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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.



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)

Day 5: CUSCO

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)


When to Visit
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  • 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


*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall


*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall


*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall


*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches



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.

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
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)

Amazon & Machu Picchu

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, October 5, 2017 to Friday, October 13, 2017
Thursday, November 16, 2017 to Friday, November 24, 2017
Thursday, December 21, 2017 to Friday, December 29, 2017
Saturday, January 13, 2018 to Friday, January 19, 2018
Thursday, February 8, 2018 to Friday, February 16, 2018
Thursday, March 22, 2018 to Friday, March 30, 2018
Thursday, April 12, 2018 to Friday, April 20, 2018
Thursday, May 17, 2018 to Friday, May 25, 2018
Thursday, June 7, 2018 to Friday, June 15, 2018
Thursday, June 28, 2018 to Friday, July 6, 2018
Thursday, August 2, 2018 to Friday, August 10, 2018
Thursday, August 30, 2018 to Friday, September 7, 2018
Thursday, October 4, 2018 to Friday, October 12, 2018
Thursday, November 15, 2018 to Friday, November 23, 2018
Thursday, December 20, 2018 to Friday, December 28, 2018
Aguas Calientes
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Sacred Valley
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.

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 was very impressed with the organization of our trip.  Everything Southern Explorations was responsible for went smoothly and everything was on schedule.  The Manatee on the Amazon had some initial trouble but it could not have been known or anticipated by SE.  Once again I would like to compliment Jorge on his work.  He made our comings and goings to and from Quito very easy.  If I go to South America again my first call will be to Southern Explorations.  Thank you. - Peter Tuck, CA (Corals & Manatee)

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) 

Peru - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I choose an itinerary?
A: We offer a wide variety of itineraries suitable for all ages, fitness levels and personal interests. Figuring out the total number of days you are available to travel is a good starting point and your Adventure Travel Coordinator can guide you through the options.
Q: Can I make changes or additions to these tours?
A: Yes! We are happy to modify any tour to meet your needs and also add pre and post-excursion extensions. If you sign up for a group departure we cannot change the group portion, but we can add extensions before and after.
Q: When is the best time to go to Peru?
A: Many travelers like to visit Peru between the months of April and October, when the chances of rain are much lower. Avoid the height of summer (June through August) and the Christmas holiday season for smaller crowds and the best selection of accommodations.
Q: What is the weather like in Peru?
A: The most traveled section of Peru, where Cusco and Machu Picchu are located, has a dry season (April – October) and a rainy season (November – March) with daytime temperatures in the 60s and 70s and lows in the 40s. Rainfall and temperatures vary in other regions depending on season and elevation. Please see the weather tab on your specific trip for more details.
Q: What is a typical day like in Peru? 
A: A typical day in Peru will vary from tour to tour, but generally you can expect to start your excursions right after breakfast with a full day of scheduled activities or sightseeing. Contact your Adventure Travel Coordinator to discuss the specifics of your tour.
Q: How physically fit do I need to be to enjoy a trip to Peru? 
A: Our trips vary in level of activity, so the requirements differ based on itinerary. It’s important to keep in mind that much of Peru is at or above 8000’ above sea level which can add some difficulty to the activities. Please check our physical ratings for each itinerary to see what may be required of you when assessing your ability to enjoy a trip. If you have any specific questions, please contact your Adventure Travel Coordinator. We have personal experience with these activities and can help you decide whether a trip is right for you.
Q: How much time do we need to visit Peru?
A: We offer trips as short as 5 days, but recommend 7 days to adequately explore the Andean highlands (Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu). If you wish to visit more than one region, we recommend travelling for at least 12 days.
Q: How far in advance should I book?
A: Peru is a popular destination and space at the most desirable hotels fills up quickly. As a rule, the further in advance you can plan, the more options you will have. We recommend planning at least six to nine months in advance throughout the year, and a year ahead of time for anything over the Christmas holiday season.
Q: What are your booking and cancellation policies?
A: Click here to see our booking and cancellation policies.
Q: Do you use certified guides?
A: Our 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 indigenous languages. Most have advanced degrees in tourism, biology, native culture or other related field. All guides are experienced in the outdoors and trained in basic first aid.
Q: What kind of accommodations can I expect?
A: We primarily work with 3 and 4-star hotels that meets our standards. We also work with several amazing 5-star properties. All of our hotels are clean, comfortable, well-located, offer en suite bathrooms and have been personally vetted by a Southern Explorations’ staff member.
Q: Do tours include airfare?
A: We will confirm all airfare within South America and this price will be listed separately from our base tour costs. You are responsible for booking international flights to/from Peru.
Q: How many people are on your tours?
A: We operate our scheduled group trips with a minimum of two and a maximum of eight guests, except on the Inca Trail trips, which have 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. Some all-inclusive lodges and cruises offer excursions with their in-house guides and groups for those days may exceed eight travelers.
Q: Will I get more information on packing, vaccines, currency, electricity, etc.?
A: After booking you will receive a link to our online trip portal which includes all of the need-to-know information that is specific to your itinerary.  This includes packing lists, restaurant recommendations, tipping guides, FAQs, vaccine recommendations and currency information. Your Adventure Travel Coordinator will also be a great resource for any other information you may need.