After breakfast, depart to the historic center of Lima, a UNESCO world heritage site, where you will see the Cathedral, the Government Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace, and City Hall. Visit the Church and Convent of the San Francisco Monastery, the most significant religious site in Lima, which provides insight into life during Spanish colonial times, and the catacombs, which served as a burial ground until 1808. Continue to the Cathedral which houses the remains of Francisco Pizarro, the founder of Lima. Afterwards, we will head to Pueblo Libre District to visit the Larco Museum, housed in a former mansion, itself built on the site of a pre-Columbian temple, and the museum offers a varied collection of 3,000 years of ceramic, textile and precious metal artifacts. There are also mummies that show off the different way’s ancient cultures, including the Incas, preserved their dead. Lunch is included at Café del Museo. Finally, return to your hotel, in route enjoy a panoramic drive through Miraflores and San Isidro and to see the sites of “Parque de los Enamorados” (Lover’s Park), and enjoy a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. The evening is yours to enjoy at leisure. (B/L)
Lima/Iquitos/Embark Ship/Ucayali River
After an early breakfast, transfer to the airport and fly from Lima to Iquitos. Upon arrival in Iquitos, you’ll be greeted by a member of the Delfin III team. We will start off with a lunchbox as we travel over paved road to the city of Nauta, 95 kilometers away. Nauta is literally the “end of the road” where you will embark on the Delfin III. Along the way, you will see vibrant “terra firma” (non-flooded forest) and various aspects of daily jungle life. Nauta is a small riverside town on the banks of the Marañon River and was the first city founded in the department of Loreto. Once we reach Nauta, you will enjoy a VIP greeting at Delfin’s private port along the shores of the Marañon River where the vessel awaits you. Aboard the Delfin III, the qualified staff will introduce you to your exquisite and cozy suite, specially equipped with all the amenities necessary for the experienced traveler.
Along the Ucayali River you will have the opportunity to spend some time in search of birds and playful monkeys. As your naturalist guide spots various creatures for you, the landscape adorned by the usual colors of the sun’s reflections is a great photo opportunity as you witness your first Amazon Rainforest Sunset. Later we gather for cocktails and a celebratory welcome dinner as we make our way out of port and into the Amazon River. (B/L/D)
Here in the Amazon Rainforest, we can have dry mornings with beautiful sunrises. This is all we need to have a successful pre-breakfast exploration of the forest! The early morning hours are the best time of day to watch birds, observe their special displays and listen to their songs. We will jump on the skiffs and head to the shores of the Ucayali River. This area is green with large trees and old palm trees as well, and these components favor the presence of several parrot species. This particular spot also has a great number of other birds of different species. Perhaps spot a large flock of red-bellied macaws, as well different types of raptors, woodpeckers and swallows. If you are very lucky you will hear loud and distinctive sounds of blue and yellow macaws! Following our morning exploration, we return to the boat for a nourishing breakfast and time to relax.
This afternoon, enjoy lunch and time to enjoy the boat. Later, we board our skiffs to look for the famous hoatzins nesting a few feet above water, and perhaps a sloth or two of the three toed kind. The Dorado River can also be home to troops of brown capuchin monkeys mixed up with squirrel monkeys. As the sun sets, our aim will be finding black and white caiman, fishing bats, and Noisy Nights Monkeys. In the evening you will encounter a whole new world of adventure, after which we return to the Delfin for another satisfying dinner. (B/L/D)
This morning, we cruise through the Pacaya River, which is at the very heart of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, Peru’s largest protected area with a mean annual rainfall of nearly 3,000 millimeters, by far the largest protected wetland reserve in the world. Filled with lakes, palm swamps, and streams, the reserve becomes a flooded forest in the rainy season and is sure to be one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever visit. You will also have the chance to explore one of the pristine Amazon lagoons in this wonderful region!
Following lunch and a relaxing afternoon on board, we board our skiffs and speed along the main river to reach the narrower channels where we will explore the thick rainforest adjacent to the water. During our explorations we will look for some of the more typical and iconic birds of the New World tropics, such as the lettered Aracari Toucan, the Straightbilled Woodcreeper and the White-eared Jacamar. Later on, travel near Flor de Castaña, for an opportunity to swim among pink dolphins. If you are thinking Piranhas, as many people have in their minds, when they think about the Amazon River! But don’t worry; the aggressiveness of this characteristic fish of the Amazon is really extremely overrated. (B/L/D)
Yarapa River/Fundo Casual
This morning along the Yarapa River, you will get to explore this tributary intimately. Listen closely for the sounds from within the mysterious jungle. We travel down river to this wide creek that leads to an attractive hidden lagoon. As we absorb the beauty of the landscape, we will have the chance to reflect on the wildlife. Hawks, terns, herons and monkeys which are part of our everyday excursions are readily close by; in this area we will notice many more inhabitants of the Amazon, the rivereños. People being an important part of this complex bionetwork only reinforce the fact that we are part of their lives and how our presence here and now could make a difference to the future of this magical land of the Incas. Look out for specific types of Monkeys like the pygmy marmoset, squirrel monkey, and our first Monk Saki. This medium-sized monkey with the thick fur and bushy tail looks more like he is dressed for the Arctic than the Amazon. After, enjoy a delicious breakfast and some time at leisure.
For our afternoon excursion we take a walk at Fundo Casual jungle trail, which will take you deep into the rainforest on terra firme (nonflooded forest) where your guide will point out the dynamic creatures and vegetation of the Amazon. Be sure to keep an attentive eye open for spotting surprises! It’s almost unbelievable how with every step you find something along the way. Almost definitely Anaconda, Rainbow Boas, Tarantulas, Poison Frogs, and most recently porcupines have been spotted. This is one of the very few places in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve Amazon Rainforest where you will spot the ever so elusive 2-toed sloth. This evening, back on board, enjoy a festive farewell dinner. (B/L/D)
This morning, we’ll disembark the Delfin III. On our way back to the Iquitos airport, we’ll visit the Rescue & Rehabilitation Center of River Mammals (ACOBIA) where you will have the chance to meet baby manatees and learn about these wonderful and docile creatures and why they are on the endangered species list. You will also have the chance to pet and feed these kind manatees. As well, there are also some other animals cared for by the center that have been rescued from capture for the intention of being turned into pets and other threatening conditions. We welcome you to donate to this ambitious organization and education center as you wish. Our land personnel will wait for you at the airport and give your boarding passes, provide you with a box lunch courtesy of the Delfin III and help you check in. Should you wish, you may also purchase a snack at the Iquitos airport, and/or something more substantial upon arrival to the Lima airport.
After a connecting flight through Lima, we will arrive in Cusco, and transfer to the Tambo del Inka Hotel. A light snack will be served on the way to the hotel. Tonight’s dinner is on your own at the hotel. We suggest you eat light on your first night at altitude. (B/Lunch Box/Snack)
Urubamba Valley is located in the Andes close to the Inca capital of Cusco, and below the ancient sacred city of Machu Picchu. This morning we take a scenic drive into the mountains to the incredible Saltpans of Maras, which have existed since Pre-Incan times, and the mind boggling archaeological Incan crop research site of Moray. We return to the hotel around 1pm for lunch on your own and some time to relax. Tonight, we enjoy dinner as a group at the Tambo del Inka hotel. (B/D)
This morning, we explore Ollantaytambo, the predecessor to Machu Picchu, with its huge Incan fortress rising from the edge of town. Once a stronghold of Inca resistance to Spanish colonization, it’s remarkably well-preserved. Following the tour we enjoy a sumptuous included buffet lunch.
After lunch, you have the option to visit the Pablo Seminario Ceramic Workshop and store (directly across from the Tambo del Inka hotel), or return to the hotel to relax. Dinner tonight is on your own. (B/L)
Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu
After breakfast, board the train for the scenic journey to Aguas Calientes. Enjoy lunch on board the train and upon arrival to Aguas Calientes we venture to the summit to start our tour of Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas.” A local expert will guide you through the marvelous citadel, the main plaza, the royal quarters, and the Temple of Three Windows before checking into the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel. This evening we enjoy dinner together at the hotel. (B/L/D)
Machu Picchu/Sacred Valley/Cusco
This morning, the choice is yours to make a second visit to Machu Picchu mountain in the early morning, or you could opt to climb Huaynapicchu (limited based on availability-advance sign up required). Otherwise, the morning is yours to explore Machu Picchu Village on your own. This afternoon, return to Ollantaytambo by train, and transfer the remainder of the way to Cusco by motor coach. Upon arrival, check-in to the historic Palacio del Inka Luxury Collection Hotel in Cusco and enjoy dinner on your own and an evening at leisure. (B/L)
This morning is free to relax on your own to enjoy the hotel, or take a stroll in the city. Your breakfast is included at the hotel and lunch is on your own. Following lunch we set off on foot for a guided tour including a visit to the Koricancha and the Convent of Santo Domingo. The Convent was built on the Koricancha (site of gold), the most important temple dedicated to the worship of the sun by the ancient Incans. We continue to Cusco’s Plaza de Armas central square, for a visit to the Cathedral, one of the most imposing structures in the city. The Cathedral houses an important collection of gold and silver work from the colonial period as well as a beautiful collection of oil on canvas. This evening, we gather for a pisco tasting and a festive dinner at Republica del Pisco. (B/D)
Following breakfast at the hotel, visit the Sacsayhuaman fortress, one of the emblematic Inca constructions, built by Inca Pachacútec in the 15th century. It is a huge fortress made of very large stones, and the manner in which they were transported and cut is still a mystery.
Then visit Qenqo, one of the largest huacas (holy places) in the Cusco Region. Many huacas were based on naturally occurring rock formations. It was believed to be a place where sacrifices and mummification took place.
Following our morning tour, we’ll have a special farewell lunch before your transfer to the Cusco airport for your departure flight. (B/L)