Experience the Land of the Incas on the ultimate bucket list trip. By Elizabeth Frels
Ker & Downey’s new high-flying adventure invites you to journey to the uncharted corners of Peru in search of the country’s finest hidden gems. Private jets and exclusive-use train charters give unprecedented access to these far-flung hotspots, while placing the essence of Peru right in the palms of your hands.
Here are five reasons why this jet-setting itinerary should be at the top of your 2018 travel to-do list.
Train Car Style
There are train rides, and there are train cars.
Uncharted Peru features some of the most exquisite forms of private chartered travel including the newly minted Inca Princess Presidential Class train service to and from Machu Picchu.
This exclusive-use train car is the newest and highest level of train travel available to those journeying to and from the mighty citadel. Not only are guests able to enjoy the entire carriage for themselves, but they are also treated to live Peruvian music, comfortable lounging areas, an entire bar devoted to Pisco and outdoor viewing decks to soak in the passing Andean colors.
There is even time to enjoy an exquisite tasting menu on board as you sit back in your private presidential carriage and experience the full extent of personalized train travel en route to one of the world’s most extraordinary archaeological treasures.
Mother Earth Moments
One of the most indelible ways to connect with the traditions of the local Peruvian people is through a Pachamama ceremony in the breathtaking Sacred Valley.
Pachamama, or Mother Earth, is a revered goddess of the indigenous people of the Andes. According to Inca legend, Pachamama is an ever-present and independent deity believed to control fertility, preside over planting and harvesting and cause earthquakes.
To submit offerings to Pachamama is an amazing and authentic cross-cultural experience for any traveler to Peru. During the ceremony, you are given an opportunity to present your intentions through three undamaged coca leaves. Health, work, prosperity, protection—no request is off the table as long as it is given with an open heart.
The instrumentalist plays his effervescent music while the shaman calls upon the mountains, the glaciers, the condors, the pumas and the snakes to honor the wishes held within your coca leaves. Sealed with a hug and sent up with a final burning, it is here where your connection to both the earth and to the people around you is at its most powerful.
The verdict is in: more people are traveling to Peru for the country’s gastronomy than for Inca ruins. In fact, the country’s capital Lima now boasts the most highest-ranking restaurants on the planet, with Virgilio Martínez's Central and Mitshuharu Tsumura’s Maido both cracking the top 10 of the 2017 “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list.
Uncharted Peru not only offers plenty of time in Lima to dine out at these restaurants, but it also allows you to dive into the gastronomical highlights of the city with a dedicated food expert, who will teach you all there is to know about Peru’s super-food fruits, authentic Peruvian ceviche and artisan beer.
At the local market, you will have the chance to taste such regional specialties as cherimoya, pacae, mango, passion fruit and aguaymanto, learning about Peru’s climates and traditions without leaving your chair.
Your culinary expert will then take you to a local restaurant and order off the menu so you can enjoy the authentic Peruvian flavors in new combinations inaccessible to the public.
Prefer something even more local? Rise early in the morning and join your expert for an expedition to the local fish market, where you will have the chance to pick out your fish and create your own ceviche—a delicious dish many Limeños prefer for breakfast.
One last flavor profile comes in the form of local beer tastings at Lima’s new craft breweries. The last thing one might expect to find in Peru is a booming craft beer scene, yet between Peru’s rich grains and fruits and the creativity of the local people, the country’s breweries are giving Pisco a run for its money.
Pisco is not only a source of national pride for the Peruvian people; it also boasts an interesting history as rich and complex as the country itself.
The elixir dates back to its origins to the Spanish conquistadors when, in the mid-16th century, Marquis Francisco de Caravantes imported the Pisco grapes to Peru from the northwest coast of Africa.
Hundreds of years later, Peruvian Pisco is still distilled with the same traditional methods as those first vines, and utilizes only eight grape varieties to ensure authenticity remains the standard, no matter where you travel in Peru.
Uncharted Peru gives you the chance to uncover the legend behind Pisco on an exclusive visit to the oldest distillery in the Americas. Here you will meet the Master Distiller and hear stories of four centuries of Pisco heritage.
Jet Setting Speed
Private jet access is the final and perhaps most important highlight of Ker & Downey’s Uncharted Peru. To travel in style aboard a private jet is to take the hassle out of travel altogether.
Aerial flights above the mysterious Nazca markings, quick connections to the ancient architecture of Arequipa, and easy transfers from one destination to the next place the entire country within your reach.
Your private jet will even have you at the world’s highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca, in time for sundowner cocktails and the next day’s sunrise explorations of the floating Uros Islands.
From beginning to end, this immersive journey proves no corner is off limits when private jet access, exclusive-use train cars and profound cultural experiences are at your disposal in a diverse and distinct country.