Arrive Lima, Peru
Arrive in Lima, where pre-Columbian temples, elegant colonial façades and modern high-rises come together to form a unique, inspiring ambience. Transfer to your oceanside hotel. The next day, rise for a morning yoga session in a tranquil park. Next, look forward to a Chef’s Table experience: join a local chef for a guided walk through the market to gather locally grown ingredients, then head to a local restaurant for an interactive lesson in preparing authentic Peruvian dishes. Later, explore Peru’s capital, visiting the Plaza Mayor, home to the city’s beautiful 16th-century cathedral. Wander the convent’s courtyard, taking in its many altars and mosaic-covered chapel. Back at your hotel, enjoy a private lecture on the proposed healing powers of ayahuasca, a medicinal and spiritual plant used by indigenous tribes throughout the Amazon basin. Tonight, gather for a welcome dinner.
Sacred Valley | Journey to the Inca Empire
Today, begin your journey to the Sacred Valley, where you spend the next three days immersed in the mystical Inca splendors and traditions that define this high-Andean region. In the morning, fly to the Inca capital of Cusco, gateway to Machu Picchu, and enjoy lunch in the central square. Travel to the Sacred Valley, stopping en route to visit Awana Kancha, where South American camelids (such as llamas and alpacas) are bred, and where you learn about the fibers created from their coats. Continue to your intimate, hacienda-style hotel nestled in the Sacred Valley, and settle into your own luxury casita, boasting private, tranquil surrounds and breathtaking views.
Sacred Valley | An Offering to Pachamama
Today, travel higher into the Andes to kayak the remote lagoon of Huaypo, a secluded gem set 12,464 feet above sea level. Paddle its pristine waters at your own pace, taking in the stunning mountain-scape. Andean cultures have long revered Mother Earth goddess Pachamama for sustaining life on our planet. This afternoon, participate in one of Peru’s oldest and most sacred rituals when you join a local shaman in a traditional “payment to the earth” ceremony, extending an offering to Pachamama, to give thanks and honor new beginnings. Reflect on the experience during a scenic picnic lunch overlooking the lagoon. Then, enjoy a visit to a remote, richly cultured and seemingly timeless mountain community where you delve into a guided talk on medicinal plants and demonstrations in ancient traditions. Return to your hotel for an evening at leisure, where you may choose to cap off the evening with your included, replenishing spa treatment.
Sacred Valley | Shangri-La of the Andes
Begin today with a meaningful visit to the Kuychi Center, meeting the underprivileged children at Niños del Arco Iris (Children of the Rainbow), a project supported by A&K Philanthropy. Explore the charming colonial village of Pisac, once the imperial gateway to the Sacred Valley. Discover an archaeological site with a vast array of artifacts and structures. Next, privately visit a farmstead to immerse yourself in local life. Join the owners for a tour of the fields, a farm-to-table lunch and a parade by the farmstead’s paso fino horses. Back at your hotel, watch the sunset give way to a starlit sky (weather permitting). This sets the stage for a captivating talk on the importance of astronomy to the Incas, who believed the moon and the sun were deities, and that every constellation has a purpose. Enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure.
Machu Picchu | Sacred Citadel of the Incas
Spectacularly positioned on a narrow ridge above Rio Urubamba, the mystical Inca citadel of Machu Picchu with its temples and ritual structures held great spiritual significance for the Incas. Journey to its heart today, beginning with a private lecture by a renowned Machu Picchu scholar. Then, board the PeruRail Sacred Valley train, travelling deeper into the Andes and toward the ceremonial epicenter that is Machu Picchu. Arrive at the only hotel adjacent to the citadel, a respite wrapped in gardens and offering magnificent views. Experience the mysterious site for the first time with a guided afternoon visit.
Machu Picchu | Walking the Ruins at Sunrise
It is only upon walking amid crumbling ruins that still boast exceptional stonework and ornamental features that Machu Picchu’s significance becomes clear. Take this moving experience to the next level when you wander the ancient citadel in the early morning light, before the crowds arrive. You may also opt to hike the towering peak of Huayna Picchu for a breathtaking view. After lunch at a local restaurant, board the Vistadome train to Ollantaytambo Station. Continue overland to Cusco and check in to your tranquil hideaway just off the city’s main square.
Cusco | Design Your Day
After an optional private morning yoga session, Design Your Day with a range of inspiring options. Browse the picturesque San Blas neighborhood, a haven for local artisans; enjoy a lecture on the divine coca plant and coca-leaf oracle readings, followed by a private session with a local shaman; or enjoy a restorative spa treatment at your hotel. After lunch, tour Cusco’s Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas and Santo Domingo Temple. Later, explore the well-preserved Sacsayhuaman, another testimony to the Incas and their ability to skillfully blend massive structures with the natural landscape. Tonight, gather for a cocktail reception and farewell dinner at the elegant MAP Café.
After a morning at leisure, fly to Lima. The next day, board your international flight home.