Arrive Lima, Peru
Arrive in Lima — with its pre-Columbian temples, elegant colonial façades and modern high-rises that combine to form a unique, inspiring ambience — where you are met and transferred to your oceanside hotel.
Lima | Local Tastes & Spiritual Legacies
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
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 Huaypo Lake, a secluded gem set 11,500 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 lake. 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, where you may choose to cap off the day 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 Urubamba River, the mystical Incan 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. Settle in, and then experience the mysterious site for the first time on a guided afternoon visit, immersed in a setting immense in its visual and emotional impact.
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 awe-inspiring citadel in the early morning light, before the crowds arrive. You may also opt to hike up Huayna Picchu, the towering peak that forms the backbone of Machu Picchu. Ascend a path originally built by the Incas, taking a zigzag route using rough-hewn, sometimes uneven stone steps. You are rewarded with unique views of the magnificent ruins and the surrounding area. After lunch at a local restaurant, board the Vistadome train to Ollantaytambo Station. Continue overland to Cusco and check in to your tranquil hideaway near the city’s main square.
Cusco | Design Your Day
This morning, after breakfast, enjoy one of these Design Your Day activities.
Visit the San Blas Neighborhood, an art district where styles are handed down through generations of artisans.
Stroll San Pedro Market, tasting the local flavors of Cusco at this vibrant open-air venue.
Enjoy a Lecture on the Divine Coca Plant, followed by a private coca-leaf oracle reading with a local shaman.
This afternoon, tour Cusco’s Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas and Santo Domingo Temple, which is built on the foundation of the Koricancha, a building sacred to the Incas — their Golden Temple of the Sun. Today, the site represents the fusion of pre-Inca, Inca and Colonial cultures, and in a broader sense symbolizes the character of Peru itself. Also, explore the well-preserved Sacsayhuaman, another testimony to the Incas and their ability to skillfully blend massive structures with the natural landscape. Compiled of massive 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. 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.
Customize This Journey
If you would like to customize this itinerary and create a Tailor Made Journey just for you and your companions, click here to inquire, or speak to your travel professional.