Peru – Gardens of the Inca with Jerry Coleby-Williams

Fully Escorted Horticultural & Culinary Adventure

Single Supplement Available

20 Days / 19 Nights

Departs 2 August 2024

Peru – Gardens of the Inca
with Jerry Coleby-Williams

If you make Peru your destination in 2024, you can expect many things, starting with distinctly different landscapes, plants, foods and cultures. And possibly a caiman, or two, floating gently by. 

This will be my eleventh escorted holiday with The Adventure Traveller. You can expect many first-time experiences. Like Amazonian microbats dozing on trees, and rustic town squares. 

Expect something special on the itinerary every day: traditional meals, national parks, monuments, heritage homes, parks and gardens. Or monkeys and hummingbirds competing for your attention. 

Qualified local tour guides will pepper our days with advice and information. Some are able to call animals to us. As your escort, I’ll be on hand for gardening enquiries, and to liaise between our group and the tour organisers. 

Adventure holidays sometimes require early starts. Wildlife rises with the sun, so we have to be ready in advance. 

I averaged 9,000 steps a day during our tour of Ecuador & the Galápagos – we’ll be rolling stones that don’t gather moss. 

Expect to be exhilarated, and maybe light-headed. No one can truly prepare themselves for the complexity and scale of the Amazon Rainforest – 250,000 square kilometres of life upon life upon life still stands. Give it time for it to soak in – travelling by boat will help you absorb the sense and the scale of the place. There may be capybara, macaws or even three-toed sloths. 

In the silvery light of the Andes, so different from the yellow light of Australia, it’s easy to understand why the Incas dedicated temples to the sun and moon. 

20 Days / 19 Nights

$16,870**pp twin + flights
  • Single Supplements
  • Add $5,520* pp (single room throughout)
  • Add $2,220* pp (single room throughout except 4-nights Twin Share on Delfin II)
  • Add $180 pp (Double/Twin) Upgrade to an Upper Suite on Delfin II
  • Other upgrades available upon request
  • Departs 2 August 2024

Friday 02 August 2024  – Sydney to Lima 

Meet Jerry and the group at Sydney International Airport this morning to board a flight to Lima via Santiago. 

Welcome to Lima! Often referred to as the “City of the Kings” and celebrated as the gastronomic capital of the Americas, Lima is squeezed between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountain range. With a population of 11.2 million people, it is the second-largest city in the world built on a desert, behind Cairo in Egypt. 

Upon arrival at Jorge Chávez International Airport, we will be greeted by a local representative and transferred to the hotel by private vehicle. Our accommodation for the next two nights is the Hilton Garden Inn, which is located in cosmopolitan Miraflores. 

[Meals Included: Inflight Meals] 

Saturday 03 August 2024  – Lima 

A morning at leisure will give us the opportunity to relax, recuperate from jet lag or to explore Miraflores – a beachfront district situated to the south of downtown Lima. This upmarket area hosts some of Lima’s finest shops and restaurants, and it has plenty of breezy green spaces too. 

You may wish to take a leisurely stroll along El Malecón, a waterfront promenade conveniently located near our hotel. Several parks can be found along this scenic walkway, with many boasting vibrant flower gardens and adorned with sculptures by some of Peru’s most renowned artists. It’s the perfect place to unwind and stretch your legs. 

After lunch at the hotel, we’ll explore the botanical gardens to acquaint ourselves with some of the diverse local plant life, ranging from agave and bromeliads to orchids and ferns. A number of species found in the gardens are endemic to Peru, and during the outing we will delve into their extraordinary adaptations to the unique climatic conditions of the country. With Jerry on hand to point out curiosities and answer your questions, this excursion will serve as a wonderful introduction to our botanical journey through Peru. 

This evening we will enjoy a welcome dinner at Cala Restaurant. 

Perched on the ocean’s edge and offering magical views of Lima, the sophisticated and creative cuisine served at Cala is inspired by the past, present and future of Peruvian gastronomy. Attention to detail is not only reflected in the presentation of its’ contemporary Peruvian dishes, but also in the service. 

Dinner will be a set menu which includes a starter, main dish, dessert, alcoholic welcome drink, a bottle of mineral water, or soft drink, coffee or tea. 

[Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner] 

Sunday 04 August 2024  – Lima to Iquitos 

This morning we will be collected from the Hilton Garden Inn by private vehicle for a transfer to Lima airport. After a 2-hour flight our group will arrive in Iquitos – the largest city in the world that cannot be reached by road, and our gateway to the Amazon. 

A local representative will meet us at the airport and provide a transfer 

by private vehicle to the DoubleTree by Hilton Iquitos for a two-night stay. 

[Meal Included: Breakfast]

Monday 05 August 2024  – Iquitos 

Founded in 1757 as a Jesuit mission, Iquitos is a lively riverfront community that flourished during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, at the height of the rubber boom. Architectural marvels in Iquitos proudly showcase ornate tiles and wrought-iron balconies, imported from Europe to adorn the opulent edifices and residences of the affluent rubber magnates of that era. 

During our morning orientation tour of the city, we will visit the so-called ‘Iron House’ which was designed by renowned engineer Gustave Eiffel and learn how it ended up being built in the main square of Iquitos. 

A stroll along the city’s boulevard will reward us with an impressive view of the Itaya and Amazon rivers. It’s easy to see why this is a favourite gathering place for both locals and visitors alike. 

We will also pop by an artisan market to see and buy colourful handicrafts made from materials found in the surrounding forest and wander the halls of the Museum of Indigenous Amazonian Cultures to gain an insight into the diverse indigenous cultures and traditions of the Amazon region. 

The city tour will culminate with a visit to the vibrant Belén Market, where we will revel in the abundance of weird and wonderful Amazonian produce on display. Whilst browsing the lively market stalls we’ll see an array of exotic tropical fruits for sale, as well as fresh herbs and plants known for their healing properties. 

Be on the lookout for ‘cocona’ (Solanum sessiliflorum), celebrated for its ability to lower cholesterol levels, and the delicious ‘camu camu’ (Myrciaria dubia) which is known for its rich potassium content and is used to prevent muscle weakness and maintain healthy blood pressure levels. We’ll also find ‘aguaje’ (Mauritia flexuosa) – a superfruit like açaí palm fruit (Euterpe oleracea) but one that is virtually unknown outside of the Peruvian Amazon. 

In the afternoon, we will embark on a relaxing 30-minute boat ride along the scenic Nanay and Momon rivers. As our motorboats gracefully navigate these meandering Amazonian tributaries, we can relax and absorb the splendid views of riverside villages and the lush, tropical vegetation that surrounds us.

Soon we will reach Pilpintuwasi – aptly named after the Quechua word for butterfly: “pilpintu.” This non-profit organization is dedicated to protecting animals rescued from the illegal wildlife trade, and it also serves as a butterfly farm. During our visit to Pilpintuwasi we’ll be given the unique opportunity to witness and understand the intricate processes of breeding and conserving some of the more elusive butterfly species found in these parts. Additionally, we will meet rescued animals including sloths, monkeys, jaguar, tapir, parrots, ocelot and toucan.

Before returning to Iquitos our group will be introduced to a shaman who will elucidate the healing properties of the sacred Ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) and enlighten us about its ceremonial use.

[Meal Included: Breakfast] 

Tuesday 06 August 2024  – Iquitos to Nauta & the Marañón River 

After a leisurely morning we’ll transfer to Nauta – a small riverside town on the banks of the Marañon River, and the first city founded in the department of Loreto. 

Upon arrival in Nauta, we will enjoy a VIP greeting at the port before boarding the luxury river ship Delfin III – our floating home for the next 5-days as we explore the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. 

Once on board Delfin III, we’ll be shown to our exquisite and cosy suites. The ship has been beautifully finished with the finest details in mind, including hardwood floors, designer furniture and handmade Peruvian artefacts. During our 4-night cruise on Delfin III we will be given an immersive rainforest experience whilst simultaneously basking in the highest levels of luxury, with gourmet food to compliment. 

As Delfin III pulls anchor and the cruise begins, we’ll enjoy fantastic panoramic views from the observation area located on the third deck. Here we will receive a welcome and briefing by the Cruise Manager, followed by the safety drill. 

Our naturalist guides will then give us an overview of the journey’s schedule, route, activities, and highlights. They will also tell us what wildlife and vegetation to keep an eye out for, provide a geographical and historical background of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, and outline tomorrows program. 

As we cruise along the Marañon River, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for birds and playful monkeys, and our knowledgeable, hawk-eyed guides will expertly point out a myriad of creatures along the way. And, as the sun gracefully descends below the horizon, we will be treated to the magnificence of an Amazonian sunset. 

[Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner] 

Wednesday 07 August 2024  – Samiria River, Amazon Rainforest & Yanayacu Pucate 

Rising early will give us the chance to fully appreciate one of the most important zones of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Never does nature seem more bountiful than in the tropics, and early risers are always rewarded as the wildlife is most abundant and active first thing in the morning. This is the optimum time of day to watch birds, observe their special displays and listen to their songs. 

Our skiffs will skim the Samiria River and its tributaries, where an abundance of wildlife hides deep in the rainforest. This is a twitchers paradise as dozens of species of birds are found here, including toucans and umbrella birds. The screeches of blue-and-yellow macaws, and scarlet macaws, will be heard as they fly in formation overhead. 

We will also search for the famous hoatzins – affectionately known as ‘stink birds’ – nesting a few feet above the water, and perhaps see a sloth or two of the three-toed kind. 

Brown capuchin monkeys, squirrel monkeys, river otters and capybaras also reside here, and as this stretch of river is a popular feeding spot for pink river dolphins there’s a very good chance we’ll encounter these exquisite freshwater creatures too. 

A nature walk to learn about the medicinal plants of the rainforest is also scheduled for today. 

The Peruvian Amazon is considered the largest pharmaceutical reserve in the world, with 965 species of wild plants and 59 cultivated plant species used by local people to prevent and cure an array of illnesses.

During our exploration of the terra firme (non-flooded) forest, Jerry and the local guide will be on hand to identify an assortment of plants including trees, vines, palms, ferns, bromeliads, gingers and orchids. The guide will also highlight their medicinal uses. 

The adventures don’t end after sunset. At nightfall we will we search for black and white caiman, fishing bats, and noisy night monkeys. It quickly becomes evident that the jungle never sleeps! 

[Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Thursday 08 August 2024  – Yanayacu Pucate & Fundo Casual 

Cruising along the Yanayacu and Pucate rivers, we will explore different creeks and lagoons in search of birds, animals and exotic plant life. This is one of the best preserved and most protected zones of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, and our local guides will use their expert eyes to pinpoint the biodiversity of the region. 

If you’d like a closer interaction with the waters of the Amazon, kayaks and paddle boards will also be available for our group to use. 

Expect a warm and friendly reception when we visit a local community today. Whilst visiting this secluded riverside village, the amiable residents will demonstrate the art of peeling and grating cassava. Others might extend an invitation to meet their family, or to view the tools used in processing locally grown rice. A day in the life of a ‘Ribereño’ (river dweller) is an enlightening experience that will undoubtedly leave you in awe, and perhaps a little envious of their simple yet rewarding way of life. 

Prepare yourself for sensory overload as we walk along the Fundo Casual jungle trail, venturing deep into the heart of the terra firme rainforest. Whilst wandering the jungle path, Jerry and our local guide will unveil the wonders of the Amazon Rainforest – introducing us to an extraordinary array of flora and fauna. Given the biodiversity that thrives here, each step will reveal something new and exhilarating, making this exploration a truly unforgettable experience. 

Anaconda, rainbow boas, tarantulas, poison frogs and even porcupines have been spotted here in recent times. Fungi, mosses and lichens are plentiful, and colourful butterflies will be found in sunny groves. This is also one of the very few places in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve where you can spot the elusive two-toed sloth. 

[Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner] 

Friday 09 August 2024  – Yarapa River & Confluence 

We will dedicate time to explore the Yarapa River in depth as we navigate the waters of this intriguing tributary – keeping our ears attuned to the enigmatic sounds of the surrounding rainforest. 

The voyage will take us downstream to a broad creek, ultimately unveiling an enchanting hidden lagoon. As we immerse ourselves in this breathtaking landscape, we’ll pause to view the abundant wildlife that call this place home. Hawks, terns, herons, and ever-playful monkeys will be seen at close proximity during our daily excursions. 

In this area we will notice more human inhabitants of the Amazon, the ‘Ribereños.’ Many of our naturalist guides, with their exceptional understanding of the river and its wildlife, hail from these riverside villages. They actively participate in educating fellow locals about the importance of protecting the ecosystem, especially in the face of mounting threats such as deforestation and pollution from mining. 

Be on the lookout for primates such as the pygmy marmoset, squirrel monkey and the shy Monk Saki. This medium-sized monkey with thick, shaggy fur and a bushy tail is more suitably dressed for the Arctic than the hot, humid climate of the Amazon. 

Soon we will raise glasses to toast the distinctive colours of the Unión de los Ríos. This confluence of three rivers, where the Ucayali River merges with Marañon River, forms what is widely recognized as the main stem of the Amazon River. 

[Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Saturday 10 August 2024  – Iquitos to Lima 

Returning to the port of Nauta this morning, we will disembark Delfin III and take a private transfer to the airport in Iquitos – a journey of approximately 95 kilometres by sealed road. En route from Nauta to Iquitos, we’ll visit the Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre of River Mammals (Amazon Forever). 

Here we will be given the opportunity to meet baby manatees. Whilst learning about these wonderful vegetarian mammals we will also discover why they sadly find themselves on the endangered species list. Amazon Forever is dedicated to providing care for various creatures that have been rescued from capture, safeguarding them from becoming pets or falling victim to other unfavourable circumstances. You are welcome to donate to this ambitious organization and education centre if you wish. 

The Delfin staff will be on hand at Iquitos airport to assist us with our luggage and check-in formalities. Saying farewell to the Amazon, we will soon board a flight bound for Lima to begin the next chapter of our Peruvian adventure. 

Upon arrival in Lima, we will be greeted by the local representative and transferred to the Hilton Garden Inn in Miraflores, where we will base ourselves for the next two nights. 

[Meal Included: Breakfast]

Sunday 11 August 2024  – Lima Gastronomic Tour & Larco Museum 

Today we will stimulate our taste buds on a gastronomic tour of Lima – exploring the food flavours for which the city is renowned. 

This mouth-watering excursion will begin at the bustling Miraflores market, a destination favoured by local chefs due to its selection of fresh produce sourced from the coast, the Andes, and the jungle. It is here that we will delve into the rich tapestry of Peru’s culinary diversity, vividly showcased by the kaleidoscope of fruits, vegetables, fish and condiments adorning the stalls. 

We will stop by a local ‘jugueria’ to sample juice made from exotic local fruits such as chirimoya, lucuma (Pouteria lucuma), guanabana (soursop, Annona muricata) or maracuyá (passionfruit). After a refreshing drink we’ll make our way to San Isidro to visit Parque el Olivar. Graced with ancient olive trees originally imported from Seville in the 16th century, Parque el Olivar also features charming chalets dating back to the 1920’s. Be sure to try the Limenian specialty ‘pan con chicharron’ – a delicious sandwich filled with thinly sliced fried pork and sweet potato. 

The artistic enclave of Barranco is our next port of call. Here we will wander past beautiful old houses which are home to sculptors, writers, and poets. Our gastronomy tour will conclude with a tasting of ‘picarones’ – sweet potato and pumpkin doughnuts, served with a delectable syrup. This dessert has been a beloved part of Peruvian culture since colonial times. 

With full bellies, we will waddle over to the Larco Museum to gain an insight into the history and wonders of Ancient Peru. The museum’s educational galleries, which feature an incredible display of gold and silver artefacts as well as an eye-opening collection of erotic ceramics, present an in-depth exploration of over 5,000 years of pre-Columbian history. Its exceptional masterpieces are globally renowned icons of pre-Columbian art, and they have graced exhibitions in some of the world’s most prestigious museums. 

What‘s truly remarkable about the Larco Museum, however, is its very location – a colonial mansion constructed on top of a pre-Inca pyramid dating back to the 7th century. This juxtaposition of history and architecture makes the museum itself a fascinating attraction, enriching our understanding of the cultural layers that have shaped Peru’s heritage. The colourful gardens at the museum are also worth a look, in fact they were awarded a prize for being the best gardens in Lima in 2009. 

[Meals Included: Breakfast] 

Monday 12 August 2024  – Lima to Paracas & the Nazca Lines 

Our English-speaking guide will meet us in the hotel after breakfast to escort us on a 4-hour journey by private vehicle from Lima to Paracas. 

Here, we will board small, modern airplanes at Pisco airstrip to take a 1.5-hour scenic flight over the Nazca Lines. 

During the flight over these impressive geoglyphs we will see, and be given the opportunity to take photos of, the most famous figures including the Condor, the Hummingbird, and many more. 

Best viewed from the air, the huge geometric patterns and hundreds of perfectly straight lines were carved into the desert sand by the Nazca people centuries ago. Some archaeologists, however, have suggested that they were created by aliens and used as a landing site for extraterrestrial spacecraft! 

After the scenic flight we‘ll continue on to our hotel for the next two nights – La Hacienda Bahia in Paracas. 

[Meal Included: Breakfast] 

Tuesday 13 August 2024  – Ballestas Islands & Ica 

An exciting two-hour boat ride aboard Hotel La Hacienda’s comfortable roofed vessel is the perfect way to explore the fragmented Ballestas Islands, known for their large number of sea lion colonies and families of chattering Humboldt Penguins. Offering one of the best wildlife-spotting experiences in the country, these rocky islands are often referred to as being the “Mini Galápagos of Peru.” 

During the cruise we will pass the ‘Candelabro’ – a giant geoglyph carved into the desert dunes which is clearly visible from the water. Very little is known about the origins or meaning of this ancient creation, which bears a resemblance to the renowned Nazca Lines, thereby infusing a touch of archaeological intrigue into the excursion. 

The main attraction, however, is the wildlife of which you’ll see plenty as we cruise along this intriguing section of desolate Peruvian coastline. 

Once back on dry land, hot drinks and cookies will be served before we continue on to Ica. Here, we will visit the oasis of Huacachina, which is 5 km from Ica and surrounded by giant sand dunes, palms and trees. 

At the end of another fascinating day in Peru, we will return to the hotel in Paracas for a well-deserved siesta. 

[Meal Included: Breakfast] 

Wednesday 14 August 2024  – Paracas to Cusco 

This morning our English-speaking guide will accompany us on a 4-hour private transfer from Paracas to Lima airport, where we will board a plane for the short flight to Cusco. 

A local representative will meet us upon arrival, and we will transfer to the Hotel Aranwa Cusco Boutique, which is set in a beautifully refurbished 16th century mansion, for a three-night stay. 

Once the capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco is a breathtakingly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage listed city located on the edge of the fertile Urubamba Valley. It is renowned for its archaeological remains and Spanish colonial architecture. 

The rest of the day is yours to relax, settle in and slowly acclimatize to the altitude. Cusco sits at an altitude of 3,399 in the Cordillera de los Andes so the air is thin up here. Reducing your exercise and drinking plenty of bottled water will help you acclimatize, as will sipping coca tea. 

The sacred leaves of the shrub Erythroxylum coca have been chewed, or drunk in a bitter tea, by locals for millennia to treat everything from altitude sickness to upset stomachs. Mate de Coca (coca tea) is readily available in cafes throughout the Andean regions of Peru. Give it a try! 

[Meal Included: Breakfast]

Thursday 15 August 2024  – Cusco City Tour & Cooking Class 

Our half day sightseeing tour of Cusco will begin with a visit to the ceremonial fortress of Sacsayhuamán. This archaeological complex, located on the northern outskirts of Cusco, occupies an area of 3,000 hectares and features the largest and most magnificent stonework left by the Inca civilization. The massive, terraced walls are an incredible sight, and the meticulous stonework sheds some light on the mastery of the Inca stonemasons. 

We will then return to Cusco city to marvel at the fusion of Inca and Hispanic cultures at the Koricancha, or Sun Temple. 

A short walk from here, dominating Cusco’s main square, we will find the Cathedral. One of the most famous paintings housed in the Cathedral Basilica of the Virgin of the Assumption is the “Last Supper” by Quechuan artist Marcos Zapata. This 18th century painting symbolizes the blend of indigenous and European cultures: instead of a lamb on the table, you find a guinea pig. Roast guinea pig, or ‘cuy’ as it is known locally, is a delicacy in the Peruvian Andes. 

Following cobblestoned streets, our local guide will escort us to the traditional artisan quarter of San Blas. The galleries and workshops of Cusco’s finest craftsmen are located in these arrow alleyways. From the main square, Plaza de Armas, we will walk down Triunfo Street towards Hatunrumiyoc, to see its famous twelve-sided stone. 

A 3-hour cooking class this afternoon will give us an opportunity to learn how to prepare some tasty Peruvian dishes. Rest assured that guinea pig will not be on the menu! 

Before entering the kitchen, we will wander through the colourful San Pedro Market with an experienced chef who will give us an introduction to local produce such as potatoes, quinoa and maize. Then, we will set to work preparing and cooking a traditional 

2-course meal in a chic kitchen with individual cooking stations, a small bar, an outdoor patio and a large window overlooking the city. When the food is ready, we will enjoy our culinary creations whilst sipping Pisco Sours – the national drink of Peru. 

[Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner] 

Friday 16 August 2024  – Cusco & Tipón 

This morning we will visit Tipón – a 15th-century hydro-engineering marvel and, as legend has it, one of the royal gardens commissioned by the supreme God of the Incas, Viracocha. Occupying an area of 240 acres, the site contains 13 agricultural terraces, royal gardens and ceremonial precincts constructed by the Inca civilization. 

The most remarkable feature of Tipón is the ingenious hydraulic system. Water sourced from natural springs is efficiently channelled through a network of canals and aqueducts, ensuring reliable irrigation for crops that were grown on the terraces. The canals and fountains, many of which are still used today, were crafted with exceptional precision, utilizing finely cut stones that fit seamlessly together – a testament to the advanced engineering prowess of the Inca. 

On the way back to Cusco, we’ll visit some local farms to learn about the produce grown in the southern parts of the city, where a higher altitude provides ideal growing conditions for local tubers and grains. 

The afternoon is at leisure for you to explore Cusco at your own pace. 

[Meals Included: Breakfast] 

Saturday 17 August 2024  – Cusco to the Sacred Valley 

We will depart Cusco today to begin our journey into the Urubamba Valley, which is also known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas. 

En route, we will visit the Pisac Botanical Gardens to admire its rich collection of endemic plants including orchids, invaluable medicinal herbs, and mature trees. 

Established in 1917 by the Peruvian botanist and explorer Felipe Marín Moreno, the gardens were originally used for his horticultural experiments. The collection of plants was built-up over many years through Felipe’s correspondence with various institutions and botanists around the world, from whom he received samples and seeds. 

Despite its small size, the garden provides a fabulous insight into the native and introduced plants of Peru. The collection is set in an enclosed colonial courtyard and includes 200 varieties of Peruvian potatoes, over 600 species of cacti, a good selection of orchids and twelve varieties of the Peruvian national flower, the Cantuta (Cantua buxifolia). 

Lunch will be served at Casa Colonial, a restaurant located in the heart of Urubamba. Here, we will enjoy a meal in a 200-year-old restored colonial mansion with elegant furnishings and a beautiful view over the town’s main square. Chef René Rodríguez’s menu features traditional Peruvian dishes prepared using locally grown organic produce. 

In the afternoon we will continue on to Ollantaytambo – a traditional village in the heart of the Sacred Valley and our base for the next two nights. The rooms at our accommodation, Hotel Pakaritampu, overlook landscaped gardens full of trees and flowers that attract hummingbirds, and there are even resident llamas grazing on the lawn. 

[Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch] 

Sunday 18 August 2024  – Sacred Valley & Potato Park 

More than 3,000 varieties of potato can be found growing in the Andean highlands, where they were domesticated, and a wide variety of these tasty taters are still cultivated in Peru today. 

This morning we will visit Potato Park, a 30-minute drive from Pisac, to gain an insight into the initiative of five communities who are protecting potato diversity, the traditional Andean landscapes and indigenous knowledge. 

The colourfully dressed seed guardians of Potato Park work closely with scientists to revive and cultivate many forgotten varieties of potato, which come in a spud-tacular array of shapes, sizes, and colours. Following a brief explanation about 

this important project, we will sample some potatoes freshly cooked in a traditional Peruvian earth oven called a ‘Huatia.’ 

Next stop is the weaving community of Chahuaytire, about 40-minutes away, to taste some more culinary creations of Potato Park during a typical Peruvian lunch at a local restaurant. 

Before returning to Hotel Pakaritampu, we will make a brief stop at the community of Sacaca. Here, we can view and purchase a wide selection of local herbs and teas renowned for their curative properties. 

[Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch] 

Monday 19 August 2024  – Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes 

Early this morning, we’ll visit Ensifera Camp – a picturesque hummingbird sanctuary located in the foothills of the Sacred Valley near the town of Yanahuara. Home to some of the rarest and most exotic species of hummingbirds in the neotropics, the gardens of Ensifera Camp are bursting with wildflowers. Feeders also provide the perfect location for hummingbird spotting and photography.

We will then visit the imposing hillside fortress of Ollantaytambo to marvel at the Temple of the Sun, which is formed by six gigantic monoliths whose total weight exceeds 50 tonnes, and the impressive Terrace of the Ten Niches. 

Lunch will be eaten at Chuncho, a restaurant that prides itself on using flavours, ingredients and traditions of Ollantaytambo and the Urubamba Valley. 

Boarding the Vistadome train, we will soon embark on a scenic rail journey through the Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes – a town known for its thermal baths and a gateway to the nearby Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, the staff from El Mapi by Inkaterra will assist us with our luggage and escort us to the hotel where dinner (set menu) will be served. 

Important: Today you will travel with a 5-kilogram carry-on bag only. The rest of your luggage will be transferred separately to our hotel in Cusco for you to collect tomorrow. 

[Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]

Tuesday 20 August 2024Machu Picchu & Cusco 

This morning, a small coach will safely transport us up the steep mountain roads to Machu Picchu – one of the most significant archaeological sites on the planet and a testament to the power and ingenuity of the Inca Empire. 

For centuries, Machu Picchu remained hidden from the Spaniards – concealed under a shroud of mist and vegetation high in the Andes Mountains. It wasn’t until 1911 that the American explorer Hiram Bingham rediscovered this remarkable site. During our guided tour of the citadel, which is nestled amidst an awe-inspiring landscape where the Andes meet the Amazon Basin, we will grasp the exceptional nature of the location and be awestruck by the sheer brilliance that went into its construction. It is easy to see why Machu Picchu earned its place as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. 

Before returning to Aguas Calientes, we’ll pop by the Jardín Botánico de Machu Picchu. This small botanical garden, located at the base of the citadel and adjacent to the archaeological museum, is home to 425 species of plants. 

Later in the afternoon, after a short walk back to town, we will board the Vistadome train once more and travel to Poroy train station. From here our group will transfer by private vehicle to Hotel Aranwa Boutique in downtown Cusco. 

A farewell dinner (set menu) at Republica del Pisco will provide an ideal setting for us to reminisce about our incredible journey through Peru, and to enjoy the company of our newfound friends. 

[Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner] 

Wednesday 21 August 2024Cusco to Sydney 

Our Peruvian adventure will conclude after breakfast this morning. At a scheduled time, we will transfer by private vehicle to Cusco airport to commence our journey home, or to begin the next leg of your South American adventure… 

[Meals Included: Breakfast] 


  • Transfers from and to airports and train stations in Peru 

  • Accommodation based on Twin or Double occupancy 

  • Standard Suite on Delfin III 

  • Local English-speaking guides on all private tours, with the exception of: 

– Flight over the Nazca Lines (12 Aug 24) 

– Ballestas Islands tour from La Hacienda Paracas Hotel (13 Aug 24) 

  • Private vehicle for the Lima-Paracas-Ica-Paracas-Lima transfers (escorted) 

  • Train tickets Ollantaytambo-Aguas Calientes-Poroy in Vistadome Class 

  • Entrance fees to the sites noted on the itinerary 

  • Airport tax for the Nazca flight from Pisco airport 

  • Meals as noted on the itinerary 

  • 24-hour assistance by Setours Handcrafted Journey’s in Peru 

  • Escorted ex-Australia by Jerry Coleby-Williams & a certain Vietnamese market gardener 

Please note our prices are subject to a minimum group size of 16 people + 2 escorts (Jerry & a certain Vietnamese market gardener)

Should minimum numbers not be met, we reserve the right to review full pricing of travel packages and registration costs. The group size will not exceed 16 people plus 2 escorts.