Mysterious Peru
Lima-Cusco-Puno-Titilaka (10 days / 9 nights)

Day 1: Lima

Reception at Lima’s International Airport by our representative and transfer to the hotel.

Day 2: Lima – City

In the morning, guided sightseeing tour to the most attractive and important sites in Lima. The tour starts with a panoramic visit to the Huaca Pucllana, archaeological precinct built in the 4th century A.D. It was a ceremonial and administrative centre which was considered by the Incas as a sacred site. The tour continues passing through the Historical Centre, with its colonial mansions and its Moorish style balconies, San Martin Square and the Main Square with their different buildings: Government Palace, Archbishop’s Palace, Cathedral Basilica and the Town hall.

Then we visit San Francisco Convent, which displays the largest collection of religious colonial art in America, and where we can appreciate the great Patio decorated with Seville tiles from the XVI century, Moorish arches and underground catacombs.

We continue with a visit to the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History (*) the oldest State Museum in the country which houses a vast and varied cultural heritage, ceramics, textiles of various pre-Columbian cultures make us revive and challenge the experiences of the ancestors of the Peruvian culture.

The tour finishes in Larcomar, an entertainment center and a privileged spot to have a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. Afternoon at leisure.

At night, you will have a car at your disposal to take you to dinner at one of the restaurants in Lima, also known as the gastronomic capital of South America, thanks to its culinary excellence, inherited from the pre-Hispanic and Colonial, as well as the contribution of the best cuisines of the East and the West. We can suggest some options or you can choose any restaurant of your preference.

(*) Except Monday visiting the Larco Archaeological Museum

Meals: Breakfast

Day 3: Lima – Cusco – Sacred Valley of the Incas

Transfer to the airport to take your flight to Cusco. Upon arrival transfer to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, located at a lower altitude than Cusco (2,800 m / 9186 ft above sea level) making it easier acclimatization to the altitude. Here we can appreciate the production of the best Peruvian corn, because of the richness of the land. We visit the town of Pisac, where we can enjoy the large variety of handicrafts (textiles and pottery) at the Indian Market held at the Main Square.

We lunch at hacienda Huayoccari, owned by the Lambarry-Orihuela family. It is located at the top of a hill from where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the valley and the famous giant corn fields. It also has a remarkable collection of Inca’s time and Colony art which can be seen in its rooms.

The tour continues through the towns of Ccoya, Lamay, Calca and Urubamba. We visit the Inca Fortress and Citadel of Ollantaytambo, a large agricultural, administrative, social, religious and military complex in the times of Tahuantinsuyo.

We then pass by Pablo Seminario’s pottery workshop, craftsman who has dedicated to discover techniques and designs of the ancient Peruvian cultures, seeking to introduce a new expression of art, providing continuity to this cultural heritage. He and his wife carve the reddish clay of the valley. His home-workshop has become a learning center for the many workers, mostly local people that form his workshop. Finally, transfer to the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 4: Sacred Valley – Machu Picchu

Early in the morning, transfer to the train station for the trip on the luxurious Hiram Bingham train (*) to Machu Picchu Pueblo.  The train journey passes by the Andes, parallel to the Urubamba River with the magnificent view of the High Jungle, while we enjoy our brunch. From there we will ascend to the archaeological complex of the ‘Lost City of the Incas’, Machu Picchu, located on a high mountain covered by exuberant Amazon vegetation, with its rich fauna and flora. In the Historic Machu Picchu Sanctuary we can appreciate the mix of the impressive precision of its stone structures, which reveal the deep knowledge and the technological advance of the Inca Culture, with the mystical aspect of one of the most important archaeological sites of the world. Transfer to the hotel in Machu Picchu Pueblo.

(*) Operates daily except Sunday

Meals: Breakfast, brunch and dinner

Day 5: Machu Picchu – Cusco

Day at leisure.  Today we can visit again Machu Picchu Citadel, visit the hotel’s orchid garden, cloud-forest bird watching, visit Mandor Falls, walk to Putukusi Mountain, climb the Huayna Picchu (previous reservation) or more relaxing activities.  At lunchtime, you will have the opportunity to appreciate the culinary proposal of one of the best restaurants in the area (**).

At the end of the afternoon we return to Cusco, enjoying an exquisite dinner aboard the luxurious and exclusive Hiram Bingham Train (*). Upon arrival transfer to the hotel.

(*) Operates daily except Sunday
(**) If you prefer, you can stay at the hotel for lunch or, you can attend teatime at the Sanctuary Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6: Cusco – City tour and nearby ruins

In the morning guided tour of the city. The tour includes the Cathedral with its valuable paintings of the Colonial Cusco School, the Main Square, the famous Temple of the Sun or Koricancha, an ancient Inca temple over which the Santo Domingo Convent was built, and the ruins of the impressive fortresses and monuments of Sacsayhuaman, Qenko, Puca Pucara and Tambomachay.

We will also visit the neighborhood of San Blas, where we find the workshops and stores of the most renowned Cusco artisans, as Hilario Mendivil and Edilberto Merida, Santiago Rojas and Maximiliana Palomino, among others.

In the afternoon, you can visit any of Cusco museums, such as the MAP (Pre-Columbian Art Museum), Popular Art Museum, Religious Art Museum, Archaeological Museum, walk the streets of Cusco or visit some handicraft centers.

At night, we suggest you take the opportunity to walk around the city. The night life in Cusco, offers a wide variety of excellent restaurants and cocktail lounges, which can satisfy the most demanding guests.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 7: Cusco – Puno – Titilaka

Transfer to the train station to go to Puno on the luxurious Andean Explorer (*). We start a spectacular railway journey from the historic city of Cusco to the South of the city of Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

During this trip, the train slowly ascends towards very high and cold places. In this part of the route the Andes Range dominates over deep valleys and the meandering Huatanay River. We can also see many vicunas and alpacas. The train glass walls will allow you to see the beautiful landscape.

The train makes a scenic stop at La Raya, the highest point on the route (4321 m / 14176 ft above sea level), a cold and remote place whose snow capped peaks are often covered by fog or thin rain. Then the train travels through extensive and endless pastures and remote villages that seem immune to the passage of time. When we arrive at Puno station, transfer to the hotel (approx 40 mins).

(*) Departure on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays (April to October)
Departure on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays (November to March)

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8: Islands of the Lake (Uros & Taquile)

We take a full day excursion to the “Islands of the Lake”.  We start the tour visiting one of the Uros Titino floating islands, which brings us close to the Uro-Aymara communities who inhabit these islands.  Here we have the opportunity to grow personally acquainted with the men (skilled reed rafts men), and women (expert weavers, famous for their craft), as well as the ancestral techniques used to keep their islands afloat, among other aspects of their remarkable heritage.

We continue to Taquile Island, where we can explore the Quechua imagination in the textile weavings unique to the area and recently included in UNESCO’s “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”.

Enjoy lunch outdoors as you treat yourself to the grandeur of Puno’s deep blue skies contrasting with the land and merging with Lake Titicaca with views of Bolivia’s Cordillera Real, or Royal mountain Range, in the background. (*)

(*) If you prefer, you can choose the Aymara Route excursion, a full day of exploration of the geography, the lodge’s neighboring communities, natural lookouts and privileged views of Chucuito peninsula and the local town of Acora.

Evening cocktails are served from 6:30 pm followed by dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 9: Colonial Temples – Sillustani – Juliaca – Lima

In the morning, half day excursion to Juli, known as the “Little Rome of America,” (it harbors the construction of four churches in the 16th and 17th centuries), and to Pomata, famous for its baroque church, built of red pumice stone.

Located between Cusco and the mining town of Potosi, these religious centers are at the intersection of millenary cultural legacies, the mining rush, and the clash of faiths.  The churches display impressive architecture, including gold leaf altars –a technique unique to the time–, as well as notable paintings of the vice regal period and large bells which can still be heard to this day.

On your way back, we visit the mysterious Aramu Muru, or Wilka Uta portal, a human-sized rectangular frame carved into a massive red rock, similar to sandstone. The mystical Aramu Muru was previously used as a holy site for rituals to the Sun god or Inti during the time of the Incas. (**)

(**) If you prefer, you can choose any other excursion (previous reservation) as:

  • Colla Route Trek, which is part of the original network of Incan roadways, runs through the rocky mountain area near the lodge.
  • Bird watching, accompanied by our specialized guides, we explore the conservation area near the lodge.  The zone is home to some 103 species of migratory and residential birds, several of which are only native to this area.
  • Marketplace visit (Saturday or Sunday morning – en route to the airport), to be witness to a practice that dates back to pre-Columbian times, barter or exchange as their primary method of payment and trade. Sunday is the day chosen for the exchange of agricultural products by residents and visitors in the area.

Or activities around the hotel, such as:

  • Water sports on Lake Titicaca, choosing between Canadian canoes, kayaks, paddle or sunfish sailboats, available at the boat-house.
  • Cycling through the fields of Plateria, crossing rural paths along the big lake, where you can view community members participating in their daily activities.
  • Totora Reed rafting accompanied by a guide, to learn about the ecosystem of the Lake, learning the close relationship that exists between the people of the Lake and its natural resources.
  • Strolls in the Altiplano, along rural paths in the vicinity of the Titilaka, visiting a local community and learning more about their traditions.  Observe farming practices and fishing, which is part of the daily routine of the inhabitants of the area.
  • Observation of Aymara constellations (only by night – and subject to the weather), in the gardens of the hotel; where we can watch the spectacular sky of the Altiplano, and also hear amazing stories about the origin of the world, according to the oral traditions passed down by generations since ancient times.

In the afternoon, transfer from the hotel to Juliaca airport, for your flight to Lima.  En route, visit the Chullpas of Sillustani, 40 ft high stone cylinder burial chambers of nobles and distinguished individuals.  They vary in their architectural forms resulting from changing time periods and power shifts of peoples like the Pukara, Kollas and the Incas.  Umayo Lagoon located in front of the Chullpas; give us the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the fauna and flora of the Altiplano, witness of millenary cultures.

Upon arrival in Lima, transfer to the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 10: Lima –International departure

At agreed time transfer to the airport for your international flight.

Meals: Breakfast