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12 Days Peru with Flavor Luxury Holiday

  • Lima - Cusco - Machu Picchu - Iquitos (Amazon)

12 Days Peru with Flavor Luxury Holiday

  • Lima - Cusco - Machu Picchu - Iquitos (Amazon)

Peru Culinary Vacations

Embark on a journey where you will experience firsthand the incredible diversity of ingredients and flavours from the coast and the sierra to the jungles of Peru. Discover what makes this country one of the worlds best culinary destinations by sampling a mix of traditional and contemporary fare and by engaging in a variety of cooking lessons and demonstrations. This mouth-watering exploration of the rich and vibrant culture is certain to leave you hungry for more!

Highlights

  • 3 Peruvian cooking classes with top chefs
  • Traditional Pachamanca lunch at an organic farm
  • Visit Machu Picchu aboard Hiram Bingham train with Peter Frost
  • Delve into the Amazon on board the luxurious Delfin II for 3 nights
  • Luxury, privately guided tour of Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • 11 days with instruction
  • English
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Hotel B ****, Lima, Peru / 4 nights

Opened in 2013, Hotel B is ideally located on the corner of the Boulevard Saenz Pea and San Martin, right in the heart of Barranco, Limas bohemian art district. Surrounded by art galleries, historic houses and fashion boutiques, Hotel B features seventeen suites ranging in sizes, a signature restaurant, library, outdoor patio and a rooftop lounge overlooking Barranco and the Pacific Ocean.

Sol y Luna Lodge & Spa ***, Urubamba, Peru / 2 nights

We adore this stunning and environmentally-integrated hotel, one of our most highly recommended in all of Peru. Charming and well decorated, Sol y Luna is located amidst beautiful gardens in the heart of the Urubamba Valley. We recommend choosing one of the sophisticated Casitas, ideal for those looking for an extra grade of intelligent luxury, with meticulous attention to detail and ample amenities.

Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge ****, Machu Picchu, Peru / 1 night

The Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge is the only accommodation located in the very sanctuary of the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Renovated in 2001, the lodge offers guests a unique opportunity to access the ruins in the early morning when it first opens and later in the evening when it closes, avoiding the crowds of other visitors and viewing the magnificence of the area in a more intimate setting.

Inkaterra La Casona, *****, Cusco, Peru / 2 nights

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. Operating like a private grand home as opposed to a commercial enterprise, La Casonas serene ambience is backed by its reassuring eco credentials.

Delfin II, *****, Peru / 3 nights

Settle into your comfortable, private cabin. Amenities include an orthopedic mattress fitted with natural Peruvian Pima cotton sheets, a silent A/C unit to keep you cool and relaxed and private bathrooms with wooden furnishings, plush towels and hot showers.

Day 1: Arrival

Lima

International Arrival Assistance

An English-speaking Aracari representative will be expecting you from your international arrival, will greet you and whisk you off to Hotel B, assisting you with all check-in procedures.

Stay the night at Hotel B.

Day 2: Excursions, restaurant visit

Lima

Into the past, Contemporary Criollo

Spend time with one of our selected specialists in the areas of Lima that best demonstrate its Spanish colonial roots as well as its Pre-Columbian past. Discover Limas multifaceted history and the complex past of this fascinating city with visits to a selection of sites including Huaca Huallamarca, the Larco Museum, Limas Main Square with its beautiful, baroque-style buildings and Casa Aliaga, the citys oldest mansion.

Enjoy an expos of Perus world-renowned cuisine: the ingredients, the flavours, the recipes and the devotion. The charismatic culinary interpreters from one of Limas top restaurants will take you on a fascinating and educational journey through the fragrances and tastes of the country, now well recognized as having one of the worlds finest cuisines.

Overnight at Hotel B

Day 3: Transfer, excursion, picnic, cooking class

Lima - Cusco - Urubamba

Down in the valley, cooking classes

Transfer by private vehicle from your hotel to the airport in Lima for your domestic flight to Cusco.

The gorgeous Urubamba Valley, also well known as the Sacred Valley, is an essential element of any trip to Peru. Upon arrival in Cusco, on your way from the airport to your hotel, you will visit Pisac, one of the most important Inca sites in the Urubamba Valley, featuring Inca masonry of superlative quality, stunning terracing and picturesque views.

Explore the ruins and enjoy a delicious alfresco picnic from one of Cuscos finest restaurants.

Before dinner, join Sol y Lunas chef in the kitchen for a class in Andean cuisine. Beginning with the famous Pisco sour as an aperitif, commence on a kitchen adventure covering all the senses and leading to a marvelous hands-on journey through a land of many, delicious dishes.

Overnight at Sol y Luna Lodge & Spa

Day 4: Excursions, entertainment, cooking demonstration

Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo & Hacienda Huayoccari, Pachamanca demonstration

Begin your day with a visit to the fabulous town of Ollantaytambo and its ruins. 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 and the archaeological compound found here is a sensational sight, featuring some of the finest Inca architecture known.

From Ollantaytambo, drive to Hacienda Huayoccari, a lovely traditional home owned and lived-in by one of the oldest land-owning families in Cusco. Enjoy a spectacular paso horse show, explore the Haciendas extensive folk art collection, and perhaps, sit down for a delicious three-course lunch.

Afterwards travel back to the Sol y Luna for a Pachamanca demonstration - cooking meat and vegetables in the earth amidst red-hot stones and slowly roasted. Savour the succulent results in Sol y Lunas ranch-style restaurant.

Overnight at Sol y Luna

Day 5: Transfer, train ride, excursions

Machu Picchu

Hiram Bingham Train to Machu Picchu, First day at Machu Picchu

Operated by the Orient-Express group, the Hiram Bingham is a must for those seeking the utmost level of luxury. This train, which departs from Poroy station, guarantees the highest quality of exquisite, attentive service with a dedicated wait staff attending to your every need and ensuring your experience is as comfortable and luxurious as possible.

Enjoy a gourmet brunch during the spectacular journey descending into the Sacred Valley and passing through lush landscapes and Andean villages.

Magnificence is the only word to describe the scene, as you gaze upon the ruins of Machu Picchu. 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 D.C. allowed Machu Picchu to gain the prominence that it deserves. Its fascination is due in part to its position, high on a mountain ridge, 2,430 metres (7,972 feet) above sea level. Believed to be an Inca settlement built to control the economies of neighbouring communities, it is associated with being the royal estate of Pachacuti, the great Inca who sparked the expansion of the empire.

Here, enjoy a 2 to 3 hour visit guided by famed photographer and explorer Peter Frost before spending the remainder of the day at the ruins, enjoying the evening hours after the majority of visitors have left the site.

Overnight stay at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge

Day 6: Excursions, transfer, train ride

Machu Picchu, Cusco

Second day at Machu Picchu

This morning youll return to the ruins for an activity-filled day. Depending on your desired duration and physical exertion, there are a variety of excursions available including a hike to IntiPunku, the Sun Gate, a more strenuous climb to Huayna Picchu or perhaps climb to the top of Machu Picchu Mountain, located south of the Citadel and offering spectacular panoramic views.

Following your visit, take a minibus to the town of Aguas Calientes to catch the opulent Hiram Bingham train back to Poroy, where a private vehicle will be waiting to transfer you to Cusco.

Overnight at Inkaterra La Casona

Day 7: Excursions, market visit, chocolate museum, chocolate making

Cusco

Cusco on foot, Choco Loco

Beginning at the main square, walk from one site to the next, observing the juxtaposition of solid Inca stonework and the finest Spanish Colonial architecture. As well as the main sites such as The Cathedral and Koricancha, visit artisan markets, lovely galleries, shops, lesser-known churches and museums.

Journey to the land of chocolate at the Chocolate Museum in Cusco, where you will learn about the origin of the cocoa plant, its spread through the Americas and eventually world-wide and about the current production process used to make chocolate treats right here in Cusco. Then get your hands a little messy while you mold your very own chocolates.

Overnight at La Casona

Day 8: Transfer, cruise ride

Cusco - Iquitos - Pacaya Samiria National Reserve

Delfin II Luxury Amazon Cruise

Transfer from your hotel to the airport in Cusco for your domestic flight to Iquitos.

After arriving at Iquitos International Airport, you will be assisted by your guides and transported by bus for about 1 12 hours, heading northwest toward Nauta where the Delfin II will be waiting for you.

Tonight you are invited to enjoy Perus finest and most famous cocktail, the pisco sour to accompany a delicious meal of Amazonian-Peruvian cuisine.

Following dinner, head to the top observation deck where your guides will conduct a brief orientation, outlining details of your journey such as the places you will visit, the wildlife you will see and a summary of the history and geography of the Amazon basin.

Before retiring for the evening, enjoy live music on the deck.

Day 9: Cruise ride

Delfin II Cruise activities

Depending on the time of year, the activities aboard the cruise may vary. You might traverse the black waterways of the Belluda Stream, spotting parrots, macaws, Monk Saki monkeys, saddle back tamarin monkeys, Morpho butterflies and possibly different species of hawks.

During the dry season, hike to the Community of Yanallpa, observing bird species such as the Snail Kite, the Black-tailed Antbird and varieties of tanagers, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, orioles and blackbirds on your way.

Arrive at a lagoon inhabited by endangered freshwater fish, such as the huge paiche.

Upon your return to the boat, enjoy a gourmet lunch, and then head out on the skiffs for a one-in-a-lifetime experience, swimming amongst the grey and pink river dolphins.

As your journey continues 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 back on board as your journey continues with good food and unparalleled views of the stars over the Amazon.

Day 10: Cruise ride

Pacaya river

Delfin II Cruise activities

Today you will reach the Pacaya River in the heart of Pacaya- Samiria National Reserve, Perus largest protected area with a mean annual rainfall of nearly 3,000mm (118in).

An early rise is very rewarding: youll see parrots, macaws, toucans, kingfishers, Black-collared hawks, Southern Rough-winged Swallows, White-winged Swallows and Manakins. Watch also for groups of Red Howler Monkeys as you pass huge Ceiba or Kapok trees, mahogany trees, strangler figs, epiphytes such as bromeliads and orchids, palm trees and woody vines.

A breakfast of fresh fruit and juice and light sandwiches with coffee or tea will be served as you float amidst a favored dolphin feeding spot.

Take a refreshing dip and enjoy a day of skiff or hiking expeditions, depending on the time of year.

This evening, enjoy a scrumptious farewell dinner and a slideshow recapping the incredible sights, wildlife and adventures during your time with the Delfin.

Day 11: Excursions, farm visit, transfer

Puerto Miguel

Delfin II Cruise activities

Following breakfast, board the skiffs and travel to the village of Puerto Miguel to meet local villagers, learn about their culture and traditions and to purchase some of the handicrafts that they produce.

Return to the boat for your final lunch, after which youll disembark at the port of Nauta for a bus transfer to Iquitos.

Before heading to the airport, stop for a brief visit to the Manatee Rescue Center where you can see these beautiful creatures up close, with the chance to touch them and even feed them a bottle of milk if you would like.

Transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Lima where an Aracari representative will pick you up for transfer to Hotel B.

Overnight at Hotel B

Day 12: Market visit, cooking class, departure

Lima

Lima With Zest

There are many ways to get to know a city, but one of the most gratifying and interesting is through its food. This is especially true of 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 of a cuisine that is based on ancient traditions and long-established culinary styles.

You will also go on a trip to a beautiful pottery studio, Jallpa Nina, featuring internationally renowned, handmade ceramics.

Following your culinary experience, you will be transported to the airport for your international departure.

Treasure may have fuelled the creation of what was once the largest empire in the world, but the real richness of Peru can be found in the wildly differing landscapes and the melting pot of ethnicity, ancient history and culture of this, the third largest country in South America.

Peru is a land of three biological extremes: the sprawling, arid desert coastline, once home to one of the oldest civilizations on earth; the vast swathes of rainforest that cover almost two-thirds of the country; and the breathtaking peaks of the Andes, the highest tropical mountain range in the world, which stretch across the entire length of the country.

Add to this geographical diversity the proximity of the Equator and the cold waters of the Humboldt current and you get a series of micro-climates ranging from the extreme dryness of the coast to the intense humidity of the jungle.

Optional tours

At Aracari we take great pride in hand-crafting the trip of a lifetime, taking our guests beyond the tourist trail and under the skin of a country we know inside out. We cover a variety of destinations, which doesnt end with the geography and weather. As a visitor to Peru, there is a seemingly unending list of places to be seen.

There are the splendors of Machu Picchu and at least eight other ancient civilizations before the Incas made their mark, and as Peruvians with insider knowledge; we can arrange travel into the depths of pristine rainforest and up the highest peaks in the Andes using the most experienced guides. We can plan a tour that shows guests the wonders of the Colca Valley, the deepest canyon in the world and the home of the condor. We can reveal the hidden gems of Lima and Cusco with our network of specialists in various fields like gastronomy, archaeology and history.

Testimonials

  • Review by Toni Gibran
    10 out of 10

    "We just returned from a custom trip to Peru organized by Mark Green at Aracari. We have traveled all over the world and would rate this trip among the top. Everything was perfect. The guides were knowledgeable, friendly, and some of the best we have ever had. Our hotels in Lima, Cusco, and the Sacred Valley were exceptional. We could not be more pleased with their services and felt very well cared for. In fact, we are booking our trip to Galapos and Ecuador with them for next February. We could not be more pleased."

    Aracari Facebook , edited

  • Review by Lilian from Estonia
    10 out of 10

    "I totally agree with everyone that are saying good things about Aracari! I would recommend them 100 percent and will use their service again for sure! Machu Picchu is conquered with their help and next, it will be Galapagos. I cannot wait!"

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Karen Gable
    10 out of 10

    "We enjoyed all the Inca sites and each guide was extremely knowledgeable, interested, and very personable. We spent 4 days with Carlos and really enjoyed his passion for the country, as he was really well suited for us. All the guides were very accommodating and a pleasure to be with. This was a great introduction to personal travel with guides and it was a great experience."

    Aracari website, edited

  • Review by Len Farol
    10 out of 10

    "We had such a wonderful experience and I cannot say enough about our trip. From the day we arrived and the moment we left, we were well taken care of. All of our guides were professional, timely, knowledgeable, and made us feel at home. We learned and saw so many things. Our accommodation far exceeded what I had expected. Having gone with two 11-year old, the activities kept them busy and interested. I really appreciated Raul and his kindness. I do hope his hand is better. Fredy was wonderful and I cannot say enough about him. I look forward to contacting you guys again, when we visit the Galapagos islands."

    Aracari website, edited

  • Review by Roosenburg
    10 out of 10

    "Francis (Casapino) took great care to listen to our needs and desires. He also spent time introducing us to the culture and sharing experiences."

    Aracari website, edited

  • Review by Kramer
    10 out of 10

    "As Alex was so very sick in Urubamba, Jose stayed with us through it all, translating medical questions and showing great care. We are very, very satisfied."

    Aracari website, edited

  • Review by Lee Weiss
    10 out of 10

    "What a wonderful and incredible trip planned to perfection. The guides are so knowledgable and we learned so much. In every hotel booked by Aracari, we got a free upgrade. I loved that I was not worrying about tickets, transportation, etc. We could really relax. Most importantly, my husband became very sick and required serious care. Our guide took us to a wonderful clinic and my husband received all the care we could hope for. The guide, Jose, never left our side. Aracari is well worth the money."

    Aracari website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Colorado
    10 out of 10

    "Aracari organized a wonderful, 28-day private custom tour for me and my husband, where we visited Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, Cusco, Lake Titicaca, Colca Canyon, and Lima. They developed a well-paced itinerary with great hotels, restaurants, and cultural experiences to match our specific interests and needs. Most importantly, our guides were amazing. They were well-educated with an in-depth knowledge of the country's history, culture, art, and spirituality. They were very flexible, kind, and attentive to our needs. In our experience as world travelers for over 40 years, we would rate the level of Aracari's service as truly exceptional and would give them our highest recommendation."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Valerie Sewell
    10 out of 10

    "I recently had the pleasure of traveling with Aracari in Peru. Their organization has highly qualified guides and their staff members are all passionate about their jobs. Our group experienced a disruption to our travel arrangements, due to a strike. However, Aracari handled everything beautifully, re-arranging our hotels, train tickets, and flights at minimal cost to us. I will definitely use their services again and cannot wait to go back to Peru."

    Aracari Facebook , edited

  • Review by The Zickermans from United States
    10 out of 10

    "I have been on several trips with Aracari and they have all been pretty much perfect! They really know the region and have trips to satisfy all of one's requirements. But most importantly, they make it an authentic adventure, where you see and experience the real Peru. Plus, they are friendly and extremely helpful. I highly recommend them for any trip to Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. Our family will miss spending time with Juan Zuniga, who was the guide. We very much enjoyed all the activities he shared with us, as well as his patience and guidance, and all of his fascinating information about Inca culture. We appreciated the genuine kindness of our guides, Juan, Javier, and Neal, who showed us in all of our activities. Juan was especially attentive to our children. We liked the Ollantaytambo and Sacred Valley the best; it was low key and the natural beauty was serene. To experience the New Year celebration with fireworks in the main Cusco square, was a fun cultural experience. Also, we loved our one-day trek into Machu Picchu; fabulous! Mark Green was extremely attentive and responsive. Thanks!"

    Aracari website, edited

  • Review by Jill Rubenstein and family from United States
    10 out of 10

    "I cannot believe that it has been over 2 weeks since we came back from our Peru adventure. I have been meaning to write to you personally to thank you for an outstanding trip. It was seamless from the moment we landed in Lima, to our international flight home. It was so well organized, especially in helping us acclimate and building up to our trek on the Inca Trail. The hotels were lovely and perfectly matched to our expectations, and our guides were extremely informative and helpful. I really cannot say enough about how impressed we were with you (and Aracari). Whenever we talk about our trip, we credit your expertise. Thank you for answering my million of questions, your support throughout, and for making this such a memorable trip for our family."

    Aracari website, edited