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The Incas, the Amazon and Coastal Desert: An Active Family Adventure in Peru

Program Number: 20942RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/21/2014 - 1/2/2015; 7/7/2015 - 7/19/2015; 12/21/2015 - 1/2/2016;
Duration: 12 nights
Location: Peru
Price starting at: $3,785.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Family Programs; Intergenerational
Family
Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 34; 12 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Salt; Low Fat; Gluten Free    

Program intended for grandchildren from 12 - 17 years of age.

Share a family adventure that brings three generations to three exciting parts of Peru. Then meet penguins, sea lions and more swooping seabirds than anyone could count on the Paracas Peninsula. Journey to a jungle lodge in the Peruvian Amazon, one of the planet’s most beautiful and biodiverse environments. Continue high into the Andes to raft the swelling waters of the Urubamba River and unlock the mysteries of the mighty Inca.




Highlights

• Learn the fascinating story of the Incas as you explore the Lost City of Machu Picchu and experience Incan food, art and music.
• Explore the Peruvian Amazon through expert-led forest walks, river kayaking and boat excursions.
• Grab a sandboard and swoosh down the sloping, golden dunes near Paracas.



Activity Particulars

Lots of walking on uneven terrain. Conditions can be hot and humid. Elevations of 11,000 feet.




Date Specific Information

12-21-2014

The itinerary for this date is as follows: Lima, 1 night; Paracas, 2 nights; Lima, 1 night; Tambopata, 3 nights; Urubamba Valley, 3 nights; Cusco, 1 night; Lima, 1 night.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



7-7-2015

Program date intended for grandparents, their children and grandchildren ages 9 and up. Please note that child discount applies to participants ages between 9 and 14 (inclusive). If you are a grandparent and traveling only with your grandchildren, please refer to program # 20941.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



12-21-2015

The itinerary for this date is as follows: Lima, 1 night; Paracas, 2 nights; Lima, 1 night; Tambopata, 3 nights; Urubamba Valley, 3 nights; Cusco, 1 night; Lima, 1 night. Program date intended for grandparents, their children and grandchildren ages 9 and up. Please note that child discount applies to participants ages between 9 and 14 (inclusive). If you are a grandparent and traveling only with your grandchildren, please refer to program # 20941.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Lima, 2 nights; flight to Puerto Maldonado, boat to Tambopata, 3 nights; boat to Puerto Maldonado, flight to Cusco, coach to Urubamba Valley, 3 nights; coach to Cusco, 1 night; flight to Lima; coach to Paracas, 2 nights; coach to Lima, 1 night; departure.



Arrival Lima
2 nights
Flight to Puerto Maldonado
Boat to Tambopata
3 nights

After spending two nights in Lima, fly east to Puerto Maldonado, a small city in the Peruvian Amazon, then take a scenic riverboat ride to the jungle lodge that serves as the base for your Amazon exploration. Search for giant river otters and caimans at an Amazon lake, visit a clay lick where dozens of colorful parrots gather and look for nocturnal creatures on a nighttime nature walk. Kayak to a jungle village to meet the local shaman and the people who live there and learn about their way of life, including using rainforest plants to treat ailments.



Boat to Puerto Maldonado
Flight to Cusco
Coach to Urubamba Valley
3 nights
Coach to Cusco
1 night

After spending a night in Lima, fly east to Puerto Maldonado, a small city in the Peruvian Amazon, then take a scenic riverboat ride to the jungle lodge that serves as the base for your Amazon exploration. Search for giant river otters and caimans at an Amazon lake, visit a clay lick where dozens of colorful parrots gather and look for nocturnal creatures on a nighttime nature walk. Kayak to a jungle village to meet the local shaman and the people who live there and learn about their way of life, including using rainforest plants to treat ailments.



Flight to Cusco
Coach to Urubamba Valley 3 nights
Coach to Cusco 1 night
Flight to Lima 1 night Departure

Journey next to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Encounter alpacas and other South American camelids up close at a ranch. Visit a local market then cook an “Inca dinner” using the produce you selected. Enjoy an exhilarating morning of rafting on the Urubamba River. An expert-led field trip brings you high into the mountains to find the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu. Discover more about the Incas at the Sacsayhuaman fortress complex on the outskirts of Cusco. Learn about the art and music of the Incas through interactive, hands-on activities.




Peru

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.



Accommodations
Lima: Hotel in the seaside Miraflores district (first, fourth and final night). Paracas: Beach hotel with outdoor pool. Tambopata: Rainforest lodge great for wildlife viewing. Urubamba Valley: Hotel in a former colonial monastery surrounded by mountains. Cusco: Historic, centrally located hotel.
Meals and Lodgings
   Casa Andina Select
  Lima, Peru 1 night
   DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Paracas
  Paracas, Peru 2 nights
   Casa Andina Select
  Lima, Peru 1 night
   Posada Amazonas
  Infierno Community/Tambopata National Reserve, Peru
Sacred Valley/Yucay, Peru
3 nights
   Posada del Inca Yucay
  Sacred Valley/Yucay, Peru
Cusco, Peru
Sacred Valley/Yucay, Peru
3 nights
   Royal Inka I Hotel
  Cusco, Peru 1 night
   Casa Andina Select
  Lima, Peru 1 night
 Casa Andina Select
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Casa Andina Select hotel is located in Lima's trendy Miraflores neighborhood, within easy access to restaurants and local attractions. The newly constructed hotel has 155 rooms with modern installations and various amenities meant to satisfy the needs of both leisure and business travelers.
  Contact info: Calle Schell 452
Miraflores, Lima,   Peru
phone: +51-1-2139739
web: www.casa-andina.com
  Room amenities: Comfortable rooms with private baths, hair dryer, AC, safety deposit box, minibar, soundproof windows, direct dial phone, and cable TV.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Spa, gym, sun terrace with Jacuzzi, conference rooms, business center, high-speed Wi-Fi Internet access, laundry service, valet service, currency exchange, 24 hr front desk, luggage storage, and souvenir shop.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Subject to availability. Please contact the Program Coordinator, Holbrook Travel, at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com for information on availability and rates.
  Additional nights after: Subject to availability. Please contact the Program Coordinator, Holbrook Travel, at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com for information on availability and rates.

 DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Paracas
Type: Resort
  Description: This attractive hotel is situated along Paracas Beach, on the Paracas Peninsula in southern Peru. In addition to being just a short drive from the Pisco International Airport, the hotel is well situated for day-trips to neighboring Paracas National Reserve.
  Contact info: Lote 30-34 Urb. Santo Domingo
Paracas, Pisco,   Peru
phone: +51-1-6171000
web: doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/peru/doubletree-resort-by-hilton-hotel-paracas-peru-PIOPEDT/index.html
  Room amenities: Large balcony with views of Paracas Bay or the hotel gardens, living room area, kitchenette with microwave and refrigerator, high-speed wireless internet, TV with premium channels, alarm clock radio with MP3 device and modern bathroom with hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: Business center, fitness center, meeting rooms, catering services, swimming pool, restaurant, and a bar.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Posada Amazonas
Type: Lodge
  Description: The Posada Amazonas is a jungle lodge located within the territory of the Infierno Community (a 2,000 hectare, private, communal reserve) adjacent to the Tambopata National Reserve. Its great accessibility from Puerto Maldonado makes it an easy choice for travelers looking to have an introductory experience in Amazonia. To get there you must fly to Puerto Maldonado from Lima or Cusco on daily commercial flights lasting 45 or 90 minutes respectively. From the airport guests are transported by truck to the Infierno River Port to board boats for a forty five minute trip to Posada Amazonas. Posada Amazonas is located ten minutes walking from the river. Posada Amazonas has no electricity. Light is provided by numerous kerosene lamps and candles. A generator is turned on once a day to recharge batteries for guests or lodge facilities. At night it is very dark, so guests are encouraged to bring a good flashlight.
  Contact info: Infierno Community adjacent to Tambopata National Reserve
00000000,   Peru
phone: +511 719-6422
web: www.perunature.com
  Room amenities: The rooms are 7 x 4 meters so they can comfortably hold three beds, although most are set up for two. The walls dividing each room are built using cane, and extend from the floor to about 2.5 meters height making each room private. The side that looks out to the forest does not have a wall or screening of any kind, acting as a large window facing the forest. The lodge was able to incorporate this "luxurious" design is because mosquitos are not really a problem around the lodge clearing and the open section allows for an intimate contact with the rainforest. A second small window on the opposite side, set up very high, keeps the rooms well ventilated. Doors are replaced with drapes. Rooms are not soundproof. Each room has a private bathroom with hot and cold water. Rooms and bathrooms are separated by drapes. Each room has beds, mosquito nets, bedside tables and hammocks or lounge chairs. Rooms are decorated with bas- relief wood-carvings representing stories and characters from Ese-eja traditions.
  Facility amenities: Posada Amazonas is built using a combination of traditional native materials (wood, palm fronds, wild cane and clay) and architecture and modern day eco-lodge technology. The lodge itself consists of a complex of four sections: rooms, dining area and kitchen, relaxation area and internal support facilities. The entire roof of the lodge is constructed using high quality crisneja palm fronds, whereas the floors are of tropical mahogany. The rooms complex is built of four 9 X 24 meter structures with six rooms per facility, for a total of 30 bedrooms.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Posada del Inca Yucay
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The hotel is a former 18th-century, colonial style Franciscan monastery. The posada is set in gardens at the heart of the Sacred Valley.
  Contact info: Plaza Manco II de Yucay
Urubamba,   Peru
phone: +51 84 201 107
web: www.sonesta.com/SacredValley
  Room amenities: 84 rooms with climate control, television and direct-dial telephone and safe deposit. Hair dryers are available upon request.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant and bar, business center with Internet access, room service, laundry service, shop and Andean market. The Kallpa Wasi Spa has massage, gym, sauna, outdoor Jacuzzi and yoga classes.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Royal Inka I Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: Like other buildings in the historic section of Cusco, the hotel has an interesting story to tell about its origins. It was built in the 1560s, only a few decades after Spanish forces conquered the Inca capital. Tiled roofs, balconies, arched doorways, Inca stone foundations, and an airy central courtyard reflect the building’s colonial origins and add to the hotel’s charm.
  Contact info: Plaza Regocijo 299
Cusco,   Peru
phone: +51-84-263276
web: www.royalinkahotel.pe/
  Room amenities: Temperature control, phone, TV, and in-room safe. Rooms have views of Cusco's historic streets or the attractive inner coutryard.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, bar, laundry service, and WiFi.
  Smoking allowed: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrivals at the Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Peru. Hotel check-in starts at 3 p.m. You will be staying at Casa Andina Select that night.
  End of Program:
Departures from the Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Peru. Hotel check-out by 11 a.m. You will be staying at Casa Andina Select the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. A Yellow Fever certificate is required for this program due to travel to Puerto Maldonado/Amazonia. Consult your doctor and/or public health officials concerning recommended vaccinations specific to Peru. Participants traveling with a minor will need to have a notarized letter of consent from the parents or legal guardians, indicating that the child is allowed to travel with the assigned adult.
  Required innoculations:
Yes: A Yellow Fever certificate is required for this program due to the visit to Puerto Maldonado. Consult your doctor and/or public health officials concerning recommended vaccinations specific to Peru. To obtain a list of Centers for Disease Control (CDC) travelers' health recommendations please call 1-800-CDC-INFO or visit www.cdc.gov.
  Parking availability:
Not applicable.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Lima
  Nearest city or town:  Lima
  Nearest airport:  Jorge Chaves Lima Callo International Airport
  Transportation to site: Taxi transportation is available from the international airport in Lima to the hotel. If you choose to use a taxi, please select a regulated taxi service. Please ask for help at the airport information desk if you require assistance. The Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Peru is located approximately 45 minutes from the arrival hotel.
  From End of Program
  Location: Lima
  Transportation from site: Taxi services are available at the hotel. If you wish to hire a taxi, please ask for assistance at the hotel’s front desk.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)


Required innoculations:

Yes: A Yellow Fever certificate is required for this program due to the visit to Puerto Maldonado. Consult your doctor and/or public health officials concerning recommended vaccinations specific to Peru. To obtain a list of Centers for Disease Control (CDC) travelers' health recommendations please call 1-800-CDC-INFO or visit www.cdc.gov.

Elevation Note: Machu Picchu: 8,200 ft/Cusco: 11,000 ft

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: Depart the U.S./Arrive in Lima, Peru.
(Sunday, December 21)
   
 Arrive To: Road Scholar group flights arrive in Lima.

Proceed through Immigrations, Baggage Claim, and Customs. After completing Customs formalities and exiting the restricted arrivals area, please take a moment to look for the Road Scholar representative who will be holding a Road Scholar sign (does not apply to independently booked flights).

**Please note that this is an international travel day; no meals or program activities are scheduled on this day. Hotel check-in usually begins at 3 p.m.
   
Accommodations: Casa Andina Select

Day 2: Paracas -
Program Orientation/Transfer to Paracas.

(Monday, December 22)
   
 Breakfast: At hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Program orientation.Begin transfer to Paracas.

Meet your group leader and fellow Road Scholar participants during a welcome and introduction session at the hotel. 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.

The small fishing village of Paracas is located on the edge of the Paracas National Reserve-- 160 miles south of Lima.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant en route to Paracas.
 Afternoon: Check-in and free time to enjoy the hotel.

Unwind at the hotel, set in the desert paradise of Paracas Beach. Lounge in lush palm gardens on the property or plunge into the hotel’s 8,000 square ft. pool.
 Dinner: At local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Paracas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Paracas -
Wildlife Viewing at Ballestras Islands/Paracas National Reserve/Sand Boarding on Dunes.

(Tuesday, December 23)

Note: Note: Occasionally cold fronts consisting of cold winds and rain come north from Patagonia. They last for approximately 36 hours and temperatures can drop as low as 46 degrees. Activities will continue as planned unless the conditions worsen, which is rare. Wildlife can still be seen but may be elusive under such conditions during a cold front.



   
 Breakfast: At hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Enjoy a boat ride to the Ballestas islands. On the way to the small archipelago, take a moment to admire views of "El Candelabro" on a hillside overlooking the bay. The mysterious drawing, reminiscent of a candelabra, dates back to pre-Inca times. While navigating around the islands (visitors are not allowed to disembark), look for fur seals, sea lions, and penguins. The prolific birdlife will be incorporated into a discussion on the abundance of the Humboldt Current as a food source.

Return to the mainland and visit Paracas National Reserve.

Sweeping up from the Antarctic, the Humboldt Current causes upwellings of plankton-rich water-- the foundation of an ecological pyramid crowned by thousands of breeding cormorants, boobies, gulls and terns, and mammals such as whales, dolphins and sea lions. In addition, during the southern winter, many shear-waters, petrels, and even albatrosses migrate from Antarctica to the Pacific coast of Peru. The Humboldt Current is home to the most productive fisheries in the world, and this area is reputed to be the largest producer of fishmeal on earth.
 Lunch: At a hotel restaurant.
 Afternoon: Participate in a unique desert sport practiced in the region--sand boarding! Lie down, sit or stand (similar to snowboarding) on specially designed sand boards and ride the golden dunes! The area near Paracas is home to the annual Peru Sand Boarding Cup.

Return to the hotel.
 Dinner: Barbecue dinner alfresco under the southern skies.
   
Accommodations: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Paracas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Lima -
Transfer to Lima/Cultural Interaction at Local Afro-Peruvian Community/Larco Museum.

(Wednesday, December 24)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: En route, visit a local Afro-Peruvian community to learn about their culture and dance traditions.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant en-route.
 Afternoon: Arrive to Lima.

Field Trip to the Larco Museum.

The privately funded Larco Museum, also known as Museo Rafael Larco Herrera, holds one of the world’s largest collections of Peruvian pre-Colombian artifacts and showcases pieces from lesser known cultures such as the Moche, Chimú, and Nazca, as well as the famous Inca. Its name honors the founder’s father, Don Rafael Larco Herrera, a well-known collector of pre-Columbian artifacts and archaeology aficionado. The museum is housed in an 18th century mansion in the Pueblo Libre District of Lima and has 6 exhibit halls, 11 storage rooms, a vault for gold and silver exhibits, a terrace with large stone displays, and a garden with a patio.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Casa Andina Select
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Amazon -
Flight to Puerto Maldonado/Boat Ride to Lodge/Wildlife Observation at Canopy Tower.

(Thursday, December 25)

Note: Please take only an overnight bag for a 3 night stay in the Amazon. You may leave your main bag at the Puerto Maldonado headquarters in their locked storage. For the boat ride to lodge, take only your backpack with essentials such as water, insect repellent, flashlight, rain gear and camera. Your overnight bag will be transported to the lodge and delivered to your room after arrival. Once you arrive to the lodge, there is a short walk and you should be able to comfortably carry your belongings.



   
 Breakfast: At hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Check-out of the hotel. Transfer to the airport in order to catch a flight to Puerto Maldonado (approx. 2:55 hours/with one stop). Upon arrival in Puerto Maldonado, transfer by bus to the Infierno River Port (approximately 12 miles).

Board a boat at the Infierno River Port for a scenic boat ride to the lodge (approx. 1 hour).
 Lunch: Boxed lunch on the boat.
 Afternoon: Arrive at the lodge and check-in. Orientation and welcome to the lodge.

This afternoon, enjoy a field trip to the Canopy Tower.

A twenty minute walk from the lodge leads to the 120 ft scaffolding canopy tower. Platforms are located at different heights, so that visitors can view the various levels of the rainforest and study the differences in flora and fauna. There are approximately 200 steps to get from the base of the tower to the very top. From the top platform there are spectacular views of the vast expanses of forest and the course of the Tambopata River. Toucans, parrots or macaws can often be seen silhouetted against the horizon and mixed species of canopy flocks frequent the treetops around the tower.

Walk back to the lodge.
 Dinner: In the lodges’ dining room.
   
Accommodations: Posada Amazonas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Amazon -
Wildlife Boat Ride at Tres Chimbadas Oxbow Lake/Ethno Botanical Visit with Local Community/Guided Night Walk.

(Friday, December 26)

Note: For the afternoon Kayak activity, if you choose not to kayak, you may do the excursion in a motorized boat that will follow the kayakers from the lodge to the local community botanical garden.



   
 Breakfast: In the lodge's dining room.
 Morning: Field trip to Tres Chimbadas Oxbow Lake.

To reach the lake, we will take a 30 minute boat ride and then hike on trails for approximately 45 minutes. Once at the lake, we will board a catamaran and paddle the calm waters in search of a resident family of giant river otters as well as caimans, hoatzins, and horned screamers the live in the area.

Return to the lodge.
 Lunch: In the lodge’s dining room.
 Afternoon: After lunch, enjoy an ethno botanical activity during a visit to a local community.

Kayak down the river to a local community; a motorized support boat will follow. After meeting the shaman and going through the required introductions (translated by local guides), accompany residents on an exploratory walk to learn about medicinal plants. Learn how to identify and use rainforest plants to treat all nature of ailments.

Group returns to the lodge via motorized boat.
 Dinner: In the lodge's dining room.
 Evening: This evening, enjoy a guided night walk in search of nocturnal wildlife. Bring your flashlights and join an expert guide in identifying forest animals that are rarely seen during the day.
   
Accommodations: Posada Amazonas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Amazon -
Parrot Clay Lick/Rainforest Hike/Local Farm Visit.

(Saturday, December 27)

Note: During the dry season, June through September, cold fronts from the South Atlantic (friajes) occur once every month or so, with daily average temperatures dropping to 59 degrees and evening temperatures to approximately 55 degrees. Wildlife can be seen, however, this will depend on weather conditions.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Early morning field trip to a parrot clay lick.

After a 20 minute walk on forest trails, take cover behind an observation blind positioned approximately 50 ft from the clay lick. Marvel at the dozens of chattering parrots and parakeets that congregate along the river bank to eat clay. Commonly seen species include Mealy and Yellow- headed Amazons, Blue-headed Parrots and Dusky-headed Parakeets.

After visiting the clay lick, take part in a two-hour guided forest hike. Pay homage to the region's largest tree--a giant Ceiba tree. Learn about the layers of the rainforest and its unique flora along the way.

Return to the lodge.
 Lunch: In the lodge's dining room.
 Afternoon: Afternoon visit to a local farm.

A short, 30 minute, boat ride takes us downriver to a local farm. Accompany the farmer on a walk around several crops, some familiar and some not so familiar, to learn about agricultural practices in the area. Discover the important part each plant and tree plays in the survival of people living in this remote jungle region.

Return to the lodge.
 Dinner: In the lodge's dining room.
   
Accommodations: Posada Amazonas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Sacred Valley -
Boat Transfer to Puerto Maldonado/Flight to Cusco/Awanakancha Alpaca Center/Evening Discussion.

(Sunday, December 28)

Note:



   
 Breakfast: In the lodges’ dining room.
 Morning: Say farewell to Tambopata and board a boat to Puerto Maldonado. Transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Cusco (approx. 1 hour flight).
 Lunch: Box lunch en route.
 Afternoon: Arrive in Cusco and transfer from the airport to the Sacred Valley. Visit Awanakancha Alpaca Center and learn about the four different camelids (vicuña, llama, alpaca, and guanaco) found in Peru. While viewing the animals up close, try to take note of the differences in size, fur, head shape, etc. so that you can tell them apart during your travels in the highlands.

Arrive at the hotel and check-in, followed by time at leisure to rest or enjoy hotel amenities.

Discussion: Life in the Sacred Valley during the time of the Incas.
 Dinner: At the hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Posada del Inca Yucay
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Sacred Valley -
Local Produce Market Visit/Cultural Interaction at Local Community/Food of the Andes.

(Monday, December 29)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Morning visit to a local market and on-site discussion on the importance of the Sacred Valley as the ‘farmer’s market’ for the Inca Empire. Identify and learn about the fruits and vegetables that are unique to this region. Select items from the market to be cooked and sampled at dinner.

Learn which ancient traditions are still practiced by modern day descendants of the Inca during a visit to a local weaving community at Chinchero.

Weaving is a way of life in Chinchero—as important for preserving ancient traditions as it is for earning a livelihood. The town, located on the Inca road between Cusco and Machu Picchu, was an early Inca center built by Emperor Tupa Inca as his country estate. During Inca reign, textiles were woven and offered to mark special occasions, from peace treaties and sacrifices to marriage ceremonies and puberty rites. In Chinchero, local children grow up playing with their mother’s spindle and loom; by age six or seven most children learn to weave by watching their elders. They begin by weaving jakimas, or narrow ribbons, before moving on to more complicated pieces.
 Lunch: Enjoy a traditional lunch.
 Afternoon: Continue to Moray an Inca Agricultural research station.

Moray is believed to be an Incan agricultural center used to improve high altitude crops – an essential commodity for the huge Incan armies and road building teams essential to support the empire.

Return to hotel.

Participate in a cooking session at the hotel and learn to prepare the fresh foods purchased at the market in the morning.
 Dinner: At the hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Posada del Inca Yucay
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Sacred Valley -
Train Ride Through the Andes/Exploring Machu Picchu

(Tuesday, December 30)

Note: Participants should try to get plenty of rest the night before in preparation for the very early start on this day. There is a weight limit of 11 pounds for luggage/backpacks on the Peru Rail transfer to Machu Picchu.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Transfer to the Ollantaytambo Station to catch a train to Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu.

Disembark at Aguas Calientes Station. Board a bus for the transfer up the mountain, on a series of switchbacks that will take us to the Machu Picchu complex.

Field trip to Machu Picchu.

Hiram Bingham found Machu Picchu in 1911, with the help of a local farmer who knew about the ruins, while searching for Vilcabamba and Vitcos. He hypothesized that the site was a "citadel," existing for strategic and defense purposes. He also speculated that the site was a refuge for Cusco's Virgins of the Sun, based upon the finding of skulls there, although not scientifically classified as female. Breakthroughs in archaeology since 1985 have, taken as a whole, supported the emerging view of Machu Picchu as a ceremonial and administrative center for a very populous region. Machu Picchu was built, flourished, and fell into demise within a period of 100 years.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant in the vicinity of the ruins.
 Afternoon: Board a bus and transfer back to Aguas Calientes. Catch a train back to Ollantaytambo Station and transfer to the hotel.
 Dinner: At the hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Posada del Inca Yucay
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Cusco -
Rafting/Transfer to Cusco/Sacsayhuaman Ruins/Music of the Inca.

(Wednesday, December 31)

Note: If you do not want to participate in rafting, you may remain at the hotel. For lunch you will be transferred to the picnic site to eat with the group.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: This morning experience the thrill of white water rafting in the Sacred Valley of the Incas! Enjoy great rapids and breathtaking scenery on the Ollanta section of the Urubamba River. This section is easily enjoyed by all levels of whitewater experience. Start at km 84 on the Urubamba to Ollantaytambo route and receive a helmet, life vest, a windbreaker jacket and wetsuit. After changing, there is a safety briefing before beginning the exhilarating run down the river for approximately 2 hours. With our expert river rafters practice the maneuvers required and soak in the breathtaking landscape of the towering Andes mountains, with beautiful Inca terraces amongst the lush vegetation. After this calm practice section on the river hit some thrilling Class II & III rapids through a beautiful canyon with the possibility of finding local wildlife, including the torrent duck and other avian species. At the end of the tour changing tents will be available. Enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the banks of the river.
 Lunch: Picnic after rafting.
 Afternoon: After lunch transfer to Cusco. Before reaching Cusco, visit the impressive Sacsayhuaman.

The fortress of Sacsayhuaman forms the head of the Puma design of old Cusco. It is a wonder of technical achievement and a testament to human will. It is a mystery how it was constructed, since the stones are not found in the region, and most of the blocks weigh more than a ton. The largest rock weighs more than 300 tons. Sacsayhuaman is constructed of huge polygonal blocks which interlock with one another. The stones are so precisely placed that a knife blade cannot be inserted between them.

Arrive to the hotel with some time to freshen up.

Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the western hemisphere. The Inca considered Cusco to be the center of not only their empire, but the center of the world. After its conquest, the Spanish looted the city and began to build a new city on the original Inca foundations. Present day Cusco is a cultural center for colonial South America.

Interactive session with a musician who discusses and demonstrates the musical instruments of the Inca and the importance of music to their religious ceremonies.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Royal Inka I Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Lima -
Historic Downtown Lima/Water Front Stroll

(Thursday, January 1)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport to board a flight to Lima (approx. 1:25 hours) Arrive in Lima and transfer to hotel.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, visit Lima’s historic downtown and the famous Plaza de Armas.

Francisco Pizarro, Spain’s infamous conquistador and conqueror of the Inca Empire, founded Lima in 1535. When Spain designated Lima the Viceroyalty of Spain in 1542, the city became the wealthiest and most important urban center in Spanish South America. The central area of Lima still retains its original colonial character. Notable historic sites include the beautiful Plaza de Armas, the Governmental Palace, La Catedral, the Church of San Francisco, and the Jiron de la Union.

Join in a favorite pastime of Limeños during an afternoon walk along the city’s Malecon (waterfront) in Miraflores, enjoying magnificent views of the Pacfic Ocean and landscaped parks.

The Malecon encompasses 6 miles of parks along Miraflores’ rocky seaside cliffs. Paths in the Malecon are commonly frequented by families, joggers, and cyclists; a great recreational site for anyone looking to enjoy some fresh air and green spaces.

Spend your last evening in Peru with your new Road Scholar friends, finish your packing, or get a good night's sleep in preparation for international departures tomorrow.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner at the hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Casa Andina Select
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Depart for U.S./Arrive in the U.S.
(Friday, January 2)
   
 Depart From: Transfer to airport for international flight to the U.S.

This concludes the program. We hope you enjoyed your Road Scholar adventure! When you get home, remember to stay in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network; share memories, pictures, and comments about your recent travels.

Note: Participants with independent travel arrangements and/or scheduled on later flights can keep their hotel rooms until check-out time on this day. Except for breakfast, all other meals are on your own on this day.
 Breakfast: At the local restaurant (dependent on flight times).
   
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


Neotropical Rainforest Mammals: A Field Guide


Author: Louise H. Emmons & François Feer


Description: This beautifully illustrated field guide contains all you need to know about rainforest mammals in Central and South America. It has color plates, range maps and detailed descriptions of each animal, including information about their biology, behavior and natural habitats.



A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Peru


Author: Clive Byers


Description: A handy shirt pocket guide.



Birds of Peru


Author: Tom Schulenberg, Dan Stotz, John O'Neill, Dan Lane


Description: Gorgeously illustrated, this authoritative guide covers nearly 20% of the world's birds.



Culture Smart! Peru


Author: John Forrest


Description: A concise, well-illustrated and practical guide to local customs, etiquette 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.



Peru Map


Author: Berndtson & Berndtson


Description: A laminated map of Peru with city plans.



Peru, Birds of the Forest


Author: Rainforest Publications


Description: A handy, double-sided laminated card depicting 100 commonly encountered par-rots, motmots, hummingbirds and other forest birds of Peru.



Peru, Travellers' Wildlife Guides


Author: David L. Pearson, Les Beletsky


Description: Featuring 500 illustrations of the birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and insects of the Amazon, Andes and Pacific Coast.



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 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.



The Inca Trail, Cuzco & Machu Picchu


Author: Richard Danbury


Description: Not just for those hiking the Inca Trail, this compact guide is an excellent overview of the culture and history and attractions of Cuzco and the Sacred Valley. With a chapter on Lima, good maps, travel information and photographs.



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 Last Days of the Incas


Author: Kim Macquarrie


Description: MacQuarrie tackles the personality, aspirations and greed of Francisco Pizarro in this vivid account of the conquest of a continent.





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