Your journey at a glance
Kick-start your adventure in the vibrant and friendly city of Lima. Renowned for its rich cultural heritage, this sprawling metropolis offers a dazzling array of family-friendly attractions, including interpretive tours of the National Museum and the Museum of Natural History. Lima has been hailed as South America’s culinary capital, providing a delicious introduction to Peruvian cuisine.
Next, discover the Sacred Valley, where ancient Incan farming terraces are still cultivated by the region’s inhabitants of today. The wondrous landscapes of the valley lend themselves to an array of outdoor activities such as mountain biking, trekking, horse-riding, river rafting, and rock climbing. Introduce your children to the local residents, learn about their ancient traditions, and take a trip to the historic salt mines to learn about the Incan salt mining process.
Hop aboard the panoramic Vistadome train, where your adventure extends in an exploration of the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu – a bucket list experience that you and your family will never forget. A shroud of mystery envelopes these ruins. Some speculate that it was established as a university, while others claim that it was built as a retreat for royalty – let your private guide offer his own interpretation and you decide…
The last leg of your adventure takes you and your loved ones to the Incan capital of Cusco. This enchanting destination greets visitors with an invitingly festive atmosphere. Bustling markets, brimming with authentic curios, and beautiful architecture, inspired by both the Incans and Spanish, add to the charm of the city.
What to expect …
Transfer to Hotel Day 1
Upon arrival in Lima, you will be met by a representative from &Beyond who will warmly welcome you and drive you to your hotel.
Overnight in Lima Day 1
Listed as one of the Top 10 Hotels in Peru, in the exclusive 2016 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards, the Belmond Miraflores Park is renowned for its beautiful garden location alongside the Pacific Ocean. The stylish suites offer an indulgent sanctuary after a busy day in the Peruvian capital. With stunning views of the exclusive Miraflores district, the beautiful garden, or the endless ocean, each suite is exquisitely decorated with understated luxury and features carved hardwood furniture, fine cotton linen, a separate sitting space and a work area with a desk. While the enormous bathrooms have large marble tubs, walk-in showers with rainfall showerheads and granite vanities stocked with premium toiletries.
Spend one-night in an elegant Ocean View Junior Suite.
Immerse yourself in the colonial grandeur of Peru’s capital city Day 2
Today, you and your family will have the opportunity to explore Peru’s heritage.
There’s no shortage of things to do and see in Lima. Thanks to its rich cultural heritage, travellers are treated to a spectacular array of historic monuments and prominent examples of colonial architecture.
Plaza Mayor / Plaza de Armas
The Plaza Mayor or Plaza de Armas of Lima, is the birthplace of the city of Lima, and one of Lima’s main tourist attractions. Established in 1535, this bustling square was once the economic and cultural heart, and was where the masses congregated for religious celebrations, colourful markets and exhilarating bull fights. Today this historic piazza is a lively, bustling place offering beautiful insight into life as a Peruvian.
Presidential Palace / Palacio de Gobierno
The impressive presidential palace, also known as House of Pizarro, sprawls on the banks of the Rimac. Marvel at the magnificent majestic entrance and opulently decorated halls. The objects inside reveal the narrative of Lima’s colonial history. Make sure to see the changing of the guard that happens at noon each day. Decked out in rich royal scarlet and striking blue garb the soldiers are a sight to behold.
Monastery of San Francisco / Monasterio de San Francisco
Who can resist fascinating bone-lined catacombs, complete with exposed remains and artfully curated relics arranged in curious formations in circular stone pits. Housed in a bright-yellow, lavish baroque-style Franciscan monastery and church, the catacombs are a thrilling and macabre sight. You can also visit the spectacular library, a haven for 25,000 antique texts, some of which predate the conquest.
Cathedral of Lima / La Catedral de Lima
Established in 1535 when the founder of Lima, Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, laid the first stone, this cathedral is one of the city’s most famous buildings. Revealing exquisite baroque and neoclassical features, take note of the magnificently arched ceiling and the beautifully mosaic-decorated tomb of Pizarro. Exhibiting exquisite religious paintings and artefacts, the Museum of Religious Art in the cathedral is a reposeful space to pour over venerable items.
Flight to Cusco Day 3
Today, after a wholesome breakfast, you will be collected for your flight to Cusco where, upon landing, you will be driven to the enchanting Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Overnight in Sacred Valley Day 3 - 5
At this lower elevation you’ll have time to relax, acclimatise and enjoy your scenic surroundings. Along the way you will have the opportunity to visit Awanacancha, a project that preserves ancient textile-making techniques. Continue to the fabric dyeing area where there is a display of various natural dyes and how they are applied to the textiles. Nearby, local women from different communities demonstrate how they weave Andean textiles. Visitors have the opportunity to purchase the finished products from their boutique store. You will also find an interactive animal farm where your children can feed unusual animals such as Llamas, alpacas, vicuñas and guanacos.
In the afternoon, you will visit the town of Ollantaytambo, with its Inca streets of stone, traditional square homes and small markets. You will also have time to explore its ruins and hike up to an Incan temple for a majestic view of the town. Make sure to bring your cameras!
Following your tours, you will check-in to the Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness. Nestled on the banks of the Vilcanota River, on the lands of a 17th century hacienda, the Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness offers beautiful accommodation in the breathtaking surrounds of the Sacred Valley. The Deluxe Rooms are modern, with a minimalist style, and overlook the gardens, inland lakes or the colonial mansion.
Relax for two nights in a Deluxe Room.
Unwind in the peaceful rural farmlands or embark on one of the myriad of outdoor adventures Day 4
Nestled at the foot of verdant hills the beautiful Río Urubamba Valley, known as El Valle Sagrado, the Sacred Valley resides. Bounded by the towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, the Sacred Valley is shaped by sweeping rivers, and an abundance of fascinating archaeological monuments and indigenous peoples.
On your journey make sure to visit the many towns including Pisac, Yucay, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero, where you can view pre-Hispanic archaeological ruins that were built by different Incas and used as citadels or resting places.
Boasting a magnificent natural setting, the Sacred Valley of the Incas can be appreciated for its rich flora and fauna, birdwatching, and adventure sports as well as its archaeological wealth. Highlights include the markets where you can purchase beautifully hand crafted goods and the lofty Inca citadels of Pisac and Ollantaytambo. The valley is also packed with other Inca sites and trekking routes are deservedly gaining in popularity.
Brightly coloured flowers embellish and jewel the fields as the diverse microclimates allow the flourishing of flora. The area is also home to deer, chinchillas, Viscata, foxes, Andean pigeons, and an abundance of birds including pretty hummingbirds.
Snow-capped mountains, blossoming meadows, and deep aquamarine lakes make the Valley an adventurous base for tourism in South America. Take your time exploring this peaceful, fetching corner of the Andes.
Train journey to Machu Picchu Day 5
Today, after yet another scrumptious breakfast, you will board the Vistadome train for your unforgettable journey to Machu Picchu – the Lost City of the Incas. Your train will trundle through valleys, mountains and past quaint villages as it approaches the small town of Aguas Calientes.
Overnight in Machu Picchu Day 5
Hiram Bingham discovered the stone citadel of Machu Picchu, located 112 kilometres (70 miles) from Cusco, in 1911. The citadel was built on a very special spot between two mountains; Machu Picchu (Old Mountain) and Huayna Picchu (Young Mountain). At the foot of the mountains, lie the Urubamba and Vilcanota Rivers. Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is also categorised as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
Upon arriving at Machu Picchu, you will embark on a guided tour. Discover the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu with a private guide, who will let you in on the myths, stories and theories shrouding this mysterious citadel.
Following a wonderful exploration, you will check-in to the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. Tucked away in the picturesque cloud forest, the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is an intimate Andean village with terraced hills, waterfalls and stone pathways spread across 12 acres of exquisite natural beauty. The hotel’s wondrous grounds also boast 214 bird species, 111 species of butterfly and the world’s largest native orchid collection, with 372 spectacular species. Nestled among the trees, the enchanting casitas are designed in harmony with the forest, and offer serene views of the orchid gardens or the Vilcanota River. The décor pays homage to the local culture, and the ensuite casitas are charmingly furnished with an armoire, comfortable beds with fine cotton sheets, thick alpaca blankets, handmade wool coverlets and a cosy fireplace for chilly evenings. After a day of exploring the historic Machu Picchu citadel, hiking on the Inca Trail, discovering the hotel’s forest trails or viewing ancient Inca petroglyphs, you can relax at the Unu Spa, which combines classic nurturing with a mystical Andean approach.
Spend one night in a Superior room.
Marvel at the enigmatic citadel of Machu Picchu, with its ruins, history and myths interpreted by a private guide Day 6
Today, you have the opportunity to embark on a range of additional adventures in the Machu Picchu region.
- Walk to the “Sun Gate” and explore the citadel at your own pace and see some of its less visited sites.
- Discover the Inca Bridge, a secret back entrance to Machu Picchu. Pass through lush cloud-forest vegetation before, at a clearing, the trail narrows to a stone track seemingly carved out of the mountain and perched above a sheer vertical drop.
- Visit the local museum Manuel Chavez, which showcases a large collection of artefacts, construction tools (copper and bronze) and various fascinating ancient items such as pins, mirrors, tweezers and needles. The exhibit displays the metallurgical expertise of the Inca city; the spectacular examples of dexterity in stone quarrying, as well as significant objects in various other materials.
Train journey to Cusco Day 6
In the late afternoon, you will be collected for your return journey to Cusco. Upon arrival at the train station, you will be collected by a representative of &Beyond and driven to the Palacio del Inka Hotel.
Overnight in Cusco Day 6
Situated in the historic centre of the city, the elegant Palacio del Inka Hotel is encircled by colonial buildings built over ancient Inca foundations, museums, monuments, premium restaurants, and vibrant local markets. This storied mansion dates back nearly five centuries, and is designed to showcase a magical blend of pre-Columbian, Inca, Spanish, and modern cultures. Living up to the hotel’s majestic spirit, the rooms blend a rich Spanish personality with the city’s enchanting history. Offering fantastic courtyard or street side views through oversized windows, the elegantly designed ensuite rooms and suites reflect a rich colonial heritage offset by Andean touches like the rainbow of tassels on the handmade curtains that are reminiscent of the tradition of adorning the ears of llamas and alpacas in the high Andes.
Enjoy one night in a Deluxe Room.
Discover the Inca capital and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cusco – from Inca ruins and Spanish architecture to shopping and culinary delights Day 7
A magnificently preserved city, Cusco is resplendent with colonial architecture and a deeply embroidered, rich and textured history. Exemplifying the apex of
Indigenous Quechua culture in the Andes, while roaming the streets you are enveloped in the steeped layers of history. Beautiful Spanish colonial buildings are juxtaposed with Inca walls lining the square, and a contemporary thriving nightlife flourishes.
Positioned in the Peruvian Andes, Cusco developed, under the Inca ruler Pachacutec, into a complex urban centre with distinct religious and administrative functions. Surrounded by distinctly delineated areas for agricultural, artisan and industrial production, when the Spaniards conquered it in the 16th century, they kept the basic structure intact, and constructed Baroque churches and palaces over the ruins of the Inca city.
Wondering around this ancient space you recede into the past, delving into archaic Andean culture, and at once mesmerised by the thriving tourist mecca. A gateway to the continent’s biggest draw – Machu Picchu, Cusco is surrounded by the Sacred Valley, the Andean countryside dotted with villages, high altitude hamlets and crumbling ruins.
Cusco is a vibrant place and carnivals and festivals abound, colourful and vivid events where pagan tradition meets solemn Catholic ritual. The magnificent surrounds give way to beautifully crafted landscapes where soaring Andean peaks umbrella lush, sweetly scented colourful forests, and the Amazon lowlands are a hive of activity with their incredibly diverse wildlife.
Explore Cusco on foot, raft down intrepid rivers or simply travel like a local, and get on a bus, reaching the furthest corner of this dusty, colourfully rich civilisation of a bygone era.
Flight to Lima Day 7
Here, your Peruvian journey comes to an end, and we wave a fond farewell as you are taken to the airport for your flight to Lima. Upon landing in Lima, you will connect with your homeward flight.