Machu Picchu- The Jewel in South America's Crown

Duration: 8 days

Highlights: Lima: City of Kings
Sacred Valley
Machu Picchu Ruins
Cusco

It's been more than 100 years since Hiram Brigham came across the ruins one of the new 7 wonders of the world, Machu Picchu. It is always a fantastic opportunity to rediscover the jaw-dropping Inca Citadel and, of course, we've designed a programme for guests to enjoy the very best of this true Peruvian icon!

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Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival Lima

Welcome to Perú!

 

Arrive at Lima International Airport where we will meet and transfer you to your hotel.

 

Lima is a city of rare fascination and unexpected pleasures.  Lima has colonial splendor and the teeming vitality of an oriental bazaar; melancholy cloudy winters and warm breezy summers; impoverished urban sprawl and quiet elegant corners among ancient buildings where the night air is scented with jasmine. The city of Lima was founded by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535, with the evocative name of “La Ciudad de los Reyes” or “The City of Kings”.

Overnight: Miraflores Park Hotel

 

Day 2 - Enjoy Lima, The City of Kings

This morning you embark on a city tour beginning with the modern Lima passing by the residential districts of Miraflores and San Isidro on your way to the downtown where you begin with a visit to the Plaza Mayor, official centre of the city and the original site upon which Lima was founded, here you appreciate beautiful buildings like the Government Palace where the soldiers guarding the palace offer an excellent photo opportunity and the Cathedral, built in 1534 and an architectural masterpiece.  Continue on to visit the Church of San Francisco, its library and collection of fine paintings and frescoes.

Continue with a journey into the past, enjoying a welcome drink in Casa Aliaga, Lima’s oldest colonial mansion. Built in 1535 by the illustrious Spanish conquistador Jeronimo de Aliaga, this incredible relic of colonial splendour has been home to 17 generations of his descendants ever since. You will be immediately struck by the grace of the wood and marble staircase leading up to a fine entrance patio. You will have the chance to see its beautiful rooms, the family chapel, the Golden Salon, with incredible golden mirrors and a beautiful upper gallery, which is home to some important paintings from the Cusco School while you enjoy a typical Pisco Sour with canapés.

This afternoon, visit visit to the Larco Museum, probably the largest private collection of pre-Columbian art in the world.

Overnight: Miraflores Park Hotel

Meal Plan: B,L

 

Day 3 - Reach the Sacred Valley

In the morning, you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Cusco. On arrival you are met and transferred to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and to your hotel. The Sacred Valley is lower than Cusco and the perfect place to relax and acclimatise.

Your lunch today will be a BBQ lunch served at “Niños del Arco Iris” (Children of the Rainbow),, a charity programme which was created in 2003.
 
This project focuses on offering a future to extremely deprived children who are exposed to many risks as a result of great poverty. This poverty leads to alcoholism and broken families. Add to this the lack of hygiene, medical care, food, schooling and above all love and you have the causes of the terrible predicament of Peruvian children and young people. This programme looks to overcome this situation through education and workshops.

Overnight: Sol y Luna Hotel

Meal Plan: B,L

 

Day 4 - Discover the Sacred Valley

This morning visit the town of Chinchero, a traditional Andean village built on old Inca constructions, located above the Sacred Valley of the Incas to meet Nilda Callañaupa and a group of native women who will be happy to lead a relaxed, fascinating workshop on traditional back strap weaving techniques and a discussion on the role of weaving in a contemporary Andean culture.  Afterwards, you have plenty of time to browse some of the beautiful products made by Nilda and her assistants.


Continue next to Hacienda Huayoccari, the most exclusive and beautiful country manor in the Sacred Valley.  You are welcomed by the Lambarri-Orihuela family with a tasty Pisco Sour. You learn about Pre-Columbian and Colonial Art as you walk through rooms and discover a fantastic private collection.  Lunch is served at this hacienda with a spectacular view of the Valley.           


In the afternoon, continue on to the massive fortress of Ollantaytambo.  The fortress, a formidable stone structure that climbs massive terraces reaching the top of a high peak, was the valley’s main defence against the Antis and was the site of the Incas’ greatest victory against the Spanish during the wars of conquest.  Constructed of rose-colored granite, this huge installation was once a thriving complex of baths, temples and military barracks.  Below the fortress lies a complete Incan town, also called Ollantaytambo, still inhabited and with its original architecture and layout preserved.

Overnight: Sol y Luna Hotel

Meal Plan: B,L

 

Day 5 - Journey to Machu Picchu

Transfer to Ollanta station to board the deluxe Hiram Bingham train bound for Machu Picchu, where a late-morning arrival gives you time to begin your explorations of this breathtaking Incan citadel. A brunch is offered on board.

Accompanied by your guide, explore the city's ruins, and feel its pulse as you visualise the lives of the priests, craftsmen, and servants who inhabited this seemingly uninhabitable citadel.  Excavations at the site have revealed skeletons, artefacts and woollen clothing, but no gold.  The same precision of assembled stones exists here as in other Incan sites.  

Overlooking the raging Urubamba River and discovered in a hidden tangle of vines and trees atop the mountain, the city of Machu Picchu will forever hold its secret of its destruction - the Incas left no written record.

Overnight: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Meal Plan: B,L,D

 

Day 6 - Sunrise over Machu Pichu

 It is said that Machu Picchu is a place of great spirituality, and the ultimate spiritual moment of the day happens at sunrise. Therefore, this early morning there is an option to rise early and view the world’s most spectacularly-situated ruins as the sun rises.


Afterwards, visit the jewel in the crown of Latin America’s archaeological legacy in the company of Alfredo Mormontoy, former resident archaeologist at Machu Picchu. Alfredo gives you an exclusive expert insight into the history of Machu Picchu, the mystery surrounding its use and demise, and into current work and research being undertaken in the complex. Alfredo speaks only Spanish, your guide translates.

In the early evening, you join the Hiram Bingham train to Cusco. Gourmet dinner is served on board. Upon arrival in Cusco a representative waits for you to transfer you to your hotel in Cusco.

Overnight: Inkaterra La Casona Boutique Hotel

Meal Plan: B,L,D

 

Day 7 - Cusco: The Jewel of the Andes

This morning enjoy a city tour which includes the Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas and the Santo Domingo Temple or Koricancha; a Dominican Church and convent built on the foundations of the Koricancha or ‘place of gold’, the Incas principal religious building, dedicated to the worship of the sun.

Just outside of Cusco your visit takes you to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, a testimonial to the Incan architectural skills.  Compiled of massive stones (one weighs 125 tons!) you are challenged to try to slip a piece of paper between the cracks of these blocks, cut and fitted together with incredible precision without a single drop of mortar to hold them in place. This ancient fortress where the greatest battles between the Spanish and Incas took place overlooks the red-tiled roofs of Cusco and the spectacular lush countryside.  Also visit Qenqo (“The Labyrinth”), an Incan shrine dedicated to the Earth Mother and the small fortress of Puka Pukara.

Dinner this evening is served at Pre-Columbian Art Museum Restaurant. This building was an Inca ceremonial court around 1450 A.D. in 1580 and became the mansion of the conqueror Alonso Diaz, and in 1850 the mansion of the Earl of Cabrera, before being restored as the Pre-Columbian Art Museum in June 2003. This extraordinary historic monument is home to the only museum in Peru dedicated to the art of ancient Peruvian cultures. This new restaurant offers international cuisine with a strong local influence, offering the opportunity to visit the museum after dinner.

Optional (subject to availability): Meet Teo Alain Chambi, grandson of the renowned artist Martín Chambi, the first indigenous photographer in the Americas and the region’s most influential and celebrated photographer. He accompanies you during dinner to share his Grandfather´s experience with Explorer Hiram Bingham showing you the first professional shots ever taken of Machu Picchu shortly after its discovery when in 1911.

Overnight: Inkaterra La Casona Boutique Hotel

Meal Plan: B,D

 

Day 8 - Good-Bye Peru

Your morning is at leisure to enjoy this wonderful city on your own.

Transfer to the airport to board your flight to Lima where our representative helps you with your international connection back home.

Meal Plan: B

 

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