Machu Picchu / Sacred Valley / Cusco
ISA students will travel to the historical city of Cusco, the ancient Inca capital, thought to have been founded around 1100 AD. Cusco is located in the south east of Peru and it is well known for being the ancient capital of the Inca Empire and the doorway to visit Machu Picchu. Cusco is where the Spaniards initiated the conquest of the Inca Empire, which extended from present day Colombia and Ecuador, to southern Chile. The city is full of beautiful plazas, narrow streets, and grand structures in the Plaza de Armas. Cusco is connected by the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
Students will have the opportunity to tour the Sacred Valley and then take the train to "The Lost City of the Incas". In Machu Picchu students will be afforded countless magnificent views of the Peruvian Andes and marvel at the way the Incas built this "city in the sky". Tours of the archeological site will allow students to see and experience the architectural wonder that is Machu Picchu and feel for a moment that they are part of the Incan Empire.
There are opportunities to hike, stroll, or just contemplate the awe-inspiring scenery. As one student put it, "It is amazing the impression Machu Picchu leaves on everyone... I'm very fortunate that I've had the chance to come to a place that holds so much mystique and wonder for so many people."
Optional in the following sessions