Luxury Meets Authenticity

Gain authentic insight into Peru with this two-week Luxury meets Authenticity itinerary which offers a balance between first-class comfort and first-class experiences. Visit vibrant villages in the Sacred Valley to learn about local customs and traditions, trek from lodge-to-lodge in the shadows of Apu Ausangate along paths without crossing other tourists, and delve deep into the lush Amazon aboard the luxurious Delfin vessel. From rustic lodges to the ultimate refinement of international first class hotels, all properties included hold a strong sense of place, firmly nodding to their surrounds. This itinerary allows you to understand the diversity of Peru’s geography and communities, taking in Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Apu Ausangate and the Amazon.

Highlights
  • Meet members of an Andean village in the Sacred Valley to learn about local life
  • Trek through the stunning landscapes around Apu Ausangate, devoid of all other tourists
  • Cruise in first-class comfort aboard the luxurious Delfin I into the Amazon
Daily Summary

Day 1 Lima Arrival Lima. Overnight at Hotel B or Belmond Miraflores Park.

Day 2 Lima Into the Past: Lima's city highlights with a specialist guide. Overnight at Hotel B or Belmond Miraflores Park.

Day 3 Lima – Cusco – Urubamba Fly Lima to Cusco. Visit Pisac archaeological site and market. Overnight at Sol y Luna or Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba.

Day 4 Urubamba Visit an Andean community and take a short hike to learn about the many uses of the native Achupalla plant. Overnight at Sol y Luna or Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba.

Day 5 Urubamba – Machu Picchu Ollantaytambo fortress. Vistadome train to Machu Picchu and guided visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site. Overnight at El Mapi or Sumaq.

Day 6 Machu Picchu - Cusco Machu Picchu. Vistadome train back to Cusco. Overnight at Casa Cartagena or Belmond Nazarenas.

Day 7 Cusco Appreciate Cusco's cobbled-street charm with a tour of the city's key sites and private BBQ atop an Inca wall overlookin the city. Overnight at Casa Cartagena or Belmond Nazarenas.

Day 8 Cusco – Apu Ausangate Trek: Palomani Pass Lodge-to-Lodge Trek. Overnight at Chillca Lodge.

Day 9 Apu Ausangate Trek: Palomani Pass Lodge-to-Lodge Trek. Machuraccay Lodge

Day 10 Apu Ausangate Trek: Palomani Pass Lodge-to-Lodge Trek. Return to Cusco. Overnight at Casa Cartagena or Belmond Nazarenas.

Day 11 Cusco - Iquitos (via Lima) Delfin Amazon Cruise.

Day 12 Amazon Delfin Amazon Cruise.

Day 13 Amazon Delfin Amazon Cruise.

Day 14 Iquitos - Lima International Departure.

  • Day 1

    Lima

    International Arrival

    An English-speaking Aracari representative will be expecting you from your international arrival, will greet you and give you your customized welcome pack with a booklet of your trip itinerary and other useful information before whisking you off to your hotel, assisting you with all check-in procedures.

  • Day 2

    Lima

    Into The Past Lima City Tour with Specialist Guide

    One of the main fascinations of Lima is the concentration of ancient history in the area; not only do the origins of the city pre-date the Spanish foundation of the city by several millennia, its museums are full of the artistic treasures of magnificent pre-Columbian civilizations that flourished throughout the coastal deserts of Peru. Begin to unravel this multifaceted history and discover the complex past of this fascinating city accompanied our specialist guide. Visit an ancient adobe pyramid right in the middle of the city, Huaca Huallamarca, which dates back to around 200 BC. Journey to the Larco Herrera Museum, where thousands of years of complex ancient history will be turned into an easy-to-understand story, for kids and adults alike. Continue on to the colonial area of Lima, featuring the Cathedral, the Convent of Santo Domingo, and the Main Square with its beautiful baroque style buildings. You will also have a chance to visit Casa Aliaga, reportedly the oldest home on the Continent and still family-owned after 17 generations. The sites visited today can be tailored to alternatively include: La Casona de San Marcos; the Convent of San Francisco and its catacombs; Huaca Pucllana; and the Museo de la Inquisition. It is also possible to organize cocktails at Casa Aliaga (supplement price applies).

  • Day 3

    Lima – Cusco – Urubamba

    Flight to Cusco, Awanacancha, Pisac Market & Ruins

    Our Aracari representative will pick you up from your hotel for your private transfer to Lima airport, where he will assist you with check-in procedures for your domestic flight to Cusco. Upon arrival in Cusco, your personal guide and private driver will greet you at the airport to head straight to the Urubamba Valley - also known as the 'Sacred Valley'. Your guide will accompany you throughout the Urubamba Valley, Cusco and Machu Picchu.

    En route, stop for a short visit of Awanacancha where you will have the opportunity to see the different camelids that live in the Andes such as llamas, alpacas, vicuñas and guanacos. In Pisac experience the sights and sounds of the town’s famous market, with its variety of handcrafts and fresh produce. Continue on to the Pisac ruins. With Inca masonry of superlative quality, the stunning terracing following the contours of the mountain and superior view of the valley will leave you in awe.

    Following your visit, transfer to Hacienda Huayoccari for a three-course lunch in this traditional hacienda, owned and lived-in by one of the oldest land-owning families in Cusco. Take a look at their private collection of folk art and ancient artifacts. After lunch, check-in to your chosen hotel.

  • Day 4

    Urubamba

    The Legendary Leaves of Achupalla: Visit to an Andean Village

    Transfer from your hotel to the Janac Chuquibamba community in the Sacred Valley for a first-hand insight into genuine local customs, beliefs and traditions. To reach this rural hamlet you will pass through countryside brimming with wild flowers, looming mountains and a colorful yellow, pink and red tapestry of quinoa and kiwicha fields. The last 30 minutes of the journey are on an unpaved road from the village of Lamay. On arrival at the community you will be greeted by the local leaders playing traditional instruments, dressed in bright, local attire – you will have the opportunity to try this clothing on. After a snack, follow the village representatives playing their potutos as you walk approximately half an hour amidst fields of lupin, cantutas and other wildflowers up the slopes of the mountain where the achupalla plant is found in abundance. Expect stunning views as you receive an explanation about the indigenous legends surrounding the achupalla plant—both its scientific background and its many uses, which include cooking utensils, baskets, firewood, animal food and medicine.
    Return to the village for a plentiful lunch using local ingredients. Typical dances and music follow the meal.

  • Day 5

    Urubamba – Machu Picchu

    Ollantaytambo fortress. Machu Picchu visit, arriving by Vistadome Train

    Begin your day by visiting the fabulous town of Ollantaytambo and its archaeological sites. The town is unique in that it still preserves its original Inca plan with people living in traditional cancha enclosures once occupied by the Inca elite. The archaeological compound is a sensational sight to behold and is of great historical significance for the Incas during the Spanish Conquest: It was here that one of the greatest battles of the Conquest was fought and one of the few where the Incas defeated the Spaniards.

    From here board the Vistadome train. As the name implies, the Vistadome features spectacular panoramic windows with incredible scenic views, connecting you with the magnificent landscapes and offering you ample opportunities to photograph this amazing journey (approx 1.5hrs). On arrival in Aguas Calientes you will board a bus to reach the entrance of Machu Picchu.

    “Magnificence” is the only word to describe the scene, as you gaze upon the ruins of Machu Picchu. The main destination on many travellers’ lists, the ‘lost city of the Incas’ is a man-made marvel that has become a symbol for the ingenuity and prosperity of one of the most expansive empires in Latin American history. Only a century ago were the incredible ruins uncovered; a two year-excavation led by Yale archaeologist Hiram Bingham and the National Geographic Society of Washington DC allowed Machu Picchu to gain the prominence that it deserves. Its fascination is due in part to its position, high on a mountain ridge and 2,430m/7,972ft above sea level. Believed to be an Inca settlement built to control the economies of neighboring communities, it is associated with being the royal estate of Pachacuti, the great Inca who sparked the expansion of the empire. Enjoy a 2-3 hour guided visit of Machu Picchu before spending the remainder of the afternoon exploring the ruins after the majority of visitors have left the site. Afterwards, return by bus to your hotel in Aguas Calientes.

  • Day 6

    Machu Picchu - Cusco via Chincero

    Second Day at Machu Picchu, Vistadome train and visit Chinchero en route to Cusco

    This morning you’ll return to the ruins with your guide. Optionally hike to IntiPunku, the “Sun Gate”, take a more strenuous climb to Huayna Picchu or climb to the top of Machu Picchu Mountain, located south of the Citadel and offering spectacular panoramic views. Following your visit, take the bus back to the town of Aguas Calientes to catch the Vistadome train (approx. 1.5hrs) back to Ollantaytambo, where a private vehicle will be waiting to transfer you by road to Cusco (approx. 2hrs).

    En route to Cusco visit the town of Chincero. Higher than Cusco and the Urubamba Valley, Chinchero was once home to the great conquering emperor Inca Topa Yupanqui and features his magnificent palace, with a parade ground and royal viewing pavilion alongside. The town also boasts a hillside of terraces studded with rock-outcrop shrines, a charming village with a layout dating back to Inca times and a magnificent view of the snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera Vilcabamba range. Held next to the ruins is the fascinating Sunday market where people come to sell and trade goods and produce and to have a picnic with the family, a perfect spot to gain insight into local life. On arrival in Cusco check in to your hotel.

  • Day 7

    Cusco

    Cusco walking tour, BBQ lunch with panoramic view

    Since its narrow alleyways were originally designed by the Incas as a city for walking, start your exploration of Cusco on foot. Begin at the Plaza de Armas, the Main Square, which is marked by the exquisite Spanish Colonial architecture and ornamentation imposed by Spanish colonists to exert religious and political influence. Underneath it all, however, you can clearly see remnants of Inca Cusco in the solid stonework. Visit Koricancha, the most sumptuous “Sun Temple” in the Inca Empire, and the breathtaking Cathedral, a repository for Cusco’s colonial art, as well as many other important archaeological relics and artifacts. You will also stop by the colourful San Pedro market and pass through the charming neighborhood of San Blas. Next, visit Sacsayhuaman, an Inca citadel atop a hill, on the outskirts of the city. Not only are the imposing terraces of masterful stonework a sight to behold, but the vistas overlooking the sienna rooftops of Cusco provide a whole new perspective to the city you traversed.

    Following the visit, from atop an Inca wall, enjoy panoramic views of Cusco during a private BBQ with your own dedicated cook. Sample a variety of local meats – including alpaca – accompanied by fresh, leafy salads from the on-site vegetable garden for hearty, home-cooking at its best. Afterwards, return to your hotel.

  • Day 8

    Apu Ausangate

    Lodge-to-Lodge Trek: Palomani Pass

    This is a breathtaking three day trek in the Vilcanota´s Cordillera on a route called the “Camino del Apu Ausangate,” located in close proximity to the highest sacred mountain in the Cusco region. The pristine mountain ecosystem of the ‘Apu’ is known in the region as the Bearer of Life and Guardian. Llamas and horses owned by shepherds of the nearby community of Chillca will accompany the trek to carry the requisite gear. On your hike and in unique “tambos,” or Andean lodges, daily meals will be prepared by experienced chefs who will introduce you to a great variety of delicious Peruvian dishes and produce. For entertainment, authentic, vernacular music played by local inhabitants will liven up the evenings at the "tambos."

    Early in the morning, you will depart from Cusco on a comfortable bus ride along the fertile Vilcanota River Valley, en route to the town of Checacupe. After a visit to its Colonial Church of the Immaculate Conception, you will start ascending the Pitumarca Valley. Hike through the spectacular Japura Gorge that leads to Chillca, where you will be greeted by community members. From there, it will only be a short and easy walk to the first tambo, where you will have time to relax and enjoy the music provided by local inhabitants of Chillca.

  • Day 9

    Apu Ausangate

    Lodge-to-Lodge Trek: Palomani Pass

    Today, your hike will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the open valley of Upis, where impressive ice-covered mountains tower high into the sky, offering us majestic views. Then, the trail becomes narrower, as we make our way towards the waterfalls that rush down from Mount Santa Catalina. This path is mainly used by the area’s freely wandering camelids, and once we reach the small Paloma Lagoon, the landscape is dotted with llamas and alpacas. After hiking alongside a second lagoon and crossing a long series of moraines, you will reach the Machuracay Tambo, located right at the foot of the Apu Ausangate.

  • Day 10

    Apu Ausangate - Cusco

    Lodge-to-Lodge Trek: Palomani Pass

    After a demanding ascent to the Palomani Mountain Pass, at 5,200 m. / 17,000 ft. above sea level, descend down to Ausangatecocha, with its sublime views of the ice-covered Southern face of the Apu. Hike along the spectacular red sandstone formations, to the community of Ausangate. When you reach the bottom of the valley, the bus will be waiting for your return to Cusco.

  • Day 11

    Amazon

    Delfin I Cruise

    An Aracari representative will meet you at your hotel to transfer you to Cusco airport for your domestic flight to Iquitos (via Lima). On arrival you will be met for your shared transfer to board the luxurious Delfin I vessel where you can settle into your private cabin with private deck and exacting service.

    Depending on the time of year, the activities aboard the cruise may vary. You might traverse the black waterways of the Belluda Stream, spotting parrots, macaws, Monk Saki monkeys, saddle back tamarin monkeys, Morpho butterflies and possibly different species of hawks. During the dry season, hike to the community of Yanallpa, observing bird species such as the snail kite, the black-tailed antbird and varieties of tanagers, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, orioles and blackbirds on your way. Arrive at a lagoon inhabited by endangered freshwater fish, such as the huge paiche. Upon your return to the boat, enjoy a gourmet lunch, and then head out on the skiffs for a one-in-a-lifetime experience, swimming amonst the grey and pink river dolphins. As your journey continues in the jungle, take in the sounds of the wildlife that surrounds you, watching for troops of passing squirrel monkeys and iguanas lounging on the sun-warmed rocks. Finish your day back on board as your journey continues with good food and unpararlleled views of the stars over the Amazon.

  • Day 12

    Amazon

    Delfin I Cruise

    Delfin I Activities (variable according to season).

    This morning, you may rise early to appreciate the flora and fauna of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve as the sun rises over the tropics. Enjoy a hike along the Fundo Casual jungle trail as you venture deep into the rainforest on terra firme (non-flooded forest) where your guide will point out the dynamic creatures and vegetation of the Amazon. Be sure to keep an attentive eye out for spotting wildlife!

    In the afternoon, you will cruise through the Yanayacu and Pucate Rivers on an aluminum skiff as you explore one of the best preserved and protected zones of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Your guide will use his expert eye to pinpoint all the biodiversity of this region such as a myriad of bird species, colorful butterflies and insects, noisy monkey troops and active pink and grey river dolphins. If desired, you may also get a chance to paddle down the river on your own or with luck swim alongside the famous pink dolphins!

  • Day 13

    Amazon

    Delfin I Cruise

    Delfin I Activities (variable according to season).

    Today you will enjoy a unique opportunity; you will get to traverse the only canopy walkway in this area, an experience unequaled in the rainforest! At a height of over 25 meters (85ft) and with 8 hanging bridges extending for 500 meters (1,680ft), the canopy walkway provides a view of the rainforest from the treetops, the best vantage point for observing Amazon wildlife and vegetation. On your way to and from the canopy walkway you will paddle through the tranquil Tahuampa Lake, a black water lagoon with giant arapaima fishes known locally as paiche, the largest fresh water fish in the world.

    After lunch, you will board an excursion skiff and set out to explore Nauta Caño, a small creek and tributary where you will have the chance to do some kayaking and also fish for piranhas, a delightful and challenging experience you won't forget! As night approaches, your guide will take you on a night safari in search of caiman, night herons, pauraques, spectacled owls, up to a dozen species of croaking frogs, and fish bats.

  • Day 14

    Iquitos - Lima

    Fly Iquitos to Lima, International Departure

    his morning, you will travel by skiff to visit the community of San Francisco to meet local villagers who have called Amazonia their home for generations. Visit a typical schoolhouse and then stop by an arts & craft market to meet the women of this community who create the spectacular handicrafts. Return to the boat for your final lunch, after which you’ll disembark at the port of Nauta for a bus transfer to Iquitos. Before heading to the airport, stop for a brief visit to the Manatee Rescue Center where you can see these beautiful creatures up close, with the chance to touch them and even feed them a bottle of milk if you would like.

    Transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Lima, followed by check-in for your international departure flight.

Itinerary pricing as of 2017

Pricing Info - US$9,129

This is an example itinerary and can be entirely customized to suit you. Just get in touch and we’ll design your own tailor-made itinerary according to your interests, travel style and budget.

  • Based on two people travelling together in double or twin occupancy
  • Price is per person for the full 14-day itinerary
  • Based on Hotel Selection 1: Hotel B, Sol y Luna, El Mapi, Casa Cartagena, Lodges (2 Nights), Delfin I
Pricing Alternatives - US$10,116

The alternative pricing is based on the same itinerary with upgraded accommodations showcasing the best luxury hotels that Peru has to offer.

  • Based on two people travelling together in double or twin occupancy
  • Price is per person for the full 14-day itinerary
  • Based on Hotel Selection 2: Belmond Miraflores Park, Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, Sumaq, Belmond Nazarenas, Lodges (2 Nights), Delfin I
What's Included?

This itinerary is based on two people travelling together in double or twin occupancy, excluding flights (international and domestic).

  • Includes all specified services in the itinerary description
  • All transfers and entrance fees
  • A welcome pack on arrival including: a pre-loaded cell phone to contact your travel consultant at any time, a printed booklet packed with insider tips alongside your detailed itinerary and up-to-date recommendations on dining and shopping
  • Hand-selected English-speaking guides
  • Specialist guides (where noted)
  • 24-hour support from our locally based team
  • 13 nights in a hand-picked and personally tested selection of Peru’s finest hotels and lodges
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