Overview

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Highlights of PeruPeru

Scenery and archaeology in the Sacred and South Valleys, the forgotten backroads between Cusco and Lake Titicaca, cosmopolitan Lima, and some of the finest dining in Peru are just a few of the highlights of this bespoke trip.

Duration:

3 9 days

Price:

US$ 3,600

Includes:

5
4

The trip in detail

Welcome to Peru! When you arrive to Lima late in the evening, head straight to your accommodation at the Costa del Sol Wyndham Lima Hotel. Step outside the arrivals terminal and look around and you'll see it right there, literally steps away. We've booked you here to maximize sleeping time tonight - the adventure starts tomorrow!

Accommodation: Costa del Sol Wyndham Lima Airport Hotel

Your trip guide, Sally Laurente, will meet you in the reception area of the hotel at 7.45am. Please be breakfasted and ready to go at this time. Together you'll take Star Peru flight #117 to Cusco (1 hour approx.), where you'll head to your accommodation to check in, and freshen up and rest if you desire before heading out to start exploring the beautiful, historic center of the capital of the Inca Empire!

There are literally hundreds of things to do and see in downtown Cusco, and Sally is there to make sure you see the ones you'll enjoy most. However it's important to drink plenty of water and take it relatively easy today as you adjust to Cusco's 3300m (10,000ft) altitude.

Tonight you'll enjoy dinner at our favourite restaurant in Cusco, delicious, funky Cicciolina!

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: 4 star hotel in Cusco

The sunny, incredibly scenic floodplain between Pisac and Ollantaytambo in the valley of the Urubamba River is known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Pisac is a tiny, cobbled Inca village which is home to the largest handicraft market in the region and a huge Inca fortress. We'll explore both, then set off into the Sacred Valley. We'll stop for frequent photo stops as we pass still-working Inca terracing, irrigation canals, and awesome mountain vistas, and we'll eat a gourmet lunch at histori Hacienda Huayoccari.

Our destination for the night is Ollantaytambo, perhaps the most perfectly preserved of all Inca towns, a maze of cobbled alleyways and sun-drenched plazas presided over by a spectacular, llama-shaped ruin.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch included

Accommodation: 3 star hotel in Ollantaytambo

Three spectacular Inca sites, joined together by a truly wonderful bike ride suitable for all ability levels, all with continuous views of the stunning central cordillera of the Andes: this is a day you'll never forget!

This morning we'll bike quiet backroads through peaceful farmland between two of our favourite Inca sites. First is Moray - three deep, terraced amphitheatres where the Incas tried out different crops at different altitudes and angles to the sun. Salineras is even better - a still-working ancient salt factory that's as beautiful as it is fascinating, with a patchwork of coloured pools twinkling under the sun.

Later we'll take the Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes.

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: 4 star hotel in Aguas Calientes

An early start rewards us with sunrise at Machu Picchu - a peak moment for anyone. A spectacular stone city surrounded by incredibly steep, incredibly green mountains, Machu Picchu needs no introduction and is deservedly one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. A guided tour is a necessary start to orient you in this massive site, then you'll have plenty of time to explore the ruin and some of the surrounding peaks on your own before we catch the train back to Cusco for the night.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch included

Accommodation: 4 star hotel in Cusco

This morning we can sample down-home local specialities like chicharrón (pork chunks), toqto (pigskin) and cuy (guinea pig) as we pass through the South Valley on our way to charming, scenic, little-visited Tipón, an Inca agricultural laboratory, with still-working terraces and irrigation.

Later we'll stop in the village of Raqchi where have the privilege of attending a ch'alla (payment to the Earth) - a ceremony of propitiation of Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) held regularly by an ostensibly Catholic community, and a very good example of the paradox at the heart of Andean religion.

If you're keen, there's time this afternoon to drop in at Marangani hot springs, a surreal and improbable complex of five natural hot pools linked by steaming streams and populated by locals enjoying the only hot water for miles around.

Our destination for the night is welcoming, peaceful Tambo Queque Norte - a working dairy farm where your hosts, Silvana and Jorge, will show you around their cheese factory and milking sheds, as well as the 15th century chapel in their back yard!

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: Tambo Queque Norte

This morning we'll experience the weird beauty of Tinajani, a massive series of rock formations and gorges very rarely seen by foreigners.

Later we'll explore Lampa. Once one of the richest towns in Peru, it's now all but a ghost town, making the grandeur and scale of its cathedral all the more striking. Impressive from the outside, inside the cathedral is simply incredible. Among many other marvels, it houses a catacomb, a collection of skulls and skeletons, and a full-scale reproduction of Michelangelo's Pietá.

We'll arrive to the shores of Lake Titicaca in time for a memorable dinner at one of Puno's excellent restaurants.

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: 3 star hotel in Puno

This morning we take to the waters of Lake Titicaca. We'll stop briefly at the Uros - the famous floating reed islands of Lake Titicaca - but our main destination is Taquile, one of the most fascinating islands in the world. It was isolated until the 1950s and still follows a very different way of life. Decisions are communal, economic activity is co-operative, and society is based on the fundamental Inca principles: "Ama sua, ama llulla, ama quella" (don't steal, don't lie, don't be lazy). There are no cars, few dogs, and little electricity, because the Taquileños want it that way.

Taquile is also the most famous textile centre in the Andes. Its storytelling textiles, designed and woven by Taquile's women from thread spun by its men, draw aficionados and investigators from all over the world to this amazing island. On top of all this, the scenery is stunning and the peace and serenity is like nowhere else on Earth. Taquile is just magic.

Meals: All meals included

Accommodation: 3 star hotel in Puno

This morning there's time for a last wander around the bustling centre of Puno before we drive (1 hour approx) to Juliaca where we'll take a flight to Lima. There's a little time in the afternoon for Sally to show you around her cosmopolitan, bustling city, before a gourmet dinner and a magical evening visit to the 2000+ year old archaeological site of Huaca Pucllana.

Later we'll drop you off at your Lima accommodation, or get you back to Lima airport in time to check in for a late flight home. Thank you for travelling with us - hasta la próxima!

Meals: All meals included

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How much does this trip cost?

US $

3,600

pp.


for a group of four to 12 people


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