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EXCEPTIONAL JOURNEYS for 2018 and 2019

Perfectly Peru

For those who've yet to visit the South American Andes, do it in style! The Peruvian experience has just been perfected with the addition of Belmond Andean Explorer - Belmond's newest luxury train traveling from Cusco to Arequipa. After exploring the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco, board the Andean Explorer for an overnight on top of the world en route to charming Puno and lofty Lake Titicaca - a truly unique and revitalizing worldly experience.

  

Day 1:  Arrive LIMA, PERU
Arrive Lima this evening. Your driver will be waiting to transfer you privately to your hotel. Founded in 1535 by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizzaro, the “City of Kings” is a mélange of colonial structures, pre-Columbian sites and stylish conveniences. Check in to the luxurious Miraflores Park Hotel in the heart of one of the city’s most exclusive residential neighborhoods. The hotel is known for its Pacific Ocean views, and is ideally located for exploring the main sights, shops and restaurants.  Belmond Miraflores Park 

Day 2:  LIMA | Artifacts and Archaeology 
Today, explore Peru's capital by way of a private city tour beginning with a visit to the Plaza Mayor, official center of the city and the original site upon which Lima was founded. Then visit the historic Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece built in the 16th Century. From the Cathedral, walk past the Presidential Palace where the soldiers guarding the palace provide an excellent photo op. Continue with a journey into the past, enjoying Casa Aliaga, Lima’s oldest colonial mansion. Built in 1535 by the illustrious Spanish conquistador Jeronimo de Aliaga, this incredible relic of colonial splendor has been home to 17 generations of his descendants ever since. Note the grace of the wood and marble staircase leading up to a fine entrance patio. View its beautiful rooms, the family chapel, the Golden Salon with incredible golden mirrors, and a beautiful upper gallery, which is home to some important paintings from the Cusco School

Continue on to visit the Larco Museum. This fascinating museum is located in a majestic mansion from the 18th century, built up over a 7th-century Pre-Columbian pyramid surrounded by gardens. It also holds the world’s largest private collection of Pre-Columbian ceramics (over 45,000 pieces). During a quick visit we are offered a glimpse of 3,000 years of ancient history. The exhibits are excellent, explanations in the display cases are remarkable, and your guide will enlighten you on the details of each piece. Return to your hotel for refreshment, then dine this evening at one of Lima's many exceptional restaurants Belmond Miraflores Park | B D

Day 3:  SACRED VALLEY | Peruvian Culinary Experience 
After breakfast, a short flight will take you to Cusco, an Andean city located at over 11,000 feet above sea level. Upon arrival, transfer to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the vast green undulating valley that sprawls out far below Machu Picchu, and where an ancient way of life lives on. En route, visit Awanakancha, a center where South American camelids, such as llamas and alpacas, are bred. Learn about the renowned fibers created from their coats. Spend the balance of your day acclimatizing to the altitude. Tonight, in the kitchen of Wayra Restaurant, join the chef for a Chef’s Table culinary experience, as he demonstrates the step-by-step preparation of a variety of Peruvian dishes, such as quinoa soup, and then savor the mouthwatering results.  Hotel Sol y Luna | B L D

Day 4:  SACRED VALLEY | Inca Fortress 
Start your exploration of the Sacred Valley of the Incas with a visit to the imposing fortress of Ollantaytambo, a formidable stone structure of massive terraces that hug the mountain slopes. Imagine the scene as your guide paints a vivid picture of the Spanish and Incas who fought here, the site of the Incas’ greatest victory over their invaders. Delve deeper into the rich local culture when you visit the Kuychi Center. Then play a game and share a barbecue lunch with the local children at Niños del Arco Iris (Children of the Rainbow), a philanthropic project.  Hotel Sol y Luna | B L D

Day 5:  MACHU PICCHU | Hiram Bingham’s Discovery 
Journey deep into the Andes toward Machu Picchu on board the fabled Hiram Bingham train, passing through the spectacular Peruvian countryside along the way. Inside the Pullman-style carriages, be whisked into the glamour of a bygone era with gleaming woods, fine fabrics and antique fittings.  Arrive to begin a thrilling overnight stay at the only hotel located at Machu Picchu, exploring the breathtaking Incan city from sunrise to sunset. Overlooking the raging Urubamba River and discovered in a hidden tangle of trees atop a mountain by American historian Hiram Bingham in 1911, Machu Picchu forever holds the secret of its passing — Its Incan inhabitants left no written records of its purpose. Built in the 15th century at the height of the Inca Empire, it may have been a religious center or the estate of an emperor. Curiously, excavations here have revealed skeletons, artifacts and woolen clothing, but no gold. Tour the ruins with your expert guide, and then enjoy exploring on your own. You may view the Temple of the Sun or Intihuatana, a ritual stone that may have been a kind of astronomical clock or calendar. As you wander, sense the majesty of the age-old stone walls and picture life as it might have been for the leaders, warriors, priests and craftsman who once inhabited this seemingly uninhabitable Incan citadel some 8,500 feet above sea level. This evening, rest easy in luxurious accommodations designed to echo the soaring natural surroundings and the sense of adventure they so stylishly enhance.  Belmond Sanctuary Lodge | B L D 

Day 6:  MACHU PICCHU/CUSCO | Walking the Spectacular Ruins 
Rise with the sun to walk through Machu Picchu in the early morning mist before the crowds arrive, for an experience some consider the spiritual highlight of the journey. You may opt for a hike to Inti Punku (Sun Gate), the entry point to the ruins from the Inca Trail, or trek up to Huayna Picchu, the high mountain that forms the backbone of the ruins, to enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding area. After your explorations, bid adieu to this “Lost City of the Incas” and return to Cusco aboard the glass-domed Vistadome train, savoring incomparable views of the mountain scenery surrounding you.  Belmond Hotel Monasterio | B L

 

Day 7:  CUSCO | The Immense Stone Marvel of Sacsayhuaman 
Discover Cusco on a private city tour that includes the Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas and the Santo Domingo Temple, a Dominican church built on the foundations of the Koricancha, the Incas’ principal religious building. Later, explore the well-preserved ruins of Sacsayhuaman, a testament to Incan architectural skill. Compiled of massive stones, the largest of which may weigh as much as 200 tons, the walls were cut and placed together with incredible precision and without a single drop of mortar to hold them in place. See for yourself whether a single sheet of paper will slip between the ponderous blocks of stone. This ancient fortress, which witnessed the greatest battle between the Spanish and the Incas, overlooks the red-tiled roofs of Cusco. Later, visit San Pedro market and spend the remainder of your afternoon at leisure. This evening, enjoy an Andean music presentation by regional expert Tito Leon, to learn the history and stories of a wide array of musical instruments.  Belmond Hotel Monasterio | B D

Day 8:  PUNO, PERU | The Ultimate Travel Adventure
Embark this morning on the ultimate travel adventure. Explore the Peruvian Andes and experience one of the world’s highest train routes aboard South America’s first luxury sleeper train. Belmond Andean Explorer transports up to 48 passengers through Peru in peerless style. Sister to the celebrated Belmond Hiram Bingham train, your time aboard promises to be every bit as inspiring as your off-board moments of discovery. Inviting accommodation and refined Andean cuisine ensure an unforgettable journey. Observation, Lounge and Spa Cars are are the perfect places to unwind.

Soft Ivory Alpaca tones, Andean slate grays, woven textures and handicrafts - inspired by Peruvian nature - surround you. Gather together with new-found friends and take a seat in the Lounge Car or Observation Car.  A medium grand piano sets the musical tone as you discuss the day’s adventures while viewing sensational scenery with a refreshing drink in hand. Breathe in the fresh Andean air from the open deck as the train meanders through breathtaking landscapes. Fresh, colorful and seasonal dishes using locally sourced ingredients are served in the two elegant dining carriages. Menus are skillfully designed by chefs from Belmond Hotel Monasterio, and refined Andean flavors, served with sophisticated flare, promise a feast for all the senses. All ingredients are locally-sourced from the Andes, reflecting the scenery through which you travel. Every journey includes lunch and dinner each day. Delicious breakfasts are the ideal way to prepare for a day of discovery, while an irresistible afternoon tea is the perfect pick-me-up as the day goes on.

Board the Belmond Andean Explorer train in Cusco, and settle into your luxurious cabin as the train begins its journey southeast towards charming Puno. Savour your first lunch on board in one of the elegant dining cars. After lunch, disembark to visit Raqch’i. Once an important control point for the Incas, it is today a fascinating archaeological site brimming with history. Return to the train just in time for tea. Soak up the sensational sunset over La Raya Mountain range before preparing yourself for an elegant dinner on board. Afterwards, perhaps head to the bar car and chat with your fellow travellers as the train continues to Lake Titicaca, where it will stable for the evening. 
Belmond Andean Explorer | B L D

Day 9:  PUNO - LAKE TITICACA | A Tranquil Oasis
Awake early to catch the breathtaking sunrise across Lake Titicaca, before enjoying a delicious breakfast on board. After breakfast, bid farewell to the Andean Explorer and disembark. A Guest Services representative will greet you and drive you on to Titilaka Lodge. On your way to Titilaka, you will pass through Juliaca City and the lake's port city of Puno

Titilaka is a tranquil oasis on Lake Titicaca, surrounded by the natural wildlife of the lake. As the lodge is next to the peaceful agrarian hamlet that shares its name, guests are able to witness the traditional lifestyles of the region's local villagers. Set between the rich contrast of dramatic red cordillera mountains, crisp skies and the intense lake, the Titilaka is a photographer´s paradise. Colorful sunsets, dramatic sunrises and crisp starry nights complement its unique location.

Upon arrival at the Lodge, check in, rest, and enjoy the scenery. Based on the region’s local cuisine and specially prepared for you, lunch is served from 12:30pm to 3:00pm. We recommend an afternoon siesta and plenty of liquids to continue acclimatization to the altitude. Enjoy teatime at 3:00pm, followed by activities near the lodge in the afternoon. Choose from a selection of nautical activities including kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, and sailing. Or perhaps explore the lake and paddle thrugh nearby Totora reeds, taking in the striking landscapes of Puno’s unique geography.

Evening cocktails are served starting at 6.30pm, followed by dinner from 7:30pm to 9:30pm, during which times you may join other guests in sharing the highlights of the day's experiences.  Titilaka Lodge - 3 Nights (Dawn/Dusk Room) | B L D

Day 10:  PUNO - LAKE TITICACA | Uros Floating Islands 
If you wish, wake up at dawn and witness a magnificent sunrise or, rise at the time that best suits you before enjoying a healthy breakfast in bed or on the Lodge's terrace. In the morning your guide will take you by car and boat to visit the legendary Uros Floating Islands located near the protected Titicaca National Reserve. Here you will meet one of the traditional families that inhabit these unique islands.The Uro-Aymara peoples are a proud culture where men are skilled reed craftsmen and women expert textile weavers. Calling themselves kot-suña or “people of the lake,” the Uro-Aymara were once persecuted by other groups and forced to relocate to Lake Titicaca where they found refuge on man-made Totora reed islands. Thus, they consider themselves owners of Titicaca. The Uro-Aymara peoples claim to have black blood as they are supposedly immune to the cold. Learn more about these peoples’ history, their varying uses of Totora reed, and local practices and customs in your visit to one of these remarkable islands.

Further explore the Quechua imagination in Taquile Island’s rich textile tradition. Recently declared a part of UNESCO’s Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, Taquile’s textiles are emblematic of the local living culture. As the island enjoys a privileged microclimate, you will likely see men weaving wonderful textile pieces outdoors.

Then enjoy your specially prepared outdoor picnic as you treat your sensibilities to the grandeur of Puno’s deep blue skies contrasting with the land and merging with Lake Titicaca. Bolivia’s snow-capped Cordillera Real (Royal Mountain Range) makes up the background.

Return to the hotel around 5:30pm and enjoy cocktails starting 6:30pm before you sit down for your á la carte dinner around 7:30pm.  
Titilaka Lodge - 3 Nights (Dawn/Dusk Room) 
| B L D

Day 11:  PUNO - LAKE TITICACA | An Array of Excursions
Today is intended to be at leisure. Wake at dawn to a magnificent sunrise, or rise at an hour which suits you. After breakfast, select from an array of excursions and activities, and design your day as you wish.

For example, this morning, you might visit Lampa, a colonial-period architectural gem and historic Spanish colonial stronghold. Known as the ‘Pink City’ for the lively coloration of its town walls, Lampa invites travelers to visit its church, old mansions, and squares. Renown in the region for its architecture, the Lampa church is was built exclusively for the use of Spanish landowners. Explore its mysterious catacombs and impressive replica of Michelangelo’s “La Pietá.” Or, you might visit the villages of Juli and Pomato. Their churches were built during the Spanish conquest at the request of rival Catholic congregations, and the town of Juli came to be known as the “Little Rome of America” while Pomata grew famous for its baroque church, built entirely of red pumice stone, or piedra pómez roja. The churches display impressive architecture, including gold leaf altars - a technique unique to the time - as well as notable paintings of the vice regal period and large bells which can still be heard to this day.

If your stay at the Lodge coincides with one of the region's 12 local festivals, this is not to be missed. The best known of these feasts is that of the Virgin of la Candelaria, held each February. Storming Puno’s streets with vibrant dance and lively traditional wear made solely for the celebration, the Virgin of la Candelaria is the region’s most representative celebration. If your stay falls on a Saturday or Sunday, you may wish to experience the lively local marketplace.

Return to the hotel for lunch and a siesta. After teatime, you can stroll across the Altiplano - bird-watch with a specialized guide or take advantage of the exclusive opportunity to sail at more than 12,000 feet above sea level. At the Lodge's boathouse, choose from kayaks, Canadian canoes, paddle boards, and sunfish sailboats. Experienced Titilaka instructors are at hand to look over your safety and explain navigation procedures before you begin your nautical journey.

Alternatively, bike the fields of Plateria. This biking excursion will become one of your most memorable bike rides. The fields of Plateria, the district where Titilaka is located, provide a perfect setting. Follow country roads along the grand lake and diverse terrains, where you will observe the local villager’s rural way of life. You will see them washing clothes, herding their animals and tending to their children. Return to the hotel for dinner at 7:30pm. 
Titilaka Lodge - 3 Nights (Dawn/Dusk Room) 
| B L D

Day 12:  depart PUNO
After breakfast, your driver will meet you at the hotel for transfer to Juliaca's Inca Manco Cápac International Airport Airport to commence your journey home. B

 

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