Road Scholar : Home
From Machu Picchu to the Peruvian Galápagos: An Active Grandparent Adventure

Program Number: 20941RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/15/2015 - 6/27/2015; 6/28/2016 - 7/7/2016; 7/17/2016 - 7/26/2016;
Duration: 12 nights
Location: Peru
Price starting at: $3,999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Intergenerational
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 9 - 11 years of age.

With a young learner at your side, experience the excitement of two very different parts of Peru. Travel high into the Andes to raft the swelling waters of the Urubamba River and unlock the mysteries of the mighty Inca. Then meet penguins, sea lions and more swooping seabirds than anyone could count on the Paracas Peninsula.


• Learn the fascinating story of the Incas as you explore the Lost City of Machu Picchu and experience Incan food, art and music.
• See llamas, alpacas and vicuna and learn how their wool is woven into colorful textiles.
• 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.

Program is for grandchildren ages 12-15.

Date Specific Information


This program is intended for grandchildren from 9-11 years of age. Please refer to program #20942 for programming inclusive of other family members
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

6-28-2016, 7-17-2016

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

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Lima, 2 nights; 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; departure.

Arrival Lima
2 nights

Begin your Peruvian adventure with a walking exploration of historic Lima, founded in Francisco Pizarro in 1535. Delight in the colonial architecture of the "Ciudad de los Reyes" including such gems as the La Catedral and the Church of San Francisco. Learn about Peru's many indigenous cultures during a visit to city's archaeological museum. An afternoon stroll along the waterfront will introduce us to a favorite local pastime.

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

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.

Flight to Lima
Coach to Paracas
2 nights
Coach to Lima

Venture to the Paracas Peninsula, a subtropical desert jutting into the Pacific Ocean. Explore the Paracas National Reserve, home to 36 species of land and marine mammals and hundreds of species of migrating birds. Take a boat excursion to the Ballestas Islands to look for fur seals, sea lions and Humboldt Penguins. Try a unique sport practiced in this region: sandboarding, similar to snowboarding with sand dunes in place of snow.


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.

Hotel near airport (first night), Urubamba Valley: Hotel in a former colonial monastery surrounded by mountains. Cusco: Historic, centrally located hotel. Paracas: Beach hotel with outdoor pool.
Meals and Lodgings
   Casa Andina Select
  Lima, Peru 2 nights
   Posada Amazonas
  Infierno Community/Tambopata National Reserve, Peru 3 nights
   Posada del Inca Yucay
  Sacred Valley/Yucay, Peru 3 nights
   Casa Andina Classic - Cusco Koricancha
  Cusco, Peru 1 night
   DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Paracas
  Paracas, Peru 2 nights
   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
  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 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 for information on availability and rates.

 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
  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
  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

 Casa Andina Classic - Cusco Koricancha
Type: Hotel
  Description: The hotel is just three and a half blocks from the Main Square of Cusco and just a block from Koricancha temple, and is made up of two refurbished and renovated colonial mansions.
  Contact info: Calle San Agustín 371
Cusco,  0000 Peru
phone: +(51 84) 25-2633
  Room amenities: - Private bathroom - Cable TV - Heating - Feathers comforter - Direct telephone (National and International Dialing) - Hairdryer by request - Safe-deposit box
  Facility amenities: Old colonial architecture mansion (yards and halls) - Waykuna Andean Restaurant - Internet access - 3 floors - Laundry service
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 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
  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

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 Participant Information 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
  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 services are available at the international airport (e.g., Taxis Green). Participants can hire a taxi and prepay in dollars at one of the taxi booths inside the secured section of the airport (after clearing Immigration/Customs).
  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

Elevation Note: Machu Picchu: 8,200 ft/Cusco: 10,859 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.
(Monday, June 15)
 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 (only applies to group 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: Lima - Archaeological Museum/Historic Downtown Lima/Water Front Stroll/City Orientation.
(Tuesday, June 16)
 Breakfast: At hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Program orientation and introduction to Peru.

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.

Field Trip to the Archaeological Museum.

This is Peru’s oldest and largest state museum. It is housed in an old colonial mansion on Plaza Bolivar, in the Pueblo Libre District of Lima. The museum displays a large collection of ceramics, textiles, sculptures, and ancient Peruvian metals dating back to pre-Hispanic times. Some notable pieces in this collection are the Raimondi Stela and Tello Obelisk. Another portion of the exhibits focuses on the country’s colonial and Republican periods.

In the event that the Archaeological museum is closed we will visit an equally important museum in the city.
 Lunch: At 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 Limeńos 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.
 Dinner: At local restaurant.
Accommodations: Casa Andina Select
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Amazon - Flight to Puerto Maldonado/Boat Ride to Lodge/Wildlife Observation at Canopy Tower.
(Wednesday, June 17)

Note: Please take only what you need for a 3 night stay in the Amazon. You may leave your other bag at the Puerto Maldonado headquarters in their locked storage area or pre-pack a small bag. For boat ride to lodge, please take only your backpack with essentials such as water, insect repellent, flashlight, rain gear and camera. Your main bag will be transported to the lodge separately. Once you arrive at the lodge, there is a short walk and you should be able to carry your belongings comfortably.

 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. 2 hours).
 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 lodge's dining room.
 Evening: Enjoy a presentation on a local ecotourism project conducted with the local community.
Accommodations: Posada Amazonas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Amazon - Wildlife Boat Ride at Tres Chimbadas Oxbow Lake/Ethno botanical Visit with Local Community/Guided Night Walk.
(Thursday, June 18)

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 5: Amazon - Parrot Clay Lick/Rainforest Hike/Local Farm Visit.
(Friday, June 19)

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: In the lodge's dining room.
 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 6: Amazon - Boat Transfer to Puerto Maldonado/Flight to Cusco/Awanakancha Alpaca Center/Evening Discussion.
(Saturday, June 20)

Note: To minimize your chances of experiencing altitude sickness while in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, try to get plenty of rest before you travel, stay hydrated, avoid alcohol and fatty foods, consume high carbohydrate foods, and avoid strenuous exercise at high elevations. Cusco: elevation 11,200 ft. Sacred Valley: elevation 9,370 ft.

 Breakfast: In the lodge's dining room.
 Morning: Say farewell to the Tambopata region and board a boat to Puerto Maldonado. Transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Cusco (approx. 1 hour flight).
 Lunch: Boxed 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 (vicuńa, 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 7: Sacred Valley - Local Produce Market Visit/Cultural Interaction at Local Community/Food of the Andes.
(Sunday, June 21)
 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 with members of the community.
 Afternoon: Continue to Moray an Inca Agricultural research station.

Return to the 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 8: Machu Picchu - Train Ride Through the Andes/Exploring Machu Picchu.
(Monday, June 22)

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. Train journey from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. The bus drive from Aguas Calientes Town to the Machu Picchu ruins takes about 20 minutes (3.7 miles).

 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 9: Sacred Valley - Rafting/Transfer to Cusco/Sacsayhuaman Ruins/Music of the Inca.
(Tuesday, June 23)

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 lunch 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.

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 the hotel restaurant.
Accommodations: Casa Andina Classic - Cusco Koricancha
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Paracas - Flight to Lima/Transfer to Paracas
(Wednesday, June 24)
 Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport to board a flight to Lima (approx. 1:25 hours) Arrive in Lima and begin transfer to Paracas.

The small fishing village of Paracas is located on the edge of the Paracas National Reserve-- 160 miles south of Lima.
 Lunch: At local restaurant, en route to Paracas.
 Afternoon: Check-in and 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 the hotel restaurant.
Accommodations: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Paracas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Paracas - Wildlife Viewing at Ballestas Islands and Paracas National Reserve/Sand Boarding on Dunes.
(Thursday, June 25)

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 the 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 shearwaters, 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 local 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: Farewell dinner at hotel. Celebrate with a barbecue dinner alfresco, under the southern skies.
Accommodations: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Paracas
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Lima - Transfer to Lima/Cultural Interaction at Local Afro-Peruvian Community.
(Friday, June 26)
 Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Begin transfer back to Lima.

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 at the hotel and check-in.

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.

Return to the hotel.

Depending on flight schedules, some participants will transfer to the airport this evening for a late night/early morning flight to the U.S.
 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.
(Saturday, June 27)
 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

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.

Culture Smart! Peru

Author: John Forrest

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

Go and Come Back

Author: Joan Abelove

Description: In this rich tale of cultural difference for ages 12 and up, Alicia, a young native of the Amazon, is confused when her village is enthralled by two visiting anthropologists seem clueless.

In Trouble Again

Author: Redmond O'Hanlon

Description: As funny as he is insightful, O'Hanlon starts his comic masterpiece of a journey between the Orinoco and the Amazon with a litany of the insects, protozoa, snakes and predators that can do you harm.

Inca Empire

Author: Jane Bingham

Description: Taking the form of a travel guide, this book transports youngsters back to the time of the Incas.

Inca Trail: Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Cusco Map

Author: Lima 2000

Description: This fact-filled 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 Peru

Author: Insight Guides

Description: Panoramic in scope, this illustrated overview brings Peru to life in color photographs and vivid essays on history, archaeology and culture.

Lima, A Cultural History

Author: James Higgins

Description: An erudite guide to the cultural gems and literary history of Peru's capital city. James Higgins, who specializes in Peruvian literature, covers the scope of the city's history from its pre-Columbian museums, to its conquistador heritage, to its dynamic present.

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 is not just a gripping tale of exploration and archaeology, it also sets the scene for any visitor to the site.

Lost City, The Discovery of Machu Picchu

Author: Ted Lewin

Description: Caldecott-winning author Ted Lewin traveled in the footsteps of the 1911 explorer for this captivating tale of Hiram Bingham and the discovery of Machu Picchu, geared for ages 9-12. With detailed watercolor illustrations of Cuzco, the Urubamba Valley and Machu Picchu, it will appeal to the whole family.

Machu Picchu, The Story of the Amazing Inkas and Their City in the Clouds

Author: Elizabeth Mann

Description: This absorbing, colorful tale follows the settlement, growth and eventual collapse of Machu Picchu and the Inca Empire. Straightforward text and stylized full-color illustrations face each other across the page.

Machu Picchu, Unveiling the Mystery of the Incas

Author: Richard L. Burger (Editor), Lucy C. Salazar (Editor)

Description: Burger and Salazar vividly evoke the art, architecture, culture and society of Machu Picchu in this illustrated, up-to-date survey. With Hiram Bingham's original report, archival and modern photographs and excellent chapters on recent archaeology at the site.

Peru Mammals

Author: Rainforest Publications

Description: A handy, double-sided laminated card depicting over 60 commonly encountered mammals of Peru. Beautiful and accurate full-color illustrations.

Peru Map

Author: Borch Maps

Description: A detailed laminated relief map of Peru at a scale of 1:1,750,000. This is a very clear, colorful map, which also features detailed insets of Lima and Cuzco and even a site plan of Machu Picchu.

Peru, Birds of the Forest

Author: Rainforest Publications

Description: A handy, double-sided laminated card depicting 100 commonly encountered parrots, motmots, hummingbirds and other forest birds of Peru. We also carry Peru Mammals Guide plastic card. (Item PRU73)

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.

Secret of the Andes

Author: Ann Nolan Clark, Jean Charlot (Illustrator)

Description: In this novel for pre-teens, a native boy in Peru goes on a magical discovery of his roots, learning much about Inca tradition. A Newbery Award-winning book first published in 1952.

The Incas

Author: Carmen Bernard

Description: Featuring 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 Incas.

The Smithsonian Atlas of the Amazon

Author: Michael Goulding, Ronaldo Barthem, Efrem Ferreira

Description: This beautiful, profusely illustrated atlas of the river includes its major tributaries and 150 full-color maps. Goulding (Floods of Fortune) and Brazilian biologists Barthem and Ferreira provide the accompanying text.

Tropical Nature

Author: Adrian Forsyth, Ken Miyata

Description: Two uncommonly observant and thoughtful field biologists offer a lucid portrait of the tropics through 17 marvelous essays that introduce the habitats, ecology, plants and animals of the Central and South American rainforests.

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