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Last Chance for a Unique Peru Experience With Rutahsa Adventures

Would you like to go where no travel packager has gone before -- and likely won't again? Rutahsa Adventures' June departure may very well its last.

Would you like to go where no travel packager has gone before -- and likely won't again? Rutahsa Adventures (tel. 931-520-7047; leads a trip to a part of Peru that is truly unique. Its June departure may very well be the last opportunity to do so, as the company is closing up shop because owner Ric Finch is retiring.

In 1999, Finch first led travelers to a part of Peru where you can experience a custom that has taken place for hundreds of years; it's also a place where no other companies take travelers on a regular basis. Every June, the people of Huinchiri, along with those from a few nearby villages, recreate a suspension bridge of handwoven grass, called a keshwa chaca, across the upper canyon of Apurimac River. It's the last Incan suspension bridge, and a festival is then held in celebration of its completion, with food, music, and more. The bridge itself is not passable for anyone other than humans. Finch says it's built "to maintain their traditions and cohesion between the four scattered villages involved in the bridge renewal."

This particular trip also includes both northern and southern Peru called The Best of Andean Peru North and South Excursion and it's fairly comprehensive. So, if you want to see the things that most people are curious about in Peru -- Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, and Cusco, that's covered. But Rutahsa goes beyond Inca Peru, providing travelers with the opportunity to learn about other cultures such as the Chavin, the Moche and the Chimu, with stops in the colonial town of Trujillo and Miraflores among many others.

This 16-day tour is limited to 24 people and the cost will be determined based on the number of participants; the more people who book, the lower the price goes. If it's full, it will cost $2,647 for double occupancy, plus the cost of intra-Peru flights, which currently rate about $644 per person. The price takes care of all hotels, ground transportation, park, monument and entrance fees, services of a bilingual tour director, bilingual local guides, meals as listed in the itinerary, airport transfers in Lima and Cusco. You're on your own in terms of finding your round-trip airfare to Peru.

The company also runs well-regarded trips to Latin America, including one to Bolivia in February for Carnaval, three to Peru, two to Guatemala, and another to Costa Rica. The website is chockablock with photos of previous trips and testimonials from the company's many repeat customers who will, no doubt, be sad that Finch is retiring.

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