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Brazil/Argentina/Chile/Peru

South American Odyssey: Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Machu Picchu & More

Program No. 22885RJ
Learn the Samba in Rio and the tango in Buenos Aires, climb to Machu Picchu and have lunch hosted by locals in colorful Valparaiso on this journey to the best of South America.

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At a Glance

The rhythm of samba and the icons of Rio de Janeiro: Corcovado, Sugar Mountain and Copacabana Beach. The pounding waters of Iguazu Falls. The glint of sunlight illuminating the ruins of the Incas in the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. The Colorful and classic neighborhoods of Buenos Aires and the culture of Argentina’s Gauchos. Cosmopolitan Santiago, the Pacific coast of Chile all set against the imposing backdrop of the Andes. On this journey from the extraordinary coast of Brazil to the mountaintops of the Peruvian Andes, feast your senses on the natural, ancient and contemporary wonders of South America.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Elevations up to 11,000 feet in Cusco, Peru. Walking and standing up to two miles a day in a variety of conditions.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

What You'll Learn

  • Explore the highlights of Rio de Janeiro and take in the awesome splendor of Iguazu Falls from both the Argentine and Brazilian vantage points.
  • Walk among the remains of the ancient Inca civilization in the Sacred Valley and at Machu Picchu.
  • Discover Argentine culture in Buenos Aires with a tango lesson and the sophisticated neighborhood of Recoleta.
Featured Expert
All trip experts
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Luis Geldres Carillo
Luis Geldres Carillo enjoys sharing the history and culture of South America with lifelong learners from around the globe. When working with groups, he strives to enhance each participant’s experience by creating an enjoyable and educational adventure. Luis has traveled throughout Peru and has had the opportunity to explore Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, and the U.S. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music, singing, playing soccer, reading and spending time with his wife and two sons.

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

Profile Image of Luis Geldres Carillo
Luis Geldres Carillo View biography
Luis Geldres Carillo enjoys sharing the history and culture of South America with lifelong learners from around the globe. When working with groups, he strives to enhance each participant’s experience by creating an enjoyable and educational adventure. Luis has traveled throughout Peru and has had the opportunity to explore Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, and the U.S. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music, singing, playing soccer, reading and spending time with his wife and two sons.
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While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of our published materials, programs are typically advertised more than a year prior to their start date. As a result, some program activities, schedules, accommodations, personnel, and other logistics occasionally change due to local conditions or circumstances. Should a major change occur, we will make every effort to alert you. For less significant changes, we will update you during orientation. Thank you for your understanding.
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19 days
18 nights
36 meals
16 B 13 L 7 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Rio de Janeiro, Visit Sugar Loaf.
Rio de Janeiro
L
Windsor California Hotel

Activity note: Field trip starts after check in and lunch at the Hotel. Walking up to 1 mile throughout the day including up and down hill. Standing up to an hour at a time.

Morning: Arrive to Rio’s Aeroporto International — Galeão Antônio Carlos Jobim (GIG), about 15 miles (24km) from the program hotel. After completing arrival procedures, exit the baggage claim area. If you are using Road Scholar free air, your Road Scholar Representative will be waiting for you to take you to the Hotel. Depending of you arrival time, rooms might not be ready but you can leave your luggage in storage and go to the roof top of the hotel to relax while waiting for your room or even go to the beach walking distance to the hotel.

Lunch: Plated 2 courses lunch served at the hotel. It includes mineral water. Other beverages available for purchase, unless noted otherwise.

Afternoon: Once checked in at the hotel and settled, we will gather for our Orientation: 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. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will 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 the Orientation we will be ready to board the private motor-coach to drive to Sugarloaf Mountain. Sugarloaf rises 1,300 feet above the city of Rio de Janeiro, presenting a bird’s eye view. It is named for its iconic shape, resembling the cones of sugar that were produced in the 16th century by the Portuguese during the heyday of the sugar cane trade in Brazil. We will ascend via large cable cars that each hold 75 people, over two legs of a journey that last a few minutes each. The first leg takes us to the top of Urca Mountain at 722 feet, with aerial views of Copacabana, the Christ statue, Niteroi Bridge, and Guanabara Bay. The second cable car travels to the top of Sugarloaf, where we have a thrilling 360-degree view of the region. Return to the hotel at sunset.

Dinner: Free to explore the local cuisine.

DAY
3
Exploring Corcovado and Favela experience.
Rio de Janeiro
B,L
Windsor California Hotel

Activity note: Walking up to two miles throughout the day including up and down hill.Driving, with periodic stops and short walks of 15-30 minutes with some steps - mainly descending. Visits of the favelas are done by vans as the area is inaccessible to motor coaches.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffets generally feature a selection of international and traditional local foods as well as fresh juice, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

Morning: We will depart the hotel in vans with our Study Leader and local experts to explore Rio’s favelas. Stopping in Rio's largest and smallest favelas, we learn about the architecture, urbanization projects, the public services, security and the local culture. We will walk through the commercial area of Rio's smallest favela, and the narrow alleyways that provide insight to daily life. We will learn how peaceful and community oriented each favela is, and how visits support community projects in education. We will have the opportunity to enjoy some of the best views overlooking Rio.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, choose what you like from the buffet of delicious, traditional Brazilian dishes .Among the extensive and varied selections are tutu, made of black beans and manioc flour, roasted and stewed meats, vegetables, salads, as well as selection of desserts. Mineral water is included with other beverages available for purchase unless noted otherwise.

Afternoon: We will reconvene with our motor coach and local expert for a field trip to Corcovado, with the gigantic statue of Cristo Redentor — Christ the Redeemer — on the summit. Constructed from 1922-1931, it has become an iconic image of Rio and Brazil. We will board the Swiss-manufactured cogwheel train for a scenic ride through the Tijuca National Park to reach the 2,329 feet-high summit of Corcovado, whose name means “hunchback” in Portuguese. The view from the top provides a spectacular panorama of Rio and its bays. Afterwards, descend the hill via the cogwheel train and re-board our private motor coach to return to the hotel.

Dinner: Free to explore the local cuisine.

DAY
4
Rio's Historic Center and Samba School
Rio de Janeiro
B,L,D
Windsor California Hotel

Activity note: Walking approximately 2.5 miles, standing up to an hour at a time.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Depart from the hotel with our local expert and private motorcoach to the historic center Rio de Janeiro. We examine architectural style, noting fine examples of Baroque construction as we drive by the São Bento and Santo Antonio monasteries, which recall the times when Brazil was a colony of Portugal. The French influence may be seen in the 19th century buildings such as the Municipal Theater and the Museum of Fine Arts. Leaving the coach, we walk along colonial avenues, squares and back streets. Discover the important historical, political and social events that have shaped Rio into one of South America’s most exciting cities. We continue strolling along the waterfront, through the newly renovated areas that feature beautiful murals by local artists. We will later board the local tram to return to the city center.

Lunch: At local restaurant located in the Historic Center.

Afternoon: We will continue our exploration visiting the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, discover an astonishing modern construction made of concrete and stained glass windows that was designed to echo the ancient Mayan pyramids. We will re-board our motor coach to continue on. Drive through the Sambadrome, then head to the Academicos de Grande Rio – the Samba School. During our samba school field trip, we will learn about one of the most exciting events of the year, Carnival. Rio’s Carnival derives from pagan celebrations of Ancient Greece that continued through Europe in the Middle Ages, arriving in Brazil through Portuguese colonization. Enriched with rhythms that came with the African slaves, the beat has been ingrained into local culture and can be heard and felt in every street carnival all over the city. The highlight of Rio’s carnival is the parade of the “samba schools” in the “Sambódromo” stadium built expressly for the parade. At a non-profit samba school, we will meet with locals who use the art and cultural aspects of carnival to educate young people and their families from favelas. We will explore the samba school, learn about the history of samba and carnival parades. Later, we will return to the hotel, and take some time to prepare for tomorrow’s departure.

Dinner: We will head to the historic Garota de Ipanema where Antonio Carlos Jobim and poet Vinícius de Moraes co-wrote the song "The Girl from Ipanema." Then Enjoy a meal of roasted chicken, fries, salad, and vegetables, served family style including mineral water, coffee or tea (a vegetarian selection is available) at Vinicius while listening good Brazilian music.

DAY
5
Fly to Foz do Iguaçu and Iguazu Falls Field Trip
Iguazu Falls
B,L,D
Guamini Mision Hotel

Activity note: Ascending and descending airplane steps with hand baggage. Walking about 1.5 miles and standing for approximately one hour in a humid and tropical climate. There are paved paths leading to Iguazu Falls and many sets of small steps; wet conditions at Falls.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Check out of the hotel for an early morning transfer to the airport in Rio, and fly to Foz do Iguaçu International Airport. Upon arrival in Iguazu, transfer to Iguaçu Falls National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lunch: Buffet at a restaurant near Iguaçu Falls.

Afternoon: With your local expert, walk the long, paved path along the river bank to view the Brazilian side of Iguaçu Falls. The one-way walk culminates with a spectacular 360-degree view. Be prepared to be wowed and to get wet! after the visit we will be transferred to the Argentinean side (going trough Customs and Immigrations) After some time to freshen up, gather for a presentation by our expert naturalist on the Atlantic Rain Forest and the Iguaçu Biosphere.

Dinner: At the hotel.

DAY
6
Iguazu Falls, Argentinean side.
Iguazu Falls
B,L,D
Guamini Mision Hotel

Activity note: Walking up to two miles; humid, tropical climate; paved and unpaved paths, steps. Walking about 0.6 miles (1km) each way to/from viewpoint at the Rescue Center and walking up to 2 miles at Iguazu Falls National Park. Do not forget your bottle water, hat and sun blocker.

Breakfast: At the hotel, choose what you like from the buffet, assorted breads and pastries, scrambled egss plus fresh juice, coffee, tea, and milk.

Morning: We will ride 20 minutes to reach the main entrance Iguazú National Park Falls. The Argentine side makes up about three-fourths of the falls, with a completely different vantage point than from the Brazilian side.

Lunch: At a restaurant inside the park.

Afternoon: Continuing exploring the Argentine Side of the Falls and and its beautiful wildlife. We will return to the hotel, where, after some rest, we will welcome a local expert who will teach us about the original inhabitants of this region, their encounter with the Europeans, their connection with the Catholic Church and how all ended. If you did not have the chance to watch the film "The Mission" we would recommend you do it before coming to Iguazu.

Dinner: Dinner at the Hotel.

DAY
7
Fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina.Tango experience.
Buenos Aires
B,D
Hotel Intersur Recoleta

Activity note: Ascending and descending steps with hand baggage. Walking up to two miles on paved city streets. Opportunity to try tango dance steps.

Breakfast: At the hotel, choose what you like from the buffet, assorted breads and pastries, scrambled egss plus fresh juice, coffee, tea, and milk.

Morning: We will check out of the hotel,and transfer for our flight to Buenos Aires.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like at the airport prior to boarding the flight; light snack served on board.

Afternoon: Upon arrival, we will transfer to the hotel for check in.

Dinner: At a Local Tradicional Milonga ( a place where locals dance tango) we will enjoy a 3-course dinner with wine, non alcoholic drinks and coffee or tea while watching a tango performance.

Evening: Participate in a tango lesson.

DAY
8
Historic Buenos Aires, La Boca San Telmo & lunch with locals
Buenos Aires
B,L
Hotel Intersur Recoleta

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile miles and standing for about an hour at a time on paved cobblestone streets. Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving approximately 2.5 hours. Walking up to 1 mile at a time and standing up to 1 hour at a time. Sidewalks, paved roads, some uneven terrain. Do not forget to refill your reusable water bottle at the hotel before getting into the bus.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will start our exploration in the south part of the city, where all started more than 300 years ago. Explore San Telmo and La Boca neighborhoods and Plaza de Mayo. La Boca was founded by European immigrants, many from Italy, and is known for its vibrantly colored houses. It offers a vivid contrast with San Telmo, the city’s oldest neighbourghood, with its Colonial buildings, cobbled stone streets, antiques boutiques and bohemian ambiance.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, enjoy a 3-course meal with locals of Buenos Aires. Through conversation, we will get to exchange stories, and learn more about day-to-day life in the city and Argentina.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. You might like to suggestion to unravel more historic treasures in the Historic part of the city. Perfect opportunity to walk San Telmo Flea Market or, walking distance from the hotel "Recoleta Handicraft Market" . Which are open on Sundays.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

DAY
9
The gaucho & Argentines traditions. Home made "asado"
Buenos Aires
B,L
Hotel Intersur Recoleta

Activity note: The drive into the countryside is about 50 miles, approximately 1.5 hours each way. Walking short distances and standing; unpaved ground at the ranch.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will board a motorcoach for a full day field trip to experience La Pampa, the province of estancias (colonial ranches) and gauchos (Argentinian cowboys). We will visit an estancia to learn about the local culture and gaucho life as we watch their horse riding skills, listen to songs strummed on the guitar, and encounter the tradition of Yerba Mate. Brewed from dried leaves of an evergreen tree (Ilex paraguariensis), it has been used since ancient times and still today as both a stimulating beverage and in folk medicine. Yerba mate is sipped from a special gourd through a metal straw.

Lunch: At the estancia, enjoy a typical Argentine asado, a barbecue of meats and poultry with side salads and garnishes.

Afternoon: Returning to the hotel at the end of the afternoon.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

DAY
10
Contemporary Buenos Aires. Free time to explore.
Buenos Aires
B,L
Hotel Intersur Recoleta

Activity note: Walking up to two miles;

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will explore, mostly by foot, Buenos Aires’ most beautiful neighborhoods, Recoleta is the city’s heart of art and elegance, grace and modernism, culture and leisure. We will start our exploration at Recoleta cemetery (an open door museum which reflects the all characters of Argentina's history), then we will conitnue our walk to the North to find an impressive panorama of both Argentine and international art from different periods, the National Museum of Fine Arts is definitely worth the time. Combine with a visit to the iconic Floralis Genérica sculpture and the always interesting displays in the Ice Palace, then finish with a stroll down the exclusive Alvear Avenue, where slender apartment buildings and glass towers stand right next to century-old grand homes.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, enjoy a 2 course meal with one non alcoholic beverage.

Afternoon: Free to explore Museums or just walk down the friendly street of Buenos Aires. Do not forget to have a local ice Cream.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: Prepare for check out and transfer in the morning for our flight to Cuzco.

DAY
11
Fly to Santiago and City Tour
Santiago
B,D
DoubleTree by Hilton Santiago

Activity note: Transfer to the airport for the flight to Santiago. Walking up to one mile and standing for about an hour on city streets.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will check out of the hotel and transfer to Ezeiza International Airport to board our flight to Santiago, Chile.

Lunch: On own.

Afternoon: After arrival in Santiago, meet your local expert and begin to explore. Chile's capital city is a sophisticated, sprawling metropolis wedged between the Andes and mountainous coastal range. It is home to 6 million Santiaguinos — a third of the country’s population. During our motorcoach field trip, we will see some of the city's most important landmarks including the La Moneda presidential palace. Originally a colonial mint, it was designed by Italian architect, Joaquín Toesca. We will take a walk through the Plaza de Armas main square, surrounded by beautiful buildings, then check in to the hotel. Before dinner enjoy an introductory lecture on Chile.

Dinner: At the hotel enjoy a 3-course dinner with one mineral water.

DAY
12
Valparaíso, Family host lunch
Santiago
B,L
DoubleTree by Hilton Santiago

Activity note: The drive to Valparaiso is about 72 miles (116km), approximately 1.5 hours. Walking up to two miles and standing up to two hours up and downhill.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will board a motorcoach with our local expert for field trip to Valparaiso. Valparaíso is Chile’s second-largest city. This historic port and university town is renowned for its more than 50 hills covered in quaint and colorful old houses. The hills are connected by an ingenious network of twisting streets, stairways, cable car lines, flower filled balconies and lookout platforms with spectacular views of the bay from which the city takes its name. Enjoy a walking field trip into the old Historic Quarter, a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site. We will also visit the “new” city including the Plaza de la Victoria with its lovely Neptune Fountain; the famous Turri Clock Tower; the docks and fisherman's wharf; and the Naval Academy.

Lunch: At local home hosted lunch, enjoy a typical Chilean lunch, plus a glass of local drink called "terremoto" (earthquake) and a bottled water and soft drinks.

Afternoon: We will drive along the coast a few minutes north of Valparaíso to reach Viña del Mar, founded in 1874 for an overview. The impressive and varied architecture of the Belle Epoque was influenced by French and Italianate styles of the period. Chile's premier coastal resort today is famous for its beaches and a bustling commercial sector. It is also known as the "Ciudad Jardín" (Garden City) thanks to lavish gardens that thrive in the subtropical atmosphere.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like. There are numerous choices near the hotel to sample local cuisine.

DAY
13
Fly to Cuzco-Peru, Check In in Cuzco.
Cuzco
B
Costa del Sol Ramada Cusco

Activity note: Early transfer to the airport for the flight to Lima. Early transfer for full day trip from Santiago to Cuzco. Cuzco elevation 11,000 feet.

Breakfast: Due to the early departure, juice, coffee, tea and breakfast pastries will be available in the hotel. There will be time to pick up additional items at the airport after check in.

Morning: We will have early check out and transfer to the airport for flight check, a mandatory three hours prior to departure. We will then fly to Lima and change planes for an onward connection to Cuzco.

Lunch: On your own in the airport between flights connections.

Afternoon: Arrival at Cuzco International Airport is expected late afternoon. Transfer to the hotel in Cuzco.

Dinner: Light dinner at the hotel to recover from the long day travelling and get use to the altitude.

DAY
14
Cuzco, Pisaq & local Ranch
Urubamba Valley
B,L
Sonesta Posada del Inca - Yucay Hotel

Activity note: Driving approx. 50 miles total throughout the day; about three hours combined, with stops for field trips. Flight is about 1.5 hours. Walking up to two miles; periods of standing up to one hour at a time at Pisaq Ruines. Unpaved paths, cobblestone streets, uneven curbs, some stone steps without railings. Walking and standing for 45 minutes at where the terrain may be rough and uneven. Don't forget to refill your bottles before leave the Hacienda.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Our journey will take us to Pisac, the Inca archeological site which is considered one of the best-preserved in Peru. All the site is spread over a vast green area of the entire mountain, The entire archaeological site is surrounded by numerous agricultural terraces that blend harmoniously with the landscape

Lunch: We'll pause for a delightful lunch at Hacienda Sarapampa, a colonial estate from the 20th century. Within its charming walls, a cozy atmosphere accompanied by baroque and classical melodies awaits, making your mealtime truly exceptional. The hacienda's lush surroundings, boasting vibrant orchards and gardens, showcase the impeccable taste of its owners, Maria del Pilar and Yussef Sumar, who will personally host us and join during lunch, a fantastic meal which offers a mix of comforting flavors and elegant presentation, with organic ingredients sourced from the estate itself. We'll immerse ourselves in its historical significance and the natural beauty the sacred valley embraces. Furthermore, you'll get a chance to see the Hacienda Sarapampa's vast fields of giant white corn, a unique crop that thrives in the Sacred Valley thanks to the nurturing waters of the sacred Urubamba River.

Afternoon: At arrival to the Hotel and after check in we will have a lecture about "The rise and fall of the Inca Empire" to help us understand and absorb what we are going to see the next days.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like. At high elevation, it is recommended to eat lightly in the evening and avoid alcohol.

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

DAY
15
Ollantaytambo Ruines, Urubamba Market. Sacred Valley project
Urubamba Valley
B,L,D
Sonesta Posada del Inca - Yucay Hotel

Activity note: Driving approx.30 miles total throughout the day; about 2 hours combined, with stops for field trips. Walking up to two miles total over the course of the day; periods of standing; approx. three hours spent on our feet; rocky terrain with steps sans railings.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Our day commences with a vibrant visit to Urubamba's bustling farmers market, an energetic hub where local produce and traditions shine. Here, the valley's spirit thrives as farmers and artisans proudly exhibit their wares, fostering a tight-knit sense of community and heritage. Then we will be exploring Ollantaytambo, a living testament to the Inca culture's legacy, safeguarded by an imposing fortress. Here, we unveil an expansive archaeological marvel - once a tambo, a haven for royal entourages on arduous voyages. Remnants of its past stand strong: resilient walls and vigilant towers that once shielded it from threats. Ollantaytambo echoes the essence of an authentic Inca village, mirroring a meticulously planned grid layout. Its cobbled pathways intersect, accompanied by meandering water channels that have quenched the land's thirst for centuries. Historic records from the royal archives affirm its purpose as a haven for Inca nobility. Evident in the precision of its urban design and the intricate artistry etched into its stone facades.

Lunch: We will have a meal with water included while visiting the Sacred Valley Project.

Afternoon: We will head to the Sacred Valley Project, an educational initiative that provides local female students from low income families with board and opportunities to further their schooling. While here, we will visit with the dorm mother and director of the project to learn about the work they are doing. Our next stop will be Urubamba Market Colourful fruit and vegetables line up alongside large sacks of flour and gran which teeter beside rows of slaughtered guinea pig, chicken and beef ready for cooking. Household goods also make an appearance in the forms of lengths of rope, plastic buckets, sweeping brushes and various paraphernalia.. We will afterward return to the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner at Estancia Huayoccari In the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas

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

DAY
16
Machu Picchu UNESCO World Heritage Site
Aguas Calientes
B,L
El Mapi Hotel

Activity note: Driving approx. 19 miles to train station; about one hour. Getting on/off train; ride is approx. 28 miles; about 1.5 hours. Use of public bus; short walk to bus stop; ride is approx. 5.5 miles each way to/from ruins; about 1/2 hour on dirt road. Walking approx. 2.5 miles total for the day; about three hours at Machu Picchu; rocky terrain with slopes, no handrails; maximum elevation of approx. 7,988 feet. Luggage will be transported via private vehicle; pack a day bag for the journey.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Once checked out of the hotel, we will transfer by motor-coach to the train station for our railway ride to Aguas Calientes where we will check in to our hotel upon arrival. We will then complete our journey and enjoy a field trip at Machu Picchu, perhaps the most iconic site of the Inca World, and a great renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site. With our local expert, visit this ancient ceremonial city, explore the agricultural and urban sides of Machu Picchu, and learn about the history of the Incan abandonment of the city as well as its construction during Spanish conquest in the 16th century.

Lunch: At Sanctuary Lodge, enjoy a tasty buffet meal with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase

Afternoon: Now, we are ready to explore Machu Picchu built more than 7,000 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains. A symbol of the Incan Empire and built around 1450AD, Machu Picchu was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. We will depart our hotel and take the train to Aguas Calientas, gateway to Machu Picchu. En route, our local expert will provide an introduction to Machu Picchu including the history of the community and the ruins. Arriving in Aguas Calientes, we will walk from the train station to local buses that transport visitors to the entrance of the citadel. Explore the astonishing ruins of Machu Picchu on foot with our Study Leader and learn about its construction during Spanish conquest in the 16th century, agricultural and urban aspects, and possible reasons why the Inca abandoned it. Hiram Bingham of Yale “discovered” the lost city in 1911, though in fact it was never lost to local people. It was the biggest archaeological news in the world until the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922. We will return to Aguas Caliente to recover our strengths after this marvelous exploration.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like. Light meals are available in the hotel lounge with a full range of dining selections in the hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
17
Train and transfer to Cuzco, Weaving Cooperative & Moray
Cuzco
B,L,D
Costa del Sol Ramada Cusco

Activity note: Walking approx. 2 miles total throughout the day; about one hour combined; mostly flat, paved terrain. Getting on/off a train; ride is approx. 28 miles; about 1.5 hours. Driving approx. 51 miles total throughout the day; about two hours combined, with stops. Porters will handle luggage. Do not forget to refill your reusable water bottle.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Upon checking out of the hotel, we will walk a short distance to board the train for transfer from Aguas Calientes Station to Ollantaytambo where we will connect with our motor-coach for the remainder of the ride to Cuzco. We will then make a visit to Traditional Textiles region where we will learn from a member of the community who will introduce us to this time-honored cultural art form, and provide a demonstration. The arts of dying, spinning and weaving are a means of interpreting Incan culture through traditional customs. Techniques, designs, and quality, which were once taught to every female child. After a short ride we will make stop in Moray, a remarkable archaeological site with stepped circular terraces believed to have been used for experimental agricultural purposes by the Incas

Lunch: Special gourmet pic nic lunch in sacred Valley

Afternoon: Transfer to the Hotel in Cuzco. Check in and rest.

Dinner: Enjoy a farewell dinner and share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check out and departure in the morning.

DAY
18
Qoricancha, Cathedral and Sacsayhuaman. Program concludes.
In Flight
B

Activity note: Driving approximately 3.5 miles total for the day; less than one hour combined, with stops for field trips. Walking approx.four miles total; about three hours total throughout the day; periods of standing at field trip locations. Transfers to the airport for flights home.

Breakfast: Hotel Buffet

Morning: Check out from the hotel. With our local expert we will visit the cathedral which contains some of the best manifestations of colonial goldsmithing and wood carving, as well as a valuable collection of canvases from the Escuela Cusqueña (Academy of Cusco). Afterwards, we will visit the Qoricancha Palace, which was the most important temple in the Inca Empire. Dedicated to Inti, the Sun God, the walls and floors were once covered in sheets of solid gold. We will have some time to take a look around the market with our local expert and Group Leader before exploring the temple and learning about its history. Next, transfer by bus for an independent walking exploration of the ruins of Sacsayhuaman where extremely large stones are seamlessly built into walls and terraces providing views of the valley to the southeast, and were once used as a protective fortress guarding the city.

Lunch: On Your own

Afternoon: Transfer to Aeropuerto Internacional Alejandro Velasco Astete — Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport of Cuzco (CUZ). Refer to your personal air itinerary for specific flight information. 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
19
Arrival to North America
In Flight





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