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Flavors of Peru

Savor Lima, The Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu & Cusco
(10 days – 9 nights)

 

October 15-24, 2018

 
Once the largest empire in pre-Columbian America, the Incas vanished with barely a trace. Peru has that effect on people; so don’t be surprised if, once you’ve savored sublime ceviche in Lima, you lose yourself a little, too. Peru’s exquisite cuisine hails from eighty-odd microclimates and is a myriad of indigenous species and foodstuffs from the depths of the cold Pacific Ocean to the fiery chilies of the desert, the lush Amazon, and the Andean highlands. Regional cultures and traditions still thrive and the food culture rivals Mexico or France any day. Unwinding with a pisco sour at dusk with a view of the Sacred Valley? Transcendent. We invite you to get to know Peru’s world class cuisine.

If you would like a detailed itinerary for this Signature Journey, including hotel information, please contact us at info@lizcaskey.com

Day 1
In the evening, arrive at Lima’s international airport. Meet your driver and bilingual guide for transfer to your luxurious hotel located in the heart of Miraflores, towering above the Pacific. Check into your spacious suite with marble baths, gorgeous natural light, and an Ocean view. Rest up for the following day. Buenas noches.

Day 2
Today, dive into exploring Lima’s incredible culinary scene. Start with a visit to the chefs’ favorite market to get a handle on the different microclimates and exotic fruits. After, meet a local coffee roaster who has spawned a local movement sourcing single origin beans. Pair with a guided chocolate tasting by a friend who’s a top chocolatero. Lunch is at a casual yet classy restaurant with outstanding Peruvian comfort food, such as succulent grilled ceviche, rice dishes like tacu tacu, and some of the best pisco sours in town. In the evening, gather together for a special cooking demonstration and dinner that takes us deep into Amazonian cuisine with Peru’s foremost culinary expert on this region.

Day 3
This morning head out for a historic tour of Lima’s colonial center including a centuries-old monastery with a bone-chilling story. Lunch at a top ceviche maestro’s private home with an open kitchen. Be sure to take notes and lots of photos with him—he’s a national (ceviche) hero! In the afternoon, visit the Larco Museum collection on a private visit to contextualize Inca history within Peru’s large timeline and native communities. Before returning to the hotel, stop at a rustic taberna for a taste of Pisco and nibble on a traditional Peruvian sandwich. The rest of the day is for you to enjoy on your own.

Day 4
Checkout early this morning and transfer to the Lima airport to continue the journey to the Andean highlands. Take a short flight to Cusco and immediately head for the verdant Sacred Valley with its snowy peaks, patchwork fields, and lower altitude. Break for lunch on the valley floor at a wonderful parador to feast on grilled meats, tamales, Andean tubers and chili sauces while enjoying a parade of Peruvian Paso Horses. Arrive at your hotel, a contemporary hacienda built on a scenic hillside with colonial inspiration and an onsite organic farm. Unwind from the journey in your intimate casita with a gorgeous view of the mountains. Later in the evening, gather with the group for a welcome dinner after a delicious aperitivo in the bar.

Day 5
This morning after breakfast, drive through the valley past Quechua farming communities that haven’t changed in over five hundred years. Stop in the colonial village of Pisac with its handsome whitewashed facades and cobblestone allies. Here, the picturesque market sells local hand-woven textiles and handicrafts. Nearby, visit friends who are owners of a hacienda cultivating giant Peruvian corn. Visit the property with them and relish a private lunch in their home with mountain views from the terrace. The meal is lovingly prepared by the sister, a talented chef, using local grown foodstuffs and fruits. Return to the hotel to relax. A perfect afternoon to indulge in a massage or quiet walk in nature at the hotel.

Day 6
The adventure continues today high on a plateau at nearly 13,000 feet above sea level. Take a wandering country road to the Maras salt pans, over 3,000 salt pools, that topple down the steep mountainside. Nearby, visit the impressive archaeological Inca site with concentric terraces of Moray. Lunch after in the new restaurant of Peru’s top chef where the menu is composed around indigenous local ingredients and altitudes. On the way back to your hotel, stop off at traditional highland weavers in the colonial town of Chinchero to understand how alpaca wool is spun and transformed into the hand-made textiles which are a living art in the Andean highlands. Dinner is on your own at the hotel this evening or in the nearby town of Urubamba.

Day 7
Today commences with a leisurely start, then set off for Ollantaytambo, a wonderfully preserved Incan village. Visit the ruins with an archaeological guide to understand the historical significance of this stronghold; including the Temple of the Sun. Lunch today is a celebration of a traditional Pachamanca. This ceremonial lunch is prepared after harvest to thank the Pacha Mama for the abundance. Meats, vegetables, tubers, and herbs are buried in the earth and cooked until fragrant and tender. After lunch, visit the project’s farm where they grow coffee berries for their own beans and make outstanding artisan liqueurs. On the way back to the hotel, veer off the route for a couple sips at a local craft brewery making Sacred Valley’s finest artisan beer in quirky local flavors. Tonight, rest up for the big adventure tomorrow: Machu Picchu!

Day 8
Rise and shine early! Checkout and transfer to the Ollantaytambo train station. Embark on a scenic journey past towering mountain peaks towards the cloud forest where Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, is tucked away. Together with your local guides, dive deep into the history and meaning of this mystical place. After the visit to the citadel, lunch in the village of Aguas Calientes and relax before boarding the Hiram Bingham Belmond train to Cusco. Onboard the luxurious classic train, savor a gourmet dinner and live entertainment. In Cusco, check in to your luxurious hotel, once a 17th monastery century. Settle in your oxygenated Jr. Suite and breathe easy tonight.

Day 9
After breakfast at the hotel, awake to the magic of Cusco. Rendezvous with our local historical guide to get a handle on the capital of the ancient Inca Empire—truly a living time warp. Start on foot from the hotel and appreciate the majestic Plaza de Armas with its barroque cathedral and whitewashed colonial facades adorned with ornate wooden balconies. Walk through the historical center admiring handsome architectural landmarks built on top of Incan temples. Visit Cusco’s vibrant San Pedro market to understand Andean foodstuffs—and its people. Wander through the market with aisle upon aisle of breads, exotic fruits, spices, cheeses, herbs, flowers, and more! After, savor a wonderful lunch with a local chef of traditional Cusqueno dishes. Tonight, gather one last time with your fellow travelers for Pisco cocktails and tapas for a light reception. Salud to a deliciously wonderful journey together!

Day 10
Breakfast on your own this morning and checkout by noon. Private transfer to the Cusco Airport for your return flight to Lima or the next leg of journey in Peru. Buen viaje!

Want to learn more? Contact us for a detailed itinerary at info@lizcaskey.com