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"Our bucket list"
The trip was great, the hotels were fab, the food was good and Rudy was fantastic.
Bienvenidos a Lima, where we'll kick-start our effortlessly delivered journey to the iconic and unexpected sights and sounds of Peru. On arrival, transfer to your luxury hotel in fashionable Miraflores, where this evening you'll meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception.
Take your time this morning and embrace the warm welcome of the "City of Kings". We'll meet a Local Specialist who will reveal the city's highlights including Lima's UNESCO-listed Historic Centre and the baroque-style Church of San Francisco. Descend into the city's underground catacombs and admire the religious paintings, sculptures and books on display in its religious art museum and extensive library. Later, we'll join our Travel Director for a guided walk through the bairro of Miraflores, also known as the Heroic City.
We board a morning flight to Cusco and the Sacred Valley, stopping to meet a Shaman who will perform a Pago a la Tierra (Payment to Mother Earth) ceremony. 'Dive into Culture' and participate in this ancient Andean ritual to bless your trip. We 'Connect with Locals' next, indulging in a farm-to-table Be My Guest lunch to gain insights into the production of Giant White Corn in the Sacred Valley. Your hosts will demonstrate the difference between age-old farming techniques and the newer technologies now used. Our cultural encounter continues as we watch the graceful romance of the Marinera dance and experience the showmanship of a Peruvian Paso horse. Later, explore the vibrant Pisac market, where local Quechua people come to sell their produce and handicrafts.
Immerse yourself in the mystique and intrigue of the ancient Inca empire today. Our first visit is to the Inca stronghold of Ollantaytambo, before boarding the Vistadome train (light snack included) for our epic journey to the Lost City in the Clouds, Machu Picchu. Explore one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, delving into the mysteries of this once-great civilisation as you stroll through the UNESCO-listed ruins with a Local Specialist. Before returning to our hotel for dinner, we'll visit the great Temple of the Sun, the House of the Priest, the Sacred Plaza and the intricately carved Intihuatana.
Re-connect with the story of this majestic hill-top fortress this morning and spend some time exploring on your own terms. We return to the Sacred Valley by train, stopping en route to 'Dive into Culture' and learn about the natural dyeing techniques used by native weavers, who display their weaving styles and ways of dress. Visit a local chicheria for yet another opportunity to 'Dive into Culture' and learn about chicha, the favourite drink of the Andes. Our 'Stay with a Story' tonight is a centuries-old mansion located in the historic centre of Cusco.
Cusco's rich colonial heritage built on the foundations of an ancient Incan past are revealed today during a sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist. Visit the UNESCO-listed Sacsayhuaman ruins that tower over the city and the baroque Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas. We'll stroll through the artists' retreat of San Blas, then meet a Local Specialist anthropologist from the National University of Antonio Abad for insights into Peru's history, geography and culture. This evening, enjoy a your choice dining experience, giving you the option to dine at one of several local restaurants.
This morning, fly to Juliaca where you will meet a Local Specialist to learn about daily life on the Peruvian altiplano. After lunch, we'll visit Sillustani, a pre-Incan burial ground on the shores of Lake Umayo and view the towering chullpas (above ground tombs). We journey to Puno along the shores of Lake Titicaca, the birthplace of the sun.
We cruise the deep blue waters of Lake Titicaca with a Local Specialist, discovering its floating islands constructed from reeds by the Uros Indians. In the midst of South America's largest lake, we arrive at Taquile Island, where we'll embark on a private tour to gain insights into the tradition of weaving and knitting for which the local villagers-men and women-are renowned. Learn more about the culture of the people living on the island and enjoy a Regional Meal lunch. Tonight, we enjoy a Trafalgar highlight-dinner at our favourite local restaurant in Puno.
This morning we return to Lima, enjoying an afternoon at leisure after our flight. We'll join a Local Specialist this evening, visiting one of Lima's most renowned museums after dark - the Larco Museum. Admire the pre-Columbian artefacts that reveal insights into the cultures of ancient Peru. Then, sit down to a gourmet Farewell Dinner filled with Peruvian flavours as you overlook the museum's beautiful gardens.
For now it's time to say a fond hasta luego to Lima and transfer to the airport for your flight home, or consider extending your stay at the Hilton Miraflores.
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