Highlights of Peru & The Andean Explorer 2020

Prices from £7,950 per person

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Highlights of Peru – Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley and the luxury Andean Explorer

Discover the fascinating, stunning South American country of Peru from its pulsating capital of Lima to Cusco with its awe-inspiring Inca sites, including the wonders of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Enjoy fabulous scenic train journeys on the Vistadome and the classic Hiram Bingham train, before you board   the luxurious Belmond Andean Explorer train for a spectacular journey to Lake Titicaca at heights above 14,000 feet to magnificent Puno, Arequipa and the Colca Canyon. Luxury 13 night / 14 day holiday staying at 5 star hotels throughout from £7,950 per person
(based on 2 people travelling together and depending on final rail fares)
Option to include international and internal flights for a supplement

13 night / 14 day holiday from £7,950 per person based on 2 people travelling together 

Holiday Highlights

    • Lima
    • Sacred Valley
    • Vistadome scenic train
    • Machu Picchu
    • Hiram Bingham classic train
    • Cusco
    • The Andean Explorer
    • Lake Titicaca
    • Colca Canyon
    • Private guided excursions throughout Peru

For more information or to book your trip to Peru, call: 01347 82 52 92

What’s included

    • Meet & greet services on arrival in Lima, Cusco & Arequipa airports / train stations
    • All transfers on a private basis in an air-conditioned vehicle with English speaking escort with porterage included (two pieces per person)
    • All sightseeing tours on a private basis with an English-speaking guide with entrance fees included.
    • Meals as stated in the itinerary
    • All accommodation based on double occupancy and on a bed & breakfast basis unless otherwise stated
    • Full board meals at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge

Full itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival in Peru

Your luxury holiday begins as you arrive at Lima International Airport. Your representative will be waiting in the arrivals hall to escort you to your vehicle for your transfer to your hotel for 2 nights, the stylish, highly-rated Belmond Miraflores Park (5 star), located in the centre of this pulsating city. Depending on your flight arrival time you might like to stroll from your hotel and explore the local area before your first Peruvian dinner (payable locally).

Lima hotel

Day 2 – Lima

This morning after a leisurely breakfast you might like to relax and use the hotel’s facilities before lunch. Then in the early afternoon you meet your local guide to begin your Lima city tour including the Larco Museum. You start by visiting the Plaza Mayor, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Continue on to the historic cathedral, with its splendid carved stalls and gold-plated altars, the Government Palace, City Hall and the Archbishop’s Palace. Later you have  the opportunity to explore the San Francisco Monastery, which houses the largest exhibition of colonial religious art in America. Then you head from the historic centre, through modern Lima to visit the fascinating Larco Museum, located in a unique 18th century mansion. Among the many treasures, admire the collection of ancient Peruvian gold and silver and the renowned display of erotic ceramics.

Day 3 – Lima to Cusco by air – Cusco

This morning after an early breakfast you meet your representative in the lobby ready for your private transfer to Lima Airport for your scheduled flight to Cusco. Upon arrival at Cusco airport you will be met in the arrivals hall by your representative and transferred to your hotel in the Sacred Valley for the next 3 nights, the charming Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado (5 star).

En route experience a scenic drive through a stunning landscape to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. During your journey to Cusco you visit the Awanakancha Centre, where weavers from more than 12 communities of Southern Peru exhibit the spinning, dyeing and weaving of Andean traditional textiles helping to preserve the traditional costumes. Your visit includes the opportunity to observe an exhibition and explanation of the four types of South American camels. Here you will find the finest of the traditional and industrial Andean textiles in South America.
Your transfer continues to your lovely hotel in its picturesque setting. There is time to explore your surroundings before dinner (payable locally).

 

Day 4 – Sacred Valley & Ollantaytambo

Today after breakfast you will be picked up from your hotel for a scenic drive through stunning landscapes to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Explore the town of Pisac, renowned for its bustling market, where you can buy handicrafts ranging from ceramic beaded necklaces and earrings to ponchos, hats and textiles. After your market tour you will be driven up to explore the ruins of Pisac. Here you can enjoy stunning views over the valley and admire the patchwork of fields rimmed by vast terracing. From your vantage point wonder at the engineering and cultivation systems, which enabled the Incas to grow crops deep down in the valley. Your local guide will point out ceremonial baths, altars and traditional homes, giving you the chance to learn about Pisac’s mysteries and legends. After your fascinating tour you stop for a delicious lunch in the charming Hacienda Huayoccari, where you can admire a valuable collection of colonial and folk art. Located on the summit of a hill, sheltered among Andean peaks, it also offers majestic views over the Sacred Valley.
In the afternoon, visit the nearby town of Ollantaytambo. The adjoining village is home to one of the area’s most impressive Inca fortresses, while the town itself is one of the oldest continuously occupied settlements in the Americas. Marvel at the 16 massive terraces spread before you, testament to the precision and longevity of Inca masonry. Climb the steep stone steps (around 260!) to the imposing fortress at the top of the mountain. From here, the view down the valley is unparalleled, as is the sight of the soaring Sun Temple.

Day 5 – Further exploration of the stunning Sacred Valley

This morning after breakfast you visit the town and market of Chinchero, a picturesque Indian village high up on the windswept plains of Anta at 3,762 metres above sea level and one of the twelve Andean communities that still keep the traditional social structure and urban designs from Inca times. In Chinchero, the traditional pre-Hispanic weaving techniques and natural dyes are an art form that has been revived and given the value it deserves by Andean weavers who capture motifs from everyday life and their surrounding natural environment.

Enjoy lunch at Iskay Restaurant where “Chef Tatiana Mendoza” welcomes you to her house located in the old town of Maras in the Sacred Valley. She has transformed her home into a cosy restaurant. Here using organic ingredients from her garden she prepares a special menu for each guest. The location of this house with a privileged view of the Vilcanota mountain range turns lunch into an experience that will delight all your senses.
As you continue into Maras, the scenic drive takes you through a patchwork of fields that blend into the vistas of the snow-capped peaks of the Cordilleras Urubamba and Vilcabamba. The colonial village of Maras was the centre of exploitation of the nearby salt pans dating from pre-Colombian times. Today you can see locals harvesting the mineral in much the same way as their ancestors have been doing for the past 400 years. Moray is a curious site with a group of terraces positioned in concentric circles. Apparently, it was utilised as an agricultural laboratory where many species of crops from different altitudes were brought to be domesticated. Later in the afternoon you return to your hotel for dinner (payable locally).

Day 6 – Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu

This morning you meet your representative at the lobby of the hotel for your private transfer to Ollantaytambo train station. Here you travel to legendary Machu Picchu on board the Vistadome train accompanied by your guide.

Machu Picch

The Vistadome train has beautiful panoramic windows offering unsurpassed scenic views and photographic opportunities as you enter the Inca’s territory in search of Machu Picchu Citadel. Surrounded by glass on all sides, passengers feel as if they are part of Peru’s remarkable landscape. Snacks and hot & cold beverages will be served during the journey. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes you will board the bus for the last leg to Machu Picchu. Enjoy a buffet lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge.

After lunch, visit this unique Inca citadel and its surrounding complexes on a private tour. Machu Picchu stands 2,430 m above sea-level, in the middle of a tropical mountain forest, in an extraordinarily beautiful setting. It was probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height. Explore the giant walls, terraces and ramps, which seem as if they have been cut naturally into the continuous rock escarpments. The pristine setting, on the eastern slopes of the Andes, encompasses the upper Amazon basin with its rich diversity of flora and fauna. Entrances to the citadel are included.

 

Please note that in line with the latest directives to help preserve the Historic Sanctuary, the local authorities have announced that the following key sites may only be visited during these times:

Intihuatana Pyramid – 07:00hs – 10:00hs

Temple of the Condor – 10:00hs – 13:00hs

Temple of the Sun – 13:00hs – 16:00hs

Your guide will try to manage the tour schedule so that you can visit all three landmarks. However, as they are just a small part of the whole site, your overall experience will not be compromised if it is not possible to access all of them.

After your visit to Machu Pcchu continue to your overnight hotel, the luxurious Belmond Sanctuary Lodge (5 star). Your stay at this delightful hotel includes buffet breakfast, a la carte lunch and dinner, alcoholic and non- alcoholic beverages (premium alcoholic brands and special wines incur additional charges) and a full mini-bar.

Day 7 – Exploring Machu Picchu & onwards to Cusco

This morning you have the chance to stride out on a hike on your own. Entrances are included. Your first hiking option is to Inti Punku, or the famous Sun Gate, which is the entry point to Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail and offers excellent views of the ruin (approx. 2 hours). The second is a trek up Huayna Picchu **(2 ‘shifts’ subject to availability), which soars 260 metres above Machu Picchu. From here you can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding area and the magical lost city (approx. 2.5 hours).

Please note, your programme includes entrance to Machu Picchu Citadel for the following ‘shifts’:

  • 08:00hs with Huayna Picchu at 10:00hs
  • 13:00hs – Citadel only

 

If you wish to enter the citadel in another shift, kindly speak to your local representative, so we can include additional entrances

 

You may prefer to just relax and continue exploring this magnificent citadel at a more leisurely pace.

 

Then in the late afternoon you travel by bus to Aguas Calientes, where you board the luxurious Belmond Hiram Bingham train to Cusco.
The delightful train will take you towards Cusco. An elegant dinner will be served on board (including soft drinks, Peruvian wine and Pisco), while being entertained by the on-board staff. Upon arrival in Poroy train station you will be met and transferred to your hotel for 2 nights, the wonderful Belmond Hotel Monasterio (5 star).

Day 8 – Cusco

This morning after breakfast enjoy a half-day tour of Cusco, which includes a visit to the Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas and the Santo Domingo Temple, a Dominican church and convent built on the foundations of the Koricancha, an important Inca temple devoted to worship of the sun. Your tour also includes a visit to the impressive fortress of Sacsayhuaman, which overlooks the city of Cusco. It is hard not to be impressed by the beauty and monumental scale of this important Inca construction. Continue to Qenqo, one of the finest examples of artfully carved rock showing complex patterns of steps, seats, geometric reliefs and a puma design. Your afternoon is free to explore the fascinating city at your own pace.

Day 9 – Cusco to Puno on board the Andean Explorer

This morning after a leisurely start your representative meets you in the hotel lobby for your private transfer to Wanchaq train station, where you will board the Belmond Andean Explorer train to Puno and Arequipa. From Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, you traverse the highest plains of the Andes to the reflective beauty of Lake Titicaca.

Settle into your comfortable compartment as you head south-east before lunch on board. After lunch the delightful train draws to a halt in Raqchi, also known as the Temple of Wiracocha. Here you have the opportunity to visit the Inca site, which was a primary control point on a road system that originated in Cusco and expanded as the Inca empire grew. You return to the train for canapes and teatime on board. Your next stop will be at La Raya, which marks the border between the regions of Cusco and Puno and is a typical natural area of the zone known as “Puna” whose surrounding flora is mainly formed by “ichu” and its fauna by “alpacas”, “llamas” and vicunas. Back on board why not sip a pre-dinner cocktail as you enjoy the sensational sunset over La Raya mountain range before dinner is served in the sumptuous dining car. The Andean Explorer continues through stunning landscapes before arriving in Puno at Lake Titicaca train station, where you are stabled overnight.

Day 10 – Lake Titicaca and Puno

This morning why not get up early to experience sunrise at Lake Titicaca. Then enjoy a well-earned breakfast on board your luxury train. Today you have the opportunity to explore the unrivalled beauty and rich diversity of South America’s largest lake. You depart by boat to the Uros floating Islands. “URU” was the name of a very particular ethnic group that co-existed in Lake Titicaca with the Incas, Aymaras and possibly with older civilizations. Your visit continues to Taquile Island, and its beautiful beach. Taquileños are known for their handwoven textiles and clothing, which are regarded as among the highest-quality handicrafts in Peru. Knitting is exclusively performed by males, starting at the age of eight. You are then served lunch at a local restaurant on Collata Beach, followed by entertainment by typical, local dancers and a demonstration of artisan work.

This afternoon relax as you savour afternoon tea at the station before the train departs this stunning setting and continues to Arequipa.

Relax in your suite on the train before you dress for dinner. Pre-dinner cocktails preclude another sumptuous dinner on board as the train continues through the Peruvian highlands to Saracocha, where you stay overnight.

Day 11 – Lake Lagunillas and onto Colca Canyon

This morning after an early breakfast you set off for an excursion amid the spellbinding, rugged scenery of Lake Lagunillas.
You continue to Sumbay Caves, these feature more than 500 paintings and engravings of local wildlife, including herds of guanaco, a relative of the llama that still lives in Peru’s high sierra. Then in the late morning it is time to bid farewell to the wonderful Andean Explorer train as you meet your representative for your private transfer to Colca Canyon.

The Colca Valley boasts some of the most impressive landscapes in Peru: high peaks, deep chasms, impressive pre-Inca terraces and villages dating from the 16th century. Fourteen beautifully preserved colonial towns dot the spectacular valley and canyon. They were created by the Spanish conquerors to house the ancient Collagua and Cabana tribes, who had previously been scattered around the region. Keep an eye on the skies for magnificent condors, venerated by the Incas as messengers of the gods. Your hotel for the next two nights is the Belmond Las Casitas (5 star). Relax in your valley view room or head out to explore the stunning vistas around your stylish hotel.

Day 12 – Colca Canyon

An early morning departure takes you for a visit to the Condor Cross, where you can appreciate just how staggeringly deep the canyon is. This is also a good vantage point for watching the majestic condor in flight. Your excursion continues to the remote village of Cabanaconde, known for its corn production. There are further visits to picturesque Maca and Yanque with their striking colonial churches, before you pause at the Antahuilque Viewpoint to soak up the awe-inspiring panoramas.
Later in the morning you return to the hotel in time for lunch (payable locally). In the afternoon enjoy a guided visit to Chivay, considered to be the gateway to the Colca Canyon and renowned for its bustling market.
You return to your hotel, where your evening is free to relax and use the facilities or head out into the local area.

Day 13 – Colca Canyon, Arequipa & Lima

Today after breakfast your guided visit will give you the opportunity to explore some of the tranquil, friendly villages on the other side of the valley, such as Coporaque, Chinina, Uyu Uyu and Ichupampa, before a transfer to Arequipa airport, a packed lunch is provided for you. Here your internal flight takes you back to the capital, Lima. After you have collected your bags, your representative will meet you in the arrivals hall to escort you to your vehicle for your transfer to your overnight hotel, the Belmond Miraflores Park (5 star)

Day 14 – Departure from Lima

This morning after your final breakfast in Peru, your representative will meet you in the hotel lobby for your private transfer to Lima Airport in readiness for your international flight. Reflect on all the wondrous sights, tastes and experiences you have enjoyed on your two week luxury holiday, during the final leg of your journey home.

 

Holiday duration is 14 days

For information Tel: 01347 82 52 92 or email info@planetrail.co.uk