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of the complex with leave you breathless. After your grand guided tour, indulge in an afternoon tea at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge and enjoy a private dinner as you transfer to Cusco, trading air travel for the scenic mountain train ride once more in the pristine comfort of the Hiram Bingham.

OLLANTAYTAMBO The beautiful setting of this ancient city between the Urubamba and the Patakancha Rivers, still inhabited today.

In Cusco’s historic center, a local chef will guide you through the farmer’s market with many of the familiar crops from the Andes available in the bustling stalls as he picks a few choice ingredients to cook for you in a “novo-Andean” lunch. Travel into the hills overlooking Cusco to the Sacsayhuaman fortress and explore Koricancha, temple of the sun, in Cusco’s old town. City exploration illustrates the role Catholicism played in the conquest of the ancient Inca capital and how the church’s pioneering of the Cusco School of Painting led to a surge in the arts. You will even see a private sculpture exhibition by the renowned Octavio Mendivil in the San Blas district.

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bounty you will enjoy in a ritual pachamanca feast. While you dine on this specially roasted meal, stories from Quecha and Inca lore will be performed by the Yuyachkani theater and folk arts group, and the art of coca leaf reading can also be performed by a local shaman. The impressive ruins of Machu Picchu, the most visited site in South America and the world-wide symbol of the Incas, is your next goal. You will spend a day exploring the sanctuary in the shadow of the Andes, but the manner in which you arrive at the citadel is an adventure all its own. Before heading to the citadel, you might choose to visit remote Willoq, where women practice the ancient art of weaving colorful tapestries in their simple, isolated village. Another route you may take includes touring Ollantaytambo, the fifteenthcentury fortress town near the confluence of the Urubamba and Patakancha Rivers. Though ancient, Ollantaytambo remains an inhabited village today and is a brilliant example of a metropolitan grid layout with a number of terraced gardens, fountains, temples and reinforced armaments spread throughout its expanse. The city served as one of the last bastions defending against the Spanish conquistadors at the end of the Incan rule, and the halt of the society is evident. The area known as Temple Hill features several unfinished structures which were abandoned mid-construction when the aggressors threatened the city, causing the leaders to flee for the final time. Continue on from either of these villages to the train station for your journey up to Machu Picchu aboard the Hiram Bingham. Named after the American explorer who rediscovered the citadel in 1911, this luxury train surrounds you in luscious furnishings, premium refreshments and impeccable service during a gourmet brunch as you are transported to the heart of the sacred site. Care for more adventure? You may even hike the Qhapaq Ñan, the ancient Royal Inca Road, and climb almost 500 feet over six miles to Machu Picchu’s Sun Gate. Whichever route you choose to reach the sanctuary, the sheer size and wonder

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On your last full day in Peru, fly over the mysterious Nasca Lines. Hundreds of drawings of monkeys, lizards, fish and other animals stretch over 50 miles in the desert, etched only a few inches deep in the red earth. This unexplained desert art must be seen from the air to appreciate the marvel of the achievement. Back on the ground, talented barmen will lead you in a pisco tasting, offering several varieties of the famous brandy used to make the country’s signature cocktail, the picso sour. For dinner, visit the sixteenth-century home Casa De Aliaga, the oldest household inhabited by the same family in all of the Americas. Meet the Count and Countess of San Juan de Luriganco, among the generations of families who have called this stunning mansion home and descendants of the home’s original owner, Captain Jeronimo de Aliaga Ramírez. The Miraflores Park Hotel in Lima is the base for the first part of your journey. Between jaunts to the incredible coastal heritage sites, spend time in the hospitality suite, which offers refreshments and snacks in between excursions. While in the Sacred Valley, enjoy the services of the Sol y Luna Lodge and its luxurious Yacu Wasi Spa. The sprawling grounds of the hotel are home to some 30 bird species and the gracious Andean décor is a reminder that you are indeed in the remote region of the ancient Incas. In Cusco, the historic Hotel Monasterio is your destination. As the name suggests, this resplendent sixteenth-century abode was once a monastery, and while it retains its original colonial architecture, the interiors are plush and modern. Oxygen-enrichment systems to assist with acclimatization and an indulgent menu of soothing baths drawn for you by a bath butler are just a few of the special touches experienced at this grand hotel - a far cry from the spartan feeling of the original cloister. Luxurious private air transfers punctuate this cultural and spiritual journey, ferrying you through the timeline of Peru’s many ancient denizens. The scope of the history, mystery and pride of these blended cultures and ancient sites is so grand in scale that only by air will you be able to view their impact and significance in the Peru of today.

Profile for Ker & Downey

Bespoke Magazine Fall 2011  

Experiential. Luxury. Travel

Bespoke Magazine Fall 2011  

Experiential. Luxury. Travel