I have been trying to find the time to reminisce and ponder all of the details of this well planned, very full, 11 days (including 2 travel days to and from the USA). We traveled through the desert coast (which makes up about 12% of Peru's topography), into the rainforest (61%), high into the Andes Mountains (27%), and back to the coast again while learning about the history, cultures, and sustainability successes and challenges of this country.
Our trip started on March 3, 2011, with an 8 hour flight from Newark, NJ arriving late in the evening in Lima (population ~9 million), the capital and largest city.We (myself, 4 students and 3 professors from West Chester University in PA, led by Paul Morgan) spent the first full day with thoroughly guided tours around Lima, including visits to an archeological museum, a cathedral, and the San Francisco Monastery and catacombs (ancient, human-made underground passageways for burial) ... read more (PDF).
The twelve members of Senior Troop 243 returned to the USA on Saturday June 26 after a terrific trip to Peru that exceeded our highest hopes in every way. The Wayqecha research station/ cloud forest was a highlight! Peru Footprints provided excellent guides and transportation to reach the station.
To begin with, Karina Davila, our guide, is a friendly, delightful, knowledgeable and thoroughly professionial guide. She contacted me at our hotel the evening before we left for Wayqecha and provided me with the information I needed to prepare the troop for the next day and to learn of any difficulties any member of the group was having with the altitude (fortunately we had been in Cusco for two days and the two members of the group who suffered from altitude sickness were pretty much recovered and everyone could enjoy our time in Waqecha).
Karina and Guillermo (driver) appeared on the dot of 8am; we loaded up and gasped in surprise at the generous grocery sack each that held our lunches. The 15 passenger van was clean and comfortable for the amazing ride that followed. The 6 hour trip up the Sacred Valley and over the pass to the west side of the Andes was riveting -- topography, villages, people, animals! Our eyes got tired from looking, but no one was bored! Guillermo is not only an excellent driver, but a second guide as well -- stopping to point out birds or petroglyphs or searching the rock cliffs for rabbits. ... read More.
This year's "Environmental Issues Across the Americas" course (GEOG 497c) sponsored by Penn State University and the ACEER Foundation left camera traps at Los Amigos - CICRA when they returned from Amazonian Peru at the beginning of Spring semester. The course, taught by Joe Bishop and Denice Wardrop, combined fifteen Penn State students with four Peruvian students to explore environmental issues impacting the rainforests of southeastern Peru. One group's project explored the impacts that the newly constructed Trans-Oceanic Highway is having on the biodiversity and social structures in the region. Read more...