10-Day Epic Journey Kicks Off Peru Program Expansion – Combines Adventure with Glamorous Camping and Gourmet Fare
Award-winning tour operator Austin-Lehman Adventures (ALA – http://www.austinlehman.com/), the active travel company setting standards in The Americas, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean, introduces another first in adventure travel – glamorous camping (a.k.a. glamping) along Peru’s legendary Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
New for 2013 is a Peru – Inca Trail Glamping trek Sept.7-16, 10 days / 9 nights at $3,898 per person double ($880 single supplement) inclusive of four on-trail days of exploring archaeological sites in ecological zones from high desert to alpine to Andean tropical rain forest, culminating with an arrival at the ruins of Machu Picchu. See: http://www.austinlehman.com/tours/inca-trail-peru-tour-trips-148.php.
On staff as special co-host will be Austin-Lehman Adventures’ Latin America Director, Troy Glennon, named one of the world’s leading experts on Peru travel in Condé Nast Traveler’s 13th Annual Top Travel Specialists list for 2012.
“Our Peru vacations are targeted for careful expansion in 2014 beginning with this first new luxury camping experience on the Inca Trail,” explains Dan Austin, company founder and director. “We are tapping into Troy’s extensive connections and sustainable tourism experiences in Peru to develop a series of trip options second-to-none!”
It all starts with glamping on the Inca Trail. An enhanced level of service and amenities along a trail better known for its ruggedness and beauty brings an Andean-trained camp chef into focus as he prepares gourmet meals along with his own recipe for pain killing Pisco Sours, the national cocktail of Peru. Meals are served on white linen tablecloths. Amenities include safari-style stand-up tents with inflatable beds, cozy liners and warm duvets and hot shower facilities. To further rub out the aches of trekking, a massage therapist accompanies each group. Native Quechua porters transport all the duffel and camping gear.
The trip begins in Lima where guests are met at the airport for transfers to a four-star hotel. Day two brings a flight to Cusco and tours of, among others, this Colonial city and Koricancha, the most sumptuous temple of the Inca culture, and the ruins of Sacsayhuaman. Day four goes to the Sacred Valley and Awanacancha, the llama project where guests learn about the South American camelids: llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas and have the chance to see the traditional weaving and dying techniques which have been kept by the local people for centuries. Later in Pisac, a connecting point between the highlands and the jungle, guests transfer to Ollantaytambo, one of the last Inca cities still accessed on foot.
The glamping-while-trekking adventure begins on day five through semi-arid terrain along the Urubamba River and views of snow-capped mountains. The first campsite is on the Kusichaca River in Huayllabamba. The next morning guests walk to the Warmihuañusca Pass (4200 mts – 13,776 ft.) to enjoy distant views of the Runkurakay ruins. The campsite this night is at Pacaymayo (3530 mts. – 11,578 ft.). Day seven includes and exploration of the Runkurakay ruins before trekking to the Sayacmarca ruins. Naturalist historian guides will share insights on Inca Empire and its connection with the Amazon jungle. Then it’s on to the Phuyupatamarca ruins (3640 m. / 11,939 ft). The next day guests trek down trail through the Andean cloud forest rife with orchids and epiphytes to Wiñay Wayna ruins (2650 m. / 8,692 feet), the most important after Machu Picchu, and then toward Inti Punku the last pass (2700 m. / 8,856 ft) before the final climax. From this site Machu Picchu (2400 m. / 7,872 ft) spreads beyond, surreal and beautiful. The day ends at EL Pueblo de Machu Picchu for an overnight before exploring the site early the next day before the crowds arrive. The transfer back to Cusco is on day 10.
Image courtesy Widness and Wiggins PR