Spend time exploring all that Peru has to offer, from great food in Lima, to the lovely colonial city of Cusco, the relaxing, picturesque Sacred Valley, and the iconic Inca ruins at Machu Picchu. At the end of this holiday, spend 3 days relaxing at the chic Arennas Mancora Hotel on the north coast of Peru.
Incas & Conquistadors + Mancora Beach
Day 1 (Sunday) - Fly from the UK to Lima Meal on the transatlantic flight.
Fly from the UK to Lima, the social and economic heart of Peru. Lima was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, who christened it ‘City of Kings’. On arrival you are met at the airport and escorted to your hotel in the fashionable Miraflores district. Day 2 (Monday) - Take the optional Colonial Lima excursion, or enjoy a free day in Lima Breakfast at the hotel.
Spend the day getting to know this fascinating city, explore on your own or take our half-day Colonial Lima excursion. The city tour includes a visit to the catacombs of the monastery of San Francisco and the cathedral of Lima where the conquistador Francisco Pizarro is buried. Afterwards, return to the modern district of Miraflores and visit the pre-Inca site of Huaca Pucllana. Day 3 (Tuesday) - Fly to Cusco Breakfast at the hotel.
Take a morning flight to Cusco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire nestled in the Andes at 3,400 metres above sea level. Cusco is the continent’s oldest continuously-inhabited city and is known for its many wonderful churches and courtyards and of course the magnificent Inca ruins. Day 4 (Wednesday) - Take the optional Inca Cusco excursion, or enjoy a free day in Cusco Breakfast at the hotel.
Spend the day getting to know Cusco and acclimating the altitude. Discover the city’s fascinating Inca heritage on our half-day Inca Cusco excursion, which takes you to several Inca sites in and around Cusco, including the fortress of Sacsayhuaman and Qoricancha, one of the most important temples in the Inca Empire. Day 5 (Thursday) - Take our optional Sacred Valley excursion, or enjoy a free day in Cusco Breakfast at the hotel, lunch is included if you take the Sacred Valley excursion.
Spend a further day exploring Cusco, or leave the city behind on our optional full-day Sacred Valley excursion, which takes you about 15km north of Cusco, as the condor flies, to the traditional village and archaeological site at Chincheros, above the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas. Then descend into the Sacred Valley and enjoy a good lunch in a country restaurant before continuing to the fascinating ‘living Inca town’ of Ollantaytambo, where you explore some of the most important Inca ruins of the empire. Return to Cusco in the late afternoon, or if you would rather spend more time in the beautiful countryside take the optional Two Nights in the Sacred Valley excursion, where you retire to your beautiful country hotel in the heart of the idyllic Sacred Valley, a perfect place to relax and soak up the tranquil atmosphere. Day 6 (Friday) - Continue the Two Nights in the Sacred Valley excursion, or enjoy a free day in Cusco Breakfast at the hotel.
The second day of the Two Nights in the Sacred Valley excursion begins with a visit to the 3,000 salt evaporation ponds of Maras for some of the most unusual views in the region, and the vast circular terraces of Moray, used by the Incas for agricultural experiments. After, visit the friendly, traditional Andean community of Misminay, where life in the village goes on much as it would have during the time of the Incas. Enjoy a locally prepared lunch and watch as villagers demonstrate farming techniques, both ancient and new. Return to your Sacred Valley hotel in the late afternoon for another evening of relaxation in the lovely gardens.
Alternatively, if you have not taken the excursion, you are free to enjoy a further day in Cusco. Day 7 (Saturday) - Optional excursion to Machu Picchu; take either the Machu Picchu or Short Inca Trail excursion Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch is included on both the Machu Picchu and Short Inca Trail excursions. Some hotels in Machu Picchu also include dinner.
A visit to the Machu Picchu is the highlight of many peoples’ trip to Peru. We offer various ways of experiencing the iconic lost city of the Incas.
You can take our optional Machu Picchu excursion, which starts with a magical train ride, followed by a buffet lunch next to the ruins, then a guided visit to the ruins and some free time to further explore the ruins independently. Board the late-afternoon train to Cusco, arriving in the late evening. If you would like to arrive at Machu Picchu in style, it is possible to upgrade to the Sacred Valley train, a more luxurious train option including a 3-course lunch and 3-course dinner, on board. You will return to Cusco later in the evening. If you would like more time at Machu Picchu, you can also take an optional Night at Machu Picchu, where you check into your hotel, with the option of returning to the ruins on the following day.
Alternatively, if you like the idea of arriving at Machu Picchu on foot but do not want to trek for days to get there, then our optional Short Inca Trail excursion is for you. This one-day, nine-mile hike climbs to the beautiful Wiñay Wayna ruins arriving at the Sun Gate in the late afternoon. You check into your hotel in the valley below and return to Machu Picchu for a guided tour the next day, before returning to Cusco. Day 8 (Sunday) - Day at Machu Picchu, or a free day in Cusco Breakfast at the hotel.
If you walk the Short Inca Trail, today you return to the ruins and take a guided tour of Machu Picchu. You also have some free time to explore by yourself before returning to Cusco in the evening. If you spent a Night at Machu Picchu after the Machu Picchu excursion, you can either spend a relaxing day in the valley or buy an entrance ticket to enter Machu Picchu again. Perhaps walk up to the Sun Gate above the ruins, with fantastic views of the surrounding area and the ruins themselves, climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain (tickets must be purchased in advance, please ask us for details) or visit the Inca drawbridge. Return to Cusco in the evening. Alternatively, spend a free day in Cusco and get to know the city better; explore some of the Inca sites or try one of the many adventure sports on offer. Day 9 (Monday) - Free day in Cusco Breakfast at the hotel.
Spend a free day in Cusco. The colonial centre of Cusco is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has a mix of colonial and Inca architecture, making it a truly fascinating place to visit. Perhaps explore some of the 500 Inca sites around the city, visit one of the many museums or wander the streets of the picturesque San Blas neighbourhood. The city is also an excellent place for shopping, with a huge range of local goods on sale from fine alpaca jumpers to traditional Andean paintings; it is very easy to spend hours wandering around the various market stalls. Alternatively, try one of the many adventure sports on offer. Day 10 (Tuesday) - Fly to Mancora via Lima Breakfast at the hotel.
Today catch a morning flight from Cusco to Talara, via Lima. Take a 90-minute transfer to your hotel in Mancora, arriving in the late afternoon. Spend the rest of the day settling in and perhaps taking a sunset stroll along the beach. Day 11 (Wednesday) – Explore Mancora and laze on the beach Breakfast at the hotel.
How you spend your time in Mancora is completely up to you. The hotel has a stylish bar and restaurant and a lovely pool area overlooking the beach. Spend today sipping cocktails by the pool and enjoying the view, or walking on the beach. Alternatively head into town to discover the little souvenir shops and restaurants, and watch some of the goings-on at the beach. Day 12 (Thursday) – Another free day in Mancora Breakfast at the hotel.
Have another relaxing day lazing on the beach and by the pool, or you could take advantage of some of the hotel’s in-house excursion options, perhaps going on a deep-sea fishing expedition, horse-riding on the beach or whale-watching. For something a little less demanding, you could have a treatment at the spa before enjoying a delicious meal of Peruvian-fusion food at the hotel restaurant. Day 13 (Friday) – Catch a flight back to Lima Breakfast at the hotel.
After breakfast, transfer 90 minutes to the airport in Talara to catch a flight back to Lima for your final night in Peru.<. Day 14 (Saturday) – Take the optional Peru on a Plate excursion, then fly overnight to the UK Breakfast at the hotel. Meal included on the transatlantic flight
Enjoy your final day in magical Peru. End your trip with the optional Peru on a Plate excursion, where you'll learn about the vast array of produce grown in the country, from exotic Amazonian fruits to the staggering array of potatoes on offer. Then try your hand at cooking up a 3 course meal of traditional Peruvian dishes, under expert guidance. Alternatively, squeeze in some shopping in the fashionable district of Miraflores, perhaps visiting Larcomar on the cliff tops above the Pacific Ocean, or dine in one of the many excellent seafood restaurants. Later, transfer to the airport for your flight. Day 15 (Sunday) – Arrive in the UK