Nature & Culture in Peru

Peru has many wonders to behold, and the Amazon and Machu Picchu are just a couple of the sights that leaves all visitors in awe.

After discovering the charming city of Lima, you will venture deep into the Amazon and come face to face with an abundance of wildlife then finish off your 13 day holiday following the footsteps of the Incas and marvel at the Machu Picchu.

Day 1: Arrive into Lima

Upon arrival, make your way through immigration, customs & collect your luggage. At the arrival hall your driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.

Stay: B Arts Boutique Hotel

Day 2: Lima

Peru’s capital is a rich kaleidoscope of colonial architectural jewels, revered pre-Columbian sites, charming residential areas, and vibrant shopping districts perched over the blue Pacific. Explore these many facets on your private half day city tour, including the 16th century Plaza Mayor (Main Square) – still graced by the Government Palace and the City Hall. Visit the Cathedral and the San Francisco Convent, built in the 17th century, and its “Catacombs” ancient underground cemetery of Lima.

Afterwards, visit the Rafael Larco Herrera Museum: this fabulous museum includes the exquisite Collection of Peruvian Gold and Silver from the olden days, and the Pre-Hispanic Erotic Art Salon. Its pieces have toured major world museums. The Larco Museum exhibits the largest private collection of pre-Colombian Peruvian art in the world. Your tour continues along the city’s lovely Pacific coast through the enchanting neighbourhoods of San Isidro, Miraflores and Larco Mar.

Stay: B Arts Boutique Hotel

Day 3: Lima – Iquitos

Upon arrival into Iquitos airport from Lima, meet your Aqua Expeditions guides for the scenic 1.5 hour transfer to Nauta, the end of the line, where you board the Aqua Amazon or Aria Amazon

Check in and settle into the comforts of your river-facing suite whilst the boat sets off from Iquitos for your upcoming adventures in the Amazon! Over the next four days you will sail along the largest tributaries of the Amazon River and the mighty Amazon itself, towards remote areas reached by very few. You will meet the cruise director and hear the first briefings from the expert naturalist guides about the coming days.

Each day you will be taken out on a variety of exciting excursions to experience the best of the Amazon – explore the remote tributaries by skiff, fish for piranhas, look out for the birds, mammals and reptiles and back on board listen to interesting lectures given by the expert naturalist guides. These may cover aspects of the region such as the environment, communities, flora and fauna.

Please note that itineraries are subject to change according to prevailing conditions such as climate and season.

Stay: Aqua Amazon

Day 4: Amazon

This morning head out to see the Ucayali River and walk through the Yanallpa Riparian Forest. Board the comfortable skiffs to explore a fascinating black water stream, part of the vast Amazon flooded forest within the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Your guides will explain what scientists call a “gallery forest,” because of its dense vegetation creating a tunnel of leaves. As you explore this type of riparian vegetation, look out for parrots, macaws, fluffy monk saki monkey and insects among other species.

You will also have the opportunity to hike the Yanallpa Gorge, an interesting hike through the forest to observe the flora and fauna that can be found along the way. After lunch hear an interesting talk on the Taricaya Turtles, their near extinction and the recent efforts supported by Aqua Expeditions that are successfully growing the turtle population in the Pacaya-Samiria Nature Reserve. Ucayali Exploration and Dorado Night Exploration.

This afternoon, cruise the majestic Ucayali River and Dorado River, giving you the chance to meet the local fishermen who will demonstrate their skills and let you see their catch enroute to the market in the small of Requena. Among the intriguing species you may see is the armoured catfish with a shell-like skin. Return to the boat after sunset.

Stay: Aqua Amazon

Day 5: Amazon

After breakfast head out on a full day expedition along the Pacaya River observing and exploring the flooded forest of this vast region of the Peruvian Amazon. Keep an eye out for wildlife, birds including large parrots, macaws, herons and storks and many species of primates like the capuchin, howler and squirrel monkeys. Visit some of the most beautiful lakes within the protected reserve and meet some of the friendly locals who take care of the reserve’s natural resources. Have a picnic lunch along the way and you will also see the impressive Ceiba tree, the highest in the Amazon.

An alternative option today is to explore the Pacaya and Puhinahua Rivers, the Pacaya being one of the black water rivers in the area. See occasional fishermen paddling back to their villages and also look out for sloth, monkeys, black hawks, tropical songbirds among other species. After lunch take a skiff out to look for the Pink River Dolphin, an intriguing mammal whom the locals deem to have. Tonight the vessel will dock by the No. 1 Ranger Station in Pacaya-Samiria for dinner.

Stay: Aqua Amazon

Day 6: Amazon

This morning sail on the great Ucayali River observing the flora and fauna along the way. Visit a riverside community known for actively protecting their forest’s natural resources and practicing their ancestral customs.

After lunch sail on to Lake Clavero where villagers paddle in their traditional dugout canoes. You may wish to swim in the lake’s calm waters, perhaps canoe yourself and visit the community to interact with our Amazonia neighbours who will be pleased to welcome you. Return to the Aqua Amazon in the evening as the ship continues downstream, sailing toward Iquitos through the night.

Later this evening, your naturalist guides introduce the important crew members whom you may not have met, as they have been busy “behind the scenes” to create your seamless Aqua Expeditions experience.

Stay: Aqua Amazon

Day 7: Amazon – Iquitos – Lima

Depending on water levels, the vessel may end in Nauta rather than Iquitos which requires a 1.5 hour transfer to the airport.

Breakfast at 7:30 followed by a morning excursion dependent on the level of the river. Weather and time permitting, set off for a final chance to see how communities survive along the Amazon, visiting the lively village of Belen where the houses and shops float on the river itself during some months of the high water season.

Disembark after lunch, when you will visit the Manatee Rescue Centre, where biologists and volunteers care for endangered Amazon manatees rescued by the local conservation authorities. Learn about this highly successful project, which has been supported by Aqua Expeditions since its inception, and efforts to help these endearing mammals. See how the manatees are cared for and prepared for re-introduction into their natural habitat. Check-in at Iquitos International Airport in time for your onward flight to Lima.

Stay: B Arts Boutique Hotel

Day 8: Lima – Cusco – Sacred Valley

Upon arrival, make your way through customs & collect your luggage. At the arrival hall your driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel in the Sacred Valley, approx 1.5 hours’ drive.

Stay: Hotel Sol & Luna

Day 9: Sacred Valley

Today you will be taken on a full day private tour of the Sacred Valley. Begin with a visit to Pisac, a picturesque town located 32 km. northeast of Cusco. Its colourful market takes place every day. Here merchants offer all sorts of handicrafts for sale, the most important of which are the textiles and ceramic goods such as ceremonial goblets called “Q’eros”, plates, ashtrays, necklace and replicas of pre-Hispanic pottery. Lunch included today.

In the afternoon you will visit the remarkable fortress of Ollantaytambo, built by the Incas. Across an esplanade there is a temple with 10 niches, and beside it a block of partially unworked stones. Beyond another esplanade, there are six huge rectangular monoliths (estimated weight: 50 tons) which form the Temple of the Sun. Vestiges of rooms can be seen on top.

Stay: Hotel Sol & Luna

Day 10: Sacred Valley – Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu

Early this morning meet your driver at the lobby for your transfer to the nearby train station for your journey to Aguas Calientes.

Please note that there is a 5kg carry-on luggage allowance per passenger. Dimensions are 62 x 157 inches. Your main luggage will be transferred to your hotel in Cusco for your return from Machu Picchu. On arrival in Aguas Calientes, your carry-on luggage will be taken to your hotel for your return this afternoon.

There will be an early pick up and transfer to the Ollanta railway station to board the tourist train that goes through the Urubamba Valley, or Sacred Valley of the Incas, to the fabulous mountaintop ruins of Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu was never discovered by the Spaniards. For centuries it was buried in the jungle until Hiram Bingham found it in 1911.The Holy City was built in stone among the flanks of two hills belonging to the eastern mountain range of the Andes, descending into the Amazonian upper sylvan. There is no doubt that Machu Picchu represents an extraordinary example of architecture and engineering, with numerous ruins to explore amidst the simply breath-taking views! Upon arrival at the station, buses await to transfer you to the top of the ruins, which is roughly a 20-30 minute journey.

A private guided tour of the ruins then gives you some idea of what the city must have looked like when it was inhabited centuries ago. On this memorable day, a buffet lunch at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge will also be included. Afterwards you have time to explore the ruins at your own leisure.

Stay: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Day 11: Aguas Calientes – Cusco

This morning take the bus from your hotel armed with your Machu Picchu entrance tickets. Spend as much time exploring the ruins as you wish before taking the Vistadome train back to Cusco this afternoon.

After spending much of the day exploring Machu Picchu ruins and Aguas Calientes, your guide will walk you over to the train station platform. Take the Vistadome train to Cusco, departing at around 15:30, arriving early evening before a private transfer to your hotel upon arrival.

Stay: Inkaterra La Casona

Day 12: Cusco

Cusco, the archaeological capital of the Americas, exists in the present and the past at the same time, being a living example of the meeting of two different ages of culture. Today you will get the privileged opportunity to explore its myriad of cultural treasures in a guided half day tour. Your first visit will take in the Koricancha, or Temple of the Sun, a Cathedral from the early 17th century, a fine example of colonial baroque architecture. Then it’s on to the impressive Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, its enormous terrace views perched high above the city, with sweeping views of the valley below.

Stay: Inkaterra La Casona

Day 13: Cusco – Lima

After check out you will meet your driver at the lobby who will transfer you to the airport.


Duration Description Overnight
Day 1: Arrive into Lima B Arts Boutique Hotel
Day 2: Lima B Arts Boutique Hotel
Day 3: Lima – Iquitos Aqua Amazon
Day 4: Amazon Aqua Amazon
Day 5: Amazon Aqua Amazon
Day 6: Amazon Aqua Amazon
Day 7: Amazon – Iquitos – Lima B Arts Boutique Hotel
Day 8: Lima – Cusco – Sacred Valley Hotel Sol & Luna
Day 9: Sacred Valley Hotel Sol & Luna
Day 10: Sacred Valley – Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
Day 11: Aguas Calientes – Cusco Inkaterra La Casona
Day 12: Cusco Inkaterra La Casona
Day 13: Cusco – Lima



  • 4 nights on board Aqua Amazon or Aria Amazon in a suite cabin on a full board basis including all meals, house beverages, excursions and transfers
  • All accommodation in Lima, Sacred Valley, Aguas Calientes
  • All transfers on a private basis
  • All excursions mentioned in the itinerary
  • Indicated domestic flights, subject to change at the time of booking

Not Included

  • International flights
  • Visas where necessary
  • Travel Insurance (Compulsory)
  • Tips, gratuities & other personal expenses
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Premium alcohol onboard Aqua Amazon or Aria Amazon
  • Accommodation early check in / Late check out
  • Overweight luggage
  • All other items and travel components not mentioned in inclusions


1- Lima 2 - Iquitos 3- Amazon 4- Iquitos 5- Lima 6- Cusco 7- Sacred Valley 8- Aguas Calientes 9- Cusco 10- Lima

From USD 7,995 per person based on two guests travelling

Notes on our prices

  • All prices quoted are net on a minimum two guests travelling on a double/twin sharing basis, inclusive of taxes, surcharges and fees.
  • No reservations have been made at time of quote.
  • All quotes are subject to currency fluctuations, rate increases, government action, war etc. at time of confirmation.
  • Itinerary is subject to availability, after booking confirmation.
  • Prices are subject to airlines, hotels and vendors terms and conditions.
  • It is mandatory for all Lightfoot Travel guests to have travel insurance prior to travel.