Inca & Amazon Adventure Family Holiday

Resort:Inca & Amazon Adventure Family Holiday
Operator: Exodus
Destination: Peru
Price From: £2699.00


A family adventure combining Peru’s classic Inca Trail trek with the tropical Amazon Rainforest

The ancient Inca capital of Cuzco is brimming with Spanish churches and Inca fortresses just waiting to be explored. Theres fun to be had in the nearby Sacred Valley, with the chance to go paddle-boarding on Lake Piuray or mountain biking around the salt flats of Maras. Having acclimatised, we follow in the footsteps of the Incas along the classic four day Inca Trail to the mysterious citadel of Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate. In contrast to the Andes we delve into the tropical Amazon Rainforest and spend three days exploring the jungle trails, canopy towers and river banks in search of wildlife.


* Trek the classic Inca Trail or alternative Moonstone Trek * Morning tour of Machu Picchu when it’s at its quietest * Jungle walks, canopy towers and boat rides to discover the Amazon Rainforest and its wildlife * Time to visit the markets and museums of Cuzco * Chance to go mountain biking, paddle-boarding or zip-lining in the Sacred Valley (all optional)


Day 1 Depart London.

The group flights are scheduled to depart London this evening. **

Day 2 Arrive Cuzco (3400m); afternoon orientation tour (on foot).

Set amidst hills in the altiplano, the Imperial City of the Incas, Cuzco (3,400) was the geographic, cultural and political centre of a vast empire which, at its peak, stretched from present-day Quito in Ecuador to Santiago in Chile. After the Spanish conquistadores invaded the city they started building on top of the Incan structures, resulting in unique architecture, a fusion of the Incan and Spanish colonial styles. There will be a walking orientation tour this afternoon. It is recommended to take it easy upon arrival into Cuzco and to drink plenty of water to allow your body time to acclimatise to the altitude (3,400m). There will be a welcome briefing in the hotel lobby this evening. *Koyllur Inn / Hostal Inkarri (or similar)** *

Day 3-4 Sightseeing and activities in Cuzco to acclimatise; choice of optional activities including a cookery class, paddle-boarding, mountain biking or zip-lining in the Sacred Valley.

The next two days have been left free for exploring Cuzco, one of South America’s most beautiful cities. The Plaza de Armas is a fantastic spot for people watching, and Qorikancha – Sun Temple, located in the Santo Domingo Church and monastery are worth a visit. The Mercado San Pedro is the place to try some local produce and there are many handicraft markets to shop for souvenirs such as alpaca jumpers and scarves. Outside the town are more Inca ruins, notably the fortress of Sacsayhuaman where the Inca armies made their last stand against the Conquistadores. Cuzco is also the gateway to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and should you wish to visit the sites, your leader can help organise an excursion, including Pisac Market (optional). If you fancy something more active then there is an array of other optional activities available from Cuzco. These include a cookery lesson, paddle-boarding on Lake Piuray, mountain biking in the Sacred Valley between Maras and Moray, or a combination of via ferrata and zip-lining in the Sacred Valley. For some activities, a minimum number of participants is required. On your last evening in Cuzco, therewill be a full trek briefing. You will also need to pack and weigh your duffel bag ready for the Inca Trail the following day (the weight limit is 7kg per person for yourduffel bag) – remember to keep your passport somewhere accessible. *Koyllur Inn / Hostal Inkarri (or similar)** *

Day 5 The Classic Inca Trail: Start Inca Trail trek from km82; walk along Urubamba River, climb to Huayllabamba

The Classic Inca Trail is a tangential branch part of a 45,000km road network linking the whole empire to Cuzco. It was built in the 15th Century to reach Machu Picchu but was abandoned soon after the Spanish conquest. American adventurer Hiram Bingham travelled along the trail when he came across Machu Picchu in 1911. The trail opened to the public in 1970. We leave Cuzco early and drive for roughly two hours to Ollantaytambo, our last chance to buy any items needed for the trek. From here we veer off the road and follow a track beside the river (45 minutes) to the start of the Inca Trail at Piscacucho, commonly known as Km82. After greeting our trekking crew, we show our passports at the checkpoint and begin the Inca Trail trek. The trail runs alongside the Vilcanota River beneath the impressive snow-capped Nevado Veronica, passing through cactus gardens and fields of corn until we reach the enormous Inca ruins of Llactapata, where we continue up a side valley to camp near the hamlet of Huayllabamba. *Walk Profile: approx. 11km / 67hrs walking* *Full-service Camping –Huayllabamba Camp* *Inca Trail – Meals Included:/breakfast lunch dinner/*

Day 6 The Classic Inca Trail: Cross Dead Woman’s Pass (4215m), then descend to Pacaymayu

This is the longest and most strenuous day of the trek. A long climb takes us first through an area of cloud forest to the meadows of Llulluchapampa, then over the Warmihuausca (Dead Woman’s) Pass at 4215m the highest point on the trek. After quite a long, steep descent we camp in the scenic valley of the Pacamayo River (3600m). *Walk Profile: approx. 10km / 67hrs walking* *Full-service Camping –Pacamayo Camp* *Inca Trail – Meals Included:/breakfast lunch dinner/*

Day 7 The Classic Inca Trail: Over Runquracay Pass (3800m) to ruins of Sayajmarca and Phuyupatamarca

We start the day with an easier climb which takes us past the ruins of Runquracay and over the Runquracay Pass (3930m). From now on the Inca Trail becomes a clearly defined path made of flat boulders. As we leave behind the ruins of Sayajmarca, we suddenly enter rainforest; at one point the trail passes through an Inca tunnel. We spend the night at a spectacular campsite on the ridge above the Inca site of Phuyupatamarca (3680m) to benefit from the views of sunset and sunrise. *Walk Profile: approx. 12km / 5-6hrs walking* *Full-service Camping –Phuyupatamarca Camp* *Inca Trail – Meals Included:/breakfastlunch dinner/*

Day 8 The Classic Inca Trail: Descend to the Sun Gate for majestic views of Machu Picchu; overnight in Aguas Calientes.

From the ridge, we embark on the infamous Inca steps: a two kilometre stone staircase taking us rapidly downhill amid a panorama of overwhelming immensity, with the peaks of the Vilcabamba range above, and the river thousands of metres below. After visiting the attractive ruins of Wiay Wayna, we have an undulating walk through cloud forest high above the river to Inti Punku, the Sun Gate. From here we get our first full sight of Machu Picchu itself, with Huayna Picchu rising behind. Traditionally busy with groups of trekkers clamouring for photos, we plan our arrival at Inti Punku later in the day so we can enjoy unobstructed views of the magnificent ruins. Passing around the edge of the ruins, we exit the site and descend to Aguas Calientes for a well-earned rest, a shower and a comfortable bed for the night. Our trekking permits allow us one entry into the site, which we use for our tour tomorrow. There is usually time for an optional visit to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes, however, in recent years they have become over-crowded and the water quality can suffer as a result. We will be reunited with those who have been on the Lares Trek or One Day Inca Trail Option at the hotel this afternoon. *Walk Profile: approx. 9km / 6-7hrs walking* *Hotel Presidente / Inti Punku El Tambo (or similar)* **Inca Trail – Meals Included:/breakfastlunch/** **

Day 9 Morning tour of Machu Picchu; return to Cuzco.

In order to beat the day-trippers arriving from Cuzco and reach the ruins as early as possible, a very early start is required to queue for Machu Picchu; only government-registered buses can make the 30-minute drive up the winding road to the site entrance and during high season (May-October) queues can be hours long. Machu Picchu is one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient world and what makes it all the more dramatic is its mountain backdrop of staggering immensity. The Spaniards never found it; the Incas left no records of it, and so Machu Picchu remained a great enigma, a city lost for centuries in the jungle until it was rediscovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. New regulations for visiting Machu Picchu are now fully enforced; of the three possible visiting slots, Exodus will purchase the morning slot from 06:00 until 12:00 (unless unavailable), you will be limited to a maximum of four hours within the site and must be accompanied by a guide. There will also be three set routes to follow around Machu Picchu; Exodus selects the most comprehensive route. We catch an afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo (1hr 30 mins) and continue by private bus to Cuzco (2hrs 30 mins). *Koyllur Inn / Hostal Inkarri (or similar)** *

Day 10 Free day in Cuzco for shopping or activities.

Today has been left free to relax after the trek or explore Cuzco further. Again, your leader can help to arrange optional excursions and activities for you – please see the Optional Activities section of the Trip Notes for more details. *Koyllur Inn / Hostal Inkarri (or similar)*

Day 11 Fly to Puerto Maldonado; boat transfer to Amazon lodge in the Tambopata Reserve.

We leave Cuzco early today as we take a short flight to Puerto Maldonado (please note that due to poor flight availability, on some departures this flight will connect through Lima and be considerably longer), a small town in the rainforest.On arrival, we transfer to the dock for a boat trip to our lodge in the Tambopata Reserve(approx. 45mins by boat). On the way, we may see river turtles and a wide variety of birdlife. The order of activities in the rainforest may change depending on the weather and other factors. However, there will be a briefing upon arrival at the lodge followed by the chance to learn about the traditional use of bow and arrows and even get a chance to try your hand at it! After dinner, we will go by boat in search of alligators in the river, using torches to look for the red reflections of their eyes on the riverbank, as well as looking for other nocturnal animals. *Accommodation: Nape Lodge (or similar)*

Day 12-13 Discover the rainforest and its wildlife on foot, by boat and via a canopy tower.

The next two days are spent exploring the forest, rivers and lakes surrounding the lodge, on foot and by boat. Although a lot of the wildlife tends to hide in the dense foliage, we should expect to see a wide variety of birds, including herons and egrets, jacanas, macaws and the almost prehistoric-looking hoatzin, as well as several species of monkey, reptiles and insects, and with luck the giant otters which live in the rivers of the Amazon basin. We will visit Tres Chimbadas Lake where we hope to see a great variety of wild fauna such as monkeys, macaws, black alligators, flying parrots and if we are lucky, one of the families of the River otter in the area. We will also visit a Parrot clay lick where every morning at dawn, different types of parrots and parrots and other species of birds meet. We will go on a night walk in search of insects, amphibians, tarantulas, bats, nocturnal birds and large nocturnal mammals. *Accommodation: Nape Lodge (or similar)*

Day 14 Fly to Lima and overnight

A dawn start is required for the boat transfer back to Puerto Maldonado, giving memorable views of the sunrise over the river. Look out for the early morning wildlife, which is particularly active at this time. Howler monkeys are frequently heard as they stake out their territories. The adventure ends at Puerto Maldonado airport.Well say goodbye to our leader at Puerto Maldonado airport and take a short flight to Lima. A local representative will transfer us to our included hotel where we will spend the night. *Hotel El Tambo 1(or similar)*

Day 15 Depart Lima

You will be transferred from your hotel to the airport for your flight to London.

Day 16 Arrive London.

The group flights arrive back into London this afternoon. **