On this adventurous 11-day tour and cruise, you’ll visit Machu Picchu, explore historic cities, and discover the Amazon. It’s a distinctive experience that needs preparing for, so we’d like to share everything you should know to get ready—from climate and packing to the animals and plants you’ll see along the way.
Itinerary at a Glance
– Arrive Lima
– 2 nights in the Sacred Valley
– 1 night in Cuzco
– 1 night in Iquitos
– 3-night Amazon Cruise
– 1 night in Lima
– Depart Lima
What Makes Our Tour Unique?
This trip was specially designed to give travelers a fun Amazon adventure, while also getting to visit Machu Picchu and explore Peru’s culture and history. Along with this, our naturalist guides on the cruise expeditions are simply one-of-a-kind. They’re incredibly passionate about the Amazon and you’ll learn so much from them. Their exceptional knowledge of this vast and diverse ecosystem creates an insightful experience you’ll never forget. The guides also go above and beyond to make sure you see everything you’re hoping to discover. Plus, like all our trips, we include airfare, 4 star+ accommodations, and many of the meals in the price!
During the cruise, you’re in for a wild adventure! Each of the four days includes exciting excursions that completely immerse you in the environment. Led by expert guides and naturalists, you’ll look for indigenous flowers and plants, spot a variety of unique animals, and explore the diverse landscape, all while learning fascinating information about the geography, climate, and inhabitants of the rainforest. These expeditions are taken by skift, boat, or walking.
Peru and the Amazon are warm year round and their climate is broken up into two seasons:
- Winter/Dry – May–September
- Summer/Wet – October–April
Upon your arrival and departure in Lima, the climate will feel very nice. Year-round temperatures range from 70-80°F, with hot summers and mild winters. It also seldom rains in Lima—they receive about 3 inches of rain per year.
Cuzco/Sacred Valley Climate
Due to the altitude, the weather in Cuzco will be a lot milder than that of Lima and the rest of Peru. It can be cooler in the mountains and warmer in the city. In the winter it’s dry and in the summer you can expect rain almost daily.
In contrast to Cuzco, Iquitos has more tropical weather, making it humid and wet in the summer and hot and dry in the winter.
The Amazon has the same climate as Iquitos. Expect humid, wet summers and hot, dry winters. The water levels also vary by season. During the winter there will be low waters and during the summer they’ll be high.
Each of our tours have a designated Activity Level so you can better understand how physical the activities on your itinerary will be.
This tour’s Activity Level:
Explorer – Calls for moderate physical activity, including climbing steps, walking up to two miles (possibly on uneven surfaces and/or hills) and standing for an hour or longer.
Based on the season, excursions during the cruise will vary:
- Winter/Dry season = low waters, which means more hiking and trail excursions
- Summer/Wet season = high waters, which means less walking and more skift excursions
Our visit to Machu Picchu also requires more time standing and walking, but you can get to many great viewpoints without having to work too hard. Altitude sickness can also occur, but to help prevent this, be sure to bring along any related medication you may need, take it easy the day before, don’t eat heavy foods, and drink coffee if you think you’ll need a caffeine boost. Our city tours require walking and standing with breaks in between.
Knowing what to bring for the climates and excursions ensures you have the best experience possible. Here are the essentials.
- Insect repellent (there will be many mosquitoes and horse flies)
- Long-sleeve shirts and pants (weather is warm, but this will help protect from insects)
- Binoculars (great for wildlife watching on daily expeditions)
- Hiking boots or good walking shoes (for comfort and safety during daily expeditions)
- Hat and sunglasses
- Clothes for all weather and temperatures
- Hiking boots or good walking shoes (for Machu Picchu and city tour)
- Hat and sunglasses
Iquitos and Lima:
- Lighter clothing
- Good walking shoes (for city tour)
- Hat and sunglasses
Animals and Wildlife
Heading into the Amazon rainforest, you’re going to find a plethora of exotic creatures thriving in their natural habitats. You’ll spot squirrel monkeys swinging from trees, lizards blending into their environment, three-toed sloths casually hanging about, pink dolphins swimming in the water, and red-backed poison frogs hopping around. Our adventure also takes you bird watching so you can admire macaws, toucans, parrots, trogons, and quetzals. If you’re into bugs and reptiles, ask your guide to point out the tarantulas, scorpions, and various snakes including boas, anacondas, and more.
In Cuzco, we’ll stop at the Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary to see Peruvian wildlife, including alpacas, llamas, condors, Andean Bears, and pumas.
Plants and Flowers
The Amazon is brimming with magnificent plant life. Here are just some of the amazing species you’ll come across:
Cecropia tree – A tropical tree where you’ll most likely find a sloth relaxing and living their best life.
Ficus insípida – A spectacular tree that grows figs. Different species of parrots and parakeets love to eat the figs off its branches.
Kapok tree – The most sacred to the Mayans, this majestic tree brings a spiritual element to your journey.
Bromelias – A vibrant plant where frogs like to find shelter.
Mauricia palm – A palm tree where macaw birds build their nests and make a home for themselves.
Victoria amazonica – The world’s largest water plant—it’s base has a diameter of up to 10 feet and it’s stalk reaches around 25 feet under water.
Heliconia – A bright red flowering plant that produces nectar for the busy hummingbirds of the rainforest
Our tour includes 18 meals and the opportunity to try Peruvian delicacies such as ceviche, alpaca, Giant White Corn, and desserts such as tres hermanas (three sisters), a dish of pumpkin ice cream with black bean sauce and corn cookies. When it comes to sitting back and relaxing with a drink, a pisco sour or chicha morada (non-alcoholic, corn-based drink) will certainly hit the spot. We also recommend trying restaurants while in Iquitos, Lima, and Cuzco so you can sample even more authentic dishes and maybe even order some cuy (guinea pig)!
On your first day in country, you’ll learn about the process for Peru’s Giant White Corn at Hacienda Sarapampa, a private plantation. Then, in Cuzco, Iquitos, Lima we’ll spend time stopping at markets, exploring colonial architecture, and learning about Inca history.
During two of the nights aboard your cruise, you’ll be enchanted by traditional music played by a live band. They use instruments such as charangos (string), maracas, and cajón drums to showcase the unique sounds of Peru. Plus, one lunch includes a performance of Peru’s national dance, the Marinera.
As one of the most famous UNESCO World Heritage sites, we couldn’t let you miss Machu Picchu. You’ll have a great opportunity to take in the breathtaking mountain landscape and admire the ancient Inca structures, which were impressively built in the mid-15th century.
While in Cuzco, we’ll take you to the Plaza de Armas, the main city center, to explore the colonial architecture, cathedrals and churches, and beautifully kept gardens. Plus, we bring you to the Qorikancha temple, the most important temple in the Inca Empire.
During our time in Iquitos, you’ll have a stroll along the Malecón Grau promenade and then discover this city’s significant architectural structures like the Iron House of Iquitos, designed by civil engineer Gustave Eiffel—as in the man who also built the Eiffel Tower!
On your last day, you’ll explore Lima, starting with a walk around the Plaza de Armas to see its colonial and governmental buildings. Then, we’ll take you to the San Francisco Monastery where you can wander around the catacombs and maze of tunnels and the final stop will be the fascinating Larco Herrera museum.
We’re thrilled to bring you on this riveting journey through Peru and the Amazon! Be sure to check out more information and browse departure dates on our tour page.