DAY 1: LIMA
Welcome to Lima, the ‘city of the Kings’. Upon arrival, you will be picked up from the airport and privately escorted to your luxury hotel to settle in.
DAY 2: LIMA
Your private sightseeing tour explores the modern districts of Lima and its historic centre, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. Your guide will introduce you to the city’s architectural heritage and then you’ll proceed to the Santo Domingo Monastery. It was here that San Marcos University, the first in South America, was founded in 1551. Your next stop is the Larco Herrera Museum and it’s collection covering over 3,000 years of Peruvian pre-Columbian history. Its masterpieces are considered worldwide icons of pre-Inca art and have been displayed in the world’s most renowned museums.
DAY 3: LIMA – CUSCO – SACRED VALLEY
You will be picked up from your hotel in Lima and privately escorted to the airport for your flight to Cusco.
Suggested Flight: 10:00 Departure from Lima with LA2123 11:20 Arrival in Cusco
Upon arrival in Cusco, you will be picked up from the airport and privately escorted to your luxury hotel in the Sacred Valley to rest and slowly acclimatize (approximate duration of the transfer: 2 hours).
DAY 4: SACRED VALLEY
In the morning you will visit the charming community of Chinchero. You will join a local weaving family in their courtyard for a first-hand experience of the Andean weaving process. You can watch as wool is carded, spun, and dyed and learn about the different techniques used to create belts, ponchos and shawls.
Later you will continue to the age-old terraced salt mines in Maras which cover the whole of the hill-side. Salt was extracted from these mines from Inca times and the same method has been used ever since – all work is done by hand. You will then head to Moray – circular terraces hidden among the hills ehich are similar to a Greek amphitheater. Surrounded by an impressive backdrop of snow covered mountains, Moray was used as an open-air agricultural lab for adapting crops to different environmental conditions.
Then you will enjoy a 3-course gourmet lunch at Iskay, located only minutes from the village of Maras, idyllically situated on a hill with impressive views over the surrounding valley. Upon arrival, you will be warmly welcomed by Tatiana and Jeremy to their lovingly furnished family home which is also the location of this private restaurant. The season and daily harvest, which comes from the restaurant’s own garden and surrounding fields, determine the three-course, delectable menu which is personally created and freshly prepared by the hostess. Lunch (set menu) includes starter, main dish, dessert, complimentary water and tea.
DAY 5: SACRED VALLEY – AGUAS CALIENTES – MACHU PICCHU – AGUAS CALIENTES
Starting early, you’ll go to the train station which is amazingly located within your hotel to embark on your unforgetable luxury rail journey. In case you choose the boutique properties option, you will have a short vehicle transfer to Urubamba or Ollantaytambo train station (only with Spanish speaking driver).
The train schedule today allows for an exploration of Machu Picchu without the crowds. The stunning ‘Sacred Valley Train’ service, includes a 3-course lunch on board and allows for an arrival at Machu Picchu at a time where most tourists take a break for lunch. Differently from most connections, the PeruRail ‘Sacred Valley Train’ departs at 10:30 from Urubamba and briefly stops at the Belmond Rio Sagrado Hotel before it continues to Aguas Calientes. Enjoy the beautiful landscape along the journey while you sip your welcome drink and enjoy some snacks in the Observation Bar carriage. After about 3 hours you will reach Aguas Calientes and start your Machu Picchu exploration.
Upon arriving in Aguas Calientes you will be greeted by your guide who will assist you onto the shuttle bus which will take you right to the entrance of Machu Picchu. During your guided tour you will experience its awe and wonder and the genius that went into its construction. The duration of your magical trip to one of the seven new wonders of the world will be 2.5 hours, giving you time to explore and take the perfect photos! Afterwards you will make your way back out of the citadel with your guide and downwards to your hotel where dinner will be included.
Dinner (A la carte) includes starter, main dish, dessert, coffee and tea/infusion
DAY 6: AGUAS CALIENTES – OLLANTAYTAMBO/CUSCO
Enjoy a morning at your leisure discovering Aguas Calientes and other alternative routes and hikes within Machu Picchu (at an additional cost) or relax and indulge yourself with a treatment at your hotel’s spa (not included but can be arranged).
Later in the afternoon, return by Vistadome train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo or Poroy train. Upon arrival at your chosen train station, you will be picked up and transferred to your luxury hotel in Cusco (only with Spanish speaking driver).
In case you have left any luggage in the hotel in the Sacred Valley, it will be picked up en route or separately.
DAY 7: CUSCO
Your half day sightseeing tour starts with Sacsayhuaman Fortress, a large and magnificent work left by the Incas. Then you will head back to Cusco city and admire the most impressive example of how Inca and Hispanic cultures are fused together at the Koricancha Sun Temple. At walking distance you will then find the Cathedral dominating the north-east side of Cusco’s main square, then follow a cobblestoned street going up to the traditional artist’s quarter of San Blas. Many of the best craftsmen have their workshops and small galleries in the cobbled, narrow streets. This tour may be taken in the morning or afternoon time in accordance with your preference.
DAY 8: CUSCO – BELMOND ANDEAN EXPLORER – PUNO
You will be picked up from your hotel in Cusco and transferred to the train station for your upcoming railroad journey.
Be ready for a memorable 3-day train ride aboard South America’s first luxury sleeper train, the Andean Explorer. This is the longest trip offered by the Andean Explorer and departs from Cusco to cross the Altiplano towards Puno before ending in Arequipa.
Your first stop is scheduled at the archaeological site of Raqchi. Here you can see the remains of Viracocha Temple featuring large clay walls resting on stone Inca foundations, as well as storage buildings and aqueducts. Back on board you’ll enjoy excellent views of the Altiplano from the observation car’s open-air deck. Local, fresh, colourful and seasonal ingredients will feature heavily in a menu created by the chefs at Belmond Hotel Monasterio. Lunch, tea time and dinner are included and will be served in the train’s two dining cars. When the sun sets the train will reach La Raya Pass. At 4,319 m (14,170 ft) this pass is the highest point of the rail journey and offers magnificent Andes scenery with snow-capped mountains. When night falls, the Lounge Car is the place to get some refreshing drinks as you sit back and relax. Overnight at Titicaca Station (Puno).
Important Note: Belmond Andean Explorer train departs on its Peruvian Highland 3-day program only on Thursdays.
DAY 9: PUNO
Today you’ll embark on a boat trip of Lake Titicaca to explore the floating islands. These islands, only a 20-minute boat ride from Puno, are made from layers of ‘totora’ reeds which provide home, sustenance and transportation for their residents. After a short ride in one of the traditional reed boats you will head to Taquile, the weavers’ island. For centuries, ‘Taquilenos’ have preserved traditions, such as a communitarian life where everything is shared. You’ll be treat to lunch in a secluded spot in Collata – a private beach in Taquile. After a performance of a typical dance and a weaving demonstration you’ll return to Puno station. After tea at the station you’ll head back to the train for dinner as it continues on to Arequipa. Overnight at Saracocha Station.
DAY 10: PUNO – BELMOND ANDEAN EXPLORER – COLCA
After breakfast on board and you’ll continue your journey to Arequipa. Enjoy the views of the Lagunillas lagoon (4,450 m/14,600 ft) – an extraordinary setting. Depending on the season, you may spot Andean Flamingos. A visit to Sumbay Caves, where the Peruvian highlands’ first humans created their rock art is also included in today’s schedule.
Change to your private transport and continue towards Colca valley. On your way you will pass the majestic volcanoes Mismi, Misti and Chachani and the glaciers Ampato, Sabancaya and Hualca Hualca which all provide picturesque panoramic views as you enter the Colca Valley.
Arrive in Chivay, the most important town in the Colca Valley, where you will make a short stop to explore the local market. Afterwards you will continue the journey to your hotel in Yanque where dinner will be included.
Dinner (Set menu) includes starter, main dish, dessert, complimentary water, coffee or tea/infusion
DAY 11: COLCA – AREQUIPA
Early morning drive to the observation point ‘Mirador Cruz del Condor’, located between Maca and Cabanaconde, one of the deepest parts of the canyon. Here, you’ll find the perfect spot to look down 1,200 m (3,937 ft) into the canyon. It’s here that the legendary condor, the bird with the largest wingspan in the world, can be seen rising and circling on the morning thermals, silhouetted against the magnificent backdrop of the mountain scenery.
DAY 12: AREQUIPA
Half day city tour of Arequipa. Because some of the old buildings are made of white volcanic material (sillar) Arequipa is also known as the ‘white city’. You will visit the extraordinary Santa Catalina Convent – built in the 16th century and served as a town within itself housing 450 nuns. Traditionally, the oldest daughters of Arequipa’s aristocratic families entered the convent in their early teens and spent their lives there. The convent complex has been beautifully refurbished, vividly bringing the past to life once more. After the visit of the convent you will head to the Yanahuara lookout point for a magnificent view of the Misti Volcano and the city.
DAY 13: AREQUIPA
You will be picked up from your hotel in Arequipa and privately escorted to the airport for your upcoming flight.
- Transfers from / to the airport or train station (escorted or unescorted according to itinerary above)
- Accommodation based on TWIN or DOUBLE in the selected hotel category
- Private services with local English-speaking guides
- Train ticket Urubamba – Machu Picchu in Sacred Valley Train (First Class) without guide on board
- Train ticket Machu Picchu – Ollanta (or Poroy) in Vistadome Class (Superior Class) without guide on board
- Train ticket for the luxurious ‘Andean Explorer’ including excursions with English speaking guide (shared with max. 10 passengers), meals, beverages (non-premium brands) and accommodation in the indicated cabin category.
- Entrance fees to the sites noted in the itinerary (important: the chronological order of visits in the itinerary may change to ensure the best operation)
- Meals as noted (B: breakfast, BoxedL: boxed lunch, L: lunch, D: dinner)
- Permanent assistance by our Guest Experience Department
What’s not included:
- International flights
- Tips (for guides, drivers, waiters, luggage porters)
- Beverages during meals (unless specified in the itinerary)
- Early check in / late check out unless explicitly stated