The archaeological museum in Pueblo Libre is rich in art and artifacts from Peru's Pre-Columbian history. Its ceramic displays are well-crafted and presented, and the pottery comes in a variety of intricate designs, forms and finishes. The displays of weavings and fabrics are probably the best in the world. You'll also see the few remaining examples of the knotted thread system, originally thought to be used for accounting. Recently, a theory has been put forward that this collection of threads hanging from a wooden shaft may have been a written language. Unfortunately, so many of them were destroyed by the invading Spanish that they may forever be a mystery. The museum's layout also helps to put into perspective the chronological development of pre-Inca cultures.
Next, you'll drive to the Pachacamac ruins located at the Lurin Valley some 20 miles south of Lima. When the Spaniards arrived, Pachacamac was the largest city and the coast's ceremonial center. A wooden statue of the creator-god, after whom the site is named, is in the site museum. The ruins encircle the top of a low hill, whose crest was crowned with the Temple of the Sun and is now partially restored. Hidden from view is the reconstructed House of the Mamaconas, where the 'chosen women' spun fine cloth for the Incan hierarchy.
You'll then proceed to Hacienda Mamacona. Over the years, the owners of Mamacona have become famous as expert breeders of the ‘Caballo de Paso’ or ‘Stepping Horse’, a breed unique to Peru. Known for its unique high stepping and very comfortable gait, the Peruvian Paso horse has become a symbol for the coastal region of Peru. Here you will enjoy a private lunch at this lovely Hacienda, located on the outskirts of southern Metropolitan Lima. Tastefully built and decorated in Republican style, the hacienda is the private home of a distinguished Lima family, who will host you for your visit this afternoon.
Later, as you enjoy a sumptuous Peruvian buffet lunch served in the garden, you will be able to appreciate the wonders of the ‘Caballo de Paso’ in a display which will include a short exposé on the origins, breeding and uses of the horse. Afterwards, you will also enjoy a fascinating demonstration of the Marinera dance, Peru’s most emblematic, in which the horse and rider move in time with the female partner on the ground to the sound of live traditional music. Several horses will be available for you if you wish to experience first-hand riding this unique breed.
After topping off your experience with a coffee or tea in the hacienda's relaxing ambience, you will re-board your coach and return to the ship.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of moderate walking/standing and there will be some steps and uneven surfaces to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Casual, weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.