PERU - INCAS & AMAZON ADVENTURE
Explore in the Footsteps of the Ancient Incas
Peru offers visitors such wealth and diversity as are rarely found in the world. Important ancient cultures have left their mark here: Inca, Moche, Chimu, Nasca and Paracas among many other civilizations followed one another, making the history of Peru one of the richest, and its archaeological legacy one of the most important. Pre-Inca temples are interspersed with colonial cities, sensual deserts and exuberant tropical forests, not to mention the imposing Andes Mountains and contemporary cities mix with ancient cultures and ancestral traditions. Adventure, history, culture, nature and so much more can be experienced in a single country.
Join Kosher Expeditions as we explore in the footsteps of the ancient Incas high in the Andes and the untouched natural beauty of the Amazon along the world greatest river and rainforest. Your 8 or 11 day all-inclusive luxury adventure offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience as we explore the wonders of Peru.
Our tour is divided into five area components of Peru:
1. Lima: “The City of Kings”: Since its foundation in 1535 by the conqueror of Peru, Francisco Pizarro, Lima, has been the capital of Peru. Its magnificent colonial architecture led UNESCO to declare the Historic Centre of Lima a World Heritage Site. Baroque and neoclassical churches and convents, balconies dating from the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries, colonial town houses and beautiful public spaces speak of a past in which Lima was Spain's richest vice regal capital in the Americas. But Lima is also a modern metropolis an ever-growing melting pot of cultures and peoples who are making their mark on Peru's most populous city. On the shore of the Pacific Ocean, with a world-renowned cuisine and friendly people eager to show off their city to visitors, Lima, your first taste of Peru is an attraction in itself. You will spend a total of 3 days in Lima including a city tour and Shabbat with the local Jewish community.
2. Cusco: Its name in Quechua (the language spoken in this area since Inca times) means navel or “center of the world" and that is exactly what Cusco was - and indeed is - given that in Inca times it was the imperial capital and as such represented not only political control but was also a center for worship and ritual. Since the arrival of the Spanish Cusco has become a city of contrasts where splendid colonial buildings were erected on the foundations of an impressive Inca architecture noted for its fine masonry. The beauty and cultural value of this city led it to be declared a World Heritage Site in 1983 by UNESCO, it is also known as the archaeological capital of the Americas. No only architecture but also painting and sculpture were enriched by the mixture of cultures, giving rise to the so-called "Cusco school" of art, noteworthy for its representations of Catholic themes with clear indigenous elements, thus demonstrating the superimposition of one religion over another. Full of color, dance, history and energy as well as an exciting night life, the city of Cusco is one of the few places in the world where magnetism, a fascination with nature, living cultures and history jostle together without problems. We spend a total of 2 days in Cusco exploring this unique city and as the gateway to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.
3. Sacred Valley of the Incas: On its way to form the Amazon, the river Urubamba has carved a spectacularly beautiful valley known as the “Sacred Valley of the Incas”. Along its length there are fine colonial villages where ancient customs survive together with impressive Inca ruins. Possessing a special energy, this valley is also known as the "granary of the Incas" as it was here; in the valley's fertile soil that many exquisite varieties of maize were grown. The sacred valley of the Incas is the perfect place for sports lovers to enjoy the open air: canoeing, horse riding, hang gliding, mountain biking and trekking are all possible here.
The valleys unique attractions include:
The Salt Pans at Maras: this precious commodity has been produced here since before the Inca period.
Terraces at Moray: Terraced fields built in the form of an amphitheater by the Incas and used, according to historians as a center for experimental agriculture.
The villages of Urubamba, Yucay, Calca, Chincheros and Pisac: Each of which has a special attraction, not only in its architecture but its living culture, indigenous markets and sublime countryside.
Village of Ollantaytamb: This is the only place in Peru where people still live in what was once the home of an Inca noble. It is the only village in Cusco which retains the Inca trapezoidal shape. Next to the village is the so-called "Fortress of Ollantaytambo“, the last fortified town before Machu Picchu, where the famous Inca architecture can be seen in its entire splendor.
4. Machu Picchu: 120 km from the city of Cusco, Machu Picchu (2400 m.a.s.l.) is without doubt one of the few places on earth where not only the woks of man take your breath away with their perfection and harmony of shape, but the surrounding countryside is also astonishingly beautiful. What is even more surprising is how the Incas managed to combine architecture and nature in such a way that one complements the other to make an inseparable whole. The green of the great mountains acting as custodians of the sacred city, the sound of the wind and the river Urubamba in the distance create such energy in Machu Picchu that at its summit you feel quite simply closer to heaven. Built entirely in stone from the natural quarries nearby, the city has two sections: the urban area and the agricultural area consisting of numerous terraced fields. Within the urban zone are palaces, squares and temples with the Pyramid of Intihuatana and the temples at its foot being the most important religious sites in the city. The Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary (32,592 hectares) was declared a Natural and Cultural World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983, a double distinction which it shares with few other places.
5. Amazon River and Iquitos (*Optional tour extension): The River Amazon, the largest in the world, has always been a place of pilgrimage for different types of explorers: Whether seeking long lost treasure such as that in the legend of El Dorado, or the more recent "black gold", rubber, production of which in the 19th Century produced rapid economic progress for Iquitos. The Amazon now attracts another type of explorer: biologists and forestry engineers studying the great arboreal and biological diversity found in the forest, anthropologists seeking a little more knowledge of the ethnic groups that live along the river Amazon and travelers wanting to see something of the mysteries of this great river. Iquitos is the largest Peruvian city on the banks of the river Amazon and as such has developed its own very distinctive characteristics; it is the starting point for trips to a number of jungle lodges and visits to indigenous populations such as the Bora and Yagua. Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is 183 km from the city of Iquitos (4 hours in fast launch). Pacaya Samiria, with its two million hectares of lakes, lagoons, swamps and wetlands, is the territory of the manati or sea cow, the pink dolphin, the charapa turtle and the anaconda. It is the largest area of floodable forest in the Amazon region. Here explore the wonders of the Amazonian Rainforest from river cruising, to canopy walks and cultural encounters with the local communities and tribes of the region.
Day 1 (Mo): Arrival Day Lima, Peru & Orientation.
Upon arrival in Lima International Airport, you will be met and assisted by a by a Kosher Expeditions representative and transferred to the hotel. Afternoon city tour & Larco Museum, dinner and orientation. *Guests have the option of arriving the night before, Sunday night. (Pre-night hotel and transfer costs not included)
Day 2 (Tu): Lima / Cusco / Urubamba (Sacred Valley of the Incas)
After breakfast we will transfer to the airport for our flight to Cusco. Once we arrive in Cusco we continue to the “Sacred Valley of the Incas” and a visit to Ollantaytambo, the Inca fortress, and walk through the quaint streets of the nearby town.
Overnight: Sacred Valley
Day 3 (We): Urubamba
We begin with a tour to Moray, where the Incas built greenhouse terraces to study and improve their refined farming techniques. Continue to Maras, a salt production center that dates back to colonial times. We end in Pisac, where you will have the opportunity to barging with vendors at the local handicraft market and visit the Inca astronomic observatory and walk the cultivation terraces.
Overnight: Sacred Valley
Day 4 (Th): Urubamba / Machu Picchu / Cusco
Early morning we board the train to Machu Picchu. Tour “The Lost City of the Incas”, which was discovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911. Tour the citadel then spend a few hours to explore this awe-inspiring archaeological site on your own. Late afternoon we return to Cusco by train. Evening free to explore Cusco and experience its exciting nightlife on your own.
Overnight: Sacred Valley
Day 5 (Fr): Cusco / Lima
Morning guided city tour of Cusco with visits to the former colonial monastery built on the ruins of the Koricancha Temple and the Plaza de Armas. Then continue to the outskirts of the city we visit some of the areas remarkable Inca ruins including the cult center of Sacsayhuaman, the temple amphitheater of Kenko, and the Red Fortress of Puca Pucara. Early afternoon air transfer to Lima, transfer to hotel, Shabbat with the Jewish community (synagogue in walking distance of the hotel).
Day 6 (Sa): Lima
Experience a beautiful and relaxing Shabbat with the Jewish community of Lima. Day at leisure.
Day 7(Su): Lima /Pachacamac Ruins /Palomino Island Cruise
30 minutes southeast of Lima we visit the Pachacamac Pilgrimage Center. Built around 700 A.D. as a temple for the worship of the sun god, Pachacamac was believed to be one of the main pilgrimage centers’ in pre-Columbian Peru, on a par with Cusco. Pilgrims flocked here from far away to worship Pachacamac, who was believed to be the creator of the world and its creatures. The site includes palaces, plazas and temples that have been painstakingly restored.
Next we sail to the islands of Callao. Pass the Isle of San Lorenzo with its long history going back to pre-Columbian times where we observe numerous colonies of sea birds and the famous Humboldt penguins. The farthest point on the trip is Palomino Island, home to a large number of seals and sea lions where you will have the option to swim amongst them for an unforgettable and emotional experience.
Day 8 (Mo) - Morning Departure
Day 8 (Mo): Lima / Iquitos / Amazon
Early morning flight to Iquitos (gateway to the Amazon). Upon arrival we will take a short city tour then board river boats for a 25-mile journey down the Amazon to our jungle lodge. After check in, naturalists will take us on a guided hike of the beautiful primary rainforest reserve surrounding the lodge. After dinner enjoy a local flute and guitar music performance.
Overnight: Amazon Jungle Lodge
Day 9 (Tu): Amazon
Early morning naturalist guided birding excursion. Next board the river boats and travel down river searching out the local wildlife including the gray and pink Amazon Dolphin and maybe even fish for Piranha. We stop at an authentic Yagua native Indian village where there will be an opportunity to see some of the local crafts and demonstrations of the use of the blowgun which some of the Yagua elders still use for hunting. On our return to our lodge we will dock at the town of Indiana, originally a small Franciscan mission, it is now a large river community. Return to the lodge where we enjoy a beautiful Amazonian sunset on the river.
Overnight: Amazon Jungle Lodge
Day 10 (We): Amazon
Daylight exploration of the river surroundings in a dugout canoe, fishing and birding activities.
*Optional tour ExploNapo Lodge (price not included): Early morning we depart by boat deep into the Amazon and the Napo River to the ExploNapo Lodge. Here hike the spectacular Canopy Walkway spanning over 500 meters, connected by tree platforms and reaching a height of over 115 ft. Here we explore Amazon wildlife from the tops of these giant trees. After lunch visit the ReNuPeRu Ethno Botanical Garden, where over 240 medicinal plants are cultivated by a local shaman who will explain the nature and medicinal purpose of these plants. Return to the lodge to enjoy our final evening in the Amazon.
Overnight: Amazon Jungle Lodge
Day 11 (Th): Amazon / Lima / Depart
Early morning nature walk then return by riverboat to Iquitos and the airport. Return to Lima by plane and continue on for your international flight home.
*Most flights to North America depart in the late evening arriving the next morning. Those interested in staying an additional night, have the option of purchasing the extension package which includes: hotel, private airport transfer and box kosher meals. Please call for pricing.
Amazon Extension - 4 days / 3 nights
Custom group departures (minimum 18 or more participants) are available upon request. Please call us for details.
Explore the cities & regions of:
Scared Valley of the Incas
The Amazon *optional extension, Iquitos
Custom group departures available year round please call for custom quote, pricing and details.
Lima: A beautiful 5-star hotel located in one of the most prestigious residential areas in Lima, San Isidro. The hotel is a short walk to Jewish community and shul and close to the historical city center of Lima and the commercial & leisure district of Miraflores. Amenities include: Swimming-pool, health club, sauna and whirlpool, business center with internet access plus much more!
Sacred Valley: This spectacular hotel was designed to promote the allure of nature and the magic of the Sacred Valley. Here you will enjoy the highest quality of service and comfort in an Andean ambience, surrounded by a landscape of whispering eucalyptus and the majestic mountains of the Andes. Boasting 28 bungalows, each with tastefully appointed interior, telephone, king-sized beds, private bath and private terrace. Onsite amenities include: Swimming pool, tennis courts, stables, full spa, internet access and miles of hiking trails and adventure right from your front door.
Cusco: This luxury hotel is located in the heart of the city, 3 blocks from Plaza De Armas and the cathedral and 5 blocks from the Koricancha Temple. The hotel itself is in a 16th century building offering 99 rooms including a restaurant, coffee shop, bar and business center. Rooms provide modern comfort with a unique feeling of spaciousness and contemporary decor for both business and leisure travel.
Amazon Lodge: “Luxury on the Amazon” - Located on the banks of the Amazon River just 25 miles down-river from Iquitos, this luxury lodge offers extraordinary comforts, air conditioned rooms with private bathrooms, in the most luxurious of Amazonian Rainforest settings. Elaborate gardens, a swimming pool, water slide, hammock house, lounge and even wireless internet access all surrounded by primary tropical rainforests, all complement the surrounding exotic environment.