PERU: A Cultural and Natural History Exploration from the Andes to the Amazon.

Explorations is again proud to offer an educational travel program to Peru for the Lake Worth Christian School.

A great opportunity to have fun and learn about the past civilizations and native cultures, all while exploring in the Andes Mountains and the world's largest rainforest!

The custom, 14-day itinerary highlights some of the best Peru has to offer, including a diverse range of geography and ecosystems. It is a cultural and natural history tour that explores the scenic realm of the Inca, Andean cloudforests, and the Amazon rainforest. It includes a visit to the majestic, mountaintop archaeology site of Machu Picchu, and several days exploring the Inca capital of Cuzco and the Sacred Valley of the Inca and the Manu National Park region. A great introduction to the colorful Andean and Amazon peoples, their environment, history and handicrafts.

rainbow on machu picchu tour
You will travel among snow-capped Andes Mountains to explore world famous Machu Picchu, the Inca capital city of Cuzco and its Spanish colonial architecture, the incredible Inca ruins of Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Sacsayhuaman, Tipon, and the beautiful Sacred and South Valleys, all with the colorful Quechua Indians and their abundant handicrafts.

This exploration also combines a spectacular descent through mountainous cloud forest from the high Andes to Amazon, with lodge stays in the cloud forest and along the wild Alto Madre de Dios River and Manu Rivers.

The overland route crosses an extraordinary range of life zones from highlands to lowlands, taking us through an array of ecosystems found nowhere else on the planet in such close proximity. We see high altitude farming valleys and traverse stark highland puna, plunge through layers of grassland, elfin forest, layers of lush, ever-changing cloud forest, and then lowland tropical valleys where farmers cultivate coca and exotic fruits. All the way we traverse the habitat of innumerable bird species.


Our journey winds its way by river through lowland rainforest, pausing for a rewarding visit to an upriver lodge, and then downriver to explore the rainforest with its awesome biodiversity by boat and nature walks. Naturalist guides will explain native uses for the various plants, identify wildlife, and reveal fascinating secrets of Amazon lore. Visits with the various peoples along the river will give you insight into man's relationship to the greatest ecosystem on earth and the fate of the Amazon rainforest. You will witness subtle and grand spectacles as you observe and participate in the flow of life in Amazonia. You will be deep in forest reserves, where great wildlife viewing just comes naturally! Surrounded by the rainforest's "sea of green", you go to sleep to a symphony of jungle sounds and awake to morning bird calls.

machu picchu tour
- Lima, the City of Kings
- Cuzco, the Archaeological Capital of the Americas,
- The Sacred Valley of the Inca
- The South Valley of Cuzco
- Machu Picchu, one of the “new” Seven Wonders of the World

- Andean Cloudforest
- Manu Amazon Rainforest


Day 1, May 26: USA - Lima, Peru

Afternoon flight from Miami to Lima. Airport reception in Lima and transfer to Hotel El Tambo (or similar) in Miraflores for two overnights. The hotel has WiFi and a great location near the Larcomar Mall which overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

Day 2: Lima (B/L)
After breakfast, we depart to the archeological site of Huaca Huallamarco to learn about some of Lima’s prehistory. The restored adobe pyramid Intensive investigations revealed three main occupation periods: before and during the Lima Culture (around 200 BC to 700 AD) by ancient "Hualla" settlers from the Lima valley, the "Ishma" (around the 11th century), and the Incas (15th and 16th century).
The on-site museum exhibits findings such as complete mummy bundles, beautiful decorated vessels, gourds, objects for weaving, music instruments, masks and crowns.

We then head downtown to learn of Peru’s rich colonial heritage as we explore Central Lima, with its impressive Main Square, called the Plaza Mayor or Plaza De Armas. Next stop is the San Francisco Convent, arguably the greatest architectural complex of its kind in Latin America, and includes a network of underground galleries and catacombs that were a cemetery in colonial times. Next we walk around the Plaza de Armas, surrounded by such important buildings as the Government Palace, the Archbishop’s house, the Cathedral, and City Hall. 
Cathderal San Francisco

We can then walk to the Museum of Congress and Inquisition located in an historic building. Exhibits feature the Peruvian Inquisition in place from 1570 to 1820. The Holy Office and tribunal of the Inquisition were located in Lima, the administrative center of the Viceroyalty of Peru.

Nearby is Chinatown, where we may have lunch at the popular WaLok “chifa” restaurant and try some Chinese-Peruvian fusion cuisine. 

After lunch we visit one of Lima’s outstanding museums, the Larco Herrera Archeological Museum founded in 1926. The museum is housed in an 18th century vice-royal mansion built over a 7th century pre-Columbian pyramid. The Larco Museum displays an impressive collection of pre-Columbian artwork in a chronological fashion, covering 4,000 years of Peru’s history. It has one of the world’s largest collections of pre-Columbian art including Moche, Nazca, Chimú, and Inca artifacts. The museum also houses a striking display of silver and gold items from ancient Peru. (B/L) 

Day 3: Cuzco (B/L/D)

A mid-morning flight over the Andes Mountains to the city of Cuzco transports you to a dramatically different enviro
Koricancha in Cusco
nment. Upon seeing the beauty of Cuzco, situated in a scenic valley at 11,000 feet, it is much easier to understand what may have prompted the Inca to call this area the "navel of the world". Tonight and next two nights you overnight in a centrally located, colonial-style hotel, the Los Aticos, or similar.

After check-in at the hotel, we have an orientation session. We then visit and learn about Coricancha, its Temple of the Sun, and the new discoveries from recent archeological excavations. The Coricancha temple was one of the most opulent and revered temples of the Inca. We will also explore the imposing Church and Convent of Santo Domingo which the Spanish built over the Inca spiritual complex.

We then have lunch at the Pachapapa Restaurant (or other nearby restaurant) for some of its popular homemade-style chicken soup, and other local specialities. Afterwards you are encouraged to take a siesta and relax at the hotel

Around 5:00pm we drive outside of the city to the Planetarium Cusco to learn about Inca astronomy, geography, and agriculture. There we will also learn about Incan cosmology and belief systems. With good weather, we will also view the night skies through telescopes.

Afterwards, we have a special dinner at the nearby La Princesita private restaurant. Located within the Reserve Llaullipata, this house was built in memory of the first distinguished mestizo of Peru, Dona Francisca Pizarro Yupanqui, the daughter of the Conqueror Francisco Pizzaro and Ines Huaylas, who was the Inca Princess Quispe Sisa of Panaka, daughter of the Inca ruler Huayna Capac.
casco main plaza at night
She represents firsthand the meeting of two worlds, an icon of a new American race, the mestizos. Almost five hundred years later, this magical natural environment of forests, has been restored to part of its former glory as a private reserve. The colonial-style building has spacious interiors and garden terraces, for a lovely setting above the city of Cuzco and just meters away from the archaeological site of Sacsayhuaman. (B/L/D)

Day 4: Cuzco - South Valley (B/L)

This will be a wonderful day of great food and sights as we explore the the scenic and much less visited South Valley, which follows the Huatanay River. We drive through agricultural fields dotted with willow trees and eucalyptus groves, and outlying communities gathered around colonial churches.
Andahuaylillas church
In the South Valley, you will visit the colonial town of Andahuaylillas. Its church, is often called the Sistine Chapel of America because of the beauty of the murals. This church of San Pedro Apóstol was built by Jesuits in the 16th century over a pre-Colombian huaca, or ceremonial space. The construction of the current temple started in 1570 with the creation of a small chapel corresponding to the existing apse and sanctuary; the nave and façade were completed in 1606. The chapel is simple and unassuming on the outside, but on the inside you'll find masterpiece after masterpiece. Inside are colonial period paintings of the Cusquenian School and many ornate carved wooden altars carved covered with sheets of gold.

On the return, you visit the nearby archaeology site of Pikillaqta, whose ruins predate the Inca as a citadel of the Wari culture. This adobe complex was built around 700 to 900 AD by the Huari (Wari). The site covers an area of nearly 2 square kilometers, including an enormous rectangular enclosure with hundreds of separate rooms, some small and plain, some large enclosures and compounds, some richly decorated. Nearby is a small Inca site, known as Rumicolca which was a travel checkpoint for the Incas. One of the most interesting aspects of Pikillacta (and there are numerous) is the hydraulic works that connect the water resources of the site to terraces and cultivable fields in the Lucre Basin, including canals, reservoirs, causeways, and aqueducts. This complex set of features allowed intensive agriculture of maize, potatoes and other crops.

tipon 1

We also travel through the quaint Inca towns of such as Oropesa, where we can visit one of the 47 bakeries that have provided Cusco with its daily bread for generations. We can also tour the nearby Inca ruins of Tipon and marvel at the scale and immensity of the Inca agricultural terraces which are fed by natural springs. The tall terraces which run up the narrow valley are irrigated by an aqueduct from Pachatusan, the mountain above the site. Tipon ruins contained baths, a temple complex, canals and many aqueducts. Tipon is one of the lesser visited sites in the Cusco area but it is equally as impressive as those in the Sacred Valley.

On the return, we can stop in the village of Saylla for a snack, which is about 20 minutes from Cuzco. It is famous for its many restaurants that serve chicharron, or pieces of fried pork. Free evening in Cuzco. (B/L)

Day 5: Cuzco - Cloud Forest - Bamboo Lodge (B/L/D)

Leaving Cusco early in the morning, we begin an 8-hour journey over the Andes by bus, stopping for a break at the beautiful colonial village of Paucartambo. Continuing, we climb to the highpoint of the Manu Biosphere at about 4000 m before descending to the cloud forest. In these mysterious surroundings we take a hike to the lek of the incredible cock-of-the-rock, to see the 'performance' of the males right under our eyes. Today’s destination is the lush cloud forest region where the Andes fall away to the Amazon basin. This is a day of scenic drama and striking contrasts. We first visit a mountain wetland habitat teeming with migrant and local waterfowl, before crossing two mountain ranges between the Cusco valley and the Paucartambo Valley, to a maximum altitude of 3,900m/12,790ft. 
 bamboo lodge

Then we follow a sinuous ribbon of highway on its plunge through an extraordinary world of forested cliffs, waterfalls and gorges. We take leisurely stops to see mountain villages, a hilltop necropolis of chullpas (pre-Inca burial chambers), and the abrupt ridgetop of Ajanaco, which marks the final high point where the Andes begin their swoop into the Amazon basin. In clear weather we will see a breathtaking panorama of cloud forest and mountain giving way to the lowland rainforest plains far below us. After a picnic lunch near here we descend through the startling and rapid environmental transformations characteristic of the tropical Andes, passing from grassland and stunted trees through elfin forest, until we wind through a lush and magical world of overhanging trees, giant ferns, monster begonias, countless orchids and bromeliads, and a diverse and teeming birdlife. We may make frequent spontaneous stops, perhaps spotting a brilliantly feathered quetzal, a trogon, or the wild turkey-like Guan, and for a chance to see Peru’s dazzling national bird, the Cock-of-the-Rock (Rupicola). (B/L/D)

We spend our first night in the comfortable Bamboo Lodge complete with private baths and hot water showers in the rooms. Located about 6 hours driving distance from Cusco, the Bamboo Lodge is nestled at the end of the cloud forest between the Kosñipata and Tono rivers. With magnificent views of the surrounding forest, between the high Andes and the lowland tropical forest, it is in one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on Earth. The surrounding forest holds Woolly and Brown Capuchin Monkeys, as well as the elusive Spectacled Bear. Here bird species start to fan out into many striking shapes and colors: Andean Cock of the Rock, Umbrella Bird, Versicoloured Barbet, Highland Motmot, Green Jay and many tanagers and hummingbirds. This is also the place to see orchids, begonias, fuchsias, lichens, mosses, bromeliads, bamboo and the primitive tree fern trees. (B/L/D) 

Day 6:  Cloud Forest - Pantiacolla Lodge (B/L/D)

At daybreak we continue by bus to tropical lowland rainforest. At the small village Atalaya at 650 m, we change into a motorized canoe to navigate for about 4 hours down the turbulent Alto Madre de Dios River, with great views of the Andes arriving at the Pantiacolla Lodge more or less at noon. The rooms have private toilets and hot showers. Temperatures usually range between 82F during the day and 68F at night.
During the 4 hour or so long, boat trip, we have the opportunity to see a variety of bird life, like herons, egrets, kingfishers, and the ever present vultures of which the most spectacular is the condor of the jungle, King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa). In the afternoon we explore into the trails with opportunities to spot some of the inhabitants of the jungle. 

This area is where the Andes and the lowland tropical rainforest meet and provides the visitor with a chance to see a good selection of birds and plants from both zones as well as endemics to the area. At night, we explore the forest looking for insects, frogs, and the nocturnal wildlife. The forests hold 8 species of monkey, among which the rare Monk Saki Monkey and the only nocturnal monkey on Earth, the Douroucouli. You can also find both Collared- and White-Lipped Peccaries in healthy populations in addition to Coati, Tayra, several deer species, and cats as Puma, Ocelot and the smaller Margay. 

The area holds over 600 bird species, and one can see an average of 150 species per day. The list includes rare species as the Black Tinnamou, Little Blue Heron, Harpy Eagle, Buckly’s Forest Falcon, Orange-breasted Falcon, Uniform Crake, White-throated Quail Dove, Blue-hooded Macaw, Dark-billed Cuckoo, Long-tailed Potoo, Hairy Crested Ant Bird, Elusive Antpitta, Cinnamon Tyrant-manakin, Cinnamon Flycatcher, Golden-naped Tanager and many others. There are at least 9 distinct forest types, you can visit easily within a couple of days. It varies from lowland varzea, that floods in the rainy season, to bird rich bamboo forest to high, never flooding, terre firme, and isolated cloud forest. There are enormous Kapok Trees, colorful Coral Trees, many different palm trees, Balsa Trees, and growing on the trees are Anthuriums, Dieffenbachias, Monsteras, Elephant’s Ears and on the beach Cecropia Trees, figs, Caña Brava cane and the little Sensitivity plants.

The lodge's property has over 26 kilometers of trail surrounding the lodge. The trails take you through the different forest types; the longest of 6 km goes up to 920m above sea level into isolated cloud forest, giving you an impressive view of the Andean Mountain Range. Closer by the lodge, at about 2 hours hiking, you can visit the Petroleo Stream.  You will believe you are in a scene of Jurassic Park, with palm trees, tree fern trees, enormous rocks, waterfalls, swimming pools etc. The Monk Saki Trail, at intermediate altitude, gives you a chance of viewing this rare monkey species. The Capybara and Tinnamou Trails down from Pantiacolla Lodge are at about 350m above sea level, where you find the highest wildlife diversity, especially for monkeys and birds. The Sajino Trail makes a loop around Ranacocha, Frog Lake, which is a small lake surrounded by hundreds of frogs. You can also swim or fish in the alto Madre de Dios River and make bonfires on the beach at night. (B/L/D)

With good weather, we will have a night excursion into the jungle after dinner to look for nocturnal insects and reptiles. (B/L/D) 

Day 7:  Pantiacolla - Blanquillo Lodge (B/L/D)

After exploring again the trails and having a hearty breakfast, we continue our boat ride down the Madre de Dios River toward Boca Manu and the junction with the Manu River. In Boca Manu we may observe how the locals make the riverboats. Here we will also have our picnic lunch and have a chance to swim in the river. In the afternoon we will continue for two hours more to Tambo de Blanquillo where we will spend the night. 

The jungle lodge at Blanquillo is locally known as a Tambo. It is a typical communal jungle building called “maloca”, in which one can feel safe and comfortable and still enjoy the surrounding wildlife. The main Tambo is designed following the architectural guidelines of the native huts (communal houses in the Amazon). The housing is austere but surprisingly comfortable and fresh, thanks to the design of the roof, which beside being high, which aids ventilation, is made of many combed leaves of Shebon a typical palm that grows in the area, which cushions the jungle heat. At night, lighting is provided through solar panels and LED lights that provide the necessary illumination in a discrete approach. There are 20 rooms including doubles, triples and singles, all with very comfortable beds. Bath area is not private but commonly shared, but still retains, sufficient privacy due to its design. Hot water is provided by solar panels. The new dining room located overlooking the Madre de Dios River, is equipped to accommodate over 40 people, plus a bar area to relax, watch and especially enjoy the beauty of nature and especially at moonrise, where, in combination with fireflies and the soundof nocturnal animals, provide the sensation of being in a magical world of total tranquility. The same feeling you get at sunrise, when the sounds of the awakening forest transport you to never-never land, all due to the extraordinary location of this facility.

With good weather, we will have a night walk into the jungle after dinner. (B/L/D)  
bird poster

Day 8:  Manu Birding Lodge

Today we have to wake up very early in the morning to be at the Macaw clay lick a mile down the river. Here we will have our breakfast and wait for the parrots and macaws come to the lick, creating a spectacle of color and sounds. The Blanquillo macaw clay lick is a section of the banks of the Madre de Dios River of 6 meters height and 250 meters long. This area is an early and daily meeting point of several families of orange-cheeked parrot (Pionopsitta barrabandi), blue-headed parrot (Pionus mentrus), mealy parrot (Amazona farinosa) and more small parakeets. A little later arrive, red and green macaws (Ara chloroptera) and the scarlet macaw (Ara macaw); also a common visitor is the piping guan (Pipile cumanensis). Not only birds use this clay wall as a source of needed antacids. Not surprisingly, mammals such as tapirs (Tapirus terrestris), red deer (Mazama americana), howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus) can be found. The act of eating clay performed by these animals is mainly to neutralize their pH, which has been acidified as a consequence of eating green fruits and also to absorb various nutrients of this wonderful clay which are not found in their daily diet. 

At mid-morning is a walk through a seasonally flooded transition forest to Blanco Oxbow Lake, by far one of the best rainforests settings in the area. Its environs display different kinds of rainforest habitats and its stagnant waters provide rich nutrients and fish to their usual dwellers, like giant otters and black caimans. In addition, this region displays a number of different microhabitats as a result of ancient rivers moving throughout geological time creating a series of terraces, each containing different types of forest. This mosaic of habitat types (being the tallest the oldest) is one of the reasons these forests are among the richest in the world in terms of biodiversity. A catamaran allows access by paddling around the lake. 
Early in the afternoon we go to the observation tower (the highest in Manu) to have a view from the canopy. At 50 meters from the ground it provides the highest and most stunning of the entire region of Manu. A steel staircase leads to the observation deck made out of wood. From there you can see the movement of birds, such as macaws coming and going from the collpa (clay lick). Here you may also see rare species such as the harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja) and the king vulture of the jungle (Sarcoramphus papa). One of the most spectacular views of this tower is towards the Camungo Oxbow Lake, a rich body of water, home to a huge number of birds and other species such as caimans and giant river otters (Pteronura brasiliensis). 
At mid afternoon we will take our boat to our next lodge, where we will have a short night walk to be able to observe insects, spiders, tarantula, frogs and perhaps snakes. Here in this lodge we will have the opportunity to spend the night in a hide platform at a mammal clay lick where we could see tapir, peccary, and with some luck even a jaguar. 
manu birding lodge
The cabins at Manu Birding Lodge (former Maquisapayoc Lodge) are comfortable, each with a private bath, hot water. The birding is fantastic right around the lodge, and excellent forest trails take off directly from the compound. There is no electricity in the cabins, but the lounge provides an area for charging batteries during limited hour when they run the generator. (B/L/D) 

Day 9: Blanquillo - Boca Colorado - Cusco (B/L/D)

Back on the boats early in the morning, we head downstream for 2 hours to the small mining village Boca Colorado. During the trip in motorized canoes from Blanquillo there is the opportunity to observe a wide variety of birds, an animals and reptiles sunbathing in the beaches and river banks, being the most commonly found macaws, ducks, caimans and herons. Sometimes if lucky, capibaras and the elusive jaguar can be spotted. Other species sometimes spotted include Osprey, Black Caiman, Roseate Spoonbill, Capybara, and Yellow-headed Sideneck. 

In Mazuco later on, you can see the negative effects of certain human activities on the delicate ecological balance of the rainforest. We take local transportation till crossing the Inambari River. On the other side, our bus is waiting to take you over a newly paved road, through beautiful cloud and elfin forest (about a 7 hour ride). Near Cusco as we climb up the Andes, you have stunning views of the Ausangate Mountain. We reach Cusco in the late evening.

Day 10: Cuzco - Pisac - Sacred Valley - Ollantaytambo (B/L)

After breakfast, we depart Cuzco with a visually stunning ride through the countryside to the Sacred Valley and the archaeological site and Indian village of Pisac.

We begin the day visiting spectacular nearby Inca ruins. First we explore the immense Inca fortress-temple of Sacsayhuaman, strategically built overlooking Cuzco and learn about its important role during the Spanish Contact Period. You also visit the Inca shrines of Kenko, an outdoor amphitheater and Tambomachay, where a natural spring still feeds ancient Inca baths.
alpaca and llama cuzco tours

In route onward to Pisac, is a visit to AwanaKancha, or “Palace of the Weaver” in the indigenous language of Quechua. Various communities work with AwanaKancha to present weaving demonstrations at the farm and there is also an exhibit on traditional dyes for coloring the textiles. It is also a large lama farm that showcases all four members of the Andean camelid family: llamas, alpacas, guanacos, and vicuñas.

Then on to the Inca ruins of Pisaq, which are strategically located on a ridgetop overlooking two scenic valleys that are etched with extensive agricultural terraces.
Covering an area four times larger than Machu Picchu, the central complex of temples in this ancient citadel was protected on all sides by high walls and gateways. In the valley, at the colorful Pisac village, you can examine (and buy) local goods such as; fruits, vegetables, coca leaves, mineral dyes, weavings, stone carvings and a great variety of handicrafts.

Lunch may be at the nearby La Quinta Dona Clorinda restaurant which sits along the banks of the Vilcanota River. Having great typical Cusquenian food such as quinua soup, cream corn, stuffed trout, cuy and stuffed rocoto, this restaurant is a favorite of locals.

Later, you continue through the Urubamba Valley with its spectacular mountain scenery that includes quaint villages, terraced valleys, and towering snow-capped peaks - all overlooking the white-waters of the Urubamba River. Much of the scenery looks like it was created just yesterday!

We continue on to Ollantaytambo, an ancient Inca fortress and current Quechua city. Ollantaytambo is an excellent example of ancient city planning and architecture. It is also an excellent example of living history, as today's towns people still live in structures that housed the Incas of the 14th century. The ancient Inca city plan is evidenced by the remaining (still utilized) roadways, pools, canals and enormous stonework. The original water canals of the Inca irrigation system still function as important parts of the communities' life. Overnight tonight and tomorrow in Ollantaytambo is at the Sol Natura Hotel (or similar), which features a terrace and views of the mountain. Rooms are equipped with a private bathroom and free WiFi throughout the property. The hotel is close to the train station for next morning travel to Agua Calientes and many restaurants. (B/L) 

DAY 11: Machu Picchu (B/L)

We have an early rise so we can depart on the first train to Machu Picchu
travel to machu picchu
to be there as the sun rises over the mountains, which is between 7 - 8am on a clear morning. A short walk (one block) takes us to the train station for travel up the valley to Agua Calientes. The rails run along side the Urubamba River, past towering mountains and through lush forests. Upon arrival at the Machu Picchu train station in Agua Calientes (about a hour and half ride), then a 20 minute bus ride takes us 2,000 feet up to the site's entrance. A guided walk introduces you to the complexities of this beautiful archaeological site. We will also pre-purchase tickets for those who want to climb Huayna Picchu (the tall peak overlooking the ruins) in Group 2’s time period departure of 10 - 11am.

MP morning
Lunch is at the Tinkuy Buffet Restaurant in the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, adjacent to the ruins entrance. After more guided touring, the remainder of the afternoon is free for self-exploration and discovery of this magnificent site. Time to wander the ruins, enjoy the surrounding verdant cloudforest, and/or hike up the Inca trail to Intipunku (Gate of the Sun). As the sun sets, we return to the Agua Calientes train station (last bus down from Machu Picchu is around 5:30pm) for the evening train back to Ollantaytambo and the hotel. (B/L)

DAY 12: Ollantaytambo - Chichero - Cuzco (B/L)

After breakfast we tour of the Inca ruins, terraces, and waterworks of Ollantaytambo that surround the town. We then return to Cuzco on a different route, touring the traditional Indian village of Chinchero, the Moray Inca ruins, and the salt works at Salinas along the way.

You first visit one of the Inca's engineering marvels, the ruins of Moray. The site's agricultural terraces form a sunken amphitheater that creates a variety of mini ecosystems due to differences in sun exposure, altitude, irrigation, and temperatures.
It is thought that the site was used by the Inca to experiment with growing different plants.

Our travel through the mountains allows us to view the impressive salt pools at Maras. The ancient pools form by water emerging from the mountain and the evaporating ponds are still used to extract salt.

Then you visit the Quechua town of Chinchero which is famous for its colorful weavings. There you can enjoy a weaving demonstration and may shop for high quality textiles. Chinchero is located at an altitude of 3,700 meters where you can see the entire plateau of Maras and the Vilcanota's Mountain Range with its +5,000 meters glaciers like Chicon and Veronica. While at Chinchero, we have a picnic “watia” lunch. Local weavers will prepare watia (potatoes baked in the earth), also some cuy, corn and meat, we can share our picnic lunch sandwiches, fruit, cheese, soda, water, and cake.
Chinchero market

Tonight and tomorrow we overnight at the Los Aticos, or similar. (B/L)

DAY 13, June 7 Cuzco - Lima - USA (B/L)

After breakfast, a walking city tour introduces you to the impressive colonial historical city with visits the San Blas Chapel, Arzobispo Palace, the Main Cathedral and Plaza San Francisco´s Botanical Gardens. The Inca founded Cuzco as the capital center of their empire and it is still considered the” archaeological capital of the Americas”. Cuzco is the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the western hemisphere and evidence of its long history surrounds you. Massive Inca-built stone walls serve as foundations for the red tile-roofed colonial buildings. Here you can visit some of the oldest and grandest cathedrals in the New World. The feeling of history comes alive in the faces and language of the local Quechua-speaking, descendents of the Incas.

After lunch and before returning to the hotel to prepare for departure, we may make a quick stop at a Chocolate Shop, to be tempted by their interesting flavors including, chilli, cinnamon, maca (an Andean plant) and lúcuma (a Peruvian fruit).

In the late afternoon, we transfer to the airport for the evening flight to Lima and connection to late night international flight back to Miami, arriving early the next morning of June 8th. (B/L)

You are welcome to call us anytime at 1-239-992-9660, or toll free at 800-446-9660 or email us at for a detailed Trip Brochure.

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