Arrive Lima, Peru
Upon arrival at Lima International Airport, you are met and transferred to your hotel.
Lima | Exploring the Capital
This afternoon, explore Peru’s capital, visiting the Plaza Mayor and Cathedral. Spend time exploring the Larco Herrera Museum, one of the city’s best museums for pre-Columbian artifacts.
Sacred Valley | Weaving Past with Present
Fly to Cusco, one-time capital of the Incan Empire, high in the Andes. Upon arrival, transfer to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Urubamba. En route, visit Awana Kancha, a center where South American camelids (llamas, alpacas, guanacos and vicuñas) are bred. Learn about the valuable fibers created from their coats as well as the ancient weaving techniques still in use. Spend your afternoon at leisure, taking time to acclimatize.
Sacred Valley | The Quechua Lifestyle
Discover the lifestyle of the Quechua highlanders as you participate in their daily activities, and visit their kitchens to experience what’s being cooked upon wood-fired mud-brick stoves. You may also learn about local textile techniques and symbolism during a demonstration. Continue your immersive experience with seasonal activities, be it a village walk to learn about agricultural cycles; a visit to an adobe farmhouse to learn about locally produced supplies; household chores; or the breeding and care of guinea pigs. Continue to Hacienda Huayoccari, where you sit down to lunch.
Machu Picchu | Stunning Lost City
Board the Vistadome train bound for Machu Picchu, the crowning achievement of the Incan civilization. Explore the city's ruins, and feel its pulse as you visualize the lives of the priests, craftsmen and servants who inhabited this remote citadel. Overlooking the raging Urubamba River and discovered in a hidden tangle of vines and trees, the city of Machu Picchu will forever hold the secret of its purpose — the Incas left no written records.
Machu Picchu | Hike to the Inca Trail
Rise early for a walk through the misty ruins at sunrise, or choose between two guided hikes: the Inti Punku, or Sun Gate, entry point to Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail; or the Huayna Picchu, a high peak affording excellent views of the ruins. Later, return to Cusco on board the Vistadome train.
Cusco | Massive Walls of Sacsayhuaman
Tour the city of Cusco, visiting the cathedral on the Plaza de Armas and the Santo Domingo Temple, built on the foundations of the Koricancha, the Incas’ principal religious structure. Next, travel just outside of Cusco to behold the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, an enduring testament to Incan architectural skills. Examine its colossal stone blocks, cut and fitted together with incredible precision and without a single drop of mortar to hold them in place. Spend your afternoon at leisure.
Cruising the Amazon River | Marañon River
Fly to Iquitos, and then travel overland, through the Peruvian countryside, to your stylish accommodations. Enjoy lunch before setting off on a skiff excursion to the birthplace of the Amazon. This evening, board the ‘Aria Amazon’ and settle into your generously proportioned suite. Later, meet your naturalist guides, over dinner prepared by an executive chef from one of Lima’s top restaurants.
Cruising the Amazon River | Yanayacu Pucate River
Commence today’s adventure near the main entrance of Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, cruising along Yanayacu Pucate in the comfort of our state-of-the-art skiffs. Kayak, canoe and swim in these unspoiled black waters, while watching for wild denizens, such as colorful macaws, three-toed sloths and even the Amazon’s legendary pink dolphins. This afternoon, visit a remote village along the Marañon River to meet the locals and learn about their traditional customs. Later, peer into a hi-tech telescope to view the night sky to identify planets and constellations.
Cruising the Amazon River | Samiria River
Embark by skiff along the Samiria River with the optional opportunity to fish. After lunch, enjoy a lecture on the Amazon’s flora and fauna, and then venture out for a thrilling jungle walk across the high Amazon rainforest. Return to the ship to enjoy extraordinary stargazing on local boats along the “Enchanted Lake.” Tonight, meet more members of the crew, before savoring a superb dinner aboard ‘Aria Amazon.’ You may wish to toast your amazing Amazon journey with a delicious pisco sour.
This morning, visit the local fresh market with your guides who can identify the day’s catch as well as the region’s exotic fruits. Afterward, bidding ‘Aria Amazon’ farewell, disembark and visit the Manatee Rescue Center, where rescued Amazonian manatees are rehabilitated and eventually released back into the wild. Next, visit a San Juan craft market en route to the airport for your departing flight.