Lima – Arequipa – Cusco (11 days / 10 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
Day 3: Lima – Arequipa – Santa Catalina Monastery
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Arequipa. Upon arrival, reception and transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon, we depart to the Mirador of Yanahuara and then to the viewpoint of Carmen Alto, from where we can see the beautiful countryside and volcanoes. We continue our journey visiting the Main Square, the Cathedral and the new Museum of the Cathedral with its five exhibition rooms where we can see more than 250 religious pieces, then we go to one of the towers of the Cathedral from where it is possible to see the ‘White City’ from a different angle, we continue our journey towards Santa Catalina Monastery with its religious cloisters built in the 16th century and after 400 years of closure, was opened to the public.
Day 4: Arequipa – Colca Canyon
At 08:00 hrs we depart from Arequipa, passing by Aguada Blanca or Pampa Canahuas National Reserve, one of the best habitats for the vicuna protection. We continue towards Patapampa and the ‘Mirador de los Andes’, a viewpoint where we can watch the mountains and volcanoes; and subsequent arrival to the hotel in the Colca Canyon, 8 km from Chivay. In the afternoon, we can perform certain activities in the hotel, for example: a cooking class (display and sample of a Peruvian dish with local supplies), preparation and tasting of Pisco sour or a reinvigorating head massage (10 mins).
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 5: Colca Canyon – Condor Cross – Arequipa
We depart at 07.15 hrs from the hotel hours, passing through Maca, Achoma and Pinchollo until we arrive at the Condor Cross, from where we can observe the 1200 meters of depth of this impressive Canyon. We can also watch the majestic flight of the Condor named ‘The Lord of the Andes’. In the Andean culture, the condors are symbol of the Hanan Pacha or upper world. They nest in the walls of the Canyon, and leave it to seek for their food when the first rays of sun illuminate the valley.
After lunch, return to Arequipa.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
Day 6: Arequipa – Cusco – City tour and nearby ruins
Transfer to the airport to board your flight to Cusco. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel.
In the afternoon 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.
Day 7: Cusco – Sacred Valley of the Incas
Early departure towards the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where we can appreciate the production of the best Peruvian corn, because of the richness of the land. En route we visit the living museum of Awana Kancha, a private initiative project that involves 14 Andean communities in the rescue and distribution of textile art showing the process from spinning and dyeing to weaving of fine garments. 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 the 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.
We continue 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.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
Day 8: Sacred Valley – Machu Picchu
In the morning, transfer to the train station for the trip on the luxurious and exclusive 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.
(*) Operates daily except Sunday
Meals: Breakfast, brunch and dinner
Day 9: Machu Picchu – Cusco
Today we can visit again Machu Picchu Citadel, or for the most adventurous climb the Huayna Picchu(previous reservation), or just relax at the hotel. At the end of the afternoon we return to Cusco, enjoying an exquisite dinner aboard the train (*). Upon arrival transfer the hotel.
(*) Operates daily except Sunday
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, teatime and dinner
Day 10: Cusco – Lima
Transfer to the airport to take your flight to Lima, and upon arrival transfer to the hotel.
In the afternoon, you will have a driver and a vehicle at your disposal to visit a museum, such as Larco (pre-Columbian archaeology), Pedro de Osma (Colonial art), Lima Art Museum (MALI), among others; visit Pachacamac (archaeological site outside Lima), go shopping (we suggest a fine alpaca shop) or wherever you prefer.
Day 11: Lima –International departure
At agreed time transfer to the airport for your international flight.