Embark on a flavor journey, where you will discover what makes Peru the ultimate culinary destination. Spend time in South America’s gastronomic capital, Lima, and enjoy fine dining, strolling markets, sampling local fare, and learning to make the classic dish, ceviche, at the private home of a top chef. Experience the incredible diversity of ingredients from the coast, sierra, and jungle, as well as the country’s impressive scenery, which includes Machu Picchu and Cusco.
Formally known as the Machu Picchu Inn, Inkaterra’s El Mapi has undergone more than just a change in name and ownership. The new proprietors have completely renovated the property to give it a shiny, modern appearance that is evident from the first approach right through to the smart, stylish, and contemporary interior that uses natural and recycled materials for the interior and exterior designs.
Each of the neatly furnished rooms has an amazing panoramic view of the towering tree covered hills that surround, and all are completed with a 32-inch flat screen TV, a hair dryer and bathrobes, a safe, and a telephone. In total, there are 48 rooms; 40 of these are superior, while the remaining 8 are classified as superior deluxe, which are larger, have a spacious seating area with a sofa, and a complimentary bar. All rooms are available with twin, double, or king sized beds.
Guests can take a dip in the heated, outdoor pool, peruse the El Mapi boutique, or unwind at the bar steeped in the elegance, which this hotel exudes. Another advantage of the property is that its convenient location is just a few minutes of walk from the train station, Puente Ruinas, from where trains arrive from Cusco and buses leave for Machu Picchu.
This colonial manor house was perhaps the first Spanish construction in Cusco built over an Inca complex and later occupied by the conquistadores of Peru and their descendants. Inkaterra La Casona is located across the Belmond Hotel Monasterio in the Plaza de las Nazarenas, next door to the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art. Eleven suites surround a sumptuous courtyard, where the patina of time is tastefully preserved.
Operating like a private grand home, the hotel’s serene ambiance is backed by its reassuring eco-credentials. The suites' patio overlook the city. Each suite is elegantly furnished with antiques and feature one king or two double beds, a dining area with a fireplace, individually controlled heated floors, and a spacious, private bathroom with double basin. Suites also provide luxuries like extra-soft towels, handmade amenities, and an over-sized tub.
JW Marriott Lima is one of Lima’s best and most modern hotels. Inaugurated in 2000, it is strategically located in the heart of the commercial district of Miraflores, right in front of the Pacific Ocean and walking distance from shopping, eating, and offices. All 300 rooms are on the 25 floors of this impressive high-rise boast ocean views. It has an excellent service. The junior suites have internet access and stereo / DVD player. All rooms have 2 telephone lines and voicemail for modem access.
Particularly well-situated in a beautiful part of the Urubamba Valley, the Sol y Luna Lodge and Spa does a wonderful job of integrating a high standard of accommodation into a stunning and peaceful surrounding environment. Being one of the first Urubamba Valley hotels to be built, the location of Sol y Luna was carefully chosen in order to maximize the amount of sunlight it receives, during the day. In fact, it is precisely for this reason that it was named Sol y Luna, which means sun and moon. The owners have strived to reflect those elements that made the valley so significant to the Incas, which are the movement of the sun and the moon being of particular importance, and during the Andean dry season, these are almost always in view.
Great effort has likewise been made to give the property a natural ambience. On their way to their rooms, guests walk through the resort’s calming garden with its lush lawns and colorful flower beds with subtly change in appearance, as the sun moves across the valley. The overall environments are peaceful and often only the trickling sound of water can be heard on the premises. A sign of the dedication to maintaining this beautiful floral environment, Sol y Luna employ dozens of staff to tend to the garden and its plants.
The superior rooms are situated in circular buildings, all have comfortable beds, ample amenities, and tasteful furnishings. The bedroom decor incorporates the natural environment, using elemental motifs, popular art, and floral ornamentation with structural elements, such as large wooden beams. There are family sized rooms, as well on the second floor. Room service, TV, safe deposit box, and laundry service are all a part of the amenities provided at the hotel. There is also an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, and a delightful spa adorned with stained-glass windows.
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. In the evening, you will dine at La Gloria. Well established for a decade, La Gloria, by chef Oscar Velarde, is the preferred restaurant of the more traditional Lima culinary connoisseurs. It serves up fine mediterranean cuisine and also happens to be the best place to try the national delicacy, guinea pig, in Peru.
There are many ways to get to know a city but one of the most gratifying and interesting ways is through its food. This is especially true in Lima, with the infinity of textures, colors, aromas, and flavors that this generous land provides. Lima With Zest is a hands-on experience that gets everyone involved, from searching for a variety of local and seasonal ingredients from vendors at a local market, right down to the preparation and presentation. Your personal chef and instructor will give you more than a simple demonstration. You can expect to learn by getting directly involved. All cooking is done overlooking the Pacific in the chef's own family apartment in Barranco, the district known for its bohemian character and home of famous Peruvian writers of the 20th century.
In the evening, enjoy an exotic culinary experience, Appetizing Amazon, at ámaZ restaurant. The Amazon Rainforest is one of the natural wonders of the world, containing 10% of the world’s biodiversity. There are over 50 ethnic groups in the Peruvian Amazon. Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino has taken it upon himself to connect with these people and conceptualize their Amazon cuisine. Sample creative cocktails with a demonstration and introduction to exotic fruits, before a specially-selected meal of the lesser-known ingredients.
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 by a 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.
In the evening, dine at Central Restaurant. Ranking at number 4 on the world's top 50 restaurants list, Central delivers ambitious and worldly fusion from chef Virgilio Martínez Véliz, who has crafted a series of modern, molecular dishes using ingredients native to Peru. Choose between two tasting menus.
An Aracari representative will pick you up from your hotel for your private transfer to Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM), 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, which is 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. After lunch, visit Urubamba local market and check into Sol y Luna.
Visit Maras, the site of the remarkable and unusual Salinas, located in the heart of the Sacred Valley. This site consists of a huge number of watered terraces that collect salt by evaporation from the saline waters that gush from an underground stream. Built in a similar way to agricultural terraces seen throughout the Andes, the Salinas have been in use since pre-Columbian times. Visually, the shining, salt-encrusted terraces are extraordinary. Nearby Maras, lie the most enigmatic Inca terraces at the site of Moray. This unique site, probably used for agricultural experimentation, consists of several enormous terraced circular depressions.
Afterwards, enjoy a traditional Pachamanca lunch at an organic farm. Having been the bread basket at the heart of the Inca Empire, the lush Sacred Valley has abundant potential to produce a variety of fresh ingredients. Today, many of the ingredients that you will try are sourced from the farm. Located in the midst of Inca terracing, the farm also offers breathtaking views towards the snowcapped peaks of mountain Veronica and the Ollantaytambo ruins. Choose from a variety of dishes, such as chicken and vegetable kebabs, pan-fried trout served with a variety of native potatoes, and alpaca steak served with elderberry sauce.
To round off your day, visit the Cerveceria del Valle, a family-owned craft brewery producing Andean-inspired ales and lagers using high quality ingredients and glacial spring water from over 13,000 feet above sea level. One of the founders will guide you around the brewery, before you sample a selection of beers on tap.
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 was 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. It is a journey of approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. 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 travelers’ 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 2,430meters / 7,972 feet 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 to 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.
This morning, you will 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, which is a journey of 1 hour and 30 minutes back to Ollantaytambo, where a private vehicle will be waiting to transfer you by road to Cusco, which will take approximately 2 hours. On arrival in Cusco, you will check into your hotel.
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. You will then transfer to Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ) for your domestic flight to Lima. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by an Aracari representative to visit gourmet food shops and to buy the ideal treats to take home. Later, check into your chosen hotel.
Having exploded onto the global food scene, Peru is now widely regarded as one of the world’s principal food travel destinations. Home to colourful dishes inspired by the country’s dramatically diverse geography, rich ethnic make-up, and long culinary history, on today’s sampling tour, you will savor some of the flavors that have helped put Peru on the world food`s map.
Visiting a local market, traditional bodegas, and artisan eateries, that collectively showcase some of the best of Peru’s produce, discover new ingredients and learn more about Lima’s trailblazing gastronomic status by tasting a sample of the extraordinary variety of foods Peru offers.
In the evening, choose between Astrid y Gaston or Maido for dinner. This is only by reservation. Astrid y Gaston, housed in a refurbished mansion is by Chef Gaston Acurio, known as the pioneer of Peruvian high cuisine. Maido is fusion Japanese-Peruvian, a style known as Nikkei.
You will be met at your hotel for your private transfer to Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM) with assistance for your departure.
Cusco is, without a doubt, the most beautiful town in Peru and, quite possibly, in South America. Cusco; the Urubamba, also known as the Sacred Valley; and Machu Picchu together constitute Peru’s main tourist destinations; with Cusco as the gateway city to reach the iconic Machu Picchu. The crisp air, the surrounding mountains, and the clear Andean sky provide the perfect backdrop to Cusco’s cobbled narrow streets. Cusco is not only culturally fascinating and beautiful to look at, but also extremely pleasant to wander around on foot.
Cusco was considered the navel of the earth, the capital of Tahuantinsuyo or the Inca Empire, which is an empire that at its peak spanned north to the south of Colombia, south to northern Chile and Argentina, and west across the Andes to the Amazon basin. The Incas were outstanding stonemasons and town planners, which can still be noted today admiring the walls that serve as foundations to colonial buildings.
Peru’s capital city, Lima, is brimming with historic sites, top restaurants, and many of the country’s best museums, boutiques, and galleries. Once considered the most beautiful city in all of Spanish America, today, Lima is burgeoning, big, and noisy. The largest city in the country, Lima is well worth exploring for a minimum of a day, as it is home to a wide range of activities and sites of interest. Lima is also the culinary capital of South America and home to exquisite gourmet dining and eclectic local eats, boasting a total of four of the world’s best 50 restaurants, which provide ample reason to stay longer in the city.
Machu Picchu is Peru’s main tourist attraction and it is utterly magnificent. One of the world’s greatest places to visit is the UNESCO World Heritage site that forms the pinnacle of any trip to Peru for first time visitors. The iconic ruins never disappoint. Machu Picchu, 70 kilometers / 43 miles northwest of Cusco, is often referred to as the lost city of the Incas, the empire that constructed it. The outside world, and even some Peruvians, forgot about it for centuries, until it was brought to international prominence once more a century ago, by Yale archaeologist Hiram Bingham along with the National Geographic Society of Washington DC. The latter organized a subsequent two-year excavation and it was the beginning of restoration work.
Being immersed in the world of Peruvian cuisine on a daily basis, puts Aracari in the unrivalled position of being able to design experiences that showcase the finest elements of the country’s gastronomy. Guests can choose from a variety of experiences, accompanied by a specially selected guide or specialist, who will interpret this universe of fragrances, colors and flavors in a dynamic, compelling, and personal way. Your day of sensations will be scouring a sprawling market for fresh produce guided by an expert chef, before blending those ingredients together into a traditional recipe. Or, if a light introduction to cuisine is more to a guests’ palate, they can arrange a sample tasting menu at one of the best restaurants in Lima.
Please book your flight to arrive at Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Aracari will pick you up from the airport.
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