Cuzco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu,
Quechua Village, Lake Titicaca, Uyuni,
La Paz, Atacama Desert
Folk Dancing, Folk Music, History, Culture, Art, and Adventure!
When: May 20-June 1, 2023
Led by: Martha Tavera
★ Visit historic Peruvian and Bolivian cities, folkloric villages, exotic Atacama Desert in Chile
★ Folk Dancing, art, history, culture
★ Meetings with of local dance groups
★ International folk dancing
★ Our price includes round-trip airfare, city tours, transfers, hotels,
11 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 6 dinners. and our own private bus.
Land Only: $4995 app.
Land and Air: $6295 app.
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Day 1: Monday, May 20: Departure
Depart from JFK airport in New York City on LATAM airlines.
After clearing customs and retrieving your bags you will head to LATAM domestic counter and check-in for your connecting flight to Cuzco. A short but spectacular flight over the snow-capped Andes to the oldest inhabited city in the hemisphere, Cuzco, at an elevation of 11,440 feet. Immediate transfer to the Sacred Valley at 8,200 feet of altitude. Upon arrival a host will meet and Transfer you to Del Pilar Urubamba hotel in Sacred Valley, check-in and get some rest to acclimate to the altitude. On route to the Sacred Valley you will visit the Living Museum of the Andes showcase the South American Camelids such as llamas, vicuñas, guanacos and alpacas in their native environment. You will also enjoy a spinning and weaving demonstration of ancient techniques on how to make clothing from the wool fibers of these animals. You can also see native flowers and some agricultural terraces from the Inca times. This afternoon enjoy a special musical experience with BACK TO THE ROOTS OF PRE- HISPANIC MUSIC. Experience the sounds of the past in this musical adventure in the heart of the Andes. Discover musical history in its purest essence by being introduced to the Andean value of sounds immersed in the spiritual concepts of life in each instrument. For 2 hours you will encounter the ancient sounds of war, harvest and love and even your own spiritual sound in this mystical endeavor where you would participate playing some of the pre-Inca, Inca and colonial instruments. It is a unique and special experience with cultural interaction.
After Breakfast meet your guide at the lobby for your tour to Maras, Moray and Quechua Village. Pass through unspoiled and picturesque Andean communities on your way to the Incan agricultural experimental center of Moray, famous for its sunken amphitheater, made up of four circular terraces, which appear to fade away into the earth like an artificial crater. The site was apparently an Inca agricultural research station filled with fertile earth and watered by complex irrigation systems, designed for experimenting with crops at various altitudes (some of which run down to depths of 100 meters). Continue to the impressive Maras salt pools formed by water emerging from a lake inside a mountain in the Urubamba Valley. An amazing view of evaporating ponds for the extraction of salt. Learn about ancestral techniques, which are still used, in agricultural, irrigation and salt-recollection tasks, as well as in Andean festivals and rites. Visit an authentic Quechua Village to feel the way of life of the Inca’s ancestors. The Inca himself was a noble Quechua. They live off the land and are always wearing their colorful ponchos, see Quechua children scamper about while woman are weaving their family’s clothes. A meaningful experience! Lunch at “Wayra”, while having lunch you will enjoy a Paso horses show.
“Caballo de Paso” known worldwide for their smooth gaited movements and unusual spirit. No other horse combines strength, intelligence and beauty so perfectly as the Peruvian Paso Horse. The particular characteristic of the Paso Horse is precisely the reason for its name: the sublime charm of its typical step. As it walks, its front legs step very high and forward while the hooves sway to the sides in a graceful and synchronized movement. Enjoy a delightful demonstration of the skills of this unique member of the horse kingdom. Lunch at the celebrated Wayra at “Sol y Luna” in the Sacred Valley. Meals: breakfast and lunch.
Day 9: Tuesday, May 28: Sun Island/La Paz
Breakfast at the hotel. The morning is at leisure. Around noon visit the Inca “Grand Stairs” and the Sacred Fountain; taste the water believed to give eternal youth and happiness. Lunch at the Uma Kollu archaeological Restaurant; Visit the small handicraft market. Hydrofoil cruise to Moon Island, visit the Sun Virgins Temple “Iñak Uyu”. Hydrofoil cruise back to Copacabana and overland journey to LA Paz, by a road running parallel to the mighty snowed peaks of the Andes. Transfer to the Hotel presidente, check-in. Early evening dinner at a local restaurant and Folklore show. Enjoy a 2-hour spectacle full of color and rhythm with the most representative dances of Bolivia, like the Morenada, Caporales and Tinkus. Meals: breakfast lunch and dinner.
This morning transfer to the airport in time for Amazonas Airlines flight # 8302 departing at 8:35 a.m, arriving in Uyuni at 9:25 a.m. Upon arrival, and after retrieving your bags, you will be met by our representative and immediately start an excursion to the Salt Lake and Isla Incawasi. Uyuni is the largest salt flat on Earth, located on the Bolivian Andean Altiplano with 12.000 square Km; the Bolivian Andes offer stunning sceneries which can be hardly matched. The sound of silence makes the heart beats faster and the surreal pentagons of crystalline salt, the pure sky and the cacti, certainly makes you feel that there is no other place like this in the whole world. Lunch at Isla “Incawasi”, an oasis with formations of algae and fossils. It is covered by thousands of giant columnar cacti, which can be more than a hundred years old, growing to a height of over 12 meters. The landscape against the background of the salt pans extending to the horizon makes it an ideal place for photography hunters. Return to your hotel. Overnight at Jardines de Uyuni Hotel. Meals: breakfast and lunch.
Breakfast at the hotel. Pick up from the hotel and enter the National Park Eduardo Avaroa, with a surface of 714,745 hectares, located at the SW of Potosi in the province of Sud Lipez. The local fauna features unique species adapted to the extreme living conditions in this region, some of them endangered. This place is unique thanks to its lakes, salt pans, volcanoes, snowcapped peaks, plains, thermal springs, some rivers rich in algae and plankton, geothermal geysers, flora and general topography. Visit Laguna Colorada runs through a unique landscape of deserts and mountains. With an area of 60 km2, at an altitude of 4,278 meters, Laguna Colorada is characterized by the red tone of its waters. It is inhabited by flocks of flamingoes of three species: tokoko (with red plumage), chururu (with whitish plumage) and jututu (with pink plumage). The scenery is exceptionally beautiful at these heights, set off by the impressive redness of the Lagoon. This is considered to be the most important flamingo watching site in the region. Also vicuñas, llamas and vizcachas can be seen. Continue to “Sol de Mañana” Geysers, with fumaroles and volcanic craters of spectacular formation, covering 1 Km2, featuring intense volcanic and fumaroles activity. The crater bottoms display boiling lava; the fumaroles emit spouts of mixed water and superheated steam reaching 80 to 100 mtrs height; this phenomena displays a landscape dating from the beginning of the earth. This geothermal field is located at an altitude of 4.900 mtrs. Visit Laguna Verde, looking as a giant emerald, from where there is an impressive view of Licancabur Volcano, at an altitude of 5,865 mtrs. The special brightness of its green waters in the afternoon is dazzling. The intensely green coloring is due to high magnesium content. Box Lunch included. Overland journey to Hito Cajón (Bolivia/Chile border). At arrival at the border you will be met by our Chile representative and transferred to the Kimal Hotel in San Pedro de Atacama, check-in.
This evening you meet your guide at the lobby for your Astronomic Tour. Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes approx. Subject to weather conditions the main purpose of the tour is that visitors may fully experience the Atacama Desert’s amazing nights, one of the best places in the world for stargazing. This unforgettable experience initiates visitors in the observation of the universe and offers the possibility of astronomical viewing through high-powered telescopes. The first part of the tour provides an explanation of the skies seen through the naked eye. It offers basic concepts of what is viewed, such as constellations, what to learn from them, how to read a map of the skies and recognize important stars. When the moon is vile, a second possibility is offered involving direct observation through telescopes and taking pictures. This is a unique experience that cannot be compared with images found in books or in the Internet. The chance of viewing the stars or a planet like Saturn definitely offers unforgettable moments. Notes: These tours are offered on a daily basis and are only suspended when there is a full moon. The tours are 2 ½ hours long and end with a hot beverage before returning to San Pedro. The desert nights are cold so that warm clothing is recommended in order to enjoy the tour at ease. Meals: breakfast, box lunch and dinner.
This tour offers visits to two quite different spots in the same area: a breath- taking dawn in the immensity of the desert and the simple life of a small shepherd settlement. Early departure to the El Tatio Geysers geothermal field, located at an altitude of 4,000 meters (13,000 ft.) which offers an amazing spectacle at dawn: steaming fumaroles that can reach up to 6 meters of altitude (19 ft.). The experience is complemented with guided walks through the hot craters of mud and small geysers. Arrival to San Pedro de Atacama.
Duration 8 hours. Meals: breakfast
This tour gives the feeling that we are walking on the surface of another planet. The 43-kilometre ride leads to the Cordillera de la Sal (salt mountain range) a group of attractive natural stone and sand sculptures that millions of years ago formed part of a large lake. Once here, visitors are taken to a surprising lookout to enjoy views of the valley and next destinations. The next stop is the awesome Valle de Marte (valley of Mars) also known as the Valle de la Muerte (Death Valley) with its peculiar stone formations and absolute desert landscape: no vegetation or insects to be seen in what is considered one of the country’s most barren regions.
Accommodations as follows including breakfast and service charge & taxes
May 21-23, Sacred Valley, Del Pilar Urubamba – Standard room
May 23-24, Machu Picchu Pueblo, Casa Andina Machu Picchu – Traditional room
May 24-26, Cuzco, Xima Cuzco Hotel – Standard room
May 26-27, Huatajata, Inca Utama Hotel – Standard room
May 27-28, Sun Island, Posada del Inka Eco Lodge – Standard room
May 28- May 29, La Paz, Hotel Presidente – Standard room
May 29-May 30, Uyuni, Jardines de Uyuni – Standard room
May 30-June 01, San Pedro de Atacama, Hotel Kimal – Standard room
Martha Tavera was born in Lima, Peru. She attended college in South America and began her career working in the American Embassy in Peru for 3 years. Before she opened Marnella Tours 32 years ago, she worked for American Airlines, Viasa Airways, and Argentina Airlines. During this time she became a member of SITE and was responsible for assisting the opening of the SITE Chapter in Mexico and Brazil. Her travel experience has always been in Tour Operation and Incentives. This gave her a foundation for understanding group travel and also viewing at clients as VIPs and not just clients. She is now in the field of consulting and teaching new employees in the company as well as special customized programs. For more about Martha’s career and life go to: https://bit.ly/2kzlB6Z
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