Peru, The Amazon and Inca Gold !!

It’s the same formula that has made our Africa and Nepalese expeditions so incredibly popular ! We serve community … we participate in extraordinary adventure … we do things that others don’t … we thirst for education through inspiring experiences, and we build a spirit on tour that is just so accepting and full of life. On this tour the activity that meets those criteria is exceptional. The 5 day Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu is mindblowing. National Geographic rates it amongst the 15 best treks in the world. The journey into the bowels of the Amazon to our secret jungle abode is just eerie !! To participate and witness the Inti Raymi Festival of the Sun is a rare privilege and to visit the Uros people who dwell on floating islands on Lake Titicaca is to experience a whole new world. Then there is ‘the Tango’ … where the body wobbles while the mind boggles !! You can’t participate in these 24 days without gaining a whole new perspective on humanity and the glorious planet we inhabit.

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Detailed Itinerary : Peruvian Plunder

Day 1
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Let’s Tango out of Sydney – We depart at 1830 and arrive into Buenos Aries just 1 hour and 25 mins later ! Well not quite ! Our travel against the turn of the Earth disguises 13 hours of air time, but also has us in the Argentine Capital just before 8 pm … just in time to ‘Tango’ the night away !! Anyone got the energy !
Day 2
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A Day in Buenos Aries – As we do not depart for Lima until 7pm we have until just after lunch to explore this “The Paris of South America”. A tour by bicycle is most attractive or do we explore ‘the Eye of the Tigre’ and pay homage to Evita. One thing is certain you won’t be bored in Buenos Aries !
Day 3
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Destination Cusco – Lima is a late night stopover only, for it is Cusco where we want to settle, and that’s where we will be my midday. Lunch has been ordered, as has ‘Petino’ our walking guide, who will entertain and educate us that afternoon as we investigate this historic World Heritage Inca capital. Population 450,000. Altitude at 11,200 feet. We have already begun to acclimatise !
Day 4
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Sacred Valley Tour – These two days are enthralling, where enriched education, unique archaeological sites and a bloody good bargain are all winners ! Start with the town of Pisac, where the colour of their markets will attract you into a bartering battle. What a great place this is to explore Andean life up close and personal.The Temple of the Sun and the Ollantaytambo fortress will have you understand a civilisation that thrived a long time ago, but one which you will see come alive in the greatest Peruvian Festival of them all … Inti Raymi Festival of the Sun. This ceremony honors the Sun God, one of the most venerated Gods in Inca religion. This will be a tour highlight giving you a replay of Inca traditions and culture that once dominated this region.
Day 5
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Day 6
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Let’s make a difference – Inspired by yesterday’s amazing festival, today we coach … We teach … We will paint classrooms if necessary … We will do whatever it takes to leave our mark on this beautiful school community located on the outskirts of Cusco.
Day 7
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Salkantay Trek (First opened for public use in 2000) Day 01 – It’s an early jeep departure from Cusco to Sayapata, our trek starting point, where we meet our support staff, our horses and our mules. Our hike towards Soraypampa (3850 meters) takes us along terraces overlooking the deep Apurimac river canyon, before offering us panoramic views of the majestic Salkantay first climbed in 1952. This is photograph territory, as are the cute village houses, flora, and rural locals that dot the landscape.
Day 8
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Salkantay Toughness ! – Today, the environment changes drastically as we begin the most difficult part of our trek towards the highest point we will encounter at 4600 meters. However, the spectacular views of the imposing snowy peaks are worth every step particularly Salkantay at 6271 metres, which continues to supervise our progress. With good fortune on our side we may have the possibility to watch brilliant Andean Condors in their natural habitat.
Day 9
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The Salkantay Bus ! – The variety on this trek is its greatest appeal, for today we explore the village of Collpabamba, also called the “Forest Cloudy Brow” where waterfalls, banana trees and coffee plantations thrive. With luck we can find the famous Peruvian National Bird “Gallito de las Rocas”, and just to add further variety, our trek is interrupted by a local bus journey to Santa Teresa Hot Springs, where your weary legs will embrace relaxing hot pools.
Day 10
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Machu Picchu – After an early breakfast, we have more local transportation to hike an ascent towards the ruins of Llactapata where at last the amazing Machu Picchu unfolds. From an ancient civilisation to our modern one, we descend to an amazing Hydroelectric project where lunch will be enjoyed. The last part of the trek takes us to Aguas Calientes where tents are traded for a warm and comfortable hotel room. Dinner at the local restaurant is often shared with local people and other trekkers. Hope they are ready for the Aussies !!
Day 11
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Machu Picchu to Cusco – We must get to Machu Picchu and the Sun Gate before Sunrise just as they did thousands of years ago. I love the fact that Machu Picchu is seen with an educational guide, who ensures we see and understand so much more then broken buildings. The Temple of the Moon and the fabulous Inca Bridge are spectacular structures and is there a better way to finish this amazing experience then the soothing rhythms of a spectacular train journey back to Cusco.
Day 12
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Rest Day in Cusco – And quite possibly the most appreciated day on tour !! Enjoy, Explore and … Shop !!!
Day 13
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A stunning bus journey to Puno – The local bus journey across the Altiplano to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca is one of the most comfortable, safest and stimulating bus rides in Peru. Stops at Andahuayillas, otherwise known as the Andean Sistine Chapel, and Pukara Museum present an educational fiesta, while thehigh pass at 4,335 meters called ‘La Raya’ offers unforgettable landscapes and the animals that are symbolic of the Andes, llamas, alpacas and vicunas. What a welcome change of pace is this day !!
Day 14
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Lake Titicaca : The Islands of Uros – Quite simply this is eye opening ! It is a privilege to observe the extraordinary lives of the Uros people who live on floating reed islands, some only 20 metres in length. Did you know there are 49 of them ? The neighboring Taquile Island beckons after lunch where we will visit local families, who are world famous for their intricate and fascinating weavings. Keep your hands in your pockets otherwise you will be buying !!
Day 15
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Your day to explore as you please – I call this ‘Participant’s Day’, which is where you research activities prior to our Australian departure, as to what you want this day to look like. It is at last night’s dinner that we hear of the possibilities and decisions are made. Past experience suggests two itineraries could be created making this a spontaneous day full of surprises.
Day 16
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Lake Titicaca to Cusco – Take a breather ! This trip has been on the go for over two weeks now, so let’s get an early flight from Titicaca and enjoy a relaxing afternoon in Cusco … and a good night’s rest before the call of ‘The Amazon’ !
Day 17
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Deep into the Amazon – Your flight to Puerto Maldonado ignites your Amazon jungle adventure in the Tambopata National Reserve, which is believed to be the most diverse ecosystem on the planet. In this region, you observe the rare ones … the giant otter, the collared peccary, the anaconda and jaguar. The reserve is also home to the Ese’eja, who are most active in protecting the local wildlife. A 3 hour motorized canoe trip to Posada Amazonas is memorable, as is our eco-friendly lodge which leaves one side of each bedroom open to the rainforest, creating that creepy sensation of sleeping wild. Our guides are biologists, who will escort us up the scaffolding canopy tower, where spectacular views of the Amazon jungle will be forever etched in your memory.
Day 18
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Giant River Otters, Medicines from Forest Plants and a Night Walk – This day never stops. Tres Chimbadas is 30 minutes by boat plus another 45 minutes on foot. Once there, we paddle the lake in search of nine giant river otters. A further 20 minutes by boat drops us off at a trail designed by a communal organization that produces medicines from forest plants and administers them to patients who choose their clinic. This trek is a real education as is the optional night walk. I say it is compulsory for us, if you are ready to embrace some real spooky stuff !!
Day 19
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Parrot Clay Lick and a fascinating old Farmer – On most clear mornings, hundreds of parrots and parakeets descend to ingest the clay of the river bank. It’s a spectacular site. Just as intriguing is old ‘Jacko’, who welcomes us to his farm, where he grows a diverse variety of popular and little known Amazon crops each of which serves humanity.
Day 20
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Buenos Aries Calling – You can’t tire of that boat ride down the Amazon and so we embark upon it once again to commence our journey back to Lima and then onto Argentina. What a day !! First the Amazon in Peru, and then finish off in Buenos Aries of Argentina !!
Day 21
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Tango Tango Tango – With 50 hours in the Argentine Capital we simply have to explore the diverse neighbourhoods, maybe by bicycle, if only to warm up for ourtantalising Tango lessons. The stamina of Buenos Aires’ party-goers and club dancers has an international reputation and I say we join the party, including our own Celebration night on our last evening of these remarkable three weeks.
Day 22
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Day 23
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It’s Time for Home – All good things must come to an end, but in this case the memories cannot erased. How could you ever forget your first glimpse of Machu Picchu, or speeding down the canals and waterways of the Amazon. How broad will be your understanding of the ancient Inca civilisation or the unique Uros people of Titicaca … And what of the Tango … Is it more than a dance ?? This is a powerful educational experience that can only be matched by the friendship you form. Experience suggests that it is very difficult to say ‘good-bye’ when we finally arrive in Sydney just after 1pm on our final day, but then again maybe there is another chapter to be had. Anyone for Nepal ??
Day 24
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Synopsis

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Departure Dates: We depart Sydney on June 20, so we can be in Cusco the day before the famous Inti Raymi Festival. To complete their examination timetable, University students can leave with a group management escort on Sat June 22, but it will mean you will miss the festival and pick us up in Cusco before the main event … the Salkantay trek!

Flights: This is our typical flight itinerary.

Day 1 AR1181 SYDNEY TERMINAL 1830 BUENOS ARIES 1955
Day 2 AR1364 BUENOS ARIES 1900 LIMA, PERU 2225
Day 20 arr Day 21 AR1365 LIMA, PERU 2325 BUENOS ARIES 0530
Day 23 arr Day 24 AR1182 BUENOS ARIES 0830 SYDNEY TERMINAL 1320

Domestic Airfares in Australia: These are totally your responsibility to and from Sydney.

The Fee : The full 24 day fee is $ 7350.
If you have travelled with us before then your fee is reduced by $ 200 to $ 7150.
If you have travelled with us two or more times than your fee is reduced by $ 500 to $ 6850
If you need to depart on Sat June 22 and therefore can’t participate in the Festival, then please reduce your fee by $ 200.

Land Only Fee: If you wish to join us from another part of the world or be responsible for meeting us in Lima, Peru, then please deduct $ 2366 from your fee being the International Airfare component.

Teachers fee: Thanks to the generosity of a most understanding sponsor, who values the lessons that teachers can impart to their students from this extraordinary experience, teachers can access a $1500 reduction and can enjoy this experience for $ 5850.

Meals: There are 68 meals required from the time we leave Sydney Airport to the moment we arrive back. Your fee caters for 50 of them !!

Inclusions with full fee: Return International Airfare, all bus and air transfers to and from airports and to locations and venues in South America, minimum twin-share Accommodation, full service trek experience including English speaking professional guide, horse and mule porters, chef, double foam personal bed and tent, entrance ticket to Machu Picchu and to Santa Teresa Hot Springs, first aid kit with oxygen, 73 % of meals, Cusco Tourist Ticket valid for 10 days, Group management in ratio of 1:15 participants and an experienced tour leader at all times.

Not included in full fee: Gear and equipment for the Salkantay trek plus cost of additional porterage if private baggage weight exceeds 16Kg, Compulsory travel and personal accident insurance plus 27 % of meals, Tips, but these are accounted for as part of your recommended $700 USD spending money, Visa entry or Reciprocity fees into Lima and Buenos Aries and passport cost, Vaccinations including Yellow Fever, toiletries, medical supplies plus expenditure on personal drinks, souvenirs and other things of personal nature. Optional excursions not detailed in the itinerary or additional accommodation required if needed to come down from the trek earlier, Extra costs incurred in case of own intentional change of itinerary.

Contact: For more information contact Global Immersion direct on 07 3269 9118