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Duration: 17 days Visiting: Peru
The mysterious world of the ancient Inca Empire pairs nicely with the flavours of a modern gastronomic powerhouse. From classic Peruvian dishes such as ceviche, to a traditional Pachamanca Feast in Sacred Valley, you'll be inspired to introduce new recipes into your own cooking back home. These sumptuous dining experiences will fuel captivating days exploring the secrets of an ethereal part of the world. From the pulsating capital of Lima to the mist-cloaked mountains of Machu Picchu and the serene waters of South America’s largest lake, you'll be spellbound by Peru.
On select Chairman’s Collections departures, join Dr. Francisco Diez-Canseco Távara for an exclusive experience at his beautiful home.
Look for the CC icon on the Dates & Prices panel to see which departures feature the Chairman’s Collection.
Arrive in Lima, Peru.
Your complimentary, private transfer takes you to your local departure airport. Welcome to Peru! On arrival at Lima International Airport, you will be greeted and transferred to your luxurious hotel in Miraflores. You can relax before meeting your Travelling Concierge at 18.00 for a Welcome Dinner, where you'll have the opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers over wine and dinner at MAYTA with Chef Jamie Pesaque.
Lima, City of the Kings.
Experience the cultural metropolis of Lima through the eyes of a Local Expert. A mix of modern high rises and ancient temples, you'll delve into the history of the fascinating City of Kings. Explore the UNESCO-listed Historic Centre of Lima, view the cathedral, and visit the Monastery of San Francisco. A Highlight Lunch is served at Amoramar, in the trendy bohemian district Barranco. Experience Lima Your Way and visit the workshop of Víctor Delfín, one of Peru's leading artists best known for his monumental El Beso sculpture, or take a guided visit to MATE-Museo Mario Testino, created by one of the world's most influential photographers. If you are on a Chairman's Collection departure, today you will meet Dr. Francisco Diez-Canseco Távara.
On To The Sacred Valley.
Board your flight to Cusco and continue on to Peru's Sacred Valley. Visit the colourful market in the town of Chinchero. Afterwards, meet Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, a Quechua scholar, president of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, and a recipient of a TreadRight Foundation grant. Learn about her mission to preserve traditional weaving techniques and how she has succeeded in bringing weaving once more to the forefront of her community. Later in the afternoon, check in to your luxurious spa resort.
Exploring the Sacred Valley.
In the town of Maras, you'll meet with a local family who will explain ancient salt mining techniques. Visit the spectacular terraced salt pans and where you will have a chance to participate in the ancient tradition. The salt pans, dating back to Inca times, have been passed down through families for generations and today are maintained in much the same way as they were long ago. Dine the local way as you feast on a typical Peruvian meal, a caja china lunch of fresh vegetables and slow-roasted meats, all cooked in a wooden box. After lunch, witness a private Pachamama Ceremony, or 'Payment to the Earth,' as a local shaman performs the centuries-old ritual.
Journey to Machu Picchu.
Today you'll visit the town of Ollantaytambo, a national archeological site set on the Urubamba River. Afterwards, board your first-class seats on the Vistadome train for your scenic journey to Machu Picchu village. Enjoy lunch at your rejuvenating resort followed by a guided exploration of its nature trails and fascinating cloud forest ecosystem. One for tea lovers, the afternoon will be spent discovering a working tea plantation, before viewing the world's largest private collection of indigenous orchids. In the evening, learn how to blend the perfect pisco sour before your dinner with wine at the hotel.
Mysterious Machu Picchu.
No trip to Peru would be complete without visiting the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Pichu. With Luxury Gold, you’ll arrive at this striking archeological site before the crowds of day-trippers. Meet your Local Expert for a guided exploration through the enigmatic Lost City of the Incas, rediscovered only 100 years ago by archaeologist Hiram Bingham. See the great Temple of the Sun, Sacred Plaza and the Intihuatana, believed to be an ancient sun clock. In the afternoon, enjoy time to explore Machu Picchu at your leisure or return to town continue your afternoon there. After a full day of discovery, enjoy a delicious dinner with wine, where you can share stories of your day with fellow guests in the serenity of your tranquil hotel.
Return to Cusco.
Bid goodbye to Machu Picchu as you travel to the Sacred Valley by train en route to Cusco. Stop for a traditional Highlight Lunch and savour a sumptuous Pachamanca Feast of Peruvian cuisine cooked underground. After lunch, get up-close to llamas, guanacos, alpacas and even the rare vicuñas before arriving at your hotel in Cusco, steps away from the Plaza de Armas.
Join your Local Expert to explore Cusco, where you'll check out the Temple of the Sun at Korikancha, the cathedral and the citadel of Sacsayhuaman. Shop like the locals do at the San Blas artisan centre. Enjoy free time for shopping on the Plaza de Armas, where you can stock up on a few souvenirs. In the evening, enjoy a candlelit Highlight Dinner with wine at one of the city’s most prominent culinary scenes, the MAP Restaurant in the central Museum of Pre-Colombian Art.
Lake Region of Peru.
Board your included flight to Juliaca and head to Sillustani to explore the impressive burial grounds. Afterwards, continue to Puno, nestled along the majestic shores of Lake Titicaca. The peaceful, lakeside Libertador Hotel on Esteves Island is your home away from home.
The Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca.
Cruise Lake Titicaca to the Uros Floating Islands, where locals bundle reeds from the lake to build floating platforms, houses and canoes. On Amantaní Island, join the local community for a lunch of regional specialties. Afterwards, you can explore local handicrafts before returning to Puno, where you can relax this evening.
Puno, Back to Lima.
Depart your lakeside retreat and return to Lima. Savour a sensational Highlight Dinner with wine at Matria, where Chef Arlette Eulert Checa intrigues and delights with creative seasonal dishes.
Your Peruvian adventure draws to a close as you say goodbye to your fellow travellers and Travelling Concierge, before being transferred to Lima airport.
Quito, the gateway to the Amazon.
Welcome to Ecuador! You’ll arrive in Quito in the evening. Collect your luggage and make your way through customs to the arrival area of Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport, where a representative will be waiting to greet you. After a quick transfer from the airport, check in to your charming ‘hosteria’, Rincon De Puembo. Adorned with a traditional Ecuadorian feel, you will be sure to get a good first night’s rest before your descent into the world of the Amazon.
Jungle river cruise to Minga Lodge.
Wake to a complimentary breakfast to fuel you for the journey ahead. After breakfast you’ll be transferred to the airport for your one-hour flight to Coca airport in the Amazon basin. Descend into the Amazon Basin and board your jungle river cruise expedition. Head on a two-hour outboard motor canoe ride up the Rio Napo, an Amazon River tributary, situated in one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet. Feel the cool breeze on your face and watch the vibrantly coloured birds fly above as your driver and cultural expert gives you an insider’s view of Amazon River culture. Step off the boat at Minga Lodge just in time to take in your first spectacular Amazonian sunset over the Rio Napo. Your lush tropical surroundings will be glowing pink and orange as you snack on local treats such as plantain chips and yucca fritters, paired with a glass of chilled guayusa tea. Explore Minga Lodge, tucked into the jungle overlooking the river, and follow a ME to WE team member along winding pathways and raised walkways to your cottage, nestled into the natural hillside environment. Meet with the team to learn about WE Village’s development model and how it works within the unique local environment. Its core mission is empowerment in developing countries. Later, let the aromas of cumin, oregano, garlic and onion be your guide as you make your way back to the dining hall from your cabin, along meandering stone pathways and over a footbridge across the creek. Feast on Western favourites and local delicacies like heart of palm, stinging nettle and fish cooked in palm leaves. For those after true regional flavours, add some fire to your Welcome Dinner, with a scoop of aji hot sauce. You also have the option of joining a playful, educational group language lesson, where you will learn key Spanish phrases that will help to foster your connection with new friends in the community. Challenge your senses with blindfolded taste tests and other interactive teaching tools, then partner up and practice your greetings with a fellow traveller.
A Day for Community.
Before breakfast, explore the trails of a nearby 300-hectare forest reserve, where you will get your first taste of exploring the Amazon rainforest. Journey onwards and hike deep into primary and secondary rainforest, where, if you are lucky, you may see a myriad of flora and fauna, including toucan, long-tailed potoos, gargantuan cebo trees and countless species of insects, spiders and snakes. After breakfast, join your group and a ME to WE team member for a short jungle walk or canoe ride to the nearby community, where you will help build local infrastructure as part of a WE Village’s development project. Gain insight into the community mindset of the Kichwa people as you listen to the inspiring story of how Craig and Marc Kielburger witnessed a spontaneous and powerful community movement –a minga–years ago that inspired the formation of ME to WE, and of course the naming of Minga Lodge. Back at the lodge, sit down with new friends on the indoor-outdoor dining terrace and revel in the excitement and anticipation of upcoming opportunities and activities. As the community develops, priorities and tasks will shift, creating new opportunities all the time. Grab a friend, some new tools, and try your hand at something new – be it digging a well, laying the foundation for a health centre, or whatever else the community may need most that day. Gather around the dinner table for a family style feast and some down time with the group. After such a successful day filled to the brim with new experiences, why not make tonight the night that you challenge your palate and try something new entirely?
Farmlands and night hikes in the wild.
Continue the work you started and try changing roles and building new skills. Meet new locals and learn about the unique needs of their community. For lunch, make your way back to Minga Lodge for a little rest and replenishment before continuing on with the day’s activities. Later, roll up your sleeves and join a local farmer to help carry out some of their daily activities, such as planting seeds, fetching water from the river and harvesting crops. Share stories and photos with friends over a stunning sunset dinner perched above the Rio Napo. Tune in to your senses and enjoy the warm breeze on your skin, the richness of spices on your senses, and the emerging sounds of jungle fauna all around. When the sun goes down, take a wild Amazonian night hike to see the rainforest when it really comes alive. Grab your flashlight and set out on an adventurous night with your cultural guide who will take you, as close as comfort allows, to see for yourself what has been making all that noise after sundown. Common sightings include frogs, spiders, tree snakes, caimans and owls.
Depart for Quito.
Say goodbye to the steamy Amazon, its amazing people and way of life. Begin the first leg of your journey as you entered Minga – by boat. Expect a two-hour boat river ride towards Coca, where you will fly back to Quito. Your Luxury Gold Representative will be there to meet you and lead you on your exciting South America Luxury Gold journey. On arrival at your home airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home.
Lima (Contemporary) - Peru
Explore the very best of Peru's capital city at the JW Marriott Hotel Lima.
Sacred Valley (Traditional ) - Peru
The elegant Tambo del Inka will ensure an indelible stay.
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.
Cusco (Heritage) - Peru
The stylishly decorated and luxurious JW Marriott El Convento Cusco is built atop ancient Incan ruins.
Puno (Traditional) - Peru
Enjoy the sunsets on the lake from the only five-star hotel region, the Libertador.