Today we explore the beautiful city of Lima, also known as the 'city of kings', we'll visit the well preserved historical centre. Making our way through Plaza San Martin, we'll also take in Plaza Mayor, the Government Palace and the City Hall. Our tour of the city continues with a visit to the San Francisco Monastery and it's famous underground crypts which are home to an estimated 70,000 remains. This bright yellow architectural wonder is also home to an incredible library, holding thousands of antique texts, some of which pre-date the conquest in the 16th century.
Later we'll head through the residential districts of San Isidro and Miraflores, passing by Huaca Pucllana, a clay pyramid that was the ceremonial and administrative centre of the Lima culture and later considered a sacred town by the Inca's. Next up we'll stop at El Olivar park, a peaceful space where we'll find olive trees that were brought to Peru in the 15th century. Our final stop on today's tour of Lima is El Parque del Amor, this romantic spot is situated on the cliffs of Miraflores overlooking the Pacific ocean.
The rest of the day is at leisure for you to explore this fascinating city at your own pace. With Lima fast becoming one of the gastronomic capitals of the world, be sure to taste some of the delicious local cuisine. (B)
Cusco - The Sacred Valley. Bidding farewell to Cusco we travel on to the Sacred Valley today. Our first stop is the popular Pisac markets where we will have the chance to see the variety of colourful handicrafts on offer. Originally only held on Sundays, Pisac Market was a place for artisans from across the region to trade in their products. Today the market is a daily occurrence where locals and visitors alike can find some of the finest textiles, jewellery and clothing typical of this area of Peru.
Then we travel on to the remarkable Ollantaytambo fortress which was constructed to guard the entrance to this part of the valley and protect it from possible invasions of tribes from the jungle lowlands. One of the best examples of Incan architecture, many of the inhabitants of Ollantaytambo still live according to the customs and traditions they have inherited from generations of ancestors, leading to it being known as a living Inca town. (B)