PERU TOUR with Holy Cross High School



Tour Code: EHCP
Featuring:
Lima, Ica, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Puerto Maldonado

Date: 15 Apr 2011 - 27 Apr 2011
Duration: 13 days & 12 nights
Cost from: 3875 CAD



ITINERARY IN BRIEF


Day 1 : Arrive in Lima

Today we depart Saskatoon and arrive in Lima later tonight. Transfer to hotel.

In recent years, this city has undergone some wonderful restorations of the plazas, ornate facades, and wooden balconies for which it is famous. Named the 'City of Kings' by the Spanish Conquistadors, Lima is the capital of Peru. Founded in 1535 by Francisco Pizarro, where the River Rimac meets the Pacific Ocean, this was the most important Spanish city during the colonial era with a population of about 100,000 inhabitants. Today the city is home to more than 7 million people.

Overnight in Lima. San Jose de Cluny (www.casacluny.com)

Day 2 : Lima: City Tour

This morning we start our tour with a visit to San Francisco's Church to visit the extensive catacombs that lie underneath.
We then continue to the Plaza de Armas, the most important plaza in Lima. The oldest surviving part of the plaza is the impressive bronze fountain, erected in 1650. Surrounding the plaza is the exquisite Archbishop's Palace, the cathedral, and the Government Palace where handsomely uniformed presidential guards are on duty all day. We visit the cathedral where the great bconquistador Francisco Pizarro's tomb lies.

We then proceed to the Larco Museum, which showcases remarkable chronological galleries and an excellent overview on 3,000 years of development of Peruvian pre-Columbian history. Located in a unique vice-royal mansion of the 18th century built over a 7th century pre-Columbian pyramid, is surrounded by beautiful gardens. Features the finest gold and silver collection from ancient Peru and the famous erotic archaeological collection, one of the most visited Peruvian tourist attractions. For an unforgettable experience, Larco is one of the few museums in the world where visitors can also choose to enter the storage area with its 45,000 classified archaeological objects.

Later we head to the trendy area of Miraflores where people stroll along the cliff tops and watch the sun setting on the Pacific Ocean. The best location is the new "Love Park," with its magnificent monument to lovers at its centre. We finish our day at the Artisan Market.

Overnight in Lima. San Jose de Cluny (www.casacluny.com)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3 : Lima - Paracas - Ballestas Islands - Huacachina - Ica

Early this morning we depart by bus for Paracas.

On arrival we'll have a boat excursion to the Ballestas Islands, for an opportunity to easily watch resident and migratory birds, including flamingos, red-legged cormorants, Inca terns, bobbies, as well as playful sea lions, amusing Humboldt penguins and, we are lucky, we might see marine otters and the bird with the largest wingspan in the world, the condor, which flies down from the Andes in search of food.

Later we transfer to Ica for a town tour before driving out to Huacachina, built around a small lake in the desert. Called the "Oasis of America," it serves as a resort for local families from the nearby city of Ica. Legend holds that the lagoon was created when a beautiful native princess was apprehended at her bath by a young hunter. She fled, leaving the pool
of water in which she had been bathing to become a lagoon.

Overnight in Ica. Belle Sand Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4 : Ica - Lima

Today we have a dunebuggy tour and have a chance to go sand-boarding near Ica.

Later we travel by bus back to Lima.

Overnight in Lima. San Jose de Cluny.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5 : Lima: Mission Work

Today we participate in pre-planned mission work (yet to be determined).

Overnight in Lima. San Jose de Cluny.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6 : Lima - Cuzco - Sacred Valley

This morning we fly to Cuzco and then travel by road into the Urubamba Valley, or "Sacred Valley of the Incas," along one of the most scenic drives on our trip.

We stop in Pisac, a picturesque Andean Village, typical except for the huge, spreading tree that dominates the central square. The village is best known for its market, which draws hundreds of visitors. In spite of its popularity the market retains much of its local charm, at least in the part where villagers from miles around gather to barter and sell their produce. In the tourist section of the market you can buy a wide variety of handicrafts.

We continue to the Inca ruins of Ollantaytambo located on a spectacular ridge with deep valleys on either side. We can admire the carefully constructed and maintained farming terraces on the surrounding hillsides.

Overnight in Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. Hotel Munaytika
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7 : Sacred Valley - Hike to Machu Picchu

This morning we transfer to the rail station for our 104 km ride to the start of our hike. Our route takes us along a piece of the famed Inca trail, past beautiful waterfalls, and through impressive mountain scenery. We will arrive at the Inti Punku ("Sun Gate"), located at 2700m. From here we will have an amazing view of the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu and the spectacular landscape. Will visit the citadel and have free time to explore explore on your own.

We transfer down the hill to the town of Aguas Calientes on the banks of the Urubamba River.

Overnight in Aguas Calientes. Hostal Machu Picchu or similar.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 8 : Machu Picchu - Cuzco

In the early morning of our second day at Machu Picchu, you may choose to take the bus back up to the site of Machu Picchu with the weather-dependent hope of seeing the mist-clad mountains greet the morning sun. Weather notwithstanding, the best thing about going up the second day is being there early when there are fewer people, allowing time to "soak it in," as well as the opportunity to climb Huayna Picchu.

Alternatively you could stay in Aguas Calientes, and hike back to the Mandor Waterfalls for a picnic.

Later in the afternoon we board the train from Aguas Calientes to Cuzco, where we will arrive at approximately 8:15pm.
On route we will see the locals working their potato and grain fields, and see children at play near their adobe brick homes.

Cuzco is located in a fertile valley at 3354 m (11,004 feet).This is the archaeological capital of the Americas and the ancient capital of the Inca Empire that, at its height, stretched from Colombia in the north, through Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, and down to central Chile in the south. Although the empire already existed in the 12th century, it remained small until the mid-15th century. Over the next 100 years, it expanded massively but declined due to the civil war and the conquest by the Spanish conquistadors under Francisco Pizarro in 1533.

Overnight in Cuzco. Cusco Plaza I Hotel or similar.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9 : Cuzco Area

This morning we visit some of the most important Inca sites in the Cuzco area.

This Inca city was laid out around a great central square in the shape of a puma, the god of lightning. Today, stone walls built by the Incas line most of Cuzco's central streets and form the foundations of colonial and modern buildings. The Inca buildings were so well built that the Spaniards simply knocked down the upper parts of the Inca temples and palaces and built their churches and mansions on top of the Inca walls. Shortly after the Spanish conquest, the capital was moved to Lima on the coast. Thus Cuzco has retained a wonderful, untouched colonial atmosphere. The culture is also very much alive here, and is evident in the music, clothing and handicrafts of the people.

Sacsayhuaman is an impressive complex which, like so many others of that time, had both a religious and military purpose. The fortress known as the 'storehouse of the sun' incorporates some of the largest stones ever used in a building. The zig-zag walls represent the teeth of the sacred puma and provide an excellent defensive structure. The stones fit so perfectly together without mortar that not even moss can grow in the cracks! We also visit ruins at Tambo Machay, Puca Pucara and Qenko. The latter is an Inca sacrificial site carved with inscriptions.

Tonight we will enjoy a folk show.

Overnight in Cuzco. Cusco Plaza I Hotel or similar.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 10 : Easter in Cuzco

We will enjoy the festivies and excitement of EASTER SUNDAY, where dance, music, processions, and Easter joy mark the day. We will celebrate Easter Mass at the beautiful Cathedral in Cusco. This day is left somewhat open to be able to participate in the many things that will be going on in the city to celebrate Easter.

Overnight in Cuzco. Cusco Plaza I Hotel or similar.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 11 : Cuzco - Puerto Maldonado

Today we fly from Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado and transfer to our lodge. After lunch we will depart for the first excursion that will take us into the tropical forest to discover a great variety of medicinal plants, tropical trees, insects and butterflies - approximately 2 ½ to 3 hours walking. We will make a stop at a viewpoint to watch toucans and other birds. We return to the lodge, and before dining take a night trip by boat for a fun "caiman safari".

Overnight at the Inkaterra Lodge.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 12 : Parrot Collpa, Sandoval Lake, Monkey Island

We will get an early start to walk to a place where a minimum of 5 different species of parrot come down from the trees to eat a special type of clay that is very important for their metabolism.

Breakfast and free time until we board a boat for an expedition to Monkey Island. On our return journey we will travel on the boat for 30 minutes before arriving at the magical Lake Sandoval. We will take a 5km walk through exuberant tropical vegetation before feasting on a delicious picnic lunch. The lake is a special place where numerous species of animals live, such as the giant otter, small and large birds like the Hoatzin, kingfisher and snake bird, and monkeys such as howlers, squirrel monkeys, and Capuchins. All of this can be discovered comfortably by canoeing until sundown. We return to the river at night to see some nocturnal animals.

Overnight at the Inkaterra Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 13 : Puerto Maldonado - Lima - Depart

After breakfast we board the boat that will take us back to town where will visit Puerto Maldonado's fruit market.

Later we transfer to the airport for our flight back to Lima. We have use of day rooms at a Lima hotel to freshen up and
have dinner before transferring to the airport for our overnight flight home.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 14 : Arrival in Saskatoon

Welcome home! (arrival time TBA)





INCLUSIONS


What's included on this tour?
  • 12 nights of lodging, 12 breakfasts, 12 lunches and 12 dinners, Plus Day room use in Lima
  • Private excursions with an English/Spanish speaking guide as well as an Adventures Abroad tour leader
  • Admissions for all archeological sites
  • Current taxes
  • All transportation
  • Backpacker train for the Excursion to Machu Picchu
  • Customized service with high quality
  • All international and regional flights
  • Gratuities to porters/waiters/guides and drivers
  • International air taxes and fuel surcharges
  • Trip cancellation and interruption and medical insurance
  • Gratuities to Global Educational Travel tour leader

EXCLUSIONS


What's NOT included on this tour?
  • Passports and vaccinations are the responsibility of the person travelling



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