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Explore the soul of Peru in 9 days

9 Days

Embark on a transformative 9-day journey through Peru’s cultural and natural wonders. Start in Lima with a walking food tour, savoring iconic Peruvian dishes and engaging with local hosts. Travel to the Sacred Valley, where you’ll experience a unique Andean sound ceremony and visit the stunning Maras salt ponds and Moray terraces. Immerse yourself in the traditions of the Amaru farming community and explore the ancient fortress of Ollantaytambo. Finally, discover the breathtaking Machu Picchu, delving into its history and marveling at its architectural brilliance. This tour offers a perfect blend of culinary delights, cultural immersion, and unforgettable landscapes.

Overview

Embark on a transformative 9-day journey through Peru’s cultural and natural wonders. Start in Lima with a walking food tour, savoring iconic Peruvian dishes and engaging with local hosts. Travel to the Sacred Valley, where you’ll experience a unique Andean sound ceremony and visit the stunning Maras salt ponds and Moray terraces. Immerse yourself in the traditions of the Amaru farming community and explore the ancient fortress of Ollantaytambo. Finally, discover the breathtaking Machu Picchu, delving into its history and marveling at its architectural brilliance. This tour offers a perfect blend of culinary delights, cultural immersion, and unforgettable landscapes.

Highlights

  • Machu Picchu Exploration: Uncover the history and hidden gems of the iconic Inca citadel.
  • Lima Walking Food Tour: Discover Barranco's artistic district with tastings of iconic Peruvian dishes and drinks.
  • Andean Sound Ceremony: Participate in a traditional sound ceremony in the Sacred Valley.
  • Maras and Moray: Explore the unique salt ponds and ancient circular terraces of the Sacred Valley.
  • Amaru Farming Community: Experience traditional Andean farming practices and local cuisine.
  • Ollantaytambo and Pachamanca: Visit the historic fortress and enjoy a traditional Andean meal cooked with hot stones.

Schedule

  • Day 1 Welcome! Reception and transfer to your hotel. Lima
  • Day 2 Lima walking food tour Lima
  • Day 3 Journey into the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Andean Sound Ceremony Sacred Valley
  • Day 4 Maras salt ponds, Moray circular terraces, and Andean lunch Sacred Valley
  • Day 5 Amaru farming community & hike to Pisac Sacred Valley
  • Day 6 Ollantaytambo fortress, Andean Pachamanca and train to Aguas Calientes Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes
  • Day 7 Discovering Machu Picchu Machu Picchu
  • Day 8 Cusco walking food tour & city exploration Cusco
  • Day 9 Transfer to Airport. Departure Cusco to Lima and connecting flight home

Itinerary

Welcome to Peru and Lima. Upon arrival, our team will expect you at Lima Airport, holding a sign with your name. Once acquainted, we'll drive you to your hotel in the heart of Miraflores. During the drive, we can address any last-minute questions you may have. Depending on your arrival time, we'll offer suggestions for how to make the most of your first day in the city.

Lima's cuisine, popular art, and local culture await! Today, delve into Lima's culinary scene with a walking food tour in the artistic and bohemian district of Barranco. This half-day adventure offers a taste of many iconic Peruvian dishes and drinks. Engage with local hosts and learn to prepare famous dishes like ceviche, lomo saltado, and pisco sour in one of the oldest taverns in the neighborhood.

The tour is not just about tasting; it's a fun, learning journey through the historical and cultural stories behind each dish. You'll experience various flavors, including a fruit tasting, chocolate sampling, 'empanadas de aji de gallina', specialty coffee, 'lomo saltado', 'anticuchos', and 'Inca Kola'. As you explore Barranco, visit notable spots like 'Puente de los Suspiros', 'Bajada de Baños', and Jade Rivera Gallery. Indulge in Peruvian-flavored ice cream, and enjoy demonstrations on making pisco sour and ceviche. The tour also introduces you to causa and Andean punch, enhancing your understanding of Peru's diverse culinary heritage.
Please note that as with any culinary tour, some items may be substituted for similar dishes to accommodate seasonal availability and group preferences, while maintaining the overall style and experience of the tour. Additionally, the tour can be customized to accommodate any food allergies or dietary restrictions - just inform your guide in advance.

After this enriching experience, return to your hotel in the early afternoon, leaving the remainder of the day free for relaxation or further exploration at your own pace.

Upon arriving at Cusco Airport, our team will be waiting to greet you and drive you to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The perfect place to begin your exploration of Cusco while you acclimatize to the altitude of the Andes.

On our way to your hotel, there will be some unique stops installed for you. First, as you cross the mountains, you'll enjoy some inspiring views of the valley from Taray viewpoint. You'll then stop shortly to explore the picturesque, yet fairly touristy, town of Pisac before heading off-beat towards Cuyo Chico.

Here, you'll meet Vicente Rayo from “Sonidos del Ande,” a unique project dedicated to reviving the use prehispanic instruments and understanding their purposes. In prehispanic Peru, music was much more than a leisurely activity. Instruments were used for ceremonies, communication purposes and to replicate nature too. We'll join Vicente and his wife for a short walk to a secluded location close to a stream, just below old terraces that belong to the Pisac Archaeological site. Here we'll participate in a sound ceremony that, guided by Vicente and his instruments, will take you back to Inca times. We'll have a basic but delicious lunch together with Vicente and his family and then drive to our lovely hotel in the heart of the Sacred Valley.

Today, you'll explore some of the most impressive sites in the Sacred Valley, Moray, and Maras. Located on the beautiful Maras Plateau, where vast fields overlook many of the Sacred Valley's snow peaks, these two sites are quite different from the rest of the Inca remains you will see in your journey.

First, you'll explore Moray, where large circular terraces have been constructed in a natural depression. The view, at first sight, might resemble that of a vast Roman or Greek Amphitheater. However, Moray served as an agricultural experiment station. There is a considerable ground temperature difference between the higher and lower terraces. This is believed to have been used to adapt crops to different temperatures.

Next, we'll make our way to Unu, in Tiobamba. This charming countryside restaurant is the perfect setting for lunch. The restaurant uses local produce from the area to prepare delicious meals for its visitors.

Our final stop for the day is Maras, a salt-extraction complex consisting of thousands of salt terraces hanging on the mountain slopes. This site predates the Incas and has been continuously used to this date. The landscape of Maras is taken by a photographer, and the unique pink salt extracted from here can be purchased directly from the villagers of Maras.

Note: There are opportunities for free hiking on this day if you let us know in advance. It's possible to hike from Moray to Maras Village, Maras Village to Maras Salt Flats, and from the Salt Flats to the Valley base. Please indicate if you are interested in adding a hike. Highlights.

Today, you'll venture away from the tourist routes to explore the Sacred Valley from a different perspective. The first stop will be at the Andean community high in the mountains slopes above Pisac. This traditional village has kept its ancient traditions alive, farming methods, and weaving techniques. Your local hosts will be happy to share and teach you, first-hand, about their traditions. Amaru is a farming community that is slowly becoming known for its agricultural practices, particularly for their tubers. They can grow over hundreds of different types of potatoes in their fields. Take part in the sowing or harvesting, depending on the season. You'll also find various Andean superfoods, such as quinoa, kiwicha, and medicinal herbs. Afterward, join your hosts at the table and share a typical Andean meal.

After leaving Amaru, we'll head to Pisac Archaeological site, one of the most amazing Inca sites in the area. If you fancy a walk, we can descend through Inca stone steps from the archaeological site to Pisac village, known for its colorful streets and charming atmosphere. Alternatively, we can opt for a return to our hotel via private transport. It's a day filled with unique cultural experiences and natural beauty, offering an authentic taste of life in the Andean highlands.

Start your day by visiting Ollantaytambo, a village that has retained its original Inca character. Explore the Ollantaytambo archaeological site, known for its impressive Inca stonework, and enjoy the peaceful morning before the crowds arrive in the afternoon. For lunch, taste an Andean Pachamanca. This is a special local dish using preheated stones and leaves to prepare ingredients underground, resulting in a flavorful dish of tubers, beef or lamb, and aromatic Andean herbs. After lunch, take the train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, enjoying stunning landscapes of green fields, lush forests, and majestic mountains.

Machu Picchu, here we come! This morning, a short 5-minute walk takes you to the shuttle buses for a 25-minute ascent up a steep mountain that will lead you to Machu Picchu. After ticket control, the exploration begins. Accompanied by your guide, delve into the ancient Inca citadel, discovering its history and hidden gems. Depending on interest, a visit to Machu Picchu can take between 2 and 3 hours. After the visit, return on the shuttle buses to Aguas Calientes, where you will have time for a delicious buffet lunch and some time to relax. At the coordinated time, take the train back to Ollantaytambo. Here, your private driver will be waiting to transfer you back to your hotel in Cusco. This day promises to provide a comprehensive and insightful experience of Machu Picchu, offering a unique and enriching insight into this historically significant site.

Embark on a unique culinary journey as we explore the vibrant Cascaparo market, an authentic local market nestled in the heart of the city. Here, we'll share in a transformative experience with Seledonia Montalvo, a young and exceptionally talented chef with a compelling and inspiring story centered around gender inequality and female empowerment. Join your guide for a captivating walk to the renowned Cascaparo, where you'll rendezvous with Seledonia Montalvo. As a local chef, she will unveil the diverse array of products sourced from the region and the nearby Amazon. Delight your palate with exotic fruits like lucuma, chirimoya, and granadilla, gaining insights into the rich tapestry of ingredients integral to local cuisine.

The exploration culminates in Seledonia's kitchen, where culinary creativity takes center stage. Together, you'll test your skills in preparing Peruvian classics or venture into innovation with the abundance of local ingredients. It's not just a cooking experience but an opportunity to be part of a narrative that celebrates culinary artistry, resilience, and women's empowerment in the gastronomic world. After the experience with Seledonia our guide will be at your your disposal to keep exploring the city according to your preferences and interests.

Make the most of your last day walking around Cusco's plazas and markets and soaking in the city's unique style. After, at the designated time, your private transfer will take you to Cusco's airport, where you will board your flight to Lima and then connect to your journey home. We hope you have enjoyed your time with us, and hope to see you again some time!

Included

  • Accommodation
  • Transportation and activities
  • Meals mentioned in the program

Excluded

  • Domestic and international flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional excursions
  • Personal expenses such as tips
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Any other meals, drinks, and/or services not mentioned in the program

    From $3510
    / Adult
    • Location Highlights

    Trip Info

    • 9 days
    • Lima, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco
    • Starting at $3510

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