This Amazon-to-Andes adventure is a delight for bird watchers. Peru is home to more than 1,800 bird species, including 45% of the world’s neo-tropical species, and on this trip, you’ll encounter many of them.
The trip starts in Cusco and travels through various climate zones before reaching the Amazon basin. Along the way, you’ll visit Manu National Park, one of Peru’s most diverse natural protected areas. The southern Peruvian Amazon is home to a myriad of bird species, many exclusive within the region. Watch Peru’s national bird, the cock-of-the-rock, perform its courtship ritual dance, it’s an unforgettable display. You’ll also witness the extraordinary spectacle of hundreds of parrots and macaws gathering at dawn for feeding.
This unique trip will also introduce you to the Amazon’s animal and plant life, and culminate with a journey through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where you will be able to experience traditional Andean life, before taking in sunrise at the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu.
Day 1: Cusco
After you arrive in Cusco, a representative of Valencia Travel Cusco will be waiting for you. We will pick you up in our private transportation and take you to your hotel, where you will spend the night. You will have a whole day to relax and enjoy the beauty Cusco has to offer. You will stay in this hotel or one of similar standard to this one.
Day 2: Cusco - Paradise Lodge
After an early start departure from Cusco, we will travel through Andean landscapes composed of fertile valleys, high grasslands and rural communities. It is possible to spot highland birds such as the mountain caracara, Puna ibis and Andean flicker during this part of the trip. We will also pass pre-Inca Lupaca culture burial towers, before arriving at the picturesque colonial-era town of Paucartambo, which has been the gateway to the Manu forests since the Incas first explored this territory. Here you will have time to visit the charming local church and view the historic Carlos V Bridge. Leaving the village, we will continue as far as Acjanaco Pass (3,850 meters / 12,630 feet), the official entrance to Manu National Park, from where the road descends through Andean grasslands rich in birdlife, before reaching the cloud forest in the afternoon. This ecosystem is home to a wealth of flora and fauna and is the habitat of the cock-of-the-rock, crested and golden quetzal, blue-crowned motmot and gray-breasted mountain toucan, as well as butterflies, ferns and orchids. You will spend your first night of the trip in our comfortable Paradise Lodge (1,470 meters / 4,821 feet).
Day 3: Paradise Lodge
Today, before breakfast, we will take our first walk in the cloud forest to observe the cock-of-the-rock as it performs its daily ritual, with groups of males putting on an impressive display to attract females. We will then return to the lodge for a nourishing breakfast, before leaving for Pillcopata, and taking to the river at the small port of Atalaya. During this trip we will pass plantations of manioc, papaya, pineapple and coca leaves. These forests are home to squirrel monkeys and brown capuchin monkeys, and there will be a chance to spot a variety of birdlife, including spix guans, plumbeous kites and black vultures. That evening, after our meal, there will be time to walk in the forest around the lodge, where you will be able to observe nocturnal fauna and listen to the many sounds of the forest.
Day 4: Amazon Basin
Today we will experience one of nature’s most remarkable spectacles, as we make an early morning trip to a macaw and parrot clay lick. Here several species of parrots and macaws gather at mineral-rich riverbank clay deposits to feed, creating an incredibly colorful and noisy display. This is a chance to observe Cuvier’s toucans, red and green macaws, blue-headed parrots and other species, as they feed on the minerals essential to their digestive process. After witnessing this remarkable event, we will return to the lodge for breakfast. Today’s adventure will continue with a long, leisurely walk along forest trails in search of birdlife and other fauna, before we return to the lodge for a lunch consisting of typical regional dishes. In the afternoon, we will travel by boat to the port of Atalaya, where our vehicle will be waiting to take you back to the Paradise Lodge.
Day 5: Paradise Lodge - Cusco
Your final day in the forest will begin with another chance to observe the male cock-of-the-rock perform its daily mating dance. After breakfast, we will board our private bus for the return trip to Cusco, on the road to Paucartambo. From this colonial period village, our route will follow the course of the Qenqomayo River to Colquepata, from where we will continue to the high pass at Apacheta (4,100 meters / 13,448 feet). From here we will descend into the Sacred Valley of the Incas, with time to stop along the way and enjoy the Andean scenery, with its traditional villages of weaver communities, llama herders and farmers. We will also pass the spectacular Inca archaeological site of Pisac during this day’s traveling, above the picturesque village of the same name, which is famous for its local market. In Cusco you will be transferred to your selected hotel accommodation.
Day 6: Cusco to Aguas Calientes
We will pick you up at 8:00am (to be confirmed) and take you to the train station. The train leaves at 11:30 am (time may change depending on availability and changes to timetable). After a 3.5-hour journey of majestic views you arrive to Aguas Calientes (Hot Springs Town) where you will spend the night. There will be plenty of time to relax if you want to have a hot bath in the natural springs!
Visit the Machu Picchu 'Manuel Chávez Ballón' museum and orchid exhibition. This is open from 9am to 4.30pm, and is a 35 minute walk down the road from Aguas Calientes to Puente Ruinas. It is a very illustrative museum that gives you an interesting introduction to Machu Picchu.
Day 7: Machu Picchu in it's Glory
You will have breakfast and then your Guide will pick you up from your hotel (5:40am). You will take the bus up to majestic Machu Picchu to catch the sunrise and then begin your walking tour with your guide (approximately 2 hours) after this you can explore the mysterious city by yourselves.
After enjoying a magic time in Machu Picchu, you will take the bus down to Aguas Calientes for lunch later we will board the train back to Ollantaytambo. Upon your arrival to the train station, we will pick you up and take you back to your hotel in Cusco.
Terms & ConditionsDeparture Dates: JUNE: 1st to 8th & 19th to 26th JULY: 3rd to 10th & 17th to 24th AUGUST: 3rd to 10th & 14th to 21th SEPTEMBER: 4th to 11th & 28th to October 5th The prices of the program are valid from January 2nd to December 23rd 2018, with exception of the following dates:
- Celebrations at the end of the year (Christmas and New Years), Carnival, Eastern.
- Public holidays (5/1, 7/28-7/29)
- Celebration of Inti Raymi in Cusco (8/19-8/26)
- Rally Dakar (1/2-1/11)
- CADE (Annual Conference of Executives) : without defined dates and hosting cities. It is possible that the event takes place in December. We will keep you informed.