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Cuzco to Machu Pichu

Machu PichuThis trip will immerse participants in the natural and human history and the current culture of this fascinating part of South America. The highlight of the trip will be a 4 day trek past many Incan ruins to the amazing city of Machu Picchu. We will also have time to visit many other ruins, witness agricultural techniques and products, observe the native fauna up close, and even go river rafting.

Machu PichuThis trip will immerse participants in the natural and human history and the current culture of this fascinating part of South America. The highlight of the trip will be a 4 day trek past many Incan ruins to the amazing city of Machu Picchu. We will also have time to visit many other ruins, witness agricultural techniques and products, observe the native fauna up close, and even go river rafting. We will crane our necks at the “Sistine Chapel of South America.” The trip will end in Cuzco, for a finale of culture and history.

“One is drawn irresistibly onward by ever-recurring surprises through a deep, winding gorge, turning and twisting past overhanging cliffs of incredible height. Above all, there is the fascination of finding here and there under the swaying vines, or perched on top of a beetling crag, the rugged masonry of a bygone race; and of trying to understand the bewildering romance of the ancient builders who ages ago sought refuge in a region which appears to have been expressly designed by Nature as a sanctuary for the oppressed, a place where they might fearlessly and patiently give expression to their passion for walls of enduring beauty.”

Hiram Bingham, INCA LAND - Explorations in the Highlands of Peru, 1922, on the approach to Machu Picchu

Eligible Students

Grades 10-12. Must be comfortable around water and in good condition to be able to hike at high elevations. There will be conditioning hikes in Oregon prior to departure. Previous wilderness experience and Spanish language skills are not necessary. Academic credit toward graduation will not be offered this year as part of this experience.

Itinerary

March 15-26, 2009

This trip starts on the Sunday before Winterim begins: March 15. We will fly from Portland to Cuzco, Peru. We’ll drive to the Sacred Valley, stopping at Awana Qancha to see the local fauna and the ruins of Pisaq. While acclimatizing to the high altitude we will visit the Chincero ruin, an agricultural center, and the Maras salt mines. We will enjoy a rafting adventure with additional ruin visits and trek preparations. Then we will commence our 4 day trek along the Salcantay trail. This route is less busy and has more sites of interest than the more crowded Inca Trail. We will end at Machu Picchu, having a full day to explore the site, including a guided tour in the morning, and an optional hike to Huayna Picchu. From Aguas Calientes we will take the train back to the Sacred Valley. We have time to see the southern part of the valley while en route to Cuzco, stopping to see Pikillacta, Andahuaylillas (the South American answer to the Sistine Chapel) and the Temple of Water: Tipon. We’ll have a day to explore Cuzco (final souvenir shopping and cultural visits) before returning to Portland.

Info Meeting

Families are encouraged to attend the informational meeting before deciding to apply. We will discuss the trip, preparations and the application process.

Thursday, October 16, 7:00 – 8:00 pm in Gerlinger

Application Process

Please email Bob Sauer at sauerb@catlin.edu by November 1, 2008 if your family is seriously considering this experience.
To apply, submit the application form and essay to Bob by November 21.