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Inca Trail & the Amazon Rainforest

Focusing more on experiences than on accommodations, this program visits all three must-see regions in Peru and includes an Inca Trail trek.

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Peru: Drink It In

To start, this three-part itinerary includes beautiful mountains and cloud forests along the historic Inca Trail en route to the best-preserved and most dramatic Inca ruin, Machu Picchu. You'll also explore the harsh landscapes of the high altiplano and the islands of serene Lake Titicaca. Then, in complete contrast, you'll board a canoe and head deep into the dense jungles of the Amazon Rainforest.
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Travel Curator’s Insights:

    • Excellent for hikers and campers focused more on destinations than accommodations.
    • Great way to experience the classic Inca Trail hike through the Sun Gate down to Machu Picchu.
    • Explore Lake Titicaca, with a homestay on one of its islands.


From $5,625 per person
Policies and protocols provided before you book.

May11-25, 2024
July 13-27, 2024
Aug 3-17, 2024
Oct 5-19, 2024
Ask us for later dates.

April - October Dates
Hover here to see specific dates


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Trip Sustainability Awards 



Fantastic advances in minimizing carbon footprints at locations.



On the East African Energy Renewal Board



Runs local educational facilities for children.


Day 1 - Start Lima, Free Afternoon.

The group flights are scheduled to arrive this morning. Free arrival transfers are available for any flight as long as you have provided Exodus with your flight details in advance and have requested a transfer. Check-in is in the early afternoon, and the morning is free for you to explore the local area, change money or visit Lima's many museums until the rooms become available. There will be an Exodus noticeboard in the hotel reception with details of where and when the group welcome briefing will be held.

Accommodation: Hotel El Tambo 1 (or similar)

Day 2 - Fly to Puerto Maldonado, Boat journey into Tambopata Reserve 

We have an early start today for the flight via Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado, a small jungle town. After a short drive via the lodge office (where we will store our main luggage) to the river, we take a boat to our jungle lodge in the Tambopata Reserve (generally between 1½ and 3 hours depending on the lodge used). On the way we may see caimans (alligators), river turtles and a wide variety of birdlife.

Our rainforest lodge is basic but all accommodation has en suite facilities with cold showers. Electricity is by generator and only available for a few hours a day in the dining room area.

Accommodation: Cayman Lodge (or similar)

Days 3 & 4 - Jungle Exploration including Forest Walks and Boat Trips 

The next two days are spent exploring the forest, rivers and lakes surrounding the lodge, on foot and in both motorized and paddle canoes. Although a lot of the wildlife tends to hide in the dense foliage, we should expect to see a wide variety of birds, including herons and egrets, jacanas, macaws and the almost prehistoric-looking hoatzin, as well as several species of monkey, reptiles and insects, and with luck the Giant otters which live in the rivers of the Amazon basin.

Accommodation: Cayman Lodge (or similar)

Day 5 - Fly to Cuzco (3400m), Free Time to Explore the Ancient Capital 

A dawn start is required for the boat trip back to Puerto Maldonado, giving memorable views of the sunrise over the river. Look out for the early morning wildlife, which is particularly active at this time; Howler monkeys are frequently heard as they stake out their territories. After our flight to Cuzco, there is usually time for an afternoon orientation tour of the city. At 3400m Cuzco is an extremely high city and you may find yourself short of breath on arrival.

Accommodation: Hotel Warari / Hotel Koyllur (or similar)


Day 6 - Free Day, Optional Sacred Valley Excursion 

We have a free day in Cuzco today. The Inca Capital is among the most attractive cities in South America, with many interesting buildings, museums and sites. There are various optional activities that can be arranged through your leader, such as a full day tour of the Sacred Valley (including the fortresses of Pisac and Ollantaytambo) or a visit to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, situated on a hillside above the city. You will have a full trek briefing this afternoon (usually around 6pm).

Accommodation: Hotel Warari / Hotel Koyllur (or similar)

Day 7 - The Classic Inca Trail

Start Inca Trail trek from km82; walk along Urubamba River, climb to Huayllabamba.

The Classic Inca Trail is a tangential branch part of a 45,000km road network linking the whole empire to Cuzco. It was built in the 15th Century to reach Machu Picchu but was abandoned soon after the Spanish conquest. American adventurer, Hiram Bingham travelled along the trail when he came across Machu Picchu in 1911. The trail opened to the public in 1970.

We leave Cuzco early and drive for roughly two hours to Ollantaytambo; our last chance to buy any items needed for the trek. From here we veer off the road and follow a track beside the river (45 minutes) to the start of the Inca Trail at Piscacucho, commonly known as Km82. After greeting our trekking crew, we show our passports at the checkpoint and begin the Inca Trail trek. The trail runs alongside the Vilcanota River beneath the impressive snow-capped Nevado Veronica, passing through cactus gardens and fields of corn until we reach the enormous Inca ruins of Llactapata, where we continue up a side valley to camp near the hamlet of Huayllabamba.

Walk Profile: approx. 11km / 6‐7hrs walking.

Accommodation: Full-service Camping - Huayllabamba Camp

Moonstone Trek: Trek past ruins and hamlets to the village of Chillipawa.

One Day Inca Trail Option: Full day walking tour of nearby ruins including Tambomachay and Sacsayhuaman

Day 8 - The Classic Inca Trail: Cross Dead Woman's Pass (4215m), Descend to Pacaymayu.

This is the longest and most strenuous day. A long climb (largely up stone staircases) takes us first through an area of cloud forest to the meadows of Llulluchapampa, then over the Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman's) pass, at 4215m the highest point on the trek. After quite a long, steep descent we camp in the scenic valley of the Pacamayo River (3600m).

Walk Profile: approx. 10km / 6‐7hrs walking

Accommodation: Full-service Camping - Pacamayo Camp

Moonstone Trek: Up the Accoccosa Pass and onto the high pampas.

One Day Inca Trail Option: Free day in Cuzco

Day 9 - The Classic Inca Trail: Over Runquracay Pass (3800m) to ruins of Sayajmarca and Phuyupatamarca.

We start the day with an easier climb which takes us past the ruins of Runquracay and over the Runquracay Pass (3930m). From now on the Inca Trail becomes a clearly defined path made of flat boulders. We pass the ruins of Sayajmarca and suddenly enter rainforest; at one point the trail passes through an Inca tunnel. We camp at a spectacular campsite on the ridge above the Inca site of Phuyupatamarca (3680m) to benefit from the views of sunset and sunrise.

Walk Profile: approx. 12km / 5-6hrs walking

Accommodation: Full-service Camping - Phuyupatamarca Camp

Moonstone Trek: Continue along a narrow canyon and Incan aqueduct before crossing over to the Inca quarry of Canchiqata.

One Day Inca Trail Option: Visit Pisac market and Inca ruins in the Sacred Valley

Day 10 - The Classic Inca Trail

Walk down Inca steps to Wiñay Wayna and Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate.

From the ridge, we embark on the infamous Inca steps: a two kilometre stone staircase taking us rapidly downhill amid a panorama of overwhelming immensity, with the peaks of the Vilcabamba range above and the river thousands of metres below. After visiting the attractive ruins of Wiñay Wayna, we have an undulating walk through cloud forest high above the river to Inti Punku, the Sun Gate. From here we get our first full sight of Machu Picchu itself, with Huayna Picchu rising behind.

Traditionally busy with groups of trekkers clamoring for photos, we plan our arrival at Inti Punku later in the day so we can enjoy unobstructed views of the magnificent ruins. Passing around the edge of the ruins, we exit the site and descend to Aguas Calientes for a well-earned rest, a shower and a comfortable bed for the night. Our trekking permits allow us one entry into the site, which we use for our tour tomorrow, but anyone wishing to visit the citadel on both days can purchase an additional entry ticket today - your tour leader will assist with this.

There is usually time for an optional visit to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes, however, in recent years they have become over-crowded, and the water quality can suffer as a result. We will be reunited with those who have been on the Moonstone Trek at the hotel this afternoon.

Walk Profile: approx. 9km / 6-7hrs walking

Accommodation: Hotel Inti Punku El Tambo (or similar)

Inca Trail - Meals Included: breakfast lunch

Moonstone Trek: Descend to Ollantaytambo where the trek ends; catch the train to Aguas Calientes and re-join the rest of the group.

Train Option: One Day Inca Trail via Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu


Day 11 - Guided tour of Machu Picchu

Return to Cuzco by Train and Road In order to beat the day-trippers arriving from Cuzco and reach the ruins as early as possible, a very early start is required to queue for Machu Picchu; only government-registered buses can make the 30-minute drive up the winding road to the site entrance and during high season (May-October) queues can be hours long.

Machu Picchu is one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient world and what makes it all the more dramatic is its mountain backdrop of staggering immensity. The Spaniards never found it, the Incas left no records of it, and so Machu Picchu remained a great enigma, a city lost for centuries in the jungle until it was rediscovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham.

New regulations for visiting Machu Picchu are now fully enforced; of the three possible visiting slots, Exodus will purchase the morning slot from 06:00 until 12:00 (unless unavailable), you will be limited to a maximum of four hours within the site and must be accompanied by a guide. There will also be three set routes to follow around Machu Picchu; Exodus selects the most comprehensive route. We catch an afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo (1hr 30 mins) and continue by private bus to Cuzco (2hrs 30 mins).

Accommodation: Hotel Warari / Hotel Koyllur (or similar)

Day 12 - Drive across Altiplano to Puno 

(3800m), on the Shores of Lake Titicaca.

Today we take a bus ride across the altiplano, the high plains separating the Andes from the jungles. Although it is quite a long drive (10 hours including stops), the views are spectacular. There are scheduled stops along the route to visit some of the most interesting sites which helps break up the day and we get a feel for the immensity of the Andean landscapes. A packed lunch is included today. We arrive in the evening in Puno, a high, chilly town on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

Accommodation: Casona Plaza Hotel (or similar)

Day 13 - Boat to Amantani Island for Village Homestay

We explore Lake Titicaca, visiting the lesser-known Titinos communities who live on islands of floating reeds and produce some fine textiles. Though the altitude here (3850m) is tiring, the air is very clear and the lakeside views can be magnificent, with the snow-capped peaks of the Andes towering in the background. There is the option to go on a walk to the top of the island to watch the sunset. We spend the night on Amantani Island where we experience a homestay with the local villagers - this really allows us to see what life is like for the people in an isolated island community.

Accommodation: Titicaca Homestay (basic accommodation)

Day 14 - Morning Travel to Mainland, Afternoon Fly to Lima 

We take a boat to Chifron Bay and spend some time exploring the peninsula before flying back to Lima (from nearby Juliaca airport). Depending on the flight taken, we may have some time free for shopping and sightseeing, including an optional visit to the Gold Museum. Flight times do vary and some groups will not arrive into Lima until late afternoon or early evening.

Accommodation: Hotel El Tambo 1 (or similar)

Day 15 - End Lima

The trip ends after breakfast today. Those on group flights will be transferred to the airport in the morning for the overnight flight to London.

Please Note: All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 6 dinners are included in the rate. During the Inca Trail (or Moonstone Trek) hearty breakfasts are served and good quality cooked lunches and dinners are provided, and usually consist of soup or a starter, a main course with meat/fish and some form of carbohydrates, followed by a dessert. Some snacks between meals are also provided. Drinking water (boiled and filtered) is provided in the mornings and at lunch during the trek so that you can refill your bottles. Bed tea/coffee is brought to your tent each morning and juice or hot drinks are provided with all meals during the trek.

Activity Level: The Inca Trail is a Moderate grade trek (level 3.5). There are four days point-to-point walking with full porterage, reaching a maximum altitude of 4215m, average 3050m. Though not without its difficulties (in particular the ascent and descent of the first pass, known as Dead Woman's Pass!) this trek is certainly possible for anyone in a good state of health and fitness, but we would not recommend it as a beginner's trek to anyone with no previous trekking experience. If you are not a regular walker you should put in some physical preparation beforehand. The trek is also not particularly suitable for those with bad knees due to the number of steep and uneven steps, particularly on the third and fourth days of the trek.

Moonstone Trek: Once Inca Trail permits have sold out for a given date, we can no longer accept bookings for the classic Inca Trail trek. However, we can offer an equally spectacular alternative trek (not requiring a permit) in its place. The remote high altitude Moonstone Trek takes in a number of recently discovered Inca and pre-Inca archaeological sites and there are practically no other travelers along the route.

If selected, the Moonstone Trek will replace days 7 to 10 of the standard land only itinerary. The maximum altitude on the Moonstone Trek is 4625m (higher than that of the classic Inca Trail) and the route is slightly more strenuous. Therefore, we class it as a Moderate/Challenging trek (level 4).




Image by David Maunsell


Two people traveling in a room together. Rate is per person.

Rates from in USD:


Image by David Maunsell


As a solo traveler, a cost supplement will be added to your trip.

Rates from in USD:


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If you prefer lower rates, more activity, and a lighter education program, consider this opportunity to explore three of Peru's most fascinating regions with this enthusiastic operator.

Joy Martinello, Founder



What’s Included & Cancellation Policy:

All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 6 dinners . All accommodation . All transport and listed activities . Tour leader throughout . Arrival and departure transfers . Full porterage throughout trek . This operator's kitbag . Inflatable sleeping mat while camping.

• Travel insurance
• Single accommodation available on request, excludes homestay . Visas or vaccinations . Sleeping bag (hire locally from US$20)

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