• Best-value way to visit northern Peru highlights in nine days ... in comfort

  • Small group departures using private transport and best hotels in region (just 2 passengers minimum). 

  • Amazon rainforest, Kuelap, Gocta Falls, Tucume & Chan Chan included.

  • 2018 price from £1,139 / $US 1,590 per person (based on double occupancy). 

Peru is rightly proud of its natural heritage, which encompasses Selva (Amazon Jungle), Sierra (Andes Mountains) and Costa (Pacific Ocean). And this Northern Peru route will enable you to sample in depth all three wildly-different environments in twelve days, travelling overland in a comfortable private vehicle. 

Beginning in the jungle city of Tarapoto, in the humid heart of Amazonia, we have a chance to enjoy the rich flora and fauna, staying at a jungle lodge, before heading westwards and upwards into the Andes, and the various rain forest systems of San Martin and Amazonas provinces. 

In the cloud forests of Chachapoyas can be found both natural wonders, such as Gocta Falls, and man-made, notably Kuelap Fortress, and we spend several days exploring this region before continuing over the Continental Divide to the coast. 

Here, we enjoy the spectacular pre-Inca archeology and desert environment around Chiclayo, before ending the tour in the Colonial city of Trujillo, home to the huge Moche citadel of Chan Chan

This route has long been appreciated by backpackers with time on their hands, and a willingness to rough it on long-distance buses and in basic accommodation, in order to witness the area's fabulous highlights. Now, though, you can enjoy this little-visited area, without sacrificing your comforts or breaking the bank, on our group departures, that still use private transport and the best accommodation available, and are guaranteed to depart with just two people. 

2018 Set Departures: 

  • Thu, 7 - Fri, 15 June
  • Fri, 22 - Sat, 30 June
  • Sat, 4 - Sun, 12 August
  • Sat, 22 - Sun, 30 September
  • Sat, 13 - Sun, 21 October

2019 Set Departures: 

  • Thu, 6 - Fri, 14 June
  • Fri, 5 - Sat, 13 July
  • Thu, 8 - Fri, 16 August
  • Sat, 21 - Sun, 29 September
  • Mon, 14 - Tue, 22 October

If you prefer to do this in a private service, with dates and itinerary to suit, just ask us how. 

Please note that there are departures that go from Trujillo to Tarapoto. Click here for more details. 

Itinerary

Day 1: Tarapoto: Amazon Valleys & Canyons

Tarapoto - Trujillo - Pumarinri Amazon Lodge - Pool.jpg

Reception at Tarapoto airport and departure towards Pumarinri Lodge, following the Mayo and Huallaga valleys and canyons, stopping at the spots of major scenic or ecological interest en route.

Arrival at Pumarinri Lodge.

Afternoon is free to settle in and enjoy the lodge's facilities, including a pool and a number of nature trails.

After dark, we take a guided night walk in the jungle, to spot nocturnal species.

Dinner & Overnight at Pumarinri Lodge.

Day 2: Tarapoto: Rainforest, Waterfalls & Mighty Rivers

Tarapoto - Trujillo - Pumarinri Amazon Lodge.jpg

Breakfast followed by a morning boat trip along the Huallaga River, between the Estero and Chumia rapids, and a forest walk in the Cordillera Azul National Park. Lunch.

In the afternoon, we go for a hike through the Amazon rainforest, observing a variety of forest features from palm trees, vines, epiphytes and hardwood trees to bullet ants, morpho butterflies and poison dart frogs.

At the end of this walk we have a refreshing swim at Pucayaquillo Waterfall.

Dinner & Overnight at Pumarinri Lodge.

Day 3: Tarapoto - Gocta: From Amazon to Andes

Tarapoto - Trujillo 9D  - Huembo Reserve Hummingbird 3.jpg

Breakfast and early departure towards the Andes. If time and weather conditions allow, we plan to make stops along the way: 

First stop is at Moyobamba to visit an orchid botanical garden.

Second stop at the Marvelous Spatuletail Visitors Centre, to watch this amazing hummingbird amongst many other colourful species, and enjoy our boxed lunch.

We hope to arrive at our accommodation in time to enjoy the sunset in front of Gocta Falls, one of the highest in the world, in the heart of the Peruvian northern Andes.

Dinner & Overnight at Gocta Lodge, or similar.

Day 4: Gocta Falls

Tarapoto - Trujillo 9D - Gocta Falls Top Drop.jpg

Breakfast.

From Gocta Lodge there's an amazing view of the falls, but the trail leading to them is even more breathtaking. It is a two hour hike (each way), passing through Andean orchards and lush forest full of bromeliads and orchids. NB. There is the option to do this trail on horseback (at a small extra cost).

Lunch at the lodge, followed by a free afternoon to rest or explore the local village of Cocachimba

Dinner & Overnight at Gocta Lodge, or similar.

Day 5: Kuelap

Tarapoto - Trujillo 9D - Kuelap & Llamas.jpg

After breakfast we start driving along the Utcubamba Valley, between bromeliads and cacti, towards Tingo. Here we begin to ascend, through traditional Andean villages, to Kuelap Fortress, located at an altitude of 3,000m (9,842ft).

Guided visit of Kuelap archaeological site, followed by lunch in the village of Maria.

On our way back to Gocta Lodge, we make a detour to visit the Colonial city of Chachapoyas, capital of the Department of Amazonas. 

Dinner & Overnight at Gocta Lodge, or similar.

Day 6: Gocta - Tucume: Drive to Desert of the Pyramids

Breakfast and early departure towards Lambayeque.

Stop at Abra Porculla, the lowest Andean mountain pass between the Caribbean to Patagonia, for a boxed lunch.

Arrival in Tucume and visit to Tucume Pyramids (the largest pyramid complex in the Americas) and museum.

Dinner & Overnight at Los Horcones Hotel, or similar.

Day 7: Chiclayo - Trujillo: Lord of Sipan & El Brujo

Tarapoto - Trujillo 9D - Moche Jewellery.jpg

Breakfast and departure to visit Tumbas Reales Museum, in Lambayeque, where the Lord of Sipan is exhibited.

Lunch in Pacasymayo, overlooking the sea, watching surfers, windsurfers and kitesurfers taking advantage of excellent watersports conditions. 

After lunch, we drive towards Trujillo, stopping on the way to visit El Brujo & Señora de Cao museum and archaeological site.

Dinner and overnight at Moche Sanctuary Lodge, or similar. 

Tarapoto - Trujillo 9D - Chan Chan Detail.jpg

Day 8: Huaca de la Luna & Chan Chan

Breakfast followed by morning visit to Huaca de la Luna archaeological site and museum, which are just a stone's throw from our accommodation.

We return to the hotel for lunch, before making our afternoon visit to Chan Chan citadel, the largest adobe (mud brick) city in America.

Dinner and overnight at Moche Sanctuary Lodge, or similar. 

Day 9: Colonial Trujillo; Transfer Out

Walking city tour around Trujillo Colonial centre.

Transfer to airport or bus terminal. 

End of tour.