From the Andes to the Amazon!

    • Cost: £3450/person for 18 days/17 nights (part board; all breakfasts, 8 lunches, 4 dinners per itinerary)
    • Start Point: Lima, Peru
    • End Point: Lima, Peru
    • Dates: For upcoming dates, click Join this Adventure on the right or email us.
    • Group Size: 8–12
    • Bespoke Tour: We organise this trip as a private trip to fit your dates and your interests. Please email us for details and a quote.
    • Guides: Chris Carter, an archaeologist with over 20 years of experience in the region, and Juan Cardenas, an experienced Andean and Amazon naturalist and guide fluent in English.

There is more to Peru than Machu Picchu and Cusco. While the Inka built monumental stone structures, in northern Peru the Moche built huge pyramid complexes more than 1000 years earlier while the Chimu built the huge city of Chan Chan. Fine artefacts left by these cultural groups include those from the Lords of Sipan, one of the most significant archaeological finds of the 20th century! After studying the spectacular archaeology of this region we cross the Andes, traverse the cloud-forest and enter the lowland rainforest. En route we visit Kuelap, an enigmatic citadel, located on a high ridge, built by the Chacapoyas around 600 AD.

In this area we see spectacular landscapes and wildlife. We will also see many of the floral species that are endemic to this area but known world-wide, including various Fuchsia, Begonia, Gladiolus, bromeliads and orchids. We finish our adventure with a boat trip along the mighty Amazon to a rainforest lodge where we may see Pink River Dolphins, the world’s largest river dolphin, along with a wealth of wildlife including monkeys, sloths and birds!

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Andes to Amazon Adventure Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lima by mid-afternoon.  Meet your tour leader and fellow travellers in the early evening for a welcome drink and introductions followed by dinner. Overnight Lima (D).

Day 2: Lima to Barranca. Depart Lima to monumental Caral, a pre-ceramic UNESCO World Heritage site almost 5,000 years old! After a picnic lunch we drive to Barranca where we overnight (B, PL).

Day 3: Barranca-Casma Valley. We continue north, stopping at the massive adobe Fortaleza de Paramonga, and Chankillo, a ceremonial centre and solar observatory built 2000 years ago. Overnight in Casma (B, L, D).

Day 4: Casma to Trujillo. We visit the 4000 year old Sechin Alto, the largest architectural complex in the New World, before moving on to Trujillo, a beautiful colonial city. Overnight Trujillo (B, L).

Day 5: A full day tour around Trujillo, including magnificent pre-Inka sites like the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. We lunch at La Huacachina beach in one of the best seafood restaurants before visiting Chan Chan, capital of the Chimu culture and the greatest pre-Inkan city. Overnight Trujillo (B, L).

Day 6: To Chiclayo. Visit the Moche complex of El Brujo, Chicama Valley, where a mysterious, tattooed female mummy was found in 2006! We meet the archaeologist who led the discovery of the mummy. Finally we visit Huaca Rajada, site of the incredible Lords of Sipan excavation. Overnight Chiclayo (B, L).

Day 7: Around Chiclayo. We visit Batán Grande, an ancient agrarian site, and Tucumé, Valley of Pyramids, with its 26 colossal mounds. Overnight Chiclayo (B, L).

Day 8: To Chachapoyas and Gocta Lodge. We visit Bosque de Pomac to search for endemic flora and fauna. Also we visit mud pyramids where the Sicán Culture lived and buried their dead. We then head inland across the the lowest point of the Andes ridge in Peru (2100 m) and pass into the Amazon catchment. Our hotel looks out over the Chamaya valley to the world’s 4th highest waterfall. Overnight Gocta Lodge (B, L).

Day 9: Kuelap. We take a cable car to the ruins of Kuelap, a vast ridge-top site of 400 buildings of the Chachapoyas culture with magnificent views. Overnight Gocta Lodge (B, L, D).

Day 10: Gocta to Abra Patricia. We visit a lodge famed for its hummingbird feeders hoping to see the extraordinary Marvellous Spatuletail. We then ascend to the Owlet Lodge 2300 m in 30,000 hectares of forest including the Abra Patricia-Alto Nieva Private Conservation Area, home to the recently discovered Long-whiskered Owlet and critically endangered Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey. Overnight Owlet Lodge (B, L, D).

Day 11: Around Owlet Lodge. A day to explore the lodge trails or relax to see what approaches the lodge. Overnight Owlet Lodge (B, L, D).

Day 12: To Tarapoto. We descend from the Andes to the lowest levels of the cloud forest at 750 m. En route we stop at Aguas Verdes where hummingbirds and rare forest floor dwellers like tinamous and wood quails roam. Overnight Tarapoto  (B, L, D).

Day 13: Flight to Iquitos. We enjoy the hotel and its surroundings or go on a morning tour of the local area. At midday we depart for Tarapoto airport and fly to Iquitos. Overnight Iquitos (B, L).

Day 14: To Muyuna Lodge. A three hour boat ride takes us to our lodge on a quiet tributary of the mighty Amazon. Overnight Muyuna Lodge (B, L, D).

Day 15–16: Around Muyuna Lodge. Two days exploring the riches of the Amazon rainforest; walks in the forest, paddling canoes to black water lakes; night excursions; sloths, monkeys, Pygmy Marmosets, river dolphins (including the sought-after Pink Dolphin), many rare birds, the Giant Water Lily (Victoria amazonica), caimans and iguanas, macaws, toucans, hummingbirds and, hopefully, the extraordinary Hoatzins! Overnight Muyuna Lodge (B, L, D).

Day 17: Early morning departure by boat to Iquitos before flying to Lima. We share a farewell dinner in the evening. Overnight Lima. (B, D).

Day 18: City tour and departure flights. Depending on flight times, we can explore Lima in the morning before transferring you to the airport in the afternoon (B).

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Getting there

While we recommend starting and finishing this expedition in Puerto Ordaz, we can arrange to meet you in Santa Elena, Caracas or any other city in Venezuela. Or in Boa Vista or Manaus in Brazil.

Adventure Rating: Relaxing

Some light walks at high elevation are required during this adventure. They are not strenuous in nature but participants may feel the effects of altitude.

Participants must be capable of walking on uneven ground, carrying a day pack with water, camera, weather protection and snacks.

Possible extensions

- Combine this adventure with the Atacama Desert Adventure which takes place immediately before this one.

To get a quote for any extensions, simply mention which extension(s) you are interested in when you apply to Join this Adventure!

Simplified Northern Peru Adventure Map

What's Included

All transport during the itinerary
Professional guide
Porters for group logistics
Accommodation (on a twin/double basis)
All main meals during the itinerary

Note: single room upgrade is available at extra cost

What's Not

International flights
Personal porters (if requested)