Peru: Ancient Land of Mysteries    *alt*

11 days, from £2794
Collette Worldwide
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Description

Fantastic archeological treasures set amidst the soaring Andean peaks ? this can only be Peru. Discover Lima?s colonial heritage and see why the ?City of Kings? is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore Andean art forms and the local way of life from ancient times through present day during your stay in the Sacred Valley. Participate in workshops that teach you traditional agricultural methods and learn about local music and dance. Savor an authentic Pachamanca dinner, a unique process where food is placed on hot stones and buried in the ground to cook. Travel to Machu Picchu aboard the famed Vistadome train. Spend a night at the base of this ?Lost City of the Incas? in a luxury hotel and enjoy an exclusive culinary demonstration. Immerse yourself in Cuzco, a city that blends Inca and Spanish colonial influences. Meet the indigenous Uros people of the floating islands on Lake Titicaca. Discover the exquisite cuisine of Peru, which has been awarded the top food travel destination in the world four years in a row.

Activity level: 4

Experiences:
* Learn centuries-old Andean textile methods at a living museum.
* Explore the colorful markets of Peru, including the famous Pisac village market.
* Discover the artist?s techniques and designs at Pablo Seminario Ceramic Studio.

Itinerary


 Day 1 Lima, Peru - Tour Begins

Welcome to Peru, one of the treasures of South America. Travel through this intriguing land visiting some of the world?s most legendary sites, including Machu Picchu, the "Lost City of the Incas." Arrive in Lima, the "City of Kings."


 Day 2 Lima

Discover Lima?s fascinating history during a tour through the historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Admire the artwork at San Francisco Monastery and enter the catacombs. View the Government Center, the elegant Cathedral at Plaza de Armas, an abundance of colonial architecture, and the fashionable suburbs of San Isidro and Miraflores for insight into the daily life of the Lime?os. Then it?s on to your exclusive visit in the Archbishop?s Palace to witness the changing of the guard. This evening, get to know your fellow travelers during a welcome dinner featuring Peruvian dishes and drinks; you will quickly discover why Peru has been named the world?s top food travel destination four years in a row.


 Day 3 Lima - Cuzco - Sacred Valley of the Incas

Fly to Cuzco, in the heart of the Inca civilization. Journey through the Andes to the majestic Sacred Valley of the Incas, the agricultural center of their grand empire. Learn the centuries-old methods of spinning, dyeing and weaving traditional textiles during a visit to Awana Kancha, a living museum of the Peruvian Andes. After a short lesson on the local language, stop in Pisac village to browse the colorful handicraft market. Settle in this evening at your hotel nestled in the heart of the Sacred Valley. The rest of the evening is yours?perhaps you?ll take this opportunity to discover your hotel?s planetarium to gaze at the stars.


 Day 4 Sacred Valley of the Incas- Ollantaytambo- Sacred Valley of the Incas

This morning, visit the spectacular Ollantaytambo ruins, the only Incan settlement that has been continually inhabited since its inception. A uniquely terraced complex topped with carved stone panels, these ruins reflect ancient Incan architecture and heritage. Then, head to the Pablo Seminario Ceramic Studio where you?ll get first-hand knowledge of this internationally renowned artist's techniques and designs, inspired by ancient Peruvian cultures. Experience the lifestyle of the modern Andean people and delve into their culture when you travel to a nearby Quechua community and interact with the locals. You?ll get a true taste of their daily life when participating in small group workshops that teach you traditional methods of growing, harvesting and weaving. Celebrate their culture as you learn their dances and listen to their musical instruments before enjoying a home-hosted farm-to-table lunch featuring local specialties. Tonight, savor an authentic Pachamanca dinner, a unique process where food is placed on hot stones and buried in the ground to cook.


 Day 5 Sacred Valley of the Incas - Machu Picchu

Climb aboard the Machu Picchu Vistadome train for breathtaking views through domed windows as you ride through the Andes to the ?Lost City of the Incas.? Hidden by mountains and semi-tropical jungle, Machu Picchu is considered the most spectacular sight in South America. Spend the afternoon with your guide uncovering the mysteries of these majestic ruins. Tonight, stay at the base of Machu Picchu for a chance to further soak up its atmosphere. Enjoy an exclusive culinary demonstration before enjoying an award-winning tasting menu at your resort.


 Day 6 Machu Picchu - Cuzco

With leisure time this morning you may take an optional tour to return to Machu Picchu and view the sunrise or explore the local markets in Aguas Calientes on your own. Return by Vistadome train to the Sacred Valley. Visit the Sacred Valley Brewing Company, a nonprofit brewery created to support a local orphanage. Taste these Andean-inspired craft beers and learn about their drive to support their community before continuing to Cuzco, a city that blends Inca and Spanish colonial influences.


 Day 7 Cuzco

The morning is yours to relax and acclimate to the altitude. Then it?s your choice! Follow a local guide on a walking tour of the city from your hotel or choose to board your coach for a comprehensive tour of the city?s main sites. Both tours will take you on a journey through this former capital of the Incan Empire to experience the architectural legacy visible in the Cathedral, Santo Domingo and Plaza de Armas, and the central market. Later, gather together and travel above the city to discover the important sacred Incan ruins of Sacsayhuaman Fortress. Enjoy a toast at sunset while overlooking the city before returning to the heart of Cuzco where you are treated to an authentic dinner highlighting local flavors.


 Day 8 Cuzco - Puno

This morning, fly to Puno, hugging the shores of Lake Titicaca. Known as the birthplace of the Inca Empire, ancient legends say that life began here. Have time to meet the locals and discover the history of this region as you explore the village center before checking into your lakeside hotel. Tonight, enjoy an evening at leisure.


 Day 9 Uros Floating Islands - Las Chullpas de Sillustani - Lake Titicaca

The Titicaca area, steeped in tradition and folklore, is the center of Incan legends. Enjoy a morning cruise to the floating islands of the Uros people of Lake Titicaca. Experience walking on the spongy surface made from compacted beds of tortora reeds and meet the locals, learning about their history and lifestyle. Later, mingle with some local residents during an authentic home-hosted lunch where you?ll taste regional specialties and engage in lively conversation. In the afternoon, visit the mystical Chullpas de Sillustani ? an archaeological area boasting 13th-century funerary monuments. Participate in a local home visit to gain insight into daily life.


 Day 10 Puno - Lima

As your tour comes to a close, spend the morning relaxing on the shores of Lake Titicaca before flying to Lima. Upon arrival we head to the Larco Museum, a former mansion built on the site of a pre-Columbian temple. The museum offers a collection of over 3,000 years of ceramic, textile, and precious metal artifacts. After this incredible trip through history, your tour concludes with a sumptuous farewell dinner on the grounds of the museum.


 Day 11 Lima - Tour Ends

Your tour comes to a close today.


Tour Map