Peru | Walking and Natural History with Marin Nature Adventures

Peru | Walking and Natural History with Marin Nature Adventures

About this trip 

Most famous for ancient Cusco and Machu Picchu high in the Andes, Peru delivers travelers to a time long ago, amid sprawling mountainous landscapes and an abundance of wildlife. Sharon & Kevin, and expert local guides, will lead you on daily walks. Along the way, we’ll explore natural history and the blend of indigenous and colonial cultures that makes Peru such a wonderful country to visit. 

Highlights

  • Two days at Machu Picchu archaeological site, with an optional hike to the summit of Machu Picchu Mountain.
  • Descend a winding footpath into the Sacred Valley, after lunch with a local family.
  • Four nights in Cusco, former heart of the Incan empire and current UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Birding by boat trip from coastal Pucusana to look for Penguins.
  • Daily walks with Sharon & Kevin, fine cuisine and camaraderie.

About your naturalist leaders

Sharon Barnett & Kevin Stockmann

Sharon and Kevin have been leading Hiking & Natural History tours for 14 years. They love sharing wildlife encounters and the wonders of nature with old and new friends. Sharon is the hiking instructor for College of Marin and a science teacher at Marin Country Day School. Kevin is a marine biologist with over 550 days on the Pacific Ocean observing fisheries, whales and seabirds. www.MarinNature.com

Lima

Jul 12, 2022

Upon arrival at the Lima International Airport, a representative from Holbrook Travel will meet you and transfer you to Hotel Casa Andina in Miraflores, a safe and trendy Lima neighborhood. Sharon & Kevin will greet you at the hotel. No organized group activities or meals are scheduled on this travel day. Check-in begins at 2 pm.

Overnight at Casa Andina Select Miraflores

Lima

Jul 13, 2022

After a delicious breakfast, Sharon, Kevin and our local guide will officially welcome you with a short orientation followed by a presentation on the 'Great Diversity' of Peru by a local expert. Our walking adventures begin with a stroll along the Pacific waterfront, starting at Parque del Amor and stopping at lunchtime for a typical Peruvian meal. After afternoon free time in the Miraflores neighborhood, walk through the pre-Inca ruins of Huaca Pucllana, a sacred archaeological site of human sacrifices. Enjoy dinner outdoors tonight with a view of the ruins.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Casa Andina Select Miraflores

Cusco

Jul 14, 2022

After an early breakfast, depart for the drive to Pucusana, a colorful fishing village south of Lima. Aboard sturdy skiffs operated by local fisherman, tour the rocky coast searching for Humboldt penguins, Inca Terns and other charismatic seabirds. Break for a boxed lunch then continue walking and birdwatching at the Pantanos de Villa Wildlife Refuge, a wetland of international importance and a great place to view Peruvian birds. Our late afternoon flight from Lima delivers us to Cusco, at 11,000 ft, in the Andes. Cusco was once the heart of the Incan empire and still maintains a strong flavor of that fascinating culture. After settling in, set out for a brief introductory stroll around the famous Plaza de Armas in the city center ending the night with a late dinner.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Casa Andina Premium Cusco

Cusco

Jul 15, 2022

After breakfast, greet the day with a guided walking tour to the Santo Domingo church, which is built on the remnants of the Koricancha Temple, the historic epicenter of the Inca civilization. We'll get a close look at the surviving intricate Inca stonework that formed the foundation of the temple. After Koricancha, continue walking through the city, taking in the impressive architecture and feeling the pulse of life high in the Andes. Have some downtime after lunch then venture out to Huacarpay Lake for some excellent birding and walking on the trails around the lake before dusk. Back in Cusco, dinner tonight is on your own to choose from one of many restaurants in the city center or dine with Sharon if you'd like.

Breakfast-Lunch- included
Overnight at Casa Andina Premium Cusco

Sacred Valley

Jul 16, 2022

After check-out this morning, our first stop is the pueblo of Chinchero to experience local culture. Attend a textile demonstration and have an opportunity to purchase clothing and accessories woven from alpaca wool. Lunch will be hosted by a local family. Eat well because this afternoon we have a hearty hike, descending to Valle Sagrado, the Sacred Valley. Halfway down, we'll visit the Maras salt evaporation ponds and learn how Andean salt has been harvested since before the Inca civilization. We'll learn from our guide how they are still used today, as we watch the workers go about their daily routine. If you are feeling the altitude you can opt to end your hike at the salt ponds. Our guide will give a presentation tonight introducing us to Machu Picchu and what to expect during the next few days. Dinner tonight will be in a private room of the hotel restaurant.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado

Machu Picchu

Jul 17, 2022

Depart early to board the Peru Rail's Vistadome train at the Ollantaytambo train station. Enjoy wonderful scenery en route to Aguas Calientes, the town located at the bottom of Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, disembark and transfer to the hotel. It will be too early to check-in so we'll secure our luggage and then enjoy a guided trail walk orientation on the hotel's fabulous property. Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is an absolute gem tucked away in the cloud forest. It is a member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, featuring twelve acres of exquisite natural beauty, where the iconic Andean Cock-of-the-rock may sometimes be seen. After our short walk, ride the bus up to Machu Picchu. Fill up with a scrumptious buffet lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge before entering the famous Incan citadel - Machu Picchu - for a guided tour. Ride the bus back to town or descend on foot with Kevin. Take time to relax before joining the group for dinner at the hotel at 8 pm. The restaurant and adjacent terraces provide an exceptional view of the river and the surrounding green mountains.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Cusco

Jul 18, 2022

This morning re-enter the sacred Machu Picchu citadel for the culminating hike of our trip - a trek to the top of Machu Picchu Mountain with Sharon and Kevin. Millions visit Machu Picchu but very few reach this summit. This trek is challenging with steep sections on the trail. The views at the top are stunning. Should you desire a less strenuous morning, you could take a morning of complete relaxation and possibly enjoy spa services at the hotel, explore the hotel's trail network or explore the pueblo. After your time at the ruins, return to the hotel for lunch and have more time to walk through the gardens before boarding the train back to Cusco. Upon arrival in Cusco, a bit past 9 pm, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. A light evening snack is served by Peru Rail. No organized group dinner tonight given the late return to Cusco.

Breakfast-Lunch- included
Overnight at Casa Andina Premium Cusco

Cusco

Jul 19, 2022

Our final hike in the Andes, will be a leisurely five mile walk through the Incan architecture that surrounds Cusco. We'll begin at Tambomachay, and walk slowly from there back to the city of Cusco. Along the way we'll pass Sacsayhuaman, one of the region's most renowned examples of Incan architecture. There will be time for peaceful contemplation during our final day in the Andes. After lunch in a restaurant overlooking Plaza de Armas, the remainder of the afternoon is free time for relaxation, shopping or independent sightseeing in Cusco. Break out your finest travel outfit tonight for a wonderful farewell dinner - inclusive of dancing!

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Casa Andina Premium Cusco

Departure

Jul 20, 2022

Enjoy a relaxing day in Cusco on your own before your afternoon flight back to Lima airport and check in on own for your international flight. Check out is at 10 am. The hotel will be able to store your luggage until transfer to the Cusco airport.

Breakfast- included

Arrival in US or Europe

Jul 21, 2022

Today you will arrive in your home city. We thank you for traveling with Marin Nature Adventures and hope that your experiences in Peru will stay with you forever and broaden your view of the beautiful world we share.