Giving to
Bryn Mawr

Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center

Peru Family Trek

With Kathy Tierney, Director of Athletics, Bryn Mawr College
June 28 - July 6, 2014

Exhilarating, magical, and ultimately memorable, Peru is one of the great family travel destinations in the Americas. Our time here gives everyone the chance to release their inner explorer and wander in wonder among some of the most amazing ruins in the world, remnants of the golden age of extremely advanced ancient Incan culture. From Machu Picchu – the mysterious “Lost City of the Incas” – to the impressive ruins of Ollantaytambo, Sacsayhuaman and Pisaq, this sacred land is steeped in the history of its once-powerful empires and still-thriving indigenous mountain communities, alive with markets and alive with markets and colorful textiles. We invite you to join your faculty host, Kathy Tierney, Director of Athletics at Bryn Mawr College, on this wonderful family adventure!

Back to the top »

Preliminary Itinerary
(please click on location to reveal details)


DAY 1: Depart from USA

Travel Day

DAY 2: Arrive in Lima

Upon arrival in Lima, and go through customs to the main airport terminal and you will be met by the Thomson Family Adventures representative. Hotel: Ramada Costa del Sol

DAY 3: Lima to Machu Picchu

Take a 60-minute flight to Cuzco. You will be met by your guide upon arrival who will be with you the entire journey. After arriving in Cuzco, transfer by vehicle to Ollaytantanbo at 9,000 feet. The drive is through beautiful countryside with mountain backdrops and villages. Time permitting, set out on an easy walking tour of the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo, which is so well preserved that it serves as a veritable replica of a typical Incan community. The stone for this city was quarried at the far side of the river and its buildings include an immense temple and sacred baths. The temple area, situated at the top of a very steep terrace, was still being constructed when the Spanish conquered the region, so it remains unfinished to this day. A 90-minute train journey follows the Urubamba River, and presents a non-stop series of awe- inspiring views of soaring mountains and the dramatic canyons of the Urubamba Valley. Located in the town of Aguas Calientes, at the base of the Machu Picchu Reserve, our hotel is surrounded by 12 scenic acres of cloud forest. After checking-in, you are free to explore the grounds, venture into town or simply relax and bask in the glorious scenery. Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (B,L,D)

DAY 4: Machu Picchu

We have a full day to explore Machu Picchu. For our intrepid adventurers, our guide offers an exciting hike up to the sacred summit Huayana Picchu, the rocky knoll overlooking the entire site of Machu Picchu. The trail is steep, in some places protected by guardrails and at one point we’ll pass through a natural cave just before emerging at the summit. The view from the top is nothing short of awesome. There is also the Gate of the Sun optional hike – a moderate but very rewarding route follows the famous Inca trail to Machu Picchu and to the Inti Punku – the Gate of the Sun. The walk is a mile long and approximately 1,000 feet up. Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (B,L,D)

DAY 5: Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo

We will return via train to Ollantaytambo. This 90 minute train ride follow along the Urubama River, providing families with awe-inspiring views of the dramatic canyons of the Urubama Valley. Lunch today is at Kuchuwasi Restaurant, operated by a local family in their home. We will take a 45-minute deive up to the valley of the Patakancha River to the village of Patakancha, at an elevation of 12,500 feet. We will meet some of the local women there who will give us a demonstration in traditional art of Andean back-strap weaving. Cas Andina Valle Sagrado Lodge (B,L,D)

DAY 6: Ollantaytambo

Take an early 15-minute drive to a bridge built on Inca foundations at an elevation of 9,332 feet. We’ll meet our trek crew there and begin our moderate 5-hour ascent through small farms and ancient Inca stone terracing. The higher we get on our trek, the more spectacular the scenery becomes, and the Inca terracing fills the valley floor. When we reach our campsite at 11,562 feet, we can explore the massive Inca quarry works there. It’s amazing how intricate the stone work is – platforms where skilled masons shaped the gigantic granite blocks, the ramps they built to drag those stones down the mountainside, and the “Tired Stones” left in the fields across the river below where workers laid down their tools during the upheavals of the Spanish conquest. Qachikata camping (B,L,D)

DAY 7: Ollantaytambo to Cuzco

Optional quarry camp hiking and exploration

  • Early birds have the chance to hike up to the nearby ridge which provides breathtaking views of the Inca ruin Huayraqpunku (Gate of the Wind – 12,923’) and Nevado Veronica (18,637’) across the vast valley. Explore the quarry camp and its picturesque surroundings with the Incan engineering that is the Ollantaytambo Sun Temple in the distance, reminding us how far granite from these quarries was hauled and the hard work and ingenuity it must have required.
  • Qachikata Return – we will trek back down following a different route or our decent back to Qachikata We will take a bus ride to the city of Cuzco, stopping en route at the ruins of Sacsayhuaman. These are the best known ruins outside Cuzco and it is a military complex. The massive stones weigh up to 125 tons apiece and for a double wall in a zigzag shape.
Upon arrival in Cizco we will check into our hotel which is located minutes from Cuzco’s major attractions, like the main sqare and the Spanish Cathedral. Hotel Libertador Palacio del Inca (B,L,D)

DAY 8: Cuzco

The ancient capital of the Inca Empire is now hailed as the “Archaeological Capital of the Americas.” The city’s buildings and temples once shimmered in gold, but the Spanish stripped its golden architectural trademark in the 16th century. On your walking tour of Cuzco, you and your family will feel like you’ve entered a make-believe world where history comes alive in the ruins, museums, churches and mansions. And, as you explore this ancient center, try to imagine how this shimmering golden city must have looked...

Meaning “golden courtyard” in Quechua, Koricancha—the Temple of the Sun—once glittered in gold, with golden panels covering the walls and a giant gold sun disk. While the gold is gone, the fantastic Inca stonework remains. Koricancha Temple We’ll transfer by van to the lively San Pedro Market, where we’ll help shop for the ingredients that will go into our traditional home-cooked lunch. After the market, we’ll head to a home in the San Cristobal neighborhood for a Peruvian country cooking lesson and hearty lunch.

After transferring by bus to Cuzco’s Plaza de Armas, we’ll continue our walking tour. Stroll through the steep, narrow streets of the San Blas neighborhood, with beautiful views of the city. We’ll visit the Hatun Rumiyoq stone and the area’ charming artisans’ shops.

Diner tonight will be at Tunupa Resturant. Hotel Libertador Palacio del Inca (B,L,D)

DAY 9: Cuzco to Lima

Take an hour long flight to Lima. Lunch this afternoon will be at a local restaurant in Lima Take a scenic guided bike tour of the city of Lima. We will explore the are around the ba, including the trendy bohemian neighborhood of Barranco, riding through streets ined with old mansions, bars and pubs and public parks. Afterwards we cruise through the seaside district of Miraflores, peering over the cliff edge sidewalks or a beautiful view of the surrounding ocean.

Enjoy dinner on your own this evening. Accommodations: Casa Andina Private Collection, Miraflores.

Day 10: Depart Lima for USA

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Back to the top »

Cost and program Inclusions

Adult $4,899
Teen (12 – 17)$4,690
Child (6 – 11)$4,590
Triple room Discount$ 200
Domestic Air **$ 400
Single Supplement$2,000
*Land Only
** Estimate
Program Inclusions
  • All entrance fees for sites indicated in the itinerary
  • Accommodations based on double and triple occupancy at comfortable and distinctive tourist level hotels
  • Meals as per the above itinerary
  • Services of a bilingual guide who will accompany you throughout your trip
  • Land transportation, airport transfers and internal air
  • All excursions as listed in the itinerary
  • Bottled water for the land portion of your tour
  • Groups of 8 or more will be accompanied by one of our mentors
  • Trip journal including bird lists, mammal lists, sketchpads and address lists
  • Services of a mentor who will provide kid-friendly enrichment activities (based on a minimum number of participants)
  • Tips for porters and wait staff
  • Beer, wine, spirits and soda included at welcome and farewell dinners
  • Soda, juice, coffee and tea
Not Included:
  • Soda, beer, wine and spirits (where we include dinner, you will need to pay the bar tab)
  • Fees for passports, visas and immunizations
  • Meals and expenses en route to your destination
  • Laundry, phone/fax/email, and other items of a personal nature
  • Additional activities not listed on this itinerary
  • Tips for your guide(s), mentor (if applicable), and driver(s)
Back to the top »

Faculty Study Leader

Kathy Tierney, Director of Athletics, Bryn Mawr College

Kathy Tierney, Director of Athletics, Bryn Mawr College

Kathy serves as the Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Wellness, overseeing all facets of a department that includes 11 NCAA varsity sports, a PE program that serves nearly 1300 students each year, and a fitness program with opportunities ranging from the Fit Club to Cycle-A-thon, to faculty-student-staff soccer and softball games. Her mission is to integrate the department and its programs more fully into the life of the college, stressing the importance of fitness and health in a strong liberal arts education.

Kathy comes to Bryn Mawr after serving as the Director of Athletics at Lebanon Valley College. In that role, she oversaw the consolidation of all Lebanon Valley student recreation and athletic facilities into one location and the construction of the school's new gymnasium. She is also credited with establishing a student athlete mentor program and stronger presence in community-service activities for student-athletes. Tierney was also a highly respected field hockey coach at Lebanon Valley, leading her teams to multiple conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances. Her student athletes earned eight ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America awards and thirty-seven Academic All-District honors. Kathy began her career as an assistant field hockey and basketball coach at Brown University.

Back to the top »


Ramada Costa del Sol (or similar)

The Ramada Costa del Sol is conveniently located at the Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima. The hotel features 130 clean, comfortable rooms, each with air-conditioning and internet access. Other highlights of the hotel include a spa, gym, business center and great restaurants.

Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (or similar)

The Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, surrounded by twelve acres of beautiful cloud forest, is conveniently located just minutes from the train station. It features tile-roofed casitas (bungalows), a tea plantation, more than 100 species of birds and 250 species of butterflies. The hotel has eighty-five large, comfortable, air-conditioned rooms – many with a fireplace and a balcony or terrace. Other highlights include an outdoor pool, hot tub, spa, jogging track, business center and high-speed internet access.

Casa Andina Valle Sagrado Lodge (or similar)

Yanahuara, in Peru's Sacred Valley, is home to the Valle Sagrado Lodge. The lodge has 85 spacious rooms, each with a private balcony or porch offering guests a beautiful view of the surrounding scenery. Each room also has access to secluded gardens and terraces. In the guest rooms, you'll find a hair dryer, a mini-bar, a safe, and a TV and DVD player. Additionally, guests can enjoy use of the lodge's shop, laundry services, spa, restaurant and bar.

Qachikata camping (or similar)

Camp at 11,562 feet, next to the ancient Inca granite quarry of Qachikata. This quarry supplied the massive stones for the building of Ollantaytambo Sun Temple. The site overlooks a vast and rugged valley, providing views of all sorts of Inca ruins and remnants of their amazing stone work and engineering ingenuity.

Hotel Libertador Palacio del Inca (or similar)

The Hotel Libertador Palacio del Inca, a historical site dating back several centuries, is surrounded by magnificent Inca and colonial buildings. It is conveniently located just minutes from Cuzco’s major attractions, like the main square and the Spanish Cathedral. The hotel features 240 elegant rooms, as well as a fitness center, a sauna and jacuzzi, a business center, wireless internet, restaurants, and a gift shop.

Casa Andina Private Collection, Miraflores (or similar)

Casa Andina Private Collection is located two blocks from the Parque Kennedy, the social hub of the attractive Miraflores neighborhood next to the ocean in Lima. It is a 20-minute drive to the city’s historical center and 40-minutes from the airport. The hotel features 148 spacious rooms, each with internet access. Other highlights include a heated indoor pool, steam room, sauna, and spa, a solarium, a gourmet restaurant, shops, and business center.

Back to the top »