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Duration: 8 days Visiting: Peru
Recognized as one of the world’s best culinary destinations, Peru is the perfect place to indulge in the marvels of South America’s gastronomy. Dine at Mil by Virgilio Martinez, sample the freshness of a farm to table meal at a working hacienda in the Andes, visit a local produce market to learn about the wide variety of ingredients available to Peruvians and sample a traditional meal in Gaston Acurio’s Chicha restaurant in Cusco. Experience all of this while visiting the country’s cosmopolitan capital of Lima, the archaeological sites of the picturesque Sacred Valley and the enigmatic Machu Picchu, Peru’s crown jewel.
Arrive Lima, Peru.
On arrival at the Lima International Airport, you will be greeted and transferred to your luxurious hotel, where you will meet your Traveling Concierge.
Lima, City of the Kings.
Experience Lima Your Way and choose a walk through Peru’s colonial and republican history with a visit to the city’s historic center or rather look into the ever-evolving bohemian neighborhood of Barranco. Lima’s Historic center – visit a UNESCO World Heritage site, where you will admire the colorful colonial architecture of the “Plaza San Martín” and main square or “Plaza de Armas”, where you can see the Government Palace, the Cathedral, and the Municipality. From here, visit the San Francisco Monastery and discover its underground maze of tunnels and catacombs. Barranco visit – explore this neighborhood which has shifted from the beach resort of the Lima’s wealthy families, to the home of the city’s bohemian movement and which is now an eclectic mix of young families, artists, and charming shops and restaurants. Visit the MATE, a museum founded by the legendary photographer Mario Testino who has photographed subjects as varied as Diana, Princess of Wales, Kate Moss and Madonna. A unique lunch experience at Maras brings together the best of Peruvian gastronomy as its menus lead guests on a tasteful journey over the coast and through the mountains and jungles of Peru, in a smartly decorated venue. Toast to the start of a memorable vacation during this Welcome Lunch.
On to the Sacred Valley.
Fly to Cusco and travel to the Sacred Valley. En route, you will be taken to the Hacienda Sarapampa where you will be delighted by a 3-course Farm-to-Table lunch experience based on local cuisine and family recipes. From there we will make our way to the renowned Pisac market, with a wide variety of Peruvian handicrafts on display. Our hotel for the evening is a stunning property with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
Exploring the Sacred Valley.
Your backdrop this morning is formed by the unique circular agricultural terraces of Moray and the nearby salt pools of Maras. Lunch will be served at Mil Restaurant, owned by Virgilio Martinez, along with Pia Leon, his wife. His love of Peru’s diverse climates and ingredients have created a unique menu dedicated to the Andes. After, you will visit the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC), an initiative supported by the Treadright Foundation. Run by local weaver, Nilda Callanaupa, this organization is dedicated not only to the preservation, but also the commercialization, of beautiful, high quality textiles.
Journey to Machu Picchu.
Visit the Inca Village Ollantaytambo, with its impressive fortress perched protectively above the village. This pretty little town is also known as the “last living Inca Village of Peru”. Explore with your Local Expert to learn the varying architecture and purpose of the site and visit a typical house. Afterwards, board the train to Aguas Calientes.
Mysterious Machu Picchu.
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu, where you’ll arrive before the crowds and will meet your Local Expert for a guided exploration of its construction and the tales that it tells. Travel through the Sacred Valley by train en-route to Cusco. Tonight, enjoy a delicious Celebration Dinner at Chicha by Gaston Acurio, who after training as a Cordon Bleu chef, introduced Peruvian cuisine to the rest of the world.
Join your Local Expert at the “Plaza de Armas” and visit the impressive renaissance-style Cathedral. Make your way through small alleys edged with Incan walls until you reach Koricancha, the temple dedicated to the sun, “Inti”. Believed to be the most important temple for the Incas, it was destroyed by the Spanish conquerors in the 16th century. Its foundations were used to build the Catholic Church Santo Domingo, marking an evident clash of cultures. End your introduction to the city with a visit to the typical San Pedro market and take in the lively bustle of the workers and their colorful stands filled with fruits, vegetables, spices, and other local products. Once you have learned about Peruvian ingredients, you will be transferred to the Rooftop Kitchen for a hands-on culinary experience.
Say goodbye to your fellow travelers and Traveling Concierge, before being transferred to Cusco airport.
Country Club Lima Hotel.
Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, Sacred Valley.
Machu Picchu (Traditional) - Peru
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is an intimate Andean village with terraced hills, waterfalls, stone pathways and 81 whitewashed adobe casitas tucked away in the cloud forest.
Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco.