This time in August 2019 I will be leading Aracari’s second Founder trip, a group trip to Northern Peru. Founder trips are generally the opportunity to showcase the best kept secrets and some of the less known areas in the Andes as well connect to people and their stories the way Aracari knows how to do best.
2019 Northern Peru group trip
We will be embarking on a journey to some of the most interesting and lesser-known destinations in northern Peru, an area of numerous and varied attractions, both natural and man-made. The pre-Inca archaeological site of Caral, dating back to before 2000 B.C and the seat of the oldest civilization in the Americas; the Cordillera Blanca, the highest tropical mountain range in the world with numerous snowcapped peaks over 5000 metres (16,404ft) —including Huascaran, Peru’s highest mountain—, and Gocta, one of the world’s tallest waterfalls nestled in the cloud forest of Chachapoyas, are part of the list.
Friends of the Aracari family, archaeologists, naturalists and lodge owners, will host us and tell us their untapped secrets. And of course along the way we will be tasting the highlights of one of Peru’s hubs of culinary delights.
Connecting with Peruvian Pre-Columbian Cultures
We will start our journey overland from Lima and travel 182 km (113mi) to the Supe Valley along the desert coast until we reach Caral. From Caral, which lies at sea level, we leave the desert behind and drive 326 km (202mi) towards the Andes where we will spend three nights in two lovely mountain Lodges, owned by our friends Charlie and Mariana Good. On the way to the Cordillera, we will spend a few hours visiting Chavin de Huantar (1200 BC), the most ancient and interesting pre-Columbian holy pilgrimage site in the Andes.
From the high mountains we will take a hair-raising road across 42 tunnels along a Canyon called El Cañon del Pato, boasting some of the most awe inspiring mountain scenery in the world. After a heart-stopping 7-hour overland journey we will reach the charming and lively coastal Colonial city of Trujillo, the jewel of the north, home of the Paso Horse and the marinera dance, the pre-Inca Moche culture (100 to 700 AD) and some of the best food in Peru. Here we have some surprises in store such as dining in one of the City’s most beautiful private homes, riding Paso horses, and visiting up-close some of the best kept polychrome murals at the Huaca de la Luna, the best preserved Moche archaeological site, guided by the head of the excavation project.
A land of dramatic diversity
We will then fly to the cloud forest and encounter exuberant vegetation with hummingbirds, orchids and bromeliads. This is where the pre-Inca Chachapoya (750–800AD) people built their citadels on mountain tops and ridges the most monumental of it being Kuelap, also called the Machu Picchu of the north. We will take a gentle hike along lush vegetation on our way to Gocta, one of the tallest waterfalls in the world.
Accommodations will be comfortable, charming, sustainable and simple. Little family-owned hotels and lodges, whose owners will be there to host us. After the 11-day non-stop journey, we will have time to relax and rest on a marvelous 3-night cruise up the Amazon to Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.
All in all, the trip of a lifetime.