Westbourne Grammar School Peru Adventure

Westbourne Grammar School Peru Adventure

Trip Highlights

  • Spanish Colonial and European architecture in Lima
  • Completing meaningful service work at your community project in Chincha
  • The splendor of Cusco with its churches, cathedrals, plazas, markets and cultural heritage
  • Walking in the beautiful Sacred Valley to view ancient Inca salt pans
  • Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu with dramatic mountain views
  • Guided sightseeing tour of Machu Picchu with added free time for further exploring
  • 3 hearty meals a day on trek prepared by our cooks
  • Tourist train to/from Machu Picchu
  • Extra day at leisure in Cusco after trek

Trip Summary

This amazing adventure, designed specifically for Westbourne Grammar School, will provide all students and teachers involved, with a unique experience that will challenge, amaze and inspire! On this adventure, you will trek along the historic Salkantay Trail, arguably the best short trek alternative to the classic Inca Trail. This trail is considered by many to be one of the great short treks of the world, and is a superb introduction to trekking in the Andes, away from the bustling crowds that walk along the Classic Inca Trail, providing a more intimate walk, with plenty of time for reflection, uninterrupted mountain vistas and more opportunity for local cultural interaction. Importantly, we spend ample time in Cusco and the Sacred Valley whilst acclimatising to the altitude before heading onto the trail. During the walk we experience a complete range of environs all in the space of four days. We ascend the jungle trails and cloud forest to appreciate the panorama of Andean peaks that would have inspired the Inca people as we make our way to Machu Picchu. Words cannot describe the exhilaration of first sighting these enigmatic ruins. Rather than heading back to Cusco we spend a night in Aguas Calientes, and this vitally gives us the opportunity to visit Machu Picchu at its best, in the early morning. Before and after the trek we have time to explore the Cusco we know so well, exploring Inca sites, cathedrals and colourful Quechua Indian markets. And before all of this grandeur and rewarding challenges, you will be giving back to a local community, by providing meaningful assistance with your Service Learning Project in Chincha. This is a school excursion to get excited about!

Suitability

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. Introductory adventures are not necessarily 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.

Salcantay Trek Itinerary

After all your preparation, planning, training and waiting, your adventure to Peru is finally here! Make your way to Melbourne airport to meet your fellow peers and teachers from Westbourne Grammar School and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime! You will be flying with LAN Airlines which departs Melbourne at 09:25 flying via Auckland and Santiago, and will arrive in Lima on the same day, at 16:55. You will be met at Lima airport by a World Youth Adventures representative and transferred to your hotel where you are free to rest for a short while, before our Welcome Dinner tonight. We will have a Welcome Meeting in the foyer of the hotel, where you will meet your World Youth Adventures Tour Leader and hear all about what to expect from the coming week, including important discussions about your community project and upcoming trek. After your briefing, we will all head out to a local restaurant for our Welcome Dinner and try some traditional Peruvian cuisine! Accommodation: Casa Andina Miraflores Centro

Meals:  D

Your first full day in colourful Peru is here! We begin our day with a sightseeing tour of Lima. This morning we will be taken on a guided tour of the city, founded by Francisco Pizarro in 1535. Lima is the oldest capital in South America and it has a superb combination of Spanish Colonial and 19th century European architecture. We’ll also visit the famous Museo de la Nacion or the Larco Herrera Museum - which give us an excellent overview of the Andean cultures. Our hotel is located in Miraflores and some of Lima's best galleries, shops and restaurants are located in this area. There will be free time this afternoon to enjoy further walking tours or an optional cooking class, before heading out for dinner at a local restaurant. Accommodation: Casa Andina Miraflores Centro

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast at the hotel, we board our private vehicle and travel to Chincha (3 hours) where we will be based for the next 2 nights. Our Community Project is in Chincha and you will provide meaningful assistance to a community in need. The next few days will see you bonding with your fellow peers, learning what it's like to work in a team, working towards a goal of improving the lives of local Peruvians in Chincha. This Service Learning component has been arranged by Westbourne Grammar and will help to establish a long and lasting relationship between your school and the community at Chincha. Upon arrival this afternoon, you will be met by the Community Project Supervisor, who will take the group on a small tour of the area where you will be working and give an important safety briefing, before starting light duties in the afternoon. Accommodation: Casa Andina Classic Chincha

Meals:  B,L,D

A full day is spent today, giving back to those in need as you continue with your service learning project in Chincha. Breaks will be encouraged during the day and you will stop for an included lunch. Today is a great time to learn more about the community that you are based in and to also challenge yourself with your designated project duties! Accommodation: Casa Andina Classic Chincha

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is your last day at your community project and you will put the finishing touches on your project before lunch. After wrapping up your project and saying fond farewells to those whom you have got to know over the last few days, you will board your private vehicle to travel back to Lima (3 hours). Your meaningful assistance at your project in Chincha will guarantee a long standing relationship between the local community and Westbourne Grammar School and the drive back to Lima will be a fantastic time to reflect on the amazing work you have done. Upon arrival in Lima, check into your hotel, freshen up and then its time for an included dinner at a local restaurant in Lima, where your tour leader will encourage you to try some local dishes (Lomo Saltado, Ceviche or guinea pig anyone?) Accommodation: Casa Andina Miraflores Centro

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning, we say goodbye to Lima and head to Cusco for the second part of our adventure, spent discovering and hiking the Andes! Your flight this morning departs at 09:40 and lands in Cusco at 11:15. On arrival in Cusco you'll be met by your guide and transferred from Cusco airport to our hotel located in the historic centre for a short initial briefing and then a few hours of rest, essential to initiate successful acclimatisation. Cusco is at an elevation of 3399m so it is important today to take it slowly and acclimatise properly. In the evening you'll have a longer briefing to discuss aspects of the itinerary and in particular the upcoming trek! Accommodation: Casa Andina Classic San Blas

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we take a tour of the city and nearby ruins. 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: Casa Andina Classic San Blas

Meals:  B,L,D

Today, we set off from Cusco and drive and walk down into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We leave Cusco and head to the Chinchero Plateau to explore Chinchero, an important town in Inca times. The most striking remnant of this period is the massive stone wall in the main plaza which has ten trapezoidal niches. There are beautiful views overlooking the Sacred Valley of the Incas, with the Cordillera Vilcabamba and the snow-capped peak of Salkantay dominating the western horizon. Chinchero is believed to be the mythical birthplace of the rainbow. Visit the salt mines of Maras. This village is a salt-producing center that dates back all the way to pre-Inca times. There are over 3000 salt pools all carved into the mountain side. Discover Moray's mysterious concentric circular terraces which, according to some scholars, would be an agricultural research center. When the tour is over, we will 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 Valley Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

Another day is spent today in the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas and this is a great way to acclimatise. The valley actually follows the course of the famous Urubamba River, one of the main tributaries of the Amazon River. During our time here we visit some of the enthralling citadels, fortresses and temple ruins that are found along the valley including the site at Ollantaytambo (2792m). The village itself is a fascinating mixture of Inca and Colonial architecture. If the weather is good and we have time, we can enjoy some short walks in the valley - a good way to prepare for the trek ahead. The evening is spent preparing for the trek at our hotel. Accommodation: Tikawasi Valley Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

After an early breakfast, we pick you up from your hotel and drive to the starting point of the Salkantay Trek. On the route we will take a short break to visit Tarawasi Archaeological Site near the town of Limatambo. After leaving Limatambo, we pass through the mountain village of Mollepata, where we stop for a short break before ascending a winding mountain road to a place called Challacancha (3,867 m.). Here we will meet our mule driver and emergency horse and begin our trek to Soraypampa (3,900 m). In this place we will lunch, and after a short rest continue to climb toward Humantay Lake (3,869 m.). Then go back to Soraypampa, which will be the first campsite, and from where we will enjoy a magnificent view of the Salkantay Mountain (6,270m) the second most sacred peak in Inca mythology. Overnight: Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

This is the main day! After an early breakfast, we hike up to the highest point on the trek which is the Salkantay Pass at 4,638 m. There we will stop to enjoy the amazing views of snowcapped peaks of the Vilcabamba Mountain Range in every direction, and the glaciated south face of Salkantay towering above us, where Andean condors can be seen. From the pass we descend towards Wayracmachay to lunch and then continue our descent along the left bank of the Salkantay River. Observe the landscape become increasingly green, changing from highland to jungle or cloud forest. Feel the warm air rising from the jungle, accompanied by colourful butterflies and striking orchids, while arriving to the second camp at Andenes (2,889m.), a beautiful spot surrounded with vegetation. Accommodation: Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will hike along the Santa Teresa River Valley, through more populated rural areas. We pass through banana, granadilla, avocado and coffee plantations. A hot picnic lunch is served along the way. After lunch, we hike for about 2 hours before a private vehicle meets us for a short drive to the beginning of the Llactapata Inca Trail (30 minutes approx.). From the head of the newly restored Inca Trail we easily make our way to the last campsite at Lucmabamba. In the evening we will have a coffee taste demonstration with our host, a local family. Dinner will be served and then spend the night in the camp. Accommodation: Camp

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we will head uphill for 2-3 hours towards Llactapata Pass (2,735m.) and descend to the archaeological complex of the same name. Besides, we will enjoy a distant but spectacular view of Machu Picchu Sanctuary from the southeast, a view few travelers get the chance to admire. Lunch is served in a scenic viewpoint, looking out to Machu Picchu which is an incredible sight to behold after much time of thinking and talking about it! After that, we begin the final descent to the Aobamba River through lush bamboo forests, orchards and coffee plantations. Finally, we will get to the Hydroelectric Power Station, to board the train to Aguas Calientes (2040m) and spend the night in a hotel. A hot shower will never feel better! Get a great night's sleep as tomorrow, we explore Machu Picchu! Accommodation: Waman Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

After an early breakfast, we make our way to the bus station for the ride up to Machu Picchu. The guided tour of the sanctuary lasts two hours and at the end, you shall have free time to explore the place at your leisure, or simply relax and meditate. We will return by bus to Aguas Calientes for lunch and board the train to Ollantaytambo. From this point, a private vehicle will drive us back to Cusco and you will be transferred to your hotel. Your arrival in Cusco will be approximately at 7 - 8 pm. Accommodation: Casa Andina Classic San Blas

Meals:  B,L,D

A good day to relax, do your washing and re pack after the trek, and perhaps a chance to do some 'tourist shopping', selecting from a great variety of expertly made craft work - including alpaca sweaters and hats, ceramics, weavings and traditional Andean instruments. Today is also a great day to do any additional sightseeing that you wish to do in Cusco and this can be discussed amongst your group. Tonight, we have an included Farewell Dinner to say thankyou and farewell to your Tour Leader and share stories and reminisce with your peers and teachers about what has been a life changing journey through Peru! Accommodation: Casa Andina Classic San Blas

Meals:  B,L,D

We are up very early this morning to begin our journey back to Melbourne. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight that departs at 08:35, flying via Lima, Santiago and Auckland before finally landing in Melbourne at 08:25 on the 10th of December. All arrangements end at Melbourne airport.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • Return flights from Melbourne to Lima / Lima to Cusco / Cusco to Melbourne, flying with LAN Airlines
  • 15 breakfasts, 14 lunches and 15 dinners
  • Comfortable and central hotels, primarily Casa Andina Classic hotels - All Twin Share
  • Group camping equipment
  • Gear pack including sleeping bag, fibre filled jacket and sleeping mat
  • Porters to carry personal gear
  • All airport transfers
  • Private internal transportation
  • Expert English speaking, World Youth Adventures bilingual guide
  • Group medical kit
  • Sightseeing and site entrance fees as listed (including Machu Picchu entrance fee)
  • Two teachers from Westbourne Grammar School

What's Not Included

  • Tools and materials to complete your service learning community project - Has been arranged separately by Westbourne Grammar School
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry etc
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory)
  • Visa costs (Australian passport holders DO NOT require a visa to travel to Peru)
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Optional excursions and activities
 

AT A GLANCE

Duration:16 Days
Starting Point:Melbourne
Activities:Trekking
Service Learning Community Project
Adventure Touring
Grade:Introductory  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG4219