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Cusco & the Rainforest

11 days from £2495pp plus international flights.

This is a great trip showing two fascinating aspects of Peru - the history & culture, and the wildlife & nature.

You have 5 days to explore Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, then we whisk you off to the Puerto Maldonado from where you start your discovery of the Peruvian Amazon. 

Since this is a private tailor made trip, the arrangements are just for you. All transfers and services are pre-arranged, so you don't have to worry about anything, just enjoy the experience of Peru. We have included a guide where we think that this will add to your experience, but you also have times when you can explore on your own. In the rainforest you are escorted the whole time by a professional nature guide, on walks, canoe trips, bird watching and so on. 

Heath River Wildlife Centre is a really remote rainforest lodge so you really get that feeling of being out in the depths of the Amazon (which you are!).  It's particularly good for macaws and parrots because of the amazing clay licks on the banks of the river. 

This is such a lovely and diverse holiday with a great balance of sightseeing and nature. 



If coming from Europe your flight will generally land in the late afternoon/early evening. As there is no connecting flight to Cusco, and it's too late to see anything in Lima today, we take you to a nearby hotel for the night so you can relax and recover from the flight without a long transfer into Lima city. Of course if you prefer to be in town, this can be changed. 

Cusco cathedral


We pick you up for your short morning flight to Cusco. On arrival we will take you to your hotel and you have a free day today. We have made no particular plans for you today as you need to acclimatise to the high altitude here (3300m). Take it easy, wander around the town, have a light lunch and dinner, perhaps do some window shopping so you know what to buy on your return! Above all, don't try rushing anywhere today. Breakfast.



This morning your guide will pick you up from the hotel to take you on a tour of Cusco and also of Sacsayhuaman, the Inca ruins where the annual Inti Raymi festival takes place. This will be quite a long morning's excursion, then the rest of the day is free. Breakfast.

People near Ollantaytambo


Today you set off to see aspects of the Sacred Valley with a guide. He will show you around the charming village of Pisac which has a great market and some excellent Inca ruins. This evening you will end in Ollantaytambo village for the night. Breakfast, Lunch.

Machu Picchu


After breakfast you catch the Vistadome train to Machu Picchu village (formerly known as Aguas Calientes). From here it is about a 20 minute zigzag bus ride up to the top of the mountain on which Machu Picchu citadel sits.  Your guide will give you a tour of the site and tell you some of the history of the Incas. Later this afternoon, head back down the mountain to your hotel. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Machu Picchu


Today you have another chance to head up to Machu Picchu. This time you are on your own, so you can just wander around and soak up the magical atmosphere for as long as you like, or at least until the afternoon train departs to take you back to Cusco. On arrival in Cusco in the early evening, you will be transferred back to your hotel. Breakfast.

Heath River Lodge in the rainforest


This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Puerto Maldonado. From here your rainforest adventure begins as you now have a motor boat transfer to Heath River Lodge. This is a long boat trip of about 6 hours, but you're on a tributary of the Amazon and will be passing by some gorgeous rainforest all the way. Full board. 

Rainforest from the canopy top


Your first full day based at Heath River Lodge in the Peruvian Amazon. In actual fact the lodge itself is on the Bolivian bank of the Heath River. On the opposite bank is the macaw clay lick for which the lodge is famous. You watch the macaws from the hide and you will have the place to yourself as this is the only lodge in this amazing area. You will be able to spend time at the hide, take rainforest walks with your guide, and take boat trips to see all the aspects of the rainforest here. Full board.

Macaw lick at Heath rainforest, Peru


Your second full day to enjoy this remote region which is set on the edge of two ecosystems - rainforest and lowland savannah. There are about 480 bird species found here, 6 monkey species plus many other mammals such as capybaras, and even jaguars, though they're rarely seen). There is a viewing platform here too, so you can get closer to the treetop canopy. Full board.

On Sandoval lake


After breakfast you start the journey back towards Puerto Maldonado, but this time we stop on the way at another great rainforest lodge called Sandoval, so it's only about 4 hours of travelling. This lodge is set on a lake just behind the river and offers a great rainforest experience with walks and canoe trips. There are sometimes giant otters in the lake, and sloths are seen here too, as well as many other species. Full board.

Otters at Sandoval


We set off on the roughly 2 hour boat trip to Puerto Maldonado from where you catch your plane to Lima, and onward connecting flight home. Breakfast.

Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £2495 (ex. international flights)

Price notes: 2017 guide price pp sharing: £2495.


Meet & greet at Lima Airport; airport and rail station transfers; accommodation in twin share; 4 days breakfast, 1 day breakfast & lunch, 4 days full board; guided tours of Cusco, Sacsayhuaman, Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu; entrance fees; minibus and second entrance fee to Machu Picchu on day 6; Vistadome train to Cusco; 4-night rainforest programme.


International flights and taxes;domestic flights (to be bought as add-ons with international flights); meals not shown; drinks; visa; tips; personal expenses.

Getting there: 

To get to Peru you need to fly into Lima. From here a domestic flight takes you to Cusco. From Europe Iberia Airlines or KLM are most frequently used for this route. There is no direct flight from the UK to Lima. A return flight will cost from about £900.

Departure dates: This is a private tailor made trip which you can take any time you like subject to availability. To coincide with fixed departure dates for the rainforest section, the trip needs to start on a Tuesday or Friday.

places you will see

places you will see

This famous city was the capital of the Inca empire for three centuries. It is the gateway to the Sacred Valley and to Machu Picchu, and there is much to explore and enjoy in the city itself, including magnificent colonial and Inca architecture, great restaurants, shopping and culture.

For most people Lima is just an arrival city, but there are good museums and colonial architecture, and in recent years Lima has reinvented itself, with boutique hotels springing up and, in particular, Lima has become the focus of Peru's burgeoning worldwide reputation as a foodie destination.
The Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley
This beautiful, lush valley, once sacred to the Incas, is the gateway to iconic Machu Picchu. Visit local villages such as Pisac and Ollantaytambo for Inca ruins and to see modern rural life. Plus enjoy horse riding, mountain biking and rafting, great food and gentle hiking.
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
The famous 'Lost City of the Incas’. An unmissable highlight of Peru, reached by walking the challenging Inca Trail, or catching the train to a nearby village.
 

holidays with heart
holidays with heart

How this holiday helps

After the excitement of seeing the cultural side of Peruvian life and history in Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, we take you down to the Amazon to see some of the incredible wildlife and wilderness here. The two lodges you’re staying at both positively affect their environments and local communities, so whilst you’re enjoying giant otters, red-bellied macaws, sloths, monkeys and more, your money is helping make a difference in two very sensitive areas.

customer rating

5/5 from 59 reviews

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facts and information

Time: GMT-5hrs

Flight time: Both KLM and Iberia have flights to Lima via Europe, leaving the UK early in the morning to arrive in Lima in the evening. The flight time is about 14 hours. It is also possible to fly to Lima via America.

Language: Spanish and Quechua are the official languages.

Visas: Not required for British travellers (up to 90 days). EC nationals can ask us for further advice.

Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations, except yellow fever if visiting the rainforest. Malaria prophylactics are also recommended in the rainforest.


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