Three course meetings in spring semester are followed by an 11-day field trip to the rugged and beautiful landscapes of the coast and Andes of Peru. We will journey by air, bus, and train from the capital, Lima, to Cusco, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and along the Pacific coast to the Ballestas Islands and the Paracas National Reserve. This is among the most scenic regions of the world. A highlight of the trip will be our visit to Machu Picchu, the 15th century center of the Incan empire and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the route, we will stop at the colorful local markets of Pisac, the ancient city of Ollantaytambo, Lake Titicaca, the floating islands of the Uros, a desert oasis, and a winery. Activities include a boat tour of the Ballestas Islands, a dune buggy ride in the coastal desert, and a tour of the capital city of Lima.
TRAVEL ITINERARY (Preliminary)
Sunday May 12: Depart Cleveland, arrive in Lima, Peru, hotel in Lima.
Monday May 13: Flight from Lima to Cuzco. Half-day tour of Cusco, including Temple of the Sun, Plaza de Armas, Cathedral, Incan fortress of Sacsahuaman, and a living art workshop.
Tuesday May 14: Full-day tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We will visit the colorful market at Pisac, Ollantaytambo (oldest occupied village on the continent), salt mines of Maras, agricultural terraces of Moray, lunch in a local restaurant.
Wednesday May 15: Train to Aquas Calientes and a bus to Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World! Guided tour through the Inca palace of Machu Picchu, free time to explore. Lunch at a local restaurant. Bus and train back to the hotel.
Thursday May 16: A day to relax and explore Cusco or partake in optional activities. Dinner and folklore show in the evening.
Friday May 17: Travel through the South Valley of Cusco to Puno, Andahuaylillas, Racchi Ruins, and pre-Inca Sillustani.
Saturday May 18: Tour of Lake Titicaca, including the floating islands and the Uros, or People of the Lake. Tour of the communities and their handicrafts.
Sunday May 19: Return flight to Lima. Drive south along the Pacific Coast to Paracas, desert and oasis environments, ancient coastal villages.
Monday May 20: Two-hour boat ride to the Ballestas Islands in the Paracas Wildlife Reserve, Peru's largest coastal sanctuary, to see sea birds and seals. Afternoon free at the hotel pool or for optional activities.
Tuesday May 21: Buggy rides on the coastal desert dunes in the morning. Return drive to Lima. Farewell dinner at a Peruvian restaurant.
Wednesday May 22: Half-day tour of Lima, Plaza Mayor, Government Palace, Archbishop's Palace, Santo Domingo convent, and old streets with colonial mansions. Afternoon free in Lima. Late night return flight.
Thursday May 23: Return to Cleveland.