Day 1. LIMA
Arrival to Lima, reception at the airport and transfer by private vehicle to the deluxe 5* Miraflores Park Hotel. VIP check-in to your Executive Suite complete with Ocean views. Fresh flowers and dry fruits will be waiting for you. If your arrival flight is late your massage will be postponed for tomorrow. If you arrive on an early flight, you will have a choice of an a la carte dinner or room service (if arriving after 11PM).
Day 2. LIMA
After breakfast, a private guided visit of colonial and modern Lima, including 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. One of the very few South American cities that preserve the colonial past, Lima was home to the Spanish viceroy during the time of the Spanish colonialists. The tour will include a visit to the residential areas of San Isidro and Miraflores, before stopping at Larco Mar to enjoy a view of the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Lunch at the internationally renowned Rosa Nautica, the best seafood restaurant in Lima. After lunch, a visit to a museum of your choice. We recommend the Gold Museum, originally from a private collection. The museum includes valuable pieces, particularly gold, silver and copper from several pre-Hispanic cultures. The most precious piece in the collection is the solid gold Tumi (ceremonial knife) belonging to the Lambayeque culture. Return to your hotel to enjoy a relaxing 60 minute massage (for two people) which will invigorate the senses and prepare you for a delicious dinner at the Huaca Pucllana Restaruant. Located within an actual pre-Inca archaeological site and next to a 1500 year old adobe pyramid, the food here is exquisite and the sommelier will help you choose amongst your personal favourites or some Chilean and Argentinean classics. Return to your hotel.
Day 3: LIMA - NAZCA
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the 08:30 flight to the private aerodrome of AeroCondor in Ica. Change of the aircraft to a Cessna for the flight tour lasting 1 hour and 10 minutes over the Nazca Lines. These gigantic drawings and geometrical figures engraved in the driest desert of Peru date back to 250 AD. Drawn throughout over 1000 Km2 of desert on the Pampas of San Jose in Ica, and due to their enormous size and largely unknown origin, leaves an indelible impression on all who visit this most mysterious archaeological site. With representations of animals, such as a spider, a monkey and several birds, they are believed to be an enormous astronomical calendar or possibly an offering to the gods. First discovered in 1550 it was not until the advent of flight, in the 1920's, that the lines were first realised for their significance. The drawings are not in actual desert sand but on small rock debris, varying in length from 150m to 300m and with a depth of 20cm. Return to Ica for a guided visit to the Regional Museum of Ica and the oasis at Huacachina followed by lunch. Transfer back to the aerodrome for the return flight to Lima arriving between 17:00 and 18:00. Arrival and transfer to your hotel. Dinner at an internationally renowned restaurant.
Day 4. LIMA - TRUJILLO
Free morning with a light lunch at your hotel before transferring to the airport for your flight to Trujillo, the largest city in Peru after Lima. Located in the northern half of Peru, Trujillo lies close to the Pacific Ocean and is the perfect gateway to many of the pre-Inca cultural sites in the area. Reception and transfer to your hotel, the Libertador Hotel, located on the Main Plaza of the city. Accommodation in a suite. Tonight you will enjoy dinner at the elegant Palacio Iturregui.
Day 5: TRUJILLO - CHAN CHAN
After breakfast, a walking tour of this fascinating colonial city founded in 1534 by Diego de Almagro, a fellow conquistador of Pizarro. Trujillo, named after the birth place of Pizarro is famous for its colonial and republican-era architecture and for its many churches and mansions. We shall visit the Cathedral and several 18th century mansions, including La Casa Mayorazgo and La Casa Urquiaga, which was home to Simon Bolivar during the War of Independence. We shall also visit the Museum of Archaeology which houses artefacts from the Moche's Pyramids of the Sun and Moon. We will then drive to Huanchaco just outside of the city on the coast for lunch at Big Ben, an excellent seafood restaurant. After lunch, the tour continues to the metropolis of Chan-Chan, the ancient capital city of the Chimu Empire built in the 10th century. It is the largest pre-Columbian city in South America, built entirely of mud and adobe bricks. At its zenith, more than 60,000 inhabitants offered fierce resistance to the expansion of the Inca Empire centuries later. The nearby ruins of the Huaca La Esmeralda (Emerald Temple) and the restored Huaca Arco Iris (Rainbow Temple) will give you an idea of the city's original appearance, when its high-relief friezes were painted in vivid colors with depictions of sea life and fishing activities reveal the significance of the life of the Chimu. Return to Trujillo for Dinner at El Club Central and accommodation at your hotel.
Day 6. PYRAMIDS OF THE SUN & THE MOON - El BRUJO - CHICLAYO
After breakfast, a visit to the incredible highlights of the Mochica culture, the "huacas" (holy places), del Sol y de la Luna or Pyramids of the Sun and Moon. Located in the fertile Moche Valley, archaeologists are to this day uncovering polychrome friezes with mask-like reliefs of mythological beings. Built of adobe blocks, the pyramids are the largest pre-Columbian structures in South America. We then continue north along the coast to the archaeological complex of El Brujo, dating back 500 years and one of the finest preserved sites in the area. The name comes from the fact that the site was used by local "brujos" (shaman) -- and even to this day, the region's renowned shaman ward off evil spirits in the area. The site is composed of three Mochica and pre-Mochica huacas and many minor mounds. Typical lunch with an exhibition of Peruvian Paso horses at Hacienda Paijan, a renowned horse-breeding ranch. After lunch, a visit to Paijan, an archaeological complex consisting of outdoor camps, quarries and workshops before we continue to the city of Chiclayo further north. Accommodation in a suite at the Gran Chiclayo Hotel. Dinner at the Gourmet Fiesta Restaurant.
Day 7. SIPAN - ROYAL TOMBS OF SIPAN MUSEUM - TUCUME
Located in the Lambayeque Valley, in archaeological terms, we are now in the richest cultural zone in northern Peru, often referred to as the 'Egypt' of South America. A fertile agricultural region that for the last two thousand years have been the centre of ancient pre-Inca cultures, notably the Mochica, with temples, such as Huaca Rajada, the pyramids of Tucume, Batan Grande and others of world-wide importance. After breakfast, we visit the Mochica archaeological complex of Sipan, located in the site called Huaca Rajada. It comprises two pyramids and one platform dating back to over one thousand years before the Incas, and where two of the most famous ancient tombs were discovered, intact by Peruvian archaeologist Dr. Walter Alva in 1987 and 1988 -- the tombs of "The Lord of Sipan" and his ancestor, "The Old Lord". The lords ruled the valley during the second and third centuries AD. The treasure of pure gold artefacts discovered in the tombs revealed their culture's surprising command of metallurgy and its exquisite artistry in gold and silver, in addition to its known excellence in ceramics. After visiting the archaeological site and its museum, we view the artefacts unearthed there which are now exhibited at the Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum. With architecture inspired by the Moche's pyramids, subdued lighting and traditional music played on pre-Hispanic instruments, the museum creates a meditative mood for contemplating the past as revealed by the richest collection ever discovered in Peru. On the way to the museum, we shall also visit Chiclayo's witch doctors' market. After a typical lunch we head further north to Tucume, an archaeological complex with 26 adobe pyramids, the oldest dating back to 700 AD. One of them is similar in volume to the great Egyptian pyramids. The archaeology reveals that the valley was occupied by the Moche Culture in a very early stage, developing a complex culture based on maritime trade and agriculture. Return to Chiclayo for dinner and accommodation.
Day 8. BATAN GRANDE - SICAN MUSEUM - BRUNNING MUSEUM - LIMA
After breakfast, we head to Batan Grande, an archaeological and ecological reserve. The Sican culture developed here and, according to archaeologists, was one of Peru's most important metallurgical centres in ancient times. We shall see evidence of this on display at the newly-opened Sican Museum. Among the 20 pre-Inca structures, Las Ventanas is famous for the discovery of a large golden "tumi", or sacrificial knife. The site is fascinating in that the ruins are within a carob tree forest, believed to be the largest in Peru. After a typical lunch, we continue to the Brüning Museum, regarded as the finest museum in South America. Return to Chiclayo for dinner at El Huaralino before your transfer to the airport and return flight to Lima. Reception and transfer to your hotel, the Miraflores Park. .
Day 9. LIMA - CUZCO
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 exclusive deluxe 5* Monasterio Hotel. VIP check-in by the chapel to your deluxe room. A fruit basket, fresh flowers, and fine chocolates will be waiting for you. The room will be oxygenated (the only hotel in the world with this facility) to help you relax and sleep more comfortably in the high altitude setting of Cuzco (11,600ft above sea level). After a recommended light lunch in the wonderful hotel restaurant, a private guided tour of Cuzco including the Cathedral, Qoricancha temple, the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman overlooking Cuzco, Qenko and Puka Pukara. Return to the hotel. Dinner in the El Tupay Restaurant. On Saturdays a folkloric music show will accompany your dinner.
Day 10. URUBAMBA
After breakfast, a private full-day excursion to Urubamba, the sacred valley of the Incas and to the ancient Inca market town of Pisac. Lunch in Urubamba or a picnic lunch will be provided. A visit will be made to Ollantaytambo, the only Inca town that was not defeated by the Spanish and a chance to explore the ruins before returning to Cuzco. Return to your hotel to relax and unwind. Before dinner, enjoy a 30 minute 'Inca massage' accompanied by traditional music. This relaxing massage incorporates aromatherapy using Kantu, the sacred flower of the Incas. Dinner in Cuzco at a recommended restaurant.
Day 11. CUZCO - MACHU PICCHU
Enjoy a good night's sleep before your private transfer at 9AM to Poroy, a short distance from Cuzco. Boarding of the luxurious Hiram Bingham train to Aguas Calientes. This Orient Express train is the most exclusive way to visit Machu Picchu and includes a hearty brunch aboard the train. Guides will also be available to answer any questions. Arrival to Aguas Calientes, assistance with your luggage and boarding of the bus for the short ride up to Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca citadel. At the very entrance to Machu Picchu, your hotel is located, the Sanctuary Lodge hotel. VIP check-in to your room, complete with king size bed and a view of the incredible mountains. A welcome drink and fruit basket will be waiting for you. Shortly after, a 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. Lunch (if required), dinner and accommodation at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge. Opportunity to return to the site once all the other visitors have gone and an opportunity to truly appreciate the grandiose setting of this Inca masterpiece; with no crowds but only an eerie silence that few people experience.
Day 12. MACHU PICCHU - CUZCO
Early opportunity to return to the site and enjoy a wonderful sunrise over Machu Picchu. Time for some private reflection before returning for breakfast. Today no guide is provided as we feel that Machu Picchu requires a certain amount of self discovery to be fully understood. Take any of the several paths around various parts of the site (we will provide a map to help you), trek up to Wayna Picchu or walk down to the Inca's bridge. Let Machu Picchu unfold all its mysteries for you, take in the breathtaking cloud forests and jagged mountains, or marvel at the extraordinary Masonic precision of the ancient Incas. Either way, your day of self discovery will be a day never to be forgotten. Return to your hotel for lunch before returning back down to Aguas Calientes by bus. Some free time to visit the colourful town before boarding the Hiram Bingham train in the early evening. Return in style, converse with your fellow passengers and guides and enjoy cocktails followed by a four course dinner. Reception and transfer to the Monasterio hotel for your final night in Cuzco.
Day 13. CUZCO - LIMA
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the return flight to Lima and your connecting flight home.
End of our services.