Day 1: Lima
Lima is located in the central coastal area with a population of over 8 million people. Lima, well known as a culinary center of Peru, has great local seafood and trying the saviche is a must! It is a bustling metropolis with a mix of colonial mansions and modern buildings, art galleries and baroque churches, restaurants, beautiful parks, bohemian bars and discotheques. In the morning we will tour both the Colonial and Modern Lima, with visits 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. Take a short tour of the modern districts of San Isidro and Miraflores where there is a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean. After lunch, 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. Overnight in Lima.
Days 2-3: Sacred Valley & Urubamba
Check out of hotel, private transfer to Lima airport & flight to Cuzco, pick up at Cuzco airport, Private transfer and tour to Sacred Valley. The Sacred Valley of the Incas offers a glorious beginning to a visit to the region. The Valley’s climate, overwhelmingly beautiful scenery, picture postcard villages, and warm, friendly local people all reflect the Peru that visitors travel thousands of miles to see. The Sacred Valley is home to some of the finest Inca sites in all of Peru, to local markets packed with colorful folk art and crafts, and to villages unchanged for centuries. The Valley is fed by numerous rivers which descend through adjoining valleys and gorges, and contains numerous archaeological remains and villages. The valley was appreciated by the Incas due to its special geographical and climatic qualities. It was one of the empire's main points for the extraction of natural wealth, and the best place for maize production in Peru. The Sacred Valley is generally understood to include everything between Písac and Ollantaytambo, parallel to the Urubamba River, or Vilcanota River or Wilcamayu, as this Sacred river is called when passing through the valley. We take a trip to the Urubamba valley, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, to visit the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo. The site was built just as the Spaniards arrived, and evidence of how it was constructed is still visible. After admiring the site's magnificent past stroll through the quaint streets of today’s town. Continue to Pisac for an opportunity to haggle with vendors at its handicraft market. You will be able to observe a magnificent view of the Urubamba valley along the way. Overnight in Urubamba.
Day 4: Machu Picchu
Private transfer to the Ollantaytambo train station for a scenic train ride from Sacred valley to Aqua Calientes and Machu Picchu on the vistadrome train which boasts rooftop windows to see the scenic vistas around every turn, make sure to sit on the left side of the train which follows the river and better views. Your guide will allow you to Adventure at your own pace. If you are looking at traditional postcard pictures of Machu Picchu in Peru, you will surely come across at least a few that shows 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", its 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. Overnight in Machu Picchu or Aqua Calientes.
Day 5: Cuzco
Morning transfer by train back to Sacred Valley for a private transfer to Cuzco. We will begin our tour 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 continue to San Blas to visit its beautiful colonial church, which houses an impressive pulpit and a filigree woodcarving celebrating the fruits of the region. The church is dedicated to the Virgin of the Blessed Event. Stroll through the many handicraft and native art galleries in the little square. Roam the older quarters of the city, which date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. In the afternoon we take a tour of the city, starting out at 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. After touring the most interesting sites of the city, you will be driven to the countryside outside Cuzco to visit some of the remarkable Inca ruins in the area. Included are the cult centre of Sacsayhuaman, the temple and amphitheatre of Kenko, and the Red Fortress of Puca Pucara.
Day 6: Cuzco
Open day in Cuzco to enjoy the squares, enjoy the local cuisine and maybe see a local show. Cuzco is one of my favorite places to take lots of pictures. Between the inca and colonial architecture and all the interesting people in their local wears, it’s a haven for weekend photographers. Composition is always amazing here, the sky is always blue, the stoic faces of the elderly tell stories with just a stare, the colorful knits that the locals wear and even the pay-for-pic ladies with their kids bundled to their backs with baby alpacas in-hand are worth the change in your pocket to get some awesome shots. We can arrange a wonderful dinner at Map or Gastón Acurio’s Chicha. Overnight in Cuzco.
Days 7-12: Mancora
Morning private transfer to Cuzco airport, flight to Piura (via Lima), Private Transfer to Mancora Beach and the DCO Suites Boutique Hotel. Mancora is a small, attractive resort town popular with surfers, backpackers travelling to/from Ecuador's nearby border and young Peruvians from the capital Lima. There is a long, sandy beach in the town (good for swimming and surfing alike), plus other lovely sandy beaches to the South of town. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and hotels in Mancora here - it's quite a happening place. December to Easter Week is the high season, and can get very busy with mainly Peruvian and Ecuadorean tourists. Very close to Mancora is the National Park & Preserve of the Amotape Mountains (Parque Nacional Cerros de Amotape). The south zone of the Park consists of a dry equatorial forest, where a great variety of fauna exist like deer, iguanas, puma and a variety of birds. In the rainy months from January to March, water descends through the rocks forming beautiful waterfalls. At the north part on the park the fauna changes as this forest becomes what is know as Sub Tropical with other species such as the howling, monkey, crocodile, wild boar, amongst others. Explore the park or just relax and enjoy the beaches and personalized service of the DCO Suites. Private Transfer out to airport and connections home.