12 days / 11 nights.
Arrival to Lima, reception at the airport and transfer by private vehicle to the deluxe five star hotel, Miraflores Park Hotel. Check in to your hotel.Day 2. LIMA (B)
After breakfast, a guided visit of colonial and modern Lima, including the cathedral, dating from 1654, the main square, which still houses the original bronze fountain built in 1650, and the San Francisco Convent and its catacombs. Known as the city of the kings, Lima was founded in 1535 by Pizarro and rebuilt in 1991, the same year that UNESCO declared it a world heritage site. One of the very few South American cities that preserve the colonial past, Lima was home to the Spanish viceroy during the time of the Spanish colonialists. The tour will include a visit to the residential areas of San Isidro and Miraflores, before returning to your hotel.Day 3. LIMA - CUZCO (B)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Cuzco, the ancient Inca capital of the Incas. After the one hour flight, reception and transfer to the exclusive deluxe five star Monasterio hotel. The room will be oxygenated to help you relax and sleep more comfortably in the high altitude setting of Cuzco (11,600ft above sea level).
In the afternoon, a guided tour of Cuzco including the Cathedral, Qoricancha temple, the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman overlooking Cuzco, Qenko and Puka Pukara.
Cuzco´s history extends back to before 1000 BC when the Marcavalle Culture was the dominant power; indeed organized life in the City began practically with them. In the second phase of its history, around 800BC, Cuzco was home to the Chanapata culture and later developed several regional states. What is traditionally known as the Inka civilisation began around 1200 AD in its initial phase, with the first Inka, Manko Capaq and Mama Ocllo. It is also suggested that Pachakuteq, the ninth king, elaborated another foundation in 1438 which is also known as the expansive phase. Inca builders hereafter laid out the city in the form of a puma, with the fortress of Sacsayhuaman as the head.
After the arrival of the Spanish to the city on November 15th 1533, Francisco Pizarro re-founded it for the Spanish King on March 23rd 1534. In 1536 Manko Inka began a long and bloody war against the Spanish invaders with a siege lasting over 8 months over the city. Finally in 1572, after a war that lasted 36 years, Tupaq Amaru I, the last emperor of the Inka dynasty was defeated, captured and executed in the city´s main square. The Spanish subsequently destroyed many of the structures in the city or used them as foundations for many of their own churches and buildings.
Full-day excursion to the beautiful Urubamba, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, situated between Pisac and Ollantaytambo. It is an exceptionally fertile valley that was and remains the larder of Cuzco. Visit the village of Pisac, founded during colonial times, and set at the foot of a hill crowned by the remains of an ancient Inca city. On Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Indians barter their products in the main square and artisans from around the area sell their woven alpaca wool blankets and ponchos, engraved gourds, antique reproductions, jewellery, etc. On Sundays, it is also the meeting place for Mayors from all the villages in the region, dressed in their traditional costumes to attend morning mass. After a buffet lunch, a visit to Ollantaytambo, the only Inca town that was not defeated by the Spanish with an opportunity to explore the ruins which tower above. Late afternoon return to Cuzco whilst visiting en-route the traditional market of Chinchero. Return to your hotel.Day 5. CUZCO - MACHU PICCHU (B & D)
Enjoy a good night´s sleep before boarding the train to Aguas Calientes. Arrival to Aguas Calientes, assistance with your luggage and boarding of the bus for the short ride up to Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca citadel. At the very entrance to Machu Picchu, your hotel is located, the Sanctuary Lodge hotel. Check in to your room.
Shortly after, a guided tour of Machu Picchu, the most spectacular ancient city in the world. Built by the Inca Pachacutec, and comprising stone blocks fitted with masterful precision, Machu Picchu harmoniously blends into the mountain landscape. There are many theories as to the origins behind Machu Picchu but three of the most popular ideas include a temple to the sun, a fortress against the jungle inhabitants or a sanctuary for the Incas. This fabulous city has houses, temples, warehouses, a large central square, all connected by narrow roads and steps, and is surrounded by terraces cut into the mountain side which were used for agriculture. Dinner and accommodation at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge. Opportunity to return to the site once all the other visitors have gone and an opportunity to truly appreciate the grandiose setting of this Inca masterpiece; with no crowds but only an eerie silence that few people experience.
Free day in Machu Picchu. Time for some private reflection before returning for breakfast. Today no guide is provided as we feel that Machu Picchu requires a certain amount of self discovery to be fully understood. Take any of the several paths around various parts of the site (we will provide a map to help you), trek up to Wayna Picchu or walk down to the Inca´s bridge. Let Machu Picchu unfold all its mysteries for you, take in the breathtaking cloud forests and jagged mountains, or marvel at the extraordinary Masonic precision of the ancient Incas. Either way, your day of self discovery will be a day never to be forgotten. Return to your hotel for lunch before returning to Cuzco and to the Monasterio hotel.Day 7. CUZCO - LIMA (B)
After breakfast, free time in Cuzco before transfer to the airport for the return flight to Lima. Arrival and transfer to your hotel, the deluxe Miraflores Park Hotel. Free day in Lima.Day 8. LIMA - CANCUN (B)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your international flight to Cancun.
Arrival and transfer by private vehicle to the deluxe five star Ritz Carlton Cancun Hotel.
After a mid morning breakfast, private transfer with your guide to the small town of Valladolid. The city was founded on a Mayan settlement. You will visit a cenote (a sinkhole found through the Yucatan peninsula) where you will take the trail down to the water´s edge and visit the fabulous cave with its stalactites and hanging vines.
After the visit, continue on to the monastery of San Bernardino de Siena founded in 1552 and the main square which is home to a thriving market for Yucatecan dresses. On the east side of the plaza is the attractive municipal building, El Ayuntamiento. After lunch, a visit to the nearby archaeological site of Ek Balam. At the height of its importance as a city during the Late Classic period (600-900 AD), the Mayans abandoned the site resulting in the dense low-lying jungle engulfed it. Restoration has been ongoing since 1997 and the Acropolis is the largest restored building, measuring 480 feet across, 180 feet wide and 96 feet tall.
You can climb this imposing structure, and from the top you can see all the other structures at Ek Balam, as well as two large hills which are two un-restored buildings.
Continue the trip towards Chichen Itza and your hotel for the evening, the Chichen Itza Hacienda. The Hacienda was built in 1523 and accommodated the first Mayan Academic Expedition in Mexico.
After an early breakfast, depart to the Chichen Itza site on foot with your guide (only 5 minutes walking distance) and arrive before the crowds. Enjoy a fully private tour of this magnificent archaeological site built by the Maya civilization between the 9th and 12th centuries.
Its name means "at the mouth of the well of Itza" and is home to the Kukulkan Pyramid, also known as "El Castillo" (the castle), now one of the new seven wonders of the world. Chichen Itza was the principal ceremonial centre of the Yucatán. The tour will include the Great Ball court, the Temple of the Warriors and the sacred Cenote.
After the tour, some private time to explore the site before returning to your hacienda. Early afternoon private transfer to the beautiful town of Merida and accommodation at the fabulous Xcanatun Hacienda.
Serving as your base whilst exploring the area, this elegant hacienda also provides an excellent gourmet restaurant with spa facilities.
After breakfast, private transfer with your guide to Uxmal, rated by many archaeologists as the finest Mayan city in the Yucatan. Tour of the complete complex including the Pyramid of the Magician. Uxmal means 'thrice-built' in Mayan, and refers to the construction of its highest structure, the Pyramid of the Magician.
Uxmal was one of the largest cities of the Yucatan peninsula, and at its height was home to about 25,000 Maya. The city flourished in the Late Classic period (around 600-900AD). Indications are that its rulers presided also over the nearby settlements in Kabah, Labna and Sayil. After the tour, return to your hacienda.
Free day to explore the city of Merida.Day 12. MERIDA (B)
After breakfast, private transfer to the international airport in Merida for your flight home.
(Option of spending some days at the Maroma Orient Express resort, located on a private beach on the unspoilt Maroma Mayan Riviera - Ask for further details).
Peru & Mexico Luxury Tour - "The world of the Incas & Mayas"
Lima - Cuzco - Machu Picchu - Cancun - Chichen Itza - Merida
12 days / 11 nights.
"Highly recommended, professional and well-organized, 'perfect tour', knowledgeable guides" Footprint Handbook 2013
"Transportation services and accommodations are top-notch, and the guides are flexible and extremely helpful" Fodor's Guides 2013
Amazing Destinations is a reputable firm with an impressive variety of unique excursions…" - At Home and Away with Alan Whicker CBE, Magazine At Home and Away with Alan Whicker CBE
Recommended in Bonnie's South America Travel Blog at About.com .
Incl. Miraflores Park, Monasterio & Sanctuary Lodge Hotels, all trains, all private tours, finest service guaranteed
03rd April 2013
14 March 2013
Tours, Vacations, Travel, Trips
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