PERU TRAVEL ITINERARY
Contact us for dates
Limited to 16 curious travelers
Even today, traditional textiles and practices in Peru continue to be of great importance to Andean cultures as a symbol of their cultural identity, as they have for thousands of years. Each community displays its own particular designs, colors, styles and fibers in their weavings.
The traditional process begins with fibers sheared from sheep, llamas, alpacas and vicuña, often tended by the weavers themselves. While tending their flocks and their children, walking to market or to church, the women spin their threads, to be woven into the textiles unique to the Peruvian Andes. Simple looms, often made of bits of wood, are used for the naturally dyed fibers carefully woven by hand into intricate patterns, reflecting both the shared traditions of the weaving community, as well as the creativity of the weaver.
Noble Journeys' Peru vacations will introduce you to the villages and weavers who still practice the techniques of their ancestors.
- Enjoy talks & lectures, museums and site visits exploring pre-Columbian, Colonial and contemporary cultural and textile traditions
- Visit Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley and Cusco
- Take part in hands-on weaving and dyeing demonstrations
- Join weavers from the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC) for exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences as we visit CTTC's community projects
Your Tour Manager:
Joan Noble has been traveling the world for over 35 years and brings her curiosity, sense of humor and people skills with her wherever she goes. Her experience goes back many years, researching and planning programs, and accompanying groups from Massachusetts Audubon Society, Bowers Museum, The Textile Museum, New Israel Fund and many special interest groups to countries around the world. She previously worked, and lived for many years, as a graphic designer in New York, Milan, Paris and London and brings her artistic sensitivities to each of her trips, along with her excellent organizational skills. Her recent journeys have taken her to Mongolia and Antarctica.
ITINERARYDAY 1 USA – Lima
Arriving late afternoon or evening, you will be met by a Noble Journeys representative, who will escort you to your hotel and assist you at check-in.
Ramada Costa del Sol at Lima Airport. Meals aloft.
DAY 2 Lima – Cusco – Sacred Valley
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for transfer to airport for the short flight to Cusco. We will be welcomed by our English-speaking guide, board our comfortable coach and drive
1.5 hrs down into the Sacred Valley, to our hotel. It is best to go down into the Valley before visiting Cusco, as it is located at a lesser altitude (9514ft) therefore making acclimatization easier. Along the way our guide will brief us on the activities planned.
On the way to our hotel we will stop for a short visit to Awanacancha Weaving Center, where we will have the opportunity to see the different camelids in the Andes as llamas, alpacas, vicuña and guanacos. Alpacas have thick wool which is the most commonly used, while the vicuña are smaller and more delicate, and their fiber is considered the finest in the world.
We strongly recommend a rest upon arrival at our guesthouse: relax, lie down, drink plenty of liquid and allow your body to acclimate to the altitude, which is higher than what we are used to. Lunch & Dinner at the guesthouse.
Willka T'ika Guest House B,L,D
DAY 3 Willka T'ika
In the morning we tour the gardens, which are called the 'Seven Sacred Gardens'. Each is dedicated to a different energy center, or chakra, to provide for personal meditation, healing and rejuvenation. The gardens reflect the rich traditions of Andean culture, and generations of healing knowledge; they will also provide us with an opportunity to learn about how the local Andean weavers utilize local plants for dyeing the yarns. After the garden tour we will spend the day with the members of a weaving project run by the Center of Traditional Textiles of Cusco. The CTTC promotes the preservation of traditional Andean weaving techniques in 9 communities around the Cusco area.
We'll enjoy a full day of demonstrations and hands-on opportunities with weavers from villages working with CTTC. We can experience spinning and weaving with back strap looms, and have lunch with the weavers. Dinner at the guesthouse.
Willka T'ika Guest House B,L,D
DAY 4 Ollantaytambo
After breakfast, we will visit the fabulous ruins of Ollantaytambo, the temple/fortress and town that served as first defense for Cusco against incursions from the northern jungle tribes. This town is unique in that it still preserves its original Inca architectural and street layout, designed hundreds of years ago. After a visit to the main Inca Temple, we drive to the village of
Urubamba and the colorful produce market, to learn about local grains, vegetables and exotic fruits from the cloud forest area of Quillabamba.
Lunch has been organized at Hacienda Huayo Ccari, a lovely traditional hacienda owned and still occupied by one of the oldest land-owning families in Cusco. We will enjoy a delicious three-course meal in an elegant wood panelled dining room with views of the valley below. We recommend spending some time looking at the superb pieces of the Hacienda's folk art collection, with your guide or the owners. There is also a wonderful garden with stunning views.
After lunch, we drive to the ceramic studio of Paolo and Marilu Seminario for a private tour; their work is dedicated to discovery of techniques and designs from ancient Peruvian cultures. We can see and discuss how these ceramic designs evolved from textile motifs, and make purchases, if desired. We return to our guesthouse for dinner.
Willka T'ika Guest House B,L,D
DAY 5 Machu Picchu
After a very early breakfast we will begin our journey to Machu Picchu – the "Lost City of the Incas". A short drive takes us to Ollantaytambo where we will board the train to the Putucusi Rail Station; we then board a minibus for the final 2,000 foot climb to the mystical and magical site of Machu Picchu.
Rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911, Machu Picchu was unknown to the Spaniards. Its reason for existence remains under debate. Some argue it was built and populated by the family of one Inca ruler, Pachakutek; others have proposed the principal function of Machu Picchu was to maintain a reliable supply of coca leaves for the priests and royals of Cusco. Bingham fostered the school of thought that the city existed primarily for strategic and defensive purposes, but other findings support the theory that Machu Picchu was a university where the children of the leaders of other Andean cultures conquered by the Incas were taken to be instructed and indoctrinated.
With our guide, we stroll through the maze of empty plazas, chambers and dwellings saddled atop steep mountainsides. After lunch at the ruins, and having extra time in the afternoon to thoroughly explore the significance of a variety of stone structures and ruins, we will descend to the village of Aguas Calientes in order to catch our train back to the Sacred Valley. We return to the guesthouse for dinner.
Willka T'ika Guest House B,L,D
DAY 6 Chinchero – Cusco
After an early breakfast, we drive to the village of Chinchero. On our way, we can stop to photograph the magnificent snowcapped mountains of the Cordillera Vilcabamba range. This is by far the most spectacular drive in the region.
Higher than Cusco and the Urubamba Valley, the village of Chinchero, at 12,500ft, has a fascinating history and offers amazing views of the mountains. The village was the site of the country estate of one of the last emperors, Topa Inca. In the late 14th Century he built a magnificent palace using large stones placed in a 'jigsaw puzzle' type pattern. We will explore these ruins and the nearby adobe church which was later built on Inca ruins by the Spanish.
In Chinchero, we meet up with CTTC weavers who will show us the best weavings in the region in the workshop of Nilda Callanaupa, the renowned founder of CTTC. Her team of weavers will give us a textile demonstration and we'll enjoy lunch with them.
Later in the afternoon we board our bus for a 30 minute drive out of the Sacred Valley and up to the city of Cusco. Dinner at our hotel.
Hotel Casa Andina B,L
DAY 7 Cusco
After breakfast at the hotel, we enjoy a tour of Cusco. At 11,200 feet above sea level, Cusco is the heart of Tahuantinsuyo, Peru's pre-Colombian Empire. Cusco today is the oldest continuously inhabited city in South America, a fascinating and colorful paradox of the past and the present. We will visit the Inca temple of Koricancha, or the Temple of the Sun, with walls demonstrating some of the finest examples of Inca stonework in existence. The Santo Domingo church was built over this magnificent temple. During the Inca period, its courtyards were filled with life-sized gold and silver representations of all the flora and fauna of the Empire. Pizarro's men looted the temple as part of Inca leader Atahualpa's royal ransom; he was held prisoner in Cajamarca by the Spaniards and later killed. An earthquake destroyed the Santo Domingo church in 1950 revealing the Inca walls that were hidden or plastered over. The Cathedral, was built in 1550, and contains over four hundred XII century paintings done by the members of the renowned Cusco School. In the cathedral you will see the Lord of the Earthquakes altar weighing over 52 pounds made of solid gold and studded with precious stones.
We will also explore Sacsayhuaman, located two kilometers from the city of Cusco, an immense walled complex made up of huge stones placed in a zigzag pattern in three platforms. Inca Pachacuti employed 20,000 men for the construction of the complex and it took approximately 50 years to complete. We'll also visit the sites of Qenco and Tambomachay, just outside of town.
Free time for lunch and the rest of the afternoon and evening to explore on our own art and craft shops, textile and alpaca garment stores, stroll the picturesque streets and visit museums.
Hotel Casa Andina B
DAY 8 Pitumarca
Early departure after breakfast for our day trip to Pitumarca. En route, we meet with a group of CTTC weavers from the remote village of Sallac and view their unique tie dye work, and knitting done by men. We continue to Pitumarca to see the discontinuous warp and weft weaving, typical of this village, enjoying a box lunch along the way. Time permitting, we'll visit the beautiful Andahuaylillas church, considered the Sistine Chapel of the Americas for its murals.
Pitumarca is considered one of the most important Andean textile centers in Peru. This high Andean community has access to some of the most valuable fibers in the world, since members from the communities are llama and alpaca herders. The weavers also have access to sheep wool which is used in some of their weavings, and the surrounding communities of the region have access to vicuña fiber, considered the finest in the word. We return to Cusco. Dinner on our own.
Hotel Casa Andina B, Box Lunch
DAY 9 Lima – USA
This morning after breakfast, we transfer to the airport, by private vehicle, for our domestic flight back to Lima. Upon arrival, we will be met by our representative. Our driver will take our luggage and deliver it to the airport hotel Ramada Costa del Sol, where we will have day room accommodations. We drive to the district of Miraflores and enjoy our farewell lunch at the Astrid y Gaston restaurant, considered one of the top 50 restaurants in the world.
After lunch we will visit, with one of our specialist guides, the Amano Museum, with a beautiful collection of Pre Inca textiles, particularly from the Chancay culture (Southern coast 1100 AD- 1440 AD), including embroideries, paint-decorated fabrics and gauzes. For pre-Columbian textiles, the Amano museum is a definite must.
After visiting the museum we take a short tour of the coastline in Miraflores before we are transferred to our hotel at the airport to freshen up before flying back to the USA. The hotel has a café for a late snack or dinner, and you will have our full assistance before departure.
Day Room at Ramada Costa del Sol Airport Hotel B, Farewell Lunch
Price determined by season and number of travelers
Please contact us to discuss your preferred dates
- Round trip air Lima-Cusco-Lima
- Unique experiences in the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu & Cuzco
- Private activities with CTTC weavers
- Accommodations as noted, or similar
- Meals as noted
- Private coach transportation
- English/Spanish/Quechua speaking guide throughout the trip
- Joan Noble as Tour Manager
- Museum visits
- All entrance fees to historical sites
- One day entrance fee to Machu Picchu and bus ticket to the ruins
- First Class train to/from Machu Picchu
- Special Farewell Lunch in Lima
- Two bottles of water per day per person
- International flights.
- Items of a personal nature (i.e. telephone, laundry, any alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks.
- Tips to guides and drivers
PLEASE NOTE: itinerary content, pacing, hotels, etc. all subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control. We strive to provide equal or better replacements. Please understand we are traveling to out-of-the-way destinations. Flexibility and a sense of humor required!