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The Best of South America: Iguazu Falls, Machu Picchu and Easter Island

Program Number: 20368RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/18/2014 - 3/7/2014;
Duration: 17 nights
Location: Argentina/Brazil/Peru/Easter Island (Rapa Nui)
Price starting at: $5,997.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 39; 15 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 12 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

The pounding waters of Iguazu Falls. Morning sunlight illuminating the ruins of Machu Picchu. Sacred statues guarding the secrets of Easter Island. The natural and ancient treasures of South America are a bountiful feast for the senses — learn about these wonders and more during a journey that leads through the bustling villages and quiet countryside of Argentina, Peru, Brazil and Chile.


• Feel the mist from Iguazu Falls as you explore the waterfall from both the Argentine and Brazilian sides.
• Walk along the ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• View more than 400 Moai statues in various stages of completion as you explore the mysteries of Easter Island.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles at a time over uneven terrain; cobblestones; rocky stairs.

Program price includes round-trip air from Miami. Need help getting to Miami? Contact Road Scholar Travel Services.

Date Specific Information


Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Cuzco (Peru), coach to Urumumba Valley, 3 nights; train to Aguas Calientes, 1 night; train to Cuzco, 2 nights; flight to Iguazu Falls (Brazil), 3 nights; flight to Buenos Aires (Argentina), 2 nights; flight to Santiago (Chile), 1 night; flight to Easter Island , 3 nights; departure and overnight flight to the U.S., 1 night.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Iguazu Falls (Brazil)
2 nights

Thrill in the beauty of Iguazu Falls as a local expert leads explorations along its Argentine and Brazilian sides. Learn about the biodiversity of the Iguaçu rainforest with a naturalist, and observe the inner workings of a local indigenous community. At a local bird park, search for more than 150 Brazilian bird species.

Flight to Lima (Peru)
1 night
Flight to Cuzco
Coach to Urumbamba Valley
3 nights

Discover Peru’s Sacred Valley — or Urumbamba — and experience the bustling markets in the town of Pisac. Join a local expert for an exploration of the town and fortress of Ollantaytambo, and enjoy dinner at a private hacienda. Walk along the ancient farming paths of the Andean Highlands and get an introduction to the region’s agricultural communities.

Train to Machu Picchu Puebla
1 night

Spend a morning exploring the breathtaking Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, and hear how this ancient city became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Train to Cuzco
3 nights

With a historian, discover the city of Cuzco and explore Korikancha Palace, Church of Santo Domingo and the walled Inca complex of Sacsayhuaman.

Flight to Santiago (Chile)
1 night
Flight to Easter Island
3 nights
Departure and overnight flight to the U.S.
1 night

The exotic mysteries of Easter Island unfold as you join a local expert for field trips to the Padre Sebastian Englert Archaeological Museum and ceremonial sites of the Rapa Nui. A morning boat ride to the motus offers a look at these islands that were once the site of annual competitions by the Birdman Cult. View the petroglyphs at the sacred site of Orongo, and marvel in more than 400 Moai statues at Rano Raraku.

Iguazu Falls: Centrally located hotel with panoramic views. Lima: Airport hotel with spa. Urumbamba Valley: Mountain chalet-style retreat with spa. Machu Picchu Puebla: Modern, centrally located hotel. Cuzco: Comfortable hotel located in downtown plaza. Easter Island: Comfortable hotel.
Meals and Lodgings
   Slaviero Suites Foz do Iguacu
  Iguazu Falls, Brazil 2 nights
   Ramada Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel
  Lima, Peru 1 night
   Casa Andina Private Collection Valle Sagrado
  Urumbaba Valley, Peru 3 nights
   El Mapi Hotel
  Machu Picchu (Aguas Caliente), Peru 1 night
   Casa Andina Classic-Cusco Plaza
  Cuzco, Peru 3 nights
   Atton Hotel Vitacura
  Santiago, Chile 1 night
   Hotel Tea Nui
  Easter Island, Chile 4 nights
 Slaviero Suites Foz do Iguacu
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Slaviero hotel in Foz do Iguaçu has large suites, great location - downtown with easy access to the city main sights – besides an unforgettable panoramic view.
  Contact info: Rua Rui Barbosa, 394
Foz de Iguacu,   Brazil
phone: +4530261800
  Room amenities: All room have a small kitchenette with refrigerator, cable TV and internet.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Price based on availability r
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Ramada Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Ramada Costa Del Sol hotel is located just steps from the Lima International Airport. Take advantage of the 24-hour spa, which offers relaxing massages, a Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna. Connect to your friends and family using free Wi-Fi Internet access. Cool off and go for a swim in the indoor pool. The caring Ramada staff is happy to take care of your every need, from assisting with meeting services to recommending the best places to visit in historical and colonial Lima.
  Contact info: Av. Elmer Faucett S N, Aeropuerto Jorge Chavez
Lima, NA PE Peru
phone: +5117112000
  Room amenities: Cable television, air conditioning, heating, safe deposit box, Wi-Fi internet connection, mini-bar, hair dryer, clock radio, 110 V and 220 V electricity supply, and music.
  Facility amenities: Bar/Lounge, Business Center, Restaurant, Spa, Swimming Pool, Fitness Center, Hi-Speed Internet, Room Service, Wheelchair Access, Wi-Fi Throughout the Hotel, Laundry service, Shoe-Shine, Postal Service,
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Casa Andina Private Collection Valle Sagrado
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Sacred Valley’s most complete hotel: a mountain chalet-styled retreat with panoramic Andes views from every room and every angle. On more than 8 landscaped acres (3 hectares), it breathes an air of tranquility and relaxation. Unique among Sacred Valley hotels – most of which remain isolated in the valley, offering precious little for guests to do – it contains an extraordinary, full-service “Sacred Spa”, a domed Planetarium & Observatory for stargazing in the massive Southern Hemisphere sky, and gourmet restaurant and bar. The 85 inviting, spacious rooms overlook the property’s extensive gardens and feature either private balconies or sunny sitting areas. Equidistant between Urubamba and Ollantaytambo, in the Sacred Valley of Cusco, the hotel is perfectly positioned for easy access to the valley’s abundant attractions and incomparable Inca ruins, including world-renowned Machu Picchu.
  Contact info: 5to Paradero
Yanahuara,   Peru
phone: +5184984765501
  Room amenities: Very ample (32 m² / 339 sq. ft), elegantly rustic, with thick white stone walls and wood-beam ceilings. Feature Queen or King beds and either balconies or a separate breakfast/sitting area, as well as carpeted or parquet wood floors & warm down bedding. Hair dryer available in room.
  Facility amenities: Full-service Andean-style Sacred Spa, with native treatments Planetarium and Observatory with expert-guided shows & stargazing, Gourmet restaurant featuring local produce & ingredients, Andean specialties, wine & cocktail service, Bar, billiards/game room & TV lounge, Corporate and group meeting facilities & banquet room (180-person capacity), Children playground, Free Wi-Fi Internet access throughout hotel, Internet Centers with free high-speed Internet access, Room service, Usanzas handicrafts & gift shop, Ilaria and Aldo & Co jewelry shops, Miski alpaca goods shop, Crafts & textiles exhibition/market featuring local artisans, Laundry service, Globalnet ATM machine, Taxi service (to Cusco & Valley points of interest), Front desk available 24/7, No pets allowed.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 El Mapi Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Smart and contemporary are the defining elements of this hotel, amidst the commercial village of Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes), from where you can admire and interact with the quaint folksy town and get a different perspective. The hotel is efficient, playful and people friendly; it welcomes a wide range of guests expecting an uncomplicated visit.
  Contact info: Machu Picchu Puebla
Aguas Caliente,   Peru
phone: +51 1 422 6574
  Room amenities: Each room is equipped with blackout curtains, 100% cotton sheets, down duvets, hypoallergenic pillows, cotton bath robes, natural herbal amenities, 32" flat screen TVs and tight-focus reading lights.
  Facility amenities: HOT WATER POND Open to all (children under 12 must be supervised by a parent or guardian). GIFT SHOP The shop offers a wide selection of T-shirts, alpaca knits, outdoors gear and basic travel needs. COMPUTER ROOM •Desktop computer and printer available. •Open 24/7. •Complimentary internet.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Casa Andina Classic-Cusco Plaza
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Perfectly convenient: under the colonial arcades of stately Plaza Regocijo & around the corner from Cusco’s beautiful Plaza de Armas. Guests of this hotel can’t get much closer to the restaurants, bars, and shops that mark the Plaza de Armas of Cusco. The hotel is a 10-minute taxi ride from the Cusco airport and 5-minute taxi from Cusco’s train & bus stations.
  Contact info: Portal E Spinar 142
Cusco,   Peru
phone: +51 84 23 1733
  Room amenities: In room safe, cable TV, Free high speed wi-fi internet access, direct dial telephone, hairdryer
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, oxygen available upon request at the reception desk, free high-speed Wi-Fi Internet access throughout hotel,small Internet Centers with free high-speed Internet access, ATM machine, laundry service, foreign currency exchange,
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Atton Hotel Vitacura
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Destined to be one of the city’s most popular “hot spots,” the Hotel Atton Vitacura has taken Santiago by storm since opening its doors in August 2012. Sophisticated and modern, this 20-story masterpiece is a true testament that the finer things in life can come at an affordable rate which is sure to please any traveler. Located walking distance from business distric in Las Condes, and in front of Los Leones Golf Club and with a view of the breathtaking Bicentenario Park, the Atton Vitacura is the only option when it comes to having direct access to all of the wonders of Santiago.
  Contact info: Vitacura 3201
Santiago, NA  Chile
phone: +011 56 2944 7800
  Room amenities: Spacious and Quiet Guest Rooms, View of the Los Leones Golf Course, Personal Desk, King or Queen-size Bed, Studio Rooms Available Upon Request, Free Wi-Fi Internet, Cable TV, Minibar, Climate Control, Heater and A/C, Safe Deposit Box, Telephone, Hair Dryer, Smoking and Interconnected Rooms Available Upon Request, Handicapped Facilities Available.
  Facility amenities: Complimentary Breakfast Buffet, Citadino Restaurant and Bar, Coffee Bar and Cafeteria, Free Wi-Fi, 24-Hour Business Center, 24-Hour Gym Facility, Laundry Service, Sparkling Outside Swimming Pool, Seven Spacious Meeting Rooms, Free Underground Parking, International Security Standards, Gift Shop, Transfer and airport pick up Available Upon Request (Extra cost will apply)
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Tea Nui
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Located just in Hanga, Cabanas y Hotel Tea Nui is close to Ahu Vai Uri, Ahu Kote Riku, and Museo Antropologico Sebastian Englert. Also nearby are Puna Pau and Vinapu. PLEASE NOTE: Hotels in Easter Island are basic by North American Standards, they are clean, safe and well kept but all materials must be brought from the mainland by air or by monthly supply ship. Please set your expectations appropriatly.
  Contact info: Avenida Pont s/n
Hanga Roa,   Chile
phone: +56322551990
  Room amenities: Rooms open to balconies. The 12 guestrooms at Cabanas y Hotel Tea Nui include ceiling fans. All units feature minibars and coffee/tea makers. In addition, amenities available on request include hair dryers and irons/ironing boards.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a coffee shop/café. A complimentary breakfast is served each morning. Complimentary high-speed (wired) Internet access is available in public areas. The staff can arrange tour/ticket assistance and tour assistance. Additional amenities include multilingual staff, a garden, and secure parking. For a surcharge, guests have access to a roundtrip airport shuttle (available on request). Onsite parking is complimentary.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Additional nights after: Please contact the hotel We are not able to make additional night reservation for participants.

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program begins with dinner and Orientation at the hotel in Iguazu Falls (late evening) You will be staying at Slaviero Suites Foz do Iguacu that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends with the transfer to the airport in Rapa Nui You will be staying at Hotel Tea Nui the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Chile and Argentina have entry and departure fees not included in the program cost. The entry reciprocity fee for Chile must be paid in cash U.S. dollars or by credit card passengers arriving at Santiago de Chile. This applies to only passports from the following 4 countries: United States, USD140; Canada, USD140; Australia, USD61; and Mexico, USD23 (all these prices are subject to change). This fee is valid for multiple entries to Chile and remains valid until the expiration of the passport. U.S. citizens are admitted to Chile for up to 90 days. Argentina has an entry reciprocity fee for US Citizens. This tax must be paid online prior to entry into Argentina by credit card. The amount is USD160 and is not included in your program cost. The entry fee is valid for multiple entries into Argentina for up to 10 years, or until your passport expires. Currently this fee has not been collected for over-land crossings, but this can be instated by the Argentine Government at any time without notice. To pay this fee online, please follow these directions: 1. Register at and obtain an entry code. You will need to register a username, password, email address, passport information, phone and date of birth. 2. Complete the form including personal and credit card details . This information and the entry code will be sent electronically to the Argentine Government. 3. After payment is processed, print the receipt. 4. Upon arrival in Argentina, the receipt will be scanned by passport control staff and the data will be validated to enable entry to Argentina. It is very important that you remember to print and bring your receipt.
  Parking availability:
No parking available
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Iguazu Falls
  Nearest airport:  Foz do Iguaçu International Airport
  Transportation to site: Road Scholar participants traveling with air purchased from Road Scholar recieve a transfer on the group arrival date. The group arrival flight is: JJ 3169 GRU-IGU, arrives Iguazu 12:01PM 19 February, 2014 For those looking to arrive early and make their own way to the hotel, we only suggest taxi transportation from the airport in Iguazu Falls Brazil (IGU) to the hotel in Iguazu Falls, Brazil. Agree on a price before getting into the vehicle to avoid confusion when you get to the hotel. You should expect to pay between 35 to 45 Brazillian Reais.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Easter Island
  Transportation from site: Road Scholar participants traveling with air purchased from Road Scholar recieve a transfer on the group departure date. The group departure flight is: LA 0842 IPC-SCL, departs Easter Island 2:10PM 06 March, 2014 For those looking to leave later, we recommend you make arrangements with the hotel when you make your reservation.
Elevation Note: Cuzco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred valley are all above 12,000 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: Departure from the US
(Tuesday, February 18)
 Depart From: Depart from the US on overnight flight

Day 2: Arrival in Iguazcu
(Wednesday, February 19)
 Arrive To: Iguacu Falls. On arrival in Iguacu and after completing immigration formalities and clearing customs, you will be met by a Road Scholar representative and transferred to the city.
 Afternoon: Check in 2 nights at the Hotel Slaviero Suites.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: We will gather in our private meeting room where the Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Accommodations: Slaviero Suites Foz do Iguacu
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Iguazu Falls Argentinean Side
(Thursday, February 20)
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Field Trip "Exploring the Argentine Side of the Falls". The experience of seeing the falls from the Argentine side is completely different than from the Brazilian side and is well worth the experience. Led by a local expert discover the top of the falls.
 Lunch: Lunch in the park at one of the local restaurants
 Afternoon: Field Trip Continues: The paths on the Argentine side are much longer than those on the Brazilian side as the Argentine falls represent 75% of the falls. Later we explore a local Indigenous community to learn about the original local inhabitants.
 Dinner: At the hotel
Accommodations: Slaviero Suites Foz do Iguacu
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Iguazu Falls- Brazil Side and Flight to Lima
(Friday, February 21)
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Presentation "The Atlantic Rain Forest and the Iguacu Biosphere": Led by a local naturalist, learn about the biodiversity and complexity of the Atlantic Rainforest in the Iguacu Basin. Later we leave the hotel for a Morning visit to the Brazilian Falls. Led by a local expert, we walk the 1.5 mile paved path along the river bank to view the falls. The walk culminates with a spectacular 360 degree fall view. Be prepared to be wowed and to get wet, bring a plastic poncho.
 Lunch: At the hotel
 Afternoon: Field Trip "Exploring the Bird Park": Featuring over 150 species of tropical Brazilian birds, the park is an ideal place to continue to learn about the biodervisty of the region. After our visit we transfer to the airport for our evening flight to Lima.
 Dinner: On your own at the airport
 Evening: Arrival in Lima and transfer to our hotel for an overnight prior to flying to Cuzco the next day.
Accommodations: Ramada Costa del Sol Lima Airport Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Introduction to Peru and Lima, Flight to Cuzco and transfer to the Sacred Valley
(Saturday, February 22)
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: This morning is spent in a short transit from Lima to Urumbamba via Cuzco. Check out of the hotel for a mid morning transfer to the airport and a short flight to Cuzco. From the Cuzco airport take a scenic coach bus ride to the beautiful town of Pisac in Peru's Sacred Valley or Urumbamba. Pisac is known for it's Saturday market. Enjoy some time before or after lunch to explore the colorful Pisac Market.
 Lunch: Lunch in the quaint Peruvian town of Pisac.
 Afternoon: Check in to the hotel in Urumbamba and enjoy a presentation led by your study leader. Presentation "Introduction to Peru": this presentation will provide a foundation for your journey through the beautiful and culturally rich country of Peru - a land where ancient and modern cultures blend seamlessly together.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
Accommodations: Casa Andina Private Collection Valle Sagrado
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Ollantaytambo and Community Education Project
(Sunday, February 23)
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Pesentation “The Rise and Fall of the Inca's ”: Your program lecturer, Jean Jacques Decoster, will detail the history of the Incan society.
 Lunch: Lunch near Ollantaytambo
 Afternoon: Field Trip "Ollantaytambo Ruins and Town": Led by your Peruvian Study Leader explore Ollantaytambo fortress and town. Ollantaytambo is an archaeological park to which different functions had been attributed. It is considered a military construction strategically located to protect Cuzco from possible invasions. The town of Ollantaytambo is one of the few cities that still maintain the Inca system of urban planning.
 Dinner: Enjoy a dinner in a Private Hacienda (Private home restaurant)
Accommodations: Casa Andina Private Collection Valle Sagrado
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Exploring the Sacred Valley / Andean Countryside and Rural Living
(Monday, February 24)
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Field Trip "Cuyuni Village Cultural Discovery": Arrive to Cuyuni and explore how local life unfolds in the peaceful Andean Highlands. Drink in the culture in a walk along the ancient farming paths that pass through this primarily agricultural community. At various stops throughout the day, learn about the local agriculture, religious ceremonies, and textile production in this region.
 Lunch: Typical Andean lunch at the restaurant run by the local community
 Afternoon: Presentation “The Rise and Fall of the Incas”: An expert lecturer will detail the history of the Incan society. Understand the cultural significance of the layout of Ollantaytambo - one of the few remaining towns that maintains the Incan style of urban planning.
 Dinner: At the hotel
Accommodations: Casa Andina Private Collection Valle Sagrado
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Train to Machu Picchu Peubla (Aguas Calientes) and Presentation on the History of Machu Picchu
(Tuesday, February 25)
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Field Trip "Sacred Valley Girls Dormatory Project": In Ollantaytambo, learn about this educational initiative to provide secondary schooling opportunities to girls from mountainous communities surrounding the Sacred Valley. Visit with the dorm mother and director of the project.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Sacred Valley Project.
 Afternoon: After lunch, take a train ride to Aguas Calientes at the foot of Machu Picchu. "Presentation "Intro to Machu Picchu": Your Study Leader will detail the history of the community and ruins of Machu Picchu. Before the presentation, take a brief walking tour of the small community of Aguas Calientes which sits below Machu Picchu and is known for its picturesque countryside, birds and the Mandoor gardens.
 Dinner: At the hotel
Accommodations: El Mapi Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Machu Picchu and Train to Cuzco
(Wednesday, February 26)
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: This morning we beat the crowds and visit Machu Picchu, the most iconic site of the Inca world, and a renowned UNESCO world heritage site. Explore the agricultural and urban sides of Machu Picchu and learn the history of the Incan abandonment of the city and its construction during Spanish conquest in the sixteenth centure.
 Lunch: Lunch at Machu Picchu
 Afternoon: We wrap up our visit of Machu Picchu and take an afternoon train from Machu Picchu to Cuzco. Upon arrival in Cuzco, we check in to our hotel.
 Dinner: At the hotel
Accommodations: Casa Andina Classic-Cusco Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Cuzco in Depth
(Thursday, February 27)
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Field Trip "In Depth Discovery of Cuzco": Explore Cuzco with a local historian. An iconic structure in this timeless city is the Cuzco Cathedral. Its construction started in 1560 and finished in 1664. It contains the best manifestations of colonial goldsmith and wood carving, as well as a valuable collection of canvases from the Escuela Cusqueña (Academy of Cusco). Next, take a trip to the Korikancha Palace, which was the most important temple in the Inca Empire. The Korikancha Palace was dedicated to Inti, the Sun God. The walls and floors were once covered in sheets of solid gold. The Church of Santo Domingo was built on the site, using the ruined foundations of the temple that was flattened by the Spanish in the 17th century.
 Lunch: Lunch in Cuzco with our Historian
 Afternoon: Free time: This afternoon you have a choice to enjoy some down time and relax in Cuzco on the square, do some shopping or some people watching, or make your own way back to the hotel. Alternatively, you can join your Study Leader to enjoy an OPTIONAL Continuation of the morning theme in more depth. This optional exploration will last about 2.5 hours and will involve further walking of up to 2 miles. Discover La Compañía church, a Baroque church built in the 17th century. The sacristy holds its most precious treasure: an impressive 50 pound, 3 foot high monstrance, encrusted with gold and jewels, and crowned with one large mermaid shaped pearl. This monstrance considered to be the second largest in the world. San Blas: During Inca times, San Blas was a settlement for “Mitimaes” (ancient craftsman of the Inca period) with a special command: yachay, Quechua for “teach and learn”. Master craftsmen from all around the Inca Empire shared their knowledge.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own
Accommodations: Casa Andina Classic-Cusco Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11: Cuzco History and Culture
(Friday, February 28)
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Field Trip "Cusco City Discovery": Led by your Local Peruvian Study Leader explore this historic city during a slow-paced walking city tour. We coach to La Almudena cemetery and from there walk downhill towards the main square, passing by the San Pedro market and the colonial houses (3.5 hours and walking about 2.5 miles)
 Lunch: Typical Cuzqueño lunch at a restaurant frequented by locals
 Afternoon: Field Trip "Discovering Sacsayhuaman": Led by your local Peruvian Study leader explore Sacsayhuaman a walled complex just above Cusco. Like all Inca stonework there is still mystery surrounding how it was constructed. Thanks to an as yet unexplained precision in stone-cutting, the structure is built in such a way that a single piece of paper will not fit between two stones. The Spanish harvested a large quantity of rock from the walls of the structure to build churches in Cuzco, which is why the walls are in perfect condition up to a certain height, and missing above that point.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own in Cuzco
Accommodations: Casa Andina Classic-Cusco Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12: Flights from Cuzco to Lima and Lima to Santiago.
(Saturday, March 1)
 Breakfast: Early morning breakfast at the hotel in Cuzco.
 Morning: Take an early morning flight from Cuzco to Lima, and transfer for a midmorning flight from Lima to Santiago, Chile.
 Lunch: On your own at the airport.
 Afternoon: Arrive in the early evening to Santiago. Check in to the hotel in Santiago.
 Dinner: Lecture over dinner with wine: Enjoy a lecture about the relationship between the cultures of mainland South America and the Pacific Islands.
Accommodations: Atton Hotel Vitacura
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13: Morning lecture; arrival on Easter Island and an Introduction to Rapa Nui
(Sunday, March 2)
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Fly from Santiago to Easter Island, Chile.
 Lunch: Light lunch at local hotel.
 Afternoon: Arrive Rapa Nui, transfer to hotel and check in. Enjoy a lecture introducing you to the Mystery of Rapa Nui. Then join your local expert for a field trip to Tahai for an introduction to the famous monoliths of Rapa Nui.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant
Accommodations: Hotel Tea Nui
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Rano Raraku, Ahu Tongariki, Anakena
(Monday, March 3)
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Enjoy a full day exploration of Rapa Nui. We will begin along the south coast with stops including Vinapu - a site whose stonework has drawn comparisons to its similarities with Andean sites - and Aka Hanga, with its four ahu, twelve moai of various sizes and shapes, and eight pukao (topknots). From there we will travel to Rano Raraku, the volcanic crater that served as a quarry for nearly 500 years and was the source for most of the stone used throughout the island. Rano Raraku contains over 400 Moai in various states of completion. Explore the quarry and learn its history.
 Lunch: Picnic Lunch at Rano Raraku
 Afternoon: After lunch we will continue our exploration at Ahu Tongariki: (Ahu are the stone platforms on which the Moai statues stood). Ahu Tongariki is the largest ahu on Easter Island. In 1960 the ahu was swept inland by a tsunami. It has since been restored and has fifteen moai including an 86 ton moai that was the heaviest ever erected on the island. From Tongariki, we'll travel to Anakena, a beautiful, sheltered, white sand beach surrounded by swaying palm trees. This beach, the largest in Rapa Nui, is where Hotu Matu'a - the original settler of Rapa Nui - is said to have beached his canoe and lived in one of several caves while waiting for his hare paenga (boat-shaped house) to be completed. Legend also indicates that this is the area where the kings and their royal families lived. Field Study at Ahu Nau Nau, a very complex archaelogical site located on the hill overlooking the beach. This site includes seven finely carved moai with elaborately decorated backs and at least four levels of ahu.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant
Accommodations: Hotel Tea Nui
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Motu Boat Trip, Free Afternoon, Evening Cultural Event
(Tuesday, March 4)
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Field Trip: We'll take a short walk to Hanga Piko pier for a morning boat ride around the three southeastern islands or "motu" - Motu Kao Kao, Motu Nui, and Motu Iti. These islands were once the site of an annual competition of the "tangata manu" or Birdman Cult, where members from each clan swam to collect the first tern egg to secure their honored status for the year.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant
 Afternoon: Free Afternoon to explore as you wish!
 Dinner: Enjoy a traditional Umu cooked dinner and a cultural show.
Accommodations: Hotel Tea Nui
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Rapa Nui (Orongo Ceremonial Village, Free Afternoon, Farewell Cultural Dinner)
(Wednesday, March 5)
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Field Trip "Orongo": Visit the well known ceremonial site of Orongo. Explore the caves where petroglyphs depict the past cult of the birdman and an annual competition that was held prior to European contact. Explore the stone village and ceremonial grounds of this site and stand over the 250 foot sea cliff of the Rano Kao crater overlooking the motu visited earlier by boat. From there we will visit Padre Sebastian Englert Archaeological Museum for a guided tour of museum and its artifacts, including the only intact white coral moai eye and many other elements of Rapa Nui culture.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own to explore local restaurants.
 Afternoon: Free Afternoon to explore as you wish!
 Dinner: Farewell Cultural Dinner
Accommodations: Hotel Tea Nui
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 17: Rapa Nui - Santiago, Chile (Departure)
(Thursday, March 6)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at Hotel
 Morning: Free Time - Prepare for Departure. Time for a quick trip to explore Hanga Roa town. You may want to check out the market (Mercado Artesenal) near the church. Transfer to the airport and check in for your flight to Santiago, Chile.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own at the airport.
 Afternoon: Flight departs for Santiago, Chile - Meal on Board
Meals Included: Breakfast
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

Archaeological Map of Machu Picchu

Author: Wright Water Engineers

Description: Ken Wright's foldout color site plan shows the monuments, topography and physical features of the Inca sanctuary with exquisite clarity.

Cloud Forest, A Chronicle of the South American Wilderness

Author: Peter Matthiessen

Description: Matthiessen recounts with wit, insight and style his odyssey to the Amazon and Andes, including Machu Picchu and Tierra del Fuego.

Collapse, How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

Author: Jared Diamond

Description: Diamond tackles nothing less than the history and fate of civilization in this compelling book in which he offers case studies, present and past, of societies that work and societies that do not, devoting 100 carefully reasoned pages, for example, to the fate of the Norse settlements in Greenland (climatic change, Inuit) and another big section on Easter Island (deforestation, hubris). This revised edition includes a new afterword.

Easter Island Map

Author: ITMB

Description: A colorful topographic map (1:30,000).

Easter Island, Island of Enigmas

Author: John Dos Passos

Description: An amateur archaeologist, novelist Dos Passos mixes travel and observation with the history of exploration of Rapanui in this brief, engaging book.

Easter Island, the Essential Guide

Author: Kay Sanger

Description: Sanger covers the history, archaeology, people and practicalities in this authoritative guide, published by the Easter Island Foundation.

Inca Trail: Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Cusco Map

Author: Lima 2000

Description: This fact-filed map shows the whole of the Sacred Valley from Cusco to Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu on one side and, on the reverse, the area surrounding the sanctuary in splendid, topographic detail (1:50,000) . It's the best map for those making the trek from kilometer 88 to the site and an excellent choice for those exploring by bus or train.

Insight Guide South America

Author: Insight Guides

Description: This profusely illustrated, comprehensive guide features hundreds of color photographs, excellent maps and insightful essays on history, art, architecture and attractions.

Kon-Tiki, Across the Pacific by Raft

Author: Thor Heyerdahl, F. H. Lyon (Translator)

Description: The hugely popular account of a daring 1947 voyage sailing along the Humboldt and Equatorial currents from Peru to Tahiti. Apart from the sheer adventure, Heyerdahl wanted to show the world that Polynesians could have settled the region. With photographs.

Lost City of the Incas

Author: Hiram Bingham

Description: This first-rate adventure story by the man who brought Machu Picchu to the attention of the world 100 years ago is not just a gripping tale of exploration and archaeology, it also sets the scene for any visitor to the site. Hugh Thomson (A Sacred Landscape, The Search for Ancient Peru) provides the introduction to this Centenary Edition.

South America Map

Author: ITMB

Description: A colorful fold-up, double-sided map of the entire continent at a scale of 1:4,000,000.

The Brazilians

Author: Joseph Page

Description: A clear, comprehensive and compelling introduction to Brazil, covering politics, history, economics, ecology, conservation and culture.

The Incas

Author: Carmen Bernard, Paul Bahn (Translator)

Description: Featuring hundreds of archival drawings and photographs, a chronology and chapters on Atahualpa, the Conquistadors and Hiram Bingham, this handy book (previously published as "People of the Sun") illuminates the daily life, monuments and history of the Inca.

The Machu Picchu Guidebook

Author: Ruth M. Wright, Alfredo Valencia Zegarra

Description: With maps and site plans, a section on new discoveries, a wildlife section and a fold-out full color painting of the city as it may have looked during a solstice celebration in 1530.

The Old Patagonian Express

Author: Paul Theroux

Description: Combining history, anecdote and acutely observed detail on people and place, Theroux begins his journey on a Boston subway car and works his way south via rail, plane and truck to the Patagonian railroad in this enthralling narrative.

The Penguin History of Latin America

Author: Edwin Williamson

Description: Beginning with the Spanish conquest, this brisk history covers questions of empire, colonialism and nationalism through the 1980s.

The Statues That Walked, Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island

Author: Carl Lipo, Terry Hunt

Description: Drawing on archaeological evidence and their own work, Hunt and Lip challenge Jared Diamond's view of eco-catastrophe in this convincing new history of Rapa Nui.

Tropical Nature

Author: Adrian Forsyth, Ken Miyata

Description: A lucid portrait of the tropics as seen by two uncommonly observant and thoughtful field biologists. Its 17 marvelous essays introduce the habitats, ecology, plants and animals of the Central and South American rainforest.

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