Welcome to the Peruvian capital and 'City of the Kings', Lima. Rising above a long coastline of crumbling cliffs this city has a real sense of faded yet romantic grandeur, with historical sights a plenty and a culinary scene that is revered the world over. Settle in to your hotel and meet up with your Travel Director this afternoon, then the rest of the day is free to explore. Head to Parque del Amor to admire the Gaudi style architecture with beautiful views over Lima Bay, or take a wander around popular and bustling Miraflores. Tonight, in celebration of your first night in Peru, dinner should absolutely involve fresh ceviche followed by a tangy Pisco Sour as you toast to sunset.
Today, discover the famous Plaza Mayor and Cathedral. See the Government Palace, Archbishop's Palace and City Hall. Visit the San Francisco Monastery, an interesting museum featuring mysterious catacombs. Your afternoon is free. This evening join your Travel Director and fellow travellers as you dive deep into the essence of Peruvian food. Feast on an authentic meal at Mangos, a restaurant boasting nearly 15 years of service.
Flying into Cusco, welcome to the Incan capital of the world! Boasting the richest heritage of any South American city, Cusco is a wealth of archaeological greatness and the oldest continuously inhabited city on the continent. It's also the gateway to Machu Picchu, so throbs day and night with visitors exploring its ancient streets. Take in the ornate temples and Incan ruins as you arrive here. You'll also have the chance to learn about the local weaving process, a craft that has been kept alive for thousands of years, and browse different products made from the fur of camelids. Also stopping by Pisac Market, the most famous market in the Cusco region where local indigenous communities from all over come to sell their wares and produce, you'll finally drive the hairpin turned road that will lead you to the Sacred Valley, your stop for tonight.
Today's the day! Up bright and early this morning, you'll travel to the ancient little town of Ollantaytambo to board the train to Aguas Calientes, the Incan village at the base of Machu Picchu. Slowly chugging your way through the rugged lands of the Sacred Valley, feel the excitement levels build as you pass by village settlements and towering mountains, the landscape changing the higher you get. Making the last leg of the journey via shuttle, you'll finally arrive at the most famous archaeological site of South America and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu. Catching a first glimpse of this awe inspiring ancient city above the clouds is a moment you'll never forget, so be sure to take a few minutes just to soak it all in. Take your time exploring the vast complex of fascinating ruins and let the mind boggle at how it was all built, before descending the mountain and making your way back to the Sacred Valley.
Art fans are in for a treat this morning as you pay a visit to the workshop of Pablo Seminario, a respected artist who creates beautiful pottery using techniques, styles and influences reminiscent of ancient cultures from all across Peru. Keeping things local you'll then pay a visit a family home in Ollantaytambo. On the way to Cusco you will sample a drink favored by the Incas. Made from malted corn and sugar, the taste of Chicha de Jora may be a bit of a crowd splitter but is a little taste of history, so one must try it. Continuing on the road to Cusco you'll also stop by the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, a UNESCO World Heritage site that dates back to the 13th century, before arriving back into the Incan capital where the rest of the day will then be free.
Kick off the final day of your tour with a sightseeing tour of ancient Cusco. Visit Coricancha, or the 'Temple of the Sun', the most important temple in the Incan Empire, before admiring the bounty of colonial art on display in the Cathedral. Walk down Loreto street and admire the handiwork of Incan stone masons before ending up shopping for local handicrafts in San Pedro market. With the rest of the day then free, why not join us for an Optional Experience visiting Moray and Moras to see Incan farming and salt mining techniques at play, head to 17th century Piquillacta to see the pre Incan citadel built by the Wari people, or treat your sweet tooth with a visit to the Choco Museum to learn more about the Peruvian chocolate making process. Tonight, you'll see out an incredible trip in style with dinner, folklore tales and dancing.
1 New Wonder of the World and an incredible 7 days later, your trip will finally come to an end this morning. Leaving with priceless memories, a wealth of new knowledge and a wonderful group of new friends, you'll make your way to the airport today. Not done with Peru just yet? Why not extend your holiday with a few extra days in Puno and Lake Titicaca, or better yet fly on to Ecuador to join a ME to WE volunteering experience where you'll work on a sustainable development project deep in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.