Today’s visit will show you the two sides of Lima, colonial and modern. First is the city center and its most important landmarks, like the Main Square upon which sit the Government Palace, the Lima City Hall, the Cathedral, and the Archbishop’s Palace. Not far from there is the Santo Domingo Convent, a 17th century structure that is certainly one of the most important religious and artistic centers in the city, well worth the tour. While still in downtown, you will stop at the Cordano Bar, an old establishment founded in 1905 and whose doors are open for anyone wishing to remember the bygone days of Lima. After some time in the bar, you will head off towards the modern district of San Isidro, the city’s financial hub, and end the excursion with a tour of Miraflores, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Lodging in Lima.
Optional: Dinner at the Huaca Pucllana Restaurant, boasting an impressive view of the Pre-Incan temple of the same name.
You will visit one of Lima’s classic markets, venturing into its depths to comprehend the variety of produce that is brought from all over Peru - fresh seafood from the coast, exotic fruits from the jungle, and grains and foodstuffs grown in the mountains. Just being there will make you feel like an everyday citizen of Lima. Your time spent in the market will unlock the secrets of Peruvian food as you will discover such ingredients as cherimoya or lucuma, both of which are native Peruvian fruits, and the wide variety of tubers, from the ordinary potato to the striking yellow of the ulluco, not to mention fabulous Andean grains, the likes of quinoa, kiwicha, and cañihua. So many colors, so many textures, such an incredible variety. You won’t know where to begin. Later on, there are some cooking classes, where you will learn firsthand how to make an exquisite cebiche and famous lomo saltado and taste the fruits of your labor. Exquisite!
Lodging in Lima.
Optional: Dinner at the Amoramar Restaurant, in the free-spirited district of Barranco. It offers a tasting menu experience.
After you have landed in Cusco, you will tour the city and enjoy the amazing Colonial center, an inheritance from its Andean and Hispanic past as well as an UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. The stones that make up its walls and streets radiate a magical energy and speak of its grand past. Two of the city’s most famous landmarks are on the schedule: the Korikancha, or “Temple of the Sun, and the Main Square, with a visit to the Cathedral, home to finely carved wooden art pieces and impressive altars, as well as to the beautiful Church of La Compañia de Jesus (Society of Christ). The tour continues to Sacsayhuaman, an Incan fort that guarded the Imperial city and that was constructed with menhirs. There are two other important archeological sites, not far at all from the city, that you will visit: Qenko and Puca Pucara. After seeing so many sights, you certainly will be ready for a hearty lunch to recharge the batteries, and we know just the place where they serve a delicious traditional lunch filled with Andean ingredients in a friendly setting: Pachapapa Restaurant.
Lodging in Cuzco.
There are two culinary experiences for you to choose from. You can visit one of Cusco’s most representative markets, a hop, skip, and a jump from the Main Square, where vendors sell everything, from food, to clothes, handicrafts, fruits, cheeses, and locally made bread. Afterwards, a local family awaits you to demonstrate how to prepare typical Cusco dishes and to share with you the food you made with them in a lovely lunch. The other option is a cooking demonstration at one of the city’s most popular restaurants: Limo. The dishes they create are quite avant-garde, with emphasis placed on seafood. Their traditional pisco bar is one-of-a-kind. Lunch included.
Lodging in Cusco.
Optional: Gourmet dinner at the elegant MAP Café, the restaurant on the grounds of the Museum of Pre-Colombian Art.
You will head out on the road that crosses the Sacred Valley of the Incas to reach the important Moray archeological site, elevation 3176 meters, where enormous Pre-Incan circular and semi-circular agricultural terraces were constructed. The Incas used them as a botanical laboratory for experimenting on plant domestication and acclimatization. From there, you move onwards to the town of Maras (elevation 3028 meters) to visit the biggest salt pans in the region that have been mined continuously since the Incan Empire. On the way back, you will visit Chinchero, a quaint little town that houses an important Incan outpost, built at the end of the 1400’s, as well as a lovely colonial church. The townsfolk are famous for having preserved traditional Andean spinning and weaving techniques, and they set up a market in the town square to sell their handmade crafts to visitors. Lunch is included.
Lodging in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Optional: Lunch at the Parador de Moray Restaurant (possesses a spectacular view of the archeological site).
Today, you will visit the Incan landmark of Machu Picchu, a National Sanctuary, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Wonder of the World, and what you experience there will forever be etched in your memory. After touring this archeological masterpiece and marveling at its wonders, you will have some free time to explore the area on your own, or to relax and meditate. A few hours later, you start the return trip to Cusco.
Lodging in Cusco.
You will leave the city of Cusco en route to your final destination.