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PERU
August 15 – 22 2021

Peru….Another popular photography expedition is coming back in 2021 !  You will venture into “Valle Sagrado (Sacred Valley)” near Cusco, once the home of the great Inca Empire.  Combination of stunning nature and landscape, magnificent archeological sites, rich and colorful local culture, you will photograph the Inca’s legacy and wisdom. Throughout the foothills of beautiful valley, visit a traditional weaving village, trace the ancient agricultural laboratory, walk through the living towns of Inca.  Of course, the highlight of the trip is to visit the world-famous Machu Picchu and former capital of Inca, Cusco

PROGRAM DATES:
August. 15(Sun) – 22(Sun). 2021
(7 nights / 8 days )


RATES:
Sacred Valley, Cusco, Peru  (7 nights/ 8 days)

  • double occupancy      $5915 (-$526 from regular price)

  • single occupancy       $6394 (-$1216 from regular price)


Rates are per person, U.S. Dollars.  Program rates include airport transfers to and from the explora, accommodations, meals, open bar, daily explorations, and the entrance to national parks.

NOT INCLUDED:
Airfare ( international & domestic in Peru )
Any extra hotel expenses in Lima and Cusco
Insurance

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ACCOMMODATION:
Our daily base is the region’s best resort hotel, “explora Valle Sagrado”, Peru’s hidden gem.  It is located inside of a former hacienda with guests rooms all looking out to Inca terraces, quinoa and corn fields, and Andes mountain range.  Gastronomic experience is also the highlight of the stay.  All meals are developed by the country’s top chef and inspired by the Andes and its diversity of products, ingredients and traditions.

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Sacred Valley

DAY 1:
Transfer from the airport in Cusco to explora Valle Sagrado (1.5 hr drive ), situated in the heart of “Sacred Valley”.  The explora team will welcome you to the lodge and show you the rooms. You'll meet the photographer and leader of the expedition, Katsuyoshi Tanaka, along with the explora’s guide to discuss the program.  Welcome presentation and lunch.

First encounter with Inca’s wisdom:
Late afternoon, visit “Sarinas del Maras”, thousands of salt pans spreading along the hill.  It has been used for salt extraction since Inca times.  Capture the shinning reflection on the water with the sunset hitting over the deep valley.


DAY 2:
Festivals:
Mid-August is a season for festivity, best time to capture the cultural heritage in the valley.  Visit religious celebration of “Virgin Asunta” in a village, Coya.  Photograph the mass in the central square and follow the colorful procession in which you will document the incredible syncretism of Christianity and local religion.


Cemetery:
During the festival, the locals gather at the small cemetery in the village and pray for the ancestor.  Another great opportunity to photograph the local tradition.

Inca football:
At the end of the day, whole villagers gather at the field and watch this insane and comical yet serious football game.  The players push and hit each other with traditional costume and the crowd gets absolutely ecstatic !  


DAY 3:
Sunrise over the plateau:
Depart hotel at dawn and head to the hilltop to capture the stunning view of the valley.  Sometimes the low fog covers the entire plateau and makes the mysterious view.

Moray:
The amphitheater- like circular stone terraces are believed to be the agricultural laboratory during Inca period.  Capture this breathtaking archeological site.

Bullfight:
Visit another festival in the uphill village, Tiobamba.  Thousands of locals gather from mountains to watch the traditional bullfight.  It is a fight between two bulls pushing each other, rather idyllic scene but sacred ritual for the locals.


DAY 4:
Cusco:
Full day expedition to Cusco, the former capital of Inca Empire.  Start from the fortress of Saqsaywaman, down to the temple of Corincancha and the main square of Plaza de Armas.  Combine street photography and architectural shoot, try to capture a rich and complex history and present life of Cuscanian.


DAY 5:
Machu Picchu:
Full day expedition to historical sanctuary, Machu Picchu.  Take train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes through deep valley and bus ride to top of the ruins.  This sacred yet mysterious site was abandoned in the history until rediscovered in 1911.  Photograph the myth and legacy of “lost city of Inca”.   


DAY 6:
Sunrise over Veronica:
Early departure to foothill of Mt. Veronica and capture the astonishing sunrise over the signature mountain.  
After outdoor breakfast, trek down the preserved highland forest.  Microclimate over the hill creates Zen-garden like tranquil landscape with the moss covering the trees and ground. Best place to photograph the endangered birds.

Ollantaytambo:
Another spectacular Inca ruins with enormous stone terraces and temple. Once unbeatable fortress, it is a living town of Incas now where the people live and preserve the history.  In the evening, go on a photo walk through the deep narrow alleys in the town.


DAY 7:
Weaving:
Visit small weaving village deep in the valley and document the traditional Andean textile making. 30-40 weavers in the village, both men and women, old and young, engage and preserve this precious culture.

5 Lagoons:
Half day expedition with adventure and photography.  We walk along the trail with stunning view of snow capped mountains and 5 different lagoons, go through a ravine with plenty llama and alpaca herds.  Great finale for the program !


DAY 8:
After breakfast and easy morning, depart hotel around noon to the airport in Cusco, then head back home !

“The itineraries are subject to modified and changed.  We will try all our effort to operate programs as planned, but alterations may still occur based on the weather and other conditions.”

STAFF:
Our expeditions are led by NY based photographer and Latin America specialist Katsuyoshi Tanaka, who has traveled extensively in Sacred Valley in Peru. In addition to Katsuyoshi Tanaka, one of explora’s bilingual guides will accompany you on each exploration, introducing you the history, flora & fauna, geography and other key features of the area. All of the explora guides have advanced level Wilderness First Responder certification and always carry a radio and emergency kit with them.

SAFETY OF THE PROGRAM:
It is unique and challenging time for everyone to travel due to COVID-19.  Our priority is the safety and health of the guests and we will take every necessary step to manage COVID-19.  We will also follow the safety protocol from the Peruvian government and the local communities.
For more information about the safety protocols in explora, please see the following link:
https://www.explora.com/important-information-covid-19#safety-protocols

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READY TO JOIN ME?

If you are interested in joining the program or have any questions, please contact me by clicking CONTACT below.

TESTIMONIALS:

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“ When one hears mention of Peru and of Cusco it is natural to think of Machu Picchu. However having just returned from a trip to Peru organized by my friend and mentor, Katsu Tanaka, I now know that Machu Picchu is but a small part of what should be seen in Peru. Peru is alive with a diverse and spectacular range of cultural opportunities just waiting for the avid photographer.  I was fortunate to have the opportunity to experience the enthusiasm of the locals to their religious festivals, to watch Inca Football, and to experience the vast expanses of the high Andes. The range of opportunities is vast and the scenery is superb.  Thank you Katsu for another great trip.”        

                                                                                                                                                                            (Ian Calhaem, Auckland, New Zealand)

" It was a trip of a lifetime and if you want to learn about photography, go and spend some time with Katsu!  We tremendously improved our photography skills while visiting awesome locations that can teach a lot more of our world and its differences.  The Inca Empire showed its knowledge, intelligence and adaptability to the environment at every step."        

                                                                                                                                                                            (Shailendrra Gupta, Michigan, USA)

“ The combination of experiencing the ancient sites and encountering the present population with the current respect for preservation of the Inca legacy is comforting and compels a desire for further visits and continuing the educational process.”                        

                                                                                                                                                                            (Robert Medesker, Michigan, USA)


" Intense, enlightening, challenging, fun, nice people, small group, and incredibly well planed!  Great program! “            

                                                                                                                                                                            (David Johnson, Oregon, USA)
    
"The best immersion and learning program for photography in very exciting, off the beaten path and unusual locations. The group is small, the instructor is always present.  You do work hard and intensively – but so well worth it. “                                

                                                                                                                                                                            (Jeffrey Falk, New York, USA)

“ Beyond expectations !  Varied, unique experiences I never knew existed.  The program was cultural immersion and intelligence with Katsu always working with the group and providing an experience no one else provides! ”                                        

                                                                                                                                                                            (Leslie Falk, New York, USA)