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Why Stay at Home When You Can Travel ALLOVER!

2023 AMAZON CRUISE & MACHU PICCHU DISCOVERY (MARCH 19-31, 2023)

All-inclusive Peruvian adventure including an LGBT+, guaranteed full ship charter Amazon River cruise and culminating with a comprehensive Machu Picchu experience.

AS the face of travel continues to evolve, so should the nature and value of enriching travel programs being offered. Peru is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world offering a unique combination of nature, wildlife, archaeology and cultural heritage.

Brand g Vacations is pleased to introduce our popular Amazon and Machu Picchu program again in 2023. The cruise portion is operated aboard the luxurious Delfin III, which offers some of the most spacious accommodations along the Amazon River. This smartly designed, 44-passenger, colonial-style vessel, provides the ultimate in comfort, with five-star amenities.

Our custom designed land program provides authentic, educational, and culturally-enriching encounters daily. Few trips offer as rich an experience of Peru’s diverse natural and cultural treasures.

Begin in the cosmopolitan city of Lima, known for its vibrant food scene. Fly to Iquitos where you will embark a luxury riverboat that takes you deep into the rain forest within the Amazon Basin. Home to a staggering array of wildlife, the Peruvian Amazon boasts nearly a thousand species of birds alone. Enjoy fine wine and famous Peruvian cuisine while enjoying the company of your fellow LGBT + travelers. After disembarkation, we will continue on to the Sacred Valley near the Inca capitol of Cusco. From here, we board the Sacred Valley train for a scenic journey to Machu Picchu, the mystical stone city built by the Incas in the 15th century. Afterwards return to Cusco, where you’ll enjoy two luxurious nights at the centrally- located Palacio del Inka hotel and guided tours of the most significant Inca sites before departing for your flight home.

It’s the perfect combination of inspiring places and rich history in the comfort of an all-gay environment.

Luxury Level: ***** Five StarActivity Level: Moderate to HighGuest Count: 44
HIGHLIGHTS
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INCLUSIONS

ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGES STARTING FROM— $6,699.00

TOUR ITINERARY
MARCH 19, 2023 (DAY 1)
LIMA, PERU

Arrive in Lima at the Jorge Chavez International Airport, where you will be greeted by a Brand g Vacations representative and transferred to the centrally located Hilton Miraflores. A welcome reception will be held for Brand g Vacations guests at the hotel.
MARCH 20, 2023 (DAY 2)
LIMA, PERU

After breakfast, depart to the historic center of Lima, a UNESCO world heritage site, where you will see the Cathedral, the Government Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace, and City Hall. Visit the Church and Convent of the San Francisco Monastery, the most significant religious site in Lima, which provides insight into life during Spanish colonial times, and the catacombs, which served as a burial ground until 1808. Continue to the Cathedral which houses the remains of Francisco Pizarro, the founder of Lima. Afterwards, we will head to Pueblo Libre District to visit the Larco Museum, housed in a former mansion, itself built on the site of a pre-Columbian temple, and the museum offers a varied collection of 3,000 years of ceramic, textile and precious metal artifacts. There are also mummies that show off the different way’s ancient cultures, including the Incas, preserved their dead. Lunch is included at Café del Museo. Finally, return to your hotel, in route enjoy a panoramic drive through Miraflores and San Isidro and to see the sites of “Parque de los Enamorados” (Lover’s Park), and enjoy a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. The evening is yours to enjoy at leisure.
MARCH 21, 2023 (DAY 3)
LIMA/IQUITOS/EMBARK SHIP/UCAYALI RIVER

After an early breakfast, transfer to the airport and fly from Lima to Iquitos. Upon arrival in Iquitos, you’ll be greeted by a member of the Delfin III team. We will start off with a lunchbox as we travel over paved road to the city of Nauta, 95 kilometers away. Nauta is literally the “end of the road” where you will embark on the Delfin III. Along the way, you will see vibrant “terra firma” (non-flooded forest) and various aspects of daily jungle life. Nauta is a small riverside town on the banks of the Marañon River and was the first city founded in the department of Loreto. Once we reach Nauta, you will enjoy a VIP greeting at Delfin’s private port along the shores of the Marañon River where the vessel awaits you. Aboard the Delfin III, the qualified staff will introduce you to your exquisite and cozy suite, specially equipped with all the amenities necessary for the experienced traveler.

Along the Ucayali River you will have the opportunity to spend some time in search of birds and playful monkeys. As your naturalist guide spots various creatures for you, the landscape adorned by the usual colors of the sun’s reflections is a great photo opportunity as you witness your first Amazon Rainforest Sunset. Later we gather for cocktails and a celebratory welcome dinner as we make our way out of port and into the Amazon River.
MARCH 22, 2023 (DAY 4)
YANALLPA/DORADO RIVER

Here in the Amazon Rainforest, we can have dry mornings with beautiful sunrises. This is all we need to have a successful pre-breakfast exploration of the forest! The early morning hours are the best time of day to watch birds, observe their special displays and listen to their songs. We will jump on the skiffs and head to the shores of the Ucayali River. This area is green with large trees and old palm trees as well, and these components favor the presence of several parrot species. This particular spot also has a great number of other birds of different species. Perhaps spot a large flock of red-bellied macaws, as well different types of raptors, woodpeckers and swallows. If you are very lucky you will hear loud and distinctive sounds of blue and yellow macaws! Following our morning exploration, we return to the boat for a nourishing breakfast and time to relax.
MARCH 23, 2023 (DAY 5)
PCAYA RIVER/MAGDALENA

This morning, we cruise through the Pacaya River, which is at the very heart of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, Peru’s largest protected area with a mean annual rainfall of nearly 3,000 millimeters, by far the largest protected wetland reserve in the world. Filled with lakes, palm swamps, and streams, the reserve becomes a flooded forest in the rainy season and is sure to be one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever visit. You will also have the chance to explore one of the pristine Amazon lagoons in this wonderful region!

Following lunch and a relaxing afternoon on board, we board our skiffs and speed along the main river to reach the narrower channels where we will explore the thick rainforest adjacent to the water. During our explorations we will look for some of the more typical and iconic birds of the New World tropics, such as the lettered Aracari Toucan, the Straightbilled Woodcreeper and the White-eared Jacamar. Later on, travel near Flor de Castaña, for an opportunity to swim among pink dolphins. If you are thinking Piranhas, as many people have in their minds, when they think about the Amazon River! But don’t worry; the aggressiveness of this characteristic fish of the Amazon is really extremely overrated.
MARCH 24, 2023 (DAY 6)
FUNDO CASUAL/SAN FRANCISCO

This morning along the Yarapa River, you will get to explore this tributary intimately. Listen closely for the sounds from within the mysterious jungle. We travel down river to this wide creek that leads to an attractive hidden lagoon. As we absorb the beauty of the landscape, we will have the chance to reflect on the wildlife. Hawks, terns, herons and monkeys which are part of our everyday excursions are readily close by; in this area we will notice many more inhabitants of the Amazon, the rivereños. People being an important part of this complex bionetwork only reinforce the fact that we are part of their lives and how our presence here and now could make a difference to the future of this magical land of the Incas. Look out for specific types of Monkeys like the pygmy marmoset, squirrel monkey, and our first Monk Saki. This medium-sized monkey with the thick fur and bushy tail looks more like he is dressed for the Arctic than the Amazon. After, enjoy a delicious breakfast and some time at leisure.

For our afternoon excursion we take a walk at Fundo Casual jungle trail, which will take you deep into the rainforest on terra firme (nonflooded forest) where your guide will point out the dynamic creatures and vegetation of the Amazon. Be sure to keep an attentive eye open for spotting surprises! It’s almost unbelievable how with every step you find something along the way. Almost definitely Anaconda, Rainbow Boas, Tarantulas, Poison Frogs, and most recently porcupines have been spotted. This is one of the very few places in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve Amazon Rainforest where you will spot the ever so elusive 2-toed sloth. This evening, back on board, enjoy a festive farewell dinner.
MARCH 25, 2023 (DAY 7)
DISEMBARK/NAUTA/SACRED VALLEY

This morning, we’ll disembark the Delfin III. On our way back to the Iquitos airport, we’ll visit the Rescue & Rehabilitation Center of River Mammals (ACOBIA) where you will have the chance to meet baby manatees and learn about these wonderful and docile creatures and why they are on the endangered species list. You will also have the chance to pet and feed these kind manatees. As well, there are also some other animals cared for by the center that have been rescued from capture for the intention of being turned into pets and other threatening conditions. We welcome you to donate to this ambitious organization and education center as you wish. Our land personnel will wait for you at the airport and give your boarding passes, provide you with a box lunch courtesy of the Delfin III and help you check in. Should you wish, you may also purchase a snack at the Iquitos airport, and/or something more substantial upon arrival to the Lima airport.

After a connecting flight through Lima, we will arrive in Cusco, and transfer to the Tambo del Inka Hotel. A light snack will be served on the way to the hotel. Tonight’s dinner is on your own at the hotel. We suggest you eat light on your first night at altitude.
MArCH 26, 2023 (DAY 8)
SACRED VALLEY/URUBAMBA

Urubamba Valley is located in the Andes close to the Inca capital of Cusco, and below the ancient sacred city of Machu Picchu. Enjoy the morning at leisure – sleep in, visit the spa, or get in a work-out. This afternoon takes us on a scenic drive into the mountains to the incredible Saltpans of Maras, which have existed since Pre-Incan times, and the mind boggling archaeological Incan crop research site of Moray. Tonight, we enjoy dinner as a group at the Tambo del Inka hotel.
MAARCH 27, 2023 (DAY 9)
SACRED VALLEY

This morning, we have a very special experience planned on the grounds of the Tambo del Inka Hotel. You’ll have the opportunity to participate in a Pachamama Ceremony: this excursion allows an opportunity to witness first-hand a traditional offering ceremony, conducted by an Andean priest or ‘Paco’. Using a cocktail of ancient ingredients, including coca leaves, grains, wine and animal fats, the local Paco will go through the rites and rituals of this most important service for your benefit, offering a perfect window back in time to a period where such symbolic gestures were the ruling law of the land, and basis for all religious belief.

After we drive to explore Ollantaytambo, the predecessor to Machu Picchu, with its huge Incan fortress rising from the edge of town. Once a stronghold of Inca resistance to Spanish colonization, it’s remarkably well-preserved. Following the tour, we enjoy a sumptuous included buffet lunch at a local restaurant.

After lunch, you have the option to visit the Pablo Seminario Ceramic Workshop and store (directly across from the Tambo del Inka hotel), or return to the hotel to relax. Dinner tonight is on your own.

MARCH 28, 2023 (DAY 10)
MACHU PICCHU/SACRED VALLEY/CUSCO

After breakfast, we transfer by coach to Ollantaytambo and board the Sacred Valley train for the scenic journey to Aguas Calientes, where you’ll enjoy a delicious local lunch upon arrival. Meanwhile, porters from the hotel will deliver your luggage directly to the hotel. Following lunch, we’ll venture directly to the summit to start our tour of Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas.” A local expert will guide you through the marvelous citadel, the main plaza, the royal quarters, and the Temple of Three Windows before returning to Aguas Calientes to check into the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel. This evening, we enjoy dinner together at the hotel.
MARCH 29, 2023 (DAY 11)
MACHU PICCHU/SACRED VALLEY/CUSCO

This morning, the choice is yours to make a second visit to Machu Picchu mountain in the early morning, or you could opt to climb Huaynapicchu (limited based on availability-advance sign up required). Otherwise, the morning is yours to explore Machu Picchu Village on your own.

This afternoon, return to Ollantaytambo by train, and transfer to Cusco by motor coach. Upon arrival, check-in to the historic Palacio del Inka Luxury Collection Hotel in Cusco and enjoy dinner on your own and an evening at leisure.
MARCH 30, 2023 (DAY 12)
CUSCO

This morning is free to relax on your own to enjoy the hotel, or take a stroll in the city. Your breakfast is included at the hotel and lunch is on your own. Following lunch we set off on foot for a guided tour including a visit to the Koricancha and the Convent of Santo Domingo. The Convent was built on the Koricancha (site of gold), the most important temple dedicated to the worship of the sun by the ancient Incans. We continue to Cusco’s Plaza de Armas central square, for a visit to the Cathedral, one of the most imposing structures in the city. The Cathedral houses an important collection of gold and silver work from the colonial period as well as a beautiful collection of oil on canvas. This evening, we gather for a pisco tasting and a festive dinner at Republica del Pisco.
MARCH 31, 2023 (DAY 13)
CUSCO/DEPARTURE

Following breakfast at the hotel, we visit the Sacsayhuaman fortress, one of the emblematic Inca constructions, built by Inca Pachacútec in the 15th century. It is a huge fortress made of very large stones, and the manner in which they were transported and cut is still a mystery.

Our next stop is Qenqo, one of the largest huacas (holy places) in the Cusco Region. Many huacas were based on naturally occurring rock formations. It was believed to be a place where sacrifices and mummification took place.

Following our morning tour, we’ll have a special farewell lunch before your transfer to the Cusco airport for your departure flight. For your departure from Cusco schedule flights at 5pm or later (most flights connect via Lima).

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ACCOMODATIONS
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Situated in the heart of Lima, Hilton Miraflores is within walking distance of Ricardo Palma Cultural Center, Kennedy Park, and Calle de las Pizzas. Also nearby are Miraflores Central Park and Larcomar. The air-conditioned guestrooms include minibars and safes. Complimentary wireless and wired high-speed Internet access is available in public areas and a computer station is located on site.

Dates of stay: March 19-21

Additional pre-program nights available upon request.
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Brand g Vacations has chartered the 22-cabin Delfin III. While cruising the Amazon, you will explore one of the largest expanses of tropical rainforest in the world. Smartly designed, this vessel provides the ultimate in comfort, with five-star amenities. The ship features all suite accommodations with floor-to-ceiling windows with individual climate control, in room safes, hair dryers, generous closet and under-bed storage. Other amenities include soft, luxurious spa robes and slippers; natural, therapeutic bath amenities; and fine cotton bed lines with pillow menu. Your be pampered by 29 crew including expert naturalists to guide you through the experience; spa services and gourmet meals prepared with fresh local ingredients. Your stay on the Delfin III includes all meals; complimentary coffe, tea, water, soft drinks, local beer and pisco-based cocktails as well as free flowing house wine at dinner.

Your expert naturalists will guide you on twice daily excursions by comfortable skiff boat or short hikes on land. Water resistant boots will be provided for the hikes as will refreshments on longer excursions.

Dates of stay: March 21-25
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The luxurious Tambo del Inka has one of the top-rated locations in Urubamba. The elegant rooms feature native fabrics and local design, and have private balconies with views of the natural surroundings. All feature an LCD TV, iPod docking station, and exclusive marble bathrooms. Hawa restaurant serves delicious New Andean cuisine made with organic, homegrown ingredients. Kiri bar and terrace serves light snacks and cocktails, and guests can enjoy a daily breakfast buffet.

Enjoy the pool or get in a workout in the modern gym, and unwind afterwards with a natural massage. Then relax in the cozy lounge, featuring a classic billiards table and variety of board games.

Dates of stay: March 25-28
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Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel is a family-owned, luxury hotel. Sumaq’s exclusive service is dedicated entirely to allowing its guests to forget all their worries while concentrating on the beautiful landscapes, with lush vegetation, soaring mountains, descending valleys, ancient trails, and an amazing waterfall. In a privileged location in the Machu Picchu historic sanctuary, and on the banks of the Vilcanota River, Sumaq is a 10-minute walk to the Aguas Calientes Train Station.

Dates of stay March 28-29
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Designed to showcase a centuries-old, magical blend of pre-Columbian, Inkan, Spaniard, Colonial, and modern cultures—Palacio del Inka presents a captivating variety of rare opportunities and state-of-the-art amenities that guarantee an enriching and memorable stay in Cusco.

Presently, avenues, centuries-old passageways, cobblestone side streets, and alleys traverse the city, each leading to the Palacio del Inka. Situated in the center of the city, the hotel is encircled by Inka foundations topped with colonial constructions, museums, storied archeological sites, premier restaurants, and vibrant local markets.

Free Wi-Fi in public areas, full service spa and a business center are among the many amenities of the Palacio del Inka.

Dates of stay March 29-31

Additional post-program nights available upon request.

OPTIONAL ADD-ONS

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$60 per person

****Limited availability, reserve early for your best chance of getting a spot for this adventure. Names are submitted to the government of Peru at the beginning of December 2022. Entries beyond that point will likely not be approved.

For many trekkers, climbing Huayna Picchu is one of the highlights of a visit to Machu Picchu. The views of the Citadel and surrounding landscape are extraordinary from the top and well worth the climbing effort.

From a distance Huayna Picchu looks like a technical climbing endeavor, but is in fact just a steep hike with some sections that will require the use of both hands and feet to scramble upwards, but no technical skills or climbing tools. There are sections that include railings and cables for support.

Anyone with a decent level of fitness and moderate constitution for heights can climb Huayna Picchu (if you are afraid of heights or susceptible to vertigo then this climb is probably not for you). There are areas that are exposed to steep drops, so caution should be taken throughout the climb, keeping a good distance between climbers in front and behind you. This is particularly true if the trail is wet.

The total ascent is just over 1,000 feet (360m) with the summit at a steep angle above the city. As Huayna Picchu is so close to the city complex it provides a fantastic birds-eye view, and the climb itself provides brilliant vistas of the city from various angles. This perspective is very difficult to appreciate whilst walking within the Citadel.

From the summit, the scale and ingenuity of Machu Picchu and its various structures and terraces is fully revealed. The sheer magnitude and complexity of the site provides for a humbling view. There are also terraces and temple remnants that crown the mountain’s summit, and will leave you questioning how the Inca managed to build these structures.

You have an opportunity to participate in this unique once-in-a-lifetime experience on the morning of your second day at Machu Picchu. Only a certain number of permits are issued for this excursion and they fill quickly. Therefore, we cannot guarantee any space until it is officially reserved. If you are interested, we encourage you to sign up early.

DAY AND TIME OF EXCURSION: Your day begins with departure from the hotel at 5:30am and the actual climb will begin at 7:00am, on your second day at Machu Picchu. You will be back down from the mountain by approximately 11:30am.

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2023 AMAZON CRUISE & MACHU PICCHU DISCOVERY