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
2,650
Special Offer
Flights start at
695
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9 days
8 nights
19 meals
7 B 7 L 5 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
In Transit to Program, Arrive Lima – Peru, Check-in
Lima
Casa Andina Select Miraflores

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m. The drive from the airport to the hotel is about 8 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. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: Arrivals into Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chávez - Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM) in Lima, Peru. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers. If you are an independent traveler (POP status), see “Ground Transportation to First Location.” Upon arriving at the hotel, check in and get your room assignment.

DAY
2
Orientation, Lima City Exploration, 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. 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. After boarding a bus, we will head into downtown to learn about Lima’s colonial past. Transfer to Lima's Plaza de Armas for a field trip led by a local expert to la Catedral, Casa Aliaga and the Museo de la Gastronomia Peruana (Peruvian Gastronomy Museum). The most important church in any town in Peru is usually called La Catedral (Cathedral). In the case of Lima, la Catedral is also the most important church in all of Peru. This beautiful colonial building in the Plaza de Armas presumably houses the remains of Francisco Pizarro—whether the bones are authentic or not is a matter of conjecture.

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. 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.

Afternoon: We will continue with our exploration of downtown Lima. 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 on foot 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. After our meal, we will enjoy a leisurely walk back to our hotel with our group leader. Our hotel is less than a mile from the restaurant.

Evening: We’ll then enjoy a leisurely walk back to our hotel with our Group Leader. The remainder of the evening will be at leisure.

DAY
3
Ceviche Presentation, Chorrillos Suburb, Larco Museum
Lima
B,L
Casa Andina Select Miraflores

Activity note: Walking about ½ mile; paved sidewalks.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: While at the hotel, we will enjoy a presentation by a local expert on Peru's political and economic history before boarding our bus for transfer southwards to the suburb of Chorrillos. Upon arrival, we'll learn about the way of life at this fishing community through interactions with locals and visits to the port and local market.

Lunch: At a local restaurant featuring traditional food. While at the restaurant, we’ll be treated to a culinary presentation showing us the proper way to prepare a Peruvian favorite - ceviche.

Afternoon: We will transfer by bus to the Larco Museum. A presentation by a museum curator will introduce us to Peru's ancient cultures and enhance our museum experience. Following the lecture, the curator will guide us through the museum. The privately funded Larco Museum, also known as Museo Rafael Larco Herrera, holds one of the world’s largest collections of Peruvian pre-Colombian artifacts and showcases pieces from lesser known Peruvian cultures such as the Moche, Chimú, and Nazca, as well as the famous Inca. Its name honors the founder’s father, Don Rafael Larco Herrera, a well-known collector of pre-Columbian artifacts and archaeology aficionado. The museum is housed in an 18th century mansion in the Pueblo Libre District of Lima and has 6 exhibit halls, 11 storage rooms, a vault for gold and silver exhibits, a terrace with large stone displays, and a garden with a patio. Transfer back to the hotel. Once at the hotel, we will have the rest of the day for Free Time and independent exploration. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

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 also be happy to offer suggestions.

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

DAY
4
Cusco Flight, Sacsayhuaman, Awanakancha Alpaca Center
Sacred Valley
B,L,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: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll transfer to the airport for our early morning flight to Cusco. Upon arrival in Cusco, we'll board a bus and begin driving to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Along the way, we'll stop and eat lunch then explore Sacsayhuaman. This amazing fortress lies just outside of Cusco and 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, as the stones are not native to the region and the majority of them weigh over one ton. The largest rock is more than 300 tons. Sacsayhuaman is constructed of huge polygonal blocks which interlock with one another so precisely a knife blade cannot be inserted between them.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will visit the Awanakancha Alpaca Center to learn about Andean weaving traditions and get a close up look at llamas, alpacas and vicuñas. The Awanakancha Alpaca Center is an interactive museum where visitors can see live llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas and learn about Andean weaving traditions. Visitors have the unique opportunity to see how the wool is collected, dyed, and spun into thread. A demonstration will show how the wool from these South American Andean camelids is used to make woven textiles. Arrive to the hotel and check-in. Free time to relax and freshen up for this evening's activities.

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
5
Sacred Valley, Moray, Maras Community & Salt Mines
Sacred Valley
B,L,D
Casa Andina Private Collection - Valle Sagrado

Activity note: Drive to the Maras Salt Pans is about 30 miles; approx. 1.5 hours; other drives are shorter distances. Hiking about 1.5 miles; approx. 1 hour; downhill trail.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After a short drive, we will accompany our Study Leader and local expert 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 and visit the local salt mines with a local expert. These local natural salt mines have existed since the time of the Inca and continued through that of the Spanish Conquistadors. We’ll learn how valuable salt was in the preservation of food, especially meats and be see a demonstration of the salt extraction process.

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

Afternoon: We will continue our visit with the local community of Maras and learn how to weave baskets from corn husks, learn about their farming techniques, and see how life is at Sacred Valley. Our day will culminate with an ancient Pachamama ceremony led by a shaman. 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.

DAY
6
Bus & Train to Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu
Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu
B,L,D
Casa Andina Classic Machu Picchu

Activity note: Train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes is about 1.5 hours. Bus drive from Aguas Calientes Town to the Machu Picchu ruins is about 4 miles; approx. ½ hour. Pack an overnight bag no more than 11 lbs. for this night; excess luggage will be secured for you until our arrival in Cusco. Walking and standing for at least 5 hours; dirt and grass terrain; many staircases; paved sidewalks in town. We recommend wearing or bringing a long-sleeved shirt for insect protection.

Breakfast: Early breakfast at hotel.

Morning: We’ll set out early for 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. Disembarking at the Aguas Calientes Station (6,693 feet elevation), we’ll board a bus that will take us up the mountain to the Machu Picchu Ruins (7,972 feet).

Lunch: At a local hotel restaurant up at Machu Picchu, we’ll have a buffet meal featuring many choices of salads, poultry, meats and fish, as well as deserts.

Afternoon: Full afternoon expert-led field trip in and around Machu Picchu Ruins. This ancient Inca city was rediscovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, a Yale graduate and U.S. senator fascinated with Inca archaeology. Bingham found Machu Picchu, 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. At the end of the visit, we will board the bus to Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival, disembark at the bus stop and walk to the hotel.

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

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

DAY
7
Free Time, Train & Bus to Cusco, Free Time
Cusco
B,L,D
Hotel Los Portales

Activity note: Train & Bus to Cusco is approximately 4 hours. Participants who plan to return to Machu Picchu this morning will need to purchase their entrance tickets in advance. Park tickets are not sold on site. Please contact the program coordinator at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com if you are interested in buying Machu Picchu entrance tickets. Buses begin boarding for the park at 6:00 a.m. and participants must return by 9 am. See "Notes" section of prep mats for more details

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Enjoy free time this morning to sleep in, walk around the town, or explore Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu on your own (there is an extra cost for additional entrance tickets; tickets are sold in limited numbers and must be purchased in advance). This is a great opportunity for anyone wishing to revisit the ruins at a more relaxed pace. Just after sunrise, the soft morning rays bathe the ancient city in golden light and the mist slowly rises from the valley. Take advantage of the favorable lighting and lesser amount of visitors to try and capture that perfect shot for your photo album. We'll take the 10:30 am train from the Aguas Calientes Station to the Ollanta Station. Our journey will take about 1.5 hours and we'll arrive in time for lunch.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Ollantaytambo, we’ll have a buffet meal featuring many choices of salads, poultry, meats and fish, as well as deserts.

Afternoon: After lunch we'll continue our transfer to Cusco. Arrive in Cusco and check-in at the hotel. Enjoy some time to freshen up and relax. Before dinner, we will enjoy a presentation by a local expert on the history of Inca and Andean musical instruments.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll enjoy a plated 3-course farewell meal with a non-alcoholic beverage included. Share some of your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends.

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

DAY
8
Colonial Cusco, 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 flight from Cusco to Lima takes approximately 1.5 hours; weight limit for checked luggage on this flight is 50 lbs. Transfer to the airport is about 2 miles; less than 1 hour. Program concludes with late afternoon flight. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers. If you are an independent traveler (POP status), see “Ground Transportation from Last Location.

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 visits to Koricancha and the San Pedro Market. 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.

Lunch: At a local restaurant featuring typical Cusqueño fare.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take some time for independent exploration of Cusco before rendezvousing at a predetermined time and place for transfer to the airport in the late afternoon for our flight to Lima.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

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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