On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel for two nights.
This morning, join your Local Guide on a walking tour that focuses on Lima’s colonial heritage in the old quarter of the city. Start at the Plaza de Armas, boasting the city’s original colonial architecture from over four centuries ago. See the Government Palace, where Peru’s president resides, as well as the Renaissance/Baroque style cathedral. From here, stroll to the venerable San Francisco Monastery with its splendid 17th century cloister murals. For a special treat, visit the Larco Herrera Museum, which houses the largest private collection of pre-Columbian Peruvian art in the world. This evening, enjoy a special welcome dinner at one of Lima’s finest historic mansions, Casa Garcia Alvarado, hosted by the home’s owner.
Fly to Cusco, the ancient Andean city that was once capital of the Inca Empire. Spend the day in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, starting with a visit to the Temple of Sacsayhuaman, perched on a hillside overlooking Cusco. With its massive stones weighing up to 300 tons, this 15th-century fortress is one of the best displays of the Incas’ impressive stonework. While most believe it was a religious temple, Sacsayhuaman was also site of one of the most violent battles between the Spanish and the Cusqueños. The Spanish were ultimately victorious in 1536, disassembling part of the site to build homes in Cusco and leaving behind the ruins we find today. Next, stop at the ceremonial site of Kenko, where ancient rituals were performed - perhaps, even sacrifices. Nearby, see Puca Pucara, thought to be a rest stop, weapons storage, or guard post used by the Incas and their soldiers. At Awanakancha, encounter llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and guanacos and learn the difference between these South American camels and their importance in Peruvian culture. Continue to the old mountain village of Pisac, home to a huge Indian market, where you will have free time to shop for local wares, such as alpaca sweaters, blankets, and handmade jewelry. This evening, enjoy dinner at the hotel featuring Andean and Western dishes as well as wine.
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