In June 2003, Rutahsa Adventures is offering a spectacular Peruvian cultural - soft adventure trip across the heart of the Inca Empire, but highlighting many of the pre-Inca cultures such as the Paracas, Nasca, and Wari, in addition to visiting the most important Inca sites. 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 Inca, and, of course, Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu. A trek of the famed Inca Trail will be offered as an extension to the main trip.
One of the VERY special features of this trip will be our visit to the last remaining Inca 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, and later featured in a 1995 NOVA program, but it is rarely visited by foreigners due to its remote location. In fact, we know of no other travel company other than Rutahsa Adventures that includes this site in its itineraries. Our 2003 itinerary aims to put us there on the second weekend in June, for the annual bridge rebuilding and local fiesta that caps this amazing event. Very 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 the awesome Colca Canyon to the dazzling Lake Titikaka and snow-capped Andes peaks. Along with this ever-changing panorama we'll see rare marine life, llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and-- with a bit of luck-- condors!
DAY 1 Weds., May 28: Fly into Lima, capital city of Peru. After clearing customs and immigration we will be taken to our lodgings at the Hotel Antigua in the Miraflores section of Lima. The Hotel Antigua is a former family mansion, and is very pleasant. After settling in and freshening up we will go on an afternoon Lima city tour, seeing the Plaza de Armas and principal historic buildings in the "City of Kings".
DAY 2 Thurs., 5/29: Today we board our chartered bus to head south along the Pacific coast. A short distance from Lima we make our first stop at Pachacamac. This ruin was the site of an important pre-Inca cult and revered oracle. The Inca incorporated Pachacamac into their empire by conquest, and, as was typical of the Inca, they absorbed the local deity into their pantheon, erecting a Temple to the Sun beside the oracle temple. This temple complex of Pachacamac became perhaps the most important religious site in the Inca Empire outside of Cusco. Legend has it that the oracle unfortunately ceased to speak upon the arrival of the Spaniards. In any case, the Conquistadors defiled the temples in their mad search for gold and treasure.
Continuing south from Pachacamac, we arrive at 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 in Hotel Paracas. This area was the center of the Paracas culture, another pre-Inca 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, including the Julio C. Tello Museum where we will see some examples of the ancient textiles and also grotesquely deformed skulls typical of the Paracas culture elite.
DAY 3 Fri., 5/30: In the morning we will take a boat ride out to the Islas Ballestas nature preserve to cruise along the picturesque, eroded rocky coast of the islands. Here we can expect to see marine birds, including boobies, penguins, pelicans, cormorants and terns, plus thousands of sea lions, and perhaps dolphins. Ocassionally killer whales are spotted.
After (included) lunch 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. In the town of Guadalupe 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.
Just outside of Nasca we can see the 1500-year-old puquios or underground aqueducts that made civilization possible in this valley, and continue to do so today. The native farmers believe the underground water tapped by the aqueducts comes from a moutain-sized sand dune named Cerro Blanco, but also known to the Nasca Valley farmers as the "Volcano of Water".
Our day ends in the town of Nasca where we will overnight at the Maison Suisse.
DAY 4 Sat., 5/31: Today we have a full day of travel through desert scenery along the coast before we turn inland and climb up to the city of Arequipa at 2400 m. 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. We'll spend two nights here, in the Hotel La Hostería, to rest up a bit from today's long drive, and to soak up the ambience of this Spanish colonial city.
DAY 5 Sun., 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 rock. This morning we'll enjoy a guided tour of some of the more important colonial sites such as the Plaza de Armas beautifully laid out with 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. We can also see the famous mummy Inca "Juanita". Afternoon: free time to explore on your own.
DAY 6 Mon., 6/2: 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 expect to see small herds of vicuña, the smallest of the Andean camelids, and an endangered species. The landscape is impressive, especially with smoking Sabancaya volcano in the background.
Colca Canyon is said to be the world's deepest canyon, and spectacular views are a given on today's journey. Somewhere along the way- some place with a good view- we'll stop for a box lunch (included). Then we descend into the upper Colca Canyon to the town of Chivay and to our hotel, the Colca Lodge.
DAY 7 Tues., 6/3: 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 air currents. June is a good month to see the great birds, so let's keep our fingers crossed for condor-watching luck. Second night at Colca Lodge.
DAY 8 Weds., 6/4: Today we ascend higher into the Andes, via a scenic road that climbs to the altiplano near Juliaca, where we turn south to the town of Puno on the north shore of Lake Titikaka. Expect to see lots of Andean camelids en route, especially llamas and alpacas.
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 artesania, internet cafes, etc. Puno is a nice town to walk about in.
DAY 9 Thurs., 6/5: 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. In the morning we will visit some of the historic ships of Lake Titikaka, including the SS Yavari (on the left in the photo). The Yavari was built in England in some 2500 pieces that were packed up and over the Andes, assembled, and launched on Titicaca in 1867. Originally steam-powered (designed to burn llama dung!), she was converted to diesel in 1913. She is now being restored and we will go aboard. Lying next to the Yavari is the SS Ollanta, originally a plush passenger steamer launched on the lake in the 1930s; today she belongs to the Peruvian Navy.
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 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.
After lunch in Puno we will drive to the eerie archeological site of Sillustani. Here the pre-Incan Colla people built impressive stone funerary towers known as chullpas on a mesa overlooking an other-worldly landscape. And once again, we'll see evidence that the Inca adapted and co-opted the ways of the Colla when they expanded their empire into this region. Second night in the Hotel Qelqatani in Puno.
DAY 10 Fri., 6/6: Today we finally turn back north, towards the Inca capital of Cusco...but with a lot to see and do before we get there! 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 Pucará we will visit yet another pre-Inca archeological site.
About halfway to Cusco we reach the small city of Sicuani, where we'll overnight at the rustic Centro Vacacional. But first we'll roll on past Sicuani for a short 20 km to visit the fascinating Inca ruins of Raqchi, where the imposing remains of a Temple to Viracocha, the creator of the world in Inca theology, stand amid a complex of storehouses, barracks-like buildings, and other constructions along the margins of a lava flow.
DAY 11 Sat., 6/7: 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 Inca suspension bridge. Getting there, by the way, is at least half the fun as our road winds through the high country, passing Quechua villages, patchworks of wheat and potatoes, and flocks of sheep and llamas. 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.
The suspension bridge, known as a keshwa chaca, is made of ichu 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 Inca straw bridge that has been continuously rebuilt since Inca times. It spans the Apurimac River where it passes through a narrow canyon. We expect 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.
In order to attend the fiesta celebrating the completion of the bridge, tonight we will camp out near the bridge site, with 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.
DAY 12 Sun., 6/8: Today the villagers-- 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. 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 part of our trip is a visit to the village of Huinchiri where we will make a donation of school supplies and children's clothing to the village president and local teacher. This is our way of saying "thanks" to the villagers for maintaining their venerable custom of rebuilding the straw bridge-- a custom that has been abandoned everywhere else in Peru. This village school visit proved to be a very rewarding experience to participants in Rutahsa's 2001 Peru trip. Not only were we treated like visiting royalty, but several of the villagers donned their finest fiesta dress (though it was not a fiesta day) and accompanied us to the bridge. On our 2002 trip we got to meet the chaca camayoc or bridge-master. We presented him with a copy of the Dec. 1973 National Geographic containing a photo of his now-deceased father, who was the bridge-master at that time; in turn, he introduced us to his 14-year-old son who is the future bridge-master in training.
In the afternoon we will, somewhat regretfully, say our goodbyes, and leave this amazing place-- remote in location and in time-- and return to Sicuani for a second night in the Centro Vacacional. Breakfast and lunch will be provided at our campsite.
DAY 13 Mon., 6/9: Now we're really Cusco bound-- but with lots to see en route: fine Andean scenery in the valley of the Vilcanota River; Indian towns en route; the beautiful colonial church at Andahuaylillas; the great Inca wall and gateway of Rumicolca (once the south gate to the Inca capital); the Inca site of Tipon; and, time permitting, the enigmatic archeological site of Pikillacta, a pre-Inca city belonging to the Wari culture.
Upon arrival in Cusco we'll settle into 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.
DAY 14 Tues., 6/10: Our morning starts with a killer breakfast buffet (included) in the Picoaga. After breakfast we take a short bus ride up into the hills above Cusco to visit the four nearby ruins of Tambomachay (the Bath of the Inca), Puca Pucara (the Red Fortress), Qenco (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!
Our next pleasant task is getting acquainted with Cusco, the "Navel of the World", seat of the Inca Empire. We'll descend from the fortress back to the city for lunch, then set out to explore. The Plaza de Armas (just four short blocks from our hotel), the Cathedral, the Temple of the Sun, and other important sites are on our afternoon walking tour. You will see the world-famous "Twelve-Cornered Stone" and marvel at original Inca walls and doorways. The stonework lives up to and exceeds everyone's expectations--it is absolutely marvelous.
DAY 15 Weds., 6/11: We leave Cusco today headed for the Sacred Valley, by way of Chinchero and Moray and a stimulating hike down through the salt pans of Maras!
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 Inca fort or palace.
Moray is an enigmatic Inca site where giant natural sinkholes have been converted by the Inca into terraced agricultural areas. Some archeologists believe these sinkhole-farms served as an agricultural experimental station, where Inca cultivators took advantage of microclimates provided by different elevations in the sinkholes. Today the site is favored by seekers of the mystic who come here to meditate. We can meditate too as we eat our picnic lunch (included).
From the town of Maras, not far from Moray, we will hike several miles --downhill-- across the fields and down into a side canyon to the Sacred Valley. We'll pass through the fascinating "salt mines" of Maras, which have been operated since pre-Columbian times. Water from a salt spring is taken through a complex series of channels and let into hundreds of evaporating pans, where salt is collected. When white with crystalline salt, the salt pans look like a vast gleaming miniature city. Beyond the salt mines we enter the Sacred Valley, where our bus will be awaiting us. The hike is optional, and anyone preferring to ride on the bus and get off at our hotel early may do so.
Our bus driver will pick up the hikers and bring them the short distance to the town of Urubamba, and the Hotel Sol y Luna, with its attractive cabañas and flower gardens, and great food! For a glimpse of this lovely place, visit Sol y Luna. Then hit your back button to come back to this itinerary.
DAY 16 Thurs., 6/12: In the morning we will explore the Inca 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 Inca 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 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.
After lunch in Urubamba (included), we will drive to the opposite end of the Sacred Valley to visit the 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. Hiking the interconnecting trails, steps and tunnels from one sector to another will certainly convince you of one thing: the Inca people did not sleepwalk!
DAY 17 Fri., 6/13: This morning we board the narrow-gauge train that will trundle us down the Urubamba River gorge to Machu Picchu, the legendary "Lost City of the Incas", 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 road 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 Inca drawbridge is also recommendable. But don't miss the last bus down the mountain to Aguas Calientes, where we overnight at the Machu Picchu Inn.
DAY 18 Sat., 6/14: Take an early bus up to the ruins and beat the trainload of daytrippers that comes in around 10 AM. (Your bus ticket and second day entry ticket are included.) 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 Inca Trail to the Inti-Punku ("Sun Gate").
In the afternoon we will return to Cusco on the 3 PM train and take up our lodgings at the Hotel Picoaga for a final night in Cusco.
DAY 19 Sun., 6/15: Travelers with limited time may fly today from Cusco to Lima, overnighting again at the Hotel Antigua, and flying on home the following day. But the fun is not over for those with a little more time and the yen to see more of the "unknown" Peru, seldom visited by outsiders. We'll mount our faithful bus again and head out across high ranges and the awesome Apurimac gorge (a couple of hundred kilometers downstream from the keshwa chaca, and occupied by a mightier river) to arrive in the small city of Abancay, nestled in a deep Andean valley.
Between Cusco and Abancay we'll make some stops to enjoy the vistas, and-- if local transport can be arranged to get us down a road our bus cannot take-- we'll visit a thermal springs spa. From here those who like to hike can follow a three-kilometer path to a fascinating historic site that is today almost unknown: the site of the Inca suspension bridge on the main road to Cusco. This bridge was in service until 1895; its collapse inspired Thornton Wilder's novella "The Bridge of San Luis Rey". To reach the site we will pass through tunnels hewn by the Inca out of the cliffs above the river! Those who do not wish to hike can relax at the springs, bathing in the warm waters or enjoying refreshments while just hanging out.
Further along the way to Abancay we'll visit the Inca site of Saihuite. Here there is a strange boulder about the size of a VW bug elaborately carved with representations of miniature houses, stairways, agricultural terraces and raised-bed gardens, streams and dozens of different animals. It is assumed that this stone was used for ritual divination purposes, but no one knows how.
A short distance as the condor flies from Abancay, we come to the edge of a high plateau. Here, if the weather treats us right (as it should in the dry season) we'll enjoy an awesome view of Abancay thousands of feet and many tight curves below us.
Our hotel in Abancay will be the 3-star Hotel de Turistas. How about that for a name that tells it like it is? But where are the turistas? Not many get way over here.
DAY 20 Mon., 6/16: Today is a driving day, but oh what scenery! The first two or three hours may be on gravel (this section was being reworked in April 2002, and is scheduled to be paved, but it may still be gravel at the time of our trip), up a deep stream valley to the town of Chalhuanca. Here we'll make a brief rest stop, then continue westward on a fine paved highway that winds on up the river valley, then up and over a mountain range, down and then back over another range. Some of the views are stupendous. Settlements become sparser and sparser, and we find ourselves up at elevations over 14,000 ft, with only llama and alpaca herders huts...plus the camelids themselves, on a dramatically barren, yet beautiful high alpine plateau dotted with lakes.
As we cross the plateau, watch for vicuñas. We saw many hundreds (probably thousands) of the dainty wild camelids when we reconned this route in April of 2002. In fact, the highway passes through a national preserve for vicuñas, so we should see them aplenty.
Further to the west the plateau becomes drier, and then the road drops down to the Pacific coastal desert through a seemingly endless series of curves, past Cerro Blanco, the world's tallest sand dune, to hit the Pan American highway back at Nasca. Here we'll lodge for the night, after a long day, but one filled with thrilling vistas.
DAY 21 Tues., 6/17: This morning, before breakfast, we will board light aircraft in groups of four or five for an overflight of the amazing and mysterious Nasca Lines and the famous figures, such as the hummingbird. Only when seen from the air can you fully appreciate the scale and enigmatic splendor of these as yet unexplained works of art. This flight is included in the trip cost.
After breakfast it's scurry on back up the coast to Lima, for a final night in our familiar digs at the Hotel Antigua, where we try to get repacked for tomorrow's flight back home, starting to sort out all the many wonders we've seen, a process that will go on for a long time to come.
DAY 22 Weds., 6/18: Our last day in Peru, but the wonders aren't done yet. This morning we will visit the renowned Gold Museum. This world-famous private collection contains far more than just gold-- it is a mind-boggling mass of pre-Columbian artifacts, including gold, silver, bronze, stones, ceramics, textiles, and mummies, plus colonial and post-colonial relics in quantities unimaginable. You will leave this museum feeling dazed and overwhelmed.
After the museum visit we will return to the Hotel Antigua for lunch and to finalize our packing.
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.
INCA TRAIL TREKKING OPTION: Hale and hearty adventurers
with good hiking legs may want to enjoy one of the world's greatest trekking
experiences: the Inca Trail. A four-day Inca Trail trek can be arranged as an
extension to the Inca Empire Adventure. Interested parties should enquire
about the schedule and cost. This trek option includes bilingual professional
guide, meals, cook, porters, all necessary camping equipment.
The itinerary for the Inca Trail trek is as follows: Day 1: Leave
Cusco in morning; short visit at Ollantaytambo fortress; then on to
trailhead to commence trek; camp near Llactapata ruins. Day 2: Long uphill
hike towards Dead Woman Pass, stopping to camp for the night at
Llulluchapampa. Day 3: Cross Dead Woman Pass (over 13,000 ft) and
continue on to Phuyupatamarca to camp. Day 4: Hike into Machu
Picchu, via the Sun Gate, with a side trip to beautiful Wiñay Wayna ruin
en route; bus down to Machu Picchu Inn in Aguas Calientes.
For a detailed description of the Inca Trail, visit Rutahsa's
Hiking the Inca Trail website.
COST OF THE TRIP: Rutahsa Adventures is proud to offer this fantastic package
at $2565, based on a group of 10-12 participants, at $2335 for a group of 13-15
participants, and at $2180 if there are 16 participants. Trip participation
will be limited to 16. At the time of this writing (Aug. 22, 2002) these
prices are believed to be firm, as they are based on 2003 costs quoted to us by
our reliable suppliers in Peru. However, Rutahsa Adventures reserves the right
to adjust the trip price as necesssary, in the event of cost changes beyond our
control in Peru. In the unlikely event of a price hike greater than $100,
participants who signed on prior to the price change will be given an
opportunity to withdraw from the trip with a full refund (excepting any
expenses already incurred by Rutahsa Adventures on the participants' behalf).
TRIP PRICE INCLUDES: Transfers between Lima airport and hotel in Miraflores;
all lodging (in double occupancy rooms: single rooms available for an
additional $480); breakfast in most hotels; six lunch meals and one supper;
transportation by private bus with professional driver; boat transportation to
Islas Ballestes and on Lake Titicaca; Nasca Lines overflight; local guide
services by bilingual guides; entries to all visitors sites specified in the
itinerary; services of bilingual Tour Conductor.
SINGLES SUPPLEMENT: $480
NOT INCLUDED: Round trip air fare from point of origin to Lima (see note two
paragraphs below); meals not specified in the itinerary; souvenirs, tips,
phone/fax/internet services and other personal expenses; Peru exit tax ($25 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
requests. PLEASE NOTE: AS OF SEPT. 30, 2002, THIS PERU TRIP IS
SOLD OUT. IF YOU WOULD LIKE, WE CAN PUT YOU ON A WAIT-LIST, TO SEE IF ANY
SPACE DEVELOPS DUE TO CANCELATIONS.
NEED A BARGAIN AIRFARE TO PERU?: We recommend you contact Patricia Guamuchi at
Solar Tours (Washington, D.C.). Patricia specializes in discounted fares to
Latin America; we have used her services for several years with excellent
results. 1-800-388-7652, extension 558. Ask for Patricia 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
Photos on this website by Janie and Ric Finch, @copyrighted.
The itinerary for the Inca Trail trek is as follows: Day 1: Leave Cusco in morning; short visit at Ollantaytambo fortress; then on to trailhead to commence trek; camp near Llactapata ruins. Day 2: Long uphill hike towards Dead Woman Pass, stopping to camp for the night at Llulluchapampa. Day 3: Cross Dead Woman Pass (over 13,000 ft) and continue on to Phuyupatamarca to camp. Day 4: Hike into Machu Picchu, via the Sun Gate, with a side trip to beautiful Wiñay Wayna ruin en route; bus down to Machu Picchu Inn in Aguas Calientes.
For a detailed description of the Inca Trail, visit Rutahsa's Hiking the Inca Trail website.
COST OF THE TRIP: Rutahsa Adventures is proud to offer this fantastic package at $2565, based on a group of 10-12 participants, at $2335 for a group of 13-15 participants, and at $2180 if there are 16 participants. Trip participation will be limited to 16. At the time of this writing (Aug. 22, 2002) these prices are believed to be firm, as they are based on 2003 costs quoted to us by our reliable suppliers in Peru. However, Rutahsa Adventures reserves the right to adjust the trip price as necesssary, in the event of cost changes beyond our control in Peru. In the unlikely event of a price hike greater than $100, participants who signed on prior to the price change will be given an opportunity to withdraw from the trip with a full refund (excepting any expenses already incurred by Rutahsa Adventures on the participants' behalf).
TRIP PRICE INCLUDES: Transfers between Lima airport and hotel in Miraflores; all lodging (in double occupancy rooms: single rooms available for an additional $480); breakfast in most hotels; six lunch meals and one supper; transportation by private bus with professional driver; boat transportation to Islas Ballestes and on Lake Titicaca; Nasca Lines overflight; local guide services by bilingual guides; entries to all visitors sites specified in the itinerary; services of bilingual Tour Conductor.
SINGLES SUPPLEMENT: $480
NOT INCLUDED: Round trip air fare from point of origin to Lima (see note two paragraphs below); meals not specified in the itinerary; souvenirs, tips, phone/fax/internet services and other personal expenses; Peru exit tax ($25 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 requests. PLEASE NOTE: AS OF SEPT. 30, 2002, THIS PERU TRIP IS SOLD OUT. IF YOU WOULD LIKE, WE CAN PUT YOU ON A WAIT-LIST, TO SEE IF ANY SPACE DEVELOPS DUE TO CANCELATIONS.
NEED A BARGAIN AIRFARE TO PERU?: We recommend you contact Patricia Guamuchi at Solar Tours (Washington, D.C.). Patricia specializes in discounted fares to Latin America; we have used her services for several years with excellent results. 1-800-388-7652, extension 558. Ask for Patricia 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".