Experience the enduring heritage of the Incas, as you interact with the people of the Sacred Valley, sample Peruvian culinary delights and explore magnificent Machu Picchu, staying at the only hotel on site.
- Sample Peruvian cuisine at a Chef’s Table experience to understand its cultural impact on Peru and the world, and enjoy an exclusive A&K street food tour led by a local chef.
- Mingle with the residents of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and gain an intimate understanding of their ancestral weaving and farming techniques, during a private visit to their village, where you partake in a Pachamama ceremony.
- Enjoy a private lecture on Machu Picchu with a renowned scholar in Incan history before discovering the magnificent ruins for yourself in the company of a local expert guide.
- Discover Peru’s rich musical traditions during a captivating private performance by an expert in Andean music.
- Opt to trek the last portion of the Inca Trail from KM 104 to Machu Picchu on select departures.
DIA 1 ARRIVE LIMA, PERU
Arrive in Lima and transfer to your hotel, located in the city’s exclusive residential district of Miraflores. Founded in 1535 by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, this “City of Kings” is a blend of colonial structures, pre-Colombian sites and modern conveniences.
DIA 2 LIMA | DISCOVERING PERUVIAN CUISINE
Today, learn why Lima is considered one of the world’s premier culinary cities by discovering its history and flavors with top local chefs who introduce you to the unique food products of the Land of the Incas. Begin with a walking food tour of the bohemian Barranco neighborhood and discover the essence of the Limeño lifestyle. Meet a local chef who takes you to his or her favorite places, where you are invited to sample some of the iconic dishes and spirits of Peru — an experience exclusive to A&K. After lunch, discover Peru’s capital, visiting Plaza de Armas, birthplace of the city, and the beautiful Cathedral, built in the 16th century. Then, take part in a Peruvian Chef ’s Table experience, savoring the delicious dishes you have cooked for dinner.
DIA 3 SACRED VALLEY | CUSCO AND CAMELIDS
Fly to Cusco, located more than 11,000 feet above sea level. Stop for lunch in the central square, and then take part in a photography workshop, learning pointers from a professional, before proceeding to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. En route, visit Manos de la Comunidad to interact with the South American camelids living there — such as llamas and alpacas — and learn about the valuable fibers created from their coats. Continue to your awe-inspiring resort, designed to fit in with the Sacred Valley’s landscapes.
DIA 4 SACRED VALLEY | LEARNING TIME-HONORED TRADITIONS
Visit a remote village where the local residents provide a hands-on introduction to the customs and crafts that make up their way of life, including weaving and cooking, for an A&K-exclusive experience. Then, participate in one of Peru’s oldest and most sacred rituals when you join a local shaman in a traditional offering to Mother Earth (Pachamama). After this spiritual ceremony, visit the Kuychi Center to meet the children at Niños del Arco Iris (Children of the Rainbow), a project supported by A&K Philanthropy, which provides education, nutrition, medical care and hope to children in the Sacred Valley. Eat lunch on site before returning to your hotel, where you prepare for your visit to Machu Picchu with a private lecture from a renowned scholar and certified expert on the Incas. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure, gazing upon the soaring Andes and savoring a refreshing Scenic Sundowner.
DIA 5 MACHU PICCHU | BINGHAM’S STUNNING FIND
Today, depending on your choice of departures, explore Ollantaytambo, a fortress of massive stone terraces that hug the mountain slopes and the site of the Incas’ greatest victory over the invading Spanish. Then Ride Like a Local, journeying aboard the Inca Rail First-Class Train deep into the Andes towards Machu Picchu gazing out at the spectacular Peruvian countryside. In the early afternoon, explore the ruins with your expert guide and, as you wander amid the age-old stone walls, picture life as it might have been in this majestic citadel, set some 8,000 feet above sea level. Alternatively, on select departures, opt to start by boarding a many-windowed Vistadome Train for the same scenic ride, but with a twist: disembark at KM 104 and set out with a guide on a hike that culminates at the Sun Gate (Inti Punku), looking out over the vast UNESCO World Heritage Site. Either way, arrive for your overnight stay at the only hotel located on-site at Machu Picchu. Overlooking the Urubamba River, Machu Picchu was built in the 15th century at the height of the Inca Empire. Although this “Lost City” was revealed to the rest of the world by American historian Hiram Bingham in 1911, its location was long known to locals. Its original purpose, however, remains a matter of some conjecture, as the Incas left no written records.
DIA 6 MACHU PICCHU | WALKING THE SPECTACULAR RUINS
Rise with the sun to walk through Machu Picchu in the early morning mist before the crowds arrive, an experience some consider the spiritual highlight of the journey. After exploring the “Lost City of the Incas,” board the Vistadome train back to Ollantaytambo. Continue to Cusco, where you check in to your hotel, once a 16th-century monastery and now a national monument that offers a retreat from the bustle of Cusco, while set just off the city square.
DIA 7 CUSCO | DESIGN YOUR DAY
This morning, discover Cusco on a city tour that includes the Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas and the Santo Domingo Temple, a Dominican church built on the foundations of the Koricancha, the Incas’ principal religious building. Listen as a local expert explains how the historic clashes between the Incas and the Spanish played a role in forming today’s Peruvian culture. Later, visit the well-preserved ruins of Sacsayhuaman, a testament to Incan architectural skill. This imposing fortress, which witnessed the greatest battle between the Spanish and the Incas, is compiled from colossal stones and overlooks the red-tiled roofs of Cusco. This afternoon, enjoy one of these Design Your Day activities.
- Visit the San Blas Neighborhood, a unique, bohemian enclave where you find the workshops of artisans.
- Stroll San Pedro Market and Visit the Inca Museum for a taste of local fruits and cheese, and a glimpse of daily life, followed by a look back into Peru’s rich history.
- Explore with an Expert Photographer who helps you refine your skills and capture Cusco as a local sees it, including its narrow streets and beautiful houses.
Tonight, listen to a private Andean music presentation by a regional expert, and learn the history of his handmade instruments. Absorb not only the timeless quality of the Peruvian folk tunes he plays, but the unmistakable cultural identity revealed by their haunting, immersive melodies as well. Afterward, gather for a farewell dinner at an elegant Cusco restaurant, where the chef gathers local ingredients for use in innovative recipes that remain true to Peru’s culinary traditions.
DIA 8 DEPART LIMA
After a morning at leisure to sleep in, visit shops or simply relax, fly back to Lima. Later, board your departing flight.