Day 1 - Arrive Lima, Peru
Arrive in Lima 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.
Day 2 - Lima
Today, learn why Lima is considered one of the world’s
premier culinary cities by discovering its history and flavors
with top local chefs, visiting a market to learn about the
unique food products of the Land of the Incas. Take part in a
Peruvian cooking experience, and savor the delicious dishes
you have cooked. 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 A&K.
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 provide 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. This afternoon, participate in
one of Peru’s oldest and most sacred rituals when you join
a local shaman in a traditional offering to Mother Earth
(Pachamama). After this spiritual ceremony, 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, and then
return to your hotel where you prepare for your visit to Machu
Picchu with a private lecture from a renowned scholar and certified expert on the Incas. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at
leisure, gazing upon the soaring Andes on a refreshing Scenic
Day 5 - Machu Picchu
Begin your day by exploring Ollantaytambo, a fortress of
massive stone terraces that hug the mountain slopes and the
site of the Incas’ greatest victory over the invading Spanish.
Then, Ride Like a Local, journeying deep into the Andes
toward Machu Picchu aboard the Inca Rail First Class Train,
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 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.
On select dates, engage in a more active Day-5 adventure,
departing the train early for an expert-guided hike along
the last portion of the Inca Trail, starting at KM 104 and
ascending to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) overlooking
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 (Inti Punku),
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 your own.
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, its 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 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 as
well. 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
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.