Your journey begins in Lima – founded by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535 – a blend of colonial splendour and teeming vitality. Settle into the Barranco neighbourhood, brimming with cute cafes and art galleries before exploring the city. Lima has undergone a gastronomic revolution in recent years, giving you the freedom to choose between Peruvian classics or innovative fusion dishes — and don't forget to sample the local cocktail, a pisco sour.
Enjoy a leisurely morning before exploring Peru’s capital with your private guide, visiting the Plaza Mayor and Cathedral of Lima. Pass the presidential Palace en route to Santo Domingo Convent and the Larco Museum and its treasure trove of pre-Columbian relics. Set in an 18th-century mansion, it houses over 45,000 artefacts and is one of the few museums in the world where visitors can explore the storage areas to view its entire collection.
Fly to Cusco, perched 11,000 feet above sea level. Upon arrival, enjoy a local restaurant lunch before proceeding to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where an ancient way of life lives on. En route, stop at the Sulca textile museum where South American camelids (including llamas and alpacas) are bred. Learn about the weaving of their fibres - a mainstay of local communities since the days of the Incas - before heading to your hotel alongside the Urubamba River.
Discover the ancient agricultural methods used for centuries in this challenging, mountainous environment on a visit to a time-frozen village before heading to Moray, a unique Incan site consisting of three terraced, circular excavations resembling earth-hewn amphitheatres. Then, enjoy a fresh lunch at the Kuychi Center – a school where underprivileged children receive education, nutrition, medical care and hope – a project supported by Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy called Niños del Arco Iris (Children of the Rainbow).
Start your day visiting the imposing fortress of Ollantaytambo that hugs the mountain slopes. Then, journey deep into the Andes toward Machu Picchu by a train equipped with panoramic windows in every car. On arrival, pause for lunch within sight of the citadel before you start exploring these breathtaking Incan ruins with your private expert guide. Tonight, stay at the only accommodation available on site, Sanctuary Lodge, which offers a peaceful, Incan-influenced ambience along with fresh local cuisine.
Rise with the sun to walk through Machu Picchu in the early morning mist before the crowds arrive. After your explorations, gather for lunch at a local restaurant. Journey back to Ollantaytambo aboard the Vistadome train, savouring incomparable views of the mountain scenery. Settle into your hotel, a former monastery with a tranquil central courtyard and amazing scenic views.
Today, explore the city of Cusco, visiting the cathedral on the Plaza de Armas and the Santo Domingo Temple, built on the foundations of the Koricancha, the Incas’ principal religious structure. Known as one the most beautiful churches in the Americas, its construction was influenced by the great Spanish cathedrals of the era, reflecting Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles.
Fly to Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, set more than 8,500 feet above sea level. Founded by conquistadors in the 16th century, Bogotá today is a modern metropolis with moderate year-round climate.
Explore Bogotá, starting at the colourful and fragrant Paloquemao Market. Proceed to La Candelaria, the oldest part of the city, visiting the main square of Bogotá and the Plaza de Bolivar. Continue to the Botero Museum before discovering the celebrated Gold Museum, the world's largest collection of pre-Hispanic gold artifacts, with your guide. After lunch at a local restaurant, ascend to Monserrate by funicular railway or cable car to take in vistas of the city.
Dive into Colombia’s journey toward peace and prosperity today. Walk along Avenida Jimenez toward Plaza de Bolivar, learning about the 2016 Peace Agreement that ended 50+ years of conflict. Sample street foods en route to view Fragmentos, and stop to taste ice cream and a selection of exquisite chocolates before continuing to Casa de la Paz to sample craft beer made by former FARC combatants as you hear their stories. Finish with lunch at a farm-to-table restaurant.
Fly to Armenia, in Colombia’s renowned coffee region, where you’ll pause for lunch before continuing to a coffee plantation. Discover the heritage of Colombia´s coffee culture as you enjoy a guided walk through the fields and facilities, learning about the production process and taking part in a tasting that challenges you to differentiate between coffee qualities. Finish with a wonderful cup of coffee as you look out over a breathtaking landscape.
Visit one of the most emblematic sites of the coffee region, the Cocora Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin with a guided walk while learning the area’s importance for the wax palm, Colombia’s national tree. Following lunch, explore the municipality of Salento, walking its colourful streets, visiting the Cerro de la Cruz viewpoint and perusing local handicrafts. Continue to Filandia, capping off your visit with a drink in the town’s picturesque square.
Fly to Cartagena, perhaps the most exuberant and tropical destination in Colombia. Feel the magic of this port city, which overlooks the Caribbean from fortress walls built to fend off everything from marauding buccaneers to British warships, on a private sunset sailing experience. Sail out into the harbour, taking in the breathtaking views of the city from the water and watch as the sun sets. Your hotel is a former 17th-century mansion still featuring its original Moorish-influenced design.
Discover Cartagena, starting at Castle San Felipe Barajas, exploring its underground galleries and passageways. Continue to the walled city and visit the church of San Pedro Claver, as well as Bolivar Park. Later, sample dishes served from small stalls in the old city, savouring the melting pot of influences. This evening, get ready to learn salsa, merengue, reggaeton and bachata in a renowned local dance academy. Toast your South American adventure with a tasting of some of the region’s best rums.