Join Cathy in tracing the rise and fall of the ancient Incan empire in Peru. The largest empire in the Americas, the Inca reached unparalleled cultural achievements without tools like the wheel, draft animals, iron working or even currency and a written language. Your journey starts in Lima, where a civilization that dates back millennia meets sophisticated modernity. Rising above a coastline of crumbling cliffs, pre-Columbian temples sit alongside crowded restaurants dispensing some of the world’s greatest gastronomy. Next, you will visit the historic capital of the Incan Empire, Cusco. Dubbed the ‘Archaeological Capital of South America’, it’s full of dazzling temples and ancient ruins and is the gateway to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. You will visit the famous Pisac Market, where indigenous Quechua communities from the surrounding highlands come to sell their wares; and Ollantaytambo, the Incan gateway to the Amazon and once a formidably guarded Fortress. From the Sacred Valley, you will board the scenic Vistadome train up to Aguas Calientes or “Machu Picchu Town”. Your guide will take you up for your first breath-taking view of Machu Picchu. Considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the awe-inspiring Incan citadel sprawls among lush flora and dramatic cliffs. You will have an opportunity to visit again unguided, so you can fully experience the sensation of stepping back into the well-preserved heart of this ancient civilization.
November 14 - 21, 2020
Your Package Includes:
- Accommodation and meals as per the itinerary
- Tours mentioned in the program
- Multilingual tour guide
- Group arrival and departure transfers
Price per person land only $3,999 USD based on two sharing. Not included: International & domestic flights, travel insurance, personal expenses, meals not mentioned in the Itinerary, and tipping. Single supplement $1,799 USD. Private transfers are available at additional cost for those not arriving at the same time as the group. Hold your space with a $1,000 non-refundable deposit
Saturday 14 November – Lima
Arrival at Lima International Airport where you are met by our local guide and transferred to your hotel, Casa Republica. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Discover the exciting culinary scene, considered one of the best in the world.
Sunday 15 November – Lima- (B,L)
You will begin a private city tour of Lima with an exploration of the Colonial old city. Stop off at the Main Square and explore the Government Palace, the Cathedral of Lima and City Hall to enjoy their architectural opulence. Visit San Francisco Convent and its catacombs for a religious history of Peru. Afterwards, you will head to the Pueblo Library District to visit Larco Museum, an 18th Century Viceregal mansion which houses over 3,000 years of pre-Columbian history as well as a fine collection of gold and silver jewellery. Here you will also enjoy a lovely museum lunch.
Monday 16 November – Lima-Cusco – (B,L)
you are transferred by hotel shuttle for your flight to Cusco, where you will transfer to Hotel El Monasterio. Your tour of Cusco begins with a panoramic view of the city from atop Cerro Pukamoqo. From here, continue to Fortaleza de Sacsayhuaman, to marvel at the precision of this colossal stone structure. Afterwards, you will stop at the Mercado de San Pedro, the city’s main street market. A few blocks away is the impressive Korikancha or Golden Temple dedicated to the Sun God, whose interior walls are said to be covered in gold. Your day completes with a stroll through the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral.
Tuesday 17 November – Sacred Valley – (B,L)
Today you will enter the Sacred Valley. Your first stop will be Pisac, a scenic town where Incan and Colonial influences meld perfectly. You can shop for beautiful handcrafted items at the Market, famous for the work of local indigenous artisans. A few miles above the town is the Archaeological Park of Pisac, whose ruins are characterized by sweeping agricultural terraces overlooking the Vilcanota River. Afterwards, you head to one of the last remaining Inca towns, Ollantaytambo, with its massive fortress. Explore the large archaeological complex which once housed royal delegations on long journeys. After lunch, we transfer to the iconic Sol y Luna hotel which features stunning views of the surrounding Sacred Valley.
Wednesday 18 November – Sacred Valley – (B,L,D)
Your day starts with a private demonstration of the Peruvian el Paso horse, with the option of horseback riding afterwards. You return to your hotel in time to enjoy a Taste of Peru food demonstration featuring ceviche, quinoa soup, Andean lomo and more local specialties. Dinner will feature a 5-course meal with wine pairing in the Cellar.
Thursday 19 November – Machu Picchu – (B,L,D)
You board the Vistadome train this morning to ride up to the town of Aguas Calientes, where you will be met by your guide and taken up to the archaeological complex for your first visit to the “lost” site of Machu Picchu. Explore in awe the architectural beauty of the ruins and the spectacular landscapes surrounding. You will follow in the footsteps of the ancient Incas through this magnificent citadel. You can enjoy lunch and explore the town afterwards. Aguas Calientes is named after the hot springs found here, which provide a soothing soak after hiking the mountains. You will find your hotel located right next to the entrance to Machu Picchu.
Friday 20 November – Machu Picchu-Cusco – (B)
Your morning is free to allow a second, unguided visit to the archaeological complex. Soak in the sacred energy held in its enigmatic structures and marvel at the ingenuity of the Incan culture evidenced within. Afterwards, make your way back to the train station for the ride back to Cusco. A transfer will take you to the Hotel El Monasterio for your final night in the former capital of the Incan Empire. Consider taking a chocolate tasting or cooking class, or perhaps wander the Bohemian San Blas neighbourhood
Saturday 11 November – Departure home
Hotel transfer to the airport for international flights home.
To book contact:
Departures Travel 1889 Oak Bay Ave. Victoria BC V8R 1C6
105 – 2506 Beacon Ave. Sidney BC V8L 1Y2
Toll Free: 1.800.475.3755
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.