Machu Picchu

Culture and Art of Peru

Fall 2020

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Get to know Peru in its energetic capital of Lima, and trace Spain’s influence to modern times. With your blood pumping, you’ll ascend into the clouds to Cuzco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire and a gateway to pure adventure. See the impossibly perfect Incan masonry at Sacsayhuamán, staggering Incan agricultural laboratories—and who knew alpaca fur was so soft? 

Peru Destination Map
Peru Destination Map

 

Your Itinerary

Day 1: Fly to Peru

Meet your group and board your flight to Lima.

Arrive in Lima: Welcome to Lima, Peru’s capital since 1535. Depending on your arrival time, you may have free time to settle in and explore the city on your own before enjoying dinner as a group.

Day 2: Lima

Sightseeing tour of Lima

Behold vestiges of Lima’s rich colonial heritage on a guided tour of the city. See the Government Palace, the official residence of Peru’s President, before exploring the city’s bustling main square. Here you’ll see such architectural marvels as the Archbishop’s Palace, City Hall, and the Cathedral. Then, explore the famed Monastery of San Francisco, which houses a museum of fine religious art as well as catacombs first dug in the 16th century.

Larco Museum

Visit the Larco Museum to explore the finest gold and silver collection from Ancient Peru, along with other outstanding examples of art and archaeological artifacts. Located in an 18th-century mansion built over a 7th-century pre-Columbian pyramid, the museum also houses one of the most impressive displays of traditional Peruvian ceramics in Lima.

 

Miraflores

Later, explore the “Heroic City” and its popular shopping areas, lavish gardens, and breathtaking views of the Pacific.

Dinner

From here, join your group for dinner.

Day 3: Lima | Cuzco | Sacred Valley

Flight to Cuzco

Depart for Cuzco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the former seat of the Incan Empire.

Sightseeing tour of Korikancha Temple

After adjusting to the altitude, take a guided tour of the remains of the Korikancha Temple, once the most important temple in the Incan Empire.

Dinner

After dinner with your group, transfer via Chinchero road to Sacred Valley, where you’ll spend the night.

Day 4: Sacred Valley

Weaving demonstration in Umasbamba

See how traditional weaving is done in this region during an authentic demonstration.

Maras

Take in the sloping salt ponds of Maras, in use since the Incan times.

Guided tour of Ollantaytambo site

Learn more about this historic archaeological site, which was once the estate of Incan Emperor Pachacuti.

Dinner

Afterwards, enjoy a hearty dinner with your group.

Day 5: Sacred Valley | Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Take the morning train from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu, the fabled “Lost City of the Inca,” which was brought into the international spotlight in 1911 by Yale lecturer Hiram Bingham. A century later, this UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World continues to take the breath away from all who visit it. You’ll head out on a morning train from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, and ascend its mountainous pedestal for a guided tour. Archaeologists have yet to determine why the city was abandoned so many years ago. You’ll see remnants of temples and terraces that have yet to reveal the true purpose of Machu Picchu.

Dinner

Later, join your group for dinner.

Day 6: Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo, Písac, Cuzco

Travel to Ollantaytambo

This morning, return by train to this former Incan stronghold.

Pablo Seminario

Watch sculptors create beautiful ceramics at this authentic artisan workshop.

Písac

Browse local goods among Incan ruins at nearby Písac’s famous market.

Sacsayhuaman site

Explore the expansive, zigzagged walls of these unique Inca ruins.

Dinner

Later, join your group for dinner.

Day 7: Cuzco

Free day in Cuzco

Enjoy free time to catch up on coursework, explore on your own, or simply relax.

Community visit

Spend your afternoon visiting a local community program.

Dinner

From here, meet with your group for a delicious meal.

Day 8: Cuzco, Puerto Maldonado, Amazon Lodge

Travel to Puerto Maldonado

Board your flight to Puerto Maldonado, the capital of the Madre de Dios region. Located in the Amazon rainforest at the confluence of the Tambopata and Madre de Dios rivers, the small frontier town was founded more than 100 years ago during a latex rubber boom.

Travel to an Amazon lodge

Transfer by boat to an area lodge, a camp-style accommodation that provides unparalleled access to Peru’s incredible biodiversity. (Please note that the lodge does not have electricity.)

Lunch

Enjoy lunch at the lodge with your group.

Environmental activities

Following a briefing on the lodge, attend ecotourism lectures and explore the biological and geographical diversity of the region. Take in the surrounding natural beauty during a wildlife tour, and spot the toothy grins of caimans and the punk-rock hairdos of the hoatzin birds on a guided walk through the rainforest.

Dinner

Finish off your day as you enjoy dinner with your group.

Day 9: Amazon lodge

Environmental activities

Your morning jungle hike will bring you to the amphibious ecosystems of Caiman’s Cave and Lake Apu Victor. Afterwards, you’ll ascend
high to Canopy Tower for some tropical birdwatching followed by a visit to a lush botanical garden.

Lunch

Afterwards, enjoy lunch.

Day 10: Amazon Lodge

Meet your group and board your flight to Lima.

Depart for home: Your Tour Director assists with the ride to the airport, where you’ll board your flight to Lima.