One More Culinary Adventure

For those clients that are looking for a culinary adventure at a more luxurious level than those offered by Intrepid Travel, one might look at Collette Tours– another small group travel company but with what I would term a “luxury” flavour! They offer wonderful tours on almost every continent- and as we have already seen, food is intimately woven with history and culture on any of these types of tours.  As we have already looked at Europe and Asia briefly, let’s consider Peru……

Exploring Machu Picchu in 2011

Exploring Machu Picchu in 2011

“Fantastic archeological treasures set amidst the soaring Andean peaks — this can only be Peru. Travel to Machu Picchu aboard the famed Vistadome train. Spend a night at the base of this “Lost City of the Incas” in a luxury hotel and enjoy an exclusive culinary demonstration.

Explore Andean art forms and the local way of life from ancient times through present day during your stay in the Sacred Valley.

Savour an authentic Pacha manca dinner, a unique process where food is placed on hot stones and buried in the ground to cook. Immerse yourself in Cuzco, a city that blends Inca and Spanish colonial influences.

Meet the indigenous Uros people of the floating islands on Lake Titicaca. Discover the exquisite Peruvian cuisine that combines diverse native ingredients and indigenous dishes with international culinary influences. Discover Lima’s colonial heritage and see why the “City of Kings” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”

Priced from $2,989* per person (double occupancy), this  10 Day tour with  14 Meals  gives one an excellent taste of Peru-and one could and should if they have the time, add on the Amazon extension to offer a look at the lushness of the jungle…..here is a short description of the itinerary….

Day 1 Lima, Peru – Tour Begins
Welcome to Peru, one of the treasures of South America. The enduring cultures and breathtaking beauty of the Andes await. Travel through this intriguing land visiting some of the world’s most legendary sites, including Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas.”

Day 2 Lima
Discover Lima’s fascinating history during a tour through the historic city , a UNESCO World Heritage site. Admire the artwork at San Francisco Monastery and enter the catacombs. View the Government , the elegant Cathedral at Plaza de Armas, 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, get to know your fellow travellers at a dinner showcasing Peru’s delicious cuisine and festive entertainment.

Day 3 Lima – Cuzco – Sacred Valley of the Incas
Fly to Cuzco, in the heart of the Inca civilization. Journey through the Andes to the majestic Sacred Valley of the Incas, the agricultural of their grand empire. Learn the centuries-old methods of spinning, dyeing and weaving 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 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 nestled in the heart of the Sacred Valley. Tonight, savour an authentic Pachamanca dinner, a unique process where food is placed on hot stones and buried in the ground to cook.

Day 4 Sacred Valley of the Incas-Ollantaytambo-Sacred Valley of the Incas
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,” a unique regional drink made from maize, at a local pub.

Day 5 Sacred Valley of the Incas – Machu Picchu
Climb aboard the Machu Picchu train for breathtaking views through domed windows as you ride through the Andes to the “Lost City of the Incas.” 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, stay at the base of Machu Picchu for a chance to further soak up its atmosphere. Enjoy an exclusive culinary demonstration before dinner.

Day 6 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 Inca and Spanish colonial influences. En route to Cuzco, meet Peruvian children at an orphanage supported by the Collette Foundation.*

Day 7 Cuzco
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. Discover the important sacred Incan ruins of Sacsayhuaman Fortress. This afternoon you may choose to join an optional excursion to explore the enigmatic Inca terraces at Maras and the salt mines of Moray.

Day 8 Cuzco – Puno
This morning, fly to Puno, hugging the shores of Lake Titicaca. Known as the birthplace of the Inca Empire, ancient legends say that life began here. Have time to meet the locals and discover the history of this region as you explore the village before checking into your lakeside hotel. Tonight enjoy an evening at leisure.

Day 9 Uros Floating Islands – Las Chullpas de Sillustani – Lake Titicaca
The Titicaca area, steeped in tradition and folklore, is the of Incan legends. Enjoy a morning cruise to the floating islands of the Uros people of Lake Titicaca. Experience walking on the spongy surface made from compacted beds of tortora reeds and meet the locals, learning about their history and lifestyle. In the afternoon, visit mystical Chullpas de Sillustani – an archeological area boasting 13th-century funerary monuments. Participate in a local home visit to gain insight into daily life.

Day 10 Puno – Lima – Tour Ends
As your tour comes to a close, spend the morning relaxing on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Later, fly to Lima for your connecting flight home.

For more information on this tour, or to look at other options for culinary adventures, please don’t hesitate to contact me. This is another “trip of a lifetime!”

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the people, you might better stay home.”
~James Michener

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