Day 1 | In Transit
Depart for Lima, Peru.
Transfer to the Hotel José Antonio Deluxe.
Day 2 | Lima, Peru
Discovery: Highlights of Lima. Visit the Larco Museum, which chronicles more than 5,000 years of pre-Columbian Peruvian history. In the historic center, explore Plaza Mayor, surrounded by elegant, colonial-era buildings, including the Government Palace, Municipal Palace and the Cathedral of Lima. Enjoy a relaxing lunch near the Plaza. Then go inside the Cathedral to see its beautiful interior. Visit the Monastery of San Francisco, containing a church, a library with 25,000 antique volumes, and bone-filled catacombs beneath the church’s chapels. AHI Connects: Meet the People. Gather for a Welcome Reception and Dinner at Casa Garcia Alvarado, a National Historical Building. Take a tour of the stately house, and then sit down to a home cooked Peruvian meal with one of the owners.
Day 3 | Lima | Iquitos | Nauta |
Cruising the Amazon Basin Transfer to the Lima airport and fly to Iquitos, the gateway to the Amazon, accessible only by plane or boat. Travel to Nauta, a small town on the Maranon River. Along the way, see the vibrant “terra firma” (non-flooded forest) and other aspects of daily jungle life. Embark the Delfin III at a private port in Nauta.
Day 4 | Cruising the Amazon Basin
Set out aboard skiff boats, anticipating each day’s astounding and unexpected wildlife encounters! The region in which you are cruising, Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, is Peru’s largest wildlife preserve, boasting more than five million acres of rich biodiversity. Skim along rivers and cruise through creeks, peeking into lagoons and other waterways, where an abundance of wildlife hides in the deep rain forest, such as blue and yellow macaws, toucans, umbrella birds, capybaras and more. You may perhaps catch glimpses of the endangered charapa turtle, spider monkey, giant river otter or red macaw. Marvel at the pink dolphins, known as boto, swimming nearby. Enrichment: Contemporary Peru.
Day 5 | Cruising the Amazon Basin
Never does nature seem more bountiful than in the tropics, and rising early is always rewarding since wildlife is most abundant and active at daybreak. With your expert guide, hike into the rain forest to explore the fantastic flora and fauna. Sharp eyes may spot squirrel and red howler monkeys, iguanas lazing in the sun and sloths hanging in the canopy.
Day 6 | Disembark | Iquitos | Lima | Cusco
After breakfast, disembark the ship in Nauta and transfer via coach to the Iquitos airport. Discovery: Manatee Rescue Center. En route to the airport, visit this fascinating center, which runs a conservation program to protect endangered manatees and other animals. Meet these gentle creatures up close and even feed them! Board your flight for Cusco via Lima. Once you arrive in Cusco, take a panoramic drive to the Urubamba Valley, the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Check in to the Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado.
Day 7 | Sacred Valley
Discovery: Sacred Valley. Ollantaytambo, built on top of an Incan settlement, is the best surviving example of Inca town planning. It rests just below the Ollantaytambo ruins, a series of huge terraces that hug the hillside. Explore this unique fortress. Next, visit a remote village seemingly frozen in time, and learn about the centuries-old weaving methods used by the residents and their everyday life in this challenging mountain environment. Later, visit a ranch for lunch and an equestrian demonstration.
Day 8 | Sacred Valley | Machu Picchu
Take a scenic train ride through the Sacred Valley to the town of Aguas Calientes and the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo hotel. Discovery: Machu Picchu. Nestled in a cloud forest high in the Andes, the Lost City of the Inca is regarded as the most important archaeological site in the Americas. Archaeologists believe that this masterfully planned site, surrounded by steep agricultural terraces, served as a center of worship or a royal estate for Inca emperors and nobility. Wander through stone temples, grassy plazas, palaces and workshops with an expert guide. Free Time: Make your own plans this afternoon.
Day 9 | Machu Picchu | Cusco
Travel by train through the lovely mountain scenery and then by motor coach to Cusco. Check in to the Casa Andina Premium Cusco. Free Time: Explore Cusco on your own.
Day 10 | Cusco
Discovery: Cusco, the Ancient Incan Capital. This sacred city, perched 11,152 feet above sea level, was the religious and administrative center of the Inca Empire. With a guide, visit the Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas, noted for its colonial art, and the Santo Domingo Temple. Enjoy lunch in town. Discovery: Sacsayhuaman. Marvel at these impressive ruins, built with massive stones (one weighs 125 tons!) without a single drop of mortar. Celebrate your Peruvian adventures during a Farewell Reception at the hotel.
Day 11 | Cusco | Lima | Depart for gateway city
Enjoy the morning at leisure, followed by lunch in Cusco. Depart for Cusco’s airport and fly to Lima. Connect in Lima to your international flight home.
Day 12 | In Transit
Arrive home in your gateway city.