Amazon to Andes Odyssey
Ideal active Peru trip that visits the Amazon in addition to a day hike on the Inca Trail, biking or horseback riding, and unique cultural opportunities in just 9 days.
From: $3,565 | 9 DAYS | PERU
Amazon to Andes Odyssey Trip Highlights
- Explore the famed Lost City of Machu Picchu
- Spot wildlife while discovering the Amazon in a comfortable jungle lodge
- Meander the cobblestone streets and bustling markets of Cusco
- Mountain bike or horseback ride through the Andean countryside, indigenous villages, and ancient saltpans
- Hike part of the famed Inca Trail
An adventuresome and comfortable foray into the Amazon combined with a more active approach to the Incan lands of Peru in just nine days makes this a traveler favorite. Find yourself spotting endangered giant otters and macaws in the Amazon, day hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, downhill mountain biking or horseback riding through Andean villages, relaxing in the Sacred Valley, and discovering Cusco and Machu Picchu with the perfect blend of guided and independent travel.
DAY 1 • Lima
Arrive Lima. Visit the city’s sites, museums and restaurants.
DAY 2 • Lima to Amazon Jungle
Fly to the Amazon and head down river to Reserva Amazonica. After gathering with your inkaterra Interpreter, choose from the 14 different excursions available at the lodge, from fishing for piranha to looking for the giant river otter and nighttime jungle explorations.
DAY 3 • Amazon Jungle
Awake before sunrise and paddle around an oxbow lake spotting monkeys, giant river otters, toucans, caimans and other wildlife. Try your hand at catch and release piranha fishing and then head to a natural clay lick to spot colorful macaws and parrots. Visit the indigenous communities ethnobotanical center and learn about their traditional medicines.
DAY 4 • Amazon Jungle – Cusco – Sacred Valley
Fly to Cusco and head to the breathtaking Sacred Valley to meet traditional high-Andean people learning of their lifestyle and the production of colorful textiles so symbolic of their culture. Visit the dramatic Pisac ruins and one of South America’s most vibrant markets before relaxing in your charming hotel.
DAY 5 • Sacred Valley biking or horseback riding
Mountain bike or horseback ride through colonial villages, down the Andes, to an ancient Incan laboratory, and amidst pre-Columbian terraced saltpans. No experience necessary. Enjoy a gourmet picnic before continuing to the valley floor.
DAY 6 • Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Day hike the Inca Trail through Andean cloud forest on this ancient pathway leading you to the Sun Gate and the magical Lost City of Machu Picchu.
DAY 7 • Machu Picchu
Revel at the sunrise from Machu Picchu. Enjoy a complete guided tour of the site with time to explore on your own as well. Choose to summit Huayna Picchu for a bird’s-eye view.
DAY 8 • Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo – Cusco
Hop the train to Ollantaytambo and see a vast complex of Incan ruins on the mountainside. Continue on to Cusco where traditional Andean cultures, the colonial Spanish, and modern Peru fuse into one of South America’s most dynamic cities. Explore on your own or accompanied by your guide.
DAY 9 • Fly to Lima and depart
Return to Lima and depart.
Is It For Me?
An ideal trip for active families and couples looking to combine Peru’s highlights with a visit to the Amazon, this trip takes you beyond the beaten path and helps you see two incredibly different regions in a short time.
Knowmad has vast knowledge and operations in Peru; this is a private trip and we are happy to modify excursions, accommodations, and the flow of the itinerary to perfectly suit your travel style and interests.
Have questions? Talk to an expert: 612-315-2894
Listed prices are approximations. All Knowmad trips are custom and exact pricing is provided in your trip proposal.
- From $3,565 per person / 2 travelers
Additionally, regional airfare is estimated at $550 (Lima/Puerto Maldonado, Puerto Maldonado/Cusco & Cusco/Lima —subject to change).
- Single supplement – rates quoted are per person, based on sharing double accommodations. If you request single accommodations you are required to pay a single supplement. Please inquire for single supplement costs.
TYPE Flexible Date Private Departures. You choose the date, your travel companions and one of our adventures. This is great for families, groups of friends and couples.
MODERATE TRIP More active trips that are suitable for most people in good health. These trips may also venture into remote territory and more rugged terrain. Activities include wildlife viewing, hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding, cultural opportunities, history, train ride, canoeing.
DEPARTURES Year round; can be set up to match your dates. The Peruvian high season coincides with their dry season from May through October (see weather section below). The low and rainy season can also be a greener and less crowded time to visit in the highlands and the rainy season in the Amazon actually only get’s 10% more rain than the dry season. Consult us for more information on the time of year that best suites you.
LENGTH 9 days – 6 nights comfortable hotels, 2 nights jungle lodge BEGIN / END Lima, Peru
INTERNATIONAL Airfare is not included in the land cost of our trips. You may arrange your international airfare independently, or we are happy to offer our feedback and assistance in helping you book it.
REGIONAL If booked by Knowmad Adventures, internal airfare for this trip (Lima/Puerto Maldonado, Puerto Maldonado/Cusco & Cusco/Lima) averages $505, however this is an approximation and the airfare is subject to change upon booking. If you would like to arrange your own regional flights, please consult us prior so we can verify the departure and arrival times.
Ready for the trip of a lifetime? Signing up is easy. Call us at 612-315-2894 or email [email protected] and reserve your spot. Or simply download our registration form, fill it out, and send it back to us along with your trip deposit. Please refer to registration form for terms & conditions.
Weather & When to Go to Peru
The weather in the jungle is warm and humid with average annual maximum temperature of 95°F (33°C) and minimum of 70°F (21°C).
The second half of this trip takes place in the Peruvian highlands. Throughout the year here the average temperature is in the mid-50s °F (10-12 °C) and does not fluctuate greatly. Evenings are cooler. There are primarily two seasons: wet and dry. December through March sees much more precipitation than other times of the year and is the less visited season.
Prior to your departure, you are provided a detailed pre-trip information packet including a recommended pack list, information about the regions you’ll be visiting, suggested readings, up-to-date health information including any recommended vaccinations and more.
Our trips feature comfortable accommodations that complement their surroundings. We seek out intimacy and character, but never sacrifice cleanliness and security. We also find the best value for quality. In general, our physically moderate to vigorous trips feature hotels classified as 3+ to 4 stars, while less physically demanding trips feature 4+ to 5 star hotels.
As South American travel specialists, we’re experts and have inspected hundreds of properties. Knowmad is happy to suggest upgrades and alternative hotels based on your preferences to ensure your trip is perfect for you. Photos below are from this itinerary’s preferred accommodations. For more specifics, call or write to request more info, or download the detailed trip itinerary.
Accommodations featured in this itinerary are the following:
DAY 1 Lima
Upon arrival you’ll be met at the airport by a Knowmad Adventures representative and taken to your accommodations centrally located in the Miraflores neighborhood. Explore Peru’s diverse and delectable cuisine and visit some of the city’s many sites and museums on your own or, depending on your time, make a guided exploration of the city or learn to make ceviche with a local chef on a culinary discovery.* Please note if arriving late as most flights from the U.S do it is best to stay at the airport hotel and not enter Lima.
DAY 2 Lima to Amazon Jungle
Welcome in Puerto Maldonado. You may visit Inkaterra Butterfly House near the airport, check-in, and in only 15 minutes you can get to the boarding wharf. Begin to experience the enchantment of the rainforest as you take a 45-minute boat ride along the Madre de Dios River, to arrive at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica lodge. After a short briefing, settle into your beautiful cabaña and enjoy your lunch in the dining room. Take a siesta, share a refreshing tea time and get ready for the afternoon excursion.
After gathering with your inkaterra Interpreter, choose from the 14 different excursions available at the Inkaterra lodge. On your first day, we recommend a guided walk along the Trail system, into the Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica natural area, where you will discover the Amazon Basin. This trail offers an excellent introduction to the forest environment, winding past impressive trees such as the Shihuahuaco, and the strangely beautiful strangler fig, offering excellent opportunities for bird watching and observing exotic insects.
We also recommend on the first night our Twilight River excursion — a guided afternoon boat ride on the Madre de Dios river. Witness the transformation from a diurnal to a nocturnal world: animals and birds of the daytime give way to species specially adapted to the night. As you enjoy their paradise, you will learn about their habits, while you search for nightjars, owls, capybaras and up to three different caiman species.
Enjoy dinner served in the main dining room from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. After dinner, you may retire early to your own cabana, or share your experience of life in the rainforest with other guests and interpreters, as you listen to the intriguing sounds of the jungle at night.
DAY 3 Amazon Jungle
Rest in bed or rise early — the choice is yours. Breakfast begins at 5:30 a.m., for those who want to avoid the heat, and enjoy nature at its fullest. A full buffet breakfast is served from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. This morning you may visit the Lake Sandoval excursion into the Tambopata National Reserve. Glide in a wooden canoe, across a beautiful, mirror-like oxbow lake that is home to the endangered giant river otter, as well as red howler monkeys, red-bellied macaws, anacondas, side-neck turtles and black caimans. Return to the Inkaterra lodge for lunch.
After lunch, consider the remarkable Inkaterra Canopy Walkway. Ascending the first tower, 29 meters above the forest ground, you begin your encounter with the treetop realm. For more than a quarter of a mile, you will literally walk through the rainforest canopy on a suspension bridge network linking eight observation platforms. During this hour-and-a-half expedition, be on the lookout for colorful toucans, woodpeckers, trogons, monkeys, and sloths. If you wish you may extend your excursion and appreciate the sunset from one of the towers. The excursion finishes by returning to the lodge.
Once at the lodge, enjoy the daily nature presentation in the Ecomedia Center.
Dinner starts at 7:30p.m.
DAY 4 Amazon Jungle – Cusco – Sacred Valley
After taking the boat back to Puerto Maldonado and a short flight to Cusco, you’ll be met at the airport by your guide, head through town, and on to the lower altitudes of the legendary Sacred Valley, a far better place to acclimatize to elevation than Cusco. On the way we’ll stop at Awanacancha, an indigenous community project where you’ll meet high-Andean peoples, learning about their daily lives and the fascinating production of the textiles so symbolic of their culture. From there continue deeper into the valley and on to panoramic views of the Pisac ruins clinging dramatically to the mountainside. Visit one of South America’s most colorful markets in Pisac and head to your charming hotel nestled in the valley.
DAY 5 Sacred Valley biking or horseback riding
Departing in the morning, drive up the mountains towards Cruzpata where you will begin either a mountain bike or horseback adventure depending on your preference (no experience necessary). Traversing the altiplano landscape with sweeping vistas to snowcapped peaks over 16,000-feet high, you arrive to Moray – a little-known site thought to be an ancient Incan agricultural laboratory. From here you begin descending and pass through a traditional colonial and pre-Hispanic village.
After enjoying a gourmet picnic lunch in the shadows of the Andes, continue on the downhill section to Maras where villagers still harvest the pre-Colombian terraced saltpans in the traditional way. Return to your hotel for a relaxing evening.
DAY 6 Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Heading out early you’ll take the train along the Urubamba Valley to kilometer 104 and begin hiking the Inca Trail. Crossing a footbridge you pass Winay Wayna ruins with their extensive terracing and water fountains. Another gourmet picnic along the trail will have you refueled. Hiking a total of approximately 5 hours you finally edge along a ridge to catch your first dramatic views of the Lost City of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate Inti Punku during the late afternoon. Descend towards the citadel taking in the amazing site and reunite with your van that takes you down to Machu Picchu Pueblo for a relaxing evening.
DAY 7 Machu Picchu
Early risers can watch the sunrise from the Machu Picchu citadel. Or, if you’d like to summit the adjacent sacred peak Wayna Picchu for part of the day, it can be arranged with advance notice.* This incredibly vast archeological site – lost to the world until well into the twentieth century – is perched amongst Andean peaks and lush cloud forest making it one of the most breathtaking sights in the world. You’ll have the opportunity to get a complete guided tour as you begin to unlock the mystery of the Inca, and will also have plenty of time to explore the ruins on your own. Lunch at the adjacent Sanctuary Lodge means you’re able to enjoy the whole day without leaving awe-inspiring Machu Picchu. Return to Machu Picchu Pueblo for the evening.
DAY 8 Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo – Cusco
Taking the train from Machu Picchu Pueblo after breakfast, you’ll have time to roam through Ollantaytambo town and visit the ancient ruins towering above. Arrive to Cusco – formerly the Incan capital and today one of South America’s most dynamic cities – before lunch and have the afternoon to explore on your own or accompanied by your guide. Visit Incan architectural jewels such as Korikancha – the temple of the sun, shop at Andean markets, enjoy incredible Peruvian cuisine, and see the colonial cathedrals around the Plaza Central.
DAY 9 Fly to Lima and depart
Fly to Lima and depart. Or with more time, extend your trip with a visit to Lake Titicaca, the Colca Canyon, or even Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands.
Extend Your Adventure
Arequipa & The Colca Canyon
Colonial Arequipa – known as ‘the white city’ for its buildings made of the stone sillar – and its picturesque cobblestone streets offer an enchanting look at Peruvian life. It’s also the perfect jumping off point for the Colca. One of the world’s deepest canyons, the Colca is stunning as you watch giant Andean Condors soar amongst thermal winds. Enjoy soothing hot springs after exploring the canyon for a perfect day.
Besides being the highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca is home to diverse traditional cultures including the floating Uros civilization, the Quechua people of Taquile Island, and the Amaru peoples. Come and meet them at the top of the world.
Want to spend more time exploring this great city? Besides getting you a great value for hotels and airport transfers, we can line up a fantastic cooking lesson and culinary city tour, full and half day sightseeing adventures, surrounding ruin visits and much more.
Let The Journey Begin
Planning a trip to South America might seem a little overwhelming at first. Knowmad offers door-to-door trip planning: first, we listen, and then we help you navigate the seasonal differences and itinerary options, resulting in a holistic, seamless, and custom-crafted experience, all at a guaranteed best value.
The simplest way to get started is to give us a call at 612-315-2894or to fill out this short form so we can learn more about your travel preferences.