Trek to Machu Picchu

Day 1

Lima

Day 1: Tour to Lima
Day 1: Tour to Lima

Check into The Country Club Lima Hotel

After a long journey, comfort and relaxation are a priority and so we have specially selected one of Lima’s finest hotels as your base for a three-night stay. The Country Club Lima Hotel was built in 1927 and is a Peruvian Cultural Monument. Located in the prestigious San Isidro neighbourhood, it’s charming and elegant, offering high levels of service as well as exquisite decor and furnishings. Former guests have included US President Nixon, John Wayne, Mick Jagger, Charles de Gaulle and Ernest Hemingway. You’ll have access to a number of facilities including a pool, spa and attached golf course. Relax and unwind before sampling the delicious Peruvian cuisine in the hotel’s excellent restaurant.

Day 2

Lima

Day 2: Tour to Lima
Day 2: Tour to Lima
Day 2: Tour to Lima

Guided city tour

Refreshed and raring to go, it’s time to begin your exploration of Peru’s sprawling capital city. Our comprehensive guided tour has been arranged to showcase the best of Lima. You’ll begin in the Plaza de Armas and explore its Baroque cathedral, moving on to tour San Martin Square, the Government’s Palace, the San Francisco Convent with its catacombs and more.

Excursion to Pachacamac archaeological site

Taking a break for lunch, we’ll recommence our sightseeing programme this afternoon with a trip out to visit Pachacamac, a major pre-Hispanic ceremonial centre on the Pacific coast a short drive from the city. This adobe temple honours Pachacamac, known as “Lord of the Earth”. Driving back to the city, we’ll have refreshments at an oceanfront cafe overlooking the Pacific.

Dinner at Astrid y Gastón

Dinner tonight will be arranged for you at Astrid y Gastón. This restaurant of Michelin-star quality – the guide doesn’t cover South America as yet - is considered one of the continent’s finest eateries.

Day 3

Lima

Day 3: Tour to Lima
Day 3: Tour to Lima
Day 3: Tour to Lima

Food tour of Lima

Our final day in Lima reflects its status as one of the foodie hotspots of South America. Teaming up with the Lima Gourmet Company, locally renowned leaders in the culinary tour business, you can opt for a morning or evening tour centred on the upscale neighbourhoods of Barranco, Miraflores and San Isidro. Each stop features locally-sourced and produced dishes as well as an entertaining explanation by a knowledgeable guide to help put it in context. It’s a fascinating way of exploring the city from a local perspective.

La Huaca Pucllana ruins

One of the highlights of both tours is a chance to eat a tasting menu at La Huaca Pucllana, a luxury restaurant amidst pre-Incan ruins. When you’re not on tour, there’ll be time to relax at the hotel or head out for a little shopping.

Day 4

Ica and Nazca

Day 4: Tour to Ica and Nazca
Day 4: Tour to Ica and Nazca
Day 4: Tour to Ica and Nazca

Drive from Lima to Ica

We’ll set off from Lima early this morning for the journey south to Ica, where we’ll we’ll visit South America’s oldest vineyard located just out of town.

Ica vineyard tour and wine tasting

Planted in the early 16th century, Tacama vineyard’s grapes are used in the production not only of excellent wines, but also for pisco, Peru’s national drink. Our two-hour guided tour this morning will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about the process and taste some of the country’s finest vintages.

Chauchilla Cemetery

From there we’ll have lunch and transfer to Nazca where can visit the Chauchilla cemetery a short distance to the south. It contains a collection of mummies whose age is estimated to be at least 1000 years old, but the dry desert air has preserved hair and skin.

Nazca Lines flight tour

Back in Nazca, we’ll take a late afternoon flight over the famous Lines. Our light aircraft will provide us with the perfect vantage point from which to spot the monkey, astronaut and hummingbird. No one knows exactly how these mysterious lines in the desert came to be there or why, but that just adds to their appeal.

Luxury Collection Paracas

Afterwards, we’ll make our way back to the coast to Paracas, where we’ll check in to the Luxury Collection Paracas for an overnight stay.

Day 5

Paracas Peninsula

Day 5: Tour to Paracas Peninsula
Day 5: Tour to Paracas Peninsula
Day 5: Tour to Paracas Peninsula

Boat tour Paracas peninsula

First stop this morning after breakfast will be the Paracas Peninsula, a protected reserve famous for its offshore sea lion colony on the nearby Ballestas Islands. We’ll take a boat trip to see the wildlife and, back on land, head out into the reserve to see the flamingos which make their home here. Although the 2007 earthquake destroyed the wave-cut arch known as La Catedral, there is still a geoglyph carved into the rock in the form of a giant candelabrum. There’ll be time to relax back at the resort before lunch.

Sand board or take a buggy tour in Huacachina Oasis

This afternoon, we’ll make our way back to Lima via the pretty oasis of Huacachina. There, you’ll have the opportunity to sand board down the dunes or take a buggy tour.

Day 6

Cusco

Day 6: Tour to Cusco
Day 6: Tour to Cusco
Day 6: Tour to Cusco

Flight to Cusco

After breakfast, we’ll transfer to the airport in Lima to make the short flight up to the Inca capital Cusco. This is the jewel in Peru’s tourist crown and we are sure this attractive city will win a place in your heart.

Check in to Palacio del Inka

After checking in to the Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel, we’ll enjoy lunch and a rest.

Walking tour of Centro Historico

Later, our guide will escort you on a leisurely walking tour of the nearby Centro Historico, where we’ll visit the temple of the Sun, Qoricancha, and the Plaza de Armas where you’ll find Cusco’s cathedral which houses an extensive collection of colonial art, as well as the ornate La Compañia Church opposite.

Visit the ChocoMuseo

A short walk away we’ll find ourselves at ChocoMuseo, where we’ll try our hand at making our own chocolates.

Dinner at Gastón Acurio’s Chicha

Dinner tonight will be at Gastón Acurio’s Chicha, right on the main square; we’ll reserve a balcony table for you so you can watch the action while you eat.

Day 7

Cusco

Day 7: Tour to Cusco
Day 7: Tour to Cusco
Day 7: Tour to Cusco

Explore Cusco

After a relaxing breakfast, we’ll once again set out to explore the centre of Cusco. Each corner has a fascinating museum or ancient building to explore. We’ll learn more about the history of Cusco and how the Spanish built on top of Inca foundations. Lunch overlooking the square will be a chance to take in the view.

Discover the artsy neighbourhood of Cuesta San Blas

Afterwards, we’ll wander up to Cuesta San Blas, an artsy neighbourhood just uphill from the central square. We’ll pause for a photo stop at the famous 12-angled stone on Hatunrumiyoc alley, marvelling at the Inca stonemasons’ skill. In San Blas, we’ll visit the whitewashed church and learn the macabre story behind its wooden pulpit.

Visit the Coca museum

Nearby, we’ll learn why coca is important at a museum dedicated to this crop, known around the world for its psychoactive alkaloid cocaine.

Dinner at Pachapapa restaurant

There’ll be plenty of time to browse in the many galleries and souvenir shops here before dinner at the renowned Pachapapa restaurant.

Day 8

Cusco

Day 8: Tour to Cusco
Day 8: Tour to Cusco
Day 8: Tour to Cusco

Day tour of Q’enko, Puca Pucara, Tambomachay and Sacsayhuaman

Our driver will be waiting to collect you after breakfast to take you up into the hills overlooking Cusco, where you’ll discover some of the area’s most fascinating archaeological sites. We’ll admire the intricate carvings at Q’enko, whose name derives from the zig-zag channels you’ll find at the site. Puca Pucara, nicknamed the red fort though it was more likely to have been an inn, will be our next stop. Tambomachay features a series of fountains; it’s thought that these bring luck if you are seeking to improve fertility. The main attraction is the vast, imposing fortress of Sacsayhuaman, built from huge blocks of granite which form the walls of a great plaza. After our full day tour and picnic lunch, we’ll return to the hotel and enjoy a range of treatments in the luxury spa.

Dinner at Hotel

Later, we’ll dine al fresco in its exquisite colonial patio restaurant.

Day 9

Sacred Valley

Day 9: Tour to Sacred Valley
Day 9: Tour to Sacred Valley
Day 9: Tour to Sacred Valley

Chauffeur pickup after breakfast

The area surrounding Cusco, known as the Sacred Valley, is packed with archaeological sites. After breakfast, our driver will be waiting with a guide and we’ll set off for our trip into one of the most delightful areas of Peru.

Explore Chinchero, Moras and Moray

We’ll begin at Chinchero, where a mix of archaeological ruins and a bustling thrice-weekly market make for a fascinating stop. After lunch, we’ll move on to the salt pans at Maras. Walking across the narrow ledges which separate the salt ponds, we’ll see the workers harvesting salt, a tough occupation at this altitude. Our last stop of the day will be to witness the amphitheatre-like Moray. It’s thought that this was an open air agricultural laboratory used by the Incas to develop new varieties of crops.

Check into the Belmond Rio Sagrado

Leaving Moray, we’ll make our way to the luxurious Belmond Rio Sagrado, perched on the banks of the Urubamba River.

Day 10

Sacred Valley

Day 10: Tour to Sacred Valley
Day 10: Tour to Sacred Valley
Day 10: Tour to Sacred Valley

Guided tour of Ollantaytambo ruins

We’ll head further into the Sacred Valley today with a guided tour of Ollantaytambo. This rambling site was probably an Inca storehouse, fortress and temple complex. It’s steep terraces are fascinating to explore on foot and the views from above overlooking the town of Ollantaytambo are worth every snatched breath. After a comprehensive tour, we’ll descend to the historic cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo and enjoy lunch.

Rafting, riding or spa

Later, we’ll return to the hotel. A choice of activities awaits: perhaps you’ll be up for rafting on the Urubamba River, ride out on horseback to the neighbouring countryside or simply relax ion the hotel’s pool or spa.

Day 11

Machu Picchu

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Day 11: Tour to Machu Picchu
Day 11: Tour to Machu Picchu
Day 11: Tour to Machu Picchu

Scenic rail journey to Machu Picchu

While some love the challenge of the Inca Trail, it’s a tough climb. Instead, we’ll opt to see magnificent Machu Picchu in style. Departing from the hotel, our chauffeur-driven car will transfer you to the Hiram Bingham train which will take you from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu. Modelled on 1920s Pullman rolling stock, this train is the epitome of exclusivity and luxury. Welcomed aboard with a delicious cocktail, you’ll settle back for a rail journey traversing one of Peru’s most beautiful regions. The train’s observation car is perfect for soaking up the scenery. You’ll also enjoy a gourmet lunch and a live band performs in the bar car.

Check into the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge

On arrival, a driver will meet you to transfer you to the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, situated at the gateway to the ruins themselves. As the day-trippers leave, make your way into this UNESCO-listed 15th century Inca citadel where the crowds thin to leave you to explore in peace. Back at the hotel, there’ll be a delicious dinner waiting for when you are ready.

Day 12

Machu Picchu

Day 12: Tour to Machu Picchu
Day 12: Tour to Machu Picchu
Day 12: Tour to Machu Picchu

Explore Machu Picchu with guide

There’s a second opportunity to explore Machu Picchu today. Early risers can take in one of the citadel’s legendary sunrises before returning to the hotel for a generous breakfast spread. There’ll be the chance to climb Huayna Picchu should you wish, or head out with a guide who will interpret the many different buildings that comprise this mountaintop complex.

Activities in the hotel including yoga, shaman ceremony, coca leaf reading

Back at the hotel there are a number of activities that you can partake in, such as yoga in the garden overlooking Huayna Picchu, a tribute ceremony to Pachamama performed by a shaman, a coca leaf reading or spa treatments to help you unwind. Dinner tonight will be at the hotel once again.

Day 13

Cusco

Day 13: Tour to Cusco
Day 13: Tour to Cusco
Day 13: Tour to Cusco

Relax at the hotel

Departing Machu Picchu in style, we’ll enjoy a leisurely day at the hotel with more time to explore the ruins should we wish.

Take the train back to Cusco

Later, we’ll travel on the Belmond Hiram Bingham luxury train once more as we make our way back to Cusco. An à la carte dinner will be served along the way, with live music and bar staff waiting to make you whichever cocktail you wish. On arrival at Poroy station, you’ll be met by a chauffeur who will transfer you back to the Luxury Collection Palacio del Inka hotel for a final overnight stay.

Day 14

Lima

Transfer to the airport and back home

This morning we’ll transfer you to the airport in Cusco for our return flight to Lima, from where you’ll connect to an onward flight home.