Peru wildlife and Machu Picchu holiday

Peru is a beautiful country with history oozing from from its very pores. Machu Picchu is better than you dared imagine and the Manu Biosphere reserve protects some of the best forest in South America.Ian Wood

I first went to Peru many years ago and it’s one of those rare countries that I yearn to return to on a regular basis. Oozing with history from its towns and many Inca sites, it’s a superb country for photography and Machu Picchu is as spectacular as you’d dared imagine. And then to top it off, there is the gorgeous Manu Biosphere which protects some of the best forest in South America. Having travelled  extensively in this lovely country, I’m confident that this trip offers the ultimate way to immerse ouselves in both the culture and wildlife of Peru.

Amazon and Inca - the perfect combo !

Peru has so much to see and do that we’ve divided this trip into two parts. The first ten days take in some of the most iconic places in this beautiful country including Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and the stunning Colca canyon where condors soar on thermals. Then for the second part we’ll have a dramatic change of scenery as we’ll spend seven days exploring the Manu biosphere which protects some of the best forest in South America. We have permits to enter the reserved zone of this national park which is home to over a dozen primate species including rare Tamarin monkeys. We’ll spend time at a Macaw lick and plenty of other wildlife abounds including giant river otters, a huge array of colurful frogs and if we’re lucky a chance of spotting a Jaguar. You would be welcome to come on either part of this journey but you know it makes sense to do both bits !?  Our group size is limited to eight people to keep this trip nice and small and personal.

Dates and costs

2019 trip

Part 1 – Lima, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, lake Titicaca and Machu Picchu – June 4th to 12th 2019 – to enquire click here.

Part 2 – Amazon Manu Biosphere – June 13th to 20st 2019 – to enquire click here.

Cost

Part 1 – Lima, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, lake Titicaca and Machu Picchu – £2450 per person based on sharing double or twin accommodation. If single travellers would prefer their own room we should be able to provide these subject to availability. Please contact me for single supplement.

Part 2 – Amazon wildlife wander in Manu Biosphere – £2150 per person based on sharing double or twin accommodation. If single travellers would prefer their own room we should be able to provide these subject to availability. Please contact me for single supplement.

Itinerary

Part 1 – Lima, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, lake Titicaca and Machu Picchu

Day 1 – Arriva Lima – airport pick up and transfer to our hotel

Day 2 – Tranfer to airport for our flight to Arequipa. Afternoon wander around this beautiful town including a visit to the photographic Santa Catalina Convent and the viewpoints of Carmen Alto and Yanahuara which will afford us fantastic views over the town and surrounding landscapes. Overnight Arequipa.

Day 3 – Arequipa to Colca Canyon. Slicing through the Andes and nearly twice as deep as America’s Grand canyon, the Colca canyon reaches a depth of over 3km at its deepest point. We’ll take our time driving through this gorgeous region to take landscape photos along the way before arriving at the charming town of Chivay where we’ll spend the night.

Day 4 – An early start so we are at the Cruz del Condor for sunrise. Along with being a fantastic spot to photograph the canyon from, this viewpoint is also the best place to watch condors rise on the morning thermals. These impressive birds usually fly right up and over our heads as they soar above the canyon to start their morning scavenging. In the afternoon our private minibus will take us to Puno which will take appox 5 hours. On this drive we’ll pass through beautiful Andean scenery including stone forests and lagoons and also make a stop at the Patapampa volcano viewpoint. Before arriving in Puno we’ll visit the pre Inca cemeteries on the shores of lake Umayo. Overnight Puno.

Day 5 – Lake Titicaca. This stunning lake is the largest in South America and we’ll have a full day exploring in our private boat. We’ll stop for a visit at the Uros floating reed islands along with a trip to Taquile island to enjoy a homemade lunch and meet local community members. Overnight Puno

Day 6 – Puno to Cusco. Our road journey to Cusco will pass through fantastic scenery and we’ll stop on route to visit several important arcaeological sites. Overnight Cusco.

Day 7 – Cusco is such a lovely Peruvian town and we’ll have a full day to explore and photograph this area including a visit to some of the nearby Inca sites. Overnight Cusco.

Day 8 – Cusco – Sacred valley. Another day of exporing the stunning landscapes and other Inca sites in this region along with a visit to the colourful Pisaq market for locally made handicrafts. Finally we’ll arrive at the small town of Ollantaytambo where we’ll get the train to Aguas Calientes. Overnight Aguas Calientes.

Day 9 – Machu Picchu !!! We’ll have an early morning start to explore this stunning Unesco world heritage site which was a sacred religous place for Inca royalty. Nestled in a beautiful landscape Machu Pichu is one of those magical places that everyone should visit in their lives. Late afternoon train back to Cuzco . Overnight Cuzco.

Day 10 – Either fly back to Lima for your international travel or onwards and upwards to the explore the world renowned Manu Biosphere which protects some of the best forest in South America.

Part 2 – Amazon wildlife wander in Manu Biosphere

Day 1 – Staring early from Cusco we begin our journey by private mini bus up through the Andes to the cloud forest. With spectacular views on route and opportunities to see various wildlife including humming birds, quetzals, trogons and various monkey species. In the afternoon we’ll arrive at the lovely Bamboo lodge where we’ll spend the night.

Day 2 -After an early breakfast we continue by road for a while stopping off at an animal rescue centre and orchid garden before we reach the small settlement of Atalaya on the shores of the Alto Madre de Dios river. We’ll then transfer to our 15 metre long motorized canoe to head downstream. Wildlife on route abounds with good sightings of kingfishers, vultures, caimans and some of the 13 species of monkeys that live here. By mid afternoon we reach Humming bird lodge where we’ll spend tonight. In the evening we’ll go on a night walk with a local expert to photograph frogs and insects. Overnight Hummingbird lodge.

Day 3 – An early start to continue our spectacular journey by river where we’ll travel into the special reserved zone of this national park. After reaching the mouth of the Manu river we’ll travel upstream into the very heart of this rainforest. The scenery and wildlife along this stretch gets even better ! White caimans, turtles, capybara along with a wealth of bird life can be expected and there’s always the possibility of seeing larger animals such as tapir and jaguar. In the afternoon we’ll reach the Aguaje tented camp which will be our home for the next two nights.

Day 4 – A morning of exploring the reserved zone of the Manu forest by exporing various trails with an experienced nature guide. In the afternoon we’ll use catamarans to visit a lovely oxbow lake called Conca Salvador in search of giant river otters, monkeys and birds. Overnight Aguaje tented camp.

Day 5 – Time to contunue our river journey at dawn which is the perfect time to see wildlife along the banks of the Manu river. We’ll make a stop at Boca Manu village before heading further down river to reach the Maqquisapayoi reserve which is an area with numerous monkey species including rare tamarin monkeys. In the afternoon there’s a short walk to a mammal salt lick to watch the deer and monkeys which usually appear here. Arrive at Maquisapayoi lodge where we’ll go on a night wander in search of more frogs.

Day 6 – Macaw clay lick and Maquisapayoi tapir lick. At dawn we’ll use our boat to reach a macaw lick where there’s a platform and a ‘blind’ enabling us to watch the macaws nibbling on the clay. After lunch back at our lodge we’ll spend the afternoon at another nearby mammal salt lick. Overnight Maquisapayoi lodge.

Day 7 – After breakfast we travel downstream for a while to reach the small town of Colorado where we go by road back to Cusco arriving early evening. Overnight Cusco.

Day 8 – Fly back from Cusco to Lima and either connection to our international flights home or overnight in Lima depending on people’s flight timings.

A few photos from Peru …