Amazon & Machu Picchu

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Dates/Pricing
  • Accommodations
  • Maps
  • Photos & Video
  • Extensions
  • Testimonials
  • Physical Rating
  • Weather

On this scenic Peru tour, immerse yourself in the heart of the Andes and travel through the unparalleled biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest, one of nature's true marvels. Our Peru ecotour takes you through the charming Andean town of Cusco, then on to the magnificent Sacred Valley through the snowcapped mountains of the Inca Empire. Continue to the hidden Inca city of Machu Picchu to explore its famed ancient ruins. Experience the beauty and fascinating history of Peru on this spectacular tour of Machu Picchu and the Amazon.



Traveling to this Location
Passport and visa requirements
A valid passport is required to enter and leave Peru. A visa is not required for citizens of the USA, Mexico and most Central American, Asian and European countries if visiting Peru for less than 90 days. It is the passenger's responsibility to check with local immigration offices or the Peruvian consulate prior to departure for current entrance requirements. For more information see or
The following vaccinations are recommended when visiting any area of Peru:
  • Hepatitis B
  • Tetanus-diphtheria and measles (as needed booster doses)
  • Typhoid
  • For travelers to the Amazon, a vaccination for Yellow Fever is required.
  • For travelers to certain lower elevations of Peru including the Amazon and rural areas on the coast, the Centers for Disease Control also recommends taking an anti-malarial medication.
  • The Centers for Disease Control provides immunization information for travel in Latin America.
Entry During the flight to Lima, a flight attendant distributes a Peru entrance form to all passengers. At Customs, travelers are asked to show the completed form along with their passport and asked how many days they plan to be in Peru. Normally, the passport will be stamped indicating a permissible stay of 60 or 90 days and a copy of the Customs form will be returned to the traveler.
Exit The Customs document must be presented when exiting the country. Passengers leaving on an international flight pay a departure tax of $25US and a $5 airport departure tax on domestic flights. These taxes must be paid in cash in $US.
Exchanging currency
Peru's unit of currency is the Nuevo Sol. Current exchange rate information is available on our website under "Traveler Information." Visa, MasterCard and Diners Club are the most recognized credit cards in Peru. American Express is not widely accepted. ATM machines (Visa/MasterCard/Cirrus/Plus), with directions in English, are widely available 24 hours a day in all major cities and large towns, providing a convenient and economical way to obtain soles. ATMs are the only reliable method to get money on Sundays. There are no ATMs and no place to cash Traveler's Checks in Aguas Calientes or Ollantaytambo. Travelers going to Machu Pichu and the Sacred Valley should obtain cash before leaving Cusco. On trips of two weeks or less, we recommend carrying only US cash in $20 denominations to exchange as needed. Hotels exchange money, and most offer safe-keeping for valuables. Before departure, we send booked passengers a packet of trip information that contains operating hours for money exchange offices (Casas de Cambio) and more money tips.
Using electricity
In all of Peru, the electricity is 220 volts and 60 cycles, standard to Great Britain. To use 110-volt American-made electrical appliances in Peru (for a hairdryer or to recharge digital camera batteries, etc.), bring 2-pin plug adapters and a voltage transformer. For video cameras, we suggest packing an extra set of charged batteries. Some hotels have hair dryers for guest use, but most do not.
Q: When is the best time to go on a Peru tour?
A: Peru is a diverse country with beaches, mountains, rainforest and desert. For this reason, there is no off-season in Peru. One can travel to Peru any time of year and find good weather in certain areas
Q: How safe is Peru?
A: Petty theft in Peru's cities is no more prevalent than in any large American city. Travelers should take the same precautions that they would while traveling elsewhere. Listen to the advice of your tour leader and hotel reception staff and take common sense precautions such as not going into unfamiliar areas alone, especially at night. Use the safety deposit box at your hotel for your passport and extra money (carry only as much as you might spend) and leave jewelry and expensive watches at home. Peru has a stable government and tourism has boomed in recent years. With the added tourist dollars, the government has made a concerted effort to keep travelers and their valuables safe. Current safety information can be obtained from
Q: How concerned should I be about the altitude?
A: Travelers to the Cusco (elevation 11,400 ft) and Andean areas need to take common sense measures to acclimatize to high altitude. Visitors are encouraged to limit exertion for the first few days and stay adequately hydrated. Coca tea assists in the acclimatization process and is available at all hotels. Individuals with coronary or other health problems should consult their physician before deciding to travel to Cusco and other high altitude locations. Ask your doctor about preventative high altitude medications and herbal remedies such as Ginkgo biloba.
Q: What if I have a medical emergency on the trip?
A: Our guides are trained in mountain/wilderness first-aid. To ensure the safety of our travelers, our guides are linked with outside services 24 hours a day in all locations to provide assistance when necessary. Depending on the circumstances, a vehicle, horse or helicopter may take an injured or ill person to the nearest medical facility. English-speaking doctors and clinics are available in all major cities (Cusco, Arequipa, Trujillo, Lima, etc.). While hiking in wilderness areas our guides also carry satellite phones in case of emergency. Passengers are advised to obtain medical or travel insurance that covers medical evacuation.
Q: What is the best way to get money on the trip?
A: The Sol(es) is the official currency of Peru. Current exchange rate information is available on our website. Visa, MasterCard and Diners Club are the most recognized credit cards in Peru. American Express is not widely accepted. Please note that when using credit cards, merchants will often charge a transaction fee in order to cover their costs. ATM machines (Visa/MasterCard/Cirrus/Plus), with directions in English, are a popular choice for exchanging currency at the official rate of exchange (user fees may apply). They debit your account, distribute the money in Soles and are widely available 24 hours a day 7 days a week in all major cities and large towns. Money can also be exchanged at your hotel. For operating hours of money exchange offices (Casas de Cambio) and other money tips, see pre-departure information.
Q: If I need to bring extra luggage with me to South America, where can it be stored?
A: On all of our trips, excess luggage may be stored in the hotel where your trip begins or at our operator’s offices. Luggage may not be stored at the airport.
Q: How will I do laundry during the trip?
A: Peruvian hotels charge very affordable rates for doing a guest’s laundry. You will also have access to laundry facilities on most days in major cities. You can hand wash it yourself; however, please use biodegradable soap.
Q: Do I need a converter/ adaptor for the electricity?
A: In all of Peru, the electricity is 220 volts and 60 cycles standard to Great Britain. If you need to use electricity in Peru (recharge batteries for digital camera, hairdryer etc.), bring plug adapters and a voltage transformer that will allow you to use the equipment on the 2-pin 220 volt outlets. Please note that while some hotels have hair dryers for guest use, most do not.
Q: Will I be able to use my cell phone?
A: Each company is different. Check with your cell phone provider for the most up-to-date information.
Q: What’s the average group size on the scheduled trips?
A: We operate our scheduled group trips with a minimum of two and a maximum of eight guests, except on the Inca Trail trips with a maximum of 12 guests. This policy minimizes our environmental impact, allows us to travel to areas less visited and makes the sightseeing experience more personal. It allows our guides sufficient time to attend to the individual needs of each visitor. Traveling in small groups also increases the likelihood of encountering wildlife in some areas, such as the Amazon.
Q: Who travels on your group trips?
A: While travelers of varying ages from all over the world take our trips, most are Americans between 20 and 60. The more rigorous itineraries tend to attract slightly younger travelers than our other trips.
Q: When will I receive the airline tickets for the flights included in the trip?
A: Tickets will be given to you at the airport or the hotel the morning of your departure for that day’s destination. Some airlines use E Tickets. For these, you’ll just need to present your passport at check-in.
Q: What are the guides’ qualifications?
A: Our exceptional guides have been carefully selected for their knowledge, professionalism, experience and ability to effectively manage groups with finesse. We hire only guides who are native to the destination and are licensed and/or certified in accordance with the government regulations of their country. All are fluent in Spanish and English, and some also speak the indigenous Quechua language. Most have advanced degrees in tourism, biology, Andean culture or another related field. Our team of congenial guides offers priceless insights into the true nature of their homelands, adding immeasurably to the enjoyment of the trip.
Q: What are the meals like?
A: Staple foods in the highlands include several varieties of potatoes and corn, rice, quinoa and meat dishes, often with a spicy sauce. In jungle areas, fresh fruits, fried plantains, and other vegetables are also common. Meals served during all of our Peru adventures are nutritious and plentiful. Hotel breakfasts usually include fresh fruit, breads and eggs, as well as coffee, tea and juices. On the hiking portion of our trekking tours, you will awake to a fresh cup of tea brought to your tent and be served breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared by expert trail cooks with years of experience. Dinners usually consist of fresh vegetables, beef and chicken. During our Amazon adventures, the lodge menus generally include a selection of seafood, beef, fresh salads and soups as well as dessert and hot drinks.
Q: Are you able to accommodate special dietary requests?
A: Though vegetarians can be easily accommodated in all areas, Peruvian vegetarian dishes typically just leave out the meat rather than substituting a vegetarian protein source such as tofu, beans, or nuts. If you are concerned about the meals, please bring supplement supplies. If you require a special diet (vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, etc.) or are allergic to any foods and did not indicate your needs on the trip application at the time of booking, please contact us so we can make special arrangements before your departure.
Q: What type of aircraft is used on domestic flights?
A: Most domestic carriers use Boeing 727s or similar jets with a capacity of 80-120 passengers.
Q: How do we get from one tour destination to another?
A: In Peru, we use a mix of private and public transportation to get travelers to their destinations safely and efficiently. This includes local air carriers, trains, private vans/cars, comfortable tourist buses and canoes, etc. For short distances, we may get around in unusual ways such as human-powered rickshaw or bicycle taxi or the wildly fun “chicken bus” to give our guests the local flavor.
Q: Can I extend my stay?
A: We try to balance flexibility and convenience regarding meals. Meals are included on tour days spent off the beaten path where restaurant choices are limited (e.g. Lake Titicaca and the Amazon.) In major cities with a wide variety of restaurants, meals are generally not included to allow our travelers to make their own dining choices. On these days, your hotel will provide a light continental breakfast. Southern Explorations will provide you a list of recommended restaurants for these cities. Your local guide will be a wealth of information about great restaurant options and is usually available to accompany groups that wish to eat together.
Q: How much should I budget for tips?
A: Tipping is a personal matter, and guests are encouraged to tip what they feel is appropriate. Please refer to the pre-departure information for our tipping suggestions.
Q: Are these Peru tours suitable for children?
A: It depends on the trip. Our Peru tours have received rave reviews from families visiting the Amazon, Machu Picchu and even hiking the Inca trail. If children enjoy wildlife, learning about other cultures and meeting new people, Peru may be a great choice. To make family tours more flexible, we often recommend putting together a private group instead of booking one of our pre-set group trips. This works especially well with younger children. We are happy to answer all of your questions to give you the most accurate impression we can of what to expect.
Q: What airport do your passengers fly to?
A: Passengers fly into Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport. Our Peru tours all begin in Cusco.
Q: What are the accommodations like in Peru?
A: All of our Peru accommodations have private baths and hot water. They are located within walking distance of the town center, and most of the reception staff speaks English. Our standard adventures feature 3-star accommodations. If desired, 4 and 5-star accommodations are available upon request. We personally inspect the rooms and amenities of all potential hotels and lodges in each tour location and select only those that meet our rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort, convenient location, safety, customer service and ambiance. We support lodges and hotels that employ sustainability practices and are owned and operated locally.
Amazon & Machu Picchu

Transfer to your hotel and settle in. If you arrive early, we can arrange optional museum visits or tours of the city and surrounding sites.


Accommodations at Posada Amazonas OR Hacienda Concepcion depending on availability. Your Peru tour begins with a morning transfer to the airport for a flight to Puerto Maldonado. A one-hour motorized canoe ride up Peru's Tambopata River brings you to the lodge to unpack and unwind. Receive a short welcome orientation and a complete briefing about the lodge and the Ecotourism Project before the afternoon's activity, climbing the Canopy Tower. The Canopy Tower is a 115 ft-high scaffolding offering spectacular views of the river and the surrounding forest. (B,L,D)


Accommodations at Posada Amazonas OR Hacienda Concepcion depending on availability. Make an early morning visit to the Tres Chimbadas oxbow lake. After breakfast, depart from Posada Amazonas by boat and take a brief walk to the lake shore followed by a long, easy canoe ride around the lake where your Peru ecotour may include sightings of giant river otters, turtles, hoatzin and wading birds. Return to the lodge's trails to see a small parakeet clay lick where dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of parakeets congregate on clear days to ingest clay. In the afternoon, visit the community's ethno-botanical center and hike the surrounding trails with a resident guide who will explain the everyday uses of forest resources in medicine, construction, food and fiber. After this educational day on your Peru ecotour, the evening will be spent at the lodge. (B,L,D)


Depart early by boat to Pto. Maldonado and the airport for a short flight to Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire. Your Peru travels continue as you are picked up at the airport and taken on a quick tour of the lovely Plaza de Armas on the way to your hotel. Spend the remainder of the day relaxing and becoming accustomed to the altitude (10,856 ft). (B)


Start the day on a guided walking tour through the distinctive markets of Cusco, the colonial cathedral, and Koricancha, the impressive Temple of the Sun. After lunching on tasty local cuisine, depart for an afternoon tour of the temples and visit several prominent Inca sights, memorable sights of your Peru tour: the fortress of Sacsayhuamán, with its expansive stone terraces; the carved stone surfaces and subterranean altars of Kenko; the small fortress of Puka Pukara that protected Cusco; and the Tambo Machay water temple. In the late afternoon, you'll return to your hotel to relax or to further explore captivating Cusco. (B)


Embark on a day-long guided excursion through the Andean landscape to the legendary Sacred Valley, passing Inca terracing that climbs the steep valley walls and the ruins of Pisac temples offering panoramic views of granite peaks. In the town of Pisac, enjoy hunting for bargains at one of the best textile markets in the Andes and find many great souvenirs of your Peru travel. After lunch, reach the small town of Ollantaytambo (9,185 ft.), where you'll spend the night and visit a famous Inca fortress. (B,L)


After a satisfying breakfast at your hotel, begin a walking tour of the Ollantaytambo ruins and town. Midmorning take a leisurely walk from the hotel to the train station at Ollantaytambo. Follow the Urubamba River through a scenic cloud forest, arriving at the station where you will have lunch before boarding a bus that will take you to the hidden citadel of Machu Picchu (7,875 ft.). Spend the day exploring the famous ruins and return in the late afternoon to nearby Aguas Calientes to soak in the local hot springs and dine on Peruvian cuisine. Overnight at a nearby hotel. (B)


If you choose to get up before dawn, you can see an unforgettable Machu Picchu sunrise with few other visitors. Spend the morning exploring Machu Picchu on your own which could include a climb to the sacred peak of Huayna Picchu or a walk through the lush cloud forest to the Temple of the Moon. After lunch in Aguas Calientes, embark on the mid-afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo. Meet your private van to travel to the cooperatively run Chinchero Market, home to some of the most remarkable textiles in Peru. Here enjoy an introduction to the way the weavers shear, dye, spin and weave using traditional methods. This is the perfect opportunity for last minute shopping before returning to your Cusco hotel in the evening. (B)


In the morning, transfer to the Cusco airport for the return flight to Lima and your connecting international flight, ending Southern Explorations' services. Trip extensions to other areas or extra days in Lima and/or Cusco can also be arranged. (B)

Amazon & Machu Picchu

Per Person

Domestic Airfare:
$550 (Lima/Puerto Maldonado/Cusco/Lima) – Subject to change

Single Supplement: $725
A single supplement is the additional cost of a single traveler not sharing a room in double occupancy.

Trip Dates
Can’t find a date that works for you in the list below? Southern Explorations can arrange a private departure on any date that works with your schedule. Custom tours are also available. Contact us for details.
Thursday, November 19, 2015 to Friday, November 27, 2015
Thursday, December 24, 2015 to Friday, January 1, 2016
Sold Out
Thursday, January 14, 2016 to Friday, January 22, 2016
Thursday, February 11, 2016 to Friday, February 19, 2016
Friday, March 4, 2016 to Saturday, March 12, 2016
6 Spaces Left
Thursday, March 24, 2016 to Friday, April 1, 2016
Thursday, April 14, 2016 to Friday, April 22, 2016
Thursday, May 19, 2016 to Friday, May 27, 2016
Thursday, June 9, 2016 to Friday, June 17, 2016
Thursday, June 30, 2016 to Friday, July 8, 2016
Thursday, August 4, 2016 to Friday, August 12, 2016
Thursday, September 15, 2016 to Friday, September 23, 2016
6 Spaces Left
Thursday, October 6, 2016 to Friday, October 14, 2016
Thursday, November 17, 2016 to Friday, November 25, 2016
Thursday, December 22, 2016 to Friday, December 30, 2016
Included in tour cost
  • Private transportation
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All hotel accommodations
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • Airport taxes, international and local
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
Aguas Calientes
Sacred Valley

One Day


Our trip was rather complex with three different sections (Amazon, Galapagos, and Machu Picchu (Peru)).  There were a number of internal flights as well as trains, boats, and more.  We also had coordination of people joining us part way through, special guides, and special activities for some people.  I was very impressed that all of the transfers, activities, and connections occurred without a hitch.  There were ample opportunities for things to go wrong, but the whole trip went exceptionally smoothly.  All of the guides were outstanding - knowledgeable, personable, with good communication skills, and a good sense of humor.  I appreciated the very small groups, which afforded just the right balance.  We were able to see more than expected.   It couldn’t have been better.   -Linda Tredupp, Wisconsin (Amazon, Galapagos Island Cruise & Peru)

I have traveled many places in the world but the trip put together by Southern Explorations may well be the best. The amazing biology we saw on the Galapagos and in the Amazon, wonderful guides both on the Eclipse and at Sacha lodge, excellent food, and great coordination of the different parts of the trip made for an incredible journey.   -Marilyn Parsons, USA (Galapagos Island Cruise & Amazon)

Please consider strongly using Southern Explorations to book your trip to South America. These folks are well organized and provided excellent preparation materials. The two tours that I took (Galapagos Islands and the Amazon) were outstanding, in part due to the people working with Southern Explorations. There was excellent communication between Southern Explorations staff and myself which helped markedly in planning the trip, the exact locations to be visited, and the accommodations. Do not miss this opportunity to work with this wonderful group!   -Renée Leboeuf (Galapagos Island Cruise & Amazon)

Thank-you for the trip of a life time and I have already recommended you to everyone who asks!   -Wendy Williams, Canada (Amazon, Machu Picchu & Galapagos Island Cruise)

Southern Explorations did a superb job creating an individual guided trip for us to the Amazon, Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. The guides were terrific - well-informed, friendly and flexible. The accommodations were excellent. The trip was a thrilling experience for us - exceeded our expectations at all of the locations. Thank you!!   -David Bergen & Rhea Feldman, USA (Amazon & Peru)

We had an outstanding time on our Galapagos Adventure + stay at the Sacha Lodge. Everything ran seamlessly and our guides were fun and knowledgeable. It was the perfect mix of activity, education, and relaxation! We also highly recommend the Sacha Lodge.  - Eric & Leah Monson, USA (Galapagos Island Land & Amazon) 


This Trip is Rated: Moderate

Our moderate trips require an average level of fitness. Itineraries may include walks or short hikes of up to two to three hours with little elevation gain, sustained walking at higher altitudes, and/or other similar level physical activities. Many activities are optional.

How We Rate Our Trips

Easy: Our easy tours generally require fairly little exertion. Each day will involve walking, sightseeing and general travel-related activities such as getting in/out of vans, planes, boats, and zodiacs.

Moderate: Our moderate trips require an average level of fitness. Itineraries may include walks or short hikes of up to two to three hours with little elevation gain, sustained walking at higher altitudes, and/or other similar level physical activities. Many activities are optional.

Difficult: Our difficult trips may involve hiking over uneven terrain, with some hikes including significant elevation gain or loss and at higher elevations (up to 12,000 ft). Itineraries may include three to six hour hikes and other activities such as horseback riding, mountain bicycling, rafting and kayaking, which require no previous experience. On many trips, passengers may elect to skip a day's activity, depending on logistics.

Most Difficult: Our most difficult expeditions are for the adventurer who is in good physical condition. Itineraries may involve multi-day hiking and trekking excursions over steep, rugged terrain and/or where altitude may exceed 14,000 feet. Many trips include camping in remote areas and/or high altitude sites in varying temperature and weather conditions. Trips may also involve many days of demanding Class IV-V rapids, longer sea kayaking trips, horseback riding, and/or mountain bicycling. Training for the physical demands of these tours is highly encouraged. 


When to Visit
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

Peru is a diverse country. With beaches, mountains, rainforest and desert, there is no off-season. But it does pay to know a bit about where you're going, and what you'll need on your Peru tour:

The Andes - Though officially part of the dry season, April and May are considered the Andean spring, while June through October marks the Andean summer. Mid-day temperatures range from 70 to 80 F in the sun. Nighttime temperatures in Cusco range in the 40s F and can dip into the 30s F. Weather is usually clear in the morning with clouds accumulating in the afternoon. Rain can happen in any season, so quality rain gear is essential.

The Amazon - A rainforest environment, the Peruvian Amazon has varied weather conditions and frequent unpredictable rain showers. It is generally hot and humid during the day with more comfortable temperatures through the night. Daytime high temperatures average between 82° and 93° F, and the average nighttime low is between 62° and 73°. Nevertheless, in some areas cold fronts can sweep into the Amazon and push daytime high temperatures down to 50° F and nighttime lows to 43° F. Any time of year, one should always be prepared for cooler temperatures and rain showers. Around 80% of the annual average 79 inches of rainfall occurs during the rainy season (December through March) when heavy rain may continue for hours or days.

Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN 68-79 0.0
FEB 69-80 0.0
MAR 69-80 0.0
APR 67-76 0.0
MAY 63-72 0.0
JUN 61-69 0.1
JUL 60-67 0.2
AUG 60-66 0.1
SEP 60-67 0.1
OCT 60-69 0.1
NOV 62-72 0.0
DEC 64-76 0.0

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN 44-65 6.3
FEB 44-65 5.2
MAR 43-66 4.3
APR 41-67 1.8
MAY 39-67 0.3
JUN 33-66 0.1
JUL 32-66 0.2
AUG 35-67 0.3
SEP 39-68 0.9
OCT 42-69 1.9
NOV 43-69 3.1
DEC 44-69 4.7

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN 38-62 5.2
FEB 38-62 4.3
MAR 38-62 3.8
APR 33-62 1.5
MAY 25-62 0.4
JUN 19-61 0.1
JUL 18-61 0.1
AUG 22-63 0.2
SEP 29-64 0.8
OCT 33-65 1.5
NOV 35-66 2.0
DEC 37-64 3.6

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN 71-88 13.6
FEB 70-87 12.8
MAR 70-88 11.9
APR 69-87 6.1
MAY 66-86 4.2
JUN 63-84 2.3
JUL 62-85 2.2
AUG 64-88 2.5
SEP 66-90 3.9
OCT 69-90 6.5
NOV 70-89 9.3
DEC 70-88 12.1

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


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