From the Inca Empire to the Peruvian Amazon
11 days with Avalon Waterways Rating:
Day 1 LIMA, PERU
Welcome to Lima—Cosmopolitan, Colonial, and Pre-Columbian Culture
Enjoy free time today before your Andes and Amazon adventure begins. Explore the fascinating Peruvian capital—where high-rise buildings tower above ancient temples and colorful colonial architecture.
Day 2 LIMA
Peruvian Treasures, Presidential Palaces, and Pizarro’s Conquests
CLASSIC Take a Guided Walking Tour of Lima to see the colonial Old Quarter, Plaza de Armas, the presidential Government Palace, and the Lima Cathedral. Visit San Francisco Monastery to see the famous catacombs followed by the Larco Herrera Museum—with the world’s largest private collection of pre-Columbian Peruvian art.
DISCOVERY Later, enjoy a Culinary Experience with an authentic Peruvian welcome dinner in the exquisite, historic mansion—Casa Garcia Alvarado. (B,D)
Day 3 SACRED VALLEY
Alpacas, Llamas, and Ancient Rituals of the Andes
CLASSIC Fly to Cusco, the ancient Andean city and former capital of the Inca Empire. A Guided Excursion into the Sacred Valley reveals the hillside Temple of Sacsayhuaman. Marvel at the remarkable inca stonework of this 15th-century fortress that was once the site of the largest battle between the Incas and the Spanish. The Spanish were ultimately victorious in 1536, disassembling part of the site to build homes in Cusco and leaving behind the ruins we find today. You will also see the Inca military post of Puca Pucara and visit the ceremonial site of Kenko where ancient Peruvian rituals and sacrifices were performed.
DISCOVERY Take a Guided Tour of Awanakancha to encounter llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and guanacos and learn about their vital role in Peruvian culture. Continue to the old mountain village of Pisac. Take time to shop in Pisac’s large Indian market for treasures such as alpaca sweaters, woven blankets, and handmade jewelry.
This evening, enjoy dinner featuring Andean and Western dishes with wine. (B,L,D)
Day 4 SACRED VALLEY
Stone Temples and Formidable Fortresses
CLASSIC Join a Guided Tour of the adobe village of Ollantaytambo this morning to visit the ruins of an Inca fortress. See the massive stones and amazing engineering design, including the Sun Temple and Princess Baths fountain.
DISCOVERY Join an Escorted Visit to a native Incan home to experience the way of life that has endured since the 13th century.
Andean Heights and Hidden Secrets of the Inca’s Lost City
CLASSIC Join a Guided Excursion aboard the 360° Machu Picchu Train boasting spectacular panoramic views of the lush countryside of Urubamba Valley from its panoramic windows and an observation outdoor carriage. Travel by rail to Aguas Calientes to take the winding road to legendary Machu Picchu.
ACTIVE Take a Guided Walk to explore the “Lost City of the Incas” high atop the Andes once overlaid with dense forest. Learn about the lives and mysteries still hidden in this ancient citadel and the amazing structures built by the pre-Columbian masters of this sacred land.
DISCOVERY Enjoy your overnight stay at the foot of the mountain where Machu Picchu is found with a gourmet Peruvian dinner. (B,D)
Day 5 MACHU PICCHU
A Miraculous Sanctuary in a Tropical Mountain Cloud Forest
CLASSIC Take a second included Guided Excursion to Machu Picchu. Set out early to see the sunrise over the ruins, explore the terraces or perhaps venture up to see the Sun Gate, once used as the ancient entrance to the Sanctuary.
After lunch, return to the Sacred Valley by train and then continue on to Cusco. (B,L)
Day 6 CUSCO
Conquistadors, Churches, and the Colorful Culture of Peru
CLASSIC Take a Guided Walking Tour of Cusco and learn about the Inca culture and the Spanish invasion that threatened their way of life and very existence. Visit Santo Domingo Monastery, originally called Koricancha and built by the Incas as a Temple of the Sun with extraordinary engineering and masonry design. Continue to the Plaza de Armas to visit the Cusco Cathedral.
Enjoy free time this afternoon to explore Cusco’s colorful culture.
DISCOVERY Tonight, an elegant dinner includes wine and a menu inspired by Peru’s eclectic mix of cultures. (B,D)
Day 7 IQUITOS
Turn-of-the-Century Barons and the House that Eiffel Built
CLASSIC Today, you’ll travel by air to Lima and then onto Iquitos where you take a Guided Orientation of this 19th-century boom town with ornate homes built by the “rubber barons” of the day, such as La Casa de Fierro (The Iron House) designed by architect Gustave Eiffel.
NAUTA–PERUVIAN AMAZON RIVER (EMBARKATION)
Travel to Nauta and embark the luxurious vessel, the Delfin III, to cruise the Peruvian Amazon in comfort and convenience. Settle in to your spacious suite before meeting your onboard Naturalist and Cruise Director.
DISCOVERY Attend an onboard Welcome Reception to gain an overview of your upcoming Amazon experience. Your Naturalist Guide will offer information about the animal species of the Amazon ecosystem, the native villagers you’ll meet, and the spectacular plant life that thrives in this astonishing environment. See the two powerful Amazon tributaries—the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers—which converge to create the mighty Peruvian Amazon.
Later, on board, enjoy an unforgettable dinner featuring Peruvian cuisine with the freshest local ingredients. (B,L,D)
Day 8 PERUVIAN AMAZON
Spider Monkeys, Pink Dolphins, and Peru’s Favorite Cocktail
CLASSIC Rise early this morning for your first glimpse of the majestic Amazon at sunrise to experience the sights and sounds. After breakfast, take a Guided Panga Ride down one of the Amazon’s tributaries in search of the incredible wildlife. Your Naturalist Guide helps to spot capuchin, howler, tamarin, and spider monkeys, as well as iguanas, sloths, freshwater pink dolphins, and a stunning array of birdlife. Watch for the extraordinary giant Amazonian water lily.
CLASSIC This afternoon, a Guided Excursion to Pacaya Samiria National Reserve allows you to witness the activity of exotic birds, including trogons, macaws, parrots, falcons, and jacamars.
ACTIVE Take a refreshing Swim in this unique area of the Amazon—with the chance to encounter the Amazon’s amazing pink dolphins.
DISCOVERY Join in an onboard Cooking Class to learn about native fruits, vegetables, and fish. You’ll learn about local ingredients for delicious recipes. In the evening, enjoy a Mixology Lesson to create Peru’s famous cocktail, the Pisco Sour. (B,L,D)
Day 9 PERUVIAN AMAZON
Exotic Birds, Night Creatures, and Natural Remedies
ACTIVE Join a morning Naturalist Guided Walk to explore tropical flora, including epiphytes, orchids, and indigenous jungle vegetation below the rainforest’s canopy.
DISCOVERY Attend an onboard Nature Presentation about indigenous and medicinal plants, fruits, and vegetation used in the Amazonian culture for centuries.
CLASSIC This afternoon, a Guided Excursion to the Amazon community of San Francisco introduces you local villagers who have called Amazonia their home for generations.
ACTIVE Join a Night Safari Excursion to spot nocturnal creatures, including caiman, frogs, bats, and boa constrictors. You will also have the chance to try fishing for piranhas!
DISCOVERY Later tonight, enjoy Live Entertainment by the Delfin III crew of local performers to celebrate your Amazon adventure with music and dance. (B,L,D)
Day 10 IQUITOS (DISEMBARKATION)
A Manatee Introduction and an Amazon Farewell
DISCOVERY This morning, disembark and bid your ship’s crew farewell. On the way to Iquitos, join an Escorted Visit to the Manatee Rescue Center to learn about these endangered Amazon species and the conservation efforts to save these gentle giants before flying to Lima. (B)
Day 11 LIMA
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
All This Included
From its amazing archaeological treasures and gastronomic delights to its scenic beauty and melting pot of cultures, Peru offers visitors a wide array of attractions—and on this tour, you’ll experience its highlights. Begin in the cosmopolitan city of Lima with a guided sightseeing tour, a visit to the Larco Herrera Museum, and a special welcome dinner in an ornate family-owned mansion. Fly to Cusco and descend into the Sacred Valley of the Incas for guided tours of the ceremonial site of Kenko, where ancient rituals were performed, and the Temple of Sacsayhuaman, with its impressive display of stones weighing up to 300 tons. Of course, no vacation to Peru is complete without visiting astonishing Machu Picchu. Built around 1450, at the height of the Inca Empire, it is located in a gorgeous mountain setting above the Sacred Valley. Stand in awe as you witness one of the most majestic images in South America, if not the entire world!
Next, fly to Iquitos, where you will embark on a journey to one of the world’s vastly unexplored regions—the mighty Amazon. Experience the Amazon wilderness where it originates in Peru—where biodiversity is at its greatest and the rainforest is untamed. Board one of the world’s most luxurious small ships—the Delfin III—and enjoy fine wine, famous Peruvian cuisine, and all-inclusive comfort while venturing deep into the Amazon jungle in search of elusive wildlife. During your time in the Amazon, take naturalist-guided panga rides through the river tributaries, swim with pink dolphins, and visit native communities—all while returning to your plush five-star yacht. Wonderful scenery, historical treasures, learning opportunities, and so much more—all are yours on this thrilling river cruise adventure to Peru!
Cruising: Cabin onboard Delfin III
Lima: Casa Andina Premium Miraflores
Urubamba: Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado Hotel and Villas
Machu Picchu: Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel
Cuzco: Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.