DAY 1 (JUN 19 / FRI): LIMA | INC: – Breakfast
Arrival to Lima in the morning, meet and greet at the airport, then transfer to the hotel to sleep after an all night flight.
In the afternoon, we will have a tour through Lima’s streets and plazas. Starting at the Love Park in Miraflores, with a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, and then heading to the Huaca Pucllana, ceremonial center of the Lima culture. Later we will do a brief colonial and modern city tour to the San Isidro financial center, the Main Square where the Government Palace and Town Hall are located, and to the Cathedral and Santo Domingo Convent.
By night we will enjoy a unique evening visit to the most prestigious museum in the city. We will climb the lit pre-Columbian pyramid where the Larco Museum is built, and discover the treasures of ancient Peru while we walk along its halls and galleries. The Larco Museum is especially renowned for its famous collection of pre-Columbian erotic art and ceramics. At the end of the museum tour we will be able to enjoy an exquisite dinner in a magical and cozy atmosphere with a view to the beautiful gardens. Overnight in Lima.
DAY 2 (JUN 20 / SAT): LIMA | INC: Breakfast
In the morning we will visit the Archaeological Sanctuary of Pachacamac, just 30 kms. south of Lima. It was built in adobe with a view to the sea and the Lurin River valley. It was a pilgrimage site for many cultures that developed in ancient Peru. Upon arrival of the Incas, the complex was adapted to become an administrative center, respecting and adapting the local constructions. You can find there the Temple of the Sun, the Aclahuasi, the Palace of Taurichumbi, and the Pilgrimage Plaza, among others. We will also visit the Site Museum to get a better insight and appreciate the salvaged remnants of the area.
In the afternoon, Lima will surprise us with two of the best museums in the country. The Archaeology and Anthropology Museum will provide us an insight to the most representative cultures that developed in ancient Peru. Then we will visit the well-designed Foundation Museo Amano, which features a fine private collection of ceramics from the Chimú and Nazca cultures. It also has a remarkable assortment of lace and other textiles produced by the Chancay culture. Overnight in Lima.
DAY 3 (JUN 21 / SUN): LIMA | INC: Breakfast and Lunch.
Today is the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. We depart Lima very early in the morning to Caral, a large settlement in the Supe Valley, near the town of Barranca, on the coast, some 200 km north of Lima. Caral is the most ancient city of the Americas, and is a well-studied site of the Norte Chico civilization. The urban complex is spread out over 150 acres and contains plazas and residential buildings, as well as many large pyramids. Caral was a thriving metropolis at roughly the same time that Egypt’s Giza pyramids were being built (that is, if one accepts the “official” dates of most Egyptologists). The main pyramid covers an area nearly the size of four football fields and is 60 feet tall. Caral is the largest recorded site in the Andean region with dates older than 2000 BCE. It appears to be the model for the urban design styles adopted by later Andean civilizations that rose and fell over the span of four millennia. It is believed that Caral may answer questions about the origins of Andean civilizations and the development of the first cities. It will be the perfect place to perform our solstice ceremony to honor the “return of the sun”, using the pututu (Andean conch shell trumpet) as the ancient people did here long ago
At the end of our visit to Caral we will have an authentic native lunch at a local restaurant. Then following a visit to the Paramonga temple on the coast, we will return to Lima, driving a route that follows huge coastal sand dunes. Weather and time permitting, we may also stop to enjoy the ocean and sunshine at a local beach. Overnight in Lima.
DAY 4 (JUN 22 / MON): LIMA / CUZCO | INC: Breakfast.
Early morning transfer to the airport for our flight to Cuzco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. Upon arrival, meet and greet our local hosts, then transfer to our hotel. Rest is recommended for the rest of the morning to help acclimatize to Cuzco’s 11,500 foot altitude. In the afternoon our exclusive city tour starts with a visit to the San Cristobal Plaza to enjoy its panoramic view of the city. Then, we will visit the San Pedro Market to soak in its local flavors and to learn about the unique products grown in the area which supply the whole city. After this, the Korikancha temple will welcome us in all its magnificence. This temple, whose Quechua name means “Gold Enclosure”, still bedazzles the mind with the thought of its gold covered walls and gigantic solid gold ceremonial sculptures. Next, following a brief visit to the Santo Domingo Church, we will walk from San Blas, the artisans’ neighborhood, to the cobblestone Hatun Rumiyoc street. There we will stop at the Inca Roca Palace, nowadays home to the Archbishop’s Palace, and also at the famous Twelve Angle Stone. We will continue our walk to the Main Square to visit the Cathedral and its beautiful colonial masterpieces. Overnight in Cuzco.
DAY 5 (JUN 23 / TUE): CUZCO | INC: Breakfast and Dinner.
In the morning we will gain distance from the crowds with an early visit to Sacsayhuaman, a huge and impressive ceremonial fortress built of colossal stones that are surrounded by beautiful views in every direction, all blending together perfectly. Our adventure continues at the Inca Shrine Qenqo, to see the sacrificial altar embedded inside a rock cave. Finally we will go to the Puca Pucara viewpoint and to Tambomachay, a monument of impressive architectonic knowledge considered as one of the pillars of Andean Cosmovision. Free afternoon to explore the city.
By night we will have dinner at Tunupa restaurant with a music and dance folklore show. Overnight in Cuzco.
DAY 6 (JUN 24 / WED): CUZCO with INTI RAYMI | INC: Breakfast and Lunch.
Today we will enjoy the awesome spectacle of the Inti Raymi festival, the “Fiesta del Sol”. In the morning we will head first to the”Koricancha” Temple of the Sun, the starting point of the Inti Raymi, as this ancient ceremony honors the Sun God, worshiped as the main source of life and light in the Inca Empire. Then we continue towards the Plaza de Armas, where we witness the arrival of the royal Inca entourage. Afterward we climb up to the esplanade of Sacsayhuaman to witness the central moment of the ceremony, in which various offerings are made to the Sun God, followed by big celebrations of music and dance by local villagers in full traditional regalia who have come down from the surrounding mountains. Giant panpipes, flutes, drums, and charangos (armadillo shell stringed instruments) are among the many unique instruments we will see and hear. Box lunch is included today. Overnight in Cuzco.
DAY 7 (JUN 25 / THU): CUZCO / SACRED VALLEY | INC: Breakfast and Lunch.
The beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas welcomes us today. We will start by the Inca site of Pisac, an archaeological complex located on the hillside high above the town. This place has wonderfully designed agricultural terracing cut into the mountainside. Ascending the site, well-preserved temples, including a Solar Clock or Intiwatana, will provide us with awe-inspiring views. Continuing our tour to the town of Pisac, we will stop at the traditional market, where we will have free time to tour it and buy local handicrafts. If you want to taste something traditional, go to the wood ovens and try the bread and empanadas. We will have lunch in a restaurant serving regional cuisine. In the afternoon we will head for Moray, where the view is awesome due to the colossal concentric terraces simulating an amphitheater. The purpose of it was to recreate 20 different types of microclimates, a measure that guaranteed the agricultural production of the empire. Finally we will visit Ollantaytambo, a picturesque town which has been inhabited non-stop since the Inca times. There we will visit the utterly spectacular temple with the same name, used as a fortress during the Inca resistance, and where gigantic stones are among the largest used in ancient construction anywhere on Earth. Overnight in the Sacred Valley at a very distinctive eco-lodge.
DAY 8 (JUN 26 / FRI): SACRED VALLEY / MACHU PICCHU| INC: Breakfast.
This morning we travel a few hours by train through the Urubamba River Valley, surrounded by dramatic mountain peaks, to reach one of the New “Seven Wonders of the World”. We arrive at the Aguas Calientes station where our staff will assist us in boarding the bus to go up the winding switchback road to Machu Picchu, amid a spectacular view of the Urubamba River and its canyon. The “Lost City” of the Incas, Machu Picchu is one of the most mystical and beautiful places on Earth. It will astonish us with its emerald green terraces, ceremonial shrines, and perfectly cut steps and stoneworks. Powerful energy is all around us in this mystery school of the ancients. After a guided visit, we will have a short hike to the Inti Punku, the Gateway of the Sun, which is the Inca Trail entrance to Machu Picchu, and one of the very best places to get a panoramic view of the entire site. Overnight stay at one of the hotels in Aguas Calientes.
DAY 9 (JUN 27 / SAT): MACHU PICCHU | INC: Breakfast and lunch.
Today is the New Moon and our second day at Machu Picchu with a local guide.
We will be very privileged to be able to visit Huayna Picchu, the pyramidal mountain peak that towers over the ancient site. Our hike to the top affords us stunning views in many directions, and is an adventure of both body and spirit. After we descend the peak, using the ancient trail left here by the Incas themselves, we will continue around the back of the mountain to visit the much less seen Temple of the Moon. There we will perform a small and intimate New Moon meditation ceremony. Overnight in Aguas Calientes.
DAY 10 (JUN 28 / SUN): MACHUPICCHU / CHINCHEROS / CUZCO | INC: Breakfast and lunch.
We have our morning at leisure to visit the amazing Machu Picchu one more time if we so desire, or perhaps to soak in one of the hot spring spas of Aguas Calientes. In the afternoon we return to Ollantaytambo by train. Upon arrival, we begin the drive back to Cuzco. On the way we will visit Chinchero, where we will be able to appreciate the beauty of the town and archaeological site. We will also have the opportunity to participate in a brief exhibition of traditional textiles, the distinctive feature of this town, famous for the beauty and high quality of its textiles and ancestral dyeing techniques. We will have a meal in a local restaurant. Overnight in Cuzco.
DAY 11 (JUN 29 / MON): CUSCO / OUT | INC: B
Departure transfer. Flight back to Lima.
Price per person double room: $4665.00. (Includes airfare from Lima to Cuzco and from La Paz to Lima, and early checkin in Lima upon arrival, individual transfers and all private services where possible. FLIGHT TO AND FROM LIMA NOT INCLUDED ) 50% of the total payment due on or before April 26, 2015. Full payment due on or before May 10, 2015. Book online
Price per person single room: $5483.00. (Includes airfare from Lima to Cuzco and from La Paz to Lima, early checkin in Lima upon arrival, individual transfers, and all private services where possible. FLIGHT TO AND FROM LIMA NOT INCLUDED) 50% of the total payment due on or before April 1, 2015. Full payment due on or before May 10, 2015. Book online
Group departure subject to a minimum of 10 passengers. If the necessary number of passengers is not reached, parties that made a reservation will be informed no later than 60 days prior to departure. At that time they can decide whether to pay the difference in cost and still travel, or cancel for a full refund.