Signature Journeys: PeruAn exclusive 10 day, 9 night itinerary through Peru
From intricate tapestries to architectural marvels, Peru is home to one of South America’s most sophisticated ancient civilizations with over 5000 years of history to its name. The Incas left a legacy of agricultural ingenuity, spiritual wisdom, masterful artwork and elaborate cuisine that can still be appreciated to this day.
Diversity of Landscapes
Explore the Andean Highlands, home to some of the most intriguing indigenous communities and archeological remnants of the ancient world; and the virgin rainforest, rich in a biodiversity that is native to the Amazon. Peru’s dramatic landscapes and sensational historical sites leave every traveler in awe.
Beyond the renowned archeological site of Machu Picchu, the country has even more to offer. Several sites tucked in the Sacred Valley await to be explored, from farmlands thriving with multi-colored potatoes and corn to the mystic villages of the highlands.
Culture & Heritage
Peru’s historical and cultural sophistication reveals itself in all facets of its rich heritage, inviting travelers to delve into its mystical world.
Arrival at Lima International Airport. After collecting your luggage and clearing customs, your guide will meet you in the exit. Transfer to your hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure.
Lima: Treasures of a Colonial Past
After breakfast, meet your guide to delve into the Colonial past of Lima, also known as the ‘City of Kings’. Explore the magnificent streets lined with charming Spanish-era buildings of the old town (Unesco World Heritage Site), which served for centuries as the capital of Spain’s colonies in South America, still retains its distinctly Spanish flavor, typified by its layout and architecture.
Plaza de Armas is the birthplace of the colonial city center and where Jose de San Martin declared Peru’s independence from Spanish rule. A short walk away from the main square is The Church and convent of San Francisco, housing a library with over 25,000 original volumes, intricate wooden carvings and a rich collection of austere colonial paintings that give insight into the religious and cultural practices of Spanish colonial rule.
Proceed to the House of Aliaga, a private mansion as old as the city itself, gifted by Pizarro to his good friend Jeronimo de Aliaga upon founding the city of Lima. Head over to the trendy neighbourhood of Miraflores for a scenic lunch overlooking the ocean and cliffs.
In the afternoon, take a stroll on Miraflores’ ocean-front promenade before heading to the bohemian pocket of Barranco, home to Mario Testino’s MATE museum to delve into the world of contemporary Lima. On the way, walk through the Puente de los Suspiros, one of the city’s most iconic symbols of love and poetry, epitomised by Chabuca Granada’s 1960s lyrical ode. Return to your hotel and evening at leisure. Dinner reservations upon request.
Valle Sacrado: Sacred Valley, Land of Myths
After breakfast, transfer from to Lima International Airport for your flight to Cusco. Upon arrival at Cusco, your guide will meet you and take you to your hotel in the lower-altitude Urubamba Valley. Visit an Alpaca farm along the way, and stop at the colourful Pisac market to get a taste of Andean village life and local goods. Upon arrival at the hotel, check-in and freshen up before heading to a local Estancia for a relaxed lunch. Explore the surrounding valley landscape on horseback before returning to your hotel. Transfer to hotel, evening at leisure. Dinner reservations upon request.
Valle Sacrado: Remnants of Andean Traditions
After an early breakfast, embark on a full day exploration of the Sacred Valley. Head over to Chinchero, a small village situated at higher altitude home to a unique community of Quechua weavers. Visit a local women’s cooperative striving to preserve the ancient artform of indigenous weaving, filled with symbolism and pagan beliefs. During your visit, they will demonstrate the traditional processes of acquiring wool, color dyeing using natural produce, and weaving patterns passed down orally filled with stories of the mystical Andes.
Continue on to the Pre-Incan terraced salt mines of Maras and archeological site of Moray, home to an unusual Incan ruin of terraced circular depressions believed to be used to study the effects of climate conditions on agriculture.
Stop for a relaxing picnic lunch on the way to Ollantaytambo, the royal estate of the legendary Inca emperor Pachacuti and stronghold of Manco Inca, resistance leader during the Spanish colonization. Explore the quaint cobble-street village where Quechua communities from the nearby highlands (Patacancha and Huilloq) come to trade goods and crafts.
Climb up the fortress ruins of the ancient city towards the Templo del Sol, a pagan temple serving as a calendar for the Incas, marking the Summer and Winter solstices. Transfer to your hotel and evening at leisure. Dinner reservations available upon request.
Aguas Calientes: Trail to the Lost City of the Incas
After an early breakfast, transfer to Ollantaytambo and board the train to KM104, departure point for the last leg of the original Inca Trail. This day trek is 10KM long, and lasts between 5-7 hours, depending on pace and stops along the way, before arriving at Inti Punktu (Sun Gate to Machu Picchu) for privileged views of the legendary Machu Picchu citadel. Stop for a light lunch on the trail. Upon arriving in Machu Picchu, enter the citadel and step back in time as your guide walks you through the history and legends that surround this mystical place.
Embedded within a dramatic landscape at the meeting point between the Peruvian Andes and the Amazon Basin, the historic citadel of Machu Picchu is among the greatest artistic, architectural and land use achievements in the world, and the most significant tangible legacy of the Inca civilization. Built in the 15th century, Machu Picchu was abandoned when the Inca Empire was conquered by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century. It was not until 1911 that the archaeological complex was discovered by Hiram Bingham, a lecturer of South American history at Yale University. At the end of your exploration, take a shuttle bus down towards Aguas Calientes, the small, lively town at the foot of Machu Picchu. Transfer to your hotel and evening at leisure. Dinner recommendations available upon request.
Cusco: Sunrise at Machu Picchu & Culinary Delights
After an early breakfast, you will have the option to either hike up the steep pathways on Huayna Picchu towards the Moon Temple, or alternatively, go on a light nature walk in the surrounding cloud forest of Aguas Calientes. Return to your hotel to freshen up and check-out, before boarding a train to Ollantaytambo. You will be picked up at Ollantaytambo station and transferred to Cusco, the Colonial and Historical Capital of Peru.
Stop for a traditional Andean lunch on the way. Approaching Cusco, stop at Sacsayhuaman, an Incan fortress citadel overlooking the city from the north. Upon arrival in Cusco, check-in to your hotel and spend the rest of the evening at leisure. Dinner reservations available upon request.
Cusco: An Ancient City in the Peruvian Highlands
After a leisurely breakfast, follow the steps of history on a full day exploration of the Historical Capital of Peru, Cusco (UNESCO World Heritage). The Imperial city of the Incas was developed as a complex urban centre with distinct religious and administrative functions which were perfectly defined, distributed and organized. The religious and government buildings were accompanied by the exclusive abodes for royal families, forming an unprecedented symbolic urban compound, which shows a stone construction technology with exceptional aesthetic and structural properties, such as the Temple of the Sun or Qoricancha, the Aqllahuasi, the Sunturcancha, the Kusicancha.The pre-Hispanic patterns and buildings that shaped the Imperial city of the Incas are visible today.
In the afternoon, learn the culinary art of Peruvian gastronomy during a hands-on cooking masterclass with a local chef. Accompany your chef to the market to gain insight and source fresh local produce, and return to his kitchen to begin cooking. From the secrets of ceviche to the power of Quinoa, learn the culinary traditions and have a taste of Peru’s vibrant cuisine. Return to your hotel, rest of the day at leisure to relax or stroll around the city. Dinner reservations available upon request.
Madre de Dios: Into the Amazon
After breakfast, transfer to Cusco International Airport for your flight to Puerto Maldonado, the gateway to the lower Amazon Basin. Upon arrival, greet your local guide and transfer to your jungle lodge.
Have lunch at the lodge over a quick introduction and briefing with your guide. In the afternoon go on a nature walk of the surrounding rainforest on canopies and hanging bridges. During this walk, you will gain insight into the natural flora and fauna endemic to the lower Amazon. Return to the lodge for dinner, and spend the rest of the evening at leisure.
Madre de Dios: Inhabitants of the Amazon
After breakfast, hop on a boat for a full day exploration of the native Amazon down the Madre de Dios river. Approaching Lake Sandoval, within the Tambopata National Reserve, learn about the conservation efforts taking place, and see endemic wildlife species such as giant river otters, macaws, red howler monkeys and black caimans.
After a picnic lunch on the boat, visit a native farm where indigenous Ese’Ejja employ ancient methods to grow their crops. Head back to the hotel and enjoy some time at leisure. There are several walking trails around the lodge that explore the native diversity of the region, which are available upon request.
After sundown, venture out to the river again, to witness the enchanting transformation from a daytime to nighttime forest environment, as daytime flora and fauna retreats in favour of nighttime species such as nightjars, owls, capybaras and caimans. Return to the lodge for dinner, evening at leisure.
Madre de Dios: Departure
After breakfast, greeting by your host and transfer to Madre de Dios Airport. You will be assisted with check-in for your flight departure. Departure via Lima.
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