Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.
Fly to Puerto Maldonado and continue by motorized canoe to the comfortable, intimate, and exclusive G Lodge Amazon located in the lush Tambopata Rainforest. After a brief stop in town to store large luggage, drive to the pier and travel by covered motorized boat to the jungle lodge.
En route, spot bird species typical of the local river and forest edge. The Tambopata Rainforest area holds the world record for the most bird sightings in one area.
Local community members make up the majority of lodge staff, including multilingual naturalist guides. Take the opportunity to learn about the area's rich flora and fauna and locals' extensive use of medicinal plants and other forest plant resources through traditional techniques for building, fishing, and hunting.
Enjoy a welcome drink and orientation. Before dinner, head out for a night walk around the lodge grounds.
Enjoy guided jungle excursions led by expert naturalists to spot wildlife at nearby oxbow lakes, rivers, and clay licks. Take advantage of free time to relax or swim, and go on a caiman-spotting cruise after dinner. Head out early to catch the jungle at its wildest (and coolest). Walk slowly through the forest searching for wildlife before heading out on an oxbow lake by canoe.
Search for anaconda, the elusive giant river otter, or black caiman. Even if you don't spot these shy creatures, there are plenty of birds, interesting plants, and other animals about.
Travel by boat out of the jungle to Puerto Maldonado for a flight over the Andes and into the heart of Inca territory, Cusco. This evening, look to the night sky for a different view at the Cusco Planetarium. Enjoy a presentation on the southern sky, contemporary astronomy, and the ancient Incas' relationship with the cosmos. Visit the on-site museum and use the telescopes to admire the stars. Afternoon arrival into the Inca capital. Time for strolling around the plazas and markets. Admire the cobblestones streets, and visit some museums and Cathedral.
Enjoy a full day exploring the Sacred Valley with a local guide. Tour the G Adventures-supported Parque de la Papa, or Potato Park, a network of rural agricultural communities working to preserve more than 700 species of potatoes. Learn about potato cultivation and traditional weaving, and the importance of each to Andean culture. Next, explore the Pisac ruins and visit the G Adventures-supported Sacred Valley Community Restaurant in the village of Huchuy Qosqo.
Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the Inca Trail begins. Ease into the adventure with a straightforward day of hiking the meandering streams, stunning Andean scenery, and ancient Incan ruins. Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata.
Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwanusca, better known as Dead Woman's Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax.
Cross two more passes and ruins on today's trek. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through the cloud forest on a gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley.
At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the "town above the clouds." Camp here or go another 1.5 hrs to the Winay Wayna ruins ("forever young") located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).
The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on a clear day. Hike down for a guided tour of the site and enjoy free time to explore until noon as permitted by the tourist ticket. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge, if time allows.
Catch the bus to Aguas Calientes to meet any non-hiking members of your group. Eat and relax before your train back to Cusco in the afternoon.