Peru: Land Of The Inca
Winter Break 2021-2022
During this 9-day adventure to the western part of South America, Limestone University students will be visiting Lima, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cuzco, extension to Iquitos, and Amazon Lodge.
Peru is an awe-inspiring portal to the world of the Inca, one of the world’s great ancient civilizations. Spellbinding sites like Machu Picchu, informative exhibits at Larco Museum, and monuments like Sacsayhuaman bring it all into focus. The Peruvian culture of today is no less compelling – as students get a glimpse at one of its colorful markets.
The true highlight of this journey is Machu Picchu. Tucked away in the rocky countryside northwest of Cuzco, Machu Picchu is believed to have been a royal estate or sacred religious site for Inca leaders, whose civilization was virtually wiped out by Spanish invaders in the 16th century. For hundreds of years, until the American archaeologist Hiram Bingham stumbled upon it in 1911, the abandoned citadel’s existence was a secret known only to those living in the region. The site stretches over an impressive 5-mile distance, featuring more than 3,000 stone steps that link its many different levels. Today, visitors walk through Machu Picchu and look forward to seeing the sunset over its towering stone monuments and marvel at the mysterious splendor of one of the world’s most famous manmade wonders.
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
With an expert local guide, students will see:
- Government Palace, the official residence of Peru’s President
- Archbishop’s Palace, the residence of the Archbishop of Lima
- City Hall, Lima's governmental center
- Cathedral of Lima, a 16th-century Roman Catholic cathedral
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.
Later, explore the “Heroic City” and its popular shopping areas, lavish gardens, and breathtaking views of the Pacific.
From here, join your group for dinner.
Day 4: Sacred Valley
Weaving demonstration in Umasbamba
See how traditional weaving is done in this region during an authentic demonstration.
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.
Afterwards, enjoy a hearty dinner with your group.
Day 5: Sacred Valley | 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.
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.
Watch sculptors create beautiful ceramics at this authentic artisan workshop.
Browse local goods among Incan ruins at nearby Písac’s famous market.
Explore the expansive, zigzagged walls of these unique Inca ruins.
Later, join your group for dinner.
Day 8: Cuzco, Lima, Depart for home
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.
Finish off your day as you enjoy dinner with your group.