B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Monday, 24 Apr 2017: Evening Arrival Lima, Peru - City of Kings
Schedule your arrival into Lima, Peru at your convenience. As most flights arrive in the evening, there are no scheduled activities for this day. Group transfers from the airport to the hotel will be arranged based on arrival time. Overnight Lima- 2 nights
Tuesday, 25 Apr 2017: Lima City Tour; Afternoon Personal Time; Group Dinner (B,D)
We will meet in the lobby at 8:30am to make introductions before our day begins. Then it's off to tour the modern districts of Lima, plus its historic center, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassic influences are reflected in a handful of well-preserved buildings that offer a glimpse of the blend of past and present that characterizes this capital. We see San Francisco (1674), the city's most visited church. Its underground tunnels lead to catacombs that served as a cemetery until 1808. We'll also visit Casa de Aliaga, one of Lima's most historic houses. It has been owned by the family Aliaga and their descendants since Francisco Pizarro granted this property to one of his followers in 1535. There will be free time this afternoon before we get together to enjoy a dinner of Peruvian fusion cuisine at its best.
Wednesday, 26 Apr 2017: Flight to Cusco; City Tour (B)
This morning after breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our flight to Cusco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire. Upon landing, we'll embark on a tour that takes us to the most important sites in and around Cusco, a city that blends two cultures (Inca and Spanish). We stop at the Temple of the Sun (Qoricancha), Cusco's Cathedral, and various Inca sites just outside the city such as the Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, Puca Pucara and Tambomachay. Overnight Cusco - 1 night
Thursday, 27 Apr 2017: Sacred Valley of the Incas (B,L)
We begin today's tour of the Sacred Valley with a stop at the Pisaq market. Originally a place where people from remote communities used to barter their products, Pisaq has evolved into one of South America's most famous souvenir markets. You might want to sample an empanada baked in a traditional clay oven. We'll also stop at Awana Kancha, a breeding center for South American camelids (guanacos, llamas, alpacas and vicunas). Artisans here will demonstrate ancient Andean weaving and dyeing techniques that are still in use today. We stop for lunch at a countryside restaurant for a Cusqueno-style barbeque meal. Then its off to visit Ollantaytambo, a quaint village at the northern end of the Sacred Valley, dominated by two massive Inca ruins. After touring these ruins, we'll check into our hotel. Overnight Sacred Valley - 1 night
Friday, 28 Apr 2017: Travel by Train & Bus to Machu Picchu (B,L,D)
Today we depart by train through the Sacred Valley up to Aguas Calientes where we'll board a small bus that winds up the steep road to the entrance of the citadel Machu Picchu, one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. For centuries, Machu Picchu remained undiscovered by the Spaniards and unknown to the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention in 1911. On a guided tour, we will experience the uniqueness of the location and the genius that went into its construction. Overnight Aguas Calientes - 2 nights
Saturday, 29 Apr 2017: Personal Day to in Aguas Calientes; Optional re-entry to Machu Picchu (B)
After breakfast, the remainder of the day is free. Most women want another day of exploring the wonderful majesty of Machu Picchu. If you're up to the challenge, you might want to hike up Huayna Picchu, the towering mountain that serves as the backdrop in almost every photo of Machu Picchu. Or simply roam around the ruins, taking in the tranquility of the site.
Sunday, 30 Apr 2017: Return to Cusco; Afternoon Personal Time (B)
Today we retrace our route and head back to Cusco where the remainder of the afternoon is free to rest and relax. Overnight Cusco - 2 nights
Monday, 1 May 2017: Weaving Demonstration; Salt Mines; Farewell Dinner (B,D)
This morning, we are off to the charming community of Chinchero where we will join a local family of weavers for an overview of the Andean weaving process. Chinchero is renowned for the production of textiles created on backstrap looms. We'll see how the wool is carded, spun and dyed, and learn about the various techniques used to create belts, ponchos an shawls. Later, we continue on to the old terraced salt mines that cover the entire hillside. The dominant color is an intense white that burns like snow on a sunny day, making for an impressive sight. The Incas extracted salt from these mines and the process has been carried forth to today. From here, we visit Moray, where circular terraces are hidden among the hills. These terraces were used as as an open-air agricultural lab for adapting crops to different environmental conditions. Once back in Cusco, we'll gather for our Farewell Dinner and reminisce about our wonderful week.
Tuesday, 2 May 2017: Return Flight to Lima and Return Home -or- Continue on to Easter Island (B,L)
After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for the short flight back to Lima. Once we arrive, we'll gather for lunch and our last taste of the flavors of Peru.
NOTE 1: If you are going on to Easter Island you will be transported to the airport after lunch. See footer information for flight details to Easter Island.
NOTE 2: If you are returning home today, there will be a visit to the Indian Markets - four blocks of crafts from across the country. At the conclusion of your time here we travel to the airport for your return flight home. Make your return flight no earlier than 7:00pm