Delve into the sacred and mysterious landmarks of the Inca Empire, including famed Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, and other ancient temples, all precisely constructed without mortar.
DAY 1 - Monday, February 3rd, 2014
Following disembarkation from the ship, you will be transferred as a group to the airport for your flight to Cusco. Upon arrival, transfer and check in at the luxurious Hotel Monasterio. You will enjoy some free time to acclimate to the elevation (11,152 feet above sea level) and explore a bit on your own.
In the early afternoon, you will embark on a city tour of Cusco, starting with the sacred site of Koricancha. Here, you will admire the lovely Dominican Convent of Santo Domingo that was built on the foundations of the Temple of the Sun, the most sumptuous temple in the Inca Empire. The curved, mortar-less masonry wall at the west end of the church is considered to be one of the greatest existing examples of Inca stonework.
Continuing on, you will see the splendid Baroque-style Cusco Cathedral, built in the mid-1500s on the foundations of an Inca palace. Many of the stones used in its construction were looted from the nearby Sacsayhuaman fortress, your next stop.
Strategically located on a hill overlooking Cusco, the fortress was constructed without mortar like many other Inca structures. Yet the enormous stones (some weighing 200 tons) of the remaining walls fit so tightly that not even a thin blade of grass can slide between them. The craftsmanship is a stunning example of the Inca's sophisticated construction techniques and architectural skills.
Nearby, you will see other Inca landmarks such as the Temple at Qenquo, named for its zig-zag canal, a shrine dedicated to Mother Earth, and the pinkish stone fortress of Puka Pukara.
After returning to the Hotel Monasterio, you will spend the evening at your leisure. As you will be dining on your own, you will receive a dinner certificate for a three-course meal and drink. The "dine around" certificate can be used at several participating restaurants.
DAY 2 - Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
Following breakfast, you will drive to Cusco's train station and board the deluxe Hiram Bingham train, named for the American archaeologist who initiated the excavation of Machu Picchu in 1911. Brunch will be served during the journey, as you take in the spectacular Andean scenery.
Upon arriving in Aguas Calientes, you will drive to the ruins of Machu Picchu to explore this famous "Lost City of the Incas." Constructed as a royal retreat for the Inca emperor Pachacuti in the 1400s, Machu Picchu was abandoned less than 100 years later, its population probably devastated by smallpox. Because the Spanish conquistadors never found this hidden city, Bingham discovered it largely intact.
Architectural highlights include the Temple of the Sun, designed much like the one in Cusco, several other temples, hundreds of terraces, and a mysterious carved stone situated on a raised platform that towers above the plaza. The stone may have been used for astronomical observations, but no one knows for certain. The Inca had no written language, so there is no record of Machu Picchu's ultimate purpose. Scholars are still striving to uncover clues as to its mysteries.
After visiting Machu Picchu, you will enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge Hotel at the site's entrance, and then board the Vistadome Train for a scenic ride back towards Cusco. Along the way, you will stop for dinner at the Sol Y Luna Hotel and then transfer back to the Hotel Monasterio for the evening.
DAY 3 - Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
After flying back to Lima, you will transfer to the Country Club Hotel or similar.
The rest of the day is at leisure with lunch and dinner on your own.
DAY 4 - Thursday, February 6th, 2014
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel
Check out is at 12 noon. You will be transferred to the airport based on your flight details. If you have a late flight you may wish to book an additional night so as to keep your room longer than the scheduled check out time of 12noon.
Overland Program Step by Step: Please note: The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. The flights and timings indicated are approximate, and are given here for general reference purposes and are subject to change.
Day 1 - Monday, February 3rd
6:30am Meet at the Callao Pier (We suggest to fly with a carry-on only - any
other suitcases will be kept in hotel storage and waiting at the hotel
upon your return to Lima.)
6:50am Transfer to the airport
7:10am Arrival at airport and check-in for your flight
8:00am Flight (Airline and flight number TBA and subject to change) to Cusco
9:15am Arrival in Cusco
9:45am Transfer to your hotel
10:05am Arrival at your hotel and express Check-in
10:25am Time at leisure to relax and get used to the altitude
Lunch is on your own
2:00pm Walk to Korikancha Temple
2:15pm Visit Korikancha Temple
2:50pm Drive to the main square
3:05pm Arrival at main square for photo opportunity and visit Cusco Cathedral
3:45pm Drive to Sacsayhuaman
4:05pm Visit Sacsayhuaman
5:20pm Drive back to hotel
5:40pm Rest of the evening is at leisure.
Dinner with "dine around" certificate
Overnight at the Monasterio or similar hotel
Day 2 - Tuesday, February 4th
6:30am Wake up call
7:00am Buffet breakfast at hotel (not private)
7:45am Drive to train station to board train to Aquas Calientes
10:20am Board Hiram Bingham Train
10:53am Hiram Bingham Train to Aguas Calientes
12:24pm Walk to bus station
12:35pm Bus drive to Machu Picchu Citadel
1:10pm Guided visit of the Citadel
3:50pm Afternoon Tea at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge Hotel
4:35pm Bus drive back to Aguas Calientes
5:05pm Walk to train station
5:27pm Board the Vistadome Train
6:56pm Drive to Sol Y Luna for dinner
7:20pm Dinner at Sol Y Luna
8:35pm Transfer to your hotel for the evening
10:15pm Arrival at hotel. Rest of the evening is at leisure
Overnight at the Monasterio or similar hotel
Day 3 - Wednesday, February 5th
7:15am Wake up call
7:45am Buffet breakfast at hotel (not private)
8:15am Drive to Cusco Airport
8:40am Arrival at airport and check-in
9:50am Flight (Airline and flight number TBA and subject to change) to Lima
11:10am Arrival in Lima
11:45pm Drive to hotel in Lima
12:25pm Arrival at the hotel and express check-in
The remainder of the day is at leisure
Lunch and dinner are on own
Overnight at the Hotel Country Club or similar hotel
Day 4 - Thursday, February 6th
AM Enjoy buffet breakfast at the hotel (not private)
12:00nn Check out.
Transfers arranged based on your flight details. Luggage storage is available
at the hotel for guests with late flights.
ADDITIONAL NIGHTS: Should you book any additional nights through the cruise line, you will be transferred to the airport per your flight details. Any meals other than breakfast as well as any activities are on your own after the program officially ends on the morning of Day 4. Should you book any additional nights independently of the cruise line, transfers will not be included.
February is normally rainy in the highlands. The average temperature in the highlands is 65ºF max /43ºF min while in Lima it is 80ºF max/68ºF min.
What to Bring:
o Bring comfortable, casual clothing in natural, "breathable" fabrics. Temperatures
will change as altitudes and the time changes, so it's best to bring shorts, as well
as long trousers and layered clothing. Religious sites require conservative dress.
Both males and females should cover their arms, legs and shoulders.
o Local standards dictate a neat, clean outfit for dining in restaurants and touring
urban areas. For men: long trousers and a shirt with a collar. For ladies: trousers
or a knee-length (or longer) skirt with a modest top. Formal clothing is not
o A sweater or lightweight jacket for the cooler evening temperatures.
o A lightweight (preferably non-plastic) raincoat or poncho, and an umbrella.
o Comfortable walking shoes with low or no heels. Sandals may not be comfortable for
some sightseeing activities.
o Sunglasses with a strap, sun block, a sunhat, and insect repellent.
o Walking sticks are prohibited in Machu Picchu except for passengers with mobility
Peru's currency is the Nuevo Sol (S/.). The exchange rate with the U.S. dollar varies, although the current exchange rate is approximately S/. 2.80 per 1 US dollar.
The current is 220 volts AC. In most hotel bathrooms, there is an electrical outlet with 110 volts for electric shavers, but this should not be used for travel irons or hair dryers. Most hotel rooms are equipped with hairdryers.
For domestic flights in Peru, it is permitted to check one piece of 23Kg (50 pounds) per person and 1 carry-on of 8Kg (17.5 pounds) per person. Excess luggage will be stored at your hotel in Lima. It is important that any stored luggage is sufficiently labeled with your full name and ship suite number.
Documents and Visa Requirements:
Foreign passengers entering Peru must have a passport valid at least 6 months past the day of arrival in Peru.
Accommodations: We will only substitute hotels in unforeseen situations. If similar hotels are substituted, they will be of equal ratings and standards.
Country Club Hotel or similar in Lima - Master Room
Monasterio Hotel or similar in Cusco - Deluxe Room
" English-speaking drivers and tour conductor
" All entrance fees
" Gratuities for luggage porterage and restaurants
" Brunch on board the Hiram Bingham Train (including 2 non-alcoholic or alcoholic
" Afternoon tea at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge
" Dinner at Sol Y Luna Hotel (1 glass of local wine or beer, 1 water or soft drink,
and 1 hot beverage)
" Dinner "dine around" in Cusco
" Breakfast daily
" Bottled water and snacks on coaches
" Flights between Lima and Cusco
" Airport transfers (may not be private)
" Accommodations per the program
Please Note: Guests booking their own flights (independent of the cruise line) are responsible for ensuring that the cruise line has the most current and updated departure information so your transfer can be arranged. Should you book any additional nights independently of the cruise line, a departure transfer is not provided
" Drinks and meals not mentioned above
" Personal expenses and hotel incidentals such as laundry, phone calls, and minibar
" Gratuities to drivers and guides
" Oxygen-enriched rooms in Cusco.
Please note: Land programs that encompass multiple days ashore customarily include extensive and prolonged activity, while those of shorter durations typically have more moderate activity levels. However, each program varies and participants should be prepared to negotiate a mixture of surfaces, which may include: inclines, cobblestones, sand, gravel or natural paths. There may also be a need to climb steps or stairs on occasion.
Due to the nature of this program, guests who utilize a wheelchair and those with mobility concerns are advised to check with the cruise line in advance to see if any portion of the tour program may be unsuitable for their individual situation.