This week our friends at SmartFlyer give us a great eight days in Peru, capturing all the highlights, including a journey to Machu Picchu via luxury train.
If you haven’t been, this report will make you want to go. And the great benefit of working with travel advisors is they have all the contacts to get you VIP treatment – with just one phone call.
If you’re craving adventure in South America, Peru’s exciting, highly-Instagrammable sights are perfectly paired with Belmond’s unique properties and Hiram Bingham train.
Over the course of seven nights, the SmartFlyer trip creator crew took a deep dive into Peruvian culture with exclusive access across some of South America’s most historic locations. With their collection of stunning hotels and trains, Belmond guarantees immersion into the magic of Peru.
Tick all the must-see Peruvian highlights off your bucket list with this tailored itinerary through the pulsating capital of Lima and the heart of Cusco’s awe-inspiring Inca sites. You’ll also have time to soak up the Sacred Valley’s stunning sanctuaries after exploring sites brimming with Andean history. And not to forget a photographic highlight of your Belmond Peru journey aboard the Hiram Bingham train.
SmartFlyer advisors – Smarties – know you’ll want to stay in properties that are equally as enchanting as the landscape you’re exploring. To that end, they’ve tailored a selection of Belmond’s historic hotels on this Peru itinerary.
Plunge into rooftop pools amidst the capital city’s electric urban landscape. You’ll also dine in an oasis rich with lush gardens by the Urubamba River. In Machu Picchu, get ready to experience the only lodge with immediate access to this UNESCO World Heritage site’s entrance. Finally, wake up in a stunning hotel that blends Inca foundations with contemporary Peru.
If you prefer, SmartFlyer can arrange private charter flights within Peru.
Day 1, Arrive in Lima
Arrival to Lima. Begin your journey in Lima, the capital of Peru. A Belmond representative will escort you to your personal driver. You’ll then be transferred to Miraflores Park, A Belmond Hotel.
Presidential Pool Suites
Check into one of their 1,399 sq.ft. Presidential Pool Suites (above). Each one-bedroom suite boasts a private terrace with a plunge pool—the perfect place to soak up the panoramic ocean views. Inside, the bedroom is complemented by a separate living and dining area. Spread out on the king-sized bed, or unwind in the personal sauna.
Then get ready for a special dinner at Huaca Pucllana, located within ancient ruins constructed 1,500 years ago.
Day 2, Travel to Cusco
Depart for The Imperial City. Jumpstart your day with a private transfer back to Lima Airport for your flight out to Cusco, the Imperial City. Upon arrival after this two-hour flight, you’ll be met by the Belmond team and ushered to Rio Sagrado, A Belmond Hotel.
En route, enjoy a scenic drive through a stunning landscape to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. On your way, your guides will make time for a stop at the Awana Kancha Center. This living museum of the Andes is where you’ll find bounties of vibrant Andean textiles on full display, handcrafted onsite by the local communities. Here you’ll also meet up to four different types of South American camels.
Arrive at Rio Sagrado and enjoy this green space set beside the rumbling Urubamba River
Stay in Villa Capuli. If you are traveling in a group, this three-bedroom villa sleeps six.
After you freshen up, your lunch – accompanied by live musicians – will be sourced from local purveyors. Top off your meal with a decadent dessert and a walk through their on-property market featuring weavers, alpaca encounters, and a shaman.
Rest up for your dinner this evening at Hacienda Huayoccari Restaurant, a special spot tucked away in the lush, vegetation-filled private estate of the Lambarri-Orihuela family.
Day 3, The Oldest Settlement in the Americas
Explore Ollantaytambo, a hidden gem that gives you a breathtaking look at Southern Peru’s expanse of mountains and valleys. If you’re seeking some cultural immersion, day three of your custom Peru itinerary can begin with a scenic drive to the famed town of Ollantaytambo, the oldest settlement in the Americas.
After passing through rolling fields and snow-capped peaks of the Urubamba and Vilcabamba mountain ranges, arrive at the home of one of the most impressive Incan fortresses in the region. Then, ascend on foot to Ollantaytambo’s peak and take in the views of the Andean valley and Temple of the Sun.
Following your hike, replenish yourself with an outdoor picnic by the stunning Huaypo Lagoon. This hidden gem gives you a breathtaking look at Southern Peru’s expanse of mountains and valleys. Return to your hotel after exploring the shoreline for a delicious Andean dinner served in the outdoor gardens, to be complete with a traditional Incan performance.
Day 4, Machu Picchu
Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu. Today, you’ll be spending your time aboard Belmond’s luxurious Hiram Bingham train for a guided tour to Machu Picchu. This train’s sumptuous 1920s-style carriages – which exclusively accommodates eighty-four passengers – guarantee you a comfortable passage to the Incan citadel. Freely pass between the two dining cars, a bar and kitchen car, and an open-deck observation car as you take in the stunning Urubamba Valley.
After arriving, check-in to the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge.
These beautiful one-bedroom suites are compact at 376-sq.ft., but you will enjoy the large, furnished outdoor terraces. And then it
Now, begin your half-day private guided tour of the Inca citadel and its surrounding complexes. This legendary historical site stands 2,430 meters above sea level amidst a tropical mountain forest rich with life. Your guide will walk you through each of the historical landmarks, including passage into the citadel itself. The towering walls, terraces, and ramps seem as if they have been carved out of the natural rocky escarpments. After your tour, enjoy some afternoon tea at the hotel or perhaps a spa treatment. Then, recharge with a full night’s rest in your personal hideaway edged with orchids and teeming with butterflies.
Day 5, Machu Picchu and return to Cusco
Machu Picchu to Cusco. Hit the ground running with a guided scenic hike through the Lost City. Your guide will help you ascend to Inti Punku, famously known as the Sun Gate. The vista is an ideal location to take in highly Instagrammable sights of the ruin. Your guide will also offer to lead you to the peak of Huayna Picchu, which soars 260 meters above the majestic ruins below.
Following your descent, refresh and check out of Sanctuary Lodge and climb back aboard the Belmond Hiram Bingham for a journey back to Cusco. An elegant dinner accompanied by live music and plenty of bottles of rich Peruvian wines and pisco awaits onboard. Relish in your delectable four-course feast, then disembark at Poroy train station to check into Palacio Nazarenas, A Belmond Hotel.
Ask your SmartFlyer advisor to suggest one of the hotel’s Signature Suites, which range from 667 sq. ft. to 1,399 sq. ft. with King poster beds and butler service.
Day 6, Cusco
After waking up to a hearty breakfast prepared by Palacio Nazarenas’ expert culinary crew, you’ll be guided to the Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, a bastion that features spectacular views of the Imperial City. This 3000-acre sanctuary was built by the Incas using massive stones that fit together like puzzle pieces. There’s an air of mysticism as you walk through the fortress’s galleries and towers. Your guide will walk you through the monumental battles that define this fortress’s history, from the empire’s expansion to the Inca’s attempt to reclaim their capital from the Conquistadors.
Enjoy a delightful mix of Peruvian dishes and an exclusive selection of wines.
After the private guided tour, you’ll be transferred to the cobblestone-laden Colampata, home to the palace of the first Inca ruler. Enjoy the stunning views of Cusco with a three-course lunch. Afterward, begin a walking tour of the city which includes a visit to the Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas and the Santo Domingo Temple. The Santo Domingo Temple is a Dominican church and convent built on the foundations of the Koricancha, an important Inca temple devoted to worshipping the sun. In the evening, you’ll then be guided to the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art (MAP) for a dinner in their glass dining house. This cube-shaped space – fit for only fifty guests – breathes modernism into the museum’s colonial surroundings, making this a unique dining experience. Enjoy a delightful mix of Peruvian dishes and an exclusive selection of wines before retiring for the night back at Palacio Nazarenas.
Day 7, Back to Lima
Cusco to Lima. For your final day in Peru, board a flight back to Lima and touch down in the early afternoon. After checking back into Miraflores Park, a Belmond Hotel, your on-the-ground guide will help you through the districts of San Isidro, Miraflores, and Barranco.
Each district is alive with its own distinct identity. And with an afternoon at your leisure, now is the perfect time to pick up the perfect Peruvian memorabilia! Feel free to shop through Miraflores’s high-end shopping centers, or experience the lush local art that fills the bohemian streets of Barranco. Cap off your evening with a farewell at Tragaluz Restaurant, known for its stylish take on South American cuisine.
Day 8, Departure
As they say, all good things must come to an end. After checking out of your final Belmond hotel, board your flight back home where you can recount the incredible memories made on your Peruvian adventure.