Girl Guide Pathfinder Peru Tour - August 7, 2014
- Volunteer Service Project
- Machu Picchu
- Cachiccata Village
- Sacred Valley
Group service project in the Cachiccata community combined with visit of Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu with a chance to explore the Amazon at the end. The Girl Guide Pathfinders, side-by-side with local community members, will work on community improvement projects, planting native trees, and visiting a school to support a healthy breakfast project. You'll stay in the community campground each night to immerse yourselves in the village life and get a fabulous cultural experience. Finish off the trip by exploring the great ruins of Machu Picchu and the Amazon rainforest.
- Day 1 Arrive Lima
- Day 2 Fly Cusco
- Day 3 Sacred Valley
- Day 4 Native Tree Planting in Cachiccata
- Day 5 Local School Visit. Start Community Improvement Project
- Day 6 Healthy Breakfast Project. Continue Community Improvement Project
- Day 7 Finish Projects. Community Celebration
- Day 8 Train to Machu Picchu
- Day 9 Machu Picchu Free Day. Return to Cusco
- Day 10 Fly to Puerto Maldonado. Travel to Amazon Lodge
- Day 11 Explore the Amazon
- Day 12 Amazon Lodge
- Day 13 Return Home
- Nature ViewingIncludes intentional opportunity to observe flora or fauna with an experienced guide.
- Cultural ActivitiesIncludes cultural activities such as a visit to a traditional village or a local market to give a unique perspective.
- HistoryVisit ancient ruins and historical sites.
- CampingDeluxe camping or accommodations in mountain lodges.
- Community StayHomestay with local families or overnight in community-supported campground or lodge for unique cultural immersion.
- Travel with a PurposeService projects and cross-cultural experiences for our travelers to interact with and work alongside local families and in local communities.
- Aranwa Cusco Boutique HotelCasa Andina CuscoCasa Andina Private CollectionCasa CartagenaHotel MonasterioHotel RuinasLibertador Palacio del InkaTaypikala Hotel Cusco
- Casa Andina Private MirafloresCosta del SolCountry Club LimaFaraona Grand HotelJW Marriott Hotel LimaLibertadorMiraflores Park HotelSan Agustin Exclusive
- El MaPiInkaterra Machu Picchu PuebloInti InnSanctuary Lodge
- Hacienda ConcepcionHeath River Wildlife CenterPosada AmazonasRefugio AmazonasReserva AmazonicaSandoval Lake LodgeTambopata Research Center
- Casa Andina Private - Sacred ValleyEl SauceHotel AranwaPakaritampu
Arrive to Lima on the flight of your choice today. After picking up your luggage and clearing customs, walk across the street to the comfortable and conveniently located, Ramada Costa del Sol Hotel. Settle into your room and rest up after your travels. You have an exciting trip ahead, filled with ancient ruins, local markets and the beautiful Andes Mountains!
Andean history comes alive in Cusco. Quechua speaking descendents of the Incas fill the streets and markets, colonial churches sit atop bases of smooth stonework laid centuries before the Conquistadors, and campesinos (Peru's rural farmers) in colorful dress move busily back and forth across the plazas. In the afternoon, you'll tour Cusco's largest open market and the adjacent witches' market. After tasting a few unique local foods, you will visit the Center for Traditional Textiles in Cusco, a local organization committed to preserving the region's weaving traditions. (If visiting the Sacred Valley on Sunday, you will visit their center in Chinchero instead). Watch weavers demonstrate their craft and learn about the history and processes of Peru's most well-known art form.
This morning journey into one of the most beautiful areas of Peru. You'll test your bargaining skills with the locals while visiting one of the great textile markets in the area. You may hike to the inspiring ruins of Pisac, or take a short walk through the countryside to the seldom-visited town of Maras and its pre-Columbian salt mines (still in use today with salt being collected in traditional fashion) as well as the Inca agricultural terraces of Moray, thought to have been a nursery to experiment with and modify different varieties of crops. Eventually, you will make your way to the living Inca city of Ollantaytambo where you can relax for the night.
This morning, accompany the guide to purchase the supplies needed for the native tree planting project. Transfer to Cachiccata, home for the next four nights and meet a representative of the community who will take you to the project site where you will help plant new, native Queuna, Tara, Aliso, and Huaranguay trees, water existing trees, and provide other maintenance at the project facility. The Pathfinders, alongside community members and the guide, will work to improve the local area and assist on projects that need help. You will learn about the history of the project, its sustainability due to the inclusion of the local youth association, and get your hands dirty. Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant in Cachiccata that is located near the project site.
In the afternoon, you will walk to the community-owned, deluxe campground (with hot showers and bathrooms) that is located on the river, and there will be some time to explore the area. With your guide, plan the activities for the next day and enjoy dinner at the campsite.
After an early breakfast, hike to the local school located about 30 minutes downhill. With your guides and teachers, the group will do a needs assessment analysis of school supplies lacking in the classrooms and determine the amount of ingredients needed for our healthy school breakfast program. Breakfast is normally the first meal of the day, but it is vital for students at the Cachiccata school as many of them have to walk for over an hour to get to school. This is often after they have had to help their parents feed the animals and look after their younger siblings.
Next, you will begin work on your community improvement project. We will tailor this time to fit the skills of the group and the needs of the community. It may include cleaning, painting, gardening, construction, etc. As we get closer to the time of the trip, we will assess the needs of the community and work with you to design the most helpful (and rewarding) projects possible.
After the group's lunch, some participants along with one of the guides will travel to Ollantaytambo with the list of needed school supplies and ingredients for the healthy school breakfast. At the market, purchase ingredients for a well-balanced breakfast: Fruits, oatmeal, sugar, milk, cheese, bread, and eggs. The estimated cost is $50 total for the whole breakfast and is purchased locally by the participants. The school supplies will also be purchased at this time, and the small group will return to Cachiccata to have dinner with everyone.
Walk to the Cachiccata School where you are met by the staff to begin preparing breakfast. The teachers will gather the appreciative students, and together you will serve them. Take some time and relish in the smiles, laughter, and youthful energy! Distribute the school supplies to the classrooms and students as well.
After lunch, return to the projects you began the day before, or move on to new ones as time allows.
After breakfast, return to the work site and finish up the rest of your tasks.
As you have worked hard over the last three days alongside the community and helped them improve their quality of life, share in a traditional ceremony and offering to Pachama (Mother Earth). This is a time to reflect on your overall experiences in Peru and particularly your time in the Cachiccata community, and celebrate the accomplishment with a final dinner at the campsite.
Say farewell to Cachiccata and board the train to Machu Picchu. Follow the Urubamba River as it tumbles its way towards the Amazon and the sacred city of Machu Picchu. Ancient canals still bring water from the high mountains to the baths used by Inca priests. As visitors, you're welcomed to respectfully dip your hands in the cool water. After your tour of Machu Picchu, you'll return to Machu Picchu Pueblo (formerly called Aguas Calientes) to soak in the hot springs and dine on local trout fillets.
Today, rise early for a challenging hike up Huayna Picchu. You will be rewarded with the chance to watch the sunrise at Machu Picchu and to listen to the spirits of the city's past inhabitants before the hikers from the Inca Trail arrive. Later you can wander the ruins, take a walk through the lush cloudforest to the Temple of the Moon or hike up along the Inca Trail to the Sun Gate. In the late afternoon you'll return to Cusco.
Catch a flight this morning to Puerto Maldonado and then transfer to the river port on the Madre de Dios River. A 25 minute journey down the Madre de Dios River by motor canoe brings you to the end of the trail into Sandoval Lake Lodge. From here the trail takes you on a 2-mile walk or rickshaw ride through secondary forest, until we reach a small canal where we board canoes and are paddled 220 yards through a flooded forest of 100-foot tall Mauritia palms. As the canal opens onto the shimmering surface of the lake, you will transfer to a catamaran and be leisurely paddled halfway across the lake to the lodge. After lunch and a brief rest to avoid the early afternoon heat, you once again board the catamaran and set off to explore the entire west end of the lake. Here, in the flooded palm forest you'll drift to the sounds of hundreds of Red-Bellied Macaws as they return to the palm forest for the night. Return to the lodge around nightfall for dinner. After dinner you will return to the canoes to look for the large and extremely rare Black Caimans. If it's a clear starlit night, take advantage of the stupendous stargazing as you float in the middle of the lake.
A pre-dawn wake-up call will enable you to be on the lake for sunrise, when the resident wildlife is most active. With luck you'll encounter the family of Giant Otters which frequent the lake. Most of the fish-eating water birds around the lake actively fish in the early morning as well, and this outing should provide excellent views - and photographs - of the prehistoric-looking Hoatzins. After returning for a late breakfast, set off into the cool understory of the tall virgin forest around the lake. You'll pass through towering wild Brazil Nut trees, and see a demonstration of how your hosts collect, open and commercialize this important natural product. Once you've eaten lunch and had an hour or so to relax, you will once again board the catamaran to explore the eastern part of the lake. You can hope to see one or more of the five species of monkeys, like the Brown Capuchin Monkey, which live in the forest near the lake. There is an opportunity again after dinner to try and spot some Black Caimans on the lake, or to go on a short night walk through the primary forest.
Rising once again at dawn, have a quick snack before boarding the catamarans to explore the western end of the lake in the hope of an encounter with Giant Otters. After a late breakfast you will explore some of the rainforest trails with your knowledgeable resident naturalist guide. As you walk, the forest will be brought to life as your guide explains the ecology of the rainforest and its diverse flora and fauna. Return for lunch, and then have an optional rest for those wanting to escape the early afternoon heat. For those still full of energy, there is an option to independently explore some of the forest trails. In the cooler late afternoon you will once again board the catamaran to explore the eastern end of the lake, and hopefully experience a spectacular sunset over the lake before returning to the lodge for dinner. After dinner, there is a final chance to look for Black Caiman on the lake, or to go on a short night hike through the forest.
Day 13 Return Home (B)
After an early morning breakfast you will take a final, shorter paddle around the west end of the lake to try and glimpse the Giant Otters one more time before returning to Puerto Maldonado to catch your flight to Lima. In Lima, bid farewell to Peru as you catch your flight for home.
|$650||Internal Flights (Lima-Cusco-Puerto Maldonado-Lima)|
|Flight costs subject to change|