This is a sample of what we could offer your school in Peru. Peru offers so much variety and this itinerary combines it all. From exploring colonial Lima and the famous Larco Herrera Museum, we fly across the Andes to our Amazon jungle lodge and with our naturalist guides explore this diverse environment. While in Cusco and the Sacred Valley we wander some of South America's best markets and discover a variety of Spanish and Inca heritage. In the Sacred Valley we spend 1 day at the remote village of Huiloq where we will work alongside the staff and students of the village school refurbishing 3 classrooms to create safer learning environment which is more conducive to learning. The discovery of Machu Picchu in 1911 revealed an incredible Inca architectural masterpiece, and this startling find provides a grand finale to our trek along the Inca Trail. On the trail, our unsurpassed expertise in organising treks in the Andes comes to the fore as we ascend from the jungle to the snow capped Andean peaks to complete our spectacular approach to Machu Picchu. Travelling onto Lake Titicaca, we visit the Uros Indians who live on floating reed islands and enjoy a night in a homestay before returning to Lima. This is an educational adventure to get excited over!
Introductory adventures are designed with the first time trekker in mind. They are challenging enough to make it a real adventure holiday, however the daily physical exercise is around six to eight hours and altitudes generally less than 4100m. It is important to understand that introductory adventures are not easy. There will be some long steep ascents and some rough ground to cover. Remember trekking rarely involves flat terrain.
Two to three months prior to departure you should spend thirty minutes to one hour exercising, three or four times per week eg. Hard walking, jogging or cycling. To prepare for a walking holiday we recommend you take every opportunity to walk up and down stairs and/or hills, for leg strengthening and aerobic fitness. Please remember the fitter you are the more you will enjoy your holiday.
On arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel where you are free to rest in the hotel or explore as a group the cosmopolitan area around Miraflores, the suburb of Lima where our hotel is located. Some of Lima's best galleries and shops and restaurants are found in this area. Founded by Francisco Pizarro in 1535, Lima is the oldest capital in South America, with a superb combination of Spanish Colonial and 19th century European architecture.
Early morning wake-up call, breakfast and short drive to the airport for the the flight to Puerto Maldonado via Cusco. This provides an opportunity to experience a real jungle frontier town. A brief drive through the town takes us to the offices of the lodges we use where we leave our main bags to be stored for our return. We continue to the river wharf where we board a 30-40 foot open launch for a short river journey to the Sandoval Lake Lodge. During this journey which can take between 45 minutes and 2 hours we can relax watching the river bank and jungle canopy for the particularly abundant bird life in this region. Among the birds we may expect to see (dependent on weather and river height) are horned screamers, raptors, plovers, terns, macaws, parrots, kingfishers and toucans.The lodges we use are beautifully set jungle lodges that, apart from being our jungle home, also serve as a base for naturalists to work from. The rainforest (both pristine primary and secondary growth forest) surrounding the lodges is a naturalist's paradise. (It is important to be aware that the lodge is comfortable but basic. During the remainder of the day we go for walks with our naturalist guide along forest trails. After dinner we get a chance to relax and discuss with resident naturalists the research projects taking place in the area. Serenaded by a chorus of jungle noises we go to sleep in the lodge's comfortable double rooms.
Accommodation: Sandoval Lake Lodge
LA2081 22 SEP LIMA PUERTO MALDONADO 1330 1505
Today is spent going on long jungle walks to find monkeys and capybaras and also to take canoes out on to some of the jungle lagoons in the area. On the shores of these lagoons there are often lots of hoatzin to be seen - a really remarkable bird. Before the evening meal we head out for a short river trip using torches to look for cayman - this always proves to be exciting. PLEASE NOTE: it is important to be aware that the programs may vary according to flight schedules, weather, river height, group sizes, etc and participants should be aware there is no guarantee of seeing specific animals or birds and in general you may not see much wildlife since the rainforest provides such good camouflage for its inhabitants - but you will have a good chance to experience true rainforest first hand.
Accommodation: Sandoval Lake Lodge
Early morning departure after breakfast for the downriver trip to Puerto Maldonado and the short flight back to Cusco 11,200' (3,400m), arriving there around midday. You'll be met by your guide and transferred from Cusco airport to our hotel for a short initial briefing and then a few hours of rest, essential to initiate successful acclimatisation. In the evening you'll have a longer briefing to discuss aspects of the itinerary and in particular the trek.
Accommodation: Amaru I Hostal
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Every alleyway we enter or corner we turn brings another surprise or enigma in the form of the superbly constructed Inca walls or the more architecturally extravagant colonial churches and palaces. The city, once capital of the extensive Inca Empire, has seen many changes since Francisco Pizarro's men took the city with such apparent ease in November 1533. We also take a short drive to visit the monolithic walls of Sacsayhuaman, spectacularly set above the city. In the afternoon you may have time to explore some of the central parts of the city and a chance to look at some of the great varieties of local craft work on sale in open air stalls and shops.
Accommodation: Amaru I Hostal
We leave Cusco and head to the Chinchero Plateau from where we get impressive views of three mountain ranges. We then walk down through the remarkable Inca Salt Pans below Maras. We end up in the Sacred valley near a good restaurant where we can savour dishes made with locally grown produce. After a leisurely lunch we head for our hotel in the valley. The rest of the day is free to relax and enjoy the beauty of this famous valley.
Accommodation: Tikawasi Lodge
Today will be an exciting day as after a scenic drive from Ollantaytambo you will arrive into the village of Huiloq. The village is situated in the Urubamba mountain range standing between the great Urubamba River and the vast rain forests to the north of Cusco. Beautiful hanging valleys, high pampas, small patches of woodland and paths less trodden are the setting for the project which will keep you busy for the day. The region is famous for its weavings, as well as its striking mountainous landscapes and rich culture and is home to the Andean equivalent of the Himalayan Sherpa. World Youth Adventures has been conducting various projects in Huiloq for more than 5 years and at present we are building a small library in the village school. There will be some light building work to be done here, as well as helping out in the village greenhouses or conducting some English lessons in the class room. There will be plenty of time to meet and interact with the local people and learn about their culture, history, traditions and way of life. They will be equally as inquisitive in your life back in Australia as what you will be with them!
Tonight you will experience a celebrator ‘pachmanca’ Andean feast that we will share and enjoy with the school children and their parents. This is a great way to say thank you and farewell and will normally involve some dancing!!! More specific details of the exact project work will be supplied once we are aware of the group size and the budget we have to spend. Each Kings student will be encouraged to fund-raise $200 which will form the pool of funds we have to use.
An early morning departure for the drive to Chilca where we start our first day of trekking. At this point we meet some our cooks, porters and camp staff before setting off on this famous 'Royal Highway of the Incas', built more than 500 years ago. The first day involves approximately five to six hours of walking. During the first few hours of walking we follow the course of the famous Urubamba River before perhaps stopping to admire the ruins of Patallacta – 2750m (9000ft) – an ancient Inca city built on a series of terraces below the trail. From here we follow the narrow valley of the Cusichaca River to the first campsite at Hatunchaca.
Next morning we continue up this narrow valley on the left bank of the river - whose source is one of the great glaciers of Mt Salcantay. We then reach the village of Huayllabamba before starting a relatively steep climb up this classic trail towards our camp at Lulluchapampa – 3780m (12,400ft). We spend our first full day on the trail after what most would agree is perhaps one of the most challenging days.
A brisk 2-hour hike up to the 'Inca Trail's' highest pass, Warmihuañusca, at 13,700' (4,198m). After a rest at the pass and time to take in the spectacular views we drop very steeply down into the Pacamayo Valley and then continue up the trail to the small but impressively set ruins at Runkuraqay and on to Cochapata set just below the second pass at 12,800' (3,900m). From here we walk the short distance to the pass and then descend past a mysterious small green lake to the large ruins of Sayacmarca and on to the last pass at 12,450' (3,800m). From here we get a great view down into the forested gorge of the Urubamba River set more than a vertical mile below us. A short hike from here takes us to our stunning campsite set above the ruins of Phuyupatamarca 11,900' (3,600m), so aptly named the 'City in the Clouds'. Below us are laid out the great forest-covered peaks and deep dark valleys -- the setting of our goal, Machu Picchu at 7,900' (2,400m).
After a good night's sleep at this lower altitude, and an early breakfast, we start the last day of the trek. We walk down along an incredibly well preserved section of the trail with great white granite slab walls and staircases all impressively set in high jungle. On the way we'll take time out to explore the recently cleared extensive ruins of Wiñay Wayna, before covering the last couple of miles to finally reach Inti Punku (The Gateway to the Sun) awe-inspiringly set above the 'lost city' of Machu Picchu. Your first view of the ruins really does take your breath away! After a brief 'first look' at the ruins, we head down to our hotel in Aguas Calientes for a well deserved soak in the nearby hot springs (optional). *Important: It is important to be aware that, because of all the rules on the Inca Trail, there may be changes in the actual trek itinerary and the campsites we use.
Accommodation: Waman Hotel
Today we start early to thoroughly explore these remarkable and truly enigmatic ruins. After a professionally led tour of the site we're free to explore the rest of the amazing sights. Mid-afternoon we depart from Machu Picchu for the extremely pretty train ride back to Ollantaytambo where we transfer to our vehicle for the drive back to Cusco.
Accommodation: Amaru I Hostal
We depart early in the morning for the 6 to 8 hour journey by private vehicle to Puno set on the shores of Lake Titicaca at 12,630' (3,820m). The road takes us south along the great valley below Cusco and then as we head further south we start to climb towards the great continental divide at La Raya. To the east we see some of the strange peaks of the Carabaya Range. From the pass we descend quickly onto the vast dry altiplano with its isolated villages and herds of Andean camelid including the alpaca and vicuña. Our first glimpses of lake Titicaca remind us that this is hardly a lake - its more like a vast inland sea that also happens to be the highest navigable lake in the world! The fact that we travel by private vehicle means we can stop where we wish during this fascinating journey (this is a tremendous advantage over the many companies who use public transport for this unique drive). We spend our night at our hotel in Puno.
Accommodation: Casa Andina Classic Puno Tikarani
Puno is a typical high Andean town, set on the great altiplano that surrounds the lake and stretches all the way to La Paz. After breakfast we head down to the old lake port with its century old steamers still tied up at the wharf. From here we board small motor boat to cruise out to visit the famous Uros Islands. These islands often given the misnomer of 'floating islands' are in fact tortora reed mats that grow out of the shallower waters of the vast bay of Puno. The islands have for centuries been occupied by the small Uros community who continue their traditional methods of 'farming' and fishing the lake. From here we continue to the Taquile islands where we spend a night in a local island home. These islands have been occupied by traditional farming communities and spending a night gives us a good chance to learn more about the Andean people and their traditional lifestyles.
Accommodation: Taquile Island home-stay
Return by boat to Puno where you will have an opportunity to explore the town and make any last minute purchases. An airport transfer will drive you to Juliaca airport for your flight to Lima and on wards to Santiago where you will be met at the airport by a guide who will transfer you to the centrally located Nippon Hotel in Santiago.
Accommodation: Nippon Hotel
LA2096 05OCT JUL LIM 1315 1455 (OPERATED BY LAN PERU)
LA 643 05OCT LIM SCL 1745 2220
Per Person, Twin Share