Peru Botanical Tour | Wild Orchids of Machu Picchu | Day by Day

 

Detailed Itinerary


Day 1

Day 1

Arrive in Lima, Peru

Fly from your home city to Lima, Perú. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel for check-in and overnight.

Hotel: Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima


Day 2

Day 2

Lima to Cusco to Urubamba Valley

A quick flight over the snow-covered Andes brings us to the legendary city of gold—Cusco (alt. 11,200 feet)—the Center of the Inca Universe. Inca means "ruler," or "king" - an equivalent to the Roman Caesars.

Our guide will meet you at the airport and transfer into the countryside for a visit to the ancient salineras (salt mines) of Maras. Depending on the weather and the energy of the group, we may do a short hike down to the breathtaking Urubamba Valley, observing a variety of orchids along the way. The balance of the afternoon will be spent exploring the agriculturally rich valley en route to your hotel.

Hotel: Casa Andina Valle Sagrado, BLD


Day 3

Day 3

Orchid search in Urubamba and Ollantaytambo canyons

You will search for orchids in the Urubamba Valley including the semi-arid, montane shrub region around Ollantaytambo and in the side canyons where many rare varieties are found on the ground, trees, and canyon walls.

Hotel: Casa Andina Valle Sagrado, BLD


Day 4

Day 4

To Santa Teresa via the spectacular Abra Malaga Road

By van, you will leave the valley on the road that climbs up to the Abra Malaga (el. 14,229 ft) before descending, via many switchbacks, into the lush jungle among coffee and tropical fruit farms.  It is a breathtaking route and you will stop often to see the orchids of the area. At the village of Santa Maria, you turn south and make your way up the impressive Canyon de Vilcanota to the jungle village of Santa Teresa and the basic but comfortable jungle lodge, EcoQuechua, at 7,000 ft. elevation. Orchids are abundant and you’ll find many varieties. 

Hotel: Ecoquechua Lodge, BLD


Day 5

Day 5

Exploring the River Canyon and journey to Machu Picchu

You spend the morning discovering several rare species before you transfer to the train line for a short ride to Agua Calientes, where you check in to your garden hotel. After lunch, you catch a small bus for an exhilarating 20 minute dash up the mountainside to Machu Picchu.

You begin your exploration of Machu Picchu with an orientation stroll around the site. Almost immediately, you'll see orchids adorning the ruins. The elevation is a comfortable 7,500 ft. You will stay in the ruins until closing, then board the bus for the exciting ride down to Aguas Calientes. You will have ample time to rest and relax before meeting for dinner at 7:30pm. After dinner, you may read, discuss, contemplate these spectacular ruins, or fight to stay awake!

Hotel: Machu Picchu Pueblo, BLD


Day 6

Day 6

Machu Picchu

Rise very early and be ready for the first bus up to Machu Picchu. The park opens at sunrise, a magical time of day. Mist often shrouds the major peaks and floats onto the valley. The rising sun casts a golden glow into this fantasyland; it is not to be missed at this hour. You will have the opportunity to climb up Machu Picchu Mountain to see the variety of orchids along the stone stairway to the peak. You have many different hiking options during your time at the site.

If you decide not to hike up Machu Picchu mountain, you may hike up to the Sun Gate or explore the Inca Bridge. Keep in mind that all hikes that are offered are optional and depend on the weather and group considerations.  Please speak with your guide if you have any questions as to the degree of difficulty of these activities and about other options if you choose not to participate in the hikes.  Late in the afternoon, you'll return to Aguas Calientes and your hotel.

Hotel: Machu Picchu Pueblo, BLD


Day 7

Day 7

Machu Picchu—On the train back to Cusco

Upon rising, pack and check out of your room before leaving for one last exploration of the ruins. Leave your luggage with Reception and valuables in the hotel safe. You may explore the hotel's extensive orchid garden before boarding the late morning train back to Ollantaytambo where you transfer to Cusco and your hotel. You will spend the rest of the day on a guided tour of Cusco's highlights.

Hotel: Palacio del Inka, BLD


Day 8

Day 8

In the air over the Andes—Flight to Lima

Depending on the flight departure time, you may have time this morning to explore Cusco on your own.  Our representative will meet you in the hotel lobby about an hour before your flight departs to transfer you to the airport for check-in to your flight to Lima. The trip ends once you have checked-in.

 

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