A stunning, privately guided trip through Peru’s southern circuit staying at unique properties. You travel aboard the ‘Andean Explorer’ train from Puno to Cusco. Once there you will enjoy dramatic views of the Sacred Valley of the Incas from one of the cars of the Orient-Express’ luxury Hiram Bingham train to reach Machu Picchu.
DAY 1 … – LIMA
You will be met at the airport and escorted to your hotel. Sample a typical Peruvian ‘pisco sour’ and some appetizers in the quiet and intimate bar at the hotel. The typical English setting makes it the ideal place for relaxing after a long-haul flight. Enjoy the view of illuminated Lima and the Pacific Ocean from your room.
DAY 2 LIMA (B,D)
Your sightseeing tour explores Miraflores and San Isidro, the modern districts of Lima and its historic center, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassic movements also reached Peru and a handful of well-preserved buildings offer a glimpse of the blend of past and present that characterizes the capital. One of best examples is San Francisco Church (1674). Its underground tunnels lead to catacombs that served as cemetery until 1808 and still contain bones and skulls. Then we make our way to the Larco Museum. Its masterpieces are considered worldwide icons of pre-Columbian art and have been displayed in the world’s most renowned museums. Artifacts finely wrought in gold and decorated with semi-precious stones are tastefully exhibited in new rooms that are the collection’s highlight.
Dinner at Cala. Sophisticated and creative (not only, but mostly) seafood dishes are served in a magical setting; the restaurant is perched on the ocean’s edge. Attention to detail is not only reflected in the presentation of its contemporary Peruvian food but in the service.
DAY 3 LIMA – AREQUIPA (B)
Flight to Arequipa. Arequipa is one of the finest cities in Peru. In the afternoon you will explore the city. Some of the old buildings were made from white volcanic material which has given it the name of the ‘white city’. Continue on to the extraordinary Santa Catalina Convent built in the 16th century. Traditionally the oldest daughters of Arequipa’s aristocratic families entered the convent in their early teens and spent their lives there, cloistered away. The convent complex has been beautifully refurbished, bringing the past vividly alive once more. Eventually we head to Yanahuara lookout point for a magnificent view of the Misti Volcano and the city. Spend the night in a colonial property built of white volcanic stone, once owned by the wealthy Quiroz family and later occupied by Arequipa’s first Mint House. The mansion has been completely refurbished to become a luxury historic hotel in Arequipa.
DAY 4 AREQUIPA – COLCA VALLEY (B,L,D)
In the early morning we leave Arequipa and head towards the valley. On our way we pass Pampa de Arrieros, Pampa Cañahuas (where we find the Vicuna National Reserve of Aguada Blanca), Vizcachani and Tojra a good place for spotting Andean birds. Awesome volcanoes Mismi (5,597 m/18,360 ft), Misti (5,825 m/19,110 ft), Chachani (6,075 m/19,930 ft) and the glaciers Ampato (6,288 m/20,630 ft), Sabancaya (5,976 m/19,606 ft) and Hualca Hualca (6,288 m/20,630 ft) offer us awesome panoramic views as we enter the Colca Valley. After approx. 5 hours we arrive to Casitas del Colca. The luxury hotel is a collection of twenty cottage villas offering supreme privacy, exclusivity and an opportunity to experience the beauty of the Andes. Each casita has a private terrace, and a heated plunge pool, ideal for relaxing after a day exploring the delights of the Colca Canyon.
In the afternoon chance to get relaxed in the hotel’s outdoor swimming pool which blends into the surroundings, allowing you to feel a part of nature. Or you may take one of the treatments offered in the Samay Spa (at additional cost).
DAY 5 COLCA VALLEY (B,L,D)
There are different outdoor activities available (included in the rate). Do not forget your hiking boots and set out on one of the walks or treks in the valley. If you prefer a more sedentary pace of life try your hand at fishing on one of our trout lakes using a traditional rod, or train your eyes to the skies in search of the indigenous humming bird, the largest in the world.
DAY 6 COLCA – PUNO (B,D)
Early morning drive to an observation point, one of the deepest parts of the canyon. Here, you find the perfect spot to look down 1,200 m (3,937 ft) into the canyon at ‘Mirador Cruz del Condor’. It’s here that the legendary condor, the bird with the largest wingspan in the world, can be seen rising and circling on the morning thermals, silhouetted against the magnificent backdrop of the mountain scenery.
We say goodbye to Colca and head to Titilaka a boutique property secluded in a private peninsula. Surrounded by stunning scenery and astounding Andean geography, Titilaka’s contemporary design integrates with the natural environment. Eighteen fully serviced lake-view suites feature heated floors and spa bathrooms, with large oversized tubs and massage showers, plus an array of amenities to ensure a comfortable stay. Here you will find a haven for re-energizing after a day of excursion by boat, mountain bike, hiking or car — the choice is yours. Before or after dinner your concierge will shape your itinerary for the next day according to your preferences. Activities range from contemplative to adventuresome, including: mountain biking, highland treks & birding, Taquile, Amantani and Uros Islands, Sillustani burial towers, horseback excursions, colonial churches and local village tours.
DAY 7 PUNO (B,L,D)
Enjoy your activities on Titicaca Lake and/or the Altiplano with your bilingual guide and driver. Full board is included in your hotel rate.
DAY 8 PUNO – CUSCO (B,L) (train only runs on MON, WED and SAT)
This morning board the ‘Andean Explorer’ to Cusco. This classic and luxury Orient Express train journey, voted as one of the top ten railway journeys of the world, cuts across the formidable Peruvian Altiplano. The journey is dominated by the magnificent Andean mountains rolling Andean Plains, where vicuñas and alpacas can be seen. The glass-walled observation car will provide the perfect opportunity to view the beautiful scenery. The journey is broken by a scenic stop at La Raya, which is also the highest point on the route. A three-course lunch will be served on board. Upon arrival in Cusco you will be transferred to your hotel.
DAY 9 CUSCO (B,D)
This afternoon we walk through the major sites of interest in Cusco. We start at the cathedral featuring artwork from the ‘Cusco Painting School’. The next stop is at the Temple of the Sun or Koricancha before we walk along Hatunrumiyoc Street. Remarkable for its 12-angled stone the street features the remaining walls of what used to be Inca Roca's palace and leads us to the charming San Blas artisan quarter.
In the evening you will be treated to a gourmet dinner at Chicha. This is the first restaurant that Gaston Acurio, Peru’s most prominent chef, opened in Cusco. It serves some of the most popular Peruvian dishes in a contemporary atmosphere. Food presentation and first class service top off the restaurant’s proposal.
DAY 10 CUSCO – SACRED VALLEY (B,L)
Tour to Maras and Moray. The dominant color in Maras is an intense white that burns like snow on a sunny day and are an impressive sight for any visitor. Salt was extracted from these mines from Inca times and the same method has been used ever since. We then head to Moray. The circular terraces hidden among the hills are similar to a Greek amphitheater. Surrounded by an impressive backdrop of snow covered mountains, Moray was used as an open-air agricultural lab for adapting crops to different environmental conditions.
Lunch at Hacienda Huayoccari. Nestled in the Sacred Valley, approx. 1 hour from Cusco, the Hacienda Huayoccari is one of the best places to eat and relax. The hacienda owners, the renowned Lambarri Orihuela family, inhabitants of the Sacred Valley for over 350 years, will be your hosts. Experience their warm hospitality, feel the flavor of the past and the history of the haciendas of Cusco, and enjoy an impressive view of the Sacred Valley. After admiring the family’s vast collection of folk art, you savor a meal prepared with fresh products from the plantations around that is served in the hacienda’s garden.
After lunch we drive past ancient farming terraces that are still in use today to grow barley, wheat, and corn to reach the town of Ollantaytambo where the Temple of the Sun (formed of six gigantic monoliths, whose total weight exceeds 50 tons) and the Terrace of the Ten Niches stand out. Tonight you will enjoy a relaxing and soothing time in the Andean Spa at the hotel with a massage session.
DAY 11 SACRED VALLEY – MACHU PICCHU (B,D)
Early transfer to Ollanta train station to travel to Machu Picchu.
The 1 1/2 -hour train ride train takes you through the Sacred Valley of the Incas up to Machu Picchu. On arrival a small coach takes you up the steep roads to the entrance of the citadel. Machu Picchu remained for centuries undiscovered by the Spaniards, only to be found in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. The uniqueness of its location and the genius that went into its construction make this Inca archaeological site truly one of the great wonders of the world.
After the guided excursion you will return to Aguas Calientes town where you spend the night at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo, a unique, ecological hotel situated in 12 private acres of cloud forest within Machu Picchu Sanctuary. Rated by different travel magazines among the best hotels in Latin America the hotel looks like a typical ‘Andean village’ with rooms distributed throughout the gardens.
A la carte dinner will be served in the hotel.
DAY 12 MACHU PICCHU – OLLANTA – CUSCO (B,Tea time,D)
Remainder of the morning free to roam around Machu Picchu. In the afternoon gather in Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge for an afternoon tea with a buffet of tea, sandwiches, cookies, and sweets. Afterwards transfer to Aguas Calientes station to travel back to Poroy via the elegant Hiram Bingham train. Pre-dinner cocktails will be served on board followed by a four-course meal. Greeting at Poroy station and private transfer to your hotel in Cusco.
DAY 13 CUSCO – LIMA - ... (B)
Morning flight to Lima and transfer to Barranco.
This morning is dedicated to a fancy shopping tour in the heart of Barranco, the bohemian quarter of Lima. We start in Las Pallas, a gallery with a very personal touch. The owner, a British lady, collects and sells fine traditional folkart from all over the country. Prices are above the average but this is justified and reflected in the quality of the creations and the fair deal offered to craftsmen. Afterwards we will head to the art gallery 'Centro Colich' which is located in a beautiful mansion. This National Heritage Site serves as a show room in which jewelry, textiles, furniture and art are on display for sale. Last but not least we drop by Dedalo, one of the nicest art galleries in Lima. Local artists exhibit an astounding variety of jewelry, textiles, pictures, furnishings, clothes, handcrafted toys and a lot more.
At proper time you will be transferred to the airport for your international flight.
Price per person in USD sharing TWIN Prices valid through December 23rd 2013
* min. 2 persons
Domestic flights (net price per person in USD)
Lima - Arequipa / Cusco - Lima
* Air fares subject to change according availability