We are back from a truly extraordinary trip to Peru with a terrific and diverse group of people! There were more magical moments than we could hope to include here, however, would love to share some of the highlights from this most recent once-in-a-lifetime trip. If you would like to see the full itinerary of our trip check it out here!
“The perfect blend of culture, nature & luxury in an exotic and intoxicating part of the world”.
~ We couldn’t agree with you more Laurelea!
Most everyone arrived a day or two early to get the lay of the land in Lima and once we all had checked into the luxurious Belmond Miraflores Park Hotel, we headed out to explore the historic city centre with its elaborate Spanish Colonial architecture. We arrived at the main square to find that it had been completely barricaded in preparation for a potential protest. YIKES, this could be interesting. Our team in Peru worked their magic and got us through, which allowed us the opportunity to see side streets teeming with people and shops before heading into the square, the breathtaking Cathedral and Convent eerily devoid of people and cars (unheard of in this city of 10 million people).We topped off the afternoon with a stop at the Bolivar Hotel (home of the Pisco Sour) to savour one of their famous drinks. The first “official” day wrapped up perfectly with our welcome dinner in a reserved section of the famous Huaca Pucllana restaurant overlooking incredible and unusual Pre-Inca Ruins. The evening was made even better when fellow Africa travellers Rosario and Belisario (who live in Lima) joined us for dinner and brought us all lovely Peruvian gifts.
The next day we checked out of Lima and flew to Cusco; and then immediately headed down to the Sacred Valley (to better acclimatize to the altitude). As is our custom…surprises are an integral part of each trip…that being said, we all enjoyed a beautiful surprise picnic in the middle of a farmers field surrounded by the breathtaking snow-capped Andes Mountains. From there it was on to the luxurious Belmond Rio Sagrado Resort for two nights of bliss along the Urubamba River.
On September 10th we had an absolutely unforgettable day! We travelled to Huilloc, a rural indigenous community in the Andes, where we got to meet the locals in their homes and see how they live. It was an experience that deeply touched the souls of many when we interacted with the villagers, and shared in their culture with dancing and singing.
This is what one of our travelers had to say about the experience…
“Loved interacting with the locals, witnessing their contagious enthusiasm for their own culture and traditions.”
Another highlight was our full day at Machu Picchu…how could it not be?. Victor, a Shaman exclusive to The Divine Destination Collection, was our personal guide and unveiled the magic and mystery of this magnificent site and led us in a serene cleansing ceremony. Later that day we boarded the deluxe 1920’s Hiram Bingham Train to Cusco where we enjoyed a few libations, a sing-along, dancing and lots of laughs. We were even greeted by rounds of applause as we made our way back to the dining car for dinner!
Before we left on our trip we held a fundraiser; which allowed us the opportunity to purchase supplies for two ”in need” communities. Allison was able to personally deliver new pyjamas and shoes to all the girls at the San Judas Chico Girls’ Home (a lovely heart connection experience with the amazing girls). We also purchased school supplies, dental hygiene kits, soccer balls & dolls that were gifted to the remote Amazon community Puerto Miguel. Both communities are so very grateful for these gifts and we would like to extend our gratitude to each and every one of you who contributed to make this possible!
Some of the other fabulous highlights were:
- Cocktails in the chapel of the Monasterio Hotel with Opera Singers and ethereal Mythical characters that led us on a parade to dinner.
- Cruising the Amazon River aboard the Delfin II– we were fortunate enough to have the entire ship to ourselves! We were able to give single cabins and upgrades to everyone…BONUS!
- A jungle walk where we got to see sloths, anacondas, frogs and beautiful kapok trees, flora & fauna and of course the famous beautiful pink and grey dolphins.
- Swimming in the Amazon with a floating bar. Yes, you read that right, a floating bar!
- Piranha Fishing – poor Jim got bitten by one. He’s ok; but I’m sure that’s an experience he will dine out on for years to come! A story for the grand kids!
- Sunset Beach Cocktails with mud bath, live entertainment, pick-up soccer game, rinse off in the river and of course lots of fab photos!
- The incredible journey of a lost hat that made the long ride from the Sacred Valley to Cusco back to its grateful owner!
One of our travellers summed it up perfectly…
“The trip was everything I could have hoped for and much more…the people, the places, the food, the activities and the experiences were all top notch.”
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