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Peru Explorer

Alexander + Roberts
4.8 . Excellent
99%
Travel Style: N/A
Physical Level: N/A
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  • Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
    9 days
    From: $ 4,199 $ 467 / day
    Checking price

    Overview

    Style N/A
    Array
    Itinerary Focus N/A
    Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
    Lodging Level Value (3*)
    Flight & Transport Inclusions N/A
    Start City N/A
    End City N/A

    Theme

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    Destinations

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    Attractions & Cities Visited

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    Activities & Interests

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    Itinerary

    Day 1 : Welcome to Lima

    On arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to the deluxe Hilton Hotel, wonderfully situated in the upscale seaside district of Miraflores.

    Day 2 : Discover Lima #WHS#

    Today you’ll join our engaging expert guide to explore the splendid Colonial-era landmarks, colorful neighborhoods and vibrant city life of the capital. Just outside your hotel’s front door, the inviting district of Miraflores is popular with city residents who come here to enjoy the shops, restaurants and fine views over the Pacific. In the afternoon, you’ll discover the handsome Colonial architecture of downtown Lima. Stand in Plaza Mayor and admire the Cathedral; built in the 18th century, this handsome landmark is the oldest on the Square. Right next door, the Archbishop’s Palace is easily recognized by its grand wooden balcony. Just a few blocks away, the historic Church and Convent of San Francisco is perhaps the most impressive of Lima’s Colonial monuments. Behind its striking yellow and white façade, you’ll find a beautifully decorated interior with glazed ceramic tiles from Spain and carved ceilings that show a strong Moorish influence.   Then tour the highly regarded Larco Museum; renowned for its superb collection of pre-Columbian artifacts, this expertly guided visit is the perfect introduction to the many Inca sites you’ll explore in the coming days. Cap off your sightseeing with a guided stroll through Barranco, a charming city neighborhood that has attracted writers and artists since the early 20th century. Today, it remains a vibrant cultural enclave with thriving studios, galleries and cafes.  This evening, you’ll sit down to a wonderful welcome dinner at Amaz, a signature Peruvian restaurant that specializes in traditional Amazonian cuisine prepared and presented with a modern international feel. Meals B+D

    Day 3 : Into the Sacred Valley of the Inca

    After an early breakfast, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your included flight to Cuzco, the ancient capital of the once vast and mighty Inca Empire. On arrival in this high-mountain city, you’ll meet Ana Maria, our resident Andean expert on the ancient Inca and contemporary Peruvian traditions. Journey with her down into the Sacred Valley to visit the Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary, dedicated to the rescue and preservation of indigenous Andean wildlife including condors, macaws, parrots and even wild cats like the puma.   Then visit Awanacancha, a pioneering initiative encompassing more than 400 resident families in 14 Andean communities. With a mission to preserve the traditional textile arts of the region, you’ll see native weavers from these different communities as they create beautiful textiles using techniques that have been passed down for generations. You’ll also see the indigenous cameloids that are the source for the wool that is used for weaving: Alpacas have thick wool that is ideal for sweaters and blankets while vicunas are small and delicate creatures with very fine wool; Llamas and guanacos also roam around Awanacancha.   Continue to the captivating town of Pisac. Set in the shadow of a spectacular mountaintop Inca fortress, you’ll discover a colorful market town that draws far-away villagers and international visitors alike. Continue to the enchanting Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness Resort, beautifully situated on the riverside grounds of a 17th-century Colonial hacienda.  Meals B+L

    Day 4 : Explore the Sacred Valley with Ana Maria

    This morning, you’ll ascend with Ana Maria to the monumental fortress of Ollantaytambo, Inca-built with enormous stones and so strategically positioned that it was successfully defended against the Spanish in 1537. This is one of the most significant Inca sites in Peru, and its location in a narrow mountain valley framed by rugged peaks is truly breathtaking.   In the shadow of the ancient fortress, the ancient community of Ollantaytambo provides vivid illustration of Inca urban planning. Laid out in a simple grid with cobblestone streets, perfectly constructed stone walls and canals, many of the buildings and residences date back 600 years or more. Your guided walk also takes you into a neighborhood chicheria (a Peruvian pub) to learn about chicha, an Andean beverage distilled from corn. Next up is a visit to the ceramic studio of Pablo and Marilu Seminario – creative artisans who have devoted more than 20 years to the study of Pre-Columbian pottery techniques and designs, incorporating these ancient traditions into their own contemporary works.  Tonight, by special arrangement, you’ll witness a Pago a la Tierra – a Tribute to the Earth – performed by a local Andean shaman.  Meals B+L

    Day 5 : By Rail to Machu Picchu

    A two-day visit to Machu Picchu begins with an unforgettable rail journey through the Urubamba River Valley, a timeless region of snow-capped Andean peaks, quiet villages and terraced fields that have been cultivated for centuries.   On arrival in the beguiling town of Aguas Calientes, you’ll board a coach for the 20-minute ride up the switchback mountain road that brings you to the entrance to Machu Picchu. The fabled Lost City is certainly the single greatest landmark in Peru – and perhaps all of South America. Indeed, little can be written here that would do justice to the breathtaking grandeur of its mountain setting, the enigmatic power and aura that so permeate this ancient citadel, and the unforgettable experience of standing among these ancient stones. And accompanied by Ana Maria’s illuminating expertise, your visit will bring to life the ancient Inca civilization that built Machu Picchu.   After sightseeing, you’ll return to Aguas Calientes for an overnight at the enchanting Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel, nestled in a riverside cloud forest below the Lost City.  Meals B+L+D

    Day 6 : Morning at Machu Picchu and back to Cuzco by train

    This morning, you can stroll on your own through the inviting galleries and cafes of Aguas Calientes. Or if you prefer, we’ve included your transportation and entry ticket so you can ascend again to explore Machu Picchu at your own pace. At this early hour, the day-visitors from Cuzco and the Sacred Valley have yet to arrive… With fewer people and the softer light of morning just breaking over the mountain peaks, an early-morning visit to Machu Picchu is one of the most memorable travel experiences you will ever have.   Or if you prefer a more active adventure, you can walk on your own up the trail that leads to Inti Punku. Even if you don’t venture all the way to the summit to the fabled Gate of the Sun, the views of Machu Picchu as you make this moderately challenging, uphill trek are captivating. In the afternoon, you’ll make the return rail journey through the Sacred Valley. On arrival in Cuzco, you’ll be escorted to the deluxe Aranwa Cuzco Hotel where specially oxygenated rooms will help you acclimate to the city’s elevation.  Meals B+D

    Day 7 : Out and About in Cuzco

    Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and a free morning to relax or explore as you wish. In the afternoon, you’ll rejoin Ana Maria and ascend into the mountain peaks outside of town. Perched here overlooking the terra cotta roofs of Cuzco are the magnificent ruins of Sacsayhuaman. Built in the 1400’s by the Inca Emperor Pachacútec, the massive limestone blocks of this venerated complex were cut with such precision that they fit together without mortar like the interlocking pieces of a jigsaw puzzle! With some individual stones towering more than 10 feet tall and weighing several hundreds of tons, Sacsayhuaman is a monumental achievement of architecture and masonry.   Back in town, your sightseeing continues with the Cathedral and the other handsome Colonial-era landmarks that line the Plaza de Armas. At the Temple of the Sun and Convent of Santo Domingo, you’ll discover one of Peru’s most architecturally fascinating sites. It also demonstrates the rich layering of history here in Cuzco, where a sacred structure of one culture, the Convent, literally sits atop and practically encloses another, the Inca-built Temple of the Sun! This afternoon, you’ll also visit the San Pedro Market and Almudena Cemetery; here at these seemingly quotidian sites, Ana Maria will offer fascinating cultural perspectives and personal insights into how ancient traditions – many dating back to Inca times – still endure in the life of local citizens.  Meals B

    Day 8 : Venture Off-the-Beaten Path to Oropesa and Cuyuni

    This morning, you’ll venture with Ana Maria across the Andean highlands to Oropesa, a handsome Colonial-era town rarely visited by other travelers. With its fine architecture and beautiful mountain setting, Oropesa is celebrated all across the country for its generations-old bread-making traditions. Locally known as pan chuta, these round loaves are made from traditionally-grown local wheat with a hint of sweetness and other spice flavors including cinnamon and anise. Baked in traditional ovens, special woods and eucalyptus leaves are burned to impart more flavors and a delicate texture to the crust. Your arrival and tour of Oropesa will be accompanied by the aroma of these freshly baked breads. Before leaving, of course, we’ll introduce you to local bakers who will be thrilled to offer you a sample of their celebrated bread!   Your cultural foray into the Andes continues in the remote mountain village of Cuyuni where you’ll be able to mingle and stroll with the residents. With Ana Maria there to offer cultural and historical context, and translating as needed, you’ll join villagers in their fields and homes – learning about their traditions and a way of life that has changed little over the centuries!   Back in Cuzco, you’ll dine this evening at one of our favorite restaurants in town.  Meals B+L+D

    Day 9 : Fly from Cuzco to Lima

    After breakfast, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your included flight to Lima. Our services end at the airport where you’ll continue your onward journey.  Meals B

    Availability

    Checking price
    Price From $ 4,199
    Price Per Day: $ 467 per day

    2,366 Alexander + Roberts Travel Reviews & Ratings

    99%
    4.8 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
    Excellent 2,020
    Great 291
    Average 44
    Disappointing 6
    Terrible 5
    Value
    4.8
    Guide
    4.8
    Activities
    4.8
    Lodging
    4.8
    Transportation
    4.8
    Meals
    4.8

    Peru Explorer

    Review of Peru Explorer

    5.0
    Details
    Value5.0
    Guide5.0
    Activities5.0
    Lodging5.0
    Transportation5.0
    Meals5.0
    Everything was delightful - the history, culture and people.

    Review of Peru Explorer

    5.0
    Details
    Value5.0
    Guide5.0
    Activities5.0
    Lodging5.0
    Transportation5.0
    Meals5.0
    We loved the small group atmosphere of traveling. Our fellow travelers were so interesting and entertaining. We got to know them much better than I would have expected.
    Our guides were fantastic!!! They were so knowledgeable and helpful. We saw the main things that we knew we wanted to see, but they also showed us and talked about so many other things that we had never heard of. It was a very educational experience, which is exactly what we love.
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    Review of Peru Explorer

    5.0
    Details
    Value5.0
    Guide5.0
    Activities5.0
    Lodging5.0
    Transportation5.0
    Meals5.0
    Guides were all excellent and service level from everyone was excellent.

    Review of Peru Explorer

    5.0
    Details
    Value5.0
    Guide5.0
    Activities5.0
    Lodging5.0
    Transportation5.0
    Meals5.0
    I recently took the Peru Explorer trip. It was fantastic ! Ana Maria, a superb guide, made sure each experience was the best it could be. The hotels were comfortable and beautiful. As I was traveling alone, the small group size was perfect. It allowed me to get to know my fellow travelers, and we easily noticed if anyone was missing.

    I truly appreciated the personal attention I was given on the transfer to the airport when leaving Cuzco.. I had to leave much earlier than the rest of the group. As I was leaving the hotel, I casually mentioned to the escort that there was less than an hour and a half between planes in Lima (I still had the memory of the major crowds and congestion when I had arrived in Peru and when we left for Cuzco). When he helped me check in we found out I was going to have to recheck my luggage in Lima and get a boarding pass there. For some reason I wasn't ticketed all the way through. Now I was a bit more concerned, but thought it was still possible to make the connection. It wasn't until I was on the plane, and the flight was delayed for about 20 minutes, that I became really concerned. After I got off the plane in Lima and collected my luggage, I became very concerned that I would not make it in time.. I got out my 24 hour travel assistance card in case it became impossible to make the connection. As I entered the main terminal to go through the line to get my boarding pass and recheck my luggage, I noticed a A&R's representative. I assumed she was there to meet her group, but to my surprise she called out my name! She grabbed my suitcase and told me to follow her. We literally sprinted through the terminal to the front of the line where she had already let them know I had to be checked in quickly. Thanks to her (I'm sorry I didn't get her name) I made the flight. I had less than 90 seconds to spare before they stopped issuing boarding passes for that flight. (The next flight to Miami was at midnight and we were doing this before noon.) So, thanks to your concerned representative in Cuzco and the fast moving one in Lima, I was able to make it home on time. I can't imagine a better company to travel with.
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    Review of Peru Explorer

    5.0
    Details
    Value5.0
    Guide5.0
    Activities5.0
    Lodging5.0
    Transportation5.0
    Meals5.0
    Wonderful trip to Peru. (Peru Explorer) The highlight of course was Machu Picchu, but the trip to to Oropesa and Cuyuni was especially memorable to observe the time old traditions of baking bread and weaving in Cuyuni. It's as if time stood still high in the mountains. The Peruvian food was amazing. Our guide, Ana Maria was wonderful, knowledgeable and very personable.
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    Review of Peru Explorer

    5.0
    Details
    Value5.0
    Guide5.0
    Activities5.0
    Lodging5.0
    Transportation5.0
    Meals5.0
    Enjoyed learning about Pre-Inca & Inca archaeology, history, and art.

    Details

    Trip ID#:

    alexander-+-roberts-6770

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