|Thursday, September 23, 2021||Lima|
Fly from your hometown to Lima, Peru. After going through customs, you will be met in the Arrivals Hall and transferred to the Belmond Miraflores Park Hotel. You may arrive today or Friday morning, September 24, depending on your flight in from your hometown. Please note that check-in is not until 3 pm. As many flights coming from the U.S. or Canada arrive into Lima either very late in the evening or very early in the morning, we have secured your room on Thursday, September 23 so that you may arrive late on September 23 or in the early hours on September 24 and rest.
|Friday, September 24, 2021||Lima|
Today will be a day to rest and enjoy Lima independently. You may enjoy the beautiful spa at the Belmond Miraflores Park Hotel, book a tour through the concierge or explore on your own. This evening, you will go by coach to the city center for dinner at Casa de Aliaga, the oldest colonial mansion in Lima. The house has been owned and lived in by the Aliaga family and their descendants since Francisco Pizarro granted the land to Jeronimo de Aliaga in 1535. Some say the house is as old as Lima itself! You’ll be met with a welcome cocktail and hors d’oeuvres to enjoy as you get a tour of the house before sitting for a three course dinner.
|Saturday, September 25, 2021||Lima to Urubamba|
After breakfast at the hotel, you will transfer to the Lima airport for your flight to Cusco. When you arrive in Cusco, your local guides will assist you with your luggage, tour and transfer to the Tambo del Inka Luxury Collection Hotel in Urubamba.
On the way to Urubamba Valley, you will have a chance to visit Awanakancha, where South American Camelidae are bred. Learn about the superb wool fiber of llamas, alpacas and vicunas as well as ancient weaving techniques that are still used. This is a great shopping opportunity for rugs and weavings that directly benefit the people who make the products (cash is preferred but they do accept Visa and MC).
Next you will visit the colorful Pisac Market where you can barter (bartering is part of the culture) with the merchants for purchases. Pisac was built in the shape of a partridge and is famous for the market which has many locally-made handicrafts, textiles, carvings and replicas of ancient Inca pieces.
After enjoying Pisac and the market, you will go to a beautiful location for a lovely picnic looking out on the Sacred Valley.
You will then be taken to the Tambo del Inka Resort & Spa for check-in and, later, dinner at the hotel.
|Sunday, September 26, 2021||Urubamba|
After breakfast you will drive to Moray, the Incan Ruins that sit almost 2,000 feet above Urubamba and the Sacred Valley, just outside of the town of Maras. Experts speculate that these ruins were an Incan agricultural experiment station used to cultivate resistant and hearty varieties of plants high in the Andes. The mysterious concentric terraces that remain serve as an agricultural research center for modern scholars.
Your next stop will be the beautiful Iskay Maras Home which is surrounded by an impressive landscape of high mountains and green fields. Here, you will enjoy a buffet lunch, which varies according to the season. The ingredients come from a field of cultivation and an organic bio-garden located on the same property as the house to guarantee a unique culinary experience.
After lunch, you will drive into the town of Maras, where you will visit a local house and learn how to make and taste quinoa soup, a staple meal of the Quechua culture in Peru. In addition, we will visit the Salinas de Maras, the Salt Pans of Maras. Said to have been created by the Incas, these 3,000 pools provide the locals with salt and visitors with stunning views. These evaporation pools are fed by a small local stream and are still harvested by a community of local farmers who bag up the salt and sell it in the local markets.
You will then return back to the hotel for dinner.
|Monday, September 27, 2021||Machu Picchu: Aguas Calientes|
After breakfast, you will start the day with a visit to the fortress and Citadel of Ollantaytambo. The Fortress was built to protect the entrance of this part of the valley from the possible invasions of tribes from the jungle lowlands. Ollantaytambo was later the scene of Incan resistance in 1537, when Manco Inca’s forces raided Hernando Pizarro’s troops.
Next you will walk from the Citadel of Ollantaytambo to the Ollanta station to board the Orient Express luxury train “Hiram Bingham.” The journey will take about two and a half hours. You will be able to enjoy the spectacular scenery of the changing landscape as you travel from the Andean highlands to the beginnings of the jungle (“eyebrow of the jungle”). A delicious brunch will be served on board the train on the way to Aguas Calientes.
You will arrive at the Lost Citadel of the Incas at approximately 1 pm. The local bus will take you to the citadel of Machu Picchu, or lost city of the Incas. You will have a guided tour of the citadel and walk through the different areas of the city; the agriculture and urban zone, featuring temples and dwellings; and the Intihuatana, or sun dial, finely carved out of stone. Many of those who place their hands a few inches above the sun dial stone claim to feel a palpable energy course through their bodies. After exploring, you’ll enjoy an afternoon tea at the Sanctuary Hotel before returning to town.
Check into your hotel room at the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel, and enjoy a delicious dinner before retiring for the evening.
OPTIONAL TOUR: This is an alternate option to the main program. Please inquire with your Travel Consultant for the price and physical requirements.
After breakfast you will be picked up from the hotel and transferred to the Ollanta station to board the Vistadome train for kilometer 104, where you will begin your one-day Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu.
After getting off that train at kilometer 104, you will cross a suspension bridge over the Urubamba River and head towards the first archaeological site, Chachabamba, an Inca ruin that was discovered in 1940 and was likely used as a important religious site and checkpoint guarding the Eastern side of Machu Picchu.
After a brief tour of Chachabamba you will continue up a cloud forested trail, rich in vegetation, towards the magnificent archaeological site of Winay Wayna, the point at which the Short Trail joins the Classic Trail. Winay Wayna is a good 3–4 hour hike from Chachabamba, and climbs 300 vertical meters / 984 vertical feet in approximately 5 miles.
Winay Wayna consists of an impressive Inca site that was likely used as the last ritual point on the trail pilgrimage. It is an impressive complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious zone as well as an urban zone. Near the site is a hostel, which goes by the same name, and is used as the camping spot for those hikers on their last night hiking the Inca Trail.
Here you will have a box lunch before continuing your trek on towards Machu Picchu. You will hike for another 1-2 hours before you will reach a steep and stoned Inca staircase that leads to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate)—prepare yourself for an amazing view of Machu Picchu at the top.
After exploring the area around the Sun Gate and taking in your first amazing views of Machu Picchu, you will begin the hike down, following the path to the citadel exit. Upon exiting the citadel, you will be transferred down the mountain to Aguas Calientes and the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel.
Check into your hotel room at the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel, and enjoy a delicious dinner before retiring for the evening. Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
|Tuesday, September 28, 2021||Machu Picchu: Aguas Calientes|
This morning is an excellent opportunity to wake up early and take the bus up to Machu Picchu before the crowds arrive to enjoy some quiet, reflective time at Machu Picchu. The guide will be with you at Machu Picchu to impart more information about this ancient Citadel. The more adventurous ones may choose to climb up the Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, or others may want to climb up to the Sun Gate, where the Inca trail first descends into the Citadel.
Please note that while participation is not obligatory, the entrance fees to climb Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain are included in your package and the day and time will be assigned closer to the program start date.
You can choose to remain at the site until the final buses go back to Aguas Calientes so that you may enjoy the sunset. Or you may decide to rest at the hotel or shop in town.
Lunch is served at the Sanctuary Lodge, just outside the Citadel gates, and dinner will be served at Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel. Overnight is in Aguas Calientes at the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel.
|Wednesday, September 29, 2021||Cusco|
Enjoy breakfast and lunch at the hotel and dinner on the train.
In the morning, the day is free to explore Machu Picchu on your own, or stroll around the town of Aguas Calientes and shop, visit its Hot Springs Thermal waters or get a hot stone massage.
Again the early morning will be without tourists, so you will really have a great opportunity to experience the spirituality of this ancient place.
Spend the day as you wish. This is also a great opportunity to start the morning off with a meditation on the hillside or a morning hike to Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu Mountain or Sun Gate. As the sun goes down, you will return to the train station for our departure to Cusco. You will have a short time for shopping with local vendors before boarding the train. On board, you will be served a cocktail and entertained by local musicians. You will then join the main dining car, where you will enjoy a four- course gourmet dinner.
Greeting you at the Poroy train station in Cusco will be your tour guides, who will assist you to the JW Marriott Cusco Hotel.
|Thursday, September 30, 2021||Cusco|
After breakfast at the hotel you will travel to Sacsayhuaman, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the emblematic buildings of the Inca Empire built by the Inca Pachacutec in the 15th century. It is a vast fortress built from huge stones; how they were transported and assembled is still a mystery. It has been calculated by experts that what can be seen today is only twenty percent of the original structure, because when the Spanish arrived they used its stones for new buildings such as the Cathedral.
Next you will travel back into the heart of Cusco, Plaza de Armas, to the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin, also known as Cusco Cathedral, the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cusco. Construction started in 1560 and completed in 1654.
Your last stop in Cusco, before lunch, will be the Coricancha, also known as the “Temple of the Sun” (QuriKancha “golden temple”), built on the command of Inca Pachacútec (1438-1572). When the Spanish arrived, it was used as the base for the convent of Santo Domingo. During the Inca Empire the temple was dedicated to worshipping the sun (“Inti”) and was at times filled with gold.
You will then enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before having the rest of the afternoon and evening free to explore Cusco on your own.
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
|Friday, October 1, 2021||Cusco|
This morning you will be transferred to the Cusco Airport for your flight to Lima. You will be assisted in Lima from the domestic terminal to our hotel for the evening, the Wyndham Costa del Sol, located right at the airport.
|Saturday, October 2, 2021||Lima|
For those that opt to fly out today, checkout is at noon. The hotel is located directly across the street from the Lima International Airport.