Peru: Adventure Archeology in the Cordillera Blanca


The land of the legendary Incas has retained much of its mythical feel. The Quechua and Aymara, descendants of the Incas, weave threads of their culture with Spanish influences to create a rich Peruvian culture of art, architecture, and music. As a traveler in this incredible country, you’ll have the opportunity to experience some of the most beautiful landscapes South America offers. We’ll spend much of our time in the field, studying remnants of the Incan trail and relating those findings to what we’ve discovered with previous student groups. Participants will also have a chance to explore these unique landscapes through rock climbing, hiking, and camping. College Credit is available*!

Dates: May 15th – May 31st, 2023

Early Sign-up Special: $3199

After February 27th: $3799

SKU: peru002 Category:


10% for the planet

All of our programs are set up to support our sustainability initiatives worldwide. Whether it’s planting trees or providing access to clean drinking water, the money raised from this fund literally spreads the roots for positive impact. Our programs and using adventure as a catalyst to better the people and places we visit along the way!

Eco-Cultural Adventure Mini-Mester


These 2-4 week placed-based experiential education courses are the ECAM expeditions. We learn about the complex ecology, economies, and cultures of the wonderful places we travel. We explore the places we visit under the lens of outdoor leadership while conversing with our environments via adventure sports. These skills learned through adventure are transferable wherever life takes you. 

Indexed pricing

At Soulstainable, financial status shouldn’t be a barrier to opportunity. As a part of our commitment to cultivating equity in the outdoors, we’re offering indexed rates for our collegiate programs. Email for the payment option right for you as a student!

Expedition Brief:


In 2018, Felipe Proano was attempting various first ascents in the Cordillera Blanca range in the heart of the Andes in Peru. During his time in this area, he discovered more than just beautiful aesthetic climbing, stunning white-capped to blue-grey mountain walls sliding into a beige valley floor beheld. Truly a climber’s paradise!
Upon a haphazard glance, climbing many feet above the valley floor, Felipe noticed line patterns in the basin that appeared to be perfectly straight. A perspective that would unlock what has now become known as the Canals of Rurec.
After some research, the team discovered these ruins dated back before the Spanish conquest and possibly even older cultures than the Incans.

In May 2021,

Felipe and Austin O’Brien return to the Rurec Valley with Western Colorado University interns to collect data on the area. What we found has been fascinating, but now we have more questions than answers!
This expedition’s goal is to return to the Rurec Valley to survey the area for climbing first ascents and pre-Hispanic and pre-Incan structures, including but not limited to the canals.
The team will attempt at least one ascent across the Rurec valley pass to see if we can make an Anthropological connection between the two valleys.

In May 2022,

Soulstainable returned with Felipe 2022 with a combined group from LMU and Western. The group followed up a discovery made the year before of a mysterious wall residing at 15000ft up the North side of the valley wall. Feli took note and brought it back to our Anthropologists. The team will attempt at least one ascent across the Rurec valley pass to see if we can make an Anthropological connection between the two valleys.

Expedition Study Abstract:

The Rurec valley of Peru has hundreds of prehispanic structures that have not been subject to archaeological study. The purpose of this study is to continue to paint a picture of this area and the people that once inhabited it. We’ll do this with aerial technology, satellite imagery, and modern rock climbing to count, measure, and map every structure. Results will be analyzed and published after a necessary fieldwork expedition to the Rurec valley in 2024.

The team will attempt at least one ascent across the Rurec valley pass to see if we can make an Anthropological connection between the two valleys.

Expedition Objectives:

Map, count, and measure all prehispanic structures in the Rurec Valley with modern technology and mountain-related sports. Also, pinpoint potential dig sights after we gather the LADAR data.

Expedition Itinerary:
Dates: May 15th – May 31st, 2023

Day 1: LIMA

  • Arrival in Lima! ~ Accommodation and transfers are set to jet. The Soulstainable team will be ready to host and welcome our students after a long travel day! We will ensure you have all the appropriate meeting points if you are already in-country.

Day 2: LIMA

  • Get Over Travel Lag ~ Wake up late in Lima and enjoy brunch while meeting the instructors, fellow students, and crew.
  • Spend a full day and night in the city.
  • Today is meant to enjoy Lima via a cultural tour of the Mira Flores neighborhood. This tour around historical Lima is complete with the local markets to stockpile snacks and fresh produce to prepare for the next few days of travel, culture, trekking, and climbing.
  • Soulstainable will host a massive evening dinner with a detailed rundown of the days to come.

Day 3: LIMA ~ Huaraz 

  • The team will use the day hours to review our desk work and logistics.
  • We then embark on an overnight bus to Huaraz.
  • Our hosts at Selina Hostel will be waiting for us, as we will settle into our accommodation.

Day 4: Huaraz 

  • After a late breakfast, the group will head to Llaca glacial lake to start acclimatization.
  • This beautiful lagoon is a great place to warm up to the altitude.
  • After our adventure in the mountains, we will walk through Huaraz and check out the scene!

Day 5: Huaraz – Climbing Los Olivos

  • Full Send ~ The team will work on our technical climbing skills with our instructors and local guides. This will be an introduction to climbing at altitude.
  • Our first climbing venue is in Los Olivos, just outside the city. We will sport climb and do a crag cleanup!
  • The goal is to be hyper-focused on belay checkoffs and refreshers! Never climbed before? No worries, we will get you a fantastic base of technical skills.
  • After climbing, the group will head back to Selina and wind down for the day.

Day 6: Huaraz ~ Hatun Machay

  • Into the Rock Forest: Today, we commence to Hatun Machay.
  • Here, we will climb in this fantastic climbing location. This place is a world-class climbing destination at a high altitude to help us prep for going into the Rurec Valley portion of the expedition.
  • We at soulstainable are looking forward to working with the Pampas Chico indigenous community to help clean up the climbing area and perhaps a more involved project with the locals.
  • The group will return to Selina and recover from a long day of climbing and giving back!

Day 7: Huaraz Expedition Prep Day 

  • Today is focused on preparing for the Rurec Valley Expedition
  • We will return to Salina early to go over logistics and plan for the Rurec aspect of the trip.

Day 8: Huaraz ~ Rurec

  • Leave early for Rurec Valley.
  • Execute Objective One ~ Objective One is getting to our base camp location and assembling base camp minor.
  • Definition of done: Get all personnel and equipment to the Base camp sight on day one.

Day 9: Rurec 

  • Execute Objective Two ~ Find and mark waypoints.
  • Early morning will get us to the lagoon before lunch, categorizing building and potential dig sites along the way.
  • Definition of Done: The team will mark potential dig sights to be marked by the LADAR technology.

Day 10: Rurec 

  • Execute Objective Three ~ Expedition Catchment.
  • Definition of done: Set up several predetermined equipment caches at a specific location for both climbing and the archeological aspect.
  • Explore and categorize buildings and dig sites.

Day 11:  Rurec ~ Huaraz 

  • Depart early to our transportation.
  • Execute Objective Four ~ Exit Strategy.
  • Definition of done: Get all personnel in the expedition back to Huaraz.
  • Time for a shower and a gigantic dinner!

Day 12: Huaraz

  • After a long time in the bush, we will use today to rest. Catch up with family and re-organize gear.
  • A briefing during the evening meeting will lay out the next several days.

Day 13: Huaraz to Chavin 

  • The group embarks to the other side of the mountains to the historical and cultural Chavin.
  • Today, we learn about the culture and explore the town of Chavin.
  • The group will go to the Museum and temple to learn about the Chavin Culture in the morning.
  • Selina in the evening to de-brief the day

Day 14: Chavin ~ Lima 

  • Today, the Group departs back to Lima
  • Spend the evening with debriefing and next steps
  • Start De-Brief Process.

Day 15: Lima 

  • A fun day in Lima!
  • Unwind and get ready for the travel day tomorrow.
  • Work on Thesis for final project and presentation.
  • Final Impact Presentations

Day 16: Lima ~ Flyout

  • The expedition is over, and it’s time to go home or continue your travel!
  • We will catch you next time!



Early Sign-up Special: $3199

After February 27th: $3799

  • Spot Deposit ~ $500 to save a spot for this expedition.
  • Trip Deposit ~ $1000 February 1st, 2022
  • Remaining payment ~  April 1st, 2022


  • All accommodation in Peru is provided until the expedition ends in Lima.
  • Security is of utmost importance, and our accommodation will reflect that.


  • All Transportation is included during the expedition
  • Overnight buses to Huaraz
  • Private truck hires and taxis


  • All meals starting from Breakfast on May 15th until Breakfast on May 27th are included.
  • Opportunities for local markets abound.

All guides, porters, and pack animals are included.

What is not included in the cost: 

  • Flights
  • Course Credit – We teach the full curriculum if you are taking for credit or not, but you must register and pay through Western Colorado University. 



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