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Luxury 12 Day Peru & Costa Rica - Lima - Machupicchu - San Jose - Carara Biological Reserve
ITINERARY
Day 1. LIMA

Arrival to Lima, reception at the airport and transfer by private vehicle to the deluxe 5* Miraflores Park Hotel. VIP check-in to your Executive Suite complete with Ocean views. Fresh flowers and dry fruits will be waiting for you. If your arrival flight is late your massage will be postponed for tomorrow. If you arrive on an early flight, you will have a choice of an a la carte dinner or room service (if arriving after 11PM).

Day 2. LIMA .

After breakfast, a private guided visit of colonial and modern Lima, including the cathedral, dating from 1654, the main square, which still houses the original bronze fountain built in 1650, and the San Francisco Convent and its catacombs. Known as the city of the kings, Lima was founded in 1535 by Pizarro and rebuilt in 1991, the same year that UNESCO declared it a world heritage site. One of the very few South American cities that preserve the colonial past, Lima was home to the Spanish viceroy during the time of the Spanish colonialists. The tour will include a visit to the residential areas of San Isidro and Miraflores, before stopping at Larco Mar to enjoy a view of the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Lunch at the internationally renowned Rosa Nautica, the best seafood restaurant in Lima. After lunch, a visit to a museum of your choice. Return to your hotel in Lima. Return to your hotel to enjoy a relaxing 60 minute massage (for two people) which will invigorate the senses and prepare you for a delicious dinner at the Huaca Pucllana Restaurant. Located within an actual pre-Inca archaeological site and next to a 1500 year old adobe pyramid, the food here is exquisite and the sommelier will help you choose amongst your personal favourites or some Chilean and Argentinean classics.

Day 3. CUZCO

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Cuzco, the ancient Inca capital of the Incas. After the one hour flight, reception and transfer to the exclusive deluxe 5* Monasterio Hotel. VIP check-in by the chapel to your deluxe room. A fruit basket, fresh flowers, and fine chocolates will be waiting for you. The room will be oxygenated (the only hotel in the world with this facility) to help you relax and sleep more comfortably in the high altitude setting of Cuzco (11,600ft above sea level). After a recommended light lunch in the wonderful hotel restaurant, a private guided tour of Cuzco including the Cathedral, Qoricancha temple, the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman overlooking Cuzco, Qenko and Puka Pukara. Return to the hotel. Dinner in the El Tupay Restaurant. On Saturdays a folkloric music show will accompany your dinner.

Day 4. CUZCO - SACRED VALLEY-PISAC - OLLANTAYTAMBO

After breakfast, a private full-day excursion to Urubamba, the sacred valley of the Incas and to the ancient Inca market town of Pisac, founded during colonial times, and set at the foot of a hill crowned by the remains of an ancient Inca city. On Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Indians barter their products in the main square and artisans from around the area sell their woven alpaca wool blankets and ponchos, engraved gourds, antique reproductions, jewellery, etc. On Sundays, it is also the meeting place for Mayors from all the villages in the region, dressed in their traditional costumes to attend morning mass. Lunch in Urubamba or a picnic lunch will be provided. A visit will be made to Ollantaytambo, the only Inca town that was not defeated by the Spanish and a chance to explore the ruins before returning to Cuzco. Return to your hotel to relax and unwind. Before dinner, enjoy a 30 minute 'Inca massage' accompanied by traditional music. This relaxing massage incorporates aromatherapy using Kantu, the sacred flower of the Incas. Dinner in Cuzco at a recommended restaurant.

Day 5. CUZCO - MACHU PICCHU

Enjoy a good night's sleep before your private transfer at 9AM to Poroy, a short distance from Cuzco. Boarding of the luxurious Hiram Bingham train to Aguas Calientes. This Orient Express train is the most exclusive way to visit Machu Picchu and includes a hearty brunch aboard the train. Guides will also be available to answer any questions. Arrival to Aguas Calientes, assistance with your luggage and boarding of the bus for the short ride up to Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca citadel. At the very entrance to Machu Picchu, your hotel is located, the Sanctuary Lodge hotel. VIP check-in to your room, complete with king size bed and a view of the incredible mountains. A welcome drink and fruit basket will be waiting for you.

Shortly after, a guided tour of Machu Picchu, the most spectacular ancient city in the world. Built by the Inca Pachacutec, and comprising stone blocks fitted with masterful precision, Machu Picchu harmoniously blends into the mountain landscape. There are many theories as to the origins behind Machu Picchu but three of the most popular ideas include a temple to the sun, a fortress against the jungle inhabitants or a sanctuary for the Incas. This fabulous city has houses, temples, warehouses, a large central square, all connected by narrow roads and steps, and is surrounded by terraces cut into the mountain side which were used for agriculture. Lunch (if required), dinner and accommodation at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge. Opportunity to return to the site once all the other visitors have gone and an opportunity to truly appreciate the grandiose setting of this Inca masterpiece; with no crowds but only an eerie silence that few people experience.

Day 6. MACHU PICCHU - CUZCO

Early opportunity to return to the site and enjoy a wonderful sunrise over Machu Picchu. Time for some private reflection before returning for breakfast. Today no guide is provided as we feel that Machu Picchu requires a certain amount of self discovery to be fully understood. Take any of the several paths around various parts of the site (we will provide a map to help you), trek up to Wayna Picchu or walk down to the Inca's bridge. Let Machu Picchu unfold all its mysteries for you, take in the breathtaking cloud forests and jagged mountains, or marvel at the extraordinary Masonic precision of the ancient Incas. Either way, your day of self discovery will be a day never to be forgotten. Return to your hotel for lunch before returning back down to Aguas Calientes by bus. Some free time to visit the colourful town before boarding the Hiram Bingham train in the early evening. Return in style, converse with your fellow passengers and guides and enjoy cocktails followed by a four course dinner. Reception and transfer to the Monasterio hotel for your final night in Cuzco.

Day 7. CUZCO - LIMA - SAN JOSE

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight back to Lima and connection for your onward flight to San Jose. Arrival in San Jose, reception and transfer to the 5* Intercontinental Real Hotel. Dinner at your hotel.

Day 8. SAN JOSE - ARENAL

After breakfast, a trip to Arenal approximately 3 hours from San Jose. Here you will have an opportunity to see the majestic Arenal Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the Americas. In this area, you will feel the ground tremble and see the night sky explode with ash and lava in a natural display of fireworks (if the weather conditions permit). Then, we will visit the hot springs of the volcano, where you can relax in the soothing waters. Accommodation at The Spring Resort and Spa. Dinner at your hotel.

Day 9. TABACON - CANO NEGRO REFUGE

After breakfast, we will to drive to Los Chiles and begin a full day exploration by boat of the Caño Negro Refuge, which boasts a large population of waterfowl, and covers a part of the vast Nicaraguan Tectonic Depression. The refuge is composed of 5 habitats: lakeside vegetation, primary swamp forest, copaid forest, Santa Maria forest and Holillo forest. Your river adventure includes a 4 hour floating safari through Tropical Rain Forests and pastures until you arrive at the marsh. This trip also includes a homemade picnic. In the evening, return to The Spring Resort and Spa. Dinner at your hotel.

Day 10. CARARA BIOLOGICAL RESERVE

Breakfast at the hotel after which we will travel to the Central Pacific Area, passing near the Carara Biological Reserve. This reserve is teeming with different species of flora and fauna in what must be one of the most fascinating biological reserves in the whole tropical rainforest of Costa Rica. A packed Lunch will be provided. Overnight at the 5* Villa Caletas Hotel. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 11. CARARA BIOLOGICAL RESERVE

Free day for optional tours. Overnight at the 5* Villa Caletas Hotel, including Lunch and Dinner.

Day 12. CARARA BIOLOGICAL RESERVE - SAN JOSE After breakfast, transfer back to San José, and on to the airport for your international flight.
WHAT IS INCLUDED / NOT INCLUDED