The ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu continues to inspire and provoke wonder in all who see it. Built nearly 8,000 feet above sea level sometime in the 15th century, this remarkable feat of engineering sits atop many a traveler’s bucket list.
You too can visit Machu Picchu (without the crowds) on a special nine-day trip through Peru. On this epic vacation you’ll also experience outdoor adventures in the Sacred Valley and urban pleasure in Lima, Peru’s capital. This city is a burgeoning culinary destination for serious foodies — and home to two of the top in the world, Central, by Virgilio Martinez, and Maido, where chef Mitsuharu Tsumura blends Peruvian and Japanese cuisine.
Arrive into Lima, the bustling capital in Peru. Many international flights arrive later in the evening, but if you do arrive early enough and have time to enjoy the city check out T+L’s comprehensive city guide for suggestions on what to do.
Stay: Housed in a Belle Epoque mansion, is located in the hip Barranco area of Lima. Its 17 guest rooms feature warm wood floors and soaring windows. With its intimate vibe and standout artwork the property feels like the home of a stylish friend.
Today you will be able to fully enjoy Lima. Begin with a visit to Morro Solar which affords stunning views of the city and continue on to the Larco Museum, dedicated to the cultural of Peru. After lunch in the museum’s lovely you’ll stop into the Lima Colonial Center for a look into the city’s past as the capital of the Spanish colony in South America. Another important is the Casa de Aliaga, built by a conquistador who acquired the land from Francisco Pizarro. Its period details and antiques are not to be missed. Afterwards head back to the B for a pisco tasting — the perfect way to kick off happy hour. Dinner is at your leisure; consult our city guide for some of the top recommendations.
This morning you will leave for the flight to Cusco, and then drive on with your guide a further 90 minutes to the Sacred Valley, home to Machu Picchuand other significant. You will eat a lunch of traditional cuisine at El Huacatay before continuing on to Hacienda Orihuela, which has a remarkable collection of Peruvian folk art. Some pieces even date back to pre-Incan times. Take in the sights and sounds of the house, as a local musician comes in to treat you to a traditional performance.
Stay: Your base for the next two nights is the Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, a T+L It List Winner. Set on 100 acres, with majestic green mountains for a backdrop, it is a relaxing oasis in the heart of the Sacred Valley.
You’ll visit Ollantaytambo, an Inca village set below ancient ruins with impressive stonework, narrow cobblestoned streets, and family courtyards dating from pre-Columbian times. The only battle where the Incas defeated the Spanish conquerors took place here. After visiting the old town, your guide will offer you the chance to walk up some Inca ruins — this is a steep ascent, offering amazing views of the valley as a final reward. Lunch today is a pachamanca, a typical ancient Peruvian cooking technique in an earth oven. Native ingredients of tubers, vegetables and meats are wrapped in local herbs and cooked using wood-heated stones. Be sure to give the local Andean whiskey a try.