Lima | Cusco | Sacred Valley | Machu Picchu
Note: Airfares are not included. Ask our Destination Experts about great pricing on international and domestic Peruvian airfares.
Day 1: Arrival in Lima
Welcome to Lima! Meeting and assistance upon arrival and transfer to your hotel.
Day 2: Lima
Explore a traditional market to see ingredients used in the preparation of the most popular Peruvian dishes: ceviche, causa and pisco sour. From there, go to your cooking class where the chef will assist in preparing these dishes. Continue your tour to a well-known restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean, to taste a wide variety of traditional Peruvian dishes and desserts. Rounding out this culinary experience is a delicious lunch at Señorio de Sulco. After lunch, drive to Lima’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Start at the Main Square, where you can find the Presidential Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace and other historic and traditional buildings. Continue to the Basilica and Convent of Santo Domingo, a 16th-century jewel that took 50 years to construct. Then tour some modern districts, with a stop at the “Parque del Amor” (a sort of lover’s lane) and its incredible view of the Pacific Ocean. (B,L)
Day 3: Lima
Begin the day in the Barranco district, boasting lovely streets, old mansions, and plazas. Tour the Pedro de Osma Museum, where you’ll see the finest collection of Colonial paintings, furniture, and textiles. Then stop at the museum of renowned photographer Mario Testino (closed on Mondays), to view the most extensive collection of his photographs. In the evening, head to The Magic Water Circuit, a majestic park and Guinness record holder for the largest fountain complex in the world. To finish the day you’ll visit a well-known tourist restaurant that includes a buffet featuring a selection of the most representative dishes of Peruvian cuisine, accompanied by a music and dance show. (B,D)
Day 4: Lima | Cusco
A morning flight to Cusco where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Afternoon excursion to some of the nearby archeological sites. Start off at the Sacsayhuaman Fortress, built of enormous stone blocks expertly shaped by the Incas. It is strategically located at the top of a hill with a breathtaking view of the city! Then, visit one of the largest huacas (holy places) in the region, where sacrifices took place. Then a fort made of large walls and terraces, which might have served as an inn where the Incan emperor and his entourage would have lodged for the night. The last set of ruins is at a site where important water veneration rites may have been carried out. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Cusco
Spend half a day walking about the city of Cusco, ancient capital of the Incan Empire and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Begin at the Koricancha Temple, an old Incan palace and main center for the worship of the sun god. Continue on foot to the neighborhood where the finest artisans in the city live and work. Next visit the Inca Museum, located in an old Colonial house and exhibits how the city is intimately linked to the Incan past. Experience a real Inca meal for lunch. Pachamanca (meaning earth pot in Quechua) is an ancient way of cooking by the Incas, baking with the aid of hot stones of lamb, pork, chicken marinated in spices (B,L,D)
Day 6: Cusco | Sacred Valley
The excursion today begins in a small community at the elevation of 11,000 feet, in the Urubamba Valley, where will be able to join the locals as they perform their daily tasks, like plowing or harvesting, depending on the time of year. You can also participate in an offering to the earth (a rite that honors the earth mother) and enjoy a traditional lunch made by the community women from ingredients organically grown in their fields. In addition, you will see them spin and dye wool thread using natural dyes as well as weave fabric following their ancient techniques. Enjoy dinner at a restaurant located in a beautiful ranch. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Sacred Valley | Machu Picchu
Train ride to the city of Aguas Calientes then continue by bus to the Machu Picchu archaeological site. Your tour includes every nook and cranny of this UNESCO World Cultural site and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, making for an experience you will never forget. You will have free time to explore the site on your own, relax or meditate. After lunch at the famed Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, transfer to your hotel for dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Machu Picchu | Cusco
Morning at leisure in Aguas Calientes to enjoy the city and your hotel’s facilities. Later, you will board the Vistadome train back to Ollantaytambo where you will be met upon your arrival and transferred to your hotel. (B,L)
Optional (not included in your tour fare): Return to Machu Picchu for a second visit. We recommend you climb to the top of Mount Huayna Picchu (2,490 meters). The trail is steep and parts of it include several sections of stone staircases carved directly into the mountainside.
Day 9: Cusco | Departure from Lima
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima where you will connect with your international return flight. (B)