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From the Inca Empire to the Peruvian Amazon 2018

11 days with Avalon Waterways  Rating: First Class

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River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive In Lima, Peru
Welcome to the cosmopolitan city of Lima, where you will be met by your Tour Director. Get ready to discover age-old cultures, rich traditions, the legendary Inca Empire, and the mighty Amazon Basin!
 
Day 2 Lima
This morning, join your Local Guide on a WALKING TOUR that focuses on Lima’s colonial heritage in the old quarter of the city. Start at the Plaza de Armas, boasting the city’s original colonial architecture from over four centuries ago. See the Government Palace, where Peru’s president resides, as well as the Renaissance/Baroque-style cathedral. From here, stroll to the venerable SAN FRANCISCO MONASTERY with its splendid 17th-century cloister murals. For a special treat, visit the LARCO HERRERA MUSEUM, which houses the largest private collection of pre-Columbian Peruvian art in the world. This evening, enjoy a special Local Favorite and welcome dinner at one of Lima’s finest historic mansions, CASA GARCIA ALVARADO. Hosted by the home’s owner and your Tour Director, toast the exciting start of your vacation with your fellow traveling companions and enjoy some typical Peruvian food. (Breakfast, Dinner)
 
Day 3 Lima–Cusco–Sacred Valley
Fly to Cusco, the ancient Andean city that was once capital of the Inca Empire. Spend the day in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, starting with a visit to the TEMPLE OF SACSAYHUAMAN, perched on a hillside overlooking Cusco. With its massive stones weighing up to 300 tons, this 15th-century fortress is one of the best displays of the Incas’ impressive stonework. While most believe it was a religious temple, Sacsayhuaman was also site of one of the most violent battles between the Spanish and the Cusqueños. 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. Next, stop at the ceremonial site of KENKO, where ancient rituals were performed—perhaps, even sacrifices. Nearby, see Puca Pucara, thought to be a rest stop, weapons storage, or guard post used by the Incas and their soldiers. At AWANAKANCHA, encounter llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and guanacos and learn the difference between these South American camels and their importance in Peruvian culture. Continue to the old mountain village of PISAC, home to a huge Indian market, where you will have free time to shop for local wares, such as alpaca sweaters, blankets, and handmade jewelry. This evening, enjoy dinner at the hotel featuring Andean and Western dishes as well as wine. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 4 Sacred Valley–Machu Picchu
In the small village of OLLANTAYTAMBO this morning, visit the Inca fortress followed by the opportunity to visit a native Inca’s HOME and experience their way of life. Next, board the Vistadome TRAIN for a short journey through the lush Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientes. From here, take the winding road up to legendary MACHU PICCHU, known as the “Lost City of the Incas,” hidden so well that the invading Spaniards never found it. High above the steep valley overlaid with dense tropical jungle, a Local Guide will bring you closer to the lives and mysteries still hidden in these amazing structures built by the pre-Columbian masters of this sacred land. Tonight, stay at the foot of the mountain where Machu Picchu is found and enjoy an exquisite dinner prepared from regional Peruvian ingredients. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 5 Machu Picchu–Cusco
If you choose, rise early today and using your second included entrance to MACHU PICCHU, see the sunrise over the ruins. Enjoy the tranquility of the morning as you wander the ruins at your own pace and experience the magic that is Machu Picchu. 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 continue on to Cusco. (Breakfast, Lunch)
 
Day 6 Cusco
Set out on a guided Cusco walking tour with a Local Guide to learn more about the Incas and their struggle against invading Spaniards. Visit the SANTO DOMINGO MONASTERY, originally called Koricancha and built by the Incas as a Temple of the Sun. Today, you can still see the impressive Inca masonry that provided a foundation to the Baroque church the Spanish built on top of the Inca temple. Continue to Cusco’s Plaza de Armas to visit the imposing colonial CATHEDRAL before enjoying the remainder of the day at leisure. Tonight, enjoy a special dinner at one of Cusco’s most elegant restaurants, featuring wine and food inspired by Peru’s eclectic mix of cultures. (Breakfast, Dinner)
 
Day 7 Cusco–Lima–Iquitos–Nauta (Embarkation)–Cruising: Peruvian Amazon
Fly to Lima, where you board a flight north to Iquitos. Upon arrival, enjoy an Iquitos orientation tour. Explore the areas of this bustling river city that flourished during the “rubber boom” in the early 19th century. See some of the ornate homes of the rubber barons, including the Iron House, which was designed by Gustave Eiffel. Next, transfer to Nauta where you embark the Delfin III, your luxurious, floating home for the next three nights. On board, settle in to your spacious suite before meeting your onboard Naturalist and Cruise Director. Your first excursion is this afternoon and takes you to MARAYALI where you have the chance to see sloths, iguanas, monkeys, and maybe even an anteater. Return to the boat for a WELCOME COCKTAIL while your Naturalist provides an overview of your cruise. Learn about the animals you’ll encounter, the native villagers you’ll meet, and the astonishing plant life you’ll see—like the giant water lily, with flowers the size of soccer balls and leaves that can grow up to eight feet in diameter and support the weight of a human! Before dinner, you will have the chance to see the confluence of two powerful tributaries, the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers, which gives birth to the mighty Amazon in Peru! Also, take an evening JUNGLE WALK in search of nocturnal wildlife followed by a visit to a LOCAL VILLAGE, where you will sit by the campfire and learn about ancient Amazon legends. Later, enjoy an unforgettable dinner featuring Peruvian cuisine with the freshest local ingredients. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
NOTE: The ship’s itinerary may vary according to water levels, National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, and seasonal changes to create the perfect cross-section of sites visited.
 
Day 8 Cruising: Peruvian Amazon
If you’re an early riser, your first glimpse of the majestic Amazon as the sun creeps up over the horizon will be truly breathtaking. The sights and the sounds will stay with you forever. After breakfast, board pangas that will take you down one of the Amazon’s tributaries in search of the region’s wildlife, including the freshwater pink dolphins, capuchin, howler, tamarin, and spider monkeys, as well as iguanas, sloths, and a wide variety of birdlife. You will also have the opportunity to see the giant Amazonian water lily, Victoria regia, a beautiful aquatic plant that grows in small lagoons. This afternoon, back on board, a special treat is in store when the ship’s chef invites you to a hands-on cooking demonstration to learn about native fruits, vegetables, and fish. After lunch, head out with your Naturalist in search of the Amazonian wildlife on terra firme, the non-flooded forest. You will also learn about the tropical flora found in the Amazon as you walk along the shores with your Naturalist, who points out epiphytes, orchids, and indigenous jungle vegetation. This evening, learn how to make Peru’s most famous cocktail, the Pisco Sour, before dinner. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 9 Cruising: Peruvian Amazon
This morning, wake up under the serenade of early morning birdsong in PACAYA SAMIRIA NATIONAL RESERVE for an early morning outing that allows you to witness the activity of exotic birds like trogons, macaws, parrots, falcons, and jacamars, to name a few. While here, you even have the opportunity to take a refreshing swim in this unique area of the Amazon and, if you are lucky, you will see the pink dolphins! Before lunch, join your Naturalist for a presentation on endemic fruits and medical plants that have been used in this region for centuries. This afternoon’s excursion allows you to try KAYAKING and PIRANHA FISHING before embarking on a NIGHT SAFARI in search of caiman, frogs, bats, boas, and a variety of nocturnal wildlife. Later tonight, local entertainers from the ship’s crew will light up the night with music and dance! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
 
Day 10 Cruising (Disembarkation)–Iquitos–Lima
This morning, say goodbye to the Delfin III and return to Iquitos. En route, stop at the MANATEE RESCUE CENTER, where your visit will teach you about the endangered Amazon manatees and conservationists’ efforts to save them. During this visit, you will even be able to bottle feed these gentle giants! Continue to the airport for your flight to Lima. (Breakfast)
 
Day 11 Lima
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
Tour Map
River Cruise Highlights
  • Lima: walking tour, visit San Francisco Monastery and Larco Herrera Museum; welcome dinner at Casa Garcia Alvarado
  • Lima–Cusco–Sacred Valley: visit the ruins of Sacsayhuaman and Kenko, visit Awanakancha to see various camelids from the region, and explore Pisac Market
  • Sacred Valley–Machu Picchu: visit the Ollantaytambo ruins; take the Vistadome train to Machu Picchu; walking tour of Machu Picchu
  • Machu Picchu–Cusco: enjoy a second included entrance to Machu Picchu; return on the Vistadome train to the Sacred Valley and continue to Cusco
  • Cusco: walking tour of Cusco, visit Santo Domingo Monastery and the Cathedral
  • Cusco–Lima–Iquitos–Nauta (Embarkation)–Cruising Peruvian Amazon: fly to Iquitos via Lima; Iquitos orientation tour; board the Delfin III; onboard welcome reception; wildlife viewing excursions during the afternoon and evening
  • Cruising Peruvian Amazon: wildlife viewing excursions during the morning and afternoon; cooking demonstration and Pisco Sour-making lesson
  • Cruising Peruvian Amazon: wildlife viewing excursions during the morning, afternoon, and evening; visit Pacaya Samiria National Reserve; endemic fruit presentation; kayaking; piranha fishing; special farewell dinner
  • Cruising Peruvian Amazon–Nauta (Disembarkation)–Iquitos–Lima: disembark the Delfin III; visit the Manatee Rescue Center; fly to Lima
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!
  • Captain’s welcome & farewell receptions with sparkling wine and canapés
  • Welcome dinner
  • Farewell dinner
  • Daily full buffet breakfast with made-to-order egg station, hot and cold menu items
  • Early and Late Riser breakfast
  • Daily lunch buffet with pasta or carving stations
  • Alternative light lunch or (weather permitting) grill fare at the Sky Bistro on the Sky Deck
  • Daily four-course à la carte dinner in the main dining room
  • Alternative dinner of petite portions or regional specialties with wines, in the Panorama Bistro
  • Daily Afternoon Tea
  • Daily Night Fare
  • Complimentary sparkling wine with breakfast; wine, beer, or soft drinks with lunch and dinner are included daily on board your vessel
  • Luxurious standards in elegant atmosphere.
  • Expedition team of multilingual Naturalists.
  • Daily multi-media natural history lectures.
  • A lounge serving premium spirit cocktails.
  • Observation area to watch local fauna.
  • Refreshing plunge pool on the open-air deck.
  • Air-conditioning throughout.
  • Open seating for all meals.
  • Innovative menu of traditional Peruvian specialties as well as Western favorites.
  • Access to a resident paramedic.
  • Deluxe excursion skiffs with cold towel service, fresh fruit, and refreshments.
  • Series of cultural performances, educational talks, and cooking classes.
  • Maintain your routine in the exercise room.
  • Relax onboard at the Rainforest Spa.
  • Complimentary regional wines at dinner.
  • Complimentary water, coffee, tea, soft drinks, local beer, and Pisco-based cocktails throughout the day at the bar.
  • Bottled water on all excursions.
  • Remarkable service.
  • English-speaking crew.
  • Radio and satellite communications.
  • Included shore excursions with Local Naturalist.
  • Unique cultural activities & interactions with locals.
  • Intimate cruise experience with maximum capacity of 44 guests.
Accommodations on this Tour
Lima; Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores
Sacred Valley: Casa Andina Private Collection Sacred Valley
Machu Picchu: Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel
Cusco: Libertador Palacio del Inka
Peruvian Amazon Cruise: Standard cabin onboard Delfin III
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra Nights per person in Lima:
in single room $183; in twin room $98
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Maximum elevation on tour: 11,200 ft.
  • Participation in this vacation requires purchase of the following flights from Avalon Waterways, not included in pricing: (1) roundtrip air from your U.S. gateway, starting at $1,416 (based on Miami, departure in January, 2018) and intra-vacation air segments; or (2) intra-vacation air segments only. Required intra-vacation air segments are: Lima/Cusco; Cusco/Iquitos; Iquitos/Lima. Air prices were effective on April 5, 2017, and their availability is limited. At the time you purchase your tour, air prices may be higher.
  • Gratuities to Local Guides & drivers are included.
  • Triple rooms are not available
  • Prices shown include cruise in Suite. Upgrades to Upper, Corner, or Owner’s Suites are available.
  • 2019 prices and itineraries are subject to change. 
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* 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. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.



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