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22809
Peru

Perspectives of Peru: Discover Lima, Cusco, Yucay & Machu Picchu

Want to get a new perspective on Peru? See the best of this country and its people on a learning adventure that begins in the capital of Lima and ends in Cusco.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22809RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
2,749
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
825
Peru

Perspectives of Peru: Discover Lima, Cusco, Yucay & Machu Picchu

Want to get a new perspective on Peru? See the best of this country and its people on a learning adventure that begins in the capital of Lima and ends in Cusco.
Length
9 days
Starts at
2,749
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
825
Program No. 22809 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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DATES & PRICES

Hotel
Details
Accommodation Details
Comfortable accommodations that meet our high standards.
Jul 10 - Jul 18, 2021
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Jul 17 - Jul 25, 2021
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Aug 14 - Aug 22, 2021
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Aug 21 - Aug 29, 2021
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Sep 11 - Sep 19, 2021
SOLD OUT
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Sep 18 - Sep 26, 2021
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Sep 25 - Oct 3, 2021
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Oct 16 - Oct 24, 2021
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Nov 6 - Nov 14, 2021
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Dec 4 - Dec 12, 2021
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Jan 8 - Jan 16, 2022
Hotel 2,749
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Feb 5 - Feb 13, 2022
Hotel 2,749
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Mar 5 - Mar 13, 2022
Hotel 2,749
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Apr 1 - Apr 9, 2022
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

May 7 - May 15, 2022
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Jun 4 - Jun 12, 2022
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Jul 9 - Jul 17, 2022
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Aug 13 - Aug 21, 2022
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Sep 3 - Sep 11, 2022
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Oct 1 - Oct 9, 2022
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Nov 5 - Nov 13, 2022
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Dec 3 - Dec 11, 2022
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

DATES & PRICES

Hotel
Details
Accommodation Details
Comfortable accommodations that meet our high standards.
Jul 10 - Jul 18, 2021
Hotel 3,099
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Jul 17 - Jul 25, 2021
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Aug 14 - Aug 22, 2021
SOLD OUT
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Aug 21 - Aug 29, 2021
SOLD OUT
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Sep 11 - Sep 19, 2021
SOLD OUT
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Sep 18 - Sep 26, 2021
SOLD OUT
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Sep 25 - Oct 3, 2021
SOLD OUT
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Oct 16 - Oct 24, 2021
SOLD OUT
Hotel 3,099
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Nov 6 - Nov 14, 2021
SOLD OUT
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Dec 4 - Dec 12, 2021
SOLD OUT
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Jan 8 - Jan 16, 2022
Hotel 2,749
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Feb 5 - Feb 13, 2022
Hotel 2,749
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Mar 5 - Mar 13, 2022
Hotel 2,749
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Apr 1 - Apr 9, 2022
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

May 7 - May 15, 2022
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Jun 4 - Jun 12, 2022
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Jul 9 - Jul 17, 2022
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Aug 13 - Aug 21, 2022
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Sep 3 - Sep 11, 2022
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Oct 1 - Oct 9, 2022
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Nov 5 - Nov 13, 2022
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

Dec 3 - Dec 11, 2022
Hotel 2,849
Special Offer

No added cost for single rooms! Free singles are limited, and singles at the usual cost are available once the free allotment is full. Please call for details.

At a Glance

Much like the textiles that are woven from traditional Andean techniques, Peru’s culture is a colorful mesh of ancient influences and modern industry. Discover the very best of its mountain communities, bustling cities and age-old ruins on a learning adventure that begins in the capital city of Lima and ends in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cusco. Along the way, meet local residents who introduce you to their villages, weaving traditions and music.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles a day over varied terrain; overnight stays at high elevations up to 11,200 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Thrill in the vast beauty and ancient history of Machu Picchu, a ceremonial and administrative epicenter for the Inca.
  • Feel the fibers of llamas, alpacas and vicuñas in your fingertips as you learn about Andean weaving traditions.
  • Meet local families in the community of Maras, and attend a traditional Pachamama ceremony led by a local shaman.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Gustavo "Tito" Leon
A native of Cusco, Gustavo "Tito" Leon found himself fascinated with the music of the Andean highlands. This affinity led him to devote his life to the research and preservation of Peru's Andean music. His research has focused on the origins of Andean music, its different forms, influences and instruments. Gustavo is a talented musician and an expert on native Andean woodwind, percussion, and string instruments. His interactive style will get your toes tapping as he performs the various song styles and instruments of the Andes.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Maywa Blanco
Maywa Blanco View biography
A lifelong resident of Cusco, Maywa Blanco is a university professor who teaches courses in genetics, the biodiversity of Andean crops and agricultural research. She attended the National University of Saint Anthony the Abbot in Peru and studied English at the Peruvian-North American Cultural Institute. She received a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Michigan State University, earned a master’s degree, and then returned to Cusco to work helping impoverished communities. In her free time, Maywa enjoys cooking, soccer and spending time with her family.
Profile Image of Gustavo "Tito" Leon
Gustavo "Tito" Leon View biography
A native of Cusco, Gustavo "Tito" Leon found himself fascinated with the music of the Andean highlands. This affinity led him to devote his life to the research and preservation of Peru's Andean music. His research has focused on the origins of Andean music, its different forms, influences and instruments. Gustavo is a talented musician and an expert on native Andean woodwind, percussion, and string instruments. His interactive style will get your toes tapping as he performs the various song styles and instruments of the Andes.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Great Inka Road
by Ramiro Matos
An astute collection of essays on the "Qhapaq Nan" (the Great Inca Road), covering its engineering, practical uses and the great civilization that built it. Includes more than 225 full-color illustrations.
Peru, Birds of the Forest
by Rainforest Publications
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)
The Incas
by Adriana von Hagen, Craig Morris
Morris and von Hagen trace the rise and rule of the Inca with authority in this region-by-region survey, reconstructing the finely built palaces and temples of Cusco and life at lavish royal estates like Chinchero and Machu Picchu. With 150 mostly black-and-white photographs and illustrations, including extensive site plans.
Inca Trail: Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Cusco Map
by Lima 2000
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).
Art of the Andes, from Chavin to Inca
by Rebecca Stone-Miller
This authoritative and concise illustrated survey of Andean art and architecture covers not only Machu Picchu and additional Inca monuments, but also Chan Chan, Nasca and other archaeological sites and cultures.
A Sacred Landscape, The Search for Ancient Peru
by Hugh Thomson
Head-over-heels in love with the adventure, intrigue and bonhomie of archaeology, Hugh Thomson (The White Rock) explores Moches, Chavin, Nasca and other ancient civilizations of Peru. His tale is bracketed by an account of his discoveries with Gary Ziegler at Llactapata, a newly excavated observatory barely two miles from Machu Picchu.
The Incas
by Carmen Bernard
Featuring archival drawings and photographs, a chronology and chapters on Atahualpa, the Conquistadors and Hiram Bingham, this handy book illuminates the daily lives, monuments and history of the Incas.
Turn Right at Machu Picchu
by Mark Adams
Over his head on an arduous guided trek to Choquequirao and other remote sites, Mark Adams mixes entertaining tales of his adventures (he makes himself out to be quite the accidental explorer) with analysis of the rather grand Hiram Bingham in this light-hearted "following-in-the-footsteps-of" account.
Insight Guide Peru
by Insight Guides
Panoramic in scope, this illustrated overview brings Peru to life in color photographs and vivid essays on history, archaeology and culture.
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
by Thornton Wilder
The classic tale of Franciscan missionaries in 18th-century Lima, Peru by the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist. First published in 1927.
Conquest of the Incas
by John Hemming
This classic prize-winning history of the Inca struggle against the Spanish invasion weaves wide-ranging, scholarly material into a gripping narrative.
Machu Picchu, Unveiling the Mystery of the Incas
by Richard L. Burger (Editor), Lucy C. Salazar (Editor)
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.
Lost City of the Incas
by Hiram Bingham
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.
The Heights of Macchu Picchu
by Pablo Neruda
An indispensable contribution to 20th-century poetry, Neruda’s ode to Machu Picchu celebrates the Incan civilization while abhorring that the ancient estate was built by slave labor.
Peru, Travellers' Wildlife Guides
by David L. Pearson, Les Beletsky
Featuring 500 illustrations of the birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and insects of the Amazon, Andes and Pacific Coast.
Peru, The Cookbook
by Gaston Acurio
A panoramic view of traditional Peruvian cooking, featuring 500 recipes, full-color illustrations and expert information on the roots of Peruvian cuisine. Author Gaston Acurio is a Peruvian celebrity chef and restaurateur.
Lima, A Cultural History
by James Higgins
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.
The Peru Reader, History, Culture, Politics
by Orin Starn
Lively and literate, this meaty anthology ranges from historical accounts to modern analysis.
Stone Offerings
by Mike Torrey
Torrey captures the dramatic setting, solitude and intricate construction of the Inca site of Machu Picchu in 100 striking color photographs taken over a few days at summer and winter solstice.
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9 days
8 nights
18 meals
7 B 6 L 5 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program, Arrive Lima – Peru, Check-in
Lima
Casa Andina Select Miraflores

Activity note: This is an international travel day; no meals or program activities are scheduled. Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m. The drive to the hotel is about 10 miles, approx. 1 hour (dependent on traffic).

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. Please refer to the “Notes” section of the prep mats for a list of recommended restaurants.

Evening: Upon arriving at the hotel, check in and get your room assignment.

DAY
2
Orientation, Chorrillos, Downtown Lima, Huaca Pucllana
Lima
B,L,D
Casa Andina Select Miraflores

Activity note: Walking approx. 3 hours; paved surfaces, some steps in churches and museum. Driving about 2 hours (subject to traffic).

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Orientation: In our private meeting room at the hotel, the Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. High elevations in the Peruvian Andes might cause some to experience altitude sickness. Please discuss appropriate preventative measures with your personal physician prior to travel. Here are some helpful tips to alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness: 1) Get plenty of rest before you travel. 2) Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills or narcotics. 3) Drink plenty of fluids. 4) Eat high-carbohydrate foods and avoid fatty foods. 5) Avoid heavy exercise while staying at high elevations. Periods in the schedule labeled “Free Time” and “At Leisure” offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable while going out to explore on your own, engaging in available activities independently, making new friends among fellow Road Scholars, or simply relaxing. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Most meals on our program will feature local cuisine and often be plated and served set meals; in others, we will have buffets. Beverages include coffee, tea, water; other beverages are usually available for purchase. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. We will enjoy a presentation by a local expert on the relationship between biodiversity and the Humboldt current in Peru. The lecture will take place at the hotel. Then, by bus we will transfer southwards to the suburb of Chorrillos. We'll learn about the way of life at this fishing community through interactions with locals and a visit to the pier and local fish market.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated 3-course lunch with a non-alcoholic beverage included; other beverages available for purchase. Our meal will also include a demonstration on how to make Peru's signature drink--the pisco sour.

Afternoon: Our day continues with an exploration of downtown Lima to learn about Lima’s colonial past. We will stop in Lima's Plaza de Armas and disembark the bus for a field trip to Casa Aliaga and the Museo de la Gastronomia Peruana (Peruvian Gastronomy Museum). At the conclusion of the activity, the bus will drop us off at the hotel. We will have some time to freshen up and relax. Then, together with the Group Leader we will depart from the hotel to the ruins of Huaca Pucllana for dinner. In the midst of Lima's attractive Miraflores district sits a pre-Inca ceremonial center known as Huaca Pucllana. The large adobe complex is thought to have served as an administrative and religious center for various fishing and farming communities in the area. Archaeological evidence points to the city being taken over by the Wari people around CE 700. Wari mummies and artifacts have been discovered in the ruins, indicating that the site was predominantly used for religious rites including sacrifices and burials. Before dinner, we will walk around the complex with our local guide and Group Leader.

Dinner: At the local restaurant overlooking the ruins of Huaca Pucllana, we’ll enjoy our plated 3-course welcome meal with a non-alcoholic beverage included.

Evening: The remainder of the evening will be at leisure.

DAY
3
Intro to Peruvian Politics and Economy, Flight to Cusco
Sacred Valley
B,D
Casa Andina Private Collection - Valle Sagrado

Activity note: High elevations cause some to experience altitude sickness. Here are some helpful tips to alleviate symptoms: 1) Get plenty of rest before you travel. 2) Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills or narcotics. 3) Drink plenty of fluids. 4) Eat high-carbohydrate foods and avoid fatty foods. 5) Avoid heavy exercise while staying at high elevations. Flight from Lima to Cusco is approx. 1.5 hours. Driving about 40 miles total. Walking approx. 3.5 hours; some dirt, rugged terrain, cobblestone streets.

Breakfast: Early breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: First up, we will complete check-out procedures. Next, we will enjoy a presentation by a local expert on the politics and economy of Peru. Afterwards, we will depart to the airport for our flight to Cusco.

Lunch: On your own. There will be opportunities for lunch at the Lima airport.

Afternoon: Upon arrival in Cusco, we'll meet our local guide, collect our bags and walk to the parking lot to board our bus. As we drive into the Sacred Valley of the Incas where our hotel is located, our local guide will give us a brief introduction to the area. We’ll check into the hotel and rest before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a plated 3-course lunch with a non-alcoholic beverage included.

Evening: A visit to the hotel’s on-site planetarium with a local expert will introduce us to the Andean skies and Inca astronomy. This activity is dependent on clear skies.

DAY
4
Sacred Valley, Moray, Maras Community & Salt Mines
Sacred Valley
B,L,D
Casa Andina Private Collection - Valle Sagrado

Activity note: The drive to the Maras Salt Pans is about 30 miles; approx. 1.5 hours; other drives are shorter distances. Walking up to 1 mile throughout the day over mostly flat, even terrain. The following morning, we visit Machu Picchu. Pack a small bag for the overnight in Aguas Calientes.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After a short drive, we will accompany our Group Leader and local guide on a walking exploration of a typical produce market. We'll discuss the unique conditions that make this valley perfect for farming as we view some of the interesting vegetables and fruit grown here. The Sacred Valley was once an important agricultural center for the Inca Empire. In this part of the world, Inca terraces are as ubiquitous as potatoes - and many are still in use. Next, we'll transfer to the Moray archaeological site, where we will have a lecture to learn about Inca agriculture. Researchers and archaeologists theorize that the Inca site at Moray was once used for agricultural studies and experiments. The unique terraces at this site are laid out in concentric circles within three large pits measuring as much as 100 feet in depth. We will then continue to the community of Maras where we will view local salt mines with a local expert from the main viewpoint and learn how valuable salt was in the preservation of food, especially meats. These local natural salt mines have existed since the time of the Inca and continued through that of the Spanish Conquistadors.

Lunch: In Maras with the local community, we’ll enjoy lunch.

Afternoon: We will continue our visit with the local community of Maras, learning how to weave baskets from corn husks, about their farming techniques, and getting a glimpse of daily life in the Sacred Valley.< Our day will culminate with an ancient Pachamama ceremony led by a shaman. Pachamama is an important fertility goddess revered by the people of the Andes. She can be likened to the goddess “Mother Nature” in Western culture. We’ll then return to the hotel.

Dinner: Early dinner at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out, transfer, and our early morning journey to Machu Picchu tomorrow morning. Pack an overnight bag no more than 11 lbs. for this night; excess luggage will be secured for you until our return to Cusco.

DAY
5
Bus & Train to Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu
Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu
B,L,D
Casa Andina Standard Machu Picchu

Activity note: Ollantayambo ruins are steep with about 100 stone steps to the top of the fortress at an altitude of 9,100 feet. Train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes is about 1.5 hours. The bus drive from Aguas Calientes Town to the Machu Picchu ruins is about 4 miles; approx. ½ hour. It is steep and winding. Walking and standing for at least 5 hours; dirt and grass terrain; many staircases; sloping, paved sidewalks in town. We recommend wearing or bringing a long-sleeved shirt for insect protection.

Breakfast: Early breakfast at hotel.

Morning: We’ll transfer to the Ollantaytambo ruins, where we’ll learn about the engineering genius of the Inca demonstrated by the extensive terracing and irrigation at the site. Running water still flows through the town in aqueducts. The Inca emperor Pachacuti built Ollantaytambo in the 15th century as part of his royal estate. In the mid-15th century after Pachacuti’s death, the Spanish conquest of Peru began. The Inca emperor at that time was Manco Inca who used Ollantaytambo as a stronghold against the Spanish. His army won a small victory nearby against Spanish forces. Though, shortly afterwards Manco Inca decided the site was not secure enough and fled with the remaining members of his empire to Vilcabamba where the Inca famously made their last stand against the Spanish. After our field trip, we’ll transfer to Ollantaytambo train station where we will board a train to Aguas Calientes Station on our way to Machu Picchu. This scenic journey by rail follows the meandering path of the Urubamba River and provides travelers with spectacular views of the snowcapped Andes. Disembark at the Aguas Calientes Station (6,693 feet elevation). Shortly thereafter, we will board a bus that will take us up the mountain to the Machu Picchu ruins. Please note, seating on the buses is on a "first come, first serve" basis. Therefore, we do not have a set departure time and it will be necessary to wait in line to board the bus.

Lunch: We'll have lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will enter the site and spend the afternoon exploring in and around the Machu Picchu ruins with a local expert. The discovery of this ancient and incredible Inca city is credited to Hiram Bingham, a Yale graduate and former U.S. senator fascinated with Inca archaeology. Bingham found Machu Picchu, with the help of a local farmer who knew about the ruins, while he was searching for Vilcabamba and Vitcos. Bingham 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 royal estate. Archaeologists believe the site was built around 1450-1460 at the orders of Inca ruler Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui. It is estimated that the ruler lived here with more than 750 laborers, servants, family and relatives and priests. Machu Picchu was built, flourished, and fell into demise within a period of 100 years. The reason for its disuse remains largely a mystery, although archaeologists speculate it may have had to do with the Spanish conquest. Transfer back to Aguas Calientes for dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a plated 3-course meal with a non-alcoholic beverage included.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check out and transfer tomorrow morning.

DAY
6
Free Time, Train & Bus to Cusco, Chinchero Weaving Demo,
Cusco
B,L
Hotel Los Portales

Activity note: The altitude at Chinchero is approx. 12,000 ft. Walking less than .5 mile over sloping, cobblestone paths but the altitude can make the walk more seem challenging. For more information about purchasing a second ticket to Machu Picchu, see NOTES section of the preparatory materials.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll have some time for personal independent exploration before boarding the train back to Ollantaytambo. Ask your Group Leader for suggestions during this free time. You could also re-visit Machu Picchu. Please note that tickets for additional entrance to the Machu Picchu ruins are not included in your program cost. New regulations have reduced the number of daily visitors allowed to enter Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu. If you wish to visit the ruins independently this morning we recommend obtaining tickets in advance to guarantee availability. From June to October, they tend to sell out quickly. Feel free to contact your program provider for more information. We will meet our Group Leader back at the hotel and walk to the train station as a group. We will board the train back to Ollantaytambo Station. Upon arrival, we disembark and board a bus which will take us to our lunch venue.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Ollantaytambo.

Afternoon: We will transfer to the small town of Chinchero. Our expert led field trip this afternoon is to a local weaving cooperative where we will observe a weaving demonstration. Weaving is a way of life in Chinchero, as important for preserving ancient traditions as it is for earning a livelihood. Located in the Peruvian Andes on the Inca road between Cusco and Machu Picchu, Chinchero 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, children grow up watching their mothers work on the spindle and loom. By age six or seven, most children have learned to weave. They begin with jakimas, narrow ribbons, before moving on to more complicated pieces. From here, we transfer to our hotel in Cusco.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. Please see the “Notes” section for a list of restaurants. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Sacsayhuaman, Kenko & Tambomachay
Cusco
B,L,D
Hotel Los Portales

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles today over dirty and grass, some cobblestones.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will enjoy a visit to the impressive Sacsayhuaman ruins. The stone fortress at Sacsayhuaman forms the head of the Puma design of old Cusco. The ruin is constructed of huge polygonal blocks which interlock with one another so precisely a knife blade cannot be inserted between them. This site is an engineering feat; the stones used are not found in the region and most of the blocks weigh more than a ton. The largest rock weighs more than 300 tons. We will then visit two Incan ruins surrounding Cusco; Kenko and Tambomachay. Due to the lack of written records from the time period, the purpose of many Incan ruins is a mystery. Though, archaeological evidence at Kenko shows that the Inca built the site as a “huaca” or holy site and researchers speculate that death rituals, mummification and human sacrifice were practiced here. Researchers believe that priests used the channels carved into the site to determine whether a person lived a good life by observing the route that liquid poured into the channels– chicha (fermented corn), holy water, or blood flowed. Tambomachay was likely used as a spa for Inca political elite; aqueducts and canals channel water from a nearby thermal spring into waterfalls that cascade into a small pool.

Lunch: At a local restaurant featuring typical Cusqueño fare.

Afternoon: We’ll head back to the hotel. Enjoy some time at leisure. Before dinner, we’ll regroup for a presentation by a local expert on the history of Incan and Andean musical instruments. The lecture will take place at the hotel. At the conclusion, we’ll transfer by bus to a local restaurant.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant. One alcoholic beverage included. Other beverages and additional alcohol available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
8
Korikancha, Flight to Lima, Program Concludes
In Flight
B,L

Activity note: The hotel in Cusco will store our luggage after check-out and hold it until it is time for us to transfer to the airport. The program concludes with an early evening flight from Cusco to Lima, approx. 1.5 hours. Please book flights departing Lima from 9:00 p.m. onward. The weight limit for checked luggage on this flight is 50 lbs. Transfer to the airport is about 2 miles; less than 1 hour.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After checking out and storing our luggage at the hotel, we'll join a local expert for a walking field trip through the city of Cusco including a visit to Koricancha. Cusco is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the Western Hemisphere. It was once the heart of the Inca Empire and the center of their known world. Under Inca Pachacutec’s leadership, the city became a study in sophisticated urban development and engineering. Sadly, the site was thoroughly looted by Francisco Pizarro and his forces in 1533. The sturdy Inca foundations and looted stones were used to construct a new city. Koricancha, also spelled Qorikancha, is the Temple of the Sun in downtown Cusco; believed to have been an important religious center for the Inca. Colonial reports dating back to Cusco’s conquest indicate that it once held a gold statue of the sun weighing approximately two tons and inlayed with gems. The temple was built with enormous boulders and is one of the most outstanding examples of this type of construction. The invading Spaniards did their best to destroy it and replace it with a church, built on the solid foundations soon after the conquest. This symbolized the Christian triumph over heathen religion. Our next stop is to the Pre-Columbian Art Museum. The Pre-Columbian Art Museum features art from the Nazca, Mochica, Chimu, Inca culture and more; societies who lived in Peru prior to the European conquest. Pieces in the collection date from 1250 B.C to 1532 A.D. The collection was curated by renowned Peruvian painter Fernando de Szyszlo Valdelomar and art historian Cecilia Bakula. The two selected over 400 pieces from the Larco Museum’s extensive archive and brought the pieces to Cusco to open the museum. Since 2003, the museum has showcased these works, sharing the beautiful art of these Pre-Columbian peoples with visitors.

Lunch: At a local restaurant featuring typical Cusqueño fare.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take some time for independent exploration of Cusco. Please see "Notes" section for a list of suggested activities. The Group Leader will also be happy to offer recommendations. We will all meet back at the hotel at the time predetermined by the Group Leader in the morning and transfer to the airport together. Please be considerate to your fellow travelers and arrive punctually.

Evening: Upon arrival to Lima, we will connect with our evening flights out of Jorge Chávez International Airport to the U.S. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!

DAY
9
In Transit From Program
In Flight





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