Peru is best known as the “heart” of the Incan Empire, but it was also home to many diverse Pre-Incan civilizations. The Incas are considered the greatest, most geographically expansive civilization in the Western Hemisphere. They surprised the world with their sophisticated civil engineering, urban planning, complex textiles and agricultural accomplishments.
Many of the world’s most important food crops were domesticated from wild plants are found in the tropical Andes: potatoes, tomatoes, chili peppers, squashes, beans – not to mention newly appreciated crops like quinoa, maca, and oca tubers. If you are interested in where some of our food comes from, Peru is one of the most important places you can visit! Come join us!
Within the Peruvian Andes lies a wealth of ancient Inca landmarks, Spanish colonial towns, and breathtaking natural diversity. We invite you to explore the intriguing capital of the Inca Empire – Cusco, hike its sacred archeological sites and terraces along the Urubamba Valley, meet local weavers, discover Peru’s cultural diversity everywhere you go and open your senses to the exquisite Peruvian cuisine!
TOUR ITINERARY: LIMA, CUSCO & MACHU PICCHU
Day 1 – Dec 26 — Canada/Lima, Peru
Arrive in Lima and transfer to Casa Andina San Antonio in Miraflores, check in.
-Lima is the capital city of Peru and the second largest city in South America with over nine million inhabitants. It was founded in the 1500s by conquistador Francisco Pizarro.
Day 2 – Dec 27 — Lima (B)
After landing and resting in Lima, you will have a free morning. In the afternoon, we will take a tour of Lima’s Historic Center. This tour includes visits to the most important and oldest colonial buildings in Peru. Lima, the City of Kings, has rich history and culture that will astound you.
Day 3 – Dec 28 — Lima (B, L)
We will visit the renowned Larco Herrera Museum to view the world’s largest private collection of pre-Columbian art. After your first introduction to a small portion of Peruvian history, we will gather for a welcome fresh seafood lunch at the acclaimed “Pescados Capitales” in the Miraflores district. Here you will have a demonstration on how to prepare the famous Peruvian ceviche!
Day 4 – Dec 29 — Cusco (B)
Fly from Lima to Cusco and check-in at Los Ninos Hotel. (NOTE: All proceeds from Los Ninos Hotel go to the Ninos Unidos Peruanos Foundation started by the Dutch Jolanda Van Den Berg)
– Cusco or “Qosqo” in Quechua is located in the Southern Sierras of the Peruvian Andes. It is a fascinating and breathtaking city of just over 300,000 people, that was the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. Cusco is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 5 – Dec 30 — Sacred Valley of the Incas (L)
Leaving Cusco early in the morning, we will drive into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We will stop at Awanacancha, where you can meet native weavers and see a variety of South American camelid species, including llamas, alpacas, guanacos and vicuñas.
We will visit one of Sacred Valley’s finest and most impressive Inca complex, the archaeological site of Pisac, with terraces built on its hills. We will take some time to visit its colorful artisan market, where you can find exhibits and sale of fine woven crafts, colorful tapestries, handicrafts and textiles.
We will later travel further into the valley to the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo, which is one of the most ancient and continually occupied human settlements in America. This temple and fortress site demonstrates some of the best examples of city planning ever constructed by the Incas.
We will check-in at El Albergue de Ollantaytambo. Afterwards we will attend a presentation on the “History of Andean Agricultural Systems” around 6:30 p.m.
Day 6 – Dec 31 — Sacred Valley of the Incas (B, L)
Enjoy a free morning in the hotel and take advantage of this time for rest and reflection, visit the hotel’s organic farm, go for a walk in Ollantaytambo, write a postcard or read a book!
Around midday you will have the opportunity to experience first hand an ancient and traditional way of cooking food underground. The Peruvian custom of ‘Pachamanca’, which is where a dish is buried under the ground and cooked over hot stones for about 2-3 hours. We will enjoy lunch outdoors on a table set up especially for our group!
We’ll gather again around midnight for a special New Year’s toast and welcome in 2017!
Day 7 – Jan 1 — Machu Picchu (B)
We will board the train to Aguas Calientes at 10:30 a.m. You will enjoy an exhilarating train ride along the Urubamba river and slowly we make our way through the high-altitude, tropical mountain forest.
– The historic Santuary of Machupicchu stands at 2,430 m above sea level. Isolated among mountain peaks, Machu Picchu is one of the world’s most awe-inspiring sites. This sacred citadel was abandoned by the Inca, reclaimed by the jungle and lost to history until it was rediscovered by an American explorer, Hiram Bingham, back in 1911 and was then later excavated with generous support from the National Geographic Society.
Check-in at Hotel President and enjoy lunch at Indio Feliz.
Visit to the Machupicchu Museo de Sitio in Aguas Calientes.
Day 8 – Jan 2 — Machu Picchu/Cusco (B,L)
Before sunrise, we will take a bus to Machupicchu and hike up to the Sun Gate, the final checkpoint of the famous Inca Trail. Here we will watch the day break over the timeless ruins of Machu Picchu. Afterwards, we will begin a private, two-hour guided tour of this famous site.
The rest of the morning we will have time to wander through the Machupicchu ruins on our own. We will gather for lunch at the Machupicchu Sanctuary Lodge and indulge in a variety of delicious Peruvian cuisine options. Later in the afternoon, we will return to the ruins once again to continue exploring and see the Inca Bridge, which is built on a stone path that the Incas cut out of a sheer cliff face.
We take the bus back to Aguas Calientes and then board the train back to Cusco.
Day 9 – Jan 3 — Cusco
We will immerse ourselves in the legacy of the Inca and the Spanish during a full day of exploration in Cusco. You will get to experience the massive stone boulder walls that make up the 15th-century Sacsayhuaman fortress, a site where one of the bloodiest battles took place during the Spanish conquest. Later we will see Qoricancha and the 17th-century cathedral and convent which is built atop of these ruins which were once a very opulent Inca temple. In the afternoon, you will have some time to walk at leisure to stroll around the main plaza and city centre.
Day 10 – Jan 4 – Cusco (L)
Leaving once again in the morning, we will enjoy a private guided tour of the famous agricultural, concentric circles of Moray and the ancient Maras salt mines, still in operation today. Afterwards we will take some time to visit Chinchero, a traditional Andean village in the highlands of the Anta district. Farmers in Chinchero still continue to practice the agricultural traditions of their ancestors. Chinchero is also the one of the most important weaving centres where traditional weaving and dying practices that have been recovered and are practiced today.
Day 11 – Jan 5 – Cusco (D)
After a full ten-day itinerary, you deserve a break. You will have a free day in Cusco to explore the Plaza District on your own. At 6:00 pm we will get together at the famous Cicciolina restaurant for our farewell dinner.
Day 12 – Jan 6 – Lima
Fly home with a ‘suitcase’ full of great memories!
B–Breakfast, L–Lunch, D-Dinner
Includes: Lodging double accommodation, flight Lima –Cusco -Lima, ground transportation, entrance fees, all activities described in the itinerary, meals specified in the itinerary and taxes.
Does not include: Airfare to Lima, travel insurance, drinks, tips and activities on your own.