The Andes occupy the same place in the popular imagination as Tibet before the Chinese invasion – a mysterious Shangri-La where utopias and adventures can be found in tropical rainforests and misty mountains. In our imagination South America may conjure pictures of lost cities, El Dorado, cruel Spanish conquistadors, gold-laden galleons, Christopher Columbus and the advanced ancient civilisations of the Incas and the Mayans. However that imagination does not automatically associate the Andes with gigantic peaks rising to nearly 7,000m/23,000ft, or treks that are every bit as exciting and challenging as the Himalaya. We aim to take you where the condors wheel and llamas carry the baggage on the very best routes amongst the highest peaks. South America Our acclimatisation programme Almost all tour operators currently overnight in Cuzco on arrival in the Machu Picchu area. However Cuzco lies at 3,400m (over 11,000ft) and arriving there direct from sea-level can cause altitude problems. All Himalayan Kingdoms treks in the area have been specially designed to descend immediately and spend the first night in the Sacred Valley, visiting Cuzco at the end of the treks. £2,750 £1,995 Fri 04 Apr – Sun 20 Apr* Fri 25 Apr – Sun 11 May* £2,965 £1,995 Fri 25 Jul – Sun 10 Aug † £2,835 £1,995 Fri 22 Aug – Sun 07 Sep † Fri 05 Sep – Sun 21 Sep † Fri 26 Sep – Sun 12 Oct † Price TBC: 2009 dates: Fri 03 Apr – Sun 19 Apr ’09 Fri 24 Apr – Sun 10 May ’09 land only land only land only Grade: Vigorous On Trek: 6 days In-country Leader Nights’ Accommodation: Hotels: 10 Luxury Lodges: 5 Optional: Single Room £tbc Insurance: £95* (Standard Policy) £145 † (Insurance Plus) Days Itinerary Duration: 17 days 1–2 Fly to Lima and Cuzco, transfer to Sacred Valley 3–5 Acclimatisation, sightseeing, return to Cuzco 6–7 Drive to Soray Pampa, day walks 8–11 Trek through the Andes –12 View Machu Picchu, train to Cuzco 13–15 Visit Lake Titicaca 16–17 Fly to Lima and London Guaranteed to run for a minimum of6clients Humantay mountain behind Wayra Lodge Photo: Mountain Lodges of Peru Download detailed itineraries from www.himalayankingdoms.com e: firstname.lastname@example.org 60 Luxury Mountain Lodges to Machu Picchu We are proud to offer the very first trans-Andean lodgeto- lodge trek to Machu Picchu. The trek itself winds its way through the spectacular Cordillera Vilcabamba, and overnights at four high-quality mountain lodges. The first of these in the valley of Soray Pampa has a sauna, jacuzzi, reading room, fireplace and twelve en-suite double and twin rooms. After our own acclimatisation programme in the Sacred Valley, we move to this lodge for two nights before beginning the trek in earnest. The other three lodges are smaller but still offer first-class Peruvian and international cuisine, Jacuzzis and fireplaces. The trek is every bit as scenic as the more famous Inca Trail but much less travelled. Views from the lodges are of 6,000m/20,000ft snow-capped peaks and lush valleys. After viewing the ruins at Machu Picchu we finish this fantastic trek with a visit to Lake Titicaca.
Left: Andean lady Right: Machu Picchu Photos: Steve Berry Peru & Machu Picchu 61 tel: 0845 330 8579 (local call rate, UK only) international tel: +44 1453 844 400 www.himalayankingdoms.com Inca Trail permits warning • Now strictly controlled by the Peruvian Institute of Culture • Total of 500 Permits per day (incl. porters & staff) • Usually sold out months in advance • To secure your Permit, we therefore have to pay for it in advance, and supply your Full Name, Nationality, Passport Number, Date of Birth and Occupation Therefore, if your trek in Peru involves one of the trails (not just the Inca Trail) that leads to Machu Picchu please book early! Hugh Thomson Hugh Thomson is Britain’s foremost modern explorer of lost Inca settlements, and in 2004 we were delighted that he agreed to devise the itineraries for our first three treks in South America. This year he will lead the White Rock Trek. In 1982 Hugh first set off into the cloud forest to find a ruin that had been carelessly lost again after its initial discovery. This was his introduction to the curious and confusing world of Inca exploration. He has since travelled to the most remote Inca cities, both in the cloud forest and in the jungle, following in the footsteps of great explorers like Hiram Bingham who first hacked their way into the unknown, armed with machetes and boundless enthusiasm. In his acclaimed book, The White Rock: An Exploration of the Inca Heartland (Phoenix), Hugh painted a compellingly different picture of the lost Inca empire of Tahuantinsuyo, drawing both on his own journeys and recent research by archaeologists. His most recent book, Cochineal Red: Travels through Ancient Peru, includes a description of the so-called ‘festival of the snows’. Hugh has made many award-winning films, including Indian Journeys with the writer William Dalrymple and Dancing in the Street: A Rock and Roll History for the BBC. He also collaborated with Himalayan Kingdoms to make the film in which Joanna Lumley travelled across Bhutan. Cochineal Red: Travels through Ancient Peru is published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson. Classic Inca Trail The Inca trail is one of the best and most famous trails in the world, but is often spoiled for trekkers by poorly planned itineraries and cut-price compromises. Having walked it again in 2005, Hugh Thomson has now designed a carefully staged version which gives trekkers the best possible altitude acclimatisation and allows an extra full day at Machu Picchu to enjoy it once we’ve arrived. You are only going to do the Inca Trail once, so do it in the best possible style! The ancient paved Inca walkway leads past a fabulous sequence of Inca ruins in the cloud-forest to Machu Picchu itself, before returning to Cuzco, the old Inca capital and a fascinating destination in its own right. £2,395 £1,610 Dates: Tue 16 Sep – Fri 26 Sep land only Grade: Moderate/Vigorous On Trek: 4 days In-country Leader Nights’ Accommodation: Hotels: 3 Camping: 3 Hacienda/Family Inn: 3 Optional: Single Room £225 Single Tent £40 Insurance: £95 (Standard Policy) Days Itinerary Duration: 11 days –1 Fly to Lima –2 Fly to Cuzco, transfer direct to the Sacred Valley of the Incas at a lower altitude –3 An important extra day’s acclimatisation 4–7 Inca Trail Trek begins. Allowing four full days walking, we arrive at Machu Picchu –8 Return to Machu Picchu, train to Cuzco –9 Day in Cuzco –10 Return Cuzco to Lima –11 Arrive back in London Guaranteed to run for a minimum of clients Designed and researched by Hugh Thomson 6 The Hiram Bingham Trail A recently opened Inca trail follows the Urubamba River down its imposing granite gorge before climbing up Machu Picchu, passing through the beautiful Inca site Wiñay Wayna (‘forever young’) on the way. The route culminates with the stunning spectacle Machu Picchu viewed from the imposing sun-gate Intipunku, perched high above the ‘lost city’. Hugh Thomson designed this program for those who seek the essence of Inca Peru within limited time and budget, while avoiding the more strenuous Inca Trail, with its high-altitude passes. We trek for four days beside the roaring rapids of Urubamba visiting seldom seen ruins along the way. The trail passes through pristine cloud forest vegetation, hosting multitude of interesting and colourful birds. £2,395 £1,610 Dates: Wed 14 May – Sat 24 May, Wed 25 Jun – Sat 05 Jul, Wed 08 Oct – Sat 18 Oct land only Grade: Moderate On Trek: 4 days In-country Leader Nights’ Accommodation: Hotels: 3 Camping: 3 Hacienda/Family Inn: 3 Optional: Single Room £225 Single Tent £40 Insurance: £95 (Standard Policy) Days Itinerary Duration: 11 days 1–2 Fly to Cuzco, via Lima, drive to Sacred Valley –3 Visit nearby Sacred Valley of the Incas 4–7 Trek from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu –8 Additional day at Machu Picchu 9–11 Drive to Cuzco, at leisure, fly to London Guaranteed to run for a minimum of clients Designed and researched by Hugh Thomson This is the route taken by the American explorer Hiram Bingham when he discovered Machu Picchu in 1911 6