This luxury Travel Peru experience will take you to Peru’s top destinations. You will also see a lesser-known side of the country and its culture through the unique experiences and activities featured along the 12-day route through the country. It begins with a gastronomic exploration of Lima, one of the world’s foodie capitals, before heading to the land of the Incas into the Sacred Valley, to hike the original Inca trail to the magnificent Machu Picchu, to then discover the best of Cusco. Maras and Moray are next on the list before we take the luxurious Andean Explorer Train to the mythical Lake Titicaca in the altiplano. These are just some of the many highlights of this one-off journey to the land of the Incas. A trip to Peru is a luxurious encounter in itself, but combining original travel experiences, the best knowledgeable local experts, and hand-picked boutique hotels will make your Peru trip a truly unforgettable journey. Find out more here.
The tour begins in the capital of Lima known as “The city of Kings”. Here we will experience Colonial Lima which is clearly evident in the historical center and such buildings as the Paseo de la Republica, the San Martin Square, the Plaza de Armas, the Government Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace, and the Cathedral Basilica. Your guide will explain the history of each building as we make our way to the Museo del Banco which houses a collection of archaeological antiques from the Chimu, Chancay, Chavin, Nasca, Lambequeque, and Inca civilizations. In the afternoon you will visit the private Larco Museum, exhibiting examples of ceramics, textiles, and even erotic pottery from times gone by.
The Sacred Valley is closely intertwined with the Inca capital, Cusco. The Inca Empire was in power during the 14th century and expanded across ancient Peru and into Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia. However, all trails led back to the Inca capital city of Cusco where the king resided. The surrounding fertile fields of the Sacred Valley served as the civilization’s breadbasket, yielding varieties of fresh grains, fruits, and vegetables. Skilled Inca stonemasons also constructed religious temples and outposts in the valley, which today you can visit at archaeological sites in Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and Chinchero.
You will take the train to km 104 where you will begin your short Inca Trail, after which we start a moderate climb through the remains of Chachabamba and along ancient Inca pathways to the archaeological site of Wiñayhuana. With spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley, we continue towards the Sun Gate which will offer your first views of Machu Picchu in all its glory. Completely invisible from below and often shrouded in a thick mist concealing it from sight, there’s a tangible air of mystery to Machu Picchu, one of South America’s most important archaeological sites. Tucked high in the Peruvian Andes, it is the best-preserved Inca citadels and while almost all others were destroyed during the Spanish conquest, Machu Picchu remained undiscovered.
The Hiram Bingham train runs between Cusco and Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu; sip pisco sours at the bar as you travel through the region’s spectacular landscapes, enjoying brunch accompanied by a live performance from Peruvian musicians. After a guided tour of Machu Picchu, afternoon tea is served in the gardens at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge.
High up in the Peruvian Andes lies Cusco, once the center of the Inca Empire. It is, of course, the launching point for Machu Picchu, but the city is well worth a visit, to acclimate and experience the mix of Incan and Spanish influences that define it. Enjoy this Inca city to the full and the luxury hotel, specially chosen to complete the experience.
Next up are the Maras Salt Pans and concentric terraces of Moray, which are two lesser-visited examples of Incan ingenuity in the Sacred Valley. Though unrelated in purpose, the sites are neighbors in this remote region that’s not served by public transportation. Scholars believe the Moray terraces once served as an elaborate agricultural laboratory for the Incas, with each terrace having a unique microclimate. Today, the mountainside salt pans at Maras, started by the Wari culture and expanded by the Inca, are owned and operated by local residents.
You will then leave Cusco for Puno on the Belmond Andean Explorer which is South America’s first luxury train. It combines spectacular high-elevation scenery with a luxury train ride, all while traversing the Peruvian Andes. With a morning departure from Cusco aboard the elegant cars of Belmond Andean Explorer, you will travel across the giant peaks and wide-open spaces of the highest plains of the Andes, finally reaching Lake Titicaca, the birthplace of the Incas. After the visit to the highest elevation lake in the world and visiting ancient floating communities on the lake in a luxurious private motorboat, you will fly back to the capital and say goodbye to this amazing country full of architectural and historical splendor and luxury accommodations and adventures, with exceptional memories that will stay with you forever.