Discovering Peru’s Amazon Jungle is an amazing experience, but discovering it from a luxury Aria River boat is an indulgence you’ll never forget. The Aqua Amazon, with 16 sumptuously appointed suites and opulent communal areas is one of world’s most exclusive river boats. Over three days you travel deep into the Amazon Jungle, sailing along the two largest tributaries of the Peruvian Amazon, the Ucayali and the Marañon, together with the mighty Amazon itself. Enjoy outstanding on-board service, leading naturalist guides and gourmet cuisine deigned by Pedro Miguel Schiaffino – one of Peru’s leading chefs and an authority on Amazonian cooking. Discover the best of Peru’s hospitality with our 12 day luxury Amazon River cruise & Machu Picchu vacation package.
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Day 1: Collection from Lima airport, overnight in Miraflores district.
Day 2: Mid-morning flight to Cusco, afternoon tour of Pisac Ruins & Market.
Day 3: Tour of Ollantaytambo Ruins, Moray Ruins and pre-Inca Salt Pans.
Day 4: Guided tour of Machu Picchu.
Day 5: Re-visit Machu Picchu + mountain trek (optional).
Day 6: Afternoon tour of Cusco City.
Day 7: Free day in Cusco.
Day 8: Fly to Iquitos, luxury Amazon River cruise.
Day 9: Luxury Amazon River cruise.
Day 10: Luxury Amazon River cruise.
Day 11: Luxury Amazon River cruise, fly to Lima.
Day 12: Morning tour of Lima, transfer to Lima Airport.
Day 1: Collection from Lima airport, overnight in Miraflores district
On your international arrival in Peru, our English speaking representatives will be waiting to collect you. In a private vehicle you will be transferred to the up-market district of Miraflores, where you will have the rest of the day to relax. Miraflores is a wealthy district of Lima, famous for its many superb eateries and high-end restaurants. Shops, pharmacies, banks and money exchange are all within walking distance of your hotel.
Should your international flight arrive later in the evening we recommend taking advantage of the 4 star Lima Airport Hotel, located within easy walking distance of the airport.
Day 2: Mid-morning flight to Cusco, afternoon tour of Pisac Ruins & Market
We will collect you in the morning and transfer you to Lima Airport for a morning flight to the Andean City of Cusco. On arrival our local representatives will be waiting to collect you. Today is designed with the high altitude of the region in mind, so on arrival in Cusco you will head straight to the lower altitudes of the Sacred Valley.
From Cusco you will travel north, taking the road to the Pisac. Time permitting you will stop at Awanakancha, a camelid farm, where you can take a moment to stretch your legs and be introduced to the iconic Andean animals: alpaca, llama and vicuña. A further 30 minutes’ drive towards Pisac you will stop for lunch.
Following lunch you will take a tour of the mountain top ruins of Pisac. The beautiful ruins of Pisac are defined by vast sweeping agricultural terraces encompassing a temple complex and residential dwellings. Due to the immense size of the ruins, you will visit the upper-sector only. Being mindful of the altitude, you’ll take a leisurely 1 hour guided tour, visiting the mountainside Inca commentary, the ritual baths and the upper residential dwelling.
Day 3: Tour of Ollantaytambo Ruins, Moray Ruins and pre-Inca Salt Pans
From Urubamba in the heart of the Valley, you will take a scenic excursion out to a lesser-known Inca ruin of Moray. With the imposing mountains of the Cordillera Urubamba as a backdrop, you journey through the traditional village of Maras and onto Moray Ruin. Ingeniously built into the natural curvature of the landscape, a series of concentric circular terraces form a bowl, mirroring a large amphitheater. Historians believe that Moray was used by the Incas as a laboratory or testing ground for various crops native to the area. After you will continue on to the pre-Inca salt pans of Maras. Set in the heartland of remote mountains, with sun reflecting on it as though they were snow, the salt flats will mesmerize you with their beauty, radiant as white gold. Fed with salt water from the Pacific Ocean by means of a deep subterranean crevice, Maras still produces several tons of salt daily, all of which is painstakingly crushed under-foot by local campesino men. After a relaxing lunch, you will proceed onto the mighty mountain side fortress ruin of Ollantaytambo. Not only is the ruin visually impressive, it also has a strong historical importance, serving as the last stronghold of Inca Manco Yupanqui, leader of the Inca resistance during the fall of the empire.
Day 4: Guided tour of Machu Picchu
Today you will travel to Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. From your hotel in the Sacred Valley, you will take a short drive to the train station located at Ollantaytambo. Here a scenic 1 hour 40 minutes train ride passes through striking mountain scenery before arriving into Machu Picchu Pueblo. Upon arrival our local representative will meet you and assist with your luggage to your hotel. From the main bus stop, a few minutes away, you will take a 30 minutes shuttle bus ride to Machu Picchu where our expert guide will be waiting to show you the wonders.
Machu Picchu was in its final stages of construction when the Incas abandoned it. Historians believe that the site was forsaken in the years following the Spanish conquest of Peru (sometime after 1535). Concealed by the jungle, Machu Picchu lay hidden and untouched from the modern world for over 500 years.
After your tour, you will have free time to explore the site on your own. You’ll spend the night at a nearby hotel in the village of Aguas Calientes.
Day 5: Re-visit Machu Picchu + mountain trek (optional)
Due to the distances and time involved to get to Machu Picchu, we include a second day to re-enter the site at your leisure. We will include a shuttle bus and entrance tickets along with entrance to either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain treks. Both the trek options offer the opportunity to climb original Inca Trails to vantage points overlooking Machu Picchu. From high above, you’ll be able to comprehend the vast scale of the citadel and appreciate its mystical location on the edge of the Amazon Jungle.
In the afternoon you will travel onto Cusco, taking the train to Ollantaytambo followed by a road transfer in our private vehicle the for the remainder of the distance.
Day 6: Afternoon tour of Cusco City
After your late return from Machu Picchu, we leave the morning free so that you can have a leisurely breakfast. In the afternoon we will collect you for a privately guided tour of Cusco.
Largely unknown to most visitors, Cusco was once one of the most powerful cities in the world. It was the capital of the Inca Empire, and governed a large swath of South America. Inca Cusco flourished for over a 130 years, until its abrupt end in 1534 when Spanish conquistador Pizarro marched on Cusco forcibly taking control of the city. Nowadays, the city’s streets still hold very many remnants of its rich history. Ruins and foundations of impressive Inca buildings still remain in the midst of the colonial structures built upon them. Your private guide will take you for a tour of Cusco, visiting the main highlights of the city, including: Sacsayhuaman, Korikancha, Cusco Cathedral and Q’enko.
Day 7: Free day in Cusco
With such a rich and captivating past, we have learned that including a free day today will really enhance your time in Cusco. The colonial center is easily accessible on foot, so getting around is simple if not rewarding in its own right. We recommend a walk to Cusco’s main food market – San Pedro. You’ll be overwhelmed by the activity in the market. Local traders shout over each other in a bid for your attention. Your sense of smell will come alive as you wander past stands specializing in chicharron de cerdo, guinea-pig or perhaps a hearty cow head soup. Negotiate a good price for your purchases, and learn to barter like a local. The city has many great museums too. We recommend a visit to La Casa Concha Museum – dedicated to the re-discovery of Machu Picchu, the MAP Museum – displaying a unique collection of artifacts dedicated to Peru’s pre-Columbian period, or Museum Casa Garcilaso – the place where famous chronicler Garcilaso De La Vega once lived.
Cusco also boasts some excellent restaurants and bars. From international cuisine to traditional Peruvian cooking, you are sure to find something that will take your fancy. If you wish to sample a traditional Pisco Sour or perhaps some Peruvians wines, we have lots of great recommendations for the best places to discover. Let our luxury Peru travel experts give you their insider tips on the best places in town.
Day 8: Fly to Iquitos, luxury Amazon River cruise
In the morning you will take a flight to Peru’s northeast region of Iquitos where you will embark on a 4 day luxury Amazon River cruise.
Built in 2010, and fully refurbished in 2015, the Aria Amazon River boat is one of the finest expedition boats operating in South America. The 45 meter (147 feet) long vessel has a maximum capacity for 32 guests with additional space for a crew of 26 people. The boat features 16 guest suites across two decks. Each suite measures 23.5 square meters (253 sq ft), and offer two oversize twin beds or a super king-size bed. Cabins also feature floor to ceiling panoramic windows, air-conditioning and en-suite bathrooms. Communal areas of this opulent vessel include indoor and outdoor lounges, a bar, an observation deck and a dining room. A hot tub, a compact work out area (with exercise machines) and a massage room also complement the services available on the boat.
The 3 night Amazon River luxury cruise on the Aria Amazon begins in the remote colonial city of Iquitos. Guests are transported in exceptional comfort deep into the Amazon rainforest, along the Ucayali River, the Amazon’s largest tributary, in addition to other neighboring rivers (the Yarapa and Dorado). All the while you will be surrounded by rich dense jungle, vibrant flora and fauna.
On arrival at the Aria Amazon River boat, you will be invited to the top deck to meet the tour director and guides. Following a safety briefing and drill you will sit down for a welcome dinner on-board the boat.
NOTE: All tours described in this itinerary are subject to change at any time in accordance with changes made by the operator. This is the low water itinerary applicable from June to November. Consult our luxury Peru travel team for accurate itinerary descriptions.
Day 9: Luxury Amazon River cruise
Breakfast is served in the elegant dining room. Enjoy a wonderfully prepared buffet breakfast, including Peruvian specialties and freshly squeezed juices from the Amazon.
In the morning your guides will prepare the skiff for your first expedition on the Yarapa River, a tributary of the Amazon. Floating past local fishermen in their canoes, your guides will point out wildlife commonly seen in the area, including black collared hawks, sloth, terns and tropical songbirds.
Lunch is served in the air-conditioned dining room, as the Aria continues its navigation along the Amazon River.
On arrival at Lake Clavero, you’ll have the opportunity to canoe or swim in the calm waters of the lake. You may wish to visit the local community and interact with its indigenous population. Dinner is served on your return.
Day 10: Luxury Amazon River cruise
Following breakfast, you will board the motorized skiffs, where you will explore a fascinating black water stream within the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. The stream is referred to as ‘gallery forest’ because of its dense vegetation that forms a spellbinding tunnel effect in leaves. This unique wetland jungle is a perfect place to see fluffy monk saki monkeys, parrot and macaw.
On return to the boat, you will have the option to participate in cooking classes. Lunch is served in the dining room.
In the afternoon you’ll board your skiffs for a trip through what is known as ´the Jungle of Mirrors,’ named after the mirror like effect created by the water and the tall dominating trees in this unique area. At the Dorado River you will have the opportunity to observe jungle animals including a variety of primate, parrot and macaw. As the sun sets en-route back to the Aria, keep your eyes peeled for fishing bats, frogs and alligators.
Dinner is served in the evening as the Aria continues up-stream to the birth place of the Amazon River.
Day 11: Luxury Amazon River cruise, fly to Lima
Breakfast on-board. This morning, at dusk, the Aria will navigate around the edges of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, a vast national park covering some 5 million acres of flooded forest. This morning you’ll have the opportunity to witness one of the world’s greatest natural wonders – the source of the mighty Amazon River. Where the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers merge, a huge waterfall marks the start of the Amazon. The Amazon River is the world’s longest river stretching some 4,345 miles (6,993 km’s), passing through Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia.
You will continue the morning with a journey by boat to a community located along the Marañon River. Here in a remote part of the world you will have the opportunity to meet traditional villagers, learn about their history, how they live and their folklore. You’ll get to learn about medicinal plants from a Shaman or local medicine teacher, whose knowledge of spiritual healing has been passed down for centuries from generation to generation.
A light lunch is served on-board the Aria Amazon as it navigates down-river in the direction of Nauta City.
At Nauta you can take a moment to visit the Manatee Rescue Center. The center is a type of animal orphanage that helps rehabilitate manatees before releasing them back to the wild.
In the early afternoon you will be transferred back to the airport in Iquitos where you will catch an evening flight to Lima. On arrival in Lima, we will meet you and transfer you to your hotel for the evening.
Day 12: Morning tour of Lima, transfer to Lima Airport
Officially founded in January 18, 1535 by the Spanish Conquistador Francisco Pizarro, Lima has a long and illustrious past. During colonial times it was known as Ciudad de los Reyes (City of the Kings), and gained further prestige after being designated capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru in 1543. In the ensuing 100 years it became the main trading point for products arriving from Europe, the Americas and the Far East.
Today we will collect you for a guided tour of Lima, taking in the colonial center and the modern districts of San Isidro and Miraflores. In the historic center you will drive through Plaza Miguel Grau, pass by the mighty Palacio de Justicia, influenced by the French Art-Nouveau period from the end of the 19th century, before arriving at Lima’s main square – Plaza de Armas, Here you’ll have time to explore the plaza, home to the Government Palace, City Hall, and Lima Cathedral. A short walk away, you’ll take a guided tour of the Church and Convent of Santo Domingo, where the Catholic Dominican Order was first founded in Peru. From the colonial center you will drive 20 minutes to the business district of San Isidro. Here you will visit the Temple of Huallamarca, a pre-Inca adobe structure dating back to the Lima Culture around 200 B.C. The tour will finish with a drive along the scenic Miraflores coastline, and onto El Parque del Amor (The Park of Love). Have your photo taken at the famous sculpture called El Beso (The Kiss), created by Peru’s famous artist Victor Delfin.
In the afternoon you will be transferred to Lima Airport, where you can connect to your onward flight home.
Dates are flexible and customized to meet your needs, but need to be tailored to work with the fixed departures of the Amazon cruises. There are several cruise departures every week, but these are subject to availability. Contact a luxury Peru travel adviser about possible dates.
Lima, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Iquitos Amazon.
This tour is suitable for all ages. A certain amount of light walking is needed to navigate Inca archaeological sites and featured attractions. Jungle excursions are typically easy to moderate in level, but can include some short-medium length treks. This package includes privately guided excursions so the amount of walking can be tailored to suit your ability (Amazon River cruise is done as part of a small group).
When to Travel:
This vacation package is suitable for any month of the year. Many people will avoid the wet season or high water season (December – April) opting to travel during Peru’s dry season (May – November). May through August and Christmas/New Year is considered to be high tourist season in Peru. Amazon cruises are in high demand, so planning with plenty of anticipation is advised. Consult one of our luxury Peru travel team for more information.
Type of Tour:
Sightseeing, Inca Ruins, light adventure, history, Peruvian culture, wildlife, Amazon Jungle, luxury cruise.
US$ 360 – 500+ per person per day (based on 5 star hotels)
US$ 330 – 350 per person per day (based on 4 star hotels)
US$ 280 – 320 per person per day (based on 3 star hotels)
Included in the Price:
- Guided excursions as described in itinerary. Based on private service, with private modern vehicle and dedicated separate driver.
- Entrance tickets, shuttle bus tickets and train tickets.
- Hotel nights as described, including breakfasts.
- Airport collections and drop-offs with check-in and baggage assistance.
- 24 Hour emergency contact number and assistance (in-country).
- 2 x Lunches in the Sacred Valley.
Not Included in the Price:
- International flights.
- Domestic flight package. Flights needed Lima – Cusco – Lima – Iquitos – Lima Approximate cost US$ 720 – 800. We only use LAN or Avianca Airlines. We can purchase these flights on your behalf.
- Tips or gratuities.
- Other meals not stated in the itinerary.
- Travel insurance.
Customize This Trip
We know that everyone has different travel styles and requirements. If you want to change any part of this package simply let us know what you want to change and we will be happy to provide a tailored itinerary to suit.
Most packages are customized for private travel according to your travel dates and requirements. Click on the button below and tell us what you are looking to do.