Peru

 

Day 1 Lima - Arrival
Arrival in Lima, the "City of Kings" famous for its Spanish Colonial architecture, extraordinary museums and cuisine. Lima is internationally recognized as the "Gastronomic Capital of the Americas", and its cuisine is considered among the most diverse and exquisite in the world on par with French cuisine. Upon arrival a host will meet and assist you in transferring to the hotel and with check in.

 

Day 2 Lima City Tour and Larco Museum (B)
Tour of Modern and Colonial Lima including the world famous Larco Museum - This half-day tour visits both the colonial and modern sections of Lima. Colonial sites include the lovely Plaza Mayor, the Government Palace, San Francisco Church and the exquisite Torre Tagle Palace modern day seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In modern Lima, drive along the exclusive residential areas of Miraflores and San Isidro.

Continue to the Larco Museum, founded in 1926, it displays remarkable chronological galleries providing an excellent overview on 3000 years of development of Peruvian pre-Columbian history. It is located in a unique vice-royal mansion of the 18th century built over a 7th century pre-Columbian pyramid, and is  surrounded by beautiful gardens. The Larco Museum also features the finest gold and silver collection from Ancient Peru and the famous erotic archaeological collection, one of the most visited Peruvian tourist attractions.

 

Day 3 Lima – Cusco - Pisac Market and Ollantaytambo Archaeological Complex (B,L) 
Early morning transfer from the hotel to the airport for a short but spectacular flight over the snowcapped Andes to the oldest inhabited city in the hemisphere, Cusco, at an elevation of 11,440 feet. Full Day Excursion to the Pisac Indian Market and the Ollantaytambo Fortress - Morning departure for a drive through the fertile countryside of the Urubamba Valley to the colonial village of Pisac where an Indian Market takes place Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Other days you will tour the religious nucleus and archaeological site of Pisac. During your visit to the bustling marketplace you will have the opportunity to bargain with the natives for many different types of Peruvian handicrafts and jewelry.

Continue to the Ollantaytambo archaeological complex, built by the Incas as a fort that included a temple, agricultural terraces, and an urban area. There are two distinct sectors: The religious and worship zone, and the residential area. Ollantaytambo was an important administrative center with probable military functions if one considers the walls and towers. There are also traces of ancient roads and aqueducts. The town of Ollantaytambo is called a "Living Inca Town" since the inhabitants maintain very old practices and customs. Lunch is at a beautiful country estate on the shores of the Urubamba River.

 

Day 4 Moray, Maras and Pisac Archaeological Complex (B,L) 

Moray, Maras Salt Pools and Ollantaytambo Archaeological Complex – Pass through unspoiled and picturesque Andean communities on your way to the Incan agricultural experimental center of Moray, famous for its sunken amphitheater, made up of four circular terraces, which appear to fade away into the earth like an artificial crater. The site was apparently an Inca agricultural research station filled with fertile earth and watered by complex irrigation systems, designed for experimenting with crops at various altitudes.

Continue to the impressive Maras salt pools formed by water emerging from a lake inside a mountain in the Urubamba Valley. An amazing view of evaporating ponds for the extraction of salt. Learn about ancestral techniques, which are still used, in agricultural, irrigation and salt-recollection tasks, as well as in Andean festivals and rites.

Lunch is included.

Afternoon visit the Inca archeological remnants of Pisac known as Inca Pisac, which lie atop a hill at the entrance to the valley. It features an irrigation system, an astronomical observatory, and a solar clock and calendar (Intiwatana). The hillside is lined with agricultural terraces constructed by the Inca and still in use today. With military, religious, and agricultural structures, the site served at least a triple purpose. Besides a country estate, it is thought that Pisac defended the southern entrance to the Sacred Valley, while Choquequirao defended the western entrance and the fortress at Ollantaytambo the northern.


Day 5 Machu Picchu with overnight stay (B,L)
Morning train ride through the sacred valley of Urubamba to the "Lost City of the Incas," Machu Picchu. Perched 8,200 feet above the valley, it was hidden by mountains and semi-tropical jungles for 400 years until discovered by Hiram Bingham of Yale University in 1911. Archaeologists believe that the Inca "Virgins of the Sun" took refuge from the Spanish Conquistadors here. Guided tour of the ruins upon arrival. Lunch is at the Orient Express’ Sanctuary Lodge located just a few steps from the Inca citadel. 

 

Day 6 Machu Picchu Free Day (B,D) 
Free morning to enjoy one of the most incredible sights on earth, the sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Take as much time as you need to study these magnificent ruins, hike the steep stone-paved trail of Huayna Picchu, the pyramid-shape mountain above Machu Picchu for a breathtaking view of the site, or stroll to the Inca Bridge a secret entrance used by the Inca's army or walk toward the Inca Trail to find the historic Intipunku or Sun Gate. Afternoon return train ride to Cusco. Dinner at your hotel. 

 

Day 7 Cusco – Free morning (B,D) 
Wandering through this lovely city, exploring the astonishing narrow streets of this tile roof colonial town will be your unforgettable experience. You will find something astounding at every turn. Great buys are the traditional Peruvian handicrafts, alpaca-wool sweaters and rugs, ponchos, pottery, gold and silver jewelry, leather goods, etc. Because there is such a variety of products, we strongly suggest that when you like any particular item, you should buy it - you may not find the same item in another store. Many visitors to Cusco return home wishing they had free time to discover this imperial city on their own, a free day in Cusco is a MUST!

 

Afternoon Cusco City Tour 
Tour of Cusco and Nearby Ruins – Visitors are caught up in the excitement of touring the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, a delightful combination of Inca and colonial architecture. The tour visits important landmarks such us Cusco's Cathedral, Santo Domingo Church, Plaza de Armas and Koricancha “The Temple of the Sun”. This tour of the oldest continuously inhabited city in the western hemisphere also includes the nearby ruins of Kenko, Puca-Pucara, Tambomachay as well as the Sacsayhuaman fortress, an imposing example of Inca military architecture.

 

Inka Wall Farewell Dinner and Show 
Located in a former Inka Palace, The Inka Wall specialty is a Novo Andean and International buffet which utilizes regional ingredients to rescue the gastronomic roots of the Andes. Dinner is followed by a folkloric show with whirling Peruvian dancers performing a variety of regional entertaining dances. 

 

Day 8 – Cusco – Lima – Home (B) 
Transfer to the airport for your departure to Lima and your connecting international flight. Arrive home full of great memories of the rich tradition of Colonial Lima and the mystical Land of the Incas.