PERU: ANCIENT CULTURES and ANDEAN
Machu Picchu, the "Lost City of the Inkas"
For June 2008, Rutahsa Adventures has designed 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 Paracas
and Nasca cultures, 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, a one-night homestay with
local families at Raqchi, and of course, Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu
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, was featured in a 1995 NOVA program, and more recently in a BBC
special, 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 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
awesome Colca Canyon to dazzling Lake Titikaka and snow-capped Andean peaks.
Along with this ever-changing panorama we'll see rare marine life, llamas,
alpacas, vicuñas, vizcachas and condors!
HERE'S OUR FANTASTIC ITINERARY:
DAY 1 Weds., May 28: Fly into Lima, capital city of Peru. After
clearing customs and immigration you will be met and taken to the hotel Posada Miraflores in the
Miraflores section of Lima. Here you can freshen up and have a bite of lunch
prior to our afternoon program, a Lima city tour, seeing the Plaza de Armas and
principal historic buildings in the "City of Kings".
Note: Lodging at the Posada Miraflores will be arranged for travelers who wish
to arrive on the evening of Tues., May 27 (extra cost). Travelers may also
arrive in the afternoon or evening of May 28, but will miss the Lima city tour.
DAY 2 Thurs., May 29: After breakfast we board our chartered bus with
professional driver and head south along the coast. First stop: the ruins of
the famous Oracle of Pachacamac, one of Peru's most sacred pre-Columbian
sites-- a pre-Inka site later venerated by the Inkas.
Next we continue 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 at the Hotel El Condor (or possibly the Hotel Emancipador).
The Paracas area was the center of the Paracas culture, a pre-Inka people,
famed for their beautiful textiles, many examples of which have been
wonderfully preserved in burials in the desert. This afternoon we will visit
the Paracas Reserve, enjoying its sere but beautiful coastal desert scenery.
A visit to the Julio C. Tello Museum will give us the opportunity to see some
of the textiles for which the Paracas culture is justly famous, in addition to
mummy bundles, and deliberately deformed skulls that typified the Paracas
Included meal: B (breakfast)
DAY 3 Fri., May 30: In the morning we will take a boat ride out to the
Islas Ballestas nature preserve to cruise along the dramatic, eroded
rocky coast of the islands, replete with sea caves, stacks and arches. Here we can expect to see thousands of
marine birds, including Peruvian boobies,
Humboldt penguins (though we can't always
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. En route 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
Upon arrival at Nasca we will check into the hotel Casa Andina.
If we arrive Nasca in time, just outside of town 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 mountain-sized sand dune named Cerro Blanco, but also known to the Nasca
Valley farmers as the "Volcano of Water".
Included meal: B
DAY 4, Sat., May 31 : This morning, before breakfast, 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 overflight of the Nasca Lines we have a long drive (about seven
hours) on south to Arequipa. Due to the length of the drive, stops will be
minimal, and a box lunch will be provided for you to eat on board the bus. The
drive takes us along the barren, but dramatic
coast before we turn inland and climb up to the city of Arequipa at 2400 m
Upon reaching Arequipa we will check into our hotel, La Casa de Mi Abuela
House"), a quaint little rabbit warren of cottages and rooms built around
a former private residence. The hotel has attractive grounds and a small but
nice restaurant where you can get a late supper. We'll spend two nights here,
so you can rest up a bit from today's long drive, and enjoy the ambience of
this Spanish colonial city.
Included meal: BL (box lunch)
DAY 5, Sun., June 1: 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. After enjoying an al
fresco breakfast on the flowered terrace and grounds of La Casa de Mi
Abuela, we'll go with our local Arequipa guide to see the most important
attractions of this historic city.
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 visit 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.
Included meal: B
DAY 6 Mon., June 2: After breakfast, we head out for Colca Canyon, high
in the Andes. Leaving Arequipa behind we slowly ascend on a good paved road,
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 vicuña, the
smallest of the Andean camelids, in small
herds ruled by a dominant male, or the occasional lone male in search of a harem. These delicate and graceful animals
were hunted nearly to extinction for their fine fleece; now they are protected
and are making a good comeback.
In addition to the wild vicuñas, we expect to see the domesticated
camelids, llamas and alpacas, sometimes in such numbers as to almost constitute
a road hazard!
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, such as yareta (a relative to parsley!), adapted to the alpine
climate. There's a fair chance to 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. Eventually our paved road gives way to gravel, but well maintained
gravel. 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
Eco-Inn Colca, our delightful hotel consisting of artistically constructed
cabañas perched on a cliff for a
great morning view. For more information on our hotel, visit their website.
Included meals: B, BL
DAY 7 Tues., June 3: 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! A box lunch will be provided for this excursion. Second
night at Eco-Inn Colca.
Included meal: B, BL
DAY 8 Weds., June 4: Today we continue our ascent into the Andes, via a
scenic road that climbs to the altiplano near Juliaca, where we turn south to
the city 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.
About an hour before reaching Lake Titikaka, we'll take a side road to the
haunting archeological site of Sillustani. Here the pre-Inkan Colla people and
later the Inkas themselves 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.
In Puno we'll make our home 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.
Included meals: B, BL
DAY 9 Thurs., June 5: 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,
starting with a visit to the historic ship Yavari, built in England in
1862 and launched on the lake in 1867, after being carried in pieces up and
over the Andes from the Pacific coast...a herculean effort! With a bit of luck
our tour will be given in person by the inimitable Capitán Carlos, whose enthusiasm and love for his ship
Next 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 (you can buy fruit at the dockside market just before we
head out onto the lake).
From the Uros Islands we will continue across the lake to Taquile Island for a
visit to an Aymara community. This involves a bit of a hike up a long flight
of ancient stone steps leading from the dock to the little town...hiking boots
recommended! The town is small but interesting, and its location at the crest
of the island provides great views of the lake Lake Titikaka. You should have an opportunity to buy handicrafts,
including indigenous textiles, here. And we will be served a lunch here.
Second night at Hotel Qelqatani.
Included meals: B, L (lunch)
Day 10, Fri. June 6: 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.
Some miles beyond Lampa we arrive at Pucará, a colonial town built
adjacent to a ceremonial site belonging to the Wari culture. The Wari predated
the Inka and were closely allied culturally with the Tiwanaku culture. The
remains of a semi-subterranean temple at this
site will look familiar to anyone who has visited Tiwanaku at the south end of
About halfway to Cusco we reach the small town of Raqchi, where we'll overnight
in private homes in this Quechua community. Don't expect luxury. But do
expect clean beds and wholesome food and an opportunity to get to know
something about the lives of the Andean people.
At Raqchi we will visit the fascinating and imposing ruins of the Inka Temple to Viracocha, the creator of the world in
Inka theology. The temple remains 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. This is one of our very favorite Inka sites.
Included meals: B, BL, D (dinner)
DAY 11, Sat. June 7: 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
intend 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.
By arriving mid-day Saturday we expect to see the final stages in the bridge
construction: the laying of the floor and the
stringing of the sides, which starts at each end, proceeds to the middle and finishes with the laying of
mats of brush. Once the bridge is finished, it
is dedicated by the village officials and opened for crossing.
To see a detailed photo album of the keshwa chaca rebuilding and
festival, visit the Last Inka Suspension
In order to attend the fiesta celebrating the completion of the bridge, tonight
we will camp out near the bridge site, with dome 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 in camp.
Included meals: B, L, D
DAY 12, Sun. June 8: 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. The formerly bare mountainsides
sprout a multiplicity of tents, vendors
arrive with their wares, and hundreds of Quechua people, many in their finest fiesta dress come streaming in. The festival includes performances
by many native dance groups in colorful
costumes. 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 "gracias" to the villagers for maintaining
their venerable custom of rebuilding the straw bridge-- a custom that has been
abandoned everywhere else in Peru.
After lunch we will, somewhat regretfully, say our goodbyes, and leave this
amazing place-- remote in location and in time-- and head for Cusco!
There is lots of fine Andean scenery en route to Cusco-- the valley of the
Vilcanota River; picturesque towns en route; the great Inka wall and gateway
of Rumicolca (once the south gate to the
Inka capital); and, time permitting, we'll stop at the enigmatic
archeological site of Pikillacta, a pre-Inka city belonging to the Wari culture.
Upon arrival in Cusco we'll settle into one of our favorite Cusco hotels, the
four-star Hotel Picoaga, a
Spanish aristocrat's mansion converted into a delightful lodging just two
blocks from the Plaza de Armas.
Included meals: B, L
DAY 13, Mon., June 9: After breakfast --the Picoga provides a really
fine big buffet breakfast-- we go 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 Qoricancha (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. The Inka stonework lives
up to its reputation...it is marvelous!
Then after a break for lunch we will take a short bus ride up into the hills
above Cusco to see the nearby ruins of Tambomachay (the Bath of the Inka), Puka
Pukara (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 Hotel Picoaga.
Included meal: B
DAY 14, Tues. June 10: A full free day in Cusco to visit Inka sites,
Spanish colonial churches, museums, the local marketplace, and a wide variety
of shops with native textiles, silver jewelry, and more. There's more here
than you can possibly see in one day, so use your guidebook and make some
judicious selections. Wherever you go, whatever you do, this is a marvelous
city to explore!
Third night at the Hotel Picoaga.
Included meal: B
DAY 15, Weds. June 11: We leave Cusco today headed for the Sacred Valley,
by way of Chinchero, Moray and a stimulating hike (optional) down to the
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.
Moray is an enigmatic Inka site where giant natural sinkholes have been
converted by the Inkas into terraced agricultural
areas. Some theorize that 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; however
this theory is not given much credence by recent investigators. Today the site
is favored by seekers of the mystic who come here to meditate.
After a picnic lunch we will hike a couple of miles --downhill-- through a side
canyon to the Sacred Valley. The trail passes through the Salineras de
Maras where a salt water spring has been used since pre-Conquest times for
the extraction of salt by evaporation. From a distance the hundreds of small,
family-operated evaporation ponds, encrusted with salt, give the salt works the
appearance of a miniature gleaming white city.
After passing through the salineras the trail continues on to the
Urubamba River in the Sacred Valley, where our bus will be awaiting us. This
is a relatively easy hike, but hiking boots are recommended; anyone preferring
not to hike can go with the bus to the Sacred Valley.
Our bus driver will pick up the hikers and carry them on to the town of
Ollantaytambo, where the Hotel
Pakaritampu will be our delightful home for the next two nights.
Included meals: B, L
DAY 16, Thurs. June 12: After breakfast we will board our bus and drive
to the upstream end of the Sacred Valley to visit the Inka 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. One thing for sure, hiking the
interconnecting trails, steps and tunnels from one sector to another will
certainly convince you that the Inka people did not sleepwalk!
After our Pisac visit we will have a delicious buffet lunch (included) before
continuing on to the afternoon site visit.
This afternoon, 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 cuy, i.e. 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.
Second night at Hotel Pakaritampu.
Included meals: B, L
DAY 17, Fri. June 13: Superstitious about Friday the 13th? This should
be the cure: today we go to fabled Machu Picchu! We walk the short distance
from our hotel to the station and 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 "Hiram Bingham Highway" 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.
Included meals: B, L
DAY 18, Sat. June 14: Most of our group will want to take an early bus
up to the ruins and beat the trainload of daytrippers that comes in around 10
AM. Here 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").
However, a return visit to Machu Picchu sanctuary is not the only possibility.
If you are a bird watcher, you might prefer to take a guided bird walk on the
beautiful grounds of the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel...where cocks-of-the-rock,
trogons, tanagers, many species of hummingbirds, and other birds can be seen.
(If you want to do this, you'll need to go to the hotel office the night
before to sign up for this experience.) A hiking enthusiast wanting a really
unusual hike -- one that includes some fairly astonishing ladders--
should try the hike up to Putukusi. This hike leads to the top of the peak
directly across the Urubamba gorge from Machu Picchu and provides a view of
Machu Picchu that only a tiny fraction of visitors ever see.
Because of the varied possible options today, it is probable that not everyone
in our group will return to the ruins. For this reason we are not including
the cost of the bus ride and ruins entry in your trip cost.
In the afternoon we will return on the 3 PM train to Cusco where we will spend
our final Cusco night in another of the fine hotels of the Casa Andina chain,
the Casa Andina Private Collection, located in the San Blas area of
Included meal: B
DAY 19, Sun. June 15: Today we fly back to Lima. But you will have some
time this morning for last minute sight-seeing and shopping in Cusco. Just
make sure you are back at the hotel, packed and ready to go at the announced
time for departure!
In Lima we will be met at the airport and taken to our familiar digs at Posada
Miraflores for a final overnight.
Airport transportation will be provided for any travelers with outbound
international flights tonight.
Included meal: B
DAY 20, Mon. June 16: Today airport transfers will be provided for those
who did not fly out of Lima last night. If your flight is not until the
evening, we can arrange things for you to do in Lima: a visit to the Museum of
the Nation is highly recommended, as is a visit to the Rafael Larco Herrera
Museum of ceramics. A nice tony shopping center with numerous restaurants is
the Centro Larco Mar overlooking the Pacific. Plenty to do here in Lima, and
you can go anywhere you want by having the Posada Miraflores call a cab for
you, or by letting us arrange side trips for you.
Included meal: B
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.
Any traveler who wants a more complete Peru experience this year should
consider participating in Rutahsa's Northern Peru trip, which starts in Lima on
Rutahsa Adventures is offering its travelers a five-day/four-night visit to
Tambopata Reserve in the Amazon Basin, using the services of Rainforest
Expeditions. This extension will begin on day 20, Monday, 6/16, with a flight
from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon Basin, and return to Lima on
Fri., 6/20. 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, which the shorter trip does not. To see the details of the
trip we recommend most highly, click here: Tambopata. To see Rainforest Expeditions' full suite of offerings,
click here: Rainforest Expeditions. Note: We can book any of Rainforest
Expeditions' trips for you at a discount off their regular prices to the
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 19, Sunday,
6/15. Interested parties should enquire about the schedule and cost. This
trek option includes bilingual professional guide, meals, cook, porters, two
person dome tents and sleeping pads, provided by Explorandes. Sleeping bags
can be rented. Trek itinerary and description: Explorandes Inka Trail trek. Important bonus: We can provide this
trek to our clients at 10% off the published Explorandes price.
For a detailed description of the Inka Trail, visit Rutahsa's
Hiking the Inka Trail website.
Inka Trail extension cost, including sleeping bag rental, upon request.
COST OF THE MAIN TRIP: The per person cost of this trip depends on the number
of participants: $3011 if 10-12 participants; $2802 if 13-15 participants;
and only $2672 if 16 participants. Trip participation will be limited to 16,
and we expect this trip to sell out.
TRIP FEE INCLUDES: Transfers between Lima airport and Posada Miraflores in
Miraflores (Lima); 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; train ride to Machu Picchu; 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.
SINGLES SUPPLEMENT: $720
NOT INCLUDED: Round trip air fare from point of origin to Lima; 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
NEED A DISCOUNTED AIRFARE TO PERU?: We suggest you contact Veronica at Solar
Tours (Washington, D.C.). Solar specializes in discounted fares to Latin
America; we have used her services for several years with excellent results.
1-800-388-7652. Ask for Veronica 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".
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.
Hadingham, Evan, 1988, Lines to the Mountain Gods: Nazca and the
Mysteries of Peru: Oklahoma City, Univ. of Oklahoma Press,
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
Wright, Ruth M., and Valencia Zegarra, Alfredo, 2004, The Machu Picchu
Guidebook - A Self-Guided Tour, Revised Edition: Boulder,
Colorado, Johnson Books, 188 p. [By far the best guidebook
for Machu Picchu; be sure to have this one with you when you
Photos on this website by Janie and Ric Finch, @copyrighted.