Spend this Christmas in the Peruvian Andes and the New Year in Colombia’s Coffee Triangle. The rich traditions and lively atmosphere assure you a singular and unforgettable experience!
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Christmas in the Peruvian Andes
Syncretism, Tradition, and Nostalgia
The celebration of Christmas in the Inca Imperial City of Cusco is full of ancient traditions, expressed by a vibrant and dynamic culture that is inherited through the syncretism of indigenous Andean and Spanish Catholic customs.
Throughout December, Cusco is beautified by lights and Christmas décor. The Plaza de Armas features people with exaggerated long necks, adorned with gold and silver leafing art that is characteristic of the well-known Mendívil family and in the Koricancha, much larger and highlights Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus with Andean features and clothing.
On December 24th, 2017, thousands of people gather at the Plaza de Armas to visit Santurantikuy – a popular art fair where artisans from Cusco and neighbouring towns sell their delightful crafts.
Christmas Eve, awaiting the arrival of “el Niño Jesus,” or “Niño Manuelito,” as he is called by native Cusqueño, is greeted by the Midnight Mass, a traditional chicken stew and toasts with hugs and wishes of love and peace.
Love Thy Coffee
Colombia is synonymous with coffee!
It might seem pretentious, but it’s possible to find true love in Colombia. In the land of coffee, it couldn’t be any other way.
Savour the aromatic brew at Bogota’s Amor Perfecto, in a two-hour tasting session, sample five coffee varieties prepared by baristas who are experts in this brand of roaster and learn about the preparation methods.
Welcome 2018 New Year in the Coffee Region with a tinto, the flavour, strong and bold, flowed directly from beans, not a layer of burned toasting. Paper cup is nowhere to be found, nobody is taking their coffee to go. Everyone is just sitting, sipping and enjoying.
Visit a coffee plantation and we see the whole process from seedling to coffee cup and every part in between. We learn about the trials and tribulations that face the region’s coffee growers and how their whole way of life is affected by this simple bean. This region’s local economy forms a country’s culture identity! Your life as a coffee drinker will never be the same once you have tasted the elixir of life from Colombia.
Dec 21, 2017: Arrival in Lima, Welcome to Peru!
Arrival at the airport in Lima where you will be welcomed and transferred to the hotel.
Lima was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro as “The city of the kings” and became the capital and most important city of the Spanish Viceroyalty. Today it is still Peru’s most important city as it gives home to about 9 million people, almost 30% of the national population. The historical city centre comes with splendid colonial style architecture, ample squares as the Plaza de Armas (or Plaza Mayor) and grand churches which yielded it the declaration as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. In its modern quarters such as Miraflores and San Isidro you can find present day architecture, rich entertainment possibilities and a great number of first class hotels and restaurants. Peruvian cuisine is excellent and gets more and more famous in the world and Peruvians are extremely proud of their typical dishes.
Overnight at Casa Andina Private Collection Mirafl ores or similar
Dec 22, 2017: Lima city tour (B/D)
Morning is free to catch a bit more sleep.
In the afternoon, enjoy a city tour in downtown. Visit the Cathedral of Lima, located at Plaza de Armas, and Plaza Mayor, decorated with a bronze fountain. A few blocks away stands the Convent of San Francisco, which dates from the 17th century.
Welcome Dinner at Astrid & Gastón
Voted #7 on Latin America’s best 50 restaurants and World’s #33 in 2017, enjoy a degustation of 16 different dishes, the famous “Alturas Masters”, which will appeal all your senses.
After the meal you will be brought back to your hotel.
Dec 23, 2017: Flight Lima / Cusco (B/L)
This morning, drive through the modern quarters of Miraflores and San Isidro before visit the fascinating Larco Herrera museum.
Afterwards, continue to the traditional neighborhood of Pueblo Libre to have lunch in a typical tavern, “El Bolivariano”. Th is lunch includes the demonstration of how to prepare a Pisco Sour, the national aperitif you probably will enjoy several times in the next days.
Transfer to the airport and fly to Cusco and on arrival, transfer to the hotel and have the rest of the day free at leisure.
Overnight at Hotel El Mercado or similar
Dec 24, 2017: Cusco (B/L/D)
Enjoy the best view of the city of Cusco from atop Cerro Pukamoqo (Red Peak), a natural scenic overlook from which the outstretched arms of Cristo Blanco, a massive white statue of Christ, embrace the city in a benevolent gesture. We will then visit nearby Fortress of Sacsayhuamán, a colossal structure of enormous stones, carved and fitted together with incredible precision. As we return to the lower part of the city, you will stop off at the Mercado de San Pedro (Market of St. Peter), which being the city’s main street market, will give you an opportunity to get to know the products of Cusco, overwhelming you with the sights, aromas, tastes, and colors of the region.
Just a few blocks away, we will discover one of the most impressive buildings of Incan Cusco: the Korikancha (the Golden Temple)—a temple dedicated to the worship of the Sun God, whose interior walls were said to have been covered in gold. We will visit the Cathedral and admire its exquisite vestibules and priceless paintings from the Cusco School of the 17th and 18th centuries and a stroll through the Plaza de Armas (Main Square), now transformed by local artisans, sculptors and religious image makers to show their finest work in this one of a kind special fair every year. The Santurantikuy fair is Cusco’s spirit, tradition, culture, art and devotion.
Enjoy an amazing Peruvian Christmas Dinner.
Christmas Eve in Cusco is greeted by the Midnight Mass, hugs and wishes of love and peace at midnight, this Imperial City will be light up with fireworks! Merry Christmas!
Dec 25, 2017: Cusco – Machu Picchu (B/L/D)
This morning, board the Vistadome train and travel to Aguas Calientes, on Arrival, shuttle bus to the Machu Picchu ruins, here we learn about its discovery and the diff erent theories on how and why it was built, visiting the main plaza, the Temple of Th ree Windows, the circular tower, the sacred sun dial and the burial grounds.
Lunch at the Cafe Inkaterra.
After the visit, shuttle bus down to Aguas Calientes and a short walk to our hotel.
Overnight at Hotel El Mapi Machu Picchu or similar
Dec 26, 2017: Machu Picchu – Sacred Valley (B/D)
Return to the Machu Picchu citadel for a second visit to explore with your guide. You will have the opportunity to visit different sides of the citadels and at leisure time to take amazing photos.
Return to train station and travel by Vistadome to Ollantaytambo and on arrival, transfer to your hotel in Sacred Valley.
Overnight at Hotel Casa Andina Premium Valle or similar
Dec 27, 2017: Sacred Valley excursion (B/D)
Today we will visit Ollantaytambo, one of the last remaining Incan towns which was once fi ercely guarded by a massive fortress. Discover the large archeological complex of what used to serve as a wayside inn for royal delegations on long journeys.
At a local Chicheria, we will enjoy chicha, the famous traditional Andean drink made of germinated corn.
Drive to Urubamba and visit the main square that is attractively framed by a twintowered colonial church and pisonay trees, followed by one
or two beautiful home workshops in town.
Continue to Yucay, a pleasant and quiet little village with extraordinary views of the surrounding countryside. There are many Inca buildings, among which the Sayri Túpac Inca Palace, built of stone and adobe walls decorated in high and low relief.
Dec 28, 2017: Sacred Valley – Cusco – Bogotá (B/L)
Th is morning, we visit Pisac and its famous Indian market, a delightful place where we will browse for the goodies. Continue to Awanacancha where we appreciate the beauty of the Peruvian Andes.
Visit Tambomachay, its canals and waterfalls that show the progress of the Inca architects and hydraulic engineers before arrive at Cusco airport for our flight to Bogota.
Reception at Bogotá Airport and transfer to the hotel.
Overnight at Hotel De la Opera or similar
Dec 29, 2017: Bogotá (B/L)
Our hotel is located in downtown Bogotá, so it’s only a few minutes walk to the famous Gold Museum. Imagine seven whole fl oors of gold, Museo del Oro doesn’t just boast one of the most extensive collections of its kind in the world, it’s also a veritable feast for the eyes and the best way to kick off a tour of the city.
Next, we visit the Botero Museum, a permanent exhibition of works or art by Fernando Botero, Colombia’s most famous artist who’s “oversized” art is instantly recognisable. The museum also houses work by other world famous artists such as Dali, Monet and Van Gogh.
It’s time for lunch and in the area, Prudencia is the most highly recommended restaurant in the area. Mario Rosero and Meghan Flanigan prepare dishes inspired by home cooking all around the world – a delightful place where there’s no set menu, but instead appetizing complete menus that come with succulent desserts, change week to week and never repeat. It’s also a great option for vegetarians.
Walking through the old city is the perfect way to wrap up the rest of the day. From the Plaza Bolivar, the focal point of this historic part of the city, we see several important Colonial and Republican style buildings including the Palace of Justice and Colombian Congress, they embrace the square infusing it with history and tales of old. Wander the streets of La Candelaria away from the main square and exploring other parts of this historic hub. Our guide will not only explain the history of Bogota but also the intricacies of current Colombian culture and daily life.
Dec 30, 2017: Bogotá (B/L)
Drive to the small colonial town of Zipaquirá and see the Salt Cathedral, where religious sculptures and cavernous pools are hewn from salt mine tunnels 590 feet under the Halite Mountains. Tour the city’s historic main plaza, continuing to scenic Cajica, a delightful town nicknamed “The Stone Fortress.” Enjoy a traditional lunch and panoramic views; then return to Bogotá, stopping to visit the town of Usaquen, known for its Spanish colonial style of architecture.
On your way back to Bogotá, stop at one of the street food restaurants and try a ¨arepa¨ (cornbread). If the weather allows it you will have an amazing view over the gigant metropolis driving down the mountains.
Dec 31, 2017: Bogotá – Armenia (B)
The morning is at leisure for you to visit some of well preserved churches that can be found around this historic neighbourhood, embody the spirit of the city’s colonial past.
Pick up from the hotel, we will enjoy a Coffee Tasting at Amor Perfecto, located in the neighborhood of Chapinero. Enjoy delicious coffee and cappuccino from the brand of the same name, as well as tasting sessions. The Huila prepared in a siphon (a temptation for any caffeine addict) is not to be missed. But the most interesting option is a two-hour experience sampling five coffee varieties prepared by baristas who are experts in this brand of roaster and learning about the preparation methods.
Afterwards, transfer to Bogotá Airport and fly to Armenia, Colombia’s Coffee Triangle, recently named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
On arrival, transfer to your hotel.
Overnight at Hotel Isa Victory Hotel Boutique
Jan 01, 2018: Armenia (B/D) Happy New Year!
Visit a coffee finca as a good start of the New Year. Colombia is synonymous with Coffee.
The visit to Finca Combia and learn about the process of the seed; from planting and roasting to tasting. Walk through lush plantations, reveal the secrets of the production process, and expand your palate with the help of local experts who have passed down the fine art of coffee tasting.
Enjoy the breath-taking mountain scenery and the innate kindness of its people. Return to the hotel and rest of the day is free at leisure.
Happy New Years Dinner at El Solar
Jan 02, 2018: Armenia (B/L)
Drive through the region of Quindío; a beautiful landscape will surround you. The first stop will be Filandia, known for its traditional architecture, handicrafts and innovative kitchen. Walk around the small streets and learn more about the work of the handicrafts. Take a cup of coffee on the main square and observe the hustle and bustle of the people. Drive through the beautiful landscape arriving in the Cocora Valley. Here you will fi nd the highest palm tree of the world, the Palma de Cera. Leaving the valley, you reach Salento, the oldest village of this region. You have time to walk through the small streets with its colourful balconies and small shops in Camino Real.
Jan 03, 2018: Armenia – Bogotá (B)
At the scheduled time, transfer to the airport for you flight to Bogotá and international connection or take our extension to Cartagena.
Based on 10 or more Guest
- Double Occupancy USD $3595 | CAD $ 4595
- Single Supplement USD $1100 | CAD $ 1450
- Intertour Airfare USD $600 | CAD $ 760
- Lima – Cusco – Bogota – Armenia – Bogota
Based on 6-9 Guest
- Double Occupancy USD $3895 | CAD $ 4895
- Single Supplement USD $1100 | CAD $ 1450
- Intertour Airfare USD $600 | CAD $ 760
- Lima – Cusco – Bogota – Armenia – Bogota
Call 1-888-887-1688 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
to arrange the international flights for this journey from your home city.