Trip reference number: ITN-PER012
Trip Operator: Rainbow Tours
For adventurous travellers, Peru is a dream destination. In just one trip, spend a night in the Sacred Valley's most exclusive accommodation - a transparent pod suite suspended 400m up - before trying your hand at zip lining, white water rafting and paragliding, and setting off in search of the best views over Machu Picchu.
Explore the colourful history of cosmopolitan capital, Lima, by bike, stopping to sample delicious local food. A short flight to Cuzco takes you straight into the Inca heartland. After a winding drive to the Sacred Valley, don a harness and climb up a 400-metre cliff to spend the night in a Skylodge Adventure Suite. Completely transparent, these pods offer 360o views of Peru's lush Sacred Valley. Enjoy breakfast as the sun rises then zip-line through the valley to reach solid ground.
The Sacred Valley is the perfect spot for adventure or relaxation. White water raft down the Urubamba River, mountain bike to Moray archaeological crop terraces and the dazzling white salt pans of Maras, paraglide over the mountains or simply just take some time out by your hotel's swimming pool or spa.
Machu Picchu is truly spectacular. Trek the final part of the Inca Trail, arriving to the Sun Gate for unforgettable views and learn about the history of the citadel before climbing Wayna Picchu, towering 300 metres over the site. End in vibrant Cuzco, surrounded by the dramatic Andean peaks. Savour the hustle and bustle of the cobbled streets and explore the city's historic sites and the fortress of Sacsaywaman by horseback. Spend a final evening dining at one of the city's wonderful restaurants and savour the thrilling moments of your epic trip.
Day 1 Start your Peruvian adventure as your travel direct to Lima with British Airways, arriving in the early evening. Miraflores is an upmarket neighbourhood full of restaurants, shops and residential areas. From your hotel you can easily walk to the Parque de Amor (Park of Love) and Huaca Puclanna ruins that date back to AD400. Overlooking the ruins the restaurant offers incredible views, especially when illuminated at night.
Day 2 Visit the traditional district of Miraflores by bike whilst exploring Lima's unique (and very tasty) gastronomic scene. Learn about the flavours, colours, aromas and stories behind the renowned cuisine as you visit small typical Limean restaurants, called Huariques. Try a variety of local dishes as you cycle around the city and stop to visit a local food market where many restaurateurs purchase their key ingredients. After your excursion, take the opportunity to walk along the coast route to the bohemian area of Barranco, littered with ornate old buildings and grand museums. If you're after a coffee, set your sights on Café Bisetti.
Day 3 Begin your week of adventure in the Inca city of Cuzco. You'll be picked up and your transfer will wind its way into the Sacred Valley, passing dramatic landscapes, attractive colonial towns and ancient Inca sites like Ollantaytambo. Suspended 400m above the valley floor, attached by metal wires to the cliff face are the new Skylodge Adventure Suites - transparent pods with bedrooms and bathrooms, allowing you to fall asleep gazing up at the stars. The first part of the adventure is called Via Ferrata; for this, you will climb up the valley walls using a path of metal rungs, ladder steps and a handing bridge.
Day 4 This morning you will wake up to a truly astounding view. The sun rises from behind the Andean peaks and illuminates the landscape to give you an unrivaled Sacred Valley vista.Marvel at the 360 degree views of the sacred, fertile land, stretching out from directly below you. Tuck into a warming breakfast either inside your suite or on the platform, soaking up the fresh mountain air from your privileged vantage point. To get back to solid ground, you'll have to descend towards the valley floor via a series of zip lines - the longest of which reaches 700m. Once your adrenaline levels return to normal, settle into the Sol y Luna lodge and spa, an oasis of calm with colourful, mature gardens.
Day 5 You haven't had your fill of adventure just yet. Today, embark on an epic white water rafting journey along the Sacred River of the Incas also called “Vilcanota or Urubamba”. After receiving a short briefing and learning about the safety equipment and guidelines, board your brightly coloured craft. Have a quick practice on the smooth, calm waters nearby before setting off downstream in search of rushing rapids. Navigate your way through the frothing waves and small whirlpools for approximately 2 hours before drying off for a well-deserved lunch with the locals.
Day 6 Depending on how you feel today, opt for another action-packed adventure or a day of relaxation. At the Sol y Luna, chill out by the swimming pool or pay the luxurious spa a visit for an aroma-filled massage. Active explorers can set out to discover more of the valley by mountain bike. On two wheels, visit the agricultural site of Moray with it circular terraces and the salt pans of Moras. Alternatively opt for four legs and ride one of the hotel's Peruvian Paso horses.
Day 7 From the train station at Ollantaytambo, take the Vistadome service to KM104 of the Inca Trail. Here you'll embark on a 13km day hike to reach Peru's most iconic sight; Machu Picchu. After a short stop at Chachabamba, a small Inca site, begin an ascent of which takes you to a beautiful valley shrouded in cloud forest. After lunch, reach a beautiful waterfall which leads to Wiñay Wayna, the most important archaeological site in the area after Machu Picchu. At the Puerta del Sol (the Sun Gate) or Intipunku, descend to explore the majestic citadel before taking the short bus journey to the nearby town of Aguas Calientes.
Day 8 With its remote (though spectacular) location, this awe-inspiring ancient city was left totally forgotten until the early part of the 20th century. Now recognised as a worldwide 'must visit' destination, it is the highlight of any trip to Peru. The site, often shrouded in a deep white mist, exudes grandeur and oozes mystery. Here you'll learn about the Inca history from your knowledgeable guide. For the most spectacular views, climb the steep steps of Wayna Picchu which towers roughly 300 metres over the citadel.
Day 9 Historic architecture can be caught cosying up to up to modern buildings along the cobbled streets of Cuzco. This cultural melting pot is often regarded the archeaological capital of the Americas and Cuzco is a delight to explore on foot, from the beautiful Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas main square to the bohemian artist neighborhood of San Blas. Learn about the history with your local guide before saddling up and riding on horseback to explore the outlying ruins of Sacsaywaman. For your final evening in Peru, dine out at Pacha Papa serving classic local dishes in a heated courtyard invoking a wonderful highland ambiance.
Day 10 Meander the cobbled streets, local markets or relax in a local café on the Plaza de Armas as you relfect on your Peruvian adventure. For those that would like deeper into the highland culture, continue through the mountains to Lake Titicaca, the hightest navigable lake in the world or if you prefer take an early flight to enjoy sundowners in Lima overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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