Explore the world of the Ancient Incas
12 Day Trip
Explore the world of the ancient Incas on our popular 12-day trips to Peru and Bolivia, and witness the impact of the Spanish conquistadors on cultures from out of the mists of history... from Pizarro’s colonial Lima and Cusco, to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Machu Picchu to Lake Titicaca to La Paz. Discover Inca strongholds and sacred sites surrounded by the Andes... admire the skill and craftsmanship of ancient artisans whose true medium was gold... learn the secrets of the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, and have your journey blessed by a local shaman. Attend a folkloric performance based on Inca mythology... take a boat to meet locals living like their ancestors did on floating reed islands on Lake Titicaca... see famous Peruvian Paso horses demonstrate their skills... and discover the cultural and architectural diversity of La Paz, highest capital city on Earth.
Set in one of Lima’s most sought-after residential areas, Belmond Miraflores Park takes you straight to the heart of all that's best about this great capital city. Renowned for its beautiful garden location beside the Pacific Ocean, it has breathtaking views out to sea. This luxury hotel combines personalised service, exceptional dining and indulgent facilities to create the perfect base from which to explore. Colonial architecture, superb museums with Inca gold and Pre-Columbian antiquities, and glamorous shops, bars and restaurants are all just moments from the hotel. Dining is a pleasure... Framed by a beautiful garden, and with impeccable style and design, Mesa 18 is the place to see and be seen in Lima; creative Japanese cuisine, high-quality Peruvian products, and artful presentation position Mesa 18 as one of the top restaurants in Peru. The Observatory Restaurant is located on the 11th floor, affording it spectacular views of both Lima and the Pacific Ocean – and the classic English atmosphere of the Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Bar is fun, featuring unique Pisco cocktails, the Ardiente Pasión or the famous "Secret of Dr. Jekyll."
Guests enjoy complimentary Internet access in guest rooms!
The only hotel in Urubamba with a private train station to Machu Picchu, Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado goes to every length to ensure a memorable stay in Peru's incomparable Sacred Valley, offering refined dining, a therapeutic spa, and premier fitness center, along with an emerald lagoon and blooming riverside gardens. Airy and inviting, its well-appointed guest rooms strike an easy balance between timeless tradition and modern conveniences, and feature hardwood floors, balcony, walk-in closet, plush sofa, refreshment center, and Simmons Hotel Beautyrest pillow-top beds with 400-thread-count linens. Local design elements and modern accoutrements harmonize with native fabrics and contemporary technology including LCD television and iPod docking station with alarm clock. Open and airy bathrooms tempt guests to linger with separate shower and bathtub, Gilchrist & Soames amenities, and plush bathrobes and slippers. The spirit of Incan culture is found in every aspect of Peruvian life, including the country’s passion for fresh, local food; enjoy innovative novo Andean cuisine at Hawa Restaurant, where organic, homegrown ingredients are featured in each and every dish. And sip a cocktail at the lobby's Kiri Bar, inviting guests to indulge in a true Peruvian experience amidst walls of sea grass and warm accents of backlit Peruvian onyx, rattan, linen, rich leather and wood.
The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is an Andean-style “village,” that combines the heritage and history of this mystical, magical place with totally modern conveniences and amenities. Guest rooms, in casitas with terra cotta tile roofs crafted by local artisans, are decorated with local crafts and feature a room heater, colonial style wardrobe, Andean slippers made with recycled materials, environment-friendly toiletries and more. When you’re not exploring Machu Picchu, explore the hotel’s lush 12 acres and discover why Condé Nast Travelerhas called this special hotel “the Garden of Eden,” go for a swim in the pool, or challenge your new friends to a board game. Enjoy the views out over the mountains and the rushing river below as you savor the flavors of Andean cuisine fused with modern touches under a thatched-palm roof at Café Inkaterra or in the glass-walled Dining Room.
Stepping inside the walls of this lovingly restored 16th-century monastery is akin to finding a beautiful jewel hidden within an unassuming box – the hotel is often called Peru’s most enchanting colonial-era hotel. This delightful retreat combines centuries-old charm with luxury hotel service, inspired restaurants and boutique rooms – all clustered around a tranquil central courtyard. The Hotel’s design features historic touches to reflect its rich heritage. Originally built in 1595, Belmond Hotel Monasterio sits on the site of Inca Amaru Qhala’s palace; three year’s later, the Spanish took it over and founded the Seminary of San Antonio Abad. An earthquake seriously damaged the building in 1650, and upon restoration the beautiful Chapel was added – in 1965, the building was remodeled as a hotel. Belmond Hotel Monasterio is now a national historic landmark, protected by Peru’s National Institute of Culture. The stones around the entrance doors still bear the Spanish Arms Escutcheon and the image of Bishop Monsignor Juan Serricolea y Olea; the Chapel is decorated in Baroque style, with gold-plated pictures frames, and magnificent paintings depict scenes from the life of its patron saint. At the heart of the hotel is the beautiful cloistered courtyard, featuring a tranquil fountain and 300-year-old cedar tree. Ideally located in the heart of Cusco and convenient to the city’s best attractions, Belmond Hotel Monasterio was voted one of the 500 best hotels in the world by the readers of Travel + Leisure.
Guests enjoy complimentary Internet access in guest rooms!
The Libertador Lake Titicaca hotel in Puno sits on the shores of the highest navigable lake in the world. Andean animals, such as the alpaca, wander freely through its 12-hectare grounds. Offering views of the lake, guest rooms feature air conditioning, black-out curtains, telephone with international direct dialing, safe deposit box, minibar, cable TV, robe and slippers and hair dryer. During leisure time, work out in the well-equipped gym or just relax in the sauna or Jacuzzi. For a taste of high Andean cuisine, have dinner in Los Uros and then, perhaps, enjoy a nightcap in front of the cozy fire in the bar, Taquile.
With a blend of art and technology in its landmark architecture, the Camino Real Suites Hotel is a standout on the south side of La Paz. Spacious guest rooms feature cable TV, minibar, coffee maker, safety deposit box and hair dryer. In the Camino Real Health Club, enjoy a swim in the indoor heated pool or take advantage of the well-equipped gym. Restaurant LaTanquera serves an intriguing menu of international and locally inspired cuisine.
Our tours of Peru and Bolivia begin in Lima. Upon arrival at Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport, you’ll be met by the tour representative and transferred to Belmond Miraflores Park Hotel, your home for your first two nights.
Your Peru tour begins in the lovely colonial center of Lima, originally mapped out by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, preserved on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Following a welcome breakfast, you’ll be inspired by the city's age-old beauty and venerable traditions during a tour this morning. Some of Lima’s most historic buildings surround the splendid Plaza Mayor (or Plaza de Armas) – see the Archbishop’s Residence, with its fine carved balcony, and the opulent Government Palace, the official residence of the president of Peru. Visit the 16th-century Cathedral of Lima, whose first stone was laid by Pizarro himself in 1535. At the Monasterio de San Francisco, find a 17th-century complex with glazed tiles, carved ceilings, exceptional paintings and an amazing crypt. Have lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon, enjoy a guided visit to the Museo Larco, displaying an archaeological collection of gold, silver and earthenware acquired over a lifetime by Rafael Larco Herrera and chronicling 4,000 years of Peruvian pre-Columbian history. Join us this evening for a special welcome cocktail reception and dinner at Casa Luna, the private hacienda of your hosts Javier and Eva Luna, where an eclectic art collection containing over 1,500 nativities is on display.
A short flight this morning takes you from cosmopolitan Lima to Cusco; continue overland to the Sacred Valley of the Incas for a two-night stay. Enjoy a barbecue lunch and an equestrian demonstration starring famous Peruvian Paso horses at Wayra Ranch en route to your Sacred Valley hotel, where you can relax, have dinner and adjust to the higher altitude this evening.
Like Egypt’s pyramids, mystery surrounds the construction methods used to build the massive stone Temple of the Sun and the Inca town of Ollantaytambo. One of the best preserved of the Inca settlements, this living museum reveals much about what life was like here in the 15th century during a tour; the people of the town still practice a very traditional lifestyle today, as you'll discover on a visit to a private home. Return to your hotel for a demonstration of Peruvian cuisine preparation by a chef, followed by a scrumptious buffet lunch – and you'll learn how to make a Pisco Sour! Later, meet a local shaman who will bless your journey and share insights on the spiritual nature of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Tonight, you’ll be treated to a performance incorporating music, dance, Andean traditions, Quechua lore and Inca mythology by the folk-arts group Kusiwasi, followed by a barbecue dinner.
Board the Vistadome train in Ollantaytambo and travel through mist-shrouded peaks that the Incas believed to be sacred to Aguas Calientes, gateway to the “lost city of the Incas,” Machu Picchu. Spending the afternoon exploring this incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site, recently named one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World,” with our local guides will be an unforgettable highlight of your Peru tour. Inspiration is everywhere amidst the architectural and aesthetic genius evidenced in the palaces, temples, houses and baths of this mountaintop, totally self-contained retreat. It is said by some that if you are a spiritually sensitive person and touch your forehead to the Intihuatana stone – still a precise indicator of the two annual equinoxes – you’ll be able to see into the spirit world! Return to Aguas Calientes for an overnight stay at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel... where you can enjoy a complimentary Pisco Sour at the bar (between 5:00 and 6:00 PM) prior to dinner à la carte at your leisure.
This morning is yours to do as you please... which might include rising super-early and returning before sunup to Machu Picchu to explore more of the site on a memorable guided sunrise tour; enjoying a nature walk through your hotel’s stunning gardens, home to many species of orchids and birds; checking out local shops and such in Aguas Calientes; or indulging in a soothing treatment employing local botanicals and a mystical Andean approach at the hotel's spa (for an additional charge). After an à la carte lunch, again board the Vistadome train for a scenic return rail journey, then drive to Cusco for a two-night stay. The beautiful Belmond Hotel Monasterio, named the “Best Hotel in South America” by Condé Nast Traveler, will be your home for the next two nights. Originally built in 1592, this former monastery in the center of Cusco will indulge you with its unique atmosphere, unequaled charm and gracious hospitality.
Just about everywhere you look in Cusco – once capital of the Inca Empire, and the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Americas – you’ll see traces of its Incan past and its importance to the Inca people as the “navel of the world,” as well as of the early Spanish colonial city built above it; walk through its bustling San Pedro marketplace, alive with contemporary mestizo culture, before heading outside town to see more testaments to Incan ingenuity. Learn a little more about Peru when you meet alpacas, llamas, vicuñas and guanacos at the Awanacancha farm, and see how these local relatives of the camel are raised. At Sacsayhuamán, explore Inca ruins – a fortress built of massive stones without the use of mortar. The remainder of your day is free in Cusco.
Discover more about Cusco on a city sightseeing tour that includes the main square and a visit to 16th-century Convent of Santo Domingo; its arcades and artwork sit atop the walls of Koricancha, once a temple dedicated to the sun. Also visit the city's 16th-century Baroque cathedral – considered one of the most splendid Spanish colonial churches in America for the quality of its paintings and carvings, incorporating imagery from the Incan culture, such as the pumas carved on its enormous doors. Following lunch, fly from Cusco to Juliaca on to your hotel in Puno, along the shores of Esteves Island on Lake Titicaca.
Legend has it that the Inca Empire began at Lake Titicaca when the sun god summoned his children from its chilly waters and sent them forth to establish Cusco. Centuries later, some of the indigenous people of the area – the Uros – dwell on forty-five Islas Flotantes de los Uro, floating islands made from reeds that dot the lake, living much as their ancestors did and still following their ancestral customs. View and visit some of these islands via powerboat, going ashore to meet the inhabitants and discover what their lives are like. Later, on Taquile Island, visit the home of an Aymara family who will prepare lunch for you and perform some of their traditional dances. You’ll no doubt notice that on Taquile all the men seem to be industriously knitting, and you’ll see some of the items that they produce. After returning to the hotel, you’re free to spend the afternoon as you choose; you may want to join us for an optional visit to the pre-Inca archaeological site of Sillustani, featuring cylindrical stone burial towers, or chulpas, built by the Colla people before they were conquered by the Incas in the 15th century.
Begin the day by concluding your Peru tour with a drive along the coast of Lake Titicaca, then cross the border and enter Bolivia. En route to Bolivia's capital, La Paz, you'll visit the archaeological site of Tiwanaku – once the capital of a pre-Inca civilization that thrived here between 500 and 900 AD. Enjoy a typical Bolivian lunch, then continue on our journey through the South American Altiplano toward the Royal Mountain Range and our final destination, La Paz, Bolivia – the highest capital city on Earth – for a two-night stay; enjoy dinner à la carte at your leisure in the hotel this evening.
Begun on the site of an existing Aymara village, La Paz was founded in 1548 by Spaniards. The highest capital city in the world above sea level, La Paz is also home to the highest golf course on Earth; in the thin air, a good tee shot will travel an amazing distance! Venture just outside the city to explore the lunar-like badlands dubbed the Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon), a stone landscape of deep gullies and bizarre rock formations, before heading to La Paz's city center to soak up some local color and browse in the Mercato de las Brujas (Witches’ Market) for magic amulets, potions, spells or plants reputed to have healing powers. From the Plaza Murillo, you’ll see the colonial-era Government Palace, known as the Burned Palace because it was set on fire during eight different revolutions; the Congress building had been a convent, a jail and a university before being renovated in 1904 to house the congress of Bolivia. Explore more of La Paz as you please this afternoon, and have lunch on your own; this evening, join us for a Tauck Exclusive farewell reception and dinner in lofty La Paz.
The tour of Peru and Bolivia end in La Paz. A transfer from the Camino Real Suites Hotel to La Paz El Alto International Airport is included. Please allow 3 hours for airport check-in formalities. Thank you for traveling with Tauck; we wish you a safe and pleasant journey home. Hasta la vista!
RATES AND DEPARTURE DATES - 2018
** Limited Space
*** Small Group Departures - Select small group depatures, averaging 24 guests, are priced from CAD $15,960 per person double; specific dates apply.
**** Special Solo Traveller Savings - save CAD $520 on the single room price of select departure dates; specific dates apply.
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