Adventure - Art - Culture - Juniors Abroad at George Fox

Peru/Bolivia

Faculty: Jonathan Andregg, Steve Grant
Meeting Time: M - 6:30 - 9:00 PM   

Student Cost: $2150 (Visa fee $160 if travel to Boliva.  0 if not)
Travel Dates: May 5 - May 23, 2020

Pink dolphins! Flamingos! Piranhas! Iguanas! Thermal baths! Salt Flats! Oh, and Machu Picchu!

This trip will fulfill bucket list items you didn’t even know should be on your bucket list. We will fly into Lima, Peru, for a boat trip up the Amazon into the jungle where, after our encounter with pink dolphins, we will learn about the environment and the indigenous culture, including getting mud treatments for our skin and fishing for piranha. We will then go to the Sacred Valley of the Incas through the stunning scenery of the Andes Mountains and learn about the famous Peruvian ceramics.

Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a 15thcentury Incan estate that the outside world only learned about in 1911. Our hike up (and I mean UP!...8050 feet in elevation) to Machu Picchu will take us through villages and amazing scenery, and our very knowledgeable guide will reveal some of mysteries of this magical city.

We will continue on to Cuzco, to Lake Titicaca and Amantani Island, where we will get to meet and stay with some of the local people, learning about their folklore and crafts.

Leaving Peru, we will enter Bolivia and proceed to La Paz, the highest capital of the world, where we can ride the cable car system over this remarkable city. From here we will go to the Uyuni Salt Mines for a four-day four-wheel-drive adventure through geothermal lagoons and flamingo breeding grounds, and terrain you can’t even imagine.

There is so much more included in this trip!

Beware: You must be prepared for serious hiking, high altitudes, and adventure! 

Preliminary Itinerary:

DAY 1 (May 5th): TRAVEL
After an early flight out of PDX, we will arrive late in the day in Lima, Peru.

DAY 2 (May 6th): LIMA
Morning: we’ll have the chance to enjoy Lima city downtown- San Francisco monastery and catacombs, Lima Cathedral and main square
Afternoon: lunch at Larcomar and free time to explore Miraflores

DAY 3 (May 7th): TRAVEL FROM LIMA TO CUZCO
Fly from Lima to Cuzco; transport by bus to Sacred Valley and stay in Urubamba

DAY 4 (May 8th): THE ANDES & THE SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS
Travel by minivan towards the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Expect stunning scenery throughout the 3 hour drive. Stop at Pisaq village. The glaciated summits of the Vilcanota Mountain range and the descent into the Urubamba River valley demonstrate the dramatic contrasts of the Andes Mountains.

DAY 5 (May 9th): DAY HIKE TO MACHUPICCHU/THE SUN GATE
Catch a train to Aguas Calientes and go through the beautiful Urubamba River Valley.
The trail starts at 6,600 feet in the Cloud forest. We’ll see many small Inca sites including Chachabamba and Wiñaywayna. After our lunch stop at Winay Wayna, hike takes us across a steep mountainside through lush, humid cloud-forest of giant ferns, broad-leaf vegetation. We cross the stone threshold of Intipunku (Sun Gate) and encounter an unforgettable sweep of natural beauty and the magical city of Machu Picchu (8,050 ft.)

DAY 6 (May 10th): MACHUPICCHU TOUR + PM TRAIN TO CUSCO CITY
Full guided tour of Machu Picchu. Our guide will explain this magical place.
Free afternoon at Aguas Calientes or optional hike up the stunning views of Huayna Picchu, board the train to Ollantaytambo and then continue by minivan to Cusco. 

DAY 7 (May 11th): FREE DAY IN CUZCO
Guides will be available to take you on tours of this ancient center of Quechuan culture.  You can take time to shop in the square, tour the many cathedrals and Quechuan sites or catch a tour bus to Laguna Humantay, Rainbow Mountains, or other excursions.

DAY 8 (May 12th): FREE DAY IN CUZCO
A second free day in Cuzco.  Guides will be available for local excursions.

DAY 9 (May 13th): TRANSFER TO LA PAZ (BOLIVIAN CAPITAL) AND UYUNI
We will fly from Cuzco to the Bolivian capital of La Paz, the highest capital in the world or the ‘Tibet of the Americas’.  We will continue on to Uyuni, Bolivia and a sunset over the salt flats.

DAY 10 (May 14th): UYUNI SALT MINES. 1stday 4WD ADVENTURE
Begin a three day 4WD adventure to discover the incredible landscapes of Salar de Uyuni, including salt flats, colorful lagoons and cactus islands. Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat, covering over four thousand square miles. We will drive via San Cristobal village and through the rocky valley where we see some remarkable stone formations. Finally, we will arrive at the area of Villamar, where our unique hotel is located (4,044m).

DAY 11 (May 15th): UYUNI SALT MINES: 2nd  day 4WD ADVENTURE
First stop at Polques Thermal Baths, where you can enjoy a dip in the warm waters, then will go to Eduardo Avaroa National Parkand the Sol de Mañana hot springs. At the end of the day we'll visit Laguna Colorada (red lagoon), Laguna Verde (green lagoon) and Laguna Blanca (white lagoon). Flamingo breeding grounds are found here and we’re certain to see flocks of them at the lagoons, as well as possibly vicunas and Andean geese.

DAY 12 (May 16th): UYUNI SALT MINES: 3rd  day 4WD ADVENTURE + PM FLIGHT TO LA PAZ BOLIVIA
We’ll spend the day on the salt flats. Wonderful photo opportunities! Visit Incahuasi Island, known for its giant cacti and unusual fossils. This small island on the middle of the salt flats is an amazing sight and we have the chance to walk across it for 360 views from the top. 

DAY 13 (May 17th): LA PAZ CITY AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
We’ll fly from Uyuni back to La Paz.  Tour the city: main square, presidential palace, government congress buildings, Cathedral, Basilica of San Francisco, ‘Calle Jaén’, one of the city's best preserved colonial streets.

DAY 14 (May 18th): LA PAZ CITY AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
A visit to La Paz would not be complete without riding the innovative cable car system for views over the entire city. We will also visit the ‘Moon Valley’, known for its intriguing landforms of eroded canyons, pinnacles and cactuses.

DAY 15 (May 19th): LA PAZ TO PUNO, PERU
We will take a bus from La Paz to the Peruvian border town of Desaguadero.  On the way, we will tour Tiahuankaku (the major pre-Incan site in Bolivia).  We’ll arrive in Puno and spend the night near the main town square.

DAY 16 (May 20th): AMANTANI ISLAND
From Puno, we’ll take a boat out on Lake Titicaca (the highest navigable lake in the world).  We’ll enjoy a homestay on Amantani Island.  Visit the local primary school. Interaction with children. Lunch at homestay and afternoon free to explore the island, visit the weaving centers to learn about their knitting and spinning techniques and much more.  Sunset views from atop the island are stunning.

DAY 17 (May 21st): TRAVEL FROM AMANTANI TO IQUITOS
We’ll say farewell to our homestay families on Amantani and travel by boat back to Puno.  We will bus from Puno up to the airport in Juliaca to fly across Peru to the jungle heat of Iquitos.

DAY 18 (May 22nd): AMAZON LODGE
Travel from Iquitos up river to the Amazon Lodge.
Morning: Avatar Amazon Park: Canopy attraction: an experience full of adrenaline! 
Afternoon: Visit the indigenous community "Yagua" to enjoy an exhibition of their songs, dances, forms of hunting and crafts. 

DAY 19 (May 23rd): AMAZON LODGE
Adventure in the jungle
: Sunrise tour + bird watching tour+ view of the jungle. We will spend the day exploring and conducting different activities: piranha fishing, boating, hiking, swimming in the Rio Amazonas and will enjoy an excellent mud treatment for the skin in the fabulous natural spa jungle can offer.

Day 20 (May 24th): AMAZON LODGE
Using small boats, we will experience one of the most magical moment of the trip, which is to watch and swim with pink dolphins playing around the boat. We’ll also see the biggest aquatic plant in the world, the famous Victoria Regia and iguanas.

DAY 21 (May 25th): RETURN TO IQUITOS
After a sunrise tour of bird watching and hearing the sounds of the jungle one last time, we will lunch at the Amazon lodge and boat back to Iquitos.  Evening free in Iquitos.

DAY 22 (May 26th): TRAVEL FROM IQUITOS BACK TO LIMA
We’ll fly back to Lima and enjoy a final day in Peru’s capital.  We’ll return to the Lima airport after dinner for a late flight back to the U.S.

DAY 23 (May 27th): RETURN HOME
Overnight flight back to Portland via Houston, TX.