RMC Travel presents...
Peru - Bolivia
December 1 - 12, 2009
Come with “Friends of Montauk” to mystical Peru, land of the ancient Incas, to discover the secrets of the Urubamba Sacred Valley, the "Lost City" of Machu Picchu and Lima, one of South America’s great cities. Learn how age-old craft traditions have been preserved and passed down to people who still practice these timeless arts today. Immerse yourself in Peruvian culture as you travel the country, learning about its history, architecture and artifacts. We will also visit Lake Titicaca, the Sacred Waters of the Inca Empire. Deep blue Lake Titicaca is so large that it has waves and a surface area exceeding 3,100 square miles, not counting its more than 30 islands. The lake is the most sacred body of water in the Inca Empire and is the natural separation between Peru and Bolivia. While traveling, we’ll experience some of Peru’s most beautiful weather (in the 80s during the day) on a wondrous, unforgettable journey!
A Special Note about Altitude: A lot is said about the Andes altitude and that is why we have specially designed our itinerary to gradually get used to some of the higher elevations so as to not cause any undo comfort or risk.
Our Hotels (or similar)
In Ollantaytambo The Sacred Valley: The Sol & Luna Hotel
In Machu Pichu: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
In Cusco: Libertador Palacio del Inca
In Puno: Liberador Isla Estevez hotel
In Lima: Crown Plaza Lima Hotel
• Round-trip Luxury Liner transportation to JFK
• Round-trip jet flights to Peru
• Flights within Peru
• Round-trip transfers between airport and hotels
• Accommodations in Superior hotels
• Airline & hotel taxes
• Service charges at the hotel
• Daily breakfast
• Additional meals as indicated
• Sightseeing tour as per itinerary
• Sightseeing entrance fees
(B=Breakfast, L=Linch, D=Dinner)
Day 1: Tuesday, December 1: Depart for Lima
Depart this evening for Lima, Peru.
Day 2: Wednesday, December 2: Onwards to Cusco & The Sacred Valley: Pisac Village & Marketplace, Ollantaytambo (L/D)
Morning arrival in Lima, where we’ll connect at the International Airport for our one-hour flight to Cusco over the spectacular Andes Mountains. We meet our tour escort and depart by coach through the lush Sacred Valley of the Incas and a number of typical Andean villages, After lunch at our hotel located in Urubamba Valley, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, we have an afternoon tour to the charming village of Pisac and its traditional handicraft marketplace to shop for locally-made colorful sweaters, ponchos, gloves, hats, jewelry, textiles and more. Continue to our hotel and our welcome dinner.
Day 3, Thursday, December 3: In the Sacred Valley - Seminario Pottery Studio & Willoq (B/L/D)
We start our day with a visit to the Inca Fortress of Ollantaytambo, one of the oldest Inca towns in Peru. The site was built just as the Spaniards arrived in the region. Stroll the streets of today's town, then visit Seminario Studio, dedicated to the discovery of techniques and designs from ancient Peruvian cultures. Here we will have a presentation by local artists. Then it’s onto a unique site, the Willoq, a small village in the Peruvian Andes that is sustained by the sale of its colorful textiles by the native craftswomen (Ayni). The goal is for the community itself to coordinate tourist activities in its territory; interacting with visitors and helping them understand the community's rich historical and cultural legacy. While the local women sell their wares in the market, the kids gather in wait for the treats they know will come from the market-goers. The local children wait patiently as you'd expect a crowd of kids looking to satisfy their sweet tooths. This scene brings that entire village to life - the bright colors, the sweetness of the kids, the ruggedness of the life high in the Andes. Return to our hotel for the balance of the day to relax and dinner.
Day 4, Friday, December 4: To Machu Picchu (B/L/D)
This morning, transfer to the Ollanta train station and board the train to Machu Picchu. Upon arriving at Aguas Calientes, you'll be assisted and taken on a 25-minute coach ride to "The Lost City of the Incas," discovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911, when he was searching for the legendary "Lost City of the Incas", documented by Spanish soldiers in the 1500s Then, enjoy a guided tour of the marvelous citadel, an awe-inspiring experience. Later, feel free to stroll around the archaeological site. Lunch will be served at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge. This evening, we’ll enjoy dinner at our hotel.
Day 5, Saturday, December 5: Morning in Machu Picchu. Afternoon return to Cusco (B)
This morning, it is highly recommend that we wake up early to see the sun rise over Machu Picchu. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is certain to be a treasured memory. For walking enthusiasts, try a climb to the peak of Huayna Picchu. This afternoon, return by rail to Cusco where we have the balance of the day and evening at leisure. Dinner on our own.
Day 6, Sunday, December 6: In Cusco City Tour and Archaeological Sites (B)
This morning, time to sleep late and relax and have lunch on your own at one of the town’s local restaurants. In the afternoon, we tour Cusco, beginning at the Santo Domingo convent monastery. This former Colonial monastery was previously the Koricancha Temple, one of the most important temples devoted to the worship of the sun. According to the chronicles, it was covered in gold leaf and filled with golden representations of nature. Continue the tour, stopping at the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral. Later, drive to the countryside to visit some of the remarkable Inca ruins in the area, including Sacsayhuaman, the fortress where the Inca’s last stand in Cusco against the Spanish took place, the temple and amphitheater of Kenko, and the breathtaking Red Fortress of Puca Pucara. Return to Cusco, the evening on your own.
Day 7, Monday, December 7: In Cusco – City Tour – Day at Leisure (B)
A full day to explore this most magical city, capital of the Inca Empire in the 15th century. Enjoy the colonial churches and mansions built on the original Inca foundations and the beautiful Plazas. Visit the artisan workshops in the San Blas District where you can see local craftsmen work with precious metals, wool, wood and stone. Dinner on your own or take the Optional dinner and folklore show at the famous La Retama Restaurant.
Day 8, Tuesday, December 8: Travel to Puno (B/L/D)
This morning, depart for Puno by motor coach. See the dramatic landscapes of the highland plateau with views of tiny Andean villages and herds of llamas and vicunas as our coach travels south along the sacred Urubamba River, through the altiplano, or high plains. We stop at the Temple of Wiracocha, believed by some experts to be one of the most important of Peru's ancient temples! Box Lunch provided. We continue south through Puno, port city on Lake Titicaca, arriving early evening at our hotel overlooking the beautiful shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world that extends from southeastern Peru to western Bolivia. Overnight and dinner at our hotel.
Day 9, Wednesday, December 9: Lake Titicaca, Uros & Taquile Islands (B/L/D)
After breakfast we travel by bus to the shores of the Lake where we board our private launch and motor out onto the tranquil waters of the Mama Cocha to the Uros Floating Islands, made entirely of the totora reed that grows in the Lake and named after the Uros people who inhabit them. Here we receive a warm welcome from these friendly island dwellers. After a short demonstration about how their islands are built and about their local economy and culture, we have an opportunity to visit their homes and get to know them a bit. We’ll have the chance to support their meager existence by purchasing their richly colored hand-embroidered tapestries, pillow covers, and other handicrafts. Then, travel to Taquile Island which is inhabited by Quechua-speaking indigenous people. Witness the efficient and original social system and fine hand-weaving techniques that the culture has developed over the course of many generations. In the afternoon, time to relax at our hotel do some shopping and exploring before dinner at our hotel.
Day 10, Thursday, December 10: Flight to Lima (B)
Transfer to the airport in Juliaca for our flight to Lima. Upon arrival, transfer to our hotel, and, in the afternoon, have a sightseeing tour of Lima, the "City of Kings". The tour includes Lima's Historical Centre, passing by Plaza San Martin, Plaza Mayor, the Government Palace, the City Hall, the Cathedral and its Religious Art Museum, the Church of Santo Domingo, with the tombs of Santa Rosa and San Martin de Porras, and Lima's Colonial Balconies. We will visit the Convent and Church of San Francisco, the greatest monumental complex of Colonial Art in America and Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The tour includes a visit to the Basilica of 21 altars, Convent of Cloisters, Capitulary and Clementine Rooms. Drive through the residential District of Miraflores, passing by the Huaca Pucllana, a Ceremonial and Administrative Centre of the Lima Culture built in the II Century A.C. that the Incas considered as "Ñaupallaqta" or Sacred Town. Continue to the Larco Herrera Museum, for an excellent overview of Peru's ancient past as it holds the best private collection of pre-Columbian art in the country. The museum has many fine examples of textile works, one example of which has a record breaking 398 threads per inch; materials and tools used by ancient Peruvians to produce their work in ceramics and metal; and Pre-Inca and Inca period pottery, gold and silver pieces with semiprecious stones. Return to our hotel for dinner on our own.
Day 11, Friday, December 11: In Lima (B)
A full day at leisure for independent exploring or shopping. Lima is a city of Museums with treasures from the ancient Peruvian civilizations. Tonight's farewell dinner is at Huaca Pucllana Restaurant, located in a 1500-year-old adobe pyramid built by the original inhabitants of Lima. Return to our hotel where we board our coach for the late evening transfer to the Airport.
Day 12, Saturday, December 12: To JFK
Board our flight back to JFK for an early morning arrival and onto Montauk.
Note: Itinerary correct at time of printing and subject to change for circumstances beyond our control.