Central Holidays

Upon arrival, reception and private transfer to your hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure.

This afternoon we show you some of the Highlights of Lima, Peru’s capital city: 2000 years ancient and up-to-the-minute exciting. We start in the historic downtown area of old streets lined with colonial mansions and Moorish balconies. First stop is Plaza Mayor, seat of the Government Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace and City Hall. The visit also includes the Santo Domingo Convent, an icon of colonial architecture completed in the late sixteenth century, followed by the Catholic Cathedral, Lima’s first church and burial place of Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Finally we visit the magnificent Larco Museum, with its fabulous ceramic collection and ancient Andean gold and silver -- more than 5,000 years of Peruvian history and more than 45,000 pieces of art. Tonight enjoy the Magic Water Circuit, the world’s largest fountain complex and Guinness World record holder, an extravaganza of towering fountains, lights, lasers, images and music. Walk through the “Tunnel of Surprises”, the “Children’s Fountain” with its irresistible invitation to play for children of all ages, and the “Fantasy Labyrinth.” (B)

Private transfer to Lima airport for flight to Cusco. Upon arrival, transfer to the Sacred Valley. Remainder of the day at leisure to enjoy the grounds of the hotel. (B)

In the morning we drive to Mallukas Misminay, a small, traditional and welcoming village 11,500 ft. above sea level in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Here, you can interact with the Indigenous families and take part in some of their daily tasks, such as working the land or spinning and dyeing wool to make beautiful textiles in the timeless Andean manner. Then, begin a beautiful mountain bike adventure. Descend to the archaeological complex of Moray, where several circular terraced depressions were used by the Incas as an agricultural laboratory. Continue the tour to Maras, with a break for a picnic lunch and an amazing view of the Andes. Back on our bikes, we begin the descent to the salt flats of Maras, where salt has been harvested for thousands of years. (B,L)

Today, we discover the Andes from a unique perspective -- a stand- up paddle board on a lake 11,500 feet above sea level. Departing the hotel, we head for Chincheros and Lake Piuray. Once settled in, we begin with a gentle breathing exercise, a yoga-based warm up, and a briefing on stand-up paddle technique and safety. We then enjoy a leisurely paddle in mirror-flat, windless waters, a snap for beginners and experts alike. Lunch included at Wayra Restaurant with a show. Afternoon at leisure. (B,L)

Private transfer to Ollantaytambo train station. Our adventure begins with a train ride to Aguas Calientes, where we board a bus headed for the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu archaeological site. You will never forget this guided, comprehensive and mind-blowing journey through the history of the Inca civilization. Here we will fully comprehend why Machu Picchu was named a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site and voted one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Afterwards, we will have free time to explore on our own, to relax, or meditate. Later, we descend to Aguas Calientes for lunch. At day’s end we board the train for the return trip to the Sacred Valley, and transfer to Cusco. (B,L)

This morning we uncover the mysteries of Cusco, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. The tour begins at the Koricancha Temple, an Inca palace and main center for the worship of the sun god, Inti. Next is the Plaza de Armas, Cusco’s main square, where we find the Catholic Cathedral, and the beautiful Jesuit church, followed by the neighborhood of San Blas, where the city’s best artisans live and work. You will get to see some of Cuzco’s top artisans' workshops and, while there, purchase exquisite handmade crafts and watch as these pieces are expertly fashioned. Lunch included at Incanto restaurant. Return to the hotel. This afternoon enjoy a Chocolate-making Class (walking tour). This is a two-hour, hands-on workshop teaching all the steps to create your own chocolate bar, from harvesting the cacao to crafting the bar. We roast the cacao beans, peel them and grind them to produce a paste, just like the Mayas (Indians) did in preparing the chocolate drink that they considered to be food of the gods. At the end, you will have your own chocolate bar to take home. (B,L)

For the next couple of hours explore the archeological sites around Cusco by horse! You start off at Sacsayhuaman Fortress built of enormous stone blocks expertly shaped by the Incas. It is strategically located at the top of a hill overlooking the city of Cusco. What a view of the city! From there, you will ride to the Qenqo archaeological complex, enjoying the lovely countryside and learning a bit more about the Incan past. The ride continues to two other important Incan religious archaeological centers, Puca Pucara and Tambomachay, through which you will have an interesting guided tour. Afterwards, you will board the bus that takes you back to your hotel. This afternoon take a Pottery Class. Learn different pottery making techniques, inspired by Andean and Colonial art motifs. If time allows you can mold your own piece or paint one from the studio. The best part is taking home your own beautiful souvenir! Class duration: 2 hours approx. (B)

Private transfer to Cusco airport to board your flight back to Lima with connections. (B)

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