...Trip idea

Peru’s Exceptional Treasures

From ancient citadels to condor-dotted canyons, discover Peru’s hidden corners and captivating culture.

Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in the deep customs and traditions of Peru, visiting a series of diverse sights accompanied by a private guide
  • Enjoy Lima’s museums and a taste of its flourishing Michelin-starred foodie scene
  • Explore Inca ruins, Andean culture and colourful markets in the Sacred Valley
  • Gaze in admiration at Machu Picchu, the Incas greatest known achievement
  • Get to know Cusco and its mix of architecture
  • Spot condors flying deep in the Colca Canyon
  • Relax aboard the sumptuous Belmond Andean Explorer train

WHAT

A two-week adventure around Peru including Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu and Arequipa.

WHEN TO GO

The dry season runs from May to October, meaning that Peru can work as a superb family summer holiday destination.

WHY WE LIKE IT

This carefully crafted itinerary shows you the best of Peru, from the Inca citadel to its fathomless canyons, colourful culture and memorable additions including two nights aboard the Belmond Andean Explorer.

Plaza de Armas, Lima, Peru AdobeStock_346494943-scaled
Lima Cathedral in Plaza Mayor, Peru in cloudy day AdobeStock_516645511-scaled

Days 1-3 Lima

Your entry point into Peru is via its capital city: Lima. With two nights here, enjoy connecting with this vibrant and spirited city through a series of bespoke experiences. What better way to get to know gastronomic Lima than through its tasty cuisine? Take a tour of a local market with a guide before trying your hand at cooking some Peruvian specialities such as ceviche and lomo saltado (a Peruvian beef stir-fry) while learning about the history of Peruvian cuisine.

Uncover Lima’s sights on a private walking tour that includes the UNESCO World Heritage Site Plaza Major and also the Lima Art Museum which traces back Andean history and Peruvian art by 3,000 years. Lima’s cathedral with its splendid carved stalls and gold-plated altars is an impressive sight, as is the San Francisco Monastery, which houses the largest exhibition of colonial religious art in America. Have time to explore independently, perhaps stopping for Peru’s most famous cocktail – the Pisco Sour. For dinner, enjoy Lima’s burgeoning foodie scene with over 25 Michelin-starred restaurants to choose from – we will make reservations based on your preferences.

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STAY: HOTEL B

Bohemian Barranco is the neighbourhood location for Hotel B, a stylish Belle Epoque bolthole which will be the perfect respite from a day exploring Lima. The rooftop with views to the Pacific Ocean is a great spot for a Pisco Sour cocktail and the Peruvian tapas restaurant gives you a taste of this foodie capital. Bedrooms are airy and bright with high ceilings, velvet sofas and balconies to watch Lima life go by on the street below.

Inca archaeological site at Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of Peru AdobeStock_479444788-scaled
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Ollantaytambo, Peru. Inca Fortress with terraces and temple hill. AdobeStock_152421008-scaled
Pinkuylluna, ruins of ancient Inca storehouses located on mountains, Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo, Peru AdobeStock_307508663-scaled
Moray steps and laboratory in Sacred Valley of Peru
Aerial view of Moray Archeological site – Inca ruins of several terraced circular depressions, in Maras, Cusco province, Peru. Top tourist attraction in Sacred valley of the Incas.
Pisac
An indigenous Peruvian Quechua lady looking at the Andes Mountain Range in the Inca ruin of Tipon in the region of Cusco, Peru. Square format.

Days 3-6 The Sacred Valley

From Lima, make your way by flight and transfer to the Sacred Valley in the Andean Highlands, known as an important part of the Inca empire; today it’s littered with archaeological ruins. It feels very authentically Peruvian – immerse yourself in deep Andean culture at a textile centre where Andean costumes are made and visit a bustling market at Pisac filled with brightly coloured Andean handicrafts such as ceramic beaded necklaces, earrings and ponchos.

One of the most impressive Inca fortresses is Ollantaytambo clasped between the snow-capped peaks of the Urubamba and Vilcabamba mountain ranges. With a private guide, climb the steep stone steps and marvel at the precision of the Inca terraces fanning out below you, with a view that takes in the soaring Sun Temple, where rituals were performed by Inca priests. Another intriguing Inca site is Moray, where terraces are laid out in concentric shape, where crops in different conditions would be tested.

PREMIUM-DORMITORIO Sol Y Luna
Sol Y Luna
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EXPERIENCIAS4 Sol Y Luna
EXPERIENCIAS1 Sol Y Luna

Stay: Sol Y Luna

Your busy day discovering Andean culture will doubtless leave you feeling exhilarated but weary. Thankfully Sol Y Luna hotel, located in the heart of the Sacred Valley is the perfect panacea, offering a relaxed ambience set in an overflowing garden with views to the mountain. A large pool, spa and two restaurants serving Peruvian food will replenish you, and the stone casitas are a peaceful and spacious spot to lay your head.

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Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu frames a view of Huayna Picchu, Machu Picchu, Unesco World Heritage site, Sacred Valley, Peru
The Old town of Cusco city, Peru
Cusco, Peru. Plaza de Armas.
Morning sun rising at Plaza de armas, Cusco, City

Days 6-9 Machu Picchu & Cusco

Today is the big day where you get to discover one of the world’s most fascinating and awe-inspiring sights – the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. The excitement builds as you board the Vistadome train, its panoramic windows allowing Peru’s remarkable landscapes to slide by. Arriving in Aguas Calientes town, fuel up with lunch before a private guided tour of the citadel, standing 2,430 metres above sea level, clasped by verdant peaks of the surrounding mountains. Its wonder lies not only in its sheer feasibility, but also the way in which terraces, complexes and walls seem to be sculpted from the rock. Fathom the secrets of this magical lost city and spend an unforgettable afternoon simply taking in its majesty.

After a night at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, morning sees you view Machu Picchu from a different perspective, climbing Huayna Picchu mountain. In the afternoon, board the luxurious Hiram Bingham Belmond train to Cusco, dinner is served on board and live music serenades you as you glide towards the city. After a restful night, explore Cusco with a private guide including a visit to the Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas and the architecturally fused Santo Domingo church built on the foundations of the Koricancha, an important Inca temple. Spend time simply soaking up the atmosphere of this town, a mix of tourism, colourful Andean culture and the ghosts of Incas past.

Inkaterra La Casona (1)
Inkaterra La Casona (2)
Inkaterra La Casona (3)
Inkaterra La Casona (4)
Inkaterra La Casona (5)

STAY: INKATERRA LA CASONA

Inkaterra La Casona is one of the most comfortable stays in Cusco. Demanding days and altitude-induced weariness mean that you’ll crave comfort and luxury and the beautiful 16th century manor house circled around a small courtyard just delivers. Within each cloister lies a stunning suite, replete with fireplace, heated floors, bathrooms with extra-large tubs and sumptuous beds. Pisco Sours can be ordered to your room and the small spa will soothe aching muscles.

Titicaca Lake
Boats and Floating Islands
Belmond Andean Explorer Belmond in Peru
shepherdess with a small herd of sheep and a donkey on the shores of lake titicaca
Arequipa AdobeStock_277799562
A group of hunters and animals, rupestrian rock art in Sumbay Cave from paleolithic era (6000-8000 BC), Arequipa departement, Southern Peru

Days 10-12 Belmond Andean Explorer

The next part of your Peruvian adventure sees you hopping aboard the Belmond Andean Explorer for two nights. From Cusco to Arequipa, this luxurious train winds its way through some of Peru’s most stunning scenery. On this smooth journey, sleep on board South America’s first luxury sleeper, stopping for excursions during the day. The train will carve its way through Peru’s natural wonders, across epic plains that stretch to distant snow-capped Andes, before winding itself around Lake Titicaca, finishing at the white city of Arequipa.

By day, the train stops for explorations and guided tours in the Andean countryside giving you a much richer understanding of the terrain.  There are visits to fascinating Inca archaeological sites, boat rides to the floating islands of Lake Titicaca, or a trip to a cave decorated in rock art that’s 8,000 years old. Arrive in Arequipa refreshed and ready for the next chapter of your Peruvian story.

Belmond Andean Explorer AEP-BAR-05
Belmond Explorer
Belmond Explorer2
Belmond Andean Explorer AEP-CAB-02
Belmond Andean Explorer AEP-BAR-02
Belmond Andean Explorer, Peru

STAY: BELMOND EXPLORER

However rugged the Andean outdoors may be, life aboard the Belmond Explorer is comfort personified. Cabins come furnished in rich artisanal fabrics, with writing desks and ensuite bathrooms. Communal carriages encourage socialising, and the lounge car is the scene of convivial cocktails accompanied by the tinkle of a live pianist. You’ll even find a dedicated ‘spa car’ on board. In the evening, the muted-hues and deep red leather of the dining carriage beckons where you’ll sample sophisticated Peruvian cuisine.

Colca Canyon Peru AdobeStock_105086476-scaled
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Arequipa AdobeStock_277799562
Street in Arequipa, Peru. Street photo.
Arequipa, Peru

Day 12-14 COLCA CANYON & AREQUIPA

Disembarking the Andean Explorer train, the last part of your gallivant around Peru finishes in the Colca Canyon, a deep, yawning chasm that is ringed by jagged peaks and pre-Inca terraces. Around the canyon, beautifully preserved colonial towns can be seen, created by the Spanish conquerors to house the ancient Collagua and Cabana tribes.

We recommend getting up early to visit the Colca Canyon, thereby enhancing your chances of seeing the magnificent Andean condors serenely swooping down into the canyon and up around the mountain peaks. We’ll arrange a champagne breakfast for you to keep you going, allowing you to appreciate the chasm and its tranquil panoramas. Other ways to enjoy the canyon are by trekking or horse riding the rocky landscapes spotting Andean wildlife such as alpacas, vizcachas and pumas.

PUQIO TENTED CAMP3
PUQIO TENTED CAMP
PUQIO TENTED CAMP2
PUQIO TENTED CAMP6

STAY: PUQIO TENTED CAMP

For your final stay, sleep in a tented hamlet in the heart of the serene Colca Canyon. Earthen-hued canvas tents inspired by Andean explorers are camouflaged into the arid landscapes; inside be greeted by sumptuous beds, vintage writing desks, log burners and ensuite bathrooms. Spend the day trekking at altitude with a guide, soaking in thermal baths or visiting a textile weaver before coming home for authentic farm-to-table dining, featuring the best of Andean produce.

SUMMARY

A cultural journey through Peru allows this Latin American country to show off its wealth of colourful Andean riches, unfathomably good-looking ancient sights, grandiose colonial cities and breath-taking natural beauty. A vibrant trip that will be scored on your memory indefinitely.

“The great thing about this trip is that each incredible Peruvian sight is matched by an equally impressive place to stay – including sleeping aboard the experiential Belmond Andean Explorer luxury train.”

Have questions? Our knowledgeable team of experts are on-hand to take your call or if you prefer by Zoom. Talk to us about your holiday dreams or challenge us with your travel conundrums.

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