Quintessential Peru

This is the quintessential journey of Peru, a land still shrouded in the mysteries of the Inca civilization and a whole treasure trove of ancient ruins, stunning landscapes and age-old traditions. Starting from the modern city of Lima, we trace the legacy of the Inca on the Road to Machu Picchu. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Stay in National Geographic Unique Lodges and Relais Chateaux

Experience the best of Peru's highlight destinations

Savour the finest Peruvian cuisine

Experience the country with local regional specialist guides

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE LIMA

Arrive and be met at Lima Jorge Chavez Intl Airport and embark on a visit to the UNESCO-listed historical centre of Lima. Visit the Plaza de Armas starting with the Cathedral and the Archbishop's Palace. Then explore the Santo Domingo Monastery - one of Lima's most storied religious sites, the oldest church in the city with interesting relics and where the first university of South America was founded. Enjoy panoramic views of the old city from its bell tower. Thereafter, head to Barranco, the bohemian and artistic quarter of Lima - home to many painters, musicians, poets and famous writers, including Nobel Prize writer Mario Vargas Llosa. Located on the cliffs of Costa Verde facing the Pacific Ocean, the district sparkles with charming architecture and rich cultural life where art galleries, cafes, bars, restaurants and live music venues thrive. Enjoy the small town atmosphere and intimacy of this neighborhood with a walking tour with award-winning journalist and travel writer, Jorge Riveros-Cayo as we walk the streets of Barranco, visit some of the most prominent artisan shops before enjoying a "Huarique" lunch experience with very local, home-styled cuisine on a huarique-hopping tour. We then check in to the exquisite and charming Hotel B Lima, a Relais & Chateaux boutique hotel where timeless elegance meets contemporary comfort. This evening, we visit the Casa Hacienda Moreyra to enjoy a sumptuous and unparalleled gastronomic experience at the award-winning Astrid & Gaston Restaurant, one of the very best dining experiences in Peru. 

Overnight: Hotel B, Lima

Meals: "Huariques-hopping lunch" & Dinner

DAY 2: LIMA / JULIACA / LAKE TITICACA

This morning, be transferred to the airport for a short flight to Juliaca. On arrival, be met as we drive to the beautiful shores of Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America and at 3812m, the highest navigable water body in the world. En route, we visit the archaeological site of Sillustani, featuring some of the largest collection and most important pre-Hispanic ruins. Overlooking Lake Umayo, witness the imposing pre-Inca funerary towers or "chullpas", built exclusively to house the remains of nobles. Thereafter, arrive at the beautiful Relais & Chateaux Titilaka Lodge, tucked away on the shores of Lake Titicaca on a private peninsula. 

Overnight: Titilaka, Lake Titicaca

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

DAY 3: LAKE TITICACA

Today, we explore the floating Uros islands along with the island of Taquile. Traversing the boundary of land, sky and water, the floating islands have been constructed from "totora" or junco reed roots by the Aymara-speaking Uros Titino people that inhabit them. Enjoy exclusive access to some of the islands' communities and their remarkable heritage with a unique opportunity to interact with the skilled reed raftsmen and the expert women weavers and learn the ancestral techniques used to keep their islands afloat. On Taquile, one of Lake Titicaca's larger natural islands and home to several small Quecha villages, see the making of other traditional textiles which are so unique that UNESCO has designated them "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity". Enjoy a picnic lunch with stunning views mirrored by Lake Titicaca with the backdrop of Bolivia's Cordillera Real on the horizon. 

Overnight: Titilaka, Lake Titicaca

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

DAY 4: LAKE TITICACA / JULIACA / CUSCO

Today, we transfer to Juliaca Airport for a short flight to Cusco. On arrival, visit the  UNESCO-listed Sacsayhuaman Fortress, an amazing huge stone Inca construction overlooking the city of Cusco and served as an important military function and was the site of a major battle with the Spanish conquistadors in 1536. Thereafter, we head into the city and check in at the beautiful Inkaterra La Casona, a colonial 16th century manor house that has been meticulously restored in a fusion of timeless period setting and modern contemporary comfort. This evening, enjoy a dining experience at the Quinta Eulalia, a "picanteria" traditional eatery where we will taste one of the most appreciated dishes of Peruvian Andes; the guinea pig. 

Overnight: Inkaterra La Casona, Cusco

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

 

DAY 5: CUSCO

We take things slowly in Cusco (minding the altitude) as we make a visit to the vibrant bazaar and historic centre walking through the main streets with their characteristic Inca walls. Visit the UNESCO-listed Cusco Cathedral in Plaza de Armas admiring the intricate holy Christian artifacts and artwork derived from the "Escuela Cuzquena" (Cusco art school). We then continue to "Qoricancha" Temple of Sun, one of the most worshipped Incan sites where we learn about its historical past of how its walls were once covered in gold and after the invasion of the conquistadors. Next, head to the San Pedro Market where we get a glimpse of daily lives passing by the different stalls showcasing a wide variety of goods, local snacks and street food. 

Overnight: Inkaterra La Casona, Cusco

Meals: Breakfast 

DAY 6: CUSCO / MACHU PICCHU

This morning, be transferred to Cusco Poroy Railway Station for one of the most inspiring train journeys in the world on the famed Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu (3.5hrs). Enjoy an intimate ride on the Hiram Bingham, named after the renowned explorer who discovered Machu Picchu; in a 1920s vintage-styled train, enjoy a sumptuous brunch, live and atmospheric Peruvian music as you admire the changing Peruvian landscape unfold before you. Arriving in the afternoon, transfer to the inspiring environments of the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Lodge and in the early evening, have the opportunity to explore Machu Picchu at its best without the crowds. 

Overnight: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo, Machu Picchu

Meals: Breakfast & Brunch

DAY 7: MACHU PICCHU

Rise early today to catch a breathtaking sunrise over Machu Picchu. Enjoy a guided tour of the ruins where you will learn about the Inca's impressive construction feats and day to day life in the ancient city. Thereafter, spend the rest of the day at leisure to fully immerse yourself in the spectacle of this astonishing citadel. 

Overnight: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo, Machu Picchu

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8: MACHU PICCHU / SACRED VALLEY

Spend the morning at leisure where you may consider a climb to the Sun Gate or the Huayna Picchu. In the afternoon, we hop onboard the Vistadome train to the Sacred Valley where we will visit the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo, which displays the best example of city planning by the Incas where its excellent construction with strong walls was both a temple and a fortress. Then, arrive at the Hotel Sol y Luna, a Relais & Chateaux lodge. 

Overnight: Hotel Sol y Luna, Sacred Valley

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 9: SACRED VALLEY / CUSCO

This morning, we visit the impressive Inca archaeological site of Pisac, with terraces built on its hills. To visit the site, you must walk along winding paths along a mountain cliff. Amongst the most important buildings are Pisaq, which is a curved wall; the Intihuatana, a solar clock among a group of temples and the military zone called "Q'allaqasa". Thereafter, worth a visit is the Pisac Market where locals parade their handicrafts and fresh produce and is a colorful spectacle to capture your last moments before transferring to Cusco Alejandro Velasco Astete Intl Airport for your onward journey. 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

Hotel B, Lima

Hotel B Lima is a Relais & Chateaux property tucked away in the heart of the Barranco district, a protected historic area next to the Pacific Ocean. Marble, exotic woods, a beautifully columned white facade, open balconies and skyhigh ceilings give it an irresistible charm where much of its inspiration comes from the Bohemian atmosphere of the surrounds. 

Titilaka Lodge is tucked away on the banks of Lake Titicaca, at 3800m above sea level, the highest navigable water body in the world; on its own private peninsula in a refurbished building. All rooms comes with spectacular lake views and decorated in contemporary style with touches of local heritage, a symbiosis with the luxuriant natural setting. 

Titilaka, Lake Titicaca

Inkaterra La Casona is an exquisite 16th century manor house that has been carefully restored to retain its historical heritage and offering guests contemporary luxury without sacrificing authenticity. It is rated and featured in Hot Listed Best New Hotel by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine US and UK as well as Travel + Leisure. 

Inkaterra La Casona, Cusco

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo is an intimate 81-casitas luxury hotel in sprawling Andean style village within the secluded 12 acres of exquisite beauty. Follow stone pathways along the terraced hills, melding with the sacred energy of the mountains. Indulge in its spa services which uses sublime natural essences. A first class restaurant boasts stunning views of the rushing Vilcanota River. 

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo, Machu Picchu

Hotel Sol y Luna is a charming hotel surrounded by beautiful gardens in Peru's magical Sacred Valley of the Incas. The hotel is located near spectacular Inca ruins and has been built in the local rustic style reflecting the spirit of the Andes. 

Hotel Sol y Luna, Sacred Valley

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