Day 1: Lima
Morning arrival, meeting and transfer to the Miraflores Park Orient Express Hotel. There is only one way to start this journey: at the local market. Here you will personally experience the richness of the Peruvian natural resources and discover a huge variety of conventional and exotic fruits, vegetables and seafood. Next stop is your first hands-on class on how to prepare the most popular Peruvian dish: Ceviche. This class will give you the experience and all the knowledge needed to prepare the best Ceviche and all related dishes such as Tiradito and all the seafood combinations. In the afternoon, you will visit to the 17th century San Francisco Convent, passing by outstanding monuments such as the Government Palace, the City Hall and the Cathedral at the Plaza Mayor and visit the Larco Herrera Museum- Since 1926 the world’s largest private collection of pre-Columbian art with a unique assortment of erotic pottery, genuine and rich jewels in gold, silver and semi-precious stones. The museum holds 45,000 pieces of ceramics plus genuine mummies and textiles. Private dinner arranged at the Aliaga Mansion. Overnight in Miraflores Park.
Day 2: Sacred Valley & Urubamba
Today you will travel to Cuzco and drive to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This valley contains numerous archaeological sites and villages. It was one of the Incan Empire's main points for the extraction of natural wealth, and the best place for corn production in Peru. Its impressive landscapes are a special favorite for photography aficionados. We check in to Sol y Luna Hotel and visit their amazing Restaurant Wayra, inspired by the colors and sounds of the mountains, and taste simple, unpretentious Andean food, as well as Peruvian pisco and wine from around the world. Our chef's table tasting menu includes 7 dishes paired with great wines. After lunch we visit the local artist studio of Pablo Seminario and we're invited to see his private work and seperate studio, a rare experience. Later in the afternoon we visit the Ollantaytambo ruins and the Ollantaytambo Fortress, a side treat along the Machu Picchu route. Overnight in Sol y Luna Hotel.
Day 3: Sacred Valley & Urubamba
After breakfast, our Wayra chef takes us on a tour of local suppliers and their farms. It’s a great opportunity to learn about local farming customs, small farms and vegetable gardens and methods of cultivation, and to discover products of the Valley: aromatic herbs, grains with surprising properties, roots and colorful fruits. We move on to lunch at Wayra's terrace for a special BBQ feast, famous for the assortment and presentation of the meats and a Peruvian Paso horse demonstration and a performance of the marinera dance. In the afternoon we visit the Pisac and the chinchero market (sundays) and watch a cooperative weaving expo. Return to hotel and open dinner at leisure in Urubamba. Overnight in Sol y Luna Hotel.
Day 4: Machu Picchu
Private transfer from Urubamba to Poroy train station. Board the luxury Hiram Bingham train. Depart Poroy Station at 9:00am. This spectacular train journey crosses the Anta plateau and follows the Urubamba River down the impressive Canyon of the Vilcanota. Enjoy a gourmet brunch before disembarking at 12.30pm at Aguas Calientes, located at the foot of Machu Picchu. (3h30min train ride). Machu Picchu was built around the year 1450, but abandoned a hundred years later, at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. Forgotten for centuries, the site was brought to worldwide attention in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, an American historian. Since then, Machu Picchu has become an important tourist attraction. It has recently come to light that the site may have been discovered and raided several years previously, in 1867 by a German businessman, Augusto Berns. It was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. The Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, run by prestigious the Orient Express group, is just steps from the entrance to the Inca ruins at Machu Picchu, one of the world’s most important heritage sites. The hotel’s privileged location allows guests to enjoy magical sunrises and sunsets in relative solitude at the ruins before and after the majority of other visitors have arrived or departed. For relaxing there is an interior garden with a variety of flowers and orchids and stunning panoramic views. Overnight at Orient Express Sanctuary Lodge.
Day 5: Machu Picchu
Open day at leisure – Adventure at your own pace, enjoy great hiking/climbing, the uneven paths make these hikes a bit demanding, but the unique and incredible views make the effort more than worthwhile! If you are looking at traditional postcard pictures of Machu Picchu in Peru, you will surely come across at least a few that show a distinct mountain rising above the ruins. This most recognizable peak is known as Huayna Picchu. It soars almost 1,200 feet above the Machu Picchu ruins, and climbing Huayna Picchu is among the top pursuits for Machu Picchu visitors. If you don't have a severe fear of heights, it is a highly recommend trail for unparalleled views and experiences. You should only consider climbing Huayna Picchu if you think that you can handle the sometimes precarious hike up. You can always turn back at any time, and there are frequently cable hand railings to guide you up the steps. There is never a place where you are actually "climbing", it's all stairs. The gates to Huayna Picchu, and the smaller Huchuypicchu, open at 7 am and close at 1 pm. Only 400 people a day are allowed the chance to summit this magical peak. So arrive early. The Incas built terraces here, and the airy summit offers a perfect view of the entire complex, which spreads out before the summit like a map. See Intipunku, it consists of two large stones that correspond to the winter and summer solstices, and on these dates the gates are illuminated by laser-like beams of light. In addition to their symbolic importance, the gates also provide remarkable views of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu. If you look up at Machu Picchu Mountain and then let your eyes follow the ridge down to the first notch, you will see tiny structures in the notch. That is Intipunku. See Putukusi Mountain base, which is located one mile from Aguas Calientes/ elevation 8504 ft. Putukusi is a shear cliffed, jungle coated mountain. Because of its prime locations it offers one of the best view of the site while providing unsurpassed solitude, something which none of the other two climbable peaks in the area can provide. On a clear day it's possible to see Machu Picchu with snow-capped Salkantay behind it. Overnight at Orient Express Sanctuary Lodge.
Day 6: Cusco
After breakfast we will take the Vistadome train from Aquas Calientes back to Sacred Valley for a private transfer to Cuzco, on the way we will be visiting Awanakancha, where South American camelidae are bred. Learn about the llamas, alpacas and vicunas superb fibres, as well as the ancient weaving techniques which are still in use. We will stop at Sacsayhuaman Ruins and continue to Cuzco's historical center where we visit the Santo Domingo convent monastery. This former Colonial monastery was previously the Koricancha temple, one of the most important temples devoted to worship of the sun. According to the chronicles, it was covered in gold Leaf and filled with golden representations of nature. Also included in the tour are stops at the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral. Tonight will be your introduction to the “Novoandina” world at the MAP Café. This cuisine refers to contemporary dishes in which traditional ingredients are substituted with Andean ingredients. This is an excellent opportunity to appreciate how versatile these ingredients are. The patio of the “Museo de Arte Precolombino” (Museum of Pre-Inca art) is where this restaurant is located in a special glass box, complimenting the wonderful taste with a spectacular setting. This is a 5-course tasting dinner.
Day 7: Cuzco
Morning walking tour in the colonial quarter. Inca monuments include Qorikancha (Temple of the Sun), the fine Inca walls of Inti Q'ijllo, Ajlla Wasi (House of the Virgins of the Sun), the Stone of Twelve Angles and Huacaypata (Leisure Square), now dominated by the Spanish colonial Cathedral. Lunch at Pachapapa before a visit to artisans' workshops and the Church of San Blas. Afternoon stroll around Cuzco on your own. Open dinner to eat at leisure, we recommend Chi Cha. Overnight at Inkaterra La Casona.
Day 8: Lake Titicaca & Puno
Morning private transfer out to airport and flight to Juliaca, Private transfer to the Titilaka Lodge where all your meals and excursions are included. The chef is supurb and you will enjoy this remote but culinary experience. IN the afternoon we drive and visit the floating islands of Uros, where the inhabitants still live as they did centuries ago, on floating islands they make with the totora reeds that grow on the lake. Dinner and relaxing at the lodge. Overnight at Titilaka Lodge.
Day 9: Lake Titicaca & Puno
Depart early in the morning for a boat excursion to Taquile Island for a 30 minute, hike towards its small town inhabited by Quechua speaking natives who have, over the generations, developed both an efficient and original social system as well as a refined handweaving technique. Lunch will be served in a local house that serves as a restaurant. After lunch we will explore the island and you can appreciate the magnificent views of Lake Titicaca. After this trekking will embark and return to the lodge for late lunch, relaxing at the lodge and dinner. Overnight at Titilaka Lodge.
Day 10: Lake Titicaca & Departure from Lima
Morning free for relaxing. Afternoon Transfer from the hotel to Juliaca airport for flight to Lima and connections home.