Classic Peru in 8 Days
With breathtaking scenery, world-class gastronomy, and an endless number of bucket list experiences, there are many reasons to visit Peru. Experience the very best Peru has to offer in eight days on a customized luxury itinerary. From the buzzing capital, to the mysterious Inca Empire and Machu Picchu, you’re up for an unforgettable adventure.
Day 1 - Arrival in Lima
Ultimate Lima Gourmet Tour
Peru’s exquisite cuisine is one of the most unique and finest in the world. On this incredible five-hour, 21 course dinner experience, you will get to taste and enjoy the very best of the country’s gourmet dishes.More of a culinary journey than a dinner, this experience takes you around Peru through its three diverse regions; the selva, sierra and costa. You will be served by the country’s finest chefs as you sample the Peruvian flavours from seafood to exotic spices and rich cacao. You’ll also enjoy a cocktail from one of the highest ranked bars in the world. This is an exclusive gourmet tour that’s perfect if you don’t have much time in Lima. You can enjoy all the flavours in one afternoon and evening.
Day 2 - Lima
Lima Sightseeing Tour
As you enter the old centre of the city, you gaze at the beautifully preserved grand colonial buildings. Standing in the central Plaza Mayor, you’ll have a panorama of the Government Palace, City Hall, Cathedral and Archbishop’s Palace. On this private tour of Lima, you’ll uncover the historical heart of Peru’s capital.The highlight will be stepping inside Casa Aliaga, a house across from the Presidential Palace. Originally built in 1535, the house has remained in the same family for an impressive seventeen generations. The richly decorated interior is a stunning example of colonial design and showcases how Lima’s architecture will leave you in wonderment.
Lima Larco Herrera Museum Visit
Enter the Pueblo Libre or Free Town district of Lima and you’ll be immersed in the history of a fascinating city. The exterior of the Larco Herrera Museum, which is housed inside an 18th century colonial mansion, is beautiful in its own right. However, it is inside where you’ll discover an extensive collection of pre-Columbian art.The highlight is the fine textile work on display. One piece holds a world record for thread count at an incredible 398 threads per inch. You’ll also come across ceramics, metalwork, silver and semi-precious stones as your expert guide is able to explain the significance of each and every piece.
Lima Ceviche and Pisco Cooking Class
Peru is home to two of the best South American culinary creations, ceviche and pisco sour. During this cooking class in the country’s foodie capital, you’ll learn how to make both from a local expert.You’ll begin by understanding the nuances of fermentation and varieties of the brandy known as Pisco, before learning how to turn it into the country’s greatest cocktail with egg-white, lime and syrup.Next, you’ll learn the art and technique of preparing raw fish. From the precise ingredients to the delicate process, the fresh, tangy dish comes to life. By the end, you won’t have mastered this culinary craft (that takes years) but you will have tasted and learnt two specialities unique to Peru.
Day 3 - Sacred Valley of the Incas
Pisac Ruins and Market Tour
Step into a colourful market in the peaceful small town of Pisac and get lost amongst the bustling stalls. From traditional patterned textiles to llama wool blankets, you’ll find the beautiful local handicrafts hard to resist. Perched high above the town in the Sacred Valley are the Pisac Inca ruins, one of the best preserved archaeological sites in the country. On this private tour, you’ll be able to wander through the crumbling stone buildings and stand atop the incredible terraced slopes.From the vibrant market to the Inca ruins, Pisac is one of the best day trips from Cusco, striking the perfect balance of culture and history.
Stay at Belmond Rio Sagrado
Resembling a traditional Andean village, the Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado lets you experience the splendour of life in the mountains. Acclimatize gently in rooms made completely from natural materials, which blend into the leafy surrounds on the banks of the Urubamba River. You can enjoy a spa and massage as you listen to the flowing river and birds chirping in the gardens. The aromas of sensational cuisine will likely draw you into their restaurant, where ingredients are plucked from the hotels’ own garden. You’ll find complete harmony here. It’s the perfect base for exploring the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Day 4 - Explore the Sacred Valley
Discover the Mysterious Inca Ruins at Moray
You will come to realise the intelligence and innovative ideas of the Inca Empire at the ruins of Moray. As you approach the circular terraces, you may at first consider them to appear like a Roman amphitheatre. Yet, these Inca ruins were, in fact, an agricultural research laboratory. Your guide will explain how the Incas studied temperature variation and tested crop varieties at this site. It’s a true work of ancient science, and one that will leave you in awe of how ahead of their time the Incas truly were.
Visit to the Salt Ponds of Maras
A stunning and yet almost unbelievable landscape, the saltpans or salineras of Maras cannot be missed on a journey through the Sacred Valley. The community of Maras have been harvesting salt since the days of the Incan empire and their geometric salt ponds cascade down the slopes in the Urubamba mountain range. You can either explore the area by vehicle or on foot, as you learn about the ancient stone houses in Maras and see how the people farm the land in such challenging terrain. The white ponds starkly contrasted against the stunning mountain backdrop is a sight you won’t see anywhere else.
Andean Shaman Mystic Ceremony in the Sacred Valley
Open your mind and soul to a sacred offering ceremony delivered by a traditional Andean Shaman. Give thanks to Pachamama or Mother Earth for the life that she gives, as you join the Shaman in chanting and giving offerings of natural elements. The Peruvians believe that this mystical ceremony will bring you closer to nature and rejuvenate your spirit. With an open mind, allow the intensity of the ceremony to afford you a deeper understanding of the traditional culture of the Andes.
Sacred Valley Horseback Ride Beneath Pumahuanca
Immerse yourself in a rural Andean lifestyle and explore imposing mountain peaks on horseback. Settle into the saddle and enjoy the soft rhythmic sounds of horse hooves on the gravel path. You’ll be taken through rural trails to small villages around Pumahuanca, a lofty Andean peak. Meet local communities and watch as they herd their cattle and attend to their fields. You can enjoy meaningful interactions with the help of your guide as you come to learn about life in the rural Sacred Valley. Even for horse riding novices, it’s a soothing and intimate experience in the Peruvian countryside.
Day 5 - Machu Picchu
The Sacred Valley Train to Machu Picchu
Before settling into your train carriage, you’ll be shown to the Observatory Bar for an Andean infused tea. From here, the panoramic windows offer unparalleled views of the Sacred Valley and you’ll likely not want to leave.The aromas from the Dining Car will draw you into your seat though. You will savour a gourmet Peruvian meal as you edge closer to the extraordinary ruins of Machu Picchu. In true style and comfort, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the journey as you soak up the landscape of the Sacred Valley rushing past the window.
Lost City of the Inca Full-Day Tour
A magnificent sight like Machu Picchu demands more of your time. With a full day to explore the astounding ruins, you can take your time to explore every corner and gaze at every stone terrace. From the moment you enter the complex, you will be completely enchanted by its beautiful location. With more time than most people, you will have the chance to climb the stairs to the Sun Gate, which offers an incredible vista of the complex from above. A picnic in the grass will be waiting for you in the middle of your tour. So, you can relax and enjoy the atmosphere and sights without the rush.
Day 6 - Machu Picchu to Cusco
Machu Picchu Mountain Hike
Rising over 3000m above the ancient citadel, the Machu Picchu Mountain offers the greatest viewpoint of the ruins. With a private guide you will tackle the challenging steep climb to the top. As you reach the peak, an incredible panorama of the Andes mountains with the Incan sanctuary below will reveal itself. A spiritual place, you’ll be standing where Incan priests once performed special rituals.It’s an excursion that few people choose to take, but it’s without doubt the most perfect postcard shot you’ll find of the spectacular Machu Picchu.
Visit a Local Market in Cusco
As you stand outside the San Pedro market in Cusco, you will notice the aromas of local produce and varieties of potato that you have never seen before. The locals are all conversing in their native tongue and the women are dressed in their traditional clothing, with typical Andean textiles and patterns. You are observing everyday life at the market, away from the tourist zones of the city.You can wander the market stalls for as long as you like with your local guide. Observing the gestures, the noise and the colours will be enough to keep you enthralled for hours.
Day 7 - Cusco
Cusco Sightseeing Tour with Local Guide
Standing upon the lower slopes of the Urubamba Valley, that enclose the centuries-old city of Cusco, affords incredible views. The expanse of the terracotta rooftops is a sight to behold. On this private tour, you will delve deeper into the cobblestone streets to discover the old city’s enchanting atmosphere. Your local guide will take you to the main important sights, from the Plaza de Armas with its imposing 16th century cathedral to Koricancha, the Inca’s most important temple. The Gothic Renaissance architecture from the colonial era and the underlying ancient history within Cusco will leave you completely captivated.
Incan Ruins near Cusco Mountain Bike Tour
Prepare yourself for a downhill thrill from Inca aqueducts to temples outside of Cusco. You’ll begin your bike tour in Tambomachay, a series of ancient aqueducts and canals built by the Incas. From there it’s all downhill, geographically speaking at least. Let the descent handle the hard work for you as you feel the cool air whip past your face. You’ll stop at the Moon Temple and ceremonial site of Qenqo before finishing your bike tour at Sacsayhuaman, an impressive citadel made from giant stone blocks. This Sacred Valley tour will allow you to appreciate the landscape as well as the ancient ruins that can be found around Cusco.