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Hiram Bingham: Insiders Peru

South America has inspired visitors for centuries. From Spanish conquistadors to modern backpackers, thanks to the overwhelming natural beauty, fascinating cultural history, and sheer variety found on this continent, everyone dreams of making landfall here at some point in there lives. To do so and then set off for a unique adventure in the lap of luxury that is Belmond’s calling card makes for a true once in a lifetime experience, and one that will always prove impossible to forget.

Itinerary

Day One
Arrive in the capital of Peru, Lima, where a Belmond representative will be ready to meet you for the journey to your hotel, the Belmond Miraflores Park. With one of South America’s most charming and enchanting cities on your doorstep, take some time to experience the incredible museums, world-class galleries, cutting edge restaurants and fantastic markets whilst based in town.

Day Two and Three
From Lima, you will fly to Cusco, a city truly like no other. Spend the afternoon sightseeing with Jorge Escobar Medrano, Curator of Cusco Cathedral and Chair Professor of History at the University  arguably the most insightful guide you’re ever likely to have. After your explorations, return to the Belmond Palacio Nazarenas for a night spent in real luxury.

Waking the following morning, Tambomachay will be your first destination. An ancient Inca site of religious significance, here you will find the remains of Quenqo, a labyrinthine structure of staircases and channels carved directly into the rocky hills. Next it’s on to Sacsayhuaman, an Inca fortress that also boasts incredible views of Cusco itself, before tucking into lunch at the renowned MAP Cafe, housed in the Pre-Columbian Art Museum, where you will also have chance to peruse the exhibitions. Finally, return to Cusco and hit the streets of this dramatic walled town.

Day Four
Expect to revel in the majesty of the Sacred Valley, a precious Inca site, with a full day spent exploring the secrets of this mystical place. Travel to Chinchero to see the textile workshop of Nilda Callanaupa. Here you will learn about the traditional weaving techniques used to create fine handiworks, and the significance textiles play in Andean culture. Next, move on to the Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado for an exquisite lunch, before taking part in a shaman ceremony at the banks of the river.

Following the ceremony, choose between either a climb up the steep stone steps at Ollantaytambo, where you can admire a view of the entire valley and experience first hand the huge, pink-granite monoliths of the Temple of the Sun. Or, alternatively, opt to go shopping for world-class pottery at the Pablo Seminario workshop in nearby Urubamba, before returning to your hotel in Cusco.

Day Five
Board the Belmond Hiram Bingham luxury train for the journey to Machu Picchu, one of the wonders of the ancient world, where your host, Alfredo Mormontoy Atayupanqui, former resident archeologist of the site, will provide an expert guided tour of this magical place. Then retire to the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, an opulent residence occupying a majestic position next to the citadel itself.

Day Six
Prepare yourself for an early start, with a morning walk through Machu Picchu at sunrise beginning another epic day of Peruvian adventuring. Next, choose one of two guided tours, or opt for more relaxed time spent independently exploring the citadel, before departing in the late afternoon for the trip back to Cusco onboard the Belmond Hiram Bingham.

Day Seven
A morning transfer will take you to the airport for your flight to Lima. Upon landing, you will be met and assisted with you connection for the transatlantic flight back to the UK.

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