean while watching the many surfers ripping it up), this is the perfect spot.

Tonight, head back to the hotel and meet up with your Tour Manager and fellow travellers for your kick-start meeting to find out what the coming days have in store.

Looking to check out Lima by night? There are loads of places to head to. From chilled-out lounges, to bars with live music, or dance clubs that run late into the night, just let your Tour Manager know what you feel like and they’ll give you some tips on where to head.

Hotel

  • See the Historic Centre, Barranco & Miraflores
2 Lima to Jungle Lodge

We’ll catch a flight the city of Puerto Maldonado in Peru’s southern jungle. We’ll have lunch on the river as we travel upstream by a traditional Peruvian boat to our Contiki Special Stay Rainforest Lodge in the mighty Amazon jungle, where we’ll try to spot toucans, macaws and capybaras along the way.

Our lodge is a special experience in itself! Located in then luscious rainforest and made from wood and clay, its open walls leave you sleeping virtually amongst the rainforest! After you settle in, we’ll get a different take on the jungle as we take a hike to the canopy tower. After climbing the 100ft of stairs you will be provided with a birds-eye view of the rainforest! Home to monkeys, birds, bromeliads and other jungle life, this is the ultimate way to see the jungle.

After dinner you can experience something really different, heading out to look for caiman, a member of the alligator family native to the Amazon. Scan the shores with flashlights and see if you can catch the red gleam of the light as it reflects off of the caiman’s eyes.

Eco Lodge Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner

  • Canopy hike for amazing jungle views
  • Special stay in our Amazon Rainforest Jungle Ecolodge
  • City tour
3 Jungle Lodge to Puerto Maldonado

We’ll wake early for best view of some the wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled as we travel further downstream to Tres Chimadas, an oxbow lake. We’ll board a simple catamaran with a jungle guide to learn about the flora and fauna of the area while looking out for the prehistoric hoatzin bird, the giant river otter, or try your luck fishing for piranha.

After our cruise, we’ll head to the native community of Infierno, where we will visit a local fish farm to see some of the species that are native to the Peruvian Amazon. After lunch, time is yours to do what you wish. For those keen on footy (soccer), spend the afternoon playing soccer, volleyball or take a dip. There are other options for your free time too. You can take an optional kayaking trip, try a 30 metre Canopy Climb with a rope, harness and jumar (a mechanical device used for ascending on a rope. After a long day exploring, we head to Puerto Maldonado our home for the night.

Hotel Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner

  • Locally guided jungle catamaran cruise
  • Kayaking trip on the Tambopata River
    Pricing not yet available
  • Canopy climbing experience
    Price coming soon!
4 Puerto Maldonado to Cusco

We leave the jungle behind & fly our way to the hub of ancient Incan culture, Cusco.

Cusco, the heart of the Inca Empire, is now the modern-day starting point for visits to Peru’s most famous site, Machu Picchu. With huge numbers of travellers flocking to the site every year, it’s led to the development of loads of awesome attractions, so there’s plenty of cool ways to spend your time.

Tonight the evening is free to check out the sights, smells and sounds of Cusco. There are loads of places in town to try out some local cuisine, or maybe try some delicious street food and head out for a taste of how to party, Cusco-style.

Hotel Breakfast

  • Visit a local fish farm to see native Amazonian fish
  • Visit San Blas, La Catedral & Koricancha
  • White water rafting on the Urubamba River
    Approx. cost: 165 PEN
  • Horse riding through the Sacred Valley (Full day)
    Approx. cost: 420 PEN
  • Mountain biking adventure
    Approx. cost: 170 PEN
5 Cusco to Sacred Valley

Say farewell to Cusco this morning as we make our way to the Sacred Valley of the ancient Incas.

The Sacred Valley was the heart of the Inca’s agricultural setting and an important ceremonial region, with the sacred sites of Cuzco at one end and Machu Picchu at the other and countless ceremonial sites in between. Our first stop is to one of these sites, Pisac. On our guided tour we will see two of the most important aspects of the Inca culture – terracing – a farming technique created by the Inca’s and their religion. We’ll take a walk before descending in the village below for a quick visit to the market. This will be great practice for those who have chosen the one-day hike to Machu Picchu tomorrow. Don’t miss the town’s huge wood-oven bakery!

After a stop for lunch in Urubamba we’ll make our way to one of the oldest continuously inhabited towns of South America – Ollantaytambo.
On our way, we can see the ‘salineras’ or salt mines of the area from a distance. For hundreds of years these pools, constructed by the Inca’s, have provided salt to the surrounding communities.

We’ll also make a quick stop to try the local brew “Chicha de Jora” (traditional beverage made from fermented maize) and play a traditional Peruvia game of “Sapo” (Frog) if you’re up for it.

We soon arrive to the town and archeological site of the same name, Ollantaytambo, the last fully-functioning Inca town. We’ll wander around the site or visit the still inhabited Inca buildings before checking into the hotel.

Hotel Breakfast

  • Entry into the Sacred Valley & a guided tour of the ancient ruins of Pisac & Ollantaytambo
  • Try some local Chicha de Jora
6 Train to Aguas Calientes or trek the Inca Trail

For those that have chosen the Inca Trail trek, well wake up this morning and take the train to KM104 to start your trek. Under the guidance of our professional Inca Trail Guide you’ll climb a gentle slope and experience the wildlife and cloudforest found here. You’ll pass a beautiful waterfall on your trek to Winayhuayna where we’ll stop for lunch at a trekker’s lodge. Explore the area if you’re up for it, to get you warmed up for Machu Picchu.

After lunch begin the journey to our highlight, Machu Picchu. We’ll walk along the original Inca stonework path, past an altar to the Sun Gate where you’ll catch your first look at this awesome site. Another 45 minutes will take us to the Guardian’s House, where there’s the opportunity to take photos of the site at its best. After a wander around the site and some stunning photos to show off back home, we’ll take a bus back into town to meet up with the rest of the group where you can tell your stories from your day of hiking.

If you haven’t chosen our Inca Trail Trek today, then the morning is free to explore Sacred Valley. If you’re up for it, biking, hiking, rafting and horseriding await you today. Or if relaxing is more your thing, visit the town’s spectacular square and have a wander through the local markets.

This afternoon, we’ll catch a train through the lush and verdant mountains to Aguas Calientes the town at the base of the ruins. Tonight, soak up the atmosphere, wander through the market stalls, or visit the hot springs which gave the town its former name of Aguas Calientes. Later, we’ll meet up with those who chose to do the one-day hike into Machu Picchu and listen to the stories of their day! The chilled atmosphere and amazing setting makes for a great place to enjoy a couple of drinks on the patio with the group.

Hotel Breakfast, Dinner

  • Train ride to the 104km point
  • Tour Machu Picchu with our local guide
7 Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) to Cusco

It’s an early start this morning to be among the first to enter Machu Picchu. For those who want to get the blood pumping, there may be an opportunity to climb Wayna Picchu, the mountain peak behind the ruins. (Limited numbers available). If not, take advantage of the peaceful early morning quiet to grab some awesome pics from every angle as the sun rises above the mountain tops.

You’ll learn all about the site as we take a tour through the most important parts of the site such as the Temple of Three Windows, the ceremonial baths and the altar. Widely believed to be the country retreat for wealthy Incas, this site is as fascinating as it is stunning. After the tour, there’s time to explore more of the site in your own time. For those finishing early and looking for a little exercise you can walk down to the simple but interesting Machu Picchu museum at the base of the mountain. Or, for those really feeling up for it, you could continue on to the waterfall 40 minutes outside of town or simply return to “main street” and have a drink before we return to Cusco via train then coach.

Hotel Breakfast

  • Tour the Temple of Three Windows, the ceremonial baths & altar
  • Return train ride from Macchu Picchu
8 Depart Cusco

Don’t forget to swap addresses with your mates and Tour Manager, as our South American adventure ends this morning after breakfast.

Breakfast

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Backstage Pass

Our backstage pass includes all of this and more, and it's free as part of your trip.

Exclusive Inclusions

  • See the Historic Centre, Barranco & Miraflores
  • Canopy hike for amazing jungle views
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Me Time

  • Kayaking trip on the Tambopata River
  • Canopy climbing experience
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On a budget?

  • The average cost per day for this tour is n/a
  • You only need a US$200 deposit to book and pay in full 45 days before you travel.
  • Pay in installments, with Contiki Layaway

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