This deluxe journey while offering conventional tours also includes visits to less known attractions in Lima, Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Discover Lima’s colonial heritage in the Museum of Colonial Art Pedro de Osma in Barranco the bohemian heart of Lima. Enjoy a private workshop on ancient Andean weaving techniques and designs with a local expert in Chincheros when groups begin to leave the market. Relax and revitalize with an indulgent Andean spa treatment in an incredible environment in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You will then stay overnight at one–of–a–kind hotel in Aguas Calientes, just 20 minutes away by bus from Machu Picchu. Pamper yourself at the end of the day in stylish 5* hotels, most of them historic boutique hotels offering exceptional service and amenities. We are sure you will rate this journey to Peru as the 'holiday of a lifetime'.
DAY 1 … – LIMA
You will be met at the airport and escorted to your hotel. Enjoy 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.
DAY 2 LIMA (B,D)
Morning city tour of Lima. Your sightseeing tour explores the modern districts of Lima and its historic center, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. As you wander the main plaza and Plaza San Martin it is hard not to wonder about its diverse architecture. Your guide will introduce you to the citys architectural heritage. We then proceed to Santo Domingo Monastery boasting fine carved choir stalls, the oldest of Lima. It was here that San Marcos University, the first in South America, was founded in 1551.
We then drive to Barranco, Lima’s traditional ‘belle epoch’ district. This is a pleasant suburb of Lima that has kept its character much better than most of the city and the bohemian heart of the city. Here we visit the Museum for Colonial Art de Osma located in a century-old mansion. The ‘casona’ in neoclassical style was formerly home of the de Osma Family and offers an insight of life in Peru during the Spanish Viceroyalty. Paintings, sculptures, carvings and furniture of the 16th-19th centuries collected by Don Pedro de Osma in 30 years can be observed in this charming mansion. Fine pieces of silverware are on display in the former dining room. The buildings are surrounded by gardens with marble sculptures, palms and geraniums.
Dinner at Maido. This restaurant was created with a contemporary design in the heart of Miraflores and is considered one of the best restaurants of the Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine. Dishes such as Guratan Maki, Nikkei Ravioli and Tacuchaufa are prepared with the finest ingredients and presented carefully delighting the even the most discerning gourmands. In Japan there are many ways to say ‘welcome’, but none are as profound as ‘maido’ that transmits the determination that the customer feels at home. This is the philosophy of the restaurant that is led by Mitsuharu Tsumura. After having gained experience in his ancestors´ country ‘Misha’ returned to Lima and is today one of the youngest and most talented chefs on the Peruvian culinary scene. Get ready to discover unique textures and tastes in a warm atmosphere.
DAY 3 LIMA – CUSCO (B,D)
An early morning flight brings us to the Inca capital of Cusco. Upon arrival, proceed to the hotel to have a welcome coca tea. This should help us to relieve altitude sickness. The remaining of the morning is free to relax, and slowly acclimatize.
This afternoon we walk through the major sites of interest in Cusco. We visit the famed Cathedral with its magnificently carved woodwork, ornate altar and many hundreds of canvases from the 17th-century ‘Cusco Painting School’. We continue exploring the cultural wealth of Cusco at the Temple of the Sun where we witness the incredible masonry of the Incas, an engineering feat that remains an enigma. Afterward we walk along Hatunrumiyoc Street which is named for the 12-angled stone clearly visible in the remaining walls of what was Inca Roca's palace. We make a stop in San Blas artisan quarter. Its steeped cobblestone alleys not only offer spectacular views of the city but are lined with workshops and galleries, a great way to soak in Cusco’s artistic atmosphere. Our tour ends with a visit to the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art hosted in a beautiful colonial casona, once residence of Count of Cabrera. This ‘casona’ holds the only museum in Peru dedicated to rebound the arts of ancient Peruvian cultures and showcases an astounding pre-Columbian collection dating from 1250 B.C to 1532 A.D. The art and artifacts were made by the Huari, Chimu, Nasca and the Inca cultures. Information labels for every artifact are available in English, Spanish and French allowing visitors to understand in which context of Ancient Peru were developed.
Dinner at ‘MAP Cafe’, offering specialties of the Andean Nouvelle Cuisine in a special atmosphere featuring minimalist decoration. The restaurant’s owner Jorge Luis Ossio is one of Peru’s most renowned chefs (graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York and externships with celebrity chefs like Eric Ripert and Jean-Georges he returned to Lima). The sophisticated MAP Cafe is housed in a modernist glass box set in the courtyard of the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art (MAP). (as a bonus, the museum is open until 10pm for diners, making it possible to make a dinner and pre-Columbian date of the evening).
DAY 4 CUSCO – SACRED VALLEY (B,L) (only Sunday)
This morning we drive to the charming community of Chinchero. Its main attraction however is its market (only Sundays) that traces it roots back to the Incas time when barter or ‘trueque’ existed. Today the market, noted for its textiles, takes place in the main square, at the foot of an Inca wall and is real hub of activity, vibrant with colour and movement which fascinates tourists with its range of handicrafts. We then join a local weaving family in their courtyard for an overview of the Andean weaving process. We watch as wool is carded, spun, and dyed and learn about the different techniques used to create belts, ponchos and shawls.
Lunch at Wayra. This countryside restaurant provides high-quality Cusqueno-style barbecue for lunch. Try the local ‘choclo’ or ‘Andean corn’, Cusqueno bread, different sorts of potatoes grown in the Sacred Valley and the popular maize beer or ‘chicha’. Guests can dine either in the tastefully appointed dining room or in the terrace with typical Cusqueno brick ovens and the surrounding snow-capped Andes. Lunch is also accompanied by Peruvian Paso horse from the hotel’s own stables.
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 5 SACRED VALLEY (B,D)
Our guide will take us to visit the age-old terraced salt mines in Maras. The dominant colour 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 - all work is done by hand. After stopping to explore, we continue to Moray one of the many little jewels to be found in the Cusco region. It is a complex of four circular terraces which, hidden among the hills, it emerges suddenly into view when the visitor is almost on top of it. The impression created by these terraces like Greek amphitheatres against a backdrop of snow covered mountains is unforgettable. Even more surprising is the fact that Moray was a sort of open-air agricultural lab, used for adapting plants to new environmental conditions.
Tonight enjoy your dinner in the hotel’s restaurant.
DAY 6 SACRED VALLEY – MACHU PICCHU (B,L,D)
Finally we set of for Machu Picchu. After 1 ½ hour train ride we arrive at the small town of Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival at Aguas Calientes, you will make the 20-minute motor coach ascent to the ‘Lost City of the Incas’. It’s hard to understand how such a magnificent site could not have been discovered by the Spanish. Until its discovery in the 1911, Machu Picchu remained forgotten for 400 years.
Our guide will explain you the significance and fascinating history of this impressive Inca archaeological site. A well deserved buffet lunch will be served at the ‘Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge’, the only hotel located within the very sanctuary of the Machu Picchu Inca citadel. We spend the night in the tiny town of Aguas Calientes (just 20 min by bus from Machu Picchu citadel).
A la carte dinner will be served at the hotel.
DAY 7 MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO (B)
After breakfast we have the remainder of the morning free to roam around the majestic site of Machu Picchu. In the afternoon you will board the train back to Cusco. On arrival to Ollanta station you will be gathered and transferred to your hotel in Cusco.
This evening we will have a Pisco tasting in a very special place - ‘El pisquerito’. This bar offers innovative cocktails exclusively mixed with Peru’s fine Pisco brands and inspired in aspects of the local identity and regional fruits. This was the idea that has driven Hans Hilburg, a Peruvian with more than 30 years dedicated to bartending, to open his own bar. Hillburg created the cocktail repertoire for most of the restaurants of the most renowned Peruvian chef, Gaston Acurio. Learn about the history of Pisco, the existing sorts and how to mix a genuine Pisco sour. Once introduced in the Pisco culture, mix your own cocktail while and enjoy local appetizers.
DAY 8 CUSCO – LIMA – … (B,L)
Morning flight to Lima and transfer to the restaurant ‘Central’ for your farewell lunch.
If anything characterizes Central Restaurant is the aim of its owner Virgilio Martinez to redefine Peruvian cooking and bring it to a level rarely seen in the country. Not just through its flavors and techniques, but also through the appropriate seasonal use of local sustainable ingredients. After ten years of working in top kitchens in Asia and Europe he returned home to open Central, a sophisticated restaurant offering aesthetic dishes and gorgeous flavours that guarantee a world-class dining experience. The restaurant was chosen as the best restaurant from Peru in the 2011 edition of Summum Awards.
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
Domestic flights (net price per person in USD)
Lima - Cusco - Lima
*Air fares subject to change according availability