Arrive Lima, Peru
Arrive in Lima this evening and transfer to your hotel. Founded in 1535 by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizzaro, this “City of Kings” is a blend of colonial structures, pre-Columbian sites and modern conveniences.
Lima | Colonial Splendors
After a morning at your leisure, discover Peru’s capital, strolling the Plaza Mayor, birthplace of the city, and the beautiful Cathedral, an architectural marvel built in 1535. Continue past the Presidential Palace, where the soldiers on guard offer an excellent photo opportunity. Return to your hotel and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.
Cusco | The Immense Stone Marvel of Sacsayhuaman
This morning, fly to Cusco, where you are met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon, discover the city on a guided exploration that includes the Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas and the Santo Domingo Temple, a Dominican church built on the foundations of the Koricancha, the Incas’ principal religious building. Learn from a local expert who explains how the historic clashes between the Incas and the Spanish played a role in forming today’s Peruvian culture. Later, visit the well-preserved ruins of Sacsayhuaman, a testament to Incan architectural skill. Compiled of colossal stones, the largest of which may weigh as much as 200 tons, the walls were cut and placed together with incredible precision and without a single drop of mortar to hold them in place. This imposing fortress, which witnessed the greatest battle between the Spanish and the Incas, overlooks the red-tiled roofs of Cusco.
Sacred Valley | People of the Andean Highlands
This morning, visit a remote village seemingly frozen in time. Immerse yourself in the daily life of this local community while you learn how they create their traditional dishes, gather medicinal plants, make adobe bricks, and hand down farming and weaving techniques through the generations, to thrive in this challenging Andean mountain environment. Continue to Moray, a very different Incan site that was apparently used as an agricultural experimentation center. It is believed that its different levels were planted to test the productivity of various crop strains under a variety of circumstances. Stop for lunch at Hacienda Huayoccari, a hidden gem tucked away on a lush private estate, far off the beaten path. Afterward, return to Cusco for an afternoon at leisure.
Machu Picchu | The Stunning Incan Citadel
This morning, board the Vistadome train to Machu Picchu at Ollantaytambo station. Journey deep into the Andes, gazing out at the lush Peruvian countryside along the way. Disembark in Agua Calientes and transfer up to the famed Incan citadel, where you enjoy lunch at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge before beginning your explorations. Overlooking the Urubamba River and revealed to the rest of the world in 1911 by American historian and adventurer Hiram Bingham, Machu Picchu forever holds the secret of its passing — its Incan inhabitants left no written records of its purpose. Walk the ruins alongside your expert guide, and then continue on your own. As you wander amid the age-old stone walls, picture life as it might have been in this majestic citadel, set some 8,000 feet above sea level.
Machu Picchu | Return to Cusco
Today, after a morning at leisure followed by lunch, return to Ollantaytambo on the Vistadome train and transfer to your hotel in Cusco upon arrival.
Enjoy this morning at your leisure, visiting shops or simply relaxing, before flying back to Lima. From there, transfer to the airport for your departing flight.
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