20942
Peru
From Andean Peaks to Desert Dunes: An Active Family Adventure in Peru
Enjoy a big adventure as you explore Machu Picchu 7,972 feet up in the Andes, experience the colonial architecture of Lima and see a 600 foot geoglyph on the Paracas Peninsula.
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Program No. 20942RJ
Length
10 days
Starts at
3,749
Flights start at
695
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10 days
9 nights
23 meals
8 B 8 L 7 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program, Arive Lima, Check-in
Lima
Casa Andina Select Miraflores
DAY
2
Historic Lima, Water Front Stroll, City Orientation
Lima
B,L,D
Casa Andina Select Miraflores

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 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.

Dinner: At local restaurant.

DAY
3
Fly to Cusco, Awanakancha Alpaca Center, Ollantaytambo Ruins
Sacred Valley/Yucay
B,L,D
Posada del Inca Yucay

Breakfast: At the hotel

Morning: Transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Cusco. Traditional Inca welcome with coca tea upon arrival at the Cusco airport. Transfer to Ollantaytambo with an en route visit to the Awanakancha Alpaca Center. The Awankancha Alpaca Center is a living museum where visitors can see llamas, alpacas and vicuna. A demonstration will show how the wool from these South American animals is used to make woven textiles

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Ollantaytambo town.

Afternoon: Field trip to Ollantaytambo ruins with a local guide who will highlight the engineering genius of the Inca. The Ollantaytambo Ruins are not ruins in the traditional sense, but is a town with original buildings of Inca construction where the Inca retreated to make their last stand in the highlands against the Spanish. Running water still flows through the town in aqueducts and the agricultural terraces above the town are still in use. The pinnacle above the town is a small burial ground. Transfer to the hotel and check-in. Discussion with your local guide about Life in the Sacred Valley during the time of the Incas.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant.

DAY
4
Visit Market, Weaving Community, Moray Inca Agriculture Site
Sacred Valley/Yucay
B,L,D
Posada del Inca Yucay

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.

DAY
5
Train Ride Through the Andes, Explore Machu Picchu
Sacred Valley/Yucay
B,L,D
Posada del Inca Yucay

Activity 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.

DAY
6
Rafting, Transfer to Cusco, Sacsayhuaman Ruins, Incan Music
Cusco
B,L,D
Casa Andina Classic - Cusco Koricancha

Activity 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.

Lunch: Enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the banks of the river.

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.

DAY
7
Flight to Lima, Transfer to Paracas, Beach & Pool Activities
Paracas
B,L,D
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Paracas

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.

DAY
8
Boat Ride at Ballestas Islands, Sand Boarding on Dunes
Paracas
B,L,D
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Paracas

Activity 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.

DAY
9
Beach Activities, Transfer to Lima, Evening Flights
In Flight
B,L

Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant.

Morning: Free morning to enjoy the amenities of the hotel and the beach. Check out of the lodge before lunch and be ready to transfer to Lima to the airport right afterwards.

Lunch: At a local restaurant en-route.

Afternoon: Transfer from Paracas to Jorge Chávez International Airport for international flights home. There is no overnight hotel stay for this day. If you would prefer a morning flight out of Lima and hotel accommodations please contact the program coordinator at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com to book these additional services. 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.

Dinner: On your own. There will be options at the airport for you to choose from.

DAY
10
Program Concludes
In Flight