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 authentic experiences. Visit vibrant villages in the Sacred Valley to learn about local customs and traditions, trek from Patakancha to Lares in the Andes Mountains along paths without crossing other tourists, and delve deep into the lush Amazon aboard the luxurious Delfin I vessel. From comfortable camping to the ultimate refinement of international first class hotels, all accommodation 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, Lares and the Amazon.

Highlights
  • Meet members of a traditional village in the Sacred Valley to learn about local life
  • Trek through the stunning landscapes of the Andes Mountains, devoid of other tourists
  • Cruise in first-class comfort aboard the luxurious Delfin I into the Amazon
Daily Summary

Day 1 Lima Arrival Lima. Overnight at Villa Barranco or Hotel B.

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

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 Explore Ollantaytambo fortress. Vistadome train to Machu Picchu and guided visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site. Overnight at El Mapi or Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo.

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

Day 8 Cusco – Patakancha & Lares Trek 3 day trek through traditional Andean communities. Camping Overnight.

Day 9 Patakancha & Lares Trek: Ipsa Pass Reach the highest point in your trek. Camping Overnight.

Day 10 Patakancha & Lares Trek: Huacahuasi to Cusco End your trek in hot springs near the village of Lares. Return to Cusco. Overnight at Casa Cartagena or Belmond Palacio Nazarenas.

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

Day 12 Amazon Adventures aboard the Delfin I Amazon Cruise.

Day 13 Amazon Adventures aboard the Delfin I Amazon Cruise.

Day 14 Iquitos - Lima Fly Iquitos to Lima. Airport assistance. 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.

  • 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

    Cusco Region

    Patakancha & Lares Trek

    Today you will begin your 3 day, 2 night Patakancha & Lares trek. You will be collected by your guide and together will be transferred to the community of Patakancha (3900m/12,795ft). Once in Patakancha, you will meet your trekking crew and start your hike, crossing a football pitch, passing by a school and heading straight uphill. Patakancha is a traditional community made up of small stone and mud houses with thatched roofs. Locals are mostly agricultural farmers and herders and supplement their income working as porters.

    As you leave the village, you will enjoy views of alpaca and llama herds grazing along the trail. The scenery is typical of the high Andes with ichu or high altitude grass as well as polylepis trees. After approximately 1.5 hours of ascent, the trail flattens and you will reach Ipsa Cocha, a small but beautiful lagoon near which you will camp (4,200m/13,779ft). Your total trek today will cover approximately 6 kilometres (3.7 miles), which is about two to three hours of hiking.

    Camping Overnight.

  • Day 9

    Cusco Region

    Patakancha & Lares Trek

    After breakfast, you will begin your ascent for about 1 hour until you reach the Ipsa pass (4,700m/15,420ft). This is the highest point on the trek and a good place to observe condors. After the pass, the rest of your hike will be downhill. You begin to descend until you reach the community of Huacahuasi (3,400m/11,154ft), another traditional village where people live close to the land, farming the same way their Inca ancestors did: using foot ploughs and other traditional techniques. Your total trek today will cover approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 miles), which is about five to six hours of hiking.

    Camping Overnight.

  • Day 10

    Cusco

    Patakancha & Lares Trek

    Today the scenery will be dramatically different from yesterday: potato, barley, quinoa and cornfields abound. You finish your hike with a dip in the hot springs near the colonial village of Lares (3,260m/10,695ft). After, you will meet your vehicle and drive to your hotel in Urubamba. Your total trek today will cover approximately 4 kilometres (2.5 miles), which is about one and a half hours of hiking. 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.

    *There are also direct flights (limited availability) between Cusco and Iquitos.

    Aboard the Delfin I, the smallest and most unique river vessel in the Amazon, the qualified staff will serve you an exotic cocktail as your naturalist guide briefs you on your journey's schedule, activities, highlights, wildlife and vegetation to keep an eye out for, geographical and historical background, and other useful details. As you continue 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 with a delicious gourmet dinner and unpararlleled views of the stars over the Amazon.

  • Day 12

    Amazon

    Delfin I Cruise

    Delfin I Activities (variable according to season).

    After a hearty breakfast of natural juices and fresh foods, start the day with a unique opportunity 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.

    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!

    Afterwards, you will visit the village of San Regis which receives few visitors, and even fewer that visit the Shaman, Carola. Carola is known far and wide in the rainforest, leading a normal village life with her wood carver husband, while at the same time acting as spiritual caretaker and healer to hundreds of jungle dwellers spread over many roadless miles. Her prestige and position are beyond reproach. The role of shaman is often misunderstood in the west, associated with black magic, and spells. While these things all have their place, the actual practitioners are as varied as in any profession. Carola is known as a "White" shaman, a healer and spiritual guide.

  • Day 13

    Amazon

    Delfin I Cruise

    Delfin I Activities (variable according to season).

    This morning, we recommend rising 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!

    After emerging from the depths of the forest, you will be treated to a world-class gourmet meal. The diverse menu will always surprise you with new ingredients and flavors, all prepared with an Amazonian touch.

    After lunch, visit the village of Amazonas to meet the friendly local people and learn about jungle life. Then head to the confluence of the 3 rivers to witness where the three different colored rivers meet and enjoy what is sure to be a stunning Amazon river sunset.

    Return to Delfin I for an exquisite farewell dinner and live music.

  • Day 14

    Iquitos - Lima

    Fly Iquitos to Lima, International Departure

    With heavy hearts, the staff will wish you farewell as you begin your departure. At the port of Nauta, the ground crew will be waiting to take you by private vehicle back to the city of Iquitos.

    On the way from Nauta back to the Iquitos airport, you will visit the Rescue & Rehabilitation Center of River Mammals (ACOBIA) where you will have the chance to meet baby manatees and learn about these wonderful and docile creatures and why they are on the endangered species list. You will also have the chance to pet and feed the manatees. We welcome you to donate to this ambitious organization and education center as you wish.

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

Itinerary pricing as of 2018

Pricing Info - US$10,104

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: Villa Barranco, Sol y Luna, El Mapi, Casa Cartagena, Camping, Delfin I
Pricing Alternatives - US$11,293

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: Hotel B, Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo, Belmond Palacio Nazarenas, Camping, 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 accommodation
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