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Inca Trail & Amazon Rainforest

Inca Trail & Amazon Rainforest

Few destinations have been able to captivate visitors as fast as Peru. The huge legacy left by the Inca Empire, its fascinating mixture of cultures, the kindness of its people, peaks and overflowing nature or a gastronomy capable of seducing the most demanding palates, are more than enough arguments for this Andean country to occupy a place of privilege in your heart. Love at first sight, without a doubt, is a good way to define what it feels discover the called Sacred Valley of the Incas. Discover the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo, cradle of the forbidden love story between Ollantay ( inca warrior of the Pachaqutec emperor) and Ima Sumaq (daughter of the emperor), visit the famous craft market of Pisaq. 

Throughout the year, thousands of travelers from all over the world undertake the route of the Inca Trail from Cusco to access the jungle of Peru, and the ancient mysteries that still contain the stones of Machu Picchu. Along the way there are several archaeological remains of different fortifications in good condition, which visually dominate all the valleys.During the hike, you will cross an impressive altitudinal slope, with climates and ecosystems as varied as the high Andean high plateau and the misty forests, two passes must be overcome at a great height (the largest of them, Warmihuañusca, of 4,200 meters of altitude, also known as "Dead Woman") and ends with the entrance to Machu Picchu through the magical Inti Puncu or "Sun Gate". On the route, you will find a network of carved granite settlements along the way (Wiñay Huayna, Puyupatamarca), immersed in natural settings. As an ideal complement, you also find an exuberant nature, with unique landscapes, hundreds of species of orchids and multicolored birds.This sensational route that goes from Cusco to Machu Picchu in a succession of rivers, gorges and valleys capable of overwhelming the most experienced traveler. Roads that meander in a continuous up and down where the green color and the peaks hide some of the most incredible places in Peru and the ancient Tahuantinsuyo Empire. Many of them seem like magic, because it is difficult to imagine how the architects and engineers of the Inca society could build such wonders to more than 2,000 meters of altitude. Join us on a dazzling journey through the most enchanting places of Cusco.

Quick Itinerary:

  • Day 01: Lima 
  • Day 02-03: Peruvian Amazon 
  • Day 04: Cusco City 
  • Day 05: Tour Sacred Valley of the Incas 
  • Day 06-09: Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • Day 10: Walk around the Cusco City 
  • Day 11: Departure

Peru Jungle Tour:

This tour will take us through Puerto Maldonado that offers us an incredible opportunities to immerse yourself in the Amazon jungle and learn everything you need to know about this wonderful land and its inhabitants. You will experience and enjoy some of the most fascinating scenarios; like the macaw clay lick where hundreds of parrots and macaws converge every day to eat the clay of the rivers. You can also visit the lakes and natural rivers, where there are dozens of alligators, turtles, giant otters, and piranhas.

 

Where is peruvian amazon?

In this adventure you will travel to Puerto Maldonado, the capital of the department of Madre de Dios located in southeastern Peru, 34 miles from the border of Bolivia, where the Tambopata River and Madre de Dios River come together. It is often defined as "the capital of Biodiversity of Peru," thanks to its incredible variety of animal and plant life with exotic and endangered species that houses its Amazon rainforest. Its National Parks represent some of the most pristine primary forests in the world.

Peruvian amazon rainforest animals:

There are millions of species but here we will give you just few species most representative of the Peruvian Amazon:
  • OTORONGO: One of the most stealthy animals and good hunters, tend to be larger in areas closer to the south, its head is robust and have thick and powerful teeth when crushing. 
  • ANACONDA: It is one of the longest animals, it can reach up to 10 meters long and weigh approximately 20 Kg. It is not poisonous, its scientific name is Eunectes since it has the peculiarity of being an excellent swimmer 
  • MACAW: Its scientific name is Ara macao, they measure 85 centimeters, unlike other similar species found in other places, their colors are more intense, which are red, blue, green and yellow. They eat fruit and detoxify by consuming the clay from the clay licks, they live in the tree tops. They are paired for life. 
  • SQUIRREL MONKEY: They are diurnal animals and live in the tallest trees, they are territorial, they measure from 35 cm to 45 cm, their tail reaches 35 cm to 45 cm long, they weigh approximately between 750 gr and 1200 gr. They usually walk with approximately 25 to 35 monkeys of the same species. 
  • SHUSHUPE: It is the second largest and poisonous viper in the world (the first is the king cobra), they are stealthy and attack mostly during the night. It is not very dark brown, it has orange tones and black diamond-shaped spots.
  • LEONCITO MONKEY: The smallest monkey in the world only measures 15 cm, weighs approximately 100 gr, around its head it has a mane, that's why its name. It is brown with small black spots, feeds on the sap of trees, are territorial and live in groups of 10 to 20 monkeys of the same species. 
  • COCK OF THE ROCK: In Quechua it is called Tunqui, it is the national bird of Peru, it measures 32 cm long and it has a strong and notorious sexual dimorphism, the male has its most intense colors Red-Orange of legs and beak orange color and wings and black tail the females are reddish-brown, these colors, because they are cold and opaque, help a lot when they are taking care of their nests, and their crest is smaller. They eat fruits. This bird has legal protection which prohibits hunting and commercialization. 
  • QUETZAL: Its scientific name is Pharomacrus, it is a bird that feeds on insects, fruits and frogs, it is considered a bird of pre-Hispanic royalty, its feathers are elegant and bright, its name means sacred, it is a symbol of freedom. 
  • QUIEN QUIEN: Its scientific name is Cyanocorax Incas, it is a raven with the peculiarity that has beautiful colors such as yellow, green, black and blue. 
  • BLUE BUTTERFLY: it is a neotropical butterfly, they love to go out in the sunlight, they usually fly alone, they are very territorial, they feed on the nectar of the fruits, with which many times they have been attracted with that delicacy to be captured.  
  • THE TANRILLA: A bird that shows all its beauty and elegance in maximum expression when it feels threatened, with its colors between gray and brown highlights the beauty of the Amazon rainforest.

Useful information: 

  • Weather: The city of Puerto Maldonado has a hot and humid climate. The average annual maximum temperature is 26 ° C (77 ° F) and the minimum is 8 °C (24 °F). The rainy season is from December to March so it is not advisable to make a trip to the Amazon in that season.
  • Altitude: Capital Puerto Maldonado (183 m.a.s.l) Minimum: 183 m. -  Maximum: 500 m.

Sacred Valley Peru tour:

From the city of Cusco you can do many day trips, but perhaps the most famous of them all ends in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, specifically in the town of Ollantaytambo, 68km from the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. Therefore, it is not just a recommendation but almost an obligation to go through these places before visiting what is possibly the star of your trip, Machu Picchu.

 

When to go to the sacred valley? 

Any time is good to visit the Sacred Valley of Peru, although the ideal is to do it in the dry season, which covers the months of April to October. The rest of the months can rain, but the landscapes are prettier and we will find them much greener. 


Villages of the Sacred Valley:

  • Pisac: 32 kilometers from Cusco is the first town in the Sacred Valley, located in the Intihuatana hill. It is the ideal place to better understand how the system of platforms of culture of the Incas worked. In the central square, a craft market operates twice a week, showing us from qeros (ceremonial vases) to textiles. In the Archaeological Park of Pisac you can visit the ruins of fortresses, towers and an Inca cemetery. 
  • Calca: 50 kilometers from Cusco, this town is famous mainly for its medicinal waters (hot springs of Machacancha and cold carbonated waters of Minasmoqo). Nearby is the archaeological complex Huchuy Cusco.  
  • Yucay: it is 68 kilometers from Cusco. It was the resting place of the Incas and one of the main grain producers. The palace of the Inka Sayri Tupac still stands there. 
  • Urubamba: is on the slopes of Cerro Chicón. It is known as "The pearl of the Vilcanota" because of the wonderful landscape in which it is located. Currently, fruit trees are grown in the area.  
  • Ollantaytambo: the legend says that Ollantay founded this town, 97 kilometers from Cusco, and built the fortress that defends the valley, which is still standing and can be visited. The archaeological complex is also made up of a series of constructions and six gigantic monoliths that dominate the complex from above. As it has not been possible to decipher the iconography carved in the stones with which they were built, its purpose is unknown. 
  • Other towns: not aligned on the main road are Chinchero, where an old market operates; Moray, a place that conserves incredible concentric platforms; and Maras, famous for the salt mines.

Inca Trail Machu Picchu Tour:

The Inca Trail is a fascinating, extraordinary attraction for any traveler who goes to the city of Cusco. This Inca Route is one of the best visited destinations in the world, likewise it is considered as the most beautiful track that a tourist can make.


History: 

The road network of Tahuantinsuyu, (in Quechua: Qhapaq Ñan) a system of roads of enormous distances, linking the important cities of the coast and the mountains. It was structured on the basis of two longitudinal axes: the cordilleran sector and the coastal plain. This system of the Incas was only a bimillennial pre-Inca legacy, boosted during the Inca state. Qhapaq Ñan (in Quechua language: way of the king or of the powerful one or 'way of the Inca') as much for the totality of that organization of routes that surpassed the 30,000 kilometers, as for the main road (of approximately 5200 km in length). All these roads were connected to Cusco, the capital of the Tahuantinsuyo or Inca Empire, facilitating its communication with the different peoples annexed within the framework of the Inca expansive process; at the same time, they constituted an effective means of political-administrative, socio-economic and cultural integration. Since the Qhapaq Ñan interconnected locations as distant as Quito (Ecuador), Cusco (Peru) and Tucumán (Argentina), during the 16th century it was used by the Spanish conquerors to invade Peru, Bolivia, Chile and the Argentine mountain range of the Andes.

 

Weather:

Cusco has a temperate climate with temperatures that fluctuate between 14º and 16ºC with warm days and cold nights. The rainy season in Cusco is from the months of November to March. In Machu Picchu the climate is semi-tropical, there are hot and humid days and cold nights, it is better to be prepared. The season with the highest humidity is from January to April, when the roads are closed very often due to landslides or floods. 


Location and Geography: 

The location of the Inca Trail varies according to the proposed route: the classic Inca Trail route in 4 days begins at kilometer 88 of the Cusco to Machu Picchu railway line, traveling approximately 39.06 kilometers in four days to reach Machu Picchu. The following route is the short Inca Trail in 2 days starts at kilometer 104 of the same railway line, traveling a two-day journey.

 

Denominations:

The Inca Trail is an ancestral route of Inca architecture that serves as communication between the historic city of Cusco and the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, therefore it is one of the most famous trekking routes in Peru and South America. Every year, approximately 25,000 hikers from all over the world travel their extraordinary 43 kilometers along a stone paved road built by the Incas, which leads to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu located deep in the high jungle of Cusco. The Qhapaq Ñan (Inca Trail) is a World Heritage Site after being declared by the Cultural Agency of the United Nations. The name of World Heritage by Unesco means for the six countries the recognition of one of the most important monuments of the Andean world, "Luis Lumbreras Flores", an archaeologist from the Inca Trail Project of the Peruvian Ministry of Culture, told the media. The Inca Trail is an engineering marvel that must be restored and preserved, during the 38th Meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee the important decision was made for both Peru and Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina, countries that promoted the postulation of Qhapaq Ñan to this denomination. To reach this decision, it had to be demonstrated that the Inca road of approximately 60 thousand kilometers has an exceptional universal value. To do this, the committee relied on four criteria for this longed-for denomination.


INTERESTING TOURS:


Day 1: ARRIVAL TO LIMA

Lima, the City of Kings, the City three times Crowned, city of experiences, is for those interested in colonial monuments, enthusiasts of archeology, collectors of handicrafts, birdwatchers, museum lovers, passionate about beaches, games in casinos and tasters of good food of the world. In colonial Lima important temples, convents, mansions and balconies were built. The arrival of modernity did not transform the Historic Center, today recognized as a World Heritage Site. Recognized worldwide for its colonial monuments, museums, casinos and casinos and its excellent cuisine The city of Lima, is usually the gateway to Peru for international flights and is easily combinable with any other destination in Peru.

Day 2 - 3: Peruvian Amazon Tour

Puerto Maldonado is in the province of Tambopata and is the capital of Madre de Dios; It is also one of the most active commercial centers of the Peruvian jungle. For many it is known as the capital of biodiversity due to its wonderful fauna and flora found in the place. The city is located on the banks of the Madre de Dios River. The city has a warm temperature most of the time, however it is a very hot area in a few months. In addition, its inhabitants are welcoming people.Our adventure will start flying from Lima to Puerto Maldonado,where you will appreciate the best of the Peruvian jungle near Cusco. In the Amazon, you will have a great opportunity to enjoy the excursions and enjoy the extensive biodiversity that the jungle shows us. Here you can do different activities, interact with nature and breathe fresh air.

 

Day 4: Cusco

The notoriety of Cusco archaeological goes beyond the Inca era, since Cusco culture began at least 1000 years before the Christian era, when the Marcavalle Culture was in force. From there arose Chamepata, contemporary of Pucará in Puno and whose history is lost at the beginning of our era, until when Wari conquered the area, incorporating it to his empire. After Wari, the region resized its potential and grew, first with the Killke Culture and later with the Inca. From the Wari Era the City of Pikillacta comes from, and from Killke times Sacsayhuaman itself and the foundations of the City of Cusco. Cusco, in the past, was the center of the Inca Civilization. It was the capital of the Andean state of Tahuantinsuyo; It was founded, according to legend, by Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo between the 11th and 12th centuries. Later, by order of Francisco Pizarro, the Spaniards founded it again in the Spanish style, on March 23, 1534.Everything in Cusco is beautiful, because it contains all the history of Peru, from its foundation to the withdrawal of the Spanish conquerors. In the surroundings are important archaeological monuments such as the Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Tambomachay, the platforms of Pisac, the Fortress of Ollantaytambo and the incomparable buildings of Machu Picchu, on the margin of the Urubamba River, which was discovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, known today as the "Capital of America" or "Eternal City". This day you will know the great Inca capital, the navel of the world Cusco.

Day 5: Sacred Valley of the Incas

The Sacred Valley of the Incas is quite extensive, covers more than 100 kilometers in length and goes from west to north in the territory of Cusco. There are two direct roads that connect Cusco with the Sacred Valley and connect the towns of Pisac, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo. The Sacred Valley of Cusco or Sacred Valley of the Incas extends along the valley of the Urubamba River, 15 km north of Cusco, the "Imperial City". Many travelers wonder what to do in the Sacred Valley or what are the main tourist attractions that can be visited. On a tour to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, we would mainly highlight 3 essential places to visit: 

  • The ruins of Pisac 
  • Pisaq market
  • Ollantaytambo 

But besides being able to visit archaeological ruins, the Sacred Valley offers many activities for nature lovers that make the area an ideal place to practice trekking, rafting or climbing (if you want to do some adventure activities please you have to make a reserve at the same time of your tour). The circuit of the Sacred Valley of Cusco is the most demanded in Peru since Ollantaytambo is the entrance to one of the Wonders of the Modern World and Historical and Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 1981, Machu Picchu.

Day 6 - 9: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Based on the traditional 4 days / 3 nights: The total distance of the road is approximately 39.6 km and starts at Km. 82 in the place called Pisqacucho. 

  • To start the road you should cross a bridge, then go to the left side through a eucalyptus orchard and start the day calmly. Almost immediately you will find the archaeological complexes of Q'ente, Pulpituyoc, Kusichaca and Patallaca. From that last point you will continue along the left bank of the Kusichaca River in the area with the same name where you will not only see the bridge but also find tombs, aqueducts, terraces, roads and a canyon. You will continue until you reach the small town of Wayllabamba and Inca aqueducts. It takes around 4 hours to reach 9 km from this point. One will camp there the first night. 
  • The second day is more difficult, because the walker will have to climb up to 4,200 meters, crossing the Warmiwañusqa pass, the first and the highest. If you suffer from "soroche" (altitude sickness) it is best not to stop or descend quickly to the valley of the Pakaymayu river, where you can camp. This place is 7 km away and it is approximately 8 hours away. 
  • The third day is the longest but the most interesting. You will be ready to visit the most impressive complexes like Runkuraqay, the second step at 3,800 meters above sea level, its complex mocked with niches that perhaps were a small place to rest, guard posts and places dedicated to worship after crossing the Second step you descend to Yanacocha (The Black Lagoon) to then climb a path with stone steps until you reach another group of buildings which attract the attention of visitors. This point is called Sayaqmarka a pre-Hispanic complex with narrow streets, buildings erected on different levels; sanctuaries, canals and an exterior protection wall. At the top of the buttresses one can observe many constructions which lead to suppose that once it was a temple and an astronomical observatory, which had a permanent supply of water and excellent food stores. Sayaqmarka is a place full of mystery and charm the approximate distance to Runkuraqay is 5 Km. Which takes 2 hours. This complex extends to 3,600 meters above sea level. There is an excellent path and a tunnel through this complex.
  • On the fourth day, which starts very early, we will arrive at Machupicchu passing the famous Inti Punku or "Sun Gate". Then you will have a guide tour for about 2 hours, then you will have time to visit Machupicchu by your own to take some pictures or explore . 

 

Day 10: Cusco

Cusco (Qosqo in Quechua), means navel of the world, and is one of the most extensive regions of Peru. On this day,we will have many options to do; if you love the history and want to explore the inca culture, you can visit some of the most outstanding historical centers of Cusco as Qenqo. But if you are more adventurous you can take optional activities such as rafting on the Urubamba River or mountain biking in the Sacred Valley.

 

 

Day 11: Departure

This last day you will be taken by our staff to the Alejandro Velasco Astete airport, waiting for the tour to be of your liking and thanking your preference

THIS TOUR INCLUDES:

  • Welcome by our staff at your arrival
  • Domestic flights:  (Lima – Puerto Maldonado) ( Puerto Maldonado - Cusco ) (Cusco - Lima)
  • Accommodation: 3* hotels (5 nights), a Jungle Lodge (2 nights), Camping (3 nights);
  • All entrance fees according to the itinerary ( Also Inca Trail Permit ) 
  • Bilingual Proffesional Tour Guide
  • A professional Cook
  • Porters to carry food, camping and cooking equipment and 5 kg of each passenger's stuff during the Inca Trail
  • Camping equipment (For Inca Trail)
  • Blanket and Pillow
  • A sleeping bag (for up to -5°C) for the Inca Trail
  • Meals: 10x breakfast, 6x lunch, 4x dinner and 3x afternoon hot beverages during the Inca Trail (If you are a vegetarian, please advise us in advance. A vegetarian meal option is for NO extra cost!);
  • Tables and chairs
  • A cooking tent with cooking equipment, dining and toilet tents
  • A shuttle bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes Town
  • Tourist train (Expedition Class) from Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) to Ollantaytambo
  • Motorboat transportation in the Amazon Jungle.

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Pre & post tour accommodation
  • International flights
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu ($80) or Machu Picchu Mountain ($80);
  • Extra Porter to help you carrying up to 15 kg of your personal belonging (USD 130 the Extra Porter can be shared between 2 persons);
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips 
  • Other extras not specified.

What you must take to the Inca Trail ?

About the Clothing: 

No matter how many days you are going to walk, the truth is that you will pass from one altitude to another and this implies that the weather will change; for this the most convenient thing will be to wear comfortable clothing in small quantities. For example: 

  • Divers, maybe a couple. 
  • Trekking shoes, necessary to avoid falling or slipping during the trek. 
  • Impervious clothing, during the road there may be drizzles and since this is very common, wet walking will be uncomfortable and can cause some respiratory diseases. 
  • Wide-brimmed hats, in these times it is not new that the sun, even if it is not strong, burns. Accompany this hat with a good sunscreen Taking care of your skin and your health is a priority. 
  • Towel and swimsuit, during the road there are places of camping in which they put showers. You will also find some rivers, where you can cool off a bit, if the guide allows it. 
  • Needless to say, you need the necessary underwear for each day. 
  • A small blanket for the nights, because these are really cold. 

About Health: 

As you already know, during the Inca Trail, it passes the 4000 m.a.s.l  and if you come from a country which is almost at sea level, then you should take the following precautions - 

  • The first days you must acclimate, to be able to adapt to the height.
  • You must eat lightly and avoid heavy meals. 
  • The first days in Cusco, should be calm and without physical effort. Follow your rhythm 
  • Always drink bottled water, this will help you stay hydrated. If you do not want to buy bottled water, You can buy pills to purify the water. - 
  • If you feel that you lack oxygen, rest a while. 
  • Also, if you feel any strange ailment, you MUST warn the guide (they are trained for any emergency)
  • When you can, drink an infusion of coca leaves. 

About The Baggage: 

The most advisable thing is to take a Back-Pack which you do not take off during the walk. Within it there must be few things, in themselves, the most necessary. Here the recommendations: 

  • Blocker and insect repellent. 
  • Personal toiletries. 
  • Fresh fruits, candies, chocolates (they are good to accumulate energy). - 
  • Money (local currency-soles) 
  • Walking stick 
  • Flashlight and batteries. 
  • Sunglasses, lip balm 
  • A photografic camera.
  • Personal medication

 

What to Take to the Jungle?

General tips for packing:

  • You can only carry about 10 or 15 kilos of luggage on boats and you do not want to carry too much weight on it. 
  • You should be able to leave part of your baggage in the nearest city, in the office of your lodge or in the luggage compartment of your hotel or hostel. 
  • The best type of bag to carry is a backpack because it is easier to carry than a suitcase. 
  • Pack your things in plastic bags that can be closed  this will prevent your things from getting wet. 
  • You could also consider using a waterproof case for the backpack. 
  • You should bring another smaller backpack to use during the day with only the essentials and store the rest in the main backpack. 
  • An insect repellent is essential for any trip to the jungle and some antihistamine cream for bites. 
  • About anti-malaria pills, check if they are necessary for your destiny. In the area of ​​Puerto Maldonado (in Peru), reportedly malaria is extremely uncommon. 

Clothes in a tropical jungle: 

You will need to wear clothes that you can put on in layers that dry quickly because in tropical climates there is a lot of humidity and unpredictable rain showers. Light colors are better so you do not get too hot in the sun and to help you notice if you have a bug on top! We suggest the following list of clothes: 

  • Long sleeve cotton shirts 
  • Long pants (up to the feet) of cotton 
  • Quick drying socks 
  • Rain Jacket
  • Comfortable walking boots 
  • Comfortable shoes for when you are relaxing 
  • A sweater or jacket for cool nights and if there is any cold front during your stay Things to swim in the lakes / rivers

Protection from the sun: 

  • Sunscreen 
  • Sunglasses 
  • Wide-brimmed hat or cap 

Electronics and appliances 

  • Camera and related accessories: charger, memory card (s), possibly an additional battery, tripod, etc. 
  • Binoculars 
  • Travel alarm clock for the early mornings 
  • A whistle in case you get lost 

Documentation: 

  • (A copy of) your passport for checkpoints 
  • Cash in small denominations to pay for drinks, souvenirs, or another expenses
  • List of important phone numbers 

Various: 

  • Your usual medications and bathroom items 
  • Quick dry towel
  • Snacks to eat between meals 
  • Ear plugs if you are a light sleeper (the rooms in the jungle lodges are often not soundproof) 
  • Toilet paper Small bags for throwing toilet paper and some larger ones for dirty clothes 

 

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