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Extension: Colca Canyon to Lake Titicaca

Program Number: 20471RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/18/2013 - 3/25/2013;
Duration: 7 nights
Location: Peru
Price starting at: $1,890.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 16; 6 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Colca Canyon is one of the deepest canyon's on earth, one where Inca traditions continue to flourish and Andean condors cast their shadows. On the shimmering surface of Lake Titicaca are reflected the soaring, snowcapped peaks of the surrounding mountains. Discover both of these priceless treasures of Peru to more deeply connect with the land and people you have already encountered.


• Experience Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake, during two nights at a private island eco-lodge.
• See the powerful Andean condor in flight in Colca Canyon.
• Explore the pre-Incan burial ground of Sillustani where tower-like structures called chullpas mark gravesites.

Activity Particulars

Walking two miles per day; uneven terrain and stairs. Elevations of 12,500 feet.

This program is an extension of Program #3280, Majesty and Mystery: Ancient Civilizations of Peru, and may only be taken in conjunction with this program.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Arequipa, 1 night; coach to Colca Canyon, 2 nights; coach to Puno, 1 night; boat to Isla Suasi, 2 nights; boat to Puno, coach to Juliaca, departure.

Flight from Cusco
Arrival Arequipa
1 night
Coach to Colca Canyon
2 nights

Discover the “White City” of Arequipa, so called because most of its colonial buildings were constructed from the region’s white volcanic rock. Discover the mummy Juanita, an Incan girl killed as an offering to the Inca gods who was preserved in the ice. In the Colca Canyon, a local naturalist explains the meaning of the condor to the environment and the Inca culture. Meet a local craftswoman to gain insight into traditional Colca embroidery.

Coach to Puno
1 night
Boat to Isla Suasi
2 nights
Boat to Puno
Coach to Juliaca
1 night

Journey past snow-capped mountains, volcanoes and beautiful lagoons en route to Puno on the shore of Lake Titicaca. Discover the lake’s manmade reed islands and meet the Uros people whose ancestors created and constructed their homes on them. Spend two days and nights on Isla Suasi exploring the island including Andean farming plots where aromatic and medicinal herbs are grown. Examine the night sky over the lake during a stargazing excursion.


Known as the land of the Incas, Peru was home to an ancient civilization that thrived from the 12th century to 1532, when Francisco Pizarro conquered it. Although a prominent memory in history, prior civilizations like the Chavin, Paracas, Nazca, Moche and Wari set the foundations for the Inca Empire. Peru is divided into three zones: the coast, the Andean mountain range and the Amazon jungle basin, all of which are culturally and linguistically different.

Arequipa: Centrally located hotel. Colca Canyon: Rustic riverside lodge. Lake Titicaca: Hotel on the shore; private island eco-lodge.
Meals and Lodgings
   Posada del Inka Arequipa
  Arequipa, Peru 1 night
   Colca Lodge
  Colca Canyon, Peru 2 nights
   Casa Andina Private Collection – Puno
  Puno, Peru 1 night
   Casa Andina Private Collection – Suasi Island
  Lake Titicaca, Suasi Island, Peru 2 nights
 Posada del Inka Arequipa
Type: Hotel
  Description: This charming property is conveniently situated in the main square, next to Arequipa's cathedral. It is within walking distance of the commercial/financial district and well situated for visits to the city's main tourist attractions.
  Contact info: Arequipa Portal de Flores 116
Arequipa,   Peru
phone: +51-54-215530
  Room amenities: Each room has cable TV, individual climate control, direct-dial phone, mini bar, bathroom telephone, safety deposit box, and 110 volt/220 volt outlets. Hair dryers can be provided upon request.
  Facility amenities: Business Center with Internet access, conference space, 24-hour room service, outdoor pool, laundry services, luggage storage, tour desk, currency exchange, medical assistance, and airport transportation services.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Colca Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: Colca Lodge is located in the heart of the Colca River valley at an elevation of 10,660 ft above sea level. The hotel is on the banks of the river, built upon the ancient, terraced farmland that rises above the valley. The rustic lodge is built of stone and mud brick with thatched roofs - an architectural style inspired by the ancient Inca buildings.
  Contact info: Fundo Puye
Yanque-Caylloma,   Peru
phone: +51-54-531191
  Room amenities: Heat, solar-heated hot water, outdoor terrace. Some non-smoking rooms are available.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, spacious living room with a fireplace, game room with an assortment of table games, hot springs. The hotel does not have television or other modern distractions.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Casa Andina Private Collection – Puno
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The two-storey hotel is located outside of Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca.
  Contact info: Av. Sesqui Centenario 1970 – 1972
Sector Huaje
Puno,   Peru
phone: +51-51-363992
  Room amenities: 46 rooms with heat, cable television, direct-dial telephone, hairdryer, safe-deposit box and coffee-making facility.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, Wi-Fi Internet access, private pier, PC with Internet service, room service, oxygen, laundry service, medical assistance, luggage storeroom and currency exchange.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Casa Andina Private Collection – Suasi Island
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The hotel is the only one located on the 106-acre Suasi Island, situated on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca. Constructed of local materials such as stone, adobe and totora reed, the ecologically-designed hotel sits on a sheltered hill terraced with Andean flowers and boasts commanding lake views from every room.
  Contact info: Suasi Island
Lake Titicaca,   Peru
phone: +51-51-9504235
  Room amenities: 24 rooms with lake view that are furnished with local materials, private bathroom, heat and solar-powered hot water.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant and bar, fireplace, Internet access, board games, Andean library, cultural hut - Andean interpretation center, small Andean sauna, massage room, telephone calls can be made from the front desk.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Afternoon flight to Rodriguez Ballon Airport in Arequipa, Peru. You will be staying at Posada del Inka Arequipa that night.
  End of Program:
Evening flights out of Jorge Chávez International Airport. You will be staying at Casa Andina Private Collection – Suasi Island the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Arequipa
  Transportation to site: This program is a Road Scholar extension offered in conjunction with program #3280. Participants will already be in Cusco, Peru for the start of their extension arrangements.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Lake Titicaca, Suasi Island
  Transportation from site: This extension program will end at the international airport in Lima where participants will be able to check-in for their flights back to the U.S.
Elevation Note: Ranging from 10,700 ft to 12,566 feet.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arequipa -
Fly from Cusco to Arequipa

(Monday, March 18)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: The main Road Scholar program (#3280 Majesty and Mystery: Ancient Civilizations of Peru) comes to an end. Participants taking this extension will have a free morning to explore Cusco.
 Lunch: Lunch will be on your own, to explore local fare.
 Afternoon: Transfer to the Cusco airport to connect with a flight to Arequipa.

Arrive in Arequipa and transfer to the hotel.

The beautiful southern city of Arequipa is affectionately called the “White City.” It earned the nickname because most of the colonial buildings were constructed with sillar, a white volcanic rock found in the region. Bathed in sunlight, the city sparkles and stands out against the dark tones of the surrounding landscape. Downtown Arequipa was nominated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2000, a tribute to the unique blend of European and indigenous building techniques and architectural styles found in the city's historic center.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own, to explore local fare.
Accommodations: Posada del Inka Arequipa
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 2: Colca Canyon -
Explore the Santa Catalina Convent/Juanita Inca Mummy/Driving through Peru's Altiplano

(Tuesday, March 19)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a visit to the 400-year-old Santa Catalina Convent, one of the most fascinating colonial religious buildings in the country.

Continue your exploration of Arequipa with a stop at the Museo Santuarios Andinos to view the famous "Juanita" Inca mummy (also known as "the Ice Maiden"), as well as displays of religious offerings and other mummies found at the same sacrificial site. A site lecture will help to explain the Incan ritual practices that surround this mummy of a girl who died over five hundred years ago.

Begin transfer to the Colca Canyon via the village of Chivay.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch en route.
 Afternoon: Arrive at the hotel and check-in.

Free time to relax in the hotel's hot springs.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner and a musical presentation at the hotel.
Accommodations: Colca Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Colca Canyon -
Yanque Town/Cruz del Condor/Maca and Pinchollo Towns/Chivay Market and Local Crafts

(Wednesday, March 20)
 Breakfast: Early breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Early this morning, we will travel to the town of Yanque to visit the church and see local children performing at the square before they go to school.

Continue to the lookout point at Cruz del Condor, to get close-up views of condors soaring through the spectacular gorges. A naturalist-led discussion will examine the importance of the condor to both canyon ecology and Inca culture.

Return to your hotel via the towns of Maca, famous for its church, and Pinchollo.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant in Chivay.
 Afternoon: Explore Chivay and its market, where you will meet a local craftswoman and gain insight into Colca embroidery traditions, which often feature the native Colibri, the largest hummingbird in the world.

Return to the hotel.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
Accommodations: Colca Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Puno -
Reserva Nacional Salinas y Aguada Blanca/Sillustani Tombs

(Thursday, March 21)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Early departure for Puno.

Drive through the Reserva Nacional Salinas and Aguada Blanca, known for its snow-capped mountains, volcanoes and beautiful lagoons.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch at the lagoon.
 Afternoon: Continue to Sillustani Tombs, an ancient pre-Inca burial ground with unique, aboveground tombs called "chullpas."

Arrive in Puno, located on the western banks of Lake Titicaca--the world's highest navigable lake (approximately 12,500 ft above sea level). Arrive at the hotel and check-in.
 Dinner: Dinner is on your own, for a chance to explore local fare.
Accommodations: Casa Andina Private Collection – Puno
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Lake Titicaca, Suasi Island -
The Uros Floating Reed Islands and their People/Sunset on Lake Titicaca

(Friday, March 22)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Early this morning, you will board a boat to Suasi Island via Lake Titicaca's famous, manmade floating reed islands. Meet the Uros people and learn about their culture and life on the lake. Experience riding in a reed boat and discuss the foundation of the Inca Empire and Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki Expedition.

The Uros people have lived in the Lake Titicaca region since pre-Inca times. Through great ingenuity, they used totora reeds to create floating islands on which they built their homes. The Uros people originally constructed the islands as a means to protect their community from potential attacks. Isolated from outside influences, they were able to hold strong to their cultural traditions. Surviving descendents continue to inhabit the islands, living in much the same way as their ancestors did hundreds of years ago.

Arrive at Suasi Island, a private island near the northern shores of Lake Titicaca.
 Lunch: Late lunch at lodge.
 Afternoon: Time at leisure to explore the island on your own.

Guided walk to enjoy views of the lake at sunset.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
Accommodations: Casa Andina Private Collection – Suasi Island
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Lake Titicaca, Suasi Island -
Andean Farming on Suasi Island/Stargazing Excursion

(Saturday, March 23)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Walking field trip around the island, visiting Andean farming plots and cultivated parcels featuring aromatic and medicinal herbs.

Return to the hotel.
 Lunch: At the hotel.
 Afternoon: Time at leisure to enjoy the activities that the island offers. (All activities are included as part of program cost – except for any spa services.)
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: After dinner, enjoy a stargazing excursion.
Accommodations: Casa Andina Private Collection – Suasi Island
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Flight to Lima/Overnight Flights to the U.S.
(Sunday, March 24)
 Arrive To: At the hotel.
 Morning: Free time to explore the area, finish packing or relax at the hotel.
 Lunch: At the hotel.
 Afternoon: Board the boat back to Puno and then transfer to Juliaca for an afternoon flight to Lima.

Arrive in Lima and connect with international flight to the U.S.
Meals Included: Lunch

Day 8: Arrivals to the U.S.
(Monday, March 25)
 Arrive To: International flight arrivals to the U.S.

Free Time Opportunities
  Colca Canyon Activities Available Through Colca Lodge.
The lodge offers trekking, mountain biking, horse back riding and spa treatments. Trek to the ruins of an ancient Collagua settlement of Uyo Uyo or Chininea. Whitewater rafting is available down in the canyon. Various fees apply. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Lines in the Water, Nature and Culture at Lake Titicaca

Author: Benjamin Orlove

Description: With the author's photographs and reflections on the relationship of the lake-dwelling fishermen to their environment, this is an illuminating personal ac-count of life in the Andean highlands.

Lonely Planet Quechua Phrasebook

Author: Serafin M. Coronel-Molina

Description: This shirt-pocket guide is a surprisingly thorough introduction to not just the language but also the customs and culture of the Andes.

The Ice Maiden: Inca Mummies, Mountain Gods, and Sacred Sites in the Andes

Author: Johan Reinhard

Description: Archaeologist Johan Reinhard brings together tales of his own adventures and plenty of Inca history in this account of his discovery of Juanita, a 500-year-old mummy found in the Peruvian Andes.

Peru Map

Author: Berndtson & Berndtson

Description: A laminated map of Peru with city plans.

Art of the Andes, from Chavin to Inca

Author: Rebecca Stone-Miller

Description: This authoritative and concise illustrated survey of Andean art and architecture covers not only Machu Picchu and additional Inca monuments, but also Chan Chan, Nasca and other archaeological sites and cultures.

Insight Guide Peru

Author: Insight Guides

Description: Panoramic in scope, this illustrated overview brings Peru to life in hundreds of color photographs and vivid essays by a team of experts writing on history, archaeology and culture.

Monuments of the Incas

Author: John Hemming

Description: John Hemming brings the story of the Inca up to date in this revised edition of his classic overview, featuring Edward Ranney's exquisitely detailed, large format black-and-white photographs of Inca sites from Ingapirca to Incallacta. Originally published in 1982 and long out of print, this new edition includes 31 site plans and maps.

The Conquest of the Incas

Author: John Hemming

Description: This well-researched book provides a historical account of the 16th century Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire in Peru and neighboring countries. John Hemming is an anthropologist, writer, and explorer with an extensive travel background. He is also a member of the Royal Geographic Society.

The Incas and their Ancestors, The Archaeology of Peru

Author: Michael Moseley

Description: An outstanding illustrated survey of the archaeology of the Inca, Moche and Nasca civilizations. With hundreds of color illustrations and line drawings, it's an in-depth look at the ancient cultures and history of Peru. A great general introduction.

The Incas, People of the Sun

Author: Carmen Bernard, Paul Bahn (translator)

Description: Featuring hundreds of drawings and photographs, a chronology and long excerpts from the journals of early explorers, this is a colorful pocket encyclopedia of Inca history and archaeology.

The Peru Reader, History, Culture, Politic

Author: Orin Starn

Description: Lively and literate, this meaty anthology ranges from historical accounts to modern analysis.

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