Zafiro Amazon Cruise and Machu Picchu
This 9-day journey will allow you to enjoy a first class service of colorful and varied cultures, traditions found throughout the Amazon. You will know the history of this important waterway ecosystems and cultural exchange with the inhabitants of the coast along the journey. This journey also opens a portal into the past of the Incan Empire. You will get to see the city that was once the capital of the empire, Cuzco, and retrace the footsteps of Incan farmers, holy people, and families around the ruins of the Sacred Valley. The headline sight on this trip, however, has to be the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu. You will arrive at sunrise – a symbolic time for the Incans – and watch dawn break over the weathered walls of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
HighlightsLima, Iquitos, Cuzco
Trip StyleAmazon River Cruise Peru, Peru Family Vacation, Peru Honeymoon, History & Culture, Travel Photography, Peru Luxury Tours
IncludedNatural juices, soda, coffee, tea, beer on Zafiro Amazon CruisePacaya Samiria National Reserve entrance feeTransfers to/from vesselAll meals on board the cruiseBuffet lunch in the Sacred ValleyAll BreakfastsHotel nights as per the itineraryTravel InsuranceTrain to/from Machu Picchu24/7 SupportEntrance feesAccredited Tour GuidesTours and Transfers
Not IncludedDomestic airfareTipsMeals not mentionedInternational airfare
Day 1: LIMA
Touch down in the Peruvian capital where a private transfer will be waiting to take you to your hotel.
No meals included.
Day 2: LIMA - IQUITOS
Welcome to Iquitos! A private transfer will take you to the pier to board the Zafiro Amazon Cruise. Be ready to enjoy one of life's greatest adventures!
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch.
Day 3: ZAFIRO AMAZON CRUISE
During high water season (Nov-May): Yanallpa River Expedition. After breakfast, within the vast Amazon flooded forest, cruise along an amazing black water stream, as your guides tell you about the rainforest. We explore what scientists call a “gallery forest,” because of its narrow vegetation that creates a tunnel of leaves. As we float through this tunnel, our naturalist guides help you to spot parrots, macaws, and fluffy monk saki monkeys in the trees along the riverbanks. Tapiche River Exploration. On the way back to the Zafiro we are going to explore into Tapiche River and begin our jungle walk guided by our guides to learn about medicinal plants, search for insects, snakes, birds and more. Here, deep in the primary rainforest, your guides identify for you the fruit trees and medicinal plants that comprise the Amazonia’s natural pharmacy. Return to the Zafiro followed by lunch. Dorado River Exploration and Night Excursion. At 4:00 pm, take a magical journey aboard the skiffs through the “Mirrored Forest” to see towering trees reflected in the black water river, while on the lookout for enchanting parrots, blue-yellow macaws, as well as the great variety of primates and sloths unperturbed by our presence. As we make our way back to the vessel, our guides point out caimans and frogs in the water, and fishing bats overhead.
During low water season (Jun-Oct): Optional Night Excursion into Zapote creek to search for nocturnal wildlife species of bats and boa constrictors and look for great pottos, tarantulas, kingkajos, night jars and opossums.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 4: ZAFIRO AMAZON CRUISE
Expedition to the Yarapa River. We continue exploring the waterways by skiff, to where gray and pink freshwater dolphins swim and play around our boats. The people of the Amazonia believe these very dolphins turn into humans to steal handsome men or pretty women from their villages during celebrations. On this excursion we will observe monkeys such as brown capuchin and saddle backed tamarin monkeys, birds such as fly catchers, trogons, wood peckers and more. Return to the Zafiro at 12:00 pm, and begin sailing down river, toward Iquitos. Followed by lunch and siesta. Cooking class experience in Panguana 2nd Zone. We will have our cooking class in a native home with your naturalist guide as interpreter. We will learn by first-hand about the amazon cuisine and taste our Amazonian culinary art. Return to the Zafiro. Once we are back on board, the ship continues downstream, sailing toward Iquitos through the night. Briefing in the Indoor Lounge and recap of your itinerary and wildlife sightings at 7:00 pm. Dinner and Crew Presentation. After dinner, your naturalist guides will introduce the crew members whom you may not have met, as they have been busy “behind the scenes” to create your seamless Jungle Experiences.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Day 5: ZAFIRO AMAZON CRUISE - IQUITOS - CUZCO
En route to Iquitos airport, you will visit the Manatee Rescue Center, where biologists and volunteers care for endangered Amazon manatees that conservation authorities have rescued. See how the manatees are cared for, and prepared for re-introduction into their natural habitat. Check-in at Iquitos International Airport at 4:30 pm. Your guides will assist you with the check-in and departure formalities until the time to board your flight back to Lima.
Later, a private transfer will take you to the airport to take your flight to the city of Cuzco.
Arrive in the historic capital of the Incan Empire and catch your private transfer to your hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 6: CUZCO
Embark on a Cuzco city tour. Take in the yawning main plaza with its colonial architecture and lofty cathedral, before seeing the Santa Domingo Convent. Then head to the outskirts of the city to explore the Incan ruins of the Sacsayhuaman Inca Fortress, Quenco and Tambomachay.
Day 7: CUZCO - SACRED VALLEY - AGUAS CALIENTES
Venture into the Sacred Valley. The hull of this valley was home to thousands of Incan people. You'll visit Awanacancha where we will see Andean camelids such as llamas and alpacas. You'll get to explore the ruins of Pisaq and have chance to browse around the animated modern market. Plus you'll visit the ancient town of Ollantaytambo.
In the afternoon, you'll take the train to Aguas Calientes – the village at the gateway to Machu Picchu.
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch.
Day 8: AGUAS CALIENTES - MACHU PICCHU - CUZCO
Wake up early to reach Machu Picchu for sunrise. On clear days you can watch the sun halo around Huayna Picchu – the mountain that stands sentry over the entire citadel – before nature turns the lights on over the rest of the site.
Once the day has dawned, take a guided tour around the ruins of Machu Picchu to see sights like the ritual baths, Palace of the Princess, and the Temple of the Sun.
Day 9: CUZCO - LIMA
Arrive in Lima and take your private transfer to Lima center.
Embark on a Lima city tour. Sights boomerang from old to new. You'll visit the main plaza, the Presidential Palace and take in the 17th century Monastery of San Francisco with its eerie catacombs.
Then, it's time to leave. A private transfer will take you to the airport.
The weather in Iquitos is warm and humid and the temperature varies between 33 °C (90 °F) and 21 °C (70 °F). The rainy (high water) season is from November to May. The dry (low water) season is from June to October. Each season boasts dramatic difference in plants, animals, and weather.
Light and fresh pieces, blouses, long-sleeved shirts, swimwear, shoes with soft rubber sole for the boat (rubber boots and rain ponchos are provided by us), cardigan or long-sleeved shirts, wind resistant jackets. The days are hot and humid while the night breeze is fresh.
Insects & Mosquitoes
We recommend taking Vitamin B or B-15 a few days before arrival to the jungle. These vitamins are the best natural repellent against insect bites. As well, do not forget to bring conventional repellent and cream for bites. Note: Please note that changes and adjustments in the itinerary may occur due to weather conditions, river conditions, and/or airline issues.