Peru Itinerary




Day 1  –  Tuesday, May 10  –  USA to Lima

Travel day to Peru.

Overnight – Hotel Señorial in Miraflores

Day 2  –  Wednesday, May 11  –  Lima

For both morning and afternoon sessions we will be involved in our group project planning, focusing our ideas and discussing possible products. It is likely that guest speakers will be invited to present on topics related to our work.

Overnight – Hotel Señorial in Miraflores

Day 3  –  Thursday, May 12  –  Lima / Cusco / Ollantaytambo / Aguas Calientes

In the morning, we will return to the airport for our flight to Cusco. Upon arrival we will be met by our guide for the Andes, Edwin Escalante, and board our bus that takes us through the Sacred Valley to the village of Ollantaytambo, where we will board the train for Aguas Calientes.

The village of Ollantaytambo dates from the late 15th century and has some of the oldest continuously occupied dwellings in South America. Ollantaytambo is located along the Patakancha River, close to the point where it joins the Urubamba River. Around the mid-15th century, the Inca Pachacuti conquered and raised Ollantaytambo; the town and the nearby region were incorporated into his personal estate. During the Spanish conquest of Peru, Ollantaytambo served as a temporary capital for Manco Inca, leader of the native resistance against the conquistadors. Nowadays Ollantaytambo is an important tourist attraction due to its Inca ruins and as one of the most common starting points for the three-day, four-night trek on the Inca Trail.

This is a busy travel day and if time permits we will visit a few sites along the way through the Sacred Valley.

Overnight – Hotel Presidente in Aguas Calientes

Day 4  –  Friday, May 13  –  Aguas Calientes / Machu Picchu / Aguas Calientes / Cusco

After an early breakfast we will board a bus for the 20-minute ride from Aguas Calientes up the mountain to Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu, a UNESCO world heritage site, was re-discovered by archaeologist Hiram Bingham in 1911. The design of this city is uniquely adapted to the site, with agricultural terracing and aqueducts that take advantage of the natural slopes. The original irrigation system has a great number of water fountains, interconnected by channels and water-drainages perforated in the rock. This city is an early example of sustainable architecture and use of local resources.

Our day will include a 2-3 hour tour led by our guide, Edwin. We will also have the opportunity to take one or more of the optional hikes that extend out from the core of the city. Later in the afternoon, we’ll meet back in Aguas Calientes to return to the train station.

Our return train from Aguas Calientes will bring us to Poroy Station where, from Poroy, we’ll have a short bus ride into Cusco.

Overnight – Hotel Mama Sara in Cusco

Day 5  –  Saturday, May 14  –  Cusco

After breakfast, we will go on a walking tour of Cusco where Edwin (our guide) will introduce us to the city and some of its history. Our morning will include a visit to the local market, a perfect sampling of life in the Andes, Koricancha Temple, and San Blas neighborhood. The afternoon will be free to explore the city and visit some of the historical sites. We will meet to plan our project work later in the afternoon.

Overnight – Hotel Mama Sara

Day 6  –  Sunday, May 15  –  Cusco / Cuyuni / Ocongate

Today our trip on the Interoceanic Highway begins. About 30 minutes outside of Cusco we will stop to tour the Incan ruins at Tipon. Tipon was an important temple, where they worshiped the water with care and reverence that the Incas treated this important element. Although there are still mysteries to unravel, the calm of the site, the sound of water and the feeling of being close to the gods of the Incas.

Soon after we leave Tipon we will pass through the town of Urcos (this marks Kilometer 0 – the beginning of the Interoceanic Highway). At Km 17 we crest Abra Cuyuni, our high point of the day (13,730 ft / 4185 m). Here we will visit the Cuyuni Community to see and participate in several cultural demonstrations and activities. This rural community has implemented a novel ‘living’ tourist circuit: a walk of three hours through traditional Andean scenery interrupted by community members playing themselves, offering visitors an interactive look at their customs and their daily lives. The trip ends with lunch at the community’s restaurant with a view of the mighty Ausangate. We end our day in the town of Ocongate at the Hotel Ausangate Lodge, a beautiful inn on the edge of town.

Overnight – Hotel Ausangate Lodge in Ocongate

Day 7  –  Monday, May 16  –  Ocongate

Today and tomorrow we will conduct field research in a unique wetland system locally known as bofedales. Bofedales are high elevation wetlands found in the Andes Mountains from Colombia to Chile. They are similar in many ways to wetland ecosystems found in Northern Canada.

Bofedales have specific animal and plant communities, and are thought to contain massive carbon stores. Their complex hydrology is fed by glacial melt along with many springs and, locally, these often large wetland areas are critical to water supplies for the towns along the Interoceanic Highway. For the local communities, bofedales have served as Alpaca and Llama grazing areas for generations. Our field work will be focused on two bofedale sites. One is approximately 100 meters before Abra Pirhuayani, the highest point we will reach along the highway at 4725 meters (15,502 ft), and the second is closer to the village of Tinke along the former highway route.

Overnight – Hotel Ausangate Lodge in Ocongate

Day 8  –  Tuesday, May 17  –  Ocongate

Bofedales fieldwork continues.

Overnight – Hotel Ausangate Lodge in Ocongate

Day 9  –  Wednesday, May 18  –  Ocongate

Bofedales fieldwork continues.

Overnight – Hotel Ausangate Lodge in Ocongate

Day 10  –  Thursday, May 19  –  Ocongate / Cusco

This day is a ‘flex’ day and will depend on our fieldwork progress. Sometime around midday to mid-afternoon, we will return by bus to Cusco.

Overnight – Hotel Mama Sara in Cusco

Day 11  –  Friday, May 20  –  Cusco / Lima / USA

After breakfast we may have a little time to explore Cusco then, at the appropriate time, we will be transported to the airport for our return flight to Lima. Upon arrival we will travel by bus to the center of Old Lima for a city tour, then we will return to the airport for our international flights returning to the USA.

Founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, although Lima has many districts of modern city the old downtown still maintains the older colonial architecture. Lima was the seat of the Spanish rule in South America for 300 years, and as such it has wonderful churches, cloisters and monasteries.

Lima is built within a valley surrounded by an extremely arid desert. In the summer, the weather is usually beautiful, very warm and sunny. In the winter, the city is overcast for days at a time. Temperature also potentially falls to around 7-12 °C (45-55 °F), which seems chillier when combined with the general dampness.

The Lima city tour focuses on the sites near the Plaza de San Martin and Plaza Major and usually includes, the Presidents Palace, Cathedral of Lima & Pizarro’s Tomb, Archbishop’s Palace of Lima, and the Monastery of San Francisco including the catacombs beneath.

Overnight – on board flights to the USA

Day 12  –  Saturday, May 21  –  USA

Return to the USA and on to final destinations.