• Peru met Machu Picchu

Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu

14 – 22 Oktober 2021

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Every place on Earth is fascinating and unique but Peru is one of those countries that manage to stand above the crowd. Its many natural and cultural treasures have fascinated people for hundreds of years and still fascinates them today. The ancient Inca ruins are considered to be some of the most beautiful and mysterious sites in the world. We will vist some of their most impressive ruins in the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. The Peruvians are renowned for being friendly and welcoming people, extremely polite, peaceful, helpful and curious about the interest of their visitors. Many still have a direct link with their Inca ancestors, proudly conserving the Quechua culture that is so important to Peru’s past. Peruvian handicraft reflect history, culture, art and skills all in one. Textiles are some of the most famous handcrafts. It is said that Peru has one of the best cuisines in the Americas with dishes like Ceviche Mixto famous all over the world (who will join us for some roasted guinea pig?). Pisco sours is sure to become a favourite aperatif once we are back home. Join Seagull as we experience one of the most diverse and dramatic countries in South America.

Reisprogram

Meet your tour leader at O R Tambo International Airport for your flight to Lima via a convenient in-transit transfer in Sao Paulo. On arrival in Lima we transfer to the hotel.

We start our exploration of Lima, the capital of Peru. In the morning we visit the Spanish colonial part in the historical centre. Plaza de Armas (Main Square), front of the Palacio de Gobierno (Government Palace), the Cathedral of Lima, Archbishop`s Palace, and the Municipalidad (City Hall), all symbols of colonial rule during the 16th century. We continue to the Santo Domingo Monastery and its famous paintings and antiques books from the colonial times. We also visit the neighborhood of San Isidro to see the financial center, San Isidro golf course, Olive Grove Park and end in Miraflores.

Next on our list is the magical and bohemian district of Barranco. We walk through parks and old streets where we are sure to find a coffee shop that serves some of the best coffee in the world. Our welcome lunch at a local restaurant will give us a taste of Peru and the local food and flavors.

After a pleasant stroll to the main square we will pass by a “Peruvian Gellateria” where we will have the difficult task of selecting our favorite Peruvian ice cream flavor!

Dinner will be enjoyed in a local restaurant.

After breakfast we transfer to the airport and check in for our flight to Cusco (gateway to Machu Picchu).

Upon arrival we collect your luggage, make our way through security and meet our guide. We continue to a local restaurant for lunch before starting our city tour.

The impressive streets and buildings remind us of the splendor of the colonial age, built on top of old foundations of Inca palaces. We walk around Main Square, Cathedral where we will enjoy the fabulous architecture and well-known paintings from Cusco ́s art school dating back to the 17th and 18th Century.

We continue to San Pedro Market where we’ll learn about local crafts and Andean superfoods. Discover firsthand the unique artisanal traditions and experiences of the Andes. Smell the scents and taste the flavors of local Peru during this unforgettable and unique tour.

After the tour ends we continue to Sacsayhuaman where we explore the sights of the ancient city, our visit will take us to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, a true testimonial to Incan architectural skills. Compiled of massive stones (one weighs 125 tons!).

After our city tour we check into the hotel and have the evening at leisure.

Today we will enjoy a wonderful journey heading the Apurimac region to observe the majestic Andean Condor in all his splendor. The region’s name originates from the Quechua language and means “where the gods speak” in reference to the many mountains of the region (gods in the Andean religion) that seem to be talking to each other. The Andean condor is the largest flying land bird with a wing span of up to over three metres and a body weight of up to 15 kg. He may rise to more than 8,000 m and become invisible to the naked eye.

In the morning we leave the city to reach the highlands of Anta towards the Northwest. After crossing the pass of Willque we descend into the beautiful Limatambo valley and on most days we may enjoy breath taking views of Mount Salkantay, the second highest Apu of the region (6,272 m). Near Limatambo town we take a well preserved dirt road up to the picturesque highland hamlet of Chonta where we do our two hour nature trek (moderate difficulty).

With a little luck we may spot typical highland birds on the way (sometimes even parrots can be seen), whilst appreciating the pretty flora and the spectacular scenery as we approach the canyon where we enjoy a picnic lunch. We stay at this marvelous spot for 2-3 hours to wait for the condors to soar upwards.

In Andean cosmology the condor is the messenger of the gods who also transports the souls of the departed into the spirit realms. The condor represents the Hanaq Pacha, the outer and upper world, the cosmos as such. The Apus or tutelary spirits may also appear to human beings in the form of a condor. To encounter this spirit animal is a deeply transformative experience that is food for the soul.

Our return journey to Cusco arrives at the hotel in the evening.

Today we will visit the Sacred Valley, our first stop is Awanakancha, where we will learn about the various types of camelids (Llamas, Alpacas, Vicuñas, and Guanacos) that live in the Andes region.

The local people will teach us about the ancestral methods and techniques used to produce their textile art.

Few miles farther along, we will reach Pisac, a beautiful place where Incan and Colonial influences live together in a perfect balance. We will get a chance to explore this quaint town, famous for its artisan markets where one can find extraordinarily fine jewelry, ceramic and textile craftwork.

We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

After lunch we visit one of the last remaining Incan towns, Ollantaytambo, which was once fiercely guarded by a massive fortress. Discover the large archeological complex of what used to serve as a wayside inn for royal delegations on long journeys. Surviving structures here include multiple walls and towers that were used to protect the citadel from possible invasions.

We return to our hotel and have the evening at leisure.

Today is D-day! A highlight of our tour and a bucket list destination for many! We depart from Ollantaytambo Station with the Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes.

The Vistadome train gives us the chance to take in the unbelievable scenery and take incredible panoramic pictures during the two hours journey, making it the perfect way to start your trip to the Machu Picchu citadel. On arrival we continue by bus to the entrance gate of the citadel of Machu Picchu. Rediscovered by Hiram Bingham more than a century ago, Machu Picchu is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Its architectural beauty, spectacular natural landscapes and the energy held in its enigmatic structures will take your breath away. We follow in the footsteps of the ancient Incans as we explore this magical citadel along with our guide.

We enjoy a buffet lunch at local restaurant in Aguas Calientes.
After lunch we return to the station, where we will board our train back to Cusco.
Upon arrival at the Ollantaytambo station, a transfer service will be waiting to take us to our hotel.

After breakfast we are transferred to the airport for our flight to Lima. At Lima Airport, we collect our luggage and meet our local guide for our transfer to the hotel.

Rest of the day is at leisure to explore the surrounding area on our own. Tonight we enjoy our farewell dinner at the Rosa Nautica.

Morning at leisure. Afternoon check-out and transfer to the airport. Overnight flight to Johannesburg.

Optional to extend to Highlight of South America Tour including Igaussu Falls, Buenos Aires and Australia Cruise. Please refer to attached itinerary.

Early morning arrival at OR Tambo International Airport. Welcome home after a memorable holiday!

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