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PERU: Machu Picchu
and the Sacred Valley of the Incas

with Jim Cline .

.May 21 - 31, 2014 .

Cost: $4775.00 includes in-country flights round-trip Lima -Cuzco, all ground transport including train to Machu Picchu, all 10 nights hotel accommodations, breakfasts and dinners, entrance-fees at tourist sites, and local guides. The price is based on double occupancy.  A single supplement of $675 applies. The trip will be limited to 10 participants.

Peru deserves its reputation as a mystical travel destination. From the beautiful colonial gem of Cuzco to the incredible Inca site at Machu Picchu to the Sacred Valley surrounded by the Andes with its picturesque towns and Majestic Inca ruins, to Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake with its traditional inhabitants living on islands in the lake, Peru is home to an incredible mix of photo opportunities.

Long before the Europeans showed up in America the Incas had established a great civilization in and around the Sacred Valley of Peru. Many reminders of this world still remain - in the ancient ruins at such sites as Machu Picchu, Pisac, and Ollantaytambo, and in the local people and their traditions. We will stay as near as possible to these archeological sites in order to photograph them in the best light in the morning and late afternoon. And we'll visit the various towns on their special market days, providing many photo opportunities of the modern day Inca and their traditions.

Andean history comes alive in Cuzco. Quechua speaking descendants of the ancient 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.

The beautiful Sacred Valley is home to the lofty Inca citadels of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, both perched high above the towns of the same names. It's also home to bustling Indian markets and charming Andean villages.

Magnificent Machu Picchu, the most famous lost Inca city, sits high in the Andes in a truly spectacular setting, still retaining its air of grandeur and mystery. Travelers from all over the world arrive daily to marvel at its splendor. The changes in light as the sun comes up over or goes down behind the surrounding mounains are mesmorizing.

Lake Titicaca is famous as the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable lake in the world. However what really makes a vist to its shores magical is the quality of light in the clear high-altitude air as it sparkles on the deep blue waters of the lake. A visit to the tradittional islanders on Taquile island is a must.

Hopefully you'll come away from this trip with the experience of a lifetime and great photos of a wide variety of incredible subjects.

To see Jim's images from the 2011 tour click here

To see some of Jim's images of this trip click here . . . .

To see images of Jim's Sep, 2005 trip click here

To see images of the 2006 tour click here

To see images of Jim's May , 2005 trip click here



Day one (May 21):  Arrive from your flight to Lima. You will be transported from the airport to our hotel.
We will have an orientation meeting in the evening and go to dinner. We'll spend the night
in Lima.


Day Two:  We'll catch our flight to the beautiful city of Cuzco. After lunch and perhaps a coca tea, we'll go on a

tour of this colonial gem, visiting the Cathedral and other churches. We'll see first-hand many of the walls built

by the Incas which now form the foundations of colonial buildings built by the Spaniards. We'll catch the last light on

the Cathedral and other buildings on the Plaza de Armas, and then photograph these buildings as the light changes to

twilight. We'll spend the night in Cuzco.


Day Three: We'll have the whole day in and around Cuzco. In the morning we'll have some free time to explore the

ancient streets of the city on your own. In the afternoon we'll visit the Inca ruins at Sacsayhuaman, and stay for the last

light, before returning to our hotel. We'll stop at a scenic overlook on the way back to town to photograph the Plaza de Armas at

twilight That night during dinner we'll sample Peruvian cuisine and watch a traditional music and dancing demonstration.

We'll spend the night in Cuzco.


Day Four: In the morning we'll drive into the Sacred Valley of the Incas to the beautiful town of Pisac. We'll stop on

the way for photo shoots at dramatic vistas of the Andes Mountains, and at Awana Kancha, a weaving cooperative

where we'll have the opportunity to photograph various traditional weavers, and close-ups of llamas and alpacas. In the

afternoon we'll drive up to explore the Inca ruins situated high on the hills above the town of Pisac. We'll photograph

the ruins and the picturesque valley at the last light. We'll spend the night in Pisac.


Day Five: Market day in Pisac: We'll wake up early and visit one the best textile markets in the Andes. We'll

photograph the villagers who come from miles around in their colorful traditional dress. In the afternoon we'll drive to

another Sunday market town - Chinchero. This is a great sunset location, with the last light hitting the picturesque

church, and the colorful villagers selling their wares. We'll spend the night in in the nearby town of Ollantaytambo.

Day Six: In the morning we'll explore the Inca ruins at Ollantaytambo. From the ruins, we'll have a view of the

town of Ollantaytambo, as well as the Urubamba Valley, with the snow-capped Andes rising in the background.

we'll also explore the town of Ollantaytambo - nestled in the Urubamba Valley, it is the best surviving example of

Inca city planning with narrow cobblesone streets that have been constantly inhabited since the 13th century. The

traditional villagers still utilize the Inca-built irrigation canals that run right through the town. In the afternoon we'll

visit Salinas, where thousands of salt pans have been used for salt extraction since Inca times, situated high above

the Urubamba Valley. We'll photograph views of the valley, and the last light reflecting in the ponds. We'll spend the

night in Ollantaytambo.


Day Seven: In the morning, we'll visit a a couple of local villages to photograph the traditional inhabitants in their

colorful dress, where we'll have special permission to visit and photograph a rural school. In the late afternoon we'll

catch the train for the scenic ride along the Urubamba River to Machu Picchu. We'll arrive at the world famous ruins
at Machu Picchu in
time for dinner and rest. We'll spend the night in Aguas Calientes.


Day Eight: In the morning we'll visit the world famous Inca ruins at Machu Picchu. We'll have a guided tour
and then we'll stay there all afternoon as the vast
majority of visitors leave, photographing until the end of the day.
We'll then take the 30 minute scenic bus ride down
to our hotel in the town of Aguas Calientes. We'll spend the night in Aguas Calientes.


Day Nine: We'll wake up early and take the short bus ride up to the ruins to wait for the first light to arrive. We'll

spend several hours of free time photographing the ruins. You'll have the option of taking side hikes up to the Sun Gate,

the Moon Temple, or to scale the sacred peak of Huayna Picchu, the mountain that towers over the ruins. In the

afternoon we'll catch the train back to Cuzco. We'll spend the night in Cuzco.


Day Ten: We'll have free time in Cuzco to wander the ancient streets and photograph, shop and relax. We'll also
have some time for image sharing before dinner.
We'll spend the night in Cuzco.


Day Eleven (May 31 ): In the afternoon you'll catch your flight back to Lima, where you can catch your
onward flight home in the evening.
(Those with flights the following morning will have the option to spend the night
in a


3 Day , 2 Night Optional E xtension: LAKE TITICACA & THE FLOATING ISLANDS

Cost $ 850 : May 31 - June 2


Day Eleven (May 31 ): In the morning we'll depart for Lake Titicaca, making several stops along the way. We'll
Andahuaylillas, a village with one of the most beautiful churches in the Andes. Continuing on the drive we'll make
other stops where we'll have the opportunity to photograph Inca ruins, llamas and alpacas, and incredible vistas of the
Altaplana with the peaks of the Andes towering in the background. We'll arrive at our hotel in Puno at
the end of the day.
We'll spend the
night in Puno.


Day Twelve: We'll spend the whole day on a boat trip visiting the islands on Lake Titicaca. We'll wake up early and

take a boat to the Floating Islands of the Uros people, unique islands made of the buoyant totora reeds that grow

abundantly in the shallows of the lake. These reeds are also used to build the Uros' boats, homes, and many of their

crafts. We then go to Taquile, where the inhabitants maintain a very traditional lifestyle. We'll arrive back in Puno near
the end of the day. We'll spend the night in Puno.


Day Thirteen (June 2): In the morning we'll visit and photograph the main plaza and the Cathedral in Puno.
We'll then visit the ancient funerary towers at the archeological site of Sillustani, situated on the shore of sparkling
Lake Urumayo. We'll then take a late afternoon flight to Lima where we'll catch our onward flights home.


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