Sand S Tours - Learning Adventures
Layout Image

#MachuPicchuTravelTour

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tours

UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

S & S Tour Offerings to Some of These Sites

Seville palace garden2In 1978, when UNESCO published its first list of protected places, there were just 12 World Heritage Sites.  These included one of S & S Tours offerings this year in May:  The Galapagos Islands.

Today there are 1031 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The top ten nations for the World Heritage Sites listed according to ranking in the number of sites are Italy, China, Spain, France, and Germany, Mexico, India, UK, Russia and  USA. Italy, China, Spain and  France possess 51, 48, 44 and 41 respectively,  France is the most popular country in the world, with Spain not far behind.  Spain is one of my favorite countries and we tour there every few years with clients.

As you can see  Mexico rates #6 in the top ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  We offer various tours to these Sites all over Mexico—archeological sites, architectural sites, natural history sites, designated cities, etc.

One of the new wonders of the world is one of the best known and most visited tourist destinations in South America, Machu Picchu, does not fail to disappoint visitors and even though I have been there 10 times, I am ready to go again next year. S & S Tours has a popular 12-day tour here in April this year and plans to offer another one next April.

We are so fortunate the Spaniards did not discover the 550-year old citadel, built by the Inca civilization in the 15th century. It perches high in the Peruvian Andes at 7,973ft above sea level.

Machu Picchu (which means “old mountain” in the Quechua language) can be reached by a hike on mountain trails or by a scenic train trip through the “Sacred Valley.” We take the Vista Dome Train and  follow the Urubamba River up to the  foot of Machu Picchu.  We stay two nights at Aguas Calientes so we have plenty of time to wander around the ruins and even climb Wayna Picchu if we desire (“new mountain.”  )  This is the widely photographed peak at the back of Machu Picchu.

Sue Stilwell

Machu Picchu Travel Tour

Machu Picchu

 View from Guardhouse 2Since I was a young girl, I had wanted to visit Machu Picchu in Peru,  the cradle of the Inca civilization.   I have now been there at least 10 times.  We are going again this spring. It is truly a privilege to stand on this site that was once the refuge for Incan rulers to get away from it all. One client who had traveled to 45 destinations in the world commented “this is the ultimate.”   One just wants to sit on the grassy areas on the different levels of the ruins, watch the animal “lawn mowers”, the Llamas, and contemplate what the city was like when it was occupied.  We are so fortunate the Spaniards never discovered it or, it would not be available to us.  The best experience is to watch the sun rise on the site and see it chase away the shadows on the magnificent structures as it moves across the ruins.  It is also a wonderful experience to travel on the narrow gauge railroad to Machu Picchu through the gorgeous,  scenic Sacred Valley with the towering Andean Peaks on both side.  A personal highlight of this tour was to climb Wayna Picchu (the old mountain) twice with chains and rings to pull me up.  It is the pointed peak always seen at the back of the Machu Picchu (young mountain) photos.   As one stands at the top, the full sweep of Machu Picchu is below and it is a breathtaking moment.    Those of us who want to do so, walk 4 miles on the Inca Trail to the Sun Gate, so we can boast we walked part of the Inca Trail.  The Inca Suspended Bridge is another optional destination while there.  It was one of the varied entrances into the site.   We also actually visit  the Floating Islands in Lake Titicaca in reed boats.  I had studied them in grade school.  The pigs, the school and the church each have their own floating islands!

.

Begin and end in the capital of the Spanish civilization– Lima, Peru.

April 19-30, 2016.  $3995 p/p per dble rm. A discount available.