Machu Picchu Selfie in Peru

The Ultimate 9 Day Honeymoon in Peru!

It was a picture in a magazine of a boat that started it all. That boat was the Aria, a river cruise that provides multiday/night excursions through the Peruvian Amazon, and it was after seeing this picture that planning set forth for a 9 day adventure that would take us to the Amazon, Machu Picchu, Cusco and Lima. This incredible journey was a feat, but as jam packed as it was we would not have done it any other way.
Day 1: Iquitos & All Aboard
Lunch At The Floating Restaurant
Al Frio y Al Fuego Iquitos Peru Al Frio y Al Fuego Iquitos Peru
@ Al Frio y Al Fuego, an amazing lunch spot retreat located on the water just outside of Iquitos, it floats!. Plan ahead for transportation unless you are looking to take one of the 70,000 tuk tuks that provide much of the transportation in Iquitos.
The Aria River Cruise
Aria River Boat Amazon Peru
A beautiful cruise ship with 16 rooms, all outward facing rooms with floor to ceiling windows overlooking your journey on the Amazon river.
Where to Stay: Aria River Boat 4 Nights
Day 2: Awake, Explore Black Water Rivers & Village Visit
Awake To A Spectacular View
Looking Out From Aria River Boat on Amazon in Peru
Black Water Exploration
Aria Excursion Skiff on Amazon River
Exploring the river in search of wildlife on one of the Aria's excursion skiffs which carries 8-10 guests.
3 Toed Sloth
3 Toed Sloth on Amazon River
Pink River Dolphin
Pink River Dolphin on Amazon River
Blue Macaws
Blue Macaw on Amazon River
Blue Macaws were pretty prevalent throughout the Peruvian Amazon. Keep your ears peeled as you are likely to hear the Macaws before you see them.
River Dolphins & More -> See the Video!
Village Visit
Visiting a Village along the shores of the Amazon River
The Aria provides the opportunity to visit an Amazonian village established on the shores of the river. Take advantage of the opportunity and make sure to bring paper, pencils and crayons for the kids.
Day 3. Sunrise & The Crocodile Hunter
Sunrise On The Amazon
Sunrise from the Aria River Boat Amazon Peru
We were extraordinarily lucky that we had clear skies throughout most of our stay on the Amazon and were treated to some spectacular sunrises and sunsets.
Jungle Walk
On a Jungle Walk in front of a Giant Tree
Exploring the jungle by land we got to take in the incredible sights and sounds of the forest.
Baby Ananconda in the Amazon Rainforest
Baby Anaconda
Crocodile Hunter In Training
Holding a Caiman our guide pulled from the Amazon River
The night excursion was one of the wildest experiences of the trip. Guided by searchlight our skiff navigating the river as the guide searched for the reflection of eyes. Having seen something in the water our guide grabbed this White Caiman from the water, which was later released. Boas, Tree Frogs, Black Caiman, and Tarantulas were spotted too.
Day 4. Piranha Fishing & River Fun
Piranha Fishing & More -> See the Video!
Kayaking on the Amazon River in Peru
The crew brought out kayaks for us to use and as we paddled along the river both gray and pink dolphins began jumping out of the water.
Cool Off
Jumping into the Amazon River to Swim
The Amazon is quite acidic and home to a lot of bacteria, but at this section in the river the water becomes more hospitable and is safe to jump in, so bombs away!
Day 5. Belen, Manatee Kisses, And Off We Go!
Belen, The Floating City
Traversing the Channels of Belen Iquitos Floating City
On our last day in the Amazon we began in the morning with an excursion through a part of Iquitos named Belen. The area is flooded for much of the year and all of the houses are built on stilts or float. The community still has restaurants, markets, schools all built for the area and traversing the channels requires a boat.
Manatee Kisses & Rehabilitation Center
Amazonian Manatee at Manatee Rehabilitation Center Iquitos Peru in Amazon
Our last stop in the Amazon before the airport was the Manatee Rehabilitation Center where we got to feed Amazonian Manatees and get up and close with these cute little mammals.
Off We Go!
Flying over the Amazon of Peru this is where the Amazon River Begins
As we flew from Iquitos to Lima over the rainforest I noticed that we were flying along the path of the river that we had just traversed by boat. Out the window of the plane I could see where the Ucayali and Maranon Rivers meet to start the Amazon River.
Day 6. The Train To Machu Picchu & 1/2 Exploration
Bingham Hiram Vistadome
Taking the Bingham Hiram Vistadome Train to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu
We took the first flight from Lima to Cusco in the morning followed by a taxi 40 minutes to Poroy to catch our train, followed by a 3.5 hour ride to the Vistadome Train, flute music included. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes we headed to the shuttle stand to take a quick 20 minute ride up to the Sanctuary Lodge, right outside the gates of Machu Picchu. After dropping off our luggage we headed into the ruins to begin exploring.
Last Light On Machu Picchu
The Sun Sets on Machu Picchu Ruins in Peru
We hiked and adventured throughout the ruins until we were close to one of the last ones out of Machu Picchu. It is an incredible sight to behold and the surrounding scenery of mountains and glaciers only adds to its wonder.
Day 7: Sunrise On Machu Picchu & Exploring The Ruins
Sun Rise Over Machu Picchu
The Sun Rises to Light Up Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate in Peru
Having stayed at the Sanctuary Lodge we were only a minute or two from the entrance, so we woke up before sunrise and strolled over. We wanted to see the sun rise over Machu Picchu and set out for the Sun Gate, it was incredible. We spent the rest of the day traversing the ruins and surrounding area until it was time to head back on the train.
Explore Machu Picchu -> See the Video!
Day 8. Cusco & Pisco!
Enjoy The Plaza de Armas
Cusco Plaza de Armas
Sleep in (to rest up from altitude sickness) and mosey over to the Plaza de Armas and enjoy the historic square. The JW Marriott was conveniently located and an incredibly comfortable hotel making our short time in Cusco easy and relaxing.
The Museo del Pisco is a Bar featuring Hundreds of Piscos in Cusco Peru An Algarrobina and a Pisco Sour at the Museo del Pisco in Cusco Peru
You can't come to Peru and not enjoy some Pisco and the Museo del Pisco in Cusco features over 300 varieties! Try an Algarrobina or Pisco Sour.
Day 9. Lima Is For Lovers
Where To Stay: JW Marriott Miraflores
View from JW Marriott Hotel in Miraflores Lima Peru
Our last stop on our ultimate 9 day adventure: Lima. Lima is the capital and is one of the most arid metropolises in the world. We stayed at the JW Marriott in Miraflores with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. Keep on the lookout for paragliders riding the winds.
Rocky Beaches
The Rocky Shoreline on the outskirts of Lima Peru
The coast line is incredibly rocky and not great for a day at the beach, but it's pretty cool to see up close and it is fun to watch the surfers learning to ride.
Celebrate The Diversity Of Peru At Central
1 of 15 course meal entitled Elevations at Central that celebrates the diversity of Peru
Moraya of Paucartambo - Wild Mura & Veal Heart
1 of 15 course meal entitled Elevations at Central that celebrates the diversity of Peru
Red Amazon - Arapaima, Huito, & Airampo
Us with Chef Virgilio Martínez of Central
Our last experience in Peru was at chef Virgilio Martinez's restaurant Central. Featuring a 15 course meal, entitled "Elevations", that celebrates the great natural diversity the country is home to. With foods sourced from 15,000 ft peaks all the way to the tropical rainforest, the meal was incredible and paired with a variety of wines made for a memorable final meal in Peru, earthquake included.

The Full Guide >>

What To See:

The Amazon River Part 1 >>

The Amazon River Part 2 >>

Machu Picchu >>


Central Restaurante - Santa Isabel 376, Miraflores, Lima Get A Taste Here >>

Al Frio y Al Fuego - Av La Marina 138, Iquitos


Museo del Pisco - Santa Catalina Ancha 398, Cusco


Aria River Cruise - Departing from Nauta or Iquitos

Ramada - Lima Int'l Airport (For quick night stay)

Sanctuary Lodge Hotel - Machu Picchu

JW Marriott Cusco - Esquina de la Calle Ruinas 432 y San Agustin, Cusco

JW Marriott Miraflores - Malecon de la Reserva 615, Lima

More To See
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