Welcome to Peru!! A private transfer will take you into Lima to a modern, comfortable hotel in the Miraflores district, with shops, cafes, restaurants all nearby.
Enjoy an introduction to Peruvian and Incan history with a city tour of Lima. Visit the Plaza de Armas, the nucleus of the City, and see how the Spanish influenced the cityscape, a scene replicated through much of Latin America. Visit the opulent Cathedral of Lima and the historic San Francisco Convent and its eerie catacombs. In the evening, after trying some delicious Pisco Sours, witness the largest fountain light show in South America.
Explore Lima independently or add a tour to visit the Incan ruins of Pachacamac, a temple constructed during the height of the Incan empire. Lima has quite a few impressive museums; be sure to check out the Larco Museum with its excellent collection of gold and silver artifacts as well as its ribald collection of ceramic figurines.
Travel south, along the Pan-American Highway to Paracas, where you will be met and transferred to the nearby airport for an overflight of the mysterious Nasca Lines. Gaze below at figures like the Monkey, Hummingbird and the Spaceman etched in the desert below and visible only by air. No one is certain of the lines’ origins; perhaps you can solve the mystery of who created these figures and why. Return to Pisco airport and onward to Paracas.
In the morning, board a boat and visit the Ballestas Islands, just offshore. The protected islands are home to many marine animals, such as Peruvian boobies, Cormorants and barking Sea Lions. You’ll also see your first Geoglyph, the “Candelabra”, a giant candlestick etched in the island’s hillside. Return to the mainland and be transferred back to Lima.
Return to Lima and catch a flight to Cusco, gateway to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Upon arrival in Cusco, a private transfer takes you to your hotel in the city. Be sure to take it easy and get acclimatized to the altitude by sipping on mugs of coca tea.
Enjoy a guided city tour to see the City’s highlights, like Korikancha, the former gold-clad Sun Temple. For those interested in Incan history, take a tour of the impressive Incan sites near Cusco, such as Quenqo, Tambomachay, and Sacsayhuaman, with its amazing Incan stonework; so precise that no mortar was used in its construction.
Just outside of Cusco is the Sacred Valley, a bucolic area of farms, ranches and a number of interesting attractions. Not to be missed is the Pisac market, a colorful, local market and a great place to people watch or buy quality textiles, clothes, and other items. Nearby, visit the fortress at Ollantaytambo, which is one of the only sites where the Incas defeated the Spanish Conquistadors. Return to Cusco or choose to stay at a tranquil lodge in the Sacred Valley.
For many, a visit to Machu Picchu is a spiritual and humbling experience. Whether you are coming from Cusco or the Sacred Valley, you will arrive by train at Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. Take a guided tour of the site and learn about Incan life, the significance of Machu Picchu and its excavation by historian Hiram Bingham. Overnight in Aguas Calientes. Hikers and trekkers may want to consider hiking the Inka Trail to Machu Picchu, either as a day-long hike from Km 104; or a 4-day trek, culminating with arrival through the Sun Gate.
Take the shuttle back to Machu Picchu to explore independently or, hike up Huayna Picchu (permit required) for stupendous views of Machu Picchu. Return to Cusco by train.
Enjoy a leisurely morning in Cusco before being transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima to connect to your flight home. For those who have a long layover, we’ll arrange for a dinner at an oceanside restaurant nearby. Fill up on Peruvian dishes and wash it down with a final Pisco Sour before flying back home.
South American Specialist for Travel4Real & Italy4Real
Our staff includes Blake Lieberman who is a specialist in travel to and within South America.
Blake began his travel career while living in Argentina and has worked and lived in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay and Chile.
Blake first visited South America in 1990 and has traveled extensively throughout the continent. Blake currently is an expert in travel to Europe and South America.