Depart USA for Lima, Peru
Depart home city via your chosen air carrier for Lima, Peru. Arrive late this evening in Lima, the "City of Kings." After clearing customs, Carl and his local representative will personally meet you and escort you to awaiting transportation. After a short drive, Anne will meet you on arrival at the 4 Star Hilton Doubletree El Prado Hotel. The El Prado Hotel, which received the 2012 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award, is located in the fashionable district of Miraflores where many great restaurants and shops are found. Once you've checked in, it’s time to say "buenas notches, hasta mañana mi amigos" (Good night, until tomorrow my friends) for the evening.
Welcome to Peru, one of the most precious treasures of South America! Today is totally free for you to just relax after yesterdays travel. This morning you can sleep in and have a late, leisurely breakfast or you may want to get up early and start exploring the Miraflores District and historic city of Lima. A local host will staff our FoCA Hospitality Desk to give recommendations of what to see and do and to answer any questions that you may have.
This evening, please join Carl, Anne and your fellow Friends of Carl and Anne traveling companions… commonly known as FoCAs, for a special "Welcome to Peru" cocktail reception and dinner.
After breakfast, enjoy a fascinating city tour through the historical center of Lima, a UNESCO World Heritage site. During the tour you will be able to admire the artwork at San Francisco Monastery and visit the catacombs. You will also see the Government Center, the Plaza de Armas’s elegant Cathedral, an abundance of colonial architecture, and the fashionable suburbs of San Isidro and Miraflores for insight into the daily life of the Limeños.
This evening, join Carl and Anne and your fellow travelers again for a dinner showcasing Peru’s delicious cuisine with festive entertainment.
Lima / Cuzco / Sacred Valley of the Incas
This morning the enduring cultures and breathtaking beauty of the Andes await you.
After breakfast, we will transfer to the Lima International Airport for a flight to Cuzco, located in the heart of the Inca civilization. Board your coach to descend through the Andes to the majestic Sacred Valley of the Incas, the agricultural center of their grand empire. Learn the centuries-old methods of spinning, dyeing and weaving Andean traditional textiles during a visit to Awana Kancha, a living museum of the Peruvian Andes.
After a short lesson on the local language, stop in Pisac village to browse the colorful handicraft market. A visit to Pablo Seminario Ceramic Studio teaches you about this internationally renowned artist's techniques and designs, inspired by ancient Peruvian cultures. Settle in this evening at your hotel, the Sonesta Posada del Inca Yucay, nestled in the heart of the Sacred Valley.
Tonight dinner is included at the hotel or a local restaurant.
Sacred Valley of the Incas / Ollantaytambo / Sacred Valley of the Incas
This morning, experience the lifestyle of the modern Andean people and delve into their culture when you travel to a nearby community and interact with the locals. This afternoon, visit the spectacular Ollantaytambo ruins, the only Inca settlement that has been continually inhabited since its inception. A unique terraced complex topped with carved stone panels, these ruins reflect ancient Incan architecture and heritage. Do as the locals do and enjoy a tasting of "chicha," (yum, yum!) a unique regional drink made from maize, at a local pub.
Today, lunch and dinner are on your own. Tonight, grab some FoCA friends and head out for a night on the town. Be sure to ask for recommendations from our local hosts as to which are their favorite restaurants and night spots.
Sacred Valley of the Incas / Aguas Calentes (Machu Picchu)
Today will be an absolutely amazing day! After breakfast, we will check out of the hotel and transfer to the train station. Then it’s "All aboard!" for the Machu Picchu train which will take us on a breathtaking ride through the Andes to the "Lost City of the Incas." Anne and I would venture to say that the views through the domed windows as you ride down to Machu Picchu will be some of the most dramatic vistas that you will have ever experienced.
Our stay tonight will be at the 4 Star Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel in Aguas Calientes , sometimes referred to as Machu Picchu Town. Aguas Calientes is on the Urubamba River and is the closest access point to the historical site of Machu Picchu, which is a little less than four miles away (elevation: 6,693 ft.)
Hidden by mountains and semi-tropical jungle, Machu Picchu is considered the most spectacular sight in South America. Spend the afternoon with your guide uncovering the mysteries of these majestic ruins. Tonight, our stay at the base of Machu Picchu will give you a chance to further soak up this colorful town's atmosphere.
This evening, enjoy an exclusive culinary demonstration before our dinner (at the hotel or a local restaurant). After dinner, you may want to walk off your evening meal by strolling the quaint streets of Aguas Calientes in search of that perfect bar for a nightcap.
Machu Picchu / Cuzco
With leisure time this morning, you may return to Machu Picchu on your own or explore the local markets. Return by train to the Sacred Valley and continue to Cuzco, a city that blends both Inca and Spanish colonial influences. En route to Cuzco, meet Peruvian children at an
Orphanage supported by the Collette Foundation. This is a really special stop that we know you will enjoy.
Upon arrival at Cuzco, we will check in to the 4 Star Sonesta Hotel Cuzco, our hotel for the next two nights. Cuzco is the undisputed archaeological capital of the Americas, as well as the continent's oldest continuously inhabited city, so there is much exploring to be done in our short two night stay. Historic Plaza de Armas and an abundance of trendy boutiques, cafes and restaurants are just steps away from our hotel. Lunch today will be on your own in Cuzco.
This evening is free for you to enjoy at your leisure. Your local host at the FoCA Hospitality Desk will be happy to tell you about dining options in Cuzco and to make dinner reservations for you, if you wish. Your host can also answer any other questions that you have about Cuzco, in general.
After breakfast, we will explore the former capital of the Inca Empire during a colonial city tour and experience the architectural legacy visible in the Cathedral, Santo Domingo and the Plaza de Armas. We will also visit the important sacred Incan ruins of Sacsayhuaman Fortress before returning to the hotel.
This afternoon you are free to relax or do a little last minute shopping, or you may want to join an optional excursion to explore the enigmatic Inca terraces at Maras and the salt mines of Moray. Let your conscious (or your tired feet) be your guide!
This evening, please join Carl and Anne and your fellow FoCA travel partners for a very special farewell dinner including a performance of traditional Andean folkloric music and dance.
Cuzco / Lima / USA
After breakfast, join your guide this morning for a visit to the Centro Artesanal Cuzco market. Browse the colorful displays of textiles, pottery and jewelry. Or, enjoy some leisure time to explore the San Blas artisans quarter or visit one of the many impressive museums. Later this afternoon, transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima.
Depart from Cuzco to Lima for your connection to the USA and home city via your chosen air carrier.
NOTE: For people using FoCAs group air, the flight from Lima to Atlanta will actually depart on Sunday, Nov. 17th at 1:25AM.