Machu Picchu, the "Lost City of the Inkas"

In May-June 2004, Rutahsa Adventures is offering a spectacular Peruvian cultural - soft adventure trip across the heart of the Inka Empire, visiting the most important Inka sites, but also featuring pre-Inka cultures such as the Nasca, in addition to living cultures of the Uros, Aymara, and Quechua peoples. Our trip will start in Lima and move south along the coast to Arequipa, then climb up into the Andes. The itinerary includes a visit to Lake Titikaka, legendary birthplace of the first Inka, an overnight experience on Taquile Island, and of course, Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu. A pre-trip extension is planned to Trujillo and Chiclayo to visit archeological sites of the Moche and Chimú cultures (including the fabulous new Museum of the Royal Tombs). Two post-trip extensions will be offered: a visit to the Amazon basin, and a trek of the famed Inka Trail.

One of the VERY special features of this trip will be our visit to the last remaining Inka straw suspension bridge, the keshwa chaca of Huinchiri. This marvelous bridge was first described by explorer Loren McIntyre in the Dec. 1973 issue of National Geographic, and later featured in a 1995 NOVA program, but it is rarely visited by foreigners due to its remote location. Our itinerary puts us there on the second weekend in June, for the annual bridge rebuilding and local fiesta that caps this amazing event. Few outsiders have ever seen this wonderful work of native engineering and art, and few indeed have attended the fiesta! In June 2003, our group was the only group of foreigners present-- what a privilege!

In addition to these glimpses of Andean cultures ancient and modern, participants in this trip will enjoy a fantastic variety of scenery ranging from barren coastal deserts to the high altiplano with its golden fields, from the awesome Colca Canyon to the dazzling Lake Titikaka and snow-capped Andean peaks. Along with this ever-changing panorama we'll see rare marine life, llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and-- with a bit of luck-- vizcachas and condors!


DAY 1 Mon., May 31: Fly into Lima, capital city of Peru, arriving in the morning. After clearing customs and immigration you will be met and taken to our lodgings at the Hotel Antigua in the Miraflores section of Lima. The Hotel Antigua is a former family mansion, and is very pleasant. For a preview of the Hotel Antigua, visit their website, then use your "back" button to return to this itinerary: Hotel Antigua. After settling in and freshening up we will go on an afternoon Lima city tour, seeing the Plaza de Armas and principal historic buildings in the "City of Kings".

DAY 2 Tues., June 1: This morning we visit the Museo de la Nación, where we can get an overview of many of Peru's prehistoric cultures. After lunch we board our chartered bus and head south towards the town of Pisco, whose grapes gave rise to Peru's famous brandy by that name. Close by is the little port town of Paracas where we will overnight in Hotel Paracas. This area was the center of the Paracas culture, a pre-Inca people, famed for their beautiful textiles, many examples of which have been wonderfully preserved in burials in the desert.

Depending on our time of arrival in Paracas we may take in a quick visit to the Julio C. Tello Museum where we will see some examples of the ancient textiles and also grotesquely deformed skulls typical of the Paracas culture elite.

DAY 3 Weds., 6/2: In the morning we will take a boat ride out to the Islas Ballestas nature preserve to cruise along the picturesque, eroded rocky coast of the islands, replete with arches and caves. Here we can expect to see marine birds, including thousands of Peruvian boobies, Humboldt penguins (though we can't promise a chorus line!), pelicans, cormorants and Inca terns, plus hundreds of sea lions, and perhaps dolphins. Occasionally killer whales are spotted. And we'll see evidence of the famous "sea island guano" workings. En route to the islands we cruise along the coast of the Paracas Peninsula, where a giant image known as the "candelabrum" has been dug into the sand and rock of the peninsula-- when or by whom or for what purpose, no one knows.

In the afternoon we will bus on down the coast through barren desert, broken here and there by areas of verdure watered by streams descending from the Andes. In the town of Guadalupe we will visit a bodega or pisco distillery, to learn how the fiery brandy is made. We might even sample some!

Further south, apparently in the middle of nowhere we will come upon a steel tower, and, stopping to climb to the top, discover that we are in the the middle of the Plains of Nasca, and the famous Nasca Lines and figures are at our very feet-- but impossible to see from the ground level. The Maria Reiche Tower is named for the German researcher who spent most of her life studying and working to preserve the lines.

Upon arrival at Nasca we will check into the Hotel Cantayoc, where we will spend two nights.

Day 4, Thurs., 6/3 : This morning we will overfly the mysterious Nasca Lines and figures, viewing them from light planes carrying 3 to 5 passengers. Our skilled pilots will dip first one wing, and then the other over each important figure, allowing good views and picture-taking from both sides of the planes. The lines are innumerable, some running miles, perfectly straight. In addition to lines there are elongate trapezoids resembling runways, "ray centers" (where numerous lines radiate out from a point), and other mysterious markings all criss-crossing and overlapping. And, of course, there are the giant figures, such as the monkey, the hummingbird, the spider and others. With good weather, we'll see them all.

After the flights we will head south a few kilometers to the Cemetery of Chauchilla, where grave-robbers have ransacked hundreds of precolumbian tombs, leaving an eerie and melancholy (but fascinating in its own gruesome way) landscape of bones and archeological remnants.

Just outside of Nasca we can visit the 1500-year-old puquios --underground aqueducts, seen here from the air-- that made civilization possible in this valley, and continue to do so today. The aqueducts can be accessed through spiral respiradoras, or breather holes. The native farmers believe the underground water tapped by the aqueducts comes from a moutain-sized sand dune named Cerro Blanco, but also known to the Nasca Valley farmers as the "Volcano of Water". Second night at Hotel Cantayoc.

DAY 5 Fri., 6/4: Today we have a full day of travel through desert scenery along the barren, but dramatic coast before we turn inland and climb up to the city of Arequipa at 2400 m (7875 ft). Arequipa is renowned for both its beautiful setting in a valley overlooked by the perfect snow-capped cone of Volcán El Misti, and for its pleasant climate, always sunny but cool. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site for its Spanish colonial architecture, well exemplified by the cloister of the Compañía de Jesús. We'll spend two nights here, in the hotel La Casa de Mi Abuela, to rest up a bit from today's long drive, and to soak up the ambience of this Spanish colonial city.

DAY 6 Sat., 6/5: Founded in 1540, Arequipa is known as La Ciudad Blanca ("the White City") as many of its colonial buildings are constructed of a light-colored volcanic rock. This morning we'll enjoy a guided tour of some of the more important colonial sites such as the beautiful Plaza de Armas with its palm trees, the cathedral, and the fascinating Santa Catalina Convent which is practically a miniature city within the city. Santa Catalina, formerly the home to as many as 450 nuns, was closed to outsiders for 400 years, but since 1970 the complex has been open to the public, with the remaining few nuns still living in seclusion in a small private area of the convent. Second night at La Casa de Mi Abuela.

DAY 7 Sun., 6/6: Leaving Arequipa behind we slowly ascend into the Andes, with close-up views of Misti Volcano as we climb up to the puna, or high alpine desert terrain. On the puna we expect to see small herds of vicuñas, the smallest of the Andean camelids, and a once-endangered species, now making a good comeback.

Spectacular views are a given on today's journey: the landscape is impressive, with Andean lakes and waterfowl, and snow-capped peaks in the background. While stopping for photos of scenic vistas we may also enjoy on a more intimate scale the unusual vegetation adapted to the alpine climate, or perhaps spot a vizcacha sunning on a rock, looking like a rabbit with a squirrel's tail! Somewhere along the way- some place with a good view- we'll stop for a picnic lunch. Then we descend into the upper Colca Valley, with its extensive pre-Inka terracing, to the town of Chivay and then on to nearby Yanque. In this small town we find a pleasant surprise: the Mirador de Collahuas, our delightful hotel consisting of artistically constructed cabañas perched on a cliff for a great morning view. The food is great here, too.

DAY 8 Mon., 6/7: Today we will spend in the Colca Canyon area, doing some hiking, watching for condors, and gawking at the Brobdingnagian scale of our surroundings. We'll leave the lodge early to get to a viewpoint called Cruz del Condor, well-known as a spot to see condors up close as they leave their rocky sanctuary and slowly begin to ascend on warming morning thermals. You don't have to be a member of the Audubon Society to be thrilled when one of these great birds sails by so closely you can hear the hiss of the wind through its feathers and see the color of its eye (one way by which the sexes are distinguished!). June is a good month to see the condors, so let's keep our fingers crossed for condor-watching luck equal to that of 2003, when we saw a dozen to as many as 20 at a time! Second night at Mirador de Collahuas.

DAY 9 Tues., 6/8: Today we ascend higher into the Andes, via a scenic road that climbs to the altiplano near Juliaca, where we turn south to the town of Puno on the north shore of Lake Titikaka. Expect to see Andean camelids en route, especially llamas and alpacas. We will pass by several Andean lakes where sightings of flamingos, Andean geese, giant coots, and other water birds are common.

In Puno we'll overnight at the Hotel Qelqatani, right in the heart of this little Andean city, within easy walking distance of lots of restaurants and pizzerias, shops with alpaca sweaters and other artesanía, internet cafes, etc. Puno is a nice town to walk about in.

DAY 10 Weds., 6/9: Lake Titikaka is stunning under the clear Andean skies. At 3856 m (12,651 ft) it is famous as the world's highest regularly navigated lake. Today we will explore a small portion of the huge lake, first boating 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.

From the Uros Islands we will continue across the lake to Taquile Island for an overnight stay with host families. This will be a unique chance to get a better understanding of how the native Aymara people live. Accommodations will be with families who are used to foreign visitors, and understand the necessity of careful food preparation. The visitor should expect a fascinating stay, but not expect luxury.

Optional activity: Those who do not wish to overnight on Taquile Island can return with the boat to Puno to overnight again at the Hotel Qelqatani and enjoy exploring the town.

Day 11, Thurs., 6/10: AM spent on Taquile Island learning about native life here, and reveling in the grandeur of Lake Titikaka. PM: Return by boat to Puno, to overnight in the Hotel Qelqatani one final night.

Optional activity: Those who elected not to stay overnight on Taquile Island will be picked up at the hotel in the morning to drive out to the eerie archeological site of Sillustani. Here the pre-Inkan Colla people built impressive stone funerary towers known as chullpas on a mesa overlooking an other-worldly landscape. Evidence can be seen at this site that the Inka adapted and co-opted the ways of the Colla when they expanded their empire into this region. PM: Free time in Puno. Final night in the Hotel Qelqatani.

DAY 12 Fri., 6/11: Today we turn back north, towards the Inka capital of Cusco...but with a lot to see and do for the next three days en route. Today the highway takes us along the northern shore of Lake Titikaka for a farewell vista, through Juliaca, and on across the altiplano, and finally up through a high Andean valley, to cross a divide and start down the Cusco side. We can expect to see herds of llamas and alpacas en route. At the town of Lampa we will visit a famous colonial church with catacombs.

About halfway to Cusco we reach the small city of Sicuani, where we'll overnight at the rustic Centro Vacacional. But first we'll roll on past Sicuani for a short 20 km to visit the fascinating Inka ruins of Raqchi, where the imposing remains of a Temple to Viracocha, the creator of the world in Inka theology, stand amid a complex of storehouses, barracks-like buildings, and other constructions along the margins of a lava flow. Descendants of the Inkas continue to farm the site and the barley and wheat fields glow golden in the late evening sun.

DAY 13 Sat., 6/12: After breakfast we board our bus again and head for a place seldom seen by outsiders, and which will surely prove one of the most memorable of many memorable experiences on our trip: the last authentic Inka suspension bridge. Getting there, by the way, is at least half the fun as our road winds through the high country, passing Quechua villages, flocks of sheep and llamas, patchworks of potatoes and wheat. 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 Adventurers. Perhaps we'll get to witness the bringing in of the harvest, and hear the Quechua villagers sing as they carry their sheaves of grain in for threshing.

The suspension bridge, known as a keshwa chaca, is made of qqoya grass and must be renewed every year. The rebuilding is a three-day community project, performed each June. The bridge was first made known to the outside world by explorer/author Loren McIntyre (see McIntyre's fascinating article in the Dec. 1973 issue of National Geographic), and is believed to be the last remaining Inka straw bridge that has been continuously rebuilt since Inka times. It spans the Apurimac River where it passes through a narrow canyon. We expect to arrive at the bridge site on the last day of the rebuilding, and to see the renewed bridge go up. And those brave enough to trust a bridge of straw 60 feet above the swift Apurimac can walk across the bridge.

To see a detailed photo album of the keshwa chaca rebuilding and festival, visit the Last Inka Suspension Bridge.

In order to attend the fiesta celebrating the completion of the bridge, tonight we will camp out near the bridge site, with tents, sleeping bags and pads, and excellent food service all provided by Explorandes, Peru's oldest and most respected provider of adventure trekking services in Peru. We have used Explorandes' services many times before, and can guarantee you'll be pleased. Lunch and supper will be provided.

DAY 14 Sun., 6/13: Today the villagers-- the more than 300 who work on the bridge, plus their families-- celebrate the completion of the bridge and the honoring of their ancestors and Pachamama ("Earth Mother") represented by the maintenance of their ancient tradition. Their festival includes performances by many native dance groups in colorful costume. And we will be here to celebrate with them.

In addition to being present for the renewal of the bridge and the ensuing party, another special aspect of our trip will be a donation of school supplies and children's clothing to the villagers who rebuild the keshwa chaca. This is our way of saying "thanks" to the villagers for maintaining their venerable custom of rebuilding the straw bridge-- a custom that has been abandoned everywhere else in Peru.

In the afternoon we will, somewhat regretfully, say our goodbyes, and leave this amazing place-- remote in location and in time-- and return to Sicuani for a second night in the Centro Vacacional. Breakfast and lunch will be provided at our campsite.

DAY 15 Mon., 6/14: Today it is on to Cusco-- but with still more to see en route: fine Andean scenery in the valley of the Vilcanota River; Indian towns en route; the beautiful colonial church at Andahuaylillas; the great Inka wall and gateway of Rumicolca (once the south gate to the Inka capital); the Inka site of Tipón; and, time permitting, the enigmatic archeological site of Pikillacta, a pre-Inka city belonging to the Wari culture.

Upon arrival in Cusco we'll settle into the four-star Picoaga Hotel, located in the historic district, and 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: Picoaga Hotel.

DAY 16 Tues., 6/15: After a fantastic buffet breakfast in the Picoaga we will be well-fueled for a guided walking tour of the most important points in Cusco, the "Navel of the World" and seat of the Inka Empire. Our visits will include the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral, and the Koricancha (Sun Temple). As we marvel at the foundation walls of the palace of Inka Roca we'll see a famous icon, the "Twelve-Cornered Stone". Our guide will teach us how to distinguish between original Inka walls and Spanish colonial walls constructed by Inka stonemasons for the conquerors. All the stonework lives up to its is marvelous!

Then after a break for lunch we will take a short bus ride up into the hills above Cusco to visit the four nearby ruins of Tambomachay (the Bath of the Inka), Puca Pucara (the Red Fortress), Qenco (an extremely weird huaca or sacred place), and finally the mighty fortress of the Sacsahuaman. This amazing work is built of truly cyclopean stones fitted together with uncanny precision. Unquestionably, it is one of the wonders of the world! From atop the fortress we will enjoy a splendid view of the valley of Cusco and the city the fortress once protected. Overnight again at the Picoaga Hotel.

DAY 17 Weds., 6/16: We leave Cusco today headed for the Sacred Valley, by way of Moray and Chinchero and a stimulating hike (optional) down to the Río Urubamba!

Moray is an enigmatic Inka site where giant natural sinkholes have been converted by the Inkas into terraced agricultural areas. Some archeologists believe these sinkhole-farms served as an agricultural experimental station, where Inka cultivators took advantage of the microclimates at different levels within the shelter of the sinkholes. Today the site is favored by seekers of the mystic who come here to meditate.

The drive to Chinchero is across a beautiful patchwork agricultural panorama. At Chinchero, we will visit an important colonial church with wonderful frescoes, built atop the ruins of an Inka fort or palace. And we'll have a picnic lunch (included).

From Chinchero we will hike several miles --mostly downhill-- into a side canyon to the Sacred Valley, following an Inka road. Do this hike and you can say you've hiked an Inka Trail! The hike is optional, and anyone preferring to ride on the bus and get off at our hotel early may do so.

Our bus driver will pick up the hikers and bring them the short distance to the town of Urubamba, and to our lodgings at the Hotel Sol y Luna, a delightful place with attractive cabañas and flower gardens, and great food! For a glimpse of this lovely place, visit Sol y Luna. Then hit your back button to come back to this i tinerary.

DAY 18 Thurs., 6/17: In the morning we will explore the Inka fortress-temple of 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 Inka 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. 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.

After lunch back at the Sol y Luna, we will drive to the opposite end of the Sacred Valley to visit the 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 with views from the trails that give you the sense of being in a helicopter; some visitors find this site more impressive than Machu Picchu. Hiking the interconnecting trails, steps and tunnels from one sector to another will certainly convince you of one thing: the Inka people did not sleepwalk! Second night at the Sol y Luna.

DAY 19 Fri., 6/18: 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 Inkas", one of the world's premier archeological sites, one of those exceedingly rare places where the works of nature and society 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 Machu Picchu Inn it's up the zig-zag road to the sacred citadel for a guided introduction to the site.

After lunch at the ruins (included) you can continue to explore Machu Picchu on your own-- there is so much to see in the main ruins, and a short hike out to the Inka drawbridge is also recommended. But don't miss the last bus down the mountain to Aguas Calientes, where we overnight at the Machu Picchu Inn.

DAY 20 Sat., 6/19: Take an early bus up to the ruins and beat the trainload of daytrippers that comes in around 10 AM. (Your bus ticket and second day entry ticket are included.) You'll have all morning and the early afternoon to get to know the intricacies of Machu Picchu proper-- its residential areas, its fountains, temples, amazing agricultural terraces, and a thousand intriguing nooks and crannies. Or, if you're a hiker wanting a thrill, climb up Huayna Picchu for a breath-taking (literally) view of Machu Picchu far below. Another good hike is along part of the famed Inka Trail to the Inti-Punku ("Sun Gate").

In the afternoon we will return to Cusco on the 3 PM train and take up our familiar lodgings at the Picoaga for a final night in Cusco.

DAY 21 Sun., 6/20: AM: Free time in Cusco; there is much to see here: historic Inka and Spanish colonial buildings not visited on the guided tour, museums, churches, the market, and shops and street vendors for those who want to purchase souvenirs.

PM: We leave our hotel and head to the airport for the flight back to Lima. In Lima we will be met at the airport and taken to our homey Hotel Antigua in Miraflores for a final overnight.

DAY 22 Mon., 6/21: Our last day in Peru, but the wonders aren't done yet. This morning we will visit the renowned Gold Museum. This world-famous private collection contains far more than just gold-- it is a mind-boggling mass of pre-Columbian artifacts, including gold, silver, bronze, stones, ceramics, textiles, and mummies, plus colonial and post-colonial relics in quantities unimaginable. You will leave this museum feeling dazed and overwhelmed.

After the museum visit we will return to the Hotel Antigua for lunch and to finalize our packing.

Unfortunately, all good things must eventually conclude, and so our Peruvian adventure winds down as we board our return flights to the US, carrying a million memories of unforgettable wonders seen, new friends made, and the determination to return someday to incredible Peru.


A pre-trip extension to Chiclayo and Trujillo will be offered for those who wish to learn about the pre-Inka Moche and Chimú cultures. This trip will include a visit to the Museum of the Royal Tombs, a new, world-class museum displaying fabulous artifacts excavated from the tombs of Moche lords at Sipán.

The itinerary: Day 1, 5/28: Fly into Lima; overnight at Hotel Antigua. Day 2, 5/29: Fly from Lima to Chiclayo; visit Sipán and the Royal Tombs Museum, with its awesome treasures. Overnight Hotel Las Musas. Day 3, 5/30: Bus south to Trujillo. Visit the Moche ceremonial center of Huaca de la Luna and Huaca del Sol in the afternoon. Overnight Gran Hotel Marqués. Day 4, 5/31: Visit Chan Chan, the ruins of the Chimu capital. Afternoon: Fly back to Lima; join main group to overnight Hotel Antigua.

The cost of this pre-trip extension will be posted later.


A five-day/four-night visit to Tambopata Reserve in the Amazon Basin. This extension will begin on day 21, Sunday, 6/20, with a flight from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon Basin, and return to Lima on Thurs., 6/24. A 4d/3n extension is also possible, but we recommend the 5d/4n trip because it allows you to visit the Tambopata Research Center in the heart of the reserve. Details for this extension and its cost can be had upon request, and you can preview the reserve and also see a sample itinerary by visiting Tambopata. If you really like what you see, a six-day extension can be arranged.

INKA TRAIL TREKKING OPTION: Hale and hearty adventurers with good hiking legs may want to enjoy one of the world's greatest trekking experiences: the Inka Trail. A four-day Inka Trail trek can be arranged as an extension to the Inka Empire Adventure, beginning in Cusco, on day 21, Sunday, 6/20. Interested parties should enquire about the schedule and cost. This trek option includes bilingual professional guide, meals, cook, porters, all necessary camping equipment.

The itinerary for the Inka Trail trek is as follows: Day 1: Leave Cusco in morning; short visit at Ollantaytambo fortress; then on to trailhead to commence trek; camp near Llactapata ruins. Day 2: Long uphill hike towards Dead Woman Pass, stopping to camp for the night at Llulluchapampa. Day 3: Cross Dead Woman Pass (over 13,000 ft) and continue on to Phuyupatamarca to camp. Day 4: 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.

For a detailed description of the Inka Trail, visit Rutahsa's Hiking the Inka Trail website.

Inka Trail extension cost upon request.

COST OF THE MAIN TRIP: The total trip cost to each participant will be the sum of the basic itinerary package and the cost Lake Titikaka excursion option selected by the participant.

The basic itinerary package cost is as follows: $2674 if 10-12 participants; $2429 if 13-15 participants; and only $2278 if 16 participants. Trip participation will be limited to 16, and we expect this trip to sell out.

For the Lake Titikaka excursion, participants will need to select one of the following options: 1) the Taquile Island overnight stay with an Aymara family; or, 2) the Taquile Island day trip, with overnight in Puno and Sillustani visit the following morning.

The cost of the Lake Titikaka options will vary according to the number of participants signing up for each option.

Taquile Island overnight option: $172 if 4-6; $124 if 7-9; $98 if 10-15.

Taquile Island daytrip, overnight in Puno, Sillustani option: $159 if 4-6; $129 if 7-9; $120 if 10-15.

Because the per person costs vary according to the numbers of participants in the Taquile Island options, Rutahsa Adventures cannot provide a cost total until after registration is complete and each participant has made his/her Taquile Island option selection.

At the time of this writing (Aug. 27, 2003) this price information is believed to be firm for 2004.

TRIP PRICE WILL INCLUDE: Transfers between Lima airport and Hotel Antigua in Miraflores; all lodging (in double occupancy rooms: single rooms available at additional cost); breakfast in most hotels, other meals as specified in the itinerary; transportation by private bus with professional driver; boat transportation to Islas Ballestas and on Lake Titikaka; Nasca Lines overflight; return flight from Cusco to Lima; local guide services by bilingual guides; entries to all visitors sites specified in the itinerary; services of bilingual Tour Conductor.


NOT INCLUDED: Round trip air fare from point of origin to Lima (see note two paragraphs below); meals not specified in the itinerary; souvenirs, tips, phone/fax/internet services and other personal expenses; Peru exit tax ($28 at the time of this writing).

HOW TO GET ABOARD: If you are interested in this trip and would like for us to e-mail you an application, or if you have further questions about the trip, let us know by clicking here Peru trip requests.

NEED A BARGAIN AIRFARE TO PERU?: We recommend you contact Patricia Guamuchi at Solar Tours (Washington, D.C.). Patricia specializes in discounted fares to Latin America; we have used her services for several years with excellent results. 1-800-388-7652, extension 558. Ask for Patricia and tell her you are a participant in a Rutahsa Adventures excursion.

FYI: The background color used in this website is the html color officially known as "Peru".

                        RECOMMENDED READINGS:

        Beltran, Miriam, 1970, Cuzco, Window on Peru, Second Ed. Revised:
             New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 221 p.
        Frost, Peter, 1989, Exploring Cusco:  Lima, Nuevas Imagenes S. A.,
             195 p.
        Frost, Peter, and Bartle, Jim, 1995, Machu Picchu Historical
             Sanctuary: Lima, Nuevas Imagenes S. A., 64 p.
	Hadingham, Evan, 1988, Lines to the Mountain Gods:  Nazca and the
		Mysteries of Peru: Oklahoma City, Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 
		307 p. 
        Hemming, John, 1981, Machu Picchu:  New York, Newsweek Book
             Division, 172 p.
        Hemming, John, and Ranney, Edward, 1990, Monuments of the Incas,
             Albuquerque, Univ. of New Mexico Press, 228 p.
	Kendall, Ann, 1973, Everyday Life of the Incas:  New York, Dorset 
		Press, 216 p.
        Prescott, William H., 1882, History of the Conquest of Peru:
             Philadelphia, J. B. Lippencott & Co., v. 1, 510 p., v. 2, 
	     530 p.  [Prescott's amazing work went through various
             editions and printings, and should be available in major
        Squier, E. George, 1877, PERU: Incidents of Travel and Exploration 
	     in the Land of the Incas:  New York, Henry Holt and Co., 599 p.
             [A classic 19th-century travel work by an archeologist and
             diplomat;  originals scarce, but a modern reprint has been

Photos on this website by Janie and Ric Finch, @copyrighted.