PERU: MACHU PICCHU, CUSCO & SACRED VALLEY
AUGUST 27- SEPT 2, 2023
Welcome to Peru, famously known as the Land of the Incas. They came from the Peruvian highlands in the early 1200 and much of their culture still remains in the country even to this day. No trip to Peru would be complete without a visit to Wonder of the World, Machu Picchu, see the colorful Pisac Market, and marvel at the Sacred Valley. Get to meet the local Alpacas and llamas and be sure to embrace this once in a lifetime experience.
**Registration closes May 27; Only your $500 deposit due at booking
DAY 1: Arrival to Cusco, Peru
Welcome to Peru! After arrival, you'll be transferred from the airport to your hotel. Enjoy the day at leisure for you to relax, book a spa treatment or enjoy the amenities of the hotel.
Later in the evening, the group will head out to Hacienda Huayoccari for a welcome dinner. The restaurant offers an exclusive gastronomic experience with excellent service in a warm and natural environment. Enjoy the contemporary and traditional cuisine and make yourself at home in one of the best restaurants in the region.
Return to the hotel to relax and have the rest of the evening at leisure.
Accomodations: Hotel Aranwa Sacred Valley & Wellness
DAY 2: Pisac, Moray, Maras, Chincero
Start your day with Yoga and breakfast. After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel in the Sacred Valley for a day full of culture and beautiful nature.
Your day will begin with a visit to the Pisac Market. This market is one of the most famous markets in the Cusco region, drawing many visitors to its famous Sunday market where indigenous Quechua communities from the surrounding highlands come to Pisac to sell their produce and stock up on supplies for the week.
A large section of the market is dedicated to tourist-oriented souvenir stalls where you can find weaving, jewelry, ponchos, hats, Andean instruments, ceramics, alpaca products, and a whole range of other gifts and souvenirs to take home with you.
From here, we will continue to Moray, a small community famous for its embedded amphitheater that is formed by circular terraces which seem to disappear into the ground. Scientists think Moray played an important role in agricultural research conducted by the Incas.
We will continue our visit as we head to the salt mines located near Maras, a very photogenic place, dating from colonial times. We will walk around the salt mines while the guide tells us about the history of this interesting place. Our day will end with a visit to Chinchero, believed to be the mythical birthplace of the rainbow. On Chinchero’s main plaza, find a colonial church built in the 17th century. On Sundays, mass takes place, but on that day you can wander around the market of the town.
*The order of the visits may change. *
Dinner at your own leisure
DAY 3: Sacred Valley + Cooking
Start your morning with Yoga and leisurely breakfast. Late in the morning, we will depart for an open-air cooking class. This culinary experience will provide you with a delicious lunch outdoors in the midst of nature and surrounded by mountains in the distance.
Expand your culinary repertoire with a lively cooking class. Watch the chef prepare two signature dishes during a live demonstration, or create tempting courses under his expert guidance. After the cooking demonstration, enjoy the local cuisine and use your experience back home as you impress your friends and loved ones with new recipes!
This afternoon, return to the hotel where you can take part in an optional hike or enjoy the hotel amenities.
DAY 4: Explore the Valley + Paddleboard
Start your day off with breakfast at the hotel before heading to the Piuray Outdoor Center. Piuray Lake offers spectacular scenery, and plenty of birds. Start with a safety briefing and paddle technique on land, then enjoy the beauty of the lake. After an hour and a half of paddle boarding or kayaking along the lake’s shore, we will have time to explore the town and experience the unique cooking method of Pachamanca.
Pachamanca is the traditional Peruvian dish based on cooking food with the help of hot stones. In the pachamanca, all the foods that are going to be cooked under this modality are presented. Each traveler is given an explanation of this tradition and they are invited to help bury food. Subsequently, a godmother or godfather is appointed, who along with the community member bless the food following an Andean tradition. Then, wait about 45 minutes to dig up and taste the local cuisine!
This afternoon, head back to the hotel where you can take part in an optional wellness class,and/or a local walk, before having the evening at leisure to relax.
DAY 5: See the Wonder of the World, Machu Picchu
Start your day off with an early morning yoga class offering a spectacular view of the Sacred Valley.
After breakfast, transfer from Urubamba to the Ollantaytambo station while getting on the Vistadome train. The Vistadome train offers a unique connection with scenery along the way to Machu Picchu, making passengers feel as if they are a part of the nature that surrounds them.
Upon arrival, enjoy a half-day tour of Machu Picchu, which was re-discovered in 1911 by the explorer Hiram Bingham. This citadel is considered to be one of the most extraordinary examples of landscape architecture in the world. In an enclave on the saddle of a mountain overlooking the deep canyon of the Urubamba River in an area of lush tropical forest, it served as a place of worship, a site for stargazing and a private hacienda of the family of the Inca Pachacutec.
Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, Machu Picchu was chosen as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
After your visit, enjoy lunch at Tinkuy restaurant at Sanctuary Lodge before returning to Cusco on the Vistadome Train.
*Train schedule subject to availability.
DAY 6: Cusco
Begin with a leisurely breakfast and an optional morning yoga class at the hotel. After freshening up, it will be time to explore magical Cusco! This beautiful city has history from both the Inca and Colonial times. Start this half-day tour at Cusco’s main square, which was called Huacaypata (Warriors Square) by the Incas. While the guide tells you more about the history of this special place, admire the city’s cathedral that was built between 1560 and 1664 with the red granite stones from the Inca Fortress of Sacsayhuaman. The cathedral is one of the most impressive buildings in Cusco and hosts one of the most significant collections of gold and silver work in the colonial period.
We continue to Koricancha and the Convent of Santo Domingo. The convent was built on top of the most important Inca temple, dedicated to the worship of the sun, with walls covered with gold leaves. As we wander through the streets of what was once the capital of the Inca Empire, you can feel as if you are traveling through time.
After freshening up at the hotel, we will depart for a farewell dinner. Menus are prepared by one of Peru’s most famous chefs, Jorge Luis Ossio, and MAP Café is one of Cusco’s best restaurants.
Accommodation: Hotel Aranwa Cusco
DAY 7: Cusco + Departure
Begin your day with an early morning Yoga session and breakfast at the hotel.
Afterwards, enjoy the enigma of Cusco city with a 3-hour walking tour. Our guide will take you to the main square to take photos of the Cathedral and La Compañia of Jesus Church. Then you will walk to the famous 'Stone of the 12 angles' due to its carving and 12 surrounding stones.
Our next stop is the 'Máximo Laura' Art Gallery and Museum, which has collections of more than 200 tapestries. It is one of the largest and most representative collections of contemporary Peruvian textile art anywhere. Continue to the San Blas quarter, a popular neighborhood also known as the artisans' quarter, and enter one of its galleries.
Finally, we will go to a textile store to appreciate the excellent work done by local people. Our guide will take you back to the hotel or if you prefer, they can suggest a nice and traditional restaurant for lunch and give you instructions on how to return to the hotel on your own.
Later in the afternoon, transfer from your selected hotel to the airport in Cusco or add on another night in Cusco if your schedule allows.
SHARED ACCOMODATIONS FOR 2, OR SINGLE PRIVATE ROOMS BEDS OR QUEEN BED AVAILABLE
7 nights of accommodation at Good Hotel (4 star hotel)
7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners out
Airport Pickup + Departure from Cusco Airport
Suzanne + a local guide (bilingual) for the duration
Private ground transportation throughout the entire trip
Entrance fees for all mentioned activities
Visit the Pisac Market
Explore the salt mines near Maras
Paddle boarding on Piuray Lake
Explore the awe-inspiring ancient ruins of Machu Picchu
City tour of Cusco
Peruvian Cooking Class
One round-trip group airport transfer privately in an air-conditioned vehicle
Transportation privately in an air-conditioned vehicle during the tours mentioned on the program
Official English-Speaking guide service during the mentioned program
Entrance fees, Road tolls, Taxes, VAT
Vistadome train service from Machu Picchu
Tips for porters, guide and driver- the value of the tip is up to the client
International airfare, taxes, porter if required
Hotel early check-in and late check-out
Alcoholic drinks, personal expenses or entrance fees for any extra sightseeing or optional activities
International flights should arrive into and depart out of Cusco International Airport
Travelers Insurance, recommended
SINGLE ROOM FOR 1: $2799
DOUBLE ROOM PER PERSON: $3499