Length: 7 days. Group educational tour to Peru for 12 or more students or adults. Self-designed custom tours typically led by teachers of high school juniors and seniors.
Highlights: Sacsayhuaman, Dinner Show, Moray, Shaman Ceremony, Machu Picchu, Pisca Market, Lake Titicaca, Pikillacta, Sillustani, Uros, Ta-quile.
Itinerary: Lima (1), Cusco (4), Puno (2)
Day 1 – Lima
Board your flight to Lima, dubbed “The City of Kings” by its founder Francisco Pizarro in 1535. Your private bus and driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in the residential district of Miraflores.
Day 2 – Cusco
From the Lima airport, take a short one-hour flight to mystical Cusco, where your host families will be waiting to take you to lunch. After lunch, visit Sacsayhuaman Fortress in the surrounding mountains, a jewel of Inca architecture. On to Q’enquo, a rock sanctuary with a monolithic altar representing a puma and Tambomachay. Visit a chicheria to see how the local people enjoy this indigenous Andean drink, called “chicha,” and pay tribute to Pachamama or Mother Earth. Tonight, enjoy a dinner show with a magnificent view of the Plaza de Armas.
Day 3 – Cusco
Visit Ollantaytambo, a tribute to craftsmanship, as the entire town still has its original Inca-built stone walls, narrow streets and water system. After lunch, continue to Moray, a huge system of circular platforms the Inca’s used as an agricultural “research laboratory.” A shaman ceremony will bless your trip and future wishes during your trip.
Day 4 – Cusco
Spend the day in Machu Picchu, often considered to have the most spectacular setting of any ruin in the world. This “Lost City of the Incas” was unknown to the outside world until is was discovered in 1911. The grassy central court is surrounded by nearly 200 houses, palaces and temples built from perfectly fitted stone blocks. Three sides of the city are terraces that were cut into the mountain for farming and defense. The fourth side is a sheer cliff.
Day 5 – Cusco
Visit the world famous Pisaq Indian Market. All over the Andean highlands, scattered in the Sacred Valley, you will find numerous markets displaying everything from wool textiles, native fruits and vegetables, and jewelry to ceramics, baskets, wood carvings, native paintings, embroidery, tools and even animals! The market in Pisaq is a cultural site where locals meet to catch up and practice the ancient art of bargaining.
Day 6 – Puno
Travel to Puno and Lake Titicaca. According to legend, this lake gave birth to the Inca civilization. Prior to that, the lake and its islands were holy for the Aymara Indians, whose civilization was centered on the Bolivian side of Titicaca. You will learn about the development of the Aymara and Inka culture and visit Pikillacta and Sillustani, with its circular burial towers overlooking Lake Umayo. The age of the towers is still a mystery.
Day 7 – Puno
From Puno travel to the islands of Uros and Taquile. According to legend, the Uro Indians had black blood that helped them survive the frigid nights on the water and prevent them from drowning. The last full-blooded Uro was a woman that passed in 1959. Today, Uros is inhabited by a mix of Uro, Aymara and Inca descendants who follow the Uro ways. On Taquile you will find well-made woolen and alpaca goods made by skilled weavers, as well as colorful garments whose patterns and designs bear hidden messages about the wearer’s social standing. The residents on this island, which has no hotels, are careful not to let tourism destroy their delicate culture.
Day 8 –Depart
It’s time to say good-bye to Peru. Before you go, participate in a Shaman ceremony to cleanse the soul. Transfer to the airport at Juliaca, then arrive in Lima for your flight home.