19210
Peru/Bolivia
Peru and Bolivia: Machu Picchu and Beyond
Discover renowned archeological sites, ancient civilizations, historic cities and traditional open-air markets as you explore Peru and Bolivia with scholars and local experts.
Rating (4.44)
Program No. 19210RJ
Length
14 days
Starts at
4,049
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14 days
13 nights
31 meals
11 B 11 L 9 D
DAY
1
Depart the US
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Peru, Altitude Acclimatizing, Orientation
Urubamba Valley, Peru
L,D
Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado

Activity note: IMPORTANT: The flight from Lima to Cuzco at the beginning of the program is not included in the program cost. If you have booked your air through Road Scholar, we have arranged this for you. If you are arranging your own air, please make sure to take this flight into consideration.

Morning: Transfer from the airport to the first program hotel. Check into the hotel and relax before lunch.

Lunch: On arrival at the hotel.

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to rest and relax and get used to the altitude and drink some tea. Late afternoon will be the Orientation and a short introduction to Peru by your Group Leader. 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.

Dinner: Welcome Dinner at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
The Rise and Fall of the Incas, Ollantaytambo fortress
Urubamba Valley, Peru
B,L,D
Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado

Activity note: Walking today in town and at ruins between one and two miles in total. Recommended good shoes to handle uneven terrain and sloping ramp. Bathroom facilities are quite rustic at this site.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Enjoy a presentation on the rise and fall of the Inca's. Explore the history of the mysterious Incan people led by Jean Jacques Decoster, noted professor of history and published author.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: Field Trip: Ollantaytambo Ruins and Town: Explore Ollantaytambo with your Peruvian Study Leader. 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. Ollantaytambo is one of the few cities that still maintain the Inca system of urban planning.

Dinner: Dinner at a private residence restaurant. The restaurant is situated high above the valley and offers excellent organic and authentic Andean cuisine handed down through generations.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Machu Picchu and the Vistadome Train
Urubamba Valley, Peru
B,L,D
Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado

Activity note: Many steps leading into the site and walking up to one mile on uneven terrain inside the ruins. Standing for up to 45 minutes. Bathroom facilities are located outside the ruins and are comfortable.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Field Trip: Exploring Machu Picchu: Start the morning by taking the Vistadome Train to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu was re-discovered in 1911 by US Yale University archaeologist Hiram Bingham. While the Inca Empire reached its peak during the 1400's, legends and myths indicate that Machu Picchu (meaning 'Old Peak' in the Quechua language) was considered Invisible from below and completely self-contained, surrounded by agricultural terraces sufficient to feed its population, and watered by natural springs. Machu Picchu seems to have been utilized by the Inca as a secret ceremonial city. Two thousand feet above the rumbling Urubamba River, the cloud shrouded ruins have palaces, baths, temples, storage rooms and some 150 houses, all in a remarkable state of preservation. Machu Picchu was elected as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World on July 2007.

Lunch: At Sanctuary Lodge.

Afternoon: Continue Exploring Machu Pichu on your own before taking the Vistadome Train back to Ollantaytambu. Coach back to the hotel from the train station.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure and to pack.

DAY
5
Urubamba Sacred Valley, Andean Culture & Agriculture, Cusco
Cuzco
B,L,D
Costa del Sol Ramada Cusco

Activity note: Coach travel to site for about one hour. Walking today up to two miles, limited bathroom facilities in Cuyani but available on the bus. Cooler weather with light jacket recommended.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Field Trip to a Cuyuni village: The morning is spent getting to know the locals and the way of life in the peaceful Cuyuni community. Strolling through the ancient farming paths in this primarily agricultural community, visit a small village and its weavers. Textile production has profound historic and cultural significance in the Andes. Spend time witnessing how their gregarious processes of spinning, the gathering of natural dyes, the setting up of the looms, and the creation of designs are all fundamental to the family and social bonds. Take part in a “Quintu” ritual, where the Andean people make an offering to the Apus (divine mountains) and the sacred Pachamama (Mother Earth). Next, witness a ceremony of the llama in which this very important animal is celebrated and appreciated.

Lunch: Marvel at the majestic mountains as you enjoy a delicious lunch at a restaurant that sits atop the community’s viewpoint.

Afternoon: Enjoy the stunning drive through the Andes and into Cusco. Check into the hotel and take time at leisure to relax after a long day of discovery.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure to rest or go for a walk in Cusco.

DAY
6
Discovering Cusco / Sacsaynuaman
Cuzco
B,L
Costa del Sol Ramada Cusco

Activity note: Walking for up to two miles, mostly down hill between the ruins and the city. Standing for up to one hour during the tour. Bathrooms are accessible.

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. Coach to La Almudena cemetery to start our exploration of Cuzqueno culture. At the cemetery examine how locals deal with the rituals of death and burial, giving an insight as to what is prized in life. From there walk downhill towards the main square, passing by the San Pedro market to see where locals shop for daily products and produce, visiting small local shops and colonial houses as you meander through the side streets of the city exploring how locals live.

Lunch: Typical Cuzqueño lunch. Lunch today is in a true local's restaurant. Your Group Leader will order from the menu of the day featuring multiple dishes that allow you to explore real local fares.

Afternoon: Field Trip to 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: On your own in Cusco to explore local flavors.

Evening: At leisure to rest or stroll in Cusco after dinner.

DAY
7
Discovering Cusco, Mixing of Andean & Christian Cultures
Cuzco
B,L
Costa del Sol Ramada Cusco

Activity note: Slow walking and standing for up to 1 mile in the morning tour, with the option of resting after lunch. Optional afternoon walking is up to 1.5 miles on some uneven surfaces.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Presentation on religion and society followed by a field trip: Deeper into Cuzco: Understanding the symbiotic mixing process of Andean religion and Catholicism led by our renowned local Historian. Then, depart on foot for a unique walking discovery of Cusco led by our local Historian. Visit Korikancha Palace, the most important temple in the Inca Empire. 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. Next see 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.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Free time or optional field trip: La Compana and San Blas: Enjoy an afternoon to yourself to explore Cusco at your own pace or to relax at the hotel or join your study leader for a continued walking tour to see La Compana church. This Baroque church was built in the 17th century and boasts impressive treasures in in sacristy. Then visit the ancient settlement of San Blas to discover more of the Incan history in the arts.

Dinner: On your own to explore local flavors.

Evening: At leisure to rest or pack.

DAY
8
Rural Villages & Evolution of Andean Culture, Transfer-Puno
Puno (Lake Titicaca)
B,L,D
Casa Andina Premium Puno

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Field Trip: Discovering Rural Andean Villages: Led by your local Historian, continue learning about evolution of local culture over the centuries. First visit Andahuaylillas, where the Church of San Pedro Apostal is considered to be the Sistine Chapel of the Americas. Inside the outwardly modest church are the remains of Inca walls, using a mixture of construction expressing much of the Andean religious syncretism which emerged as a result of the Spanish conquest. Next visit Raqchi, which was originally built by the pre-Incan Wari culture. This archaeological complex highlights the power of religious and political conquest on the part of the Incas. Visit the Temple of Viracocha, which once held the largest roof in the Incan world.

Lunch: En route at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Field Trip to Sillustani, a pre-Incan burial ground. The tombs, which are built in tower-like structures called chullpas, are vestiges of the Collas, an Aymaran group conquered by the Inca in the early 1400's. The tombs were shaped like a woman's uterus, and corpses were mummified in a fetal position, since Aymaras believed in re-incarnation. The only openings of the buildings face east, since they believed that at sunrise the god Sun was reborn. In the late afternoon, arrive in Puno and check in to the hotel. Some time to rest and freshen up before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel (Dinner is at leisure and open seating in the dining room).

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
The Magic of Lake Titicaca & The Andean Legacy
Huatajata Island (Lake Titicaca)
B,L,D
Inca Utama Hotel and Spa

Activity note: At the border crossing, U.S. citizens will be required to pay for the Bolivian Visa in cash. Walking for up to 30 minutes in Copacabana. Embarking and disembarking the hydrofoil. Travel by hydrofoil in airline-style seats. The boat is enclosed and has a toilet on board. The restaurant at Sun Island is at the top of a steep stone staircase, approximately 80 steps up/down. For those unable to climb the steps, lunch will be brought to picnic tables at shore level.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This morning leave Puno early to cross the border into Bolivia with your Peruvian Study Leader. We are joined by our Bolivian Study Leader and move our watches ahead one hour. First stop in Copacabana, walk through the town and visit the cathedral. Discover Lake Titicaca by hydrofoil as we traverse en route to Huatahata. Cruise by Moon Island then continue to Sun Island.

Lunch: On Sun Island, at Uma Kollu restaurant, situated in a unique building that preserves archeological remains in its construction. The restaurant is situated at a high point of the island and offers an awesome vista over Lake Titicaca.

Afternoon: Continue across Lake Titicaca by hydrofoil, arriving late afternoon in Huatajata, on the shores of Lake Titicaca. After checking in, learn about the mystic world of the Kallawayas, natural healers of Bolivia authorized by law to practice natural medicine. The group of roaming traditional healers can trace their heritage directly back to the Tiwanaku culture. According to the UNESCO Safeguarding Project, their lines can be traced back to Pre-Incan times. Begin with an audio visual presentation then walk through an exhibit that illustrates traditional medicines, then meet a Kallawaya practitioner who demonstrates his art.

Dinner: Enjoy a welcome drink and dinner at the hotel on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

Evening: At leisure to rest.

DAY
10
In Depth Exploration of Lake Titicaca
Huatajata Island (Lake Titicaca)
B,L,D
Inca Utama Hotel and Spa

Activity note: Travel by hydrofoil and small boat. Walking includes uneven terrain. Bathroom facilities are rustic but available at each stop.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Field Trip: Discovering the Cultures of Lake Titicaca: Explore the Altiplano Museum, located on the hotel property, which includes an audio guide and exhibits that detail the cultural heritage of the Aymara and the Incan peoples. Learn how the region's culture evolved through Spanish colonialization and learn of Jacques Cousteau's expedition to Lake Titicaca. Meet the Limachi family, builders of the reed boats RA II and Tigris for Thor Heyerdahl’s epic expeditions across the Atlantic Ocean. Board a hydrofoil to start a new adventure cruise on Lake Titicaca. Enjoy a presentation on the new archeological discovery on Titicaca: On the island of Pariti, enjoy a presentation led by your Bolivian Study Leader, about the archeological revolution on Lake Titicaca. Walk through the island’s small village to the museum to discover the high artistic quality found in over 100 of the finest Tiwanaku culture ceramic pieces. Continue to Kalauta Island, where lies the largest Ancient Necropolis on Lake Titicaca. This mysterious island is reached by navigating through swinging Totora reed canals on small boats. Continue by small boat to visit an Uros-Iquito family. For centuries, this pre-Incan group of people has made their home on floating islands fashioned from deep layers of Totora reeds. Lastly, learn about the importance of managing tourism in this ecologically and culturally rich area at the Sustainable Tourism Project on Quewaya Island.

Lunch: While on Quewaya floating island, share an authentic “Aptapi” meal of traditional Altiplano foods and learn their history, significance and preparation. The food is prepared by your hotel and is enjoyed picnic style with the island people.

Afternoon: After lunch re-board the Hydrofoil and cruise back to Huatajata. This afternoon discuss Bolivia’s Political and Economic System.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Enjoy a guided night visit to the Native Observatory "Alajpacha". Learn from the Aymaras Cosmovision and admire the Southern constellations.

DAY
11
Discovering La Paz
La Paz
B,L,D
Hotel Europa

Activity note: Walking up to one mile on bustling city streets at high elevation, mostly downhill or flat areas. The Moon Valley has unpaved terrain and steep inclines and steps; you can choose how far you wish to explore.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Depart Lake Titicaca to La Paz. Led by your Bolivian Study Leader, experience the old city of La Paz and its surroundings. This city can transport you to a mysterious past where any corner, any street, is a hidden treasure of living history which hints at pre-Hispanic times. Visit the Moon Valley, an area of La Paz that is a clay formation with astounding formations and landscapes that are said to resemble the face of the Moon.

Lunch: Enjoy a delicious lunch featuring charcoal-grilled steak and chicken and a wide assortment of accompaniments.

Afternoon: Discover the native and colonial areas as well as the Witch Doctor's Market, then take some time to wander the streets or enjoy a café. Check in to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure to rest or walk near the hotel and explore La Paz. You may wish to join the locals and enjoy an evening promenade along the well-lit avenue by the hotel.

DAY
12
Tiwanaku & Ancient Aymaras Civilization, Farewell Dinner
La Paz
B,L,D
Hotel Europa

Activity note: Walking on unpaved terrain; option to climb up some hills for viewpoints.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Discover the Tiwanaku Ruins (1,580 BC-1,000 AD). Led by your local Bolivian Study Leader, discover the magnificent ruins of Bolivia and one of the oldest civilizations in the Americas. The Sun Gate, the temple of Kalasasaya and the Pyramid of Akapana are the sample of a glorious past. It is conjectured that due to an economic crisis caused by a long drought, the Tiwanaku civilization collapsed around 1,000 AD, but evidence of a technologically and socially advanced society is apparent at this historic site.

Lunch: Buffet lunch in the town near Tiwanaku.

Afternoon: Return to La Paz. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure.

Dinner: Farewell Dinner and Bolivian folklore show.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Depart La Paz
In Flight
B

Activity note: A departure tax of approx. $25 U.S., generally not included in airfare, will be charged at the airport upon leaving.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: At leisure to pack and get ready for flights home, or to enjoy La Paz on your own.

Lunch: On your own in La Paz.

Afternoon: Transfer to the airport for departures.

DAY
14
In Flight/Arrival in USA
In Flight

Activity note: Group departure flights may be overnight flights.

Afternoon: We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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