Day 1. (Sunday): LIMA
Arrival to Lima, reception at the airport and transfer by private vehicle to the deluxe 5* Miraflores Park Hotel. VIP check-in to your Executive Suite complete with Ocean views. Fresh flowers and dry fruits will be waiting for you. If your arrival flight is late your massage will be postponed for day 6. If you arrive on an early flight, you will have a choice of an a la carte dinner or room service (if arriving after 11PM).
Day 2. (Monday): LIMA - CUZCO
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Cuzco, the ancient Inca capital of the Incas. After the one hour flight, reception and transfer to the exclusive deluxe 5* Monasterio Hotel. VIP check-in by the chapel to your deluxe room. A fruit basket, fresh flowers, and fine chocolates will be waiting for you. The room will be oxygenated (the only hotel in the world with this facility) to help you relax and sleep more comfortably in the high altitude setting of Cuzco (11,600ft above sea level). After a recommended light lunch in the wonderful hotel restaurant, a private guided tour of Cuzco including the Cathedral, Qoricancha temple, the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman overlooking Cuzco, Qenko and Puka Pukara. Return to the hotel. Dinner in the El Tupay Restaurant. On Saturdays a folkloric music show will accompany your dinner.
Day 3. (Tuesday): CUZCO - MACHU PICCHU
Enjoy a good night's sleep before your private transfer at 9AM to Poroy, a short distance from Cuzco. Boarding of the luxurious Hiram Bingham train to Aguas Calientes. This Orient Express train is the most exclusive way to visit Machu Picchu and includes a hearty brunch aboard the train. Guides will also be available to answer any questions. Arrival to Aguas Calientes, assistance with your luggage and boarding of the bus for the short ride up to Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca citadel. At the very entrance to Machu Picchu, your hotel is located, the Sanctuary Lodge hotel. VIP check-in to your room, complete with king size bed and a view of the incredible mountains. A welcome drink and fruit basket will be waiting for you.
Shortly after, a guided tour of Machu Picchu, the most spectacular ancient city in the world. Built by the Inca Pachacutec, and comprising stone blocks fitted with masterful precision, Machu Picchu harmoniously blends into the mountain landscape. There are many theories as to the origins behind Machu Picchu but three of the most popular ideas include a temple to the sun, a fortress against the jungle inhabitants or a sanctuary for the Incas. This fabulous city has houses, temples, warehouses, a large central square, all connected by narrow roads and steps, and is surrounded by terraces cut into the mountain side which were used for agriculture. Lunch (if required), dinner and accommodation at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge. Opportunity to return to the site once all the other visitors have gone and an opportunity to truly appreciate the grandiose setting of this Inca masterpiece; with no crowds but only an eerie silence that few people experience.
Day 4 (Wednesday): MACHU PICCHU - CUZCO
Early opportunity to return to the site and enjoy a wonderful sunrise over Machu Picchu. Time for some private reflection before returning for breakfast. Today no guide is provided as we feel that Machu Picchu requires a certain amount of self discovery to be fully understood. Take any of the several paths around various parts of the site (we will provide a map to help you), trek up to Wayna Picchu or walk down to the Inca's bridge. Let Machu Picchu unfold all its mysteries for you, take in the breathtaking cloud forests and jagged mountains, or marvel at the extraordinary Masonic precision of the ancient Incas. Either way, your day of self discovery will be a day never to be forgotten. Return to your hotel for lunch before returning back down to Aguas Calientes by bus. Some free time to visit the colourful town before boarding the Hiram Bingham train in the early evening. Return in style, converse with your fellow passengers and guides and enjoy cocktails followed by a four course dinner. Reception and transfer to the Monasterio hotel.
Day 5 (Thursday): URUBAMBA
After breakfast, a private full-day excursion to Urubamba, the sacred valley of the Incas and to the ancient Inca market town of Pisac. Lunch in Urubamba or a picnic lunch will be provided. A visit will be made to Ollantaytambo, the only Inca town that was not defeated by the Spanish and a chance to explore the ruins before returning to Cuzco. Return to your hotel to relax and unwind. Before dinner, enjoy a 30 minute 'Inca massage' accompanied by traditional music. This relaxing massage incorporates aromatherapy using Kantu, the sacred flower of the Incas. Dinner in Cuzco at a recommended restaurant.
Day 6 (Friday): CUZCO - LIMA
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight back to Lima. Transfer to your hotel, the Miraflores Park Hotel. Before lunch, a private guided visit of colonial and modern Lima, including the cathedral, dating from 1654, the main square, which still houses the original bronze fountain built in 1650, and the San Francisco Convent and its catacombs. Known as the city of the kings, Lima was founded in 1535 by Pizarro and rebuilt in 1991, the same year that UNESCO declared it a world heritage site. One of the very few South American cities that preserve the colonial past, Lima was home to the Spanish viceroy during the time of the Spanish colonialists. The tour will include a visit to the residential areas of San Isidro and Miraflores, before stopping at Larco Mar to enjoy a view of the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Lunch at the internationally renowned Rosa Nautica, the best seafood restaurant in Lima. After lunch, a visit to a museum of your choice. We recommend the Gold Museum, originally from a private collection. The museum includes valuable pieces, particularly gold, silver and copper from several pre-Hispanic cultures. The most precious piece in the collection is the solid gold Tumi (ceremonial knife) belonging to the Lambayeque culture. Return to your hotel to enjoy a relaxing 60 minute massage (for two people) which will invigorate the senses and prepare you for a delicious dinner at the Huaca Pucllana Restaruant. Located within an actual pre-Inca archaeological site and next to a 1500 year old adobe pyramid, the food here is exquisite and the sommelier will help you choose amongst your personal favourites or some Chilean and Argentinean classics. Return to your hotel.
Day 7 (Saturday): LIMA - IQUITOS
Free morning for some shopping before the second phase of your adventure begins, that of the Amazon Jungle Cruise. Midday transfer to the airport for the flight to Iquitos.
Arrival at approximately 5PM, collect your luggage and board the air conditioned bus for a scenic one and a half hour drive to the small village of Nauta, where your luxury vessel, the M/V Aqua lies at anchor. You will settle into your over-sized Master suite, measuring a generous 240 square feet and including a separate, intimate seating area for optimum privacy. This fully air-conditioned suite, faces outwards at the very front of the vessel, and comes complete with panoramic glass windows. Open the curtain at the foot of your California king-sized (or separate singles) bed at night and count the constellations in a sky filled with brilliant stars. Your master suite also comes complete with a private bath, shower, 24 hour hot water, a hairdryer, and a basket of luxury toiletries. The fine Peruvian linens, with a high thread count will help you sleep very soundly after each day's excursion.
All meals are prepared by Executive chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, one of Lima's culinary stars who has created a menu that draws on both Peruvian and European influence. Wine is included with meals, giving you the opportunity to experience a range of the finest South American vintages. Over the next four days, you will sail along in total comfort over several tributaries of the Amazon River, as well as on the mighty river itself.
A safety drill and briefing on the top deck, before the journey begins and you settle down to some fine dining on the Amazon River.
Day 8 (Sunday): UCAYALI RIVER - YANALLPA
After a delicious breakfast, a jungle walk to the Yanallpa Lake in search of the"hoatzins," prehistoric birds which live in huge colonies. As we embark on the gentle hike, your guides will teach you orientation techniques used in the deep jungle. Return to the cruiser to enjoy a light lunch.
In the afternoon we will cruise the majestic Ucayali River, offering a chance to see and meet native balseros, or fishermen, who will demonstrate their skill and let you see their catch—including a type of"armored" catfish with a shell-like skin which they are taking to the market in the small village of Requena. We will also find a"banana balsero" raft, loaded with hundreds of clusters of bananas, drifting down the river to the market.
Dinner is followed by a trip to the Sapote River where your guides will show you several types of caiman, members of the alligator family, along the fish-rich Sapote River. Chances are good that we will surprise other night-dwelling creatures as well. Retire for the night as the cruiser sails upstream on the Puinahua River.
Day 9 (Monday): PUINAHUA RIVER/HATUM POSA LAKE AND PACAYA RIVER
After breakfast, a jungle walk near to the Hatum Posa Village. On this walk, your guides will introduce you to the native people involved in subsistence farming, and will tell you how they learned to cultivate wild plants and trees to earn farm income. Deep in the primary forest, your guides will also show you the wealth of fruit trees and medicinal plants hidden in the undergrowth. Return for lunch before the expedition continues onto the Pacaya River and Yanayacu Lake.
In the late afternoon, we will take a journey along the Pacaya River, journeying from Ranger Station No. 1 towards Yanayacu Lake, where you can view the abundant life that is hidden in the deep rainforest. You may see saki monkeys, capuchin monkeys, and the easy-to-spot heavy howler monkeys. As the sun sets, you will hear the loud, ferocious sounding warning signals made by howler monkeys marking their territories. When night falls, you will hear the more of the rainforest sounds as nocturnal animals send their shrill calls across the tree tops. We will use our special spotlight torches to locate night creatures, including, perhaps, huge caiman. Return for dinner aboard the cruiser. Tonight we will dock at the Ranger Station in the Pacaya Samiria National Park.
Day 10 (Tuesday): YANAYACU LAKE - IQUITOS
Early breakfast before your guides will show you parrots, macaws, toucans, and many different types of monkeys in the area. We will also go to the dolphin feeding spots along Yanayacu Lake, where you will witness these delightful but rare freshwater mammals.
We will then start our journey homeward sailing towards Iquitos whilst enjoying a light lunch. Your luggage will be collected from your cabins for transference to the bus, before disembarking at 12:40 and returning to the airport. En route, we shall visit this fascinating city, accessible only by air and river which comes complete with its famous house built by Gustave Eiffel, as Iquitos was once a rich center of the rubber industry. After the city tour, we will make a stop at San Juan Amazonian Indians' Market for some last-minute shopping.
Arrival at Iquitos airport, where we will assist with your check-in until your flight departure at 5:30 p.m.
(Note: All itineraries are subject to change, due to weather and other conditions. All times indicated are approximate, and are also subject to change. 8 day cruises departing on Saturdays are also available, ask for details).
End of our services.