A Gastronomic Specialty in Peru
Anyone who has been to Peru can vouch for its wonderful cuisine, which reflects the diversity of a nation that has blended its native traditions with the cuisine of Europe, the Middle East, China, Africa and Japan. The result: unique flavors that make Peruvian cuisine one of the finest and most varied in the world. This program invites you to visit traditional restaurants to enjoy the gastronomy bounty and discover the creations of a new generation of chefs who have achieved international recognition for their imaginative use of traditional ingredients and recipes with haute cuisine techniques.
Day by Day Itinerary
Upon arrival into Lima International Airport, you will be met by our representative and private driver and will be transferred to your hotel. Our representative will assist you with check-in procedures and provide you with a detailed itinerary, vouchers covering all the services included in your tour and additional information on the organization of your Peru trip. You will also receive a contact information sheet with all the hotel details as well as our offices contact information for each city and a 24-hour emergency number. Overnight.
This special City tour will take you back in time where you will discover the history and traditions hidden in every corner of the capital of Peru.
Begin today’s experience with a visit to Surquillo District, south of the city centre, surrounded by upper class districts of Miraflores, San Borja and San Isidro. Founded as a "barrio" (suburb) for the indios (Indian population) in colonial times and being a working-class area in colonial times, Surquillo today is mostly a lower-middle class district.
It is full of small businesses, especially hardware shops, building material supplies, many car parts sellers as well as several markets.
Here we will visit the big Surquillo Market bordering with Miraflores, where you can buy fresh fruits and veggies, meat, fish and everything needed for a good meal; the surrounding small "tiendas" (shops) offer anything from household items to clothes.
Continue to Lima downtown, where we will take you back in time and show you 500 years of history of Lima. Discover the history and traditions hidden in every corner of Lima, once the most important Viceroyalty of the Spanish Empire receiving the title of “The City of Kings”. The highlights of the historical centre are its architecture and the urban design of the city, found in the old streets filled with colonial houses adorned with Moorish-style balconies.
Stop at El Cordano bar, a Lima institution since 1905. This old-world dining hall with its swinging “saloon-style” doors has received practically every Peruvian president for the last 100 years as a customer.
It is situated a block away from the Main Square in the heart of downtown Lima, just beside the Government Palace.
From here we will be able to appreciate some historical buildings on a pleasant walking tour, passing by the San Francisco Church and the Main Square.
Your visit continues with The Archbishop's Palace of Lima, the residence of the Archbishop and the administrative headquarters of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lima. The current building was opened on December 8, 1924 and is considered a prime example of neo-colonial architectural that developed in Lima during the early twentieth century. Pope Paul III designated this temple as the primary church headquarters of the city.
The facade is made up of baroque elements, completely made of reintegrated rock; ornate cedar balconies are located over the main doors, and the palace is finished by a granite sculpture of Saint Turibius of Mongrovejo, the patron protector of the Archdiocese.
The palace also consists of two flagpoles, one for the Peruvian flag and another for flag of the Vatican. The interior is completely ornate with a ceiling illuminated by famous French stained glass windows allowing the entry of light and marble staircases with wooden handrails which allow access to the second story.
Then walk through Jiron de la Union, a pedestrian street that for many years was one of the most important boulevards of the city, often described as the most aristocratic, where many of the most affluent citizens of the city would meet.
Finish Lima´s downtown visit with a delicious Pisco Sour at El Bolivar Hotel, declared Historical monument in 1972 with the elegance of the carpets, furniture, spider glasses and mirrors with a marked European style, which denotes the delicacy and distinction of that epoch.
Continue with a visit to the Larco Museum, for an excellent overview of Peru's ancient past as it holds the best private collection of pre-Columbian art in the country.
You will have the chance to tour through this old Hacienda House in the Pueblo Libre district, which was built upon a pre-Incan sacred site (huaca), housing the private collection of a great Peruvian scholar: Don Rafael Larco Hoyle.
The museum chronologically exhibits hundreds of ceramic, textile, metal and precious stone pieces and inside you will find the vault which safeguards precious pieces of gold and silver with semiprecious stones.
The Larco Museum is one of the few museums in the world that allows such intimate access to its deposits, in this case around 45,000 pieces. Another attraction of the museum and of great interest to visitors is the exhibition of erotic pre-Colombian art.
Finally, head to the modern part of Lima, passing by Huaca Huallamarca and ending in Miraflores on a pleasant 10-minute walk at the Malecon with a great ocean view.
After the visit you will be driven to your hotel.
PM: Evening Lima Culinary tour (shared)
This evening embarks on a culinary tour of Lima. Begin at Cala, an upscale restaurant and lounge situated on the waterfront.
Learn the secrets of making the perfect Pisco Sour from a master bartender. Continue to the award-winning Amazonian restaurant, Amaz, where you’ll discover the art of creating cuisine from Peru’s freshest locally-sourced ingredients. Next, visit the prestigious Huaca Pucllana restaurant, located within an archaeological complex that dates to 500 A.D. and enjoy a selection of traditional Peruvian dishes. The final stop for the evening is in the Barranco district for an unforgettable dessert.
After the visit you will be driven to your hotel. Overnight in Lima.
At the appropriate time, our representative will transfer you to the Airport to board your next flight. Our representative will assist you with check-in procedures and all departure formalities.
Transfer Airport / Hotel in the Sacred Valley including Awanacancha Textile Center, Pisac Market & Hacienda Sarapampa including lunch en route (private)
Upon arrival into Cusco International Airport, you will be met by our representative and private driver and will be transferred to your hotel. Our representative will assist you with check-in procedures.
En route to the Sacred Valley, you will have the opportunity to visit Awanacancha, an Andean textile center whose key objective is to maintain the wealth of the Inca’s textile art and keep their traditions alive.
Awanacancha means “the palace of weaving” and as its name announces, it is all about textile production. Here you will learn about the dyeing techniques and instruments used for hundreds of years in the weaving of these famous textiles. Walk along a thatched roof path and will watch and learn about the four different kinds of South American camelids: Huanaco, Llama, Alpaca and Vicuña. At the end of the path you will find weavers from over 12 communities from southern Peru who alternate exhibitions of threading, dying and weaving traditional Andean textiles, thus avoiding their identity loss.
Continuing through the Sacred Valley, head to the town of Pisac to visit the Pisac Market, which was the place of reunion for all artisans of the region to get together and exchange or buy and sell their products. Originally held only on Sundays, but due to the increase of tourism in the area during the XXth century it became increasingly popular to the point that now it is held daily. It is a favorite destination for visitors from all over the world who don’t want to miss the opportunity of enjoying the colorful ambience in this marketplace. This is an excellent chance to share the peasants’ customs closely with plenty of time to explore and even barter all the goods and crafts typical of the areas around Cusco. Leisurely roam through the textiles and souvenir sections of the market.
Further into the Sacred Valley, reach working Hacienda Sarapampa, a vivid expression of the culture of corn farming from its beginnings in ancient Peru until today. “Sarapampa” is a word from the Quechua language meaning "cornfield." The variety grown is the Giant White Corn, a unique variety in the world due to its exceptional characteristics and size.
Domesticated since ancient times, this corn has adapted to the unique conditions of this valley in such way that it only grows here, protected by the mountains and their spirits.
In Hacienda Sarapampa, learn how corn influenced the Andeans and those who followed during colonial and recent times. Visit the Giant White Corn fields and learn more about this unique crop, the stages in the process of cultivating corn (fallow, sowing, hilling, harvest) and its importance in the economy of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and its farmers.
Then, enjoy a countryside three-course gourmet lunch in the property gardens.
After the tour you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in the Sacred Valley
This morning’s experience creates the optimum conditions for you to see, smell, touch and taste ingredients from the root, cultivated using no pesticides or additives. One of the reasons for the growing success of Peruvian food worldwide is access to the fresh ingredients it's based on. Harvest, prepare and cook in a traditional Andean oven with the close guidance of a chef; enjoy the freshest, most delicious meal right next to the river, in front of an organic farm, with a fantastic view of snowy peaks.
PM: At leisure
Free time to enjoy the hotel facilities and maybe indulge yourself with one of the soothing spa treatments in preparing for the next day’s experience! Overnight in the Sacred Valley.
Today set off in the direction of the Sacred Valley to the town of Chinchero, an authentic Andean village with lots of character, where we will find the colonial church that houses a large collection of painting from the Cusqueñan School of Art.
Chinchero is well known for its continuing tradition as a commercial town and on Sundays the townsfolk gather in the main square to trade their products in a bartering system.
Next, continue your journey through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, to the salt fields of Maras and its seemingly never-ending terraces, where salt extracted from springs is stored. Although these waters have been used for centuries, even before the time of the Incas, Maras was founded by the Spanish in 1556.
It supplied salt to the southern highlands during the viceroyalty, so it was an important town. The use of Maras Salt dates back thousands of years and is inherited from generation to generation and managed communally.
It is produced naturally in about 5,000 pools of approximately 5 square meters each forming different levels of terraces, nourished by salty water from a creek that permeates the pools and then evaporated by the intense sun, forming thick crystals.
They are extracted once a month, as soon as they have reached a height of 10 cm. It is impressive to see the variety of colors created by the reflection of the sun’s rays in this field of salt deposits, and to learn about the Incas striking ability to generate resources.
Enjoy an outdoor countryside BBQ lunch at a beautiful riverside setting.
After lunch, visit the Inca fortress and citadel of Ollantaytambo. This site was built just as the Spaniards arrived and evidence of how it was constructed is still visible. This fortress was believed to be constructed to guard the entrance to this part of the valley and protect it from possible invasions of tribes from the jungle lowlands.
Later it served as a temporary capital for Manco Inca, leader of the Inca resistance in 1537 during the Spanish conquest of Perú, who fortified the town to stop the advance, as Cusco had fallen under Spanish domination.
Ollantaytambo also features the vestiges of the town built by orders of Inca Pachacutec and thought to be not only a strategic military place to control the Sacred Valley of the Incas, but also for agricultural and religious purposes. Additionally, this place is a ceremonial center dedicated to the purification and worship of water with 150 steps built with perfectly carved stones, very similar to those of Tipon. The archaeological site includes a series of superimposed terraces and stunning finely carved stone blocks located on the upper terrace or Temple of the Sun. The main settlement has an orthogonal layout with four streets crossed by other seven parallel streets and at the center the Incas built a large plaza about the size of four blocks.
The town of Ollantaytambo is referred to as a "Live Inca Town" because inhabitants still live per customs and traditions inherited from their ancestors. Take a journey in time through its straight streets with perfectly laid stones that feature a canal for water to run through the town.
After the tour, you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in the Sacred Valley
Morning transfer to the train station for an amazing train journey to the famous Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu, the great mountain-top city abandoned by the Inca Empire, reclaimed by the jungle and lost to humanity until its rediscovery in 1911.
Along the way you will enjoy the changing landscape as you travel from Andean highlands to the beginnings of the jungle (“eyebrow of the jungle”), before finally arriving at the town of Aguas Calientes.
From here, board the bus that will take you on a 20 minute ride up to the citadel of Machu Picchu, or Lost City of the Incas, which sits upon the summit bearing the same name, and is one of the most representative and recognized examples of Incan architecture. A guided tour of the Citadel includes the Main Plaza, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Sun Dial, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows and various burial grounds.
The legendary 'Lost City' is without a doubt one of the world's most impressive archaeological sites. Built by the Incas on the summit of "Machu Picchu" (old peak), overlooking the deep canyon of the Urubamba river in a semi-tropical area 120 Kms (75 miles) from the city of Cusco at 3,400 m.a.s.l (11,155 f.a.s.l).
It sits on a mountain site of extraordinary beauty, in the middle of a tropical mountain forest; Machu Picchu was probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height, with its giant walls, terraces and ramps, which appear as though they have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments.
Machu Picchu is also one of the Inca's best kept secrets, since they did not leave written records and Spanish chronicles make no mention of the citadel, it remains a mystery.
Buffet lunch at Tinkuy Restaurant at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge. In the afternoon return to Aguas Calientes town. Overnight in Aguas Calientes
Excellent opportunity to wake up early and enjoy a beautiful sunrise as well as stroll around the Town of Aguas Calientes and visit its Hot Springs Thermal waters.
Then, you will have time to perform some of the following activities (not included in the overall price): visit the Citadel of Machu Picchu for a second time, or for more active and adventurous people, we suggest to climb up the Huayna Picchu from where you can appreciate the immensity of Machu Picchu, even more amazing being so high and distant (no guide services included this day).
Later in the morning, return by bus & train combination, and upon arrival at the Ollantaytambo Train station you will be met by our representative and private driver for your transfer back to Cusco.
On the way, savor an exquisite Tasting lunch at local restaurant.
After lunch, continue the journey back to Cusco and your hotel. Overnight in Cusco
Morning at leisure for activities on your own.
PM: Walking City tour Cusco, San Blas & MAP Museum (private)
At the appropriate time, you will go on a walking city tour of the Imperial City of Cusco, including the Santo Domingo Church built upon the foundations of the Inca temple Koricancha, which was dedicated to Sun worship. You will also visit the Main Plaza, which has been the scene of great historical events in Cusco; and the Cathedral, constructed of great slabs of red granite in the renaissance style, and thus contrasting with the baroque style silverwork which decorates the interior.
Continue with a visit to the district of San Blas, with its winding streets, the whitewashed houses, the blue balconies hung with geranium-filled flowerpots, the uneven line of the tiled rooftops and the endless stairways.
In the neighborhood live the folk artists of Cusco, who for centuries have used their hands to tell the tale of their longings and frustrations working in stone and woodcarving, sculpture, doll-making, silverware, weaving and textile arts, gold-leaf, mask-making, and an array of ceramics in utilitarian, architectural, sculptural, monumental, grotesque and many other styles for example Edilberto Merida, renowned sculptor.
He looked to religion for his primary inspiration, but he moved away from traditional religious images, by making grotesque images with exaggerated features. It is a form of sculpture that has come to be known as "mud of protest."
Then visit the Pre-Columbian Art Museum, the only museum in Peru dedicated to rebound the arts of ancient Peruvian cultures; the collection of 450 master pieces’ date from 1250 B.C. to 1532 A.D.
End this tour with a Pisco Demonstration and Tasting at MAP Café Restaurant, located inside the MAP Museum compound.
After the excursion, you will be transferred to your hotel.
Evening: Dinner at Kion Restaurant
Enjoy a delicious Peruvian-Cantones dinner at Kion Restaurant. Overnight in Cusco
At the appropriate time, our representative will meet you at the hotel lobby and transfer you to Cusco Airport to board your next flight. Our representative will assist you with check-in procedures and all departure formalities.
Transfer Lima Airport / Hotel (private)
Upon arrival into Lima International Airport, you will be met by our representative and private driver and will be transferred to your hotel. Our representative will assist you with check-in procedures. Overnight in Lima
At the appropriate time, our representative will meet you at the hotel lobby and transfer you to the Lima Airport to board your next flight. Our representative will assist you with check-in procedures and all departure formalities.
End of our Services
B: Breakfast / L: Lunch / D: Dinner
- No reservations have been placed
- This is a preliminary costing; hotels may vary according to availability
- All services stipulated above are subject to availability at the time of booking/ reservation
- No airfares or airport taxes included in above given rates
- Airfares are referential only. Actual rates are subject to availability at time of purchase and type of ticket (refunds and changes allowed/not allowed, penalties apply/not apply, etc). Tickets are non-refundable and non-endorsable in case of cancellation
- All entrance fees are subject to change without previous notice
- Important: On the train journey to Machu Picchu, you will be limited to one piece of luggage weighing no more than 11 ponds and a total linear dimension (length + width + height) of 62 inches. You may keep excess luggage at your hotel in Cusco city
- For payments with credit card, we are forced to charge 4% more out of the total price due to bank fees
- NET rates for 2017; not valid on Inti Raymi dates (Jun22/27), Christmas & New Year (Dec23/Jan02) and any other National or Religious Holidays which may have special rates; please verify
- Rates are subject to change without prior notice in case supplier conditions change and/or if there are USD exchange rate variations in Peru
The itinerary includes:
- Private excursions with local English speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary, except where otherwise indicated
- All entrance fees to the sites mentioned in the itinerary
- Meals: As indicated in the itinerary
- 01 Roundtrip train ticket to Machu Picchu via Vistadome coach per person
- 01 Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu per person
- 01 Bus ticket to and from the Machu Picchu ruins per person
- 09 nights’ hotel accommodation
- All tips (except hotel staff); additional tips are optional and voluntary. However, the following amounts may be used as guidelines:
- Guide/transferman: USD 5.00 per guest per day
- Driver: USD 2.00 per guest per day
- Restaurant Tips: 10% of the total check
- Permanent assistance during the trip
The Itinerary does not include:
- International air fares or domestic air fares
- Meals or any other item not described in the itinerary
- Early check-in, late check-out, services and non-mentioned meals in the itinerary
- Personal expenses
- Drinks during meals, hotel extras and personal spending
- Tips for guides and hotel staff
- Local VAT taxes (18% applicable only to Peruvian and foreign residents of Peru; to be exempted you will need to show your passport)
- Health and travel insurance
Your Galapagos Travel Expert Since 1953