Vamos Expeditions

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  • Unforgettable trip

    Unforgettable trip 
 As a passionate and experienced traveler I can tell that Vamos Expeditions is really outstanding. The organization, options, and personalized service, besides the real deep knowledge in local costumes and people, makes Vamos´ service one that can be seen easily elsewhere.... see more

    Vannesa Hidalgo
  • Never seen such commitment

    Vamos Expeditions is the best! I have traveled around the world and never seen such commitment and personalized service. see more

    Jan Flamend
  • Vamos Expeditions.

    “My Vamos Expeditions’ leader was a superb travel planner and tour guide. I have found her to be very detailed and always on top of the situation even when faced with problems which seemed to be out of anyone's control. It is worth every cent and a whole lot more.” see more

    Lee Dardis

    SPRING BREAK “One of the best trips of my life so far! Very well organized and gave us an opportunity to enjoy various flavors of life of the locals. Both our tour leaders were very amiable and accommodating, always keeping in mind the different needs of the individuals of our group, which was large by... see more

    Aditi Chowdhary
  • Experience something off the beaten path, sustainable and different

    “Vamos Expeditions provided a great tailor made trip near Cusco for me and my girlfriend including the Lares trek to Machu Picchu. We wanted to do a trek in order to see the region but avoiding big groups of tourists and having something a little bit more personalized. Vamos expeditions... see more

    Sébastien Lafosse
  • Fantastic organizer for group programs

    “Vamos Expeditions is a fantastic organizer of group programs. In our case they organized for a class of MBA students to do an educational tour of Peru. The whole trip went flawless and everyone involved was extremely satisfied. Their attention to detail, integrity and delightful personalities... see more

    Francisco (Frank) BENAVIDES
    United States
  • Vamos Expeditions

    “Vamos Expeditions was responsible for coordinating a 10-day trip to Peru for a Global Management Studies (GMS) program that my MBA class at the Olin Business School of Washington University planned. This was the most well-organized international group trip I have ever been on. It was a... see more

    Marc Wolf
    United States
  • Amazing trek in the Lares region

    Amazing trip in Lares region near Cuzco. Great coordination, best cook ever on the trek and brand new equipment. Definitly recommended for anyone that wants to experience a personalized adventure trip. The region is absolutely stunning and I enjoyed to learning about the Andean culture from our... see more

    Stef Heyninck
  • Experience something off the beaten path, sustainable and different

    “Vamos Expeditions provided a great tailor made trip near Cusco for me and my girlfriend. We wanted to do a trek in order to see the region but avoiding big groups of tourists and having something a little bit more personalized. Vamos expeditions took care of all the little details that matter... see more

    Sébastien Lafosse
  • Vamos Expeditions has the best combination of adventure and safety

    “I recently had the privledge of doing the Inca Trail to Machu Pichu with Vamos Expeditions. I have been on many such trips in the last 5 years, and Vamos had, by far, the best combination of adventure and safety. I was incredibly impressed at how each of the tour guides and affiliates... see more

    Bryan Langley
    United States
  • Fabulous time in Peru

    “I highly recommend Vamos for travel/tourism arrangements. We had a fabulous time in Peru.” see more

    Kate Whitehead
    United States
  • Fantastic job every time

    “Vamos Expeditions has organized three absolutely spectacular, unforgettable trips to South America for large groups of my friends (~15-30 people, including me). They have done a fantastic job every time, ranging from finding superb accommodations to securing knowledgeable local guides and... see more

    Deena Malkina
    United States
  • Above and beyond every possible expectation

    “My trip with Vamos to Peru, the Inca Trail, and Machu Picchu was an amazing experience in every way possible. Every detail was planned out and cared for, making the trip completely worry-free for my group. Vamos went above and beyond every possible expectation to make my time in Peru a... see more

    Ryan Baldwin
    United States
  • I highly recommend Vamos Expeditions even for the most exigent requests

    “As the organizer of a trip for a group of MBA students from Babson College I can highly recommend Vamos Expeditions as great company to work and travel with. They have a wealth of experience and know how to lead groups and make people enjoy their trip as much as possible, considering even... see more

    Alexander Ugaz
  • Guarandeed stressless travel with an authentic view on the country

    “I was lucky to travel with Vamos Expeditions when visiting Peru. Their tour guide, Annelies has an an open-minded and amicable attitude towards the people she's travelling with and the places she's visiting with them. 
Her love-for-life philosophy guaranteed a stressless and at the same... see more

    Karl Jamaels
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Peru > General Information

Area: 496,223 square miles
Capital: Lima
Languages: Spanish, Quechua (both official)
Population: 27,544,305
Religions: Roman Catholic
Time Zone: The west coast of the South American continent is roughly aligned with the east coast of North America. In other words, Lima, Peru (west coast) is due south of Miami, Florida and New York and is in the same time zone. Assuming it is standard time, when it is noon in New York, it is also noon in Lima, Peru.

Although Peru is well-known as the land of the Incas, its rich ancient history pre-dates the Inca Empire by thousands of years. The earliest evidence of indigenous societies goes back to the eighth millennium B.C. There are indications that organized village life was present as long ago as 2500 B.C.

By 1200 B.C., several groups had begun moving from the north into what is now Peru. These included the Chavin, Chimu, Sechin, Nazca and Tiahuanaco. The ruins of the Chimu city of Chanchan, wich they built around A.D. 1000, still exist today. New regional cultures arose following the decline of the Chavin and Sechin around the 5th century B.C. The Saliner and the Paracas made artistic and technological advances including kiln-fired ceramics and sophisticated weaving techniques. The Nazca, creators of the huge, cryptic Nazca Lines, were successors to the Paracas culture.

The Inca Empire had a surprisingly brief reign at the end of this long pre-colonial history. In less than a century, the Incas expanded their domain from the river valley around Cuzco to the whole region from northern Argentina to southern Colombia, including much of present-day Peru and Ecuador. In addition to their military skill, the Incas had a knack for assimilating the best features of the peoples they conquered. They built their entire empire between the early 1400s and 1532, when the Spanish conquistadors arrived.

For 200 years, Spanish officials ruled Peru using native intermediaries as go-betweens to deal with the indigenous population. In 1780, some 60,000 native people rose up in revolt against Spanish rule, led by a Peruvian patriot who used the Inca name of Tupac Amaru. The Spanish ultimately put down this revolt and another in 1814.

Peru finally broke free from Spain in the 1820s as wars of independence swept across South America. Jose de San Martin of Argentina and Simon Bolivar of Venezuela played key roles in driving the Spanish military out of Peru, whichdeclared independence in 1821.

A series of Bolivar’s lieutenants known as the “marshals of Ayacucho” governed Peru in the following decades. One of the most able of these, Ramon Castilla, presided over the adoption of a liberal constitution in 1860.

Since then, Peru’s history has been a dramatic alternation between democratic an dictatorial governments, each of which has faced pressing social and economic issues. Opposition to dictatorship has played a prominent role in Peruvian politics since the 1920s, when Victor Raul Hava de la Torre founded the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA).

Peruvian democratic reformers have long advocated guarateed civil liberties and improved living conditions for the nation’s Native Americans. There have also been radical and violent opposition movements, including the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path), whose leaders were captured in 1992. Peru’s last four heads of state have been democratically elected: Fernando Belaunde Terry in 1980, Alan Garcia Perez (an APRA candidate) in 1985, Alberto Fujimori in 1990, and Alejandro Toledo in 2001.

Peru Today

About half of Peru’s people are of Native American ancestry, many of them direct descendants of the Incas. Another third of the population is mestizo (of mixed Native American and European ancestry). Roughly one-tenth of the population is of primarily European heritage, and there are smaller but still significant African and Asian minorities.

Geographically, Peru´s people are almost equally divided between the Andean highlands and the Pacific coast. Subsistence agriculture and poverty (by U.S. standards) are common in the highlands, where many indigenous languages are still spoken. Most of the country’s material wealth is concentrated in the more cosmopolitan coastal cities, where Spanish is the dominant language.

Land and Climate

Peru is the third-largest country in South America. Topped by towering Andean peaks, its landscape also includes a portion of the Amazon River Basin and an extension of Chile’s Atacama Desert along the coast. Three of Peru’s largest cities—Lima, Trujillo, and Chiclayo—are in the coastal desert region. The city of Iquitos (population 400,000) is the capital of Peru´s Amazon region on the eastern slope of the Andes. It is accessible only by airplane and Amazon riverboat.

Peru´s climate varies considerably by region, although the months of January through March are the wettest in the highlands (Cuzco). Coastal areas are hot and humid during those months, but are cooled during the rest of the year by the fog from the ocean known as La Garua. The western slopes of the Andes are clear, warm, and dry most of the year. Up in the mountains, the temperature drops considerably at night. The eastern slopes of the Andes and the Amazon basin get very heavy rainfall during their wet season, which lasts from January through April. Because of its high altitude, Cuzco experiences a broader fluctuation of temperatures on a daily basis. The mercury can drop quite low at night, and during the dry season, nighttime frosts are common.

Brief History of Lima

The Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded Lima in 1535, and almost immediately Lima became the richest and most important city in the Americas and considered the crown jewel of colonial settlements in the region. Lima grew quickly to become the center of power and trade for the entire Spanish Empire that stretched from Quito to Santiago. In its time, Lima was renowned for its baroque and Renaissance churches, palaces, and mansions, as well as the continent’s first university, founded in 1551.

Lima fell into decline in when Spain created a rival viceregency in Rio de la Plata, which subsequently grew rich from silver mines. An earthquake leveled much of Lima in 1746, leaving more than 4,000 dead and few buildings standing. Today, Lima is a sprawling bustling, chaotic capital. The outer suburbs such as Barranco and La Molina are quiet and restful in contrast to the inner city. With a population of eight million (one-third of Peru’s population), and as the seat of the national government and the headquarters of most industry, Lima dominates Peru’s political and commercial life. The country’s best museums, restaurants, and nightlife are also here. The city’s art and archaelogy museums are particularly good at helping the visitor understand the rich history and culture of Peru.

Brief History of Cuzco

In its prime, the Incan capital at Cuzco was the richest city in all of the Americas, dominated by gold-plated temples. Though only fragments of Cuzco’s Incan architecture remain, the renowned ruins at Machu Picchu, an Incan ceremonial center, have survived too astonish the world.

At the very moment when Francisco Pizarro landed with his band of Spanish conquistadors in 1532, the Inca Empire had been divided and weakened by a dispute over succession to the throne. Pizarro’s possession of horses and cannons gave him a military advantage, and he also used deception to exploit the situation. Concealing his true intentions, he arranged a personal meeting with the Inca ruler Atahualpa, then proceeded to assassinate him. The conquistadors sacked the city of Cuzco and took control.

Though Inca resistance continued for several years, Atahualpa’s death ended the Inca Empire. Francisco Pizarro established a new capital city at Ciudad de los Reyes, now Lima, in 1535. It was there that a rival conquistador killed Pizarro during a factual dispute six years later.