Day 1 - Arrive Lima, Peru
Arrive in Lima this evening and transfer to your hotel, located
in the city’s exclusive residential district of Miraflores. Founded
in 1535 by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, this “City
of Kings” is a blend of colonial structures, pre-Colombian
sites and modern conveniences. It’s also one of the world’s
premier culinary cities, with a cuisine that reflects its people’s
varied origins and traditions.
Day 2 - Lima
Discover Lima, its history and flavors with top local chefs,
visiting a market to learn about the unique food products of the
Land of the Incas. Next, join in a Peruvian cooking experience,
and savor the delicious dishes you have cooked, sharing
them family style. After lunch, discover Peru’s capital,
visiting Plaza de Armas, birthplace of the city, and the beautiful Cathedral, built in the 16th century. Continue
your journey to the bohemian Barranco neighborhood and
discover the essence of the Limeños lifestyle. Meet a local
chef who takes you to his or her favorite places, where you
are invited to sample some of the iconic dishes and spirits
of Peru, an interactive Chef ’s Table experience exclusive to
Day 3 - Sacred Valley
Fly to Cusco, located more than 11,000 feet above sea
level. Stop for lunch in the central square, and then, take
part in a photography workshop, learning pointers from a
professional, before proceeding to the Sacred Valley of the
Incas. En route, visit Awana Kancha, a center where South
American camelids, such as llamas and alpacas, are bred,
and learn about the valuable fibers created from their coats.
Continue to your awe-inspiring accommodation, designed
to blend in with, and provide an advantageous view of,
Sacred Valley landscapes.
Day 4 - Sacred Valley
Visit a remote village, where the local residents greet you warmly before giving you a hands-on introduction to the
customs and crafts that make up their way of life, including
weaving and cooking, for an A&K-exclusive experience.
Andean cultures have long revered Mother Earth goddess
Pachamama for sustaining life on our planet. This afternoon,
participate in one of Peru’s oldest and most sacred rituals
when you join a local shaman in a traditional “Payment to the Earth” ceremony, extending an offering to Pachamama, to give
thanks and honor new beginnings. Next, visit the Kuychi
Center to meet the children at Niños del Arco Iris (Children
of the Rainbow), a project supported by A&K Philanthropy, which provides education, nutrition, medical care and hope
to children in the Sacred Valley. Eat lunch locally before
returning to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure, and gaze
upon the soaring Andes on a refreshing Scenic Sundowner.
Day 5 - Machu Picchu
Prepare for your visit to Machu Picchu with a private lecture
from a renowned scholar and certified expert on the Incas.
Next, explore Ollantaytambo, a fortress of massive stone
terraces that hug the mountain slopes and the site of the Incas’ greatest victory over the invading Spanish. Although
it served well as a military stronghold, Ollantaytambo had a
deeper, religious significance for the Incas, as evidenced by
the unfinished, stone-carved Temple of the Sun found near
the top of the terraces. Then, Ride Like a Local, journeying
deep into the Andes toward Machu Picchu on board the
PeruRail Sacred Valley, a train inspired by the elegance of the
1920s, gazing out at the spectacular Peruvian countryside.
Arrive for your overnight stay at the only hotel located on-site at Machu Picchu. Overlooking the Urubamba River,
Machu Picchu was built in the 15th century at the height of
the Inca Empire. Although this “Lost City” was revealed to
the rest of the world by American historian Hiram Bingham
in 1911, its location was long known to locals. Its original
purpose, however, remains a matter of some conjecture, as
the Incas left no written records. Explore the ruins with your
expert local guide and, as you wander amid the age-old
stone walls, picture life as it might have been in this majestic
citadel, set some 8,000 feet above sea level.
Day 6 - Machu Picchu
Rise with the sun to walk through Machu Picchu in the early
morning mist before the crowds arrive, an experience some
consider the spiritual highlight of the journey. You may also
opt to trek up from the ruins to the Sun Gate, entry point
to the Inca Trail. After your explorations, bid adieu to this
“Lost City of the Incas” and board the Vistadome train back
to Ollantaytambo. Continue to Cusco, where you check in
to your hotel, once a 16th-century monastery and now a
national monument that offers a delightful retreat from the
bustle of Cusco, while set just off the city square. Enjoy an evening at leisure, free to relax or begin to explore Cusco on
Day 7 - Cusco
This morning, discover Cusco on a city tour that includes the
Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas and the Santo Domingo
Temple, a Dominican church built on the foundations of the
Koricancha, the Incas’ principal religious building. Listen
as a local expert explains how the historic clashes between
the Incas and the Spanish played a role in forming today’s
Peruvian culture. Later, visit the well-preserved ruins of
Sacsayhuaman, a testament to Incan architectural skill.
Compiled from colossal stones, the largest of which may weigh
as much as 200 tons, the walls were cut and placed together
with incredible precision and without a single drop of
mortar to hold them in place. This imposing fortress, which
witnessed the greatest battle between the Spanish and the
Incas, overlooks the red-tiled roofs of Cusco. This afternoon,
enjoy one of these Design Your Day activities.
Visit the San Blas Neighborhood, a unique, bohemian
enclave where you find the workshops of artisans.
Stroll San Pedro Market and Visit the Inca Museum for a
taste of local fruits and cheese, and a glimpse of daily life,
followed by a look back into Peru’s rich history.
Explore with an Expert Photographer who helps you
refine your skills and capture Cusco as a local sees it,
including its people, narrow streets and beautiful houses.
Tonight, listen to a private Andean music presentation by
a regional expert, and learn the history of his handmade
instruments. Absorb not only the timeless quality of the
Peruvian folk tunes he plays but the unmistakable cultural
identity revealed by their haunting, immersive melodies.
Afterward, gather for a farewell dinner at the elegant MAP Café,
where the chef gathers local ingredients for use in innovative
recipes that remain true to Peru’s culinary traditions.
Day 8 - Depart Lima
After a morning at leisure to sleep in, visit shops or simply
relax, fly back to Lima. Later, board your departing flight.