PERÚ CUSTOM TRAVEL
Perú : Immense, rugged, colorful, vibrant and mystic. No one word or idea can symbolize a land so diverse in geography, culture and history. Perú is the destination for adventure. Whether enjoying the sun rising above Lake Titicaca, tracking a wild boar in the Amazon Basin, dancing to salsa music in Lima, watching wheat sway in the shadow of the mighty Andes, or spying a rainbow forming above the ruins at Machu Picchu, Perú will take your breath away. The contrasts of Perú permeate every part of the country. Despite its beauty, there are large discrepancies among socioeconomic classes and wide differences in standards of living throughout the country. There is need for help and aid in the wake of a divisive colonial legacy, natural disasters and decades of uneven development. Walking Tree invites you spend a portion of your summer with us in Perú, exploring and sharing in meaningful service and unforgettable adventure.
All Peruvian adventures begin when we land in the capital city of Lima. A large, vibrant metropolis, Lima has everything from glitzy seaside resorts to impoverished communities. The group can take Latin dance lessons and a walking tour of central Lima. We can gather at the top of Cerro San Cristobal to see the city unfold in front of us and talk about the differences in wealth and prosperity among Limeños, as the residents are called. The group can also visit CIMA, a home for abandoned youth, where the residents work in small vocational workshops after school hours. Our travelers will work with the local youth, making friends and lending a hand.
Lake Titcaca is the world’s highest navigable lake and forms the border between Perú and Bolivia. Our groups can spend time visiting the floating islands of the Uros, an indigenous group that lives on a series of islands made of floating reeds. We will continue on to Taquile, a remote island where students can learn about unique customs and enjoy sweeping views of the lake. An overnight is possible on Taquile, where participants would spend the night with local families.
AREQUIPA AND THE COLCA CANYON
Surrounded by three stunning volcanoes and constructed almost entirely out of a brilliant white volcanic stone, Arequipa is simply enchanting. We can spend a day touring the impressive city center and colonial neighborhoods that date to hundreds of years ago, visit a must-see museum dedicated to a recently discovered Incan mummy, and admire towering cathedrals. No visit to Arequipa is complete without an overnight trip to visit the Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest. The group will spend time hiking and taking pictures of the enormous Andean Condors that soar above the unending depth of the canyon.
CUSCO, OLLANTAYTAMBO AND THE SACRED VALLEY
The Sacred Valley of the Incas is cradled by the might Andes and is probably the most famous area in all of Peru. Cusco, the capital of the ancient Incan empire, is best explored by wandering the cobble stone streets stopping frequently to marvel at the beautiful Spanish colonial buildings juxtaposed with Incan city planning, sample local delicacies, catch your breath or sip coca tea. Walking Tree encourages groups to spend time in Ollantaytambo, the best preserved Incan city in the heart of the Sacred Valley. Travelers can live with local families or together in guesthouses and spend their days working with the community on a variety of service projects and/or take time to explore local markets, mountain bike around Incan ruins, and enjoy the valley’s beauty.
One of the seven man-made wonders of the world, the name Machu Picchu conjures images of misty peaks and impossible ingenuity. There are two ways Walking Tree visits Machu Picchu. The first is a guided two-day hike through cloud forests, along the banks of the Urabamba River and up to this mountain citadel, a route far less traveled than the traditional Incan Trail. For those with less time, there is an easy, efficient and scenic train ride. Once among the ruins, we will learn about the history and importance of Machu Picchu and climb to the top of Wayna Picchu for one of the best views of the ruins available.
The Amazon jungle constitutes the largest collection of living plants and animal species in the world. From the comfort of an eco-lodge participants can explore the jungle by day and night. Guided by local experts we can search for monkeys, caimans, wild boars, capybaras and more, fish for piranhas, bathe in hot springs and marvel at the abundance of wildlife and raw energy of the Amazon Basin.