October 5 – 13, 2023
THURS, Oct 5: Travel/Arrive Lima
Travel from your home city to Lima, Peru. Welcome to the capital of Peru! Transfer to the hotel. Most international flights arrive in the evening.
FRI, Oct 6: Lima Barranco District Walking Tour, Free Time, Evening Culinary Tour
Today, take a walking tour of Barranco – one of Lima’s most interesting and colorful districts. This area is known for its Bohemian lifestyle and is a favorite among local artists. You will see colorful stately mansions, churches and the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean while learning about the history of the area. Visit the famous Bajada de los Baños Walkway. the romantic Bridge of Sighs and Plaza San Francisco. Afterward, enjoy the afternoon to relax. In the evening, take a culinary walking tour of Lima. Visit four select restaurants. The first stop will be at a top beachfront restaurant to see how a true Peruvian Pisco Sour is made. Enjoy it and the beautiful ocean views! Then, you’ll try a variety of Amazonian appetizers at an award-winning restaurant specializing in dishes from the jungle. The next stop is for a gourmet Peruvian dinner amid illuminated pre-Incan ruins at Huaca Pucllana. The evening will end with a typical Peruvian dessert.
Meals: B, D
SAT, Oct 7: Transfer to the Lima Airport, Fly to the Cusco, Transfer to the Sacred Valley, Chincheros Visit & Weaving Demonstration
In the morning, you will fly to Cusco. Upon arrival, you’ll be transferred to the Sacred Valley of the Incas – a long fertile valley surrounded by snowcapped peaks that lies between Cusco and Machu Picchu. Then, you’ll head out for an excursion to Chincheros, a small town situated on a plateau overlooking the Sacred Valley. Chincheros is home to a local market and several highly-regarded weaving cooperatives known for their high-quality textiles. These intricate traditional weavings often use symbols to tell stories or depict daily life. You’ll observe a weaving demonstration at one of the cooperatives. Enjoy a traditional Andean lunch in Chincheros and return to the hotel in the later afternoon.
Meals: B, L
SUN, Oct 8: El Huacatay Cooking Class, Lunch, Maras Agricultural Terraces, Moray Salt Pans, Free Evening
Today, join Pio Vazquez, owner of the restaurant El Huacatay, an Andean-style kitchen located in the town of Urubamba. You’ll participate in a hands-on cooking lesson to learn about local gastronomy and cooking techniques used in Peruvian cooking. You’ll prepare an appetizer, main dish and dessert – all inspired by traditional Peruvian cooking. That afternoon, visit Maras Agricultural Terraces – a fascinating archeological site in the Sacred Valley. These Inca ruins are a system of circular terraces each with their own microclimate. You’ll learn why the Incas constructed this which is thought to have been an agricultural experiment station. Nearby, you’ll stop at the Moray Salt Pans, a complex network of nearly 2000 salt pans or shallow pools that are filled by an underground spring. The naturally pink salt pans get their beautiful hue from the trace elements in the spring water. The salt in the pans is still harvested today as it was in Inca times. The evening will be at leisure.
Meals: B, L
MON, Oct 9: Train to Machu Picchu, Lunch, Guided Tour of Machu Picchu, Dinner, Free Evening
You’ll start your journey to Machu Picchu by train – the only way to arrive (other than hiking the Inca Trail). Machu Picchu is arguably the most outstanding achievement of the Inca civilization. On the train ride, you’ll be treated to views of picturesque mountains and valleys. On arrival in Aguas Calientes, head to Machu Picchu and enjoy lunch at Sanctuary Lodge at the entrance to Machu Picchu. Afterward, take a guided tour of Machu Picchu to learn about this amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dinner will be at the hotel experiencing fine Peruvian cuisine that features dishes prepared with exotic, regional ingredients and innovative special touches.
Meals: B, L, D
TUES, Oct 10: Morning Unguided Return to Machu Picchu, Lunch in Aguas Calientes, Free Afternoon
The morning is free to make an unguided return to Machu Picchu and explore on your own. Your shuttle and entrance tickets are included today.. Going early in the morning allows for time when there are fewer visitors. Take an easier hike to the Sun Gate or opt for a more challenging hike. You can hike to the top of Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu Mountain or the Huchuy PIcchu for aerial views of the ruins and surrounding mountains. (Note: permits are required for some hikes and are subject to availability). Afterward, enjoy lunch at a well-loved restaurant in Aguas Calientes. After lunch, the afternoon and evening will be free to relax at the hotel or participate in their local excursions (additional cost). Dinner is included tonight at your lovely hotel located on its own 12 secluded and lush acres.
Meals: B, L, D
WED, Oct 11: Depart Machu Picchu, Train to Ollantaytambo, Ollantaytambo Ruins, & Town, Pachamanca, Arrive Cusco
Today, take the train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo where you’ll disembark. On arrival, visit Ollanatytambo – massive Inca ruins thought to have been a fortress or temple. Set on a hillside, the Incas constructed this site made of both stone walls and intricate cut field rocks. Visit the town of Ollantaytamo – one of the few to survive today in its original layout from Incan times. Then, enjoy a pachamanca feast for lunch gardens overlooking the mountains. This is a traditional method of cooking in the Andes where an oven of hot stones is created in the ground and layers of vegetables, corn, potatoes, fruit and meat are cooked inside it. Observe the preparation for the pachamanca which is part of the experience. Sample artisanal coffees and spirits from the onsite local roasting and distilling facility. Finally, transfer to Cusco where the evening will be at leisure.
Meals: B, L
THURS, Oct 12: Cusco City Tour, Q’orikancha Temple, Sacsahuaman Fortress, Optional Hike, Tour Farewell Dinner
Enjoy a half-day guided tour of the city of Cusco and the surrounding ruins. Visit Q’orikancha Temple – once the richest temple of the Inca empire covered in gold. The ruins have some of the finest stonework in all of Peru. Visit Sacsahuaman, the massive fortress on the hill above the city where the Incans made their fiercest stand against the Spaniards. It is possible to hike back down to Cusco from Sacsahuaman for those that want to do so. Exploring these sites are a highlight of any visit to the highlands of Peru. In the evening, enjoy a tour Farewell Dinner at one of the Cusco’s top restaurants.
Meals: B, D
FRI, Oct 13: Transfer to the Cusco Airport, Fly to Lima, Larco Museum, Dinner, Flight Home
Transfer to the Cusco Airport for your flight to Lima. Most flights leave late at night or early the next morning. Spend the afternoon at the Larco Museum in Lima. The Larco Museum houses more than 5000 years of Peruvian history and pre-Columbian cultures. Enjoy a visit to the museum with dinner in their garden restaurant. Then, transfer back to the Lima Airport for your flight home.