Discover how Peruvian culture and history has been shaped by many civilisations, reaching back before the colonial era and even the Incas! Beginning in Lima, you’ll have a tour of the capital before flying north to Trujillo, a city known for its distinctive cuisine where you’ll take a gastro tour. Next, you’ll be guided through some sites of pre-Incan culture including the nearby Sun and Moon temples, built by the Moche people and some interestingly decorated ruins from the Chimú people who came later. Moving on to Cusco, you’ll discover the Sacred Valley, Pisac market and the historical centre of Cusco. The culmination of your tour is, of course, a visit to the Inca citadel of Machu Pichu – Peru’s best-known historical site.
Depart the UK from your chosen airport.
Today you will land in Lima and will be met at the airport and driven to your hotel in the Miraflores district. You’ll have the rest of the day at leisure to relax or explore a little of the city.
After breakfast, we’ve included a guided tour of the capital so you can visit the main sights and learn about its rich history and traditions.
Today you’ll take the short flight north up the coast to the colonial city of Trujillo, which is known for the nearby pre-Incan archaeological sites.
When you arrive, we’ve included a delicious lunch at Costa del Sol Wyndham Trujillo hotel so you can enjoy your first taste of the northern Peruvian cuisine!
Today, you’ll be picked up from your hotel after breakfast and taken for a guided tour of Trujillo, a city that was important in pre-Columbian times but also flourished under the Spanish colonial era. You’ll visit the colourful churches of Santa Clara and El Carmen as well as the cathedral and the main square. You’ll also visit the House Calonge; a rebuilt colonial residence where Simon Bolivar stayed while he developed his emancipation campaign.
After lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll head to the archaeological sites – the Temples of the Sun and the Moon; known as the Temples of Moche. The Moche were an ancient civilisation that flourished in northern Peru between 100 and 700 AD. You’ll see frescos and learn about their importance ceremonially and militarily. After the tour, you’ll stop at a craft workshop run by a local family who is descended from the Moche people.
Trujillo flourished under the Spanish elite who made their home here and who created very elegant and special gastronomy: the famous Trujillo cuisine.
To help you discover it, we’ve included an experience which first takes you to a local market to shop for produce, followed by a cooking demonstration so you can learn how to prepare a typical dish. Lunch is included, then you can take a stroll down a street where sweet-makers offer a wide variety of cakes and treats!
After breakfast today, your day starts with a guided visit to the impressive archaeological site of Huaca Dragón (Dragon Temple) on the outskirts of Northern Trujillo. This temple was built by the Chimú culture, which superseded the Moche culture in this part of Peru and is decorated with beautiful mural reliefs
Next, you’ll visit the 20km square Chan Chan archaeological complex from Chimú culture, which is the largest mud city in the Americas. The complex has several pyramids, as well as smaller structures including sidewalks, canals, walls and cemeteries.
Finally, you’ll visit Huanchaco – a fishing village where you can see how local fishermen still use old reed boats, Caballitos de totora, in the thousand-year-old tradition of artisan fishing.
After breakfast, you’ll be driven to Trujillo airport to catch a flight to Cusco (via Lima). Once you land, you will be met and taken to your hotel in the historical centre od Cusco, with the rest of the day at leisure.
Today you’ll have the opportunity to find out about the history and culture that’s shaped Cusco - the capital of the Incan Empire and a city that’s both visually stunning and brimming with heritage. Your guide will take show you around the city and help you explore its important past by visiting its main attractions and archaeological sites.
Today you’ll get a fascinating insight into traditional pre-Colombian beliefs and culture, and how the colonial Spaniards attempted to expose indigenous people to a new world of religious belief – and you’ll get to see the architecture, design, sculptures and art that was produced during this era.
You’ll have a tour along the Andean Baroque route, which is a route across the region from Cusco to Puno that visits four spectacular Baroque-era churches. The most impressive is in Andahuaylillas, known as the Sistine Chapel of America for its stunning wall and ceiling art and its sculptures. You’ll visit the church of Huaro - with its magnificent altarpieces, murals and paintings depicting scenes of life after death and the Canincunca Chapel – whose murals showcase typical Andean textile design and depict the bond between the Pachamama (the fertility goddess) and her influence on the productivity of crops and animals.
After this tour, you will have lunch at a local restaurant and return to your hotel in Cusco.
After breakfast, you’ll check out and go for a tour of the Sacred Valley. The first stop is the colourful Pisac market where you can buy local handicrafts. You’ll also visit Ollantaytambo fortress, a large Incan archaeological complex that was conceived as a tambo - a city of rest for anyone travelling for long distances.
You’ll have lunch at a local restaurant, before heading to Ollanta station to catch the train to Aguas Calientes which is the last stop before Machu Picchu. You’ll spend tonight in Aguas Calientes.
After breakfast, you’ll make the short bus ride to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu means 'Old Mountain' and is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The impressive complex is a masterpiece of engineering and architecture that served as a sanctuary and resting place for Inca ruler Pachacuti.
After your tour, you’ll hop on the bus back to Aguas Calientes, where we’ve included a tasty lunch at Café Inkaterra. Then you’ll be driven to Aguas Calientes train station to take the train back to Ollanta station, from where you’ll be collected and driven back to your hotel in Cusco.
After two weeks discovering the cultural heritage of this fascinating country, it is time to catch the flight back home. After breakfast, you’ll be driven to Cusco airport for your flight home.
Land back in the UK.
Why not add in a stopover?
The mountainous region of the Andes is at its best from May to October when the days are sunny with less rain. Nonetheless, this itinerary can be enjoyed all year round. Do bear in mind that Machu Picchu can be very busy during July and August.
This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.
Eleven nights in 4* standard accommodation.
Hotels in this category include: