Day 1. LIMA
Arrival to Lima, reception at the airport and transfer by private vehicle to the 5*Country Club Hotel. Accommodation in an elegant Master Bedroom with flowers and fresh fruits awaiting your arrival.
Day 2. LIMA B,L,D
After breakfast, a guided visit of colonial and modern Lima starting at the famous Love Park, overlooking the majestic Pacific Ocean where Lima's couple often congregate along with newlyweds taking their wedding photographs. The tour continues to the Cathedral, dating from 1654, the Main Square, which still houses the original bronze fountain built in 1650, and the San Francisco Convent and its catacombs. Known as the city of the kings, Lima was founded in 1535 by Pizarro and rebuilt in 1991, the same year that UNESCO declared it a world heritage site.
We shall then visit the Bohemian capital of Lima, Barranco where we will enjoy lunch at the Al Grano restaurant before visiting the adjoining private museum, the Palacio de Osma. The museum focuses on colonial Peruvian art from areas that were among the most distinguished cultural centers of the day, including Cusco, Arequipa, and Ayacucho. Return to your hotel where you will both indulge in a relaxing massage. This will be followed by a romantic dinner for two at the wonderful Huaca Pucllana restaurant located adjacent to a pre-Inca archaeological site in the centre of Lima. Return to your hotel.
Day 3. LIMA - CUZCO B,D
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Cuzco, the ancient Inca capital of the Incas. After the one hour flight, reception and transfer to the 5* Monasterio Hotel, the finest hotel in Cuzco. After a recommended light lunch (not included), a guided walking tour of Cuzco including the Cathedral, Qoricancha temple, the house of Garcilaso de Vega, the Inca chronicler and finally the Inca Museum. Return to your hotel. Dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 4. URUBAMBA - PASO HORSERIDING B, L
After breakfast, transport to the stables in the Urubamba Valley where the tour starts with a coffee or tea and a briefing about the tour, the horses, safety, and riding instructions. This 2 - 3 hour ride will give you the unique experience of riding the smoothest riding horse in the world in one of the most fascinating regions of the Andes, the Sacred Valley of the Incas. There are many places to visit: the salt pans of Salinas, the old village of Pichingoto, the lively market town of Urubamba, or simply explore the wonderful surrounding countryside, the Chakras (farmland) and Quechua communities of the valley, and became familiar with your beautiful Peruvian Paso horses.
The Peruvian Paso horse is a genuine symbol of more than 500 years of Peruvian tradition. In respect to tradition we will ride in an appropriate style; using the original Peruvian Paso riding gear; the beautiful handmade saddles and tack and dresses with the poncho and sombrero. Return to Cuzco. A back-up vehicle will escort you along the trip. Transfer to your hotel, the wonderful Sol y Luna and accommodation in a private bungalow.
Day 5. OLLANTAYTAMBO - URUBAMBA RIVER RAFTING - PISAC B,L
After breakfast, we will transfer to our put-in at Panchar, some 10 minutes from Ollantaytambo. After a briefing in techniques and safety, start of a great fun day rafting on class III and IV rapids for 4 hours. Picnic lunch by the banks of the river before travelling onto Ollantaytambo. A visit to Ollantaytambo ruins are well worth a visit as this is the last undefeated bastion of the Incas. Return to your hotel, the Sol y Luna for a briefing on the up and coming Royal Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
Day 6. ROYAL INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU B,L,D
Early wake up and breakfast in order to catch the train heading to Machu Picchu. We will ride aboard the Vistadome train, taking in stunning views of the mountains all around, with snow-capped peaks in the distance as we slowly lose elevation and head into high altitude cloud forest. Our destination, the Machu Picchu gateway town of Aguas Calientes, is reachable only by train or air and is nestled among stunning steep mountains shrouded in cloud forest.
Start of the Royal Inca trail, for which we will depart the train before reaching Aguas Calientes. We will commence our hike by crossing a hanging bridge over the Urubamba River to approach the small but interesting Inca archaeological complex of Cachabamba. After a brief visit of this site we will begin a four hour ascent to the ruins of Wiñay Wayna 2700m/8829 ft; an important Inca spiritual site, and one of the finest of all Inca ruins. The name of this site is translated as forever young and is also the name of a rather beautiful orchid found growing in the area. At this point the trail joins with the main Inca Trail. From here we will be walking on Inca pavement. The Inca Trail cuts across the ridge above Machu Picchu to finally reach Intipunku or Gate of the Sun, at 2700m/8829 ft. From here the trail winds downhill (45 minutes) into the lost citadel of Machu Picchu, at 2400m/7872. Arrival to Machu Picchu and descend into Aguas Calientes for accommodation at the wonderful Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, located in a cloud forest. Accommodation in a junior suite complete with open fireplace.
Relaxing massage followed by a delicious dinner.
Day 7. MACHU PICCHU B, L
A full day's private guided tour of Machu Picchu, the most spectacular ancient city in the world. Built by the Inca Pachacutec, and comprising stone blocks fitted with masterful precision, Machu Picchu harmoniously blends into the mountain landscape. There are many theories as to the origins behind Machu Picchu but three of the most popular ideas include a temple to the sun, a fortress against the jungle inhabitants or a sanctuary for the Incas. This fabulous city has houses, temples, warehouses, a large central square, all connected by narrow roads and steps, and is surrounded by terraces cut into the mountain side which were used for agriculture. After the tour, free time to enjoy this magical and spiritual wonder. Lunch at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge before returning to Cuzco aboard the Vistaome Train. (Upgrades to Hiram Bingham train available except on Sundays). Reception and transfer to the Monasterio hotel.
Day 8. CUZCO B
on the menu is extremely authentic. You will learn various cooking styles and traditional foods with a cooking professor. The professor will also help you translate the recipes home to remake these items whenever you want to remember Peru. The Menu you will make will be as follows:
Papa a la Huancaina (Peruvian potatoes with a cheesy sauce) Causa Limeña (Mashed Peruvian yellow potatoes with veggie/chicken fillings)
Ceviche (Famous Peruvian raw fish dish!) Aji de Gallina (Chicken in a yellow hot pepper sauce) Lomo Saltado (Beef, tomatoes, and onions in a stir-fry sauce with Peruvian hot peppers) Rocoto Relleno (Stuffed Peruvian Red Peppers)
Arroz con Leche (Rice in sweet cream) Picarones (Fried Donuts with Honey) Return to your hotel for an evening of leisure.
Day 9. CUZCO - PUERTO MALDONADO - INKATERRA AMAZONICA B, L, D
Transfer to the airport for the flight to Puerto Maldonado. Reception at the airport where you will have a personal escort to assist with your luggage. You will then be driven to the river port, whilst hearing an introductory talk about the city and surrounding areas, in addition to the characteristics of the Amazon region. Embarkation on a 45-minute boat ride on the Madre de Dios River until you arrive at the Reserva Amazonica Lodge. Here you will be assigned to your cabin, a Tambopata suite, complete with a private terrace with a plunge pool, 2 sunbathing chairs and an outside shower with a private service entrance and complete with hot water showers.
After a buffet lunch, afternoon excursions including a guided walk along one of the trails close to the lodge. The trails wind past important giant trees of the forest as the kapok and the strangler fig, and you may see superb examples of bird and insect life.
We will also take a boat ride along the Madre de Dios River to see the change in the environment as twilight gives way to darkness. Animals and birds are replaced by special species adapted to the darkness, such as nightjars, owls, capybara, and caiman. You may choose to take the Twilight Rainforest excursion as an alternative.
Cocktails and buffet dinner in the dining room of the lodge's main pavilion. Relax on the porch of your suite before retiring for the night.
Day 10. INKATERRA AMAZONICA B,L,D
Wake up early to observe the sun rise over the Madre de Dios River before a buffet breakfast with eggs, cereals, local fruits, and fresh bread. We will then gather in the Eco-Centre for your morning excursions. A five-minute boat ride takes you to the Canopy Inkaterra Interpretation Centre where you can ascend the first tower, 45 metres (150 feet) above the forest floor. Spend an hour and a half walking on the bridges that stretch between seven platforms, as you see giant strangler fig trees, orchids, toucans, woodpeckers, trogons, and with luck, monkeys or a three-toed sloth.
We will then embark on a 40-minute boat ride that takes you to the Tambopata National Reserve. Spend an hour-and-a-half walking the 3 km. (1.8 mile) trail through the wildlife-rich reserve, and you will arrive at the breathtaking oxbow lake called Lake Sandoval. Here you will have an excellent opportunity to see the endangered giant river otter. Also residing in and around the lake are the rare red howler monkeys, red-bellied macaws, anaconda, point-tailed palm creepers, and side-neck turtles.
Return to the main lodge for cocktails and buffet dinner. Spend the night in your suite.
Day 11. INKATERRA AMAZONICA B,L,D
Enjoy a buffet breakfast before your morning's excursion to Concepción. A 10-minute boat ride upriver to Concepción, home to a botanical garden with more than 200 different species of plants. Spend an hour learning about the processes used and benefits gained by the traditional uses of flora. Walk for an hour to reach the natural collpas (clay licks), and learn about the many rainforest mammals and birds that consume this clay. After lunch, enjoy your excursion to Rolin Island where you will stroll for an hour, while learning about island ecosystems and seeing the presentation at the Primate Rescue Center, home to three species of primates—the brown capuchin, white capuchin, and squirrel monkeys. With luck, you may see some of these endangered animals while enjoying a talk about the measures being taken to protect them. Return to the lodge for cocktails and a buffet dinner.
Day 12. INKATERRA AMAZONICA - LIMA B
After breakfast, check out of the lodge and return by boat to Puerto Maldonado, an hour and a half upriver. Visit the city's Butterfly Farm, unique in Peru where you can experience several dozen of the more than 3,800 varieties of butterflies and moths found in Peru. Assistance with your luggage, prior to boarding your flight to Lima. Arrival in time for your connecting flight home. (If you have more than six hours before your flight home, a complimentary dinner for 2 along with private transfers will be provided).