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Sketches of Perú: A Photographic Exploration with Cultural and Culinary Highlights


Including the Festival of the Virgen of Carmen

July 9th-23rd 2013

$4800 based on double occupancy; $4450 for a companion; $725 for a single supplement

With Daniel Milnor and Adam L. Weintraub

An Amazon Extension through July 27th, 2013 – all-inclusive $1950; $450 for a single supplement.




We won’t just brush the surface on this tour. Despite the great tourist infrastructure of the Cusco region, we’ll be exploring far beyond the norm – from The Sacred Valley to Lake Titicaca, and many other places. The overriding spirit of this collaboration is to provide a wickedly fun experience, fantastic food, and an authentic photographic and cultural experience…


Festival of the Mamacha del Carmen in Paucartambo

Between the 15th and 18th of July of every year, thousands of believers and visitors come to celebrate the festivity of the Virgen Del Carmen, also called Mamacha Carmen (patron Saint for the mestizo population), in the small town of Paucartambo, about 3 hour’s drive from Cusco. This village of a few thousand people has whitewashed houses, red roofs and blue doors, windows and balconies. It still retains its Colonial architecture with a stone bridge and narrow cobblestone streets. Paucartambo sits in a unique valley, about two hours from the point where the Andes meet the Amazon.

In the traditional festival, closely knit fraternal groups practice over the course of a year in preparation for this moment. At the entrance of the town’s church, they pay homage to the Mamacha del Carmen in song, dance, rhythm and joy. The reunion starts in the main square of the town, where bands play their instruments and a chorus sings in Quechua, representing the many faces in the history of Peru.

Streets, windows, doorways and alleys are lined with the faithful, who pay homage to this singularly unifying and revered idol. Backs draw down and heads hang heavy knowing that the power and prayer of La Virgen del Carmen is now among them. As she heads back to the temple, the Diablos crawl and cower on rooftops and perches, unable to step on the same ground her bearers pass over. At the end of the procession, they have a little war against the devils, in which the believers come out winning.

Please note that times, locations and events may change. In the process of creating the best experience with a reliable service and reasonable comfort, there are changes that are made to accommodate festivals, transportation conflicts, national strikes or professorial whims. We will do everything we can to keep you up to speed on any changes that affect our needs but that sometimes things happen at the last moment and we are often happier for the result. If not, we will gladly invite you to a Pisco Sour to help dispel your perceived stress (Pisco is a delicious Peruvian grape brandy).

Meals: All breakfasts & most lunches are included. Dinners included where noted. The cuisine in the Peruvian major cities is experiencing a gourmet explosion of flavor, fusion, and creative deliciousness. There is no reason to have set menus and settle for generic food; it makes much more sense to go to great restaurants and order delights of your own choosing. Even in the small towns it is worth having a choice.


Daniel Milnor is currently “Photographer at Large” for Blurb, Inc. the world’s premiere print-ondemand publisher. He splits his time between the smog-choked arteries of Southern California and the spiritual landscape of New Mexico. Milnor is a former newspaper, magazine and commercial photographer who now works primarily on long-term projects. His work has taken him from the rural corners of the United States to Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

He has taught at Art Center College of Design, Academy of Art University, The Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, The Julia Dean Workshops and the Photo Experience Workshops.

An early adopter of select technologies such as print-on-demand books and magazines, Milnor has created and published over one hundred unique titles, including the recently released “Manifesto Magazine,” which showcases the world’s best documentary photography. Milnor’s writing and photography has been featured in Camera Arts Magazine, Black and White Magazine, Life Magazine, Zone Zero, Flash Flood, Finite Photo, Resolve, Hasselblad Gallery as well as many others.

He recently began a long-term mentoring program for photographers wishing to learn more about producing in-depth documentary projects. Additionally, Milnor is the author the blog Smogranch which allows him to speak his mind, post his mother’s poetry and bring together like-minded people around the globe.

His work is in the collections of both The Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The George Eastman House.


Adam L. Weintraub is a photographer based in Cusco, Peru, though he proudly proclaims Seattle as his home. For nearly 10 years, his workshops and tours have been combining inspiring artists who offer insight and creative collaboration in an intimate setting. He is currently coordinating efforts to create a permanent archive of the famed Peruvian photographer, Martin Chambi. Adam is a past three-term President of Blue Earth Alliance and is widely published, collected, hired and admired for his personal work. His just-published book, Vista Andina, offers a contemporary photographic perspective on the Andean region. Adam’s current pet-project is the Museo del Pisco in Cusco.




DAY 1:
TUES July 9      Arrive LIMA

(Optional day #1 in Lima for those who arrive late-night on the 8th)     

For those who arrive the night prior, we’ll get started at 10am in the hotel lobby for a walk around the fish market of Chorrillos, a ceviche lunch, and neighborhood walk in artsy Barranco.  We’ll then head over to the pre-Incan ruins of Huaca Pucllana before a few hours rest or shopping. 6:45pm in the hotel lobby for 7:30pm dinner at Panchita, by the world-renowned Gaston Acurio. Those arriving late-night on the 9th will stay near the airport and be picked-up early-AM on the 10th.

Casa Inca Peru (B, L)


DAY 2:

10am departure for the airport to meet those who arrived on July 9th; as a full group, we’ll board our 1 hour flight to Cusco. Our private van will then take us through the Upper Valley plateau with striking Andean peaks through to the Sacred Valley. We’ll drive on to Ollantaytambo, the oldest continually inhabited town of Incan ancestry, and have a regional overview by Joaquin Randall Weeks, proprietor El Albergue hotel.

Dan Milnor and Adam L. Weintraub will give a photographic overview, logistical review and trip itinerary breakdown. We’ll broadly discuss working in foreign cultures, indigenous communities, high-altitude light and other photo tips & techniques.

El Albergue de Ollantaytambo   (B, L)


DAY 3:

We’ll visit Moray, the natural agricultural amphitheater of the Incas. Then we drive to the Salt terraces of Maras after a brief visit to the town, its church and a few friendly locals. We’ll share a hearty box lunch on the plateau perch over the valley. After lunch we’ll walk down into the Sacred Valley from the marvelous Salt Terraces of Maras (optional drive for those not so sure-footed).

Back in Ollantaytambo we’ll have our first editing and photo-review session Days #1, 2 & 3.

El Albergue de Ollantaytambo   (B, L)


DAY 4:

6:30am Inka Rail train to Machu Picchu! After we leave our overnight bags at our hotel in Aguas Calientes, we bus up to Machu Picchu for a private 2-hour tour while the crowds are present. Then we have free time the rest of the afternoon to capture best light at Machu Picchu with the least amount of crowds. The last bus down is at approximately 5:00pm (be in line by 4:45pm).

El Mapi Hotel (B, D)


DAY 5:

Take the 5:30am bus back up to Machu Picchu for first light around 7am to photograph and observe the Sanctuary of the Incans. Be back in Aguas Calientes train station for the train back to Ollantaytambo prior to a slow drive back to Cusco to capture sunset over the Sacred Valley. 8pm dinner.

Tambo del Arriero (B)


DAY 6:
SUN July 14    CUSCO 
Photo Review Session #2 – Days 4 & 5! Please have 7-9 images from each day chosen for review by 9am.

We will head off for lunch and then tour the ceremonial site of Q’enko and the fortress of Saqsayhuaman, just outside of Cusco. We’ll follow this up with a late afternoon private visit to the Martin Chambi Archives to have a look at the images of Peru’s famed photographer. We will enjoy a gourmet dinner at Museo del Pisco with Teo as our invited guest.

Tambo del Arriero  (B, L)


DAY 7:
MON July 15        CUSCO

Free day to explore Cusco, make more images, shop. Daniel and Adam will host private one on one review sessions with each participant to discuss individual interests, needs and vision.

Tambo del Arriero  (B)


DAY 8:
TUES July 16                       CUSCO – PAUCARTAMBO

It is a short four-hour drive to Paucartambo through rugged Andean landscapes with dynamic panoramic vistas. We’ll arrive in the midst of a carnivalesque atmosphere for one of the most dynamic festivals in Peru. The Virgen del Carmen is paraded around town through narrow cobblestone streets, among reverent followers.  The festival goes on all day with dancing, fraternal meals, and a cacophony of color; it is a feast of dancing, singing, costumes and camaraderie in this quaint colonial era town.

Note: We will be staying in very basic accommodations. There will be 2-3 people sharing a room. With all of us sharing two toilets, and one basic shower with tepid water at best. Understand that our rooms and situation will be better than 95% of everyone else at this spectacular event. You will have clean sheets, great food, and an amazing experience at a prime location next to all the activity! Casona de Frida, Paucartambo (B, L, D)


DAY 9:
WED July 17                  PAUCARTAMBO

The festival begins again in the morning with reverence at its finest as the various ensembles congregate at the gravesites of their departed. Respect, joy and song fill the cemetery as each group pays homage to past members of their troupe. By the afternoon, we assemble in the central plaza for the Guerilla – or the “local’s war- and it’s worse than it sounds. This is the big day as the festival culminates in madness. Be prepared to get sprayed with water, flour, beer, smoke from burning chili peppers or worse…!

Casona de Frida, Paucartambo (B, L, D)


DAY 10:
THUR July 18                        PAUCARTAMBO – CUSCO

We return to Cusco in the morning with an early box lunch at the top of the Andes. We’ll return to Cusco and give you some time to do some editing and organizing. Afternoon in Cusco is on your own. For shopping, further editing or relax.

Tambo del Arriero  (B)


DAY 11:
FRI July 19        CUSCO – LAMPA
8-10am Photo-review of 10-12 images total from Days 6 – 9. 

We’ll leave our beloved Cusco for some of the most dramatic high-andean plataue scenery – truly unique to this world. We’ll make a few stops along the way to visit some small towns and breath-taking vantage points (no high cliffs, just dramatic vistas). We’ll arrive in Lampa in time for wonderful high-altitude light in a truly local village – no tourists here!

Hotel La Casona de Lampa   (B, L, D)


DAY 12:
SAT July 20               LAMPA – ISLA SUASI 

After breakfast, early in the morning we travel via private boat to the famous floating islands of Uros, built on totora reeds in the middle of Lake Titicaca, hosting traditional descendants from over 500 years. We proceed to the historic Island of Taquile (Takile), with unique local indigenous population and famous weavings. We’ll walk around the island, enjoying its terraces and the local herdsmen who are preparing wools for their very special weavings and colors.  We push on towards our own private island: Isla Suasi and the Casa Andina Private Collection hotel. In the afternoon we will have an island walk and a flora/fauna tour with vicuña, alpaca and cormorants; there are optional spa services; there is also some of the most magical evening light and nighttime image making at one of the most comfortable highest-elevation locations in the world.

Hotel Casa Andina Private Collection Isla Suasi   (B, L, D)


DAY 13:
SUN July 21                ISLA SUASI, LAKE TITICACA – LAMPA

A leisurely morning on our own private island as we prepare to return to the port of Puno by 3pm. A short drive will bring us to the wonderful colonial town of Lampa, enjoying its quiet streets, spectacular church, and catacombs.

Final group photo review, Days 10-12 – 6-8 images per day.

Hotel La Casona de Lampa   (B, L, D)


DAY 14:
MON July 22                         LAMPA

The morning is yours to work on your final project edits – 20 thematic images from our Peru experience. Alternatively, the morning can be used to walk around town, work some of the welcoming locals or to take in the scenic fields and mountains nearby. Lunch.

Final project presentations in the afternoon. Evening light in the plaza and a small party.

Hotel La Casona de Lampa    (B, L, D)


DAY 15:
TUES July 23                  PUNO – LIMA

Those who are not going on the extension will be off to the airport for flight to Lima. The optional tour in Lima visits one of the best museums with a private guided tour of Peru’s archaeological and cultural layers at Museo Larco – with lunch on site; then the catacombs of San Francisco and the famous central plaza and Bolivar plaza prior to your International Flight. Bon Voyage!




Rainforest Expeditions: Refugio Amazonas and Tambopata Research Center

All meals, services, guides, Park entrance fees & transportation included. Internal flights in Peru included. See attached programming, recommendations and daily schedule.

July 23rd to 27th, 2013

$1950; $450 for a single supplement

Tuesday, July 23 – The rest of us leave for the airport at Juliaca for our flight to Puerto Maldonado and the motorized private boat to Refugio Amazonas, 3 hours up the Tambopata river by canoe with outboard motor.

July 24 – Rainforest Expeditions, Refugio Amazonas to Tambopata Research Center

July 25 – Rainforest Expeditions, TRC

July 26 – Rainforest Expeditions, TRC to Refugio Amazonas

July 27 – Rainforest Expeditions Refugio Amazonas to Puerto Maldonado; Puerto Maldonado to Lima.

End of Tour.

Sunday, July 28th – Peruvian Independence Day!




To reserve your space in my PhotoExperience workshop in Peru, a deposit of $400 is required at the time of registration. We cannot hold space in a workshop without a deposit. Once your deposit has been received you will be admitted to the workshop and we’ll send you a detailed itinerary, logistics information about Peru and the photography portion. We will send you a statement of your account, with the balance due, 120 days prior to the start of the workshop (February 27th, 2013), though the full balance can be made at time of registration. We will accept no further registrants after March 15th, 2013 due to Machu Picchu travel restrictions. We will limit the number of registrants to 12.


Email Adam L. Weintraub of ( Of course, you can also call/email Adam with questions.


Digital or Film on-site: Participants can choose to photograph with film; or, preferably, you can work digitally, if you would like full course review with the rest of the group. If working digitally, please bring digital camera, laptop for back-up & appropriate software for editing; batteries, transformers 220V-110V and adapters (three prong round to 2 or 3 prong vertical) and memory stick/cards or other portable device to transfer files; it is highly recommended that you have a digital wallet or portable external hard drive/player for image back-up. A full list of recommended items comes with the Peru Info Packet once you’ve registered.




The fee for the workshop is $4800. This includes all instruction & materials, lodging, all breakfasts & most lunches, a few dinners, all entrance fees and transfers within Peru. The internal flights in Peru are included. There is an additional $725 charge for a single room. For a companion who is not a photographer but would like to accompany our group, the fee is $4450.


Extra expenses might include: individual excursions outside of group activities, some meals where noted on the Itinerary, alcoholic beverages, as well as tips for our guides and drivers. You may expect this to total between $25 to $30 per day depending on personal preferences.



Most meals and all transportation are included. All lodging is included at Casa Inca in Lima, El Albergue of Ollantaytambo, El Mapi in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) and Tambo del Arriero while in Cusco. All are 3+ stars and come with wonderful character, local staff and secure and comfortable surroundings. In Lampa and at the Festival of Paucartambo, our lodging is rustic, but safe and comfortable. At Isla Suasi on Lake Titicaca, our Casa Andina Private Collection Hotel is a 4 or 5 star accommodation.


Luis Calderon of Peruvian Expeditions is a long-standing partner of ours for all your Lima, Nazca, Ica or Coastal needs: from surfing along the North Coast or the natural marine sanctuary of Paracas to the South. You may contact Luis Calderon to organize a few days along the coast or a Nazca fly-by; he also offers Lima City Tours and roundtrip airport-to-hotel service for a safe ride. His local insights, cultural and historical understanding of Peru, as well as his great English and secure driving record (with his own 2010 SUV) make him a wonderful complement to your trip. Cellular: (+51)998-344-763 or (+51)995-186-818 or email




Before the tour we need to make important reservations, so if for any reason you need to withdraw, please notify us at least 120 days before the start of the tour for a $200 refund. If notification of cancellation is made between 120 and 91 days before the start of the tour, we will retain a $350 fee. If cancellation is made 90-46 days before the start of the workshop we will retain half of your full tuition; if cancellation occurs within 45 days of the departure there is no refund. For these reasons we highly recommend that you purchase Travel Insurance as explained below.


PhotoExperience reserves the right to cancel a reservation if full payment has not been received by 90 days before the start of the workshop, and any deposit would then be forfeited. PhotoExperience is not responsible for cancellations due to medical emergencies. In the unlikely event that a tour must be cancelled due to inadequate enrolment, all fees and deposits are refunded in full or may be transferred to another tour within 12 months. PhotoExperience is not responsible for reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets in the event of a cancellation. Again, this is why we highly recommend Travel Insurance. There are no exceptions to our Cancellation Policy.




We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. We recommend Travel Insurance Services of Walnut Creek, California for this purpose. Their phone number is (800) 937-1387 and their Web site is With this insurance you can protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances that might prevent your attendance. We suggest a plan which offers coverage for medical and dental emergencies, lost baggage, missed connections, and trip cancellation should you unexpectedly need to cancel. PhotoExperience is not responsible for cancellations due to medical emergencies or reimbursement of airline tickets in the event of a workshop cancellation.