Simply put, this itinerary showcases Peru at its very best. After pausing among the Spanish-colonial beauty of Lima and Arequipa, you’ll be brought into the condor-animated Colca Canyon, where lush verdure is terraced into pre-Incan ruins. It’s then on to the Sacred Valley. Here, your Vistadome train trip to Machu Picchu is just the tip of the iceberg, sitting alongside visits to Incan fortresses and a stay among Cusco’s cobblestone charm. It’s all brought to life by private tours and knitted together by included flight hops and private transfers. The accommodation is a further highlight, ranging from thatched rural idylls to Belle Époque city jewels.
At the airport you’ll enjoy included VIP lounge access before your day flight to Lima. Here, you’ll be met on arrival and brought to your luxury hotel – a Belle Époque icon that recalls all the grandeur of the early 20th century. Think Italian marble, afternoon teas and Relais & Châteaux indulgence.
With the art galleries and innovative restaurants of bohemian Barranco on your doorstep, you might also want to explore; Lima’s colonial treasures and pre-Incan terraces are also within easy reach.
With your flight south bookended by private transfers, you’ll arrive into Arequipa – a historic city built from white rock in the shadow of a mighty volcano. And, you’ll stay in its 18th-century mint, where antique furnishings and frescoed ceilings remember all of its 200 years of history. To help you get your bearings, we’ve also included a private tour, with your expert guide bringing you to secret viewpoints over the city’s volcanic surrounds.
You’ll also pay particular attention to Arequipa’s 16th-century icon – the Santa Catalina Monastery – and its main square, where colonial churches look down on mighty palm trees.
Today, you’ll be brought out of the city, through quiet villages and alpaca-dotted plains, pausing for an included lunch before arriving at Colca Canyon. Here, you’ll stay right on its eponymous river, enjoying views of Mt. Mismi and the valley’s terraces from your thatched-roof accommodation. You’ll also have plenty of time to relax in your hotel’s natural hot springs.
The next day, a private guide will bring you out to explore, taking in viewpoints chosen for the likelihood of spotting the mighty condor. And, alongside the grand steps of the pre-Incan terraces, you’ll also pause at colourful villages for an included lunch. The afternoon is then left free, perhaps for you to explore the region’s century-old ruins.
Breakfast & Lunch included
Your private touring continues today with the town of Coporaque, where whitewashed walls and terracotta roofs remain unchanged from the time of the Spanish conquistadors. Then, you’ll uncover the region’s indigenous side, with a pause at the colourful Chivay Indian Market before a stop of Patapampa offers 360° views of no fewer than eight volcanoes.
After an included lunch, it all concludes back in Arequipa, where you might want to pause at the Museo Santuarios Andinos – home of a 500-year-old mummy.
Breakfast & Lunch included
Your next flight hop, and pair of private transfers, will see you to the Sacred Valley, where views of Andean mountains and acres of organic farms are taken in by your hacienda accommodation. Here, you’ll enjoy complimentary welcome drinks, the use of an in-room iPad and included excursions that range from sunset walks to bird spotting. The next day, a private tour (with lunch included) will showcase your unique surroundings, starting with Chinchero’s artisan weavers’ market.
It’s then on to the salt pans of Maras and Incan agricultural terraces of Moray, both of which are impossibly stepped. It all concludes with an included lunch and Ollantaytambo – an Incan mountainside fort that overlooks a historic village. Here, small canals run through cobbled streets.
Today offers a true highlight of world travel. An ultra-scenic trip on the Vistadome Train will see you wind along valley floors before ascending through jungle-clad slopes to the base of Machu Picchu itself. Then, once arrived, a private expert will bring you among these mighty ruins, pointing you between its royal quarters and near-ancient abodes.
It’s all set to mist-clad views over the Andes. After an included lunch, you’ll then end the day in a National Geographic lodge, where adobe casitas intersperse a waterfall-dotted cloud forest.
Breakfast & Lunch included
You’ll have the option of exploring Machu Picchu further today, perhaps with a hike up Huayna Picchu for a view over its famous ruins. Alternatively, make use of your accommodation’s included excursions, with naturalist guides taking you on orchid trails, bird-spotting walks and visits to a teahouse or local farm. Whatever you choose, you’ll then be treated to the scenic return leg on the Vistadome Train, its panoramic roof windows offering superlative valley views.
Consider also upgrading to the Belmond Hiram Bingham for the ultimate in on-the-rails luxury. Then, arriving into Cusco, a private driver will bring you to your accommodation – a 16th-century mansion that’s hosted Simón Bolívar himself.
Like your hotel, Cusco was built on Incan ruins, something showcased today by your private tour. Your expert guide will begin with Koricancha – a temple to the Incan sun god, today covered by a Dominican church. A visit to the cobblestone Plaza de Armas and its grand cathedral will then prefix your visit to Sacsayhuaman. This great fortress offers stunning views over the city and is the perfect gateway to the city’s outlying archaeological sites.
Indeed, you’ll take in everything from Incan lodgings to star temples before you finish with a workshop dedicated to Peruvian natural produce.
After a last indulgent breakfast, you’ll be brought to the airport for your overnight flight back to the UK.
"Offering luxury stays and a thorough examination of Peru's highlights, this itinerary focuses on value. Indeed, whether you're exploring Machu Picchu's ruins, Colca Canyon's condor-dotted beauty or the colonial charm of Cusco, you'll be treated to stays in some of the finest accommodation. For me, it's also vital in Peru to have the services of a private guide. They'll be able to uncover the intriguing mysteries and histories behind each and every stop. "
Low Season from: £4,235 pp
High Season from: £4,525 pp