Ultimate Peru: Amazon to the Andes | Fauna Travel

Ultimate Peru: Amazon to the Andes

Machu Picchu, Peru / Eddie Kiszka / Unsplash

12 Days

This trip highlights the best natural and cultural sites Peru has to offer, from the Tambopata Reserve in the Amazon to Cusco and Machu Picchu in the Andes. It is perfect for the casual adventurer with regular hikes from three to seven miles per day. Bilingual guides will escort you throughout your trip and beautiful boutique hotels are included throughout for you to relax amid the exploration.

This trip highlights the best natural and cultural sites Peru has to offer with regular hikes from three to seven miles per day.

The rainy season in Peru is November through March, with the most popular time being June through August. We love April, May, September, and October for the mild weather and smaller crowds. This itinerary is 12 days, but you can go for shorter stretches. Peru is surprisingly close – you can fly direct to Lima from Houston or Atlanta in only 6.5 hours!


Your custom travel playlist includes Los Destellos’s “Amor Andino”
Los Destello’s were a Peruvian cumbia-rock band from the 1960’s. Their unique blend traditional rhythms with psych and surf vibes is the perfect soundtrack for the diversity of landscapes and cultures you will encounter on a visit to Peru.


Day 1: Arrival in Lima 

Hotel: Hotel B

You’ll be greeted upon arrival at the Lima International Airport and taken to your hotel in the Barranco art district. Hotel B is one of Peru’s most celebrated luxury boutique hotels. The Belle Epoque mansion was built in 1914 as the summer home for a wealthy family and totally refurbished in 2013. Spend the rest of your day there relaxing and recovering from your flight.

Hotel B, Lima, Peru / Courtesy of Hotel B
Hotel B, Lima, Peru / Courtesy of Hotel B

Day 2: Barranco District and Food Tour

Lima, Peru / Creators Brand / Unsplash
Lima, Peru / Creators Brand / Unsplash

You can fly to the interior on day two, but we suggest spending at least a day in Lima to enjoy some of the best dining in South America. Start your day with a cup of Peruvian coffee before setting out to explore the arts district, colorful markets, and the Miraflores coast. The pre-Inca runs of Huaca Pucllana are also nearby. We’ll book a private food tour for the day and help with dinner reservations and a fabulous restaurant to end the day.

Barranco District, Lima, Peru / Andres Urena
Barranco District, Lima, Peru / Andres Urena

Day 3: Into the Amazon

Hotel: Tambopata Research Center

Note: The Amazon section of this trip can alternatively be done as a multi-day luxury river cruise out of Iquitos.

Depart on a morning flight from Lima to Puerto Maldonado, the capital of Madre de Dios and gateway to the Southern Amazon. From there it is 1-hour by car bus and another 2.5-hours by boat journey to Tambopata Research Center, the only lodge within the 678,773-acre Tambopata Reserve. Tambopata Research Center is a boutique eco-lodge that includes a bar, spa, and large suites with private bathrooms open to the forest.

Spend your first afternoon on a short three-mile hike to an overlook of the Tambopata River winding its way into the lowlands. Few humans live here, but sightings of capybara, caiman, macaws, and and monkeys are common. Night walks are also available if you would like to spot frogs and enjoy the sounds of the jungle at night.

Day 4: Macaw Discovery Day

On most clear mornings, dozens of large macaws and hundreds of parrots congregate on a large river bank near the lodge. A guide will to you there to see green-winged, scarlet, and blue-and-gold macaws along with several other species of parrot who have come to eat the mineral-rich clay.

From there, you can walk the 3-mile long forest trail, which is covered with immense trees like figs, ceibas, and shihuahuacos. Squirrel, brown capuchin, and spider monkeys can be seen among the ranges. Spend the rest of the day bird-watching on an island or relaxing at the lodge. After dinner, a resident scientist will give a short presentation on macaws.

Day 5: Rainforest Hike

You can choose to visit the macaws again this morning before spending the day hiking on the reserve. Today’s 3-mile trail covers an entirely different habitat characterized by smaller trees atop hills. Saddleback tamarins are frequently found here, and on occasion you may see the rare tapir.

Day 6: Creeks and Cruising

Spend your last day on the longer creek trail, which flows slowly to the Tambopata River. Learn about the local forest ecology from your expert guide. End your day with a sunset cruise down the river.

Tambopata River Cruise / Courtesy of Tambopata Research Center
Tambopata River Cruise / Courtesy of Tambopata Research Center

Day 7: Travel to Cusco

Hotel: Palacio Manco Capac

Cusco, Peru / Deb Dowd / Unsplash
Cusco, Peru / Deb Dowd / Unsplash

In the early morning, journey back to Puerto Maldonado airport for your flight to Cusco, the finest city in the Andes. You’ll be met by a private driver at the airport and transferred to your boutique hotel in the historic district. We love Palacio Manco Capac, a restored 17th-century home, because of it’s fabulous views of the city. Spend the rest of the day relaxing or walking down the cobblestone streets to enjoy the architecture in the historic Plaza de Armas. Cusco is located at over 11,000 feet elevation, so it’s good to take it slow at first.

Palacio Manco Capac / Courtesy of Palacio Manco Capac
Palacio Manco Capac / Courtesy of Palacio Manco Capac

Day 8: Introduction to the Andes 

Hotel: Sol y Luna

Sacsayhuaman, Peru / Marritza S / Unsplash
Sacsayhuaman, Peru / Marritza S / Unsplash

A private guide will meet you after breakfast for a tour of the surrounding countryside. Start at Sacsayhuaman, an Incan fortress that overlooks Cusco and continue to Pisaq Archaeological Site.

After a morning learning about the Inca, have lunch at a working farm before exploring colorful local markets. Check into Sol y Luna, a beautiful hotel located in the heart of the Sacred Valley.

Sol y Luna, Peru / Courtesy of Sol y Luna
Sol y Luna, Peru / Courtesy of Sol y Luna

Day 9: Sacred Valley of the Incas 

Maras Salt Mines / Jeff Anders / Unsplash
Maras Salt Mines / Jeff Anders / Unsplash

On day two in the Sacred Valley, take the scenic drive to Chinchero, world-renowned for its native textiles for a demonstration of natural dyeing and weaving processes. Continue to Moray Archeological Site, which is known for its concentric circle terraces and later the Maras Salt Mines for a picnic lunch. The final activity of the day will be exploring the Maras Salt Mines. The rest of the day can be spent enjoying the gardens and artwork at Sol y Luna.

Day 10: Inca Trail Trek to the Sun Gate

Hotel: Sumaq Machu Picchu 

Winay Wayna, Peru / Kristen Hall / Unsplash
Winay Wayna, Peru / Kristen Hall / Unsplash

Early in the morning, you will be picked up from the hotel and driven to Ollantaytambo Train Station. It’s a one hour train ride to KM104, the start of the two-day Inca Trail. This shorter version of the Classic Inca Trail Trek is the perfect way to arrive at Machu Picchu. En route you will visit Winay Wayna, another scenic archeological site. After a 7-mile hike in the cloud forest, you arrive at the Sun Gate and the iconic view of Machu Picchu. From there walk to the gate of the citidel and take a car to Machu Picchu Pueblo and your hotel, Sumaq Machu Picchu. Enjoy a multi-course Peruvian tasting menu as a reward for your long hike.

Sumaq Machu Picchu, Peru / Courtesy of Sumaq Machu Picchu
Sumaq Machu Picchu, Peru / Courtesy of Sumaq Machu Picchu

Day 11: Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu

Hotel: Casa Cartagena Boutique Hotel & Spa

Machu Picchu, Peru / Eddie Kiszka / Unsplash
Machu Picchu, Peru / Eddie Kiszka / Unsplash

Wake up and travel to Machu Picchu for an early morning guided tour. You can spend a surprising amount of time exploring the ruins, but there is one last hike to tackle. Huayna Picchu is a small peak that overlooks the city. It’s is a steep climb to the top, but it’s one of the best views in the Andes.

After lunch, board your train back to Ollantaytambo and your hotel in Cusco. Enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel.

Day 12: Departure

Relax, shop, and explore the city on your last morning before departure to the Cusco Airport. From there fly back to Lima and onward towards home.

Contact us to start planning your journey into the wild.

You have a plethora of choices when booking an epic luxury trip, and we have the expert knowlege to make your travel dreams a reality. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your options.

Why book with Fauna Travel?

  • Less Stress: A personal travel advisor to save you time, plan your ideal vacation, and help with any issues that may arise during your trip.
  • Better Experience: We know the luxury adventure travel landscape and design creative itineraries to maximize your travel experience.
  • Travel Perks: Free upgrades, breakfasts, and special amenities at 1,200+ five-star hotels and resorts – plus complimentary books and music playlists.
Learn more about our travel services »