A journey of endless discovery, combining the ancient Inca stronghold of Machu Picchu in the Peruvian Andes, with the colonial treasures of Cusco and Lima.
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Board a day flight from the UK to Lima, the Peruvian capital.
Note: British Airways currently have a direct flight between London Gatwick and Lima on a Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, operating between April and October. There are also connecting flights with Iberia & LATAM via Madrid (which can also be overnight), KLM via Amsterdam and Air France via Paris.
You will arrive into Lima in the evening of day one, where you will be met and driven to your boutique hotel in the centre of the city.
The next day you will head out on a half day tour, a chance to immerse yourself in the city’s rich colonial heritage and 2,000-year-old history. You’ll take in the historic centre with its immense Cathedral and Church of San Francisco, plus Casa Aliaga – considered one of the best preserved colonial mansions in the Americas. You’ll also be able to explore residential districts like Miraflores and San Isidro.
Stay: Two nights at Atemporal – bed & breakfast
After breakfast on day 3 you will be driven back to Lima airport and board a direct flight to the Inca capital of Cusco.
Note: Cusco is over 3,300m above sea-level, so rather than staying here on arrival, we suggest our clients stay and acclimatise in the Sacred Valley which is slightly lower at 2,800m.
Upon arrival you will be transferred to a hacienda-style hotel set in 100 acres of lush countryside and enclosed by towering green mountains. Over the next few days you will have chance to explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a region rich in both beautiful landscapes and ancient Inca ruins.
With one of our expert local guides you will be taken to the quaint village of Chinchero where the locals still practice traditional Andean weaving techniques. You can browse the market here for handmade crafts from around the region, and see a colonial church built on the foundations of a former Inca temple. Nearby is the age-old town of Maras, where you will discover salt pans used to extract some of the finest salts in the world. The final stop on your tour is Moray where you’ll find immense agricultural terraces used by the Incas as a botanical laboratory. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
A day is kept free for you to relax, acclimatise and do any additional sight-seeing (we can organise this in advance or you can speak to hotel staff at the Inkaterra).
Stay: Three nights at Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba – bed & breakfast
Perhaps the greatest Inca treasure of all now awaits you. You will ride the Vistadome train along the Urubamba Valley – a scenic journey of about two hours – to reach the town of Aguas Calientes, gateway to the mighty Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Discovered by explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911, these World Heritage-listed hilltop ruins are one of the planet’s most spectacular archaeological sites. Enjoy a guided tour alongside an expert guide, along with lunch in a local restaurant.
The night is spent in a modern boutique hotel in the town of Aguas Calientes.
Stay: One night at El Mapi – half board
On day seven there is an option of returning to Machu Picchu in the morning (additional cost) before you take the Vistadome train back to Cusco, where you will be staying in a charming B&B in the historic old-town.
A privately guided tour of this UNESCO World Heritage city will reveal highlights like the Plaza de Armas, Cathedral and Santo Domingo convent – the latter of which was built over the Koricancha temple, one of the most important temples in whole of the Inca Empire and dedicated to the Sun God.
You will then be driven outside of Cusco and into the countryside to visit several of the incredible Inca ruins scattered about the area. These include the temple and amphitheatre of Kenko, the Red Fortress of Puca Pucara, the water fountains of Tambomachay and the imposing fortress of Sacsayhuaman. If you climb to the top you’ll access a great view of the city sprawled out below.
Stay: Three nights at Quinta San Blas – bed & breakfast
After breakfast on day eleven you will be driven back to Cusco airport for your flight to Lima, where you will connect onto your overnight international flight home.