October 5 – 16, 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 Juliaca, Transfer to Hotel Titilaka, Afternoon Hotel Excursion of Choice, Dinner
Transfer to the Cusco Airport for your flight to the Juliaca Airport near Lake Titicaca. Upon arrival, transfer to Titlaka Hotel – a 5* luxury lodge on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest lake. This is a splendidly isolated experience where you will immerse yourself in the landscape, culture and cuisine of this region in Peru. After lunch, choose from a list of excursions from the hotel – nautical activities such as kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, sailing and rafting through the reeds. Or, choose a guided excursion such as a hike, bike ride or birdwatching. This is a stunning, full-service resort where you can partake in a host of local excursions or just hide away on the banks of Lake Titcaca on your own.
Meals: B, L, D
SAT, Oct 14: Floating Islands & Villages of Lake Titicaca, Lunch Outdoors, Aymara Constellation Observation
Explore the Uros and Taquile reed floating islands on this excursion. The floating islands of the Uros Titino communities of Lake Titicaca are an intersection of land, sea and sky. Totora, reed roots, are a unique building material for boats, houses and the islands themselves! Visit the floating villages and meet the Uros-Aymara skilled reed raftsmen and the weaver women famous for their craft. You’ll learn about the ancestral techniques used to keep their islands and boats afloat. This is a full-day excursion that includes lunch outdoors with views of Bolivia’s Cordillera Real Range. Later, after dinner
at the hotel, observe the clear skies of Lake Titicaca during an astronomical observation from the gardens. The guide will point out the movement of the stars and constellations in the night sky.
Meals: B, L, D
SUN, Oct 15: Free Day for Excursions of Choice, Tour Farewell Dinner
Today, will be free to choose a morning, afternoon or full-day excursion. Go on your own or join others from the tour. Alternatively, stay and relax and enjoy he breathtaking views across the lake from the lodge. There is no set schedule. The evening will close with a Farewell Dinner featuring the cuisine of Chef Maria Fé Garcia. Titilaka’s cuisine features numerous Andean and Peruvian dishes all with a delicate touch.
Read about optional Hotel Titlaka excursions here
Meals: B, L, D
MON, Oct 16: Transfer to the Juliaca Airport, Stop at Sillustani, Fly Home
This morning, transfer to the Juliaca Airport for the flight home. On the way, stop at the ancient archaeological complex of Sillustani – arguably the region’s most important pre-Incan funeral site. There are a number of chullpas or ancient stone towers that house the remains of nobles. Learn about this site that combines archaeology, history and unforgettable views across Lake Umayo. Afterward, board the the flight to Lima which will then connect with your flight home.