A unique gem in the Pacific Ocean. Experience what it is like to detach from daily life and truly be at one with nature, not found anywhere else on earth....
Enjoy all the highlights of Peru in style and stay at the most prestigious hotels
“See all the highlights at a relaxing pace”
This very complete journey through Peru will introduce you to all the highlights in this versatile and hospitable country. Lively Lima, the mysterious Nazca lines, the nature of the Ballestas Islands, Cusco and its Sacred Valley, magical Machu Picchu, the gigantic Lake Titicaca and the intriguing nature and culture of the Amazon – Peru shows you its most beautiful places.
This journey is distinguished by luxury and comfort. You will only stay at the most luxurious and attractive accommodations the country has to offer. Long distances are covered by plane, which means that you will be able to travel at a relaxed pace. Spend a few nights in each location, and still allowing you to see the variety of landscapes and cultures that Peru has to offer.
For a day to day overview, click here to see the itinerary.
Arrive into Lima – the “City of Kings”. The cultural, financial & transportation hub and capital of Peru. Upon arrival to Lima Our English speaking guide will welcome you at the airport. Driver and guide will transfer you to your hotel in Lima: Arts Boutique Hotel B.
Your hotel is located in the liveliest area of Lima: Barranco. This creative neighbourhood of artists, musicians, designers and photographers first emerged in the 19th century as a trendy seaside retreat for the Limeño aristocracy. Families such as the Garcia Bedoyas built grande Belle Époque and republican style houses around the landscaped parks of the area and along elegant avenues. As a result of urban expansion in the 20th century, these wealthy Limeñans moved away and squatters settled in the abandoned, derelict mansions.
The district was revived thanks to the arrival of Lima’s art community, including fashion photographer Mario Testino, Nobel Prize winner, author Mario Vargas Llosa and gallery owner Lucia de la Puente. The charming colonial houses were repainted and restored to their former glory. Nowadays Barranco is a charming neighbourhood, wonderful to wander and enjoy the beautiful buildings, small parks, restaurants & bars and to savour the ocean view.
Relais & Chateaux hotel Arts Boutique Hotel B is a beautiful example of such a gem from the 19th century. The famous French architect Claude Sahut, praised for his work on the government palace, was commissioned to design a summer residence for the Garcia Bedoya family. Construction was completed in 1914 and initially decorated with imported Italian marble and exotic woods, along with an ornate façade, stratospheric high ceilings with teatinas (a unique style of skylight that is a local favourite), open balconies and expansive terraces. With 17 beautiful rooms, a restaurant & bar, a patio, library, spa and roof terrace for the perfect sundowner and a sublime, hospitable service, the house now offers an attractive stay for its guests.
After an extensive breakfast at your hotel, your guide will pick you up in the morning and drive you to the San Isidro financial district. Here is a beautiful old area with olive trees and the “Huaca Huallamarca” a pre-Inca place of worship built with adobe (bricks made of mud). Next we go to the Miraflores district, where we will enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and beaches. Here we also visit “Huaca Pucllana”, the adobe and clay pyramid that was built by the Lima culture in 400 AD This served as an important ceremonial temple and administrative centre for the different cultures that prospered in the Lima region.
After this it is time for your first introduction to the culinary culture of Peru. We go to a local market to see and taste the amazing variety of fish, fruits and vegetables that Peru has to offer. Afterwards we will head to the Bolivariano restaurant where you will enjoy a delicious lunch with tastings of Ceviche and Pisco sour.
After lunch you will visit the exceptional Larco Herrera Museum, founded in 1926. Here you will find 45,000 archaeological objects that are considered pre-Columbian art icons. You will be awed by the museum’s most beautiful old Peruvian gold and silver collection and one of the most famous erotic art collections. Next you will also visit Lima’s downtown; we will take a walk around the Main Square, where you can find the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Metropolitan City Hall. Beautiful buildings, all full of history and tradition. Then 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 17th century. At the end of this impressive day you can enjoy the service and tranquility of your hotel.
You will have a morning at leisure. Visit one of the small coffee bars in Barranco and enjoy the beautiful neighbourhood. In the afternoon you will be picked up by your guide. We will take you to Paracas in a 3.5-hour drive and you will arrive at your hotel for the next two nights: Aranwa Paracas Resort & Spa.
This modern, well-kept resort hotel is located on the coast in the province of Pisco. The spacious resort offers many facilities such as a tennis court, swimming pool, spa and various restaurants, bars and lounge areas.
The next day you will have an early breakfast at the hotel after which you will depart for a private tour of the Paracas National Park, the oldest marine reserve in Peru. The park protects 217,594 hectares of marine and coastal habitat. Your tour will include a private boat trip to the Ballestas Islands. These rocky islands are home to blue-footed boobies, Humboldt penguins, fur seals, and sea lions. En route, you can view “El Candelabro”, a monumental geoglyph of 180 m high by 78 m wide, believed to date back to 200 BC. Nobody knows how the geoglyph originated, presumably by the makers of the Nazca lines. The boat tour takes approximately two hours. After visiting the Ballestas, you will return to the pier and to your hotel, where you can enjoy the nice facilities for the rest of the day.
This day you will visit the famous Nazca lines. The origin or meaning of the Nazca lines is shrouded in mystery. Made between 200 BC and 600 AD, these hundreds of straight lines in the Nazca desert can only be seen from the air. Nobody knows what the meaning was or even by whom they were created. During a flight of around 90 minutes (on a group basis or we can reserve a private charter for you) you can enjoy the view of this wonderful phenomenon. In good weather you can see 23 geoglyphs, including the spider, monkey, hummingbird, condor and even an astronaut. In the afternoon you will return to Lima in approximately 3.5 hours with private transport. Because you will be taking the flight to Cusco the next morning, we will reserve your overnight stay at the airport in the Costa del Sol Wyndham Aeropuerto.
Today you will fly to Cusco, the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. To better acclimatise at this altitude we first go to the somewhat lower Pisac, where you will visit a traditional Indian market. A good place to find some unique and authentic souvenirs. Here we also visit the beautiful Inca ruins. The exact meaning of this archaeological site is still unclear, but it seems likely that these excavations were part of a settlement along an important Inca Road. With the Amazon rainforest east of the mountains, it is generally believed that Pisac must have been a junction between the highlands and the jungle. After this visit, you will go to a local restaurant for lunch. After lunch, you will be transferred to your hotel.
Sol y Luna Relais & Chateaux is an oasis of luxury and comfort in the Sacred Valley. Every room is its own little cabin with lots of privacy. Your luxurious “casita” is located in a rich flowering garden of native plants. Here you will enjoy exceptionally good service. The hotel has a wonderful spa (sauna, jacuzzi and gym), heated swimming pool and two very good restaurants. Sol y Luna also manages a foundation that strives for equality through education for children from the area and the creation of sustainable jobs for local families. With your stay you support these valuable initiatives.
Today your guide accompanies you to “Maras” salt mines in the mountains of the Sacred Valley. The salt mine consists of around 3000 small pools that are laid out on a slope of the mountain. People fill or “irrigate” the pools during the dry season; when the water evaporates, the salt is trapped in the pools until solid salt is obtained. You can walk between the pools and see how the salt is extracted.
From here you have the choice to hike or go to “Moray” by car. It is believed that the Incas here have transformed four huge natural holes in the landscape into terraces and thus built an agricultural laboratory. Here they laid the foundation for growing crops on terraces. With the variety of elevations, the various climatic zones of Peru were simulated. In this way, the Incas were able to grow vegetables and fruits from all over the country in just one place. The knowledge gained here was then applied in other regions of the empire.
We serve you a luxury picnic lunch at this very unique place. Then you go to the Inca fortress town of Ollantaytambo. Here you can climb the massive steps of the fortress, see examples of Incan civil engineering, view the hillside granaries and observe a sacred fountain fed by a centuries-old aqueduct.
At the end of this varied day you will return to Sol y Luna.
We will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the Ollantaytambo train station to board the Belmond Hiram Bingham train to the city of Aguas Calientes. Brunch is served on board the train. Upon arrival to Aguas Calientes town approx. 12:24, you will check your luggage with the staff of Belmond Sanctuary Lodge Hotel at the train station. You board the shared bus service (exclusively for Hiram Bingham passengers) that will take you to the entrance of Machu Picchu. You will receive a private tour of this magical place. The historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu is an engineering marvel — a city in the clouds surrounded by sheer precipices. The site contains 140 known structures, including temples, palaces, ritual baths and dwellings. The city also includes agricultural terraces and more than 100 stone steps. Much of the stonework is so fine that it seems to spring organically from the living rock. After the tour, we will go to the hotel Belmond Sanctuary Lodge to check in and rest.
The Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is the only hotel in the immediate vicinity of Machu Picchu, uniquely situated on a hilltop. In addition to this unique, breathtakingly beautiful location, the hotel offers a spa, beautiful gardens overlooking the citadel and a very good restaurant.
Because Machu Picchu has so much to offer and a visit to this destination is a magical experience for almost everyone, you will again visit the following morning to discover other sectors and to further explore the citadel in the beautiful morning light. You climb Huaynapicchu, one of the highlights of a visit to Machu Picchu. The views from the top of the Citadel and the surrounding landscape are extraordinary and well-worth the climbing effort.
You will be back at your hotel by lunchtime. Enjoy your rest, maybe have a wonderful massage after the efforts of the morning and try the delicious Afternoon Tea. After this you take the shared bus service (exclusively for Hiram Bingham passengers) down the mountain to the city of Aguas Calientes where you will board the Belmond Hiram Bingham train to the city of Poroy in the early evening. Dinner is served on board the train. We will pick you up at the station and take you to your hotel in Cusco, Casa Andina Premium.
Casa Andina Premium Cusco
Casa Andina Premium Cusco is a nice hotel, strategically located just a few blocks from the main square (Plaza de Armas), the ideal place to discover the charms of the historic centre.
Today you will visit Chinchero accompanied by your guide . This place is known for its textile work and community projects. Here you will meet the women who honour the age-old Inca weaving and knitting techniques with their activities. You will learn everything about old pre-Columbian styles, their weaving techniques and the procedures for obtaining natural colours. At the end of the visit we have time to shop and visit the archaeological site of Chinchero. You will again savour a delicious lunch in a local restaurant, after which you will return to Cusco.
The following day you will have a private tour of the interesting city of Cusco. You will visit the impressive Cathedral, which was built more than 450 years ago. After this we visit the Koricancha, the most opulent temple of the Inca culture, which was dedicated to worshiping the sun. Then we drive to the nearby ruins of the city. You will visit the beautiful ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Puca Pucara and Tambomachay. You will enjoy lunch in a nice restaurant. Free afternoon to rest or enjoy your hotel.
The next two days you will have time at leisure to enjoy Cusco. The city has a lot to offer. You can visit the local market of San Pedro, attend a workshop on colonial ceramics, take cooking classes, visit the chocolate museum or one of the other many museums in the city. We are happy to give you advice or arrange the activities for you!
Early in the morning we will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the train station to catch the Titicaca train. The Cusco-Puno connection is considered to be one of the most scenic routes in southern Peru. We will see the changing landscapes between mountains and rolling plains. This trip includes a gourmet lunch and performances with typical music and dance from the Peruvian highlands. An Afternoon Tea is also included.
Upon arrival in Puno you will be welcomed and taken to Titilaka Lodge.
The Relais & Chateaux Hotel Titilaka is located on a private peninsula about 40 minutes from Puno. With three sides surrounded by the waters of Lake Titicaca and only 18 rooms, all located with a view of the lake, you will experience hospitable service, luxury and comfort. The hotel offers you all meals and together with the excellent guides of this hotel you determine your excursions for the coming days. There are many different options:
One of the world’s most interesting oddities, the Uros Floating Islands are handmade islands constructed of the totoro reeds that grow abundantly along the lake’s shores. Explore the Uros floating islands and the Island of Taquile on this full-day trip, one of our most popular excursions. Originally constructed as refuge for the Uros people from warring tribes, the new inhabitants never left. They have since developed their own subculture of the Aymara Culture, in one of the most intriguing environments on earth.
In the Aymara Route excursion, taking up a whole day, you will get to discover the geography, neighbouring communities, nature, and privileged views of the Chucuito peninsula and Acora. Dive into pre-Incan times, in the legends and stories your guide will tell you all about and learn about Lake Titicaca’s importance in the local worldview and means of subsistence.
The Colla Route, part of the original network of Incan roadways, runs through the rocky mountain area near the lodge. Leaving early in the morning, the traveler has numerous route options to choose from along the Colla Route or up to the Titilaka Archway. While walking, you’ll be able to enjoy views of the area and Bolivia’s impressive Cordillera Real or Royal Mountain Range.
The people of the Peruvian Altiplano are faithful to many historic traditions, among them, bartering or trading as a main form of payment and commerce. Sundays are typically the day to trade agricultural products. You will see a colourful display and an immense variety of potatoes, quinoa, chuño, among other local goods not seen elsewhere. The visit to the marketplace offers a unique opportunity to participate in the local swift shopping experience.
Known as the Peruvian Capital of Folklore, Puno is host to some of the region’s most renowned traditional festivals. Among the most celebrated and popular, the feast of the Virgin of La Candelaria, declared Intangible and Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO boasts over 360 pre and post-colonial dances. Weaving together a unique version of local history, this festival is held each February and gathers around 40,000 people.
Titilaka provides the opportunity to explore the lake. As the first nautical sports facility on Lake Titicaca, the boat house offers you the exclusive opportunity to sail at more than 12,000 feet above sea level. Choose among kayaks, Canadian canoes, paddle boards and sunfish sailboats, or try them all as you explore this wonderful body of water.
At daytime you can walk or cycle in the immediate vicinity of the lodge. You will meet local communities, enjoy the impressive surroundings, the birds and the expansive views. It is also wonderful to go outside at night and observe the clear sky. Thousands of stars sparkle, the Titilaka guide will be happy to explain the various constellations.
En route between the airport of Juliaca and Titilaka lodge you will find two interesting visitor sites:
Silustani: Perhaps the region’s largest and most important pre-Hispanic funeral ground, the archeological complex of Sillustani provides evidence to the area’s rich past while offering visitors privileged views of Lake Umayo. Host to a number of chullpas, or ancient funerary tower-like structures, built exclusively to house the remains of nobles and distinguished individuals, Sillustani is among the best kept archaeological sites in the area.
Lampa: A colonial-period architectural gem and previous Spanish colonial stronghold in the area. Known as the ‘Pink City’ for the lively colours of its town walls, Lampa invites travellers to visit its church, old mansions and squares. Renowned in the region for its architecture, the Lampa church is the only local temple built exclusively for the use of Spanish landowners. Explore its mysterious catacombs and impressive replica of Michelangelo’s “La Pietà.”
Today you will leave the region of Puno and take the flight from Juliaca to Lima where you will spend the night again at the Costa del Sol Wyndham Aeropuerto.
The next day you take your flight to a completely new region of Peru: the Amazon rainforest.
Your flight will arrive in Iquitos. Upon arrival at the airport, our staff will be on hand to assist you and to give you a warm welcome to the city of Iquitos. We will be transferred by bus to the port of embarkation Embarcadero Turistico, where our skiff will take you to the Amazon cruise boat, which will be your home for the next five days. Once all guests are on board, we will go up to the third deck for the Captain’s welcome and crew introduction, while enjoying our bartenders’ refreshing cocktails. Before comfortably settling into your rooms, our guide will explain the safety procedures and give you a brief orientation tour of the facilities.
It is time to start a culinary experience to remember. Our Chef will be ready to pamper your palate with an exciting menu, using what the Amazon pantry decides to offer in season.
In the afternoon, we will set off on your first skiff excursion to meet the guardians of the Amazon rainforest, visiting the Kukama Native Community. Not only will we learn about their most ancestral traditions, but we will also enjoy live music and dancing. We will return on board for a well-deserved rest, since our bartender will have a special evening planned. If you want to surprise your family or friends, you cannot miss our bartending lessons. We will share pleasant moments while learning the history and distillation techniques of the Peru’s signature drink, Pisco. We will also taste a number of varieties of our traditional Pisco Sour cocktail, all prepared with local exotic fruits. We will finish the day off with a delicious dinner
After a hearty buffet-style breakfast, our skiff will take you to the Monkey Island Rescue Centre. This sanctuary receives a wide range of monkeys that were commonly hunted for meat or to be sold as pets. Even though these small animals were victims of abuse and wildlife trafficking, you can now see them happily jumping around the island. When you least expect it, a spider monkey or a Red Faced Uakari will approach you and try to take your hand. Besides petting them and taking pictures, we learn how these primates are rescued, rehabilitated and released back into the forest.
We will return to the Amazon to enjoy the delights the Chef has prepared. In the afternoon, we will visit the Yagua native community, where the local chief will tell us about how their ancestors decided to settle around the impressive Lupuna tree, which is believed to guard the forest. You will also have the opportunity to practice your aim with the Pucuna, a traditional blowgun that the natives still use to hunt for their food. We cannot leave without taking part of a very special ceremony, planting life in the heart of the Amazon. You can cooperate with our reforestation efforts by planting your own tree. You will be leaving a mark in the rainforest that no one will easily erase.
Back on the cruise ship, our Chef will lead a very entertaining cooking class. After dinner, we will be visited by the local shaman, who will share part of his spiritual practices and traditional healing using medicinal plants.
Enjoy a delicious breakfast on board while navigating along the Napo River, which will take us to a very historic site, Orellana town. This town is named after Francisco de Orellana, a Spanish conquistador who explored the confluence of the Coca River (Ecuador) and the Napo River as part of his Amazon explorations back in the sixteenth century. We will gather in the main square of this charming town, where we will listen to our guide’s fascinating stories on the Amazons-warrior women who inhabited the jungle– and Orellana’s ghost ship.
The skiff is now ready for another exciting activity. We will be taken to a quiet spot where we can enjoy a relaxing morning of fishing. We will return aboard to enjoy a full lunch as we head towards the Yagua community. This afternoon you are welcome to spend some leisure time on board. Guests can rest in their rooms or enjoy the facilities and services on board. Clear your mind with a rejuvenating massage, relax by the outdoor Jacuzzi or simply enjoy the breathtaking scenery on the fourth deck.
Watch out for happy hour! This evening before dinner, our bartender will be waiting to serve your from freshly squeezed fruit juices, wines, spirits, ice cold beer to the most exotic jungle-inspired cocktails.
We will start the day early to enjoy the stunning sunrise over the Amazon River, the morning sky lights up in brilliant shades of red, orange, purple and hints of pink. After that, we will make a small excursion to Indiana, a lovely village where we will see a colourful display of many rainforest products, fruits, vegetables, fish and spices, as well as many local people doing their daily shopping. We will return to the Amazon to enjoy a delicious breakfast on board, which will help us recharge our batteries for the rest of the day.
It is time to visit the butterfly farm located in San Rafael village, the Morphosapi butterfly sanctuary. This initiative is 100% owned and operated by the San Rafael community, promoting environmental education and the preservation of the sixteen different butterfly species that live there. We will learn about their reproductive cycle, as well as admire their beautiful colours and curious shapes. To finish, we will be able to release some butterflies into the nature so that they can help the bees pollinate flowers.
We will return aboard to enjoy a full lunch as we head towards the Nanay River. After some free time for resting and relaxation, we will go on boat trip to observe the colours of the sunset over the Momon River. We will wait until night to listen to the sounds emitted by the rainforest after sunset. This evening after dinner, we will go up to the third deck for a memorable farewell cocktail.
Our final breakfast on board will be a little earlier so that we have plenty of time to pack up and check-out. We will disembark at the Embarcadero Turistico, where the bus will be waiting to take us to our last stop before saying goodbye.
We will make one last memory at the Manatee Rescue Centre, a very special kind of animal orphanage for Amazonian manatees. This is where the aquatics mammals and other endangered wildlife are rescued, rehabilitated and finally released into the wild. Our bus will take us to the airport, where our staff will be on hand to offer extra help if needed. Assistance in the airport of Lima to take your international flight home.
During this tour you will experience the most beautiful facets of Peru. Colonial cities, impressive landscapes and an intriguing Inca history alternate while staying in luxury and comfort. This is the perfect itinerary to combine with an 8-day Galapagos Islands cruise expedition.
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