The Amazon, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and the Bolivian Salt Flats

 
INCLUDED:
  • 13-night accommodation
  • Private roundtrip transfers airport/hotel

  • Train ticket to Machu Picchu

  • Entrance fees to sites & excursions as specified in Itinerary (shared)

  • Daily breakfast
  • Meals as indicated (B-breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)

NOT INCLUDED:
  • International & domestic air tickets and airport taxes

  • Meals not specified on the itinerary 

  • Tips & gratuities 

  • Personal expenses 

 

 

ITINERARY – 13 nights/14 days

Day 1: Lima

Arrival in Lima and transfer from the airport to the hotel.

Day 2: Lima – Iquitos – Amazon River (B, D)

Transfer to the airport and flight to Iquitos. Embarkation and Check-In From the moment you step on board, enjoy the ARIA AMAZON’s low-key luxury. As you settle into your handsomely appointed, generously proportioned suite, you will feel the vessel begin to move the beginning of one of your life’s great adventures. We suggest you stand on the Upper Deck to take in the view, as the ARIA AMAZON leaves Iquitos behind.

Over the next three days, you will also sail along the two largest tributaries of the Peruvian Amazon, the Ucayali and the Marañon, as well as on the mighty Amazon itself. You are embarking on a spectacular journey to a place visited by only a very few of even the most experienced world travellers.

Before dinner, we will perform a routine safety drill. Then it’s into the air-conditioned lounge, where you will learn about life on board and will have the first nightly briefing about your next day’s Amazon adventure. You will meet our naturalist guides and your cruise director, who will use video, photos, and maps to introduce the details of your journey deep into the Peruvian Amazon.

Welcome Dinner – Sit down, relax, sip fine South American wine, toast the beginning of a beautiful journey and enjoy the innovative Amazonian cuisine, created by the imaginative use of local  products – fruit, fish, spices – makes every meal a delightful adventure. (The menu always offers choices, including a vegetarian option.) Perhaps sip a nightcap on the Upper Deck, under the stars, before retiring.

Day 3: Amazon River – Yacapana River – Yarapa River – Clavero Lake (B, L, D)

Yacapana Islands Exploration and Dolphin watching. The locals call Yacapana Islands “The Islands of the Iguana” because of the large number of these reptiles – like tiny dinosaurs – which inhabit them. Amazon folklore says that if you touch an iguana, you will develop some of its characteristics and, as no one wants to look like them, these animals are well protected. We will also see the famous Amazon River dolphins, pink or gray, along our route. Amazonian people believe that these dolphins possess the power to turn into men and women of great beauty. We will pass close to lush islands, giving you the opportunity to take good pictures of the tropical flora and fauna.

Return to the ARIA AMAZON

Our sumptuous daily breakfast buffet features a wide variety of dishes, including Peruvian specialties and fresh fruit juices.This morning, you will board our comfortable skiff to sail from the Amazon River to the Yarapa River. Life jackets, ponchos, rubber boots, and fresh water are always available in our private boats. As you float down the Yarapa, past the occasional fishermen paddling in their canoes, keep your binoculars.

Be ready to spot wildlife: terns, tropical songbirds, black collared hawks and sloth share this wonderful world with us. Upon our arrival at Lake Moringo, use your hooks to try to catch some of the ferocious piranhas and other fish species. As you fish, trained naturalist guides will tell the story of the lake and its inhabitants. Return to the ARIA AMAZON. Cold towels await you back aboard the ARIA AMAZON. As the ship continues down the Amazon River, you have free time to rest or take a nap before lunch. Enjoy lunch in the comfort of our air-conditioned dining room. Canoeing and swimming at Lake Clavero. We sail on to Lake Clavero where villagers paddle in their traditional dugout canoes. You may wish to swim in the lake’s calm waters and visit the community to interact with our Amazonia neighbours who will be pleased to welcome you.

Return to the Aria Amazon for dinner and overnight.

Day 4: Ucayali River – Yanallpa River – Dorado River – Pacaya Samiria National Reserve (B, L, D)

Breakfast

Ucayali River Expedition / Yanallpa

This morning, board the skiffs to explore a fascinating black water stream, part of the vast Amazon flooded forest within the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Your guides will tell you about the jungle as we explore what scientists call a “gallery forest,” because of its dense vegetation that creates a tunnel of leaves. As we explore this type of riparian vegetation, watch above for parrots, macaws, and fluffy monk saki monkeys. Return to the ARIA AMAZON Optional Peruvian cooking lessons and lunch, followed by an optional siesta. This afternoon we take a magical journey through the “Jungle of the Mirrors,” where towering trees are reflected in the dark river. We move on to Dorado River where you may observe enchanting parrots, macaws and a variety of primates, unperturbed by our presence. As we make our way back to the ARIA AMAZON, you may see alligators, frogs and fishing bats.

Return to ARIA AMAZON for a crew presentation and while you dine, continue our journey upstream, toward the headwaters of the Amazon River, where the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers merge.

Day 5: Birthplace of the Amazon – Village Visit – Transfer to the Airport – Lima  (B, L)

This morning, the ARIA AMAZON skirts the edge of the vast Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, a flooded forest covering five million acres at the headwaters of the Amazon basin. Get up early to see one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere: the sun rising over the origin of the Amazon River. Here, the junction of two major tributaries, the Ucayali and the Marañon, form one of the greatest waterfalls in the world – certainly this is nature at its most captivating. Your morning excursion will be accompanied by abundant bird song, as you glide in our small boats past large-billed terns, laughing falcons, exotic short-tailed parrot, and dozens of other vibrantly hued birds.

We will travel by boat to a community located along the Marañon River, where you will meet and interact with local villagers in this remote part of the world and learn about their traditions and folklore. Walk around with our naturalist guides to see how Aqua Expeditions works with these communities to improve their natural resource management. You will also have the opportunity to shop for local handicrafts directly from the artisans.

Return to the ARIA AMAZON for a light lunch.

This afternoon, we will take you to the Manatee Rescue Center, a kind of animal orphanage for Amazonian manatees to rescue, rehabilitate and release them back into the wild. Later, we stop at the Amazonian Indian Market San Juan, where, you may wish to shop for local crafts before leaving. Guides will help with check in at the airport and stay with you until you have boarded your flight back to Lima.

Arrival in Lima, meet and greet at the airport, transfer to hotel. Overnight stay in Lima.

Day 6: Lima /Juliaca (B)

Transfer to the airport and flight to Juliaca. On arrival, meet and greet at the airport, transfer to hotel.

On the way there we will visit the pre-Inca cemetery of the Hatun Colla chiefs in Sillustani, on the shore of Lake Umayo.  A great trip to see the funerary towers or Chullpas reaching up to six meters high. Overnight stay in Puno.

Day 7: Titicaca Lake (B, L)

A full day tour to explore Lake Titicaca. First we will visit the Uros, the friendly inhabitants of these handmade islands made of totora reeds. Then it’s off to Taquile Island, a place in which the settlers still maintain their ancestral traditions and colorful typical clothes. A great opportunity to explore the island and get the best view of the lake. A typical lunch is provided on the island. Return to the city in the afternoon. Overnight stay in Puno.

Day 8: Puno – Copacabana – Sun Island – La Paz (B, L)

The day has finally arrived: the Lake Crossing. We will set off early for the Copacabana Sanctuary to board the catamaran that will take us on a panoramic journey through Lake Titicaca’s immensity to the legendary Island of the Sun, cradle of the Inca Empire. Lunch will be served on board. Upon arrival, we will visit the Garden of the Inca and the steps leading to the Fountain of the Inca. Later we will visit the Inti Wata Complex and we’ll get on board a traditional totora reed boat to enjoy the view of Pilkokaina Palace. To end our tour we´ll board the catamaran again to sail to Chua Port from where we will be transferred to La Paz. Stay in La Paz.

Day 9: La Paz (B, L)

Today we will have our city tour which begins in the typical Witches’ Market, then is off to the Colonial San Francisco Church and the Murillo Plaza in which we will find the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Government Palace and the Parliament. Then we will walk around the famous Jaen Street where the most important museums of La Paz are located, to later move to different directions like the residential areas of Obrajes, Calacoto and la Florida to end our tour in the spectacular Valley of the Moon. Free afternoon to discover the city. Stay in La Paz.

Day 10: La Paz – Uyuni – Ojo de Perdiz (B, L)

Transfer to the airport and flight to Uyuni. On arrival, meet and greet at the airport and visit the Train Cemetery, afterwards getting to Colchani where there are handicraft museums, handicraft factories of Salt, then get into Uyuni Salt Flat to observe the piles and hexagon of Salt. Then visit the Incahuasi Island. This island is located in the heart of the salt flat and is the greatest of a group of islands that represents an isolated ecosystem. The island is populated with giant cacti species that measures up to 12 meters high (26.25 feet), providing an impressive overview. Lunch or Box Lunch on route.

Following the trip leaving from the Sal Flat to cross Chiguana Salt Flat, Ollague Volcano view point, Cañapa and Hedionda lagoons. Overnight in Ojo de Perdiz.

Important: During the rainy season from November to March, the salt flat could be flooded in that case passengers will visit the train cemetery, also the Colchani village where it is possible to observe the extracting salt process by hand. Visit the salt eyes, impressive for its geology and cross the salt flat as much as possible to enjoy a beautiful landscape. The entire salt flat is completely covered with water and it becomes in a white giant mirror where the sky is reflected perfectly and everything seems to be floating in the air. This scenery is a paradise for photography lovers because of the effects that can be achieved. Box lunch is served in the middle of the salt flat. In the afternoon return to hotel.

It is recommended to wear sandals to enjoy the warm water of the salt.

Day 11: Ooj de Perdiz – Colchani (B, L)

Departure from Ojo de Perdiz, arriving to the lagoons starting from the Red Lagoon, the Sol de Mañana Geysers, the thermal waters of Polques, Green Lagoon where we can observe the effect of change of colours of the lagoons, return again to Red Lagoon in order to see the three types of Flamingos. Lunch or Box Lunch on route. Return to Uyuni for the Valley of the Rocks, Lípez Magic Town, Train Cemetery and Colchani. Overnight in Colchani.

Day 12: Colchani – La Paz (B)

Transfer to the airport and flight back to La Paz. On arrival, meet and greet at the airport, transfer to hotel. Overnight stay in La Paz.

Day 13: La Paz (B, L)

This morning, we pick up passengers from hotel to visit Tiwanaku, the capital of an ancient civilization, situated only 72 Km far from the city of La Paz. During its epic splendor, Tiwanaku was the principal ceremonial center and birthplace of Andean culture. This pre-inca ruins started endless archeological debates, the most recent radiocarbon 14 tests show that this edifications date back to 1580 B.C.. We will visit Kalasasaya temple (Sun), the legendary Sun Gate, the Semi-subterranean temple (Earth), Akapana Pyramid as well as its museum where it is observed an impressive collection of objects and tools of ancient civilizations. Puma Punku, a complex formed by blocks of rock of volcanic origin some 7 meters high and weighing over 100 tons, H-shaped that amazingly fit with great precision. Lunch included at a local restaurant. Return to La Paz for Overnight stay.

Day 14: La Paz – Lima (B)

Transfer to the airport for your flight back home or to an on-going destination.