CULTURAL ADVENTURE IN THE INKA
Featuring the KESHWA CHACA Festival
Keshwa Chaca, the last Inka straw suspension bridge
For June 2007, Rutahsa Adventures is offering a trip across the heart of the
Inka Empire, beginning in beautiful Arequipa, with a visit to awesome Colca
Canyon, and continuing on to Lake Titikaka, legendary birthplace of the first
Inka, then to Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu. A very special
feature of this excursion will be the witnessing of the annual rebuilding of
the last remaining Inka straw suspension bridge and the colorful native fiesta
that follows its renewal. A trek of the famed Inka Trail will be offered as an
optional extension to the main trip.
HERE'S OUR ITINERARY:
DAY 1, Thu. May 31: Arrive in Lima in the morning and continue on by air
to the colonial city of Arequipa in southern Peru. Arequipa lies at an
elevation around 2400 m (7875 feet) and this is an excellent way to ease into
the higher elevations of the Andes gradually, avoiding the altitude problems
commonly experienced when flying directly into Cusco.
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 pleasantly cool. It is also a UNESCO World
Heritage site for its Spanish colonial architecture, well exemplified by the
cloister of the Compañía de
At AQP airport we will be met by our local guide (bilingual, of course) and
taken to our lodgings for tonight and tomorrow, La Casa de Mi Abuela
(My Grandmother's House).
After checking in and perhaps checking out the grounds of our unusual but very
comfortable little hotel, it's time to rest up from the long flight down to
South America. We recommend supper at the hotel.
DAY 2, Fri. June 1: 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 tuff. This morning we'll enjoy a guided tour--
mostly walking-- of some of the more important sites such as the impressive
Plaza de Armas, with its majestic
palms, the cathedral, and other notable colonial sites. Our tour will include
the sprawling Santa Catarina Convent, practically a city within the city. This
convent formerly housed as many as 450 nuns in total seclusion, being closed to
outsiders for over 400 years. Only in 1970 was it opened for visitation; the
remaining few nuns continue to live a sequestered life in a section of the
complex that remains private.
After the city tour you'll have some free time. You may want to eat a late
lunch (eating on the second floor veranda of a restaurant overlooking the
central plaza is quite enjoyable). After lunch you can return to our hotel
to hang out and relax, or perhaps go shopping in some of Arequipa's many stores
selling fine woollen goods (you can even buy genuine vicuña...if your
pocketbook is deep enough!) and delicious La Iberica chocolates can be bought
at the factory's downtown outlet store.
Second night in La Casa de Mi Abuela. Included meal: B
DAY 3, Sat. June 2: After breakfast (included, as is the custom in most
Peruvian hotels), we board our charter bus and head out and up. 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 have a good chance to see vicuñas in
small herds ruled by a dominant male, or
sometimes singly (probably young males without
a harem). This wonderfully graceful animal is the smallest of the Andean
camelids, and was once endangered, being over-hunted for its fine fleece.
Fortunately, it is now protected and is making a good comeback.
You can also expect to see both of the domesticated camelids: llamas and
alpacas. In fact, along some stretches of the road they are so numerous as to
almost become a road hazard!
Spectacular views abound along today's journey: the landscape is broad and
majestic, 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.
Perhaps we'll spot a vizcacha sunning on a rock, looking much like a
short-eared rabbit that has sprouted a squirrel's tail.
We will cross a high pass, then 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 very
pleasant surprise: the Eco Inn Colca (formerly the Mirador de Collahuas), our
delightful lodging for the next two nights, consisting of artistically
constructed cabañas perched
on a cliff commanding a marvelous view. The food is great here, too!
Included meal: B, BL (box lunch), D
DAY 4, Sun. June 3: We will spend all day today in the Colca Canyon area, doing a little hiking,
watching for condors, and gawking at the Brobdingnagian scale of our
surroundings. We'll leave the lodge early to get to the viewpoint known as
Cruz del Condor, well-known as a spot to see the great vultures 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 completely thrilled when one of these
magnificent birds sails by so closely you
can hear the hiss of the wind through its feathers and see the color of its
eyes (one way by which the sexes can be distinguished!). June is a good month
to see condors, so let's keep our fingers crossed for condor-watching luck
equal to that of our 2003 trip when we saw a
dozen to as many as 20 at a time.
Second night at Eco Inn Colca. Included meal: B, BL, D
DAY 5, Mon. June 4: Today we ascend higher into the Andes, via a scenic
road that climbs to the altiplano near Juliaca, where we turn south towards the
town of Puno on the north shore of Lake Titikaka. Expect to see Andean
camelids-- llamas, alpacas and perhaps more vicuñas. We will pass by
several Andean lakes where sightings of flamingoes, Andean geese, giant coots,
and other water birds are common. We'll carry box lunches with us to eat as we
Between Juliaca and Puno we will take a short side trip to the important
archeological site of Sillustani. Here, a small plateau of lava rock rises
amid an austere other-worldly scene, and here in this special place pre-Inka
and Inka peoples erected stone funerary towers known as chullpas.
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 has a
nice, pedestrian-friendly central area.
Included meals: B, BL
DAY 6, Tue. June 5: After breakfast we will embark for Suasi Island in
the midst of beautiful Lake Titikaka, and you can pack light, since we'll be
returning to the Qelqatani after two nights at the island eco-lodge.
First stop en route to Suasi will be to visit the historic ship SS Yavari (ship on the left in the photo). The Yavari
was built in England in 1862 in approximately 2500 pieces, each light enough to
be carried by a mule. The pieces were crated and shipped around the Horn, then
brought up and over the Andes to be assembled and launched on Lake Titikaka in
1867. The results of this herculean engineering feat sailed Titikaka for about
a century before being decommissioned. Originally steam powered (designed to
burn llama dung!), she was converted to diesel in 1913. She is now in the
process of being restored and will be put back into service for cruises. In
the meantime, we can have an educational and fascinating visit aboard her.
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 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.
Our third stop for the day will be on Taquile Island, a major island with
several indigenous communities. We will have lunch here (included). Be
prepared for climbing a long flight of steps-- light hiking boots recommended.
Continuing our cruise on Lake Titikaka, widely known as the highest regularly
navigated lake in the world --at 3810 m (12,500 feet) elevation-- we will reach
Suasi, a privately owned island of 43 hectares where Casa Andina has built its
eco-lodge. Our visit here will be something new for Rutahsa Adventures, so
we cannot speak from personal acquaintance, but we are very impressed by what we
have heard and read about the quality of the Suasi experience. Take a look at
their website, then use your "back button" to return to this trip itinerary:
Suasi Island lodge. We will spend two nights here. Included meals:
B, L, D
DAY 7, Wed. June 6: Today you have all day for enjoying the tranquility
and the beauty of Suasi Island, and sampling any of the many activities that
appeal to you: hiking about the island on your own, enjoying the scenery and
the plant, bird and animal life (all three of the camelids are here, plus
vizcachas); a 2-hr, 5-km guided hike with an environmental interpretation; a
3-hr, 6-km guided canoeing outing on the lake; a 3-hr visit to "Martha's
Cultural Cabin" where the island's owner, Martha Giraldo, has assembled
displays and environmental/ecological information on the Titikaka area; a
guided 2-hr night walk. Most, but not all, of these activities are at no extra
cost. Anyone with a love of cold water can go swimming in Titikaka. And you
may enjoy just hanging out and relaxing, soaking up the peace of this little
bit of Andean paradise.
Second night Suasi Island Lodge. Included meals: B, L, D
DAY 8, Thu. June 7: After breakfast we reluctantly bid goodbye to
Suasi, and boat a short distance to the mainland where our driver will be
awaiting us with our private bus. Once aboard we return to Puno (about three
hours drive), enjoying new vistas and stops at Moho and Huancane along the way.
Back in Puno we will take up our familiar digs at the Hotel Qelqatani for a
final night. Included meal: B
DAY 9, Fri. June 8: Today will be a road day and we must make an early
start. We will ask the Qelqatani staff if they can provide an early
continental breakfast to allow us to be on the road by 6 AM! Why so early?
Well, we have a six- or seven-hour drive to get to our destination, and we want
to be there by noon, 1 PM latest. We are headed for the keshwa chaca,
the last Inka suspension bridge, a very special feature of this trip. The
bridge must be renewed each year, and the rebuilding is a three-day process.
Thursday June 7th will have been spent manufacturing the ropes and heavy cables
of qq'oya grass. Today is the day the six main cables are laboriously
hauled across the Río Apurimac and stretched into place. We want to
arrive at the bridge site by midday in order to see some of this fascinating
process. To get a better idea of what this is all about, and why we want to get
there on time to see the raising of the cables, visit our keshwa chaca webpage.
The highway takes us along the northern shore of Lake Titikaka for a farewell
view of the lake, then to Juliaca, and on across the altiplano, and finally up
through a high Andean valley, to cross a divide at La Raya pass and
start down the Cusco side. We can expect to see herds of llamas and alpacas
en route, but we'll limit our stops today to just the absolutely necessary
bathroom stops, so don't drink too much coffee at breakfast!
About halfway to Cusco we reach the small town of Combapata, where we will turn
off the main highway and head up into a little-visited region of the altiplano.
About two hours driving on a mixture of paved and well-maintained gravel roads
which at times are truly dramatic, will bring
us to the gorge of the upper Río Apurimac (the "Mighty Speaker" in
Quechua). Here, at a place seldom seen by outsiders, hangs the last authentic
Inka suspension bridge.
Known in Quechua as a keshwa chaca, the bridge is made of straw
and must be renewed every year because it rots. The rebuilding is a three-day
community project, performed the second weekend of each June. 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 have been continuously used and rebuilt since Inka times. And our visit is
timed to allow us to watch the part of the bridge rebuilding, and to join in
the fiesta on Sunday celebrating its renewal.
Yesterday, the first day of rebuilding the bridge --or, to put it more
accurately, building a completely new bridge to replace the weathered bridge
built a year ago-- is dedicated to fabricating the four huge rope cables that
will support the bridge, and the two smaller cables that make the hand rails.
All are made of qq'oya, a tough Andean bunch grass. As noted above, the
reason for our early morning departure from Puno is that we want to arrive in
time to see the great rope cables pulled into place by lines of straining
Quechua men on each side of the dramatic river canyon. Each of the heavy
cables must be laboriously hauled up and even more laboriously adjusted so that
all four hang evenly in the same shallow
catenary curve--if they do not hang evenly the flooring cannot be placed
tomorrow. The slack of the cables is adjusted by winding them around a double
set of large stone sleepers embedded in the
stone bridgehead on each side of the canyon. This should be a very interesting
process to observe.
Lunch will be served at our campsite. Our lodging tonight will be in a campsite
with two-person dome tents, sleeping bags and
pads all supplied. Our meals will be cooked for us and served to us in a
dining tent, and based on past experience, they will be more than adequate!
Included meals: early continental breakfast (if we can talk the Qelqatani staff
into it!), L, D.
DAY 10, Sat. June 9: Today is the day the new bridge is finished and we
will witness the four main cables being fixed into place with cross-sticks lashed to the cables with fresh
rawhide, while simultaneously a multitude of small rope stringers are laced
from the hand rail cables to the outside floor cables, forming the sidewalls to
the bridge, so that it can be crossed without danger of falling off into the
icy river 60 feet below. This work is accomplished by two master bridge
builders and their assistants working their way out from the bridgeheads to meet in the middle.
The last stage of the work is to lay the flooring, formed of mats of brush tied together, and giving a solid
flooring to the bridge easy to walk across.
The bridge-building activities are carried on under the watchful eyes of a
local shaman who performs the rituals necessary for the construction to proceed
as planned. Upon completion of the great work, sometime late this afternoon,
the bridge will be blessed, and then opened for crossing. Sometimes the first
crossing is reserved for special guests, but we will have our chance and no
matter how many times Rutahsa Adventures visits this wonderful site (2007 will
be our 9th visit!), it is always thrilling to stride swaying high above the
swift Apurimac, supported by our faith in a half-millenium (or more) of native
engineering and bits of twisted grass!
Although the bridge has been described in National Geographic (1973 and 1987),
the subject of a NOVA program (1995), filmed for a Peruvian cultural
documentary (1999), featured in a BBC special in 2005, and filmed by a Japanese
film crew in 2006, it remains to date little visited by outsiders. It is part
of a rural Peruvian world nearly forgotten. Rutahsa Adventures' travelers have
the privilege of witnessing first hand the ancient traditions and engineering
techniques of the Inkas maintained today by their descendants as a way of
honoring their ancestors and Pachamama ("Earth Mother").
We hope that our visits (and the fame that the bridge is beginning to gain)
will serve to help the people of the bridge-building communities maintain
this beautiful tradition. In order to show our appreciation to the people of
the four communities that construct the bridge, we will make a donation of
school supplies, children's clothing, toothbrushes and toothpaste to the local
village authorities, to be distributed to the children of the communities.
We overnight in camp again tonight. Included meals: B, L, D
DAY 11, Sun. June 10: It's festival time today! This morning tents will go up, vendors will arrive in trucks
and buses, speaker systems and the rainbow banner of the Inkas will be erected,
dance teams from towns throughout the region will arrive, and locals in their
finest fiesta clothing will come by bus,
truck, horse and mule, and afoot, to celebrate the annual renewal of the
keshwa chaca. And Rutahsa Adventures travelers will witness a colorful
and thoroughly Peruvian spectacle. You'll get a memorable dose of colorful
costumes, energetic swirling dancers, raucous Andean music, and pungent smells
of local cookery. It's a truly great scene!
After a final lunch in camp, we head back to the main highway, and continue
north to Cusco, making some photostops en route to record the dramatic scenery
we rushed through to get to the bridge site on Friday.
In Cusco our home will 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. Included meals: B,
DAY 12, Mon. June 11: Our morning starts with an extensive buffet
breakfast at the Picoaga. Afterwards, we get down to learning our way around
Cusco with a guided walking tour of the
capital and sacred center or the Inka Empire, the very "Navel of the Earth".
We'll visit the Plaza de Armas (just
three short blocks from our hotel), the cathedral (built over the ruins of one
of the Inka palaces), and also the Inka holy of holies, the Q'orikancha or Sun
Temple. We'll see the world-famous "Twelve
Cornered Stone", located in a wall of the Inka Roca's palace, which the
conquistadores rebuilt as the archbishop's palace. In fact, everywhere
we walk in the heart of Cusco the tragic conflict between the Inkas and the
conquering Spaniards is evident in the contrast between Inka architectural
remains and the colonial structures that sit atop them.
After lunch, a short bus ride up into the hills above Cusco will take us
to the four nearby ruins of Tambomachay (the Bath of the Inka), Puka Pukara
(the Red Fortress), Q'enko (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.
Unquestionably, it is one of the wonders of the world! Second night in the
Hotel Picoaga. Included meal: B
DAY 13, Tue. June 12: After another great Picoaga breakfast we board
our bus and head for the Sacred Valley, stopping first to visit the colonial
church at Chinchero, built on top of Inka
ruins and famous for its frescoes. Amidst the Inka terraces is a huge
limestone boulder with an amazing staircase hewn by the Inkas directly out of
Next, a drive across a beautiful patchwork agricultural panorama, with snow-capped Andean peaks as a backdrop.
This will bring us to the enigmatic Inka site of Moray, where giant natural
sinkholes have been converted by the Inkas into terraced agricultural sites. Some archeologists believe these
sinkhole-farms served as an agricultural experimental station, where Inka
cultivators took advantage of microclimates provided by different elevations
within the sinkholes. Today the site is favored by seekers of the mystic who
come here to meditate.
After a box lunch, perhaps at Moray, we will drive to the town of Maras to begin
a hike of several miles (almost entirely downhill) down to the Sacred Valley,
passing through the salineras (salt evaporation ponds) of Maras. At
this site water from a salt spring has been used to manufacture salt since
pre-Conquest days. Salt water is diverted through a complex system of tiny
channels into family-worked ponds to evaporate and deposit salt. From afar the
hundreds of ponds and dikes encrusted in white salt give the illusion of a
gleaming miniature city.
Those who do not wish to hike can stay aboard the bus which will continue on to
the Sacred Valley and to our hotel in Ollantaytambo, then return to pick up the
hikers at a pick-up point in the Sacred Valley.
Our lodging tonight will be at the lovely Hotel Pakaritampu in the town of Ollantaytambo. Included meals: B, BL
DAY 14, Wed. June 13: In the morning we will drive through the Sacred
Valley to the town of Pisac. Looming above the colonial town is the amazing
archeological site also called Pisac, which many visitors find as dramatic and
thrilling as Machu Picchu itself. The approach by road winds up the
mountainside, affording views of Pisac's stupendous agricultural terraces,
known as andenes, built by the Inkas
and still in use today. From the parking lot we will stroll through a section
of ruins, across the top of the terraces, to reach a fortified dwelling area, with a view of a cliffside Inka cemetery.
From here we will hike along a breath-taking trail, up steps and through a
tunnel, then past watchtowers and down steps to reach the Pisac temple complex. By the time you reach the Sun
Temple you will be fully convinced of one thing: the Inka people didn't
After visiting Pisac we will stop for a really fine buffet lunch in the Sacred
Valley, before returning to Ollantaytambo.
Back in "Ollanta" we will explore the Inka fortress-temple of Ollantaytambo. This site was 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 Ollanta 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 cuy, or 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.
Our lodgings tonight are at the Hotel Pakaritampu again, so we will have ample
opportunity to explore Ollanta, enjoying the town, its history, and the
surprising variety of restaurants that have popped up in the last several
years. Included meals: B, L
DAY 15, Thu. June 14: This morning you need to pack light: just take
what you need for the next two days at Machu Picchu and send the rest of your
luggage back to Cusco with our bus; the less encumbered you are on the train,
the happier you will be! 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, the "must-see-of-must-sees" in
South America, and 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 Machu Picchu Inn, it's up the zig-zag road to the sacred citadel for a
guided tour of the site.
After our introduction to Machu Picchu we will have lunch at the hotel at the
ruins, then free time to continue exploring the site until the last bus heads
back down the mountain to Aguas Calientes. What you will discover is that most
of the crowds disappear as the day-trippers return to Cusco on the afternoon
train, but you can remain to enjoy Machu Picchu as it should be enjoyed--
tranquil, mysterious, and ever beautiful. Just don't miss that last bus...it's
a long walk back down! Included meals: B, L
DAY 16, Fri. June 15: Morning: free time to go back up to Machu Picchu
to get to know some of the intricacies of Machu Picchu proper-- its residential areas, its fountains, temples,
amazing agricultural terraces, and a thousand intriguing nooks and crannies.
Or, you can take some of the numerous hikes that lead to wonderful places:
climb up Huayna Picchu for a breath-taking (literally) view of Machu Picchu far below; the really ambitious
can take a seldom-traveled trail from the peak of Huayna Picchu down the
backside to the Temple of the Moon, then return to Machu Picchu by a different
trail around the flanks of Huayna Picchu; a much less strenuous trail leads to
the Inka drawbridge; you can hike along
part of the famed Inka Trail to the Inti-Punku ("Sun Gate"). Or, you can hike
directly out of Aguas Calientes up to Putukusi peak for a vista of Machu Picchu
from directly across the Urubamba gorge, a view few tourists ever see. Other
options include visiting the hot springs that give Aguas Calientes its name, or
souvenir shopping in the funky little town. Bird watchers may want to take a
guided bird-watching tour on the beautiful grounds of the Machu Picchu Pueblo
Hotel; this is an excellent place for bird-watching and you have a pretty good
chance to see cock-of-the-rock and other exotic species. The Machu Picchu
Pueblo also has an orchid walk. (Note: reservations for these guided tours
should be made the night before.) So many options--
Whatever your choice for the morning's activities, you need to be back at our
hotel and ready to go by 2:30 PM, in time to catch the 3:30 PM train to Cusco.
So plan your activities accordingly. We will walk from our hotel to the train
station for the return to Cusco and our familiar lodgings at the Hotel Picoaga
(where your luggage sent back from Ollanta will be awaiting you).
Second day Machu Picchu entry and bus tickets up and down are NOT included, as
this is an optional activity that some travelers may prefer to skip in favor of
bird watching or other activities in the Aguas Calientes area. We think a
return trip to Machu Picchu is highly worthwhile, as you certainly cannot see
it all in one visit. Please consult with your Tour Conductor BEFORE returning
to Machu Picchu ruins so that he knows your intentions, and so you are
completely informed about returning to the hotel and train station on time.
Included meal: B
DAY 17, Sat. June 16: The luxury of an entire day of free time in
Cusco! Plenty of time to explore this city on your own, according to your own
interests. Your first day get-acquainted tour just scratched the surface, and
there is so much more to see: churches, museums, the market, art galleries,
shops with alpaca sweaters and scarves, traditional native textiles, jewelry,
ceramics, books, and much more. There are quaint alleyways to explore, a huge
variety of restaurants to sample (some with balconies overlooking the Plaza
de Armas make good hangouts for photographers), and people-watching from
park benches to enjoy.
Final night at the Hotel Picoaga. Included meal: B
DAY 18, Sun. June 17: You might be able to squeeze in some last minute
visits and shopping in Cusco, but around mid-morning we leave, flying from
Cusco to Lima, "City of Kings" and capital of Peru (flight ticket is included
in the cost of the excursion). We'll check into the Hotel Antara, just a few
blocks from the Pacific, in Lima's toney Miraflores district. For a preview of
the Antara, click here: Hotel
We suggest you eat lunch at the Antara rather than scatter, for after lunch the
fun continues: we will have a Lima city tour, "City of Kings", visiting the
Plaza de Armas to see the government palace and national cathedral
(where the remains of the Conquistador Pizarro are enshrined), the San
Francisco Convent, and other important sites.
Included meal: B
DAY 19, Mon. June 18: Unfortunately, all good things eventually must
end, and so it is for our Inka Empire Adventure...this is our final day in
Peru. Transportation has been arranged for you to take you to Lima
International Airport for your homeward flight out of Peru. Depending on the
hour of your flight you may have time to enjoy strolling about the Miraflores
area near the Hotel Antara, which is just a block or two from the Miraflores
city park. Or you may wish to take a short cab ride to Larco Mar, a modern
multilevel shopping and restaurant center built into a cliff overlooking the
Pacific (good bookstores here, and also another opportunity to buy La Iberica
chocolates!). Travelers may also book flights out of Lima for Sunday night or
this morning. No matter when your flight departs, you will carry with you a
million memories of an extraordinary visit to an extraordinary part of the
world. Our guess is this won't be your last trip to Peru...there's so much
more to see, experience and learn!
Included meal: B
INKA TRAIL TREKKING EXTENSION: Hale and hearty adventurers with good hiking
legs may want to enjoy one of the world's classic trekking experiences: the
Inka Trail. A four-day Inka Trail trek can be arranged as an extension
beginning on Sunday June 17, instead of flying on to Lima. Interested parties
should enquire about the requirements and cost. This trek option includes
bilingual professional guide, meals, cook, porters, all necessary camping
For a detailed description of the Inka Trail, visit Rutahsa's
Hiking the Inka Trail website.
Extensions can also be arranged, either pre- or post-trip for those who would
like to visit the Amazon Basin or overfly the mysterious Nasca Lines. Just ask
Travelers wanting a really complete Peru experience should consider signing on
to our Northern Peru trip in May, in
addition to our Keshwa Chaca trip. The three days between the two trips is the
perfect amount of time for a trip by car south along the coast from Lima to see
the Oracle of Pachacamac, the Paracas Peninsula and the Ballestes Islands
(Peru's "mini-Galapagos"), and the Nasca Lines.
Write us if you want details and costs for these extensions!
COST OF THE TRIP: The cost of the 19-day trip will vary according to the
number of participants. A minimum of ten participants will be necessary to
make the trip go. Here is the cost breakdown:
The above costs are in double room accommodations. Travelers requesting single
room accommodations will need to add a Singles Supplement of $447.
INCLUDED in the trip fee: in-country transportation (two flights, plus private
ground transportation); all lodging; meals specified in the itinerary; services
of a bilingual Tour Conductor; services of local guides; all park and visitor's
site entries (except as specified on day 16).
NOT INCLUDED in the trip fee: Air transport to and from Peru; meals not
specified in the itinerary; personal expenses such as: souvenirs, medical
expenses, communications, tips, etc.; Peru exit tax ($28 at the time of
publication of this website).
HOW TO GET ABOARD: To request an application blank, please contact Rutahsa
Adventures at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 16 participants: $2825 p/p
- 13-15 participants: $3010 p/p
- 10-12 participants: $3250 p/p
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.,
Frost, Peter, and Bartle, Jim, 1995, Machu Picchu Historical
Sanctuary: Lima, Nuevas Imagenes S. A., 64 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.
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.