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Machu Picchu is one of the seven wonders of the world and its spot is well deserved. The list below breaks down this wonder even more, describing five awesome reasons a trip to Machu Picchu & the Peruvian Amazon should be number one, not seven, on your list of places to go. Spoiler: the last reason is time sensitive...
5) Arriving at the Inca town of Wiñay Wayna
After three unforgettable days on the Inca Trail, you arrive at Wiñay Wayna, an Incan town perched on a steep forested slope high above the Urubamba River. You wander its large complex of ancient dwellings, terraces, and still functioning waterworks thinking about how far you’ve come, how unbelievable the journey has been so far, and how excited you are for what lays ahead – the “lost city in the clouds”, Machu Picchu.
4) Paddling the Amazon River
Traveling downstream by dugout canoe, glide across the coffee-colored waters of the Amazon waterways. Look for thirsty capybaras pausing for a drink along the shore. As the scenery shifts from red-earth cliffs to low banks thick with Cecropia trees, you pass laughing children and working fisherman from the native villages. Herons, hawks, cormorants, and vultures fly overhead, while others dip into the churning waters for fish. This is the Amazon Rainforest, teeming with life like you’ve never experienced.
3) Observing the action at the Tambopata clay lick
The Tambopata National Reserve has the highest known concentration of naturally occurring clay licks in the world, and it is a spectacle to behold. Every morning before dawn, macaws, parakeets, and parrots flock to the naturally occurring clay licks, sometimes hundreds at a time, creating an incredible show. They perch high up to check for predators while waiting for others to arrive. Bit by bit, the trees fill up before they begin to fly in slow circles before flocking to the clay. After finishing, they depart in an amazing blur of color and a cacophony of calls.
2) Exploring the Depths of the Amazon Rainforest
The rainforest is dense and full of life from the forest floor to the canopy high above. With sun peeking through the thick vegetation you follow a jungle path with your guide as he points out squirrel, brown capuchin, and spider monkeys peering down from the treetops. You see peccaries quietly drinking at the occasional pool or creek. Your senses are on high alert as you breathe in the damp forest air, listening to the symphony of jungle sounds, and spot colorful butterflies fluttering around you. It is as unbelievable as it is real.
1) Seeing Machu Picchu for the first time
This moment is one you will never forget. You arrive at the Gate of the Sun (Intipunku) and throw your eyes upon the spectacular ancient city of Machu Picchu below. The view is so awe-inspiringly beautiful you have to keep reminding yourself that this is real life. Surrounded by the lush, emerald-green Andean mountains, there it is. That long-awaited view of Machu Picchu laid out right before your very eyes.
And these are only our top five! Join our 13-day Inca Trail Trek and Amazon Adventure in Peru to make your own Top 20 list! And, to give you a little incentive now through December 18th 2016 we’re offering a 15% discount of our most popular Peru adventure for any departure in 2017. Interested in getting more information? Contact our Peru Program Director or call 1-800-345-4453.