Program photograph
Upcoming Programs:
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Peru: Machu Picchu

June 10-20, 2009
Faculty: Jose Fuentes, U.Va. Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences

Price: $5,190* Land Program

Receive a $250 per person discount if you register by May 15, 2009 for a per person rate of $4,940!

* Does not include international air, but arrangements will be made at your request.

Please call us at 866-765-2646

Registration is Open

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For the world traveler eager to explore South America, Peru is one of the first destinations to visit, for her awesome Andean landscapes, remarkable archaeological treasures, rich colonial heritage and fascinating indigenous cultures. From the bustling colonial port of Lima at the foot of the Andes to the center of the Inca universe at Cuzco, Peru is a cornucopia of history, peoples, legends and traditions.

Together we'll discover Lima's colonial and pre-Columbian treasures, including a visit to the home of art collector Enrico Poli to see his private collection of magnificent gold pieces from Sipán, the richest burial chamber ever found in the Americas. Our journey continues to Cuzco and the Sacred Valley, where – after  acclimatizing to Andean altitudes – we will embark on an exploration of the superb archaeological sites and colonial treasures of the area, including a dramatic train ride to the enchanting site of Machu Picchu. Here, comfortably lodged just below the site, we'll have two days to contemplate the serene sanctity of the "Lost City of the Incas." Throughout our journey, we'll experience the marvelous flavors of Peru in its regional cuisine and witness the influence of the Spanish colonizers. With our expert leadership, we will truly enjoy and appreciate the incredible cultural and geographic diversity of Peru.

What to Expect

This exclusive expedition is designed for University of Virginia alumni and friends who are interested in archaeology, history and the ancient cultures of Peru and its rich natural environment.    Throughout Andean cities, temperatures range from 30°-40° F at night and to 60°-75° F during the day. Although travel is during the dry season, there is always the possibility of rain. Travel is by motorcoach, regular scheduled jet planes and train (and by boat on the optionalextension). This is a moderately active program that is, at times, busy. Daily programs involve one to two miles of walking, often over uneven terrain, at a leisurely pace. There is some stair climbing, and at many ruins stairs do not have handrails. In the Andes we spend several days at elevations from approximately 8,000 to 11,200 feet, or approximately 12,500 feet if you continue on the optionalextension to Lake Titicaca. The tour has been planned to allow for gradual acclimatization when traveling to the Andean highlands. We initially stay in the Valley at approximately 8,500 feet; then continue to Machu Picchu at 7,600 feet, leaving Cuzco (and Puno on the extension) for the end after complete acclimatization. Lima, the capital of Peru, is at sea level.

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Program Highlights

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Jose Antonio Hotel is centrally located in Miraflores, an exclusive residential and commercial district three blocks from the Pacific Ocean. The hotel is within walking distance of shopping, commercial and cultural areas, and close to the best restaurants, parks and entertainment venues in Lima. Hotel facilities include an outdoor pool, laundry service, internet access and room service.

Posada del Inca Yucay is a former 18th-century colonial-style monastery, located in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and surrounded by beautiful gardens. Its unique location—only 45 minutes from Cuzco—and lower altitude of 8,500 feet make it the ideal place to acclimate to high altitude and allow easy access to the sites of the Sacred Valley. This charming posada has 84 guest rooms, all equipped with color TV, international phone access and views of the courtyards and gardens. Internet service is available.

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel is an intimate 85-cottage luxury hotel. Located below the ruins in Aguas Caliente within 12 acres of exquisite beauty, guests follow stone pathways to their rooms, located in comfortable one- or two-story whitewashed casitas. Every hotel casita offers a space for retreat and repose at the foot of Machu Picchu with thick alpaca blankets and wool coverlets, crackling fireplaces, spa-style bathrooms and comfortable areas for sitting and dining. Spa services use sublime natural essences, and a first-class restaurant boasts stunning views of the rushing Vilcanota River. The lovely gardens of the hotel are a great place for bird watching.

Novotel is located in the heart of the historic center, close to the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral and the Koricancha Temple, and 10 minutes from the Cuzco airport. It is housed in a 16th-century building with a spectacular central courtyard.

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9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners

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U.Va. Faculty: Jose D. Fuentes, U.Va. Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences

Jose D. Fuentes pursues research in the area of weather and climate. His research projects take him to places such as the Amazonian region, the North Pole, Senegal and the Florida Everglades. One key area Professor Fuentes is investigating is how human activity is changing the air composition close to the ground, and how such changes are affecting regional climate. During summer 2006, he participated in Semester at Sea where he toured all the Latin American countries along the Pacific Ocean. He taught two courses: one on climate change and another one on the weather features observed in Latin America. Students study the reasons why the glaciers on the Andean Mountains of South America are retreating. He is fluent in Spanish.


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Day 1 - U.S. / Lima

Depart the U.S for Lima. Upon arrival in Lima, transfer to the Jose Antonio Hotel.

Day 2 - Lima

Our day begins with a brief orientation followed by a visit to some of Lima's main colonial sites including the Cathedral, "Plaza de Armas" (main square), the Monastery of San Francisco, Government and Archbishop's Palaces, Inquisition Square and the Torre Tagle Palace. Then we'll visit the pre-Inca temple of Huaca Huallamarca, located in the residential area of San Isidro. In the afternoon we travel to the private home of Enrico Poli to see his superb collection of pre-Columbian and colonial artifacts including royal gold pieces from the discoveries at Sipán in the north of Peru, featured in National Geographic. Tonight, we gather for a special welcome dinner.
Jose Antonio Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 3 - Lima

Today we'll visit the laboratory of archaeologist Guillermo Cook to see incredibly well-preserved mummies and artifacts. We continue to the renowned National Anthropological and Archaeological Museum with its extensive collection of pottery, weavings and monoliths from the pre-Columbian civilizations. This evening we'll gather for dinner at the La Rosa Nautica Restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
JoseAntonioHotel (B, L, D)

Day 4 - Lima / Cuzco / Yucay

Today we fly to Cuzco. Upon arrival, we'll transfer to Posada del Inca Yucay Hotel located in the Urubamba Valley (altitude approx. 8,500 feet) to acclimatize. A special visit has been arranged for us at an agricultural school run by nuns for local children. The school teaches the children agricultural techniques and the production of dairy products, as well as history and language. We'll partake in an informal exchange with the nuns to learn about their teaching methods and interaction with local families. Later, we travel to the town of Urubamba, home to a famous ceramist and former architect, Pablo Seminario, who uses ancient Inca techniques to create reproductions and original cermics.
Posada del Inca Yucay Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 5 - Yucay / Pisac / Ollantaytambo

We depart this morning for the village and colorful Pisac market, filled with traditional Andean weavings, pottery and paintings. Lunch is at the private Hacienda Huayoccari, with panoramic vistas overlooking the Sacred Valley of the Incas and boasting a fine collection of colonial art. After lunch, we'll visit the intriguing Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo, the only living Inca city where ancient agricultural terraces are still in use today.
Posada del Inca Yucay Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 6 - Yucay / Ollantaytambo / Machu Picchu

This morning we board a train for a dramatic journey through the Urubamba Valley to the "Lost City of the Incas" – Machu Picchu (altitude 7,600 feet). Located above the rainforest of the eastern slopes of the Andes, Machu Picchu was abandoned by the Incas and remained hidden in the jungle until 1911 when Hiram Bingham rediscovered it. Our overnight stay affords the opportunity to fully explore this extraordinary archaeological site surrounded by stunning peaks.
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 7 - Machu Picchu / Cuzco

This morning is unscheduled for independent exploration of Machu Picchu. Those who wish may walk to the "Gate of the Sun" or climb Huayna Picchu, the peak that rises dramatically above the ancient ruins. After lunch we depart by train, entering Cuzco at dusk.
Novotel (B, L)

Day 8 - Cuzco / Chinchero / Moray

Today, we'll drive to the village of Chinchero for spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley and the Vilcabamba Mountain. The main plaza, the nearby Inca ruins and the Sunday market, where bartering is still practiced, are some of its many attractions. We continue to the ancient Inca agricultural site of Moray, and to Maras to see salt mines from the same period. Here we'll wander further into the maze of stark white salt pools—a photographer's paradise! On our return to Cuzco, we'll stop at the Awanacancha Interpretation Center for an opportunity to feed llamas and alpacas.
Novotel (B, L, D)

Day 9 - Cuzco

Perched high in the Andes at 11,155 feet, Cuzco was the capital of the Inca Empire. The oldest continuously inhabited city in South America, Cuzco is a fascinating and colorful paradox of past and present. A morning city tour includes superb examples of colonial Spanish architecture built atop thick Incan stone walls. Just outside of Cuzco we'll visit the renowned Incan fortress of Sacsayhuamán, which overlooks the city's red tile roofs. Here, massive stone blocks were fitted together so tightly, without the use of a mortar, that a knife blade cannot be inserted between them. Tonight we'll enjoy a farewell dinner in the imperial city of the Incas.
Novotel (B, L, D)

Day 10 - Cuzco / Lima / U.S.

We fly this morning to Lima. The remainder of the day is on our own. A hotel room is available until the time to transfer to the airport for the overnight flight to Miami. Alternatively, there is the choice to overnight in Lima tonight and depart for Miami on an early morning flight tomorrow.
JoseAntonioHotel (B)

Day 11 - Return to U.S.

Arrive in the U.S. this morning and connect with your flight home.

OptionalExtension to Lake Titicaca Days 10-13
Morning is free in Cuzco to further explore this fascinating city. Your guide is available to accompany you around Cuzco or give directions. In the afternoon, fly to Juliaca and transfer to Puno and scenic Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. This is an area where horizons seem limitless, the air is unusually clear, and the lake is of a vivid blue. Visit the pre-Inca chulpas, or circular funeral towers of Sillustani, overlooking Lake Umayo. Navigate Lake Titicaca with the Royal Andes in the background and see the floating islands of the Uro Indians, ancient inhabitants of Lake Titicaca. Houses, boats and the islands themselves are crafted out of the ubiquitous Totora reed. Visit Tequile Island or the community of Lichen on the shores of Lake Titicaca inhabited by Quechua-speaking Indians. See their hand-woven textiles and colorful dresses. Their ancient communal way of life is fascinating. Extension includes two nights in Puno at Posada del Inca Puno Hotel and one night in Lima at Jose Antonio Hotel,all transportation including airfare between Cuzco and Juliaca and return to Lima, five meals and tour leadership.

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Program Fees

Land Program: $5,190* receive a $250 per person discount of you register by May 15, 2009.
With the discount, the Per Person double occupancy rate is $4,940.
The land program cost includes airfare for two in-tour flights. but does not include international air to Peru.

Single Supplement: $650* now only $499!
(Subject to availability, on a first-come, first-served basis)
* Should you request to share a twin room, we will attempt to find a roommate for you. However, if at the time of final payment no roommate is available, the single supplement fee is charged.

Sample Coach Airfare from Miami $750**
(**as of July 2008, subject to change)

Optional Extension to Lake Titicaca $1,185
(Per person, double occupancy). Single supplement for the extension is $185. The price quoted is based on a minimum of 10 passengers participating on the extension.

Price Includes:

Price Does Not Include: International and U.S. domestic airfare (quoted separately); international departure tax; meals not specified in the itinerary; alcoholic beverages other than wine or beer at welcome and farewell dinner; airport transfers for those not on group flights; personal items such as laundry, fax or telephone calls, bottled water, liquor, dishes and beverages not part of included meals; room service; passport fees; airline baggage charges; individual transfers; medical expenses; travel insurance; optional extensions or deviations from the scheduled tour. Any increases in the in-tour airfare (included as part of the program cost), airport taxes, security or fuel surcharges imposed after the initial pricing of this program are not included.

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How To Register

Please call us to register : 866-765-2646

The best way to register is by phone so that we can ensure we are meeting all of your needs. Please call us at 866-765-2646. Or e-mail with your contact information and the best time to reach you.

The programs and tour arrangements are designed by Royal Adventures, a California firm specializing in upscale travel.

A deposit of $500 per person is required to reserve your spot. Final invoicing will be done approximately 4 months prior to departure. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure.

Deposit can be paid by credit card (Visa or MasterCard). Balance must be paid by check. Make check payable to Royal Adventures.

Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.

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General Terms & Conditions

Deposits and Final Payment: Deposits may be charged to a credit card. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure, and must be paid by check payable to the operator, Royal Adventures. Royal Adventures handles all bookings, ticketing and invoicing. CST #2009579-40.

Cancellations and Refunds: Refunds, less a cancellation fee of $350 per person, are made if we are notified in writing on or before the deadline for final payment. No refunds are made after that date. All cancellations must be made in writing. There are no refunds for unused meals, accommodations or other trip features.

Insurance: We highly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance. An application for trip cancellation insurance will be available upon confirmation. Neither the University of Virginia Alumni Travel Program nor Royal Adventures accepts liability for any airline cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a non-refundable airline ticket or other expenses incurred by tour participants in preparing for the tour.

Questions: Please call or e-mail the University of Virginia Alumni Travel Program at 866-765-2646 or 434-243-4984; E-mail

Responsibilities: Royal Adventures (CST #2009579-40), its owners and employees, act only as agents for the various independent suppliers and contractors providing transportation, hotel accommodations, restaurant and other services connected with this tour. Such travel and services are subject to the terms and conditions under which such accommodations, services and transportation are offered or provided, and the University of Virginia and Royal Adventures and their respective employees, agents, representatives, and assigns accept no liability therefor. The University of Virginia and Royal Adventures assume no liability for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or other irregularity which may be caused by the defect of any aircraft or vehicle or the negligence or default of any company or person engaged in carrying out or performing any of the services involved. Additionally, responsibility is not accepted for losses, injury, damages or expenses of any kind due to sickness, weather, strikes, local laws, hostilities, wars, terrorist acts, acts of nature or other such causes. All services and accommodations are subject to the laws of the country in which they are provided. The University of Virginia and Royal Adventures reserve the right to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their sole judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience or safety of the tour participants. They reserve the right to withdraw this tour without penalty. The right is also reserved to decline to accept or retain any person as a member of the tour, or to substitute another qualified leader or special guest. Baggage and personal effects are the sole responsibility of the owners at all times. The price of the program is given in good faith based on current tariffs and rates, and is subject to change. Any tariff, exchange rate, security surcharge or fuel increases will be passed on to participants. Neither the University of Virginia nor Royal Adventures accepts the liability for any airline cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable airline ticket. The air ticket when issued shall constitute the sole contract between the passenger and the airline concerned. As part of the consideration and right to participate in this tour, each participant will be asked to sign a liability release.

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