Starting in the gastronomic capital of Lima, sip pisco sours and admire colonial casas before heading to the rugged beauty of the Sacred Valley. Walk in the footsteps of the Incas as you admire one of the New 7 Wonders of the World rising above the clouds, then finish your trip in ancient, cultural Cusco. Keen to stay longer? Extend your trip with a visit to the fascinating Uros Islands.
Arrive Lima (2 Nights)
Welcome to the Peruvian capital and 'City of the Kings', Lima. Rising above a long coastline of crumbling cliffs this city has a real sense of faded yet romantic grandeur, with historical sights a plenty and a culinary scene that is revered the world over. Settle in to your hotel and meet up with your Travel Director this afternoon, then the rest of the day is free to explore. Head to Parque del Amor to admire the Gaudi style architecture with beautiful views over Lima Bay, or take a wander around popular and bustling Miraflores. Tonight, in celebration of your first night in Peru, dinner should absolutely involve fresh ceviche followed by a tangy Pisco Sour as you toast to sunset.
Lima Sightseeing and Free Time
Today, discover the famous Plaza Mayor and Cathedral. See the Government Palace, Archbishop's Palace and City Hall. Visit the San Francisco Monastery, an interesting museum featuring mysterious catacombs. Your afternoon is free. This evening join your Travel Director and fellow travellers as you dive deep into the essence of Peruvian food. Feast on an authentic meal at Mangos, a restaurant boasting nearly 15 years of service.
Lima ��� Cusco – Sacred Valley (2 Nights)
Flying into Cusco, welcome to the Incan capital of the world! Boasting the richest heritage of any South American city, Cusco is a wealth of archaeological greatness and the oldest continuously inhabited city on the continent. It's also the gateway to Machu Picchu, so throbs day and night with visitors exploring its ancient streets. Take in the ornate temples and Incan ruins as you arrive here. You'll also have the chance to learn about the local weaving process, a craft that has been kept alive for thousands of years, and browse different products made from the fur of camelids. Also stopping by Pisac Market, the most famous market in the Cusco region where local indigenous communities from all over come to sell their wares and produce, you'll finally drive the hairpin turned road that will lead you to the Sacred Valley, your stop for tonight.
Machu Picchu Excursion
Today's the day! Up bright and early this morning, you'll travel to the ancient little town of Ollantaytambo to board the train to Aguas Calientes, the Incan village at the base of Machu Picchu. Slowly chugging your way through the rugged lands of the Sacred Valley, feel the excitement levels build as you pass by village settlements and towering mountains, the landscape changing the higher you get. Making the last leg of the journey via shuttle, you'll finally arrive at the most famous archaeological site of South America and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu. Catching a first glimpse of this awe inspiring ancient city above the clouds is a moment you'll never forget, so be sure to take a few minutes just to soak it all in. Take your time exploring the vast complex of fascinating ruins and let the mind boggle at how it was all built, before descending the mountain and making your way back to the Sacred Valley.
Sacred Valley – Cusco (2 Nights)
Art fans are in for a treat this morning as you pay a visit to the workshop of Pablo Seminario, a respected artist who creates beautiful pottery using techniques, styles and influences reminiscent of ancient cultures from all across Peru. Keeping things local you'll then pay a visit a family home in Ollantaytambo. On the way to Cusco you will sample a drink favored by the Incas. Made from malted corn and sugar, the taste of Chicha de Jora may be a bit of a crowd splitter but is a little taste of history, so one must try it. Continuing on the road to Cusco you'll also stop by the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, a UNESCO World Heritage site that dates back to the 13th century, before arriving back into the Incan capital where the rest of the day will then be free.
Cusco Sightseeing and Free Time
Kick off the final day of your tour with a sightseeing tour of ancient Cusco. Visit Coricancha, or the 'Temple of the Sun', the most important temple in the Incan Empire, before admiring the bounty of colonial art on display in the Cathedral. Walk down Loreto street and admire the handiwork of Incan stone masons before ending up shopping for local handicrafts in San Pedro market. With the rest of the day then free, why not join us for an Optional Experience visiting Moray and Moras to see Incan farming and salt mining techniques at play, head to 17th century Piquillacta to see the pre Incan citadel built by the Wari people, or treat your sweet tooth with a visit to the Choco Museum to learn more about the Peruvian chocolate making process. Tonight, you'll see out an incredible trip in style with dinner, folklore tales and dancing.
Cusco – Juliaca – Puno and Lake Titicaca (2 Nights)
Having made the excellent choice to extend your stay in Peru, you'll board a flight this morning bound for busy Juliaca. Driving through the rolling hills of the Largo Umayo peninsula you'll pay a visit to the Sillustani Burial Towers before arriving into Puno, which is nestled on the 'Ocean of the Andes'. Explore the regal plaza and charming, crumbling buildings and take a first good look at Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable body of water in the world.
Lake Titicaca Sightseeing
Venture out onto the vast, rolling waters of Lake Titicaca this morning, believed by the Andeans to be the 'birthplace of the sun'. Make your way to the Uros Islands, a unique set of floating islands that are home to the Uros people, who live just as their ancestors have done for hundreds of years and rely on the buoyant Totora reeds to provide them with housing, boats, and even food. Visit the Island of Taquile, where the red coloured sands contrast spectacularly with the glistening blue of the lake, to learn more about the stone work and weaving cultures of the island. Enjoy a fresh fish lunch at a local restaurant, before heading back to Puno for the evening.
Puno and Lake Titicaca – Juliaca – Depart Lima
Taking one final look a that gorgeous expanse of blue, you'll leave Puno this morning as you travel back to Juliaca, to catch your included flight to Lima. Whether heading home immediately or spending a few extra days in Peru's bustling capital city, we'll look forward to meeting you again some time soon!