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Tour Leader Blog

Machu Picchu and the Amazon River
12/2/19 9:26 PM | JUDY MOBLEY

NexTourists traveled to Peru, South America, on a two-part adventure.



Our first stop, Lima, the capital city of Peru.



In Cusco and the Sacred Valley  we shopped for products made from alpaca and baby alpaca fur.



At Awanakancha we met llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and guanacos and learned their vital role in Peruvian culture.



Mother and child in traditional brightly colored Andean clothing



Care for a taste of the delicacy, Cuy Peruano (Peruvian guinea pig)?



We visited a native Incan home and saw their way of life that has endured since the 13th century.



Ollantaytambo - ruins of an Inca fortress.



Aboard the Vistadome train through the countryside of the Urubamba Valley.



Our first view of Machu Picchu was breathtaking!



We took a guided walk to explore the "Lost City of the Incas".





The Sun Gate was the ancient entrance to the Sanctuary.  



Our Sun Gate hiking crew



So many Incan ruins!  This was the hillside Temple of Sacsayhuaman (pronounced sexy woman) in Cusco.



We then traveled to Nauta and embarked the riverboat Delfin III to cruise the Peruvian Amazon for three nights.



We explored the Amazon on skiffs", with Naturalist Guides who helped us spot monkeys, sloths, pink dolphins, and a stunning array of birds.  




Our guide snatched a caiman out of the river to show us.  A caiman is a crocodilian related to the American alligator.   



Sooo many birds!




Hola, NexTourists!



We hiked in the jungle and learned about indigenous and medicinal plants.



A very tiny strawberry poison-dart frog



An Anaconda snake



Tarantulas are the largest spiders in the world, and the Amazonian variety is the largest of them all.



This three-toed sloth was close, but most sloths we spotted were napping in the trees.





Kayaking on the Amazon River!



Fishing for piranhas!



Although the piranhas we caught were small, they were legal size, and the chef served them to us at dinner.  



We enjoyed breakfast on the skiff and observed Amazon life in the morning light.



This black monkey amused us for 20 minutes.




Spider monkeys were jumping from tree to tree!



More amazing birds.




Heading out on the skiff for another adventure.  Delphin III is in the background.



We visited a local village and then joined these kids for some volleyball.



What a smile!



Shopping for souvenirs at the village artisan market.



The local children lined up to receive pencils, notepads, and other gifts from the tourists.



One of our final experiences in the Amazon was seeing the the marriage of the two tributaries - the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers - which converge to create the mighty Peruvian Amazon River.  The sunset provided a beautiful display during our champagne toast - Salud! To an incredible trip!



PS.  I love this photo of this yama (llama) at Machu Picchu but I couldn't get it to turn right-side up.  Believe me, I tried!  There are a few more pics that you may appreciate that are also sideways...  Judy, Tour Leader