BOLIVIA and PERU:
CULTURAL ADVENTURE TRAVEL IN THE ANDES
Isla Pescado emerges from the stunning Salar of Uyuni like Venus
Rising from the Sea
To start the third millennium in a spectacular fashion Rutahsa Adventures is
organizing a double-barreled trip across two Andean nations, Bolivia and Peru,
beginning in late February 2001. Though the worldwide fame of Peru's amazing
Inca ruins has long overshadowed Bolivia's attractions, both nations offer
awe-inspiring scenery and fascinating cultures, past and present, in addition
to archeological wonders. Rutahsa's adventure will begin in lesser-known
Bolivia, amply prove the worth of that country as a travel destination, then
cross Lake Titicaca to enter Peru headed for the heart of the Inca Empire.
For travelers with ample time, this excursion will be a wonderful opportunity
to get to know two spectacular countries. However, for travelers with tighter
time constraints, this trip will be set up so that you can choose to participate
in portions of the excursion-- explore Bolivia, or explore Peru. Each trip
segment will be priced separately, and a full excursion price will be offered
at a savings. The Peru segment will also feature an Inca Trail trek option.
The excursion starting date, February 22, 2001 for the Bolivian portion of
the trip, is timed precisely to allow us to participate in the famous Oruro
OUR DREAM ITINERARY:
THE BOLIVIAN ADVENTURES BEGIN...
DAY 1, Thursday, 2/22: Morning: Land in La Paz, at one of the world's
highest airports, over 4050 m (13,300 feet) above sea level. During the
transfer from the airport to our hotel we drop about 1500 feet, and get our
first views of La Paz, sprawling throughout a
valley below the plateau on which we landed, with snow-crowned Illimani
towering on the distant skyline. We will proceed directly to the Residencial
Rosario, a pleasant 3-star hotel with a good restaurant, to rest, sip some coca
tea, and begin to acclimate to the altitude. It is highly advisable to take it
easy upon arrival to avoid soroche, altitude sickness.
Afternoon: La Paz, population approaching a million, is the de facto capital
of Bolivia, which is to say that although the much smaller city of Sucre to the
south is the legal capital of the republic, most of the government offices are
located here in La Paz, and most government business is done here. We will get
oriented in La Paz by visiting a small park overlooking much of the city,
visit the Plaza Murillo with its government palaces and cathedral, and then set
out on foot to explore the incredible market complex near our hotel. Here
block after block of shops, booths, and street vendors offer an amazing and
bewildering array of goods ranging from wonderful woven goods of alpaca and
llama wool, musical instruments, antiques, foodstuffs, hardware, and all the
items a well-supplied brujo (witch doctor) might need, including herbs,
potions, and dried llama fetuses. You can even buy fake fossils from street
For supper we'll visit a peña, where Andean musicians sing and
play folksongs featuring panpipes, charango, quena and other
traditional instruments. This special welcome supper and cultural experience
is included in the tour cost.
DAY 2, Friday, 2/23: In the morning we'll drive about an hour north to
the impressive pre-Incan ruins of Tiahuanaco. This site is famous for its monolithic gateways and
giant idols. Tiahuanaco was the capital of what some archeologists believe to
have been the longest surviving empire of all the precolumbian Andean
civilizations, flourishing for over a thousand years. Later Inca rulers are
said to have visited Tiahuanaco and been inspired by its monumental ruins.
Afternoon: Free time to continue exploring the amazing and seemingly endless
market area near our hotel.
DAY 3, Saturday, 2/24: We'll board up early this morning and head south
to Oruro, about a three-hour ride across the windswept altiplano.
Founded as a mining town in the 16th century, Oruro later became the main
center of the Bolivian railway system, which we'll enjoy later. But today we
have come to take part in the Oruro Carnival, the most spectacular Bolivian
festival, and one that has not yet been greatly altered by tourism. Our hotel
will be the Su Majestad Palace, just three blocks from the Plaza 10 de Febrero
and nearby to various sites of interest.
Carnival begins early with La Entrada, a spectacular entry procession
starting at 7 AM and passing along a 5-km route. Over 50 companies of dancers
perform in elaborate costumes noteworthy for their grotesque masks. The dances
represent Aymara folk legends of both precolumbian and post-conquest origins
and are strongly related to the hard lives of the Indian miners. La
Entrada will be well underway by the time we arrive, but not to worry, the
procession doesn't end before afternoon, and it is just the beginning of a week
of revelry and abandon. Tonight there will be lots of celebrating, live music,
dancing, and happy inebriation. Foreigners are welcome to join in, but of
course, some discretion is advised.
DAY 4, Sunday, 2/25: Today is the day of the Gran Corso del
Carnaval, another spectacular display. And Oruro is a town full of
important colonial architecture and museums, including an underground mining
museum accessed from the back of a colonial church. Old train buffs may want
to explore the yards near the station to see what's there. We shouldn't lack
for interesting things to do today. And meanwhile, the carnival continues!
DAY 5, Monday, 2/26: Possibly some of our group will want to sleep late
this morning, depending on how late they partied last night. Perhaps they can
if street noise isn't too much. But around mid-morning we board a passenger
train that will carry us across a bleak but impressive landscape featuring
plains, mountain ranges, playa lakes, mirages, mining towns, herds of alpaca
and llama, and scattered villages. The train service is excellent, with
comfortable reserved seats, dining service, and other amenities. It is a real
pleasure to rock along with the fascinating landscape gliding by. A short
distance from the city of Uyuni the rail line parallels the great dried up lake
bed of the Salar de Uyuni, some 10,582 sq km (4085 sq mi) of snow-white salt
in the dry season, and the world's largest mirror when covered with a thin
layer of water in the wet season. Vicuña, the smallest of the four
Andean cameloids are commonly seen along the margins of the salar, and
occasionally flocks of pink flamingoes flap slowly by over the erstwhile lake.
Our hotel for the next two nights is the amazing Palacio de Sal situated on the salar itself, and built
entirely of rock salt quarried directly from the salar!
Inside the Salt Palace everything is made of
salt. The only exceptions: mattresses (thank goodness!), toilets (double
thank goodness!!), stove and pool table. Truly an amazing, imaginative and
DAY 6, Tuesday, 2/27: During the dry season the salar is a
blinding expanse of white stretching to distant mountain ranges. When dry it
is an easy matter to drive at highway speeds across the salt flats to
cactus-covered Isla Pescado. Once an
isolated island of basalt far from the shores of a vast lake, Isla Pescado is
home to several endemic species of cacti, a variety of birds, and a colony of
vizcachas (a large rabbit-like animal with a tail like a squirrel). During
portions of the wet season, rains flood the salar and Isla Pescado
becomes a real island again. Incredible as it sounds, this does not always
prevent visits to the island: if the water is shallow, intrepid drivers with
4WD vehicles still cross the 80 km of salar to bring visitors to the
island. Imagine driving for miles across a gigantic mirror surface-- the sky
and clouds appearing both above and below, approaching the island which both
projects above and hangs below the horizon. It is precisely in hopes of
experiencing this mind-boggling scene that Rutahsa Adventures has scheduled
this trip in February when rains are possible.
DAY 7, Wednesday, 2/28: After a breakfast in the Salt Palace we board
our 4WD vehicles and head out on an adventurous gravel road across a series of
Andean ranges to reach fabled Potosí. Our route takes us through the
old mining town of Pulacayo where, amazingly enough, there is a railroad
graveyard that features a train held up by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Somewhere along the route we'll stop for photos and perhaps a snack. Then, if
none of the river crossings delays us, we'll reach the famous mining city of
Potosí in time for a late lunch at the Restaurante San Marcos, an old
mine mill converted into a restaurant cum mining museum. Quite a place!
Our hotel will be the Hostal Colonial.
DAY 8, Thursday, 3/1: The coat of arms of Potosí bears the legend
"I am rich Potosí, the treasure of the world, the king of mountains, the
envy of kings." According to legend, silver was discovered at Potosí in
1544 by one Diego Huallpa who had climbed a mountain in search of lost llamas.
The Spaniards were quick to investigate rumors of Indians with silver, took
possession of the mountain peak, soon to become known as Cerro Rico
("Rich Mountain"), and Potosí was founded in 1545. Within 25 years it
was the largest city in the New World, with a population of 125,000. Riches
poured out of the mountain into Spanish coffers, changing the financial
structure of Europe. Potosí itself was awash in wealth; Spanish
aristocrats in Potosí built themselves palaces, and dozens of baroque
churches. But all this came at a terrible toll of human misery, as the mines
were operated by enslaved Indians who died by the thousands in the bowels of
This morning, after fortifying ourselves with a hearty breakfast including some
strong coffee or hot chocolate, we'll head for Cerro Rico, the mountain that made Potosí. This peak, now
stripped barren and plundered inside and out, is still being worked by hundreds
of miners, and we will find out what it's all about by going underground into
the Candelaria Mine. First, a necessary stop is at a market to buy appropriate gifts for the
miners and for El Tio: bags of coca leaves, strong black cigarettes,
perhaps some rum, or you could even buy dynamite and blasting caps, which no
doubt the miners would truly appreciate, but let's not tempt fate. At the adit
we will be issued carbide lamps and hard hats, perhaps a slicker, and then duck
our heads as we head into the dark underworld. Within the drifts we'll visit
with miners working veins with hand tools,
under conditions that are very 19th century by modern mining standards, but
which are still a far cry from the awful circumstances endured by the Indian
slaves in colonial times.
Each of the many mines under Cerro Rico has a shrine to El
Tio, the miner's god of the underworld, who must be placated if his mineral
wealth is to be extracted and the miner to return safely to the world of
sunlight above. We will save a portion of our gifts of coca and cigarettes to
leave before the statue of El Tio as we
exit the mine.
Back again in sunshine and fresh air, we'll ponder the toil we witnessed
underground as we take our lunch and get ready for an afternoon tour of the
Wending our way through narrow streets
overhung by balconied colonial homes we will visit the Casa de la Moneda
(colonial mint), the Convento de Santa Teresa, with its museum, and the
San Francisco Convent for the best rooftop view of Potosí. One of the interesting things to note as you pass
along the streets is the variety of highly distinctive men's hat styles
affected by the cholas (citified Indian women). Overnight again in the
DAY 9, Friday, 3/2: Morning: Free time to stroll (as best as low
country gringos can stroll at nearly 4000 m!) about the city, enjoy the
colonial ambiance, visit the market area, or even sleep in for a change.
In the afternoon we leave Potosí behind, headed for beautiful Sucre, the
legal capital. Although there's lots of mountain scenery to pass through, it's
an easy three-hour drive over one of Bolivia's best highways. We'll be there in
time to stop at a turn-of-the-century mansion called Castillo de la
Glorieta. This amazing home was built by a wealthy Bolivian merchant to
show his fellow countrymen what fine European architecture was all about, which
he did by using as many styles as possible in a single building!
Our home for the next two nights is the very pleasant four-star Hostal Su
Merced, within easy walking distance of the central plaza.
DAY 10, Saturday, 3/3: Today will be a relaxing all-day stay in Sucre.
Founded in 1538 as La Plata, the city was renamed in 1825 in honor of General
Sucre, the first president of the new Republic of Bolivia (which itself was
named in honor of Simón Bolívar, the Great Liberator). But
Sucre is popularly called La Ciudad Blanca, or "The White City" due to
the tradition of whitewashing all the buildings in central Sucre. It is
generally agreed that Sucre is Bolivia's most beautiful city, with a relaxing
atmosphere, and just a very pleasant place to be.
In addition to enjoying the colonial charms of Sucre, along with its
marketplace, museums and shops, we will have a special geologic treat here: a
huge quarry on the outskirts of the city where thousands of Cretaceous-age
dinosaur tracks march up the near-vertical beds exposed in the quarry walls.
DAY 11, Sunday, 3/4: Those who have fallen under the spell of Sucre can
explore the central portion of the city afoot, easy walking from our hotel.
Those who are willing to board our bus for a few more kilometers can make a
day trip to the village of Tarabuco where local Quechua people still wear
traditional costume of multi-colored ponchos, chuspas (woven bags for
carrying coca leaves), helmet-like headgear for the men, and elaborate
axsu (overskirts) for the women. Sunday is market day and local color
should be great.
This afternoon we fly back to La Paz at 5 PM (flight ticket is included in the
cost of the excursion). If the weather is favorable we'll be treated to some
jaw-dropping Andean scenery below. Our final night in La Paz will be at our
old familiar haunt, Residencial Rosario. And another supper at a
peña might be in order.
Travelers who are participating in the Peru segment of the trip only will
arrive in La Paz today also, and will be awaiting us at the Rosario.
DAY 12, Monday, 3/5: Copacabana is our goal and Lake Titicaca our very
special thrill today. We take a chartered bus north from La Paz to a small port
town to board the modern catamaran that will transport us in style across the
beautiful and grand lake to Copacabana. You can watch the scenery glide by
from a sun deck atop the vessel, or from within the main salon through picture
windows while sipping a cocktail. A fine lunch will be served during the
cruise. Titicaca, famous as the world's highest regularly navigated lake at
3856 m (12,651 ft), is stunning, and you will be amazed at the extent of ancient
agricultural terracing evident on the hillsides all around the lake.
Before reaching Copacabana we will dock at the Isla del Sol (Island of
the Sun), the legendary birthplace of Manco Capac, the first Inca, and his
sister-consort Mama Ocllo. Here we will see Inca stonework at a sacred spring,
visit a very well done visitor's complex owned by the same company that
operates the catamaran. The complex features an excellent small museum,
crafts and dance demonstrations, and a chance to see llamas, alpacas and
vicuñas up close. Most importantly,
and dramatically, an Aymara shaman will
ceremoniously bless us to ensure that those who are returning to the U.S. at
the end of the Bolivia segment have a smooth trip home, and that those of us
who are continuing on to Peru will have a totally successful excursion.
After leaving Isla del Sol we sail on to Copacabana. Here we part ways
with our fellow travelers who are participating in the Bolivia trip only. They
will return to La Paz for a final night at the Rosario, and fly back home on
Return to beginning of website.
Quechua fields of wheat, papas, lima beans, and quinoa near the Sacred
THE PERUVIAN ADVENTURES BEGIN...
DAY 12, Monday, 3/5, continued: Travelers continuing on to Peru will
overnight in Copacabana at the very modern and ecologically designed Hostal
Rosario del Lago. Climbing the steps to Cerro Calvario at dusk provides
wonderful sunset vistas across Lake Titicaca and an enchanting view of
Copacabana in the rosy glow of twilight,
looking rather like an impressionist painting.
DAY 13, Tuesday, 3/6: Copacabana is more than just a charming lakeside
resort town. It is the site of Bolivia's most important religious shrine, an
impressive Moorish-style cathedral built in
1610-1620. Many miracles have been attributed to the Dark Virgin of
Candelaria or Copacabana, a black wooden statue of Mary housed in this great
church. Although many pilgrimages are made to Copacabana for many reasons,
one of the more unusual practices is for the owners of newly purchased
automobiles to bring their vehicles here to be blessed by a priest and then
showered with champagne.
From Copacabana we will continue north a few kilometers to cross the border
into neighboring Peru and then drive on up the west side of Lake Titicaca to
the Peruvian port town of Puno to spend our first night in Peru in the Hotel
Sillustani. En route we'll have great vistas of the lake, and we'll visit the
interesting remains of an Incan fertility temple at Chucuito, as well as the colonial churches of
Pomata and Juli.
DAY 14, Wednesday, 3/7: In the morning we will visit some of the
historic ships of Lake Titicaca, including the SS Yavari (on the left in the photo). The Yavari was
built in England in some 2500 pieces that were packed up and over the Andes,
assembled, and launched on Titicaca in 1867! Originally steam-powered
(designed to burn llama dung!), she was converted to semi-diesel in 1913. She
is now being restored and we will go aboard. Lying next to the Yavari
is the SS Ollanta, originally a plush passenger steamer launched on the
lake in the 1930s; today she belongs to the Peruvian Navy.
After our lesson in ship history we will boat out to the floating islands
inhabited by the Uros people. This small group of indigenous people live on
artificial islands made of floating mats of
totora reeds. The community even has its own schools on one of the
islands. As a part of our glimpse of this amazing
living space and lifestyle, we will see --and perhaps take a ride on-- the
traditional reed boats. Be sure to carry some fresh fruits with you to give
the Uros children-- a real treat for them.
After lunch in Puno we will drive to the eerie archeological site of
Sillustani. Here a pre-Incan society built impressive stone funerary towers
known as chullpas on a mesa
overlooking an other-worldly landscape. Second night in the Hotel Sillustani
DAY 15, Thursday, 3/8: Today we board another train to head northwest
towards Cusco. The rails carry us along the northern shore of Lake Titicaca
for a farewell vista, then to Juliaca, and on up through a high Andean valley,
to cross a divide and start down the Cusco side. Should see herds of llamas
and alpacas en route. We'll detrain at the city of Sicuani, where we'll
overnight at the Albergue Sicuani, a little hostal that is fairly basic, but
clean and nice.
DAY 16, Friday, 3/9: After breakfast we board our comfortable private
bus and head for a place seldom seen by tourists, and which will surely prove
one of the most memorable of many memorable experiences on our trip: the last
authentic Inca suspension bridge. BTW, getting there is at least half the fun as our road winds through the high
country, passing Quechua villages, patchworks of wheat and potatoes, and flocks
of sheep and llamas. We can expect some friendly encounters and cultural
exchanges along the way, such as this Quechua
girl sharing delicious freshly boiled papas with a group of Rutahsa
The suspension bridge, known as a keshwa
chaca, is made of straw and must be renewed every year. The
rebuilding is a community project for three days every January. Made known
to the outside world by explorer/author Loren McIntyre (see McIntyre's
fascinating article in the Dec. 1973 issue of National Geographic) this bridge
is believed to be the last remaining Inca straw suspension bridge that has
been continuously rebuilt and used since Inca times. At this season it should
be in good condition and crossable for those
brave enough to trust a straw span 60 feet above the swift Apurimac River.
After a picnic lunch by the bridge and dramatic river gorge, we head on north
to Cusco. If time permits, we will stop at the archeological sites of
Andahuaylillas and Piquillacta en route. In Cusco our hotel with be the Hotel
Picoaga, which occupies a 16th-century Spaniard's mansion. To preview our
digs in Cusco, visit the Picoaga's website, then use your "back" button to
return to this trip description: Hotel Picoaga.
DAY 17, Saturday, 3/10: Our morning starts with a very short bus ride up
into the hills above Cusco to visit the four nearby ruins of Tambomachay (the
Bath of the Inca), Puca Pucara (the Red Fortress), Qenco (an extremely weird
huaca or sacred place), and finally the mighty Sacsahuaman fortress overlooking Cusco. This amazing work is built
of truly cyclopean stones fitted together
with inexplicable precision. Truly, it is one of the wonders of the world!
Our next pleasant task is getting acquainted with Cusco, the "Navel of the World", seat of the Inca Empire. We'll
descend from the fortress back to the city for lunch, then set out to explore.
The Plaza de Armas (just four short
blocks from our hotel), the Cathedral, the Temple of the Sun, and many other
important sites are on our afternoon walking tour. You will see the
world-famous "Twelve Cornered Stone" and
marvel at original Inca walls and doorways. The stonework lives up to and
exceeds everyone's expectations--it is absolutely marvelous.
DAY 18, Sunday, 3/11: Optional activities today: Those who have fallen
in love with Cusco can have a free day to explore this city on their own.
Yesterday's get acquainted tour just scratched the surface. Those who want to
see more of the Peruvian countryside and a smaller Quechua town will arise
early to travel to Paucartambo, some 115 kilometers (4 hours) from Cusco, over
a somewhat exciting mountain road that is open to two-way traffic only on
Sundays! Those who have elected to hike the Inca Trail will begin their
four-day trek today (see separate Inca trail
DAY 19, Monday, 3/12: We leave Cusco today headed for the Sacred Valley,
by way of Chinchero, where there is an important colonial church with wonderful frescoes, built atop the ruins of an
Inca fort or palace. The drive to Chinchero is across a beautiful patchwork
agricultural panorama, with snow-capped Andean
peaks as a backdrop.
From the Chinchero we travel on to the mysterious Inca site known as
Moray. Here, in giant natural sinkholes, the
Inca built a series of terraces believed by some archeologists to have served
as an agricultural experimental station, taking advantage of microclimates
provided by different elevations in the sinkholes. Today the site is favored
by seekers of the mystic who come here to meditate. We can meditate too as we
eat our picnic lunch.
Not far from Moray we will start a hike of a couple of miles (downhill!) to the
salinas where hot salt water springs
have been tapped since precolumbian times for the manufacture of salt. This
ancient practice continues today and the multitudinous evaporation ponds are
an amazing sight to behold. Our bus will pick us up here and take us to the
Posada del Inca, a wonderful hotel occupying
the site of a former monastery, and located right in the heart of the Sacred Valley. To see what the Posada del Inca
is like, you can visit their website (but don't fail to hit your "back" button
to return to this trip description!):
Posada del Inca.
DAY 20, Tuesday, 3/13: In the morning we will explore the Inca citadel of
Pisac, with its stupendous andenes
(agricultural terraces) still in use today, its fortified dwelling areas and the remains of its
temple complex. The site sprawls along a
steep narrow ridge and hiking the interconnecting trails, steps and tunnels
from one sector to another will convince you of one thing: the Inca people
did not sleepwalk!
After lunch we will drive down the Sacred Valley to another fortress-temple,
Ollantaytambo. This site was actually
still under construction when the
Conquistadors arrived, and today's ruins preserve evidence of the construction
techniques. In addition to the impressive ruins, the living town of
Ollantaytambo is very special: it retains its original Inca civic planning
layout of canchas, a grid of narrow cobbled streets separating
walled blocks with interior courts.
We will visit a home in one of the canchas to get a glimpse of Quechua
homelife, replete with the household guinea pigs underfoot. Our overnight will
be at the Posada del Inca again. Ollantaytambo is also a good place to see
traditional Andean costume still being worn,
and hand-loomed ponchos and other textiles may be purchased here.
DAY 21, Wednesday, 3/14: This morning we board the narrow gauge train
that will trundle us down the Urubamba River gorge to Machu Picchu, the legendary
"Lost City of the Incas", one of the world's
premier archeological sites, one of those exceedingly rare places where the
works of nature and man combine to create a place of transcendental mystic
beauty. Our train arrives in the town of Aguas Calientes by mid-morning, and
after checking into the Hotel Machu Picchu it's up the zig-zag road to the
sacred citadel for a guided introduction to the site.
The Inca Trail trekkers will reach Machu Picchu this afternoon to rejoin our
group, but not until well after the arrival of their fleet-footed
DAYS 22 & 23, Thursday and Friday, 3/15 & 16: Two full days at Machu
Picchu! In addition to getting to know the intricacies of
Machu Picchu proper-- its residential areas,
its fountains, temples, amazing agricultural terraces, and a thousand
intriguing nooks and crannies, there are numerous hikes that lead to wonderful
places: the climb up Huayna Picchu for a breath-taking (literally) view of
Machu Picchu far below; a less strenuous
trail to the Inca drawbridge; a hike along
part of the famed Inca Trail to the Inti-Punku ("Sun Gate"); a long hike down
to the Temple of the Moon; or even a hike up to Putukusi peak above Aguas
Calientes for a vista of Machu Picchu only a few travelers ever see. Bird
watchers may want to stroll along the railroad paralleling the river to look
for cock-of-the-rocks and other exotic feathered friends.
On Friday afternoon we will return to Cusco by train and take up our lodgings
at the Hotel Picoaga once again.
DAY 24, Saturday, 3/17: Fly from Cusco to Lima, arriving mid-morning
(flight ticket is included in the cost of the excursion). We'll check into
the Hotel Antigua (a converted mansion in the very pleasant suburb of
Miraflores); for a preview of our hotel, click here:
Hotel Antigua, but don't
forget to use your "back" button to return to this itinerary.
After lunch, we go on a Lima city tour. Our tour of Peru's capital city
climaxes with the world-renowned Gold Museum, a private collection of
precolumbian artifacts that includes much more than vast holdings of gold:
ceramics, textiles, war implements, and more. Admission to the Gold Museum
also includes admission to a large arms collection, amazing in its own right.
DAY 25, Sunday, 3/18: Time to board your return flight home, carrying a
million memories of unforgettable wonders seen, new friends made, and the
determination to return someday to Bolivia and Peru.
INCA TRAIL TREKKING OPTION: Hale and hearty adventurers
with good hiking legs may want to enjoy one of the world's greatest trekking
experiences: the Inca Trail. A four-day Inca Trail trek is offerred as an
option on Rutahsa's Bolivia-Peru excursion. The Inca Trail trek leaves Cusco
on Sunday, Day 18 of the trip, and arrives in Machu Picchu on Wednesday
afternoon, Day 21, to rejoin the main group. The trek option services include
bilingual professional guide, meals, cook, porters, all necessary camping
The itinerary for the Inca Trail trek is as follows: Sunday, day 18: Leave
Cusco in morning; short visit at Ollantaytambo fortress; then on to
trailhead to commence trek; camp near Llactapata ruins. Monday, day 19:
Long uphill hike towards Dead Woman Pass, stopping to camp for the night at
Llulluchapampa. Tuesday, day 20: Cross Dead Woman Pass (over 13,000 ft) and
continue on to Phuyupatamarca to camp. Wednesday, day 21: hike into Machu
Picchu, via the Sun Gate, with a side trip to beautiful Wiñay Wayna ruin
en route; bus down to Machu Picchu Inn in Aguas Calientes, to rejoin rest of
For a detailed description of the Inca Trail, visit Rutahsa's
Hiking the Inca
Trail website. Or, to return to DAY 18, click here:
For travelers who really want to have their cake and eat it too, Rutahsa can
put you on an Inca Trail trek after the main tour is over, so that you do not
miss Paucartambo, Chincheros, Moray, the Salinas, or any of the wonderful sites
in the Sacred Valley.
COST OF THE TRIP: The costs listed below are based on a minimum of eight
excursionists, in double occupancy rooms. Single room accommodations are
available at an extra cost.
- 13-day Bolivia trip, starting in La Paz and ending in La Paz, including
full day on Lake Titicaca: $1715 per person in double accommodations.
- N.B.: DUE TO EXTREMELY HIGH DEMAND FOR HOTEL ROOMS FOR THE FAMOUS ORURO
CARNIVAL, BOLIVIA TRAVELERS NEED TO SIGN ON BY JANUARY 10! The Hotel Su
Majestad Palace in Oruro requires payment for the rooms by early January; if
you wish to participate in this trip, you will need to make a non-refundable
deposit (deposit will cover payment for this hotel) before the end of December.
- 14-day Peru trip, starting in La Paz, ending in Lima: $2059 per in double
- Full 25-day Bolivia-Peru trip: $3423 per person in double accommodations.
- 14-day Peru trip with Inca Trail trek option: $2309 per person in double
accommodations (2-man tent on trail; double room at Machu Picchu Inn at
end of trek).
- Full 25-day Bolivia-Peru trip with Inca Trail trek option: $3673 per
person in double accommodations.
- The above prices are based on price quotes for 2001 from the Bolivian and
Peruvian suppliers, and should hold. However, the in-country air fares may
change, and Rutahsa Adventures reserves the right to adjust prices in the
event of any cost increases beyond the control of Rutahsa Adventures.
- Travelers preferring single room accommodations will pay a supplementary
charge for the accommodations: $278 in Bolivia; $366 in Peru.
HOW TO GET ON BOARD: Let us know you are interested by e-mailing Dr. Ric Finch
at Rutahsa Adventures. We will put you
on our mailing list for trip up-dates and/or send you the appropriate
application blank(s), as you request.
Please remember that Bolivia travelers need to sign on before the end of
December 2000 to be guaranteed of a hotel room in Oruro for the Oruro Carnival.
For acquiring your flight reservations to Latin America, Rutahsa Adventures
recommends MENA Travel in Chicago. MENA can provide you with discounted air
fares, saving you considerable $$$. Call 1-800-536-6362 and ask for John;
tell him Rutahsa Adventures sent you! Word to the wise: Make sure the trip
you want to sign on to is "go" before you purchase your plane tickets.
Images on this webpage by Janie and Ric Finch, @copyrighted.