A Cultural and Culinary Exploration from the Andes to the Amazon, including Lima and the 2013 Mistura food festival!
Like the Spanish word "mistura", which means mixture, this small group (maximum 14 participants) tour mixes cultures, cuisines, and geography.
The participants in the 2012 Peru Mistura tour had a fabulous trip. One whole day was spent enjoying the well organized Mistura food festival and still not all was seen! All in the group had a blast. Staying at the festival about 6 hours, we of course took full advantage of all the great food and drink, in addition shopping among the amazing variety of national food products. Besides all the fun to be had, we were impressed with the organization and management of the event. Even with no Spanish language skills, the expansive festival grounds were easy to navigate and buying products was easy. We appreciated that the grounds and facilities were kept so clean and all the polite people willing to help with directions or interpretations. We also took advantage of the dedicated bus system organized for Mistura, by departing from the LarcoMar shopping mall close to the hotel in Lima.
NOTE: The dates for 2013's Peru Mistura tour are now set! The Mistura festival dates have been announced for the week of September 6 - 15. We are opening up the 2013 trip for early reservations on a first come basis.
The unique tour was designed by anthropologist Charlie Strader, President of Explorations. His love and appreciation of Peru’s cultures and food diversity started with travels there in the 1980’s.
Having traveled throughout Peru, he wanted to again offer this special cultural and natural history tour with an appreciation and study of Peruvian foods that included the Mistura gastronomy fair in Lima.
The group size is limited to 14 participants. During the active 13-day adventure, resident guides introduce past and present cultures of Peru, their environment, history, art, and foods. You will experience why National Geographic named Peru the "next Foodie Frontier" in their Best of the World for 2012. You will also receive a video of the acclaimed and moving documentary, Cooking Up Dreams.
Tour highlights include:
* Mistura 2013, sixth annual gastronomy festival and second largest food festival in the world
* Lima, City of Kings
* Cuzco, Archaeological Capital of the Americas
* The Sacred Valley of the Inca with its spectacular Inca ruins and Quechua villages
* The South Valley of Cuzco with its spectacular Inca ruins and Quechua villages
* Machu Picchu, one of the “new” Seven Wonders of the World
* Amazon Rainforest
* A gastronomic focus - from farm to fork - with visits to local markets, cooking demonstrations, and special meals.
DAY 1, Saturday, September 7, 2013
Reception in Lima from international flights and transfer to the colonial-style Hotel Antigua, located in the upscale district of Miraflores, where we stay for four nights accommodations. (http://www.peru-hotels-inns.com) Miraflores is known for its shopping areas (such as the Indian Market and Kennedy Park), hotels, restaurants, flower-filled parks, and beaches.
DAY 2, Sunday, Sep 8
Today we learn of Peru’s rich colonial heritage. Taking advantage of the lesser traffic on a Sunday, we travel downtown to explore Central Lima. We first head to the impressive Main Square, called the Plaza Mayor or Plaza De Armas, which is more beautiful than ever with the recent renovations. The large plaza is surrounded by such important buildings as the Government Palace, the Archbishop’s house, the Cathedral, and City Hall. Click here for a 360° view of the Main Plaza at night.
We can then witness the services at the San Francisco Convent, arguably the greatest architectural complex of its kind in Latin America. We will explore its amazing network of underground galleries and catacombs that were a cemetery in colonial times.
Then we walk through the most popular pedestrian boulevard in Lima, the Jiron de la Union, to the San Martin Square, which was inaugurated in 1921 in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the independence of Peru. On the plaza San Martin is the historic (oldest in Lima) hotel, the Gran Bolivar, which is worth a look around and maybe enjoy a "chela" (beer), or its bar’s famous Pisco Sour.
There are many great places downtown for lunch. One of the popular and most charming ones is the historic El Cordano Bar, founded by Italians and famous for its sandwiches, such as “Butifara”. Or we may stroll the pedestrian boulevard of Paseo de los Escribanos, one of the most beautiful stretches of buildings in the area, to find a lunch spot. Known as “The Writers’ Way”, because in the past, when much of the population was illiterate, locals came here to have their messages to loved ones and friends transcribed. With its signature yellow buildings, it’s a favorite among residents and visitors and has many eateries. Nearby is Chinatown, where we can have lunch at the popular Wa Lok “chifa” restaurant and try some Chinese-Peruvian fusion cuisine.
After lunch, we will go for a stroll through the artsy and bohemian Barranco neighborhood, full of grand mansions and historic buildings. Where we will learn the story of the famous Puente de los Suspiros (Bridge of Sighs) on the walking tour.
After a rest at the hotel, for an outstanding dinner, we will provide transportation to the upscale Huaca Pucllana Restaurant, located in Miraflores overlooking the Pre-Inca archaeological Pucllana ruins. (The meal costs are not included.) Currently the Pucllana Archeological Zone spreads over 15 hectares and is divided into two well-defined sections. One is of pyramidal structure, 23 meters high. The charming restaurant is was a large old house. The high ceilings and low lights give it a special touch. They also have a dining area and bar on a lovely terrace. The view of the ruins is just breathtaking and their desserts are extraordinary. (Breakfast /Lunch)
(Note: Unless noted otherwise, lunches and dinners are not included to allow you the freedom of choice regarding what to eat and where. The local guide will assist with any desired dinner reservations, or you can choose to eat at the hotel, or nearby restaurants, such as in Kennedy Park along the Calle de Pizza, or seaside at the nearby LarcoMar Mall. Famous Lima restaurants include: La Rosa Nautica, Punta Sal, Astrid y Gaston, Panchita, Rafael, Costanera 700, Malabor, Mangos, and Caplina among others which can provide unforgettable dining experiences.)
DAY 3, Monday, Sep 9
Today we learn about the foods and pre-Columbian cultures of Peru. We start with a visit to the recently renovated Mercado Surquillo in Miraflores. It is Lima’s largest food market and great place for an introduction to the diversity of foods in Peru. Click here for a video. The market contains a wide variety of well-stocked breads, fruits, cheeses, fish, meats, potatoes, dried beans, nuts, seeds, herbs, flowers and many of the natural products from all over the country of Peru. Your guide will explain the unknowns - how they taste, and are prepared. Of course, you may want to sample for yourself. It is normal to see women from the countryside wearing the colorful dress of their regions selling local products. The three floors have independent vendor stalls, small restaurants for take-out foods and craft shops. It is the market of choice for the gourmet chefs of Lima. The market includes an incredible range of meats, fish, and seafood. Upstairs in one of the restaurant stalls is a great place to view (and maybe taste) some of the many kinds of fresh ceviche. This combination of marinated fresh seafood is one of Peru’s most famous dishes.
We then visit one of Lima’s outstanding museums, the Larco Herrera Archeological Museum to learn of the ancient cultures of Peru and have lunch (independently, so you have control over your museum viewing time). The museum is housed in an 18th century vice-royal mansion built over a 7th century pre-Colombian pyramid. Its galleries provide a thorough overview of 4,000 years of Peruvian pre-Colombian history. The museum has the world’s largest private collection of pre-Columbian art, including Moche, Nazca, Chimú, Inca artifacts, the finest gold and silver collection from Ancient Peru, and its famous erotic art ceramics. The museum also provides a beautiful setting for a fine meal of traditional and Novo Peruvian cuisine in its Cafe del Museo. The gourmet restaurant is rated one of the best in Lima, directed by one of Peru's most prestigious chef, Gastón Acurio. With indoor and outdoor patio seating, it has a wonderful atmosphere, located in the terrace and garden alongside the Pre-Columbian pyramid and vice royal mansion that hosts the Larco Collection. Its interior, designed by architect Jordi Puig is planned to make you feel that you are having lunch in the terrace of an old chateau. Afterwards we return to the hotel for a siesta.
For dinner, we will go to Mangos Restaurant in the seaside Larcomar Mall (Buffet meal and transportation included). The restaurant is popular for food, drink, and its view overlooking the ocean. We will plan to be there by sunset and enjoy their Tea Time Buffet. (Breakfast /Dinner)
DAY 4 Tuesday, Sep 10
Today we enjoy one of the world’s biggest gastronomical events and the largest food fair in the world - Mistura! In 2011, Mistura broke the Turin Italian Cuisine Expo then attendance world-record of 275,000 people with a paid attendance of 405,000. At the new ground in Campo de Marte, Peru Mistura 2013 will have estimate paid gate attendance of 600,000 people. Last year there were about 25,000 international tourists, mostly from the United States, Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil.
Food, and the people that make it, are respected at all levels of society in Peru. During the Mistura food festival, Peruvians from various social, age, and gender distinctions gather around pots and cookers to celebrate Peru’s traditional cuisine, marvel at the creativity, reaffirm their identity and celebrate cultural diversity. Click here for short video about Mistura and the power of food.
Food has long been associated with Fiesta. The Mistura food fair brings together the various actors in the chain cuisine of Peru: farmers, producers of pisco, cooks, bakers, food sellers, confectionery, huariques, restaurants, cooking schools, and commercial companies. In Mistura a special tribute is paid to mother earth, or Pachacama. The richness of Peruvian cuisine is based on history and at the confluence of particular styles culinary and inputs from different regions of Peru - hence the name mistura, which means mixture. To this regional diversity is added 5 centuries of contributions of European tastes, Arabs, Africans, Chinese, and Japanese.
We have a full day at the festival on Tuesday to avoid the large weekend crowds. Apega, is again planning to receive over half a million visitors plus for the 8 to 10 day festival in 2013. So, we will be joining an incredible number of food aficionados.
For example, at the 2011 Mistura: More than half a million loaves of bread were sold.
The area of sweets and dessert carts sold more than 230 thousand portions. More than 40 thousand portions were sold in the area of regional cuisine. More than 20 thousand portions sold in the classic cuisine section. In the booths of Javi, Makatong and La Cilindada Pedrito more than 4,000 portions were sold daily. The rustic kitchen section sold more than 95,000 portions. More than 8 tons of fruit were sold - most requested: Orange, Chirimoya, Avocados, Pitajaya and Poro Poro. (We can also attest there was tons of fun!)
The Mistura in 2011 was held at the Parque de la Exposicion, in Lima, and welcomed 400 thousand “hungry” people. Apega held Mistura 2012 at the Campo De Marte in downtown Lima. It is very close to the Parque de la Exposicion, and provided 30% more space. More details are to be announced by the organizers.
The Mistura food festival attracts internationally acclaimed chefs such as Ferran Adria of El Bulli, Alex Atala of D.O.M. in Sao Paulo, Dan Barber of Blue Hill in New York, Massimo Bottura of Italy’s La Osteria Francescana, Rene Redezipi of Copenhagen’s Noma, Quique Dacosta of Spain’s Quique Dacosta Restaurant, and many famous Peruvian chefs such as Gaston Acurio, Rafael Piqueras, Rafael Osterling, Virgilio Martinez, Javier Wong, Giacomo Bocchio, Mitsuharu Tsumura, Ferran Adrià, René Redzepi, Alex Atala, Massimo Bottura, Victor Gutierrez, Luis Arevalo, Astrid Gutsche, Jaime Pesaque, Toshiro Konishi, Cyrus Watanabe, and Pedro Miguel Schiaffino (many will have food booths for a taste of their internationally renowned creations).
Scattered throughout the grounds are food stands from several hundred restaurants, hailing from all over Peru and serving specialty dishes. The restaurants are a combination of well-known and higher end places in Lima to simpler regional huariques. Special areas are dedicated to bread, pisco, chocolate, coffee, and Nikkei food. There is also a marketplace with specialty products, demonstration and lecture stages, live entertainment and parades. It’s like a Peruvian food Disney World! While there are plenty of free samples, food and drinks from the stands is bought with tickets, which can be purchased in separate stands throughout the park. In addition to transportation and entrance fee, we will supply $20 worth of food tickets to get you started on your food and drink discoveries.
In the Great Market area, about 300 suppliers were present from such areas as Cusco, Puno, Ayacucho, Huancavelica, Apurimac, Huancayo, Oxapampa, Iquitos, Pucallpa, Piura, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Cajamarca, Ancash, Moquegua, Arequipa and Tacna. Many sold their entire production in the early days. Tarwi, cañihua, quinoa, salt maras, custard, coffee, Hot Chili, soft leaf stalk, cocona jams, native potatoes, etc., were just some of the products for sample and sell.
Because of the nature of the event, we will have free time and coordinate / assist with transfers back to the hotel or assist with departures at time of your choosing. The host and local guide will be onsite to guide and assist throughout the day. (Breakfast /Lunch)
DAY 5, Wednesday, Sep 11
A mid-morning flight over the Andes Mountains to the city of Cuzco transports you to a dramatically different environment. Upon seeing the beauty of Cuzco, situated in a scenic valley at 11,000 feet, it is much easier to understand what may have prompted the Inca to call this area the "navel of the world". Tonight and tomorrow you stay in a colonial-style hotel, the Casa San Blas. This boutique hotel is centrally located near the Main Plaza in the “artsy” neighborhood of San Blas.
After check-in at the hotel, we have a welcome cup of coca tea and orientation session. Afterwards you are encouraged to take a siesta and relax at the hotel to get acclimated to the altitude. Those that may want a bite to eat can walk with the guide to the nearby Pachapapa Restaurant for some of its popular homemade-style chicken soup, or other.
Around 5:00pm we drive outside of the city to the Planetarium Cusco to learn about astronomy, climate, and agriculture. There we will also learn about Incan cosmology and belief systems. We will also witness/participant in an Pachacama Ritual by a Quechua Shaman. With good weather, we will also view the night skies through telescopes.
Afterwards, we have a special dinner at the nearby La Princesita private restaurant. Located within the Reserve Llaullipata, this house was built in memory of the first distinguished mestizo of Peru, Dona Francisca Pizarro Yupanqui, the daughter of the Conqueror Francisco Pizzaro and Ines Huaylas, who was the Inca Princess Quispe Sisa of Panaka, daughter of the Inca ruler Huayna Capac. She represents firsthand the meeting of two worlds, an icon of a new American race, the mestizos. Almost five hundred years later, this magical natural environment of forests, has been restored to part of its former glory as a private reserve. The colonial-style building has spacious interiors and garden terraces, for a lovely setting above the city of Cuzco and just meters away from the archaeological site of Sacsayhuaman. (Breakfast /Dinner)
DAY 6, Thursday, Sep 12
Today is a walking tour of Cuzco, starting with the historic buildings in the San Blas neighborhood. We will Hatun Rumiyoc, named for its famous large 12-angle stone found in an Incan wall along the street. Along the way, we can (Why would we not!) stop at a Chocolate Shop, to be tempted by their interesting flavors including, chili, cinnamon, maca (an Andean plant) and lúcuma (a Peruvian fruit).
The tour introduces you to the impressive colonial historical city, with visits to such places as the San Blas Chapel, Arzobispo Palace, the Main Cathedral of the Plaza De Armas, San Francisco´s Botanical Gardens and much more. The Inca founded Cuzco as the capital center of their empire and it is still considered the” archaeological capital of the Americas”. Cuzco is the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the western hemisphere and evidence of its long history surrounds you. Massive Inca-built stone walls serve as foundations for the red tile-roofed colonial buildings. Here you can visit some of the oldest and grandest cathedrals in the New World. The feeling of history comes alive in the faces and language of the local Quechua-speaking, descendants of the Incas.
Before lunch a walk is planned through the colorful and vibrant San Pedro market to familiarize yourself with local ingredients. This covered, open-air market is Cuzco’s largest and full of a great variety of local fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses. No doubt, hungry by then, we will then go to local restaurant for a cooking demonstration and meal.
After lunch, we visit and learn about Coricancha, Temple of the Sun, and the new discoveries from archeological excavations. The Coricancha temple was one of the most opulent and revered temples of the Inca. We will also explore the imposing Church and Convent of Santo Domingo which the Spanish built over the Inca spiritual complex.
For dinner on your own, the San Blas district has a great variety of fine restaurants, including the Hotel Monestario for upscale dining and the local guide can direct you. (Breakfast /Lunch)
DAY 7, Friday, Sep 13
After breakfast, we depart Cuzco with a visually stunning ride through the countryside to the Sacred Valley to visit the archaeological site and Indian village of Pisac.
We begin the day visiting spectacular nearby Inca ruins. First we explore the immense Inca fortress-temple of Sacsayhuaman, strategically built overlooking Cuzco and learn about its important role during the Spanish Contact Period. You also visit the Inca shrines of Kenko, an outdoor amphitheater and Tambomachay, where a natural spring still feeds ancient Inca baths.
In route onward to Pisac, is a visit to AwanaKancha, or “Palace of the Weaver” in the indigenous language of Quechua. Various communities work with AwanaKancha to present weaving demonstrations at the farm and there is an exhibit on traditional dyes for coloring the textiles. It is also a lama farm that showcases all four members of the Andean camelid family: llamas, alpacas, guanacos, and vicuñas. Proper foods are provided so you may feed the beautiful creatures.
Depending on timing, we will probably have lunch at La Quinta Dona Clorinda restaurant near Pisaq, popular for its typical Cusquenian food such as quinua soup, cream corn, stuffed trout, ceviche, cuy and stuffed rocoto - or, we may have lunch at further down the Sacred Valley.
Then on to the Inca ruins of Pisaq, which are strategically located on a ridge-top overlooking two scenic valleys that are etched with extensive agricultural terraces. Covering an area four times larger than Machu Picchu, the central complex of temples in this ancient citadel was protected on all sides by high walls and gateways. In the valley, at the colorful Pisac village, you can examine (and buy) local goods such as; fruits, vegetables, coca leaves, mineral dyes, weavings, stone carvings, and a great variety of handicrafts.
Later, we continue through the Urubamba Valley with its spectacular mountain scenery that includes quaint villages, terraced valleys, and towering snow-capped peaks - all overlooking the white-waters of the Urubamba River. Much of the scenery looks like it was created just yesterday!
We continue on to Ollantaytambo, an ancient Inca fortress and current Quechua city. After check-in and rest at the hotel, an evening stroll introduces you to the excellent example of ancient city planning and architecture. The ancient Inca city plan is evidenced by the remaining (still utilized) roadways, pools, canals and enormous stonework. The original water canals of the Inca irrigation system still function as important parts of the communities' life. It is also an excellent example of living history, as today's towns people still live in structures that housed the Incas of the 14th century.
Overnight tonight and tomorrow night is in Ollantaytambo at the lovely Pakaritampu Hotel. That way you can also have time for more exploring in the Inca town of Ollantaytambo and be close to the train station for next morning travel to Agua Calientes. (Breakfast /Lunch)
DAY 8, Saturday, Sep 14
We have an early rise so we can depart on the first train to Machu Picchu to be there as the sun rises over the mountains, which is between 7 - 8am on a clear morning. A short walk (one block) takes us to the train station for travel up the valley to Agua Calientes. The rails run along side the Urubamba River, past towering mountains and through lush forests. Upon arrival at the Machu Picchu train station in Agua Calientes (about a hour and half ride), then a 20 minute bus ride takes us 2,000 feet up to the site's entrance.
After an introductory walking tour of the ruins, the remainder of the day is free for self-exploration and discovery of this magnificent site. Enjoy lunch (voucher provided so you can go at your own timing from 11.30am - 15.00pm) at the Tinkuy Buffet Restaurant in the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, adjacent to the ruins entrance. As the sun sets, we return to the Agua Calientes train station (last bus down is around 5:30pm) for the evening train back to Ollantaytambo and the hotel. (Breakfast /Lunch)
DAY 9, Sunday, Sep 15
Before departing Ollantaytambo, we first explore the adjacent Inca ruins of extensive terraces, massive stones, and waterworks.
We then begin our return to Cuzco, taking a different route and touring the traditional Indian village of Chinchero, the Moray Inca ruins, and the salt works at Salinas along the way.
We first visit one of the Inca's engineering marvels, the ruins of Moray. The site's agricultural terraces form a sunken amphitheater that creates a variety of mini ecosystems due to differences in sun exposure, altitude, irrigation, and temperatures. It is thought that the site was used by the Inca to experiment with growing different plants.
Our travel through the scenic mountains also allows us to view the impressive salt pools at Maras. The ancient pools form by water emerging from the mountain and the evaporating ponds are still used to extract salt.
We visit the Quechua town of Chichero which is famous for its colorful weavings and Sunday market. There you can enjoy a weaving demonstration and may shop for high quality textiles. Chinchero is located at an altitude of 3,700 meters where you can see the entire plateau of Maras and the Vilcanota's Mountain Range with its +5,000 meters glaciers like Chicon and Veronica. We will have a picnic lunch and share with local residents their traditional dishes such as cuy (guinea pig), watia (potatoes baked on earth), corn, etc. Peru
Continuing on to Cuzco, tonight and tomorrow we overnight at the Casa San Blas, or similar. (Breakfast /Lunch)
DAY 10, Monday, Sep 16
In lieu of breakfast at the hotel, we will go to the Ayllu Cafe before heading out of town. It is one of the only places in Cusco where you can find local coffee roasted the traditional way, with sugar, orange and onion peels and old fashioned pastries and desserts. Traditional hot chocolate is prepared with a creole variety called “chuncho chocolate” and milk “ponches” made with organic raw cow’s milk that is delivered fresh daily by the same man for over 15 years. “Nata” is what is most appreciated from this milk. As the milk is pasteurized gently boiling it, the fat rises to the top and this wonderful creamy skin arises. This skin is carefully spooned and refrigerated overnight to be served as a kind of “butter” to spread on the fresh house baked breads along with a little honey.
This should be another wonderful day of great food and sights as we explore the South Valley, which follow the Huatanay River. We drive through agricultural fields dotted with willow trees, eucalyptus groves, and outlying communities gathered around colonial churches.
In the scenic and much less visited South Valley, you will visit the colonial town of Andahuaylillas. Its church, is often called the Sistine Chapel of America because of the beauty of the murals. This church of San Pedro Apóstol was built by Jesuits in the 16th century over a pre-Columbian huaca, or ceremonial space. The construction of the current temple started in 1570 with the creation of a small chapel corresponding to the existing apse and sanctuary; the nave and façade were completed in 1606. The chapel is simple and unassuming on the outside, but on the inside you'll find masterpiece after masterpiece. Inside are colonial period paintings of the Cusquenian School and many ornate wooden altars covered with sheets of gold. Restoration work is currently being done by the World Monuments Fund.
We will also visit the nearby church of San Juan Bautista in the village of Huaro. It was built by Jesuits in the sixteenth century, strategically located on an Inca road system 35 miles south of Cusco. Between 1675 and 1699, local artists were commissioned to create the murals and decorations. The amazing images demonstrated a fusion of indigenous and colonial beliefs and styles.
Lunch is in the village of Saylla, famous for its many restaurants that serve trout and chicharron, or pieces of fried pork. Or, we may have lunch in the village of Lucre, famous for the way the locals prepare duck and desserts made with milk.
Later you visit the nearby archaeology site of Pikillaqta, whose ruins predate the Inca as a citadel of the Wari culture. This adobe complex was built around 700 to 900 AD by the Huari (Wari). The site covers an area of nearly 2 square kilometers, including an enormous rectangular enclosure with hundreds of separate rooms, some small and plain, some large enclosures and compounds, some richly decorated. Nearby is a small Inca site, known as Rumicolca which was a travel checkpoint for the Incas. One of the most numerous aspects of Pikillacta is the hydraulic works that connect the water resources of the site to terraces
and cultivable fields in the Lucre Basin, including canals, reservoirs, causeways, and aqueducts. This complex set of features allowed intensive agriculture of maize, potatoes and other crops.
We will also be traveling through small town of Oropesa, where we can visit one of the 47 bakeries that have provided Cusco with daily bread for generations.
We then tour the Inca ruins of Tipon and marvel at the scale and immensity of the Inca agricultural terraces which are fed by natural springs. The tall terraces which run up the narrow valley are irrigated by an aqueduct from Pachatusan, the mountain above the site. Tipon ruins contained baths, a temple complex, canals and many aqueducts. It is is one of the lesser visited sites in the Cusco area but it is equally as impressive as those in the Sacred Valley.
Free evening in Cuzco for personal explorations and last minute shopping. (Breakfast /Lunch)
DAY 11, Tuesday, Sep 17
(NOTE: For those short on time, or who do not want to go into the jungle, you may choose to fly out to Lima and connect to international flights back this day.)
Today, we depart the Andes for the Amazon Rainforest with a morning transfer to airport for flight to Puerto Maldonado. After the airport reception is a drive of about ten minutes to the local offices. While enjoying your first taste of the forest in the gardens we ask you to pack only the necessary gear for your next few days, and leave the rest in safe deposit. This helps keep the boats and cargo light. Skirting Puerto Maldonado, we then drive 20 kilometers to the Tambopata River Port, entering the Native Community of Infierno, situated at the confluence of the mighty Madre de Dios and Tambopata Rivers.
We then depart for about hour’s travel by motorized canoe to Posada Amazonas. The airy lodge, built from traditional materials such as wood, palm fronds, and clay, has 30 rooms with private bathrooms and hot showers. Depending on the timing, we have a boxed lunch aboard the boat or lunch upon arrival at Posada Amazonas. During the voyage you may see bird species typical of the river or forest edge such as: Black Skimmer, Pied Lapwing, Capped Heron, Jabiru Stork, Roadside Hawk, and several species of kingfishers, swallows and flycatchers.
Posada Amazonas is located within the Ese-Eja’s communal reserve, next to the Tambopata National Reserve. You will receive a short orientation and a briefing on the lodge about the local Ecotourism Project before the afternoon outing to the canopy tower. The 30 meter scaffolding tower is 15 minutes walking from the lodge and is built so that you can safely climb using the internal staircase with verandas on each side, and rest in platforms every 2 meters. A bannistered staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. From the top you obtain spectacular views of the vast expanses of standing forest cut by the Tambopata River winding through the middle. Now and then - toucans, parrots or macaws are seen flying against the horizon, or mixed species canopy flocks land in the nearby treetops.
A video about the forest of Tambopata will be shown after dinner. You may go to sleep to the sounds of the rainforest. (Breakfast /Lunch/Dinner)
DAY 12, Wednesday, Sep 18
We get up early at dawn for a visit to the Tres Chimbadas oxbow lake. After an early breakfast you depart for the fifteen minutes by boat and a 30 minute walk to the lake's shore. There we have a guided canoe ride to look for the giant river otters, turtles, hoatzin, and wading birds. The giant river otters that are seen in Tres Chimbadas belong to a resident family.
Afterwards, you return to the lodge's trails in time for a visit to a small parakeet clay lick. Dozens and sometimes hundreds of Blue Headed Parrots, Orange-Cheeked Parrots, Cobalt-winged parakeets, and sometimes even the rare Rock Parakeet congregate here on clear days to ingest clay. This congregation creates a riotous and colorful wildlife spectacle where the greens, oranges, reds and blues of the parrots dance around the bank competing for a choice beak full of clay. At times, this spectacle lasts for hours. Then you return to the lodge for lunch before embarking on an afternoon outing.
In the afternoon, you visit the community's ethnobotanical center. From this little shop, the community has been registering the uses of medicinal plants from elders and planting, producing and distributing them for over ten years. You will hike the trails around the center with one of the residents who will explain to us the everyday uses of forest resources in medicine, construction, food and fiber. After enjoying our popular happy hour and refurbishing your spirits with ours, you may be up for an optional night walk to look for nocturnal mammals, amphibians and insects. Their shapes and sounds are bizarre as their natural histories. (Breakfast /Lunch)
DAY 13, Thursday, Sep 19
After a breakfast, we have time to relax in the jungle or take a nature walk before we return up the river to Puerto Maldonado for late afternoon flight back to Lima. (Breakfast /Lunch)
Upon arrival in Lima this evening, you have several options:
1. Stay at airport and connect to redeye night international flights out.
2. For an additional $90/dbl/pp you may choose to overnight in Lima (includes airport transfers, hotel and breakfast). You then may:
A. Fly out the next morning.
B. Fly out the next night (day use of hotel day room is $35/pp/dbl).
C. Or, you may choose to continue travels in Peru with custom trip extensions.
All airport / hotel transfers and group transportation as listed
All lodging, including hotel taxes as listed, or similar
Tours as described including entrance fees, and ticket for Mistura 2013
Meals as listed (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
Estimate $2,895 USD (per person in double occupancy)
The single supplement is an additional $875 USD. We can try and match roommates for solo travelers.
You are welcome to call us anytime at 1-239-992-9660, or toll free at 800-446-9660, or email us at travel"at"GoExploring.com for a detailed Trip Brochure.
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You may click here for photos from our 2012 Peru Mistura Tour.
Here are some nice videos of the Mistura Food Festival (on the share link, you can go to URL and see full size)
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