Amazon River Expedition & Machu Picchu

Amazon River Expedition & Machu Picchu



Explore the lush Amazon River Basin and legendary Machu Picchu with a five-night cruise aboard the deluxe Zafiro through the world’s largest rainforest and a five‑night discovery of the breathtaking Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cuzco. See rare, endemic flora and fauna—from transparent glass frogs to pink river dolphins—and experience the rich traditions of the ribereños (indigenous Amazonian peoples). Stand in Machu Picchu, where over 200 archaeological treasures, framed by the emerald green peaks of the Andes, defy hyperbole. In the Sacred Valley, learn more about the Incas’ engineering prowess at the remarkable fortress of Ollantaytambo and tour the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco.

Pricing from

RESERVE EARLY & SAVE up to $2,000 per cabin

Trip Type
Group Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages, International River Voyages
Departure Dates
Feb 5, 2023 - Feb 19, 2023
Mar 5, 2023 - Mar 17, 2023
Oct 1, 2023 - Oct 15, 2023


Colonial Lima
Pre-Program Option
The Peruvian capital of Lima provides the ideal prelude to your expedition. The city’s UNESCO-inscribed historical center showcases colonial mansions amid modern architecture. On Plaza de Armas, visit the 16th-century Cathedral of Lima, where the remains of Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro are entombed. Tour the 17th‑century Church and Convent of San Francisco, a dazzling fusion of Moorish and Baroque architectural styles. Discover the opulent Casa de Aliaga, built in 1535 as the residence of Don Jerónimo de Aliaga, co‑founder of Lima. This 16th-century gem is the oldest private house in continuous use in South America, spanning 17 generations. Enjoy two nights in the deluxe JW Marriott Lima Hotel, ideally located in the upscale, cultural Miraflores district.



Amazon map


  • day 1

    Depart the U.S. or Canada/Arrive in Lima, Perú

    Depart for Peru’s cosmopolitan coastal capital of Lima, framed by the foothills of the Andes Mountains. Arrive late this evening and check into the deluxe Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel.

  • day 2

    Lima/Iquitos/Nauta/Amazon River

    This morning, fly to vibrant Iquitos, an important rubber boom center during the late 19th century and the largest city in the world inaccessible by road, that attracted thousands of immigrants to the Amazon River Basin. After a lunch showcasing regional cuisine, walk through Plaza de Armas to the Casa de Fierro—or Iron House—the finest, best‑preserved example of Peruvian civic architecture, reputedly designed by Gustave Eiffel in the 1880s. In Nauta, embark the state-of-the-art Zafiro and commence your voyage of discovery deep into this vital and remote biosphere. Gather on the ship’s Observation Deck and watch as modern civilization fades away and the ever-changing panorama of the Amazon River unfolds before you. Enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Reception this evening. (b,l,r,d)

  • day 3

    Amazon River/Ucayali River

    Awaken in the heart of the Amazon Basin, a tropical rainforest equivalent in size to the U.S. which supports a diversity of plant and animal life that is without equal. Embark one of the vessel’s small excursion boats to look for aquatic mammals and endemic birdlife along a pristine tributary. This afternoon, visit a butterfly farm and meet indigenous river people, or ribereños, who cultivate and protect several rare butterfly species, including the iridescent blue morpho. Learn about the ribereños’ ancestral traditions and symbiotic relationship with this remarkable ecosystem. (b,l,d)

  • day 4

    Amazon River/Ucayali River/ Marañón River

    Explore the Pacaya‑Samiria National Reserve, the largest wetlands reserve in the world and an avian paradise. This unique biome is home to the endearing capybara—a large, semi‑aquatic rodent endemic to South America—and a profusion of rare palms, orchids and other tropical plants. Watch for endangered pink and gray river dolphins swimming alongside the boat. After lunch, board a small river skiff in search of exotic wildlife, including toucans and saddleback tamarin monkeys, and marvel at giant Victoria amazonica water lilies. (b,l,d)

  • day 5

    Marañón River/Pucate River/ Ucayali River

    Enjoy a picnic breakfast under the the shade of a mystical rainforest canopy where lofty ceiba trees reach as high as 200 feet. Look for capped heron and wattled jacana dipping into nearby shallow waters. Listen for raucous scarlet macaws chattering in the canopy and watch for brilliantly‑hued trogons, puffbirds and tropical rails. By special arrangement, meet a local shaman who will perform an Amazon ritual and explain how ribereños have harnessed indigenous medicinal plants for centuries. Participate in a special tree‑planting ceremony dedicated to ensuring the longevity of the rainforest. Beneath star-studded skies—impossibly bright this close to the Equator—search for elusive nocturnal creatures such as caiman and bat on a nighttime excursion into the Pacaya‑Samiria National Reserve. (b,l,d)

  • day 6

    Marañón River/Nauta

    Enter a virtually uninhabited portion of the Amazon where the river narrows. Board an excursion boat and cruise along labyrinthine blackwater tributaries while naturalists point out animal and plant life rarely detected by the untrained eye. This excursion also includes the option to try fishing for the famous red‑bellied piranha. This afternoon, stop in a riverside village for a demonstration on how to prepare Amazonian specialties, including juanes, a regional favorite of banana leaf wraps filled with chicken and rice. Gather on the ship’s upper deck to enjoy a final evening cruising the Amazon and a festive farewell as the sun sets over the rainforest. (b,l,d)

  • day 7

    Nauta/Iquitos/Cuzco/Sacred Valley

    Disembark and fly from Iquitos to the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco via Lima. On arrival, transfer to the Sacred Valley of Urubamba, where captivating ancient ruins and traditional villages are nestled in the Peruvian Andes and Quechua, the Incan language, is still widely spoken. Check into the colonial-style Sonesta Posada del Inca Hotel and enjoy dinner in the hotel this evening. (b,l,d)

  • day 8

    Sacred Valley

    In the Quechua villages of Chinchero and Urubamba, visit the Interpretation Center of Andean Textiles and the Pablo Seminario Workshop to see colorful handicraft demonstrations and learn more about the practical and decorative arts of indigenous Peruvian cultures still thriving today. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. (b,l)

  • day 9

    Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo/ Scenic train to Machu Picchu

    Admire the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo, an ancient engineering marvel which stands as lasting testament to the powerful and far‑reaching Inca Empire. Enjoy a panoramic train ride through vibrant highland jungles to legendary Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the lush peaks of the Peruvian Andes. Enjoy a specially arranged lunch in a hotel located at the entrance to the ruins. On a guided walking tour of this historic sanctuary, discover Machu Picchu’s hallmark terraces, limestone temples, staircases and aqueducts which seem impossibly carved directly out of the hillside. Check into the Five‑Star Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel, located amid exquisite botanical gardens and waterfalls. Enjoy dinner in the hotel this evening. (b,l,d)

  • day 10

    Machu Picchu/Scenic train to Ollantaytambo/Cuzco

    Opt to return to Machu Picchu for the unforgettable spectacle of the sun rising through the morning mist or enjoy time to explore the 12-acre grounds of your hotel, home to over 200 bird species and the world’s largest native orchid collection. After lunch, enjoy a panoramic train ride to Ollantaytambo. This afternoon, check into the Five Star JW Marriott El Convento in Cuzco, a beautifully restored 16th-century convent ideally located at the heart of the city’s UNESCO‑inscribed historical core and surrounded by quaint cobblestone streets. Dinner is included. (b,l,d)

  • day 11


    On the outskirts of Cuzco, tour the ruins of Sacsayhuamán Archaeological Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this megalithic 15th-century fortress was built of stones of varying shapes and sizes without using mortar and demonstrates the Inca’s approach to blending monumental structures harmoniously into the landscape. The initial construction began in 1100, predating even the Inca, who later finished it. During the city tour of Cuzco, visit Koricancha (Temple of the Sun), the crown jewel of the Inca capital and the holiest site in Incan mythology, and the Baroque- and Renaissance‑style Cuzco Cathedral, constructed in 1559. After lunch, enjoy your afternoon at leisure. (b,l)

  • day 12

    Cuzco/Fly to Lima/Depart for the U.S.

    Fly from Cuzco to Lima where day‑room accommodations are reserved at the Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel. Later this evening, board your return flight to the U.S. (b)

  • day 13

    Arrive in U.S.

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