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Alumni Travel Reading 2018-2019: Treasures of Peru

The History of Peru

Distant view of town in mountains

Pisaq Town - Sacred Valley, by Bruce Thomson


Llama gently biting boy's hat

Boy and Llama - Colca Canyon, Peru

The Treasures of Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru, by Pedro Szekely

The 11-day tour begins in the capital of Lima with visits to the historic Casa Aliaga home and the Larco Herrera Museum. In Cuzco the tour takes in the sacred sites of Koricancha and Santo Domingo, before proceeding to the Sacred Valley to explore Pisac’s colorful Indian market, Ollantaytambo’s massive ruins, and indigenous villages. There will be a hotel stay close to Machu Picchu before returning to Cuzco to see Sacsayhuamán’s ruins. Travel over the altiplano surrounded by Peru's mountains ends at Lake Titicaca, where the full-day excursion includes a boat ride to the Uros people’s Floating Islands made of reeds. A 4-day post-tour extension of the Amazon rainforest is also available.

For more information, please visit the guide for Machu Picchu and the Amazon River.


Joe Holub
Bibliographer for Latin American Studies

For more information, visit the Penn Alumni Travel Website.

Peruvian Fiction

Mario Vargas Llosa is Peru's most celebrated contemporary author. Much of his ficition, particularly his earliest work, is set in Peru and treats a broad range of topics, including history, urban and provincial life, social institutions, education, political unrest, dictatorship, prostitution, the military, etc. Among the most notable of his prolific output is the very accessible and amusing Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter set in a radio station in the Lima of Vargas Llosa's youth; Conversation in the Cathedral based on the Odría dictatorship; The Green House, set in a brothel in Piura, the town where MVL attended elementary school; The Time of the Hero, which came out of his experience in military school; Death in the Andes, set during the period of the Shining Path insurgency; The Discreet Hero, a story of extortion set in both modern Piura and the  capital. It is worth noting that among his excellent translators is Penn alum Edith Grossman.

Cover art for "The Discreet Hero"

Peruvian Culture and Cuisine

Plate of food

Huge plate o' ceviche, by Doug Downen

Nature and Wildlife

Flock of flamingos walking closely in water

Mating Ritual: James's Flamingo, by Pedro Szekely

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