Crees have teamed up with Peru Safaris to create a one trip crossing across 3 climate zones, archaeological marvels, Machu Picchu, and some of the world’s most spectacular scenery & wildlife.
You will reach off the beaten track locations others can only dream of, with your own 4x4 self-drive expedition vehicle and motorized canoes.
Expert guides, with escort/safety vehicle, will take you from the southern deserts of Nazca, crossing the Andes to historic Cusco and Machu Picchu, and on to the steamy jungles of the the remote south eastern Peruvian Amazon.
The incredible route takes in an eclectic mix of historic haciendas, hotels & lodges.
The route spans the most spectacular mountain ranges, roads and rivers in Peru, and on to the Manu Biosphere Reserve staying at the Manu Learning Centre.
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Booking a Crees tour will not only allow you to access one of the world's most amazing places, it also makes a sustained contribution to help protect the Amazon and its people.
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You will not be asked for payment.
Lima is a vibrant and bustling metropolis worthy of exploration. Nestled on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, Lima is known as the 'Gateway to Peru' and combines colonial splendour, prestigious museums and beautiful parks with lively nightlife and ample opportunities for sampling its world-famous cuisine. The Casa Andina Select Hotel provides our first nights’ accommodation.
After breakfast we leave this vast, complex metropolis as route south along the busy Pan American Highway & Pacific coast. The city gives way to rolling surf as we arrive at the Bay of Paracas early afternoon, to the luxurious La Hacienda hotel overlooking the ocean. This is a great spot to watch the amazing sunsets across the bay with an option to take an evening sail on a small catamaran or paddle board along the shore. With its extensive infinity pools and lovely bars/restaurants this is a luxurious and relaxing start to your Peruvian Overland Adventure.
The only marine protected area in Peru, we head to the Paracas National Reserve, where the Ballestas Islands, a small archipelago of rocky islands, are home to Humboldt penguins, dolphins, & flamingos. From the hotel jetty, we offer an optional speedboat ride out to the Islands. On return we pick up our desert guide, and start the off-road desert crossing from Paracas Bay to the sacred oasis of Huacachina, through the immense rolling dunes of the ICA desert, following the challenging route of the DAKAR Rally. We will descend to the Oasis for lunch overlooking the lagoon before continuing south to Nazca.
Just after dawn, we head towards Nazca and its tiny airstrip. The Nazca Lines are best viewed from the air, with our optional dawn Nazca light aircraft flight, for a thrilling start to your Peru experience. Onwards from Nazca we drive a winding route into the Andes and in the first 90 kilometres we ascend to 4,000 metres above sea level. As the landscape gets greener and we climb further into the Andes, you’ll now feel like you are really touring Peru. Entering the Pampa Galeras National Wildlife Reserve you’ll witness the wild vicuña, famous for their fine wool that’s often called the ‘Gold of the Andes’. The snow-capped peaks, pink flamingos and occasional condor make for a spectacular drive. A picnic lunch with the wild vicuñas, in amongst the golden pampas grass and beautiful lagoons enhance this truly magical experience. Then it is time to descend to our base for the night, a lodge next to the Chalhuanca River at Tampumayu.
On Day 4 of your Peruvian Adventure, we will climb higher into the Andes, heading ‘off road’ to the tiny hamlet of Cachora. Here is the opportunity to stay at a traditional Peruvian lodge with stunning views of the snow-capped peaks of Mount Salcantay. A time to relax in the tranquillity of the location with its lush tropical gardens and amazing views from the full length windows of the house. All food served is fresh from the farm, including delicious avocados, mangos, yoghurt and cheese. For those still craving excitement, we offer an optional 4x4 trip to the mountain peak (see below for details).
The next morning, we head out towards the Sacred Valley, via a sinuous track, hugging the side of the deepest gorge on the planet, the Apurimac. We then transit via the Inca ruins of Tarawasi towards the jagged peaks surrounding Cusco, arriving in Urubamba and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Here we will visit a wildlife refuge, where endemic threatened species are cared for and returned to the wild, with a fantastic Condor experience included. We will also visit a Quechua culture centre, where you can observe the intricate weaving and textiles of the region, and learn the process from the actual Alpaca animals on site through to the fine finished product that can take over four months. We round off at the lively local craft market, high in the colonial village of Pisac on one of the brightly coloured balconies overlooking the Plaza, before heading into Cusco.
Probably on the wish list of everybody taking a tour of Peru is a trip to Machu Picchu. The majestic 15th century Inca site located on a ridge between the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains will take your breath away. Perched at 7,970 feet above sea level overlooking the Urubamba River below, it is a must see for all Peruvian Adventurers. There are no roads nearby and so we will be taking the fabulous Vista Dome train. This is no ordinary rail journey. The Vista Dome service has large panoramic windows in the roof allowing you to enjoy the deep forested gorge that flows towards the Amazon basin, and take in spectacular mountain scenery on one of the world’s classic railway journeys. The site’s excellent preservation, the quality of its architecture, and the breath taking mountain vista has made Machu Picchu one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world today. After spending time exploring this amazing place, we will return late afternoon by rail to Cusco.
Day 8 will be your chance to explore the city of Cusco at your own pace. The many museums, palaces and churches can be explored easily on foot. We offer an optional afternoon guided tour of the city including the Inca ruins of Sacsayhuamán (see below for more details). Meals are not included today to give you the freedom to do as you choose. Whether it be a coffee in the Plaza or sampling Peruvian cuisine at one of a number of great eateries we can recommend, you are guaranteed to enjoy your stay in this hippy-chic town.
Depart Cusco early and start the journey by road through the Andes and into the Cloud Forest, a unique environment that is truly breath-taking. Stop at Paucartambo and Acjanaco ranger station along the way, to experience some local culture, and witness the spectacular views of the jungle below. Overnight at the tranquil Cock of the Rock lodge, set in beautiful forest and surrounded by wildlife.
After breakfast, where we are usually joined by hummingbirds and cheeky wild capuchin monkeys, we head to the steamy river village of Atalaya, boarding a motorized canoe to navigate the Madre de Dios river into the jungle to the Manu Jungle Lodge. After lunch there, we explore the local forest trail system with our naturalist guides before spending the evening learning more about the jungle, or simply relaxing, watching the beautiful sunsets over the river. After dinner our comfortable lodge accommodation is a great place to wind down and listen to the night sounds of the surrounding forest and animals
A 5am start takes us by boat to the “clay-lick” where hundreds of scarlet and blue macaws gather at dawn on the a river bank cliff for one of the world’s great wildlife spectacles. Spend the day getting involved with our conservation projects, joining our scientists and researchers in their work along the jungle trails. In the evening, there is an opportunity to head out deep into the jungle on a unique jungle night trek.
Leave the Manu Learning Centre and travel downriver, deeper into the Amazon, stopping off at the Boca Manu village. Walk to the nearby oxbow lake where macaws and parrots roost and Cayman laze in the shallows. Overnight at Romero, set in pristine primary rainforest.
We take the boat back to Atalaya after breakfast, and enjoy the last early noises and sights of this, the most bio-diverse location on the planet, before re-joining our vehicles back in the port at Atalaya. We then drive back up to the Cloud Forest Lodge, for a relaxing overnight stay.
We transit back into the Andes from the Amazon to Cusco and overnight at the Casa Andina Premium hotel close to the Korrikancha temple, and the main square.
Day 16 is departure day but there is still time to enjoy a last bit of Peru as you fly across the Andes to Lima to connect with your International flights