THE BEST OF PERU

9 DAYS/7 NIGHTS

Description

Discover Peru's dazzling highlight, Lima, Machu Picchu, the Incan wonders of Cusco and much more. With a culture and history as assorted as its countryside, Peru offers travelers unmatched adventure and moments of heightened emotion. See the dramatic peaks and valleys of the Andes and the pre-Columbian cities that have been carved into its landscape. In the evenings, relax in well-appointed and comfortable accommodations. Stroll the historic city of Cusco that seamlessly blends Spanish and Incan cultures. Travel by train along the Urubamba River to the Sacred Valley and foothills of the Andes, and arrive in Machu Picchu. This and much more awaits you.

Itinerary

Day 1 Depart USA
Depart Miami to Lima, Peru. Meals and refreshments served on board.

Day 2 Arrive to Lima
Upon arrival, proceed to baggage claim. After clearing customs, you will be met by our Peruvian Tour Director. Depending on the flight arrival you will either be transferred to your hotel or enjoy a panoramic tour of Lima including some free time for lunch. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore museums with great works of art, city beaches, the boardwalk, and the exquisite cuisine gives Peru's capital an authentic personality and makes tourism in Lima a unique experience in the country. Welcome to Lima, founded on January 18, 1535, by the Spanish Conqueror Francisco Pizarro. Dubbed the "City of Kings", Lima is today a cosmopolitan city which blends the splendor of its colonial past with the modern era. Nestling on the banks of the Rimac River and on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, Lima is home to the seat of government, the country's most important institutions, and 1/3 of the country's population.

Day 3 Lima - City Tour

After a buffet breakfast you will experience Lima, the City of the Kings, and the most important city of the Americas during colonial times. Take a walk around the Main Square, where you can find Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishop's Palace and Metropolitan City Hall, beautiful buildings, all full of history and tradition. Then, you will go to the San Francisco Monastery, probably the most spectacular church of colonial Lima, housing the catacombs and a very fine museum of religious art from the XVII century. The tour then continues to the modern district of San Isidro, where you will appreciate Huaca Huallamarca, a pre Incan pyramid made out of adobe, and end up in the district of Miraflores, where you will observe the Pacific Ocean coast from the vast seafront. After some free time for lunch our Cultural Discovery Series will take you to visit one of Latin America's most complete museums, the Larco Museum, with its unequaled private collection called the Treasures of Ancient Peru; it inspires its visitors to discover, learn about, and enjoy the more than five thousand years of the history of ancient Peru. There are more than 45,000 ceramic artifacts on display, mostly from the Mochicas, which were compiled by Rafael Larco Hoyle, an important Peruvian archeologist and major collector. One of its most remarkable sections is the collection of socalled "erotic" pottery. This evening dinner is at local restaurant in Lima. (B,D)

Day 4 Lima/Cusco - City Tour
After a buffet breakfast you will head to Lima airport to board your flight to Cusco. Upon arrival in Cusco you will be transferred to your hotel. Welcome to Cusco known as the 'Archaeological Capital of the Americas'. Cusco is a beautiful city of contrasts between the indigenous way of life and the modern western world. It is these contrasts that have given Cusco its rare beauty. In the afternoon get to know the city of Cusco, an UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site and possessor of a style all its own. The tour begins at the Koricancha Temple, an old Inca palace and main center for the worship of the sun god, Inti. Once the Spanish conquered Peru, the Dominican order built a lovely church over this temple's foundations: the church of Santo Domingo that is still there today. Your next destination is the Main Square, and then the adventure continues at the Sacsayhuaman Fortress built of enormous stone blocks expertly shaped by the Incas. It is strategically located at the top of a hill overlooking the city of Cuzco. What a view of the city! The tour continues with visits to three archaeological sites: Qenko, Puca-Pucara, and Tambomachay, important religious and administrative centers for the Incas. As a part of the Cultural Discovery Series, this evening you will enjoy dinner and folklore show at local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 5 Cusco
Today is yours to explore Cusco, visit the local markets, drink in the atmosphere or take an optional tour - the Secrets of the Sacred Valley. You will travel deep into the Sacred Valley and to Moray. Moray is a fantastic place where circular and semi-circular agricultural terraces have been built into the top of a limestone hill overlooking the Urubamba Valley and were used by the Incas as a botanical laboratory. Apart from their agricultural function, some believe they have a mystical meaning that we have yet to unlock. Close at hand see the Colonial village of Maras, famed for its salt ponds where Maras salt - finest salt in the world is extracted. The area resembles a patchwork of terraces and ponds - it's a photographers dream! Have you ever thought what Peruvian Village life is all about? Today you have the opportunity to see as you will visit the Andean community of Misminay where you will meet with townsfolk, who have preserved their ancient traditions and culture. The families live in small one or two room adobe houses, and they raise Guinea pigs, cows, and sheep and live off the land and off the grid! You can choose between helping them plow or harvest their crops, depending on the time of year. You can even take part in a ceremony that honors mother earth. See townsfolk spin and dye wool thread using natural dyes as well as weave fabric following their ancient techniques, and enjoy a once in a lifetime Peruvian cultural exchange and discussions. Here a delicious lunch will be prepared as a community event and served in the communal dining room. After lunch you will then visit the local school to meet the pupils and teachers up-close, learn of the Peruvian rural education system. Due to scheduling the school visit is not always possible. (B)

Day 6 Cusco to Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu by train
Awaiting you today is by far and away one of the high points in world travel: Machu Picchu. Enjoy a morning departure to the train station and board your train to Aguas Calientes. You will visit one of the seven new wonders of the world and an important source of energy: Machu Picchu. On the way you will enjoy an impressive view of Urubamba's Sacred Valley. Once we arrive at Aguas Calientes, board the bus to the citadel. It will be an unforgettable experience. A professional guide will walk you through the intriguing story that envelopes this mystifying place. After the guided visit, you will have free time to explore at leisure, or simply relax and meditate. At the appropriate time we will begin the descent to Aguas Calientes. After the visit we will check into our hotel in Aguas Calientes. Dinner tonight will be served at the hotel. (B,D)

Day 7 Aguas Calientes-Machu Picchu/Cusco
Why not experience every nook and cranny of this New 7th Wonder of the World and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site on a second optional visit this time at sunrise. Standing on the top of a mountain range, being able to witness one of the world's most ancient cities being illuminated by the sun's rays, revealing an abundance of color and contrast, is a truly mystical experience. Whether your quest is spiritual or photographic, you'll be awestruck with the impressive views. After breakfast you will board the train back to Cusco, enjoying beautiful panoramic windows to make the most of the spectacular scenery and allow for fantastic photo opportunities. Upon arrival back to Cusco you will be transferred to your hotel. Check-in, relax or continue to explore the wonders of Cusco and their Inca influence. (B)

Day 8 Cusco
Today you have a day at leisure to explore the belly button of the Inca world - Cusco. Experience some of the country's finest colonial and religious splendors, shop in its vibrant and colorful markets. (B)

Day 9 Lima to USA or extend your stay with an optional Puno extension
Today we transfer to the airport for your international flight home. Due to flight schedules your return flight may arrive back to the USA on day 10. (B)

OPTIONAL PUNO EXTENSION
Day 9 Cusco/Puno
Early morning you will be picked-up at your hotel for the day-long bus journey to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. First you will visit Andahuaylillas, a town where a precious church from the 17th century boasts an amazing organ decorated with angels and cherubs. After this you will visit Racchi ruins, known as "The Temple of God Wiracocha". The last stop before arriving to Puno will be La Raya, highest point on the road between Cusco and Puno from where we will get excellent photo opportunities. After this you will arrive to Puno. Upon arrival you will check into your hotel and relax. (B,L)

Day 10 Puno - City Tour - Taquile Island & Uros Islands
The day begins early as you head out of the city of Puno towards Taquile Island, about 35 kilometers away and 3950 meters above sea level. The culture on the island is old, dating back to Pre-Incan times. The islanders still live according to the traditions and beliefs of their ancestors and are world renowned for their lovely outfits and incredible textiles. In fact, UNESCO has declared the textile art of Taquile Island as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Next, while still on the island, you will visit the community of Huayllano, whose members will show you their everyday artistic, handicraft, and farming activities. After this time of sharing, you will enjoy a box lunch and then sail over to the famous Uros Islands, a set of man-made floating islands in the middle of the Lake Titicaca National Reserve. Here, you will meet the islanders, hunters and gatherers and descendants of the first Altiplano inhabitants, who still live on totora reed platforms. At the end of the day you will be taken back to your hotel. (B,L)

Day 11 Puno/Lima to USA
After breakfast you will be transferred to Puno airport to board your flight back to Lima and onwards back to the USA. Due to flight schedules your return flight may arrive back to the USA on day 12. (B)

(B) - Breakfast, (L) - Lunch, (D) - Dinner,
Hotel and itinerary are subject to change.

Includes

  • ROUND TRIP AIR TRANSPORTATION - Air transportation from Miami plus domestic flights within Peru
  • ROUND TRIP TRAIN RIDE - Scenic train ride from Cusco to Aguas Calientes on the Machu Picchu Express
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - Hotel accommodations for 7 nights (2 nights Lima, 4 nights Cusco, 1 night Aguas Calientes)
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 10 included meals consisting of 7 buffet breakfasts and 3 dinners
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: full day city tour of Lima, a half day city tour of Cusco including visit to Sacsayhuaman Fortress, and a tour of Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes. Optional tours are available
  • CULTURAL DISCOVERY SERIES - Our program encompass cultural connections, in-depth learning on the local economy, social systems and interaction with locals
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTOR - Assistance of a professional Tour Director for the entire length of the tour upon arrival in Lima
  • DELUXE MOTORCOACHES - Touring by private deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport
OPTIONAL PUNO EXTENSION TOUR FEATURES
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide in as follows: full day transfer/tour from Cusco to Puno, and a full day tour of Puno, Taquile Island and Uros Islands
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - Hotel accommodations for 2 nights in Puno
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 4 included meals consisting of 2 buffet breakfasts and 2 lunches
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTOR - Assistance of a professional Tour Director for the entire length of the tour
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport

Video

Notes

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS 
  • Experience Lima, the City of the Kings
  • Admire the Treasures of Ancient Peru and the Inca Nation
  • Tour Cusco, Archaeological Capital of the Americas & UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site
  • Travel by vista dome train to the famous Lost City of the Incas, breathtaking Machu Picchu
  • Visit and interact with Andean community in the Sacred Valley
  • See the spectacular Incan city of Machu Picchu - one of the new 7 Wonders of the World & UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site
  • Free time to shop in Cusco
  • Discover Taquile Island, with its Pre Incan culture & world renowned textile art
  • Enjoy Puno & the views of the Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world
  • Cruise Lake Titicaca to the floating Uros Islands
  • Interact with the indigenous Uros tribe to learn about their lives