The Marañon River, known as the Grand Canyon of the Amazon, is one of the most important rivers in the world. Beginning high in the glacial Andes, the Marañon flows through ten regions of Peru into the mighty Amazon rainforest. It is the Amazon river's major tributary and is rich with biodiverse wildlife, with over 64 species of birds, 23 of which are endemic to Peru. The "ribiñeros" who live here depend heavily on the Marañon's unique ecosystem for survival.
Experience this spectacular river up close with Telluride Academy's newest expedition trip! After an orientation day on the beaches of Lima, we will travel north to the Amazonas region and settle into the colonial town of Chachapoyas. In the laid-back atmosphere of high-altitude cloud forests, we will visit local markets, learn basic Spanish language, and explore the Incan ruins of Kuelap. In our second week, we'll plunge deeper into the forest for a private homestay in Bosque Berlin Conservation Area. Surrounded by lush countryside, we will experience first-hand Peruvian ways of life and learn how to self-sustain by planting, harvesting, and cooking everything we eat with our hosts. We will trekk to remote waterfalls and look for the endangered yellow-tailed wooly monkeys that live nearby. From here, we will launch on the Marañon river with our guides, Marañon Experience, for three days of swimming and sliding, searching for petroglyphs, and floating down the red canyons in the heart of the Amazon plains. Along the way, we will get to visit the communities that live among the riverbanks and work fiercely to protect it from damming. Combining both cultural immersion and unique outdoor recreation, this is one adventure you won’t want to miss!
Instructors: Hannah Barnhart and Michael Kerr
Program Itinerary: *Schedule subject to change
Day 1: Group flight meet in Houston for departure to Lima. PM arrival in Lima. Spend the night at a beachside home.
Day 2: Orientation and layover day in Lima. Visit local beaches and tour museum. Work on language skills and learn about Peru's history.
Day 3-4: Travel (via airplane and bus) to Chachapoyas. Visit local markets, participate in language classes, indulge in local cuisine, and learn about Peruvian culture.
Day 5: Tour Kuelap, a historical ruins site from the 5th century! Group dinner before departing for cultural immersion experience.
Day 6-8: Three days at the Bosque Berlin Conservation Area. Work closely with a local family, cook the food you harvest, participate in service projects, learn about the local ecology and become a true part of their grassroots conservation efforts.
Day 9-12: Adventure with Marañon Experience! Visit a local coffee plantation, hike side canyons to ancient rock art and cascading waterfalls, and charge the rapids of the Marañon River.
Day 13: Breakfast at local Dulcería. Fly to Lima and reflect on cultural experiences from the past two weeks.
Day 14: Flight from Lima to Houston. Hugs and high fives before parting ways. Thanks for a great adventure!